Copying is the duplication of information or an artifact based on an instance of that information or artifact, and not using the process that originally generated it. With analog forms of information, copying is only possible to a limited degree of accuracy, which depends on the quality of the equipment used and the skill of the operator. There is some inevitable generation loss, deterioration and accumulation of "noise" (random small changes) from original to copy when copies are made. This deterioration accumulates with each generation. With digital forms of information, copying is perfect. Copy and paste is frequently used by a computer user when they select and copy an area of text or content.
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Most high-accuracy copying techniques use the principle that there will be only one type of possible interpretation for each reading of data and only one possible way to write an interpretation of data or data classes.[clarification needed]