Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors of "original works of authorship," including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.
Copyright protection exists from the moment a work is fixed in a tangible form of expression (This could include a DVD, CD, even a napkin with writing on it). It is the right granted by law to an author or creator to control the use of the work created. This allows the owner of the copyrighted material to:
- Make copies (A copy is the reproduction of an original work, here are some examples of what would be considered a "copy": download, PDF email attachment, photocopy or scan, etc.)
- Distribute copies (including using the internet)
- Prepare derivatives based on the original work (like a sequel or spin-off)
- Perform the work publicly
- Display the work publicly