Q. What is copyright?
Copyright is a form of protection that the U.S. gives to creators and authors of original creative works, including without limitation, literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. The protection applies to both published and unpublished works. Copyright is the right of the author, artist, composer, or creator to control the use of his or her work by others.
To acquire copyright protection, a work must be an idea that is fixed in a tangible form of expression. A work is original when a human author produces it and it possesses at least a minimal degree of creativity. A work is fixed when is captured in a sufficiently permanent medium that would allow the work to be perceived, reproduced, or communicated for more than a short time. Copyright protection is automatic from the moment the original work is fixed. A non-exhaustive list of works that are subject to copyright protection are literary works, musical works, dramatic works, motion pictures, pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works.