Copyright is a set of rights 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, audiovisual and certain other works, including software.
This protection is available to both published and unpublished works that are fixed in a tangible medium. Copyright does not protect ideas; it protects the expression of ideas.
The law gives the owner of copyright the following exclusive rights:
The owner of the copyright may transfer all or part of these rights to others. See the page on Author Rights.
Subject to some exceptions described in this guide (including fair use), if a person exercises any of these rights in another’s work without permission, the person may be liable for copyright infringement.