Copyright is a form of intellectual property. It is an asset that can be owned and transferred like any other asset. protection is in original “works of authorship” fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. Copyright is the exclusive right to make and dispose of copies of any work of authorship. There is no protection of the underlying idea, but only the written or visual embodiment of the idea.
Works of authorship include the following categories:
- pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works;
- dramatic works, including any accompanying music;
- motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
- musical works, including any accompanying words;
- pantomimes and choreographic works;
- literary works;
- sound recordings; and
- architectural works.
There is no copyright protection for an original work of authorship in any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.
Exclusive rights of the copyright owner (section 106 , title 17, U.S. Code):
- To reproduce the work
- To prepare derivative works
- To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale, rental, lease, or lending
- In the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the work publicly
- In the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly
- In the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission