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A copyright provides exclusive rights to an author of an original work to copy, publish, distribute, adapt, perform, and display the original work. Works that are eligible for copyright protection include books, songs, dances, computer programs, movies, sculptures, and paintings.

While copyright does not protect ideas, it will protect the expression of ideas.
A copyright is created when an original work of authorship is fixed in a tangible medium of expression now known or developed in the future. For example, writing a book automatically creates copyright in the book. While a copyright does not have to be registered with the United States Copyright Office, a copyright registration is necessary (in most cases) in order to file a lawsuit claiming that the copyright is being infringed.

A Copyright provides the owner with a “Bundle Of Rights” to do the following:

  • Reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or records;
  • Prepare derivative works based on the copyrighted work;
  • Distribute the copies of the copyrighted work to the public by sale, transfer of ownership, lease, rental, or lending;
  • To perform the work publicly in the case of literary, musical, dramatic works, pantomimes, motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
  • To display the copyrighted work publicly; and
  • In the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.