Copyright is a form of protection provided by U.S. law to authors of “original works of authorship” from the time the works are created in a fixed form. This circular provides an overview of basic facts about copyright and copyright registration with the U.S. Copyright Office. It covers
• Works eligible for protection
• Rights of copyright owners
• Who can claim copyright
• Duration of copyright
Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United Statesto the authors of “original works of authorship” that are fixed in a tangible form of expression. An original work of authorship is a work that is independently created by a human author and possesses at least some minimal degree of creativity. A work is “fixed” when it is captured (either by or under the authority of an author) in a sufficiently permanent medium such that the work can be perceived, reproduced, or communicated for more than a short time. Copyright protection in the United States exists automatically from the moment the original work of authorship is fixed.