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Copyright for Public: What is Copyright?

What is Copyright?

Copyright is "a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States for 'original works of authorship', including literary, dramatic, musical, architectural, cartographic, choreographic, pantomimic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, and audiovisual creations. 'Copyright' literally means the right to copy but has come to mean that body of exclusive rights granted by law to copyright owners for protection of their work.

Copyright protection does not extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, title, principle, or discovery. Similarly, names, titles, short phrases, slogans, familiar symbols, mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, coloring, and listings of contents or ingredients are not subject to copyright."
In other words, copyright protects the creators of creative works such as, books, plays, music, dance pieces, architectural plans, maps, photographs, paintings, sculptures, and audio-visual productions. Creative works cannot be used without the permission of the creator.
However, "fair use" of a creative work is allowed in certain circumstances, such as criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship and research. Fair use promotes freedom of expression.

Copyright Basics

Fair Use

Atla Copyright and Fair Use