What Is Copyright?

Copyright is protection provided by law (title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors/creators of “original works of authorship,” expressed in any tangible medium. This protection is available for original works from the moment they are created and expressed in a tangible medium, and it applies whether they are published, unpublished, or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.
Copyright ownership and protection is available for an author/creator if three requirements are met:

  1. Fixation—the work exists in a medium from which the author’s expression can be read, seen, or heard, either directly or by the aid of a machine;
  2. Originality—the work owes its origin and independent creation to an author;
  3. Minimal creativity—the work is the product of at least a minimal level of creativity.

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