What is Copyright?
What is copyright?
United States federal Copyright law grants the creator of an original work a number of exclusive rights. Copyright protection assumes three elements: the work is original, minimally creative, and fixed in a tangible format. Examples of works that fall under copyright protection include books, articles, sound recordings, images, art works, motion pictures, sound recordings, choreography, to name a few. The six exclusive rights are (in abbreviated form):
- The right to reproduce the work
- The right to prepare derivative works
- The right to distribute copies of the work to the public
- The right to perform the work publicly
- The right to display the work publicly
- The right to perform the work by means of a digital audio transmission.
These exclusive rights are not absolute, and they may be unbundled and transferred to someone else: for example, an author may sign over book printing and distribution rights to a publisher. The rights are also limited in duration and are subject to a number of other exceptions. These exceptions, or limitations, permit use of a copyrighted work without the copyright holder's permission under certain conditions (see sections 107 - 122). A brief discussion of one of these limitations follows.