• The meaning of copyright varies by jurisdiction, but is generally understood to refer to the protections provided by law to certain types of original works of authorship (including literary, dramatic, audiovisual, and musical works). "Copyright" literally means "the right to copy," but has come to refer to the body of exclusive rights granted by law to copyright owners for protection of their work.

  • Looking for more info on copyright? Check out the U.S. Copyright Office’s FAQ.

What legal protections does copyright provide?

  • In the U.S., copyright protections give the creator(s) of the work an exclusive set of rights which no one else has—including the rights to copy, share, publicly display, perform the work publicly, distribute the work or copies of it (sharing it or selling it to other people), create derivative works (creating other works based on the original, or using elements from it), and selling or otherwise earning profits from the work.

What happens if there are multiple creators of a work?

  • When there are multiple creators of a work, they’re generally all allotted an equal share of the ownership of the work, and they all have the protections & rights allotted by copyright. Also, the creators are entitled to an equal share of all of the profits that may result from the work.

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