A copyright is a form of protection grounded in the United States
Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship
fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both
published and unpublished works.
Copyright is a form of intellectual property law, protects original
works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and
artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer
software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts,
ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect
the way these things are expressed.
How is a copyright different from a patent or a trademark? A
copyright protects original works of authorship, while a patent
protects inventions or discoveries. Ideas and discoveries are not protected by the copyright law, although the way in which they are expressed may be. A trademark protects words, phrases, symbols, or designs identifying the source of the goods or services of one party and distinguishing them from those of others.