Copyright Mystery Home

Overview: Copyright Defined

Copyright protects an author's rights by giving them the legal power to do with their works as they choose. They have the exclusive right to sell their work, make copies of it, make other works based on it, or display it in public.

Original content that is protected by copyright laws includes literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain intellectual works. But it can also be your class assignments or the notes you prepare for a class.

There are some limitations to these rights. The biggest limitation is called Fair Use. We'll be covering that later. Copyright law, as it currently stands, is covered in Title 17 of the United States Code.

In this section, we will explore the following concepts. Click on each one to learn more. They are:


After completing this section, you will:

  • recognize the importance of ownership
  • Identify what is covered under copyright
  • Recognize what penalties apply if copyright is violated
  • Identify why copyright law exists
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updated: 16/8/11