Copyright Law

Copyrights protect original creative ideas and are distinct from other types of intellectual property laws such as patents or trademarks. When an author writes a book, a musician creates a song, or an artist produces a painting, he can protect the presentation of his new idea through a copyright. This provides the owner with the exclusive right to control that particular creative material, unless an exception to the copyright rules exists. "Fair use" rules, for example, permit portions of the material to be reprinted for purposes of education, criticism, satire or commentaries on the original piece. To learn more about copyrights and the protections, rights and restrictions associated with them, explore the links in this section.