What is a copyright?

A copyright offers protection for original works of authorship. Copyright protection affords the author of a copyrighted work with specific rights that the author can give or sell to others or keep for him or herself.

The concept of copyright protection in the United States is set forth in the original U.S. Constitution which allows Congress to pass laws that promote and encourage the progress of the useful arts.

This section of FreeAdvice primarily addresses newly created works rather than works created in the past. Such older works are generally governed by the copyright laws in effect at the time of their creation.