Copyright law exists to provide legal protection for the creator and the work.
What is covered by copyright?
Examples of copyrightable works include:
Photographic images, paintings, drawings and sketches; web art
Designs for buildings, furniture, interiors, and landscapes
Motion pictures, television programs and web videos
Recordings of music performances and scores, the spoken word
Any form of text, whether handwritten, printed, or saved as a digital copy
Something doesn’t have to be published to have copyright protection. When any form of intellectual property is distributed without the permission of the copyright owner, depriving the owner of the opportunity to profit from the reproduction of the work, the law is being broken.
What is not covered?
Some forms of expression are not covered by copyright law and are considered to be in the “Public Domain”. These include works that are either ineligible for copyright protection, or with expired copyrights. All works published before 1923, works of the United States Government, or the underlying idea that is expressed or manifested in the creation of a work are considered to be in the public domain, and thus free of copyright restrictions.