"Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet." -- Mark Twain.
Copyright provides legal protection to authors of original works, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works fixed in a tangible form. U.S. copyright law applies to works regardless of whether they are published or have been registered for copyright. Copyright protection allows the author the following exclusive rights for a specified period of time, after which the work becomes part of the public domain:
• To reproduce the work
• To prepare derivative works based upon the work
• To distribute copies by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending
• To perform the work publicly
• To display the work publicly
Copyright law is complex and allows certain exemptions for purposes of study and teaching.