What is copyright?
Copyright exists to protect the rights of authors, artists, composers, software developers, and other creators of original works. It grants the copyright owner exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, display, or perform the work or produce other works derived from the original. The copyright owner is the only one who can grant permission to others to do the same.
Copyright may be applied to any work of authorship, i.e. literary, musical, visual, dramatic, and other intellectual works regardless of format. Although many copyrighted works do, a work does not have to include a copyright statement to be eligible for copyright protection. Not everything can be copyrighted. Facts are not eligible for copyright protection, nor are works produced by the federal government. It is usually best to err on the side of caution and assume a work is copyrighted.