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What is Copyright?
Copyright is a form of legal protection for authors of original works intended to foster creative expression by promoting "the progress of science and useful arts" (U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8).
Any original expression is automatically copyright protected as soon as it is fixed in a tangible form (paper, computer file, video recording, etc.).
Copyright protection may apply to text, photographs, graphics, cartoons, music, movie clips, etc., in print and digital formats.
Generally, copyright provides the author control of the use, alteration, copying, distribution, performance, and sale of the work.
Neither publication nor registration is essential for a work to be copyright protected, even if no © notice or warning is displayed.