“Copyright is a legal device that provides the creator of a work of art or literature, or a work that conveys information or ideas to control how the work is used.”The intent of copyright is to advance the progress of knowledge by giving an author of a work an economic incentive to create new works.
What Can be Copyrighted?
Tangible, original expression. This means, for example, that a verbal presentation that is not recorded cannot be copyrighted. However, anything that is tangible can be copyrighted. There are three fundamental requirements for something to be copyrighted:
The item must be fixed in some way. The fixation must be almost anything. For example, a piece of paper, a computer disk, a CD, or a DVD are all legitimate forms of fixation.
The work must be original. Originality includes a novel or a student's email message to a professor. Both are considered examples of original expression. It is not necessary for the work to be completely original. Works may be combined, adapted, or transformed in new ways that make them eligible for copyright.
→ Minimal Creativity:
The work must include something that is above and beyond the original. Verbatim use is not considered original. Reference to the original work that is used to discuss a new concept would be considered original, however. Creativity need only be extremely slight for the work to be eligible for protection.
Works in the public domain:
Copyright provides authors fairly substantial control over their work, although in order to publish their works many authors assign those rights to their publishers. The four basic protections are: