Skip to main content

Definition of Copyrighted Material

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” that include the following categories:

  • Literary works;
  • Musical works, including any accompanying words;
  • Dramatic works, including any accompanying music;
  • Pantomimes and choreographic works;
  • Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works;
  • Motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
  • Sound recordings;
  • Architectural works.

Remember, material found on the Internet has the same copyright protection as material distributed through other media. Exceptions include materials found in the public domain, which can be used without permission, refer to any material published before 1923 or 70 years after the creator’s death.