What is copyright?
• Copyright is federal law under Title 17 of the United States Code.
• It gives authors the right to control the use of their works.
• A copyrighted work must be "fixed in a tangible medium," meaning other people must be able to read, see, or hear the expression.
Why is it important?
• It encourages the dissemination of knowledge.
• It protects authors, inventors, and creators' rights to reproduce and market their works within a specific time frame.
How long does copyright last?
• The current term is the life of the author plus 70 years.
• If it is a corporate author the term is 95 years from the date of the first publication or 120 years from the date of creation (whichever comes first).
• For more information about copyright terms, please see this chart by the Cornell Copyright Information Center.
Overall: works protected by copyright cannot be copied, used, or modified in any way without asking permission.