The Copyright Law, Title 17 of the US Code, lists five rights that an author has as soon as the work is fixed in a tangible form. They include the rights to the following:
The original creation of an author. For purposes of registration, the copyright office categorizes works as literary, visual, performance, musical, serial works (like journals), and computer circuit boards.
A number of factors determine whether an item is protected or not including the following:
The copyright law provides for either actual or statutory damages if the courts find that infringement has taken place. The amounts of statutory damage awards differ based on whether the infringement was willful or innocent, as follows from these excerpts from Section 504c: