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What works are protected by copyright?

Copyright protects "original works of authorship" that are fixed in a tangible form including the following:

  • 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

These categories should be viewed broadly. For example, computer code and many "compilations" may be registered as "literary works." Maps and architectural plans may be registered as "pictorial, graphic and sculptural works."

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