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Federal Government Depository

What does copyright cover?

Copyright protects original works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible form of expression. Copyrighted works include the following categories:

  • Architectural works
  • Sound recordings
  • Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
  • Pantomimes and choreographic works
  • Dramatic works, including any accompanying music
  • Musical works, including any accompanying words
  • Literary works (also includes computer software)


What is not protected by copyright?

  • Works that you have not fixed in tangible form.
  • Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere listings of ingredients or contents.
  • Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, or devices. (Some of these are patented. Go to the Patent tab in the left navigation column for more information.)
  • Works consisting entirely of information that is common property and containing no original authorship.