Copyright is legal term used to describe the rights that creators have over their literary and artistic works. Works covered by copyright range from books, music, paintings, sculpture, and films, to computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps, and technical drawings. The purpose of copyright is not only to protect the rights of the creators of works but also to ensure that there are opportunities for further research and creativity to flow through earlier works.
Copyright laws are legislated by individual countries and may extend to a variety of different protections. Copyright is not just a US thing, copyright legislation exists throughout the world. Treaties that serve as agreements to honor the copyright laws of other countries. Some well-known treaties include the Buenos Aires Convention and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.