Copyright is the legal protection given to the creator of an original work. It is the legal term used to describe the rights given to creators for their literary and artistic works. Copyright is the exclusive right granted by the law to the creator of an original work (or his or her assignee such as a publisher) to do, authorize, or prohibit certain acts in relation to such work.

Works protected by copyright include novels, poems, plays, reference works, broadcasts, newspapers, and computer programs; databases; films, musical compositions, and choreography; artistic works such as paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculpture; architecture; and advertisement, maps, and technical drawings. Copyrighted works are usually identified by the sign ©, the name of the author, and the year of publication.