Copyright protects many different phenomena: texts, computer programs, music, theater, movies, photographies, visual arts, architecture, applied art and works that have been expressed in other ways. There are also a number of related rights, such as those for artists, companies in the recording, broadcasting and movie industries, photographers and database producers.

By communication to the public, public performance, public display of copies or distribution of copies, a work is made available to the public. Communication occurs through radio, television or internet. Public performance refers to live performances to an audience. Display and distribution may only relate to physical items (such as paintings, books or CDs). It is important to clarify which of these acts that is relevant, since the copyright protection may be limited to some actions.