Copyright is the section of federal law that stipulates what control authors have over their original works. It is specifically mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, which states:
Congress shall have the right to [...] promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries
§ 102 of U.S. copyright law grants all "original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression" copyright protection. Categories works which are specially mentioned include:
§ 106 of U.S. copyright law grants the following exclusive rights to copyright holders:
Any unpermitted use of a copyrighted work in one of the above ways may be considered a copyright infringement.
The entire text of U.S. Code Title 17 - Copyrights is available through Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute. The following sections are especially relevant to higher education:
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