Items that are copyright-protected under 17 U.S.C. 102 include, but are not limited to:
- Literary works
- Musical works, including any accompanying words
- Dramatic works, including any accompanying music
- Pantomimes and choreographic works
- Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
- Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
- Sound recordings
- Architectural works
- Computer software1.
The following is a list of items that are not usually copyright-protected. You always have to verify copyright status. An item may appear that it is on this list but may still be copyright-protected.
- Works that have not been fixed in a tangible form of expression (i.e., recorded or captured in print or electron form)
- Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering or coloring; mere listings of ingredients or contents
- Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries or devices, as distinguished from a description, explanation or illustration
- Works consisting entirely of information that are natural or self-evident facts, containing no original authorship, such as the white pages of telephone books, standard calendars, height and weight charts, and tape measures and rulers
- Works created by the U.S. Government (as previously noted)
- Works in the public domain, including works with copyrights that have expired (generally older than 95 years). Since a copyright notice is no longer required, the absence of the ©, especially for works published after 1978, does not necessarily mean the work is in the public domain2.
NOTE: This does not mean there may not be some other type of legal protection such as “Trademark.”
1Copyright Basics Accessed January 17, 2017