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  Basics: Protected Works

Usually the subject matter of copyright is described as "literary and artistic works" - original creations in the fields of literature and arts. Such works may be expressed in words, symbols, pictures, music, three-dimensional objects, or combinations thereof. Practically all national copyright laws provide for the protection of the following types of works:

Literary works: novels, poems dramatic works and any other writings, whether published or unpublished; in most countries also computer programs and "oral works"

Musical works

Artistic works: whether two-dimensional or three-dimensional; irrespective of their content and destination

Maps and technical drawings

Photographic works: irrespective of the subject matter and the purpose for which made

Audiovisual works: irrespective of their purpose, genre, length, method employed or technical process used

Some copyright laws also provide for the protection of choreographic works, derivative works (translations, adaptions), collections (compilations) of works and mere data (data bases); collections where they, by reason of the selection and arrangement of the contents, constitute intellectual creations. Furthermore in some countries also "works of applied art" (furniture, wallpaper etc.) and computer programs (either as literary works or independently) constitute copyrightable matter.

Under certain national legislations the notion "copyright" has a wider meaning than "author's rights" and, in addition to literary and artistic works, also extends to the producers of sound recordings, the broadcasters of broadcasts and the creators of distinctive typographical arrangements of publications.

browse Report:
    Intellectual Property and the "Information Society" Metaphor
-3   History: "Indigenous Tradition"
-2   Basics: Introduction
-1   Basics: Rights Recognized
0   Basics: Protected Works
+1   Basics: Protected Persons
+2   Basics: Acquisition of Copyright
+3   Basics: Limitations
Recent "Digital Copyright" Legislation: European Union