Copyright protects original works. In copyright law, there are a lot of different types of works, including paintings, photographs, illustrations, musical compositions, sound recordings, computer programs, books, poems, blog posts, movies, architectural works, plays, and more. When you create an original work like taking a photograph, writing a book or blog, or recording a new song, you are the author and the owner. You’ve created and your are the owner of your creation. Copyright law protects you.
Companies, organizations, and other people besides the work’s creator can also be copyright owners. Copyright law allows ownership through “works made for hire,” which establishes that works created by an employee within the scope of employment are owned by the employer. The work made for hire doctrine also applies to certain independent contractor relationships, for certain types of commissioned works.
Copyright exists automatically in an original work of authorship once it is fixed, but you as a creator and copyright owner can take steps to enhance your protections. The most important step is registering the work with the US Copyright Office. Registering a work is not mandatory, but for U.S. works, registration (or refusal) is necessary to enforce the exclusive rights of copyright through litigation. Timely registration also allows copyright owners to seek certain types of monetary damages and attorney fees if there is a lawsuit, and also provide a presumption that information on the registration certificate is correct. Filing with the US Copyright office protects you and your creations.