Copyright covers the rights given to the original creator of a piece of work. The article or piece of work can be in many forms and not just limited to written work. For example the piece of work to be covered by copyright may be a drawing, online article, hand written, a sound recording or even a painted picture. The only requirement is that the work is somehow recorded in a tangible way, as you cannot copyright just an idea.
Any tangible item of work is copyrighted to the author automatically.
A piece of work does not have to include a specific notice of copyright to be covered by copyright law. The original creator or author of the work is the legal copyright owner whether the work has been registered with a copyright office. Although in the US registering your work with the copyright office may make it easier to defend a copyright claim in court, but it is no way essential to register your work. Copyright laws vary from country to country so you should always be sure to find out your local copyright laws and how best to protect the copyright of your works.
Copyright lasts various lengths depending if the author is a person or a business. In the US personal copyright lasts for the life of the author plus an additional seventy years. In the US corporate world the copyright of works will last between ninety five and one hundred and twenty years from the date of creation or from when the work was published.
As the copyright holder of a piece of work you generally have 5 rights of protection over your work.
Your work is protected from unauthorised reproduction.
Your work is protected from plagiarism.
Unuathorised Copy and Distribution is prohibited.
Audio visual work is not allowed to be played in public.
Graphical and visual work cannot be shown publically.