Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Scholarly Communication Services - Copyright for Creators

About Copyright for Creators

Artist working on mural
Computer Code
DJ at Turntable
Dancers Near Liberty Island

Did you know that your creations are protected by copyright the moment they are made tangible?  Copyright isn't given only for literary or creative works; it also includes computer code, architectural works, and many types of scholarly works like manuscripts and dissertations.  Copyright can also apply to dance, pantomimes, and works of art.

Copyright gives creators rights to copy, distribute, sell, and make derivates of their work.  It is important for creators to know their rights and legal protections for their work, and also to understand how they can respect the creative and intellectual works of others.  See the links on this Research Guide for more information, or reach out to your FAU campus library.

Image sources: and  Permission for limited commercial; attribution not required.

Related Guides


Copyright Information: Circulars

The US Copyright Office distributes their explanations and current policies on copyright in their Circulars.  See their link for essential information, how to register for a copyright, and specialized topics for creators such as:

  • Visual Arts Works: Pictorial, Graphic and Sculptural Works​​​​​​; Architectural Works; Photographs
  • Performing Arts Works:  Musical compositions; Choreography and Pantomime; Multimedia Works; Sound Recordings
  • Literary Works:  Computer Programs; Websites



Literary Works

Registering A Copyright

A copyright is automatically granted to a creator for his or her work the moment it is made tangible.  Legal experts recommend that creators register for a copyright if they plan to use it for commercial purposes, or if they want documentation for legal purposes.  Creators can go to the US Copyright Office web page to register theirs, or consult with an intellectual property attorney for guidance.

US Copyright Office (2019).  Copyright registration [Video].

Items in the Library