A copyright is a form of protection given to authors of original works. Original works can include music, literature, movies, photographs and other artistic endeavors. The author of the work is given the exclusive right to distribute, publish, reproduce, perform, or display the work. However, this exclusive right lasts for only a certain period of time, although that period is quite long. Generally, for works created on or after January 1, 1978, the copyright is protected for the life of the author plus 70 years after the author’s death.