This page of the tutorial highlights key subsections from the respective section of the statute. The entire section can be found here.
§ 102. Subject matter of copyright: In general
(a) Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. Works of authorship include the following categories:
(1) literary works;
(b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.
Comments: This is the universe of works that get copyright protection. The term "original" as used here means a work of independent creation that entails a "modicum of creativity." Courts have set the threshold for creativity to be quite low. The term "original" does not mean "new or artistic." A leading USSC case dealing with "originality" is Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service. This section also highlights the fact that ideas cannot be copyrighted, but rather it is the expression of ideas captured in a tangible medium that gets protection.
106. Exclusive rights in copyrighted works
(1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;
Comments: This is the "bundle of rights" that an author obtains via copyright. When someone infringes on an author's copyright they have misappropriated one or more of these rights. For example, if someone has taken all or part your website (i.e. without your consent) then they have violated your right to make a copy of your work, unless they can make a prevailing argument using a legally recognized defense (e.g. see Fair Use below). These rights can be sold, licensed or assigned in whole or in part.
§ 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
Comments: As indicated above, courts recognize certain uses of a copyrighted work to be "fair." However, as a practical matter, prevailing with a fair use defense can be quite an expensive proposition, and it is usually simply more cost effective to be in compliance than it is to risk the litigation costs necessary to assert this defense, and worse yet the costs of not prevailing. There is the "rule" and then there is the "reality" of how it is applied. Certain uses will not prove problematic at all (e.g. most classroom uses), but other cases are not so clear. The factors are balanced and no one factor is controlling (see the Fair Use Doctrine for more information).
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