is a protection that covers published and unpublished literary, scientific
and artistic works, whatever the form of expression, provided such works
is fixed in a tangible or material form. This means that if you can see
it, hear it and/or touch it - it may be protected. If it is an essay, if
it is a play, if it is a song, if it is a funky original dance move, if it
is a photograph, HTML coding or a computer graphic that can be set on
paper, recorded on tape or saved to a hard drive, it may be protected.
Copyright laws grant the creator the exclusive right to reproduce, prepare
derivative works, distribute, perform and display the work publicly.
Exclusive means only the creator of such work, not anybody who has access
to it and decides to grab it.
protection begins when any of the above-described work is actually created
and fixed in a tangible form.
once asked if it was "illegal" to place the copyright©
symbol next to your name if you have not registered your copyright. Unless
you have stolen the work from somebody else and you are not the true
author of the work, it is not illegal to place the copyright© symbol
next to your name - it is your right to do so.
The proper way to place a copyright notice is as follows: Copyright© (first date of creation) (name of owner). Like this: Copyright© 2002 Wu, Hsu & Chen Attorneys at Law.