There is much confusion surrounding what can be copyrighted and what cannot. Similarly, many people have trouble deciding what type of intellectual property is proper for securing their protection. Copyrights are geared toward protecting any works resulting from authorship, whereas its counterparts cover specific product features and brand representations. That being said, there is still a level of uncertainty regarding when these rights are being infringed upon, which is why that is the driving factor of much litigation.
Types of copyrights are defined in a unique manner from patents and trademarks. These are broken up into looser classifications, whereas there is a list of copyrightable works that is defined by category. Since taking over control of related legislation with the 1976 Copyright Act, the federal government has been active in expanding its scope. This has been especially necessary, coming alongside technological advances that have increased the types of media available for authorship and means of distributing the works created.
The USPTO defines the types of copyrights as literary works, musical works and lyrics, dramatic works and their accompaniments, pantomimes and choreography, pictures, graphics, sculptures, movies and other audiovisual works, sound recordings, and architectural works. Ultimately, these categorizations are looked at from a very broad perspective, which is to make sure that any acts of authorship are appropriately secure. However, there are also defined categories of materials that will generally not be granted copyright protection.