A copyright gives an author the limited exclusive right to exploit his or her original work of authorship in many ways such as making copies of the work, distributing the work, displaying the work publicly, performing the work publicly, or allowing derivative works to be created based on the original copyrighted work.  


Under U.S. copyright law, the creator of an original work is the owner of its copyright unless there is a written agreement where the creator assigns the copyright to another person or entity, such as a music publisher. 


Musical works and sound recordings are separately protected under copyright law.