Authors and creators of “original works of authorship” using any medium of expression are protected under the Copyright Law (17, US Code 102). This law applies whether the original works are published, unpublished or registered with the United States Copyright Office. The creators of the original work must simply fulfill 3 requirements: the work must be able to be seen, read or heard, the work must owe its creation to an author, and the work must be the product of at least a minimal level of creativity.
There are some exceptions and limitations to copyright that can allow for limited use of copyrighted materials. These resources help to better explain these exceptions and limitations.