Copyright (Title 17 of the United States Code) is an intellectual property law that protects authors/creators' works and gives the author exclusive rights to it for a period of time. These works must be in tangible form and can either be published or unpublished. You do not have to register works with the US Copyright Office unless you file a lawsuit for infringement of your work. Check the resources to use tools to help determine the status or length of copyright of a specific work.
The Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998 is US copyright law that makes it illegal to circumvent digital rights management (DRM) technology that protects digital copyrighted works whether or not copyright was actually infringed. Another aspect of the DMCA is "safe harbor" for internet service providers. If the ISP meets certain requirements, it will not be liable for the violations of its customers.
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