Copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of “original works” and includes such things as literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual creations, both published and unpublished. Copyright does not protect ideas. It only protects the specific and original expression of the idea. A good example of this is that there are many films and books based on the classic boy meets girl theme in which the girl’s parents disapprove of boy and after many tears, true love finally triumphs. This theme cannot be monopolized, but original works to it can be. The same can be said of all other works.
So what does copyright afford the owner? Copyright is an exclusive right and gives its creator, or owner if the rights are sold, the sole right to reproduce the copyrighted work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute and sell any copies of the copyrighted work, to perform or display the copyrighted work publicly. In many countries it will also give the creator of the work special privileges to determine how the work is to be displayed.