As an artist, one of your biggest fears naturally has to be protecting the integrity and use of your work. These days, the concept of copyrights and control distribution are gray areas for many people. The Internet has drastically changed the way that things like books, songs and other works are distributed - and has made protecting a copyright that much more difficult. In order to protect the things that you create - and to be able to prove your ownership of them - you need to understand your basic rights.
All of the current laws and regulations concerning copyrights in the United States stem from theCopyright Act of 1976. This law went into effect on January 1, 1978, and is handled on the federal level. Individual states may not create their own laws to cover the things that are included within the act.
If you create original plays, books, songs or even video games, you should study up on the Copyright Act of 1976. You should also consult with a copyright law attorney and understand these basic concepts: