A copyright gives the owner the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, or license his work. See § 101 of the act. The owner also receives the exclusive right to produce or license the production of derivatives of his work. See § 201(d) of the act. Limited exceptions to this exclusivity exist for types of "fair use", such as book reviews. See § 107 of the act. To be copyrightable a work must be original and in a concrete "medium of expression." See § 102 of the act.
The federal agency charged with administering the act is the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress. See § 701 of the act. Its regulations are found in Parts 201 - 204 of title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
In 1989 the U.S. joined the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.