What types of things are covered by copyright law?
Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 102 of the U.S. Code states:
(a) Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.(Circular 92, 2011)
U.S. Copyright Law states, "any idea , procedure , process , system , method of operation , concept , principle , or discovery , regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work."(Circular 92, 2011)
The Copyright Clearance Center can help you get permission
"So what are the chances you'll find yourself in court? Pretty slim -- although they increase dramatically if your use of a work interferes with the owner's potential income."(Starr, 2010)