It is a form of protection provided by law. In the United States this protection is granted to authors of original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. (from Circular of the United States Copyright Office, 6/30/2008)
Property, such as patents, trademarks, and copyright, that results from creative effort. The Patent and Copyright Clause (Art. 1, Sec. 8, cl. 8) of the United States Constitution provides for promoting the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to authors and inventors, the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries. (From Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed, p1014)
Access to Information
"The business or profession of the commercial production and issuance of literature" (Webster's 3d). It includes the publisher, publication processes, editing and editors. Production may be by conventional printing methods or by electronic publishing.