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 This protection is available to both published and unpublished works.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)
Spread and adoption of inventions and techniques from one geographic area to another, from one discipline to another, or from one sector of the economy to another. For example, improvements in medical equipment may be transferred from industrial countries to developing countries, advances arising from aerospace engineering may be applied to equipment for persons with disabilities, and innovations in science arising from government research are made available to private enterprise.