Basics of Copyright
Copyright is a bundle of rights granted to authors which allow them to control the use of their work.
U.S. Copyright law originated with the Constitution. Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Constitution states that:
"Congress shall have the power... To promote 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."
The U.S. Copyright Act can be found at Title 17 of the United States Code.