Literary Works

A literary work is a work that explains, describes, or narrates a particular subject, theme, or idea through the use of narrative, descriptive, or explanatory text, rather than dialog or dramatic action. Generally, literary works are intended to be read; they are not intended to be performed before an audience.

Statutory Definition

The Copyright Act defines “literary works” as “works, other than audiovisual works, expressed in words, numbers, or other verbal or numerical symbols or indicia, regardless of the nature of the material objects, such as books, periodicals, manuscripts, phonorecords, film, tapes, disks, or cards, in which they are embodied.” (17 U.S.C. § 101)

  • Advertising and Marketing Materials
  • Anthologies
  • Articles
  • Autobiographies / Memoirs
  • Blogs
  • Board Games and Card Games
  • Book (Fiction / Non-Fiction)
  • Catalogs
  • Computer Programs
  • Cookbooks
  • Craft Books
  • Dictionaries
  • Dissertations
  • Directories
  • Educational Workbooks
  • Fiction
  • Genealogies
  • Historical Works
  • How-To Books
  • Instructions
  • Interviews
  • Magazines
  • Manuscripts
  • Medical & Legal Publications
  • Newsletters
  • Newspapers
  • Periodicals
  • Poems
  • Reference Works
  • Research Papers
  • Serial Publications
  • Short Stories
  • Tests
  • Text Only
  • Text w/Artwork included
  • Textbooks
  • Translations
  • User Manuals


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