| Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created, and a work
is "created" when it is fixed in a copy or phonorecord for the
first time. "Copies" are material objects from which a work can
be read or visually perceived either directly or with the aid of a machine
or device, such as books, manuscripts, sheet music, film, videotape, or
microfilm. "Phonorecords" are material objects embodying fixations
of sounds (excluding, by statutory definition, motion picture soundtracks),
such as cassette tapes, CDs, or LPs. Thus, for example, a song (the "work")
can be fixed in sheet music ("copies") or in phonograph disks
(" phonorecords"), or both.
If a work is prepared over a period of time, the part of the work that is fixed on a particular date constitutes the created work as of that date.