Copyright applies automatically to any original work (must be created by the author rather than copied) that has a minimal degree of creativity. It must also be "fixed in [a] tangible medium, of expression" meaning that it must in some sense be recorded and perceivable, such as on paper, in a computer file, or on a DVD.
There are eight categories of works protected under copyright law:
Musical works, including any accompanying words
Dramatic works, including any accompanying music
Pantomimes and choreographic works
Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
Sound recordings, which are works that result from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds
These categories should be viewed broadly and not as a definitive list. For example, computer programs can be registered as literary works, while maps can be registered as pictorial or graphical works.