Copyright laws protect intellectual property and make copying the words, expressions of ideas, illustrations, and products of others a crime. These laws are designed specifically to protect writers and artists from exploitation. In the United States, copyright laws extend to works of literature and scholarship, as well as to artistic expressions in other media. Copyrights legally protect the expression of an idea. These intellectual property laws are in effect both here and abroad. Most written works are protected by copyright in the countries where they are published.