Copyright literally is the right to 'copy'. In today's terms, it is the exclusive right that a creator gets for a piece of intellectual property. Copyrights are applicable to any substantial/substantive idea or information. Once a certain work meets the minimum standard of originality, the creator can apply for a copyright. Upon approval and registration, the author receives a set of exclusive rights. These typically include the rights to produce copies, display the work publicly, sell the rights, create derivative works, etc. It is important to note that copyright law recognizes works for their originality rather than uniqueness. So, it is possible that two creators can copyright identical properties as long as the courts deem that they were both created with originality and that the identical nature was a coincidence.
The Berne convention is an international agreement that started in Berne, Switzerland. This agreement binds all signatories to recognize all other countries' copyrights as if they were its own. This provides and international network in a world that is becoming increasingly connected, globally, through the internet. Copyrights can last for varying lengths of times, but the default duration is generally for the life of the author plus fifty or seventy years.