Copyright is defined as "a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States for 'original works of authorship'" according to the United States Copyright Office. As long as the work is fixed in a tangible medium then this protection is available to both published and unpublished works.
The US Copyright Act lists six rights exclusive to the copyright holder. The copyright holder has the right:
To make copies or recordings of their work
To create new works based on their original works
To sell, rent, lease, lend, or give away copies or recordings of their work
To publicly perform their work
To publicly display their work, including still images from movies or other audiovisual works
In the case of music or other sound recordings, to perform their work through a digital audio transmission, such as playing it on a radio station