Copyright rights are a type of intellectual property, and give the creator or owner of an “original work of authorship” certain exclusive rights in the work. This gives value to those original works of authorship and allows creators to earn money from their creative expressions. In the United States, copyright rights are governed by the federal Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C.S. § 106.
When a work is protected by copyright, it means that only the creator or the copyright holder of that work has the ability to: copy, distribute, publicly display or publicly perform the work, or to make derivative works.
For music, this typically means that only the owner of the music (lyrics/composition) can give rights to someone to perform the work, and only the original artist or record label may distribute a recorded version. If another person makes unauthorized copies or derivatives, or tries to distribute them, the copyright owner can have the music removed from various platforms and potentially take further legal action.