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A copyright registration can be obtained by forwarding an (appropriate form), copies of the work and a small fee to the (Copyright Office), which is a department of the  Library of Congress. Copyright only protects the expression of an idea, but does not protect the underlying idea. For instance, one can copyright source code for a computer application, but there certainly exists different non-infringing source codes that perform the same software task.   Confusion can occur because ownership of a copyrightable work vests initially in the author, which may be an employer or an independent contractor artist.