Copyright protects written, theatrical, musical and artistic works as well as film, book layouts, sound recordings, and broadcasts. Copyright is an automatic right, which means you don't have to apply for it1. The rights conferred allow the author / creator to prevent others from copying the work without permission. Copyright does not protect the ideas behind the work but rather how they are tangibly expressed, e.g. in writing. While there are no formal steps for registering your copyright, there are steps you can take to show when the work was created such as marking your work with the © symbol, your name and the year in which the work was created, lodging a copy with a solicitor or sending yourself a copy of the work via special delivery post to confirm the date and leaving it unopened.