Copyrights protection gives artists and authors the sole right to print, copy, sell and distribute the work (books, music, paintings, pictures, sounds, films etc). Copyright does not cover ideas and information themselves, only the form or manner in which they are expressed.
A registration process is not required in all countries where the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic work (1886) standards apply: the protection happens upon publication of the work, so copyright need not be obtained through official registration with any government office. Note that the regulations of the Berne Convention are incorporated into the World Trade Organization’s TRIPS agreement (1995), thus giving the Berne Convention effectively near-global application.
The right is awarded for 50/70 years after the death of the author (or a number of year after publication, if the holder of the right is a corporation).
When you use the copyright symbol ©, you should mention not only the name of the owner of the copyright but also the date of first publication.