How is a copyright different from a patent?
A basic view of patents and copyrights is that a patent protects inventions (the implementation of an idea), while a copyright protects the expression of an idea. For example, suppose you publish an article which described a new invention. If someone tried to use your invention, a patent would prevent them from doing so. However, if someone tried to copy your actual description of the invention, a patent could not protect you - but a copyright in that description would prevent them from copying it.