A collisional-radiative model is developed for various levels of the sputtered copper (Cu) atoms and their ions in an argon (Ar) direct current glow discharge, used as an analytical source for optical emission spectrometry. In this application, attention is paid to the photons emitted by sputtered atoms and ions, and hence to the behavior of excited levels of these species. 8 Cu atomic and 7 Cu+ ionic levels are considered in the model, as well as the Cu2+ ions. Typical results of the model are the level populations (in two dimensions) of the various levels, and the relative contributions of the different populating and depopulating processes. This model is not only of interest for analytical glow discharge optical emission spectrometry, but also for plasma diagnostic tools and for copper-vapor lasers.