can you take the music from a song and call it your own?

im a singer/songwriter/guitar player and ive recently sent a handful of songs to the library of congress for copyright. when i was out playing i noticed that the person i was playing with 'original songs' were not really originals. they seemed to have taken the EXACT rhythm and chords for another song and just changed it up at the chorus a tiny bit. this was the case fr 3 of their songs, i was wondering if they sent that in to be copy written if they would run into any problems. thanks to whoever can help.!

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