COPYRIGHT PROTECTION IN SOUTH AFRICA
The following information is supplied for the convenience of our clients or potential clients and is to be considered as a brief and simplified outline only. As the Copyright Act is complex and the nature of works varies, it is virtually impossible to provide a thorough synopsis of the Copyright Act in the limited space afforded.
Should you have more specific questions regarding Copyright, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Definition and Philosophy
Copyright is the exclusive right in relation to work embodying intellectual content to do certain acts (or
Copyright affords a creator of an original work a qualified monopoly to use and exploit his work with the view to rewarding and compensating the creator for his effort, creativity and talent
Works eligible for Copyright Protection
A qualified person must have
The types of works eligible for protection are:
- Literary works
- Musical works
- Artistic works
- Sound recordings
- Cinematographic films
- Sound and television broadcasts
- Programme-carrying signals
- Published editions
- Computer programmes
Establishment of Copyright
Where a work is eligible for Copyright protection, Copyright automatically comes into existence. It is not possible to acquire Copyright through registration. Indeed, it is not possible to register Copyright (except Copyright in cinematographic films, and this registration serves merely as a confirmation of existing rights).
We do, however, recommend that creators of works keep their “drafts” so that these may be used if it later becomes necessary to prove that they expended skill and effort in the creation of the work.
Where possible, we also recommend that the work