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.
you have more specific questions regarding Copyright, please
do not hesitate to contact us.
is the exclusive right in relation to work embodying intellectual
content to do certain acts (or authorise others to do these
acts) so that the work can be exploited for commercial gain.
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 utilised and providing an incentive to use his talents
and efforts to create further and improved works in the
ELIGIBLE FOR COPYRIGHT PROTECTION
qualified person must have expended skill and effort to
create a work that exists in a material form. South African
citizens, residents and persons domiciled in South Africa
are qualified persons as are citizens, etc of certain other
countries that are signatories to the Berne Convention and
listed in the Trade Marks Act. Protection is also afforded
to works that, although created by persons that are not
"qualified", are first published in South Africa (or the
other listed countries).
types of works eligible for protection are:
Sound and television broadcasts
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
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.
possible, we also recommend that the work be marked with
the Copyright sign (©) as this will assist to prove that
infringers were aware of the existence of Copyright in the
work and will allow the owner of Copyright to claim damages