Intellectual Property Law Specialists                               


Copyright is an inherent common law right, which protects the author's reputation and identity for his/her lifetime and generally for a period of 50 years after the author's death.


Copyright may be used to protect literary,musical, artistic, cinematographic films, sound-recordings, broadcasts, programme-carrying signal, published editions and computer programmes.

Technical drawings, websites, brochures, menus and so forth are all works that may be protected through the provisions of our Copyright Law.

The author or creator is generally the owner of the Copyright. Exceptions to the author's ownership of the work may occur when the work was created while working under a contract of employment, in certain circumstances surrounding periodicals, newspapers and magazines and in the commissioning of certain works such as portraits, paintings and photographs.


Copyright protected works can be assigned or licensed, both of which should be in writing.

Copyright in a work arises automatically when the work is created. The only copyright protected work that is registrable is South Africa are those pertaining to cinematographic works.

Any person who carries out an unauthorized use of a copyright protected work, commits an act of direct copyright infringement. In order to be successful with a claim of direct infringement one must prove that actual copying took place and that a substantial part of the copied work is similar to the original work.

Any person who deals in any way with the copyrighted work, knowing that he is dealing with infringing copies, commits an act of indirect copyright infringement. These acts include importing, selling or dealing in the infringing copies or acquiring computer programmes.


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