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COPYRIGHT

Disclaimer:
The information is, by its nature, brief and is not meant as a substitute for detailed legal advice. Further information can be provided upon request.

Services we Provide:
• Advice on copyrightable material.
• Drafting copyright agreements and undertakings.

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INFORMATION

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Copyright law gives creators of original material the exclusive right to further use and duplicate that material for a given amount of time, at which point the copyrighted item becomes public domain.

Under the Copyright Act, the copyright holder (Business and or Individual) can expect benefits like modification, right to reproduction, distribution, freedom to public display, and general performance.

Many businesses use original, creative work in their day-to-day activities. For example, they may design, write or create images and or videos for their website, catalogues, marketing literature, or packaging. Copyright works could also include manuals, drawings, sketches, blueprints, photographs, brands, or logos.

Legislation

Copyright Act (Act 98 of 1978) as amended.

The copyright law of South Africa governs copyright, the right to control the use and distribution of (Business and or Individual) artistic and creative works, in the Republic of South Africa. It is embodied in the Copyright Act, of 1978 and its various amendment acts and administered by the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission in the Department of Trade and Industry.

Registration of a copyright is important to protect the work from unauthorized use or copying as it is prima facie evidence to prove the ownership of the work and it also provides the owner of the registered copyright to avail the maximum benefit by licensing, assigning, and raising capital.

The three basic elements that shall be met, in order to be protected by copyright:
Originality, Creativity, and Fixation.

Notice

For literary, musical, and artistic works, except for photographs, the copyright term in South Africa is fifty years from the end of the year of the author’s death, or fifty years from publication if it is first published after the author’s death.

For photographs, films, and computer programs, the term is fifty years from first publication, or fifty years from creation if not published within fifty years. For sound recordings, broadcasts, program-carrying signals, and published editions, it is fifty years from the first publication or transmission.

Anonymous works are protected for a shorter of fifty years from the first publication or fifty years from the year when it is reasonable to presume the author is dead. For works with multiple authors, the fifty years from death are calculated from the death of the last author to die. Government works are protected for fifty years from the first publication.

Usage Rights: Infringement of copyright can take place when a party copy, uses, sells, rents out, imports or disposes of, stores, and makes available copyright-protected works in a manner not authorized by the copyright holder. One can get usage and selling rights on a work through a license agreement.