Copyright Lawyers

While it is generally accepted by copyright lawyers and other legal entities that copyright is automatically in force at creation of the work, subject to certain criteria, this copyright is not applicable indefinitely.

Generally, the term of copyright is 50 years, depending on the nature of the work, and subject to the following:

  • Literary, musical or artistic works – fifty years following the death of the author
  • Films and photographs – fifty years from the end of the year in which the work is made publicly available
  • Sound recordings – fifty years from the end of the year in which the recording is first published
  • Broadcasts – fifty years from the end of the year in which the broadcast first takes place
  • Programme-carrying signals – fifty years from the end of the year in which the signals are emitted to a satellite
  • Published editions – fifty years from the end of the year in which the edition is published

This is a basic summary, and there are exceptions. Feel free to contact the copyright lawyers at Smit & Van Wyk for more detailed information.

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