You cannot copyright an idea; however, when you commit your inspiration to paper, you own it and all the rights to it. In South Africa, copyright does not require registration because your copyright is created the minute your work appears “in material form.”
Artists, authors, musicians, designers, and producers frequently dispute authorship of copyrighted works, but South African copyright law remains extremely clear: the first one to make some artifact from the idea owns the idea.
For example, in the cases of literary, artistic, and musical works, the copyright belongs to the first person who produces the work. Therefore, common sense provides your best protection against copyright infringement: save and date the very first drafts or sketches of your work.
You may even have a friend endorse your signature and date, authenticating the information.
Recordings, television programs, and electronic media follow the same rule: first one to make it owns it.
Contact Details for Smit & Van Wyk
+27 (0) 12 349 7800
+27 (0) 86 619 0493
Physical Address / Courier
Block A Apex Corporate Park
Quintin Brand Street
Meiring Naudé Avenue