The copyright law of South Africa governs the right to control the use and distribution of copyright works, in South Africa. Copyright Attorneys represent clients who’s copyright has been infringed upon, or when they have been accused of infringement.

Works eligible for Copyright protection

Through the years, certain classes of copyright have been developed, rather artificially, to describe works eligible for copyright protection. The work that is to benefit from copyright protection must have been reduced to a material form. In other words, mere ideas are not considered protectable by way of copyright. The author must have written down or recorded the creation in a material form for copyright to come into existence.  In terms of the South African Copyright Act (No. 98 of 1978), the following works, if original, are eligible for copyright protection:

Literary Works (eg. novels, poems, textbooks, letters, reports, lectures, speeches)
Musical Works
Published Editions of Books (usually the first print of a literary or musical work)
Computer Programs (instructions directing the operation of a computer)
Artistic Works (eg. paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs)
Cinematograph Films / Videos
Sound Recordings
Broadcasts (electromagnetic transmissions intended for reception by the public)
Programme-carrying Signals (a programme signal which passes through a satellite)

The copyright law of South Africa is embodied in the Copyright Act, 1978 and its various amendment acts, and administered by the CIPC in the Department of Trade and Industry. South Africa is a party to the Berne Convention and the TRIPS Agreement. It has signed, but not ratified, the WIPO Copyright Treaty.

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