Copyright is just one of the four divisions that fall under the general heading of Intellectual Property, and there are South African attorneys who have had special training in the subject and will be only too happy to advise you on the subject. The four general headings that fall under this collective term are (i) patents, (ii) designs, (iii) trade marks, and (iv) copyright. South African law protects intellectual property of any kind, but that to qualify for this protection you must first register your ideas. Copyright is the exception to this rule as it cannot be registered. It can, however, still be enforced.

South African Intellectual Property attorneys specialise in the laws governing protection of trade marks, designs, copyright and patents, and can advise you on their protection, consequently making them valuable assets. As it is not registered it is up to the owner of that copyright to institute legal action in the civil courts through a South African attorney if he believes the copyright in his literary, musical, artistic creation, or software has been infringed. You may indicate that copyright protection applies to your work by placing a © symbol along with your name and the date at the foot of the work.

Generally speaking, any original work made by a person is eligible for copyright protection. “Original” refers to the fact that the author must have created the work through the application of his or her own creativity and labour. Copyright protection means that no one else may copy or use the protected work without your express permission. Copyright protection is extremely important for people who express their ideas on paper (or the like) for a living. For example, authors, poets, sculptors, artists and webmasters.

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