What does the Copyright Lawyer Do?
The copyright lawyer dealing mainly with infringement cases has a twofold job. One the one side the copyright lawyer defends the client against accusations and helps to resolve disputes. On the other side the attorney acts on behalf of a client to bring an infringement case against an alleged infringer. It is however, only one part of the job. In most instances the copyright lawyer handles copyright registration applications, license agreements, contracts, and provides advice regarding copyright protection. Although in South Africa, copyright is automatically assigned once a creative or literary work is materialised, the issue is normally about who holds the rights, more than rights existing.
One instance where a person may need the assistance of such an attorney is when a band performs a song written by one band member and music composed by two other members of the band. Another band member may have produced the back track and yet another compiled the whole production. The band splits up and two of the members become involved in a dispute over royalties. The question of copyright ownership is at the heart of the dispute. The copyright attorney will be able to establish true ownership and rights assigned.
Another instance of where you may need to get legal advice or assistance is when you have written an electronic book which you have made available on the Internet. You have not listed the rights that the buyer gets when purchasing the book. Three months later you see your e-book rewritten in a way and sold on the Internet. Are you entitled to royalties and has infringement taken place? The attorney will be able to advice you accordingly and help you to take the correct steps in dealing with the situation.