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Copyright Myths Exposed

Intellectual Property

In many instances copyright infringement takes place simply because of ignorance and misconceptions. A few guidelines are provided below to help you avoid copyright infringement.

Work on the internet is copyright protected

Make no mistake most works on the Internet are copyright protected. Only if a work falls within public domain, that is the copyright has expired, then can one freely copy or use the work, but it is still necessary to cite the source. Photos on the Internet, whether on Facebook or any other medium, are copyright protected. The moment an artistic or literary work is put into tangible form, it is automatically protected by copyright.

Works without copyright notices are still protected

Do not make the mistake of believing that if there is no copyright notice or symbol that the work falls within public domain. Most works which are in public domain can be found in special lists and databases on the Internet. Even if there is no copyright notice, you can assume that the work is protected. If templates are available on the Internet with a specific requirement, you must follow the terms and conditions of usage. The templates may not have copyright notices, but the authors may require that you leave the link in place and notice of authorship. If you delete such you lose the right to usage.

Adapting a piece of work doesn’t make the work yours

Article rewriting if done for your own website and from your own work or for the purpose of submitting to article directories is not copyright infringement. If, however, you find an article on the Internet and decide that you like it and change it a bit to pass the copy detection tools, you are still in violation of copyright. If you refer to another’s work, the source must be cited. If you adapt or copy an article from the Internet without permission from the author it stays copyright infringement. You can use a work as inspiration, but once you start writing make sure that you create original content.

Posted on 7 April 2011
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Intellectual Property in South Africa

Smit & Van Wyk deals exclusively with patents, designs, trademarks, copyright and plant breeders’ rights in South Africa. Our team of Intellectual Property attorneys have the knowledge, experience and resources to give expert legal advice regarding your Intellectual Property portfolio. We can assist with the protection, prosecution and enforcement thereof. It is our mission to provide unparalleled service to our treasured clients by developing dynamic solutions which are tailored to suit individual Intellectual Property needs. The key to achieving this lies with our vibrant people, who are eager to go beyond the call of duty.

Patent Attorneys
It is highly recommended that your claims be written by a qualified patent attorney or patent agent. The patent attorneys at Smit & Van Wyk provide a wide range of patent-related services across multiple industries and fields of technologies, including patent drafting, filing and prosecution.

South Africa Intellectual Property
Smit & Van Wyk deals exclusively with patents, designs, trademarks, copyright and plant breeders’ rights in South Africa. Our team of Intellectual Property attorneys have the knowledge, experience and resources to give expert legal advice regarding your Intellectual Property portfolio.

Franchise Attorneys
Franchising legal advice is specialised and differs from other areas of law, thus you need find yourself an attorney that specialises in this specific type of law. Franchise attorneys represent the franchisor, as well as the franchisee. 

PCT National Phase Patents
The PCT National Phase is the second of the two main phases of the PCT procedure. It follows the international phase and consists in the processing of the international application before each Office of (or acting for a Contracting State) that has been designated in the international application.