Intellectual Property

South Africa

Moral Rights in Copyright

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Moral rights refer to rights under copyright laws that protect the rights of the creators of the work. These rights fall within the scope of civil law and include rights such as the right to have a work published under a specific name or anonymous, and the right to have the integrity of the work protected. Copyright awards two types of rights – that of economic and moral rights. An author for instance, has the right to gain an income from the work created while a moral right will include the right to be recognized as the author of the work. Transferring of the rights to a work doesn’t include the transfer of moral rights. The creators of original and copyright protected work thus retain their moral rights to the works.

Moral rights are protected under the Berne Convention of 1928. The USA though doesn’t recognize all these rights as set out in the Berne Convention. One of the most important moral rights is the right to prevent misattribution of a work. Another important moral right is the right to keep a work from being distorted or modified in such a manner that it harms the creator’s reputation. Visual artists in the USA under VARA, which stands for Visual Artists Rights Act giving them the right to authorship and the prevention of the use of the artist’s name on work not created by the artist, right to prevent the mutilation or changing of the work that would harm the artist’s reputation, and the right to prevent any form of destruction of an art work. It is important to note that not all countries recognize the same rights in copyright. If you are an artist or author who wants to know your moral rights to a work, contact us at Smit & Van Wyk for an appointment.

What We Can Do For You

South Africa

South Africa

We assist with the filing, prosecution and enforcement of your patent, design, trade mark and plant breeders’ rights in South Africa. Copyright dispute resolution and litigation. Franchise agreements and negotiation. Company registrations. Domain name registration and protection.

Patents in Africa, Trademarks in Africa

File in Africa

Foreign clients who wish to file patent, design and trade mark applications in South Africa and across Africa (including OAPI and ARIPO). Our firm acts as a patent agent as well as a trade mark agent for foreign clients who wish to protect their Intellectual Property in Africa.

World, International Protection

International Protection

Local clients who wish to file and protect patent , design and trade mark applications internationally. Our services include the search, filing and renewal of patents and trade marks in foreign markets such as Australia, China, the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, etc.

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