As a writer you will want the benefits that come from owning copyright on your work. If however, you plan to get the work published you will have to enter into copyright and publishing agreements with the publisher. As such you will require the assistance of Pretoria copyright attorneys such as Smit & Van Wyk.

First time published authors often fall into the trap of signing agreements where all rights on the work go the publisher, with little or no scope of self marketing for the author. It is even possible to commit copyright infringement on your own work if you have signed away all the rights.

What is eligible for Copyright protection?

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

Copyright Duration

This depends on the type of work that has been created. Generally, the term of copyright is 50 years, subject to the following:

Sound Recordings – 50 years from the end of the year in which the recording is first published.
Broadcasts – 50 years from the end of the year in which the broadcast first takes place.
Programme-carrying Signals – 50 years from the end of the year in which the signals are emitted to a satellite.
Published Editions – 50 years from the end of the year in which the edition is published.
Literary, Musical or Artistic Works – copyright exists for the life of the author plus 50 years following death, calculated from the end of the year the author died in or 50 years from the date of first publication, performance in public, offering for sale of records thereof or the broadcasting thereof , whichever is later.
Films and Photographs – 50 years from the end of the year in which the work is made publicly available, or the end of the year in which the work is first published, whichever is longer, or fifty years from the end of the year in which the work is made.

Get the help of experienced copyright attorneys such as Smit & Van Wyk for the reviewing of agreements with publishers before signing any agreements.