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Publishing Agreements

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

(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.

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.


Inventions, Ideas, New, Inventive and Useful, Gadgets, Biotech


Appearance, Aesthetic, Functional, Industrial Design, Design Patents

Tarde Marks

Name, Slogan, Logo, Shapes, 3D Marks, Holograms, Motions


Literary, Musical, Artistic, Sound Recordings, Broadcasts, Photography


Buying or Starting a Franchise, Franchise Agreements

Intellectual Property in Africa

Smit & Van Wyk Intellectual Property services spans across the entire African continent. Patent, PCT National Phase applications and Trade Mark filings in most African countries, OAPI and ARIPO.

Many African countries form part of ARIPO or OAPI allowing for the filing of only one application to obtain protection in multiple territories. These regional systems reduce the administrative burden of those countries and support a better output of the relevant laws.

Popular countries to file in Africa
South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Kenya, Angola, Tanzania, Mauritius, Tunisia, Zambia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Seychelles.

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