Copyright services include:
- advice on copyrightable material
- drafting copyright agreements and undertakings
- associated litigation
Copyright exists automatically in a work which has been reduced to a material form.
In South Africa no registration procedure is required nor possible, which often makes proof of the existence of copyright a complicated issue.
Copyright exists in pictures, paintings, books, software, photos and similar works. Generally the owner of the copyright is the author of the work. There are however exceptions e.g. should the work be created in the course and scope of employment, the copyright on that work will belong to the employer.
In order to protect copyright, one must be able to prove ownership thereof. It is therefore essential to retain all notes, advertising pamphlets and manuals, etc. showing the origination or development of the work and to mark the work with the copyright symbol © (year of first publication) (name of copyright owner) e.g. © 2007 John Smith.
Copyright subsists for 50 years from the date of the death of the author. If the date of the author’s death is unknown, copyright exists for 50 years from the date on which the work was first made available to the public, i.e. published.
The information is, by its nature, brief and is not meant as a substitute for detailed legal advice. Further information can be provided upon request.