Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Copyright: as relevant as ever; Lexology, June 7, 2017

Rachel Sikwane, ENSafrica, Lexology;  Copyright: as relevant as ever

"Copyright is a highly important area of IP law. Yet, it’s also an area that’s often ignored and misunderstood, partly because it generally doesn’t involve registration, and partly because of the uncertainties created by the digital age.

For those who have little experience or knowledge of copyright law, it’s an area of law that protects a wide range of things (referred to as “works”), including written works, artworks, musical works, sound recordings, films and computer programmes. In most countries (including South Africa), no registration is required, and the right comes into existence as soon as it is put into a material form – having a song in your mind does not give you copyright; you have to write it down or record it in some form. Even the most mundane work may enjoy copyright protection, provided that some effort went into creating it.

Copyright lasts for a very long time – in South Africa, the term is 50 years, and this runs from various dates such as the date of release or the date of death of the creator, depending on the type of work."

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