Copyright in Africa
Copyright Licensing, Protection & Enforcement
Copyright comes into existence the moment that a copyrightable work is created in material form. In terms of the Berne Convention the protection afforded to copyright in one Berne Convention country is extended to copyright owners in other countries as well. The definition of protected works in terms of the Berne Convention includes literary and artistic works. In terms of the South African Copyright Act no. 98 of 1978 the copyrightable works are defined as literary works, musical works, artistic works, cinematograph works, sound recordings, broadcasts, programme-carrying signals, published editions and computer programs. Although a copyright owner does not have to take any steps to protect his/her copyright, we are in a position to advise clients in respect of proactive steps to ensure that the copyright subsists in the appropriate entity and we can assist with the transfer of ownership in copyright, commercial arrangements related to the exploitation of copyright and the enforcement of copyright.
A number of African countries are also signatories to the Berne Convention, but the manner in which the principles of the Berne Convention was taken up in their local legislation might differ slightly between the various jurisdictions. We can again assist clients in copyright matters through our trusted network of local African agents.
The following African countries follow the Berne Convention:
Central Africa Republic
Republic of congo
Democratic Republic of Congo
Smit & Van Wyk provides a full range of IP legal services in all African countries where Intellectual Property protection is available. We can provide information on the filing requirements in each of the African countries and can also offer information on the various regional IP organisations such as ARIPO, OAPI and the Madrid protocol. We work with a network of trusted and knowledgeable agents to develop the best possible solution to each of our clients’ IP needs in Africa.