The copyright owner has the exclusive right to make a reproduction, copy or adaptation of the work in which copyright vests.

A reproduction of a musical or literary work includes reproducing the work as a record or cinematograph film.

A reproduction of an artistic work includes converting the work into a three-dimensional work if is in a two-dimensional form or converting it into a two-dimensional work if it is in a three-dimensional form.  In relation to any other work, a reproduction of a reproduction also falls within this category.

Adaptation, in relation to literary works, includes the conversion of a dramatic work into a non-dramatic work and vice versa, a translation of the work or a version in which the story is conveyed wholly or partially by images of pictures in a book, newspaper or similar periodical, for example a coffee table book.  An adaptation of a musical work includes any arrangement or transcription of the work, as long as the arrangement or transcription is original in character.  An artistic work is adapted if the substantial features of the work remain recognisable in the adaptation.  A computer program in a programming language different from the original language or a computer program stored on a medium different from the original medium of storage is also considered to be an adaptation of that computer program.

A copy is defined as a reproduction of a work and for musical, literary, artistic works, computer programs and cinematograph film it also includes an adaptation of the work.

It is important to know which rights are the exclusive rights of the copyright owner in order to establish infringement of copyright.

Infringement occurs either directly or indirectly.  Direct infringement occurs if someone other than the copyright owner, without permission from the owner, commits or causes anyone else to commit any one of the exclusive rights.  It is not necessary for the infringer to know that he or she is committing an infringement.

Indirect infringement occurs if someone furthers or facilitates another person to commit any one of the exclusive rights in relation to a work which enjoys copyright protection. For example, where the owner of a place or public entertainment allows someone to perform a work protected by copyright in public, without the permission of the copyright owner, it constitutes an indirect infringement. Another example is someone which imports an article protected under copyright into the country, without the copyright owner’s consent, with the intention to sell it. This person typically sources the article from a country in which its manufacture and distribution to the public happens with the consent of the copyright owner.  This is what is known as parallel imports. To be able to institute infringement proceedings against the indirect infringer, the Copyright Act 98 of 1978 requires actual knowledge of infringement on part of the infringer.

If you are concerned that your copyright is being infringed, please contact us for further information.

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