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South Africa


Copyright Act, 1978 (Act No. 98 of 1978, amended up to Act No. 9 of 2002)

Latest Version in WIPO Lex This text has been amended and a consolidated version is not yet available in WIPO Lex.  See Related Legislation / Is amended by below
Year of Version 2002 Dates Amended up to: June 25, 2002 Commenced: January 1, 1979 Published: June 30, 1978 Assented: June 20, 1978 Type of Text Main IP Laws Subject Matter Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights), IP Regulatory Body Notes This consolidated version of the Copyright Act 1978 incorporates all the amendments up to June 25, 2002 (see Section 1 relating to the terms 'collecting societies' and 'Minister'; Sections 9(e), 9A(3) & 39(cA) for the latest amendments made by the Copyright Amendment Act 2002).

The notification by South Africa to the WTO under article 63.2 of TRIPS states:
'This Act regulates copyright. It protects the following works: literary works, musical works, artistic works, cinematograph film works, sound recordings, broadcasts, programme-carrying signals, published editions and computer programs. The duration of copyright in the above-mentioned works is not less than 50 years.
This Act is in the process of amendment in order to ensure compliance with provisions of the TRIPS Agreement. Said amendments are aimed at:
(1) Certain extensions to the scope of copyright in computer programs;
(2) Adjustment of the term copyright in cinematographic films;
(3) Adjustment of the Act to keep abreast with advances in technology and the increased usage of electronic and digital storage of information or signals;
(4) Changing the definitions of 'cinematograph film', 'record' and 'sound recording' and the requirement that a work must exist in a material form in order to qualify for copyright;
(5) Amending the provisions of the Act relating to damages and other compensation due to a copyright owner pursuant to infringement in order to bring the Copyright Act in conformity with corresponding provisions of the Designs Act, No. 195 of 1993 and the Trademarks Act, No. 194 of 1993.'

Available Texts Main text(s) Main text(s) English Copyright Act, 1978 (Act No. 98 of 1978, amended up to Act No. 9 of 2002) PDF HTML
Related Legislation Relates to (1 text(s)) Relates to (1 text(s))
Performer's Protection Act, 1967 (Act No. 11 of 1967) (ZA005)
Is amended by (3 text(s)) Is amended by (3 text(s))
Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act, 2013 (Act No. 28 of 2013) [Amending law not consolidated in text] (ZA106)
Companies Act 2008 (Act No. 71 of 2008) [Amending law not consolidated in text] (ZA053)
Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act, 1997 (Act No. 38 of 1997) (ZA027)
Is implemented by (2 text(s)) Is implemented by (2 text(s))
Regulations on the Establishment of Collecting Societies in the Music Industry (ZA066)
Copyright Regulations 1978 (as amended by GN 1375 in GG 9807 of June 28, 1985) (ZA004)

WTO Document Reference

WIPO Lex No. ZA002