Copyright Services

Copyright Attorneys

Smit & Van Wyk, Inc. specialises in obtaining and protecting copyright in most African countries.


Copyright is the right to control the use and distribution of artistic and creative works. Copyright protects the following works:

  • Artistic works - paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, architectural works, works of craftsmanship
  • Broadcasts - signals, waves and intended for public reception
  • Cinematographic films - film, tape or digital data
  • Computer programs - instructions, direct the operation of a computer
  • Literary works - novels, poems, plays, film scripts, textbooks, articles, encyclopaedias, reports, speeches
  • Musical works - in any medium (excluding words sung with the music)
  • Sound recordings - in any medium (excluding film soundtracks)
  • Programme-carrying signals - audio or video transmitted via satellite
  • Published editions - typographical arrangements of literary or musical works

To qualify for copyright, works must be original and it must be written or recorded in some way (dated).

Copyright Duration list for Africa


South African Copyright Act:
Registration of Copyright in Cinematograph Films Act No. 62 of May 11, 1977
to provide for the registration of copyright in cinematograph films, and for matters connected therewith.
Copyright Registration
Registrations to be filed with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).


U.S Copyright Act:
Registration of Copyright in The Copyright Act of 1976
to provide for the registration of copyright in the United States of America.
U.S Copyright Registration
Registrations to be filed with the United States Copyright Office.


Copyright owners have the right to compensation (royalties) when their work is copied or used. Copyright owners can transfer or assign their exclusive rights to other entities. National copyright laws on licensing of copyright vary between countries and copyrighted works are licensed on a territorial basis.


Copyright provides the right to control the use of a work in all the manners in which works can be exploited. This includes copy, publish, perform in public, broadcast, adapt, translate and hire. Illegal use of copyright protected work or infringement of copyright may be settled with litigation.

The Smit & Van Wyk, Inc. head office is located in South Africa. Patent and trademark lawyers that offer international and local clients with patent, trademark and registered design services in most African countries.

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Smit & Van Wyk. Inc. | Apex Corporate Park, Persequor Technopark, Pretoria, South Africa | Tel: +27 12 349 7800 | E-mail: