– Copyright Act, 1978 (Act No. 98 of 1978), as amended up to Copyright Amendment Act 2002.

Membership in International Conventions

– Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.
– Universal Copyright Convention.
– WTO's TRIPS Agreement, since January 1, 1995.


Registration is not required for owners of an original work. Copyright protection is automatic and free from the moment a work is created. However, cinematographic films must be registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (Registrar of Copyright). 

Duration: (a) for literary, musical and artistic works (except for photographs): the copyright term is 50 years from the end of the year of the author's death, or 50 years from publication if it is first published after the author's death; (b) for photographs, films and computer programs: the term is 50 years from first publication, or 50 years from creation if not published within 50 years; (c) for sound recordings: the term is 50 years from the day the work was first broadcast. Anonymous works are protected for the shorter of 50 years from first publication or 50 years from the year when it is reasonable to presume the author is dead. For works with multiple authors, the 50 years from death are calculated from the death of the last author.


Authority name: Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, Department of Trade and Industry.  Internet address: www.cipc.co.za  

Collective Management Organizations: SAMPRA (www.sampra.org.za), SAMRO (www.samro.org.za), CAPASSO (www.capasso.co.za), DALRO (http://dalro.co.za).