|What is Copyright?
Copyright is the right
to copy. It is a legal device that provides the creator of
a work of art or literature, or a work that conveys information
or ideas, the right to control how the work is used. It is
a property right given to authors or creators of "works",
e.g. literary works, artistic works, musical works, sound
recordings, films and broadcasts or computer programs, to
control the copying or exploitation of their work. As a property
right it can be transferred by sale, gift or legacy and by
licence issued in order to duplicate. Even though laws differ
between countries, the general principles are the same and
require the permission of the copyright owner before a work
can be copied or reproduced regardless of whether that be
through electronic or conventional means.
Copyright gives the owner the legal right to do certain things
to the work; for example, making a copy, publishing, broadcasting
or giving a public performance and making adaptations to the
work. Anyone else who does any of these things without the
permission of the owner infringes copyright and may be sued
by the owner for that infringement.
|Who owns copyright
in a work?
| The author of a copyright work is generally
the person who makes or creates the work, but this is not always
the case. The word ‘Author’ is defined in the act
• In respect of a literary, musical or
artistic work, to mean the person who first makes or creates
• For a photograph, to mean the person
who is responsible for the composition of the photograph;
• For a programme-carrying signal, to mean the first person
emitting the signal to a satellite;
• For a published
edition, to mean the publisher of the edition;
For a computer program, to mean the person who exercised control
over the making of the computer program.
The author or creator of the work is the owner of the copyright,
unless the person is in employment, and the work is created
in the course and scope of the employment, in which case the
Employer holds the copyright. It is, however, possible for the
creator of the work to share copyright as in joint authorship,
or to contractually assign in writing, the copyright or part
thereof, to a publisher or other third party, either on an outright
basis or for a limited purpose or period.
| For a work to qualify for copyright protection,
it has to be original in the sense of not being a copy of another
work, and it must exist in material form. There is no copyright
in ideas because something as ethereal as an idea cannot receive
legal protection, but as the idea is recorded in material form
(in writing, on a canvas, as a photograph) copyright automatically
arises. No formalities are required, and the work does not have
to be registered.
| In South Africa, copyright protection in
literary, musical and artistic works lasts for the duration
of the life of an author and 50 years after the author’s
death. In the case of works of joint or multiple authorship,
protection continues until 50 years after the death of the longest
surviving author. If the work has not been published before
the author dies the term of copyright continues to subsist for
50 years after the end of the year in which publication does
take place. If publication never takes place, the duration of
copyright is perpetual.
In many other countries, the countries of the European Union,
for instance, and the United States, the duration of copyright
is 70 years after the death of the author.
|What does copyright
| Copyright provides copyright owners fairly
substantial control over their work. The four basic protections
The right to make copies of the work;
• The right
to sell or otherwise distribute copies of the work;
The right to prepare new works based on the protected work;
• The right to perform the protected work (such as a stage
play or painting) in public.
|Which works are
protected by copyright?
| Copyright applies to all original works
which have been reduced to material form and this may include
any means of recording. According to Section 2(1) of the Copyright
Act No. 98 of 1978, copyright protects works "fixed in
any tangible medium of expression" in these categories:
• Musical works
• Artistic works
• Cinematograph films
• Sound recordings
• Programme-carrying signals
• Published editions
• Computer programs
|Use of copyrighted
| Reading a book from the library, listening
to music from a CD you have purchased, watching a DVD you have
rented, are all legitimate personal uses of copyrighted works.
Reproducing, copying, distributing, making derivate works of,
publicly performing the work are not.
The university does not own copyright in all the copyrighted
works its staff and students needs to read. In the print world,
this means the library must buy books and subscribe to journals.
To fully utilize print works, the university may need to:
• Obtain permission to make photocopies for
o Library short-loan reserves
o Electronic reserved copies (Click-up)
o Course packs or single item handout
• Obtain permission to digitize, display, perform or distribute
|What are Moral
| The author of a work has the right to claim
authorship and to object to any distortion, mutilation or other
modification of the work where such action is or would be prejudicial
to his or her honour or reputation. This means that the author
has the right to be identified as the author (right of paternity)
and the right to object to any adaptation of the work which
would reflect badly on him or her (the right to integrity)
| Only the copyright owner may do, or authorize
the doing, of the following in respect of work: reproduce it
in any manner or form; publish it; perform it in public; broadcast
it; transmit it in a diffusion service; or adapt it. Anyone
who performs any of these actions without permission in respect
of the work has infringed copyright.
of Pretoria is concerned about copyright?
| As both users and producers of copyrighted
works, University of Pretoria rely on copyright and have an
interest in fostering respect for copyright and in promoting
the availability and use of copyrighted works for research and
education. Copyright law increasingly is becoming the focus
of significant attention in society, and consequently, university
may wish to provide information about copyright law as part
of their educational activities. Copyright infringement is unlawful,
and the adoption of a copyright policy affords University of
Pretoria an opportunity to make this point clear to students