About copyright in South Africa.

Copyright in South Africa, differs from other forms of intellectual property in that it is not a right that needs to be registered (this is only a requirement in the USA).

Unlike patents, trade marks or registered designs, copyright vests in the author of a work once the work is created in a material form and remains that of the author for a period of 50 years from date of first production, or 50 years after the original artist is presumed to be deceased.

Copyright infringement occurs where copyrighted material of others is used for commercial gain as opposed to private or personal use. The author of the work has the right to criminally charge, or law a civil charge against the copyright infringer.