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Author Topic: Copyright Act - PART 1 (Disclaimer, Preamble and Definitions)  (Read 1282 times)


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(Oh dear!  That horrid word - COPYRIGHT :o)

This is one of the most important areas of an artist's life, yet so many are blissfully unaware of even a few of the aspects of it. More often that not many artists have been given misinformation by "all-knowing" colleagues who themselves are unknowingly contravening the Act. PLEASE don't be ignorant in this important matter!

The South African Act has been added to this site as I guess approx 85% of it is very similar to other countries copyright act. Please note that it is YOUR responsibility to get to know your country's Copyright Act and adhere to it in order to avoid severe penalties for breach of it.

We have analyzed and extracted the sections of the South African copyright act which are relevant to artists. The copyright act is quite lengthy and this extraction helps to make sense of it. To make it easier to read we have divided it up into separate pages. By accessing the links and information under the copyright section you agree to our disclaimer.

Please send us your comments on your interpretation of the act.

The Paint Basket make no claim that we are legal advisors, or trained in legal matters, and that we take no responsibility for, and in connection with, any legal action the reader may be, or will be, involved in as a direct, or otherwise, interpretation he or she may have read into these discussions or comments. It is up to the reader to make sure of the legal facts before he or she makes, or will make in the future, any artistic work, especially if such work will, or may, involve someone else's photograph, artistic work, or other article from a newspaper, magazine, periodical or other published matter.


These comments and discussions, which are made to the best of our abilities, are for general guidance only and each reader will have to take their own responsible actions and precautions to ensure non-infringement of copyright in connection with their artistic works.

If there are readers who disagree with our interpretations, and are trained in matters legal, then it would be appreciated if corrections to these comments be supplied to us to be inserted into these comments as we feel that something like this has been long outstanding in South Africa as most artists have no inkling of copyright matters.

We will progressively add these comments to the website over a period of time.

Sooner or later every artist will wittingly, or unwittingly, infringe someone's copyright. In some cases the result may be of small consequence, but in others it may turn out disastrous for the artist concerned should the copyright owner decide to go to court and sue.

An artist cannot plead ignorance of the copyright law as the onus is on us to know the law. If you shrug your shoulders and decide that copyright infringement is nothing to worry about, then think again. The penalties for copyright infringement can set you back financially, apart from you having to destroy all your infringing artwork and any products made therefrom. You may also have to give up all the profits made on the artwork and the products as well as pay a large fine and/or have a jail sentence on each and individual infringing artwork.

On top of this you may be required to pay the copyright owner's attorney's fees as well as your own. In the end a single infringement could cost you many thousands of rands.

You can save yourself lots of trouble and money and embarrassment by first checking the copyright status of your source material against the copyright Act before you begin.

In order for you to do this The Paint Basket has extracted all information relative to "artistic works" and "cinematograph films"(relative to The Paint Basket teaching videos), and other information from the Act pertaining to the artist, and is set out over the next few pages.

The South African Copyright Act No. 98 of 1978 and amendments thereto
(Extracts pertaining to the artist)
Comments in brackets [ ] are by The Paint Basket


Subsection (1)
"adaption", in relation to -
    1(c)An artistic work, includes a transformation of the work in such a manner that the original or substantial features thereof remain recognizable.
"artistic work", means, irrespective of the artistic quality thereof -
    (a)paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings and photographs.
"author", in relation to -
    (a)........or artistic work, means a person who first makes or creates the work.
    (b)a photograph means the person who is responsible for the composition of the photograph.
"building" includes any structure:
"copy" means a reproduction of a work, and, in the case of ........or artistic work, ......., also an adaption thereof: Provided that an object shall not be taken to be a copy of a work of architecture unless the object is a building or a model of the building.
"copyright" means copyright under this Act.
"drawing" includes any drawing of a technical nature or any diagram, map, chart or plan.
"engraving" includes any etching, lithograph, woodcut, print or similar work, but does not include a photograph.
"exclusive licence" means a licence authorizing a licensee, to the exclusion of all other persons, including the grantor of the licence, to exercise the right by virtue of this Act would, apart from the licence, be exercisable exclusively by the owner of the copyright; and "exclusive licence" shall be construed accordingly.
"infringement copy", in relation to -
    (a)......or artistic work or a published edition, means a copy thereof;
    (c)a cinematograph film, means a copy of the film or a still photograph made therefrom: ..........
Being in any such case an article of which constituted an infringement of the copyright in the work, recording, cinematograph film .........would have constituted an infringement of that copyright of the article had been made in the Republic:
"photograph" means any product photography or of any process analogous to photography, but does not include any part of a cinematograph film:
"prospective owner", in relation to copyright, means a person who shall be entitled to the copyright, wholly or partially, in a work in which copyright does not yet subsist or whose entitlement to the copyright which does not exist shall be effective upon a future event;
"reproduction", in relation to -
    (a)......includes a reproduction in the form of ........... or a cinematograph film;
    (b)an artistic work, includes a version produced by converting the work into a three-dimensional form, if it is in three-dimensions, by converting it into a two-dimensional form;
    (c)any work, includes a reproduction made from a reproduction of that work;
    and references to "reproduce" and "reproducing" shall be construed accordingly.
"writing" includes any form of notation, whether by hand or by printing, typewriting or any similar process.

Subsection ( 2A)
Any reference to this Act to the doing of any act in relation to any work shall, unless the context otherwise indicates, be construed as a reference also to the doing of any such act in relation to any substantial part of such work;

Subsection (5)
For the purposes of this Act the following provisions shall apply in connection with the publication of a work:
    (a)Subject to paragraph (e), a work shall be deemed to have been published if copies of such work have been issued to the public with the consent of the owner of the copyright in the work in sufficient quantities to reasonably meet the needs of the public, having regard to the nature of the work.
    (b)Publication of a cinematograph film or sound recording is the sale, letting, hire or offer for sale or hire, of copies thereof.
    (c)A publication shall not be treated as being other than the first publication by reason only of an earlier publication elsewhere within a period of 30 days.
    (d)Publication shall not include -
    (v)an exhibition of a work of art.
    (e)For the purposes of sections 6,7 and 11(b), a work shall be deemed to be published if copies thereof have been issued to the public.

(Date of commencement 30 June 1978)
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 04:52:50 AM by dennis »
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