Generally a person who has written, printed, published, performed, sculpted, painted, filmed or recorded a work, is automatically the owner of the copyright to that work. Sometimes, when a person has been commissioned and paid to do a particular piece of work, the copyright belongs to the employer.
For most works (except for films) it is not possible to apply for copyright protection as it automatically exists.
Copyright is created by putting the words "copyright" or "copyright reserved" or "copyright Smith 2011" (i.e. copyright, followed by name and the year), or the copyright symbol, name and year e.g. © Meati 2011.
You can obtain copyright protection in SA, if you are a South African or if your work was produced in SA. If you are not South African, you can obtain copyright protection provided the country you are a national of is part of the Berne Convention.
The Berne Convention is an international agreement on copyright by which member countries grant each other copyright protection.
Copyright for films / videos made for commercial use needs to be applied for formally
To register your cinematographic film, follow these steps:
Register as a Customer
To view information on how to register as a customer, click here. If you are already registered as a customer, and know your customer code and password, proceed to step 2.
- Deposit the application fee of R510 into the CIPC bank account using your customer code as reference. For the bank account details, click here.
Register your cinematographic film
Print and complete the following, obtainable free of charge, from CIPC.
- Form RF1, submitted in duplicate
- Form RF2, submitted in duplicate
- Form RF3, submitted in duplicate
- Form RF9 together with the "Statement of Case"
- Power of Attorney letter if services of an attorney are used.
Post the completed forms to CIPC.