Copyright Ethics

 

The ethical issues surrounding the nature of intellectual property, the public policy debate over fair use of copyrighted materials in original work is again under the spotlight with the SA Copyright Amendment Bill where in the legislation’s “fair-use” framework seemingly allows for the expropriation of intellectual property without compensation.

 

While the EU looks to uphold the rights of its content creators, SA seems determined to weaken them.

 

This neglect is especially striking since copyright ethics are at stake in so many aspects of an artists’ life: the copying of art from online resources suggests that questions about copyright ethics may arise regularly.

The ethical quandaries surrounding fair use will not be resolved by appealing to well known principles of property rights. One reason for this is that copying involves an act of labour which, one might allege, creates property in the copy. Unlike the act of labour involved in theft, copying does not, in any obvious way, involve the removal of someone else’s property or the violation of their privacy.

 

What constitutes copyright in South Africa and how can it be protected?

 

The Copyright Act does not require registration in order to acquire copyright in respect of a particular work. Instead copyright subsists automatically once a work has been completed, provided that certain requirements are met.

 

According to  As long as the work is original (the work does not have to be inventive as such but must have been created as a result of the author’s own original labour and skill). Read full article here.

(Article source: ) In South Africa, the owner of copyright in a work is by statute given the exclusive right to perform certain specified acts in respect of his or her work or to authorise others to do so and hence to prevent unauthorised persons from performing those acts. Only certain specified categories of works defined in the Copyright Act No. 98 of 1978 are eligible for copyright protection.

 i.e.

  • artistic works irrespective of their artistic quality:
    ‘artistic works’ include: paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings and photographs; works of architecture, being either buildings or models of buildings; and works of craftsmanship; and ‘drawing’ includes any drawing of a technical nature or any diagram, map, chart or plan.

 

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