Intellectual property – Copyright

The Copyright Act, 2000 besides being in line with TRIPS, transposes the relevant Community Directives. In terms of the Copyright Act, 2000 the works that are eligible for copyright protection are the following:

  1. literary works including computer software
  2. artistic works
  3. audiovisual works
  4. databases
  5. musical works

The exclusive rights conferred by copyright are:

  1. the direct or indirect, temporary or permanent reproduction by any means and in any form, in whole or in part;
  2. rental and lending;
  3. the distribution;
  4. the translation into other languages including different computer languages;
  5. the adaptation, arrangement and any other alteration as well as the reproduction, distribution, communication, display or performance to the public of the results thereof;
  6. the broadcasting or re-broadcasting or communication to the public or cable re-transmission;
  7. display or performance to the public;

in respect of the protected material in its totality or a substantial part thereof, either in its original form or in any form recognisably derived from the original.

No Formalities Required

No formalities are required for a work to be eligible for copyright protection. Nonetheless, for a literary, musical or artistic work to qualify for copyright protection, the work must have an original character and must have been written down, recorded, fixed or otherwise reduced to material form. A database is not entitled to copyright protection unless it constitutes the author’s intellectual creation by reason of the selection or arrangement of its contents. Furthermore, the copyright in a database does not extend to its contents without prejudice to any right resulting from such contents themselves.


The period of copyright protection is generally 70 years, which commences after the end of the year in which the author dies.


The services provided by the firm in this field include:

  • Registration, administration and litigation in relation to trademarks, patents, designs and other intellectual property rights.
  • Registration and administration of European Community Trademarks and Community Designs as well as assistance in the protection of intellectual property rights internationally, both within and outside of Europe.
  • Advice and assistance including litigation in relation to copyright.
  • Advice and assistance in relation to the assignment of intellectual property rights.

Further information may be obtained from one of our leading experts by contacting us below:

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