Computer Programs Copyright Protection

This paper provides a small contribution to the problem of computer system programs copyright and also its defense under South African law. It utilizes as a study the choice of the High court of Allure in Haupt T/A Soft Replicate v Makers Marketing Intelligence (Pty) Ltd and also Others 2006 (4) SA 458 (SCA) (the Haupt’s case). What is the effects of this choice for South Africa in regards to copyright protection? Is South African copyright protection of software as well soft? What repercussions this decision can require regarding software program industry is concerned in South Africa? Can it frighten prospective investors?

Right here are several of the concerns the paper is taking a look at. The paper is split into 3 areas. The initial section will certainly provide a quick view of the case, the second will handle the concept and guideline of copyrights, ultimately the third will certainly attend to the conversation of the situation. The paper will certainly wind up with a verdict.


Haupt, the appellant, put on the Cape High Court for an order interdicting the participants in terms of the Copyright Act of 1978 from infringing his alleged copyright in some computer system programs. The High Court held that Haupt’s case could not be sustained as well as disregarded the application. The decision of the Cape High Court was turned around by the Supreme Court of Charm which established an order interdicting the respondents from infringing the appellant’s copyright in the computer system programs.


2.1 Principle of Copyrights

2.1.1 Definition

Copyrights are described as civil liberties to make sure defense of information from duplication as well as distribution. They are a subset of copyright rights that aim to produce a balance between the rights of a person versus those of the general public by giving the author or developer of a work the exclusive right to regulate and revenue of his work.

2.1.2 Infringement of Copyright

One of the most relevant infringing tasks to computer system programs involve “duplicating”, “adapting” and also openly distributing the job. In each instance the activity can be in connection with the entire of the job or a substantial part of it.

2.2 Law

Prior to managing the policy of computer programs copyright in South Africa, respect needs to be had to the way this inquiry has been addressed in various other jurisdictions and also globally, since this issue has a high global extent.

2.2.1 Globe Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Computer programs are secured as compositions within the meaning of short article 2 of the Berne Convention. Such protection puts on computer system programs, whatever may be the mode or the form of their expression (article 4).

The Berne Convention offers that copyright vests in the writer of a job (article3).

As illustrated below the approach taken by the WIPO is the general placement throughout the world.

2.2.2 Australia.

In regards to section 10( 1) the Australian Copyright Act of 1968, computer programs are shielded as compositions.

2.2.3 UK.

Like in Australia, “composition” has been extended in the UK Copyright (Computer Programs) Laws 1992 to include preparatory style product for a computer system program.

2.2.4 The European Union.

The EU Regulation 91/250/EEC of 14 May 1991 on the legal protection of computer system programs calls for that computer programs and linked layout materials be protected under copyright as compositions within the sense of the Berne Convention.

2.2.5 Japan.

Japan is among the uncommon industrialized countries where computer system programs are not shielded as compositions. The Japanese Copyright Act 48 of 1970 under posts 21 and 27 grants the writer of a computer program the prerogative to recreate and also adjust his job.

2.2.6 South Africa.

Copyrights are controlled in South Africa by the Copyright Act 98 of 1978. This Act gives copyright defense for a wide array of works, such as literary works, music jobs, creative works, computer system programs, etc. and also specifies as a general rule that copyright vests in the individual who produces the relevant job. Nevertheless since the modification of 1992, computer system programs gained a special status in regards to which the copyright vests in the individual who exercised control over the production of the computer program, instead of the developer who developed the job.

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