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Is my Song or Idea Protected?

Is my Song or Idea Protected?

As an artist or developer, the fear of someone, other than you, “stealing” your intellectual work, publishing it, and becoming the next Taylor Swift or Bill Gates, is a common occurrence with artist

Although it is difficult to protect intellectual property rights referring to the prevention of piracy or unauthorized sales, it is not difficult to prove the ownership of the specific idea or intellectual creation. All you need is some sort of proof that the work indeed belongs to you. Subsequently, it is not necessary, for a songwriter, for instance, to register your song at a music rights organisation like SAMRO (South African Music Rights Organization), for you to legally have ownership over the creative work.

Elements of Copyright:

  1. It is a right that accrues to the author;
  2. The work in which the copyright vests, must be original;
  3. The work must be reduced to a material form (Not just an idea, but converted into digital or material form);
  4. Copyright can only exist in the following works: Literary -, musical -, artistic works, sound recordings, cinematograph films, broadcasts, programme carrying signals, published editions and computer programmes.
  5. Copyright cannot vest in works that are contrary to the public morals;
  6. The author must be a qualified person (a South African citizen, is resident in SA, or a juristic person incorporated under the laws of RSA) or the first publication of the work must have been made in SA.

To summarize the abovementioned, it is safe to say that your intellectual property will be protected under copyright when your work contains a kind of signature or proof that it belongs to you as the creating artist. Just make sure that you do have proof of the date of creation, either by certifying your work at your nearest Commissioner of oath, or digital proof, like a digital time signature. 

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