Copyright in traditional works: unravelling the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act of 2013

Authors Sunelle Geyer

ISSN: 1996-2185
Affiliations: Associate Professor, Department of Mercantile Law, University of South Africa
Source: South African Mercantile Law Journal, Volume 29 Issue 1, 2017, p. 43 – 65


The lengthy ss 3—6 of the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act 28 of 2013 (IPLAA) contain complicated changes to the Copyright Act 98 of 1978. This paper simplifies the task of coming to grips with the amendments to the Copyright Act by explaining and clarifying that the concepts ‘indigenous works’ and ‘derivative indigenous works’ are the objects that these amendments seek to protect. The article then unpacks the rules and principles pertaining to indigenous works and derivative indigenous works respectively: legal subjects, duration of protection, requirements, registration, assignment and exceptions are all analysed and moral rights receive substantial attention throughout. The said topics are applied to a Volkspele example, followed by certain conclusions. The article highlights the major stumbling blocks to the IPLAA, namely the principles of both national treatment and territoriality.