n Mousaion - Developing guidelines for South African music librarians

Volume 32, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



Music librarians must have knowledge of the copyright laws which govern the transferring of music from the old analogue form to the new digital formats. These laws were a particular concern of the South African Music Archive Project (SAMAP) which aimed to create an online resource for indigenous South African music particularly that of musicians suppressed during the apartheid years. Polak's (2009) study was an offshoot of SAMAP. This article draws on her study and identifies the specific problems encountered by music librarians with regard to digital copyright law pertaining to music. The guiding theoretical framework is based on the Berne Convention (2014) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty (1996) which provide the overarching international framework for guiding copyright. The literature review focuses on the international and national legislation; copyright in original recordings; duration of copyright; fair use, the public domain and information commons; copyright and fair dealing; and the South African Copyright Act (No. 98 of 1978). A survey conducted by e-mail identified problem areas experienced by the music librarians regarding the digital music copyright laws in South Africa. Two sets of guidelines for South African music librarians were formulated using their responses and the literature reviewed, and recommendations are made.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error