oa The African Journal of Information and Communication - Copyright, and photographs or videos of public art, in South Africa : an imperfect picture

Volume 2016 Number 19
  • ISSN : 2077-7205
  • E-ISSN: 2077-7213



The rise of digital photography and videography has made the creation, sharing and commercialisation of high-quality photographs and videos more accessible, in terms of both cost and skills required. This thematic report examines the impact on copyright infringement of the increase in photographs and videos containing public art. It then analyses the applicability, for such photographs and videos, of the general exceptions for protection of artistic works in South Africa’s Copyright Act 98 of 1978. The author argues that the Act’s general exceptions are too ambiguous, and in at least one important case too narrow, and thus insufficient to cater to the current digital environment. Accordingly, the author proposes the introduction of broadened and clarified copyright exceptions that include fairness requirements.

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