In South Africa once the work is created in a material form, the work is instantly subject to copyright. In the U.S copyright registrations can be filed through the United States Copyright Office by a copyright attorney. Smit & Van Wyk, Inc. copyright attorneys services include copyright registrations at the United States Copyright Office. A Registered Copyright in the U.S will only be protected in the U.S.

USA Copyright Registration Costs

The estimated cost of registering copyright in one work in the USA is R5 000, including all official fees and professional fees. Please contact us at enquiries@svw.co.za should you wish to register your copyright in the USA. PLEASE NOTE THAT PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE. PRICES ARE ONLY AN INDICATION. PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE FOR A FORMAL QUOTATION.

Certificate of Registration

The time the United States Copyright Office requires to process applications varies, depending on how many applications the Office is receiving at the time of submission. If the United States Copyright Office must correspond with you to clarify the information you provide or get additional information, it may take longer to process your application. If your work cannot be registered, you will receive a letter explaining why.

Copyright Duration

The law automatically protects a work that is created and fixed in a tangible medium of expression from the moment of its creation and gives it a term lasting for the author’s life plus an additional 70 years.

Copyright Symbol

U.S. law no longer requires the use of a copyright symbol, although it is often beneficial. The use of the symbol is the responsibility of the copyright owner and does not require permission from, or registration with, the Copyright Office.

International Copyright

There is no such thing as an international copyright that will automatically protect an author’s writings throughout the world. Protection against unauthorized use in a particular country depends on the national laws of that country. However, most countries offer protection to foreign works under certain conditions that have been greatly simplified by international copyright treaties and conventions. There are two principal international copyright conventions, the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and the Universal Copyright Convention. Feel free to contact us should you have any questions or require assistance with your U.S copyright registration.