Computer programs and copyright : the South African perspective
CITATION: De Villiers, R. 2006. Computer programs and copyright: The South African perspective. South African Law Journal, 123(2):315-337.
The original publication is available at https://journals.co.za/content/journal/ju_salj
This article critically analyses the South African legal position in regard to the protection of computer programs by copyright, as established by the courts through the application of the provisions of the Copyright Act 98 of 1978. Particular emphasis is placed on defining the nature of computer programs and on the methods by which authorship, originality and infringement (as it relates to computer programs) are established. Some of the potential problems that exist in the current legal dispensation are identified and solutions to such problems are proposed by using appropriate international precedents. The economic implications arising from the application of copyright protection to computer programs are considered as part of this analysis.