Copyright Act, 1912
Act 36 of 1912
- Commenced on 1 July 1912
- [This is the version of this document at 1 December 1998.]
Part I – Commonwealth copyright
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Copyright Act, 1912.
4. Infringement of copyright
5. Term of copyrightThe term for which copyright shall subsist shall, except as otherwise expressly provided by this Act, be the life of the author and a period of fifty years after his death:Provided that at any time after the expiry of twenty-five years, or in the case of a work in which copyright subsists at the commencement of this Act thirty years, from the death of the author of a published work, copyright in the work shall not be deemed to be infringed by the reproduction of the work for sale if the person reproducing the work proves that he has given the prescribed notice in writing of his intention to reproduce the work, and that he has paid in the prescribed manner to, or for the benefit of, the owner of the copyright royalties in respect of all copies of the work sold by him calculated at the rate of ten per cent on the price at which he publishes the work; and, for the purposes of this proviso, the Minister may make regulations prescribing the mode in which notices are to be given, and the particulars to be given in such notices, and the mode, time, and frequency of the payment of royalties, including (if they think fit) regulations requiring payment in advance or otherwise securing the payment of royalties.
6. Compulsory licenceIf at any time after the death of the author of a literary, dramatic, or musical work which has been published or performed in public a complaint is made to the High Court that the owner of the copyright in the work has refused to republish or to allow the republication of the work or has refused to allow the performance in public of the work, and that by reason of such refusal the work is withheld from the public, the owner of the copyright may be ordered to grant a licence to reproduce the work or perform the work in public, as the case may be, on such terms and subject to such conditions as the High Court may think fit.
7. Ownership of copyright, etc.
8. Civil remedies
9. Rights of owner against persons possessing or dealing with infringing copiesAll infringing copies of any work in which copyright subsists, or of any substantial part thereof, and all plates used or intended to be used for the production of such infringing copies, shall be deemed to be the property of the owner of the copyright, who accordingly may take proceedings for the recovery of the possession thereof or in respect of the conversion thereof.
10. Exemption of innocent infringer from liability to pay damages, etc.Where proceedings are taken in respect of the infringement of the copyright in any work and the defendant in his defence alleges that he was not aware of the existence of the copyright in the work, the plaintiff shall not be entitled to any remedy other than an interdict in respect of the infringement if the defendant proves that at the date of the infringement he was not aware and had no reasonable ground for suspecting that copyright subsisted in the work.
11. Restriction on remedies in the case of architecture
12. Limitation of actionsAn action in respect of infringement of copyright shall not be commenced after the expiry of three years next after the infringement.
14. Appeal to High CourtAny person aggrieved by a summary conviction of an offence under the foregoing provisions of this Act may appeal to the High Court.
15. Application of section 14 of Customs Act, 1911 of United KingdomSection 14 of the Customs Act, 1911 of the United Kingdom shall, with the necessary modifications, apply to the importation into Swaziland or copies of works made outside Swaziland.
16. Work of joint authors
17. Posthumous works
18. Provision as to Government publicationsWithout prejudice to any rights or privileges of the Government where any work has, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, been prepared or published by or under the directions or control of the Government or any Government department, the copyright in the work shall, subject to any agreement with the author, belong to the Government, and in such case shall continue for a period of fifty years from the date of the first publication of the work.
19. Provisions as to mechanical instruments
20. Provisions as to political speechesNotwithstanding anything in this Act, it shall not be an infringement of copyright in an address of a political nature delivered at a public meeting to publish a report thereof in a newspaper.
21. Provisions as to photographsThe term for which copyright shall subsist in photographs shall be fifty years from the making of the original negative from which the photograph was directly or indirectly derived, and the person who was owner of such negative at the time when such negative was made shall be deemed to be the author of the work, and, where such owner is a body corporate, the body corporate shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act to reside within the parts of the British Commonwealth to which the Copyright Act, 1911 of the United Kingdom extends if it has established a place of business within such parts.
22. Provisions as to designs registrable under the Patent and Designs Act, 1907 of the United Kingdom
23. Works of foreign authors first published in parts of the British CommonwealthIf it appears to the Minister that a foreign country does not give, or has not undertaken to give, adequate protection to the works of Swaziland authors, the Minister may, by notice in the Gazette, direct that such of the provisions of this Act as confer copyright on works first published within the parts of the British Commonwealth to which the Copyright Act, 1911 of the United Kingdom extends, shall not apply in Swaziland to works published after the date specified in such notice, the authors whereof are subjects or citizens of such foreign country, and are not resident in the British Commonwealth, and thereupon those provisions shall not apply to such works.
24. Existing works (Schedule)
Part II – International copyright
Part III – Supplementary provisions
26. Abrogation of common-law rightsNo person shall be entitled to copyright or any similar right in any literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic work, whether published or unpublished, otherwise than under and in accordance with the provisions of this Act, or of any other statutory enactment for the time being in force, but nothing in this section shall be construed as abrogating any right or jurisdiction to restrain a breach of trust or confidence.
26bis. ***[Amended K.O-I-C. 3/1978; repealed A 4/2002]
27. Power of the Minister
28. Saving of university copyrightsNothing in this Act shall deprive any of the universities and colleges mentioned in the Copyright Act, 1975 of the United Kingdom, of any copyright they already possess under that Act, but the remedies and penalties for infringement of any such copyright shall be under this Act and not under that Act.
History of this document
01 December 1998 this version
01 July 1912