Zimbabwe/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.7 Copyright provisions

Copyrights in Zimbabwe are regulated by the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act Chapter 26:05. Article 17 of this Act outlines the acts restricted by the copyright in literary, dramatic and musical work as reproducing the work in any material form, publishing the work, performing the work in public, broadcasting the work, causing the work to be transmitted to subscribers to a diffusion service, making any adaptation of the work and doing in relation to an adaptation of the work any of the acts mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (e). 

Article 25 provides general exception from protection of literary, dramatic or musical works. Such exceptions cover the use of works for the purposes of research or private study; personal or private use; criticism or review if sufficient acknowledgment is made; reporting current events in a newspaper, magazine, broadcast, TV programme or movie; reproduced and/or performed for judicial proceedings and the performance or broadcast of a reasonable extract if sufficient acknowledgment is made; 

In the government of Zimbabwe gazetted General Laws Amendment Bill 2010 the was a clause which proposed to amend the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act which has serious implications for the rights of citizens to freely access and distribute legislation, notices and other material in the Government Gazette, court judgments and certain public registers. The amendment proposes to subject such information to copyright protection.

  1. Besides the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act Chapter 26:05, there are other pieces of legislation that regulate intellectual property in Zimbabwe. These include the following:
    The Intellectual Property Tribunal Act [Chapter 26:08] provides for the establishment, functions and powers of the Intellectual Property Tribunal and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  2. Trade Marks Act [Chapter 26:04] whose role is to consolidate and amend the law relating to the registration of trade marks and certification marks; to provide for the registration and control of the practice of trade mark agents; to protect registered trade marks against forgery; and to provide for matters incidental to or connected with the foregoing.

10 September was the commencement date for Zimbabwe's Trade Marks Amendment Act (Act No. 10 of 2001) and Intellectual Property Tribunal Act (Act No. 5 of 2001). These two regulations implement a range of amendments to the Trade Marks Act [Cap 26:04] and require the establishment of a separate tribunal to handle IP disputes.

The Trade Marks Amendment Act applies gives retroactive protection to all trade mark registrations that designated Zimbabwe under ARIPO's Protocol system. It also widens the scope of the definition of a "mark", provides for registration of collective marks, offers broader protection by way of border measures and allows for punitive damages awards in respect of flagrant infringements.*

*   http://afro-ip.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-zim-trade-mark-laws-now-in-force.html

Chapter published: 27-08-2012