History of Legal Deposit


Legal deposit in South Africa started in 1842 when the British Copyright Act was made applicable to the entire British Empire.

Legislation evolved further with the Copyright Act of 1965 and the Legal Deposit of Publications Act in 1982. The present Legal Deposit Act (Act No. 54 of 1997) was promulgated on 1 July 1998. The Act provides for the deposit of books, magazines and other information bearing documents such as films, videos, music CD’s, and DVD’s published or produced in South Africa, as well as those produced abroad specifically for distribution in South Africa. The Act provides a broad legislative framework for the number of copies to be deposited, their format and quality, information required from publishers and producers, when copies must be deposited and action to be taken against defaulting publishers and producers.