Copyright is defined as a legal right which subsists in a work and which by virtue of the Act authorises the owner of the copyright in Zimbabwe exclusively to do, and to authorise others to do, the things which the Act designates in relation to that work.
Works which are eligible for copyright protection in Zimbabwe include literary works, musical works, artistic works, audio – visual works, sound recordings, broadcast, programme carrying signals and published editions.
Unlike patent law and industrial design law, no formality is required for the registration and protection of copyright in Zimbabwe.
In general, ownership of copyright in a work is held by person who created or authored the copyright work.
The duration of copyright in a work is defined in the statute governing copyright and varies dependent on the nature of the work.
In order to enjoy copyright protection, a work must be original in the sense that the work is the product of the personal skill and labour of the creator/author thereof. The work need not be a new thought, but it must not be a slavish copy of existing subject matter, and the work must be embodied in some material form as copyright does not protect ideas.
Copyright in a work is infringed when the infringer performs any of the acts which only the author/owner can authorize.
In situations where a person infringes copyright, the author/owner of the copyright is entitled to institute both civil and criminal proceedings against the infringer for legal redress.