We are a coalition of writers, filmmakers, photographers, educational content producers, software and video game developers, technology entrepreneurs, artists, poets, producers of accessible format materials and other South African creators.
We call on Government to include in the ongoing copyright reform three key issues to enable us to create the next generation of South African content for the world.
The Right to Create.
Current law lacks many modern exceptions to copyright. We need these exceptions to make original work and to exercise our freedom of expression.
The Right to Own.
Current law makes the commissioner of many works the default owner of our art. This restricts ability of many to distribute, re-mix and profit.
The Right to Earn.
Current law does not adequately protect us against abuses and exploitation.
10 December 2018
Statement by ReCreate South Africa on the passing of the Copyright Amendment Bill
ReCreate South Africa is a coalition of coalition of writers, filmmakers, photographers, educational content producers, software and video game developers, technology entrepreneurs, artists, poets, producers of accessible format materials and other South African creators. ReCreate South Africa welcomes the passing of the Copyright Amendment Bill by the National Assembly. This historic move provides clear guidelines and balance between the rights of creators and users. ReCreate South Africa notes the lengthy consultative approach adopted by Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry. We applaud the passage of a bill that serves creator interests by respecting three key rights to enable us to create the next generation of South African content for the world:
THE RIGHT TO CREATE.
The Bill creates modern exceptions to copyright, including a balanced “fair use” right, that permit digital and other uses necessary to make original work and to exercise our freedom of expression.
THE RIGHT TO OWN.
The Bill removes the Apartheid-era standard that made the commissioner of many works the default owner of our art.
THE RIGHT TO EARN.
The Bill improves the regulation of contracts and collective management organisations to ensure we are paid for our work and protected against abuse and exploitation. The Copyright Amendment Bill is a step in the right direction in that it brings South African legislation in line with its international treaty obligations. The hybrid system improves on the fair dealing system by introducing a fair use principle. Fair use provides a list of four criteria which will provide better access to information. The exceptions for uses such as research, education, libraries, archives, format shifting and for people living with disabilities are welcomed.These amendments are long overdue and provide the necessary clarity in our copyright law. ReCreate further welcomes the support of creators, teachers’ unions, educators, authors, and student activists who look forward to the implementation of the fair use system and access to knowledge and information.
For further information please contact:
Tusi Fokane (ReCreate Coordinator) firstname.lastname@example.org
Download a copy of this statement here.
8 December 2018
In the news
Copyright bill a ray of hope (5 December 2018) - by Marcus Low - Business Day
”Parliament is doing important work in modernising our law and bringing into line with global treaties”
5 December 2018
Updates on reforming the copyright act
Voting patters of each party on the Copyright Amendment bill.
African National Congress - voted for the bill
Democratic Alliance - voted against the bill
Economic Freedom Fighters - voted in for the bill
Why ‘fair use’ is so important for South African copyright law (25 November 2018) - Denise Rosemary Nicholson - The Conversation
”“Fair use” is a doctrine adopted by some countries that permits the use of copyright material like books, journals, music and art work – without requiring permission from the copyright holder. It provides a balance between the just demands of rights-holders and the need for people to use copyright material for education, research, in libraries and archives.”
LETTER: Copyright bill a ray of hope (5 December 2018) - Marcus Low - Business Day
“It has been too easy to be critical of parliament in recent years. Yet the passing of important legislation such as the Public Audit Act and now potentially the Copyright Amendment Bill shows that important and socially valuable work is still being done in parliament.”
Defending Fair Use In South Africa (4 December 2018) - by Sean Flynn, Peter Jaszi, and Mike Carroll - Intellectual Property Watch
”On Wednesday the South African National Assembly vote on the Copyright Amendment Bill, which includes a new “fair use” right. Learned professors at the University of Stellenbosch have taken to calling the bill “shambolic”, and “an abomination.” It is certainly time for a little light to go with the heat.”
Promoting Education Rights In South African Copyright Reform (4 December 2018) - By Eve Gray and Desmond Oriakhogba - Intellectual Property Watch
“The publishing industry is making a mad dash to defeat South Africa’s adoption of a fair use rights in Parliament on Wednesday. Their latest effort includes an alarmist petition being circulated among authors. It is interesting to note that, while one of the most persistent and loud complaints in these protests has been that the drafting of the new legislation was badly handled, our perception, along with a number of experienced observers in the process, has been that the level of discussion and debate; the degree of participation and engagement of government representatives; and the consensus on the needs to be addressed, was of a higher standard and the debate much better informed than in previous such attempts at reform over the past decades. It should also be noted that, while it is true that international publishers might have much to lose in the new law, local publishers, authors and students have much to gain. It is time to lower the heat and concentrate on the facts and context of what is before Parliament.”
10 November 2018
Fair Use in South Africa
Recently in the Media
Decolonised education means giving poor students fair use of textbooks (08 November 2018) - Thabiso Bhengu - The Daily Vox
”We need to update our copyright laws to allow poor students fair use rights of textbooks, which remain prohibitively expensive for most,”
New Copyright Exceptions Treaty Proposed By Civil Society; Seeking Country Support (08 October 2018) - IP Watch
”Negotiations on possible exceptions to copyright for specific actors such as libraries, archives, universities and research institutions at the World Intellectual Property Organization have been stalling for years. Last week, a group of civil society organisations published a proposed draft treaty text for copyright exceptions for educational and research activities. Now they are seeking support from WIPO members to shoulder the text.”
26 October 2018
in the media
If copyright protection goes too far, the results can harm democracy (24 October 2018) - Business Day
Published by ReCreate in response to Prof Sadulla Karjiker’s article published on the 19th October 2018.
”Price gouging is possible in SA because of our record-breaking inequality and the monopolisation of textbook markets by large multinationals.”
SA’s photographic history could be lost to future generations (19 October 2018) - Business Day
”Photographers need government's assistance when it comes to copyright laws”
26 September 2018
in the media
Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist (29 August 2018) - The Guardian
“Academic publishers charge vast fees to access research paid for by us. Down with the knowledge monopoly racketeers.”
We all need to listen to the pleas of the music industry in our country (12 September 2018) - Daily Maverick
”An honorary doctorate was conferred on Vusi Mahlasela by the University of KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday. He was recognised for his outstanding contribution to the betterment of South African society and to the global music industry. This is an edited version of Mahlasela's acceptance speech.”
15 September 2018
in the media
Click, copy, paste: Is our proposed copyright bill futureproof? (07 September 2018) - City Press
"South Africa’s 40-year-old Copyright Act is heading for a long-awaited amendment, and just about everyone disagrees on the way forward"
5 September 2018
Recent news relating to the amending of the South African Copyright Bill
Below is a list of recent articles appearing in the South African media:
Competition Commission investigating book publishing 'cartel' over price-fixing claims (29 August 2018) - Fin24.
"Competition Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele has initiated an investigation against the Publishers' Association of South Africa (PASA) and its members for allegedly fixing the prices of books."
Gospel shocker: How black musicians got screwed (1 April 2018) - CityPress.
"Copyright lawyer’s investigation blows lid on alleged 55-year-old royalty payout scam."
Copyright Amendment Bill: two-phase proposal; "Debt Intervention" National Credit Amendment Bill: new draft (8 May 2018) - Parliamentary Monitoring Group.
Response to IIPA Comments to USTR Regarding South Africa's Copyright Amendements Bill and AGOA Eligibility (24 August 2018) - InfoJustice.
"Submission to U.S. Trade Representative for the Annual Review of Country Eligibility for Benefits Under African Growth and Opportunity Act [Docket USTR-2018-0022]"
ReCreate SA calls for creator rights in copyright reform now (23 May 2018) - Mail & Guardian, by ReCreate.
"As creators, we are users of existing cultural products. Currently our work can be blocked through censorship by copyright owners for uses that would be freely permitted elsewhere. Moreover we often do not not own the work we create. And many of us have been disadvantaged by an exploitative system which fails to pay us for our work."