ReCreate exists to promote the interests of South African creatives with regards to copyright legislation.
As much as we are creators, we are users of existing cultural products. Currently our work can be blocked through censorship by those who claim to own our culture. 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.
Growing the digital economy requires innovation. South Africa is at a disadvantage to other countries with flexible copyright laws that support creativity.
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. We lack the right to:
- Adapt to the future
- Create accessible copies for people with disabilities
- Remix, transform and re-interpret
- Research, including through data mining, indexing and search
- Create educational works
- Digital archiving
- Use works in public places
- Incidental use of background content
- Parody and satire
We call on government to enact all of these creator rights, either directly or by an open fair use or fair dealing exception. We also need a fair use test to ensure that all uses of works are fair to the creator.
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 Act must be amended to make independent creators the default owners of copyright in all the works they create.
THE RIGHT TO EARN.
Current law does not adequately protect us against abuses and exploitation. Collective management organisations (CMOs) have formed monopolies. They charge others for our work and claim to “represent” us. But we lack power to act as members in their governance. CMOs must have a fiduciary duty to creators, be subject to member governance, and be subject to government oversight on the reasonableness of their expenditure and payouts.
These three issues are of vital and urgent importance and must not be postponed.
In the event that the government decides to put off finalising some aspects of the copyright law, the interim arrangement must include fair use or open fair dealing and must uphold all the rights outlined above.
We believe the opposition to our rights is based on false claims about negative impact. If there is to be an interim phase, it should be used to introduce a trial period of fair use to demonstrate that these fears are false.
Forward to a creative economy that works for all South Africans!