22 July 2019
In the news
Half a century of copyright history and South Africa’s new Copyright Amendment Bill (2 July 2019), greysouth.
”At the heart of this row is the new South African Copyright Amendment Bill, currently waiting for presidential signature and especially, among others, the provisions for the introduction of fair use into the South African creative industries, a topic that has been the subject of many angry and agitated dialogues (and monologues, for that matter).”
South African Creatives Grapple Over Copyright Amendment Bill (20 July 2010) by Christopher Vourlias, Variety.
”The South African government is planning to update its four-decade-old copyright legislation, but what that means for filmmakers was up for debate during a contentious and often heated session at the Durban FilmMart this week.”
The Story Behind the South African Actor’s Bill (July/August 2019) by Jack Devnarain, StartUp Africa.
Copyright bill gives SA creators their due (15 July 2019), by Nontando Tusi, Business Day
”Even if SA were listed, the likelihood of being sanctioned by the US for a copyright law policy dispute is very low.”
20 June 2019
Statement of the South African Youth Council on the CopyRight Amendment Bill
For Immediate Release
Date 18 June 2019
Protect Performers Protect our Heritage
The inability of artist, musicians and creatives to benefit directly from their talents is common refrain in the South African creative Arts industry. The South African Youth Council(SAYC) and by extension the South African Youth, can attest to an infinite number of talented individuals in South Africa’s music culture (for instance) who are now paupers, as a result of unscrupulous, parasitic and exploitative collecting societies both in and out of the country.
The status quo legislation is not only archaic, it laced with structural impediments especially for Black South Africans.
It is for this reason that SAYC, supports initiatives by the government to promulgate legislation which protects the intellectual property of South African’s. In its text it is clear that the government has an express intention to protect creatives from unscrupulous collecting societies.
Perhaps most importantly, the Copy Right Amendment Bill, codifies what is referred to as a fair use doctrine by adopting a hybrid model which has a direct bearing on the youth in so far access to educational material is concerned. Under the new regime of copy right law South Africans will for the first time be able to create, innovate and exploit the opportunities that come with a digital economy as we embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
We note that those argue that the bill will have adverse effects on the economy are the very same individuals who exclusively own the rights to Mama Mirriam Makeba’s artistic works, or that of Simon Linda and many other South African greats, at the expense of their immediate families.
It is time we protect our future by ensuring that where educational literature and or material is concerned no barrier should be an impediment for the acquisition of knowledge. In the same breath we must ensure that our heritage, the works of our forebears, are given the necessary stature and protection. This can only happen if President Cyril Ramaphosa assents to the Copy Rights Amendment Bill.
South African Youth Council President
25 April 2019
In the news
President Ramaphosa should sign Copyright Amendment bill (25 April 2019), by Douglas Scott, GroundUp
”Freedom of Panorama provision will help put more South African related content onto Wikipedia”
Copyright Amendment Bill needs to comply with Marrakesh Treaty (24 April 2019), By Mpuka Radinku, Business Day
“concern has been raised by certain stakeholders and other communities about the impact a redrafting of the bill and postponement of its advantages might have on the urgent needs of and continuing challenges to print-impaired persons.”
Why Wikimedia SA supports the Copyright Amendment Bill (24 April 2019), by Douglas Scott, Business Day
”Freedom of Panorama — the right to take pictures of public works and share them — is made explicit in the new bill.”
Blind SA blames lack of books for the blind on delay in passing copyrights bill (23 April 2019), African News Network
”Visually impaired people in South Africa are being deprived access to millions of publications due to delays in approving the Copyright Amendment Bill, rights group Blind SA has said.”
Jack Devnarian, Actor, and Chairman of SAGA stops by to chat about legislative issues (19 April 2019), interview with Jack Denarian, MILLER TIME RADIO
”Legendary actor Jack Devnarian, stops by to chat to Miller Time about the Copyright Amendment Bill, and Performers Protection Amendment Bill, and how these two items give rights to TV and Film performers here in South Africa.”
It's actually illegal to reshare a meme on social media, states SA law (18 March 2019), by Zodidi Dano, Cape Argus
“The current act criminalises a large section of the population. The proposed law is flexible and easier to understand for the public and is also good for the technology industry and development.”
4 April 2019
In the news
Flexible copyright bill rightly factors in swiftly changing tech sector (4 April 2019), by Andrew Rens, Business Day
”Software is becoming increasingly central to many parts of our lives and needs to be able to adapt to an unknowable future.”
26 March 2019
In the news
South Africa Moves Forward With Creator Rights Agenda (21 March 2019), by Sean Flynn
”South Africa took another step toward enactment of a Copyright Amendment Bill focused on improving the lot of creators. On March 20, the committee of jurisdiction in the National Council of Provinces voted 6-3 in favor of reporting the bill to the full house next week without amendment. The full house is likely to pass the bill, clearing the last hurdle before the President can sign the bill into law.”
Copyright reforms to improve access to education (18 March 2019), Eve Gray and Desmond Oriakhogba.
“The truth is that the bill will HELP local authors and publishers while helping to restrain the excesses of foreign publishers to exploit our markets with excessive prices. In addition, fair use provisions in a digital world assist in enabling and legitimising the use of multimedia and digital examples in the teaching and learning process. In short – the reform will promote the right to education. Parliament should not waiver. “
How Canadian Copyright Reform Could Support the Government’s Supercluster Investment (20 March 2019), Michael Geist
Copyright Amendment Bill Recorded Stream
17:30, 19 March 2019
The Copyright Amendment Bill has provoked a number of negative reactions in the wake of its passing before the National Assembly, with summits and symposiums by Copyright elitists claiming that the Bill will infringe on their copyrights. ReCreate in partnership with Wikimedia ZA feel that there is a need to remind the public of the true benefits and reasons we support the Copyright Amendment Bill. This panel discussion featured:
Prof Sean Flynn - American College of Law academic
9 March 2019
In the news
The Copyright Amendment Bill will improve publishing, not destroy it (9 March 2019), by Sean Flynn and Nontando Tusi, Business Day.
”The Copyright Amendment Bill will increase the bargaining power of creators, libraries, museums, schools, people with disabilities, and others, in their relationships with publishers and collective management organisations”
Comments on the Copyright Amendment Bill before the National Council of Provinces; Promoting Technological Adaptability and Education (22 February 2019), by Dr. Andrew Rens, Internet Governance Lab, American University, Washington DC.
Parliament applauds broad participation of stakeholders on Copyright Bill (6 March 2019), South African Parliament
Interview with ReCreate on Copyright Bill (8am, 8 March 2019), SAfm Sunrise (radio interview)
For a full updated on South African copyright related news please see Denise Nicholson’s free online international Information Service, COPYRIGHT & A2K ISSUES, for the 8 March 2019.
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
Inkatha Freedom Party - voted against the bill
National Freedom Party - voted for the bill
United Democratic Movement - voted for the bill
Freedom Front Plus - voted against the bill
African Christian Democratic Party - voted 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
10 November 2018
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."