22 July 2019

In the news

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.


Thembinkosi Josopu
South African Youth Council President

25 April 2019

In the news

4 April 2019

In the news

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

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 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 Bill removes the Apartheid-era standard that made the commissioner of many works the default owner of our art.


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)

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

Today's vote in the House on the Copyright Amendment bill.

From 48:10 to 1:55:36 is the first vote on the Bill. There after until 2:58:44 they are voting on the Performers Protection Bill until the second vote on the Copyright Amendment Bill again from 2:58:44 to 3:07:55.

The Copyright Amendment Bill passed on the second vote with no abstentions, 197 “yes” votes and 4 “no” votes. The next step for the bill is to appear before the National Council of Provinces for concurrence.

Voting patters of each party on the Copyright Amendment bill.

Other updates

  • 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

Why Fair Use and the Copyright Amendment Bill is so important and needed 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

26 September 2018

in the media

15 September 2018

in the media

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: