South Africa Draft Copyright Amendment Bill Published For Public Comment 28/07/2015 by Linda Daniels for Intellectual Property Watch 3 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The publication for public comment of the much-anticipated South African draft Copyright Amendment Bill has cautiously been welcomed by some stakeholders, who believe that parts of the draft are unworkable. The draft bill has been published in the Government Gazette and can be seen here: http://www.gov.za/documents/copyright-amendment-bill-comments-invited-27-jul-2015-0000 The draft Bill includes, amongst other things, provisions to enable access for visually impaired persons. It also gives powers to CIPRO – the Companies and Intellectual Property Office – and creates a Copyright Tribunal. Comments are due by 27 August 2015. Preliminary Reaction A copyright expert, who did not want to be named, said in a written response to Intellectual Property Watch of the publication of the draft bill: “The amendments were prompted by a Commission inquiring into the payment of musicians by collecting societies, so there are provisions on the operation of collecting societies. “There are additional provisions to enable use of works which are headed fair use – this is a misnomer. These are not fair use but very narrowly drawn, probably unworkable exceptions. Using the term fair use to describe them is a misnomer. “The Bill also contains anti-circumvention measures so draconian that by comparison the much criticized [US] Digital Millennium Copyright Act appears more reasonable.” The expert continued: “Although it contains some important provisions such as rights for the visually impaired, and for artists and performers, the Bill does not advance access to knowledge. Educational uses and translations are permitted only through a cumbersome administrative procedure to requires permission be given by a government office. “The Bill criminalises large swathes of behaviour that should be the subject of civil actions, for example failure to pay royalties should be a civil rather than criminal matter.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Linda Daniels may be reached at email@example.com."South Africa Draft Copyright Amendment Bill Published For Public Comment" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.