Stakeholders Submit Views On South Africa Copyright Amendment 27/07/2018 by Linda Daniels for Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment 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 call for public comments on the Copyright Amendment Bill by South Africa’s Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry attracted a wide range of interest and contributions from local and international IP stakeholders. South Africa’s Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry published select clauses of the Copyright Amendment Bill for public comment. The notice can be seen here [pdf]. The deadline for the public submissions period was 9 July, but due to a high number of requests, the window was extended to 18 July. Public submissions were varied and came from academia, the creative arts sector and a global expert network, among others. The submissions are not public, but some contributors to the process shared their written submissions with Intellectual Property Watch. Many commended the committee on agreeing to process one holistic bill, not a two-phased bill, and for recognising fair use provisions in the bill, including exceptions for education, research, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, and persons with disabilities. Universities South Africa (USAf), the national representative body for 26 public universities in South Africa, especially supported the recognition of fair use in the Copyright Amendment Bill. “This is in line with and confirms South Africa’s support for similar limitations and exceptions in treaty proposals by the African Group at WIPO [the UN World Intellectual Property Organization] and the Marrakesh Treaty [on global book access for blind readers], which South Africa has committed to ratify once the Copyright Amendment Bill has been enacted. These provisions also support many Government policies and projects and in particular those of the Department of Higher Education and Training, and Department of Science and Technology, e.g., Open Educational Resources, Open Access, Open Data and Open Science initiatives.” USAf’s submission continues in part: “USAf wishes to bring your attention to the fact that the exceptions for computer programs which were in the original 2017 Bill (section 19B) have been omitted in toto from the Draft No.2 Bill. USAf recommends that they are re-inserted into the Bill.” USAf’s full submission can be read here [pdf]. Creative professionals also contributed to the public submissions process by submitting under the collective banner of ReCreate South Africa. ReCreate South Africa is made up of a coalition of writers, filmmakers, photographers and educational content producers among others. ReCreate South Africa is a non-profit association established in 2018 to promote the interests of South African creators with regards to copyright legislation and other policy matters. In their submission, ReCreate South Africa identified three key issues to be included in the ongoing copyright reform. The submission in part reads: “The right to create. We support the enactment of the proposed fair use clause which would provide copyright exceptions we need to make original work and to exercise our freedom of expression. We call on government to enact all of the proposed creator rights, including the open fair use/fair dealing exception. The proposed fair use test will ensure that all uses of works are fair to the creator, including by prohibiting substitutional uses in the market. These provisions add certainty and predictability to our existing fair dealing regime. “The right to own … existing law restricts the ability of many creators to distribute, re-mix and profit. The Act should be amended to make independent creators the default owners of copyright in all the works they create. “The right to earn … Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) are monopolies that charge others for our work and claim to ‘represent’ us…. CMOs should have fiduciary duty to creators, be subject to member governance and be subject to government oversight on the reasonableness of their expenditure and pay-outs.” ReCreate South Africa’s full submission can be read here [pdf]. The latest call for public submissions did not only attract interest from within South Africa’s borders but IP stakeholders from other countries submitted their comments on the published clauses of the Copyright Amendment Bill by the Parliamentary Committee on Trade and Industry. The submission by the Global Expert Network on Copyright User Rights Creative Commons Corporation was prepared by, among others, Professor Sean Flynn and Professor Peter Jaszi from the American University, Washington College of Law; Ariel Katz from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law and Allan Rocha de Souza and Federal R University of Rio de Janeiro among others. The Global Expert Network on Copyright User Rights was formed in 2011 and are a group of leading copyright academics from around the world. The work of the Network focuses on the publication of research and provision of technical assistance to explain how adopting more open, flexible and general user rights – both by adopting fair use like open, flexible, general provisions and by increasing the openness and flexibility of specific (non-general) exceptions – can promote social and economic interests. In their submission, the network of copyright experts commended Parliament for “adopting an innovative, forward-thinking and South Africa specific open general exception for “fair use.” The Global Expert Network on Copyright User Rights submission can be seen here [pdf]. The submission was also published as an opinion piece on Intellectual Property Watch (IPW, Inside Views, 24 July 2018). Other Comments Other comments were posted by infojustice.org, here: William Bird. Media Monitoring Africa. Wandile Dlamini. Fees Must Fall. Hanli Geyser. Wits University Department of Digital Arts. Sadulla Karjiker and Owen Dean, Anton Mostert Chair of Intellectual Property Law, Stellenbosch University. Anita Nell. Innovus. Image Credits: Wikipedia 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."Stakeholders Submit Views On South Africa Copyright Amendment" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.