FEEDBACK ON SOUTH AFRICAN COPYRIGHT AMENDMENT BILL 2017
Legalbrief - 23 September 2017 has reported as follows:-
Legislation: Copyright Bill with NHTL
The Copyright Amendment Bill was referred this week to the National House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL). This is despite being in the early stages of a complete overhaul by a strengthened Department of Trade and Industry
drafting team, under the watchful eye of a sub-committee of the National Assembly’s Trade and Industry Committee, notes Pam Saxby for Legalbrief Policy Watch. This notwithstanding, a memorandum on the Bill’s
objects does indicate that ‘indigenous work’ deemed to be part of the heritage or customary practices of an indigenous community and created by one of its members, past or present, should be referred to the NHTL. Given
that the Bill was tabled in Parliament during May, why has this has taken so long – possibly excluding the NHTL from the parliamentary hearings process, if inadvertently?
As Legalbrief Today reported at the time, on 22 August the sub-committee was given two weeks to tackle the key policy issue of fair use, as opposed to fair dealings – in the context of royalty rights and exceptions, commissioned
work, and state ownership when such work is funded from the fiscus. Unfortunately, there is no official record of what has since transpired. Neither have the names of copyright law experts to serve on the sub-committee’s advisory panel been announced. Wednesday’s full committee meeting – when members were scheduled to receive feedback on both issues – was cancelled at exceptionally short notice. These somewhat bewildering developments do tend to point to a long road ahead for the Bill.
(Permission received from Juta to send this item out on this newsletter).