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Copyright Legislation Under the Spotlight

August 19, 2019

Department of Trade and Industry

19 August 2019

The trade and industry department has sung the praises of the Copyright Amendment Bill and the Performers’ Protection Amendment Bill.

In a statement, the department indicated that the bills, once signed into law, will “significantly benefit South African musicians”.

The deputy minister of trade and industry, Nomalungelo Gina, expressed this sentiment during a ceremony to announce the 2019 South African Traditional Music Achievement Awards nominees in Nelspruit recently.

Both bills are currently with president Ramaphosa awaiting signature.

The Copyright Amendment Bill was passed by parliament and sent to president Ramaphosa for assent in March 2019.

The bill was tabled in parliament in May 2017.

It aims to amend the Copyright Act of 1978 so as to:


• define certain words and expressions;
• allow for further limitations and exceptions regarding the reproduction of copyright works;
• provide for the sharing of royalties in copyright works;
• provide for the payment of royalties in respect of literary, musical, artistic and audiovisual works;
• provide for resale royalty rights;
• provide for recordal and reporting of certain acts;
• provide for the accreditation of collecting societies;
• provide for a mechanism for settlement of disputes;
• provide for access to copyright works by persons with disabilities;
• provide for the licensing of orphan works;
• strengthen the powers and functions of the Copyright Tribunal;
• provide for prohibited conduct in respect of technological protection measures;
• provide for prohibited conduct in respect of copyright management information;
• provide for protection of digital rights;
• provide for certain new offences; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The Performers’ Protection Amendment Bill was also passed by parliament and sent for assent in March 2019.

The bill was tabled in parliament in December 2016.

It aims to amend the Performers’ Protection Act of 1967 in order to:


• insert, delete or substitute certain definitions;
• provide for performers’ economic rights;
• extend moral rights to performers in audiovisual fixations;
• provide for the transfer of rights where a performer consents to fixation of a performance;
• provide for the protection of rights of producers of sound recordings;
• broaden the restrictions on the use of performances;
• extend the application of restrictions on the use of performances to audiovisual fixations;
• provide for royalties or equitable remuneration to be payable when a performance is sold or rented out;
• provide for recordal and reporting of certain acts and to provide for an offence in relation thereto;
• extend exceptions from prohibitions to audiovisual fixation and sound recordings and include exceptions provided for in the Copyright Act, 1978;
• provide for the Minister to prescribe compulsory and standard contractual terms as well as guidelines for a performer to grant consent under this Act;
• provide for prohibited conduct and exceptions in respect of technological protection measures and copyright management information respectively;
• provide for further offences and penalties;
• substitute certain expressions;
• provide for transitional provisions; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The deputy minister pointed out that the department holds the view that “both legislation will go a long way to ensure that our musicians maximise the opportunities available to them to exploit their talents and to form part of the mainstream economy.”

She also indicated that the cultural industries such as music and writing, if “well regulated, supported, protected and commercialized”, can undergo economic growth.

The deputy minister also emphasized that traditional music can thrive “when musicians view music as a business, when broadcasters, recording companies and collecting societies collect and pay royalties, when government open markets for our traditional music in the continent and abroad, when traditional musicians collaborate with other musicians in producing other genres; and when traditional musicians use technology to access domestic and international markets.”

Meanwhile, the department, in Government Gazette 42636, announced that the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission has updated its Base iXBRL Taxonomy.

According to the notice, the “updates to the CIPC IXBRL Taxonomy now includes all IFRS Taxonomy releases made by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) made in 2017, 2018 and 2019.”