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Submissions on Copyright Amendment Bill Released

May 12, 2022


The portfolio committee on trade and industry has released submissions on the additional clauses to the Copyright Amendment Bill.

The committee called on stakeholders in December 2021 to submit written comment on additional definitions and clauses in relation to the bill.

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 bill was passed by parliament and sent to the president for assent in March 2019.

In 2020, the bill was returned to parliament for consideration of president Ramaphosa’s reservations about its constitutionality.

The committee had, in June 2021, called for comment on clause 13 (sections 12A, 12B, 12C and 12D), clause 19 (section 19B) and clause 20 (section 19C) of the bill.

In December 2021, comment was sought on new definitions “authorized entity”; “broadcast” and “lawfully acquired”.

A new clause was proposed amending sections 11A and 11B making the new exclusive rights of ‘communication to the public’, ‘making available’ and ‘distribution’ applicable to published editions and computer programmes.

A new paragraph (d) was proposed for section 12A making the four factors in paragraph (b) applicable to exceptions in sections 12B, 12C, 12D, 19B and 19C.

Amendments were also proposed to section 12B (c), a new subsection (2) to section 12C and new subsections to section 12D.

A new subsection (2) was proposed for section 39 requiring the minister to make regulations providing for processes and formalities related to the authorization or recognition of an “authorized entity”.

The submissions are currently under consideration by the committee.

Last week, the trade, industry and competition department briefed the committee on responses to the submissions.

The department pointed out that stakeholders that made submissions did not support the amendments.