Copyright Amendment Bill Heading for Parliament

Department of Trade and Industry

The Draft Copyright Amendment Bill will be tabled in parliament during July 2016.

The draft bill’s explanatory summary was published in Government Gazette 40121.

The proposed legislation was published for comment last year.

It seeks to amend the Copyright Act of 1978.

Cabinet approved the bill in June 2015 to be released for comment.

In a statement released at the time, cabinet indicated that amendments to the act were necessary as it did not refer to digital issues relating to copyright.

The draft bill focuses on:

•    Allowing the reproduction of copyright work;
•    Providing for the protection of copyright in craft work;
•    Providing for the accreditation and registration of Collecting Societies;
•    Providing for the procedure for settlement of royalties disputes;
•    Allowing fair use of copyright work;
•    Providing for access to copyright works for a person with disabilities;
•    Providing for the protection of ownership of orphan works by the state;
•    Providing for the establishment of the Intellectual Property Tribunal;
•    Providing for the appointment of members of the Intellectual Property Tribunal;
•    Providing for the powers and functions of the Intellectual Property Tribunal;
•    Providing for protection of performers’ moral and economic rights;
•    Providing for the protection of rights of producers of phonograms;
•    Providing for prohibited conducts in respect of technological protection measure;
•    Providing for prohibited conduct in respect of copyright management information;
•    Providing for management of digital rights;
•    Providing for the promotion of broadcasting of local content; and
•    Providing for certain new offences.

Some new definitions would be added to the act including accessible format copy, audio-visual fixation, craft works, copyright management information, digital rights systems and technological protection measure.

The draft bill also indicates that perpetual copyright would vest in the state in cases where the owner of the copyright could not be found, was unknown or was deceased.

It is proposed that the creator of artistic work will hold an inalienable resale royalty right on the resale of the work after the initial sale has taken place.

The draft bill proposes a resale royalty of 5% of the resale price.

Factors to determine whether the use of copyright work is a fair use are laid down.

Protecting the rights of musicians is a key objective of the draft bill.

Meanwhile, the trade and industry department has also published the explanatory summary for the Draft Performers’ Protection Bill in Notice 800 in the same Gazette.

According to the explanatory summary, the draft bill aims to address issues relating to the payment of royalties to performers, safeguard the rights of contracting parties and promote performers’ moral and economic rights for performances in audiovisual fixations.

The draft bill will also be tabled during July 2016.

Sabinet Cape Town Office