Tue, 04 Aug 2020

The Coalition for Effective Copyright in South Africa has urged that the Copyright Amendment Bill be referred back to Parliament by President Cyril Ramaphosa for contentious points to be ironed out.

In a statement last week, the coalition - which represents more than 10 associations - expressed its concern that the bill in its current form would allow international companies to republish local work without compensating creators fairly.

"The coalition... firmly believes that the only way forward is for the President to refer the Bill back to Parliament," a statement by Collen Dlamini on behalf of the coalition said.

"The Constitution makes provision for this in the event that the President has concerns regarding the constitutionality of the Bill, which we believe he has."

This after the bill was debated before Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Sport, Arts and Culture last Tuesday.

Minister Nathi Mthethwa was quoted urging the industry to come together to iron out differences over the bill and "find each other", the coalition said in its statement.

"This is a welcome development, and an indication that President Ramaphosa is not ready to sign the Bill into law," Dlamini said.

A South African Cultural Observatory presentation to the same committee, which News24 has seen, also suggested that there was not enough empirical research performed to gauge what impact the bill could have on the local industry.

Last week, ReCreateSA argued that the bill could make studying cheaper, News24 previously reported.

Fin24 reported in April that loopholes needed to be closed in the bill in order to maximise the output from creatives.

The bill is currently before Ramaphosa, having been passed in both Houses of Parliament earlier this year.

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