The USTR Special 301 Report 2016 – Africa in Review

 Posted by on May 12, 2016  Comments Off on The USTR Special 301 Report 2016 – Africa in Review
May 122016

ncubeCross posted from Afro Leo, Link (CC-BY)

Afro-IP regularly reports on how Africa fares in the Special 301 Report issued annually by the USTR (see links to some previous posts below).

The 2016 Report was released at the end of April 2016. The generation of the report through a unilateral US process and its goal have been protested by several countries. For instance, as noted by Mike Palmedo in his post on the 2016 report, both India and Chile have registered their displeasure. Continue reading »


Fair Is As Fair Does: Contractual Normative Regulation of Copyright User Contracts in South Africa

 Posted by on February 1, 2016  Comments Off on Fair Is As Fair Does: Contractual Normative Regulation of Copyright User Contracts in South Africa
Feb 012016

ncubeCaroline B Ncube ‘Fair is as fair does: Contractual normative regulation of copyright user contracts in South Africa’ in GB Dinwoodie (ed) Intellectual Property and General Legal Principles:Is IP a Lex Specialis? (2015) Edward Elgar 49–68.

Abstract: This chapter considers how contract and consumer protection law could be used to regulate or enhance the fairness of copyright licenses. It specifically considers reprographic reproduction licenses granted to universities and other higher education institutions in South Africa.

Full Text:

Aug 192015

ncubeCross posted from Afro Leo, Link (CC-BY)

As reported by Jeremy Speres (here) South Africa’s Copyright Amendment Bill, 2015 has been published for public comment. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has lined up several stakeholder consultations, one of which was held on 13 August 2015. The consultation process is intended to culminate in a Copyright Amendment Bill Conference on 27 August 2015. Continue reading »

Mar 162015

ncube[Excerpt from op-ed in the Pretoria News] Tomorrow will see the launch of the 2015 South African Library Week with the theme connect @ your library.  The value of reading for people of all ages is indisputable, as is the crucial role libraries play in making books available.  But, as we prepare to celebrate the value of books and the role of libraries, let’s spare a thought for those who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled (VIPs). There is general agreement that books are limited and expensive for sighted people, particularly those who are economically disadvantaged. Imagine how much more so they are for VIPs.  The World Blind Union rightly says that they experience a book famine.

Click here for the full op-ed (PDF).

Feb 092015

ncube[Cross-posted from Afro-Leo, Link (CC-BY)] A report entitled ‘Copyright policy and the right to science and culture’ authored by  the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Farida Shaheed has been released (download it here, ref A/HRC/28/57 ).

The document summary reads: “In the present report, the Special Rapporteur examines copyright law and policy from the perspective of the right to science and culture, emphasizing both the need for protection of authorship and expanding opportunities for participation in cultural life. Recalling that protection of authorship differs from copyright protection, the Special Rapporteur proposes several tools to advance the human rights interests of authors. The Special Rapporteur also proposes to expand copyright exceptions and limitations to empower new creativity, enhance rewards to authors, increase educational opportunities, preserve space for non-commercial culture and promote inclusion and access to cultural works. An equally important recommendation is to promote cultural and scientific participation by encouraging the use of open licences, such as those offered by Creative Commons.” Continue reading »


The Draft National Intellectual Property Policy Proposals for Improving South Africa’s Patent Registration System: A Review

 Posted by on September 15, 2014  Comments Off on The Draft National Intellectual Property Policy Proposals for Improving South Africa’s Patent Registration System: A Review
Sep 152014

ncubeJournal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice.

Abstract:  This article discusses South Africa’s draft Intellectual Property Policy proposed reforms. It considers how these may be practically implemented. In particular, it focuses on the phased sector specific introduction of substantive patent examination, possible co-operation with other national or regional patent offices to enhance examination capacity, the retention of non-examination for utility or second-tier patents and the involvement of third parties in the examination process. It also considers the re-introduction of opposition proceedings to further strengthen the patent system. Continue reading »

Sep 022014

ncube[Reposted from Aro-IP, Link (CC-BY)]  Moneyweb is suing Fin24 for copyright infringement arising out of Fin24’s (re-)publication of eight articles which had been initially published by Moneyweb (see a Mail and Guardian report here). Moneyweb has created a dedicated website (here) where it has posted all of the pleadings filed to date and media articles. This Leo rarely has an opportunity to read litigants’ court documents and is delighted that these documents are so readily available. Continue reading »


South Africa’s National IP Policy – academics’ joint submission

 Posted by on October 18, 2013  Comments Off on South Africa’s National IP Policy – academics’ joint submission
Oct 182013

South African Flag[Reposted from Afro-IP, Link (CC-BY)]

Following UCT’s invitation to crowd-source comments on the draft national IP policy (here), several scholars jointly submitted comments on the draft IP policy yesterday. It is couched in a sympathetic and constructive yet critical manner as its authors applaud the initiative to begin national dialogue on the IP policy while calling for an extensive and rigorous engagement with the process going forward. The submission (available here) is in the nature of an outline document – it comments on the broad issues of principle, and indicates where its authors find the draft policy desirable or undesirable. It also contains some recommendations which it suggests should be enacted through the amendment of  relevant IP legislation. Continue reading »


Evidence Based Copyright Reform in South Africa

 Posted by on September 27, 2013  Comments Off on Evidence Based Copyright Reform in South Africa
Sep 272013

The  Law and Economics of Copyright Users Rights conference probed the value of economic empirical  evidence to copyright reform discussions.   This post gives an account of the use of such evidence in current reform discourse in South Africa.  The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has taken some initial steps towards a comprehensive IP reform process by  publishing a draft national IP policy, which is currently open for public comment.  The copyright sections of the draft policy do not engage with user rights in a detailed manner. Some mention is made of the need to have meaningful exceptions and limitations (E & L) ( at p16)  and the need to ensure that  these are not abrogated online through the use of technological protection mechanisms protected by anti-circumvention provisions (at p29). Currently the Copyright Act falls far short of reasonable expectations Continue reading »

Sep 162013

south africa flag[Reposted from Afro-IP, Link (CC-BY)]  A number of commentaries have been published on the Draft IP Policy’s suggested patent reforms (see below for links to some of these). In general, the draft policy has been lauded as a welcome step for South Africa. For example, the TAC and MSF have welcomed the policy as they are of the view that, if implemented, these reforms will curb harmful practices such as the evergreening of pharmaceutical patents. However, there seems to be general consensus that the wording of the policy could be improved in future iterations so as to achieve coherence, clarity and certainty. Continue reading »


The Africa IP Forum – a retrospective

 Posted by on March 18, 2013  Comments Off on The Africa IP Forum – a retrospective
Mar 182013

The Africa IP Forum was held in South Africa on 25-27 February 2013.  Attendees were welcomed at a cocktail on the evening of 25 February and substantive discussions were held on 26 -27 February. There were 4 plenary sessions each complemented by 2 parallel sessions.  The following topics were discussed: Continue reading »


Postponed Africa IP Forum scheduled for 26 – 27 February 2013

 Posted by on February 11, 2013  Comments Off on Postponed Africa IP Forum scheduled for 26 – 27 February 2013
Feb 112013

The African IP forum which was scheduled for April 2012 and was postponed in response to contested calls for a more balanced program and representation of views,  has now been scheduled for the last week of February in 2013.

Details for speakers have not yet been released but the program is available. Click on the picture to view in full size.