Aug 042017
 

[Originally published in South Africa’s Business Day, Link] Over the past two weeks, I have been participating in a series of events and workshops explaining copyright “fair use” rights to South African stakeholders and officials. This week, Parliament has been hearing about fair use while it considers the Copyright Amendment Bill, part of which includes the introduction of a fair use right.

Rights management organisations, which collect royalties from schools, venues and other organisations that use copyrighted works, are up in arms. A collection of these organisations and foreign media companies such as Sony Pictures, calling itself the Copyright Alliance, has claimed that fair use means: Continue reading »

Share
Jul 312017
 

This week the South African Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry will hold three days of hearings on the Copyright Amendment Bill (B13-2017). Witnesses will give 20 minute presentations, followed by 20 minutes of Q&A.

The hearings will be on August 1, 2 and 4, and the testimony will be open to the public.

The hearing schedule is available here.
PIJIP’s collection of written statements to the Committee on the Copyright Amendment Bill is here.

Share

Should Copyright Law Deny Creators the right to Share Freely? Let the Authors Choose.

 Posted by on July 20, 2017  Comments Off on Should Copyright Law Deny Creators the right to Share Freely? Let the Authors Choose.
Jul 202017
 

Imposing a mandatory and unwaivable compensation scheme violates the letter and spirit of open licensing.

[Timothy Vollmer, Creative Commons, Link (CC-BY)] Copyright policymakers in Europe and South America have proposed legislation that would impose an unwaivable right to financial remuneration for authors and performers on copyrighted works. The laws attempt to ensure that creators receive payment for their work, but they would interfere with the operation of Creative Commons licensing by adding a special and separate economic right above and beyond the intention of some authors who wish to share their creative works with the world for free. Continue reading »

Share
Jul 192017
 

PIJIP has created a table of comments submitted to the South African Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry regarding the Copyright Amendment Bill. It was last updated on July 19, 2017.

Please send additional comments to mpalmedo@wcl.american.edu, and I will them to the table

Table of Comments to South African Parliament re: Copyright Amendment Act (B-13-2017)

Share
Jul 112017
 

[Matthew Sag and Sean Flynn, IP Watch, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)] This week, the South African Parliament began accepting comments on its pending Bill proposing to amend the South African Copyright Act to align it with the digital age. We and other experts and civil society organizations submitted comments praising many of the Bill’s provisions and proposing that it adopt an “open” fair use right. Here we focus on one major reason to adopt an open fair use right – to authorize so-called non-expressive uses of works. We conclude with some reflectio ns on how international law could help in this regard. Continue reading »

Share
Jul 102017
 

Click here for the full comment (PDF)

I am writing to commend you on the drafted, revised Copyright Amendment Bill 2017. The Amended Bill is a vast improvement on the prior Bill. In particular, there must be commendation for changes such as state ownership in orphan works, perpetual state ownership, and so on. There are however, some problematic areas regarding the Bill. What follows will be a brief overview of some of the areas I think the Bill could be improved upon. Continue reading »

Share
Jul 102017
 

Click here for the full comment (PDF)

Excerpt:  Our Federation welcomes Government’s initiative to review and modernize the legal framework for copyright in South Africa and implement the provisions of the WIPO Internet Treaties. We collectively believe in the need to make the Copyright Act fit for purpose in the digital age, so that local creators and producers of content may continue to see their works protected effectively whilst taking full advantage of the emergent new digital business models for content production and distribution. Continue reading »

Share
Jul 102017
 

Excerpt:  South Africans would benefit greatly from a provision that makes is clear that the technical processes at the heart of machine learning, cloud computing, text mining, plagiarism detection, automated detection of copyright infringement and constructing search engine indexes do not violate copyright law. Under current South African law, all these activities are arguably unlawful because, although they do not communicate the copyright owner’s original expression to the public in any way, they all rely on copying as an intermediate technical step. Thus, it is a matter of concern that the current copyright revision bill, B13-2017) (Copyright), appears to make no provision whatsoever for important large-scale applications of new digital technology that will important to research and development in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. As a result, the terms of the proposed revisions would leave South Africans at a permanent and crippling disadvantage compared to residents of the United States, Israel, South Korea and other countries that have adopted, or are considering adopting a so-called “fair use” approach to copyright limitations and exceptions, as well as other countries that may take a narrower approach to immunizing information technology innovators from liability.

Click here for the full comment (PDF)

Share
Jul 072017
 

[Submitted by Tobias Schonwetter] Excerpt: We note that the 2017 Bill is, as far as the drafting is concerned — and subject to our specific comments below — a marked improvement to the 2015 Copyright Amendment Bill. Some technical drafting errors do, however, remain. In particular, in many sections of the Bill, the word “author” is used, sometimes with a list of others, instead of the term “rights owner” being used.

In our comments concerning the 2015 Bill, we expressly welcomed the proposed introduction of a more flexible and open fair use provision. We note with concern that the lawmaker has since decided to significantly reduce the provision’s utility by limiting its applicability to a closed list of permitted purposes. We strongly urge the lawmaker to reconsider this decision and amend S12 of the 2017 Bill in line with our suggestions in this submission.

Click here for the full comments (PDF)

Share

User Rights Network Submission on Copyright Amendment Bill

 Posted by on July 7, 2017  Comments Off on User Rights Network Submission on Copyright Amendment Bill
Jul 072017
 

Submitted jointly by the Global Expert Network on Copyright User Rights, Communia, Centrum Cyfrowe, and Creative Commons

Click here for the full submission (PDF)

Excerpt: We write to support the inclusion of a modern general exception in section 12 of the South African Copyright Act, and to offer refinements to the 2017 Bill’s proposal that we think would make it better serve the interests it promotes. General exceptions apply a single flexible balancing test (often defining what is “fair”) to authorise uses of copyrighted works for either an “open” or “closed” list of purposes. By open, we mean that the exception can apply to potentially any purpose, as in the United States, Israel, Malaysia and other countries. Closed list systems can only be applied to a purpose listed in the clause. Continue reading »

Share
Jul 072017
 

Comment Submitted to the Protfolio Committee on Trade and Industry by Wikimedia ZA President Douglas Scott

Excerpt: We make this submission to request that the current South African law be amended to protect the right of FoP, namely the right to represent public works of art and architecture in other derivative works, such as in photographs or video. This could be achieved through either a specific exception or through an open list (i.e. open to purpose) fair use right in Sec. 12 of the Act.

Protecting FoP in the new bill would help to create a copyright framework that would maximise the public good from Copyright, without unduly eroding the rights of copyright owners.

Click here for the full comment. 

Share

Comments on the Economic Benefits of Open Copyright Limitations, Submitted to South Africa’s Portfolio Comm. on Trade and Industry

 Posted by on July 7, 2017  Comments Off on Comments on the Economic Benefits of Open Copyright Limitations, Submitted to South Africa’s Portfolio Comm. on Trade and Industry
Jul 072017
 

Click here for the full comment (PDF)

Excerpt:  This comment presents results of ongoing research on copyright limitations being conducted by American University Washington College of Law’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP). The research demonstrates that positive economic outcomes are associated with greater openness in copyright limitations, and it supports arguments that South Africa will benefit from amendments to its copyright law that make limitations more “open.”

PIJIP defines copyright limitations as more “open” if they are open to the use of any kind of work, by any kind of user and/or for any purpose, as long as the use does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author. Continue reading »

Share