ABOUT THE RESOURCE
In March 2019, the Copyright Amendment Bill [B13B - 2017] amending the 1978 Copyright Act got final approval from the legislature, and was sent to the President for signing into law. However in June 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa returned the Bill to the National Assembly citing constitutional concerns with certain aspects of the Bill, including exceptions for libraries, education and persons with disabilities.
The President’s letter will be considered by the Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry on 19th August 2020 at a briefing by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) and the Parliamentary Legal Advisor.
In advance of the briefing, EIFL submitted a letter to express its strong support for the exceptions in the Bill. The letter highlighted how the Bill seeks merely to ensure that libraries and educational institutions in South Africa have the same rights, and are no worse off, than their counterparts in other countries, and noted that the Bill is a long overdue reform that brings copyright law in South Africa into the digital age.