A major set of recommended changes to the Copyright Act were published on 27 July 2015, with a short 30 days for public comments. This is called the Copyright Amendment Bill 2015 and this is potentially of considerable importance to the heritage sector.

You can download it from here – Copyright_Amendment_Bill.

The changes proposed for the Copyright Act are summarised at the start of the Bill as follows:

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

What we see as important is the introduction of digital rights, which we had considered in our work on the National Policy on Digitisation. Hopefully these amendments to clarify the understanding and the application of copyright in the digital heritage.

A public consultation workshop is being held on this Bill, and we have received the following invitation:

You are cordially invited to attend the discussions on matters of Copyright.
Please confirm your attendance by no later than Monday the 3rd of August 2015.
Date: 19 August 2015
Venue: DG 22, BLOCK D, GROUND FLOOR (the dti)
Time: 09h00 – 12h00
Please email your RSVP to the following official:
Nkosinathi Mkhonza, X 43414, NMkhonza@thedti.gov.za