On Monday, 27 July 2015, a notice was published in Government Gazette No. 39028 (GNR 646 of 2015), in which the Minister of Trade and Industry published the Copyright Amendment Bill for broader public comment. Interested persons have until 26 August 2015 to comment. 

The Bill, inter alia, seeks to provide for:

  • the introduction of protection of copyright in craft works and a new class of these works, which include pottery, jewellery and folk-art;
  • the accreditation and registration of Collecting Societies; 
  • the introduction of a resale royalty right for artistic works in terms of which artists may claim royalties when their original works are resold;
  • the procedure for settlement of royalties disputes; 
  • the fair use of copyright work by introducing a “fair use” exception in limited circumstances such as parody, criticism and professional advice; 
  • the management of digital rights - the Bill criminalises technological circumvention measure; and
  • the promotion of broadcasting of local content.

The Bill has come as a surprise to most in the industry, however, it is certainly a welcome development.

ENSafrica's IP department intends making submissions to the Department of Trade and Industry while the Bill is open for public comment.