Long walk to copyright reform #4: South Africa's Parliamentary Committee approves a revised Copyright Amendment Bill

Some progress has been made on the legislative front in terms of South Africa's journey to amend its copyright statute. On Friday last week (10 June 2022), South Africa's Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry adopted its report on the Copyright Amendment Bill (CAB) and the Performers' Protection Amendment Bill and approved both bills for second reading. This opens the way for the next step in the reform process: the Second Reading of the Bill where the Bill is debated and voted on at a sitting of the National Assembly. If a majority of the National Assembly votes in favour, the Bill is passed and will then be referred to the National Council of Provinces for consideration and depending on the outcome, it's on to the President for assent or otherwise [An explainer of how bills work in South Africa here].

Readers may recall that in 2020, South Africa's President returned the Copyright Amendment Bill to the National Assembly citing constitutional and other concerns. This resulted in the National Assembly re-opening calls for public submissions and comments on the Bill. Beyond the debate in the National Assembly, other stakeholders such as BlindSA took to the courts to find ways to get the amendments that are particularly pertinent to them going. 
Image credit: slangit

While detailed analysis on the copyright reform journey will follow shortly, this SpecialKat can say right away that there would be more to unpack with this revised bill. The National Assembly had initially restricted public submissions and comments to the President's reservations as stated in his letter returning the CAB to the parliament. But, by December 2021, Parliament called for public submissions and comments on new, substantive amendments to the CAB that go beyond the matters relating to the President's reservations. Another interesting fact: the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry's approval for the revised bill to be tabled for second reading was not unanimous. MPs from the minority parties - The Democratic Alliance and Freedom Front Plus - did not support the Bill.

More to follow on all of these... 

Follow the long walk:

Long walk to copyright reform #4: South Africa's Parliamentary Committee approves a revised Copyright Amendment Bill Long walk to copyright reform #4: South Africa's Parliamentary Committee approves a revised Copyright Amendment Bill Reviewed by Chijioke Okorie on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 Rating: 5

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