8 November 2017

Mauritius: National Assembly - Second Reading of Copyright Amendment Bill

press release

The Creative Industry has the potential to become an economic pillar. Mauritius is poised at this crossroad in its quest for sustainable development to create an enabling environment for creativity to flourish.

The Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Prithvirajsing Roopun, made this statement during the second reading of the Copyright Amendment Bill No 13 of 2017 yesterday at the National Assembly.

He further highlighted that one of the major priorities of Government is to support artists for a better integration in the mainstream of economic development while optimising the potential of the creative sector for economic growth and social inclusion.

Minister Roopun, explained the rationale of presenting the Copyright Amendment Bill which he said will incorporate the recommendations of a high powered committee set up since January 2016 to review the Copyright Act 2014; examine the weaknesses of the existing Act so as to safeguard the interest of artists; and bring the necessary amendments, as far as possible to the existing Act in light of suggestions made by the stakeholders.

Moreover, he added that the assistance from the World Intellectual Property Organisation was also sought in addition to suggestions received from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. He pointed out that two experts delegated by UNESCO are having extensive consultations and working sessions with artists, officials of various ministries and other major stakeholders to ensure that the foundation is set for the elaboration of the Status of Artist legislation.

The new Copyright Act will comprise of several amendments with twenty sections of the Copyright Act being amended, three sections to be replaced and two new sections are being added. Furthermore, a schedule is being included to provide for Rules of Election of the Society.

Amendments are being brought to various sections of the Act with firstly a view to redefining and better safeguarding the interest of copyright owners, secondly, a new regulatory framework for the society is being put into place for better representation of rights of holders.

Other amendments comprise the extension of copyright protection from a period of 50 to 70 years as aligned with the European Union's directives of 2006 and 2011. Provisions are also being made to ensure that actors of the cultural industry can perceive an equitable remuneration on their works among others.

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