South Africa: Us At Odds With SA Over 'Fair Use' in Proposed New Copyright Law


News that the US administration has begun a review process that could potentially affect South Africa's favoured trade position, has ignited a fresh exchange of views between supporters and critics of the Copyright Amendment Bill.

The Presidency has quashed reports that it has decided to send the Copyright Amendment Bill back to Parliament following a review by the United States trade representative (USTR) of South Africa's preferred trade status with the US.

Spokesperson for the president, Khusela Diko confirmed: "The president is still considering the bill. Let's allow him to apply his mind to the bill." When pressed, Diko would not confirm when the president is expected to sign the bill into law. "I wouldn't like to put a timeframe to it," she said.

According to section 79 of the Constitution, which provides the details for assent, the president is obliged to sign the Copyright Amendment Bill into law within a reasonable period. He may only send the bill back to Parliament to cure specific constitutional problems.

ReCreate South Africa, a broad coalition of creatives in support of the bill, sought a legal opinion by leading advocates Susannah Cowen SC, Jonathan Berger and Mehluli Nxumalo regarding the bill's constitutionality. The...

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