The Performers' Protection Amendment Bill and the Copyright Amendment Bill present a revolution for SA actors who have, for years, petitioned government for meaningful economic transformation of the sector.
South African actors have been left reeling after President Cyril Ramaphosa's decision to send back to Parliament the long-awaited Copyright Amendment Bill and Performers' Protection Amendment Bill, which had provisions in place for actors to be paid prospective royalties for their work, once regulations kicked in.
Actors have been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic given physical distancing requirements which make it near impossible for them to perform. Royalties would have provided an income to actors left stranded by the current public health emergency.
The Copyright Amendment Bill (CAB) and the linked Performers' Protection Amendment Bill (PPAB) had both been passed by the National Assembly and were sent to the president to be signed into law. The Performers' Protection Amendment Bill cannot be passed without the associated Copyright Amendment Bill, since there are certain clauses in the former that are intrinsically linked to the latter.
In a letter dated 16 June 2020, Ramaphosa referred the CAB and PPAB back to Parliament for further consideration, because the bills may not "pass constitutional...