South African authors protest against Copyright Amendment Bill

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Support by Wilbur Smith

If you want to learn something new the best way is to read a book. In order for books to be written, authors, of all shapes and stripes, need to be paid for their work. Respecting the value of copyright is the only way to keep this ecosystem alive. Changing our current copyright law will mean less support for writers which in turn will lead to less time spent writing books. It’s a poverty we can’t afford.


Support by Athol Fugard

I completely endorse the stand taken by the publishing industry and my peers against the proposed Copyright Amendment Bill. It presents a direct threat to the livelihood of our writers, and therefore, to all the South African stories that are waiting to be told. I can only see this as dealing a devastating blow to the extraordinary literary potential of our country.


Authors deserve better than what the legislature has given them in the Copyright Amendment Bill that is being railroaded through Parliament despite local and international opposition.

As authors’ associations, we are calling on our members, as well as other authors and interested parties to spread the word about this bill and sign a petition against its adoption. 

We are convinced that many of the changes to the Copyright Act introduced by the Copyright Amendment Bill will have a direct and detrimental impact on all South African authors.

Further, the Bill is not in line with the international copyright treaties that South Africa has acceded to, and in all probability also runs contrary to the Constitution.

The electronic version of the Bill is available at: 

Support by Jennifer Clement, president of PEN International

PEN International, as the oldest and largest organisation of writers in the world,  takes copyright very seriously.  One part of our PEN International COPYRIGHT MANIFESTO clearly states, “An author’s economic independence and autonomy is central to freedom of expression and encourages a diversity of voices, which in turn fosters democracy.

To deny authors the ability to earn monetary reward from their creative works is to deny the works value and their authors a livelihood. Using the intellectual property of an author without fair recompense, and in the absence of a legitimate legal exception to the author’s copyright, is theft.”


Support by JM Coetzee

I endorse the position taken by PEN, as well as by the organizations IPA, IAF, IFRRO and PASA. Please add my name to the list of signatories of the petition - signature page attached.


Support by Gabeba Baderoon

What makes art possible? I oppose the Copyright Amendment Bill because it undermines the whole ecology of generative relations that sustain writers and artists by unreasonably expanding the definition of “fair use” of their work without compensation. What is at stake with this overreaching Bill is not only the capacity of individual artists to patch together a living, already a challenge, but the very way we make culture. We all learn by encountering, discussing, and being inspired by art, certainly I have, but the fair way to ensure access to work is not by making it impossible to make in the first place. This is why I oppose this Bill. Please join me.


We are opposed to the following:

  • The procedure through which the Bill is being railroaded through Parliament

Authors, publishers and the wider creative industries have been remarkably invested in the consultation process, submitting commentary and participating constructively despite unreasonably short deadlines throughout the years that the Bill has been in development.

Despite constructive participation, with significant investment of time and financial resources, there has not been any meaningful engagement with authors about their concerns, every one of which has been ignored.

In what seems to be a case of merely going through the motions, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Trade and Industry proceeded to ignore the input they received that was not aligned with the policy directions that they had apparently already decided upon.

The Portfolio Committee has now approved the Copyright Amendment Bill and handed it over to the National Assembly to adopt as legislation.

Support by Deon Meyer:

I am deeply concerned about the influence of the new legislation on our nation’s future. It will undoubtedly make it even harder to earn a living as an author, and has the real potential to turn us into a country without books of our own. Which means our history, our dreams for the future and our understanding of the present will disappear. And that’s another kind of poverty we can’t afford.


Support by Jacques Pauw:

The new Copyright Amendment Bill flies in the face of international practice and should ultimately be rejected by Parliament. It is ludicrous that Government wants to make it even harder for authors and publishers to earn a decent living. I am concerned that the Bill will be severely prejudicial to the creative industries and the cultural sector.


Support by Achmat Dangor:

The proposed Copyright Amendment Bill cannot come at a worse time for South Africa, which is struggling to overcome  the widespread illiteracy that is part of our dark, Apartheid past. So many schools do not have adequately resourced libraries, and many schools do not have an embedded culture of reading. This law that will limit the rights of writers and publishers, will aggravate the situation. "Cry The Beloved Country!"


  • The introduction of “fair use”

It has been stated that “fair use” does not mean use that is fair. Fair use is, rather, a legal doctrine derived from US law. As opposed to fair dealing, which is an established part of South African copyright law, fair use does not work with a closed list of permitted uses. It is open-ended and requires courts to decide whether a particular use qualifies as “fair”.

There is no need to adopt this doctrine into South African law. It will result in significant legal uncertainty and places the onus on the copyright owner to institute court proceedings to challenge unauthorised use of their work. Authors typically cannot afford to do this, and our courts surely do not need the additional workload.

The existing fair dealing provisions should rather have been expanded as required.

Support by Breyten Breytenbach

As much as I'm convinced that the stories and histories and songs of our country constitute the veritable binding that can remind us of our shared humanity, and the grounding we need to explore the richness of our diversity, the gift of our legacy, the textures of our struggles, the colour of our dreams  – (and what more wonderful gift can there be than to make these part of every South African's formative experiences?) – as much I am convinced that the proposed legislation to replace existing channels and guarantees (which shaped the respect for the work produced and protected the need to continue producing) will inevitably lead to 'unfair abuse' of the rights coming with the responsibilities of writing, publishing and distribution.

To pretend otherwise is to exploit a need for the deeper understanding of who we are and try to become under the false banner of supposedly equal access. Let us not allow this cultural and creative impoverishment of generations to come!


Support by Evita Bezuidenhout

Surely "copyright" means just that: protection of original copy. So once this law is passed it will mean: ©:copyright (t's & c's apply).


Support by Colin Smuts

As artists we don’t have protection in this country. There are no state grants to allow writers to practice as full-time writers. There is no protection or payment when every year poetry and script is photostatted, by the hundreds of pages, by lecturers who use the material for teaching purposes at our universities and high schools. Other than the copyright act we are very limited in law when it comes to the use of our work. That is why we must … resist and challenge this proposed legislation to ensure it doesn’t become law!


  • The introduction of wide-ranging exceptions to copyright protection, among others for educational purposes

Education and research are undoubtedly important public policy considerations, and we fully support the right to access to information. However, we object to the proposed weakening of copyright protection to achieve these goals.

The introduction of wide-ranging exceptions and limitations could discourage authors from writing books and publishers from taking the financial risk to publish those books, as it would create a climate within which freely copying copyright works for a wide range of purposes is permitted.

Many authors earn their livelihood from writing for the education market. The education market is by far the largest sector within the book publishing industry. Allowing copying of books and inclusion of copyright material in course packs instead of encouraging educational institutions to purchase copies of books, or licences to reproduce copyright works, erodes authors’ rights and drastically curtails their ability to make a living.

Authors rely on copyright to make a living in order to continue contributing to creating a reading and writing culture.

We implore the legislature to reconsider its adoption of the Copyright Amendment Bill. It is steering us into a crisis.

It should also be noted that various international organisations have weighed in on the calamitous course the legislature is taking with this bill. Their statements are available here:

We call on all authors and interested parties to sign the petition below. It will be presented to the Minister of Trade and Industry.


Petition text:

The Copyright Amendment Bill does not strike a fair balance between the interests of the authors and the interests of the “users” of copyright works. It is not in line with international copyright treaties. I strongly object to its adoption.

The petition is closed.

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  • First of all, I can not understand how they could think of making such a law.
    Secondly, should the law apply, would ANY foreign intellectual products ever be exported to South Africa when there is no protection of intellectual products? Are we not going to experience an "intellectual product desert"?

  • Theresa Papenfus

    The proposed amendment violates the rights of not only authors, but citizens too. Stop the insane attack on rights.

  • Louis L. S. J. Krüger

    The reaction to the implementation of this amendment would lead to the refusal of international authors to publish in South Africa as their Intellectual Property Rights would be under threat.

    As it is a lot of concepts are already rather registered with WIPRO than at the local agency.

    This will also be in contravention with the Berne Convention to which South Africa is a full signatory.

    As result of this Google could stop making Google Scholar available in South Africa.

  • Marietjie Larney

    The Copyright Amendment Bill is not fair to the authors and "users" of copyright works. It discourage authors (who depend on writing to make a living) to continue writing new books to create a culture of learning, reading and writing.

  • Martie Gilchrist

    Wonder wie dink sulke strooi uit? SA sluit sy deure vir internasionale werke en plaaslik gaan die penne heel waarskynlik ook opdroog. Kan Suid-Afrika dit beskostig?

  • Alice Hendriks-Boshoff

    This is another example of legalised corruption.
    There's a little voice behind my ear, whispering this is going to apply to books written in Afrikaans, some in English and other European languages. Discrimination according to preference, in other words.
    Will all our brothers and sisters be happy with this change? I believe not. What is good for the geese is good for the gander, but not in SA.

  • Is dit werklik so erg? Die meeste boeke kom ook as e-boeke op die mark en kan afgelaai en daarna gekopieer en versprei word (dink maar wat met die musiekbedryf gebeur het), maar dit bly onwettig om die kopieë te verkoop.
    Ek neem aan die lukratiewe skolemark sal verdwyn omdat skole sal hul eie boeke kan druk en uitdeel, dit gaan die groot uitgewers 'n gevoelige knou gee, maar biblioteke sal nog altyd fisiese boeke aankoop. Ek glo ook dat boekwinkels sal voortbestaan aangesien baie mense lief is vir boeke en dit verkies bo 'n tablet of 'n klomp selfgedrukte papiere.
    Die een voordeel wat dalk hieruit gaan voortspruit is dat boeke goedkoper word, op die oomblik is die pryse taamlik hoog en rooflees is dus 'n aantreklike opsie in die huidige swak ekonomiese tyd. Nou sal uitgewers moet kompeteer met eie-gedrukte boeke.
    Gaan skrywers ophou skryf? Nooit! Hoeveel word ryk van hul boeke? Ek reken mens kan die miljoenverkopers op die vingers van jou een hand tel, ons skryf uit liefde vir die taal en omdat ons stories het om te vertel. Dit gaan nie deur hierdie wetgewing gekeer word nie.

  • Kopiereg moet eerder versterk word en nie verder verslap word nie. Kopiereg moet die outeur beskerm.

  • Brand Doubell

    Bernard, my liewe leermeester uit my kinderdae, miskien kan die ministers en hoë staatslui vir ons voorgaan en werk sonder vergoeding. Dink net wat dit vir die land kan beteken.

  • Geen DVD, of e-boek, of kursus sal in SA beskikbaar wees nie. 'n Motorvervaardiger het kopiereg op baie onderdele in sy produkte. Hulle sal net ophou om nuwe produkte na SA uit te voer.

  • Weereens word besluite geneem om korttermyn kleinprentjie doelwitte te bereik en word die moontlike katastrofiese gevolge geïgnoreer. Uiters kortsigtig. Weereens word ons onderwerp aan bullebakkery. Ironies nadat daar kwansuis soveel klem op menseregte geplaas word. En 'n duidelike simptoom van 'n oplossingsdroogte en gebrek aan eie innovasie - "ek het nie 'n idee van my eie nie so nou moet ek maar iemand anders s'n steel."

  • Wat is volgende? Gaan ons maar net wag om soos lapoppe rondgeskop te word? Is 'n petisie genoeg?

  • Paul C Venter

    Dis 'n verdere uitvloeisel van 'n algemene verskynsel in hierdie land: Almal kan skynbaar alles verniet kry ... en die mense wat werk moet daarvoor betaal.

  • These amendments will bring poverty to our authors and prevent them investing their time in creating new works.

  • Archaic thinking at best - it will create a culture drain and publishing will suffer here tremendously. I sincerely hope all publishing houses here get onto this. Next will be all the creative professions; art, music, photography, dance, film, the list goes on.

  • Theresa Papenfus

    This is against the most personal human rights and no civilized community can even consider it.

  • In matters of textual copyright, the views of authors should be given the highest regard. We are the originators of the texts, after all.

  • Although I believe the motive behind this kind of legislation is more specifically the plundering of scientific and technologigal intelllectual property rather than the arts, it remains draconic in essence.

    It is the law of locusts: Thou shalt devour for which thou did not work. Locusts do not care for the barrenness they leave behind. Thy simply move on to the next green patch.

    Doesn't it then, in a sad way, makes sense when a government that brought basic education to the brink of collapse sharpen their teeth for intelledtual fodder of a higher level? It is so much more nourishing.

  • Jotham Mahlangu

    Ngisekela khulu igadango elithethweko ngombana liletha ukutlhayela kwemitlolo nemibono yabanye. Ijima aliragele phambili likhandele ukungatjhejwa kwemibono yabanye bunqopha.

  • I agree there is a need for greater access to created material but this amendment is not the way to achieve it. Copyright is how writers earn a living. Take it away and how many would be able to keep writing? Local work would dwindle and so would foreign works. Leave the copyright laws alone and provide resources for works to reach readers and schools.

  • Woodmansee's definition of a book, dating 1753. This lovely 18th century definition begs for appreciation, because an idea can never reach the public domain without the divine intervention of trade & industry, scholars, artisans and craftsmen. The quote reads as follows: "the scholar, ... the paper-maker, the type-founder and setter, the proof-reader, the publisher and bookbinder, sometimes even the gilder and brass worker" - all of whom are "fed by this branch of manufacture".
    die voorgestelde wetgewing diskrimineer teen outeurs wat vrylik hul idees in die publieke domain plaas.

  • Hoewel vergrype soos dié mens nie meer verbaas nie, bly dit 'n harde realiteit waarmee daar agterna saamgeleef moet word. Dis totale onsin en uiters teenproduktief om iets "reg te maak wat nie stukkend is nie"!

  • Willem J van der Walt

    Veg, Skrywers, veg! Ons het hard gewerk aan wat ons gedoen het. Dis ons s'n. Dêmmit.

  • Corlia Fourie

    The amendments do not make any sense. Why would anybody write a novel, a play, a short story or anything else if you do not have copyright and will not get paid for it.

  • Helene de Kock

    Hierdie is 'n bewys van die totale onbegrip wat klaarblyklik aan die orde van die dag is in verband met die hele konsep van intellektuele eiendomsreg en die implikasies daarvan. The proposed amendment is not only completely unfair but reeks of ignorance.

  • Wat te erg is, is te erg waar dit hierdie nuwe polemiek-gedagte betref! Ek's uiters daarteen gekant. Waar lê die probleem singa ni qondisisi? Ndi funa uku iiqonda lento, ngokuba my land - met 'n hoog getal van ongeletterdes - het skrywers nodig om kommentaar oor hierdie voorstel te lewer. Ndi cela ni mamele. Amabali ze ncwadi bayayazi lento wat hulle praat. Gee skrywers 'n oor. Seblief.

  • Theresa Papenfus

    Dis 'n skande. Dis niks anders as 'n uitbreiding van die aanslag op alles wat privaat is en die skending van die mees basiese regte en grense nie. So 'n wysiging behoort geen oomblik lank in 'n beskaafde samelewing oorweeg te word nie.

  • This proposal will be the beginning of the end of the local publishing industry and all its affiliates. Nothing good will come by legalising fraudulence and theft, regardless of reason, interest, cause, agenda or ideology.

  • Leon Nell, at the moment the local publishing industry is monopolised by the two big ones, don't you think loosening their stranglehold a bit might be a good thing in the long run? I think small publishers, who mostly concentrate on leisure books (ref Small Publishers' Guide), will not be affected so much by this legislation, as "fair use" does apply and copied works may not be sold for gain or profit. It will, however, greatly benefit education if schools don't have to pay a fortune for text and prescribed books.
    If you're going to bang your head against a wall over this, have you considered second hand book stores? Authors get no royalties for their work no matter how many times it changes hands.

  • Leon van Nierop

    Ek maak ten sterkste beswaar teen hierdie ernstige vergryp wat skrywers en uitgewers gruwelik kan benadeel.

  • francois verster

    'n Aanval op individuele regte is ondemokraties en daarom onwettig in 'n nie-kommunistiese land, waar inisiatief deur versmorende staatsbeheer vernietig word. Die kunstenaars van hierdie land word reeds deur belasting ondergrawe en nou wil die korrupte regime hulle finaal begrawe, vir hulle en almal wat vernuwend dink en doen. Helaas, die Orwelliaanse Era is op hande.

  • Louise Combrink

    Ek is sterk gekant teen die beplande wysigings. As skrywer behoort ek eienaarskap van my intellektuele eiendom te behou. Enige aanslag daarteen behoort beveg te word.

  • Ons sal letterlik en figuurlik sonder woorde - en sonder geld- sit. Ek dink aan Raka wat nie kon praat nie en die kultuur van die stam verwoes het. Ek dink ook aan Koki wat probeer keer het en die ou vrou wat Koki se gebreekte liggaam skoongemaak het. Al wat ek weet is dat ons nie moet toelaat dat ons woorde en idees gesteel word nie. Ons mag nie stilgemaak word nie.

  • Ek is maar 'n klein vissie in die see,maar ter wille van al die skrywers wat deur hul boeke 'n bydrae tot ons taal lewer, maak ek ten sterkste beswaar teen die voorgestelde wetsontwerp. Dit grens aan steel!

  • Malcolm Bowie

    The proposals are unfair and exploit, even abuse authors in South Africa. All authors wish to enrich the South African public with concepts, theories, arguments and views, as well as different ways to see things and stimulate the application of the readers' minds.

    Creativity and writing stimulates visions, cultural and though exchange and opens avenues for further growth development and industry.

    Every teacher is an author, yet not always willing to share their work and every author shares their work with teachers, learners and the interested members of the public. Authors are in all spheres of culture and deserve their value benefited by those that use their work and ideas.

  • Willem steenkamp

    Let's call the beast by its proper name: theft. Nothing more, nothing less. This isn't about greater access for poor people, or redressing the effects of apartheid, or getting rid of colonialism or fighting global warming, for that matter. It's about the theft of intellectual property, about thought control, about facilitating the opportunities for self-enrichment by the crooks with which South Africa is so richly endowed. Take the likely example of a novel or factual book which is prescribed for schools, and is then hijacked and copied without any royalties being paid. Some alleged publishing firm consisting of a table in a backroom and a cheap cell phone will then win a government "tender" to print all those thousands of "free" hijacked books at an exorbitant price. Everybody scores except the person who spent years writing the book and,of course, the taxpayers (of whom he or she is one). Prove to me this wouldn't happen. The whole thing is, in a nutshell, an act of barbarism.

  • carla van der Spuy

    Hoekom sal skrywers wat reeds bars om 'n bestaan te maak, hoegenaamd nog skryf? Die dag gaan kom dat mens net boeke in museums gaan sien.

  • Jeanette Ferreira

    I am not convinced that Government could improve educational standards in South Africa by this act. The publishing industry creates jobs. Someone still has to come up with figures to prove that copyright is at the root of the problem in a population of which nearly five million citizens are illiterate and about fourty five percent of the population have not reached an adequate level of education.

  • We object to the proposed weakening of one's copyright protection. We rely on royalties to supplement a small pension that is not enough to keep body and soul together. If the envisaged new copyright legislation permits educational institutions to copy materials that one worked so hard to create, this will be tantamount to aiding and abetting the stealing of one's intellectual property.

  • Lizette Geldenhuys

    Hoekom word intellektuele eiendomsreg geteiken? Ek dink dit vorm deel van 'n groter plan om onderrig verniet te kry, want as die kolleges en universiteite nie vir hulle boeke hoef te betaal nie beteken dit dat die studente dit verniet kan kry. As hierdie wetgewing goedgekeur word moet almal wat in Suid-Afrika werk, sonder vergoeding werk, want dit is wat nou van ons skrywers verwag word om ons harde werk verniet weg te gee.

  • Merle Chalmers

    The bill will legalise what is already happening at schools et al: educational material, including all LTSM, blatantly copied for years as DoE's not allocating Educational budget to Provinces. Cast your minds back to Limpopo dumping text books in a river to boot. As corrupt as they come.
    Educational publishers suffered and are still and many closed down while others ventured into digital publishing instead to counter the non-spend of allocated budgets. This move will force all our educational publishers to shut their doors too.
    And at what cost to the next generation of learners.

  • Wilhelm Schack

    Beteken moderering sensuur?
    This bill is another manifestation of the epic battle between the have's and the have's not. Subject matter is the grey matter of politicians!

  • This petition against such an ill-conceived Bill is of value and an important mechanism, but will probably not be enough to bring government to its senses. Other forms of protest should be designed parallel to this action.

  • Etienne Vivier

    Ons word alreeds oormatig belas van alle kante af. Die regering se prioriteit behoort te wees om welvaart en vooruitgang te bevorder, nie te belemmer nie. Mens is veronderstel om te leer uit jou foute, nie dit heeltyd te herhaal nie.

  • Hendie Grobbelaar

    Ek is nie naastenby in dieselfde liga as skrywers wat gevaar loop om deur hierdie wetgewing verarm te word nie, maar ek weet hierdie is net 'n stappie nader om alle intellektuele eiendom te roof. My magtie, skrywers sweet al klaar bloed om iewers te kom en 'n lewe te maak!

  • Erika Murray-Theron

    Ek maak ten sterkste beswaar teen hierdie skokkende voorgestelde wetgewing. Afgesien daarvan dat dit 'n skandalige miskenning is van die agbaarheid en waarde van die bydrae van mense wat hulle met woorde besig hou, sal dit beteken dat daar gediskrimineer word teen van die laagsbetaalde professionele mense in die land, wat so koelbloedig uitgebuit en beroof sal word.

  • The proposed legislation is not even in the interest of government - they will simply loose yet another source of tax revenue.

  • Jelleke Wierenga

    Ja wel, as grond sonder vergoeding geneem (gesteel) kan word, waarom nie ook intellektuele eiendom nie? Dis geen geheim dat ons in 'n land vol "kamerade", "kaders" en korrupsie woon nie en op pad is na 'n kommunistiese bestel.

  • Leon Kromhout

    The Copyright Amendment Bill does not strike a fair balance between the interests of the authors and the interests of the “users” of copyright works. It is not in line with international copyright treaties. I strongly object to its adoption.

  • Peter Wentworth

    Interestingly, software falls under copyright law rather than patent law. So it could potentially have a devastating effect on the software development industry. Many big businesses and banks carry huge asset numbers on their balance sheets for the "value of their software systems". If we step out of line with international treaties on Intellectual Property it will be interesting to ask whether it means we can now legally pirate Windows software, and pirate externally produced TV shows, movies, music, books, etc.

  • Theresa Papenfus

    As enigiemand oor die ware bedoeling van hierdie regering getwyfel het, maak hierdie voorgestelde wetgewing dit duidelik. Die rookskerms is weg. Dis 'n verskriklike aanslag op die mees private terrein, deur 'n regering wat alles en almal wil beheer en besit. Dit is meer as skokkend. Dis totaal onaanvaarbaar in enige beskaafde samelewing. Stop die waansin!

  • Totally against the content of the proposed Bill. It will have a negative artistic and financial impact on writers. Sommer bog wat teen alle internasionale wetgewing en gebruike uitgedink is. The problem with such 'communistic' ideas (read your artistic and intellectual abilities belongs to the State) is that if your neighbour's cow die or gets old and stop producing milk, you sit without it. Die wet wil die skrywers droog melk.

  • Onaanvaarbaar, die land se kinders is reeds so ondergeletterd, nou moet die mense wie harde werk en lang ure insit om vir leesstof te sorg ook nog ingedoen word. Nee a!

  • Piet.Moselakgomo

    The Copyright Amendment Bill does not strike a fair balance between the interests of the authors and the interests of the “users” of copyright works. It is not in line with international copyright treaties. I hope our politicians / lawmakers understand the words:does not strike a fair balance. I object to its adoption.

  • Tarina Jozefowicz

    This is unacceptable. The bill was probably passed to allow the government to copy prescribed school textbooks without compensation or legal consequences, but it will inevitably make publishers think twice before publishing new literary works. That in turn could silence many of the voices of our younger storytellers, impoverish our rich and varied literary culture, and have dire consequences for all creatives down the line. What's next? Art? Music?

  • francois verster

    Mary Sadler, surely nobody gets a fortune from prescribed books, but writers could at least have something to look forward to (until SARS hits them) by "scoring" once or twice in their lives, and so get to concentrate on what they do best. Why begrudge them that, but most of all, this is not just here the new act will impact on the arts - for instance, if the big publishing houses should fold, who will sponsor literary prizes, etc.? Certainly not this clueless, parasitical regime. Our arts should be sponsored, not undermined.

  • I saw this coming a mile away, since every Tom , Dick and Harry want to write a book, what a shame for the real authors.

  • Ann Theunissen

    This Bill is a cover for more stealing. It is unethical. My book is my intellectual property and not available for criminals. Thank you for your help and support.

  • Gareth Griffiths

    In my capacity as Convenor of the Oversight Committee of the Southern Africa Freelancers' Association (SAFREA) we register our strong disapproval of the Draft Copyright Amendment Bill in its current form. Our esteemed member, the late Geof Kirby, went to considerable lengths to point out the blatant prejudices that this Draft and its predecessor and current Act (the Copyright Act of 1978) hold for authors and originators of work, especially in the audio, photographic, videographic, and other visual art forms.

    The inclusion of Section 21(C) is, in particular, a sinister move which will protect and entrench the rights of big business. In its current permutation, the proposed amendment to Section 21(C) seems to have worsened in that it blatantly flies in the face of international copyright agreements, not the least of which is the famous Berne Convention of 1886, to which South Africa is a signatory.

    We further petition the South African Parliament to urgently reconsider the introduction of a Fair Use principle, which in our view will further erode the common law rights of authors who stand the most to lose. We join with the sentiments expressed by the organisations who have sponsored this petition.

  • Theresa Papenfus

    Dis 'n skande. Enige intellektuele eiendom kom hiermee in gedrang - akademiese werk ook. Dis gewoon onteiening sonder vergoeding en sonder erkenning. Die einde van die regte van gewone mense.

  • Louise Barretto

    An emphatic NO to this Bill. Worldwide, 'fair use' has impoverished creatives, and enriched lawyers.

  • Peter van Niekerk

    It is in the interest of all photographers to object to this bill. We have for many years been fighting for section 21c to be changed to give photographers their rightful ownership of their creative work. This latest modification of section 21c does photographers and many other creative practitioners even more harm, and deprives them of almost all control over their work ... It also deprives photographers of any opportunity of making a resonable living out of their profession.

  • Dis kwansuis bedoel om opvoedkundige doeleindes te dien. In die praktyk gaan dit nie net skrywers en uitgewers benadeel nie, dit sal ook bydra tot opvoedkundige verskraling en algemene verdomming. Want wat gaan gebeur, is dat grepe uit langer werke uit konteks gehaal gaan word en in werkboeke gepubliseer word. Studente se blootstelling aan enigiets langer as 140 karakters sal algaande verdwyn.
    This measure will not only damage publishers and writers, it will add to the general dumbing down of students. Brief extracts from longer works will be taken out of context and stuck into workbooks. Over time students will read nothing longer than a brief message devised by a twit.

  • If rights are taken from the author/artist, obviously it will impact negatively. How can they not see this? Not the long term or the short term of this will benefit anyone in this country.

  • Dit is myns insiens korrup en skelm! Die onderdrukking van my skeppingsvermoë en intelligensie. Wat wil daarmee bereik word? Almal onttrek om net weer "nuwe" outeurs geleentheid te gee?

  • Natasha Mostert

    Do you know how to spell T-H-E-F-T? This is not only madness it is deeply unjust. Writing is not a hobby. Writing is extremely hard work and for most authors the financial pay-off is already modest. If you pass this bill, you deny writers their livelihood. How can you justify appropriating the intellectual property of someone who is simply trying to make a living?

  • I am busy writing a few books, looks like I will have to rewrite removing a South African slang and publish over seas and deprive SAns of my work, this whole concept was obviously created. by total wuckfits.

  • I also completely endorse the stand taken by the publishing industry and all artists against the proposed Copyright Amendment Bill. It will discourage us, the writers (and artists) from creating stories (and images) about the rich and diverse culture of our country.

  • Carel en Petru Trichardt

    Die W O L F is alweer aan die krap en karring. Daar mag nie meer varkies in sy maag beland nie. Vertrou net ons huis is van klip gebou en nie van strooi en takkies nie! Vat hom Flaffie. Voeg asb ons name by die lys.

  • Trichardt Petru en Carel

    Vat aan ons kunstenaars dan vat jy aan die hartklop van 'n land en sy mense.
    Wat gaan nog alles plat geblaas word! Laat ons hard en ook verwoestend terugblaas.

  • Nick Matzukis

    This Bill is not only a litany of poor, ill-considered policy that will rob creatives of their livelihoods, it is also a procedural travesty of epic proportions. No impact study, no true consultation and above all, the placing of the interests of the technology sector over those of the creative sector. It is an international embarrassment.

  • The Bill is an ill-considered step in the wrong direction. If need be, it must be challenged in court.

  • Lee Richter (Rossini)

    Some of the sections of the Bill are contrary to the Constitution which protects the right of citizens to work and thereby earn a living. What is the point of writing academic and educational textbooks if they can be copied?

  • Tommy Ferreira

    Through the ages we have learned through writings. The biggest breakthrough of humankind - second only to language. Writing has always imparted knowledge and communication.
    Nazis burned books on "Kristallnacht" - is this where our country is heading? - are authors to be burned out of existence?!

    This will result in authors seeking alternative means of survival (income). How will this country then be able to educate the youth? Corruption must be eradicated - not authors! Homegrown books are imperative with homegrown (local) knowledge, or does the government want us to become "intellectually colinised"? What will future generations have to say about that?


  • Rolien Buhrmann

    The proposed Bill is unfair. It will kill innovation and deprive those who make a living from creating content of an income and of the motivation to continue to produce. It will lower the standards of academic writing and of education as a whole.

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