In consultation with our member in South Africa, the Publishers Association of South Africa (PASA), the IPA made a submission on 15 September to the South African government’s consultation on its proposed Copyright Amendment Bill. IPA consistently reinforces the message that local authors and local publishers are important strategic resources, and that governments should foster and encourage them whenever possible. Local creators are the lifeblood of all knowledge economies, and are all the more precious for the future of developing nations.
Our submission to the South African government stressed that, by nurturing its local copyright and creative industries, South Africa had the opportunity to become a net exporter of knowledge-based goods. But if it chose to weaken its copyright laws so that creators and publishers are rewarded less for their efforts, then the chances will increase that South African readers and students will depend on content produced in other countries where creators are adequately remunerated, creativity is respected and investment is supported.
The IPA submission, which you can read here, is divided into sections dealing with the WIPO Marrakesh Treaty, the proposed introduction of a US-style ‘Fair Use’ exception, the removal of contractual override, compulsory translations, and criminalizing copyright holders. One section that links to another story in this IPA Newsletter is to do with the proposed broadening of exceptions in the education sector. Our submission points to the unintended but serious consequences that can occur when a local publishing industry is squeezed too far by broadened exceptions, as is the case in Canada. The PwC report into the Canadian experience is also included in the September Newsletter.