According to its publisher, Copyright Reform or Reframe? comprehensively identifies the provisions of the Bills that are problematic. These amount to most of the new sections and amendments that the Copyright Amendment Bill proposes to introduce to the Copyright Act, including the introduction of “fair use” and extensive exceptions, a 25-year limit on assignments of copyright, the imposition of statutory royalty benefits attaching to copyright ownership, and undermining of contractual freedom.


One of the authors, André Myburgh, who has been an adviser to both the IPA and its South African member PASA, believes that the major revelations in Copyright Reform or Reframe? that go to the heart of the problem with the Bills are that there is no written policy backing this controversial legislation and that there is no research or impact assessment supporting the introduction of a radical brand of “fair use” and dispossessive copyright exceptions. Research that the Government has cited to support the Bills has been found either to say nothing on the topic or even to say that the case has not been made.


Despite the claim that the Bills will bring South African law into the digital age, the authors write that it will do nothing of the sort. According to Myburgh “If the copyright bill becomes law, it will permit certain forms of piracy, prevent copyright owners from blocking infringing content, and give away copyright content for re-use by tech companies. It will even allow de facto confiscation of copyright content by Ministerial fiat.”


At the time of writing, the Bills are still before the upper house of Parliament.


You can read Copyright Reform or Reframe? for free on Juta’s on-line platform at


IPA’s member in South Africa, PASA, has produced a paper on the absence of impact assessment: