This Bill has been opposed consistently by national and international voices from the book sector. It was rejected by the President of South Africa based on precise defects and on substantiated doubts about its constitutionality. A long process followed, but the defective provisions have remained unaddressed despite semantic changes. Writers and the whole publishing and book industry stand united against an ill-constructed Bill that can jeopardize South African literary diversity and educational content production.

We are deeply disappointed by the possibility of seeing irreversible damage happen, but we keep our trust in South African policy makers’ ability to protect the South African book and publishing sector with laws that respect the South African Constitution and the international treaties that you have committed to respect.

The most problematic aspect of the Bill remains the excessive and defective system of exceptions & limitations, which will prevent the establishment of a fair marketplace for books and is especially penalizing for literary, educational and academic copyrighted works. This is the result of an unprecedent, overbroad fair use provision in S.12A, which remains unwarranted and is void of the guardrails imposed by international law. This is exacerbated by numerous other exceptions & limitations in S. 12B, C and D and S. 19C that remain unjustified by undermining the exclusive rights of reproduction, translation and adaptation, which are the legal bedrock of the book sector.

The legal uncertainty resulting from these overbroad exceptions & limitations to copyright protection makes unauthorized access to copyrighted works the rule rather than the exception, therefore compromising the sustainability of a rich and diverse South African literary and book sector.

For this reason, we are asking the National Assembly not to adopt the Copyright Amendment Bill on Thursday.


The International Authors Forum (IAF) is the voice of authors worldwide, it is a membership body for organisations representing professional creators all over the world. It was formed by a collaboration of author’s organisations in 2013 to ensure that professional creators can work together to deal with the challenges they face. With over 85 authors and visual artists organisations as members, the IAF represents over 750,000 professional creators in the world.

IFRRO, the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations, is the global industry body for collective management organisations in the text/image sector. We facilitate, on an international basis, the collective management of reproduction and other rights in text and image works through the co-operation of our 150+ member organisations drawn from more than 85 countries around the world. IFRRO members represent many millions of authors, visual artists, and publishers of books, journals, newspapers, magazines, and printed music. Throughout the world, IFRRO members stimulate creativity, diversity and investment in cultural goods as a useful tool for rightsholders, consumers, especially from the educational sector, the economy, and society as a whole.

The International Publishers Association (IPA) is the world’s largest federation of publishers associations with 101 members in 81 countries, including the Publishers Association of South Africa, PASA.
Established in 1896, the IPA is an industry body with a human rights mandate. The IPA’s mission is to promote and protect publishing and to raise awareness of publishing as a force for economic, cultural and social development. Working in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and numerous international NGOs, the IPA champions the interests of book and journal publishing at national and supranational level. Internationally, the IPA actively opposes censorship and promotes copyright, freedom to publish (including through the IPA Prix Voltaire), and literacy.

STM supports members in their mission to advance research worldwide. Our over 140 members based in over 20 countries around the world collectively publish 66% of all journal articles and tens of thousands of monographs and reference works. As academic and professional publishers, learned societies, university presses, start- ups and established players we work together to serve society by developing standards and technology to ensure research is of high quality, trustworthy and easy to access. We promote the contribution that publishers make to innovation, openness and the sharing of knowledge and embrace change to support the growth and sustainability of the research ecosystem. As a common good, we provide data and analysis for all involved in the global activity of research.