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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Business Day by Pri Hollis.]

The department of trade and industry’s reckless pursuit of the Copyright Amendment Bill will have disastrous consequences for SA creative industries. Due to the unspecified “fair use” clauses in the current bill, artists will have no protection from rampant plagiarism, which favours those who seek to exploit original content without creating it or investing in it.

At face value, amendments to the bill imply “fair use” of work in the pursuit of education or dissemination of information. However, the bill goes too far and will ultimately work against SA content producers. In the publishing industry alone, PwC’s economic impact assessment projects a 30% reduction of sales and a loss of jobs equating to R2.1bn per annum.

A recent symposium by the Academic Non-Fiction Authors’ Association of SA (Anfasa) at the University of Witwatersrand showed the frustration felt by scholarly writers and publishers over the bill. With the marked global prevalence of predatory journals and the recently launched, open-access science initiative Plan S, intellectual property concerns and appropriately incentivised opportunities for knowledge producers are made more vulnerable by “fair use” clauses, particularly in the SA context as a developing country with valuable, original content.

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South Africa at a Glance
58 780 000 (mid 2018 estimate)
4.5% y/y in June 2019 (CPI) & +5.8 y/y in June 2019 (PPI)
-3.2% q/q (1st quarter of 2019)
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