Group urges Ramaphosa to sign copyright Bills
Publish date: 10 February 2020
Issue Number: 859
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa
In an open letter on the Mail & Guardian Online site, a group of individuals and organisations representing teachers, students, librarians, filmmakers, actors, musicians, game developers, journalists, freedom of expression activists, disability rights activists and others, have urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to immediately sign into law the Copyright Amendment Bill and Performers’ Protection Bill, passed by Parliament almost a year ago. ‘We are aware of the considerable publicity in the media focused on opposition to the Bills by certain interest groups and foreign governments. We understand that this may have exercised your mind a great deal and that this might be responsible for the delay. We are also alert to the public debate on the constitutionality of the Bills. We are nevertheless of the view that the Bills are constitutional,’ the group says in its letter. The authors claim the ‘legislation is vital to achieve the objectives of promoting inclusive economic growth, broadening access to education and creating jobs’. They add that the Bills are vital to propel us forward into the fourth industrial revolution with South Africans as contributors, not passive subjects’.