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The 2017 Copyright Amendment Bill’s ‘B’ version 

EFA responded to the Select Committee on Trade and International Relations in February with comments on the 2017 Copyright Amendment Bill’s ‘B’ version.

We pointed out that SMEs in particular need a robust IP regime to prevent larger companies purloining their copyright particularly in a global ecommerce market. And we asked, would this Bill provide adequate protection? Many experts have suggested that it will not do so. The select Committee intended to hold a public hearing, but we now learn that the Bill is likely to be pushedthrough Parliament this month and will not be subjected to more public hearings.

Parliament wants to adopt the Bill on 20 March, since the National Assembly’s five-year term is scheduled to end on that day. Many critics of the Bill point out that it weakens IP protection, fails to grapple with digitalization, commissioned works, contractual freedom or fair use and (in a move that will please online music and book sellers providers) reduces the copyright protection for musical or literary works to 25 years.The DTI’s full, 137-page response document is available from the Department on request.

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Shahrain Coovadia

Shahrain Coovadia is a Cyber Security Consultant at Deloitte, South Africa. Prior to joining Deloitte she started a web-design studio, and worked at the University of Cape Town as a teaching facilitator. Shahrain graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Commerce Honours specialising in Information Systems. She currently facilitates web & database management for Ecommerce Forum South Africa (EFSA).

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