COSATU notes the National Assembly’s passage of the Copyright Amendment Bill

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) notes the National Assembly’s passage of the Copyright Amendment Bill.

This is a progressive Bill that will help ensure that indigent learners and students, as well as educational institutions and libraries have access to often exorbitantly unaffordable educational materials.  It will benefit learners and students with disabilities who are faced with numerous barriers to educational materials.  Access to education is a fundamental constitutional right.  A growing economy is based upon a society where all have access to education and learning material.  COSATU salutes the tireless efforts of its affiliate, the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union to champion this Bill.

Having recently emerged from a global pandemic, it is clear to all sober persons that fair access to copyright is critical to ensuring the survival of millions by allowing them access to affordable medicines.  Profits should not be elevated above the lives of ordinary South Africans. 

COSATU welcomes the efforts by President Ramaphosa and the Portfolio Committee: Trade, Industry and Competition to address constitutional concerns with regards to how the Bill was passed by the 5th Parliament and certain provisions in the Bill.  The efforts to address these concerns in a manner that strengthens the progressive objectives of the Bill is appreciated. 

It is hoped that these additional amendments strengthen the provisions in the Bill to ensure that ordinary musicians, artists, performers, composers and authors’ rights to earn a living are protected.  South Africa has seen far too many cultural workers robbed of their hard earned livings and die in poverty.

The Federation looks forward to the National Council of Provinces’ further deliberations of the Bill and its eventual passage by Parliament. 

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks-Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687