In a submission delivered by hand on Friday (27 January 2023) to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), one of the two Houses of Parliament in South Africa, EIFL urged the NCOP to support adoption of the Copyright Amendment Bill [B13D - 2017] (CAB) as soon as possible. EIFL commended the CAB for representing a fair balance between the interests of rights holders and the public, and for its compliance with the international instruments to which South Africa is a party.
EIFL’s comments noted that the CAB would -
- Support online teaching and teaching in the digital age.
- Enable libraries and other cultural heritage institutions to preserve South Africa's rich creative expression for future generations, and safeguard it from natural and man-made disasters like floods and fires.
- Boost library services to persons with print disabilities by implementing the Marrakesh Treaty for persons with print disabilities.
The Copyright Amendment Bill [B13D - 2017] (CAB) was passed by the National Assembly, South Africa’s other House, on 1 September 2022. It is now with the National Council of Provinces for a new round of public consultations. The CAB was originally opened for public comment in 2015, and has undergone multiple rounds of consultation, discussion and drafts (see the CAB's history and timeline). EIFL has made submissions and commented at different stages of the CAB’s progress:
- September 2015 - EIFL submitted comments to South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry in response to a public consultation on the CAB.
- February 2019 - EIFL submitted comments to the NCOP in response to a call for written submissions by interested individuals and stakeholders
- August 2020 - EIFL submitted a letter to the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry of the National Assembly expressing strong support for the exceptions in the CAB.
- July 2021 - EIFL submitted comments to the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry of the National Assembly in response to the President’s reservations about the CAB.