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DCC Comments on South Africa’s Copyright Law

The Authors Guild and other national creator groups provided comments to the Office of the United States Trade Representative concerning South Africa’s IP rights practices. In our comments, we noted for the Trade Representative that South Africa’s inadequate and ineffective copyright practices, which are not only hurting local creators but also leaving U.S. copyrighted works vulnerable to theft and unauthorized access. South Africa is one of the few countries where the term of copyright protection is 50 years. It has also failed to ratify or fully implement important global treaties like the WIPO Copyright Treaty. In addition, there are bills currently pending in South Africa that, if enacted into law, would permit extensive use of copyright-protected content without authorization or payment. The exceptions contained in these bills are afield of the “fair use” and “fair dealing” norms accepted in the United States and European countries. We have asked the U.S. government to exert pressure on the South African government to prevent further erosion of IP rights in the country.

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