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Freedom Front Plus

No to Gauteng’s support of Copyright and Performers Protection Amendment Bills

The FF Plus strongly opposes the Gauteng Legislature’s support of the Copyright and Performers Protection Amendment Bills and will submit a minority report on it to the Legislature.

It will highlight the irrationality and destructive consequences of the Bills. It will also be valuable for future litigation against the proposed legislation.

The Legislature’s Economic Development Committee supports the Bills.

The strange legal principle of “Fair use” in the Copyright Bill lies at the root of problem. This principle does not exist in South African law and will be used to dilute copyright.

Third parties will be allowed to use original work without paying for it. It comes down to a form of expropriation without compensation and could destroy the media and other related industries.

In response to the Bills, numerous international investors in the local film, television, publication, publishing and information technology industries have indicated that they will withdraw from the country or, at the very least, make no further investments.

It is unacceptable that the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, which drafted the legislation, did not perform a proper economic impact study.

The only study focused on what impact the Bills will have on government.

This flawed impact study was, furthermore, not presented to Cabinet when the Bills were tabled for approval in 2016.

This means the ANC is busy steamrollering through dangerous bills without taking the destructive consequences thereof into account.

Along with other senseless laws, policy and mismanagement causing great damage to the economy, these Bills will simply sow destruction.

One ray of hope is that the Committee took the FF Plus’s warning seriously and recommended that the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) must conduct an economic impact study.

The FF Plus is, however, not holding its breath hoping that it will happen seeing as an unbiased study will certainly confirm the irrationality of the Bills and could put a stop to their implementation.

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