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Copy Right Bill to protect musicians' royalties - DTI

Aug 20 2017 17:52

Cape Town - The Copyright Amendment Bill, which currently serves before Parliament, will urgently address the non-payment of royalties to musicians, said Director-General of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Lionel October. 

October was briefing the Trade and Industry Portfolio Committee on the DTI's inputs and responses for submissions on Copyright Amendment Bill 2017 in Parliament last week. 

READ: New Copyright Bill may negatively impact publishers - PASA

The Copyright Amendment Bill intends to address and resolve issues arising from the findings of the Farlam Copyright Review Commission. These issues include the non-payment of royalties, lack of formalisation of the creative industry and the related abuse, incidence of piracy, and moral and economic rights of performers related to audiovisual fixations.

"As we indicated to the Portfolio Committee, the DTI received more than 70 submissions on the Bill and we are now going into the final stages of developing the final Copyright Bill.  As a way forward, we are proposing that we agree that a special drafting committee be formed to draft a new Bill taking into account all the inputs,” said October.

According to October, the portfolio committee has agreed that the Department must go back to the original Farlam Commission and prioritise the issues raised in that report. He said the committee also agreed to deal with as many issues as they can but that the department requested them to prioritise the musicians as they are not getting paid.

READ: The music industry moves into the 21st century 

“The SABC is sitting with hundreds of millions of rands which should be benefiting our artists, and that was the main reason President Jacob Zuma convened a meeting with them in 2009 to address their concerns, and the reason why the DTI set up Farlam Commission," October said.

"We want to say that our first prize is for us to deal with all the issues in the report, secondly, deal with the musicians and artists, then deal with the collecting society, the regulations so that our musicians can get paid for their artistic work,” added October.

The department has also seconded the advocate Johan Strydom, which October calls the "most experience drafter of copyright law, who will assist in drafting the new legislation. The department would want to complete and submit the Bill in the new year so that it can be tabled at the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

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