The National Assembly Passed the Copyright Amendment Bill, the Performers’ Protection Amendment Bill and the Gambling Amendment Bill

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The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies says the three Amendment Bills that were passed by the National Assembly on Wednesday, 5 November will bring a positive regulatory framework in South Africa. 

“The Copyright Amendment Bill will reform the copyright regime in South Africa for rights holders in the literary, musical, audiovisual, and the visual artistic works. The Performer’s Protection Amendment Bill addresses the economic rights and protection of performers”, says Minister Davies.  

The Copyright Amendment Bill, 2017 amends the Copyright Act of 1978. The purpose of the Bill is to protect the economic interests of authors and creators of copyright works against infringement and to promote innovation and creative activities.

“The Bill seeks to amongst others, provide for the share in royalties regarding literary or musical works, visual artistic works, audiovisual works and resale royalty right for visual artistic works . The Bill also provides for the accreditation of Collecting Societies. Furthermore, it allows fair use of copyright works.  The Bill provides exceptions such as in copyright works, educational and academic activities, protection of computer programs, libraries, archives, museums and galleries,” states Davies.

Minister Davies adds that the Copyright Amendment Bill also provides for access to copyright works by persons with disabilities and strengthens the powers and functions of the Copyright Tribunal. It also provides for prohibited conduct in respect of technological protection measures. 

The Performers’ Protection Amendment Bill, 2016 amends the Performers’ Protection Act of 1967.  Minister Davies indicates that amongst others, the Bill provides for the transfer of rights where a performer consent to fixation of a performance.

“This Bill strengthens the contractual arrangements amongst contracting parties by providing standard contractual terms but not the contract itself. The Bill include the protection of rights of producers of sound recordings. It provides for performers’ economic rights. In addition, the Bill, extends moral rights to performers in audiovisual fixations (actors). It provides for royalties or equitable remuneration to be payable when a performance is sold or rented out. The Bill also provides for the recordal and reporting of certain acts,” highlights Minister Davies.

Minister Davies indicates that the Gambling Amendment Bill amends the National Gambling Act No 7 of 2004 in order to ensure effective governance and management of the National Gambling Regulator, which will replace the National Gambling Board. 

“The National Gambling Policy Council (NGPC) has on many occasions struggled to achieve a quorum, which caused delays to approve policy positions. The Amendment Bill recommends that if there is no quorum at a meeting, in the next meeting, the motion may be passed by the majority of the members present in that meeting,” says Minister Davies.

The Amendment Bill provides for the extension of National Central Electronic Monitoring System (NCEMS) operations to casinos, bingos or betting activities.  Minister Davies says this will place the NGR directly responsible for the data from the source device and ensure that the NGR accounts for statistical data obtained directly. 

Minister Davies states that the Gambling Amendment Bill is also strengthening the National Gambling Regulator in terms of illegal/unlicensed gambling.

“Furthermore, the Amendment Bill recommends that the confiscated unlawful winnings be forfeited to the NGR without approaching the courts.  The Bill will also empower the inspectors to work with provinces, banks, internet service providers and other institutions to ensure that unlicensed gambling is eradicated.  In addition, the NGR will be required to keep a register of unlicensed operators,” emphasises Minister Davies.

The Bills will be referred to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for further consultations and deliberation.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.