DTI Shines Light on Regulation of Collecting Societies

Department of Trade and Industry

The concluding of reciprocal agreements by local collecting societies with their counterparts in other jurisdictions is an area that requires legislative intervention.

The trade and industry department declared this during a briefing to the subcommittee on the Copyright Amendment Bill.

The department added that reciprocal agreements must generate value to members of collecting societies. If not, the agreements should not be entered into so as to avoid one way royalty trafficking.

The portfolio committee on trade and industry set up the subcommittee last year.

The bill was tabled in parliament in May 2017.

It seeks to amend the Copyright Act of 1978.

Cabinet approved the bill in June 2015 to be released for comment.

In a statement released at the time, cabinet indicated that amendments to the act were necessary as it did not refer to digital issues relating to copyright.

The bill aims to amend the Copyright Act in order to:

•    define certain words and expressions;
•    allow for the reproduction of copyright work;
•    provide for the protection of copyright in artistic work;
•    provide for the accreditation and registration of Collecting Societies;
•    provide for the procedure for settlement of royalties disputes;
•    allow fair use of copyright work;
•    provide for access to copyright works by persons with disabilities;
•    provide for the protection of authorship of orphan works by the State;
•    provide for the establishment of the Intellectual Property Tribunal;
•    provide for the appointment of members of the Intellectual Property Tribunal;
•    provide for the powers and functions of the Intellectual Property Tribunal;
•    provide for prohibited conduct in respect of technological protection measures;
•    provide for prohibited conduct in respect of copyright management information;
•    provide for management of digital rights;
•    provide for certain new offences; and
•    provide for matters connected therewith.

During the briefing, the department also pointed out that collecting societies or a system of collective management of rights should be regarded as mechanisms to unify currently fragmented creative sectors.

The department also added that a directive indicating whether it or the science and technology department would be given the legislative mandate on indigenous knowledge still had to be developed.

Sabinet Cape Town Office