The Department of Trade and Industry’s shock proposal to reduce significantly the scope of the Copyright Amendment Bill by limiting the application of its fair use clauses has been shot down by Parliament’s trade and industry portfolio committee, which has decided to rewrite the bill with the aid of a panel of technical experts. A special committee task team has been established to undertake the revision. MPs from all parties present at the committee’s meeting late last week expressed frustration and anger at the department’s proposal, which came after 10 days of hearings and the consideration of about 70 submissions on the bill that many believe was poorly drafted and required substantial reworking. The bill aims to modernise SA’s outdated copyright law to deal with the digital age. Department of Trade and Industry director-general Lionel October proposed that legislation on copyright be divided into two phases — with the first phase focusing predominantly on the core recommendatio...

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