Parliament’s trade & industry committee is in the final stages of adopting the controversial Copyright Amendment Bill despite strong opposition by academics and those in the industry who claim it would deter investment. The committee was due to sit on Thursday night to go through the bill clause by clause as a prelude to its final adoption. Copyright lawyers, publishers, broadcasters and recording companies objected to the bill both on substantive grounds and because of its poor drafting during 10 days of public hearings in 2017. More than 70 submissions on the bill — first gazetted in July 2016 — were received by the committee which established a technical task team to redraft it. Apart from technical amendments, there have not been substantive changes to the provisions of the original bill. There was a general consensus during the pubic hearings that SA had good copyright legislation but that it needed to be updated to take account of technological developments. Instead the bill p...

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