A lobby group has urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to reject the contentious Copyright Amendment Bill saying that if signed into law, it will amount to the expropriation of local content without compensation. The Coalition for Effective Copyright in SA has vowed it will approach the Constitutional Court should the president sign the bill into law. Parliament recently approved the bill, which is now awaiting Ramaphosa’s signature before becoming law. But copyright lawyers, publishers, broadcasters and recording companies, who make up the coalition, objected to the bill both on content and poor drafting. There was a general consensus during the public hearings that SA has good copyright legislation but that it needs to be updated to take account of technological developments. Instead, the bill proposes changing the country’s copyright regime. One of the more contentious aspects of the bill is its introduction of the “fair use” principle used in the US and favoured by Google, which, i...

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