Why fears about 'fair use' copyright law are unfounded
Over the past two weeks, I have been participating in a series of events and workshops explaining copyright "fair use" rights to South African stakeholders and officials. This week, Parliament has been hearing about fair use while it considers the Copyright Amendment Bill, part of which includes the introduction of a fair use right. Rights management organisations, which collect royalties from schools, venues and other organisations that use copyrighted works, are up in arms. A collection of these organisations and foreign media companies such as Sony Pictures, calling itself the Copyright Alliance, has claimed that fair use means: • "No royalties will be paid to musicians if their music is used for educational purposes, so if [someone] uses [a song] in a school or an educational documentary, the artist who wrote the music will not get any royalties"; • "Academic writers of prescribed university books [will be put] in the position where a university buys one copy of the book and mak...
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