Trade and industry minister Rob Davies recently responded to a letter from the Academic and Non-Fiction Authors’ Association of SA (Anfasa), sent in advance of the National Assembly’s adoption of the Copyright Amendment Bill. The letter had informed him of a petition co-managed by the association asking for reconsideration of the legislation. The petition had more than 3,000 signatories, including noted authors, artists and playwrights JM Coetzee, Athol Fugard, John Kani, Breyten Breytenbach, Wilbur Smith, Deon Meyer and Zapiro, among others. The association agrees with the objectives and principles expressed in the minister’s response — that copyright should be an instrument to drive innovation and generate creativity. These objectives chime perfectly with Anfasa’s, which include supporting and uplifting authors and raising their status in society; ensuring authors receive adequate recognition and payment of royalties; advocating for the intellectual property rights of authors; enc...

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