It has been too easy to be critical of parliament in recent years. Yet the passing of important legislation such as the Public Audit Act and now potentially the Copyright Amendment Bill shows that important and socially valuable work is still being done in parliament. The bill, which was recently referred to the National Assembly, proposes important and far-reaching changes to copyright law in SA, in most respects modernising our law and bringing it in line with various international treaties. For example, the bill introduces a copyright exception that would make it easier for blind people to access books in braille or other accessible formats. The bill is also sensible regarding fair use and fair dealing. On fair dealing, under the current system there is only a finite list of cases in which copying/reproduction is fair. Under fair use, as in the US, fairness is judged by reference to a number of factors, such as the “effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the ...

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