Artists fight for rights
New SA legislation favours Google and Facebook at expense of artists and writers
The original plan to protect holders of copyright has been turned on its head, and it now favours technology companies
Authors, musicians, composers and artists have joined forces to fight government proposals that could strip them of much of their copyright protection. Proposals being considered by the department of trade & industry (DTI) could allow users — most notably technology companies — the right to override that protection. A previous government-commissioned copyright report said creative industries — including publishing, entertainment, film, music, arts, technology, broadcasting, education and even software development — deserved more legal protection against unauthorised use of their copyright-protected works. But Stephen Hollis, a partner at law firm Adams & Adams, which specialises in copyright and intellectual property issues, says that when the DTI unveiled ideas for its Copyright Amendment Bill in August this year, the original ideas had been "turned on their head". Instead, documents suggest technology companies like Google, YouTube, Apple and Facebook — the world’s biggest users o...