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Latest on the Copyright Amendment Bill

As a result of the President's concerns that the Copyright Amendment Bill had not been made public before its final version was published, as well as concerns that some copyright exceptions, such as the Fair Use issue, may be unconstitutional, both the Copyright and Performers' Protection Bills were referred back to the National Assembly.

It is widely acknowledged that the President's reservations included, among other things, amendments to the "fair use" provisions that hadn't been subjected to public comment, and that the copyright exceptions might constitute reasonable grounds for constitutional challenges.

In addition, the President expressed further concern that the Performers' Protection Amendment Bill may not comply with international treaty obligations, particularly in relation to the WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty.

On the 10th of June 2022, the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry recommended the National Assembly adopt its latest report and approve the second reading of both Bills, taking into account all written and oral inputs, along with any procedural matters arising from the reservations outlined by the President.

It is noted, however, that several opposition political parties voted to rescind both Bills completely, as they disagreed with several clauses, however, this view was defeated by the majority, who voted in favor of the amendments, resulting in the committee recommending that the National Assembly adopt this report and approve both Bills' second reading.

In conclusion, KUMISA has since contacted the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry 's media officer, Ms. Rajaa Azzakani, to suggest that public consultation might still be needed, especially after KUMISA held workshops for many of its members on the issues that may affect them as copyright owners, with a focus on the Fair Use clause that could see their work used without compensation. KUMISA currently awaits to hear from the committee’s media officer.

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