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IAEA denounces industry attempts to sway key copyright reform in South Africa


IAEA denounces industry attempts to sway key copyright reform in South Africa

In a joint letter, the International Arts and Entertainment Alliance (IAEA) has denounced an attempt by several international industry federations to obtain the support of the European Union to press the South African government to delay the approval of a much-needed copyright reform, including vital provisions to enhance the livelihood of performers and authors.

The IAEA is composed by International Federation of Actors (FIA), the International Federation of Musicians (FIM) and UNI – Media, Entertainment & Arts (UNI MEI). In its letter to the European Commission, the alliance stresses that the current copyright framework in South Africa dates back to the early ’70s, before the VCR was even invented. A revision is thus overdue. Creative workers in South Africa have been battling for a long time to seek meaningful moral and economic rights to protect their image and to earn an honest return from the commercial exploitation of their work. They have also been calling for a rigorous collective management reform to end years of fraudulent management practices.

The Alliance is in support of the demands of the community of creative workers in South Africa and has called on the EU Commission no to side with industry who pursues a cynical campaign to prevent a progressive reform of the South African copyright regime.

The current copyright review in South Africa, comprising a Copyright Amendment Bill and a revision of the Performers Protection Act, will provide creative workers greater certainty and bargaining power in dealings with producers, labels, publishers and other industry employers as well as CMOs.

The modernization of the South African copyright legal framework, as brought forth by these measures, will help move towards an acceptable playing field for creative workers and provide crucial support for South Africa’s creative economy by fostering an environment that can sustain professional creative careers. This is crucially lacking in South Africa, where so many artists end their days in poverty and the industry, especially in the audiovisual sector, heavily relies on foreign investment.

Download the IAEA statement here.