Afro-Jazz band vows to fight Copyright Amendment Bill

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A United Kingdom based copyright association, P.E.N International, has condemned a move by government to enact a Bill which South African musicians and composers say will destroy their livelihoods.

The Copyright Amendment Bill has been passed by the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) is expected to vote on the Bill on Wednesday.

The NCOP offered only five days for public submissions on the Bill.

Afro-Jazz band Satori South Africa is among many artists concerned about the impact of the impending Bill.

They say the Bill in its current form is poorly drafted.

Band co-founder Ashley Ally says if the Bill is passed, they will take the matter to court.

“It doesn’t serve the interests of artists and publishers. What this bill basically amounts to, is expropriation without compensation of artists’ rights to their work. This Bill basically would allow the State to expropriate, to use and to own the work that artists and publishers have created and use it as the state feels fit. This Bill is opposed not only by SA artists and publishers, but by the whole world. P.E.N International; which is the oldest and the largest organisation of writers in the world  – has objected to this Bill. So if need be, we will take it to the court because it’s unconstitutional.”

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