Copyright Bill Implications for Universities & Creative Industries Masterplan

Copyright Amendment Bill: Contradictions to Hit the South African Education Sector

By Keyan Tomaselli and Hetta Pieterse

Copyright Amendment Bill: Contradictions to Hit the South African Education Sector | Education as Change (



Our article was published in mid-December 2023.  This analysis focuses on the anticipated effects of the Bill, if enacted, on universities.  It examines seven contradictions that will bedevil implementation of the proposed legislation. The article was developed from a presentation  invited by DSAC and the SA Cultural Lab last April


Here is what one of the reviewers wrote on the significance of the article:


The article summarises and comments on the myriad of controversies that besiege the
Copyright Amendment Bill, viewed mainly from the perspective of the education sector and more particularly the publishing of academic and educational works.

This is a convoluted and complicated terrain on which countless thousands of
words have been written and spoken. These comments and criticisms have
come from a wide variety of sources and interests, including the legal,
educational, entertainment, media, sociological, business, and industrial

Representations have been made to the Department of Trade, Industry and
Competition (DTIC), Parliament and its various bodies and committees and the
Bill has been amended several times. The DTI’s and Parliament’s reactions to
the debates and submissions regarding the Bill have been less than
satisfactory. The result of all this is an exceedingly confused, controversial,
unsatisfactory, and dangerous situation, which could have disastrous
consequences for the creative industries and for education.

In the subject work the authors have taken on the important task of creating
some order in this chaotic and untenable situation in that they have
crystallised the most important issues in an admirable manner. This enables
the reader to have a route map through the maze of representations and
arguments that have been presented and the convoluted processes that have
been followed (as well as those that have not been adopted). This makes for a
better understanding of the salient issues and the current status of the Bill.
They have also summarised the case against the Bill in a concise and lucid
manner, which makes compelling reading.

The subject work is worthwhile and is a valuable contribution to the debate on
the Bill. If it helps to introduce some sanity in official circles, it will have
performed a notable and laudable public service … There is a prospect that, if the Bill becomes law, it will become the subject of a constitutional challenge before the Constitutional Court. In this eventuality the subject work could become a valuable source of guidance to
the court.

Download Article here