The Department of Trade and Industry has asked for public comment on the proposed changes to our Copyright Law. Absent was any comment on changes relevant to photographers and the infamous Sect 21(1)(c).
The COPYRIGHT ACT NO. 98 OF 1978 (As amended) Section 21(1) (b)-(d) under the heading ‘Ownership of copyright’), especially (c), has unfairly and prejudicially discriminated against photographers in South Africa for decades, legally empowering businesses to exploit photographers work, with little or no financial reward to the photographers.
A petition has been raised to ensure that the current copyright act is amended to ensure that photographers are legally recognised and empowered as the rightful owners of the copyright to their works, that the ownership of the copyright to those works cannot be assigned (divorced from the photographer) and that the photographer be empowered to sell the license to use their works, regardless of the nature of their employment, whether it be on a full time, part-time, freelance or commissioned basis. This is an important issue regardless of whether or not you earn a living from photography and I would therefore urge everyone to read through the petition which has been raised under the Creative Collaborative Collective banner, and, if in agreement, sign it.
The Creative Collaborative Collective is a loose grouping of photographers from all walks of life, united by their interest in photography. It was set up on Facebook by Deryck van der Steenderen and provides an open forum for the airing of any issues pertaining to photography. It currently has over 600 members.
This is probably the first time the DTI has given us a window to address what appears to them as an insignificant issue in the overall scheme of things. We need to show solidarity with this initiative.
Thanks and kind regards