The Freedom of Expression Institute made a written submission on the Copyright Amendment Bill 2015 to the Department of Trade and Industry. FXI’s comments were limited to the sections of the Bill that deal with freedom of expression and media freedom, in keeping with its core mission.
“The FXI believes that copyright law and free speech are fundamentally in conflict,” the submission reads in part. “It should come as no surprise, at all, that both governments and the private sector use copyright law to suppress speech and dissent. In a country like South Africa which is trying to expand access to education, knowledge should not be confined to an elitist domain which can afford to pay for it. Public interest demands that the law favour the previously disadvantaged – the ones who seek knowledge, but without the means to pay licence fees, royalties and the like.”