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Parliamentary questions
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14 May 2020
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Jiří Pospíšil (PPE)
 Subject: Fair use of copyrighted materials in South Africa

The long-term work of international experts from ECOSOC together with the Government of South Africa led to the drafting of an amendment to the South African Copyright Act, which aimed to enable the fair use of copyrighted materials. This proposal was the result of a consultation involving representatives of all sectors of South African society, and it concluded that it was the best option available and that it was expected to bring positive effects for South African society.

According to information I have received, on 20 March 2020, the Commission sent a letter to the South African Government warning it of ‘significant legal uncertainty, with negative effects on the South African creative community in general and on foreign investment, including European investment’ should the new law enter into force.

1. Is it true that this letter was sent, and which Member of the Commission was the author?

2. Why is the Commission, which otherwise spends considerable sums on foreign development assistance, torpedoing a project in which a great many development organisations and experts have participated?

3. Has the Commission communicated on this subject with multinational companies operating in the field of copyright? If so, with which companies did it communicate and what was the content of this communication?


Original language of question: CS
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