Users' entitlements under the fair dealing exceptions to copyright

Shay, Richard Michael (2012-12)

Thesis (LLM)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Includes bibliography

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis analyses current South African copyright law to ascertain the proper interpretation and application of the fair dealing provisions contained in the Copyright Act 98 of 1978. Copyright law ensures that authors’ works are not used without their consent, which they can grant subject to compensation or conditions attached to the use. Fair dealing exceptions allow the general public to use copyright works for certain purposes without the copyright owner’s consent and without paying compensation. These provisions are intended to balance copyright owners’ interests with the interest that members of the public have in using copyright works for socially beneficial purposes. These provisions typically allow the use of a copyright work for the purposes of research or private study, personal or private use, criticism and review, and news reporting. Unfortunately there is no South African case law concerning the fair dealing provisions, and the application of these exceptions remains unclear. This study aims to clarify the extent of application of the fair dealing exceptions to copyright infringement so that courts may be more willing to consider foreign and international law and in doing so develop South African intellectual property law. The social and economic policy considerations underlying the fair dealing exceptions are considered to determine their function. International conventions relating to copyright and neighbouring rights are examined, specifically the provisions allowing exceptions to copyright. The legislation and case law of Australia and the United Kingdom are analysed to determine the proper interpretation and application of these statutory defences. This knowledge is then used to inform South African law. The Copyright Act 98 of 1978 does not contain a fair dealing exception for parody and satire. Australian legislation does contain such an exception, and it is analysed in that context. An exception for parody is proposed for South African law, and the need for and application of this provision is considered. The constitutionality of the proposed exception is evaluated in terms of its impact on the constitutional property rights of copyright owners.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis ondersoek Suid-Afrikaanse outeursreg om die behoorlike uitleg en toepassing van die “billike gebruik”-bepalings in die Wet op Outeursreg 98 van 1978 te bepaal. Outeursreg beskerm die werk van ʼn outeur teen ongemagtigde gebruik van haar intellektuele eiendom. Gebruik kan deur die outeur gemagtig word, òf teen vergoeding òf onderhewig aan bepaalde voorwaardes. Artikels 12-19B (die billike gebruik-bepalings) van die Wet op Outeursreg laat ander toe om sekere werke te gebruik sonder die toestemming van die eienaar van die werk en sonder om vergoeding te betaal. Die bepalings streef om ʼn balans te tref tussen die belange van die outeur en die belange van die publiek. ʼn Werk mag volgens hierdie bepalings tipies gebruik word vir die doeleindes van navorsing of private studie, persoonlike of private gebruik, beoordeling of resensie, of om nuus te rapporteer. Daar is tans geen Suid-Afrikaanse regspraak rakende hierdie uitsonderings nie, en hul toepassing is dus onseker. Hierdie tesis beoog om die werking van die billike gebruik-bepalings duidelik uiteen te sit om hoër gewilligheid in howe te skep om internasionale en buitelandse reg toe te pas, en sodoende Suid-Afrikaanse immateriële goederereg te ontwikkel. Die sosiale en ekonomiese beleidsoorwegings wat die bepalings ondersteun word geanaliseer om die doel daarvan te bepaal. Internasionale outeursreg-verdragte word bespreek om ʼn raamwerk vir die uitsonderings te skep. Wetgewing en regspraak van Australië en die Verenigde Koninkryk word ondersoek, en die kennis wat daar opgedoen word, word toegepas op die Suid-Afrikaanse bepalings. Die Wet op Outeursreg 98 van 1978 bevat geen uitsondering vir die doeleindes van parodie en satire nie. Die Australiese Wet op Outeursreg 63 van 1968 bevat wel so ʼn uitsondering, en dit word in hierdie verband beoordeel. ʼn Uitsondering vir parodie en satire word voorgestel en oorweeg in die konteks van Suid-Afrikaanse outeursreg. Die grondwetlikheid van die voorgestelde uitsondering word bepaal na aanleiding van die impak wat dit sal hê op outeurs se eiendomsreg.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/71691
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