Digital technologies and global electronic networks present unparalleled opportunities for international knowledge sharing and collaboration. But these same technologies and networks can also be used by authors in ways that significantly limit access and sharing for the purposes of education, innovation and development. The debates around the information commons and the restrictive provisions of copyright rights-holders in the online environment are of particular relevance to the developing world and the African continent.
(LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2006-12-15) Baude, William; Hofman, Julien; Katz, Eddan; McDaniel, Katherine; Rens, Andrew; Riley, Chris
South Africa’s current copyright law, the apartheid-era Copyright Act of 1978, remains largely indifferent to development objectives such as increasing public access to educational materials. While it must comply with international copyright law, the Act fails to fully exploit the flexibilities available in the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). In this article, we present proposed model language which could be used to incorporate exceptions and limitations to copyright into South African copyright law. We give provisions for fair use/fair dealing in education, adaptation of material for the disabled, and translations of material. Our proposed exceptions would greatly increase public access to learning materials while remaining within the boundaries of the “three-step test” of article 13 of TRIPS governing exceptions to copyright. A comparative analysis of other national copyright solutions is offered for each provision.
(LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2006-12-15) Keats, Derek
Individuals and institutions are increasingly making content available under Creative Commons (cc) licences. Creative Commons licences are heterogeneous, even though common discourse often assumes homogeneity. A cc licence that is analogous to the free software licence of the GNU General Public Licence is the cc Attribution-ShareAlike (BY-SA) licence. An informal survey of content on the Internet indicates that less than 24% of educational content uses this licence. Seventy-three per cent of content surveyed uses a cc NonCommercial (NC) restriction on use. Casual conversations with authors who use cc licences indicate that most do not understand the implications of choosing a particular licence. A set of principle-based guidelines for choosing cc licences for educational content is suggested.
(LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2006-12-15) Masango, Charles A
The article examines the origin of copyright and the first sale doctrine. It exposes the advantages that the doctrine confers to the purchasers of copyright works and how it is possible for purchasers to use the doctrine to advance scholarship. The article also examines whether the advantages that the doctrine confers to the purchasers of printed copyright works has been permanently swept away by the introduction of licences by authors to govern access to digital content. Finally, the article looks at content access models being used in the digital environment that may ultimately serve the same function as that played by the first sale doctrine in the previous offline-only, hard-copy environment.