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Minister Davies is Satisfied with the Findings and Recommendations of the Copyright Review Commission (Farlam Commission) Report

The Minister of Trade and Industry (the dti), Dr Rob Davies is satisfied with the Copyright Review Commission (CRC) report that was chaired by Judge Ian Farlam and will encourage Parliament to put reliance on the report. If there are substantiated allegations against members of CRC, there are legal processes those who allege wrongdoing can follow so that Parliament should concentrate in legislating for the people of the Republic, in particular the artists/ musicians.  

Minister Davies established a Copyright Review Commission in 2010 following from a Presidential Conference on Creative Industry in 2009 at the Sandton Convention Centre, that mandated the dti to work with other departments in combating piracy of Copyright and Trade Marks; formalise or encourage artists/musicians to form small businesses such as companies or Close Corporations (then), and attend to collective management of Copyright for the distribution of Copyright Royalties.

The CRC was constituted by persons who are experts in the area of Copyright and Intellectual Property.  The process of establishing the CRC was open, transparent and credible. Except the Chairperson of the (CRC) Judge Ian Farlam, the other members were in private practice. Chances are that they might have provided consultancy services on Copyright, including to collecting societies at some stage. CRC was not established to investigate a specific collecting society but there were Terms of Reference that guided the enquiry and they were sufficiently attended to independently to understand the copyright issues affecting the music industry copyright related dynamics. Members of the CRC were paid for their services through the PFMA processes.

The CRC report has been in the public domain for several years and its credibility has never been questioned. It is worth noting that the findings or recommendations of CRC in the main are mainly negative and go against the current regime of management of collecting societies. In this vein, it is difficult to suspect that the members of CRC were influenced and not independent because the outcome could have been different and in favour of collecting societies in the report.

During the Parliamentary process of 2018 on the Bill, all the recommendations may be incorporated into the Bill, and/or be left for regulations. the dti never deliberately omitted any recommendations.  Parliament may deal with these issues.

The report of the CRC was consulted upon interdepartmentally and inter-ministerially. The Copyright-based Industry was widely consulted on the CRC report. The CRC widely consulted nationally and internationally on collective management of Copyright. Stakeholders played a role in enriching the CRC study process.  

The collecting societies had no challenges with the CRC report until recently in 2018.  the dti stands by the validity of the report and affirms that the work conducted was extensive and factored many stakeholders in the music industry as well as international best practices. It will go a long way to ensure that the plight of our artists who die as paupers are addressed. The report is therefore valid and credible in the dti’s view. We appeal to all concerned that the central concern for all should be to correct the imbalances and injustices that are widely known in our society as far as artists are concerned. We need to economically empower our artists and bring dignity to a sector that preserves our history, heritage and culture.

Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: The Department of Trade and Industry
Follow us on Twitter: @the_dti