IFLA Submission to US Trade Representative on the Review of South Africa’s Position under the Generalized System of Preferences

IFLA has submitted a comment in the context of the review of whether South Africa should continue to benefit from preferential trade rules with the United States. The review has been triggered by a request from an alliance of organisations looking to prevent the signing into law of new copyright provisions that would benefit libraries and their users.

On 31 January, the United States Trade Representative, at the GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee will hold a hearing to discuss a request made by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) to review whether South Africa should continue to benefit from preferential trade treatment.

This request is based on concerns expressed by the IIPA around South Africa’s new Copyright Act, currently waiting to be signed into law by President Ramaphosa.

As part of its ongoing efforts to support its members in improving copyright legislation for libraries – something that the new Copyright Act will do – IFLA has submitted a comment on the process.

This highlights issues with the timing of the request (before it is possible to gather evidence on the impact of the new law), a number of the assertions it makes about the proposed law, and the harm that may be done to America’s own interests by bringing into question the compatibility of Fair Use with international law.

Read the comment as a pdf.

Reports, CLM (Committee on Copyright and other Legal Matters), Access to information, South Africa, United States of America, Copyright, Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries & Archives, copyright4libraries

Last update: 19 January 2020