The National Assembly has passed the Copyright Amendment Bill and the Performers’ Protection Amendment Bill, which are expected to transform the sector and improve the lives of creatives.

Addressing the launch of Heritage Month on Friday in Pretoria, Minister for Sport, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, said one of the areas where the creatives are going to benefit is for the remuneration of the repeat programmes that are broadcast on television.

“These Bills will ensure that our creatives are in a better position [in terms of remuneration]. We will continue to ensure that we look at the lives of creatives and challenge change in the system for the better,” Mthethwa said.

The Copyright and Performers’ Protection Amendment Bills provide for a number of significant measures relating to intellectual property rights and cover key products (which the Bills refer to as ‘works’) that are used in society and the economy, such as, books, music, movies, photographs, sculptures and architectural designs; and their digital equivalents.

The Bills clarify the commercial rights of parties and address a challenge relating to the potential imbalance in power between parties in the contractual relationships that arise between originators of creative works and owners of the copyright to those works, and the negative developmental outcomes that arise from this.

This year’s Heritage month will be celebrated under the theme, “Celebrating the Legacy of Solomon Linda and South Africa’s Indigenous Music”.

“In remembering the legacy of Solomon Linda, we are remembering South African creatives and the level of creativity amongst SA creatives. Bab Linda and those that came after him showed us that if we are ourselves, the world applauds us.

“That is why the group Ladysmith Black Mambazo has won five Grammy Awards because they came to the world stage with something the world doesn’t know. One of the best songs that Ladysmith Black Mambazo sang is Mbube by Solomon Linda,” the Minister said.

He said it is an injustice that a global icon such as Linda died poor and that his decedents are not benefiting from his work.

As part of this years’ Heritage month programme, the Minister unveiled five Legends and Living Human Treasures’ publications in honour of the late legendary poet, Don Mattera; the living legends and music icons, Abigail Kubeka, Letta Mbulu, and Caiphus Semenya; and Peter Magubane, an iconic photojournalist, and a living legend.

Source: South Africa Government News Agency