Copyright Proposals 'Go Too Far'

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News Article

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The contrary view has been offered by visiting American copyright expert, Sean Flynn, co-ordinator of the Global Expert Network on Copyright User Rights.

He has argued that a general exception for fair use is critical to stimulating and sustaining technological innovation and advancement, as it was "future proof".

Writing in Business Day last week, Flynn said: "Fair use doesn't let corporations, or anyone else, avoid paying a licence fee to play, perform or copy a work in a way that substitutes for the market of the copyright owner."

But it did "enable technological innovation by permitting new fair uses of works that were nor foreseen by the legislature. This attracts and enables technological investment without harming rights holders".

Fynn said: "At American University ... we tracked the economic outcomes in more open and less open copyright systems over 40 years. What we found was that high technology industries do much better in countries with fair use or other open copyright exceptions that can enable their work - and that entertainment and publishing industries do better too."

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The Sunday Independent (South Africa)