M-Net, Safact and film producers want ISPs to actively issue warnings to file sharers and copyright infringers in the country – while also blocking access to infringing sites.
The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has been presenting its responses to submissions received on the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill, and dozens of parties across a number of industries gave their thoughts on the bill, including Cell C, MTN, Vodacom, Telkom, R2K, Liquid Telecom and Deloitte.
While the majority of comments focused on concerns surrounding cyber-security, the bill itself, and how it will affect South Africa’s internet, one of the more interesting comments focused on piracy in South Africa.
A comment submitted by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations, Safact and M-Net highlighted concerns that government was not doing enough to combat piracy.
“A balanced approach to address the massive copyright infringement on the Internet is necessary,” the parties said in a comment.
“It is proposed that measures should be introduced to enable local internet service providers to act against copyright infringements.
“It is suggested that South Africa should consider adopting technology-neutral ‘no fault’ enforcement legislation that would enable intermediaries to take action against online infringements, in line with Article 8.3 of the EU Copyright Directive (2001/29/EC), which addresses copyright infringement through site blocking.”
The parties further said that new legislation was needed to force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to cooperate with rights-holders. They also requested that the take down process under section 77 of the ECTA be made less time consuming and less intrusive.
“Obligations should be imposed on ISPs to co-operate with rights-holders and Government to police illegal filesharing or streaming websites and to issue warnings to end-users identified as engaging in illegal file-sharing and to block infringing content,” they said.
“This should be remedied in the Bill or the ECTA should be amended in the Schedule to the Bill,” it said.
The department responded to the comment by stating that the Cybersecurity Bill does not deal with copyright infringements, and that they were better suited for the Copyright Amendment Bill which is also currently before parliament.