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Statement On South Africa’s Copyright Reform Efforts

Washington, DC — IA Director, Trade Policy Jordan Haas issued the following statement in response to news that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa sent copyright reform legislation based on America’s fair use system back to the parliament.

“America’s fair use system underpins the effective functioning of nearly all internet services and is a key reason for our digital trade leadership. It is deeply disappointing that the U.S. would seek to question another country adopting a system that’s brought such success to the our country. Web search, artificial intelligence and machine learning, computational analysis, text and data mining, and cloud-based technologies all, to some degree, rely on fair use. The U.S. government should support other countries adopting systems similar to the U.S. copyright framework, especially after those countries undertook an inclusive and deliberative legislative development process. Questioning South Africa’s copyright reform efforts has sent the signal that the adoption of U.S.-style copyright measures could result in retribution.”