UCT Intellectual Property Research Unit hosts workshop in the Kramer Building

16 Oct 2008 - 16:21

On the morning of Friday, 25 April, the UCT Intellectual Property Research Unit hosted a workshop on "Reforming Copyright Law to keep pace with the Digital Age & a Developmental State".

The well-attended workshop was organised as part of the Open Review of the South African Copyright Act (, a joint initiative of the Shuttleworth Foundation and TRALAC (the Trade Law Centre of Southern Africa). The review requests ordinary people to comment on the current legislation. The purpose of the review is to find out how copyright affects artists, musician, bloggers, software engineers, librarians and educators. Anyone can go to the review wiki on-line and participate.

Tobias Schonwetter of the UCT Law Faculty spoke on Copyright Law & Access to Knowledge, Pria Chetty, a leading Johannesburg Information Technology lawyer spoke about the effect on copyright law of the Digital Revolution. How does copyright affect new media, was the theme of a fascinating talk about new licences and business models by the general counsel of iCommons, Paul Jacobson. Andrew Rens, Intellectual Property Fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation then spoke on Development and Copyright, and explained how anyone can participate in the review by making their comments on the review wiki.

Discussion on copyright and the needs of developing countries then followed, with new perspectives identified by many in the audience. It was an exciting meeting, the first organised this year in cooperation with the new IP Law and Policy Research Unit.