South Africa: United States Still Looking to ‘Punish’ Nation for Copyright Bill

South Africa’s copyright laws are still within sight of the United States Trade Representative, even though South Africa was not included on its ‘watchlist’ of countries that it believes are failing to provide adequate and effective intellectual property protection.

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) recently released its Special 301 report which identifies trading partners that do not adequately or effectively protect and enforce intellectual property (IP) rights or otherwise deny market access to US innovators and creators that rely on protection of their IP rights.

While South Africa was not included on the Special 301 report watch list, the USTR has not let South Africa off the hook just yet. That’s because the USTR is engaged in another separate process of review regarding South Africa’s preferred trade status under the Generalised System of Preferences. The review followed a complaint filed by large US entertainment companies concerning the pending Copyright Amendment Bill.

Established by the Trade Act of 1974, the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) is the largest and oldest US trade preference programme, which allows duty-free imports from less developed countries.

The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) complained in an 18 April 2019 petition that there was a lack…


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