Comments on Keyan Tomaselli’s "The 2022 Copyright Amendment Bill: Implications for the South African universities’ Research Economy"
Copyright (c) 2022 Brian Wafawarowa
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The tragedy of the deliberations on the Copyright Amendment Bill is the absence of critical and dispassionate engagement on the issues that are being raised by different interest groups. The interest groups have retreated to their laagers and are defending their positions, ferociously and without regard for other perspectives and interests. The clamour from the interest groups is mainly by way of loud slogans on anecdotal experiences, sometimes in sectors that are irrelevant to the discussion.
The absence of academic voices on the matter is unfortunate in two ways. One is the rigour and structure that they could have brought to the debate. The other is giving attention to the disregarded interests of academics as custodians of knowledge production, innovation and nurturing respect for own and others’ work of the mind. The consequence of this lack of engagement is that legislators have had very little access to critical engagement and have tended to base their decisions on untested slogans. On the other hand, academics and universities have essentially allowed a process that has such a strong bearing on them to almost reach conclusion without their input.