Friday, 29 March 2013

A Guide to Fair Use and Fair Dealing Laws

Introduced earlier this week by InfoJustice, the new Fair Use/Fair Dealing Handbook is certain to prove useful to attorneys around the world.  Africa is no exception.  As Jonathan Band remarks, “More than 40 countries with over one-third of the world’s population have fair use or fair dealing provisions in their copyright laws.” 

The handbook presents the relevant statutes from each country with the references to fair use or fair dealing highlighted.  Fair use is highlighted in green; fair dealing in turquoise.  It’s extremely simple in concept, but also extremely handy in practice.  It must have taken a great deal of work to assemble.  [“Believe me!” says this Little Leo who in a previous incarnation had to look for exception and limitation provisions in every single copyright act she could find.] It’s important to note that the handbook covers only fair dealing and fair use, not exceptions and limitations to copyright generally.  Many African countries who do not have fair dealing or fair use do have specific lists of exceptions to copyright.

The handbook, by Jonathan Band and Jonathan Gerafi, is available in pdf format here.

African countries included in the handbook are:

  • Gambia
  • Kenya
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Africa
  • Swaziland
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe,

all fair dealing countries.  And,

  • Uganda,

the lone fair use country included for Africa.

Little Leo would like to add that she believes Liberia should be added to the list for fair use (Section 2.7 in Copyright Law of the Republic of Liberia).

Photo: Frankfurt book fair 2008 cc-by Marco Braun available on Flickr

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