Wednesday 4 February 2009


Union warns of Algerian trade in fakes

El Khabar reports that the importation of counterfeit goods has cost the Algerian economy some 30 billion Algerian dinars (around US$ 427,000000) during 2008. The National Union of Merchants and Craftsmen, UGCAA, has warned against the alarming black market and counterfeit phenomenon in Algeria, adding that 50% of goods traded there are sold in the black market.



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4 February 2009 at 08:42 delete

Johannesburg, South Africa – 31 January 2009. Even though South Africa has an active Copyright Act, it is extremely rare that ‘copyright’ itself is ever the subject of a judgment, to such an extent that there is a paucity of case law on the subject. Most contemporary IP gatherings, workshops and the like in South Africa focus on the allegedly more lucrative and understandable ranges of design, patent and trademark law, and exclude almost entirely the subject and matter of Copyright Law.

On February 11th 2009, High Court, Johannesburg there is Feldman D v SAMRO - Case # 06/22968.

David Feldman, the Executor of the Brenda Fassie Estate, and Counsel, will face the South African Music Rights Organization (SAMRO) represented by Adams and Adams, and Counsel.

Both parties have deployed Counsel of repute.

The case reaches the High Court because SAMRO has resolutely refused to submit to debatement, inter alia, details of the late megastar’s royalty earnings generated by the public performance, broadcast and transmission through a diffusion service rights from works Brenda Fassie co-authored and/or authored.

SAMRO, a collecting society, are inter alia, responsible for the licensing of public performance, broadcast and transmission through a diffusion service rights in musical and literary works, as well as the collection and distribution of royalty income resulting from those licenses.

Brenda Fassie, was, for 22 years, a performer and songwriter extraordinaire, throughout Southern, East and West Africa, and further abroad, an icon of her time, and arguably the biggest selling recording artist in South African music history. She passed away in 2004.

A number of Copyright Law issues arise in this case, and anyone interested in Copyright Law, may wish to look at the case, and pay attention to the outcomes, as there is quite possibly the opportunity of that rare occasion where new copyright case law is added to South Africa’s precedent driven common law construct.

This is the second of four High Court cases dealing with Brenda Fassie’s royalty income and ownership of works. The other three are with a former manager and producer, Ernest Sello “Chicco” Twala, a multinational record company EMI Music (SA), and a multinational music publisher EMI Music Publishing.

All of these cases should be of great interest to anyone wishing to see leading South African copyright Counsel grapple with both existing SA Copyright Law and a variety of music industry practices and beliefs.