Professor Paul Heald published a blog post with The Conversation about copyright terms in South Africa. An excerpt from the post follows:
The current term of copyright in South Africa is life-of-the-author plus 50 years. But the US is pressuring South Africa to extend the term to life-plus-70. Since the US is a net exporter of copyrighted media, like songs, books, and movies, US copyrights earn billions in revenue yearly. The US wants to prolong this trade imbalance as long as possible and deny foreigners free access to older US works.
Research I have done shows that caving in to this demand would be bad for South African consumers. This is because copyright term extensions prevent works from entering the public domain and being republished for the public benefit. The negative effect on the availability of titles is palpable and dramatic.
Just as important, keeping books under copyright imposes a direct cost on the public in terms of higher prices.
Read the full post at theconversation.com.