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Government stifles piracy websites

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(Image credit: Pixabay)

The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies has stated that the proposed local content quota on streaming sites like Netflix will be enforced.

The department’s white paper on Audio and Audio-visual Content Services policy framework was presented to Parliament on Wednesday, November 25. 

Collin Mashile, the department’s chief director of broadcasting policy, said: “Where video-on-demand subscription services come and operate in South Africa, everything that they show to South Africans in terms of their catalogue – 30% of that catalogue must be South African content.

“What this means is that we are trying to create opportunities for the production and creative industry sector.”

South African citizens still have time to submit complaints or oppositions to the new draft bill proposed by the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, which includes amendments such as expanding TV licence requirements to include streaming services. 

Piracy is under fire

The government has plans to stifle illegal streaming and file-sharing sites. The department said Internet Service Providers (ISPs) need to help the law in fighting online piracy, as if there aren't bigger fish to fry.

Under the same white paper, the department have proposed that the law be amended, with Mashile making specific mention of file-sharing and streaming platforms.

“The draft white paper proposes that legislation impose requirements on ISPs to cooperate with rights-holders and government to police illegal file-sharing or streaming websites,” Mashile said, according to MyBroadband. 

“Piracy is damaging to the sector, it is a worldwide problem, and with the emergence of online, it has become a very damaging issue.

“Most of this currently happens online, and the ISPs are governed by the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (ECTA)."

The ECTA should be amended to ensure ISPs are playing a role in shutting down these sites.

Mashile says that governmental departments should comply to ensure anti-piracy protocols are successful in clamping down on those who try to worm their way around anti-piracy measures.

The ECTA currently says that ISPs cannot be placed under obligation to monitor user traffic. 

How to have your say 

The public can comment on the draft proposal until November 30. 

Comment can be submitted by email to aacs@dtps.gov.za or in writing to:

The Acting- Director-General, Department of Communications and Digital Technologies

Block A3, IParioll Office Park, 1166 Park Street, Hatfield, Pretoria

Private Bag X860, Pretoria, 0001