Earlier this week the Protection of Personal Information Act commenced, and now the draft Film and Publications Amendments Regulations are available for public comment.

Last year we spoke to both the Film and Publications Board as well as attorneys about what the Film and Publications Amendment Act would mean for ordinary South Africans.

The message appears to have been that South African citizens making YouTube videos won’t be affected and that instead platforms such as YouTube would have to register as distributors in South Africa.

Ultimately, President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the act into law last year and we are yet to see how it is applied in a legal context.

What we have before us today then are the regulations which would be implemented in-line with that law.

For those looking for the draft Film and Publications Regulations, you can find them here [pdf].

These regulations include how the distributors will be registered and the process that would have to be followed, as well as how things such as adult magazines would have to be distributed.

There is also detail on classification applications and there are some oddities such as this regarding game classification in section 11:

“The game submitted in the application must include mechanisms to remove the bars or impediments preventing players graduating to more advanced levels or advancing further and where it is not possible to comply with such provide a reasonable explanation for such noncompliance in writing.”

The vagueness of this statement makes it read as if it might be regarding lootboxes or simply allowing players to progress in a game at will.

But this is why these public comment sessions happen, to allow people to point out that some pieces of the draft don’t make much sense or could be interpreted in wildly different ways.

There is a lot to get through and there are only 30 days in which to make a submission. You have until 3rd August 2020 to submit your comments.

In that regard, comments can be delivered by hand, by mail or by email. Given the lockdown we recommend making your submissions via email.

To do that draft a response with Draft Film and Publication Regulations as the subject line and direct your email to Mr Pandelis Gregoriou via [email protected]

If you must mail in your comments those can be addressed to the same person at the address below.

The Film and Publication Board
Private Bag X31
Highveld Park
0169

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]