06/12/2008 08:25
Uganda: Artistes' Body Demands Change in Copyright Law
The Copyright and Neighbouring Act 2006 should be amended to make it more effective and all-inclusive, according to the Uganda Performing Arts Association.

The general secretary, James Wasula, pointed out that the law, which covers musicians, writers, poets, was weak because cases of piracy, infringement, unauthorised reproduction of copyrighted works was still rampant in the country.

He was speaking on Friday during the annual meeting of the Uganda Library and Information Association in Kampala.

"Permission must be gained for the reproduction of copyrighted material," Wasula stated, adding that although, the role of a library was to pass out information, the manner in which the information was accessed by different users raised key issues sensitive to the copyright policy.

"Reproduction of the copyrighted material is not limited to photocopying or reprinting. You have to pay to reproduce it," said Wasula. He also observed that lending out a book was not illegal but it interfered with its sales.

The artists recommended the Creative Commons as part of the amendments to the copyright law.

"The Creative Commons supports the desire to learn, get recognition and help others," observed Joyce Bukirwa, a lecturer at the East African School of Library and Information Science at Makerere University.

"That is why we have the free encyclopaedia online."

The Creative Commons will allow access to works, like music, books, journals and drama productions.

"Publishers will lose interest in material which will be available for free. Also, a musician may not be ready to join you to produce work which is going to be obtained freely," Bukirwa pointed out.

Source: allafrica.com

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