By Jeff Andrew Lule
The Uganda Reproduction Rights Organization (URRO) has seized 60,000 pirated titles of books from business establishments from different parts of the country.
This follows an operation carried out in Kampala, Masaka and Mbarara districts between October 2013 and June 2014 by Copyright Inspectors and Police.
URRO was licensed by Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) to enforce copyright, license users of copyright protected works and distribute royalties to authors and publishers.
Addressing journalists at their offices at Fountain House in Kampala, URRO executive director, Charles Batambuze said the operation followed complaints from various publishers and authors.
“Publishers and authors realized that many of their books were being sold at various different business establishments without their knowledge,” he said.
Batambuze said this prompted them to carry out raids on bookshops, printeries and some homes in Kampala and Mbarara where there has been reasonable suspicion of piracy taking place.
“During the raid we uncovered 60,000 titles of pirated books worth sh1.8bn from mainly Kampala and Mbarara,” he said.
He said lots of businesses and street vendors have with impunity infringed on the copyright of both Ugandan and foreign authors.
Batambuze said in September, they are going to introduce special holograms (seals) which will be fixed on all books to be sold as a measure to curb piracy.He said most bookshops sell fake books.
“Inspectors will have readers to verify the validity of the seals. We are also going to engage and license universities on photocopying our work annually ,” he said.
Under section (1)of the Copying and Neighboring Right Act 2006, the penalty of any one found pirating any publication is a fine of 100 currency point (sh2m) or imprisonment not exceeding four years.
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