Every year, billions worth of merchandise are lost to pirates due to copyright violations of printed work, music and motion pictures. To counter this, publishers will now issue security seals on books to track and reduce piracy in Uganda.
The Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Uganda Police to set up an Intellectual Property (IP) unit to arrest pirates and to enforce the rights of publishers, musicians and producers of motion pictures.
Kahinda Otafiire, the Minister of Justice & Constitutional Affairs who presided over celebrations of the World Intellectual Property day at the Kabira Country Club noted that by protecting the rights of publishers, creativity will thrive, leading to economic development.
“In this digital era, it is very important to think outside the box if we are to progress. The Capacity of the mind is limitless, why should you copy what other people are doing when you can create your own works,” Otafiire told the gathering of publishers.
“You cannot be creative, if you are conformist. We (government) are tasked with protecting people that think outside the box. That is why we are working with police to protect your right to earn,” he added.
Otafiire urged the gathering that included producers of music and motion pictures, publishers as well as animators. He urged them to create new content and to challenge tradition with new ideas.
Bemanya Twebaze, the Registrar General revealed that Uganda is in the process of ratifing the Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works by visually impaired persons and persons with print disabilities.
The treaty was adopted in Marrakesh, Morocco, on 28 June 2013 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Countries which ratify the treaty must ensure their laws allow blind people and their organisations to make accessible format books without the need to ask permission first from the holder of copyright.
Twebaze noted that by protecting the ideas of innovators and creators, they will be able to contribute to wealth creation, employment and growth of the economy.