Stop copyright theft

By Vision Reporter

UGANDA copyright law should be up-dated immediately.

UGANDA copyright law should be up-dated immediately. The 1964 Copyright Act, a mere duplicate of the British law, is weak abetting disrespect of intellectual property. It is a disincentive to writers and composers and kills intellectual innovations. Copyright law is a deterrent to unauthorised copying and reproducing literally and artistic works. It gives maximum protection to copyright holders of books, periodicals, music, computer software, movies and photographs etc. The producers of such works invest enormous resources in producing them. Mentally they are stretched in researching and contriving their products. It is absurd that copyright abuse is prevalent in Uganda today when the political and legal dispensation respects property ownership and protection. Books and periodicals are photocopied and sold at a cheap price. Music is illegally copied and sold without any proceedings going to the original composers. Newspaper articles are reproduced without credit lines of the original publisher. Photographs are scanned and freely published or circulated without owners’ consent. Abuse of copyright is theft that must be punished. The works or products of writers, music composers, playwrights, photographers and others constitute intellectual property. So they need protection. Uganda signed the Universal Law of Copyright while still a colony. It is unclear whether Uganda still has obligation to the convention. But it is a fact Uganda is not a signatory to the Berne Convention, an international treaty on copyright. Uganda has also not ratified the World International Property Convention. It is time Uganda put her act together and enacts a new copyright law and ratifies international treaties too. The new parliament and government should take up the issue now. A copyright law is needed. The New Vision is a stakeholder in this pursuit. We stand to be counted in the war against intellectual property theft.

Stop copyright theft