Artistes and stakeholders in the entertainment industry have called for amendments in the Copyright and Neighbouring Act of 2006 saying the law, as it is, has not benefited the industry.
They made the plea while meeting the Leader of Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga.
Mpuuga said the shadow minister for Culture and Performing Arts, Hillary Kiyaga, who doubles as the Mawokota North MP, had kicked off consultations to amend the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act 2006.
“Our cabinet assigned Hon Kiyaga to introduce the bill that seeks to empower our people in the arts industry to be able to benefit from their talents. The law which was enacted in 2006 was celebrated by my artistes but unfortunately, it hasn’t benefited them,” said Mpuuga.
He said this explains why during the Covid-19 lockdown, Ugandan artistes suffered yet elsewhere in neighbouring jurisdictions like Kenya, artistes earned from their intellectual property.
Mpuuga said that the Solicitor General has made an undertaking on behalf of the government to work with Kiyaga to improve the existing law.
Kiyaga said the amendments will not only benefit those in the showbiz business but also other people who do creative work.
Silver Kyagulanyi, a musician and a lawyer said the focus of the amendments should be on regulation, administration and protection.
The understanding of the copyright laws has been low on account of low level of awareness of intellectual property and laws being too complicated for the common man to understand.
This law under the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act, 2006, provides that it is unlawful to use copyrighted musical work without the copyright owner’s consent.
Uganda Registration Service Bureau (URSB) defines Intellectual Property (IP) as creations of the mind such as inventions; literary and artistic work, designs, and symbols, names and images used in commerce.