Monday, 8 February 2010
Uganda's Copyright Regulations Finally published!
The Attorney General of Uganda has finally published the Copyright & Neighboring rights regulations 2010 that many players in the media industry have been looking forward to; or loathing depending on who you are! The regulations are intended to fully operationalize the Copyright Act of 2006.
A few highlights in the regulations include the following:
* Procedure for application for copyright. Note that registration is not mandatory although its of tremendous value in proceedings to enforce Copyright.
*Registration of assignments and licenses.
*Extensive procedures for registration of collecting societies.
*Provision for copyright inspectors with powers to seize allegedly infringing material.
*the regulations provide for a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment for those found guilty of copyright offences or fines of up to the equivalent of US$200 or both, neither of which seems deterrent enough to stem pervasive infringement of copyrighted works.
The other key thing to note is the publication period of 60 days before grant of a Copyright certificate, similar to that under the Trademark Regulations.
The question is, will the Registrar cope with the huge number of expected registrations in the weeks to come? The Attorney General deserves a pat on the back, and a request for funding to automate registration. This would definitely minimize backlog and streamline the registration system.