"Body to charge licences for photocopying books" is the title of an email received by Afro Leo from Consent (the Consumer Education Trust, Kampala), referring to an article in New Vision Newspaper last week by Taddeo Bwambale.
The article explains that Ugandans will be paying licences to photocopy published works once a new body, the Uganda Reproduction Rights Organisation, comes into force later this month. This initiative seeks to promote intellectual property rights of copyright holders and to ensure that authors benefit from their works. Content users will be required to pay an additional fee for photocopying literary, artistic and other works protected under the Copyright and Neighbouring Act 2006. This Act provides for the establishment of a collecting society to promote and encourage creativity in the artistic, literary and scientific fields in Uganda. Money which it collects will be distributed to authors, the amount depending on the average number of copies made of each author's works in a year. The article adds:
"Students in universities and other institutions will be most affected by the measure since most lecturers rely on handouts, which are photocopies from published works.
According to the copyright law, reproducing published works without the licence of the copyright holder or their agent is an offence, which attracts a fine of sh2m, a four-year jail term or both".