Wednesday June 11 2014

Govt to expedite anti-piracy law- Otafiire



In the next three months, Cabinet will have finalised a policy that will see scientists, musicians, artistes and innovators reap big from their creativity, innovation and hard work, Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister, Gen Kahinda Otafiire, has said.
According to Gen Otafiire, policy to popularise awareness on property rights is already in Cabinet and as the minister in charge, he is pushing for it to be done with before the close of the first quarter of the new financial year.

“It is difficult now for our scientists and artistes (musicians) to make money out of their creativity, innovation and talent because their works are pirated, stolen and reproduced without due regard for their efforts,” Gen Otafiire said in an interview after opening a follow-up training on Intellectual Property Rights in the global economy for the least developed countries recently in Kampala.

If passed soon, as the minister predicts, the policy will increase the population awareness on copyright related issues and the need for protection of literary, scientific and artistic works.
According to the Uganda Registration Services Bureau registrar, Mr General Mr Bemanaya Twebaze, the problem is not the law but its implementation.

He said: “Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act, 2006, bars and punishes piracy, and counterfeits; all we need to do is to enforce these legislations.”

He however agrees with Gen Otafiire, saying it is important that the policy is expedited as it is handy in terms of popularizing the intellectual property rights—something that has been lacking overtime.

In an earlier interview, Mr James Wasula, the general secretary of Uganda Performing Right Society, said there is need to protect the industry because of its impact in not just the individual industry players involved but for the good of the economy as well.