Copyright Overview

What is a copyright? Copyright protects creative works like musical compositions, audio recordings, movies, books, articles, diagrams, photos, website content and software code. Copyright gives the creator/ copyright owner exclusive rights to stop others from using their work without his/her permission. This includes the right to copy, distribute, use and adopt the work. Copyright owners can license or permanently transfer or assign their exclusive rights to others.
What are Neighbouring Rights? Neigbouring rights are of performers, producers and makers of sound recordings. The purpose of neighbouring rights is to protect the economic and moral rights of persons and entities who contribute to making copyright. Examples are performers of a musical work composed by another person
What can be protected by Copyright law? • Literary works (e.g. articles, novels, pamphlets, books) • Dramatic works (e.g. scripts for films and dramas) • Musical works (e.g. melodies) • Artistic works (e.g. paintings, photographs, drawings, architecture, sculpture) • Sound recordings • Films • Television and radio broadcasts • Cable programmes • Performances • Computer programs
What works are not protected by Copyright law? Ideas, concepts, procedures, methods, public benefit works or other things of a similar nature are not protected by Copyright law.
What rights are protected by Copyright? • Economic rights, which allow the owner of rights to derive financial reward from the use of his/her works by others. • Moral rights which allow the author to always be associated with the work and also prevent the use of the works in a way that does not reflect their belief.
How is Copyright acquired? Copyright is recognized and protected at creation. A created work is automatically protected by copyright as soon as it exists. However the work must be original (it must have been developed independently by its creator) and it must be expressed in material form. Works are protected irrespective of their quality. The Copyright law of Uganda however, further provides that the owner of a copyright and neighboring right may register the right with the registrar for the purposes of keeping evidence of ownership of right, identification of works and authors and maintenance of record of the rights.
What is the procedure for registering a copyright? • An application for registration must be made to the Registrar of copyright and an application fee paid. • The application for must be published in the Uganda Gazette for 60 days. • If no objection is made to the registration of the said right, a certificate of registration will be issued to the applicant.
How long does copyright protection last? Copyright protection generally lasts for the life of the creator and 50 years after the creator’s death. This means that it is not only the creators that benefit from their works, but also their heirs.