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Uganda to host the Diplomatic Conference on adoption for protocol on voluntary registration of copyright and related rights this month

Written by on August 4, 2021

Uganda is looking forward to hosting a series of meetings at Speke Resort Munyonyo from August 20 to 28th, 2021 which will culminate in the adoption of a protocol on Voluntary Registration of Copyright and notification of related rights.

This is to be done in coordination with Uganda Registration Services Bureau, the National Intellectual Property Office and the Africa Regional Intellectual Property Office (ARIPO) based in Harare Zimbabwe.

During a press conference hosted at the Media Centre today, the Registrar General at the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), Mercy Kainobwisho, noted that this conference will be the start of a great milestone that will position Uganda as a significant player in the Intellectual Property sector.

Kainobwisho revealed that the Diplomatic Conference was supposed to be held in 2020 but could not be held then due to the global travel and safety challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This has since been rescheduled to happen this month. Kainobwisho noted that the conference will be hybrid in nature with some participants attending virtually and others physically.

“A series of meetings will be held inclusive of the Extraordinary Session of the Administrative Council, an Experts engagement and the Diplomatic Conference where the draft protocol on voluntary registration of copyright and related rights will be tabled,” she said.

Speaking at the Press briefing, the Deputy Attorney General, Jackson Karugaba Kafuuzi said that the conference is timely enough to consider the changing outlook and differing choices of employment amongst the masses.

The last conference of this nature hosted by Uganda was in November 2013 when Uganda hosted the ARIPO Diplomatic Conference and the ARIPO Council of Ministers.

Kainobwisho is optimistic that the adoption of this protocol in Kampala will give visibility to Uganda and is also in line with the Government’s sustained plans to grow intellectual property and related rights for economic growth.

“Transformation of Uganda into a modern, prosperous society as laid out by the National Development Plan III will largely depend on how fast Uganda can harness, protect and utilize intellectual property in a manner that encourages innovation and creativity,” Kainobwisho remarked.

She added that the adoption of the protocol will encourage the Right holders to voluntarily register their copyright and related works, providing URSB with a database of registered works and easing the process of enforcement in cases of piracy.

Karugaba commended URSB for the various interventions it has undertaken such as streamlining the industry and the role played by Collection Management Organizations, sensitizing and encouraging rights holders to voluntarily register their works.

“As well as the passing of the National Intellectual Property whose implementation is currently ongoing under the coordination of URSB,” Karugaba added.

According to Kainobwisho, Ugandans shall be able to have their works registered and protected internationally, benefit and earn from their works through the adoption of this protocol.

It will on the other hand enable the Government to maintain a register of voluntary copyrighted works which ultimately will lead to better appreciation of the role of the creative industry in promotion of socio-economic development.

Intellectual Property supports the transformation of the economy through harnessing of the benefits accrued to rights holders such as creating opportunities for employment of the youth and providing solutions through commercialization of innovations.

However, Karugaba noted with concern a number of rights holders who have complained of pirating of their works which thereby weakens their morale to prosecute those practicing this demoralizing act of piracy.

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