All dealers in pirated and photocopied books are to face arrest and prosecution in line with the copyright and neighboring rights act as the Uganda Reproduction Rights Organization (URRO) teams up with the police to carry out an operation
Under the copyright and neighboring rights act of 2006 and the copyright and neighboring regulations of 2010, commercial piracy and photocopying of books is prohibited as it denies authors an income
The Uganda reproduction rights organization estimates that sh1.8 billion is lost annually due to commercial piracy and photocopying. The executive director of the Association Charles Batambuze told journalists at the media centre Tuesday that an operation begins this month to address this theft.
“We have introduced security stickers to distinguish genuine books from the pirated ones. Copyright inspectors shall work with the police and customs because some of the pirated books come through the borders,” stated Batambuze, adding that “the stickers will be marked with URRO and a national emblem.”
Under the current law, fair use of books is allowed but limiting photocopying to only 10% or one chapter of the book which is not adequate for many schools that lack text books
Batambuze said that this challenge is being addressed through issuance of special licenses to institutions or book dealers
“One chapter from a book may not be enough information for instance to a university student to do a coursework and that is why we are making available a set of licenses for institutions to copy more than one chapter without breaking the law,” said Batambuze.
He said the money from the licenses paid by institutions will be distributed as loyalties to both local and international writers and publishers of books.