Music stakeholders angered by license fees

The Uganda Performing Right Society (UPRS) and Uganda Musician Association (UMA) recently introduced music licenses for all commercial entities including clubs, bars, pubs, hotels, Disc Jockeys (Djs) among others.

According to UPRS, all entities have to obtain an annual license worth UGX 160,000 in order to play all copyrighted songs during events, parties and festivals. The efforts are geared towards generating sustainable revenue for artists.

UPRS procured the services of Standby Promoters to help with the registration and licensing process and has since embarked on a sensitisation across the country in order to popularise the development.

Officials from UPRS and UMA earlier this December met different stakeholders in Entebbe Municipality to explain the new development.

However, the proposed licensing has been received unkindly, the concerned parties arguing the proposed fees are too high considering the expenses they incur such as rent, local government taxes and data to download the music.

A section of Djs threatened to boycott Ugandan music and opt to play international music.

Copyright Law in Uganda

Copyright is a type of intellectual property that protects original works of authorship as soon as an author fixes the work in a tangible form of expression.

In Uganda, the law on copyright is epitomized in the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act 2006. The Act grants authors, artists and other creators protection for their literary and artistic creations, generally referred to as “works”.

The kind of works protected by copyright include, literary and artistic works such as; novels, poems, plays, musical compositions, newspapers, adverts, films, choreography, photographs, sculptures and architecture, maps, technical drawings among others.

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