Copyright and Media Professionalism; “The Right to Copy and not to Copy”! Kajubi Brian

Copyright is the Cinderella of the law. Her rich older sisters, franchises and Patents, long crowded her into the chimney-corner. Suddenly the fairly godmother, Invention, endowed her with mathematical and electrical devices as magical as the pumpkin coach and the mice footmen. Now she whirls through the mad mazes of a glamorous ball.” – Z.Chafee, Reflections on the Law of Copyright

Intellectual property is one of those areas of law that doesn’t really exist. It could have been the creation of the marketing department in any city law firm or mid –size company in Kampala or up-country, except that the expression has been in use since the mid-1970s, when even the city firms didn’t have marketing departments. It serves as a useful umbrella for a variety of different rights and related matters.

Intellectual property embraces patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and copyright: along the way it picks up the law of passing off, a precursor (and still a useful alternative) to trademark law and the law of confidential information which, mayor may not be a type of property. Some of the most important pieces of legislation in this field are the Paris Convention, Bern Convention and Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act of 2006 among others. There are other intellectual property rights: plant varieties have their own form of protection.

The purpose of this article is to throw more light on Copyright issues in the revolutionalized media and practice.

Who then has a right to copy and not to copy if that right exists in the first place in Uganda’s media industry?

What is copying good for? Why would someone of good faith want to copy? Debates over massive file sharing of music and movies have helped to make “copier” a synonym for “piracy”

A successful copyright infringement action gives the plaintiff the right to stop the defendant from printing, performing, or otherwise disseminating certain works. Infringing works can be seized and destroyed-book burning mandated by law. For nearly two centuries, though, courts and scholars did not think of copyright as posing any problems to other auxiliary rights, in part because firstly the law lacked its current scope and in part because copyright law rarely affected ordinary uses of copyrighted works. Consumers bought books and records, went to the movies,and listened to the radio, activities that gave them fewer opportunities to copy or modify copyrighted works than today’s technologies allow, and any small-scale private copying was difficult for copyright owners to detect or address.

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