When you buy original music copyright works:
- Musicians earn some money
- A government gets some taxes
- You contribute to the growth of our economy You buy quality music
- You protect your DVD/CD/cassette player
- You promote musicians
- You build the music industry
- You put a smile to many faces You are a true Ugandan
When you infringe copyright:
- You make musicians poorer
- You make government to lose taxes
- The Uganda police will arrest you and prosecute you!
- Copyright inspectors will seize your machines! Uganda bureau of standard will seize your all your CDs that you don’t meet all their standards!
- You may lose your machines to the state!
- What is copyright?
When you compose a song, write a book, paint a picture – any creation of any mind falling within the musical; artistic; scientific or literary work-and reduce it in material form, e.g. by recording a song on a cassette or C.D (quality of the recording does not matter), writing musical notes etc. that creation as long as it is original, has a copyright protected by law. Copyright gives the monopoly to authorize or prohibit others to use your work.
- Why should copyright be protected?
Oh why not?! Copyright is property like any other! The time you put in to compose your song, for example has to be rewarded. Not anybody can compose a song! So for others to use your song they have to pay you. It is like you own your car and someone else wanted to (hire) use it. Wouldn’t they pay you? The World Intellectual property Organization (WIPO), an organization of The United Nations says: “Copyright protection is an essential component in fostering human creativity and innovation. Giving creators incentives in form of recognition and fair economic rewards increases their activities and enhances the results”
- What should i do to have my work protected?
You see the moment you reduce your work into material form, copyright is automatically created in hat work, provided it is original. There are no formalities required!
- Will my work be protected outside Uganda?
Oh yes! Actually all users of work, whether in Uganda or in any other country must obtain your permission to use your music
- How will i know the users in order to give them permission?
Frankly speaking you are not in position to handle the task single-handed. It is highly technical; professional and sophisticated. Besides the users will never know you and they will never contact you. WIPO notes many authors and performers don’t have the ability and means to pursue the legal and administrative enforcement of copyright and related rights, especially given the world wide use of literally, musical and performance rights. As a result, the establishment and enhancement of societies is a growing and a necessary trend. In short you are advised to visit UPRS to register and assign your work to us so that we administer your work worldwide. UPRS has the means and capacity to know the users of you work worldwide!
- What is uprs and how can they manage my copyright worldwide?
UPRS means Uganda Performing Right Society. It is a society that was formed in 1985 by authors (mainly musicians) to advance the cause of copyright administration in Uganda. It was registered with the registrar of copyright as a company limited by guarantee having no share capital. In other wards it belongs to all members. UPRS is recognized by government as collecting society and is member of International Confederation of Societies of Authors and composers (CISAC). In 2004, (WIPO) donated a work station to Uganda and government presented it to UPRS so that we could manage your copyright effectively and in conformity to world standards. Meanwhile UPRS has entered reciprocal agreements with other societies worldwide under auspices of CISAC. Therefore UPRS protects local and foreign works falling with in our repertoire in Uganda, while other societies protect your works (through UPRS) in their respective countries. Simple and easy isn’t it? However not being a member of UPRS, you may be losing millions of royalties collected from different users around the world which royalties cannot be remitted to you since you are not member of the would family of authors and composers!
- Whose society did you say uprs is?
UPRS is open to all owners of copyright. Once you join it you become one of the members. Remember it has no shares, so you do not need to buy shares in it to become one of its members. What you must to have is work having a copyright. Its members form the general assembly and it is at general assembly that all matters of the society are determined. However government has a keen interest in UPRS because it handles its member’s money. Therefore government makes the laws and regulations that govern the society, and if anything goes wrong the managers are held accountable by government.
- You said i may be losing millions in royalties and where do they come from?
Royalty is a fee paid to owner of copyright by a person using his or her work. The fee is set by the society on behalf of the owner of copyright. So each time your work is used, say your music is played by a broadcaster, Television Station, Bank, Hotel, Supermarket, Restaurant, Discotheque, Night club etc. that user (whether he or she is in Uganda or outside Uganda) is supposed to pay you! By not being a member of UPRS, Societies all over the world cannot remit you due royalties because your work can not be identified on the world system! So you lose out1!! But why should you lose out?
- But aren’t users doing us a favor to play our music? Aren’t they actually helping promoting us? Why ask them to pay?
It’s true we need users to use our works. But they equally need our works to support their businesses. For example, in order for a broadcaster to attract listeners they must have good programs. In order for listeners to get attracted to get attracted to a broadcaster he must play music as a component in their programs. It is only after a broadcaster distinguishes him / herself as having good leadership that advertisers place their adverts on that particular radio! In short, your music helps the broadcaster to make money. Since music is a commodity like water, electricity etc. only that you cannot touch or see it, .whomever uses for and purpose other than private use, has to pay you. Actually radio one, cbs FM, k-FM, CBS FM, Vision voices, capital FM (among others) have already paid because they need you just as u needs them! Haven’t you heard slogans like “better music mix”, “great songs, great memories”etc? It’s indeed very pleasing that broadcasters have appreciated the fact that by paying us, they encourage us to compose more good songs so that their listeners get glued to their stations-and so do the advertisers! It is also our pleasure to inform you that more users such as discotheques, banks, hotels etc. have started paying for our music!! DID YOU KNOW? You may not have not to perform so often to make money- just like Michael Jackson, 50 Cent, and such all other musicians. Who do not perform so often, but they are really rich.
- How else does UPRS help me?
Stop piracy e.g. CD burning (computers) Request radios to play more local music. Cultural development fund to assist develop cultural industries including helping upcoming artists. Provident and benevolent fund to help you in your old age. Common voice on all matters relating to your copyright Lastly it’s important for you to know that assigning your work to UPRS you don’t lose copyright in the work nor the work itself. UPRS only acts on your behalf to enforce and administer your copyright.