KAMPALA – The Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga had directed the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Ephraim Kamuntu to provide information on the establishment of a Collecting Society as prescribed in the Copyrights and Neighboring Act within one week.
The object of the Act is to provide for the protection of literary, scientific and artistic intellectual works and their neighboring rights; and to provide for other related matters.
According to Section 82 of the Act, the Minister of Justice may, on the recommendation of the Registrar General, and after consultation with the established collecting societies make regulations generally for the better carrying into effect of the provisions of the Act and to prescribed or provide for anything required or authorised to be prescribed or provided under the Act.
Kadaga said that despite its enactment in 2005, performing artists, designers and authors still witness high levels of piracy in their industry because of the failure of the Minister to establish a collecting society.
“This has occasioned grave injuries to the performing artistes and as a result, the actors in the industry have suffered loses,” she said.
Kadaga added that she has on more than one occasion appealed to the government to establish the collecting societies or in any other way ensure that the law is being implemented.
“You find that the President spends a lot of time with musicians and comedians but their industry is not protected. I would now like to know from the Minister as to when you will activate Section 82 of the Copyrights and Neighboring Act,” Kadaga said.
The Speaker also tasked Government to explain whether the Enguli (Manufacture and Licensing) Act is still in force, especially the section that establishes a Board that licenses the manufacture of jaggery.
Kadaga said the object of the legislation is to regulate the manufacture and sale of enguli, adding that sugarcane growers will be allowed to add value to sugarcane and it might involve jaggery.
“Section 13 of the Act prohibits manufacture jaggery. Unless one has been licensed by the minister, the jaggery license must specify the premises and prescribe the maximum quantity the license holder is permitted to manufacture, “she said adding that, ‘I want to know if we still have area licensing boards’.