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ACA2K Uganda Node

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ACA2K Uganda Team

Uganda ACA2K Country Node

Dr. Dick Kawooya

ACA2K Lead Researcher & Uganda research team member, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), USA

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Mr. Ronald Kakungulu

Uganda research team member, Makerere University, Kampala,

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Ms. Jeroline Akubu

Uganda research team member, Uganda Law Reform Commission (ULRC), Kampala

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ACA2K Uganda Country Rationale (Back to top)

The Ugandan context was an important one for ACA2K research because the country amended its copyright law in 2006 in a manner that did not taken full advantage of available limitations and exceptions.

As a former British colony, Uganda follows a common law system. Starting with the 1953 Copyright Act, based on the British Act, Uganda's copyright environment remained relatively stable until the new 2006 Copyright Act  that introduced wide-ranging changes from the then-Copyright Act of 1964.

Uganda depends on donors and development partners for around 50% of its national budget. As part of economic reforms, the donors expect changes in the country's trade-related laws, including its intellectual property laws. Uganda is also part of the East African Community (EAC), with Kenya,Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. The EAC has resolved to update intellectual property laws in order to better protect creative industries. This environment of external pressure from donors and the EAC, coupled with internal demands from artists, has created an active copyright environment in Uganda, with potentially serious consequences for access to materials for education and research purposes. The 2006 Act places greater emphasis on enforcement than the 1964 Act did, with scant regard for the need to improve access for non-profit, educational purposes.

Uganda has a vibrant information sector, including a small but fast-growing publishing industry. Uganda also boasts a liberalised telecommunications industry, which has contributed to solid growth of the country's information and communication technology (ICT) sector. But the less-than-favorable copyright environment potentially stands in the way of full exploitation of ICTs and digital resources for educational purposes. 

The Ugandan academic sector has been relatively prominent in A2K initiatives, including  the November 2005 Africa Copyright Forum Conference in Kampala, which was hosted by the National Library and supported by the National Library Association of Uganda, the Africa Section of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), and the Virtual Copyright Group of the Commonwealth of Learning (CoL) .

Research Outputs (Back to top)

Legislation (Back to top)

Secondary Literature (Back to top)

Ainebyona, A. The impact of the copyright law on the publishing industry in Uganda: a case study of various publishing houses in Uganda (2006) unpublished BLIS dissertation, Makerere University, Kampala.

Akubu, J.
‘Balancing features in Uganda’s copyright law’ in Copyright and documentary film in the Commonwealth: legal scholar reports from six countries (2009) Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property and Center for Social Media,   American   University,   Washington,   DC   Available   at [Accessed 1 April 2010].

Bakidde-Mubiru,   A.
Copyright   infringement,   defences   and   remedies:   the   case   of Uganda (1998) unpublished LLB dissertation, Makerere University, Kampala.

Regional Programme and Research Network for Biotechnology, Biosafety and Biotechnology Policy Development  (BIO-EARN)
Managing intellectual property (2008) Policy Brief 1, January. Available at [Accessed 1 June 2010].

Kakungulu-Mayambala, R.
The impact of new technologies on the protection, exercise and enforcement of copyrights and   related   rights (2006)  unpublished  LLM dissertation, Lund University.

Kakooza, J.
‘Note on the “is” and the “ought” of the law of copyright in Uganda’ (2001) 112 Makerere Law Journal.

Kamoga-Matovu, M
. Counteracting copyrights and patents infringement in Uganda (2000) unpublished LLB dissertation, Makerere University, Kampala. 

Lumu,   E.
The   impact  of  piracy  on  Uganda’s   publishing   industry:   a   case   study   of Kampala   New   Styles   Bookshop   Ltd   versus   John   Murray (1999)  unpublished MSIS dissertation, Makerere University.

Musana, A.W
Intellectual   property:   the  case  for  copyright   law  in  the  economic development process in Uganda (1998) unpublished LLB dissertation, Makerere University, Kampala.

Mutibwa, P. Uganda since independence: a story of unfulilled hopes (1992) Fountain Publishers, Kampala.

Nassolo, R. A review of copyright law in Uganda (2001) unpublished BLIS dissertation, Makerere University, Kampala. 

Tabaro, E
. Copyright law reform in Uganda: addressing international standards at the expense of domestic objectives (2005) ACODE Policy Brieing Paper.

Uganda Law   Reform Commission (ULRC)
A  study  report  on  copyright   and neighbouring rights law (2004) ULRC Publication 9.

Links (Back to top)
  • Africa Copyright Forum Conference of 2005, Kampala
  • Commonwealth of Learning (CoL)
  • International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
  • Makerere University
  • National Library Association of Uganda
  • National Library of Uganda
  • Uganda Law Reform Commission (ULRC)
(Back to top)

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