ACA2K News

ACA2K's French-Language Book Published PDF Print E-mail
31 October 2011

A French-language version of the ACA2K book outlining the project's research results, entitled L'accès au savoir en Afrique : le rôle du droit d'auteur, has now been published by Laval University Press in Canada. The book is freely available online, under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada licence.

It is also available for purchase in hard-copy from Laval University Press.

The English-language version, entitled Access to Knowledge in Africa: The Role of Copyright, and published by UCT Press under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 South Africa licence, is also available online.

WIPO Magazine Highlights ACA2K Book PDF Print E-mail
7 February 2011

The February 2011 edition of WIPO Magazine, published at World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) headquarters in Geneva, features a review of the ACA2K book, Access to Knowledge in Africa: The Role of Copyright. Click here for the book review, as written by ACA2K Lead Researcher Dr. Dick Kawooya.

The ACA2K book itself was published in July 2010 by UCT Press in Cape Town, and a French-language version is being published in August 2011 by Canada's les Presses de l'Université Laval.

The full February issue of WIPO Magazine is available here.


Mozambique's Culture Minister Acknowledges ACA2K PDF Print E-mail
8 December 2010

Mozambique's Minister of Culture, speaking at the launch this morning of the ACA2K book in Maputo, spoke of the importance of the ACA2K project for the copyright reform process in the country.

The Maputo launch of the ACA2K volume, entitled Access to Knowledge in Africa: The Role of Copyright, took place as part of the opening ceremony for a Ministry of Culture seminar on copyright law reform in relation to cultural and creative industries.

ACA2K Mozambique team leader Fernando dos Santos introduced the book and explained the aims of the ACA2K project and its research outputs. Dos Santos also highlighted the book's conclusions and recommendations, and their links to the current process of reform in Mozambique.

The Dean of the Faculty of Law at Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM), Prof. Armando Dimande, then presented a copy of the book to the Minister of Culture, Prof. Armando Artur. The Minister said that the volume was an important one for the Mozambican Copyright Law reform process, and he acknowledged the involvement of UEM, the institution with which all three ACA2K Mozambique researchers -- Fernando dos Santos, Julieta Nhane and Filipe Sitoi -- are affiliated.

Nhane and Sitoi were also in attendance at the event to support Dos Santos in the launching of the title. Dos Santos, Nhane and Sitoi authored the chapter on Mozambique.

Copyright stakeholders from all 11 Mozambican provinces are attending the three-day national seminar in Maputo on copyright and cultural industries, which is funded by UNESCO. Attendees are drawn from academic institutions, government, the Mozambican Copyright Office, the national collective management society, police, customs, cultural associations and UNESCO.

 Photographs from Mozambique Book Launch

Uganda Book Launch Highlights Need for Reform on the Continent PDF Print E-mail
26 November 2010

In an event convened by the National Book Trust of Uganda (NABOTU), the ACA2K book has just received its Uganda launch at the Speke Hotel in Kampala.

The launch drew a large audience of 44 people, including IP lawyers, librarians, academics, students, authors, booksellers, collective management organisations, printers and representatives of the copyright office.

ACA2K Lead Researcher Dr. Dick Kawooya, who was one of the Editors of the book, entitled Access to Knowledge in Africa: The Role of Copyright, and who co-authored three of its chapters, was on hand to introduce the volume along with ACA2K Uganda's Ronald Kakungulu, one of Kawooya's co-authors for the Uganda chapter. They both emphasised the book's key findings in favour of reform of copyright law and practice on the continent.
NABOTU Executive Secretary Charles Batambuze served as moderator.

Kawooya and Kakungulu outlined the ACA2K project, explained how copyright impacts on commerce, user access and even human rights, and explained that the ACA2K research findings suggest that copyright laws and practices in the eight study countries are in need of review in order to better cater for access.

"For me, the project provided the unique opportunity to understand the interrelationships between commercial law and human rights," Kagungulu told the audience. "I was afforded the opportunity to graft a human side/face to the copyright debate" by focussing on the dimension of user access.

When asked about the sufficiency of provisions in African copyright laws for protecting user rights, Kawooya said that "we found out from the study that most African copyright legislation exceeded international standards."

But, added Kawooya, "we also found out that there is normally a disparity between law and practice,"  with widespread infringement creating a false impression that the law needs to be strengthened. Thus, the push in some countries is towards tightening control, when in fact the push needs to be towards finding a balance between rights-holder rights and user rights, and creating greater opportunity for non-infringing, non-commercial user access for private and educational purposes.

The official public launching of the book in Uganda was performed by James Tumusiime, Chairman of NABOTU.

Published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 South Africa licence, the book is available online at:
ACA2K website;   
Wits University LINK Centre website; and 
IDRC website

Click here for the UCT Press Flyer giving details of how to buy a hard-copy of the book.  
ACA2K Geneva Book Launch Draws Interest from WIPO CDIP Participants PDF Print E-mail
23 November 2010

The ACA2K book, entitled Access to Knowledge in Africa: The Role of Copyright and published by UCT Press, has just received its Geneva launch at an evening side-event to an important World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) meeting.

Tonight's launch was convened by ACA2K partner IQsensato, a Geneva-based non-profit research and communications organisation.

ACA2K Lead Researcher Dr. Dick Kawooya introduced the book at the cocktail function, which took place on the sidelines of the Sixth Session (22-26 November) of the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP).

Kawooya described the launch as "excellent," with the book potentially having impact at WIPO "long into the future."
After the launch, one WIPO copyright official requested additional copies of the book for use in future work on copyright limitations and exceptions (L&Es) at both CDIP and at the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR). As well, WIPO has decided that the book will be reviewed in the first quarter of 2011 in one of its official newsletters.

The event, which was covered by the prestigious IP-Watch online news service, was in the 13th floor open space of the WIPO Main Building, the same building where the CDIP deliberations are taking place all this week. Many CDIP participants and observers attended the launch after concluding today's afternoon session. Attendees included several WIPO officials, country delegates to WIPO, and members of the wider WTO/UN community in Geneva.

The ACA2K book has been published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 South Africa licence, and is available online at:
ACA2K website;   
Wits University LINK Centre website; and 
IDRC website
 Photographs from WIPO Book Launch, Geneva
Click here for the UCT Press Flyer giving details of how to buy a hard-copy of the book.  

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