MultiChoice Uganda the home of great Pay TV entertainment has embarked on the journey of equipping content creators with information and insights on ways to avoid copyright infringement cases, with a partners against piracy workshop held at Uganda Communications Commission offices in Bugolobi.
In partnership with the communications regulator Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and Intellectual Property regulator, Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), they trained content creators in the film, music and entertainment industry pertinent issues that arise from piracy and copyright.
Piracy, one of the biggest nightmares for any content creator has over the years become common with the rise of internet penetration. Notwithstanding the negative impact of piracy to the industry, with the Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act (2006), the different stakeholders joined forces to fight content piracy whilst educating relevant parties on the dangers and legal implications of copyright infringement.
Speaking at the workshop, Rinaldi Jamugisa, PR and Communications Manager, MultiChoice Uganda tasked filmmakers to objectively collaborate and support one another to minimize copyright infringement suits.
“We encourage you to form objective and mutually beneficial partnerships and collaborations while creating synergies that allow each of you involved in the creative process of the work to gain when you secure financing for your projects,” adding that, “It is unprofessional to take advantage of one another in the form of copyright infringement in your submissions as this detracts potential financing partners.”
Phillip Nyanja Kalibala, the Manager Copyright and Neighboring Rights at URSB kicked off the workshop explaining the legal and commercial system in content creation with a call to the content creators to get involved in the laws that govern their work so that they can benefit from it in the long run.
“Commercialization starts with you, don’t leave your work to whom it may concern, rather, own it and define it so that it is more valuable to you and you can reap from it.” Kalibala noted.
He further noted that content creators should be keen on not only looking at the monetary value of their work, but also the protection of their ideas and work of art. He remarked that, “You need to be involved in the conversations pertaining to copyrights and Intellectual property especially in relation to government policy and any amendments to be made,” adding that, “As owners of content that is a target for infringement or piracy, you need to demonstrate interest through elaborate involvement in the framework that is intended to help protect you and your creative works.”
Kalibala further identified the categories of rights enshrined in the content creators space, and how best they can leverage them for the protection of their work and ensure fair financial benefit.
Brian Kajubi, an associate with MMAKS Advocates went on to expound on the legal framework of Intellectual property, copyright and Anti-Piracy in the grand scheme of things pertaining to fight against piracy.
“Copyright is about two things; seeking permission and saying thank you. You need to have an intellectual property policy to help you understand what kind of content belongs to which entity,” adding that “awareness and collaboration with associations will help you reap from your work and protect it from criminals.”
In his closing remarks, Jamugisa called upon filmmakers to set the pace for the industry, “I further urge you to lead the industry by example by not being involved in accessing and using content that you have not got through the right channels from the respective content owners.”
Multichoice is committed to being Africa’s No.1 story teller, supporting local content and talent as well as working with relevant stakeholders to ensure value to viewers as part of its hyper-local strategy.
The last workshop on Content Acquisition and the regulatory environment will be held on 28th February 2023, online and open to all within the creative arts space including but not limited to Filmmakers, content creators, artistes, actors, among others.