The Deputy Attorney General, Jackson Kafuuzi has said the government is currently conducting extensive stakeholder consultations on the Copyright and Neighbourhood Rights Act, 2006.
Kafuuzi was speaking on the status of the amendment of the Copyright and Neighbourhood Rights Act, 2006 during the plenary sitting of Wednesday, 18 October 2023.
In July 2022, Hillary Kiyaga (NUP, Mawokota County North) was granted leave to introduce an amendment bill to among others, regulate piracy, protect copyrighted content and cure the unjust distribution of revenues collected from creative industry by telecom companies through caller-back tunes.
Kafuuzi said the delay to introduce the amendment was informed by the need to hold extensive consultations which he said are being conducted by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) and Uganda Law Reform Commission (ULRC) in consultation with Kiyaga, the mover of the bill.
“URSB together with ULRC is currently carrying out regional consultations with all stakeholders around the country before the submission of the Regulatory Impact Assessment to Cabinet,” Kafuuzi said.
He added that consultations have already been held and concluded in Northern Uganda while more consultations in Eastern, Western and Central region will be held between 18 October and 15 November 2023.
Thereafter, stakeholder views will be incorporated in the report before a Cabinet Memorandum is drafted.
“After Cabinet has considered and approved the principles for the amendment of the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act, 2006, the Executive will table the amendment Bill before Parliament for enactment,” he said.
James Baba (NRM, Koboko County) underscored the importance of the copyright amendment saying it should have been spearheaded by government.
“The issues of copyright should have an initiative of government because these young men and women who have established themselves as very talented are the ones who need protection; they have showed their interest in performing arts and this is an area where you can make money through copyright,” Baba said.
Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa advised MPs who wish to bring private member’s bills to work closely with the Attorney General to smoothen the legislative process.
Article 94(4) (b-d) of the Constitution of Uganda gives MPs the right to move a private member’s bill with afforded reasonable assistance from government and professional assistance in the drafting of the bill from the Office of the Attorney General.