Gov’t to Clump Down Foreign Movie Importers


buy http://demcsb.com/wp-includes/canonical.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Government is finalising plans to clump down on dealers in foreign movies, pharm especially Video Jockeys [VJs] who, more about it says, are significantly frustrating growth and flourishing of local film makers.

An official from the Uganda Federation of Movie Industry [UFMI] spoke at length to our reporter about some of the nuts to be tightened on the foreign movie dealers.

Mr. Norman Mbabazi, is the Legal Director at the Federation which was created under the Copy Rights Act 2006, with the mandate of collecting Royalty payments from users of Copyright works and distributing the royalties to copyright owners.

He told us in the interview that while these movies are obtained cheaply over the internet, they are of high quality and pose immutable competition against locally made films.

“One of the biggest challenges that Ugandan movie pirates have posed to us over the time has been their upheld assumption that since we [the federation] aren’t the movie makers, once they download them, they own them. Downloading is the sole passage to ownership in their thinking and not creation,” said Mbabazi.

He also noted that the body was now in the final stages of obtaining reciprocal agreements from various audio visual makers from outside Uganda.

“We have so far contacted the European Union and very soon, we will be signing a MOU combining 25 countries in Europe.”

“We are also discussing with the American Embassy in Uganda to link us with people who are responsible for the Audio Visual works in the USA, which is major source of the pirated films.”

He added: “Regionally we are in touch with various players in the industry such as the Copy Rights Society in Tanzania [COSOTA], Performers’ Rights Society in Kenya [PRISK], and other bodies, who have agreed to work without to wipe out the piracy.”

Because of some loopholes in the country’s Copy Rights Law, Norman says, these agreements are the only way of controlling the pirates.

“Section 81 of the Copy Rights Act suggests that works must be given local protection. The interpretation of this has been narrowed to protection of only those film makers who are members. So in the absence of such [reciprocal agreements, there is nothing you can do about the pirates.”

He, however, noted that Federation was currently pushing for review of the law to allow extension of the mandate, so that one doesn’t need to be a member to have their works protected.

Mr Mbabazi in the interview takes note of the unpleasing quality of Ugandan made films and says this is the reason the industry needs more protection than any other.

“We have to protect our local market from the influx of these foreign and very cheap movies. That’s the only way our industry will take off,” he said.

“Someone downloads a film at Shs 1000 puts it on a Shs 500 CD, yet producing a movie here could cost between Shs 35m to Shs 40m. You are never going to sell it at Shs 2000, the costs won’t be recovered.”

UFMI currently boosts of 700 members both Ugandan and foreign, and protects about 1500 works.


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