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Protocol on Voluntary Registration of Copyright and Related Rights to be adopted in Kampala, Uganda at the Diplomatic Conference

KampalaMinisters responsible for Copyright and Related Rights from the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)Member States are meeting from 27 to 28 August 2021 to adopt the first Protocol on Voluntary Registration of Copyright and Related Rights in Africa.

The President of the Republic of Uganda, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, will be the Guest of Honour for this historic Diplomatic Conference for the Adoption of the Draft Protocol on Voluntary Registration of Copyright and Related Rights.

The Council of Ministers of ARIPO at its Seventeenth Session held in Charlesville, Margibi County, Republic of Liberia in November 2019, endorsed the Legal Framework on Voluntary Registration of Copyright and Related Rights and directed the Secretariat to reformulate the Legal Framework into a Draft Protocol for adoption in a Diplomatic Conference to be held in Kampala, Uganda.

The Draft Protocol to be presented to the Ministers was endorsed by the 11th Extraordinary Session of the Administrative Council, which was held from 23 to 26 August 2021 following the review of the draft in a meeting of Copyright Experts held from 20 to 21 August 2021 at the Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kampala, Uganda.  

The Ministers are expected to sign the Protocol as a show of acceptance and adoption. The Protocol on Voluntary Registration of Copyright and Related Rights will come into force

three months after five States have deposited their instruments of ratification or accession.

Copyright has a competitive advantage in Africa. However, it is yet to realize its full potential. Being the first of its kind in Africa, the Protocol will help promote creators from the ARIPO Member States and Africa’s creative industry by ensuring that they benefit from their creative works. Benefits will include providing an effective means of presumption as to authorship and or ownership and facilitate the enforcement of Copyright and Related Rights.

The Protocol on Voluntary Registration of Copyright and Related Rights will establish a Regional Voluntary Registration of Copyright. It will create a conducive environment to ensure respect for the copyrighted works and facilitate the promotion of creative industries in the ARIPO Member States and Africa. The Protocol also aims to ensure that the creators benefit from their creative works, are incentivized to create more and explore new markets, thereby increasing their income.

The Diplomatic Conference for the Adoption of the Draft Protocol on Voluntary Registration of Copyright and Related Rights was made possible with the support from respective ARIPO Member States, more especially the Government of Uganda through the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office. 

The 20 ARIPO Member States are Botswana, The Kingdom of Eswatini, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, The Kingdom of Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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