Licensing Frequently Asked Questions
Where does UPRS collect membership royalties? OR Who are the commercial users of music?
b. BEACHES AND SIMILAR OPEN-AIR PREMISES
c. LIVE MUSIC PERFORMANCES
d. MEMORY CARDS AND MEMORY STICKS
e. BLANK TAPE LEVY
g. HOTELS, GUEST HOUSES, AND SIMILAR MULTI-ROOMED ESTABLISHMENTS
h. AMUSEMENT ARCADES, PARKS, AND FAIRGROUNDS
i. ROADHOUSES, Takeaways, AND SIMILAR PREMISES
j. BARS, GARDENS, PUBS, AND SIMILAR PREMISES
k. RESTAURANTS, Cafés, COFFEE SHOPS, AND SIMILAR PREMISES
l. SHOPS, STORES, SHOWROOMS, OFFICES, BANKS, GYM, AND SIMILAR PREMISES
m. LIGHT MUSIC CONCERTS
n. SPORTS BETTING AND SIMILAR PREMISES
o. HAIRDRESSING SALONS AND BARBERS’ SHOPS
p. MUSICAL SHOWS IN HALLS, THEATERS, AND AUDITORIUMS
r. PAID-UP LIVE MUSIC PERFORMANCES
s. RINGTONE SERVICE PROVIDERS
t. RADIO AND TELEVISION DIFFUSION SERVICES
u. RECORDED MUSIC AS AN ACCOMPANIMENT TO KARAOKE, MIMES, CABARET, DANCING, OR FLOOR SHOWS
v. HOTELS, RESTAURANTS, AND SIMILAR PREMISES
w. BUSES, MOTOR COACHES, TAXIS, AND MINIBUSSES
x. MOBILE DISC JOCKEYS
y. DISCOTHEQUES AND DANCE HALLS
z. RACE TRACKS, SPORTS STADIUMS, AND SIMILAR OPEN-AIR PREMISES
When you buy original music copyright works:
- Musicians earn some money
- A government gets some taxes
- You contribute to the growth of our economy, You buy quality music
- You protect your DVD/CD/cassette player
- You promote musicians
- You build the music industry
- You put a smile on many faces, You are a true Ugandan
When you infringe copyright:
- You make musicians poorer
- You make government lose taxes
- The Uganda police will arrest you and prosecute you!
- Copyright inspectors will seize your machines! Uganda Bureau of the standard will seize all your CDs that you don’t meet all their standards!
- You may lose your machines to the state!
- What is copyright?
When you compose a song, write a book, or paint a picture – any creation of any mind falling within the musical; artistic; scientific or literary work-and reduce it to material form, e.g. by recording a song on a cassette or C.D (quality of the recording does not matter), writing musical notes, etc. that creation, as long as it is original, has copyright protected by law. Copyright gives the monopoly to authorize or prohibit others to use your work.
- Why should copyright be protected?
Oh, why not?! Copyright is a property like any other! The time you put in to compose your song, for example, has to be rewarded. Not anybody can compose a song! So for others to use your song, they have to pay you. It is like you own your car and someone else wanted to (hire) use it. Wouldn’t they pay you? The World Intellectual property Organization (WIPO), an organization of The United Nations, says: “Copyright protection is an essential component in fostering human creativity and innovation. Giving creators incentives in the form of recognition and fair economic rewards increases their activities and enhance the results”
- What should I do to have my work protected?
You see, the moment you reduce your work into material form, copyright is automatically created in that work, provided it is original. There are no formalities required!
- Will my work be protected outside Uganda?
Oh, yes! Actually all users of the work, whether in Uganda or in any other country, must obtain your permission to use your music
- How will I know the users in order to give them permission?
Frankly speaking, you are not in a position to handle the task single-handedly. It is highly technical; professional and sophisticated. Besides, the users will never know you and they will never contact you. WIPO notes many authors and performers don’t have the ability and means to pursue the legal and administrative enforcement of copyright and related rights, especially given the worldwide use of literal, musical, and performance rights. As a result, the establishment and enhancement of societies is a growing and necessary trend. In short, you are advised to visit UPRS to register and assign your work to us so that we administer your work worldwide. UPRS has the means and capacity to know the users of your work worldwide!
- What is UPRS, and how can they manage my copyright worldwide?
UPRS means Uganda Performing Right Society. It is a society that was formed in 1985 by authors (mainly musicians) to advance the cause of copyright administration in Uganda. It was registered with the registrar of copyright as a company limited by guarantee, having no share capital. In other words, it belongs to all members. UPRS is recognized by the government as a collecting society and is a member of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and composers (CISAC). In 2004, (WIPO) donated a workstation to Uganda and the government presented it to UPRS so that we could manage your copyright effectively and in conformity with world standards. Meanwhile, UPRS has entered reciprocal agreements with other societies worldwide under the auspices of CISAC. Therefore, UPRS protects local and foreign works falling within our repertoire in Uganda, while other societies protect your works (through UPRS) in their respective countries. Simple and easy, isn’t it? However, not being a member of UPRS, you may be losing millions of royalties collected from different users around the world royalties cannot be remitted to you since you are not a member of the world family of authors and composers!
- Whose society did you say UPRS is?
UPRS is open to all owners of the copyright. Once you join it, you become one of the members. Remember, it has no shares, so you do not need to buy shares in it to become one of its members. What you must have is work having copyright. Its members form the general assembly, and it is at the general assembly that all matters of the society are determined. However, the government has a keen interest in UPRS because it handles its member’s money. Therefore, the government makes the laws and regulations that govern society, and if anything goes wrong the managers are held accountable by the government.
- You said I may be losing millions in royalties, and where do they come from?
Royalty is a fee paid to the owner of a copyright by a person using his or her work. The fee is set by the society on behalf of the owner of the copyright. So each time your work is used, say your music is played by a broadcaster, Television Station, Bank, Hotel, Supermarket, Restaurant, Discotheque, Night club, etc. that user (whether he or she is in Uganda or outside Uganda) is supposed to pay you! By not being a member of UPRS, Societies all over the world cannot remit you due royalties because your work can not be identified on the world system! So you lose out1!! But why should you lose out?
- But aren’t users doing us a favor to play our music? Aren’t they actually helping to promote us? Why ask them to pay?
It’s true, we need users to use our work. But they equally need our work to support their businesses. For example, in order for a broadcaster to attract listeners, they must have good programs. In order for listeners to get attracted to a broadcaster, he must play music as a component of their programs. It is only after a broadcaster distinguishes him/herself as having good leadership that advertisers place their adverts on that particular radio! In short, your music helps the broadcaster to make money. Since music is a commodity like water, electricity, etc. only that you cannot touch or see it. Whoever uses it for any purpose other than private use, has to pay you. Actually, radio one, CBS FM, k-FM, CBS FM, Vision voices, and capital FM (among others) have already paid because they need you just as u need them! Haven’t you heard slogans like “better music mix”, “great songs, great memories” etc.? It’s indeed very pleasing that broadcasters have appreciated the fact that by paying us, they encourage us to compose more good songs so that their listeners get glued to their stations-and so do the advertisers! It is also our pleasure to inform you that more users such as discotheques, banks, hotels, etc. have started paying for our music!! DID YOU KNOW? You may not have to not perform so often to make money-just like Michael Jackson, 50 Cent, and all other musicians. Who do not perform so often, but they are really rich.
- How else does UPRS help me?
Stop piracy e.g. CD burning (computers) Request radios to play more local music. Cultural development fund to assist develop cultural industries, including helping upcoming artists. Provident and benevolent fund to help you in your old age. The common voice on all matters relating to your copyright Lastly it’s important for you to know that by assigning your work to UPRS you don’t lose copyright in the work nor the work itself. UPRS only acts on your behalf to enforce and administer your copyright.