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How To Copyright A Song In Uganda


What is copyright?

Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country, that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to its use and distribution, usually for a limited time, with the intention of enabling the creator (e.g. a musician) to receive compensation for their intellectual effort.

When are copyrights created?

Musical and Artistic works cannot be copyrighted unless the work has been written down, recorded or otherwise reduced to material form.

For compositions, the copyright is automatically created when music or lyrics are recorded, put on paper, or otherwise written down in a document

For master recordings, the copyright is created as soon as “a sound recording is fixed, meaning that the sounds must be captured in a medium. This may be “in a digital track, disk, tape, or other formats”.

Which institution is tasked with registration of copyright in Uganda?

The Uganda Registration Services Bureau is the body established by Chapter 210 Laws of Uganda in 1998 to facilitate registrations of intellectual property rights


Posta Branch - Posta Uganda Main Office, Booths 2 & 3, Kampala Road, Kampala

UIA Branch - UIA Offices, 2nd Floor, Twed Towers, Lumumba Avenue, Kampala

Nakivubo Branch - Sekaziga House Floor 1, Nakivubo Mews, Kampala

Mbale Branch - Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, 3 Park Crescent, Mbale

Mbarara Branch - 1 Kamukuzi Hill, Mbarara

Gulu Branch – 6B Princess Road, Gulu

Arua Branch – 42/44 Packwach Road, Arua

How does one register a copyright?

Step 1: Visit the URSB offices (registrar of copyrights) and submit an application for Copyright registration upon payment of the application fee.

Step 2: Attach the copy of the work for which protection is sort e.g. Books, CD, DVD.

Step 3: The application is then published in the Uganda Gazette for 60 days.

Step 4: If no objection is made to the registration of the said right, a certificate of registration will be issued to the applicant. No fee is charged for registration certificate

How much does copyrighting a song cost?


Fee (UGX)

Application for registration


Gazetting by Uganda publishing and Printing Corporation


What is the duration of Copyright?

The “Copyright protection generally lasts for the life of the creator and 50 years after the creator’s death



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