Government of Zambia urges users of copyright-protected works to take up licences offered by ZARRSO

IFRRO and ZARRSO are pleased to announce that St Dominic Major Seminary University is the latest university to sign a collective licence with ZARRSO. The licence enables broad and legal access to copyright-protected works for all their staff and students.

This month the Zambian Government issued  a public notice directing “all institutions and business entities who in their operations make or cause reproductions of copyright protected works to obtain Copyright Reproduction Licenses from ZARRSO to legalize the copying to extents permissible under the license in accordance with the law”. The public notice was signed by Kayula Siame, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry of Zambia. She further advised all institutions “to desist from engaging in illegal reproduction”.

The notice demonstrates the high value the Zambian Government places on ensuring that access to copyright content takes place legally, and authors are rewarded when their works are used, contributing to a vibrant local culture.   

The Chief Executive of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) Caroline Morgan commended St Dominic Major Seminary University for taking action “to ensure copyright compliance by their university”. She also commented that “it is now up to all the remaining institutions who have not yet signed a licence to do so, for the good of education and culture”.

The Chief Executive of the Zambia Reprographic Rights Society (ZARRSO) Ruth Simujayangombe welcomed the move by the Government which validates its commitment to ensuring that rightsholders are adequately remunerated for the use of their works. She commended all the Institutions that had already taken up the license as this demonstrated their appreciation of the fact that legal access to works used played a significant role in them offering quality education. She also urged the institutions that were unlicensed to take up the license because not only does this give legal access to content but it also preserves culture and promotes growth of knowledge.

On 10 July 2018, representatives from the Zambian Government, universities and other learning institutions gathered in Lusaka to discuss copyright licensing with ZARRSO and representatives from Collective Management Organisations in 10 other African countries. The event was co-organised by IFRRO, the Patents and Companies Registration Agency of Zambia (PACRA) and ZARRSO. On this occasion, Permanent Secretary Kayula Siame shared opening remarks and reminded all participants of the need for users to take up copyright licences.

On 11 July 2018, members of IFRRO’s African Development Committee adopted a resolution commending “those Zambian schools, colleges and universities that have entered into licensing agreements with ZARRSO for their commitment to fairly remunerating Zambian authors, visual artists and publishers for the use of their works” and urging “the remaining Zambian schools, universities and colleges to enter into licences with ZARRSO”. Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe were represented at the meeting.

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Notes to the Editor:

IFRRO is the international network of collective management organisations in the text and image sector, called Reproduction Rights Organisations (RROs). IFRRO has 101 RRO members in more than 80 countries worldwide, including in 15 African countries, and also 50 Creators and Publishers’ associations.

ZARRSO, the Zambia Reprographic Rights Society, is mandated by authors and publishers to offer licences for the use of copyright-protected works in Zambia. Since it was created, ZARRSO has signed licences with universities, schools, copy shops and other institutions. ZARRSO became a member of IFRRO in 2010.