Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Uganda

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This page provides an overview of copyright rules of Uganda relevant to uploading works into Wikimedia Commons. Note that any work originating in Uganda must be in the public domain, or available under a free license, in both Uganda and the United States before it can be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. If there is any doubt about the copyright status of a work from Uganda, refer to the relevant laws for clarification.


Uganda takes its name from the Buganda kingdom. Beginning in 1894, the area was ruled as a protectorate by the United Kingdom. Uganda regained independence on 9 October 1962.

Uganda has been a member of the World Trade Organization since 1 January 1995,[1] and became a member of the Berne Convention and WIPO Copyright Treaty since 28 April 2022.

The United Kingdom copyright act was introduced in Uganda in January 1953, and was not subsequently updated to reflect changes in UK law. The 1953 law formed the basis for the Copyright Act of 1964.[2] The 1964 act was replaced by the 2006 act, effective 4 August 2006.[3] As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed the The Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act, 2006 as the main IP law enacted by the legislature of Uganda.[1] WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database.[3]

General rules

A work first published in Uganda will be in the public domain if its copyright protection has expired in Uganda by virtue of the non-retrospective Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Bill 2006, or if it entered the public domain prior to the commencement of that law by virtue of the previous Copyright Act 1964.

Under the 1964 Act,[2]

  • Unpublished literary, musical works were protected for 50 years after the end of the year in which the author dies.
  • Published literary, musical or artistic work was protected the later of the following-(a) the end of the year in which the author dies; (b) 50 years after the end of the year in which the work was first published.
  • For unpublished cinematograph film or gramophone record, 50 years after the record, if first published 50 years after the end of the year in which the work was first published, 45 years after the end of the year in which the work was first published.
  • For broadcasts, 50 years after the end of the year in which the broadcast was made.

Under the 2006 act,

  • The economic rights of the author are protected during the life of the author and 50 years after the death of the author.[2006 Section 13(1)]
  • The economic rights in a work of joint authorship are protected during the life of the last surviving author and 50 years after the death of the last surviving author.[2006 Section 13(2)]
  • Where the economic rights in a work are owned by a corporation or other body, the term of protection is 50 years from the date of the first publication of the work.[2006 Section 13(3)]
  • For a work published anonymously or under a pseudonym, the economic rights are protected for 50 years from the date of first publication, if the author does not become known.[2006 Section 13(4)]
  • For an audio-visual work, sound recording or broadcast, the economic rights are protected until the expiration of 50 years commencing from the date of making the work or from the date the work is made available to the public with the consent of the author.[2006 Section 13(5)]
  • For a photographic work, the economic rights are protected for 50 years from the date of making the work.[2006 Section 13(7)]

Not protected


See also: Commons:Unprotected works

Ideas, concepts, procedures, methods or other things of a similar nature shall not be protected by copyright under this Act.[2006 Section 6]

There is no copyright in the following works:[2006 Section 7]

  • enactments, including Acts, statutes, decrees, statutory instruments and other laws made by the Legislature or other authorised bodies;
  • decrees, orders and other decisions by courts of law for the administration of justice and any official translations from them;
  • reports made by committees or commissions of inquiry appointed by the Government or any agency of the Government;
  • news of the day, namely, reports of fresh events or current information by the media whether published in a written form, broadcast, internet or communicated to the public by any other means.

Copyright tags

See also: Commons:Copyright tags

  • {{PD-Uganda}} – for works meeting one of the following criteria:
a) photographic works 50 years after creation;
b) computer programs, audio-visual works or sound recordings 50 years after publication
c) literary, musical or artistic works published before January 1st, 1954, whose author died before Jan 1st, 2004;
d) other works 50 years after the author's death.


See also: Commons:Currency

OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK. Bank of Uganda owns the copyright in its banknotes and coins. Under section 120(373) of the Penal Code, it is a criminal offence for any person to reproduce banknotes or coins to any degree without the prior consent in writing of the Bank of Uganda.[4]

Freedom of panorama

See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK {{FoP-Uganda}}

According to the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act 2006, a work of art or architecture may be used in a photograph, an audiovisual work or a television broadcast without infringing the author's copyright and without the author's consent where the work is permanently located in a public place; or is included in the background or is otherwise incidental to the main object in the photograph, audiovisual work or television broadcast.[2006 Section 15(1)(g)]

"Public place" is defined under the law as "any building, or conveyance to which for the time being the public are entitled or permitted to have access, with or without payment which may include cinema, concert, dance or video halls, bars, clubs, sports grounds, holiday resorts, circuses, restaurants, counter vehicles, banks or other commercial establishments."[2006 Section 2(1)(g)]

See also


  1. a b Uganda Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights). WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization (2018). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  2. a b A study report on copyright and neighbouring rights law. Uganda Law Reform Commission (2004). Retrieved on 2019-01-13.
  3. a b Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act, 2006. Uganda (2006). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  4. Reproducing Currency (in English). Bank of Uganda. Retrieved on 2019-01-13.
Caution: The above description may be inaccurate, incomplete and/or out of date, so must be treated with caution. Before you upload a file to Wikimedia Commons you should ensure it may be used freely. See also: Commons:General disclaimer