Tuesday, 17 November 2015


By MacPherson Mukuka*ZARRSO*
In a bid to curb illegal reproduction of artistic works and copyright protected materials and further contribute to the fight against piracy in Zambia, the Zambia Reprographic Rights Society ZARRSO has intensified its efforts by engaging institutions of higher learning where photocopying of books and other written documents is on demand.

The Society recently signed a licencing agreement with the Hotel and Tourism Training Institute meant to allow the institute make copies of its member’s materials up to a certain percentage.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, ZARRSO Chief Executive Officer RUTH MWENYA said the agreement signed between the two firms does not imply that the HTTI should go on rampage making reproduction of artiste works.

She said the agreement only allows the institution rights to make reproductions from copyrighted materials to a certain extent as it is not a replacement of sales of books.

Mrs. Mwenya said the society has engaged over 20 institutions around the capital of Lusaka to try and negotiate the signing of licensing agreements and ZARRSO hopes that now that government has issued a circular the process begins to move faster and are very positive that more licenses will be signed.

She also disclosed that ZARRSO will be working closely with the Copyright Office at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services and the Zambia Police Intellectual Property Unit and other stake holders in terms of enforcement.

The Society Chief adds that the signing of the agreement with HTTI is part of ZARRSO’s campaign of sensitizing the public on the need to respect copyright laws.

Mrs. Mwenya was however quick to indicate that the society still has a lot of work to do vis-a-vie sensitizing the public on reprographic and rights.

And speaking at the same event, HTTI Director WILSON SILUNGWE says the institution has decided to buy the licence because of the importance it attaches to copyright.

Dr. SILUNGWE says the institution is in support of the fight against piracy and wants to associate itself with institutions like ZARRSO.
He says although there is no illegality in undertaking reproduction because one will have paid for the service, this ought to be done legitimately with the authorisation of the owners of the work and as an institution they are aware of the need to remunerate the owners of the works who have worked so hard to come up with that work thereby they support licensing for reproduction to protect Intellectual Property.

ZARRSO's operations are similar to ZAMCOPS the difference is that ZAMCOPS deals with Music while ZARRSO deals with licensing of literary and artistic works.

Meanwhile, Government through the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services has issued a circular discouraging the public from engaging in illegal reproduction of literary works.

Students in Colleges and Universities are major users of reproduced  materials directly from the original copies without the author’s consent in most cases. 

It is therefore a timely development for the society is engaging institutions of learning in its bid to curb the scourge.    

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