Thursday, July 8, 2010



1.0 Introduction

In Tanzania the legal terminology “copyright” is defined and recognized as a property which vests in the author’s of original literary, dramatic, musical and autistics works. Copyright also vest in authors of sound recordings, films (cinematographic works), broadcasts, cable programs and typographical arrangements of published editions.

Copyright ensures certain minimum safeguards of the rights of authors over their creations, thereby protecting and rewarding creativity. Creativity being the keystone of progress, no civilized society can afford to ignore the basic requirement of encouraging the same. Economic and social development of a society is dependent on creativity. The protection provided by copyright to the efforts of writers, artists, designers, dramatics, musicians, architect and producers of sound recordings, cinematograph films and computer software, creates an atmosphere conducive to creativity, which induces them to create more and motivates others to create.

The main legislation which governs copyright in Tanzania is the Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act No 7 of 1999.[1]Section 5(2) provides for works in which copyright may subsist where Cinematographic works and other audio-visual works is provided

Copyright and neighboring rights are essential to human creativity. Copyright protection gives the creators incentives in the form of recognition of their efforts and providing them with fair economic rewards. Through copyright protection, creators are assured that their works can be disseminated without fear of unauthorized copying or piracy. This in turn increases access to and enhances the enjoyment of, among other things, knowledge and entertainment all over the world.

In Tanzania as a general rule, copyright protection is available to works of authors who are nationals of, or have their habitual residence in Tanzania. Works first published in Tanzania may also qualify for copyright protection irrespective of the nationality or residence of their authors. Works first published abroad but thereafter published in Tanzania may also qualify. Protection of intellectual property rights could attract investors and hence develop the national economy. Therefore protection of patents, rights to industrial designs, trade marks and service marks and artistic, musical and literary works is a very serious issue which every player in the market must be aware of and must respect.[2]

Cinematographic works are recognized in Tanzania and are included in the Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act.[3]The protection of copyright in cinematographic works in Tanzania is faced with many challenges. Piracy of cinematographic works poses a lot of constraints on the protection of the cinematographic works; it operates within the nation and across national boundaries.

Introduction of digital technology and internet has posed new challenges to traditional copyright protection. This is due the fact that it facilitates piracy of copyrighted works and this is to include cinematographic works. Introduction of digital technology and internet enables private individuals to publish, reproduce and communicate copyright works to vast audiences without resorting to original owners.

Piracy is a form of theft and is mostly often involves violation of copyright law. Specifically it refers to the unauthorized copying or use of intellectual property. Some scholars classify piracy into four forms known as internet piracy, optical Disk piracy, signal theft and Public performance.

1.1 Historical background

As with the concept of intellectual property in general many Tanzanians, among the few who are aware of the existence of intellectual property, think that in Tanzania, intellectual property is a totally new concept very few among those who know that intellectual property in Tanzania came with the colonial administration, thus we see the introduction in 1924 through Chapter 218 of the Copyright Legislation Marks in 1922. So the coming into then Tanganyika of the colonial administration came with those aspects of intellectual property. The immediate post independent Tanganyika did not have any significant change in the contents of the intellectual property legal system, although it is notable that the Copyright Ordinance Cap. 218 was repealed in 1966 by Copyright Act No. 61 of that year. In 1999 a new Copyright Legislation was enacted. It is the current Copyright Legislation in force.[4] Therefore it will clearly be seen, during the colonial administration the forms of intellectual property were mainly to protect the rights of the subjects who came and settled in the country and the national of the colonial power and of its allies. Intellectual property had little or no value to indigenous Tanzanians. This same position was maintained even after independence as indigenous Tanzanians did not have any objects of protection in the really intellectual property rights protection in the conventional sense. Indigenous Tanzanians did not have any patentable inventions or innovations, nor did they have trade marks to protect, even in cinematographic works, music, local composers knew nothing about the rights under copyrights. Intellectual Property then, was more or less an instrument of monopoly. There were infact some laws which were promulgated to inhibit innovative activities among the indigenous Tanzanians.

It is however now different due to rapid technological developments and rapid globalization process, co-operation among nations in all spheres of development including in intellectual property, becomes inevitable. International and Regional co-operation, to attempt the forging and harmonize intellectual property rights protection regimes among nations, have been made through various International and Regional Co-operation. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) as intellectual property norm setters have been the driving force behind these efforts. There have been some achievements although the asymmetrical reality of the developed, developing and least developed countries had made that task to be complex.[5]

However Piracy in cinematographic works in Tanzania does not have a long historical background. Piracy in cinematographic works started to emerge mainly in the late 1990’s when introduction of digital technology and internet took its pace. Also it is at this period when the film industry was getting its momentum.[6]

Prior to 1990’s the film industry in Tanzania was real low. Very few films were produced and there were no any trace of piracy in cinematographic works. However there were several instrument both legal and non legal which governed cinematographic works and film in Tanzania. For example there was Copyright and Neighboring Rights Cap of 1967 which was enacted to govern copyright.

Tanzania is member of WIPO Convention since 1983.[7]Also Tanzania ratified Berne Convention for the protection of literary and Artistic works of 1886 as revised in 1971 since 1963 which is supervised by WIPO.[8]

The cap of 1967 was amended and replaced by the Copyright and Neighboring right Act No 7 of 1999.The president assent in June 1999 and the law became operational from December,31,1999.It complies with the Berne convention(1886) and the TRIPS Agreement of the world Trade organization(1994)

The new Act extended the scope of copyright to encompass among other things copyright society of Tanzania (COSOTA)[9] The COSOTA is vested with the power to administer the copyright Act and serve as Collective Management Society. This is itself a great improvement. On the old Act among other things did not provide for an institution to administer the Act.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Copyright piracy and infringement are not victimless crimes as many people think; the true victims are the creators, designers, the authors, composers, song writers, filmmakers and investors.[10]

Piracy in cinematographic works in Tanzania is still a big problem. Tanzania like many other countries has experienced the drastic increase of piracy in cinematographic works. Even after enactment of the Copyright and Neighboring Right Act of 1999 the problem still exists. The copyright and Neighboring Rights Act of 1999 provides for the protection of copyrighted rights but piracies in cinematographic works gradually increase.


Also introduction of digital technology and internet has posed new challenges to copyright protection. Private individuals now have the ability to produce copies of copyrighted works and distribute them at minimum cost. Internet users also share video files not for their uses also on the scale that affects the profits of the right holders more Internet users continue to upgrade from slow dial-up Internet access to the fast-speed broadband access afforded them through cable and DSL modems. Technology continues to improve, making illegal copies higher quality and the means to download them faster and easier. Unlike VHS tapes that degrade, the quality of the 1000th digital copy of a DVD is as good as the original.

Peer to peer net works (P2P) is also a problem; this also has being a greater problem and one of the obstacles towards the protection of cinematographic works. In this modern world there is a tendency of file sharing where by individual shares copyrighted material on such file sharing system. This includes sharing of copyrighted movies.

COSOTA has been of little help. This is due to a number of reasons. One of the major problems is lack of enough funds to administer copyright protection in Tanzania. Apart from funding another problem which COSOTA is facing is that, when they find culprits and are in the process of prosecuting them, the right owners, all of a sudden don’t want it to go to court. Later the pirates would go behind and ‘settle’ them. Even when they call on the big names in the industry for the campaigns, they are asked paid for it.[11]

COSOTA may not have been able to cover every spot and locate each piracy plant as most of them operate underground. Tanzanians should realize that piracy is not just a threat to the economy but a matter of national security. It is linked to organized crime and other such atrocities as it is a big money spinning venture.[12]

Few cases have been reported; there are very few cases concerning copyright protection in cinematographic. As stated earlier the issue of cinematographic piracy is still a new concept in our society it therefore becomes very difficult to find the owner of the pirated work institute a case against the alleged pirates. Also there is no a Copyright Board to adjudicate certain cases pertaining to copyright as for many other countries such as India.[13]

Despite the fact that Tanzania has ratified various international conventions and being member of various international bodies such as the Berne convention for protection of literary and Artistic works of 1886 and member of TRIPS Agreement, since January 1995 which intends to promote and protect copyright from piracy it has not succeeded to protect cinematographic works from piracy.

1.3 Hypothesis

There is hast increase of trend and incidences of piracy in cinematographic works in Tanzania. The following are intended to be established in this study.

Whether protection of copyright in cinematographic works against piracy in Tanzania fails due to inefficiency and insufficiency of the existing law

Whether the amendment of the existing Act would reduce the incidents of piracy in cinematographic works

Whether there is lack of awareness among the authors, actors and private individuals on the laws protecting copyright works.

Whether the copyright society of Tanzania (COSOTA) has failed to administer copyright protection in cinematographic works in Tanzania

Whether there is any attempt by the government of Tanzania to curb the problems facing copyright protection in cinematographic works.

1.4 Objectives of the Research

The main objective of the study is to pinpoint the trends and prevalence of piracy in cinematographic works in Tanzania.

Raising awareness to the members of society about the importance of copyright protection in cinematographic works.

To examine the extent of which the courts has played its role in implementing the protection cinematographic works in Tanzania.

To examine the inefficient and or the loopholes found in The Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act, 1999.

To find out the modern tactics and strategies for preventing and combating piracy in cinematographic work in Tanzania.

1.5 Significant of the research

It can be used of great importance and assistance to those ho will research on other aspects

It will bring awareness in the society

It will help to convince the legislature to amend the existing laws and make them known to the public so as to be given more attention and work in accordance with the new technology

It will help legal students to develop their knowledge of the law relating to intellectual property rights especially in the copyright and neighboring rights.

Enhance legal student’s intellectual, interpersonal and transferable skills as well as developing other skills including independent research, legal research, problem solving and critical awareness of correct problems

1.6 Scope of the Study

The study will basically be confined in Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act No 7 of 1999 by looking at the definition, nature and scope of the law relating to copyrights and neighboring rights. The nature of ‘piracy’ and copyright protection in cinematographic works. The role of the court on its implementation of copyright protection.

1.7 Literature review

Davis J[14] states that introduction of digital technology and internet has posed new challenges to traditional copyright protection. It poses novel obstacles to a similar expansion of copyright. It has enabled private individuals to publish, reproduce and communicate copyright works to vast audiences without resorting to publishers. The researcher aims at using this literature to show the importance of amending our laws to work according to the new technology such as cable television, computer software, and digital technology and internet. The author also describe circumvent technology as one of the technological measures to prevent copyright abuse. Also formation of organizations which raise public awareness of copyright infringement and its consequences, perhaps offering rewards to individuals who provide information leading to successful civil or criminal proceedings. The author suggests the increase of police search and seizure powers and the power of the court to order forfeiture of pirated goods. However the author failed to show how circumvent technology can be used as a technological measure to prevent copyright abuse. The researcher wish to explore more on how this technology can be used to curb piracy in cinematographic works.

Bentley l and Sherman B[15] states that copyright law provides the means to protect investment and labor. The existence of copyright in particular work restricts the uses that can be made of the work. For example a person who purchases a book in which copyright subsists can not legally photocopies the book. Similarly a person who buys a protected CD can not legally make a tape of that CD for a friend. The authors also provides for the importance of Rental Directive of 1992 which provides for the rental and lending rights. The same was stated in the case of Warner Brothers and another v.Christiansen.[16] In another case of FDV v.Leserdisken[17]it was asked whether the proprietor of an exclusive right to authorize or prohibit the rental and lending out of originals and copies of copy right works(“rental”) pursuant to Article 1(I) of the Rental Right Directive. This article gives the holder of the copyright in a film the right to oppose its renting out.To this point the researcher will use this literature to show how rental right directive is important and suggest the same to be incorporated into our copy

The report commissioned by the IPR commission[18] shows that the effectiveness of laws depends on the level of their enforcement. Tanzania’s intellectual property laws good reference tools and potential instruments for protecting people’s rights. The relevant intellectual property laws are in the books but due to institutional weaknesses they are not fully and systematically enforced. However the commission report does not stipulates those weaknesses. It does not go further to discuss about possible ways to curb the problem. The report also states that generally there is lack of public awareness on the importance of abiding by intellectual property laws. The concept of intellectual property is a new concept in the country and the people see nothing wrong in copying copyrighted works. It further states that there was tendency to place ownership on physical property and not on the intellectual property. For instances if one buys a tape he regards the tape as his property and therefore feels free to make as many copies as possible out of it. Thus a researcher wishes to use this literature since it provides for the importance of public awareness on the maters concerning protection of copyrighted works and this is to put in cinematographic works to raise awareness among the member of society. The researcher will go deep into discussing those weaknesses in the Tanzania’s Intellectual Laws.

Wangwe[19] states that the lack of effective intellectual property protection in Tanzania warranted significant improvement adoption and enlargement of legal administrative and enforcement frame work as well as human capacity. Other intellectual property implementing agents such as the police department, the customs office and the judiciary need adequate preparation in order to be able to curb infringement of intellectual property rights. Finally, extensive training is required to cause awareness of intellectual property laws. The author does not however go deep to discuss the issues concerning piracy in cinematographic works and how it can be prevented. He only concentrated in piracy in artistic works. The researcher intends to use this case study since it suggests for the importance of improving, adopting, and enlarging the legal administrative and enforcement as well as human capacity as machinery for protecting copyrighted works against piracy. The researcher also wishes to go further in discussing the issues concerning cinematographic works and how it can be protected against piracy.

Wilson C [20] states that copyright will not subsist in a work unless it has been created by qualifying person. The issue of qualification is not stipulated in the Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act of 1999.The author also describes integrity as moral rights which allow LDMA[21] works authors and directors of film to object to the derogatory treatment of their work. That is that the work has been added to, altered or deleted in such a way to amount to a distortion, mutilation or otherwise prejudicial treatment. Integrity as a moral right is not contained in the laws of Tanzania. Apart from integrity the author also explains about privacy in photos and films which is very important for the possessors of copyrighted works in such a juncture. The author goes further in explaining the importance of circumvention in protection of copyrighted works. However the author has failed to define and show how circumvention can be used to protect cinematographic works from being abused. Thus the researcher wishes to use this literature to show the importance of incorporating integrity and privacy in film as new moral rights among other things and how circumvention can be used to protect cinematographic works.

Cornish W and Llewellyn D[22] states that the demand for increased protection has arisen. The demand for new forms of protection is dependent upon many factors including expression and liberation of economy to a point where new entrants to a market can no longer be excluded by local cartels in the form of guilds and corporation. The authors’ states further that film is a field in which the law has needed to reflect highly significant technological advances subsequent arrived of video taping and now of digital recording has added immensely to the ways in which filmed material can be produced and subsequently manipulated. However the author does not state how the problem can be curbed. He also does not clearly stipulate the forms of which can be used in the protection of cinematographic works against piracy. Therefore the researcher will go further to discuss the alternative methods and forms which can be used to solve the problem.

1.8 Research methodology

The research will be mainly conducted at library where it will involve an analysis of the problem through statutes, textbooks, journal, articles and case law on the related study and also use of other relevant material that will be available. The researcher will conduct a field research in Dar es Salaam Region. In thus regard field work will be involving both experts and non experts who are concerned with enforcement of copyright law in Tanzania such as COSOTA.



Alexander, D, and Jacob, R. (1993). A Guide Book to Intellectual Property: Patents, Trademarks Copyright and Designs, (4thed) London: Sweet and Maxwell, London,

Allison, C. (1992). Intellectual Property Law, (1sted) London. Longman,

Allison, C and Jeremy P, (1995) Introduction to Intellectual Property Law, (3rd Ed), Butterworths, London..

Blanco, W. (1989) Trade Marks Copyright and Industrial Designs (2nd Ed), London: Sweet and Maxwell.

Cornish, W. (2003) Cases & Materials on Intellectual Property (4th Ed), London: Sweet and Maxwell limited.

Cornish, W., & Llewlynd, (2007) Intellectual Property (5TH Ed), London: Sweet and Maxwell limited.

Davis, J.(2005) Intellectual Property Law (2nd Ed),New York: Oxford University Press Inc.

Davis M.H. and Miller A.R (1987), Intellectual Property Patents Trademarks and Copyright (5th Ed) New York: West Publishing Co.


Laurie, G.T., (1997). "Intellectual Property Rights and the Interests of Indigenous Peoples”, Lesotho Law Journal Vol. 10.

Marco B.(1994) "The Impact of TRIPS Intellectual Property Protection in Developing Countries", Common-Market Law Review 31:1 245-8.

Rwezaura, B.A, (1988) "Legal Protection of Intellectual Property in Tanzania" 4 Lesotho Law Journal 1,139-254 (1988).

Samzugi, A.S. and B. Shabaan,(2001)Implications of Copyright Protection to Distance Education in Tanzania: An Appraisal of the Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act 1999, Huria Journal of the Open University of Tanzania Volume II No. 2


Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act No 7 Cap 218(1999)



Kiria, N. J. (Host). (2009, September 16).Bongo movies [Television Broadcast].Dar es salaam. East Africa Television.

[1] Cap 218

[2] The website of Copyright and related Rights found at http://216.69.44/guardian/2007/10/12/100276.html.accessed on 5/5/2010.

[3] Cap 218;Section 5(1) (f)

[4] A report by WIPO workshop on intellectual property law business for small and medium size Enterprises

(SMES) organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in cooperation with the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) Dar-es-Salaam, May 10 and 11, 2005.

[5]The website of Intellectual Property found at accessed on 12/5/2010

[6] Personal observation

[7] World Intellectual Property Organization

[8] The convention covers the artistic and literally works to put in the cinematographic works.

[9] Provided under Section 46 of the Copyright and Neighboring Rights Cap 218.It functions as an authority body for Collective administration of copyright and neighboring rights. The society is responsible for copyright administration and it is under the ministry of industry and Trade

[10] The website of copyright infringement found at http // accessed on 5/5/2010

[11] The website of copyright rights in Tanzania found http// accessed on 5/5/2010

[12] Ibid

[13] Most of copyright boards act as quasi-judicial body and has power to hear appeals against the orders of the Registrar of Copyrights, adjudicate upon disputes ob assignment of copyright and many other kinds of disputes concerning copyright abuse.

[14] Davis J, Intellectual property law, Oxford university press 2nd ed,2005,page 143

[15] Bentley L et all, Intellectual property law,oxford university press, 2001, page 29, 47.

[16] [1888]ECR 2603

[17] The case covers the rights under council Directive of 19 November 1992 on rental and lending right in the field of intellectual property.

[18]The report by the intellectual property rights commission

[19]A case study for UNCTAD.1996

[20]Wilson C, Nutshells Intellectual Property law, 2nd edition, 2005, page 71, 72.

[21] Literary, dramatic, musical and artistic

[22] Cornish W et all, Intellectual Property: Patent, Copyright, Trade marks and Allied Rights, Sweet and Maxwell limited 5th ed, 2007, page 31.

1 comment:

  1. how you doing....If you wont mind will you sending me a soft copy of Lwezaura book (1988). Thanks in advance