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An Examination of Education and Research
Institutional Policies on Copyright and Access to e-Resources in Uganda

Kawooya, Dick
Education and research is the cornerstone of Africa’s socioeconomic and political development. Yet there are barriers that prevent Africa’s education and research institutions from realizing their full potential. The paper examines copyright as one such barrier in accessing and using electronic resources in Africa’s education and research contexts. It is an outgrowth of a study conducted at three Ugandan institutions, a public university, a private university and a public research institution. The study found that there was a serious lack of institutional policies on copyright and intellectual property in Ugandan research and academic institutions. The paper critically examines the draft policy on research and intellectual property rights management of Makerere University (participated in the study). The extent to which this draft policy addressed issues of copyright and extent to which it advanced open sharing of knowledge is examined. On account of the findings of the Ugandan study which pointed to the need of greater openness in access and use of e-resources, this paper argues that openness should supersede other interests in the copyright system. The position taken in the paper is that institutional policies should advance open sharing of information and knowledge (internal or external to the institution). Short-term legal remedies are proposed based on various creative commons license that are designed to advance openness within existing national copyright statutes. Long-term remedies suggested involve reforming national and international laws and instruments to advance openness including protecting existing provisions for education and research. Protection of education and research activities can be attained by not simply availing the existing exceptions and limitations but also by precluding statutory exceptions and limitations from being overridden by contractual licenses. The proposed short and long-term remedies are expected to be addressed by institutional policies to facilitate in the access and use of e-resources (and other research and educational resources).
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Contributor: International Policy Fellowships - http://www.soros.org/initiatives/ipf
Topic: Health and Education
Country: Uganda
Document Type: Policy Analyses
Year: 2007
Keywords: Education, Knowledge Economy
Country | Contributor
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