Copyright Protection in Tanzania

Copyright is defined as the sole legal right to print, publish, perform, film or record a literary, artistic or musical work by an author who is the creator of the artistic work.

Copyrights in mainland Tanzania are governed by the Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act. The Act applies to the works of Tanzanian authors, musicians, songwriter’s etc, it usually involves audio-visual works produced by a resident producer, works of architecture and other artistic works in Tanzania. The Act offers protection to artistic works.
Protected artistic works include computer programs, musical works, cinematographic works, works of drawing, painting and architecture, photographic works, Economic and moral rights of Authors. Copyright owners have the following Rights with regard to their Artistic work.


● Reproduction of the work
● Distribution of the work
● Public exhibition of the work
● Translation of the work
● To perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission. Other communication to the public of the work
● Importation of copies of the work

In Tanzania Copyright Society of Tanzania (COSOTA) is a statutory body corporate set up by the Government of Tanzania to promote and protect the interests of authors, performers, translators, producers of sound recordings, broadcasters, publishers, and, in particular, to collect and distribute any royalties or other remuneration accorded to them in respect of their rights.


COSOTA maintains registers of works, productions and associations of authors, performers, translators, producers of sound recordings, broadcasters and publishers. Searches for, identifies and publicizes the rights of owners and gives evidence of the ownership of these where there is a dispute or an infringement.


Registration of Works and its Importance.
Members of the Society shall declare their works to the Society for collective copyright protection and registration. Such declaration of works shall be free of charge subject to payment of annual subscription fees. Following are the importance of registering your work:


● For identification purposes simplifying when adducing evidence in court and in dispute settlements.
● To know the total number of works registered in various categories such as music, films, literary and artistic works.
● Help determine the market size of the works of artists of Tanzania.
● Enable to claim and receive royalties in and out of Tanzania mainland and facilitation right holders to claim and receive their royalties.

For any infringement of copyright the author may sue for damages caused by the unauthorized user and also for profit earned by such use.

Lawfic Attorneys assists authors of artistic works to be registered with COSOTA for maximum protection of their works of arts and handling of disputes associated with copyright infringement.


For any inquiries to please get in touch.


Author: Emanuel Chapuga – Associate

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