Some Worrisome Issues Surrounding the Ambit of the Copyright and Neighboring Rights Law of Ethiopia: A Comparative Legal Analysis

  • Aschalew Ashagre
Keywords: Copyright, neighboring rights, audiovisual works, performers, sound recording, broadcasts, broadcasting organization


In 2004, Ethiopia proclaimed the Copyright and Neighboring RightsProtection Proclamation, which is still operational, to give adequatesafeguards to copyright and neighboring rights in the country. To thisend, the law made several commendable departures as compared tothe provisions of the 1960 Civil Code of Ethiopia (which were meantto regulate the rights of authors of artistic and literary works). One ofthe conspicuous improvements the Copyright Proclamation made isdetermining its scope of application (defining the ambit of the law),since doing so is instrumental for the proper implementation of thelaw which in turn helps to furnish proper protection to the rights ofauthors and owners of neighboring rights recognized under the law.Nonetheless, a close examination of the of the relevant provisions ofthe law under consideration reveals that there are certain criticalproblems in relation to its scope of application which mayovershadow the apt enforcement of the law. Hence, this author feelsthat it is time to analyze the problems and suggest relevant remediesthat may be utilized by the Ethiopian legislature in the course ofamending the law. This piece is aimed at making a thorough analysisof the provisions of the Copyright Law germane to the agenda under discussion, and forwarding possible recommendations to the problemsso identified in the course of this research.