by Mike Masnick
Wed, Sep 24th 2008 9:13am
One of the unfortunate byproducts of a culture that teaches us that something like a song can be "owned" and that each time it's played the "owner" needs to get paid, is you end up with situations like the following one, where the composer of Uganda's national anthem is suing the government for copyright infringement, claiming it owes him royalties for every time the song has been played by the government. Without knowing the details of Ugandan copyright law, there's a bit of a problem in that it appears the government did pay him (not very much) initially for composing the song, which would suggest that it was a work for hire, and he shouldn't have retained the copyright. However, from the sound of things, that wasn't particularly explicit. Either way, it sounds like cold hard cash outweighs national pride -- though, it is odd that the guy waited 45 years before suddenly realizing that he should get paid.
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