Lokodo gets filmmaker’s nod for locking away VJ Junior

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Following the arrest of Marysmart Matovu (VJ Junior) and his colleague Bbosa Geoffrey (of Zai Plaza) early this week over allegations of unlawful film business; media and pirates have tried to manipulate the details surrounding this matter.

VJ Junior and his colleague are NOT ONLY charged for dissemination of pornography but also various cases surrounding Intellectual property.

Father Lokodo’s appearance does not mean that he is the only person implicating the victims and it doesn’t rule out that the culprits didn’t commit other crimes.

Father Lokodo does not stop anybody from selling pornography but he strongly insists that the buyer should be notified of the content of the films they are buying thus classification.

By classification, a film is not necessarily stopped from the market but rather, its is rated (putting age restrictions) so that parents as well as the audience are made aware of the content that may not be suitable for certain age groups more especially children.

Media Council as a government organ is in charge of classification and issued an ultimatum that banned all unclassified films from the market. This is a requirement of law in the mandate of Media Council.

VJ Junior and all his counterparts decided to protest the ultimatum and never even bothered to challenge it through the rightful legal procedures.

By selling unclassified films after the expiry of the deadline (8th may), VJ Junior and his colleagues were very well aware that they were disobeying and acting against the government and law thus facilitating their own arrest.

Why didn’t VJ Junior take his films for Classification?

You can only take a film for classification only if you are it’s owner or have proof of having been issued rights over that movie.

Upon this basis, this gate is automatically locked for any pirate/thief because they don’t have rights to the films they are exploiting.

This in simple terms is infringing on other people’s rights which is also a criminal offence under the Copyright Act 2006.

Fact file

VJ Junior and all other pirates/thieves that shall fall victims have several cases to answer. Because one case outshines the others does not mean its the only case.

Situation at hand

Filmmakers are determined to fight piracy so as to protect their constitutional rights; defend the economic progress and integrity of Uganda; protect viewers/audience from manipulation; and to promote and develop Uganda’s creative sector.

The best way to help VJ Junior and all his colleagues is either to help them appreciate the current laws surrounding Intellectual Property or his sympathisers find ways through legislators and make it lawful to ‘steal’. These are the options. Good luck!

Mzee Bwanika, is an independent filmmaker and producer

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