Uganda minister urges stronger digital regulations for cultural diversity and artists’ rights

Minister Mutuuzu highlighted the dominance of digital platforms and the challenges they pose for artists in securing fair compensation.


During World Culture Day in Kampala, Minister of State for Gender and Culture, Peace Mutuuzo, highlighted the urgent need for stronger regulation of digital platforms to protect cultural diversity, safeguard artists’ intellectual property, and ensure fair access to content. She noted the concern about the dominance of digital platforms in cultural content distribution, which poses challenges for artists in protecting their intellectual property and securing fair compensation.

This year’s World Culture Day, themed “Digital Transformation of the Culture and Creative Industries: Packaging Art and Culture as a National Public Good,” calls for updated legal structures to support digital transformation while ensuring accessibility and benefits for all.

Mutuuzo stressed that the government remains committed to strengthening the culture and creative industry through new and existing policies and legal frameworks. As part of this effort, the commemorative day aims to raise public awareness about culture’s role in development, deepen understanding of cultural diversity, and encourage appreciation of Uganda’s heritage, as guaranteed by its Constitution. It also seeks to advance the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression’s goals, including sustainable governance for culture, balanced cultural exchanges, increased mobility for artists, integrating culture into development, and promoting human rights.

Why does it matter?

In this context, the music industry, in particular, faces significant challenges with the growth of digital platforms. Uganda and other countries share these concerns. The rapid rise of AI-generated content, exemplified by the incident where a song mimicking Drake and The Weeknd was released, uncovered the need for the music industry to adapt to technological advancements. Early this year, the EU proposed changes to the music streaming industry to promote smaller artists and ensure fair compensation by addressing inadequate royalties and biassed algorithms. Meanwhile, the Online Streaming Act has introduced new regulations for digital distributors and media in Canada, potentially including new CanCon requirements.