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Access to Educational Publications and the Copyright Law in Tanzania: Revisiting the Underlying Opposing Interests

Saudin J. Mwakaje


In Tanzania, the right to education is guaranteed under the Constitution. For such a right to be effective, easy access to educational publications is a key factor. However, these publications are a subject of copyright protection; hence users must obtain prior permission before use. The copyright law has provisions for free use or fair use, which is intended to allow certain prescribed uses without prior authorization of the author, such as use for educational purposes. In Tanzania, the enactment of the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights (Licensing of Reproduction and Rental Rights) Regulations in 2014 has presented a new legal dynamic by compelling all educational institutions to pay fees for the use of published materials. Educational institutions in the country are opposed to this obligation. Resolving this predicament requires a legal and regulatory review to assess the interplay between issues of access to education, and copyright protection to draw a balanced regulatory framework.


Copyright law, access to published references, authors’ rights, fair use exception, policy, and regulatory options

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