Get to know the audio/audiovisual works of art standards

By Victoria Namutebi Wamala.

On Monday, Uganda joined the rest of the world to mark World Standards Day that is celebrated on 14th October of every year. This day is celebrated as a means of paying tribute to the collaborative efforts of the thousands of experts worldwide who develop the voluntary technical agreements that are published as International Standards.

This year’s theme was ‘Video Standards create a global change’, but did you know that audio/audiovisual works of art have standards?

Requirements for the production, publication, reproduction, distribution, making available and filing of audio/audiovisual works of art normally distributed in electronic formats for entertainment through mediums (carriers) such as Compact Discs (CDs), Digital Video Discs (DVDs), Video Compact Discs (VCDs), Audio or Video Cassette and any other storage medium, are laid down in the Uganda Standard US 842: 2009.

The standard states that;

  • The content of audio/audiovisual product shall not be misleading or corrupting unless indicated as such
  • Distributor of audio/audiovisual work for purposes of promotional advertisements shall provide marking of all promotion and information materials relating to the distribution of Audio/Audiovisual work
  • Operators of technical means and cinema operators shall publish the age limit of access as specified by the producer of the audiovisual work
  • Operators of libraries or sales outlets of Audio/Audiovisual work shall not retain, hold or stock any audio/audiovisual work, unless such work is properly marked with the necessary  information
  • Operators of lending libraries or sales outlets of Audio/Audiovisual work shall not lend or sell copies of Audio/Audiovisual work to persons below the limit age of access as specified by the Publisher
  • The advertisement content in any audio visual work shall not exceed 5% of the total duration of the work, and many other requirements as listed in the standard.

The standard also requires publishers of Ugandan audio/audiovisual works to label the original medium of the work and the label should have;

  • The title of the work
  • Titles of individual tracks with respective full names or pseudonyms of author(s) or singer(s)
  • Full name of the director and/or producer
  • The publisher either by trade name, trade mark or full name,
  • Year of production of the work
  • Copyright warnings,
  • The circled letter C (©) for copyright and the similarly circled letter P for publisher along with the year of publication and many other requirements as listed in the standard.

The standard is in line with the Communications Act, Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act 19 of 2006, Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Regulations.

More detailed requirements for the audio/audiovisual acts of art can be found in the Uganda Standard US 842: 2009 available for use at the UNBS Information Resource Centre or online at:

The writer is a Public Relations Officer at Uganda National Bureau of Standards.