For the third consecutive month this year, freelancers or simply part-timers under the auspices of “Gig stars” last weekend converged at Hive Collab in Kamwokya to postulate ways on to best foster their trades that range from photography, graphic designing and digital marketing among others.
Like other preceding workshops this one was not in short supply of high level panellists. This time round, the event dubbed “Gig nite” hosted two soft spoken but immensely brilliant lawyers in Moses Ngorok and Paula Namusiitwa.
The event moderated by Jonathan Iduat Ochom and Onyait Odeke specifically tackled issues to do with contracts and intellectual property.
In his address, Moses Ngorok a business lawyer cautioned independent contractors against signing contracts without scrutinizing their contents. According to Ngorok, service providers must carefully assess whether existing terms favour other errands they run.
“You need to put into consideration issues to do with payment, obligations, performance requirements, contract tenure and conflict resolution mechanisms before putting pen to paper. This is so because your type of work might be competing with your employer’s interests”, he cautions.
Furthermore, as a rule of thumbs Ngorok implored participants to desist from undertaking jobs based on verbal contracts. According to him, verbal agreements are the source of endless legal disputes today.
“To avoid any trouble and be on a safe side, I would say have something documented. This will help with evidence in case the employer contravenes the contractual agreement”, he reiterates.
On the other hand, Paula Namusiitwa an intellectual property lawyer whose pep talk centred on copyright issues advised participants to legally register their companies with copy right entities to avoid infringement and duplication altogether.
According to Namusiitwa also a volunteer with Intellectual Property (IP) Centre Uganda, in this era of media convergence it is cumbersome for content creators to protect their work in the vacuum of operating and copyright licences.
“Just having an idea in your head is not enough. You must take necessary steps to make your entity unique such as securing a patent for your artistic creation be it a song, photo or even industrial design or even registering with a copy right body”, she cautions.
Besides that, she also cautioned entrepreneurs to always seek legal permission before using any artistic work saying this is the only way one can avoid impending legal confrontations.
Gig nite is an event organized by Gig starz that happens every last Friday of the month at innovation hubs in Kampala
According to Onyait Odeke the Gig starz co-founder, this conversational event comes at a critical time bearing in mind that more and more Ugandans are turning towards self employment as one way of survival.
“The trigger for this conversation is the fact that increasingly more and more youth find themselves having to at a point in time engage in gig-based work either as a full-time career path or part-time arrangement”, he points out.
According to a Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) 2015 survey titled “Urban labour force survey 2015”, 86% of Kampala and Wakiso’s working population is employed in the informal sector. Out this entire labour force, 84& are men whereas 88% are female.
This event is organised and attended by a community of freelancers every last Friday of the month at innovation hubs in Kampala.