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The Kenya Copyright Board is a State Corporation that was established under Section 3 of the Copyright Act Cap 130 of the Laws of Kenya to administer and enforce copyright and related rights in Kenya.
Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) is a State Corporation under the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice. It was established by Section 3 of the Copyright Act 2001.
The Act mandated the Kenya Copyright Board to administer and enforce copyright and related rights. The Board is responsible for organizing legislation on copyright and related rights. It also conducts training programmes on copyright and related rights.
The Kenya Copyright Board also enlightens and informs the public on matters related to copyright. Further, it licenses and supervises the activities of collective management societies.
Moreover, the Board maintains an effective databank on authors and their works. The Kenya Copyright Board is comprised of members drawn from both the public and private sectors.
What is Copyright?
The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) is a State Corporation under the Office of the Attorney General & the Department of Justice. It was established by section 3 of the Copyright Act 2001 and mandated with the administration and enforcement of copyright and related rights. The Board is responsible for organizing legislation on copyright and related rights; conducting training programmes on copyright and related rights; enlightening and informing the public on matters related to copyright; licensing and supervising the activities of collective management societies; and maintaining an effective databank on authors and their works.
The Kenya Copyright Board is comprised of members drawn from both the public and private sectors. The members from the private sector are nominated by associations representing software, producers of sound recordings, publishers, film distributors, performers, broadcasting stations, musicians and the audio-visual industry. There are four experts on copyright and related rights and five members who are alternates to the Attorney General, (Police Inspector General), Permanent Secretary – Ministry of Information, Permanent Secretary – Ministry of Sports, Culture and Arts, and the Permanent Secretary – Ministry of Finance.
The Kenya Copyright Board registers copyright works of musical, audio visual, literary and artistic nature.
ANTI PIRACY SECURITY DEVICE
The Anti-Piracy Security Device (APSD) is a tamper proof sticker that is applied on legitimate audio and audio-visual works (films, CDS, DVDS and VCDs).
COLLECTIVE MANAGEMENT ORGANISATIONS
These are private organisations that are established to collectively administer the rights of their members.
The Composition Of The Kenya Copyright Board
The Composition of the Board is as follows:
- one member nominated by registered software associations;
- one member nominated by registered musicians’ associations;
- one member nominated by registered filming associations;
- two members nominated by publishers, authors and writers associations;
- one member nominated by performing artistes associations;
- one member nominated by public universities;
- one member nominated by registered associations of producers of sound recordings;
- one member nominated by registered associations of broadcasting stations;
- one member nominated by producers and distributors of audio-visual works;
- the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry responsible for matters relating to broadcasting or their representative;
- the Attorney-General or their representative;
- the Commissioner of Police or their representative;
- the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry responsible for matters relating to home affairs, heritage and Sports or their representative;
- the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury or their representative;
- the Executive Director of the Board (appointed under section 11 of the Copyright Act); and
- not more than four other members appointed by the Minister by virtue of their knowledge and expertise in matters relating to copyright and other related rights.
The Cabinet Secretary responsible for matters relating to copyright and related rights should appoint a chairperson from among the members appointed above.
The Functions Of The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO)
The major functions of the Board are to:
- Direct, coordinate and oversee the implementation of the laws and international treaties and conventions to which Kenya is a party to and which relate to copyright and other rights recognized by the Copyright Act and ensure the observance thereof.
- License and supervise the activities of Collective Management Organisations as provided for under the Copyright Act.
- Device and implement training programmes on copyright and related rights.
- Constant review of the copyright and related rights law.
- Enlighten and inform the public on matters relating to copyright and related rights.
- Maintain an effective databank on authors and their works;
- administer all matters of copyright and related rights in Kenya as provided for under the Copyright Act, and deal with ancillary matters connected with its functions under the Act.
- Ensure the protection of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.
For more information about the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO), visit their website at copyright.go.ke
The Kenya Copyright Board is mandated to enforce copyright and related rights in Kenya. The Board currently has a legal and enforcement department that has 5 prosecutors and 10 copyright inspectors.
The prosecutors are lawyers who are highly specialised in copyright and related rights.
The inspectors are attached from the National Police Service and trained in investigation of copyright and related rights. Enforcement also included training and awareness creation in collaboration with various government agencies such as the National Police Service, the Department of Weights and Measures, the Judiciary, the Anti-Counterfeit Agency as well as the rights holders. Enforcement Bulletin
Copyright applies to
Copyright protects the original expression of an idea that has been reduced to a tangible form and this includes transcript copies and copies made in the digital environment, from being copied without authority. It does not protect the concept or the idea. It also does not protect symbols, titles, short phrases or factual information that may be contained in a copyright work.
Copyright applies to any medium. This means that you must not reproduce copyright protected work in another medium without permission. This includes, publishing photographs on the internet, making a sound recording of a book, a painting of a photograph and so on.
Examples of works protected by copyright
- Literary works, including novels, instruction manuals, computer programs, song lyrics, newspaper articles and some types of database
- Dramatic works, including dance or mime
- Musical works
- Artistic works, including paintings, engravings, photographs, sculptures, collages, architecture, technical drawings, diagrams, maps and logos
- Layouts or typographical arrangements used to publish a work, for a book for instance
- Recordings of a work, including sound and film
- Broadcasts of a work
- Ownership of copyright
Important note: Copyright does not protect the idea/concept but the expression of the idea. This is because one cannot have a monopoly over an idea. Copyright protection is automatic once an idea has been reduced to any tangible format. The Kenya Copyright Board offers notifications where although not a legal requirement allows rights holders to register their works. This helps in the creation of a database as well as assists in the enforcement of copyright.
Ownership of copyright
The first ownership of a copyright work vests in the person who creates it. However, copyright like any other moveable property can be transferred through sale, licenses and testamentary disposition. Under the Copyright Law;
- In the case of two authors, the two shall be known as the joint authors of the work.
- In the case of works created for hire or works created under a contract of employment, unless otherwise stated in a contract, the employer or the person who commissioned the work shall be the owner of the work.
- In the case of a film, the principal director and the film producer are joint authors and first owners of the copyright (and the economic rights). Similar provisions to those referred to above, apply where the director is employed by someone.
- In the case of a sound recording the author and first owner of copyright is the record producer, in the case of a broadcast, the broadcaster; and in the case of a published edition, the publisher.
- Copyright in material produced by a Government department belongs to the Government.
How long copyright lasts
The length of time a copyright work is protected will depend upon the category or type of work.
Literary, musical or artistic work other than photographs
Copyright in the above works lasts for the period of the life of the author plus fifty years.
Audio-visual works and photographs
Fifty years from the end of the year in which the work was either made, first made available to the public, or first published, whichever date is the latest.
Fifty years after the end of the year in which the recording was made.
Fifty years after the end of the year in which the broadcast took place.
NB: Once the term of protection of copyright expires, the work falls into the public domain.
Copyright Frequently Asked Questions – General FAQs
How does online Registration work?
Please Click Here to get the manual.
Is it possible to search Kecobo copyright database?
The law provides for a search of the Copyright Works Database. In this regard, the Board has developed and deployed an online searchable index which is accessible via this link or the Copyright Works Database menu item on the menu bar.
What is the remedy for fraudulent registration of Copyright?
Where your copyright is fraudulently registered by another, the copyright law provides a remedy. The aggrieved person is required to write to the Executive Director contesting the Registration and offer evidence of his claim. The Executive Director shall then conduct further enquiries that may include convening a meeting between contending parties to determine true authorship and thereafter may decide to remove the registered work from the Copyright Register or amend the Register in the name of the complainant.
Who is the performer in an album, where several people have participated in the recording?
The performer is the person who performs.The author/composer can be a performer.The backup singers, dancers and vocalists will be deemed performers and entitled to royalties for their performance if there is no contract to the contrary or if they have been paid their dues at a flat rate.
When a song from an album is played on radio, which rights holders are entitled to the royalties?
Where a song is played on radio or television, the rights holders will be entitled to royalties for the broadcasting right. If the broadcast is transmitted by a third party in a public place for instance in an entertainment venue, the rights holders will be entitled to royalties for the public performance of the work.
There are three categories of rights holders who can claim royalties from the above, namely:
- Composers, authors and publishers (copyright )
- Performers (related right)
- Producers of sound recordings (related right)
Which rights does the Music Copyright Society of Kenya?
The Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) is a Collective Management Organization that represents the rights of authors, composers and publishers. It collects and distributes royalties for public performance and broadcasting of their members rights.
It also administers the mechanical and synchronization rights although the latter is voluntary as members may administer these rights individually.The mechanical rights also cover the rights in ringtones and are entitled to collect the royalties from users.
MCSK also administers the rights of proprietors of the works if they are the bonafide owners and have legitimately acquired the rights from the authors, composers and publishers.
What rights are administered by the Kenya Association of Music Producers?
The producers organisation, KAMP, represents the rights of the producers of sound recordings and will also be entitled to royalties accrued from the public performance and broadcasting in relation to the sound recordings. The royalties are collected from the same users as MCSK such as broadcasting stations, entertainment venues, malls, restaurants and hotels. Although they will be collecting from the same users, they will be collecting for the sound recording and not the underlying musical work.
Which rights does the Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK) represent?
The Performers Rights Society of Kenya represents the performers such as musicians, thespians, actors and actresses, acrobats, dancers among others. They collect royalties on behalf of members for the broadcasting and public performance of their fixed performances.
Are there any other rights that have not been represented by collective management organisations?
In the music industry, these are the main rights and they are also applicable over the digital environment.
Are non members of collective management organisations entitled to collect royalties from the collective management organisations?
Non members are entitled to collect their royalties as the CMOs usually grant blanket licence and are expected to keep the money for a period of time and also‚ try and trace the rights holders.
Can Copyright be sold?
Copyright, like any other moveable property may be assigned to a third party either in part or in whole. This right can also be licensed or inherited. The licence may be for a specific period of time, but once sold cannot be reclaimed without compensating the new owner if he is agreeable. However, this only applies to the economic rights, such as the right of reproduction, distribution. The moral right cannot be sold or licensed in Kenya. The Copyright Act has made mandatory for any assignment or licence to be in writing.
Does the Law of Contract Apply in Copyright Agreements?
The law of contract is applicable.
Does the current copyright law apply in the digital environment?
The provisions of the current act are still applicable in the digital environment especially in relation to reproduction, distribution, sale among others. There are certain new rights that have come up although they are extensions of existing rights such as the right of making available which is an extension of the right of communication to the public. Such rights are important in the administration of rights from emerging technologies such as ring tones, real tones, view on demand, streaming and webcasting.
Who is responsible for enforcement of copyright in Kenya?
The main responsibility for enforcement falls on the rights holder as copyright is a private right. However, collaboration between the rights holders and the law enforcement agencies is important. The Kenya Copyright Board has enforcement department that works with the rights holders and other law enforcement agencies such as the police to ensure that the rights are protected and enforced.
What is the Role of the Kenya Copyright Board?
The Kenya Copyright Board is a state corporation established under section 3 of the Copyright Act No. 12ot2001. Its mandate is the overall administration and enforcement of copyright and related rights. The Board carries out public awareness, enforcement, registration of copyright, licensing of collective management organisation and education on matters of copyright and related rights. It coordinates the activities of the copyright industries. Rights holders and users are expected to work with the Board to ensure proper administration and enforcement of copyright as well as create an enabling environment for the growth of the copyright industries in Kenya
Kenya Copyright Board Contacts
Kenya Copyright Board
5th Floor NHIF Building – Community
Ragati Road/Ngong Road
P.O Box 34670 – 00100
Nairobi – Kenya
Tel: +254 20 2533869/59
Mobile: 0713761758, 0756460413
Corruption Hotline: 0703885033 EMAIL: email@example.com
(kindly note that the the three mobile lines provided above are meant for General Communication only, no Mobile Money transactions are allowed on these lines.)