Copyright Law in Kenya – Kenya Copyright Board
The Kenya Copyright Board is comprised of 17 members drawn from both the public and private sectors. From the Private sector, there are seven members representing the software, producers of sound recordings, publishers, film distributors, performers, broadcasting stations and audio visual industry. There are four experts on copyright and related rights and five representatives from the Office of the Attorney General, Commissioner of Police, Ministry of Information, Ministry of Gender, Sports and Culture, and the Ministry of Finance and an Executive Director.
Copyright Law in Kenya – History Of the Kenya Copyright Board
The Kenya Copyright Board was created as a statutory body by the Copyright Act No. 12 of 2001. The first Board was appointed in May 2001. Under the Act, the Board takes over the functions of what was known as the copyright section within the Department of the Registrar General, Office of the Attorney General.
Copyright Law in Kenya – Functions
The Board is mandated to administer and enforce copyright and related rights in Kenya . The Board may thus;
Direct, co ordinate and oversee the implementation of laws, international treaties to which Kenya is party to.
- Licence and supervise the activities of Collective Management Organisations
- Devise and carry out training and sensitisation programs on copyright and related rights in Kenya
- Update copyright legislation
- Maintain an effective database on copyright and related rights in Kenya .
Copyright Law in Kenya – Registration
Original musical, literary, artistic, audio visual works sound recordings and broadcasts shall be eligible for copyright protection.
Procedure for Registration of Copyright Works in Kenya
To be accepted for registration, a work must be original and must be expressed in writing or any other form. Originality in the Copyright sense means that the work must not have copied from somebody else.
Copyright Act Kenya – Summary of the Copyright Act, No. 12 of 2001
Copyright Act Kenya – Summary
This Act provides copyright protection for literary, musical and artistic works, audio-visual works, sound recordings and broadcasts. It establishes the Kenya Copyright Board. The Board’s main functions include, directing, co-ordinate and overseeing the implementation of laws and international treaties and conventions to which Kenya is a party and which relate to copyright and other rights recognised by this Act and ensure the observance thereof.
Copyright Act Kenya – Prohibitions
The Act outlaws certain activities that in their effect promote counterfeiting of copyrighted materials. For instance, under the Act it is a civil wrong to import pirated copies. It is also wrong to circumvent technological devices used to protect copyright rights, remove or alter electronic rights management systems and to distribute, import and broadcast copyright works without the consent of the owner. The remedies provided for under the Act include damages, injunction, and delivery up. The Act also provides for Anton Pillar orders to secure evidence before it is hidden or destroyed by the accused party.
Copyright Act Kenya – Inspectors
Inspectors who have powers to enter premises, ship or aircraft to ascertain whether any infringement of the law is being committed therein enforce the Act. Police officers and officers of the board also have powers of arrest under the Act. Prosecution of cases filed in respect to crimes in committed in contravention of the Act is governed by the Criminal Procedure Code, and may be conducted by a public prosecutor or the Board.