Web Presence of Kenya’s Copyright Office Lauded

On Tuesday, Afro-IP the premier blog on African intellectual property law, practice and policies praised KECOBO for it’s recently launched website and its strong presence on social media platforms especially Twitter.

Although Kenya’s Patent and Trademark Office, KIPI has not yet joined the Twitter revolution, they have since launched a comprehensive website: http://www.kipi.go.ke

Licensing of Copyright Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) in Kenya

The Kenya Copyright Board (KeCoBo) has the responsibility of licensing and supervising collective management organisations (CMOs) in Kenya under section 46 of the Copyright Act of 2001. This is to ensure that CMOs carry out their core function; collection and distribution of royalties.

Public Notice:
Where no collective management organisation exists in respect to a certain category of works, or the license has been revoked, KeCoBo shall through a public notice invite applications.

Before KeCoBo grants any license to a CMO, it must ensure that the CMO conforms to the requirements under section 46 of the Copyright Act and Rules 15 and 16 of the Copyright Regulations of 2005.

The application has to be made in the prescribed form accompanied by the requisite fee of Kshs 10,000 and the following documents attached:
For new applications:
a) Certified copy of the Certificate of Registration;
b) Certified copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association;
c) Certified copies of the annual returns where applicable.
d) Where the CMO has recently been registered, the audited accounts of the year preceding the application where applicable.
e) A report of its operations during the year preceding the application.
f) Deeds of assignment of rights by the members
g) The capacity for collection and distribution of the royalties

Renewal of License

The application has to be made atleast 3 months prior to the expiry of the license and should include:

a) Certified copy of the certificate of registration
b) Certified copy of the memorandum and articles of association
c) Certified copies of the annual returns
d) Certified copeis of the auidited accounts for the year preceding application
e) The organisational structure of the CMO and the names and qualifications of the senior management.
f) A statement of the amount of money collected and distrubuted as royalties in the year preceding the application.
g) The list of their memebers which has to have their signatures and ID/passport numbers.
h) A report of its operations during the year preceding the application.
i) Deeds of assignment of rights by the mebers.

The application will only be considered after the payment of the requisite fees and submission of the relevant documents three (3) months before.

KeCoBo has to be satisfied that the society has the capacity to collect and distribute the royalties and in addition to the above, it shall consider:
a) The collection and distrubtion of the royalties
b) Qualification of professional staff (accounts, licensing, legal)
c) That the CMO adheres to the principles of corporate governance (the qualification of the Board members, how they are eleceted/selected? How are the elections carried out).
d) Particulars of the directors
e) That the menbership is fully representative of the class that it collects and distrubutes royalties for.
f) That the administrative costs are minimal. KeCoBo will be guided by the international rules whereby the administrative costs do not exceed 30% of the royalties collected. For established CMOs, the administrative costs should be minimal. For new CMOs, KeCoBo may waive this requirement but only for the first one year. Thereafter, the administrative costs should not exceed 30% the royalties collected.
g) That the royalties are regularly and properly distributed using the distribution rules.
h) The particulars of the senior management.
i) The number of staff and their qualifications.
j) The systems put in place to ensure that the royalties are collected and properly distributed.
k) Carry out a balance sheet and profit and loss analysis.
l) The audited accounts submitted.
m) Utilisation of information and communication technology.

KeCoBo has the mandate to ask for any further information and clarification that may be used to determine the application submitted. It must satisfied that the CMO has the legal and institutional capacity to carry out its objectives and function effectively.

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