Copyright Board To Review Guidelines for Collective Management Organisations

This blogger has learned that KECOBO is in the process of the review its CMO Guidelines titled “Guidelines for Licensing Collective Management Organisations”. These CMO Guidelines are available on KECOBO’s website here. Therefore, this blogger hopes to provide an in-depth examination of the Guidelines while making comments on important areas and issues connected with the Guidelines.

In coming up with these Guidelines, KECOBO explains in the opening paragraph that it is mandated under the Act to license and supervise CMOs in Kenya so to ensure that CMOs carry out their core function, namely the collection and distribution of royalties. It is noteworthy that since 2011 when the Guidelines were introduced, KECOBO has been enforcing these Guidelines against CMOs despite the fact these guidelines have no force of law. It is therefore advisable that KECOBO causes the inclusion of these Guidelines in Regulations to be made by the Minister (Attorney General) under section 49 of the Act.

Notwithstanding the legal force of these Guidelines, this blogger has the following comments to make on the Guidelines:

1. Title: this blogger suggests that the title of the Guidelines be amended to include “and Supervising”.

2. Public Notice: KECOBO may wish to include a time frame within which notices shall be published to increase KECOBO’s accountability and transparency. In addition, KECOBO may wish to specify which platform(s) will carry the public notices eg. local dailies with national circulation, KECOBO’s official website, KECOBO notice board?

3. Licensing: In the spirit of transparency and accountability, KECOBO may consider including a time frame within which licenses shall be processed once all application documents are submitted.

4. New Applications: The requirement under (g) appears vague and KECOBO may consider specifying what documents would be required to satisfy that the applicant has the “capacity for collection and distribution of the royalties”.

5. Renewal of License: To avoid duplication of documents submitted by licensed CMOs, the requirements of (a) and (b) should be removed. In the alternative, the requirement (b) should be qualified for cases where the memorandum and articles of association have been amended.
With regard to requirement (i), submitting individual deeds of assignment for each and every member may be onerous for most CMOs due to the sheer bulk of documentation to be produced. At any rate, KECOBO may decide to verify the deeds during an inspection visit to ensure that it corresponds with the list of members submitted.

6. Revocation of a license: The CMO Guidelines have made several additions to the grounds provided under the Act. However the wording and punctuation of this list of grounds for revocation is ambiguous as it does not disclose whether all the ten (10) listed grounds must be present for revocation or whether the presence of one or several grounds is sufficient.

In sum, this blogger submits that the Guidelines play an important role of supplementing the existing legal provisions on licensing and supervision of CMOs found in the Copyright Act, 2001 and Copyright Regulations, 2004. However these Guidelines ought to be given the force of law in order for KECOBO to enforce them against CMOs.

Editor’s note: The author currently works with MCSK however the views, opinions and analyses expressed herein are solely those of the author and are not those of his employers, both past and present.

Advertisements

Kenya Copyright Board and Collecting Societies: Myths and Facts

Kenya Copyright Newsletter 8th Edition 2013

The subject of this article is to critically analyse some of the questionable statements made by KECOBO in the latest edition of its newsletter, “Copyright News”. This particular edition is themed: Collective Management Organisations (CMOs). As many may know, there are currently four registered CMOs in Kenya namely (from oldest to youngest): the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), the Reproduction Rights Society of Kenya (KOPIKEN), the Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP) and the Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRiSK).

In a previous article here, this blogger commented on KECOBO’s poor performance in licensing and supervision of CMOs. Therefore this recent publication by KECOBO is useful in identifying certain areas of concern in the regulation of CMOs.

Take for instance, the statements on page 4 made by KECOBO’s second-in-command, Mr. Edward Sigei:

In the last few years, there has been some progress and a few of setbacks in this area [regulation of CMOs] as can be seen elsewhere in this publication.

One wonders why no mention is made of KECOBO’s deregistration of MCSK in 2011 and the ensuing court battle spanning over a year. One may also be curious to know why KECOBO fails to address the increasing reports of anti-competitive and/or unethical practices by the three CMOs operating within the music industry namely, KAMP, PRiSK and MCSK. How does KECOBO propose to deal with this emerging issue?

In this regard, this blogger submits that competition between CMOs may provide the solution to increase their productivity and efficiency. The one society per category of works rule entrenched in the Act ought to be amended so as to allow other entrants in the collective management business. This move would ensure that members and users alike benefit more from the collective administration of copyright.

Currently, there is a popular push for further reform in the sector to strengthen the oversight role of the Kenya Copyright Board in the absence of vibrant membership within the CMOs.

The absence of a vibrant membership within CMOs is due to ignorance. CMO members may not be fully aware or fully appreciative of their power as shareholders in the CMO. The creation of this awareness or appreciation among these members ought to be stated openly and clearly as an integral part of KECOBO’s outreach and sentisation agenda in collaboration with the CMOs.

Users generally complain of arbitrary license hikes to already high tariffs and they are subsequently demanding controls. Small kiosks and shops are being threatened thereby.

One of the novel features of the revised 2001 Copyright Act was the Competent Authority whose mandate includes reviewing CMO tariffs. However KECOBO has not pushed hard enough or fast enough for the Government to set up this Competent Authority. This Authority, once fully in place, would act as a Copyright Tribunal to hear and determine cases brought against CMOs by users of copyright works.

Drawing from this campaign to reform the law and recent developments globally, some of the legislative interventions under consideration include:

• Empowering the Kenya Copyright Board to order forensic or other audit on CMOs based on credible information

Who is to bear the costs of KECOBO’s decision to order forensic and other audits of CMOs where these audits are treated separately from the normal audits carried out by CMOs in every financial year? Will the members of the CMO still have a final say in the firm of auditors to be appointed?

• Introduction of the Attorney General’s power to approve and review tariff and to exempt small businesses from time to time.

Why not empower the AG to examine the entire licensing system including terms and conditions of license agreements as well as licensing procedures?

• Empower the Kenya Copyright Board to disband CMO Boards in cases of gross mismanagement and call for fresh elections and/or disqualify outgoing Board members.

Such a statutory power to disband CMO Boards by KECOBO ought to be carefully worded and exercised sparingly. For instance, in section 76 of Uganda’s Copyright Act, the Registrar of Copyright is empowered to order the cancellation of registration of a CMO after the findings of ad-hoc committee of inquiry or inspection or an application made by two-thirds of the members of a CMO.

(…)
• Reconsider utility of Section 38(2) of the Copyright Act in view of the rising cases (sic) alleged harassment arising out of its enforcement.

This section deals with the restricted act of public performance in copyright and related right in a musical work and sound recording, respectively. This section creates the offence of wilfully causing a public performance without the authorisation of the rights holders in the works. It is this blogger’s opinion that rights holders or their respective CMOs have the right to enforce this provision and pursue criminal action against all infringers under this section. Such infringers include all commercial premises, public service and commercial vehicles, telecomunications companies, broadcasters, content service providers and premium rate service providers, operating countrywide.

However CMOs lack trained prosecutors to deal with copyright infringement cases brought forward by CMOs as complainants. In 2012, the Director of Public Prosecutions appointed five (5) individuals employed at KECOBO to serve as public prosecutors for the purposes of cases arising under the Copyright Act. These prosecutors are required to handle all copyright infringement cases countrywide, including infringement cases brought by CMOs. To date, KECOBO has not provided any guidance or assistance to CMOs in prosecuting cases arising out of section 38(2) of the Act.

Let’s now consider some of the statements made by the KECOBO Chief Executive, Dr. Marisella Ouma on the subject of CMOs in Kenya.

On page 5 of the Newsletter, she states:

Their [CMOs’] licences are renewable annually subject to each CMO fulfilling their obligations under the Copyright Act, Companies Act as well as the implementing regulations.

From a practical point of view, the duration of the CMO license ought to be reviewed. One calendar year is too short a period to adequately assess the performance of a CMO. This reality is compounded by the statutory requirement to submit annual reports and audited accounts. How does KECOBO evaluate the performance of a CMO throughout an entire year on the basis of one single report submitted at the end of the licensing period?

A cursory look at the license conditions in other African countries is also instructive. In South Africa, a CMO license is granted for 5 years, whereas in Nigeria, the CMO license runs for 3 years and in Uganda, license duration is perpetual.

However, if KECOBO is adamant on retaining the one year license duration, the Act ought to be amended to require at the very least semi-annual if not quarterly reports from the CMOs.

The legality of KECOBO’s CMO Guidelines and Licensing Agreement for CMOs is worth mentioning. These two documents developed by KECOBO have no basis in the Copyright Act and yet they continue to be enforced against CMOs. Both CMOs and other key stakeholders ought to have a say on how KECOBO exercises its public powers in licensing and supervision of CMOs.

The collection of royalties has to be done within the provisions of the laws of Kenya. Thus the Collective Management Organisations have no right to confiscate any property such as radios, TVs and other equipment from users unless they have followed the due process for instance obtained a warrant or a court order to detain the property.

This blogger respectfully disagrees with this position. Section 39(2) states clearly that in addition to the copyright inspectors appointed under the Act, any police officer may perform the functions of an inspector under the Act. Section 41 vests powers of seizure on inspectors and section 42 deals with the powers of arrest. For the offence relating to public performance under section 38(2) of the Act, the prosecution must produce in court the device used to cause the public performance.

Looking generally at the Newsletter’s content, it may be of interest to note that the interviews with the CMO leaders do not disclose certain key information that would be of great use to the public. Apart from MCSK, none of the other CMO interviews deal with the issue of royalty distribution. The facts and figures on distributions vis-a-vis expenditures is an important area of collective management that ought to have been addressed across all CMOs interviewed.

Still on the question of partial interviewing, the responses by the star interviewee, Mr. John Katana are also questionnable. Firstly, this interview totally fails to address the responsibility of CMO members to hold their CMO accountable and the powers of members to take charge and make decisions on the governance and operation structures of their respective CMOs.
Secondly, the interview blatantly suggests that there is a standard worldwide cost-royalty ratio of 30:70 whereby 70% is paid to musicians and 30% is used for administrative costs. This blogger would be interested to know the source of this assertion.
Finally, the interview conveniently fails to disclose that the interviewee is a Board Director at KECOBO. Therefore any reasonable reader of the newsletter would read in between the lines of this interview and see clear statements made by KECOBO to advance its own agenda on regulation of CMOs.

In the final analysis, the total value addition of copyright-based industries to Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated to be over Kshs. 85.21 Billion. It is submitted that this fact underscores the important role played by KECOBO as the state agency responsible for the administration of copyright and related rights in Kenya. Part of this weighty mandate is the licensing and supervision of Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) who represent the bulk of Kenya’s creators and copyright owners.

To Photocopy or Not to Photocopy: The Role of the Reproduction Rights Society in Kenya

photocopier-lg

One of the local newspapers recently published an article titled: “Can’t someone stop this photocopying madness?”, which raises the alarm over high levels of illegal photocopying especially in tertiary institutions of learning, namely our universities. The writer explains:

We were taught in classes that photocopying a book without the requisite permission of the copyright holder would be against the law, except for the very strict exemptions made on the copyright page of the book. Yet at student centres and other photocopying areas in institutions of higher learning, the exact opposite of this lesson goes on in the open.
Students photocopy entire books. Some shop owners photocopy books in advance and store them for sale. With such scenarios, what does the student learn? That the lessons on copyright law are a mere hot air?

Recently, a news feature was published by Al Jazeera titled: “Photocopying courts India campus controversy” which was premised on the on-going Indian High Court case of Oxford University Press and Others vs Rameshwari Photocopy Services and Delhi University. In this case, Cambridge University Press (CUP), Oxford University Press (OUP) and Taylor & Francis, the three of the world’s largest publishers have filed a case in court seeking to stop the reproductions of their work into study packs and course packs for students.

Authors and publishers all over the world contend that they fully support free access to information. But they have come to realise that their contended principle of free flow of information must not be confused with the idea of the flow of free information. After all, books, journals, newspapers etc. cost money to produce and the same must apply to the right to reproduce them, particularly through photocopying. The only way authors and publishers have been able to deal with this situation has been through collective administration of rights. It is widely agreed that no single author or publisher can effectively police the use or abuse of its bundle of rights throughout a whole national territory let alone the world at large. Thus, collective administration is a solution devised to overcome the many difficulties which individuals authors and other rights holders face in the enforcement of their rights separately by themselves in the face of fast-growing technologies of the modern world.

In the case of reproduction rights, one of the practical, instrumental and utlity organs in the process of this collective administration is the reprographic rights organisation (RRO). Simply put, the RRO aims to deal with both unauthorised reproduction of copyright works for internal use as well as for the market place. This reproduction is dealt with through licensing. The RRO is therefore an intermediary organisation. It brings the rights holders in contact with the users. It facilitates understanding between the owners and users of copyright rights. Most importantly, it negotiates with, and grants licenses to the users to use the works of authors on the one hand; and on the other, it ensures that authors and publishers are justly remunerated for their works and investments.

This blogger believes that in both the Indian and Kenya scenarios highlighted in the media reports above, the RRO is clearly missing from the picture yet the latter plays an important role in striking the right balance between the rights of the copyright holders on the one hand, and the interests of the users on the other hand. This blogger is indeed surprised that the reprographic society in India (IRRO) has not sought to be enjoined in the Delhi University court case yet it is an interested party given the issues for determination by the judges in that case.

KOPIKEN Launch Collective Management Reproduction Rights Society of Kenya

Meanwhile, here in Kenya, we have the Reproduction Rights Society of Kenya (KOPIKEN) which is fully functional but seems not to have attained the critical mass in terms of licensees for reproduction of printed works yet all indications are that the photocopying business is booming in most urban centres countrywide. Regarding the universities in Kenya, this blogger would be correct in stating that over 95% of them are not licensed by KOPIKEN yet these institutions are actively engaged in photocopying both for internal use and also as indirect commercial activity.

Therefore, the time has come for KOPIKEN to assert itself on behalf of all the local and foreign authors, publishers and other rightsholders in the print medium whom they duly represent. Borrowing from the situation in India, this bloggers contends that time has come for KOPIKEN to consider litigation as a means of ensuring compliance with the copyright law, deterring infringers and creating jurisprudence in this silent area of the law. In respect to the last point of jurisprudence, litigation by KOPIKEN against one of the local universities would also allow the courts to revisit the questions surrounding the exceptions and limitations (fair dealing) provisions contained in section 28 of the Copyright Act, particularly as they relate to educational institutions, libraries and archives.

The Creativez Meetup This Sunday – Let’s Talk Intellectual Property

IPKenya would highly recommend that all attend an important event dubbed “The Creativez Meet-up – Intellectual Property” taking place this Sunday 3rd June from 14h00 to 17h00.

Here are just a few reasons why:

1. The calibre of speakers:

Almost all the presenters are LL.M holders in Intellectual Property and have extensive experience in their respective areas of work in the copyright and industrial property branches of IP.

IPKenya has previously done a mini profile of the three female presenters: Angela, June and Sharon under the title: “Women Leaders of Copyright in Kenya”

As for the two gents:

Paul is a Legal Officer at KECOBO and a Copyright Inspector. He is also in charge of KECOBO’s social media presence through the insightful facebook updates and twitter tweets: @KenyaCopyright.

David is a man who needs no introduction. He’s been a prominent figure in Kenya’s Industrial Property scene and is currently the Assistant Chief Patent Examiner at KIPI. You may also know him as “Njuguna” on the widely read “Afro-IP” blog.

2. The wide selection of topics up for discussion:

With such an illustrious panel of speakers, no topic in intellectual property is off limits. IPKenya encourages all participants to come prepared to engage the panelists on practical issues they’ve encountered and how the IP system would be of use to them.

Of course IPKenya’s focus borders mainly on IP developments generally. Topics of particular interest include: progress on the Traditional Knowledge Bill, the Geographical Indications Bill, need for a National Policy on IP, progress on the establishment of the Copyright Tribunal, the debate over software patents in Kenya, the fight against copyright piracy, the wrangles surrounding regulation of collective management organisations in Kenya, strategic plan to operationalise Articles of the Constitution dealing with IP, among many others.

3. Networking:

If it’s your sort of thing, ofcourse!

——–

Hoping to see you all on Sunday at the i_Hub*. Be sure to register for the event here.

Happy Madaraka Day (in advance) everyone!

Words for the Unwary: Intellectual Property and Political Parties in Kenya

Political parties in Kenya would be advised to take some lessons from recent happenings in Ghana and South Africa, relating to intellectual property (IP). With elections around the corner, there are a number of important issues that must be addressed by political parties to ensure that they do not fall foul of existing IP laws and procedures.

Here are IPKenya’s words to the unwary:

1. Copyright Registration of Party logos

Under both Kenyan and international law, copyright registration of a work is not the basis of the copyright. In other words, registration is not what gives a claimant copyright protection. Thus original authorship receives automatic protection without the need for formalities or registration. Therefore, copyright protection may be granted under other statutes of a specialised nature, such as the Political Parties Act with respect to party symbols or logos.
Under this Act, there is a mandatory requirement to supply the Registrar of Political Parties with certain particulars for the registration of a political party, including “name, emblem, motto and any other marks or features of the proposed political party”. The symbol of a party applying for registration is so significant that the Act prohibits the use of the symbol or emblem to communicate ethnic, gender, regional or religious particularism. Therefore it is possible to assert copyright ownership of party insignia on the basis of a political party registration certificate.

Recently, in Ghana, the former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings somehow managed to register the logo of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) with the Ghana Copyright Office. She has now threatened to “take back” the NDC logo alleging that the party has failed to live up to the ideals espoused by her husband, the former President Jerry Rawlings. The ownership dispute between NDC party officials and Mrs Rawlings is important in that it illustrates the limitations of copyright registration. Mrs Rawling’s claim to ownership is based on copyright registration of the logo, whereas the NDC officials claim that the NDC logo belongs to the NDC as a political party. In light of the above, prior political party registration clearly trumps the registration of copyright by Mrs Rawlings unless she can prove that she is the original author of the symbol.

Meanwhile in South Africa, the recent controversy surrounding a gallery exhibition by Brett Murray named “Hail to the Thief II” has raised interesting issues that political parties in Kenya will have to grapple with. The work in question is pictured above and depicts the logo of the ANC with an inscription “FOR SALE” and “SOLD”. The ANC has taken the matter to court claiming that “Murray’s work has not only defaced a symbol that the ANC has intellectual property right to, but is a clear sign of attack on the ANC as an organisation.”
Under copyright law, every political party enjoys moral rights in respect of their logos. Section 32 of the Kenya Copyright Act provides that political parties have the right to: “object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of or other derogatory action in relation to, the said work which would be prejudicial to his honour or reputation.”

2. What is on the Internet is generally not free to take

Materials such as photos, videos, music, illustrations and logos that are found on the Internet (or elsewhere) are not necessarily in the public domain and cannot simply be appropriated and used without authorization.

Earlier this year, IPKenya highlighted the case of Nairobi County Gubernatorial Candidate Evans Kidero who “borrowed” a picture from the blog of local photographer Mutua Matheka for his campaign. Matheka claimed that his permission was not sought nor was any compensation paid to him. Copyright law was clearly on Matheka’s side and if he had opted to sue, Kidero and his campaign team would have coughed up significant sums as compensation.

Therefore, political party employees and officials must be careful when using materials obtained from the internet. Most websites have clear User Policies and specific Licensing requirements and modes of attribution as well as contact details of the copyright and or trademark owner(s).

3. What you create vs What you own

The simple rule is that you don’t own what you did not create. Copyright confers ownership rights in respect of all literary, musical, artistic and audio-visual works. The law vests ownership of copyrights in the creators of original works unless they are works “commissioned by a person under a contract of service” or “made in the course of the author’s employment under a contract of service.”

For political parties during campaigns, copyright ownership of things like your website design, materials published on your website, and print, radio and television ads is very important. In the case of commissioned works, where the party commissions work from a person which is not a party employee, the copyright is deemed to have been transferred to the person who commissioned the work. However, the author would have copyright in case she has specifically reserved copyright under the contract between herself and the party.

At any rate, political parties are advised to ensure that all licenses to use or assignments of the materials from the copyright owner are reduced to writing.

4. Be careful with fair dealing exceptions and limitations

The concept of fair use or fair dealing, which permits the use of copyrighted works of others under certain conditions, is frequently misunderstood.

In the case of political parties in Kenya, section 26 of the Copyright Act provides a list of several exceptions and limitations to copyright. We acknowledge that political parties will often need to use video clips, pictures and sound clips of other copyright owners as part of their own campaign ads and other materials. The Copyright Act allows such use if it is solely for the purpose of criticism or review.

The line between fair dealing and infringement is not easily defined and copyright owners may challenge certain uses of their work depending on the facts of the specific case in question.

5. No license, no play

Like many modern democracies, the hallmark of an election year is the endless amount of campaign rallies and public events. Political parties must remember that copyright law imposes certain rights and obligations on their use of music during those campaign related events.

It must be understood that recorded music embodies at least two separate works of authorship, each protected by separate copyrights: the musical composition and any accompanying lyrics (termed the “musical work”) and a particular recorded rendition of that music (termed the “sound recording”).

One recalls that as recently as last month, the Music Copyright Society Kenya (MCSK) warned that political parties holding public rallies risked prosecution if they did not obtain licenses for playing music. This license is a Public Performance license and will cost a party roughly 180,000 shillings.

Therefore, political parties must ensure that they pay up licenses fees before conducting their rallies and public events so as not to fall foul of copyright laws and deprive artists of revenue.

Conference: Enhancing the Culture of Reading and Books in the Digital Age – Copyright as a Means to Foster Creativity and Access in Africa

MDG : Kilgris Project in Kenya (?): Student with a tablet

What has happened to reading in the age of the Internet? Will the digital age put an end to the culture of reading and books that has been nurtured over centuries?

In association with the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO), the Kenya National Library Service (KNLS), Kopiken, the Kenyan Publishers Association (KPA) and the Kenyan Writers Union (KWU), the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the International Publishers Association (IPA) and the International Authors Forum (IAF) and the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) are organising a two day conference on ‘The Culture of Reading and Books in the Digital Age’ to address these issues.

The conference will take place on May 3rd and 4th at the Laico Regency Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya. It seeks to show the ways in which libraries, writers, publishers and RROs, the collectives in the print and publishing sector, can foster a culture of reading in the age of digital information and communication technologies.

The programme looks at traditional and innovative means of access to copyrighted works, including e-books, online licensing and emerging technical platforms, and debates the role of exclusive rights and fairly balanced copyright exceptions and limitations in fostering creativity and promoting access in the coming information age when all the people become writers as well readers.

Some of the participants at this meeting include:

– Ingrid Parent (President IFLA)
– Magdalena Vinent (President, IFRRO)
– Olav Stokkmo (CEO, IFFRO)
– Michiel Kolman (Member of Executive Committee, IPA)
– Penny Grubb (Representative of IAF)
– Geidy Lung (Senior Legal Officer, WIPO)
– Keitseng Nkah Monyatsi (Copyright Officer, ARIPO)
– Dr. Marisella Ouma (Executive Director, KECOBO)
– Sharon Chahale (General Manager, KOPIKEN, Kenya)
– Nothando Migogo (Managing Director, DALRO, South Africa)
– Greenfield Chilongo (Executive Director, Zimcopy, Zimbabwe)

Some of the topics that will be addressed include:

– International legal frameworks for the protection of copyright and related rights in the digital environment
– The importance of copyright to society
– Literacy, publishing, libraries and reading
– Providing access to copyright works
– Digitisation of cumulative knowledge and cultural heritage
– Access for users with print disabilities
– Cooperation to enhance accessibility to copyright works

____________

IPKenya is hoping to attend this meeting. If anyone else is available and willing to attend, kindly get in touch with me. Spaces are limited.

2012 for Intellectual Property in Kenya

IPKenya is back for a second year, hoping to be more informative and relevant than last year and still gunning for that coveted “Kat-approved” badge.

To start things off, here is a small list of IPKenya’s twelve expectations for 2012:-

1. The Geographical Indications Bill will be signed into law.

2. The Copyright Amendment Bill will be adopted.

3. The Music Copyright Society of Kenya will turn over a new leaf, or else!

4. The Traditional Knowledge Bill will be completed and tabled before Parliament.

5. KIPI and KECOBO will launch more online IP products and services including: videos, articles, notices, public search database systems and even online registration?

6. Musicians will form a united Musicians’ Union, which would, inter alia, undertake lobbying and advocacy on copyright and related intellectual property concerns.

7. The Anti-Counterfeit Agency will increase its visibility both through awareness programs and enforcement actions.

8. A few court precedents on industrial property and/or copyright would be nice.

9. The Communications Commission of Kenya and Anti-Counterfeit Agency will carry out the deregistration of counterfeit phones as initially intended.

10. The Creative Commons Kenya team will finally be set up and the porting process will be completed.

11. Prof. Ben Sihanya of Nairobi University, IPKenya’s mentor, will finally publish his long-awaited book on intellectual property law in Kenya.

12. The IP blogosphere + twittersphere in Kenya will begin to take shape.

——————–

An ambitious list, one could say, considering that 2012 is election year in Kenya, not to mention the backlog of constitutionally mandated acts of parliament still to be debated and passed.

That said, IPKenya remains optimistic that all the expectations (even those requiring government facilitation) in the list can be met by the end of the year.

As early as April 26, 2012, when Kenya joins the global village to mark World IP Day, IPKenya shall return to this list to see what items can already be ticked off.

And so, let the year begin!