The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill, 2018 seeks to make various, wide-ranging amendments to existing intellectual property (IP) law-related statutes. The Bill contains proposed amendments to the following pieces of legislation: The Industrial Property Act, 2001 (No. 3 of 2001), The Copyright Act, 2001 (No. 12 of 2001), The Anti-Counterfeit Act, 2008 (No. 13 of 2008) and The Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Cultural Expressions Act, 2016 (No. 33 of 2016). The Memorandum of Objects and Reasons for the Bill is signed by Hon. Aden Duale, Leader of Majority in the National Assembly and it is dated 29 March 2018. This blogpost will focus on the changes proposed to The Copyright Act.
Where to begin?
Section 6(a) of the Copyright Act states that the Board of Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) shall consist of “a chairman, who shall be appointed by the Minister from amongst the members of registered copyright societies”. The Copyright Act as read with the Interpretation and General Provisions Act defines “Minister” as the Attorney-General who is “the Minister for the time being responsible for matters relating to copyright and related rights.” Under Article 156(4)(a) of the Constitution of Kenya states that the Attorney-General is the “principal legal adviser to the Government” which presumes that the A-G, in the case of public appointments, would have been consulted on their legality or lack thereof especially where those appointments touch on the A-G’s own docket!
The Copyright 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.
The steps for registration of copyright are as follows:
Step 1: Collect the registration forms from the Kenya Copyright Board offices (also available online here)
Step 2: Fill in the relevant details
NB: Any such person purporting to register a work as an authorised agent, s/he is required to produce an authority letter authorising him/her to act as such agent and a copy of his/her National ID
Step 3: Have the forms commissioned by a Commissioner for Oaths.
Step 4: Attach two ORIGINAL copies of the work.
Step 5: Deposit the prescribed registration fee in the bank account of the Kenya Copyright Board below:-
Bank name: Kenya Commercial Bank
Account name: Kenya Copyright Board
Account number: 1104002450
Branch: Kipande House
Step 6: Present the Bank Deposit Slip at the KECOBO reception, where a reciept of registration will be issued.
Step 7: The ORIGINAL “Certificate of Registration” will be issued within 5-7 days** from the date of registration
** these 5-7 days allow for a rigorous process of verification of the copyright works offered for registration and it is done by KECOBO’s Legal Department.