Oh, the Irony: President Usurps Role of Legal Advisor to Make Illegal Kenya Copyright Board Appointment

PRISK Director Millicent Ogutu Kenya Copyright Board KECOBO Board Appointment Gazette Notice March 2016 Chairperson Uhuru Kenyatta

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!

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Both Kenya’s National Intellectual Property Offices now on Twitter

It’s been almost a year since Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO), the national copyright office officially launched it’s twitter page, a move which was widely applauded. A twitter presence has allowed KECOBO to reach the wider public and spread awareness about copyright and related rights in Kenya. KECOBO has managed the account exceptionally well with almost daily tweets on activities, events, programmes and most importantly they have engaged with twitter users with queries, questions and complaints.
All in all, twitter has been an important platform for KECOBO to carry out its mandate of administering and enforcing copyright and related rights in Kenya.

Now, Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI), the industrial property office has also launched its official twitter account. Follow KIPI: “@KIPIKenya”

IPKenya is happy that KIPI has finally embraced this important social media tool. Unlike KECOBO which enjoys a fair amount of mainstream media coverage for its enforcement actions and its supervision of collecting societies, KIPI has always been shrouded in mystery. That said, the recently launched KIPI website has allowed members of the public to learn more about KIPI, its mandate and its services. However KIPI’s events, activities and programs are not widely publicised which makes public participation and discussion difficult.
IPKenya hopes that KIPI will use twitter to freely communicate and engage with the public on issues of industrial property and other related IP matters so as to demystify them and encourage the public to taje advantage of the IP system.

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