11
CopyrightNews
ISSUE 24
IMPROVING THE COPYRIGHT LEGAL FRAMEWORK
NEWS UPDATES
Kecobo Partners With KFCB to Fight Piracy in Film Industry
KECOBO and ACA Sign MoU to Fight Counterfeiting and
Copyright Infringement
By. Cyrus Kinyungu
By. Cyrus Kinyungu
e Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO)
and the Kenya Film Classication Board
(KFCB) have joined hands to ght piracy
in the lm industry.
e two government agencies noted there
has been a proliferation of pirated lms in
the country most of them originating from
foreign countries.
“is is not only against the laws of Kenya
but also in contravention of intellectual
property rights of local artistes,” said the
two organizations in a joint statement.
Kenya Copyright Board Executive Director
Mr Edward Sigei noted the government
has an obligation to protect the artists’
copyright. He noted that cheap foreign
movies that are pirated are driving local
lmmakers into huge losses thereby
discouraging many from venturing into the
trade.
“is is a great day that we have been able to
make this partnership to ght piracy in lm
industry a reality,” Sigei said.
We have established that a network of
unscrupulous dealers in this business is
avoiding paying duty for lms imported
into the country. is situation is creating
an unfair operating environment for local
lm makers who have complied with the
law, and also discouraging investment in
the industry,” said KFCB CEO Ezekiel
Mutua. If the situation is not addressed,
they said, it will be impossible for the local
industry to grow thus making it impossible
for the industry to achieve 40-60 per cent
local content threshold required by the
programming code. To help protect the
Local industry, KFCB declared a ban on
importation of unlicensed foreign movies
as a way of curbing piracy. “No foreign lm
will be allowed into the country unless
it has been duly cleared by the customs
authorities, KECOBO and KFCB,” the two
said in their joint statement.
Mr Sigei challenged the media to give
this initiative their support. He said while
this move seeks to address the issue of
importing of pirated foreign movies, the
Kenya Copyright Amendment Bill, which
is currently with the Aorney General’s
oce, once enacted into law will address
the bigger challenge of pirating through
downloading of movies.
“KFCB will not ax classication labels
to pirated lms being distributed in the
country. KFCB will work very closely with
KECOBO to ensure all dealers in pirated
movies are arrested and prosecuted in line
with the law,” they warned.
e Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO)
and the Anti-Counterfeit Agency
(ACA) have signed a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) to work together
to promote Kenyans’ Intellectual Property
Rights. e MOU guides the two
government agencies on how to share
intelligence, conduct joint investigations,
verication, inspections and seizure of
counterfeit and pirated copyright works
and materials.
KECOBO Executive Director Mr Edward
Sigei and his ACA Counterpart Dr John
Akoten signed the agreement on behalf of
the two government agencies.
We shall work closely in the prosecution
of cases that may result from joint
investigations, verication, inspection and
seizure of counterfeit and pirated copyright
works,” said Mr Sigei.
e two organizations will also jointly
coordinate the review or revision of laws
that aect the copyright industry. Besides,
the enforcement and prosecution teams
from both organisations will closely work
together to come up with prosecution and
enforcement strategies that will help win
cases in court. “e MOU also allows the
hand over, in appropriate circumstances,
of cases that can best be handled by the
other party competently, eciently and
eectively,” said Dr Akoten.
e two organizations noted that
counterfeiting of copyright works is
against the law, protection of Intellectual
property rights, economic prosperity,
legitimate trade, creation of employment
opportunities and araction and retention
of investment in the country.
e two organizations have dened and
shared mandate in ensuring that there is
legitimate trade practices in copyright
works devoid of counterfeiting and other
illegal activities.