Copyright News
By David Waweru
he term “property”
is defined as a thing
belonging to someone.
When we talk about
property ownership, we’re often
referring to tangible objects like
vehicles, buildings, or land.
Kenya’s 2010 Constitution rec-
ognizes the right of individuals,
or in association with others, to
own property of any kind in any
part of the country.
There’s another type of prop-
erty that doesn’t get as much
prominence as tangible property
does. It is refered to as intellec-
tual property (IP), or the “cre-
ations of the mind,” and com-
prises of patents, trademarks and
copyrights. This type of property
is intangible. However, just as
the individual right to ownership
of tangible or physical property is
secured in the Constitution, so is the
ownership of intellectual property.
The Copyright Act, for example,
views copyrights as unique property
rights deserving of protection just like
land and other tangible property. The
act secures the rights of creators and
innovators of literary, musical and
artistic works, audio-visual works,
sound recordings and broadcasts so
that they can reap the “fruits of their
labour.” The Kenya Copyright Board,
a creature of the Copyright Act, is
mandated to administer and enforce
copyright and related rights, the pri-
mary goal being to ensure that the
creative artists’ rights are protected.
This protection of rights is meant to
incentivise artists to keep creating
and making their works commer-
cially available for public use.
A trend in the most developed
economies is the shift from industrial
economics to economics of knowl-
edge and information. This is well
known as the economics of creativ-
ity—or creative economy. The main
components of the creative econo-
my are industries based on creativ-
ity such as pure arts, performing arts,
design, film, television and publish-
ing. Human creativity and new ideas
are the mover of the economic and
especially innovation development.
Creativity, as a psychological activity,
is often associated with originality,
inventions, and new ways of address-
ing issues.
World over, the framing, nur-
turing, and ethical and sustain-
able exploitation of human cre-
ativity have become a key focus for
economic development linking it to
concepts around innovation, design,
and entrepreneurship. The creative
industries can help to boost local
economies, stimulate new activities,
create new and sustainable jobs, have
important spill over effects on other
industries and enhance the attrac-
tiveness of regions and cities. That’s
what makes the World IP Day, cel-
ebrated on April 26, so significant
as it provides an opportunity to get
people interested in issues related
to intellectual property.
This year’s World IP Day was
celebrating the role of women
in driving change through inno-
vation and creativity. Kenyan
women have a long history of
creating innovations that con-
tribute immensely to society.
When Quartz Africa, a US-based
digital news outlet, released the
2016 list of top African innova-
tors, Kenyans dominated. Out
of the 30 finalists, seven were
Kenyans. And out of the seven
Kenyans, five of them were
women. The women finalists
were filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu,
techpreneur, Marie Githinji
of educational start-up eLimu,
fashion brand consultant Diana
Opoti, cellular immunologist
Evelyn Gitau, and Ciiru Waweru,
the proprietor of FunKidz.
And in 2017, Kenyan entrepreneur,
Charity Wanjiku, beat other energy
industry inventors to secure a place in
Africa’s top female technology innova
tors and entrepreneurs’ awards, organ-
ised by the World Economic Forum.
Ms Wanjiku was recognised among
six African women entrepreneurs for
creating opportunities and preparing
the continent for the Fourth Industrial
Revolution using technology.
There’s no doubt that women in the
creative sector are key to the achieve
ment of the national long-term devel-
opment blueprint that aims to trans-
form Kenya into an industrialising,
middle-income country by 2030.
Let’s develop the creative sector by
supporting such key factors as leader
ship and participation, awareness and
education, entrepreneurship, infra
structure, investments and policy.
David Waweru is a Director, Kenya
Copyright Board and CEO,
WordAlive Publishers
Women Driving Innovation
in the New Economy
Editorial Opinion