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Copyright News
KECOBO & WIPO hosts regional
copyright conference in Nairobi
By. Cyrus Kinyungu
T
he Kenya Copyright Board in part-
nership with the World Intellectual
Property Organisation (WIPO) in June
hosted a series of three conferences on copy-
right attended by over 300 delegates from
across the world.
The first of the three back to back meetings
held at Boma Hotel in Nairobi was a two
day regional seminar on Heads of Copyright
offices in Africa which was followed by a
meeting on Standing committee on Copyright
and Related rights (SCCR).
The Nairobi gathering also saw the two or-
ganisations hold an International Conference
for Least Developed and Developing Countries
on Copyright and Management of Public Sector
Information.
The meeting, which was ofcially opened
by Attorney General Paul Kihara Kariuki,
was attended by heads of copyright ofces in
Africa, delegates from African Regional Intel-
lectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) and
Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellec-
tuelle or OAPI (English: African Intellectual
Property Organization) and other international
Non-Governmental Organisations representa-
tives mainly from Geneva. The World Intellec-
tual Property Organisation’s Deputy Director
General, Copyright and Creative Industries
sector Ms Sylvie Forbin assisted by KECOBO
executive Director Edward Sigei was steering
the conference. This was a major milestone for
Kenya as it was the rst time WIPO was hold-
ing such an international conference on Copy-
right in Kenya.
While ofcially opening the conference, the
Attorney General Paul Kihara Kariuki noted:
“Copyright and creative expressions represent
a new frontier for Africa’s development and al-
ready contribute signicantly to the Gross Do-
mestic Product of many countries as evidenced
by the studies undertaken in Tanzania, Malawi,
South Africa and Kenya.”
He noted that the studies conducted with the
support of WIPO further establish that Africa is
a signicant importer of many cultural products
especially movies, music and books.
“This represents both an opportunity and a
threat to the culture and languages in this region
and Africa must guard against misappropriation
of its cultural property,” he warned.
Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Sports, Cul-
ture and Heritage Ms Amina Mohamed while
opening the regional meeting on exceptions and
limitations, said the new phase of Intellectual
Property governance will not be characterised
by reduction or expansion of IP rights.
“Rather,” she noted, “it will be dened by
contextual calibration based on the recognition
of the positive and negative implications of in-
tellectual property on public policy priorities.
The idea is to strike the right balance between
promoting the public interest in the dissemina-
tion of works of the intellect while guaranteeing
a just reward for copyright holders.”
Ms Amina said the new phase of Intellec-
tual Property governance should be dened by
contextual calibration based on the recognition
of the positive and negative implications of in-
tellectual property on public policy priorities.
The idea is to strike the right balance between
promoting the public interest in the dissemina-
tion of works of the intellect while guaranteeing
a just reward for copyright holders.
The seminars registered a major success
following the adoption of the Nairobi Strategic
Plan for the Development of Copyright and Re-
lated Rights in Africa.
“The global objective is the formulation of a
strategy for African countries, taking into con-
sideration copyright and related rights issues
in digital environment in order to maximise
the potential of creative industries for develop-
ment,” the member states noted of the plan.
The plan seeks to strengthen national and
regional institutions within the continent, pro-
mote social, economic and cultural develop-
ment and update and facilitate the implementa-
tion of copyright laws.
Members agreed to undertake studies on the
economic contribution of creative industries to
promote evidence based information for policy
decision making.
They also committed to take appropriate
measures to facilitate the implementation and
enforcement of the legislative provisions in-
cluding mechanism/ strategies to combat piracy
and other forms of copyright infringement.
To secure the value chain, members agreed
to facilitate identication of works in order to
enhance traceability, creation of common da-
tabases and interoperability of management
systems.
The Nairobi Strategic Plan also acknowl-
edged the need to enhance capacity and aware-
ness creation by encouraging the profession-
alization of stakeholders through training and
creation of trade associations and guilds.
Speaking during the conference for the least
developed and developing countries on copy-
right and management of public sector infor-
mation, Ms Forbin said: “It is clear that from a
copyright perspective, in principle many forms
of public sector information may well be pro-
tected and therefore conditions for access and
reuse should be further assessed.”
Participants from across the world who attended the conference organised by KECOBO and WIPO pose for a group photo at the Boma Hotel.