Copyright bill 2017 and President Uhuru\’s directive to Senate and National Assembly


Two weeks ago, during the burial of the Late John De Mathew, President Kenyatta urged both the Senate and National Assembly to fasten the Copyright Bill 2017 as he is ready to sign it.

There were complaints from different speakers that the late musician had over 300 songs to his name but only reaped benefits from very few of them.

The President directed that the music copyright office be moved from the AG’s office to the Ministry of ICT where CA can monitor which service provider has played what song. In addition, CA was directed that renewal of licenses for various broadcasters and providers be pegged to those who had paid the artistes royalties.

The copyright bill 2017

Section 24 proposes to include 35 (A) on Protection of Internet Service Provider and 35(B) on Take down notice.

On the takedown request, section 35 (B) (g) requires a complainant to attach an affidavit or any other declaration attesting to claim of ownership, validity of the rights, good faith and setting out any efforts to have entities responsible for making the content available to remove the content;

(h) be copied to the Board, Communication Authority and the recognised umbrella association of service providers.

In 35 (B) (4), an Internet Service Provider shall, upon receipt of a valid takedown notice, notify the person responsible for making available the alleged infringing content and provide them with a copy of the notice as soon as is practicable.

However, in (5) the Internet Service provider shall disable access to the material within forty-eight business hours unless it receives a counter notice fulfilling the requirements set out for a takedown notice and contesting the contents of the takedown notice.

See, an artiste can complain, but a service provider can receive a counter notice. How does this help to protect copyright?

This issue of exploitation of creatives has gone on for long. Should we not be thinking through of better ways that do not claw back on formal complaints?

Will the moving of the music copyright office from AG to ICT Ministry cure the exploitation problem?


Grace Githaiga

Twitter: @ggithaiga

Skype: gracegithaiga


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