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Impacts and lessons from the Copyright Amendment Act, 2022

The Copyright Amendment Act, 2022

In response to the ever-shifting dynamics and the complaints by Rights Holders, Homa Bay Member of Parliament (MP) Ms. Gladys Wanga had introduced the Copyright Amendment Bill 2021 late last year seeking to introduce a series of amendments to the Copyright Act (CAP 130). The Bill planned inter alia to:

  • delete Sections 35B, 35C and 35 D of the Copyright Act (The Honorable MP has since agreed to drop this proposal after severe feed-back from the industry).
  • further protect the earnings of the Rights Holder from the ring-back tones.
  • develop and maintain and online portal for registration of copyright works.
  • establish a National Rights Registry

The Bill was passed into law on 4th April 2022 with the exclusion of the first point above.

What does this mean for You?

The Act has introduced a new guaranteed minimum percentage-share for ring back tunes (such as Skiza Tunes & Skiza na Citizen) to be made to Rights Holders capped at 52%. With the enactment of the new Law, it might require formulation of new arrangements between Rights Holders and CSPs and ISPs.

The Copyright Amendment Act 2022, also provides for registration of copyright through the National Rights Registry (NRR) Portal. The portal is already operational and it will help Rights Holders and users ensure protection of their copyright. The NRR will also provide a database with invaluable information about the ownership to existing copyright; a potential wealth of information for you. The Kenya Copyright Board has waived registration fees for copyrights at the launch of the NRR but resumed charging on 1st July 2022.

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