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Copyright Act

This Is An Act Of Parliament To Make Provision For Copyright In Literary, Musical And Artistic Works, Audio-visual Works, Sound Recordings, Broadcasts And For Connected Purposes.

A Copyright is ‘the right to copy a work specifically a property right in an original work of authorship (including a literary ,musical ,dramatic or other works) fixed in any tangible medium of expression giving the holder the exclusive rights to reproduce ,adapt ,distribute, perform or display work’

Copy right protection extends to the particular form in which an idea is expressed. In the case of software, copyright law would protect the source and object code, as well as certain unique original elements of the user interface.

In order for a copyright to be accepted for registration the following requirements must be met:

i.          The work must be of original authorship. Originality in the Copyright sense means that the work must not have copied from somebody else.

ii.          Application shall be a prescribed form obtained from the Copyright Office or downloaded from the Kenya Copyright Board Website.

iii.          The work must be in a tangible form including digital form for example VCD, CD, DVD, books, and Music cassettes.

iv.          A duly completed application form, fully filled, must be witnessed by a Commissioner for Oaths and accompanied by the required fees.

On receipt of the application, the office may, after making such enquiry as it may deem fit; enter the particulars of the work in a Copyright Register.

The Copyright Office will then issue a certificate of registration within 7 days from the date of registration after a registration fee of Ksh. 1000( as at date of publication)  has been deposited in the Copyright Accounts.

The length of time a copyright work is protected will depend upon the category or type of work as provided for under section 23(2) of the Copy Right Act;

  1. Literary, musical or artistic work other than photographs: Copyright in the above works lasts for the period of the life of the author plus fifty years.
  2. Audiovisual work and photograph: Fifty years from the end of the year in which the work was either made, first made available to the public, or first published, whichever date is the latest.
  3. Sound recordings: Fifty years after the end of the year in which the recording was made.
  4. Broadcasts: Fifty years after the end of the year in which the broadcast took place.

NB: Once the term of protection of copyright expires, the work falls into the public domain and cannot be protected for an individuals gain. It si free for public use.  

The Kenya Copyright Board is a State Corporation that was established under Section 3 of the Copyright Act Cap 130 of the Laws of Kenya to administer and enforce copyright and related rights in Kenya.

The Copyright industries in Kenya contribute significantly to the economic development of the country and need to be nurtured and facilitated. The Kenya Copyright Board provides a focal point for the industry as well and the government in matters pertaining to copyright and related rights.

The Kenya Copyright Board is comprised of members drawn from both the public and private sectors.

The members from the private sector are nominated by associations representing

  1. software,
  2. producers of sound recordings,
  3. publishers, film distributors,
  4.  performers,
  5. broadcasting,
  6.  stations,
  7. musicians and the audio visual industry.

There are four experts on copyright and related rights and five members who are alternates to the Attorney General, Commissioner of Police, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Heritage and Culture, and the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance.

In order to achieve its mandate; the administration and enforcement of copyright and related rights in Kenya, the Kenya Copyright Board under Section 5 of Cap 130 carries out the following;

  1. Implement Copyright laws including the provisions of international treaties
  2. License and supervise the activities of Collective Management Organisations
  3. Facilitate training and awareness creation on copyright and related rights in Kenya
  4. Update copyright legislation
  5. Maintain an effective database on authors and their works.
  6. Liaise with national, regional and international organisations on matters of copyright and related rights
  7. Advise the government on matters of copyright and related rights
  8. Facilitates the implementation of the AntiPiracy Security Device (APSD)

The Board also deals with matters related to traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions and is currently working on establishment of policy and legal framework.

For more information and assistance, get in touch with KECOBO

Kenya Copyright Board
5th Floor NHIF Building - Community
Ragati Road/Ngong Road 
P.O Box 34670 - 00100 
Nairobi - Kenya

Tel: +254 20 2533869/59 
Mobile: 0713761758, 0739062643
Corruption Hotline: 0790319941 EMAIL: [email protected]
Email: [email protected] 
Twitter: @KenyaCopyright
Facebook: KenyaCopyrightBoard

Website: www.copyright.go.ke





literary works;


musical works;


artistic works;


audio-visual works;


sound recordings; and



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