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Role and Functions of the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO)

The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) is a State Corporation under the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice. It was established by Section 3 of the Copyright Act 2001.

The Act mandated the Kenya Copyright Board to administer and enforce copyright and related rights. The Board is responsible for organizing legislation on copyright and related rights. It also conducts training programmes on copyright and related rights.

The Kenya Copyright Board also enlightens and informs the public on matters related to copyright. Further, it licenses and supervises the activities of collective management societies.

Moreover, the Board maintains an effective databank on authors and their works.

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

The Composition of the Kenya Copyright Board is as follows:

  • a Chairperson appointed by the President;
  • the Principal Secretary in the National Treasury or a designated representative;
  • the Principal Secretary in charge of matters relating to culture and heritage or a representative;
  • the principal secretary in the Ministry responsible for matters relating to information and communications technology or a designated representative;
  • the Attorney-General or a representative;
  • three persons each nominated by associations recognised by the Government as representing stakeholders in music, film and publishing respectively. The Attorney-General should carry out these appointments; and
  • the Executive Director of the Board appointed under section 11 of the Copyright Act.

The functions of the Kenya Copyright Board should be to—

  • direct, co-ordinate and oversee the implementation of laws and international treaties and conventions to which Kenya is a party and which relate to copyright and other rights recognised by the Copyright Act and ensure the observance thereof;
  • license and supervise the activities of collective management societies as provided for under the Copyright Act;
  • devise promotion, introduction and training programs on copyright and related rights, to which end it may co-ordinate its work with national, regional or international organisations concerned with the same subject matter;
  • organise the legislation on copyright and related rights and propose other arrangements that will ensure its constant improvement and continuing effectiveness;
  • enlighten and inform the public on matters relating to copyright and related rights;
  • maintain an effective data bank on authors and their works; and
  • administer and enforce all matters of copyright and related rights in Kenya as provided for under the Copyright Act and to deal with ancillary matters connected with its functions under the Act.

The Board should have all powers necessary for the proper performance of its functions under the Copyright Act and in particular, the Board should have power to—

  • control, supervise and administer the assets of the Board in such manner as best promotes the purposes for which the Board is established;
  • determine the provisions to be made for capital and recurrent expenditure and reserves of the Board;
  • receive any grants, gifts, donations or endowments and make legitimate disbursements therefrom;
  • enter into association with such other bodies or organizations within or outside Kenya as it may consider desirable or appropriate and in furtherance of the purposes for which the Board is established;
  • open a banking account or banking accounts for the funds of the Board; and
  • invest any of its funds not immediately required for its purposes in the manner provided in section 20.

For more information about the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO), see the Copyright Act and visit their website at copyright.go.ke

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Gĩthĩnji is the founder of afrocave.com. He is passionate about politics and governance, public finance management and cycling.@Afrophi