KENYA: NATIONAL RIGHTS REGISTRY UPDATES: DATA RE-ENTRY ON THE KECOBO DIGITAL PLATFORM
The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) has issued a public notice dated 20 May 2021, that requires all rights-holders who had previously registered their works using the manual registration system to open an account on the National Rights Registry Platform (NRR platform) and re-register their work digitally at no extra cost. The deadline for compliance is 30 June 2021. KECOBO will also contact rights-holders who had registered manually on their last known phone number and email address.
The NRR platform, which is an online platform for copyright registration, was launched by KECOBO in April 2020. The launch of the NRR platform is in line with KECOBO’s mandate to maintain an effective data bank of all the authors and their works. All new applications for registration by rights-holders will also be required to be undertaken on the NRR platform. The one-month deadline provided by KECOBO is on account of the anticipated difficulties rights-holders may face in the process of transferring data from the old manual database to the NRR database.
According to KECOBO, the re-registration is an opportunity for persons who had previously registered their works in the form of albums, portfolio or music catalogues to register for copyright in those works. The individual copyright will cover works such as songs, films, graphical and visual arts. Furthermore, KECOBO will issue a new certificate in respect of each work. The new database will serve as a basis of media monitoring as it will be made public and it will help ease royalty payments.
As a rights-holder, the registration of your work on the NRR platform allows you to access it on your portal and generate your certificate at any time. Copyright registration is optional as copyright protection arises automatically upon creation of the work. Despite automatic protection upon creation of work, registration of copyrighted works plays an important evidentiary role as an author can ascertain whether copyright of a certain work already exists. Registration therefore acts as a prevention measure against any potential copyright infringement claims.