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How to register copyright in Kenya
The Copyright (Amendment) Act introduced section 22A to the Copyright Act which mandates the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) to keep a register of all copyrightable work. As a result, KECOBO launched the National Rights Registry (NRR) which permits creators to register their work online through an online portal.
Registration secures owners’ rights by providing recorded and certified proof of ownership.
Categories of copyrightable works
- Artistic works: These include paintings, drawings, photographs, maps and architectural plans.
- Sound recordings: These include spoken word recordings, music recordings and recordings of recitals.
- Audiovisual works: These are video recordings of works such as documentaries, television shows and movies.
- Literary works: includes novels, stories, plays, essays, books, poetry and computer programs.
- Musical works: include song lyrics and the melody and accompaniment. On the registry, music is categorized under sound recordings or audiovisual works where it is a music video.
- Dramatic works: they include movies, plays and films. The scripts to such works can be registered as literary works. If in video format, they are registered as audiovisual works
- Log in/create an account on the Kenya National Rights Registration portal https://nrr.copyright.go.ke/
- Select make a new application and fill in the required information.
- Select the applicable copyright category and subcategory then a copy of the work you intend to register.
- Enter the Copyright Ownership details. This is where people other than the original artist can be recognised, such as the producer, publisher, performer, the person commissioning the work and other collaborators. Indicate the percentage of ownership each person holds if there are more than one.
- Where there is more than one owner registered, supporting documents such as a split sheet and engagement letters are required.
- Verify and submit the details.
- The applicant will receive a text message confirming submission of the application.
- If the application is successful, a certificate is issued on the applicant’s portal. This typically takes less than 7 days.
NOTE: Copyright registration costs 1000 Kenya Shillings per work. However, there is currently a waiver of these fees to encourage registration.