KECOBO Takes On Copyright Infringement on Popular Social Media Apps

In the age of social media, where information flows freely, the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) is gearing up to investigate a surge in copyright infringement cases involving social media users. Executive Director Edward Sigei has sounded the alarm, highlighting suspicious activities on platforms like Telegram, Facebook, and WhatsApp.

The Board’s decision to launch investigations comes on the heels of numerous complaints from various entities regarding the unauthorized sharing of copyrighted content. Sigei pointed out the formation of groups on Facebook and WhatsApp dedicated to sharing popular TV shows, movies, and even pirate subscription codes. Additionally, there are individuals peddling pirated PDFs and soft copies of books, along with websites streaming illegal pirate content, especially in the realm of football.

The Copyright Act serves as the legal backbone in this battle against infringement. Sigei emphasized that these acts constitute a violation of the exclusive rights granted by the Copyright Act, such as making copyrighted content available and offering it for sale or rental.

Underlining the severity of these offenses, Sigei warned that individuals found guilty could face penalties, including fines of up to 500,000 or imprisonment for a maximum of four years, or both. KECOBO, in collaboration with the Communication Authority of Kenya, has initiated investigations to shut down the implicated social media accounts and pursue legal actions against their owners.

Sigei reiterated that piracy not only carries criminal consequences but also exposes individuals to civil liability. Moreover, it raises concerns about the theft of personal information and its potential support for illegal activities.

The public is urged to be cautious and refrain from participating in such activities, as they undermine the respect for intellectual property and the rights of artists to earn a fair living from their creative works. This vigilance is crucial in fostering a digital environment where creativity is protected, and content creators are duly recognized for their contributions.


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