The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) in collaboration with Eco Post Ltd destroyed unauthorized copies of DVDs and CDs.
The Kenya Copyright Board Executive Director, Dr. Marisella Ouma said that, the destruction has been in an eco-friendly way through a joint initiative with eco post to safely dispose over one tone of illegal CDs and DVDs worth over 5,000,000 million. The destroyed materials will be recycled and transformed into a product that will be used as an alternative to timber and thus conserve our forests.
The Kenya Copyright Board, in collaboration with the Kenya Police and rights holders within the music, film, book, software and broadcasting industries carry out regular raids. After thorough investigations, the persons found with the materials destroyed today have been taken to court and the cases concluded with the courts fining them or sending them to prison.
KECOBO has been in the frontline in the fight against piracy. In Kenya piracy rates are quite high and clearly the sectors are facing imminent threat of collapse, Dr. Ouma added. At least 98 percent of music sold in Kenya is pirated. The Board has the statutory role of investigating and prosecuting copyright offences reported to it. The majority of infringements cases investigated and prosecuted by the Board are however in Nairobi Chief Magistrates Court. The Board faces a number of challenges in its work. Apart from the fact that knowledge of Copyright is poor amongst law enforcement, many copyright owners have limited knowledge on the law, their rights and its enforcement. The other major challenge is unwillingness by copyright owners to follow through on complaints. Then there is the challenge of technology based piracy represented by downloads; MP3/4; flash disks and other versatile storage media. The Enforcement Unit has to registered 145 cases in the year 2010 and 135 cases in the year 2011. In one case which involved the infringement of broadcasting in Nairobi two infringers were fined a total of Kshs.400, 000/= each in default to serve two years imprisonment.
Dr. Ouma urged Kenyans to shun unauthorized commercial copies of copyright protected material and opt for the legitimate products that will help in the creation of intellectual capital and job opportunities. This will in turn spur economic growth in line with vision 2030.