How familiar are you with copyright and the protection of your content? Do you know what measures to take should your work be plagiarized?

Copyright is the exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material. In Kenya, copyrights are reserved to the creator of the content even 50 years after their death. This means, should you sample, quote etc someone’s work you should seek their permission or credit them. This is to show appreciation for their work or mark ownership. Some sites are known to offer free images that even lack the watermark but as the decent human being that you are, it becomes important that you give accreditation to the owner of said work.

On the 25th of August BAKE hosted ,Paul Kaindo, an advocate and commissioner for oaths at KECOBO. He brought to light that copyright does not protect ideas but rather the expression of an idea. ‘‘Should you be talking about writing a book and share your ideas on it and it and someone else writes the book, then you have no legal right to sue them. They simply stole your thoughts. Not your work.” He said.

As a content creator, you have rights. This rights affect how you will commercialize or make money out of your content.They include:

  • Right to reproduce the copyrighted work
  • Right to prepare derivative works based on the work
  • Right to distribute copies of the work to the public
  • Right to perform the work publicly
  • Right to display the work publicly

In light to recent events is Kenya, with influencers ripping content  off the internet and other ‘good’ stuff, it brought to our concern the question  on how you can protect your content. How do you make sure to get the maximum earnings out of it?

Here are a couple of ways to beat the content thief.

  • Use of terms of use/terms and conditionEg. agreeing to avoid modifying, copying, reproducing, selling or distributing any content in any manner or medium without permission.
  • Use of disclaimersThis is making it clear that what you are about to share is of your own opinion or experience and that you’re not liable for any actions carried out by the audience as a result of the information.
  • Registering your copyrightThis can be done via visiting the KECOBO site or online.
  • Police your contentAlways monitor your content to be aware of where it’s being used without your knowledge.

Lifting someone’s whole content off the internet for the sake of critiquing them also counts as a violation. However, there are two exceptions to evade being sued for infringement and these are when dealing with scientific research and  collection of literal musical works of not more than two short passages- ideally for learning purposes in a school.

Copyrights starts with an individual. Take measures to protect your content before availing it to the public. For more information about protecting your intellectual property visit the Kenya Copyright Board website.

image credits.