In a notice by the “Chairman”, KOPIKEN, which is variously described as “the Reproduction Rights Organization of Kenya and the body mandated by the Kenya Copyright Board to collect royalties on behalf of relevant right holders within
KOPIKEN is also targeting bureaus and shops offering associated services such as scanning, digitizing and “other forms of reproduction.”
The notice sternly warns, “any unauthorized copying will attract civil penalties and criminal sanctions” under section 38 of the Copyright Act.
The notice is too brief and couched in not a user-friendly language. As way of educating and informing not only the photocopying bureaus but also the common wananchi offering commercial photocopying services, KOPIKEN should have at least expounded the requirements of the law in a user-friendly language.
First, it is not clear how the phrase “within
Secondly, the notice is not very clear whom exactly KOPIKEN is targeting to licence. In one paragraph, the notice says it is an offence under section 38 of the Copyright Act to carry out photocopying business without a KOPIKEN licence. Yet in another paragraph, the notice seems to specifically target “reproducers of copyright protected materials.” The question is whether anybody offering commercial photocopying services is required to be KOPIKEN licensed or whether the licence only applies to reproducers of copyright protected materials. Ideally, it is possible to operate a photocopying business without reproducing copyright protected materials.
Lastly, though the notice does not say so, presumably, the licence comes at a fee, and KOPIKEN perhaps ought to first visit the Universities, which as reported here were recently classified as the worst offenders in photocopying books.