The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) , the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) , the Kenya Police Service (KPS) and customs authorities will work together in a synchronised operation aimed at containing the piracy menace in the creative industry.
In the arrangement, the Government agencies will supplement each other to rein in on dealers in pirated content across the country to protect the intellectual property rights of producers.
During a joint press conference held in Nairobi today, KFCB Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ezekiel Mutua and KECOBO Executive Director Mr. Edward Sigei lamented the rise in pirated content, which they said is hurting progress in the creative sector.
“We are particularly concerned that if the situation is not addressed, it will be impossible for the industry to grow, making it difficult for the industry to achieve the 40-60 percent local content threshold required by the Programming Code for Free-to-Air Radio Services in Kenya”, said Dr. Mutua.
To protect the local industry, the Board outlawed the importation of unlicensed foreign movies as a way of curbing piracy. In the scheme, no foreign film will be allowed into the country unless it has been duly cleared by KECOBO, KFCB and the customs authorities.
Dr. Mutua said the measure is also meant to insulate local filmmakers against unfair competition from foreign dealers who are taking advantage of the fledgling industry. He added that all foreign films will also be required to bear the appropriate KFCB classification symbols to protect children from being exposed to inappropriate content.
“In addressing the issues of piracy, KFCB will also not affix classification labels to pirated films being distributed in the country”, he said.
“In this effort, KFCB will work closely with KECOBO to ensure all dealers in pirated movies are arrested and prosecuted in line with the law. Field officers from both agencies will collaborate with the police by reporting all distributors and exhibitors of pirated content”, he added.
On his part, Mr. Sigei said the creative industry should be taken seriously, noting that the copyright industry contributes more than 2 percent of income generated in the creative industry.