Exploring copyright: Animation students visit the Kenya Copyright Board

By Wangui Githinji
On Wednesday, November 8, animation students of Law & Ethics in the Animation Business class visited the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) offices situated in Upperhill for an education tour. The ten students, comprising mostly third and fourth year students, displayed a keen interest in delving deeper into copyright issues and understanding how it could directly benefit them as animators. Their enthusiasm was not just for the sake of the class; it was a realization of the broader implications for their careers. After all, ignorance is never an excuse.

Ms. Sharon Chahale Wata, the Assistant Executive Director-Legal & Technical Affairs at KECOBO, received the students and took them through a brief introduction of the organization followed by a training session on copyright issues in the country. Ms. Sharon, cognizant of the diverse nationalities represented among the students, provided examples tailored to their respective countries, including Uganda, Pakistan, and Nigeria.

The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) operates as a State Corporation within the purview of the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice. Its establishment is rooted in Section 3 of the Copyright Act of 2001.

Tasked with the administration and enforcement of copyright and related rights, KECOBO holds the responsibility of organizing legislation pertaining to copyright and related rights. Additionally, the Board conducts training programs focused on enhancing understanding in these areas.

KECOBO's mandate involves administering and enforcing copyright issues in Kenya, and overseeing the implementation of relevant laws, international treaties, and conventions.

Originally planned for an hour, the visit evolved into an extensive educational tour. After the training session, the students were taken on a tour of different departments, offering insights into the inner workings of the organization. The students posed relevant questions, receiving content curated specifically for their field. KECOBO extended its offer of free legal advice, emphasizing that students could seek guidance on work contracts.

Upon concluding the educational tour, students expressed gratitude to Ms. Sharon for her time, recognizing the value of their newfound knowledge for both their academic and professional journeys. The doors of KECOBO were declared open for future visits, marking the culmination of a well-appreciated and enlightening training session.

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