Copyright, like trademarks and patents, is a sort of intellectual property protection aimed to protect an original work’s author, owner, or holder’s exclusive right to claim it as their own.
Recently, the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) released an advisory following widespread use of third-party pictures, films, graphics, and books on social media without adequate acknowledgement, despite copyright owners’ protests.
KECOBO termed the widely used term ‘courtesy’ e.g., ‘photo courtesy’ as NOT an acknowledgement.
“An acknowledgement must clearly show name of the author and in some instances the name of the work if relevant.” read the advisory given by Edward Sigei, Executive director at Kenya Copyright Board.
How Do I Correctly Format a Copyright?
KECOBO advises various way to properly copyright work on social media.
An acknowledgement must clearly show name of the author and in some instances the name of the work if relevant e.g., Maasai Mara Lions, Photograph by George Gitau (Cameracrew ltd, Video by Victoria Ouma, Sihamikenya films. In the age social media, the author account may be added e.g., @sihamikenyafilms.
In the case of books, all contributors to a copyright work e.g., illustrators of books and other graphic material, should be clearly and sufficiently acknowledged regardless of the terms of engagement as they hold moral rights. For example, ‘Illustrations by Eliud Kamau, Kamau Graphics, Kingsway House Nairobi’ would be considered sufficient.
Graphic artists are advised to always show link to their work by embedding a digital signature or other unique mark. Similar Rights Management information e.g., watermark is now essential in the areas of photographs and videos.
The posting of portions of a book, the name of the author and publisher must be included for sufficient acknowledgement e.g. ‘My life in love, by Kimani wa Thika, Africa Grup books, Kijabe Street Nairobi’.
More on the copyright act can be found here.