In Kenya, copyright protection vests automatically upon the creation of a work. The registration of works is therefore not a requirement, however, the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) does have an optional manual system of registration. Copyright holders are encouraged to register their copyright as registration has been known to ease the evidentiary burden in cases relating to the enforcement of copyright.
In order to streamline the process of registration, KECOBO, in April 2021, launched an online platform for online copyright registration, namely the National Rights Registry Platform (NRR platform). The purpose of the NRR platform is to create a database of all authors and their works. Through this platform, KECOBO will issue the copyright holder with a certificate in respect of each work that is registered. These certificates can be accessed by the holder on his NRR platform portal at any time. An additional benefit of the database is that it is publicly available, which KECOBO hopes, will also ease royalty payments.
All rights-holders who had previously registered their works using the manual registration system were required to re-register their works on the NRR platform by 30 June 2021, at no extra cost. In addition, all new applications for copyright registration must be completed on the NRR platform.
The establishment of the NRR platform is a welcome development and better fosters the protection and enforcement of IP rights in Kenya.