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The Reproduction Rights Society of Kenya

Submitted by admin on Thu, 07/08/2010 - 09:40
Kopiken, The Reproduction Rights Society of Kenya
P. O. Box 44265 - 00100
+254 713 600 522
Chief Executive Name
Gerry Gitonga
Chief Executive Title
General Manager
Chief Executive Phone
+254 713 600 522
Chief Executive Email
Key representative
Prof. Henry Indangasi
Key representative
Prof. Vicky Khasandi-Telewa
Vice- Chairperson
History of the organisation
Kopiken- the Reproduction Rights Society of Kenya is the sole RRO collecting in the area of reprographic rights in Kenya. The idea of forming Kopiken was spearheaded in the early 1990s by a Kenyan publisher and it was registered in 1994 as a collecting society under the Societies Act of the Laws of Kenya. However, for various reasons, the organization became inactive round about 1997/1998, and Kenya Publishers Association (KPA) took over the organization in a caretaker capacity. KPA started the process of reviving Kopiken again in 2004. By this time the Copyright Act in Kenya had been amended and to the Copyright Act of Kenya 2001. Kopiken was then registered under this new Act as a company limited by guarantee in Dec. 2005. It began setting up in 2006 and operations took off in 2007. Kopiken made its first collections in copy shops in 2007. Its first distribution to members was in 2008.
KOPIKEN derives its mandate partly from the Kenya Copyright Act 2001 which provides the mandate for the setting up of collecting societies. Also from the new Kenya Constitution 2010 which provides for respect of intellectual property. It also draws its mandate from its membership which is made up of rightsholder associations, rather than individual authors and publishers.
Year of incorporation
Year of first distribution
Year of first collection
Total number of Board Members
How are Board Members elected
One from each member association, the general manager and may have a consultant director
Total number of Author Representatives
Total number of Publisher Representatives
Remarks about the Board
According to our MEMARTS of incorporation Kopiken may elect a consultant director who is versed in matters copyright to sit on the board. The last one resigned when he joined the Kenya Copyright Board. The 7 Board members elect a chairman and a vice chairperson to chair the board.
From 2019, individual members will also be allowed to have representation on the Board after recruitment begins.
Total Number of Member Associations
Total Publishers' Associations
Total Creators' (authors and visual artists) Associations
Total Rights holders represented
Remarks about the members
Kopiken represents rightholders that include;

(i ) Authors (creators of works) – Kopiken represents them through their respective association which include;

(a) KENFAA- Kenya Non Fiction Authors Association; this is an association of non-fiction writers and translators who have published at least 100 pages works comprising of books, periodicals and professional & scientific journals. The association seeks to promote and protect the interests of non-fiction authors in Kenya and beyond.
(b) WAK- Writers Association of Kenya; This is an association of writers in Kenya, who have published creative literary works such as poems, short stories, novels, plays, biographies, autobiographies and memoirs, literary criticism and other kinds of literary scholarship. Its main objective is to encourage and promote writing in Kenya.
(c) KOLA- Kenya Oral Literature Association; this is a professional association of researchers, scholars in Kenyan universities and oral artists. Its basic objective is to advance the study of orality and oral literature as a means of community appraisal through research publication, workshops, conferences & performances.
(d) KUJ – Kenya Union of journalists; An association of persons engaged in journalistic works in Kenya, whose main objective is to raise the status of journalism in Kenya.

(ii) Artists & Visual Creators – Kopiken represents this group through their Association KAPIDE- Kenya Association of Photographers Illustrators & Designers; This association represents photojournalists, illustrators & designers and its main objective is to advance photojournalism, illustration and design in all their forms in kenya and beyond.

(iii) Song lyricists & writers of sheet music – Kopiken represents musicians through MCSK- The Music Copyright Society of Kenya. This is also a CMO in the area of music collecting royalties on behalf of composers, publishers or proprietor of music in Kenya.

(iv) Publishers – Kopiken represents publishers in Kenya through the Kenya Publishers Association- KPA which is an association bringing together all companies. Organization or individuals engaged in book publishing in Kenya and its main objective is to encourage the widest possible spread of printed books throughout Kenya and beyond.

(v) International Rightholders – Kenya is a signatory to The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, an international agreement governing copyright first accepted in 1886. This convention under Article 5(1) and 5(2) establishes the principle of national treatment for works protected by copyright. As a general matter, the principle of national treatment means that under a nation’s laws, a foreigner enjoys no lesser rights and benefits than a citizen of that nation receives, subject to the specific terms of the relevant international conventions. In copyright terms, it means, for example, that a British work for which copyright enforcement is sought in the Kenya would be treated under Kenyan law exactly as if it were a Kenyan work..
Kopiken therefore in pursuant to this principle protects foreign works in Kenya s it protects local works. However, Kopiken has gone a step further in signing bilateral agreements with other countries/ collecting organizations to ensure that the mandates are solid. Kopiken has Bilateral agreements with the following countries so far; Authors Licensing Collecting Society- UK, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Newzealand, Philippines, Singapore, Tanzania, India, Mauritius, Nigeria, Norway, Korea, Uganda, Malawi. Many others are in progress.

From 2019, Kopiken will start recruiting individual members (authors and publishers) after changes to the Memorandum and Articles of Association in 2018.
Staff total number
Remarks about staff
Kopiken's staff comprises of
1. The General Manager who is the CEO and runs the organization (currently vacant after GM joined KECOBO)
2. The Licensing officer who is in charge of the licensing department and all the agents Kopiken uses to license copy shops.
3. The administrative assistant who is in charge of office administration.
4. The Accountant who handle all matters finance.
NB: Kopiken uses agents to license copy shops country wide. They are paid on commission basis and are not employees of Kopiken.
January 1 - December 31
Type of National legislation
Common Law
Other Law
International Conventions & Treaties to which Kenya is a signatory.
Licensing system
Voluntary Licencing schemes, without any form of back-up in Copyright Laws
REPROGRAPHIC LICENCES - Types of works licensed
All types of published material
Types of uses licensed
1. Copy shops
2. Educational Institutions

NB: Not yet ventured to other users
Types of institutions/sectors licensed
1. Universities
2. Technical Training Institutes
3. Colleges
4. Professional schools of training e.g. Law school
OTHER LICENCES - Public Lending Rights
Outline of Distribution plan and methodology used
So far equal distribution has been done to all the memebrs. The distribution method that was created is yet to be applied.
Distribution methods
Non title-specific distribution
% Author/Publisher Split
60% Author 40% Publisher
Text authors’ % share
80% of 60%
Publishers' % share
Visual material authors’ % share
15% of 60%
Administration costs as a percentage
30 %
Are deductions for cultural and/or social purposes made?
Remarks about administrative and other costs
Deductions include;
30% administration costs
20% foreign right holders (commenced in 2008)
5% withholding tax
10% agents licensing commission
Remarks about cultural an social deductions
So far no cultural or social deductions are made.
New developments / legislation
The Copyright Act is still being amended to include some changes like making it a legal license and exceptions for visually impaired persons. We are still waiting to see what changes will affect CMOs. Efforts are now also being made for the law and regulations to allow for private copying levying.
New developments / court cases
1. Since the 2013 election and the new government structure, Kenya is planning to merge all IP related offices into one. This include the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI), Kenya Anti-Counterfeit Agency (KCA) as well as the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO). It is not known yet how this will affect the copyright arena in Kenya.
2. Kopiken is considering suing a university that signed the License but had refused to issue payments.

New developments / surveys and statistics
1. Statistical Survey was conducted in Copyshops country wide in December 2008.

New developments / licensing
Kopiken finally managed to license one university. The rest have been very hard on taking up license. Kopiken has also managed to license 4 small technical Institutes. Copy shop licensing is still going strong.
Number of Bilateral agreements type A
Number of Bilateral agreements type B
Bilateral agreements type B with
Remarks about financial data
Distribution for year 2014 was done in 2015 at AGM. In 2012 Kopiken revised its tarrifs for copy shops. Users now pay a fee according to how many machines they have. This affected the income negatively because most people have few machines. The tarri
Total amount collected for all licensing
1 478 250.00
Total amount collected for reproduction licensing
1 478 250.00
Total amount collected nationally for reproduction licensing
1 478 250.00
Amount for schools
Amount for further education
73 000.00
Amount for higher education
Amount for government
Amount for business
1 405 250.00
Amount for other sector(s)
Levies on equipment and other mediums
Total amount collected for PLR
Total amount received for licensing from other RROs world-wide
Total amount received for reproduction licensing from other RROs world-wide
Total amount distributed from all licensing
707 786.00
Total amount distributed from reproduction licensing
Total amount distributed to national rightsholders
707 786.00
Total amount distributed to national rightsholders from reproduction licensing
707 786.00
1. Of which for visual works, to publishers only
to publishers and visual creator organisations
707 786.00
to visual creators organisations
to collecting societies only
to individual artists only
Total Amount distributed to foreign RROs
186 260.00
Total amount distributed from PLR
Administration Charge (actual figure)
399 127.00
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KES Kenya