Home General UK firm claims ownership of national anthem, Kenya protests

UK firm claims ownership of national anthem, Kenya protests

by kenya-tribune
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The Kenya Copyright Board has demanded immediate takedown of content offending the national anthem by a British-based music company that has allegedly copyrighted it.

The board on Tuesday said it is consulting relevant state departments on legal and administrative measures to prevent unauthorised copyright claim on the national anthem now and in future.

In a letter to the Attorney General and the Department of Justice, the board said there is need to secure the use of these national symbols to expressly state that even where copyright in certain government works is expired, the use of such works shall still be subject to authorisation as required under the National Flags, Emblems and Names Act.

This comes after a Kenyan content creator protested to YouTube on grounds that Dewolfe Music had copyrighted the national anthem.

The content creator, in his protest, had claimed the national anthem they use is different from what Dewolfe had copyrighted, which is basically an instrumental of Kenya’s nationalanthem.

But the board said it has embarked on a comprehensive study of the terms and conditions in YouTube platform with a view to requesting for a takedown of all content offending the national anthem by the said company and others as well.

The board said Kenya has copyrighted its commissioned works for up to 50 years.

“The national anthem is over 50 years and has thus fallen into public domain. However, given the place of the national anthem in any country and the provisions of the National Flag, Emblems and Names Act (Cap 99 laws of Kenya) there is additional protection of the anthem against misuse and improper use,” read part of the statement.

The board further argued that under that Act, the use of the national anthem, emblems, names and other similar symbols is restricted and its use shall be subject to written permission by the minister in charge of the interior.

“The alleged claim for copyright by this company or any other to the original rendition of the national anthem, cannot, therefore, be supported. The case of derivative must fail on the above grounds as well,” the board said.

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