Piracy keeps artistes poor, deprives economy — Kecobo

Loss of income by creatives impacts tax revenue

In Summary

• Copyright board and partners are raising awareness about the dangers of piracy

Human rights Lawyer Brian Weke, Kecobo ceo Edward Sigei and Film distributor Trushna Patel
Human rights Lawyer Brian Weke, Kecobo ceo Edward Sigei and Film distributor Trushna Patel
Image: Elizabeth Ngigi

The Kenya Copyright Board yesterday launched a campaign to fight piracy, titled Partners Against Piracy.

The campaign targets the general public as well as interest groups like artistes, producers, musicians, government and private sector bodies. It seeks to create awareness among consumers on the dangers of piracy.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Kecobo executive director Edward Sigei said piracy hurts the economy as those involved do not pay for the goods or services they utilise.

"Kenyans are blessed with talent and if earnest, the country can benefit," he said. 

Politician and human rights lawyer Brian Weke said piracy hurts families since our children can access pornographic material.

"Some of the pirated sites are betting sites and once you open them, they link you to other sites, most of which are pornographic," he said.

Weke said Kenyan musicians are the poorest in the continent because their content is not respected. 

The unintended consequences of piracy globally are huge, running into billions of dollars. Whereas it seems cheap, convenient, anonymous and safe to pirate content, consumers face huge risks when doing so.

These include loss of income by creatives, which in turn impacts tax revenue.


In September last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law the Copyright Amendment Act (2019). The new copyright law gives Kecobo more power to oversee and enforce copyright and related rights infringements.