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Kenya’s Creative Industry Records Sh252 Million in Losses Annually – Partners Against Piracy

Partners Against Piracy (PAP) have called for the Implementation of Sections 35 B, C & D of the Copyright Act to help the Creative Industry of Kenya recover from the COVID-19 Pandemic and create over 50,000 new Jobs for the Youth. The implementation should be done in co-operation with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) within the next 100 Days,

According to PAP interim Convener & MyMovies.Africa Co-Founder Mike Strano, the estimated gross losses to Online Piracy in Kenya costs the industry over Sh92 billion per year. Sh15 billion is lost through pirated Music affecting Artists on Safaricom Baze Music, Boomplay, Mdundo, Spotify and other platforms; Sh32 billion is lost to pirated Video Content affecting Creators on Safaricom Baze, MyMovies.Africa, Netflix, Showmax, YouTube and other platforms; Sh5 billion is lost from Cinema, Sh8 billion from Television affecting Creators on MultiChoice, Star Times and local Channels; Sh29 billion is lost from pirated Books, magazines & newspapers while Sh3 billion is lost in Gaming.

Speaking during this year’s World IP Day celebration, themed Intellectual Property and the Youth,, Strano said that Piracy costs the Government over Sh12.69 billion in Value Added Tax, Sh2.49 billion in Corporation Tax, Sh1.07 billion in Income Tax for Residents and Sh1.13 billion in Income Tax for Non-Residents.

Read: MultiChoice Kenya Donates PPEs Worth Sh2.3 Million to Health Ministry

“Pirates do not register their businesses and do not pay tax. They also do not create employment.  Reducing piracy in Kenya can create at least 50,000 jobs. Online Piracy is a Cybercrime perpetuated by terrorists and global syndicates, and must be dealt with through Stakeholder participation, especially Internet Service Providers”, says Strano.

MultiChoice Kenya’s Managing Director Nancy Matimu highlighted the importance of Piracy knowledge for all, saying the vice takes away from the revenue streams of Creatives. She said some small business distributing content on various IPs were not aware that they are actually participating in a crime.

Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) Executive Director Edward Sigei challenged Creatives to advocate for Policies as the owners of copyright & related rights.

Read also: Business Software Alliance and IDC study shows software piracy rate hits 83% in East & Southern Africa

Kenya Film Commission’s Chief Executive Officer Timothy Owase who was also in attendance said the agency is working with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics to collect data on what the Film Industry contributes to the Economy annually.

This year’s theme for the World Intellectual Property Day was IP and Youth – Innovation for a Better Future, so during the celebration PAP also hosted a Panel Discussion with young creative minds on the Challenges they are facing in the Industry with regards to Piracy.

“Lack of structures in the Music Industry on how we make money from our Art is discouraging”, said King Kaka -Rapper and Chief Executive Officer of Kaka Empire.  “If these structures were put in place, the Government would view the Creative Industry as a multi-billion shilling Sector that is taxable.  The relevant bodies mandated to oversee these issues should step-up.”

Read also: M-Pesa Foundation to Address Education Barriers for Children with Disabilities in New Partnerships

Stakeholders who participated in the celebrations were urged to change their attitude and perception towards the creative industry, as it could hugely contribute to the growth of the GDP of the country.

“There needs to be a paradigm shift around how Creatives are viewed and respected in Kenya.  “Creative Industry is the next Industrial Revolution in Africa”, said Strano.

“Government and Corporates in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana and Tanzania place a higher Value on their Creatives.  Are we going to allow Kenya to be left behind?”

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Written by Francis Muli

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