Social media has turned out to be a fun hub for various people around the world with over 10 million users. It has also seen the trend of its users making and sharing memes allover.
A recent one was the Arap Marindich and Tula Chemoget, imitating World Rally Championship (WRC) drivers at the Safari Rally in Naivasha which has taken trend on Facebook and WhatsApp.
The Kenyan government has cautioned corporates against the use of memes generated from photos and videos without consent from the original content creators. Especially those that share these memes on social media for commercial gains.
In a statement on Friday, August 5, 2022, the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) said commercial use of the content amounts to copyright infringement and could attract civil liability.
“A Copyright holder has the exclusive rights to copy, reproduce, make adaptation, publish, and broadcast their work for a fixed period established under the Copyright Act.
“In that regard, a copyright owner can create a meme from his photograph or video in exercise of their rights under copyright. Such memes can be exploited for the benefit of the author through advertising and as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).”
The board insists that individuals intending to use such works for commercial purposes must obtain express permission from the creators.
“Therefore, a meme generated without the authority of the Copyright owner is an infringement on their copyright particularly the exclusive rights to reproduce, copy, adapt and publish since the original photograph or video undergoes some alteration and incorporation of a text,” KECOBO added.