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  • Posted By: Admin
  • Posted On: 2012-06-11 00:00:00

Continued from: How to Copyright your script in kenya

Procedure for Registration of your Script

Now you have come up with that killer script that will make your name and hopefully facilitate the payment of your rent, bills and *insert vice of choice*. The next step is to register it. It is as simple as the following steps:

1. Download and print Form No. CR1 (Revised) (Application for Registration of a Copyright Work) from the Kenya Copyright Board Website – . Look at the top right side of the webpage and you will see the “downloads” link. Click on this and you should see the form in question. The Form CR1 will have a serial number. You will have to print two copies of the form or print one and copy it. Then you will need to complete them both;

2. Fill in the form. The following information is required: Applicant details; copyright work details (which will include a brief abstract of what you are protecting); Authorship/Artist detail and production/publication details. Please note that, unless the Applicant is a company/employer/organisation or another individual, the Applicant and the Author details will be the same. After filling in the form have it witnessed by an Advocate who is Commissioner for Oaths. Note that not all Advocates are Commissioners for Oaths;

3. Print out two copies of your script (please have them properly bound - presentation is key and helpful to the Registrar);

4. If you are intending to use an agent (clearly you have funds to spare so pay him/her well), have the agent take a letter authorising them to act as your agent, signed by you and witnessed preferably witnessed by an Advocate of the High court of Kenya. He/she must have their National ID card with him;

5. Go to the Kenya Commercial Bank, Kipande House, Upper Hill, Nairobi with K.Shs.1000/= (which is the new registration fee as stated in Gazette Notice No. 20 published in Supplement No. 17 of the Kenya Gazette Vol. CXIV – No. 22 dated 23rd March, 2012 – the new fees are effective from 16th March, 2012). Deposit the registration fee under Account Name: Kenya Copyright Board, Account Number: 1104002450. Collect your payment receipt from the nice teller;

6. Take your two (2) properly completed and properly witnessed Form No. CR1 (Revised), two copies of your prized script and receipt from KCB for K.Shs.1000/= and make your way to Kenya Copyright Board offices on the 5th Floor of NHIF Building, Upper Hill, Nairobi. Hand over your documents to the Registrar?s office for registration;

7. Go away and wait.

8. Within seven (7) days, subject to any problems with your application (in which case you did not follow the extremely clear steps above), you will receive a certificate of registration for your script. Congratulations! You now have protection for your script for as long as you live plus an additional fifty (50) years after your death. Happy days!

Therefore, in conclusion, if you remember nothing else, here’s what you should walk away from this article knowing..

Do write down your script. There is no copyright in ideas – there is only copyright in the WRITTEN WORK. So spread your ideas and treatments at your own peril. If it?s not written down or otherwise recorded it cannot be registered and hence protected.

Do keep records of your script (and any revisions) on a computer or in hard copy. A solid paper trail is difficult to dispute whether at Kenya Copyright Board or at the newly instituted Competent Authority..

Do endeavour to make your script original.

Do spend time and effort on your script; after all it is your exercise of your gift and potential source of income. 

Do seek advice on your script from friends and colleagues- this article is not meant to feed paranoia about copyright infringement, rather to make you aware of how to avoid it.

Do be careful who you permit to see/use your work. Ensure that the terms for the use of your script are negotiated and are favourable to you. The use of advocates or specialist intellectual property consultants such as JGIP ( ) is highly recommended.

Do seek legal advice as suggested above.

Do ensure that when you negotiate licensing terms of your protected script your approval is sought before any changes are made. A substantial change could turn your work into someone else?s and you effectively lose your work and livelihood.

Do not distribute your unprotected works to production houses, online media, etc without a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in place between you and the organisation you are handing your work to. Once your unprotected work is in the public domain it is impossible to protect without going through a cumbersome and expensive court process.

Do not wait until you have your absolute final work before you register your copyright; once you have a rough draft/concept register it and keep updating your file at the KECOBO. This will buy you time and afford you protection from the onset.

If you are a scriptwriter employed by a production house to write scripts (as opposed to a freelance scriptwriter) then your work belongs to your employer, unfortunately. Do not fight it. This is unless your employment contract is so generous as to accord you rights to scripts written while in their employ.

Similarly, if you as a freelance scriptwriter, are commissioned to write scripts for a client (also known as “work made for hire”), then usually most contractual arrangements will have the client paying you for your labour and ownership of the script. This will be a one-off fee and the work you produce is the client?s to use as they wish without your interference or claim to ownership in the future. It will be up to you to negotiate a good amount for the work you are commissioned to produce. Take into account the time, research and creative input. For clients who commission scriptwriters, it is easier and more expedient in the long run to pay the scriptwriter a reasonable one-off payment and allow them their moral rights of attribution especially because the work you receive will be yours in title.

Now go forth and prosper.

Written by Kelvin B. Asige
Edited by June Gachui –JGIP CONSULTANTS | please send queries to

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