DJ Live Streams Are Illegal Claims Kenya Copyright Board

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered our normal lives as we used to live but subsequently brought out ingenuity on surviving with a new norm. With the lockdown looming, everyone is eyeballing the internet for fun and luckily the Disk Jockeys are providing that. Most Kenyan Djs have been live streaming mix sessions on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter but it turns out they are breaking the law.

DJs normally pin the disclaimer “This show is for entertainment purposes only. Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976 allows this material for fair use.” The Kenya Copyright Board came out and stated the disclaimer is a fallacy. The board states, “When a DJ creates a live stream and starts broadcasting music to the Internet, the DJ has become a radio station and as such, the DJ needs to have the appropriate licences from copyright owners or collective management organisations. Facebook Live does not have any streaming audio licences that would authorise any such content.”

According to Paul Kaindo, an advocate at the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO), DJs need to apply for two licences – a special broadcast license and a public performance license – in order to conduct their live streams. The operations manager at MCSK says that this kind of license would be issued to the DJs at a flat rate of around Kh. 200,000 a year if they are not making any money from content. However, is the DJs are gaining financial reward from using the content CMOS would take a percentage from whatever they are making.

DJs are wondering why this was just brought to light now and if they actually pay for the licence, how will the money get to the artists? What do you think should happen?

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