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The Copyright (Amendment) Act 2022

Introduction & Background

In October 2021, the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2021 was published. The Bill had two main objectives; firstly, to amend the Copyright Act to provide for a fair formula for sharing of revenue from ring back tunes between the artistes/copyright holders and the telecommunications companies; and secondly, to repeal the provisions on takedown notices and requirements, the role of internet service providers and application for injunctions.

Effects of Amendment

In February 2022, Parliament passed the Copyright Amendment Bill which was later signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta in April 2022. With slight variations from what the Bill proposed, The Copyright (Amendment) Act No 14 of 2022 now provides that the sharing of revenue will be as follows:

  • Premium rate service provider shall be entitled to 8.5 percent;
  • Telecommunication operator 39.5 percent; and
  •  The artist or owner of the copyright shall be entitled to not less than 52 percent of the revenue.

Additionally, the telecommunication operator is expected to remit directly to the artiste or owner of the copyright the ring back tune net revenue share allocated to them.

Win for Artists?

For artists, this can be considered to be a win. This is because, first, the new revenue sharing formula has it that they will be the receivers of the lion’s share of the revenues obtained from these tunes. Moreover, by cutting middlemen and having telecommunication operators remit revenues directly to them, artists will be able to avoid loss due to extra costs, such as management fees, that would otherwise have been paid to entities collecting the revenue on their behalf.

Establishment of National Rights Registry (NRR)

Moreover, the Copyright (Amendment) Act No. 14 of 2022 went on to establish and provide for the National Rights Registry (NRR), which is the central repository collating details pertaining to ownership of various copyright works. The NRR is a portal used by copyright holders allowing them to register and view/download copyright certificates. Such registration, according to section 22(D) (3) of The Copyright (Amendment) Act No 14 of 2022 may be subject to payment of the prescribed fees.

What does this mean for you?

The Act has introduced a new guaranteed minimum percentage share for ring back tunes (such as Skiza Tunes & Skiza na Citizen) to be made to Rights Holders capped at 52%. With the enactment of the new Law, it might require formulation of new arrangements between Rights Holders and CSPs and ISPs. The Copyright Amendment Act 2022, also provides for registration of copyright through the National Rights Registry (NRR) Portal. The portal is already operational and it will help Rights Holders and users ensure protection of their copyright.
The NRR will also provide a database with invaluable information about the ownership to existing copyright; a potential wealth of information for you.


The framework of copyright law within Kenya has experienced several changes over the past few years all in the aim of improving and ensuring the law works for the artists and creatives it is meant to protect. These amendments can be seen as a step towards achieving that objective.