The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) has raised a red flag over a campaign being run by Cadbury due to alleged unethical terms of competition.
The campaign dubbed ‘In Our Own Words’ requires authors to submit original Kenyan tales which would then be turned into books for children to read. It is aimed at encouraging book reading among children.
However, writers would forfeit their rights of being recognized as the author of the story and instead of being paid they would receive a thank you note. This according to the copyright board is “unethical and amounts to subjecting writers to degrading treatment while taking away their intellectual property rights.”
“It has come to the attention of the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO), that Cadbury is running a campaign dubbed ‘In Our Own Words’… The campaign requires authors to forfeit their moral rights to be recognized as an author in connection with their work as well as their economic rights in their literary work in return for a mere thank you note,” reads the statement.
“As such, KECOBO has written to the Cadbury to renew the terms of the competition or withdraw it entirely. The public is advised to avoid the campaign until authors’ rights are well recognized and paid for.”
Article 40 of the Constitution guarantees the right to property of any description which includes intellectual property of which Copyright is one. The author of a copyright work owns both economic rights and moral rights in the work.
“While economic rights can be transferred for a remuneration under Section 26 of the Copyright Act, moral rights under Section 32 of the Act are not transmissible under any circumstances,” says KECOBO.