Registration of copyrights in Kenya

Registering a copyright for your work whether literary, musical, artistic affords you exclusive right to print, publish, perform, or record any literary, artistic musical and authorize others to do the same.

In Kenya the law governing copyright is the copyright Act and it makes it an offence punishable by fine or imprisonment to infringe on another person’s copyright.

To whom can copyright be conferred to?

(a) an individual who is a citizen of, or is domiciled or resident in, Kenya; or

(b) a body corporate which is incorporated under or in accordance with the laws of Kenya.

What can be registered?

  1. Literary work which includes:
    • novels, stories and poetical works;
    • plays, stage directions, film sceneries and broadcasting scripts;
    • textbooks, treatises, histories, biographies, essays and articles;
    • encyclopedias and dictionaries;
    • letters, reports and memoranda;
    • lectures, addresses and sermons, but does not include a written law or judicial decision;
  2. Musical work
  3. Artistic works which include:
    • paintings, drawings, etchings, lithographs, woodcuts and prints;
    • maps, plans and diagrams;
    • works of sculpture;
    • photographs;
    • works of architecture in the form of buildings or models
    • works of artistic craftsmanship, pictorial woven tissues and articles of applied handicraft and industrial art;

Copyright registration procedure

The Kenya Copyright Board registers copyright works of musical, audio visual, literary and artistic nature.

Requirements for registration of a copyright

The work must be of original authorship.

  • The work  should also be in tangible format, including digital format
  • Two copies (one if in digital format) of the work should be submitted with the application form
  • Application forms duly filled and commissioned by a Commissioner of Oaths


  • Submit the filled application form accompanied with the registration fee.
  • A certificate will be issued if the application is successful.

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