ICT authorities’ quest to bring into force a new law that punishes copyright thieves and purveyors of such content is spot on.
This is because in all its intents and purposes, this proposed law has on its sights a crime that is becoming ever more pervasive as more Kenyans use the internet to consume content.
Ease of copying and republication of other people’s material has, in fact, spawned a growing number of people who think all they need is to build a website and open social media accounts to be in business.
Kenya has particularly large number of people running blogsites with content that is mainly stolen from mainstream media websites or professional sites.
In fact, some of the people running these platforms are so bereft of ethics that they do not see anything wrong with stealing other people’s intellectual property – retorting when alerted to these breaches that this is the reality of new media.
It is for this reason that the proposed law’s quest to go beyond the thieves to dealing with carriers of such content (Internet Service Providers) is laudable.
Without sending a clear message that it takes time and money to produce any content – and hence the need to jealously protect owners of such content – the thieves will run down any avenues of doing profitable digital business and society will be the ultimate loser.