Personal Finance

Right way to copyright your creative works

copyright

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Summary

  • One of the industries that has been adversely affected by Covid-19 restrictions is the creative sector.
  • Basically, it is any sector that has creativity as a core value.
  • It ranges from the obvious music, dance, theatre, art, fashion to the more complex like television shows, radio and computer programmes.

One of the industries that has been adversely affected by Covid-19 restrictions is the creative sector. Basically, it is any sector that has creativity as a core value. It ranges from the obvious music, dance, theatre, art, fashion to the more complex like television shows, radio and computer programmes.

Performing arts like dance and theatre have been adversely affected to the limitations placed on public gatherings. A lot of performing artists have had to cancel their live shows due to the restrictions on public gatherings. This has had an adverse effect not only on the artists but also to the theatres and venues that hosted them.

SURVIVAL TACTICS

Last year a fashion designer staged an awe-inspiring 3D fashion show virtually. Held at a time when fashion shows were cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions, the innovative designer was able to continue with her show and promote her brand despite the restrictions. Many others are hosting live concerts virtually as a response to the Covid-19 restrictions.

One impact of the restrictions on the sector is enhanced digitisation.

Covid-19 has enhanced people’s creativity and skills. They are rediscovering their old or hidden talents. Today, I will highlight copyright issues in online gaming.

There is an increasing demand for online entertainment and this includes online games. While there aren’t many Kenyan made online games, I believe that this trend will change in a few years.

Currently, I know of the “Bungoma Hangman”, the online game inspired by the story of a man nicknamed as such after he gained national fame for hanging on a flying helicopter in 2016.

Another Kenyan inspired online video series, is Lupita Nyongo’s Super Sema, a story of a 10- year old Kenyan heroine. The series has been made in partnership with a local Kenyan producer.

With increased digital knowledge and increased creativity, I expect an increase in online games. Therefore, how do such creatives protect their intellectual property?

The protection will apply to several components of the game depending on its nature. The concept or idea of the game cannot be protected unless it is developed into a sort of fixed format. The name and logo of the game is protectable under trademark law. Therefore, the logos “Bungoma Man” or Super Sema are protectable under law.

Other components that are protectable under law include the artwork like the caricatures or characters in the series. Industrial designs may also protect the figurines if they are 3 dimensional.

Any rules or regulations of the game and all other writings would be protectable as copyright under the sub category of literary works.

The audios in the series, for example the voice-over works, songs and other sound effects are protectable as visual works. In the event the series has a jingle that is a short arrangement of music to identify the programme, then this is protectable under trademark laws.

The video itself is protectable as copyright under the sub-category audio-visual works. Finally the computer programme source codes are protectable as copyright.

The multiple intellectual property rights in online gaming can be valued and this valuation would be vital in commercialisation strategies. A creator can sell or license the game to make revenues.