Those dealing with blank media and devices such as CDs, DVDs, USB drives, and smart phones will be required to pay a small levy beginning Friday.
According to the Copyright Act of 2001, the Kenyan government is set to implement the “Blank Tape Levy” starting from September 15, 2023 which will be imposed on all devices capable of recording or carrying copyrighted content, with payments made at entry points into Kenya.
The Blank Tape Levy seeks to protect the copyrights of artists and intellectual property of Kenyan citizens.
The implementation of the law follows recent amendments and discussions involving the Minister of Sports, Ababu Namwamba, and stakeholders in the entertainment industry and aims to generate revenue to support the development of the arts sector in Kenya.
Some of the devices affected by the levy include gaming consoles, recording equipment, and mobile phones. Additionally, televisions, radios, mobile phones, USB devices, CDs, and DVDs are all subject to this levy.
The Blank Tape Levy will have an impact on the prices of affected devices, as the levy will be added to the cost of all devices capable of personal use. While this may lead to a slight increase in prices, it will contribute to boosting the income of artists and furthering the development of the arts sector in the country.
Speaking during KBC’s tamrini show, Kenya Film Classification Board CEO Dr Ezekiel Mutua, said the move will help increase artists’ income and promote the country’s arts sector.
The government expects to collect over Ksh. 6 billion from the Blank Tape Levy. This is part of the government’s efforts to promote the creative sector and stimulate economic growth through the arts.
The implementation of the levy is will be a collaborative effort between the Kenya Copyright Board, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), KenTrade, and other stakeholders in the copyright sector.