Mdundo and KeCoBo’s Copyright Awareness Survey Findings

In March 2016, Kenya Copyright Board (KeCoBo) collaborated with Mdundo to conduct a survey on copyright awareness among musicians. The research questions were sent via Email and SMS to all the musicians who are registered on  the Mdundo platform and
253 out of 9000 responded.
To know some background information of these musicians, some issues were considered and research showed that:
  • Of those who responded, 129 are based in Nairobi while 15 in Mombasa with the rest including artists from outside Kenya.
  • Over half of the respondents have a degree, tertiary qualification or postgraduate qualification.
  • Less than 3% of respondents were had Primary education certificate as their only academic qualification.
This gives an indication of how easily the information about music copyright would be available to these musicians.

The research questions

The following were the questions asked of the artists polled, but as you read, you should ask yourself the same too. They were:
  • What do you use internet used to find?
  • By what means do you access the internet?
  • Do you download or share articles pictures music and other material obtained from the internet?
  • Are you aware that materials posted on the internet are protected by Copyright?
  • If you knew that material on the internet was protected by copyright, would you still download and share?
  • In your opinion, are artists well remunerated?
  • Are you willing to pay for copyrighted material?
  • Are copyright owners well-paid?
  • You only download material from sites that you trust. True of False?
  • You only download foreign music and movies. True or False?
  • Would you break technical codes to access online content?
  • Would you download from pirate sites if there are well-known authorized sites?
  • Would you download if the content was free?
  • Would you download pirated material if content was cheap and easily available?
  • How would you like information about copyright delivered to you?
  • Do you believe copyright protection will change lives of the youth and transform Kenyan economy

5 Significant Findings and Notes:

  • 80% of respondents access internet using mobile phones or tablets. Only 8% use desktop computers while 12% use cyber cafes.  This means that music retailers need to have intuitive and mobile-optimized sites and/or mobile apps to ensure that music consumption is easier.
  • Two-thirds of respondents say that if they knew that the content they download and share via the internet was copyrighted, they wouldn’t do so. Hoping that they are sincere enough, this means that more civic education needs to be done on the issue of copyrights and the need to respect, appreciate and compensate the owners and licensees of such copyrights.
  • 75% of artists believe that musicians are not well-remunerated. This is a very big dissatisfaction that may have an affect on the quality of content produced and also gives an indication on why they prefer singles to albums.
  • 85% would download from authorized sites if they were made aware of such sites. This confirms a fear that most music hosting sites do not advertise their platforms. If a consumer searches for a specific song title, the pirating sites would top the search results and this promotes the culture.
  • 74% would not pirate material if the content was cheap and readily available. Assume you are a fan of Sauti Sol and live in Loitoktok, would you be ready to wait forever until Sautisol comes with their original CDs? Distribution of both digital and physical copies of content must be improved to avoid piracy.

(To get the full insights from the report, download the file from KECOBO website.)

It therefore means that the whole music and content industry stakeholders must come together and seal the loopholes that are denying the content creators revenue and stop lamenting on poor sales when there is very little information out there that would help reduce such piracy.

Also read my article on how to solve music distribution problem in Kenya.


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