Sending wrong information on social media can now land you in jail.
Since the government announced stringent measures to combat the spread of Coronavirus, people have had more time to spare, which compounded with the movement restriction, has increased the illegal sale and distribution of newspapers on social media platforms.
Various publications are forwarded on WhatsApp groups, Telegram, Facebook or Twitter, which that has led to a significant drop in income by some media houses.
Since the onset of digital publishing, the 4th estate has made available copies of its newspapers online at a cost.
The media has expressed concern about the proliferation of the vice and sought the intervention of the Kenya Copyright Board (Kecobo)
Kenya Copyright Board Executive Director Edward Sigei on Saturday, May 2, announced a list of offences associated with copyright.
He started by stating that anybody who offers to sell work that is copyrighted and which is not coming from the copyright holder, commits an offence.
He added that anyone who tries to circumvent technical protection measures that are placed on digital platforms commits an offence.
It is sad that some people want to benefit from this pandemic by selling people newspapers that are manipulated for fake headlines.
Sigei further stated that the board had received complaints from a number of media houses, adding that the information would help them track four individuals who are thought to be responsible.
According to the Amended Copyright Acts 2001, the suspects would have to pay a fine five times the market product of each shared copyrighted product or Ksh 1,000 for each infringing product.
The guilty could also face up to 10 years in prison.
Further, if one is noted to be a repeat offender, they could face up to 10 times the market value of the copyright product shared or Ksh 2000 for each infringing copy.
Alternatively, the guilty could face a jail term of 20 years.