WABC 21 Creatives #4 Protecting the creativity

Dear Afrobloggers, Now in High School,’winter’ was such time in the wee hours of the morning that we woke up early to’catch books’ as we called it, Twelve years later, it is 00Hrs( EAT) and I am banging,’winter’for the Winter Challenge… Afrobloggers platform is the best thing to have happened to me.Iam doing what I love (writing) and recovery is certain when you do the things that you loved so read on

I originally posted this on the 27th April which was a day after the Intellectual property day. Now y’all have been writing and reading your posts, my oh my, your works are amazing. Now did you know that what you wrote is property and protected by law? You see the thought process of coming up with a post is the intangible creation protected by law. Some of you are into copywriting, and vloggers into content creation. I put up something with less legalese (legal jargon) so you may understand.

In 2000, the WIPO state members designated April 26th to mark the World IP day. This day was chosen to celebrate how the branches of copyright, trademarks and patents impact life and to celebrate the creators and innovators.

Intellectual property in simple speak is the branch of law that deals and protects the intangible creations of the intellect. The most common branches are copyright, trademarks and patents. Now yesterday in a discussion about the IP day on the Afrobloggers platform,a colleague requested for a write up on the matter and here we go.As writers and vloggers/content creators,it is imperative that we know about the branches because we certainly use the intellect to come up with our works so they are property and need protection. Now there are many legal regimes that concern intellectual property depending on the country you are in but the principles are the same.

Perhaps Miler v Taylor after the lapse of the Statute of Anne gives us a good start to understanding literal works ownership. Ashton J concluded, “The best rule, both of reason and justice seems to assign to everything capable of ownership, a legal and determinate owner” pg 221. Even for Authors who transfer copyright, they remain with moral rights and author John Milton(1608-1674). “The author may not only be deprived of profit, but lose the expense he has been at. He is no more master of the use of his work. He cannot prevent additions. And anyone may pirate, print and penetrate the imperfections to the disgrace and against the will of the author thus the need for attribution”
Traditionally copyright protection is linked to form of works. However as time moves on literal works have evolved, now when an image or words are published on the internet the person immediately owns the copyright. The Berne Convention and subsequent declarations have been amended to cover works on internet. Thats is why Facebook has an option of sharing or one can tag the individual quoted. That’s why photos are published with credits, (Republished with permission from…) or they have digital watermark signatures like New vision, PPU visible all over the photo. Its for the sole purpose of recognizing that a property right in published works exists. And note that Copyright doesn’t change hands that’s why if I posted something Unlawful, I would be arrested and not Zuckerberg.
Anyone who has ever written an article, a paper or dissertation knows about the strict rules concerning Plagiarism. Plagiarism is owning the works and passing them off as if they were their’s without attribution, proper citation.There is a defense of Fair use but again Justice Madrama ably explained the concept in Angella Katatumba v ACCU.

The forms of copyright include

  • literary works
  • musical works, including any accompanying words
  • dramatic works, including any accompanying music
  • pantomimes and choreographic works
  • pictorial, graphic and sculptural works
  • motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • sound recordings
  • architectural plans, drawings and actual buildings

Copyright doesn’t protect slogans,short phrases and ideas or concepts, one has to reduce the idea into a written form,then it can be protected.

Copyright infringement or piracy is the use of work that is protected by copyright which infringes the copyright holder and in class where this work is distributed,perfomed which goes against the rights of the copyright holder. Most of the times you click on an image on the web, there’s usually a warning that the image is protected by copyright and this is to protect the intangible creations of the intellect.

I decided to zero in on literally works since we are in the business of writing but try to learn about the legal regime on copyright in your country. Ignorance of the Law is not an excuse so before you publish the image/words, make sure you are on the right side.

So hasn’t the creative week lasped? I hope none of you plagiarized content or violated image rights in your creativity. Whereas a joke goes around that lawyers are sharks, you may need that 🦈 to break down some of these aspects because if you are sued for infringement, you may pay through the eyes not the nose this time. Creative week done. One most important thing is to reduce thoughts and concepts in writing , otherwise mere having a thought doesn’t protect it. #WABC21.


  1. musanjufu benjamin kavubu says:

    This is very enlightening

      1. semzylee says:

        Thanks for sharing, Uncle Mwene.

        Sometimes instead of writing new articles, and blog posts we can bring up our old writings because they are powerful.

  2. yvonne_feresu says:

    Thanks for the article

    1. yongyera says:

      You are welcome, Yvonne

  3. Wonani says:

    So informative!

  4. Kudzanai says:

    I have someone that will enjoy this more than I did. Thanks Mwene.

    1. yongyera says:

      Thanks, Matilda

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