Copyright Exceptions and the Use of Educational Materials in Universities in Kenya

Josphat Ayamunda, Chudi C. Nwabachili


Educational communities in Kenyan are concerned that copyright exceptions seem hardly adequate and effective to enable them access knowledge and transfer and disseminate information.Conflicts exist between copyright and the right to education arising from the fact that the educational materials, in which authors may have a material interest, are critical to the realization of the right to education. Balancing the educational need for educational materials that may be protected with the right of authors to material interests remains problematic.


This research sought to test the adequacy and effectiveness of the doctrine of fair dealing as regards copyright exceptions for educational purposes.Information was collected through interviews and questionnaires. The study found evidence of widespread copying on campuses. Secondly, respondents mainly use reproductions for research or private study and educational activities. Whilesubstantial amounts of the original copyrighted work arecopied, there was no evidence of any detrimental impact on the market of the original work. Thirdly, universities under study had no copying policies. Fourthly, universities lack agreements with reproduction rights societies or copyright owners.


The study concluded that, first, copying is an essential part of university education in Kenya. Second, there is uncertainty as to whether the copying taking place is fair dealing or not. Third, the difficulties with the laws of educational copying especially the fair dealing factors have a chilling effect on users of copyright materials. The study recommended that universities should have clear, comprehensive and pragmatic copying policies; and sign up to appropriate licensing systems.


Key words: Copyright exceptions, education, universities, Kenya


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ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

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