Last week, the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) issued a public notice that as from 28 May 2018, anyone filming videos for public viewing will be required to obtain a license for the same. Following KFCB’s announcement, the CEO, Ezekiel Mutua, emphasized that the regulation applies to any video, including those recorded using mobile phones, as long as it is meant for public exhibition. He further explained that public exhibition includes publishing the videos on social media and the Internet.
KFCB’s new regulations will mean that anyone intending to publish any videos online will require the following:
- Pay an Annual Registration Fee of Kes.12,000
- Pay Kes.5,000 for every video you produce (as long as it is under 40 minutes)
- Pay Kes.1,000 for every day you take shooting the video
- After production is complete, send the video to KFCB for approval before you hit publish
Failure to do this will attract a fine not exceeding Kes.100,000 or imprisonment of a term not exceeding five years or both.
This did not sit well with Kenyans and they took it to social media to express their grievances and concerns. The new regulations are believed to be aimed at stifling freedom of speech as many Kenyans online have put it. They believe that the licensing regulations will actually kill content creation in the country and some have even gone as far as calling for the disbandment of KFCB:
KFCB is going way too far with these regulations of theirs, so now creatives have to pay in order to express themselves in platforms that were designed for them to do so freely?? I'm pissed off#EnoughWithKFCB #DisbandKFCB
— Tembo™ (@iamtembo) May 22, 2018
"According to KFCB you can film a video and lock yourself up in your room and watch it alone, forever"
What am understanding when kfcb says they're licensing films meant for public exhibition#DisbandKFCB
— JAMLICK KYALLO🇰🇪 (@Jamlick_) May 22, 2018
Soon you might have to pay to reshare or upload a video even if it doesn't belong to you if KFCB is not stopped
— Droid-Wan Kenobi (@droid254) May 22, 2018
While dealing with KFCB, it is important to note that the person at the helm is the same person who wanted to ban Netflix. Secondly, in a country full of unemployed youth, we must ask ourselves who really benefits from these penalties and costs.
— Irvin Jalang'o (@irvinjalango) May 22, 2018
Youth Vs. #KFCB. With lack of employment opportunities in this country, the Youth find other ways to create a platform with the hope of making a living one day then you have #KFCB who want to make this harder to achieve. How practical is Ksh. 28,000? This is unacceptable.Impunity pic.twitter.com/82I56vz0sZ
— Brian Muriithi (@BrianMuriithi92) May 22, 2018
The CEO of the KFCB is crazy, but he's not doing anything illegal. As long as those regulations are on the books, iko shida. If he leaves office we might actually go from the frying pan into the fire with someone else
Dear KFCB, charging Kenyan Youtubers 28,000 annually for mostly showcasing Kenya and Kenyans, is basic.extortion.
This does not happen anywhere else unless you count the likes of Burundi and Congo a bracket we are trying so hard to distance ourselves from.
— Polycarp Hinga® 🇰🇪 (@PolycarpHinga) May 22, 2018
Film industry will never bear fruits if KFCB continues to put hurdles for young film makers and artists. Hollywood, Bollywood e.t.c are what they are because of government support and funding. Why should we pay taxes only to be oppressed?#EnoughWithKFCB
— STUDENT JOURNALIST (@omathvictor) May 22, 2018
KFCB wants YouTubers/ Vloggers and Digital content creators to to PAY for licenses!! If found without you will be fined Ksh 100,000 or jailed for 5 years!!
— Thee Trend Setter ™ (@xtiandela) May 15, 2018
I thought KFCB is supposed to Nature talents instead it's doing the opposite smh.
— Baba Kendrick🐐 (@Joboyengo) May 22, 2018
KFCB boss Ezekiel Mutua is not leading anymore, this is now getting a big head. How do you pay to post something online? #ENOUGHWITHKFCB
— Alice Asherine Muriithi🇰🇪 (@ashmuriithi) May 22, 2018
— Winnie254 (@mayyanna1) May 22, 2018
Whoever advises Ezekiel of KFCB must Re-Think. He is and Will Kill the Online Creative Industry
— Sammy Ziro Lewa (@Leziro) May 22, 2018
The amount of money KFCB is asking for is the amount of money most Kenyan Youtubers are trying to get from monetizing their content.
— Gitz (@iGitz_) May 22, 2018
How long will KFCB take to review the videos sent to them?
Wewe @InfoKfcb how long?
— Vegan DIY Babe (@IAmMuthoniGitau) May 22, 2018
Soon you'll require a license from KFCB so as to watch TV in your house.
— Kech 🇰🇪 (@RonohKechem) May 22, 2018
So far, KFCB still maintains that the regulates are in line with the law and that they are implementing them in good faith. However, with the increasing calls to disband the body from the online community, the story could end in the way that NTSA did – Kenyans already have an online petition going:
Join me in supporting this important cause at iPetitions. Disband KFCB and repeal Cap 222 of the Laws of Kenya https://t.co/PiwETTqf2M
— WANGECHI (@wangechikenya) May 22, 2018