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KFCB chair swiftly revokes demand letters sent to YouTube content creators

The letter saw top content creators take to social media to express their confusion and frustration.

File image of KFCB Chairperson Njogu wa Njoroge

The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) chairperson Njogu has intervened, directing KFCB to revoke a demand letter that was sent to content creators directing them to acquire filming licenses or face legal action.

Citing Section 4 of the Films and Stage Plays Act, the letters dispatched on Friday, May 24, 2024, gave YouTube content creators 14 days to acquire the necessary licenses.

Njoroge noted that he has instructed KFCB to recall the letter, paving the way for stakeholder engagement, adding that the focus should be on the thousands of opportunities and jobs in the digital media.

“Our content creators should be supported all the way. They should be encouraged and supported 100 per cent,” Njoroge stated.

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“We should be training our youth on monetisation, and we are deliberate on that matter. I have directed the management to withdraw the notices and organise for an engagement with all the stakeholders.

“We should be talking about thousands of opportunities, if not hundreds of thousands of jobs in the digital media.” He added.

The letter, signed by Acting KFCB CEO Pascal Martin Opiyo noted that the body was acting within its mandate to regulate the creation, broadcasting, possession, distribution and exhibition of film and broadcast content in Kenya.

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“Our attention has been drawn to your YouTube channel where you have continuously uploaded audio-visual content for purposes of exhibiting and distributing it to the public without acquiring the requisite filming licenses from Kenya Film Classification Board.

“Consequently, we demand that you strictly comply with the requirements of the Films and Stage Plays Act by obtaining filming licenses for your films and submitting them for examination and classification before the same is exhibited and distributed to the public through your YouTube channel,” Reads the letter in part.

“Take notice that unless you comply with the above in the 14 days, we shall institute legal proceedings in accordance with the provisions of the Films and Stage Plays Act and other relevant laws, without any further reference to you and at your own risks as to costs and other attendant consequences thereto,” he warned.

The letter saw top content creators take to social media to express their confusion and frustration.

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“Wololo🙆🏿‍♂️🙆🏿‍♂️🙆🏿‍♂️🔥😰😰😰😰. Sasa hii ni gani tena?? Hebu mniUpdate jamani, mimi nimechanganyikiwa,” wrote Obinna on Instagram, seeking clarity from his followers and fellow YouTubers.

Njugush and YY opined that the move would kill the thriving digital media industry in the country, seeking clarity on how the approval of content would happen given the dynamics of the industry in which content creators produce time-bound content to align with trending issues.

"KFCB say there's a trend, I quick shoot a clip on my phone to run with the trend but I first send it to you to approve the 2 mins 'film' Instead of using YouTube own checks? Jameni guys..... Gagging ama ni hali ya kutafuta? Kama ukona YouTube channel unaona je?" Njugush posed.

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