Ezekiel Mutua in hot soup over online content fees
Published on: May 23, 2018 08:10 (EAT)
Ezekiel Mutua, Kenya Film and Classification Board (KFCB) chief executive, has come under fire for apparently attempting to charge Kenyans for displaying public content online. On Tuesday, the self-appointed moral policeman was at pains to explain why the Board intends to charge those who do not classify their content as private. State House Secretary of Digital, Innovations and Diaspora Communications Dennis Itumbi questioned whether Kenyans have to pay license fee for films recorded on phones. “Allow me to use this medium Dr. Ezekiel Mutua so that we have public communication and awareness, is it true KFCB requires YouTube users to apply for a licence to post a video online?” he posed on Twitter. On his part, Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja, called out KFCB saying such a move would deny jobs for youth in the creative industry. “This is such a backward law. We shall repeal it. The creative industry is a much needed economic frontier for job creation,” he said in an interview with a local daily. Sakaja who is also the chairman of the Labour Committee in the Senate, said he has summoned the Board CEO for further clarification on the issue. “I’ve just spoken to Ezekiel Mutua on this and he has asserted that KFCB are not charging for Youtube and Facebook filming. I have summoned them to the Senate next week together with other stakeholders so that we can agree on how to support the Creative Industry,” he said on Twitter. There had been uproar on social media after an online user emerged with an alleged breakdown of licensing fees required by KFCB for online content. However, in a twist of events, Mutua said the information doing rounds on social media was false and a ploy by bloggers to tarnish his name.
The noise about film licenses is a bogeyman. The real issue is our stand on gay content. Genuine film makers are complying. We have licensed nearly 100 films and 28 film agents in two weeks. We used to do same number in a year!@SakajaJohnson @OleItumbi — Dr. Ezekiel Mutua (@EzekielMutua) May 22, 2018This contradicts earlier statements that that indicated that any Kenyan film recorded and posted on YouTube or Facebook for public exhibition must be licensed. “You are free to take private photographs , videos and share on social media, but beware the computer and cybercrimes act,” he told a BBC interview on Tuesday. “KFCB does not charge for YouTube at all or social media. The only area.where the Board deals with social media is about content monitoring and when there is gross content that exposes children to harmful content,” a post on the Board’s Twitter page reads.