An analysis of communication strategies used in the fight against piracy in Kenya's publishing Industry: A case study of Kenya Publishers Association(KPA) and Reproduction Rights Society of Kenya (KOPIKEN)
Okutoyi, Silas Nang'ombe
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The book publishing industry in Kenya experienced enormous growth in the last decade owing to liberalization of the industry through the implementation of a textbook policy by the Ministry of Education, introduction of free primary education and development of a vibrant Kenya Publishers Association (KPA). This growth of the publishing industry was, however, accompanied by a continuous rise in book piracy which hindered authors and publishers from realizing their royalties and revenues respectively. In their efforts to deal with piracy publishers started to carry out communication campaigns to sensitize publics on the impact of book piracy on the development of the publishing industry and to discourage them from buying pirated books. Two organizations, KPA and Reproduction Rights Society of Kenya (KOPIKEN) have been the main faces of the communication campaigns with the later focusing mainly on reducing mass photocopying of copyrighted materials especially in colleges and universities. However, in spite of the spirited communications campaigns by KPA and KOPlKEN, book piracy has continued to thrive year after year. The objectives of this study were to analyze communication strategies used by KPA and KOPIKEN in the fight against piracy and determine their level of success in eradicating the vice from the industry. The choice of involving two organizations for this case study was driven by the desire to improve on the validity of the findings of the study and also provide opportunity for generalizations of findings. Through questionnaires, on-site visits and interviews, information gathered shows that although KPA and KOPIKEN have engaged in communication campaigns, their strategies are not properly formulated, planned and implemented to achieve the desired goals and their overreliance on seminars, workshops, newsletters and brochures as communication tools in their campaigns has not helped much as piracy continues to thrive. This study has given suggestions on what KPA and KOPIKEN need to do to improve the fight against book piracy. KPA and KOPIKEN need to go back to the drawing board and formulate clear communication policies; mobilize finds for their projects; segment their audiences properly; design clear messages using the right medium; involve all stakeholders; and consider periods when communication campaigns can attain the best results.