Turner sparks Africa’s Creative Economy?

Turner Broadcasting System Europe Limited (“Turner” or (“TBSEL”), has, through Cartoon Network Africa, sparked Africa’s creative economy in its launch of the Cartoon Network Africa Creative Lab, an African Animation Competition (the “Competition”) designed to bring innovative, local short form content to the channel, and its digital platforms, while reinforcing the local relevance of the Cartoon Network. The initiative also seeks to address the gap in locally relevant content which offers a viewing experience that resonates with its African audience.

With emphasis to Kenya, the initiative is a plus not only to the media industry which is moving towards achieving sixty percent (60%) local content but also to the creative economy as it encourages African talents ranging from creators, writers, graphists, animators, animation students, anyone over 18 years and African based companies in the entertainment industry.

The Competition targets content suitable for children between the ages of 6 and 12. Its entries opened on 7 June and will close on 31 August 2018 across the continent and require among others, the submission of short animated films of 1-3 minutes in the comedy genre and in tune with Cartoon Network’s values of random, irreverent, smart and contemporary humour as outlined in their editorial guidelines.

Like all other competitions, the Cartoon Network Africa Creative Lab has its terms and conditions. Let’s take a sneak preview:

The Seven (7) paged conditions, which comprises: the recitals, entry, selection process, prize and requirements, general terms, annexure 1 and consent form, opens with:

Please note by submitting your entry, you confirm that you have read and agree with the below rules (the “Rules”).

Noteworthy terms, under the general terms include:

And close with:

By submitting your entry, you confirm that you have read and agree with these rules.

And the prize or compensation, for the foregoing is not:But:Also, each Winner may be required to sign a waiver prepared by TBSEL, in its complete discretion, specific to the Prize confirming understanding, compliance with and acceptance of the waiver.

TBSEL confirms that it will cover the costs associated with visas and/or other documents required for travel.

However, and most importantly, all other costs associated with the Prize, including but not limited to tax, valid health insurance for travel, transportation, accommodation, equipment, sustenance, any entertainment and anything related to the Prize not specifically included and outlined in the definition of the Prize above will be borne solely by the Winner.

Notably, the Consent Form reiterates and puts into perspective most of the general terms for emphasis and for the avoidance of doubt that the winners, participants and entrants are signing away their intellectual property rights with informed consent.

In closing, the Cartoon’s Network initiative appears great for the African Creative Economy. The question however remains whether the CN’s enthusiasm and the spark is for lighting the Africa’s creative spirit or burning down the creative economy.

Persons interested in the Cartoon Network Africa Creative Lab are encouraged to read, read and read the Terms and Conditions and if possible, which is advisable, seek independent legal advice.

Read more: here and here


The foregoing information if for general consumption and is not meant to be and does not amount to legal advice. We are not liable to any loss, damage, injury, liability and so forth that may arise from any direct or indirect reliance on the above information as legal advice.

TLO Law Associates practices among others: Entertainment Law, Intellectual Property Law, Contract Negotiation, Drafting and Review. Kindly Contact Us for customised legal advice regarding the forgoing information or in any of our practice areas.

The Never Ending Oracle v Google Case

Oracle and Google have been on each other’s necks for almost eight years now. A legal battle ensued in 2010 which has seen both Oracle and Google exchange victory and loss as the matter has bounced up and down through appeals and two whole jury trials, the latest being a victory for Oracle before the US Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit.

The matter goes for its third trial before the California District Court, for the determination of damages due to Oracle following the Federal Circuit’s finding that Google’s use of Oracle’s Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) did not amount to fair use under the US Copyright Act.

Oracle first sued Google in 2010 after it purchased Sun Microsystems which initially owned the Java APIs. Oracle’s argument was that Google’s Android OS based on customised Java APIs amounted to copyright infringement.

Read: Federal Circuit sends Oracle v. Google back for third trial

The case went to full trial in 2012 with Oracle losing following the determination of the California Northern District Court (Judge William Alsup) that APIs are not subject to copyright. The ruling, an important news item to entrepreneurs and software developers, favoured innovation and interoperability allowing software to use APIs without paying a licence fee.

Oracle being displeased with Judge Alsup’s decision appealed to the Federal Court. In 2014, the Federal Court found in favour of Oracle holding that APIs are copyrightable but without answering the question of fair use.

Google unsuccessfully petitioned the Supreme Court to review the Federal Circuit’s decision. The Supreme Court’s dismissal of Google’s Petition in June 2015 allowed for the matter to go back to the trial court for determination of the fair use defence.

The jury in the second trial court unanimously agreed in May 2016 that Google’s use of the Java APIs without licence amounted to fair use. Oracle then appealed to the Federal Circuit for the second time.

It is this second appeal that the Federal Court pronounced itself on 27 March 2018 holding in favour of Oracle. That Google’s use of Oracle’s Java APIs without licence did not amount to fair use but a copyright infringement and has thus sent it to the trial court – California District Court – for the determination of damages.

In the meantime, Google has the option of petitioning the Supreme Court for a second time for the review of the Federal Court’s determination. Should Google exercise this option, then the District Court will have to await the Supreme Court’s determination.

Read: The Case That Never Ends: Oracle Wins Latest Round vs. Google

However, Google’s failure to petition the Supreme Court will be then it would have been established that APIs enjoy copyright protection and that Google infringed upon Oracle’s copyright when it customised the Java APIs without a licence.

It will be interesting to see how this matter unfolds and how it will affect the now awakening Kenyan Market.

At KT Law Associates, we care about your Intellectual Property and are glad to see that you are not only rewarded for your intellectual effort but also get quite enjoyment of those rights enhanced through the relevant legal protection.

Our legal representation, advisory and consultancy services covers the different regimes of Intellectual Property including among others, Trademarks, Copyright, Utility Models and Designs and Patents. For legal assistance, or more information on how what we have on offer, kindly contact us.


This information is meant for general consumption and informational purposes. It does not and is not meant to form any legal advice. Reliance on the information as legal advice shall be at your own risk and we shall not be liable to any loss, damage or injury, suffered directly or indirectly as a result of any such misinformed reliance.

Should you however desire to receive legal assistance from us, kindly contact us to initiate the process. PLEASE NOTE HOWEVER that contacting us does not in itself create a relationship between us and you.

Brian Tororei speaks on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and the Law

Brian Tororei, our Technology Media and Telecommunications lead partner, participated in a panel discussion on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and the Law at Mettā Nairobi on 20 March 2018.

Brian Tororei speaking on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and the Law at Mettā Nairobi on 20 March 2018

The discussion covered the basic definition of and distinction between Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), reviewing their unique elements. It also focused on the ethical and legal issues around the deployment of artificial intelligence.

The Uber driverless car accident that occurred in Arizona US, also featured in the discussion on ethical questions touching on autonomous vehicles and whom to attach liability on in the event of an accident.

Read on the accident here.

The audience was also concerned about the claims that AI is taking over jobs. The panellists were of the opinion that while such trends were becoming a reality within the developed states and countries, it might be a while before Kenyans have a firsthand experience on the negative effects of AI in the job market.

It was also noted that jobs are likely to be created as people will be forced to engage their creativity and that there was no need to worry, especially with technical and specialised jobs that need people skills such as being empathic among others.

Appreciating that AI and ML rely heavily on the availability of data sets for the learning and training of machines, Tororei lamented on the fact that there is presently no specialised legal regime for Data Protection and Privacy in Kenya.

Brian noted that for AI and ML to be a reality in Kenya, we would need robust infrastructure including the establishment of data centres, deployment of broadband to increase internet penetration and the availability of reliable and sufficient electricity, among others, and a robust legal regime governing data protection and privacy, which would guide, inter alia, the collection, collation, analysis, storage and sharing of data.

Brian is keen on seeing the deployment of AI and ML in the delivery of legal services in Kenya and is benchmarking with international law firms. He looks forward to the time when AI and ML will become a reality and hopes to hold a conversation with a computer with natural language processing ability and computer vision among others.

On the regulation of AI and ML, the general mood of the panellists and the audience was that regulation was a Must have. While agreeing with the general mood, Tororei was keen to point out that beneficial regulation would be one from an informed point of view rather than a lazy and dismissive approach such as the one regarding Bitcoin and relate cryptocurrencies.

Brian hopes that the legislators and practising advocates would develop interest in cutting edge technologies such AI, ML and Blockchain Technology, among others, and dive into the technical aspects so as to properly inform their regulation with a forward looking approach rather than a knee-jerk reaction. That, Now

is the time to develop the interest and act on it.

At KT Law Associates, we care about your privacy and your data protection. We offer legal representation and consultancy services on how best you can safeguard the integrity of your data within your capacity. For legal assistance, kindly contact us.