A man who was arrested for selling digital copies of some local newspapers has been released on bail.

According to an article on the Nation Newspaper, Mr Marvin Mabonga is accused of allegedly downloading soft copies of newspapers and distributing them through social media. This was after a complaint was filed by Nation Media Group’s chief security officer Dickson Mathenge.

Mr Marvin denied the charges, claiming that the pirated PDF copies of Business Daily and Daily Nation were already circulating on social media. He was to appear before a Makadara Court, but the office of Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) asked for more time to review his file. If found guilty of the offence he risks a ten-year jail term, fine or both.

Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) Director, Mr Edwin Sigei said Saturday said both the sender and the recipient commit an offence of copyright infringement and possession of illegal digital copies. He also said anyone who circumvents technical protective measures placed on digital platforms to access and download electronic newspapers commits an offence.

This is not the first-time people arrested for selling digital versions of newspapers. A student from Pwani University was in 2019 charged with converting online versions of the Standard Newspaper into PDF and selling them to the public, via a WhatsApp group.

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