The High Court sitting in Nairobi has issued orders requiring Safaricom and Jamii Telkom to pull down and disable 141 sites that are allegedly infringing on Multichoice Kenya’s copyright.
Justice Winfrida Okwany on November 26 2020, heard and permitted the prayer by Multichoice Kenya to have the websites containing the offending content pulled down as per section 35D (2) of the Copyright Act pending a full hearing of the suit on March 3, 2021. Justice Okwany gave these orders as an interim measure to prevent further infringement of copyright before the matter is conclusively determined.
In its case, Multichoice wanted the court to compel the two telcos to block the access to websites steaming sports matches copied from its Supersport Channels, without their consent.
“Section 35B of the Copyright Act obligates an Internet service provider to take down any infringing content within 48 hours of being served with a takedown notice,” said MultiChoice.
MultiChoice further accused Safaricom and Jamii Telecom of ignoring a takedown notice dated October 29, 2019. This forced Multichoice Kenya to file the suit with The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) and Communications Authority (CA) are listed as interested parties. “The rebroadcasting, re-transmitting or replicating the exclusive content of the applicant without their authorisation is a breach of their rights, is unlawful and causes irreparable economic loss to the applicant, not to mention other losses and evils that piracy perpetrates,” it says.
The law under this section provides: “A person whose rights have been infringed by content to which access is being offered by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) may request by way of a takedown notice that the ISP removes the infringing content.”