The High Court has ordered Mobile network providers, Safaricom and Jamii Telecom to shut down about 141 websites accused of breaching copyright law of multichoice, the operator of DStv, GOtv, and Showmax.
The court ruling was issued at Milimani Commercial Courts by Justice Winfrida Okwany following a lawsuit filed by Multichoice Kenya, a video entertainment company against Safaricom and Jamii Telecom for alleged copyright infringement.
Justice Okwany reportedly allowed the prayer by Multichoice Kenya to have the websites containing the offending content pulled down as per section 35D (2) of the Copyright Act.
“It is ordered that a temporary order is hereby issued to prevent or impede the use of its service to access a service, website place, domains or facilities (and as may be replaced or moved from time to time) situate in or outside Kenya that is used to infringe the applicant’s copyright as contained in the takedown notice dated 29th October 2019 pending the hearing and determination of this Application,” Justice Okwany reportedly ruled.
It will be recalled that Multichoice Kenya reportedly sent a takedown notice to Safaricom and Jamii Telecom but received no attention. This led Multichoice Kenya to file the suit and listed the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) and Communications Authority (CA) as interested parties.
In reaction, Safaricom and Jamii Telecom reportedly made a defense that the mandate of taking down websites is vested in the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA).
“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,” read section 35B of the Copyright Act 2019.
The case will be mentioned on March 3, 2021.