MultiChoice Kenya on 5th July 2022filed contempt of court proceedings after Jamii Telecom Limited defied High Court orders to block 141 sports pirating websites. Despite being granted 72 business hours, up from the initial 48 business hours, by court to comply with the take down notices, Jamii Telecom Limited is yet to comply with the court orders.
It filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal at the same time seeking a stay against the orders of the High Court. The Court of Appeal declined to certify their application for stay urgent. On June 23, 2022, Hon. Justice Wilfrida Okwany made a finding that MultiChoice Kenya had lawfully issued valid takedown notices to two ISPs, and they ought to have complied with the same.
She further found that the two organizations had not given any lawful excuse for their failure to comply with the takedown notices. The High Court of Kenya confirmed a permanent injunction compelling internet service providers (ISPs) to block sports pirate websites infringing on copyrighted material.
MultiChoice Kenya Managing Director Nancy Matimu expressed her disappointment at the leading telco’s failure to comply with the court order. “The Kenyan law has sent a clear message that we respect the right of content creators to earn a living from their work,” said Ms Matimu.
The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) and the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) were interested parties in the suit. Representatives of civil-society copyright bodies, which work to fight content piracy and protect intellectual property, have welcomed the verdict.
“We have been fighting for years to ensure that there are legal copyright protections, and that those protections are enforced. The court has reaffirmed the stance of the law that copyright must be protected,” added Ms Matimu.
MultiChoice and Safaricom are currently in talks and are working together towards compliance of the court order.
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