MultiChoice
Jamii Telecom Limited CEO Joshua Kipchumba risks fines and or jail term of six months for disobeying the High Court on piracy ruling.

The financial gain of live streaming has been very tempting for internet service providers to look the other way when their customers binge on pirated content.

MultiChoice Kenya is now calling for enforcement of copyright protection, including jailing company executives of firms that defy take-down orders.

Since October 2019, MultiChoice has been fighting Safaricom and Jamii Telcom to take down 141 websites airing pirated content owned by the entertainment giant.

Even after MultiChoice won a court fight against the internet service providers, Jamii Telecom allegedly defied the court order and kept the websites streaming.

MultiChoice Kenya on Saturday filed a contempt of court proceedings against Jamii Telecom for failure to comply with the court orders.

The company wants Jamii Telecom Limited Chief Executive Officer Joshua Kipchumba fined and jailed for six months for disobeying the High Court.

MultiChoice said the internet service provider has caused it losses as their protected content is accessed freely with the help of the telecoms company.

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“It is just and fair that Joshua Kipchumba Chepkwony being the CEO of Jamii telecom be ordered to pay fines and or committed to prison for such a period of time as the court may deem fit,” the High Court suit reads in part.

MultiChoice said it had no other means of enforcing the orders other than instituting contempt of court proceedings.

Take-down policies are used in most intellectual property cases where owners tend to just get a cease-and-desist (termination) order against sites that host pirated content, which are just orders to take down the download links for the content.

However, take-down orders are not enough to act as a solid deterrent measure informing why the need for building up a case that carries legal and financial consequences to act as an effective stopper against piracy.

Content piracy takes many forms, often simply amounting to intentional content theft. Content piracy involves the unauthorized use of the content, whether broadcast, shared, streamed, or accessed in any way.

In Africa, piracy remains a significant problem – particularly in the digital – content space, where in some cases even mainstream internet service providers stand accused of enabling piracy.

Piracy according to Multichoice lawyers is rampant in Africa and at times manifests through obtaining Multichoice decoders under the false pretense of using them for home viewing only to use them to broadcast content illegally.

Further, content in SuperSport is also being obtained illegally from live streaming and illegally being redistributed.

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