In Kenya, MultiChoice has, according to reports, won a court battle against internet service provider Safaricom and Jamii Telecom after the High Court ordered them to take down pirated content from the pay-TV operator.
In 2019, the pay-TV operator took Safaricom and Jamii telecom to court for allowing streaming of copyright content.
Multichoice argued that since it operates on a monthly subscription-based model, all content on its platform should only be exclusive to its subscribers.
The pay-TV operator added that illegal streaming stifles its revenue and threatens its business model.
The battle began in 2019 when the pay-TV operator sued two Kenyan telecommunications companies, Safaricom and Jamii Telecom, for live streaming of sports on its networks.
According to MultiChoice, over 140 websites were illegal streaming copyright material.
In November 2021, Justice Wilfrda Okwany ordered the network providers to take down all sites illegally streaming copyrighted material.
However, Safaricom was not impressed by the order and thus launched an appeal to the appellate court.
The internet service provider argued that the ruling was mandatory and could have devastating effects if implemented.
They further stated that the ruling could trigger a civil and criminal lawsuit from its customer and did not want to appear to be controlling its customers’ behaviours. As a result, the appellate court temporally suspended the order.
MultiChoice rejected the application, urging the court to deny Safaricom the hearing since it has not complied with the previous order.
The judge was appalled that Safaricom was practising double-speak; on the one hand, they privately sought virtual meetings with the Multichoice council and, on the other hand, challenged the court order in court.
He also argued that Safaricom had no proof of any significant financial and reputation losses if they had complied with the earlier court ruling.
Recently Justice Wilfred Okwang directed the two internet service providers, Safaricom and Jamii telecom, to remove all content in which Supersports channels have exclusive broadcasting rights.
Multichoice Kenya managing director Nancy Matimu was ecstatic with the court ruling, adding that it will ensure legal copyright protection.