The High Court in Nairobi has issued temporary orders requiring Safaricom and Jamii Telecom Limited to pull down and disable 141 websites that are suspected to be infringing on Multichoice Kenya’s copyright.
Justice Winfrida Okwany 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 pending full hearing of the suit on March 3, 2021.
The judge gave these orders as interim measure to prevent further infringement of copyright before the matter is conclusively determined.
“A temporary order is hereby issued as per Section 35D (2) of the Copyright (Amendment) Act 2019 to the Respondents 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,” ruled Justice Okwany.
This follows a takedown notice by Multichoice Kenya to Safaricom and Jamii Telkom on October 29, 2019 which were not acted on in time forcing Multichoice Kenya to file the suit.
The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) and Communications Authority (CA) are listed as interested parties in the suit.
This is the first time that a Kenyan court has sanctioned takedown notice as provided for under section 35B of the Copyright Act as amended in 2019.
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.”