The High Court of Kenya yesterday confirmed a permanent injunction compelling internet service providers (ISPs) to block football pirating sites infringing on copyrighted material in a case that has been running since 2019.
Multichoice Kenya had filed a suit against Safaricom PLC and Jamii Telecom Limited seeking to compel the ISPs to block live sports streaming sites on their networks.
On 26th November 2020, the High Court issued a temporary order to the ISPs to block the content but the same was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on application by Safaricom.
In delivering her verdict, Hon. Justice Wilfrida Okwany made a finding that MultiChoice Kenya had lawfully issued valid take-down notices to the ISPs and they ought to have complied with the same. She further found that the ISPs have not given any lawful excuse for their failure to comply with the take-down notices. On delivery of her ruling, Safaricom requested and was granted by the court 72 hours to comply with take-down notices.
ISPs To Block These Sports Pirating Websites
While we do not have the full list of websites that will be blocked, popular sites like Totalsportek, Ronaldo7, and Cricfree lead the pack.
— Droid (@droid254) June 24, 2022
Representatives of civil-society copyright bodies, which work to fight content piracy and protect intellectual property, welcomed the verdict. “This is a red-letter day in the fight against piracy in Africa,” said MultiChoice Kenya managing director Nancy Matimu.
“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… The Kenyan courts have sent a message to the rest of the world that we respect the right of content creators to earn a living from their work,” added Nancy.