MultiChoice Kenya has moved to court to sue Jamii Telecom for Contempt of Court after the latter failed to comply with orders from the High Court. Last month, the High Court ordered internet providers to block 141 sports pirating websites.
The internet service providers were given 48 hours to comply with the orders and even after Jamii Telecom got an additional 24 hours to block the websites, the company failed to comply with the orders.
While Safaricom complied with the orders, Jamii Telecom filed an appeal with the Court of Appeal seeking a stay against the High Court ruling. The Court of Appeal rejected their request for a stay because it was not urgent.
On June 23, 2022, Hon. Justice Wilfrida Okwany found that MultiChoice Kenya had legally served two ISPs with proper takedown requests, and that the ISPs should have complied.
She also found that the two organizations (Safaricom and Jamii Telecom) had not provided a legitimate justification for their refusal to abide by the removal notices.
According to an application filed by the pay-tv firm’s lawyer Eddie Omondi, MultiChoice argues that it has continued to suffer losses out of the ‘free’ content that is being aired by the pirated sites.
“The continuous disobedience of the said orders by the respondent has and continues to occasion huge losses to the applicant as their protected content is accessed freely by the pirating sires and or domain with the respondent’s perpetuation,” said Omondi.
MultiChoice now Jamii Telecom’s CEO Joshua Kipchumba to be fined or jailed.
“To date, the respondent (Jamii) has neglected, declined, and or refused to comply with the said orders as they continue to allow access of the pirating sires through their services in total disregard of the said orders,” Omondi added.
MultiChoice Kenya CEO Nancy Matimu also voiced her displeasure at the top telco’s flagrant disregard for the court ruling.
“The Kenyan law has sent a clear message that we respect the right of content creators to earn a living from their work,” said Nancy.