The High Court of Kenya has issued a permanent injunction blocking internet service providers to block sports pirate website that infringe copyright on material. The ruling will compel Safaricom and Jamii Telecom to block live sports streaming sites on their networks. The court order is a substantial win for Multichoice Group, which owns exclusive rights to broadcast football related content via channels like SuperSport for the UEFA Super Cup, Champion and Europa Leagues, La Liga and the English Premier League in sub–Saharan Africa.
MultiChoice Kenya MD Nancy Matimu says the court’s decision was an important statement against piracy in Africa, hoping other African countries will follow suit.
“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,” she said, “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.”
The ruling follows a November 2019 suit by MultiChoice Kenya, as well as a takedown notice to ISPs. In November 2020, the high court issued a temporary order to stop ISPs from airing sports content that infringed copyright rules. The ruling was stayed by the court of appeal the ruling, following Safaricom’s appeal to unblock 141 sites suspected to infringe on MultiChoice Kenya’s copyright. The ruling was overturned by Safaricom requested and received 72 hours to comply with the order.