UEFA Welcomes Ruling on Anti-Piracy
Africa Industry

UEFA Welcomes Ruling on Anti-Piracy

The lessons from the court ruling in Kenya should inform Ugandan ISPs on waters to stir clear of, such as sports pirating.

Court in Kenya recently ordered internet service providers to block access to sports pirate websites infringing on copyright-protected material in Kenya.

MultiChoice Kenya, with support from UEFA, obtained a ruling from the Kenya High Court that ordered a series of internet service providers (ISPs) in the country to permanently block access to sports pirate websites which contain materials which infringe copyright.

Efforts in the fight against the pirate websites began in late 2019 when MultiChoice Kenya filed a lawsuit requesting that ISPs restrict live sports streaming services on their networks.

Following an initial interim phase of the court process, the High Court, on 23 June 2022, imposed a permanent injunction compelling certain ISPs in Kenya to permanently block these sports pirate websites.

UEFA welcomed the ruling and noted that the making available of footage of its competitions without authorization is an infringement of its intellectual property rights.

“UEFA fully supports the injunction issued by the Kenya High Court to protect media rights owned by MultiChoice.

It is a major step forward in the fight against audiovisual piracy in the region. The protection of our intellectual property and the legitimate interests of our rights holders is a top priority for our organization,” said UEFA marketing director, Guy-Laurent Epstein.

“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. With this verdict, Kenya is saying that any business looking to invest in Kenya can rest assured that their intellectual property will be protected.”

While commenting on the ruling, Joan Semanda Kizza the PR and Communications manager MultiChoice Uganda said that this ruling should be an eye opener on matters pertaining to piracy of content.

“We strongly believe in giving credit where it is due. As such pirating of content deals a negative blow to content creators and owners.

The fight against piracy of content in Uganda is one that Uganda Registration Services Bureau and Uganda Communications Commission has in the past spearheaded bringing on board several Pay TV service providers who in turn together with fellow broadcasters were educated on the dangers and legal implications on copyright infringement.

Cases like the one we see in Kenya bring forth the need to have mass awareness on the thin line between enjoying entertainment and content and blatantly pirating content.