Multichoice Ghana Limited, agents of SuperSport International, has sued Champion Broadcasting Limited (Champion TV) for infringing on its copyrights by unlawfully showing the English Premier League, La Liga and the UEFA Champions League without authority.
Aside asking for cost from the court, the plaintiff is also seeking damages for copyright and related rights infringement and a perpetual injunction on Champion TV, restraining it, its assigns and agents from broadcasting content which infringes on the plaintiffs including the football matches of EPL, La Liga and UEFA Champions League.
Multichoice said that the continuous violation of the content rights of the plaintiff was having an extremely adverse impact on its business, as Champion Tv’s unlawful broadcasts were widely patronised for free in Ghana and beyond and widely advertised on the worldwide web (internet) through articles with captions such as “How to Watch Paid DStv Channels on Champion Tv Decoder for Free”.
It stated that unless compelled by the court, the defendants shall not desist from the copyright violation of the plaintiff’s exclusive content rights and is feverishly building a customer base for its own illegal business at the expense of the plaintiff.
In its statement of claim, signed by its attorney, Mr Anthony Forson, it noted that Supersports was granted exclusive rights by the English Premier League, through competitive bidding process to broadcast the football matches of the English Premier League (EPL) for the 2015/2016 football season within the territories of Ghana for valuable consideration.
It claimed that in April 2015, it noticed that the defendants, in disregard of the exclusive intellectual property rights granted to the plaintiff, was broadcasting its Supersports channels on its Champion TV satellite television platform without any authorisation from the plaintiff or its attorney.
The plaintiff stated that after tracing the defendant’s broadcasts to its DStv smartcards, it disconnected its services to those smartcards in an attempt to end the copyright infringement but the defendants persisted by resorting to other smartcards whenever one was disconnected.
It stated that on June 5, 2015, a police raid at the premises of the defendants, following from a complaint by the plaintiff’s attorney found equipment of the plaintiff, including DStv decoder and smart cards, used in broadcasting the plaintiff’s channels on the defendant’s Champion tv platform as well as equipment of other pay television companies.
It added that after the raid, criminal prosecution with the case number D21/408/2016 was commenced against an officer and staff of the defendants namely Dr Kwaku Frimpong and Mathew Baah respectively for various offences under the Electronic Communication Act 2008 (Act775) and the copyright Act 2005, Act 690.
The plaintiff stated further that the defendants has now in an act of piracy of broadcast signals unlawfully tapped into satellite signals of foreign television broadcast who have no rights to broadcast the football matches of the EPL, La Liga and UEFA Champion League within the territories of Ghana to continue its infringement broadcast in Ghana.
It said despite repeated demands and police interventions seeking a cessation of the defendant’s copyright infringement on the plaintiff’s proprietary rights for the exclusive broadcast of television content, the defendant has persisted in its unlawful acts.
At the first hearing, the defendants were fined by the High Court Commercial Division One, presided over by Justice Angelina Mensah-Homiah, awarded cost against the defendants and adjourned the case to April 20, 2016.
As we all know, dstv are the once responsible for all the FTA issues we are having in this country because they have bought everything with money and our so called leaders can’t do anything. But we will make sure they beg Nigerians to subscribe to their service or we make them FTA soon.
source : www.graphic.com.gh
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