The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO), Irdeto, and Kenyan police successfully conducted a sting operation against an online streaming company operating in Kenya. According to reports, the operation led to the arrest of the suspects, including alleged mastermind Engineer Kelvin Kiplangat Sing’oei, and the seizure of equipment that will be analyzed by the CID Cyber Crime Unit.
According to the Partners Against Piracy (PAP) Association of Kenya, a multi-stakeholder coalition of like-minded organizations within the creative industry keen to eliminate piracy, content piracy is a major problem globally. It is estimated that Kenyans lose over KES 10 billion each year to illegal streaming.
The rise of high-quality content and advanced streaming technology has made it easier for pirates to illegally acquire and redistribute content. This is a major problem for content creators and distributors, as it costs them money and can damage their reputations.
There are a number of reasons why people in Kenya illegally stream content. One reason is that it is often cheaper than paying for legitimate streaming services. Another reason is that it is more convenient, as people can watch content on their own devices whenever they want.
“Where producing African content for African audiences stops being profitable or worthwhile, production stops. So, the creative industries of Kenya and Africa will be the biggest losers,” said Mike Strano, Chair of PAP. “Also, if piracy succeeds, consumers will be reduced to making do with poor quality entertainment, old content and content that does not fulfill the needs of their community or their culture.”
The Kenyan government has taken steps to crack down on illegal streaming. In 2020, the government passed the Copyright Amendment Act, which makes it illegal to stream content without the permission of the copyright holder. The government has also worked with ISPs to block access to illegal streaming websites.
While these measures have been put in place, illegal streaming remains a major problem in Kenya.
“Internet streaming piracy is not only a criminal offense, but also poses serious risks to consumers who may have their personal data, including banking information, compromised by pirate operations”, Strano continued. “PAP Kenya would like to emphasize that engaging in internet streaming piracy is illegal, and like-minded stakeholders will continue to fight against this form of theft, leaving no stone unturned.”