KAMPALA —Local TV station, NBS Television is taking direct aim at AlJazeera, a Qatar based news cable over copyright infringement for allegedly reproducing NBS’ content without seeking permission.
NBS Television claims Aljazeera violated copyright law via unauthorized use of intellectual property, reproduction and representation of legally protected content.
“Please be advised that we have taken notice of the infringement and unauthorized use of NBS Television Content in your news bulletin”, lawyers wrote.
Lawyers have since asked Al Jazeera to immediately delete all content belonging to NBS Television Limited, write a letter of apology to NBS and pay a make good compensation for infringement of upto USD1.3m.
“Should you fail to heed to this demand within a period of 14 days,
we shall be left with no option but to seek legal redress or institute legal proceedings against you at your own cost, peril, and perpetual regret”, lawyers added.
AlJazeera on Saturday, January 16 ran a news bulletin dubbed “Uganda’s Museveni declared winner of presidential elections picking NBS content.
NBS claims that Al Jazeera is not, and has never been, licensed or otherwise authorized to reproduce such content.
“We believe that you need no lecture on the effect and consequences of unauthorized use of intellectual property, reproduction of legally protected content and the fact that it is not only illegal and unlawful, but also amounts to violation of intellectual property right under national and International laws”.
Uganda, through the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) last year launched the National Intellectual Property Policy to facilitate a more active and comprehensive promotion of IP awareness.
The copyright statute says defendants are liable for infringement if they take someone else’s work without seeking permission
But the same law also states that using a such content for context during a news broadcast is arguably a fair use.
The defendant can therefore prove that the use was fair and therefore not subject to liability.