Nigeria: Court Arraigns DSTV Boss Over Copyright Infringement

Regulation & Policy

Multichoice Nigeria Limited, operators of Digital Satellite Television (DSTV) in Nigeria, and its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Collins Khumalo were arraigned in late March before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on six-count charge of copyright infringement.

The accused persons who pleaded not guilty to the charge, were alleged to have transmitted on DSTV Supersport channels, the La Liga (Spanish) Football League Matches, without the consent of the copyright owner Entertainment Highway Limited and thereby committed an offence contrary and punishable under the Copyright Act, Laws of the Federation.

No sooner had the charges been read than Khumalo, who also represented the company pleaded not guilty as each count of the charge. It became imperative to include Khumalo, the CEO of Multichoice in the suit because in law, a company is a corporate personality and the chief executive officer of that organisation is an embodiment of the corporate personality.

Following Khumalo's plea of "not guilty", the prosecution counsel, A. T. Kohol, asked for the matter to be adjourned for trial. At this juncture, palpable silence enveloped the courtot immediately known if the judge, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed would order that he be remanded in prison custody till the trial commences.

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