Suspect arrested for illegally distributing newspapers in PDF format




Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) enforcement officers working in partnership with officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have arrested a suspect believed to be the leader of a group that has been illegally distributing newspapers in PDF format.

The accused – John Onganga Muyai, a 30-year-old IT graduate – was on Tuesday June 9, 2020 presented before Milimani Magistrate’s Courts and remanded in police custody until Monday June 15, 2020 when he is expected to take plea.

(TOP: John Onganga Muyai).

He is to face charges related to copyright infringement by way of illegal distribution and offering for sale copyright works without the owners’ authority as well as an additional charge of circumventing technological protection measures.

“We are following crucial leads to arrest other suspects engaged in similar activities. Similar investigations are ongoing on cases of book publishers’ copyright and illegally distributing them in PDF format”, said KECOB’s executive director Edward Sigei.

Onganga’s arrest comes days after Safaricom announced a deal with local media houses in a move that enables newspapers to be availed to all smartphone customers in the country at Kshs 20 per issue. The price is deducted from a customer’s airtime enabling them buy newspapers daily and read them on the go with each purchased issue available for 7 days.

The Kshs 20 price per newspaper includes data usage meaning a customer’s data bundle will not be consumed when reading through each paper. No registration or signup will be necessary neither will customers be requested to download and install any application.

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