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Al Jazeera Partly Complies With NBS TV’s Copyright Infringement Demands, Deletes Report

NBS TV had accused Al Jazeera Media Network of using its content without authorization

Information reaching us indicates that Al Jazeera Media Network (Al Jazeera) has partly complied with NBS Televisions Demand Notice.

In a letter to NBS Television, Mohammad Osman Mohammad Abu Baker, the Legal Affairs Manager for Al Jazeera Media Network stated in part;

“In the first instance, we would refer you to the fact that the report that is the subject of your said letter was removed from the public domain upon receipt of your communication.”

Mohammad Osman Mohammad Abu Baker further stated, “NBS TV can be rest assured that the Network has no intention of placing the report in question-or any other material that will include the footage to which NBS demanded in the public domain at any time in the future.”

The act of deleting the report has been interpreted by many to mean acceptance of liability, “when you are on the wrong, why not comply with the demands?, deleting the report is definitely an option, but Al Jazeera may refuse to pay the money, one of the analysts opined.

Al Jazeera letter to NBS TV

We reached out to Next Media Services Chief Legal Officer and Company Secretary, Ismail Obadia, who told us, “We have received the response from Al Jazeera, and we are going to embark on talks to reach an amicable conclusion.” Obadia then added, “Al Jazeera has taken an exemplary approach to this matter, and accordingly, we shall engage them for a cordial working relationship. It was never really about the legalities therein for us; sometimes, for the bigger picture, it’s okay to let go.”

The Al Jazeera Legal Affairs Manager, in his letter, had also hoped the two entities would move forward as colleagues working in the same industry in a spirit of mutual respect and co-operation.

It should be noted that in a letter dated January 19, 2021 seen by this website, NBS TV said that on January 16, 2021, the Qatar based media house posted a bulletin on its Al Jazeera English channel dubbed “Uganda’s Museveni declared winner of presidential election”.

NBS said Al Jazeera didn’t acknowledge, give credit or recognize NBS Television Ltd as the source of the content, neither did it contain the trademark nor watermark of NBS TV.

The letter/notice demanded that  Al Jazeera ceases and desists from such practices in future, bring down, delete, or erase all content that belongs to NBS TV Ltd, write a letter of apology to NBS and pay a make good compensation for the infringement to the tune of USD1.3m (UShs4.79bn).

“Should you fail to heed to this demand within a period of 14 days from the date of receipt of this Notice, we shall be left with no option but to seek legal redress or institute legal proceedings against you at your own cost or peril, and perpetual regret,” the Notice read, adding: “We advise that you seek our authorization in the future should the need to use our content arise.”

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