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NBS TV Moves To Sue Aljazeera Over Content Infringement, Demands Shs4.8bn Compensation

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

Uganda’s NBS Television, the flagship brand of Next Media Services,has written to Al Jazeera Media Network intending to sue over content infringement and violation of copyright.

In a letter dated January 19, 2021 seen by this website, NBS TV says 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”.

However, NBS says 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.

“Given the level of expertise and experience of  Al Jazeera in the media industry, we expected the highest standards of journalistic ethics and professional practices internationally recognized by the media industry but to our dismay, our authorization or approval was not sought,” the letter signed by NBS Company Secretary reads in part.

It adds: “We believe you need no lecture on the effect and consequence of unauthorized use of intellectual property, reproduction and representation of legally protected bushiness (content) and the fact that it is not only illegal and unlawful, but also amounts to violation of the intellectual property rights under national and international laws.”

NBS says the media business takes a lot of time, goodwill and resources to produce, promote and broadcast content.

The letter/notice demands 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 reads, adding: “We advise that you seek our authorization in the future should the need to use our content arise.”

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