In a decisive move against the illegal distribution of pirated content, a collaborative operation spearheaded by the Partners Against Piracy (PAP) Association of Kenya, with support from the Kenya Police Cybercrime and Crime Scene Forensic Units, successfully conducted a raid on Lime Fiber (Lime Emerging Solution Limited), an Internet Service Provider (ISP) based in Nairobi County.

The operation led to the confiscation of crucial equipment used in the illicit operation, including 5 mobile phones, 2 VOIP headsets, 3 CPUs, 12 hard drives, 1 laptop, 4 internet switches and 1 optical line terminal.

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This intervention has disrupted the illegal services provided to approximately 3,000 subscribers in the Kasarani-Mwiki-Santon areas, who were illegally accessing premium content, such as English Premier League (EPL), WWC and La Liga live sports through the WeCast App.

The investigations revealed that the WeCast App is installed on the client’s mobile phone or digital television upon subscription to Lime Fiber Internet, where login details are provided by the perpetrators.

The distribution of pirated content by ISPs like Lime Fiber not only undermines the Kenyan economy but also harms the entertainment industry and content creators.  This illicit activity deprives rightful owners of their due revenue, and impacts the overall investment in quality content creation.

Additionally, it creates unfair competition for other ISPs, Video On Demand services and Broadcasters, operating within the legal framework, by adhering to copyright laws and ethical business practices, as well as paying taxes.

Two individuals associated with Lime Fiber have been apprehended, and the Police Cybercrime Unit will conduct a forensic analysis to provide a comprehensive report on the extent of these unlawful activities.  

Section 36 (6) of the Copyright Act makes such Infringement a Criminal Offence, with a Fine of a maximum of KSh. 800,000 and/or Imprisonment not exceeding 10 years.

PAP, a multi-sectoral Association formed to combat Piracy, remains steadfast in upholding the law and protecting intellectual property.  

In a December 2021 Report, PAP estimates that Piracy costs the country’s Creative Economy approximately KSh. 92 billion annually, or KSh 252 million daily, in gross losses.  The report reveals, for instance, that Piracy deprives the Music Industry of KSh 15 billion and TV Stations of KSh 8 billion annually.

An Irdeto survey has indicated that Piracy is gaining traction, with users in five major African territories, including Kenya, making 17.4 million visits to the top 10 identified Piracy sites on the internet in three months.

Furthermore, 2009 Research by Rand Corporation, entitled ‘Film Piracy and its Connection to Organised Crime and Terrorism’, concluded “There is compelling evidence of a broad and continuing connection between Film Piracy and Organised Crime.  

Piracy is high in payoff — with profit margins greater than those of illegal narcotics — and low in risk, often taking place under the radar of law enforcement.  

In addition, Terrorist groups have in some cases used the proceeds of Film Piracy to finance their activities.  

Besides being a threat to the global information economy, counterfeiting threatens public safety and national security.”  

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