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Man in court for selling pirated ‘Nation’ newspapers

A man suspected of illegally circulating digital copies of the Nation newspapers will remain in police custody for five more days.

Senior Resident Magistrate David Muema Ndungi directed John Oganga Muyai to be held at the Kilimani police station for the said period so as to allow police finalise investigations of allegations levelled against him on infringement of copyright.

“The Directorate of Criminal Investigations Nairobi Regional headquarters requires more time to subject the suspect’s mobile phone, laptop and desktop found in his possession to forensic examination before he can be formally charged,” said police constable Daniel Githiari.

The court heard that Mr Muyai is being investigated for infringement of copyright works through the circulation PDF formats of the Daily Nation and Business Daily newspapers.

The matter was reported in May by a Mr Muriuki Dickson Mathenge on behalf of Nation Media Group as the offence is stipulated under Sections 8 and 38 of the Copyright Act.

The court also heard that the suspect was arrested after having evaded severally from the hands of the police.
Despite the fact that there are no passenger flights taking off domestically and internationally in Kenya due to the Covid19 pandemic, the Court was told that his place of residence is not known hence he is a flight risk.

Court further heard that it will be fair and just if he is detained since the suspect has been committing the said offence together with his accomplices through offering the e-paper on sale to third parties without NMG’s permission.

The suspect is accused of circulating e-papers of the Daily Nation and Business Daily newspapers, both being products of NMG on April 24.

“The suspects took screenshots of the pages of the e-paper versions, compiled them together and then offered them for sale to third parties,” the court was told.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought out the realisation of the necessity of the e-paper because the government encourages most people to work from home.

But the desire to share newspapers easily and make quick money has landed the 30-year-old information technology professional in hot soup.

He is set to be charged with the offence of illegal distribution and offering for sale copyrighted works as well as circumventing technological protection measures.

Should he be found guilty, Mr Muyai will have to part with either a fine not exceeding Sh 400,000 or an imprisonment term of not more than two years or both.

The matter will come up in court on June 16.