Hobbyist Kodi app developer Matt Huisman recently faced intellectual property enforcement action from Naspers due to add-ons he created for DStv Now and Showmax.
While MultiChoice does not directly get involved in enforcement, sister company Irdeto acted on its behalf by sending takedown notices to Huisman and Github.
As a result, Github blocked access to the repositories containing the code for Kodi add-ons. Huisman also immediately complied, removing the offending add-ons from his servers.
Irdeto didn’t stop there, however.
It sent a notice to PayPal, claiming that Huisman had violated MultiChoice’s intellectual property rights. Huisman does not charge for the add-ons he develops, but he accepts donations through PayPal.
PayPal terminated Huisman’s account and offered him no recourse to contest the claim.
According to Huisman, PayPal’s process works similarly to YouTube. For Huisman to get his account back, Irdeto must revoke their claim.
PayPal did not respond to requests for comment on the matter.
Terms and Conditions
MultiChoice’s terms and conditions for the DStv Now app are quite particular about what kind of usage is allowed.
“The User may not use DStv Now, its Contents, or any aspect thereof, in any manner that constitutes a violation of any law… or an infringement of MultiChoice’s rights,” it states.
It goes on to say that you may not reproduce, modify, copy, transfer (to any person or onto any device, whether corporeal or incorporeal), perform, transmit, broadcast, upload or redistribute the contents, whether for personal use or commercial gain.
The DStv Now terms also state that you may not modify, disassemble, copy, or reproduce its systems. You may also not circumvent or disable any technology features in the systems.
“Where these DStv Now Terms and Conditions prohibit the User from any conduct, the User is also prohibited from attempting that conduct, or permitting, promoting, facilitating or condoning any other person doing so.”
While DStv Now’s terms do not speak specifically about third-party apps like Kodi add-ons, Showmax’s terms are more direct.
“You must not, directly or indirectly use any, and all Technology or other means to access, index, frame or link to the Showmax Service (including the Content) in a way that is not expressly authorised by us”.
Both services expressly forbid reverse engineering, and compromising the digital rights management and copy protection systems they use.
They also state that developers may not build any home system or app to access the services.
The DStv Now terms go on to warn that any financial impact due to a breach of the terms and conditions will be dealt with.
“If the User breaches these DStv Now Terms and Conditions, the User will be responsible for any loss, damage and expense which MultiChoice may suffer, or claims against MultiChoice that arise directly or indirectly from, or in relation to User’s breach of these DStv Now Terms and Conditions.”