On June 21, 2018 the lawyers of Bolotov and Partners were invited as the experts at a round table devoted to the topic “Content of TV channels: threats to the providers market in the light of the formation of disputable judicial practice”. The essence of the discussion was a lawsuit from DL Construction LLP and Kazakhstan society for management of intellectual property rights to Kcell and Terraline LLP for the amount of KZT 672 m., as well as pretrial claims for KZT 1 and 4 bn.
As explained by Vadim Liu, director of the Kcell market development department, in 2016 the company launched a successful project to broadcast tele-content mobi TV. The content for the broadcast is provided by Terraline LLP, with which Kcell has signed a contract for “assignment of a trademark and collecting money.” Users can watch TV channels on a smartphone and pay for it with mobile balance. But six months ago, a lawsuit was filed against Kcell for copyright infringement. Namely, on broadcasting of 49 audiovisual works within 18 days in 2016.
According to Damir Zhanbakiev, director of the legal department of Kcell JSC, the claim was filed “not by the person whose rights were violated”, and against the improper defendant, since Kcell is not a broadcasting operator, but a mobile operator. However, the court ruled to satisfy the claim.
Speakers agreed that such court practice entailed the termination of the activity of television operators, jeopardized the development of Kazakhstani television channels and deprived the consumer of access to legal content.
The participants of the round table proposed to send an appeal to the Supreme Court to explain the extent of the threat and negative consequences of such precedents, and also to create a working group to improve the legislation in the field of copyrights.