New Vision (Kampala)

8 November 2012

Uganda: Two Arrested Over Agataliko Nfufu Copyright

Two people have been arrested for allegedly infringing on the copyright of Agataliko nfufu, a popular vernacular news bulletin on Bukedde TV, one of the platforms under Vision Group.

Zake Apollo and Samuel Lubowa alias Alex Musoke were arrested in a sting operation involving the police and the management of Vision Group on Tuesday and they have since recorded statements with the criminal intelligence and investigations directorate (CIID) headquarters in Kibuli.

It is alleged that the duo has been downloading content of Agataliko nfufu and uploading it on another website - agatalikonfufu.com.

"They have been doing this for over three months and without obtaining the consent of Vision Group, the owner of the copyright," Doreen Pacutho, a legal officer at Vision Group said.

The matter is being handled by the economics crimes department at the CIID headquarters.

The duo, she said, have allegedly been running the downloaded content with the Agataliko nfufu logo and that their website has the Bukedde TV logo.

"In doing that, they have been infringing on the copyright and misleading the public that that website belongs to Bukedde TV, whereas not."

First to be arrested was Zake, a web designer and domain host who later led the police to Musoke, the alleged owner of the website. Efforts to get a comment from the commissioner of economics crime, Suzan Talukusu, was futile as she was reported in a meeting.

Information on the site indicates that the website is owned by link technologies but a search conducted at the office of the registrar of companies returned a negative result, indicating that the company is non-existent.

"Even the telephone number that they posted on the website does not exist meaning that they were posting false details," Pacutho said.

In the sting operation, a top official of Vision Group, posing as a potential client and plain-clothed detectives set up a trap, baiting Zake at Mateos. It is then that he led them to Musoke.

Police on Wednesday released Zake on bond but said they will detain Lubowa given that the investigations are ongoing.

"Preliminary investigations indicate that Zake was just a service provider to host the website," a detective said.

Vision Group, a multi media group, is the publisher of the New Vision and Bukedde newspapers and boasts a number of platforms in print and electronic media, among them Bukedde TV which airs Agataliko nfufu, a hit with the Luganda-speaking audience.

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