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DStv takes copyright swipe at AfriForum’s newly launched streaming service launch




Following a successful launch on Monday, AfriForumTV is set to entertain South African members and non-members in Afrikaans with their free digital platform – a video streaming service launched by AfriForum. That is if their competition allows.  

AfriForum shared a launch video of AfriForumTV on YouTube, which YouTube was soon asked to take down based on a suspicious copyright claim.

The request came from DStv, South Africa’s biggest pay-TV broadcaster, whom the civil rights organisation is not necessarily on the best terms with at this stage.

It was in 2019 that AfriForum accused DStv of having “double standards” when the broadcaster refused to show any footage of Steve Hofmeyr while employing a presenter who had allegedly made racist comments on social media.

This was after Hofmeyr allegedly made threatening and racially charged comments on Twitter, aimed at former DA spokesperson, Phumzile Van Damme and Zindzi Mandela.

The AfriforumTV launch video was removed from YouTube with the message loud and clear: “This video contains content from DStv, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.”

According to a spokesperson at AfriforumTV, the organisation has all the required rights to distribute the content and apart from this bump in the road, the launch – held at the AfriForum Theatre in Pretoria – went smoothly.

AfriForum also told MyBroadBand that YouTube’s motivation and timestamps for the copyright claim showed that DStv’s complaint related to a 3-minute trailer for Tainted Heroes – an AfriForum-produced documentary detailing the ANC’s rise to power during the liberation struggle – which was shown during the live stream of the launch event. The 3-minute trailer has since been removed from the recording and the video is live again.

READ: SABC can now charge DStv for its free-to-air channels

According to MyBroadBand Kallie Kriel, AfriForum’s CEO explained that the documentary contained news footage purchased from the SABC’s archives.

According to him, AfriForum followed all the right channels to buy the footage and that DStv has no grounds for the copyright claim.

It is interesting, though that this same 3-minute clip has been on AfriForum’s YouTube channel for over six years and the entire documentary has been available for viewing on YouTube since January 2017.

In response to the matter, a MultiChoice spokesperson said: “MultiChoice engages with social media platforms relating to content infringing on our rights when posted on social media platforms.  To remove infringing content, takedown notice processes on various social media platforms are followed.”