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Kenyan Digital Publisher Sues Company Running Phoenix Browser over Copyright Infringement

phoenix browser

-Gotta Media Ltd has sued the company running Phoenix Browser over copyright infringement

-The Kenyan digital publisher is demanding compensation for content lifted from its website

Gotta Media Limited, the company that operates the online news site, has sued Cloudview Technology Limited over copyright infringement.

The company is accusing Phoenix Browser of lifting and publishing its content between 2019 and 2023 without the former’s consent.

In the suit filed by James T. Makori Advocates at the Milimani Chief Magistrates Court, the company is seeking general damages for copyright infringement inflicted by the Chinese-owned browser.

It is also seeking damages for losses incurred arising from diverted traffic as well as millions of losses in advertising revenue.

Gotta Media is also seeking the court to order exemplary punitive and aggravated damages in its favour.

The media outlet also wants the defendant to settle the cost of the suit as well as interests in all the prayers.

The court documents further show that Gotta Media Ltd., through its director, tried to reach out to Phoenix for a settlement without success.

In one of the letters sent in November last year and seen by this outlet, Gotta Media Ltd sought to know if Phoenix paid for the content they lifted from other websites.

Gotta Media Ltd’s management particularly complained that its content was hogging hundreds of thousands of views and comments on the browser, but he was not being paid a penny.

It also lamented that few users click on the small, bold “read original” link on the side of the story, which translates to a loss of traffic and revenue.

“A story can accumulate, say, 130,000 views on your platform, but only about 40 will click on the “Read Original” button on the website,” reads part of the letter.

To demonstrate that the company was gaining nothing from the paltry referral traffic, the letter adds:

“I’ve had a number of clients approach after seeing how a story is doing on Phoenix, but they are always taken aback when they realise the numbers (on Phoenix) rarely spill on to the website,” adds the letter.

The management, in a separate letter, also sought for Phoenix to consider a partnership model revolving around a revenue share.

In a reply, Phoenix Browser manager Gabriel Wang admitted to the company lifting the content owned by Gotta Media Ltd.


A screenshot of Gotta News content on Phoenix Browser. Image source: Gotta News

Wang also said content lifted from Gotta News and live on the Phoenix browser garnered 3,000 views daily.

“According to our backend data, your content receives around 3,000 daily views on our platform,” he said.

Wang further says Phoenix was discussing new content collaboration strategies with publishers but remains non-committal on compensation.

“We’re currently discussing new content collaboration strategies. However, for the time being, we may need to continue our collaboration in the same manner,” said Wang.

Cloudview Technology Limited is the company that operates the Phoenix Browser app in Kenya. The browser app aggregates news from diverse publishers across the world.

Phoenix Browser boasts of having 500 million downloads worldwide. Reports from various online sources indicate the content aggregator has over 2 million daily users in Kenya.

READ ALSO: Soipan Tuya Sues Estranged Husband for KSh 425k Child Support

Phoenix Browser raised over $100 million (about KSh 13 billion in funding) in October 2022.

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