DStv facing legal action over streaming rule
March 9, 2022
By Chris Forrester
In February, South Africa’s pay-TV giant DStv announced that it was limiting access to its broadcasts to ‘one device at a time’. Previous flexibility which allowed two (and up to four) devices in a home to access transmissions will be cancelled from March 22nd. Now the lawyers are getting involved.
DStv said that it had cut the number of concurrent live streams from four to one and this was necessary to counteract password sharing and piracy.
“As part of our efforts to counteract password sharing and piracy, while continuing to bring you the best viewing experience, we will be introducing measures to limit concurrent streaming,” it said.
Chanique Rautenbach, a senior legal associate with Barnard Incorporated Attorneys, said the unilateral change in DStv contracts might not be permissible in normal circumstances.
“Although such clauses are legal, their retrospective application to terms and conditions accepted by existing clients may be investigated by the courts in the future,” said Rautenbach. “It could be debated that the online terms and conditions at the time of sign-up will be considered binding, and any changes brought to those will need to be consented to by existing clients.”