Optus wins TV Now case

Court found telco was not in breach of Copyright Act by screening live sports broadcasts

Optus can continue to show live sports via its mobile TV service, TV Now, following a favourable verdict in Sydney.

Sporting codes such as the National Rugby League (NRL) union alleged that the mobile service was in breach of the Copyright Act of 1968.

However, the codes and Telstra, which paid $153 million for the rights to show AFL games exclusively on its mobile phones, lost to Optus in the ruling.

In passing down his verdict, Justice Steven Rares found the service itself did not infringe copyright in the ways that the right holders alleged. He also found that the user of the service, not Optus, was responsible for any recordings made as only the consumer could watch the live sports broadcasts on his or her mobile device once the program streamed.

Optus corporate and government affairs general manager, Clare Gill, said in a statement that it was confident the TV Now product was within the intention and spirit of the Copyright Act and is “no different to many other personal video recording services already available to consumer such as TiVo, Play TV, T-Box and Foxtel IQ.”

Gill added that the Copyright Act was amended in 2006 to allow this type of innovation and she was very pleased the court had confirmed this. “Optus is committed to delivering choice and convenience to Australians and the result of the TV Now court proceedings is a major win for consumers, innovation and the law,” she said in a statement. ”

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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