Australian Federal Court finds Optus breached copyright law in broadcasting near live AFL, NRL matches
Posted in: Online TV/Music at 27/04/2012 14:00
The AFL and Rugby League have scored a major victory in their fight to secure hundreds of millions in internet broadcasting rights, after a Federal Court of Appeal ruling this morning found Optus breached copyright law in broadcasting near live matches on the internet and hand held devices.
The full court of the Federal Court of Appeal this morning granted an appeal from the AFL and the NRL, overturning an earlier decision by the Federal Court that allowed Optus to use its TV Now service to broadcast recorded football games on hand-held devices such as iPads and iPhones, just minutes after being broadcast on free-to-air television.
To read this report in The Australian in full, see:
Telstra, AFL, NRL win live footy court battle
Telstra, the NRL and AFL have won their appeal against Optus's online broadcasting of Australian football and rugby league games, re-establishing Telstra's role as the nation's dominant online sports broadcaster.
This year, Optus won a landmark Federal Court case, which allowed it to continue operating its TV Now system, whereby viewers could watch video streams of AFL and NRL matches on their smartphones or computers as close as two minutes behind the live TV broadcast.
Optus suspends TV Now, experts weigh in
While Optus has suspended the TV Now recording service in light of the adverse court ruling today, experts are divided on whether the ruling impacts cloud storage and recording services.
Optus TV Now allows customers to use Optus' storage cloud to schedule, record and playback free-to-air digital TV on 15 channels from a 3G mobile or PC. The full bench of the Federal Court upheld complaints made by the National Rugby League (NRL), the Australian Football League (AFL) and Telstra that the recordings of football broadcasts were not covered by time-shifting provisions in the Copyright Act, because it is Optus, or Optus and the customer jointly, that is making those recordings.
Optus suspends TV Now service
Optus has suspended its controversial recording service "TV Now" indefinitely after an emphatic ruling against it in Sydney's Federal Court that has been welcomed by the NRL, AFL and Telstra.
The Federal Court on Friday sensationally overturned a judgment in February allowing Optus subscribers to record free to air television programs, including AFL and NRL matches, and view them back on smartphones and tablet devices within minutes of live broadcasts.