01.Optus loses TV recording court battle
Update: Optus has announced that it will appeal the TV Now decision in the High Court.
The full Federal Court has upheld an appeal by Australia’s major football codes and Telstra against Optus regarding the Optus TV Now service. Optus announced today it would appeal the decision.
What's the problem?
Football codes have strongly opposed the Optus TV Now service because it threatens exclusive broadcast rights deals, such as that between the AFL and Telstra.
The latest judgment holds that Optus (or Optus in concert with a subscriber) made the TV Now recordings, and is therefore breaching the Copyright Act. Optus has not confirmed whether it will appeal the ruling.
What is TV Now?
Optus' TV Now service allows consumers to record and watch free-to-air television shows in the cloud, delivering content to devices such as tablets and smart phones.
The appeal overturns an earlier Federal Court decision which had allowed Optus to continue providing the service considering that it was similar to the action of a consumer recording free content for personal use on a VCR. This type of recording has been allowed under Australian copyright law since 2006.
Read CHOICE's call for copyright reform following the Optus TV Now decision.