Optus wins mobile TV copyright case
Louise Duffy ©RapidTVNews | 01-02-2012
Australian telco Optus has succeeded in its bid to air live sports via its mobile TV service, TV Now.
A landmark Federal Court case has found Optus did not breach the Copyright Act by showing live NRL and AFL matches online with TV Now.
TV Now lets Optus customers record free-to-air television from their smartphone or computer and watch it on the same devices with a delay as little as two minutes.
Justice Steven Rares of the New South Wales Federal Court cited "time-shifting provisions" in the Copyright Act that let people record shows and watch them later. He found the user of the TV Now service, not Optus, was responsible for any recordings made, and that Optus did not breach any copyright related to Telstra's deal with the NRL and AFL to broadcast live matches on the internet.
"By clicking the play button, the user caused the recording to be streamed from his or her device and only he or she could watch it," said Rares.
Any appeal against the judgment is not likely until after the NRL and AFL seasons start next month.
The AFL, NRL and Telstra have been ordered to pay Optus's court costs.