Communicate

Optus TV Now Service Infringes Copyright, Rules Federal Court

The Federal Court has upheld an appeal against an earlier ruling that found Optus’ TV Now service did not infringe copyright by allowing users to record and view AFL and NRL matches for viewing at a later time.

Earlier in the year, Justice Steven Rares ruled that Optus’ TV Now service was “no different to a person using equipment or technology in his or her home or elsewhere to copy or record a broadcast”.

Today’s judgement overturns that decision after the NRL, AFL and Telstra successfully argued that Optus has a commercial interest in letting users record free-to-air shows and watch them within as little as two minutes of the live broadcast.

Telstra, who is looking to protect its $153 million investment for exclusive broadcasting rights, says that the ruling “ensures that sports bodies and Australian content owners… are able to receive a fair return from their property”. According to the Australian Financial Review, AFL’s CEO called Optus a “disgrace” and urged customers to switch to Telstra.

Optus says they will be considering an appeal. Will they take it to the High Court? [AustLII, Sports News First, AFR, SMH]