Optus TV Now Service Infringes Copyright, Rules Federal Court

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]


  • I think the whole case is stupid but i do agree that 3mins doesn’t feel like enough time for the ‘timeshift’ argument to hold (i think the AFL/NRL/Telstra should do a better job at providing their content at reasonable rates).

    So all Optus has to do is make the delay substantial enough for it to be deemed fair, 15mins should do it, lets you skip more ads before you catch up to real time too.

      • It’s reasonable for sure, but what’s the quality like? They have internet rights too if I remember, not just mobile, so they could go all out like the NBA. I paid AU$180 for the ability to watch any game from the NBA season, where each team played 66 games this season, and that price includes all playoff games. I can watch it on my PC with up to 3000Kbps live, archived or condensed games, on my phone/tablet live/archived/condensed (not up to 3000Kbps, but reasonable enough for a 720p screen you’re holding at arm’s length. I’ve streamed my PC to my 55″ full HD plasma while watching it at 3000Kbps and the quality is light and day over even 7’s SD AFL coverage.

  • Telstra has never provided a competative service, ever. They are no better than street hustlers taking money from grandmas/pas who don’t know any better and believe that because of their name that they would offer the best service/price. They myswell be paying people to lurk the streets and steal old ladies hand bags. Telstra is a big fat cancerous tumor holding back Australia’s technological progress.

    • interesting thoughts, especially considering that Telstra have developed and brought in every single major technology deployment in Australia (first with EBRAS, first with ISAM, first with 8mbps (DSL), first with 21mbps (ADSL), first with 30mbps (Cable DOCIS 1.1), first with 100mbps (Cable DOCIS 3.0), first with full coverage of Australia (EDGE and GPRS networks), first with 3G (HSDPA), first with 4G (LTE)…..a lot of firsts there.

      sure, they might charge a bit more then others, but then again, you are getting a BMW, not a go-cart.

      bottom line is (and you would know this if you were living in the real world), if you want the best it is going to cost a bit more, but then; “you get what you pay for”.

      Telstra will always have the best services, and will always cost a few more $ a month, but then again, it is worth it.

      Either cry about it and complain, or join up and never look back.

      • Internode had 100mbps a long time before Telstra did. Also when first installed Optus cable was light years ahead of Telstra cable in terms of speed and reliability. And is still widely regarded as the superior service. Your post is a perfect example of the people they target. Those that buy solely on the Telstra name. Look at the market share Bigpond has. Look how large that is when compared to the percentage of IT workers that are with Bigpond.

  • I really don’t understand how getting video that is broadcast for free onto a mobile device is breaching copyright. This is a really stupid decision IMO. The only games that could be watched using this service are the ones that are live on free to air TV.

  • Ridiculous. Optus’s service is for free to air. Not pay TV. All it is, is a PVR. It’s no different to you recording games at home on your PVR and watching them later. Does Telstra want to stop us doing that too?

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