Optus' TV Now service has been given a legal reprieve after the NRL and AFL went after it for allegedly infringing online rights they'd sold to Telstra. Updated with official Optus response. Justice Steven Rares ruled that the service essentially constituted the same kind of service offered by timeshifting devices such as PVRs. ITNews reports that Rares ruled that
"Even though Optus provided all the significant technology for making, keeping and playing the recording, I considered that in substance this was no different to a person using equipment or technology in his or her home or elsewhere to copy or record a broadcast"
It's not entirely a legal slam-dunk for Optus, though, with Rares noting that a separate ruling would need to be made in the future as to whether Optus' use of Quicktime streaming for serving TVNow to iPhones and iPads constituted a copyright infringement. Equally, this case will clearly go to appeal, so it's not quite over yet. [ITNews]
Clare Gill, General Manager Corporate and Government Affairs, Optus said:
· Optus is extremely pleased with the decision handed down today.
· We were confident that the Optus TV Now product was well within the intention and the spirit of the Copyright Act and this was confirmed by today’s decision.
· Optus is committed to delivering choice and convenience to Australians and the result of the TV Now court proceedings is a major win for consumers, innovation and the law.
· Optus is putting control in the hands of the customer and is proud to advocate consumers’ rights when it comes to content consumption.
· The time shifting capabilities of Optus TV Now are no different to many other personal video recording services already available to consumer such as TiVo, Play TV, T-Box and Foxtel IQ.
· The Copyright Act was amended in 2006 to allow this type of innovation and we are very pleased the court has confirmed this.
· Convergence is upon us and we need to ensure that Australians have the choice, convenience and flexibility to access content when and where they want.
· Optus intends to keep leading the market with converged, innovative and differentiated digital services.