Ice TV Victorious Over Channel 9 in Court Case

Three years after their legal battle against Channel 9 began and six months since their appeal, the High Court has ruled in favour of IceTV and their EPG.

IceTV was sued back in 2006 for copyright infringement over using Channel 9's broadcast information to create their EPG. They won that court case in 2007, which was appealled by Nine - an appeal the TV network won in 2008. IceTV took their counter appeal to the High Court, and after six months they have been successful.

It's been a long and bloody battle, but we're happy to see that in the end, the winner should be the TV-watching consumer. Because unlike Freeview's EPG, IceTV will let you skip ads and program anything you want using their (now completely legal) EPG. Of course, I reckon the Freeview camp (and Channel 9) will be less than impressed with this verdict, so we'll see what the fallout from this decision is in the coming weeks.

[IceTV]

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Comments

    Finally thank christ. If channel 9 had of won this i suspect the Freeview cabal would have got their way to ensured that only Freeview certified devices could have access to a 'legal' EPG and can't skip ad's or has other rediculous restrictions.

    Hopefully this also means Sony will finaly get around to releasing the PlayTV here. I think they were waiting for Freeview to pull their sh#$it together so they could provide an 'official' EPG. Hopefully now they can just scrape the info themselves or use the other free options that will now pop up due to this ruling.

    Its time for the Australian TV stations pulled their head out of the 1970's and realise they need to work with technology or they will die.

    Crippled PVRs suck but the ICE TV EPG is of poor quality, inaccurate and full of smug comments about programs that make it seem like a uni project rather than a commercial offering. Yes they won, but now improve your product ICE if you want to be a real alternative

    ... And everyone breathes a sigh of relief. Reading the judgment, you can detect a certain amount of dismissiveness towards Nine's arguments and towards the error of the Federal Court judges who overturned the original decision by conflating the skill and effort and originality put into sourcing programs and deciding timeslots (jokes aside, a significant effort, but not exactly a copyrightable work) with the act of writing down factual data like "6pm: Channel Nine News". Copyright protects the expression of the data, not the data per se.

    Channel Nine have no legal options from here, it's the final appeal.

    IceTV, on the other hand, will fight for compensation for the loss they have suffered as a result of Nine's action and injunctions, not to mention the size of the costs order, so the show's not over.

    In the meantime, expect to see the telephone directory copyright issue re-litigated, either by Telstra getting on the front foot trying to cement the Desktop Marketing principle before it gets eaten away too far, or by a challenger sensing that the High Court may be in the mood to "clarify" the boundaries of copyright protection a little further back

    Hasn't anybody noticed that you do not have to pay $99 per year to get an electronic guide service?

    Free Australian EPG services such as "www.oztivo.net" and "www.epgstream.net" let users load the TV guides into any number of computer devices.

    There are many free or cheap services, but for some reason people think paying $99 per year is "normal"! Funny that ...

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