Optus has scored a win in its Federal Court case against the National Rugby League (NRL) and Australian Football League (AFL) over the telco’s Optus TV Now application.
Optus TV Now was released in July 2011 and allowed customers to record and playback material from 15 free-to-air TV channels on their smartphones or PCs.
Recorded content is stored in the Cloud and customers can pay more for extra storage.
But this posed a problem with Australia’s two football entities. The NRL and AFL both have exclusive – not to mention lucrative - deals with Telstra to broadcast games online.
Both questioned whether Optus breached any copyright laws should customers record and playback NRL and AFL games.
The Federal Court answered that question by ruling that the telco did not breach copyright through its Optus TV Now service.
Presiding Judge, Steven Rares, ruled using Optus TV Now was no different to using other personal recording services such as TiVo 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,” Optus general manager of corporate and government affairs, Clare Gill, said in a statement.
“Convergence is upon us and we needed to ensure Australians have the choice, convenience and flexibility to access content when and where they want.”
NRL and AFL are expected to appeal the judgement.