According to Andre Scibor Kaminski, managing director of software developer Desktop Marketing Systems (DtMS), people have been keying telephone books into databases for years. But two years ago Telstra took action against DtMS alleging the company was breaching copyright by selling searchable databases based on information contained in Telstra-published Yellow and White Pages directories.
DtMS has undergone a long and costly legal campaign to avoid copyright infringement and as of last Friday lodged an appeal to have the ruling heard in a higher court.
"A single judge made a judgement that DtMS was [breaching copyright] but also said we should have the right to appeal the decision in a higher court," Kaminski told ARN moments after his keynote address at the Business Software Conference held in the Melbourne Exhibition and Conference Centre yesterday.
DtMS is arguing that while it does copy the numbers and address details from the freely distributed Telstra directories it is not breaching copyright as the information is in the public domain. The case is expected to continue for another 12 months.
Meanwhile, the company took the opportunity of the Business Software Conference to release its latest database Intraphone, which contains contact details of 8.6 million businesses and individuals. It is sold as a stand alone CD-ROM which is then loaded onto a company's Intranet. The product can be searched "from any field" said Kaminski including address, business name, all the numbers on a particular street, or even by phone number to provide address and contact details.
This reversible search function and other search criteria are being touted by DtMS as a money saver for companies whose employees use 013, 12455 and thru-connect services.
DtMS does not have a court injunction preventing it from selling its directory databases and products throughout the duration of the case.