Justice Rares makes orders in Singtel Optus Pty Ltd v National Rugby League Investments Pty Ltd (No 2)

After handing down his judgment last week, Federal Court judge Justice Rares yesterday made orders in Singtel Optus Pty Ltd v National Rugby League Investments

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Pty Ltd (No 2) [2012] FCA 34. The orders can be found on the Federal Court’s portal here.

The case considered whether the applicants (Optus and its parent company Singtel Optus) had breached the copyright of the AFL, NRL and Telstra (which has an exclusive licence from the AFL and NRL to exploit free to air broadcasts of live and pre-recorded AFL and NRL games on the internet and mobile telephony) through its service “TV Now”. The TV Now service, which has been offered since July 2011, allows users to record free to air television programs (including AFL and NRL games) and play them back on any one of four compatible devices – namely, PCs, Apple devices, Android devices and 3G mobile devices. The respondents alleged that the applicants had breached their copyright in relation to broadcasts of a number of AFL and NRL games made in September and October 2011.

Justice Rares’ decision addressed seven principal legal issues concerning the application of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cwlth) to the TV Now service and found in favour of the applicants on all seven issues. The parties agreed at the hearing that leave to appeal should be granted to any unsuccessful party without it having to make a formal application for leave. AFL, NRL and Telstra have today lodged an appeal to the Full Federal Court. Mallesons is acting for AFL and Telstra.

Watch this space for further updates on the appeal process.

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