The Australian Full Federal Court found last month that Optus's TV
Now service, which streamed over-the-air television to customers'
mobiles, infringed the AFL and NRL's copyrights. But although it was a
good win for IP owners, too much of the law remains unclear.
The Australian Football League, the National Rugby League and
telecoms company Telstra were plaintiffs in the suit. The AFL and NRL
had sold Telstra the exclusive rights to broadcast their games over the
The trial court's decision had held that telecoms provider Optus's
service fell within the Section 111 exception in Australia allowing
private users to make recordings to watch at a more convenient time.
But on April 27 the Full Federal Court disagreed, finding that the
recording was made either by Optus, or jointly by Optus and the
subscriber. Because Section 111 covered only "private and domestic use",
Optus's commercial usage was not covered.