Footy’s Back in the headlines! [BCM110]

I know what your all thinking and no, for once it’s not a race or gender issue. Its media ownership.

The biggest issue at the moment facing the NRL (Rugby League) and the AFL (Australian Rules Football) is the current court battle in which the two are combining forces and legal expertise to exercise their power over internet distribution rights.

For those not following the deep legal battle, the main focus of the campaign is to prevent Optus (leading telecommunications company) releasing their “TV Now” service, which allows Optus mobile customers to record and watch free-to-air television on their smart-phones, tablets and laptops with a 90 second delay from real time.

What’s the problem with this you might ask? Well, Telstra (Australia’s largest telecommunications company) owns the exclusive rights to broadcast both the NRL & AFL and are claiming that the decision handed down by Justice Rares, of the Federal Court in NSW is in breach of its exclusive internet rights with Telstra.

The whole issue stems from the Sports who have been lobbying to the government to close an exemption to the Copyright Act that permits the “TV Now” service.

This decision has been highlighted in a number of different media platforms no more so than in the newspapers.

So how could something like “TV Now” fail to be in breach of Copyright? After all it is essentially just replaying what Telstra have paid hundred of millions for the rights to broadcast.

If we consider Telstra to be a “gatekeeper” (essentially meaning that they are the creator of the content). Once that content is broadcasted and released into the public domain, who is to say that Optus and their “TV Now” service have no right to “copy” it and use it as their own content?

No wonder the NRL & AFL are fighting “tooth and nail” to see through this injunction. If Optus is allowed to implement this service, It devalues the content and therefore leads to a loss of millions of dollars when the next battle begins of TV/internet rights later this year.
What does this mean for all sporting clubs involved? Less money = less clubs.
The sad hard truth of sporting clubs is they are a business and without strong revenue, they go bust.
How would you feel if your team was removed from the competition? Something to think about. 🙂
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One thought on “Footy’s Back in the headlines! [BCM110]

  1. Optus definitely raises questions toward breaching copyright. Looking upon yesterdays #BCM110 lecture, once the medium has been injected into the internet, the ownership of this content is lost…? Its a smart play by Optus in terms of gaining viewers and profit, as its “technically” not a breach of copyright as, Telstra have the rights to the “ACTUAL” broadcasting.

    Rugby league is Australia, and i for one, being a player of this sport would hate to see clubs suffer at the hands of greedy companies.

    keep the goods coming!

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