Two different copyright owners have been knocked back by the Federal Court this month in attempts to assert their copyright in two very different scenarios. The thing the cases had in common was they both concerned electronic media, and TV in particular.
The first was the Nine Network which objected to IceTV's use of its weekly program schedules in the compilation of the IceGuide, saying that such use was a breach of its copyright in both the compilation and in the individual components of the compilation.
The court did not agree that copyright subsisted in the individual components and found that IceTV had not breached copyright in the compilation because it had only used the compilation to check the accuracy of information it had already independently compiled for its guide.
The other case concerned Telstra's rights to broadcast NRL matches on the internet and on the 3G telephone network. Telstra asserted in proceedings for an injunction that the use of NRL Fox Sports News highlights on the Fox Sports website and on Hutchison and Vodaphone 3G mobile phones, as supplied by the first respondent Premier Media Group Pty Limited, exceeded that permitted by the defence of fair dealing for the purpose of reporting news.
Telstra sought to restrict the length of the highlights used to 45 seconds of footage instead of 2 minutes, but the court refused to order the injunction sought because the acceptable standard in fair dealing for pay TV and free-to-air TV news is up to 2 minutes, and Telstra had not produced any evidence to suggest that the new media in this case (internet and 3G) warranted a different standard to be applied, though they may be able to establish this at a final hearing.
The court also noted that the balance of convenience did not favour granting the injunction as, if Telstra were eventually successful, damages would be an adequate remedy and could be calculated fairly readily compared to the damage caused to the respondents if the injunction were granted and they eventually prevailed.
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