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First off today, in a move that will likely surprise no one, the Australian football (soccer) leagues NRL and AFL have filed appeals in their case against local mobile service provider Optus. The case stems from Optus Now, a service that lets Optus customers stream television, including league matches, to mobile devices within minutes of them being aired and recorded on a DVR-like service. However, the leagues struck a exclusive deal with Optus’ competitor, Telstra, to stream the matches via their service, a deal they felt was jeopardized by Optus Now. However, a High Court judge ruled that Optus Now was a legal service since it was the user doing the recording. This has already prompted calls for copyright reform in the country but, in the meantime, the leagues are now appealing.
Next up today, in the UK, the government is denying recent claims that it was looking into new site blocking legislation. Though the Minister of State for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said that such a proposal was in the works, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which is handling the actual proposal, said it wasn’t. The reason is that a recent court ruling enabled copyright holders to get an injunction against ISPs to order the blocking of Newzbin2, showing that the legislation isn’t necessary and would be “duplicate”. The discussion comes as many are decrying what is seen as excessive influence by Google in the copyright reform process.
Finally today, music video service VEVO, which is owned by Sony and Universal and is supported by EMI, has found itself the subject of criticism for illegally streaming a football game, specifically the Patriots vs. Raven playoff game, at a party during the Sundance Music Festival. According to reports, VEVO’s Powerstation event streamed the game illegally from the site tutele.tv, obtaining it from ESPN America, which is a UK-only channel. The incident comes at a time when the record labels have been deeply criticized for their anti-piracy efforts leading many to call this a case of hypocrisy.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.
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