Full Spectrum: TV Now becomes TV Then

Full Spectrum: TV Now becomes TV Then

Summary: How is Optus' cloud different from a digital video recorder?

TOPICS: Telcos, Legal, Optus

How is Optus' cloud different from a digital video recorder?

That was what the full bench of the Federal Court had to weigh up. The court came to a decision last Friday, ruling that the free-to-air TV-recording app developed by Optus, called TV Now, was in breach of copyright held by the AFL and the NRL, by recording broadcasts of their matches and then storing them in Optus' cloud.

Optus' defence was that the company's system would only initiate any recording when a customer requested it through the TV Now app, so the company had little involvement in making the recording. It was an automatic process initiated by the user, so it was allowed under time-shifting provisions in the Copyright Act. While that argument convinced the judge when the case was first heard, the full bench disagreed when the case came to appeal.

The court said that because TV Now is a commercial service that Optus profits from, Optus clearly has a role in making the recording.

There's a good chance that the case will end up before the High Court, but, in the meantime, it's got me wondering: where do we draw the line for virtualisation?

As more and more services move into the cloud, both businesses and consumers are increasingly relying on cloud companies to look after tasks for them. So, does that company then take responsibility for everything we do?

While the court was quick to point out that the judgment is confined to TV Now, it looks like we'll be stuck recording TV shows using our trusty old, reliable DVRs for the moment.

Topics: Telcos, Legal, Optus


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • It’s the idea of making a profit from the service, or the intended purpose of making a profit.
  • Don't the people that sell hardware DVRs make a profit from them??
  • If only the phones could pick up the DVB-T signals then they could directly pick up the same broadcast the TV providers are putting out over the same area. Maybe Optus needs to do an agreement with the TV provides so that there platform becomes a TV distribution medium. After all they are doing the commercial TV a favour by expanding there network for free.
    • Actually I was in korea just the other week admiring the galaxy sII and noticed there and in japan they all have tv's tried to buy one and found they have been made illegal to be distributed in good old OZ some licencing issue. I explained that tv licences died in the mid 70's but there it goes were still treated as hicks by our regulators
  • Hey Josh, Just because you know what your on about, when reading from the teleprompter, doesn't mean everyone else understands it.

    Slow down, so we can understand what your on about!