Things that make you go hmmm

Things that make you go hmmm

Summary: Without sounding nostalgic, sometimes you only miss something after it is gone. It is the same feeling I felt when the government abolished the radio and TV (RTV) license on Friday with its budget announcement.

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Without sounding nostalgic, sometimes you only miss something after it is gone. It is the same feeling I felt when the government abolished the radio and TV (RTV) license on Friday with its budget announcement.

The reason: lawyers around town were scrambling to weigh the effect of the move on the recent MediaCorp v RecordTV case.

Reason: a part of the judgement read...

"RecordTV's iDVR service represents a significant technological improvement over existing recording methods and facilitates the more convenient enjoyment of television viewing rights by those Registered Users living in Singapore who hold valid television licenses... Since RecordTV was doing no more than making it more convenient for the aforesaid Registered Users to enjoy the MediaCorp shows (which was something that these Registered Users were entitled to do as MediaCorp had licensed them to view those shows), we are of the view that the public interest is better served by encouraging rather than stifling the use of RecordTV's novel technology, especially given that MediaCorp has apparently not suffered any loss from RecordTV's provision of an additional and better time-shifting service to Registered Users who are licensed to view the MediaCorp shows."

With the abolishment of the RTV license, it means that the government is no longer in charge of the license mechanism to determine who was authorized to receive MediaCorp broadcasts (and consequently to make copies).

This in turn results in two different developments--that all and sundry are now authorized to receive (and copy) MediaCorp free-to-air broadcasts, courtesy of the government's move, or that MediaCorp is now the gatekeeper of who is authorized to view (and copy) its broadcasts.

This is a minute difference but one with a profound effect and for which I suspect lawyers in town will be spilling much ink and logging in research time.

Topics: Legal, Emerging Tech, Government Asia, Hardware, Singapore

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