Channel Nine Were Right Bastards Claims Ice TV Boss

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Colin Obrien the Chairman of Ice TV who today won their Copyright case appeal against Channel Nine in the Australian High Court has said that the company has little chance of recovering a cent in damages against the TV Network or the Packer family.


“Damages are a hard thing to prove. Nine were real bastards in that they deliberately took action against us knowing full well that we were days away from floating the Company. They also knew that we had investors lined up to invest in the company. Despite this, it is still hard to prove that damage was actually done. We can however recover a large part of our costs.” Obrien said.

The case was originally brought against IceTV, Australia’s leading independent EPG provider, in May 2006 by the Nine Network alleging that Ice TV’s electronic program guide (EPG) infringed copyright in its television schedule.

A claim IceTV strenuously denied. The litigation was commenced only months after the Nine Network had purchased HWW, a company that aggregates and supplies TV Guide information to Foxtel and most print and online media.
He added “The case has got Channel Nine nowhere. We are still operating today because we modified the way in which we deliver information and in hindsight the case has done us a favour because today we are a small profitable company who has been able to keep ahead of the technology curve”.

“If we had floated we would have spent a lot more money on the development of technology and the expansion of the company. Instead we have been forced to stay focused and relevant. The decision by Nine was totally emotional and if they had looked at what was happening in the electronic program guide market they would have realised that there was little threat from Ice TV” he added.

 

“As a result of the actions by Channel Nine we have actually got ahead of the technology curve. The set top box market is still not ready to incorporate the EPG technology that we have ready to go. We can now deliver content directly to a screen along with advertising and widget information. This will allow us to work with both PC and set top box makers as well as TV manufacturers in the delivery of streamed content over an IP network” said Obrien. 

In the market place consumers are already venting their anger at the Nine Network one consumer wrote on the Gizmodo web site “Here’s an idea Channel 9, Pull your fuc*ing head out of your arse and stop wasting precious resources trying to screw over IceTV in the courts, and instead focus that money on some more quality programming”

Another consumer wrote “Considering the fact that all the networks are actually playing fair with their EPG data these days, why are Channel 9 even bothering? They make their EPG available for Foxtel and any other PVR with an EPG capability so why is Ice TV seen as a threat”.


Case Background:

The case was originally brought against IceTV, Australia’s leading independent EPG provider, in May 2006 by the Nine Network alleging that Ice TV’s electronic program guide (EPG) infringed copyright in its television schedule.
A claim IceTV strenuously denied. Interestingly, this litigation was commenced only months after the Nine Network had purchased HWW, a company that aggregates and supplies TV Guide information to Foxtel and most print and online media.

 


At around the same time IceTV was attempting to raise capital via a public float. The float was cancelled due to the impossibility of raising funds whilst in litigation.

IceTV successfully defended Network Nine’s allegations including having costs awarded in a judgment handed down in August 2007 by her Honour Justice Bennett in the Federal Court after some eight months of deliberation.

The Nine Network then appealed the decision and the matter was heard by the Full Court of the Federal Court in February, 2008. In May 2008, the ruling made by Justice Bennett was overturned by the Full Court. IceTV immediately complied with the Court ruling, modifying its compilation practices as required and has continued to provide its professional EPG service, including scheduling information for Channel Nine.

IceTV immediately sought and was granted special leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia and the appeal was heard in Canberra in October 2008. Telstra and Australian Digital Alliance were permitted to make legal submissions on legal arguments of copyright.

From the incorporation of IceTV in February 2005 they have had one aim: To give their customers freedom of choice in everything they watch on their TV: To record what they want, skip what they want and watch it at a time that suits them.

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