EXCLUSIVE: Nine Win EPG Copyright Appeal Against Ice TV

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Australia is back in the technology dark ages after the Federal Court ruled in favour of Channel Nine in their appeal against Ice TV who for the last two years have produced an electronic TV program guide for media centre and set top box manufacturers which Nine said breached their copyright.

The decision which could bankrupt Ice TV is set to be appealed to the High Court according to executives of the Company. It also means that Australia is one of the few Countries in the world without an independent EPG service that can be used by media centre manufactures as well as software Companies like Microsoft  for the Media Centre service.

General Manager of Ice TV Matt Kossatz said “The matter has been referred back to Justice Bennett for further hearing and determination consistent with the details of the judgment of the Full Court. No injunction has been made, so it is business as usual for us. Our legal team plan to argue our case for as long as it takes or for as long as permitted and we will seek special leave to appeal to the High Court if needed”

 

He added “We are obviously greatly disappointed with yesterday’s outcome having just release remote recording capabilities through IceTV Interactive integration with the Beyonwiz PVR range and releasing our own IceTV”

Chief Justice Black, Justice Lindgren and Justice Sackville ruled that the original judge in the case Judge Bennett had erred on several crucial points.

Bennett had found no breach of copyright and supported the method by which IceTV constructed and operated their EPG operation.
In their ruling the appeal court judges wrote “The main issue in this appeal is whether the primary Judge correctly rejected the claim by the appellant Nine, that the respondents Ice TV, had infringed Nine’s copyright in its television program schedules.


There is no dispute that the schedules are compilations and constitute original literary works in which Nine holds copyright. Specifically, there is no dispute that Nine holds copyright in the ‘Weekly Schedules’ it distributes selectively to so-called ‘Aggregators’ approximately two weeks before the commencement of the relevant broadcast week. However, her Honour held that Nine had not established that Ice, which provides a subscription-based ‘electronic program guide’ (‘EPG’) for television called ‘IceGuide’, has reproduced a substantial part of Nine’s copyright works.

For the ruling and further information on this case go to this link:
Nine Vs Ice TV

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