Ice TV EPG Vs Channel Nine Decision Today

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At 10.15am today, the long drawn out 3 year, copyright battle between TV station Channel Nine and Ice TV will be over, when the Australian High Court delivers its long awaited judgement.

At 10.15am today, the long drawn out 3 year, copyright battle between TV station Channel Nine and Ice TV will be over, when the Australian High Court delivers its long awaited judgement.

Ice TV currently delivers an electronic program guide that is used by set top box manufacturers and media centre maker’s. Several legal experts are tipping a win in favour of Ice TV after the fledgling content company won the first round of their battle in the NSW Supreme Court. Several TV manufacturers, along with organisations like Cisco, are set use the Ice TV guide to deliver content and information in Australia.

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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