find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
IceTV and Nine’s final battle outcome imminent

IceTV and Nine’s final battle outcome imminent

The High Court will soon hand down a decision that will shed light on the status of information compilations under copyright law.The High Court appeal is the final battle in a three-year war…

The High Court will soon hand down a decision that will shed light on the status of information compilations under copyright law.

The High Court appeal is the final battle in a three-year war between IceTV and the Nine Network about whether IceTV - a free, electronic television programming guide - breached Nine's copyright by reproducing its programming schedule.

Last May, the full Federal Court -overturning the first instance decision of Justice Bennett - found in favour of Nine, holding that there was copyright in Nine's programming schedule and, therefore, that IceTV was in breach. However, IceTV took the matter further and an appeal was heard by the High Court late last year.

The Federal Court's decision in favor of Nine was in line with its earlier decision in Telstra Corporation Limited v Desktop Marketing Systems Pty Ltd [2001] FCA 612 where it held that copyright existed in date compiled in a telephone directory.

However, despite that finding, Middletons partner Tony Watson explained that copyright is still a controversial issue which is arising in a broader range of circumstances as technology is being increasingly used as a platform to reproduce different data compilations.

"There are a fair number of commentators who think Desktop Marketing wasn't right," Watson said. "At the time [Desktop Marketing] sought leave to appeal to the High Court and the High Court refused, and I assume at the time the High Court thought the law in the area was pretty set, and that it [wasn't] a matter of sufficient public interest to warrant taking it ... But now that law is being extended to TV programs and train timetables ... so the High Court is considering that this is actually a matter of significant public interest."

Watson explained that the position in Australia stands in contrast to the position in the US. In Feist Publications v Rural Telephone Service Co., 499 U.S. 340 (1991), the US Supreme Court held that a telephone directory lacked sufficient originality to warrant copyright protection, despite the fact that effort and resources have been expended to compile it in a particular way.

"It's that dichotomy between someone trying to protect information as opposed to a compilation of information - that's where the tension lies," Watson said.

The High Court's decision, which is likely to be handed down any day, will have significant consequences for organisations - across many fields - which seek to profit from reproducing data compilations.

"If IceTV is overturned by the High Court, it's likely that ... the valuable and useful bit of the directories would have no protection," Watson said.

- By Zoe Lyon

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

IceTV and Nine’s final battle outcome imminent
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Crowd
Nov 23 2017
Anti-radicalisation programs playing ‘second fiddle’ to terrorism laws
Several academics have questioned the balance between Australia’s counterterrorism legislation and...
 William Ah Ket
Nov 23 2017
‘Bamboo ceiling’ thought piece wins inaugural law prize
A paper that explores the idea of affirmative action to achieve greater diversity among members of A...
Nov 22 2017
Reduced investment protections will make robust commercial arbitration mechanisms all the more critical for investors
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the current trend away from investor protect...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...