back to article Australian sports get busy with copyright special pleading

Australia’s sports administrators, usually busy trying to steal each others’ audiences, have discovered the spirit of cooperation in the face of the Optus TV Now Federal Court decision. The prime minister has confirmed that the Australian Rugby League, Australian Football League, Cricket Australia, Tennis Australia, and the …

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I'm at a bit of a loss

Why exactly should the entertainment/sports industry have its business model specially protected? I'd like one of these sinecures too please, I'll pay the appropriate bribes/donations to political parties/put them on boards after they've been kicked out etc.

It explains why we have such a low perception of corruption in Australia, it's institutionalised.

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urgent legal advice

Is that a way to say "Bulging Envelope"?

This is just like how the world was going to end when they didn't ban the VCR.

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Anonymous Coward

Gee like we couldn't see this coming.

And if Turnbull is advocating for a knee jerk bend-over then the last shred of respectibility for *any* of the (four) major political parties has just left the building.

The really scary part of this is that they are advocating to protect something that is not actually threatened anyway. The right to make *personal* copies of broadcast content to facilitate timeshifting was one of the few steps forward this country has made in telecomunications/media. Now, just because I don't have to be at home to watch my recorded show I should lose the right to timeshift it?

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Anonymous Coward

Finally enough to tip me

As part of the silent majority this has finally been enough to tip me over the edge and inspire me to right to my local MP. I will not sit back and allow AFL/NRL/Foxtel to strip me of my right to timeshift/formatshift.

And for the record, I couldn't care less about AFL, NRL, or any of the other sports bodies that are clammoring for special treatment.

For the hard of thinking, Foxtel = News Corp = Murdoch. Maybe you have heard of him?

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It gets better

Foxtel = News Corp + Telstra

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It gets funnier

Cricket Australia have a special deal with VHA (Vodafone and 3), where Vodofone gets to transmit the games live to their subscribers. The even have naming rights to the test series.

CA even tried to force the state bodies to use Vodafone as their carrier of choice, unsuccessfuly in the case that I was intimately familiar with.

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Exclusive deals

To be honest, I'd like to see the end of the "exclusive deals". What seems to happen is that there is a bidding war, and in the end one of them always wins; and ends up paying more because of the war.

Then the same content is sold to the public who have no other way to get it, so it costs the public (much) more. Oh, and where does the extra money go? Well how else will those stars / managers / promoters get paid £20000 a week? (or $, €, etc.)

To make it even better, in the UK the winner is normally Sky, so you need to have a dish (if you are allowed), and to get the thing you are interested in, you normally have to pay for a bundle including lots of other (overpriced) crap.

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Terminator

Must be nice . .

. . . to have deep pockets - make a deal without consulting the existing laws and then pressure the government to change the laws when it turns out you haven't understood them correctly. Or perhaps I am being gullible - perhaps they always knew this would happen and just wanted a reason to get the law changed.

First we get our anti-siphoning laws weakened and now this.

All Optus are doing is providing a service that helps consumers do something they are already legally allowed to do. It is fundamentally no different that providing a program that helps users rip their CDs so they can play them on their MP3 players - something which has been long-settled as thoroughly legal.

It's happening on all fronts - as technology is advancing and the lines blurring, consumers are enjoying the freedom to enjoy their legally-obtained content how and when they want. Content-providers are trying like hell to restrict not only these new freedoms but also rights we have long enjoyed. (E.g. the ability to re-sell a CD or DVD.)

The only way I can see to prevent this gradual restriction of our rights is to simply refuse to pay for any digital content - no iTunes, no Steam, no whatever the hell it is Telstra paid their millions for. That's already my stance but then it seems that most people are happy to trade their rights for convenience.

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Anonymous Coward

Followed to it's logical conclusion (part1)

Timeshifting / Formatshifting is (currently) legal. The only difference between what Optus has done and what millions(?) of people already do is that the hardware physically sits at Optus, rather than at home. But there already exist services (IceTV) to program your PVR via the web, and it's a trivial exercise to put a web front end on your PVR to allow remote access to it.

The floodgates are now open. Google et al can now join in this game. For a large customer base the infrastructure costs *per user* are insignificant. Storage using any form of de-duplication is also insignificant. So the cost of this service is the bandwidth to actually stream to the user when they watch it. Market forces should push the consumer price to cost to this actual cost.

Therefore with no cost to record any given show (just to subsequently watch it) I can elect to *personally* instruct Optus/Google/whoever to record all shows on all free-to-air channels for ever. This means that I can at any point in the future view my *personally* recorded copy of anything that has been broadcast from when I sign on to the service format shifted to whatever device I want to watch it on. My kids and grandkids can also watch *my* recorded version.

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Anonymous Coward

Followed to it's logical conclusion (part2)

Ad skipping technology is also legal, even automated, so in a competitive market I expect at least one service provider to offer this at close to cost ($0). Therefore, once something is broadcast it is legally remarkably like it is in the Public Domain. Makes sense. If you give something away in public, why should you still own it? I as a member of the public did not agree to any license terms.

So with no advertising income, and no studio willing to give away any of their content the Free-To-Air TV is left with rubbish that no one wants to watch, infomercials, and stuff so full of product placements that it might as well be an infomercial. How does Free-To-Air survive? This hits both TV and Radio. Ouch, no new music on Radio ... that's going to sting. No dancing/music shows on TV either.

Oh btw, Australia does not have a full DMCA, so bypassing DRM to allow me to exercise my right to timeshift / formatshift is legal, as is Reverse Engineering to make it work with any new device.

So "new media" will only be available via channels where you have specifically agreed to the licensing terms, including waving your right to timeshift. Pay-TV, concerts, theatres. They *have* to wall their garden, and in doing so will leave a lot of people on the outside.

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Anonymous Coward

re: Followed to it's logical conclusion (part2)

Yep.

Horrors! You might have to go and read a book!

I tried going without TV. After around 3 weeks you barely think about it. More sleep, more sex, less "Look who's got no Talent."

It's fun to watch or listen to the odd bit of trash every now and then, but that doesn't mean the world wouldn't be better off without it. Let's see how popular these things *really* are by asking people to pay to watch them.

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