Tag Archives: optus

Ep 303: Unsupervised, Optus, The Voice

Remember that whole Optus vs Telstra, AFL and NFL case that was either going to mean the end of sport forever or the death of the internet? Well, Optus lost last week and we speak to to Lucy Battersby from The Age to find out what the judgement means.

Glenn Peters has been watching The Voice and he tells us why he loves it so much.

Unsupervised is an animated show from FX in the US. Is it good or bad? Will you like it? Who knows? We try to help you make a choice by discussing it at length.

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Awaiting Judgement on Platform-Shifting

Lucy Battersby, writing for the Age, continues her coverage of the most important TV news story of the moment.

If you’ll remember back to last year, Optus’s TV Now product reopened the whole time-shifting/personal recording debate with the notion of “platform/location-shifting”.

Justice Rares of the Federal Court understands the implications for future commercial and technological advances and is taking a number of days to put them on the scales:

“All of this [technology], nobody really contemplated it, but the idea is to ensure that there is the balance made between the act and the reality of what people do [in their lives].”

We wait for his judgement and the inevitable High Court appeal.

Read more in the Age.

Lucy Battersby discussed the most recent AFL TV rights agreement on episode 264.

AFL & NRL Threaten TV’s Future

For a group of people who don’t really follow sport all that much, we really do talk about its coverage a lot on Boxcutters. One of the reasons we do this is because sport, traditionally, leads the way in terms of pushing the technology of television.

Optus has a service called “TV Now” that works as a kind of mobile phone PVR for its customers. At the end of last month, the AFL and NRL started questioning the copyright issues related to the service.

Of course, what the two football codes were always worried about was how Optus’s service would affect its deal with Telstra.

Now that question will be for the Federal Court to decide, as Boxcutters friend and Age journo, Lucy Battersby reports:

The Federal Court will tomorrow hold a hearing on a request by Optus to restrain the AFL and NRL from suing it for breach of copyright for its TV Now service, which was launched on July 19. The service allows Optus phone and internet customers to watch AFL games on an effective delay of as little as two minutes.
It could prove to be an important test case for content rights in the era of internet television and multimedia devices.

This is a tough one for TV fans. The Telstra deal was vital for the promotion of portable TV viewing. That is, it was vital until TV Now came out.

The concept of TV Now is nothing short of brilliant and hindsight tells us it was bound to happen. Telstra may have used bad judgement but, more realistically, may have just been unlucky: Bad judgement because it did not do due diligence in researching technologies that would undermine its deal and unlucky because Optus chose this moment to remember that telecommunications is a competitive industry.

What is most confusing here is that the AFL and NRL are defending Telstra in a copyright claim rather than supporting the idea that their games will become available to an even wider audience.

If TV Now is stopped in its tracks, it will not be because Telstra made a bad deal and failed to remember caveat emptor. It will be because AFL and NRL are monsters of greed that don’t care about their fans or the games they represent. As such, it will be a loss to sport and television.

(Yes, we are aware that the title of this post might be a little too dramatic. -Ed.)