Overseas courts no more friendly to TV streaming than US ones
Consumers around the world want a hassle-free way to record free, over-the-air television and play it back on any Internet-connected device. But every time a company creates such a service, it gets sued by copyright holders. Last year we reported on ivi, an American firm that argued that it qualified for a compulsory licensing regime designed for cable companies. The courts didn’t buy it. Another American company, Aereo, is still fighting in court about whether its “tiny antennas” service is legal.
A similar fight has been happening in Australia. Optus, a major Australian telecom company, created a service called TV Now. Like ivi and Aereo, it acts as a virtual DVR, recording over-the-air television programs selected by individual customers and later streaming them to those same customers. Like its American counterparts, Optus quickly found itself in court facing charges of copyright infringement. On Friday, it suffered a major setback when an appeals court ruled the service was illegal.