A Shift in Time Saves No-One: Mobile Technologies and the NRL v. Optus Decision

Journal of the Australasian Law Teachers Association, Vol. 5, No. 1&2, 2012, 83-95

13 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2013 Last revised: 24 Mar 2013

Date Written: October 7, 2012

Abstract

In 2006, additions to the ‘fair dealing’ exceptions were made to the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) to recognise current community expectations about what should constitute legal copying. These included exceptions for ‘time-shifting’ and ‘format-shifting’, methods heavily used by the mobile-equipped generation to listen and watch all forms of content on their mobile phones and tablets.

Earlier this year, federal Court judges issued trial and appeal judgments in the first case in Australia to interpret the ‘time-shifting’ exception contained in s 111 of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (s 111). The contrasting decisions of the trial judge and the full federal Court in Singtel Optus Pty Ltd v National Rugby League Investments Pty Ltd (No 2) and National Rugby League Investments Pty Limited v Singtel Optus Pty Ltd have been the focus of much interest in the media and telecommunications industries in Australia and elsewhere.

This paper briefly discusses problems with s 111, and proposes an alternative exception for private and domestic use which may assist in encouraging innovation in the digital industry sector.

Keywords: copyright, technology, law

JEL Classification: KOO

Suggested Citation

Manwaring, Kayleen, A Shift in Time Saves No-One: Mobile Technologies and the NRL v. Optus Decision (October 7, 2012). Journal of the Australasian Law Teachers Association, Vol. 5, No. 1&2, 2012, 83-95, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2108596

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