Optus Vs The AFL And NRL Is The Next Big Tech Legal Battle

First, there was iiNet vs AFACT. Then there was Apple vs Samsung. And now, it seems the next big lawsuit around technology is going to be Optus taking on the AFL and NRL around its time-shift streaming service, TV Now.

Essentially, the NRL and AFL are miffed that the service rebroadcasts its matches over the internet to paying customers within two minutes of the live broadcast, despite Telstra paying a crapload of money for the exclusive broadcast rights online.

Optus kickstarted the legal proceedings with a pre-emptive strike back in September, relying on the time-shifting provisions in the copyright act to defend its TV streaming service. Naturally, the two football codes and Telstra have weighed in with counter suits to keep the legal battle merry-go-round spinning.

The trial is set to start on December 19, with a counterclaim for damages for the AFL/NRL thrown out over the weekend.

It looks like 2012 is going to be another bumper year for Australian lawyers…