Simpsons Solicitors

Federal Court provides clarity on internet simulcasting

February 13th 2013

The Federal Court has unanimously ruled in favor of artists and recording labels, by overturning a previous decision regarding internet simulcasts.

The PPCA (representing the artists and recording labels) in its press release reports that it “has won a declaration that internet simulcasts of radio programs fall outside the definition of a ‘broadcast’ under the Copyright Act and are therefore not covered by existing licences granted to Australian commercial radio stations”.

The Court stated that, “A broadcasting service is the delivery, in a particular manner, of a radio program, consisting of matter intended to entertain, educate or inform. Thus the delivery of the radio program by transmission from a terrestrial transmitter is a different broadcasting service from the delivery of the same radio program using the internet.”

This leaves open the possibility for new licences to be negotiated for content that is streamed by way of radio simulcast on the internet.

We note the Court’s consideration of extrinsic material in examining the policy intention of the legislation. This is relevant to issues regarding convergence and technological neutrality which are currently under review [1].

View the decision here: http://www.judgments.fedcourt.gov.au/judgments/Judgments/fca/full/2013/2013fcafc0011

View the PPCA press release here: http://ppca.com.au/IgnitionSuite/uploads/docs/Media%20Release%20-%20PPCA%20Simulcast%20Case.pdf

For background on the previous decision see: http://www.copyright.org.au/news-and-policy/details/id/2049/

[1] http://www.dbcde.gov.au/digital_economy/convergence_review

http://www.alrc.gov.au/inquiries/copyright

For inquiries relating to publishing and copyright law please contact Adam Simpson.

Tags: