Optus to appeal TV Now ruling

OPTUS is preparing to appeal a ruling forcing the company to suspend an internet broadcast service which allows sport fans to record and "copy" live football matches.

On Friday three NSW Federal Court judges dismissed orders allowing Optus to provide the TV Now service under copyright laws which permit recording for personal and private use.

The ruling followed an appeal from the Australian Football League, National Rugby League and Telstra, the communications company which has a $153 million rights deal to broadcast AFL matches.

Optus corporate affairs chief Clare Gill said while the company would play by the rules, it was "disappointed" by the decision.

She said the TV Now service had been suspended while the company decided its course of action.

"We are currently reviewing the decision and considering all options available," she said.

"We will communicate the impact of today's decision to our customers accordingly."

In a statement on the NRL website, Australian Rugby League Commission CEO David Gallop said the decision was "an important recognition of the rights of sports".

"We have always believed there was a clear principle in play here: that the sports are entitled to control who shows their events and who profits from those events," Mr Gallop said

"Companies should not be able to profit from our content without investing in the sport itself.

"We have partners who are working with us to develop innovative new ways of experiencing the game and they are doing so in ways that benefit the fans, the players and the sport in general.

"It is important that we all share in the opportunities that new technology provides but this can't be at the expense of our basic commercial rights and this is an area that government needs to continue to address."

Telstra was contacted for comment but no response was received.

Optus has 21 days to appeal the decision in the High Court.

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