Telstra and AFL protect online rights
The Federal Court today made final orders in a case brought by Telstra to enforce Telstra’s exclusive right to broadcast AFL content on mobile phones and over the internet.
Telstra and the AFL had brought the case against News Limited, whose newspaper subsidiaries unlawfully posted hyperlinks to AFL video files on YouTube, undermining the exclusive rights granted by the AFL to Telstra and jeopardising revenue that the AFL uses to fund development of the game.
Following an agreement by the parties to settle the case, the Federal Court declared News’ conduct to be infringing and accepted an undertaking by News not to provide hyperlinks to infringing AFL footage on YouTube or other similar websites.
“If third parties are allowed to undermine these agreements, it undermines the value of future media rights and jeopardises revenues that the AFL invests in the future of the game,” Justin Milne, Group Managing Director, Telstra Media, said today.
“The Federal Court Orders should serve as a warning to ensure that the exclusive new media rights that Telstra holds for premier Australian sports are respected,” Mr Milne said.
"Our past agreements have helped the AFL extend the game to more communities across the nation, using mobile phones and computers to promote the game to a wider audience, supporting local footy clubs and fostering the professional development of promising young players.
“The AFL is using revenue from media rights to spend $1.5 billion over a five-year period to support all AFL clubs, improve club facilities, upgrade sports stadiums and community facilities and fund the development of footy in local communities across the country,” Mr Milne said.
Telstra and the AFL took action against News Limited in relation to hyperlinks to AFL video clips on YouTube appearing on the AdelaideNow, Courier Mail, Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun and PerthNow websites in May and June 2008. These clips breached Telstra and the AFL’s copyright rights in online clips of AFL matches.
In 2008, Telstra supported 250 football clubs across the nation with the $250,000 Telstra Assistance Fund. Telstra also supports the sport through the Telstra AFL Community Camps where AFL clubs visit local communities and conduct training sessions, football forums for local coaches and administrators and AFL players visit fans in local schools and hospitals.
Telstra is one of Australia’s largest supporters of sporting, arts and community development activities, with the London Benchmarking Group valuing the company’s community investments at $38 million in 2008.
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