On 30th Nov IceTv and Nine made their final submissions before Judge Annabelle Bennett in the Federal Court.
Note: neither Duncan Ross nor I work for IceTV any more, so these are purely my personal observations.
My summary of the main points follows:
Scope and definition of the copyright work
Nine argued that the copyright work (which they say IceTV copied) is the list of times and program titles for a single day.
IceTV contended that the work must be the whole guide, including program descriptions or synopses, and the minimum size of the work is one week, since this is how it’s supplied to HWW and that’s the basis on which Nine’s witnesses said they prepare the guide.
Starting point for IceGuide
Mitch Rillet, IceTV’s content manager, had previously given evidence that the starting point for IceTV’s guide was when he spent three weeks watching TV and noting down what was on each channel throughout the period.
Nine claimed that this is not true, and that Mitch actually copied the initial guide form TV Week or YourTV, so that every guide made since then is based on that illegally copied original.
IceTV maintained that this is not the case, that the starting guide was created without copying Nine’s.
Nine’s compilation and HWW’s compilation
Nine gave evidence that they supply their guide to HWW who aggregate it with about 100 channels of other guides and make certain ediorial changes. IceTV argued that Nine’s copyright work is lost in the aggregation process and if anything were copied by IceTV, which it is not, it would be copied from HWW’s compilation, not Nine’s. They argued that Nine’s compilation is never made public so it would not be possible to copy anything from it.
Nine replied that the addition of the other channels by HWW did not affect their copyright.
Nine claim that IceTV copied their guide wholesale. IceTV say they copied none of Nine’s guide, or if the act of correcting mistakes by reference to HWW’s aggregation were deemed to be copying, only an insigificant amount of the copyright work would thereby be copied.
Judge Bennett will now consider the evidence and make her ruling sometime in January.