MediaWorks, Fairfax settle with Sky TV over copyright dispute

Free-to-air broadcaster MediaWorks Investments and publisher Fairfax New Zealand have settled with pay-TV operator Sky Network Television over a copyright dispute, leaving state-owned broadcaster Television New Zealand and NZX-listed NZME still defending the claim.

Auckland-based Sky TV filed High Court action against the nation's major media groups in 2016 claiming their use of rugby video footage online breached the Copyright Act and went beyond fair dealing provisions to allow news and current affairs reporting. The proceedings came shortly after Sky TV's unsuccessful attempt to get an interim injunction limiting Fairfax's use of Olympic video footage.

Sky TV spokeswoman Melodie Robinson confirmed the company reached a settlement with Fairfax on confidential terms but said she couldn't comment on NZME or TVNZ as both were before the courts.

Separately, a spokeswoman for MediaWorks said MediaWorks had resolved its dispute with Sky TV in October last year, with the details also confidential.

Sky TV has been an active litigant in recent years as it seeks to protect exclusive broadcasting rights in a rapidly shifting environment where more consumers are sourcing video content online. Its most recent dispute is with internet service providers Spark New Zealand, Vodafone New Zealand, Vocus New Zealand and Two Degrees Mobile to restrict consumers accessing free streaming sites such as The Pirate Bay.

The company's shares slipped 0.4 percent to $2.80 and have slumped 39 percent over the past 12 months.

(BusinessDesk)

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