by Mike Masnick
Wed, May 14th 2008 1:10pm
William Patry points us to a court ruling in Australia that says, in effect, that television program guides are copyrighted material and anyone producing their own program guide needs to license that information from the TV networks. On this, it would appear that Australian law differs from US law, which doesn't consider factual information by itself to be copyrightable. However, the Australian ruling basically found that program guide information isn't quite "factual" information, but "created." Thus the copyright is on the creative decisions the TV network execs made in choosing when to show each show (yes, they're apparently serious about this). If that sounds a bit extreme (and a bit ridiculous), you're not the only one who thinks so. While the court didn't directly address the question, from this ruling it certainly sounds like you could be found to have violated copyright if you just sat in front of your TV and wrote down what played when -- and then predicted a similar schedule going forward.
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