Deal on footage reached
Fairfax New Zealand and Sky Television have buried the hatchet in their legal dispute over the use of Sky TV sports clips on Stuff.
Sky TV filed action against Fairfax, fellow publisher NZME, TVNZ and MediaWorks in the High Court in 2016.
The pay-television giant alleged the media firms had been breaching its copyright by showing Sky’s sports footage in their sports reports.
Fairfax and Sky TV reached a settlement on ‘‘confidential terms’’ before Christmas, Fairfax NZ lawyer Kerrie-Lee Magill and Sky spokeswoman Melodie Robinson said.
The implications of the agreement for sports fans are not yet clear.
Magill would not comment on whether any money had changed hands, or whether Fairfax would be showing as much sports footage from Sky on Stuff in future.
The resolution of the dispute between Fairfax and Sky TV is certain to generate expectations that Sky’s action against MediaWorks, NZME and TVNZ could also be settled before reaching court.
But there is no indication to suggest that has been agreed yet.
The sports clips dispute began when SkyTV objected to what it argued was the unwarranted use by Fairfax of clips from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on Stuff, before widening out to encompass other sports and media organisations.
The Copyright Act permits ‘‘fair use’’ of copyright material for the purpose of news reporting. However, the legislation provides no guidance and there is little case law.
Fairfax NZ publishes Stuff and newspapers including the Sunday Star-Times, the Press and the Dominion Post.