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Sky takes clips claim to New Zealand’s High Court

Sky has filed a lawsuit in New Zealand’s High Court against media companies Fairfax, NZME and TVNZ, claiming that they breached copyright regulations in posting clips of the pay-television broadcaster’s rugby coverage on their websites.

According to the Stuff news service, the legal action was confirmed by public-service broadcaster TVNZ in a submission to the Commerce Commission against the proposed merger of Sky and telecommunications company Vodafone NZ.

Shayne Currie, the managing editor of digital media service NZME, said that Sky was being “unreasonable and unrealistic” and added: “NZME believes, rather than litigation, an industry fair-dealing agreement is the better solution.”

As reported by TV Sports Markets in August, Sky unsuccessfully sought an injunction on its online video coverage of the 2016 summer Olympics, although Sky is reportedly pursuing legal proceedings in the case, with the rugby action being added, according to Stuff, which is owned by Fairfax.

Fairfax executive editor Sinead Boucher said that it was “heavy-handed and very aggressive” of Sky to head to the courts in an “attempt to limit the fair reporting of news and current affairs.”

In August, Fairfax claimed its use of Sky’s broadcast material was within the fair dealing rules of New Zealand copyright law. The regulations allow media to use copyrighted works for the reporting of current events.