It is simply a fact of life that digital media is evolving faster than the existing institutions around it, particularly the regulatory ones.
The decision during the week to reverse the Federal Courts decision on the streaming of “almost live” NRL and AFL games by Optus, determining that after all, it was a breach of copyright, is a case in point. Regardless of the merits of either sides case, and the logic that the continuing success of the professional codes relies on funding from TV rights, the world has moved on, but the business model of the professional games has not.
We will wait around for another year or so until the high court comes down with a decision, and there will be a winner and loser, but from a long term perspective, both will be losers, simply because another year has been wasted trying to shore up the gunwales against Digital Darwinism, and we all know how successful that has been in the music industry, newspaper publishing, and a host of others.
If both games wish to engage with youngsters, those who will be around for a while to fund the games by watching, buying branded gear, attending events, they need to consider how these youngsters consume entertainment, and adapt.
The current copyright law was conceived in the 1700’s, and whilst it has evolved, it no longer is a reflection of society, but a distorted shadow vainly trying to keep up with technical changes happening at digital speed.