Telstra v PDC update

The transcript of Telstra’s unsuccessful application for special leave has now been posted here.

The Sydney Morning Herald speculates that Telstra is seeking talks with the Attorney General “to close the loophole”.

One consequence of the High Court’s revolution in copyright law is that the privacy regime which prevents the use of the Integrated Public Number Database (and IPND Industry Code) to create reverse-number directories has been undermined.

As its name suggests, a reverse-number directory is one where you have the telephone number and you can use it to identify who the subscriber is. Now, you may question whether that is an invasion of privacy (and many people happily (or maybe unknowingly) permit their telephone number to be transmitted to the person they are calling, but Parliament, the ALRC and the Privacy Commissioner (pdf see p. 402) have taken the view that it is, or should be.

Now, it could well be argued that copyright (I mean) a sui-generis database protection right would be a blunt instrument for protection of privacy and that privacy concerns would be better addressed, if necessary, by amending privacy laws. The economic case for database protection, therefore, would be key.

The Full Federal Court’s decision from which leave was not granted.

Lid dip: Copyright Council.

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