Broadcasters Sky, TVNZ, MediaWorks and Spark’s Lightbox have abandoned legal action against Bypass Network Services,and ISPs CallPlus, Flip and Orcon as part of a deal that sees the ISPs cease global mode on 1 September.
There’s no real winner from the settlement, but there are losers. Obviously, global mode users will lose out, but the issue of whether global mode is or isn;t legal remains unresolved.
Internet NZ issued a statement, saying, “We were keen to see the matter go before the courts to provide users and the industry with clarity … Internet users and innovation have taken a back seat to entrenched old media interests.”
Theoretically, a new or existing ISP not party to the deal could offer the service, The settlement does nothing to prevent consumers using third party VPN services to achieve the same result as global mode delivered – the ability to access content geo-blocked from playing in NZ.
Given the view of the broadcasters as forcing this result on to ISPs by virtue of their access to resources, it seems unlikely there’ll be a rush of global mode customers to sign up for Sky or Lightbox services. Ironically, the settlement might well spur some global mode users to pirate material that will no longer be available to them.