In case you hadn't heard, IceTV lost their case in the Federal Court. IceTV provide(d) an electronic programme guide (EPG) service commonly used by people with personal video recorders (PVR) that work like Tivo. In other words, you can say to your recorder "record The Simpsons whenever it is on" and the PVR, knowing the programme guide, can just schedule those recordings. Any time you want to watch some Simpsons, there'll be loads sitting there for you.
Fortunately for PVR users, there's alternative, though I suppose it's legally-dubious in that it uses screen scraping and the like to replicate the EPG. It works brilliantly though.
To my non-lawyerly eyes, this judgement seems rather far-ranging. It seems that basically any collection of data can now be covered by copyright, no matter how you recreate it. The court viewed the act of scheduling programmes on a television channel as a creative act. Having worked extensively with schedulers in a past life, I'd tend to agree, it is something these people agonise over. But I think the impact is going to be quite widespread.
For example, let's say I wanted to set up a web site that allows people to compare phone plans. I use publicly-available information about the various suppliers' pricing to build a database that is looked up to recommend a specific plan from a specific provider. This would now seem to be a breach of copyright. I work with people who design phone plans, and I can tell you it's a very creative process -- though perhaps not for the right reasons.
So this judgement seems to have impacts far beyond the commercial channels' obsession with preventing people form skipping their shitty, all-to-regular ads. It could, in fact, prevent efficient markets as in my example (though telcos go to great lengths there anyway). Is this a desirable outcome?