America's Cup graphics pulled over Taylor, Coutts stoush

Ian Taylor. Photo: ODT files
Sir Ian Taylor. Photo: ODT files
A copyright stoush over the right to graphics used in America’s Cup coverage has taken another turn today.

Dunedin businessman Sir Ian Taylor has pulled his company Animation Research Ltd’s Virtual Eye Live AR feature for today’s Prada Cup event.

He took the step after broadcast and media production companies Riedel and CircleO agreed to pay a licence fee to the Sir Russell Coutts owned company, SailGP, for the graphics.

Sir Russell threatened court action if the graphics were used in broadcasting the 36th America's Cup.

Sir Russell, also from Dunedin, said he wanted to ‘‘safeguard the IP that we invested millions of dollars to develop over the last decade’’.

The dispute was about graphics showing a fixed border defining the race course, parallel lines that help viewers interpret the progress of the rival boats and sponsorship names on course borders.

Sir Ian said Sir Russell’s companies were asserting copyright based on imagery ARL created in 1992 and which had been used in every America’s Cup since.

Yesterday SailGP claimed the dispute had been resolved after the licensing fee was agreed to.

But Sir Ian said graphics used in Friday’s coverage were’’ totally original works of ARL and we reject entirely the decisions taken by Riedel and CircleO to pay Sir Russell to give us the rights to use them’’.

He claimed he only learned of the deal after being contacted by media on Friday.

“The one thing I agree with Sir Russell is that everyone has the right to protect their intellectual property. We invested $1 million on developing this solution, and when you add that to the millions we have spent over the past 30 years, we have a lot to defend.

‘‘We expected Riedel to defend that but it appears they have simply agreed to pay Sir Russell a licence fee in return for the deal they announced yesterday that Riedel, CircleO and SailGP were going into partnership for global sailing events using Russell’s technology.’’

He planned to only limit the action to today’s racing, and the company’s Virtual Eye 3D graphics system would still be delivered.

“We expect our position against this legal threat laid on us by Sir Russell and his associated companies to be countered and if Riedel doesn’t do that, we will have to find a way to do it ourselves.

‘‘This action today is only being taken because we have been forced to defend our copyright against the claims made by Sir Russell.’’

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter