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Open Roads Forum  >  Technology Corner

 > LOCAST Receives Unfavorable Court Rulling

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lryrob9301

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Posted: 08/31/21 09:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Locast TV was given an unfavorable court ruling today for future re-broadcast:


Locast Nation
In the big media companies' lawsuit against Locast, the court just issued a disappointing ruling. We are evaluating our options and will keep you posted as the situation develops.

Here is what our legal team had to say:
Electronic Frontier Foundation:
"We are disappointed that the court ruled against Locast on its copyright defense. The court interpreted the law in an artificially narrow way. Congress wrote copyright’s nonprofit retransmission exception to make sure that every American has access to their local broadcast stations, and expanding access is exactly what Locast does. This ruling that nonprofit retransmitters can’t use viewer contributions to expand access will do the opposite of what Congress intended. Over 3 million people use Locast to access local TV, including many who can’t afford cable and can’t pick up their local stations with an antenna. This ruling threatens their access to local news and vital information during a global pandemic and a season of unprecedented natural disasters. And it treats copyright law not as an engine of progress but a moat protecting the privileged position of the four giant broadcasting networks."
R. David Hosp, Partner Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe:
"We are disappointed in the ruling today and disagree with its conclusions and reasoning. Our client is in the process of evaluating the decision and formulating next steps. Locast provides a valuable service to its over 3 million users who are otherwise unable to access the over-the-air broadcasts to which they are entitled by virtue of their location or economic circumstances. Our client remains committed to its mission of delivering free, local broadcast TV service to all Americans, and particularly for those consumers who can’t afford pay-TV services like cable, satellite, or streaming, or who can’t get their local broadcast channels using an over-the-air antenna."


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wa8yxm

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Posted: 09/01/21 04:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here is what I do not understand about Loacast, also cable and satellite.

You operate a tv station... The rate you charge for your PRODUCT (Advertising) is based on how many people watch your shows. Now someone comes along and offers to, let's say, double your viewership. Now you have more viewers and logically you now charge more for advertising and profits go up all with NO additional expense on your part.

So you SUE the folks who did you this favor.
Or you charge them a fee

Should you not be sharing your additional wealth with them (Paying)

But no. that's not how it works.


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wowens79

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Posted: 09/01/21 05:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wa8yxm wrote:

Here is what I do not understand about Loacast, also cable and satellite.

You operate a tv station... The rate you charge for your PRODUCT (Advertising) is based on how many people watch your shows. Now someone comes along and offers to, let's say, double your viewership. Now you have more viewers and logically you now charge more for advertising and profits go up all with NO additional expense on your part.

So you SUE the folks who did you this favor.
Or you charge them a fee

Should you not be sharing your additional wealth with them (Paying)

But no. that's not how it works.


I work for a small cable company, and our service area is far enough out, that local TV service over the air is marginal without a rooftop antennae. But we spend money on a large antennae, or fiber route to rebroadcast their station so thousands more can get it, and they want us to pay them, and keep going up and up.
It is crazy.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 09/01/21 05:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wa8yxm wrote:

Here is what I do not understand about Loacast, also cable and satellite.

You operate a tv station... The rate you charge for your PRODUCT (Advertising) is based on how many people watch your shows. Now someone comes along and offers to, let's say, double your viewership. Now you have more viewers and logically you now charge more for advertising and profits go up all with NO additional expense on your part.

So you SUE the folks who did you this favor.
Or you charge them a fee

Should you not be sharing your additional wealth with them (Paying)

But no. that's not how it works.


Agreed, that's not how it works.

A big part of the profits come from cable companies paying the station to air their programing. This company completely undercuts that relationship.

Local stations pick up very few local viewers. When they do, it's often people who moved out of the area but still like the familiarity...but for the local heating/cooling shop, it's no justification to pay more for advertisements.

More commonly, people will pick up a big city station outside their area, so the local station doesn't get any credit and actually can lose customers.

Then you have the type of viewer that uses this system...they are not your typical heavy consumer, so even if you get more eyes, it doesn't translate to sales for the advertisers.

Also, because it's outside of normal ratings system, it's a challenge to convince advertisers of how many people are using the system.

Reminds me of the old saying about if these are friends, who needs enemies.


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sch911

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Posted: 09/01/21 05:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All of those network TV Shows are NOT free. The local stations, cable companies, and re-broadcasters have to pay them a fee. How else can they afford to pay the actors hundreds of thousands of dollars per episode? (sarcasm) Locast wasn't paying.


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1492

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Posted: 09/01/21 07:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Broadcasting is tied to various copyright/licensing agreements with producers/actors. Most continue to get paid %licensing or residuals each time their program airs in reruns based on specific markets. This is the reason, for instance, that each cast member of 'Friends' continue to receive a reported $20M per year, despite the last episode was in 2004.

I had thought incorrectly LOCAST had some kind of license agreement with broadcasters, due to the way they were asking viewers to support them. Which appears what may end up doing them in?

ferndaleflyer

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Posted: 09/01/21 07:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As a kid I remember the reason for cable was it provided commercial free TV. That soon went out the window. Now 1/2 the broadcast time is consumed by commercials and 1/4 of your screen is taken over by that mess running on the bottom. Its commercial progress

bgum

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Posted: 09/01/21 07:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are using what they paid to produce then you should pay them for that use.

Dutch_12078

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Posted: 09/01/21 08:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is the provision of 17 USC 111 (Limitations on exclusive rights: Secondary transmissions of broadcast programming by cable) that Locast believes they fall under as an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit:

"(5)the secondary transmission is not made by a cable system but is made by a governmental body, or other nonprofit organization, without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage, and without charge to the recipients of the secondary transmission other than assessments necessary to defray the actual and reasonable costs of maintaining and operating the secondary transmission service."

www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/111


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Dutch_12078

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Posted: 09/01/21 08:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bgum wrote:

If you are using what they paid to produce then you should pay them for that use.


How much should we pay for over the air reception? The original concept was that advertising revenue paid the expenses and community antenna/cable systems expanded the reach of that advertising.

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