Streaming Talk The Place to talk about streaming video and audio

Locast doomed?

Old 09-01-21, 05:10 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk God
Thread Starter
 
DJariya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: La Palma, CA
Posts: 69,282
Received 1,651 Likes on 1,210 Posts
Locast doomed?

https://deadline.com/2021/09/broadca...it-1234825244/

UPDATE with broadcasters’ comment: Big broadcasters responded with relief today to a judge’s ruling from Tuesday granting an injunction against television streaming app Locast from transmitting their local TV streams to customers.

In a statement on behalf of ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC that can be attributed to Gerson Zweifach, counsel for the plaintiffs:

“The federal court’s ruling is a victory for copyright law, vindicating our claim that Locast is illegally infringing copyrights in broadcast television content in violation of federal law,” Gerson Zweifach, counsel for the plaintiffs, said in a statement on behalf of ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC.

“We will now seek a permanent injunction to stop Locast’s copyright infringement of the programming that the broadcasters and their partners work to create,” the statement said.

PREVIOUSLY: The four major U.S. broadcast networksABC, CBS, NBC and Fox — have emerged victorious in a lawsuit against Locast, a nonprofit that enables — or they say, basically steals — local TV streams.



Plaintiffs — the stations — asked a judge to throw out Locast’s claim that its online service is legally exempt from copyright infringement liability because it only seeks donations, not fees, from users, and only enough to keep its business running. Locast wanted a finding that it is exempt.

“Plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment is granted. Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is denied,” wrote Judge Louis Stanton of the Southern District of New York in a ruling Tuesday.

Locast users pay it a minimum $5 monthly fee in exchange for monthlong, uninterrupted service which the judge refused to categorize as “merely a recurring gift to a charitable cause.” Locast “still solicits, and receives, substantial amounts in charges from recipients for its uninterrupted service.”

Locast, founded by David Goodfriend, argues that its funding model qualifies for the statutory exemption because payments from users are re-invested in the organization to cover costs of “maintaining an operating an expanding system.” The judge noted that In 2020, Locast “made far more money from user charges than was necessary to defray its costs of maintaining and operating its service.”



Locast has also been expanding into new markets. “But under the statute, income made from charges to recipients can only be used to defray the actual and reasonable costs of maintaining and operating the service, not of expanding it into new markets,” Stanton found.

Backers of Locast, which was founded in 2018, say it is adhering to copyright laws, which permit “boosters” of local broadcast signals, which are designed to secure the accessibility of broadcast signals.

I don't use Locast for OTA networks, but I get that many do because they live far away from a decent signal or can't afford cable or a live TV streaming service. So I get this will be disappointing if Locast goes under.
Old 09-01-21, 05:13 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk God
Thread Starter
 
DJariya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: La Palma, CA
Posts: 69,282
Received 1,651 Likes on 1,210 Posts
Re: Locast doomed?

I did register with them awhile ago and got this email today. I don't quite get what this means.

Locast Nation

As you probably know, the federal district court in the Southern District of New York issued a ruling in the case brought against Locast by the big media companies. The court concluded that by interrupting programming to ask users for donations, and by suspending those interruptions based on whether a user makes contributions, Locast actually was charging a fee, not merely seeking a voluntary contribution. The court then concluded that revenues Locast collects in this manner exceed the cost of operating the service because funds are used to add new markets, rendering Locast ineligible to use the copyright exemption for non-profits (17 U.S.C. 111(a)(5)).



Although we disagree with this interpretation and are exploring our legal options to contest it, out of respect for the court's order,



Locast is suspending immediately all programming interruptions to request donations.



This means that anyone located in a market we serve who signs up for Locast will get the service without interruption, regardless of whether or not they donate.



Of course, it is up to you whether or not to contribute to Locast. But if you currently contribute, we humbly request that you continue to do so. And if you don't contribute, we hope that you will do so if you can afford it.


Thank you.

Old 09-01-21, 05:28 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,791
Likes: 0
Received 37 Likes on 24 Posts
Re: Locast doomed?

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
I did register with them awhile ago and got this email today. I don't quite get what this means.
It means those that don't donate don't get the bumpers every few min with request to donate. I give them $5/mo just to make that stop, which is worth it to be able to tune into the news or whatnot remotely, but the picture quality is subpar for viewing on the big screen. I'd hate to see them go under, but I don't watch much network TV anyway. I'll probably continue just because this kind of thing pisses me off. You'd think they want as many eyeballs as possible for ad revenue, but ever since carriage fees became a thing they want to have their cake & eat it too.
Old 09-02-21, 01:50 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Hero
 
TomOpus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 36,793
Received 602 Likes on 434 Posts
Re: Locast doomed?

Locast has also been expanding into new markets.
I wish they would expand into Kansas City.
Old 09-02-21, 09:22 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk God
Thread Starter
 
DJariya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: La Palma, CA
Posts: 69,282
Received 1,651 Likes on 1,210 Posts
Re: Locast doomed?

Locast just announced they suspended operations
Old 09-04-21, 12:21 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk God
Thread Starter
 
DJariya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: La Palma, CA
Posts: 69,282
Received 1,651 Likes on 1,210 Posts
Re: Locast doomed?

Locast is completely dead now. App no longer works. Sorry for those who used this service.
Old 09-04-21, 01:45 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 645
Received 16 Likes on 12 Posts
Re: Locast doomed?

Haven't there been multiple companies attempting to "rebroadcast" or stream local content that were shut down?
Old 09-04-21, 06:03 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Hero
 
TomOpus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 36,793
Received 602 Likes on 434 Posts
Re: Locast doomed?

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
Locast is completely dead now. App no longer works. Sorry for those who used this service.
I was hoping to, once they had service here. Bummed for those that lost service.
Old 09-04-21, 08:03 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Hero
 
PhantomStranger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Phantom Zone
Posts: 25,421
Received 449 Likes on 386 Posts
Re: Locast doomed?

Predictable end once the courts became involved. Local broadcast remains a very lucrative business with deep pockets and established case law on their side. The only way a model like Locast would be allowed is if Congress explicitly carved out some kind of protection for it, which they'd never do.
Old 09-07-21, 10:55 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Surf City, CA
Posts: 1,723
Likes: 0
Received 27 Likes on 21 Posts
Re: Locast doomed?

This is kind of a bummer as we just cut the proverbial cord (from Dish) a couple months ago and went the Sling TV + Locast route. Liked their interface and simplicity. $5.00 donation was a no brainer.

We rarely watch local networks anymore but Locast had a LOT of really cool public access channels we adored. Now, I'll pick up an OTA usb antenna from Big Lots just to get a couple locals. If quality is terrible, will most likely cave and go Hulu Live.

Old 09-08-21, 06:44 AM
  #11  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 171
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Locast doomed?

Originally Posted by Dan1boy View Post
This is kind of a bummer as we just cut the proverbial cord (from Dish) a couple months ago and went the Sling TV + Locast route. Liked their interface and simplicity. $5.00 donation was a no brainer.

We rarely watch local networks anymore but Locast had a LOT of really cool public access channels we adored. Now, I'll pick up an OTA usb antenna from Big Lots just to get a couple locals. If quality is terrible, will most likely cave and go Hulu Live.
Dan,
If you like PBS, then your best choice will be YouTube TV. It offers PBS. Hulu Live does not.
Old 09-11-21, 07:19 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 19,190
Received 381 Likes on 280 Posts
Re: Locast doomed?

Originally Posted by Dan1boy View Post
We rarely watch local networks anymore but Locast had a LOT of really cool public access channels we adored. Now, I'll pick up an OTA usb antenna from Big Lots just to get a couple locals. If quality is terrible, will most likely cave and go Hulu Live.
LocalBTV is in 13 markets, and has PBS in some of them, along with a lot of the smaller local channels. It licenses the channels it rebroadcasts, so it's not going to get sued, but it also doesn't have any of the "big 5" networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW). It has some DVR functionality built in:
https://www.localbtv.com/

Otherwise, PBS Passport is available for PBS on-demand. If you become a member of your local PBS channel ($5 monthly or $60 annually) , you get access to Passport:
https://www.pbs.org/passport/videos/
Old 09-11-21, 07:36 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 19,190
Received 381 Likes on 280 Posts
Re: Locast doomed?

Originally Posted by rduncan View Post
Haven't there been multiple companies attempting to "rebroadcast" or stream local content that were shut down?
Aereo was a commercial local rebroadcast service, that tried to claim they weren't rebroadcasting at all, but providing a 1-to-1 connection between an antenna/tuner and the user, sort of like a remotely hosted Slingbox. However, the Supreme Court ruled in 2014 they were like a cable TV service and thus rebroadcasting without a license. Aereo then tried to get the "compulsory" licenses available to smaller cable TV services, but the Copyright Office and a district court ruled they weren't eligible. Without licensing, Aereo had to shut down.

Likewise, FilmOn also tried to get the compulsory license, but also in 2014 they were found in contempt of court for continuing to rebroadcast after a 2012 injunction, and are barred from rebroadcasting.

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
Predictable end once the courts became involved. Local broadcast remains a very lucrative business with deep pockets and established case law on their side. The only way a model like Locast would be allowed is if Congress explicitly carved out some kind of protection for it, which they'd never do.
Locast was actually relying on a carveout in the law for non-profits to rebroadcast without a license without infringing. 17 U.S. Code § 111(a)(5)
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/111
(a)Certain Secondary Transmissions Exempted.—The secondary transmission of a performance or display of a work embodied in a primary transmission is not an infringement of copyright if...

(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.
The concept behind that exception in the law was crafted in 1976, when the law was written and enacted. The idea was that any such service was likely going to be extremely local, like a municipal government or non-profit, servicing a small area that geographically couldn't receive OTA, like a town in a valley. Retransmitting over the internet wasn't even a glimmer in anyone's eye yet. So the intended result was perceived to be a bunch of small, local non-profits for a small section of a OTA broadcast area, not a national service. And since OTA can only be retransmitted in its broadcast area, there was no thought of a national service that would need to expand.

Where Locast went wrong was when in 2019 they started interrupting the service every 15 minutes, showing an ad requesting donations and booting people back to the main screen, while making it so that people that donated at least $5/month got uninterrupted service. The judge ruled that this meant that the payment was no longer a donation but a charge, since people who paid got something of value in return: uninterrupted service. Further, Locast was collected more money from these charges than what was necessary "to defray the actual and reasonable costs of maintaining and operating the secondary transmission service," and was using some of the collected money from charges to expand, which isn't allowed under the exemption.
The following 3 users liked this post by Jay G.:
emachine12 (09-11-21), MLBFan24 (09-12-21), rduncan (09-11-21)

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.