Big Four Networks Sue Locast

NYDutch

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I edited the post to remove Dish and replace with Networks.

For the record I like Locast and want them to win. I no longer use the service but still have the app installed.

What had been happening, pre-donation was either 1) a message consisting of text was displayed on the program I was watching, or 2) I was booted off to the guide every 15 minutes.

I have not tried to see if either of the cases have returned.

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Think about it... Is Locast really any different than other non-profits that provide some sort of premium or expedited service to sustaining contributors that non-contributors don't have access to?
 
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Juan

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All that needs to happen is for the cable & satellite industry is to get behind Locast. The Networks will back off. As a group there is power in numbers. Does the satellite/cable industry want to continue to be held up with much high rates? At $12-$15 a month for locals, what will is be in 5 or 10 years, $50 a month? The satellite/cable industry as a whole can really put pressure on the Networks. After all if the cable/satellite services do not carry the networks, they would not be around very long. How many watch them free OTA, 15-20% with antennas. AT&T already has given money to Locast. I think it is time for the rest to pony up and support Locast. It is a matter of time at the way the Networks rates are going up to cable/satellite, they will no longer be viable to carry. The Networks are really shooting themselves in the foot. As far as the network shows people like, many are available elsewhere on Hulu, Netflix, etc.
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CyberSpock

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Think about it... Is Locast really any different than other non-profits that provide some sort of premium or expedited service to sustaining contributors that non-contributors don't have access to?
I don't know any other non profits. Can you list a few?

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NYDutch

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I don't know any other non profits. Can you list a few?

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All PBS TV stations
Animal rescue organizations
Feed the children organizations
The above mentioned non-commercial zoos

And many others. You must have seen some of those ads on TV with the sad children/dogs/etc that can be helped with a monthly donation.
 

Zookster

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Museums, county health clinics, colleges and universities, national parks, DMVs, etc.are all nonprofits that charge fees for services or access. Even churches charge for some things, like performing a wedding or funeral. Charging for something has nothing to do with nonprofit status.

The problem with Locast is that they are taking copyrighted intellectual property that's made freely available OTA, packaging it, and "reselling" it. It would be like if my nonprofit organization, a 501c6 professional writers and editors guild, checked out new NYT best-selling books from the library, photocopied them, and distributed them at our events for a "donation." Now whether there's some loophole law that allows Locast to do that legally is something the courts will need to decide.
 
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mwdxer1

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This is all the evidence the Networks needs to win. When I stopped my monthly "donation", my subscription was terminated. That makes it a required payment, not a donation. View attachment 139890

That is different. Since I do not have Locast, I have no why of knowing how it works. It is supposed to be "Free". I was told if you don't donate you will get this message every once in a while, but you would still receive the service. If they are shutting it off if you don't donate, then it does become a pay service and nets can go after them.

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mwdxer1

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Many local TV stations are distributed on the web by a number of different streaming services within that stations market area. The geographic (DMA) limitations are set by the FCC, not the stations. Radio stations are not subject to the same DMA restrictions. TV stations are allowed to charge commercial providers for permission to redistribute their signals within the DMA, but they cannot charge for direct reception by OTA antennas.
So that is how it works. I wonder if a private company puts up translators to bring a station into a city, is that allowed? I know of a couple town in Oregon that have translators that bring in Portland stations, but the translators are not owned by the stations. Here our 5 translators are all owned by the Portland stations.
 

NYDutch

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Translators operated by private companies usually have the permission of the TV station they retransmit, and are typically paid by the TV stations to retransmit those signals. Other translators are operated as a community service by non-profit groups such as HAM clubs that can house the equipment along with their own repeaters at a relatively low additional cost.
 
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sam_gordon

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After all if the cable/satellite services do not carry the networks, they would not be around very long.
Glad you agree that cable/satellite services need the locals in order to pick up/keep subscribers. :D

Regarding the percentage of people using antenna... that's because most don't have to. Look to the time before cable/satellite. Broadcast TV was around and didn't rely on MVPDs to provide their signal. Many people are rediscovering OTA when they decide to "cut to cord".
 

Juan

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The repacks are slowly reducing the number of channels you can get OTA...soon one frequency shared by just the major networks
Glad you agree that cable/satellite services need the locals in order to pick up/keep subscribers. :D

Regarding the percentage of people using antenna... that's because most don't have to. Look to the time before cable/satellite. Broadcast TV was around and didn't rely on MVPDs to provide their signal. Many people are rediscovering OTA when they decide to "cut to cord".
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TNGuy84

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I never tried to use it because you had to login with a username and password to use the "free" service. If it's a free service allowing you to watch something for free, I shouldn't have to give any information to use it. Besides that, I've got enough usernames and passwords to keep up with these days. Since Locast is being targeted, do you think iGoCast won't be far away from being targeted? I'm sure they don't have permission of Antenna TV and others to stream their content freely online.
 

navychop

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I suspect there’s a lot of truth in that.


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Tampa8

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I am sticking to my post. If Locast was completely and totally re sending OTA signals and only available in market they may have a case. They are not. They may be taking steps to be sure only in market is getting it but we don't know that is happening in every case and we don't know if the networks have proof it isn't.
But more, they are not simply sending what they get, they are inserting at the least pleas for money with what looks like interruptions. Remember back with DISH the autohop argument? That by making changes of any kind from DISH itself (Not a DVR skip that has been approved in Court already) they were modifying content? DISH ended up making agreements with the networks in how it would be used. That may have been a negotiation move, had DISH won in court it would have been because the Court said there was no modification, if they lost it would be because they were. If Locast sent out emails or mailings for donations but did not alter in anyway what you see from them from what you would see OTA there would be less of a case.

I'm also guessing with At&t giving funding and whatever DISH has the networks will argue they are only non profit in name but backed by companies who have a keen interest in getting signals sent out for free to undermine negotiations with them. I don't see where that is prohibited but who knows what a Judge would say.
 
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NYDutch

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There's nothing illegal about contributors benefiting from their donations to non-profits. Pharmaceutical companies regularly donating to various illness based charities expecting it will increase the sale of their products is just one example. The networks are going to have a hard time proving that Locast exists to benefit the sat and cable providers in negotiating retrans agreements unless they can come up with a paper trail to back that up. That Locast happens to benefit the sat and cable providers along with ordinary viewers is not going to cut it. They'll also have a tough time proving any other benefit to the sat and cable providers, especially in Dish's case where the company takes a subscription price hit when the sat locals are dropped in favor of using Locast. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see the sat and cable companies either directly or indirectly contribute heavily to a Locast defense fund.
 

navychop

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If I give $100 to Charity, and in return I get tickets worth $60, I’d better not claim more than $40 for a tax deduction.

BTW, I was shifted to the standard deduction this year, as it was more advantageous than my usual itemized. That happen to anyone else?


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