Locast shutdown operations Sad News.

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baboonie

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We are suspending operations,effective immediantly.

As a non-profit, Locast was designed from the very beginning to operate in accordance with the strict letter of the law,but in responce of the court's recent rulings,with which we respectfully disagree,we are hereby suspending operations,effective immediately.

Another great service for the people had to shut down on behalf of the broadcasters who in my opinion weld to much power when using free spectrum that the people own. It should be if the broadcasters don't want the people to see their stations in anyway posible they should lose their spectrum and it should revert back to the people. The main broadcasters ABC,CBS,NBC,FOX should not have any say about the stations except for the O&O stations that they own. Not any affiliates stations. I think any O&O stations and any affiliate should have to live by the contract they originally signed that said they had to let any viewer in their service area be able to view thier service in their service area for free if wanted to keep using the spectrum that the people owned for free.

The broadcasters have the FCC and the judges in their back pockets.
 
primestar31

primestar31

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I didn't think they'd shutdown so quickly, but the writing was on the wall after losing summary judgement in court yesterday
 
CyberSpock

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Good Lord. That was a nice service that gave me stations I can't get due to obstruction. With 3 million subscribers, it's clearly something in high demand. Is the FCC going to ignore that? I suspect no comment in that regard.

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baboonie

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I think the fcc with it new pact and hopefully biden finally puts in a leader that ain't pro isp's and broadcasters. They will write and ordinance that states as long as a company that puts up stations that are only for a geo location for that area the broadcasters can't block it and that company is only takeing donations and only ask for donations at the first of a channel your going to watch. If switch channels can ask again. If stay on one channel only get the one donation request.

Hopefully once there are 5 commissioners, we will see changes and the fcc does their job like their suppose to and go by the rule that the spectrum belongs to the people and is only on loan to the broadcaster for free as long as let all the people in their broadcast area watch for free like was suppose to be. That services like Locast will live again. Also the Locast service was good for people in their area that can't get the station because of obstructions and stuff,Look at just yesterday all the eas alerts on the Philidelphia channels,even the sub channel cause of tornatos cause by hurricane ida that was going through philidelphia and surrounding area's.
 
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CyberSpock

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How about this? Instead of interrupting for donations, a scroller for donations runs unless you've donated. That way you can still watch and while it will be annoying, it isn't coercive. As far as donation amounts go, I'm not sure what's legal here. PBS requires a certain amount to be able to access on line media. I've not seen this challenged.

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Zookster

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PBS requires a certain amount to be able to access on line media. I've not seen this challenged.
There's a free viewing window in the app for any content that's currently being broadcast, including locally produced content if you register (for free) via your local affiliate. The Passport subscription is for older catalog episodes, seasons, and shows. It works like the network apps work in terms of making at least the last few weekly episodes available for free for a limited time. But there is really quite a bit on there. I've never felt the need to pay.
 
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buckeyebrian

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Sad news indeed! I liked Locast, and I think they provided a valuable service for many who could not get local channels with an antenna or couldn't afford an expensive live TV option[Cable, Satellite, or streaming]. Sadly, I knew from the start that the "Forced donation" by interrupting the service till you became a donor would come back to bite them in the ass.
 
NYDutch

NYDutch

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There's a free viewing window in the app for any content that's currently being broadcast, including locally produced content if you register (for free) via your local affiliate. The Passport subscription is for older catalog episodes, seasons, and shows. It works like the network apps work in terms of making at least the last few weekly episodes available for free for a limited time. But there is really quite a bit on there. I've never felt the need to pay.
PBS streams shows like Season 10 of "Call the Midwife" 30 days before the TV broadcasts and free streaming for paying Passport subscribers. The new season starts on Sept 3rd for Passport subs, but not until Oct 3rd for everyone else.
 
CyberSpock

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My question on PBS was about this... They are a non-profit, they have a premium service (passport), they charge a fixed amount for it which can be counted as a donation. A fixed amount and being a donation seems like a conflict. A donation of a voluntary amount like 5 dollars a year wouldn't be enough to receive the service. If this is legal, Locast should be able to dictate a donation amount and still stay an non-profit.

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primestar31

primestar31

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A lot of people must be putting up OTA antennas in a panic, TVFool.Com is down!
TvFool hasn't been worth going to for years. he never updates the database, and hasn't for a LONG time. Here's where you need to go, Trip keeps this updated far better than TF on it's best day when it was good: RabbitEars.Info
 
Zookster

Zookster

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My question on PBS was about this... They are a non-profit, they have a premium service (passport), they charge a fixed amount for it which can be counted as a donation. A fixed amount and being a donation seems like a conflict. A donation of a voluntary amount like 5 dollars a year wouldn't be enough to receive the service. If this is legal, Locast should be able to dictate a donation amount and still stay an non-profit.

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PBS has a license to stream all the content in their app, whether it's free or behind a paywall. That's why you can't find everything in the PBS app, because eventually the licenses run out for certain content and they don't renew them or the content maker takes it somewhere else (like with Netflix, Hulu, etc.). That they are a non-profit and taking money in the form of a membership that includes the benefit of unlocking extra content on their streaming app is neither here nor there. And this is one of the reasons why live TV streaming services (except YTTV) don't carry PBS affiliates: because of the difficulty in acquiring the streaming rights to all the content produced locally in 300+ different markets. Again, nothing to with "donation" or "nonprofit"—it's all about signed legal rights to stream the content on a given platform.
 
CyberSpock

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Again, nothing to with "donation" or "nonprofit"—it's all about signed legal rights to stream the content on a given platform.

I don't think this is going to matter. Their lawyers had to have gone over all of this. The day after they lost the case I got an email that said they'd stop the nag screen. The next day another email said they were shutting down operations. The day after that my rolling donation was canceled.

That pretty much tells me it's over. Authorities must have walked in and told them to shut down. I wonder if this may go as far as criminal charges at this rate.

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NashGuy

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My question on PBS was about this... They are a non-profit, they have a premium service (passport), they charge a fixed amount for it which can be counted as a donation. A fixed amount and being a donation seems like a conflict. A donation of a voluntary amount like 5 dollars a year wouldn't be enough to receive the service. If this is legal, Locast should be able to dictate a donation amount and still stay an non-profit.

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From what I read, the ruling on Locast was specifically based on the fact that they were using their donations to fund expansions of their operations into additional markets. Here's a key quote from a news story about it:

Judge Louis L. Stanton argued in the ruling that the Locast service sought charges that went beyond those "necessary to defray the actual and reasonable costs of maintaining and operating" its service, citing its use of funds to expand to multiple markets.

As I understand it, the judge made no ruling on the more substantive issue of whether a non-profit organization can legally redistribute free OTA signals via the internet without the station's consent. He was basically disqualifying Locast on a technicality, saying that they were soliciting and spending money didn't meet his strict criteria for how a non-profit should operate.

Let's say that instead of how Locast has actually operated, they had done the following: obtained up-front donations and/or loans to fund the start-up costs of launching the service in each given market, and then set the ongoing donation amount in each market (i.e. the monthly amount required to avoid the repeated interruptions) at a level just big enough to cover their costs. That might be a different amount in one market versus another.

Instead, with their $5/mo donation level, Locast was continually pulling in more money than it cost them to operate in the places they already offered service. And they would use some of the excess cash they raised to expand to additional areas, where they would solicit additional donations. The judge said that was a no-no.
 
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NYDutch

NYDutch

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I don't think this is going to matter. Their lawyers had to have gone over all of this. The day after they lost the case I got an email that said they'd stop the nag screen. The next day another email said they were shutting down operations. The day after that my rolling donation was canceled.

That pretty much tells me it's over. Authorities must have walked in and told them to shut down. I wonder if this may go as far as criminal charges at this rate.

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Locast/SFCNY had an agreement with the networks that they would suspend operations if they lost to avoid large fines. Nothing in the ruling, and nothing they've done constitutes any possible criminal action.
 

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