Big Four Broadcasters File Suit Against Locast
Art Law

Big Four Broadcasters File Suit Against Locast

The Big Four broadcast networks have sued the creators of Locast , the non-profit streaming service, claiming that Locast is helping satellite operators during retransmission consent disputes. Locast streams the signal of local TV stations in some markets and is able to get around copyright regulations because it is a non-profit. AT&T, which donated $500,000 to Locast , has integrated the streaming service into its DirecTV boxes so that subscribers can watch CBS stations despite the expiration of AT&T’s retransmission agreement with CBS. In the lawsuit, filed in Federal court in the Southern District in New York, the broadcasters claim that Locast said it was created to extend the reach of local broadcast signals in places where they are difficult to receive for no charge. But the suit said “Locast is nothing like the local booster services contemplated by Congress in creating this narrow exemption. Locast is not a public service devoted to viewers whose reception is affected by tall building[s]… instead, Locast’s founding, funding and operations reveal its decidedly commercial purposes.” The suit noted that Locast was founded by a former executive of Dish Network, which is also in the midst of blackouts with broadcasters including Meredith. The […]

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