Locast is a free streaming service offering access to local channels in a handful of markets. Recently, they got hit with a lawsuit from the major broadcasters trying to shut down the service.
The networks filed the suit against Locast last July, claiming that the service was violating their copyright by retransmitting signals of their local stations. Locast responded with a countersuit, accusing ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC of antitrust violations.
Now locast has launched a GoFundMe to raise $500,000 to help fight off the lawsuit trying to shut them down. Locast announced this in an email sent to supporters today.
Here is the email Locast sent out today:
Locast, a service provided by Sports Fans Coalition NY, Inc., has modernized the way viewers connect to local TV by making local broadcast news, weather, emergency information, sports, and public interest programming more available to people like you. Local TV for free, the way it was meant to be. We are a non-profit providing a public service to the people.
For almost 2 years, we have offered a simple proposition to the public: deliver local broadcast TV to anyone located in a TV station’s local market, over the Internet, without charging an arm and a leg. We do this legally under a longstanding federal Copyright Act 17 USC 111(a)(5) provision allowing non-profits to perform this public service. And because of you, it’s working. Read more in this white paper on this topic.
Locast now serves 16 markets, large and small, accounting for 35% of U.S. TV Households. Our viewers can watch their local TV channels for free on most internet-connected computers, smart TVs, phones or tablets.
This is why America needs Locast: to make sure that people can exercise their right to local broadcast TV, a right grounded in the billions of taxpayer dollars and public resources devoted for generations to giving every American access to local news, weather, emergency information, sports, and public interest programming.
But greedy Big Media companies are trying to take it all away.
The parent companies of ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox sued Locast in an effort to shut us down. They got the biggest Washington, D.C., and New York law firms they could find and filed a claim in federal court, saying that Locast is not a real non-profit deserving to operate under the copyright provision.
We are fighting back. We hired a team of experienced lawyers to defend Locast’s proper interpretation of the Copyright Act and countersued Big Media, accusing them of illegal collusion in an effort to undermine our non-profit. The battle is on and we need your support!
The good news is that we’re winning.
The courts allowed Locast to continue operating while the lawsuit is pending. We even launched three new markets – Atlanta, Phoenix, and Seattle – shortly after Big Media sued us, with more markets on the way. Every day, we add new users who choose to donate $5 a month, generating enough revenue to keep our daily operations going.
But we need your help to keep our lawyers in court. We need resources to stay in the fight.
So we’ve started a GoFundMe page where you can donate to our Legal Defense Fund and make sure we can stay in this fight.
Please contribute and encourage your friends and family to join Locast Nation to become a donating member, i.e., a user who contributes monthly and does not receive further contribution requests, and to give to our Legal Defense Fund.
Locast is a live TV streaming service that launched back in January 2018 in New York City to offer access to 15 stations including ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. Recently, Locast has been rolling out to new markets including South Dakota. Don’t expect Locast to stop there, according to the people behind the service they plan to keep expanding into other markets later this year. With Locast, you can stream ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC among others for free in Denver, Atlanta, Phoenix, Washington DC., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, New York, and South Dakota.
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