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Locast launches GoFundMe page for legal defense

Non-profit local TV streaming service is in a legal fight with CBS, NBC, Fox and ABC.

January 7, 2020

2 Min Read

NEW YORK -- Locast.org, a nonprofit local broadcast TV streaming service, launched a fundraising effort to protect Americans' rights to watch their local TV channels for free. The Locast GoFundMe page is raising money for its legal defense fund to fight major broadcasters such as CBS, NBC, FOX and DISNEY's ABC who have allegedly conspired, colluded and sued Locast to shut it down.

Viewers and concerned citizens are already donating to the Locast GoFundMe page, many expressing in the comments section the difficulties they've encountered over the decades with viewing their local TV channels over-the-air. They also claim there is an urgent need for the important public service Locast is providing by making local TV channels available to more than 40 million households over the internet.

Locast operates under the law written into the Copyright Act of 1976 (17 U.S.C. 111(a)(5)) that allows nonprofit translator services to rebroadcast local stations without receiving a copyright license from the broadcaster and even collect a fee to cover the cost of operations.

In July 2019, a year and a half after Locast started offering its public service, the parent companies of ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX sued Locast in an effort to shut it down. These big media companies claimed in their filings that Locast is not a real nonprofit deserving to operate under the copyright provision. Locast countersued the giant media companies, defending Locast's proper interpretation of the Copyright Act and accusing them of illegal collusion in an effort to undermine a small nonprofit.

More than 1 million viewers have signed up for Locast since its inception nearly two years ago. Locast is now available in 16 large and small cities, reaching 35% of U.S. TV households.

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