In the big media companies’ lawsuit against Locast, the court just issued a disappointing ruling. We are evaluating our options and will keep you posted as the situation develops.
Here is what our legal team had to say:
Electronic Frontier Foundation:
“We are disappointed that the court ruled against Locast on its copyright defense. The court interpreted the law in an artificially narrow way. Congress wrote copyright’s nonprofit retransmission exception to make sure that every American has access to their local broadcast stations, and expanding access is exactly what Locast does. This ruling that nonprofit retransmitters can’t use viewer contributions to expand access will do the opposite of what Congress intended. Over 3 million people use Locast to access local TV, including many who can’t afford cable and can’t pick up their local stations with an antenna. This ruling threatens their access to local news and vital information during a global pandemic and a season of unprecedented natural disasters. And it treats copyright law not as an engine of progress but a moat protecting the privileged position of the four giant broadcasting networks.”
R. David Hosp, Partner Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe:
“We are disappointed in the ruling today and disagree with its conclusions and reasoning. Our client is in the process of evaluating the decision and formulating next steps. Locast provides a valuable service to its over 3 million users who are otherwise unable to access the over-the-air broadcasts to which they are entitled by virtue of their location or economic circumstances. Our client remains committed to its mission of delivering free, local broadcast TV service to all Americans, and particularly for those consumers who can’t afford pay-TV services like cable, satellite, or streaming, or who can’t get their local broadcast channels using an over-the-air antenna.”