Locast Launches GoFundMe Page To Fight Nets

The streaming service has created a legal defense fund to battle CBS, NBC, Fox and ABC to “protect streaming of local broadcast TV.”

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 ABC which it says have “conspired, colluded and sued Locast to shut it down.”

Locast says 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.”

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Locast founder David Goodfriend said: “The good news is that we’re winning, and the courts permitted Locast to continue streaming your local broadcast channels for free while the lawsuit is pending. We’ve since launched three new markets — Atlanta, Phoenix and Seattle — with more markets on the way. Every day, we add new users who choose to donate as little as $5 a month, helping to offset operating costs. But we also need our ‘Locast Nation’ viewers and citizens concerned about losing access to free local TV to donate to our GoFundMe page to help us keep up the court fight.”

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Locast operates under the law written into the Copyright Act of 1976 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 launched, the parent companies of ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox sued in an effort to shut it down, claiming that Locast is not a real nonprofit deserving to operate under the copyright provision. Locast countersued, defending Locast’s interpretation of the Copyright Act and accusing them of illegal collusion in an effort to undermine a small nonprofit.

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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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