America’s four major broadcast networks – ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox – have emerged victorious in a lawsuit against Locast, a nonprofit that allows – or, they say, essentially steals – TV streams. local.
The plaintiffs – the stations – have asked a judge to dismiss Locast’s claim that its online service is legally exempt from liability for copyright infringement because it only seeks donations, not fees , users, and just enough to keep it going. Locast wanted it to be found exempt.
“The plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment is granted. The defendants’ motion for summary judgment is dismissed, ”New York Southern District Judge Louis Stanton wrote in a decision released today.
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Locast users pay him a monthly fee of at least $ 5 in exchange for a month-long uninterrupted service that the judge refused to call “just a recurring gift to charity.” Locast “always solicits and receives substantial amounts of charges from recipients for its uninterrupted service”.
Locast, founded by David Goodfriend, argues that its funding model qualifies for the statutory exemption because user payments are reinvested in the organization to cover the costs of “sustaining a growing system.” The judge noted that in 2020, Locast “made a lot more money from user fees than was needed to cover its costs of maintaining and operating its service.”
Locast has also developed into new markets. “But under the law, revenue from fees charged to recipients can only be used to cover actual and reasonable costs of maintaining and operating the service, and not to expand it into new markets,” he said. Stanton said.
Supporters of Locast, which was founded in 2018, say they adhere to copyright laws, which allow “boosters” of local broadcast signals, designed to ensure accessibility of broadcast signals.