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Discussion in 'Internet Streaming Services' started by krel, Jan 16, 2021.
Locast Launches in Madison, Wis. | TV Technology
I continue to scratch my head as to how locast picks their rollout cities; certainly it isn't going by market size, Madison clocks in at 81st according to Neilson. I've been there, doing lots of digital phone upgrades back in the 90's, some of the tv stations there have the tallest towers in the state, the tallest outside of north and south Dakota which have several exceeding 2k ft. and there are towers in madison that are almost as tall.
So don't quite get it. And, add to that, the availability of decent/usable high speed internet (definitely docsis cable not dsl) drops off like a rock outside the big city (read: Madison proper). Lean Starlink, bet that number of beta users is around <5 for the entire state (and I wonder how locast geofencing is working with Starlink. I haven't seen anyone posting how its working).
Lots of cities with higher potential users with dma's higher than 81.
People and organizations making donations are able to designate which market they'd like the money applied to. That's exactly how South Dakota got two DMA's (109 & 169) covered. Businesses can also donate the equipment locations and power. When the requests, money, and locations come together...
All of those make no sense, the availability of high speed internet in the Dakotas is even worse than Wisconsin.
Do these folks ponying up this cash realise the legal jeopardy they will be in if some court rules against locast somewhere down the road, even if locast eventually comes out on top? I can't believe their lawyers said go ahead.
I doubt there's any significant legal exposure for donating to an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
If the court ever rules that Locast is illegal there may be some claim that the major donors (especially those who nominally pay for local channel carriage) conspired against the networks and local channels. I would not expect any action against the individuals who donated in order to receive service for themselves. The broadcasters don't usually go after the customers - they go after the companies.
As far as I know, the only major carrier that's made a significant donation ($500,000) to Locast is DTV, but that would be an interesting court case...
Not a lawyer, but...
I can’t see how they would be criminally liable. There is a difference of opinion about what is legal, happens all the time. How could they have conspired to do something they believed was legal?
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Not a lawyer either, but one can conspire without committing a criminal act. I'd expect a suit against the major donors to be filed in civil court.
And I don't believe it matters if one believes their act is legal ... if the court judges Locast to be illegal the act of copyright violation would be illegal.
Thing get really squirrely when talking about copyright violation and conspiracy to advance any violation. I've been involved with usenet for decades, and when digital copying became 'the thing' (and this was way before napster) there was all kinds of legal machinations against both the companies involved and those who bankrolled their operation.
The result eventually was that the servers pulled the trigger on anything the supposed rights holders said was infringement with no real evidence; so much of the content (first audio and then video) became encrypted, and soon many plants started removing all encrypted postings because of the threats.
Why no federal court has moved even a millimeter on these suits is a head scratcher. Most server operations on usenet backed off removing anything without evidence, and stopped removing encrypted posts just because they were encrypted.
But getting back to my original comment, locast needs to concentrate on the largest dma's to get the most folks on their side when the cases come due. When the networks took sony to court over taping, the fact that several million machines were already in the hands of citizens surely made a difference in the supreme court outcome. In short, the horse had left the barn way before door could have been closed.
I agree getting into the largest DMA's that they're not in yet would be a good thing for their legal case, and I'm sure the Locast folks are well aware of that. I can only assume that money is the restraining factor on where they open next. The fact that Locast is already available to 48.2% of the US population and has 2+ million subscribers can't hurt though.
The court's decision will not be made by popular vote. It will be made based on the law. I doubt most users know about the legal challenge.
Just like with Aereo ... the customer pays their fee (donates for an uninterrupted version of the feeds) and gets the channels. As long as the feeds work most don't care. They may care if the service goes dark.
I don't think we're looking at it as a "popular vote" issue, but rather as a "too big to fail" sort of issue that may carry some influence with the court. Many subscribers were made aware of the lawsuit in late 2019 when Locast solicited legal defense fund donations.
Locast Launches a Legal Defense Fund Asking for $500,000 to Fight ABC, CBS, FOX, & NBC | Cord Cutters News
$14,551 raised - This fundraiser is no longer accepting donations.
I noticed that, but I don't know why they shut it down. I do recall reading that a major law firm had offered them at least some pro bono services. Locast and Sports Fan Coalition founder David Goodfriend is a lawyer as well. With his experience, I imagine he has some good contacts for legal assistance when needed.
Apparently good enough to still be in business but not good enough to have the lawsuit behind him.
Neither the original lawsuit or Locast's counter suit have gone to trial yet, but I did read that's expected to happen this summer. It'll be interesting...