RIP Locast

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RIP Locast

#1 Post by silverscreenselect » Thu Sep 02, 2021 8:10 am

Locast was the newest version of Aereo, a streaming service that offered local channels to people in over 30 municipal areas including Atlanta, at the time it shut down today, Locast tried to take advantage of a provision in the copyright law that exempts nonprofit organizations that didn't charge for their service from the prohibition against secondary streaming. Although Locast was organized as a nonprofit organization and it was free to use their service, they solicited $5 donations a month from viewers by means of loud, obnoxious ads that came on every fifteen minutes or so. The only way to get rid of the ads was to subscribe and donate the $5 a month.

A New York federal court held (rightly, in my view) that while the service was free, it was more accurately a "freemium" service that viewers had to pay, to get the full benefit of the services being offered (it was more like NBC's Peacock with a free tier and a premium tier). Locast responded yesterday by dropping its solicitation ads, but today they pulled the plug on their operations entirely. They say that service was "suspended" but unless they get some more favorable rulings on appeal, it's the end of the line for them.

Yes, we did have Locast (to watch during DirecTV service losses), and no, we didn't pay the $5 a month. My brother used Locast for local channels while he subscribed to one of those streaming services.
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