Free TV streaming service Locast suspends service after court docket ruling for copyright violation

A nonprofit group that gives free streaming providers for broadcasting TV stations by a loophole in copyright legislation went darkish Thursday after an adversarial court docket ruling earlier this week.

Locast’s choice marks a major blow to cord-cutters, a lot of whom used the service to stream native channels with out shopping for a TV or paying for cable service. The key TV networks — ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox — collectively sued Locast in 2019. On Wednesday, a federal decide in New York sided with them .

The TV networks alleged Locast should “safe the consent of the broadcasters to retransmit the published indicators” in the identical trend as cable, satellite tv for pc, or on-line video providers. Locast challenged the lawsuit, saying it was exempt from copyright legal guidelines as a result of it was a nonprofit group.

“As a non-profit, Locast was designed from the very starting to function in accordance with the strict letter of the legislation, however in response to the court docket’s latest rulings, with which we respectfully disagree, we’re hereby suspending operations, efficient instantly.”


Locast, which claims to have 2.8 million registered customers, launched in 2019 as an internet web site that rebroadcast TV channels which can be already free and native to customers in these areas over the web.

Though the web site did not require customers to pay for its providers, it interrupted person video streams each quarter-hour except they made a $5 month-to-month donation to the group.

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The court docket dominated this week that Locast’s requests for donations have been greater than “the precise and cheap prices of sustaining and working the service.” Subsequently, the nonprofit group didn’t meet the necessities for being exempt from copyright legislation.

With Locast shuttered, customers can use NewsOn Vuit , and Stirr , which all provide native information without cost in sure areas. Nevertheless, they haven’t any main community programming.

Moreover, cord-cutters can subscribe to Paramount+ for $5 per 30 days (and is usually obtainable without cost with promotions), which incorporates native channels.

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