Live TV streaming service Locast shuts down following copyright infringement suit

If you are a cord-cutter, a phrase some people like to debate, then you may be familiar with a great way to get your local over-the-air channels. The service is called Locast, and it rebroadcasts all the OTA without the rabbit-ears. That fills one of the great empty spots that folks had when it came to getting rid of cable or satellite. 

Unfortunately, there are some rather powerful entities out there that don’t like this idea very much. Why? Because Locast doesn’t charge (although it does request a monthly "donation" to keep the stream flowing uninterrupted), so there’s no cut for them to take. On Tuesday, Locast was dealt a huge blow when Judge Louis Stanton said a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox would be allowed to proceed to trial.

Following this news, Locast's attorneys, Hosp, Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe, released the following statement: 

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"We are disappointed in the ruling today and disagree with its conclusions and reasoning. Our client is in the process of evaluating the decision and formulating next steps. Locast provides a valuable service to its over 3 million users who are otherwise unable to access the over-the-air broadcasts to which they are entitled by virtue of their location or economic circumstances. Our client remains committed to its mission of delivering free, local broadcast TV service to all Americans, and particularly for those consumers who can’t afford pay-TV services like cable, satellite, or streaming, or who can’t get their local broadcast channels using an over-the-air antenna."

The big media companies are claiming that Locast’s requests for donations constitutes charging for service, even though it claims to be a non-profit.

Today, having had time to digest the court decision, Locast announced it would be suspending operations, effective immediately.

The message on its website, which can be seen above, simply states:

As a non-profit, Locast was designed from the very beginning to operate in accordance with the strict letter of the law, but in response to the court’s recent rulings, with which we respectfully disagree, we are hereby suspending operations, effective immediately.

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