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Today, The Sports Fan Coalition announced Locast, a new service that retransmits local broadcast programming over the internet to viewers in New York.
The following statement can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Senior Counsel at Public Knowledge:
“We're glad to see someone stepping up to make free, over-the-air broadcast programming more accessible to viewers. This is good for consumer choice, and helps ensure that broadcasters fulfil their public interest mandate.
“Over the years, the Sports Fan Coalition has done great work to help sports fans and TV viewers, such as helping bring an end to the FCC’s local sports blackout rules. Locast, its new service that makes local broadcasts easily accessible by viewers in New York, is a continuation of that work.
“As the Supreme Court made clear in the Aereo case, internet retransmissions of broadcast programming are subject to copyright law in the same way as other retransmissions, such as cable and satellite TV. Section 111 of the Copyright Act makes clear that nonprofits can retransmit broadcast programming to the public on a free, public service basis. Congress created this provision with the expectation that services like Locast would take advantage of it.”
Public Knowledge works with the Sports Fan Coalition on a number of policy issues, and Phillip Berenbroick, Senior Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge, is a member of the board of Sports Fan Coalition New York, which will operate the service.