Major broadcasters sue a non-profit that streams in TELEVISION channels for free of charge

(Ap) – The big four AMERICAN tv networks on Wednesday called for a non-profit group supported by AT&T Inc, which streams TV channels over the internet for free without a permit.

FILE PHOTO: CBS broadcasting (dvb) logo is seen outside their headquarters in midtown Manhattan, New York, New York, USA, on July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The lawsuit was filed in the U.s. district court in New York by CBS Corp., Comcast Corp. and nbc universal Media, Fox Corporation, Fox Television Stations, Walt Disney Co’s ABC at sports fans Coalition, NY, us (SFCNY) and its founder, with David Goodfriend, a former executive of satellite TV provider is Dish.

The big broadcasters, to traditional cable and satellite pay-tv service providers such as AT&T and Dish will charge a fee for the distribution of their content. But by giving viewers of that content for free, the free, Locast, there is a risk of these costs.

The lawsuit comes as litigation over the renewal of the carriage deals, have led to the channel being pulled out of the air.

“Locast has been around for more than a year-and-a-half, and no broadcaster has made so far,” said David Hosp, an attorney at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP, to represent Goodfriend. Hosp said that the group is a non-for-profit status and the fact that they do not charge for the service, and to put it on a “sound legal basis.”

Broadcasters do not agree with. “Locast is not the Robin Hood of the tv; instead, Locast, the creation, funding, and activities, revealing its distinct commercial purposes,” according to the complaint.

Goodfriend, an attorney who has also worked for the Clinton administration and the Federal Communications Commission launched a Locast at the beginning of the end of 2018, New York City, and the service now covers 30% of the U.S. TELEVISION households, including those of its nine largest markets.

The case draws parallels to the Aereo Inc., a startup that was launched by Barry Diller, in 2012, of which streams broadcast TV signals to subscribers for about $1 a day or $80 per year. As the Locast, Aereo does not pay broadcasters for the retransmission.

Aereo was sued in 2012 by several broadcasters. The case went to the Supreme court of the u.s., who began to reign in the years to come, and that Aereo violated copyright law, making it illegal. Aereo ceased operations.

Locast is to become a third party in the often-contentious relationship between the broadcasters and the distributors. In June, AT&T, who are currently in a contract dispute, with both CBS and Nexstar announced it is donating $500,000 to SFCNY. On the 30th of May, AT&T, is added to the Locast app, is to have DirecTV and U-verse receivers.

(This story corrects the date in which the broadcasters have sued Aereo)

Report by Helen Coster: @hcoster; 646 223 4583. – Additional reporting by Hilary Russ.

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