Locast, the streaming-TV nonprofit sued by media giants, suspends service

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CNET 02 September, 2021 - 10:42am 25 views

Why is Locast suspending operations?

The owners of the country's major broadcast TV networks — ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox — had sued Locast in 2019, saying it violated their copyrights, and asked for the service to be shut down. ... ABC NewsFree TV service Locast suspends operations after legal loss

Is Locast shutting down?

Locast, a nonprofit streaming service that piped local broadcast signals over the internet, is shutting down after a federal judge ruled against the organization in a rare case tackling the legality of network content delivered online. The New York TimesLocast Shutting Down After Losing Court Battle With TV Networks

Broadcasters sued Locast, a nonprofit TV-streaming startup.

Locast, a small, nonprofit service that streamed over-the-air channels free online to more than 3 million US viewers, is suspending operations immediately, the company said Thursday, after suffering a legal setback in its copyright battle with the country's biggest media companies earlier this week. The decision comes one day after Locast vowed to remain "committed to its mission" of delivering free, local broadcast TV across the US.

"As a nonprofit, 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," Locast said in its statement Thursday. 

In a separate statement Thursday, a member of Locast's legal team said the case pitting it against major US broadcasters will continue, "likely including an appeal, to resolve the remaining issues." 

"The problem remains: Broadcasters keep using copyright law to control where and how people can access the local TV that they're supposed to be getting for free," Mitch Stoltz, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, added Thursday. 

The four biggest broadcasters in the US -- Disney's ABC, CBS, Fox and Comcast's NBCUniversal -- had sued Locast over copyright infringement. The media giants scored a legal victory over Locast on Tuesday when a New York federal judge's order essentially undermined Locast's main legal defense. 

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Locast, which grabs over-the-air channels and makes them available to stream, was seen by many as the spiritual successor to Aereo, a for-profit streaming service that offered consumers livestreams of broadcast channels for a paid monthly subscription. Aereo arrived at the height of broadcasters' anxiety about cord-cutting and consumers forsaking them for streaming services. Media giants sued Aereo for copyright infringement. In 2014, the US Supreme Court ruled that Aereo was illegal, leading to its demise. 

One difference between the cases, however, was Locast's nonprofit status. Locast, which started up in 2018, streams live channels free with sporadic interruptions that solicit donations; users who donate have uninterrupted streams. US copyright law has allowed certain nonprofit institutions to grab over-the-air TV signals and retransmit them to nonpaying viewers, such as a university setting up an antenna that can retransmit to students in its dorms. Aereo, as a for-profit company, used a different, technological loophole when it argued its service was legal.

But Tuesday, US District Court Judge Louis Stanton ruled in a summary judgment that Locast's fundraising from donations, and its use of some of those funds to expand into new markets, meant that it didn't meet the definition of a nonprofit that would make it exempt from copyright law. 

After the order, Locast lawyer David Hosp said Wednesday in a statement that Locast "remains committed to its mission of delivering free, local broadcast TV service to all Americans." 

At the time of the order, a lawyer for the networks said they would pursue a permanent injunction to halt Locast's service. 

Read full article at CNET

Spider-Man: Miles Morales Skipping DLC Is Good News For Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

U.S. News & World Report 02 September, 2021 - 03:46pm

With over 10 months having passed since release, and no mention of any expansions for the game, it can safely be assumed that Spider-Man: Miles Morales DLC is not in the works. While this may be a letdown to some, this decision could be beneficial in the long term. Though it is true that Insomniac’s first Spider-Man game received a lot more support than its follow-up, there are a few major benefits of the developer leaving Spider-Man: Miles Morales behind.

With this in mind, spending time and resources on more Spider-Man: Miles Morales content would be a questionable decision. As such, Insomniac’s latest Spidey game not getting DLC means that the studio can focus on its next projects quicker - one of which is undoubtedly Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. By skipping out on post-launch content for Spider-Man: Miles Morales, fans of the wall crawler will hopefully see the next full game released sooner rather than later. With most fans likely wanting to see the sequel more than some DLC, this decision could give players the chance to have their big clash with Venom a lot sooner than they would have if Miles Morales expansions had been worked on first.

This extends to story-focused content as well. Based on the side missions from Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Insomniac seems to be setting up an intense confrontation between Kingpin and Miles - with the former threatening the latter’s loved ones. While this could have made for a solid DLC, Insomniac will likely end up working this encounter into the main plot of the sequel. With Fisk being a dangerous adversary, especially when given the time to show the extent of his villainy, letting him have a major role as opposed to being a minor player could be great to see. Though taking him down at the start of the first Marvel’s Spider-Man made for a good opening sequence, he deserves a more fleshed out story in his next appearance.

With a better version of Miles’ Kingpin conflict possible, alongside an even bigger lineup of suits and a quicker release for the next mainline game, Spider-Man: Miles Morales not having any DLC is a good thing. Fans now have even more to look forward to, and with gamers having to spend time away from both Miles and Peter, taking control of the heroes again in their next appearance will be even more thrilling. While more adventures with Miles Morales are a must, saving them for later makes too much sense.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales is available now on PS4 and PS5.

A lifelong gamer and comics fan who loves writing about everything in nerd culture... and has a small addiction to trophy and achievement hunting.

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