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Locast Launches GoFundMe Page for Funding Against ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC Lawsuit

Stephanie Sengwe

Locast — the non-profit digital translator service — has launched a GoFundMe page for its long-running suit against ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. The service has been in some legal hot waters since July, when ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS filed a lawsuit against them, citing violation of copyright.

The networks have argued that when Locast retransmits their signals it strips out vital information, including Nielsen codes that are used to measure ratings. In addition, the networks also argued that if Locast is truly a nonprofit, and not a pawn for AT&T and Dish, then there is no reason to require registration or gather its own consumer data — both of which Locast currently does.

In September, Locast countersued the networks, accusing ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS of collusion. Locast claimed the networks interfered in a potential partnership with YouTube TV by disallowing it to provide access or Google would be “punished by the big four broadcasters.” The broadcasters — which own cable channels such as ESPN, Bravo, Fox News, and Showtime — could band together and pressure Google as well as other pay-TV operators by refusing to sell their cable channels, Locast suggested.

Now as their legal battle rages on, Locast has launched its Legal Defense Fund on GoFundMe asking supporters to donate money that would pay for litigation fees. The campaign has four donation tiers — Locast Nation, those who donate $5 - $25; Friend, those who donate $100; Champion, those who donate $1,000; and Winner’s Circle for contributors who donate $50,000 or more. Thus far, the campaign has already raised $2,166 of its $500,000 goal.

The GoFundMe page warns customers that contributing doesn’t guarantee that service won’t be interrupted. Though a judge allowed for the service to continue operating as the lawsuit proceeds, there is no guarantee that this will remain the case in the future.

“Contributions to the Legal Defense Fund do not result in uninterrupted Locast service. All Legal Defense Fund contributions will pay for litigation costs in defense of Sports Fans Coalition NY, Inc. Any surplus contributions will be applied to operating expenses. Your donation may be tax deductible as Locast is a service of Sports Fans Coalition NY, Inc., which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization,” Locast founder David Goodfriend wrote.