In court papers filed Friday morning, broadcasters including ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox are accused of antitrust violations, The Hollywood Reporter’s THR, Esq., reports.
“The claim comes from the owner of Locast, a much-hyped digital app that streams over-the-air television stations,” THR reports. “In July, the broadcasters hit Locast with a copyright lawsuit. The legal fight could impact cord-cutting and promises to be a sequel to the Supreme Court’s 2014 Aereo decision, which held a streamer of over-the-air stations was illicitly performing copyrighted works.”
The latest court filing accuses the broadcasters of “purposely broadcasting weak over-the-air signals to the public as part of a conspiracy to limit consumer access to popular programming including local news and live sports and force Americans to pay for cable or satellite service,” THR reports.
The filing represents Locast owner David Goodfriend’s response to the broadcasters’ copyright claims. As we reported in July, the big four networks filed suit in the Federal Disctrict Court in Manhattan arguing that Locast should be shut down for failing to compensate them for content.
THR calls Goodfriend’s response a “counterattack,” quoting him stating in his filing that the broadcasters “have colluded to limit the reasonable public access to the over-the-air signals that they are statutorily required to make available for free, and have opted instead to use their copyrights improperly to construct and protect a pay TV model that forces consumers to forgo over-the-air programming or to pay cable, satellite and online providers for access to programming that was intended to be free.”
We encourage readers to click on the link above to THR for additional details about the legal case.