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Locast Suspends Service after Court Decision – What You Need to Know

locast court decision

The popular live streaming service Locast has lost a court decision and suspended service, the app reports.

The service issued a statement on their app and via tweet.

Locast is a live tv app that provides users with access to local channels without cable in over 35 markets across the US.

Locast App on Firestick/Roku/Android

The app is funded by donations that users pay monthly for uninterrupted service.

It has undergone legal scrutiny from major broadcast companies including CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX.

In 2019, these 4 major broadcast corporations joined forces to file a lawsuit against Locast for violating copyright law.

The lawsuit alleged that Locast was retransmitting their television signals without permission.

However, Locast’s defense claimed that because they don’t charge customers for service, they are allowed to “boost” these signals for expanded access to local channels.

This would make them a nonprofit corporation and leave them exempt from copyright infringement lawsuits.

Unfortunately for Locast, a judgment was finally made ruling that Locast is not exempt and may be held liable.

Court documents noted the following:

Since portions of its user payments fund Locast’s expansion, its charges exceed those “necessary to defray the actual and reasonable costs of maintaining and operating the secondary transmission service

Because Locast made more money than was required to maintain and operate service, its claim as a nonprofit company was denied.

Excess money from donations was used to expand into new markets which should only be used to cover running costs.

Locast made a statement to its subscribers and more in an email addressing the judgment.

It reads as follows:

Users of the app will no longer have access to  live local stations as the company has suspended activity.


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If you open Locast on any device, you are prompted with the following message:

locast suspension

For alternative local streaming options check out our popular guides below:

What do You Think?

What do you think about the court’s ruling against Locast?

Is this another letdown for cord-cutters trying to access local channels?

Are these major companies being too greedy?

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!


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Historical Comment Archive

25 thoughts on “Locast Suspends Service after Court Decision – What You Need to Know”

  1. Court decisions now days are mostly bogus and nobody should be surprised. Remember the days when you went to bed earlier because the major networks shut down around midnight and all you got was snow on your screen. Personally i didnt use locast even thought i have the app installed because of the abundant number of apps out there that you can stream and not pay the 5 dollars for uninterupted programing. People waste so much money on crap they dont need , ie drugs , alcohol , cigs when they could put that money back and get a good android box like nvidia shield and a good VPN like ipvanish. We all hate it when a app gets shut down but when one gets shut down someone developes two more to take its place. Its a big investment for most people , but u have the internet anyway so why not get some equipment that will help you fight the corrupt federal , state , county and city government regulations that fight us for what should be free to begin with. These judges and lawyers make so much money that they can afford every broadcast and pay channel out there and still go home to a steak dinner. How much are they getting behind the curtains for ruling against the developers of our favorite apps.

  2. I love locast because I watch all my local TV stations can’t use a antenna because I live in a town that a antenna doesn’t work well give us back locast

  3. All four major television broadcasters should be required to stream their channels for free just as they are required to broadcast over the air for free. There is no difference. Technology has evolved, but the federal government/FCC haven’t kept up. I don’t see this changing anytime soon unless legislation is passed forcing broadcasters to comply. Broadcasters are still making money via advertisers. However, I’m sure cable and satellite providers put pressure on the big four because they have to pay retransmission fees whereas Locast didn’t believe they had to as a non profit. I wander what the cost would be if the big four agreed to take Locast on as a partner? Of course Locast would loose their non profit status, but if you only wanted local channels the cost would have to be a fraction of cable. One thing we all have to admit. Locast truly wasn’t free. Their annoying every 15 minute push for you to donate pretty much forces you to pay the $5.00 minimum “donation”. I’m not complaining. $5.00 is pretty darn cheap. I’m sure some of you remember when there were only 3 channels on TV and that was plenty. How many of you were official channel turners for your Pop as I was?

  4. The original producers of this material (the local stations) intended it to be distributed free of charge. So what was locast doing that brought the heavies down on them? Seems to me that the more your channel is seen the more effective the advertising will be and the more you can charge for it. Seems to me to be a Win-Win situation.

  5. It’s obvious that this was a for profit situation. It was virtually impossible to watch the channels without the monthly fee. It’s too bad they didn’t make the monthly contributions voluntary and eliminate the interruptions. I think a lot of people would have been willing to contribute the monthly fee on a voluntary basis. Yes there would have been a revenue drop but hopefully not severe- they could have at least tried that

  6. It is my understanding that the “extra” funds we all donated were being used to open new markets (city’s) so we can all enjoy our local channels without weather conditions affecting our reception. Bravo LoCast! Shame on the major affiliates who brought on this lawsuit.

  7. Im 69 yrs old..all my life i watch football and BASEBALL and hockey on local tv.. When cable companies came out we all had to have more channels..All us poor working people want is our local channels free like the 60s 70s 80s 90s. The government can change that F.h.a. tell sleepie joe biden to sign free local channels for all the people.. You get what you deserve for voting for Biden…

  8. Pretty stupid on the OTA players, they were getting free extended broadcast, in many cases where antenna does not work, so you just kicked yourself and your paid advertisers in the crotch , and lowered exposure because you were butthurt over some donation funds. Newsflash, these users are not going to wave the flag and sign up for cable, and are not gonna fight a weak air signal, they will just stream it from another app, not watch, or entertain themselves on netflix type options. Personaly I dont think the major networks hae much to offer these days, rehashed game shows, Love island type reality shows, and not so great sitcoms, meh . I will miss the ease of getting my local stations news, but I will still get it, its just another navigation step, and we are all used to it anyway.

  9. Although I reside in a large metropolitan area, I cannot receive any OTA broadcasts since almost entire town is located in the shadow of signal blocking mountains. Therefore, there is no other way to receive these OTA broadcasts except for Locast. It is illogical to force closure without a reasonable free slternative.

  10. Horribly disappointed about this ruling. We live in the “shadow” of hills between our home and transmitting towers so OTA is impossible. CBS, ABC, NBC, & FOX should be ashamed for doing this.

    Get together and work something out for millions of people who need LoCast!

  11. I used Locast and am very sad to see them go, but this will not stop me from cord cutting, I hope that they will return. Locals were always free until the greedy major companies along with Comcast and others came along. We need to start a Petition to send to the major broadcasters to tell them that we will boycott their advertisers.

  12. Anyone doubting the greed of the broadcast industry need only look at this decision and the endless tugs of war between stations and distributors over retransmission rights. The stations should be happy when anything enlarges their audience, permitting higher advertising fees. But their greed knows no bounds.

  13. I was paying $100 plus each month for basic cable so I can receive local channels. Living in a mountainous region, OTA antennas are useless. Broadcasters are offering for free their programs to those who can receive the signals. To charge as much as they do to cable companies is ridiculous. Along comes a service called LoCast. It is available to people like me who can not receive the stations transmission with an antenna. For the courts to say that it is not a non-profit because they use their donations to add new markets is a sham. Using that logic, why do cable companies charge you a fee for “network upgrades” when they do not offer any upgrades in my area. LoCast needs to fight this ruling.

  14. Although I disagree with the decision, it really does not affect me because I don’t watch the crap networks anyway. The local news is normally garbage bombarding us with murders, crooked politicians and everything else negative. I don’t need them for sports because that too is a thing of the past for me ever since the NFL (National Felons League) starting all the kneeling and disrespect towards our country. Give me my firestick and reruns of The Rifleman and I am happy.

  15. I remember when local channels were free. Now greedy corporations have continually put the screws to those of us that just want our local town news. This should be part of the infrastructure bill allowing regular people to not only get high speed internet, but no cost local channels. This does not interfere with the ability of these corporations to squeeze dollars out of the people who can afford it the least. Shame on you ABC, CBS,NBC, FOX.

  16. Once again the greed of the major corporations out weights public demand.This is the big four making sure they get their cut of the money and nothing is free.They get paid by the broadcasters that cart there channels and the more they limit the access the more demand.That means that your cable or any provider selling you access to a variety of channels need there content on there platform to increase demand for there service.If you can get the service free why pay for it and that’s what the big four and the resellers of there product want demand.

  17. Well, the Law is a game and Locast needs to play the game. Use its donations to support existing services and find an innovative way to fund expansion. This isn’t over, but it’s a very disappointing blow to Locast and cord-cutters tired of being ripped off by cable companies and broadcasters.

  18. I thought that the local channel everywhere were accessible with an antennae for free although most cable companies charge for have it included in their packages.

    1. I live in Rancho Cucamonga CA. I stream all my tv. I can’t use an antenna to puck up local channels and rely on locast ro get them. This court decision is bad for many of Americans.

  19. If this is broadcast tv free over the air, then it shouldn’t matter that it is rebroadcast…… So if I lived in an area and had an antenna and could pick up these channels for free it’s fine, but if my antenna don’t work so well and I can get it from low cast for free because they are rebroadcasting it then it’s not supposed to be okay. That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard.

    1. I agree….this is an absurd ruling and it makes since only if you are greedy. Local channels have always been free. Locast was just helping us by doing what an Antenna would do and allow it to become part of seamless process versus having to reposition antennas everytime we want a channel to come in clear. $5 a month sounds like nonprofit work to me and if they use that to go to a new market I am good with that…now a nonprofit has to be a nonprofit on the books when the end of the year comes. Maybe that is where they lost the battle!

    2. It’s all about the money; retransmission fees cable and satellite TV pay the local stations as enacted by congress.

  20. I am a little torn on this.

    On 1 point Locast shouldn’t have been sued in the 1st place for simply streaming what is already free with an antenna.

    On the other hand I have read and heard that there are some shady things going on with the donation money.

    At this day and point where TV can be added to computers so easily there needs to be a solution for getting your local broadcast channels available to you in a stream just like getting an antenna.

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