A local channel, WNAC LLC has filed a lawsuit in the District of Massachusetts against Verizon Corporate Services Group Inc. and Nexstar Media Group Inc. alleging copyright infringement over illegal retransmitting its station signal.
The plaintiff alleges that the defendants violated WNAC’s retransmission consent rights for its licensed local television broadcast station WNAC-TV.
According to the lawsuit, Verizon retransmitted the WNAC-TV signal from 2017-2019 without the plaintiff’s consent and license as required by federal law, and without compensating WNAC.
In 2015, WNAV via LIN/Media General entered into a retransmission agreement with Verizon which covered 2015 to 2017. In 2017, Media General merged with Nexstar, which owns and operates a variety of services, including another local broadcast station, WPRI-TV, in the same market area as the plaintiff’s station.
The plaintiff reportedly said that since this was a merger, Nexstar was not permitted to negotiate or grant retransmission consent on behalf of WNAC but Nexstar entered into a retransmission consent agreement with Verizon in 2016.
The defendants are accused of direct, contributory, and vicarious copyright infringement of the plaintiff’s retransmission consent rights, as well as breaching Massachusetts’ Unfair Trade Practices Statute, and unjust enrichment.
The plaintiff is seeking a declaratory judgment in its favor, an award for damages, and the fair market value of its retransmission fees for the unauthorized retransmission, pre and post-judgment interest, an award for costs and fees, and other relief.
The case is pending.
WNAC, LLC v. VERIZON CORPORATE SERVICES GROUP, INC. et al
|Judge:||Allison D Burroughs|
|Court:||Massachusetts District Court|
|Nature of Suit:||Copyright|
|Case Filed:||May 06, 2021|