U.S. News | WNAC LLC Sues Verizon and Nexstar for Unauthorized Station Signal Retransmission

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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.


Judge: Allison D Burroughs
Court: Massachusetts District Court
Case #: 1:21-cv-10750
Nature of Suit: Copyright 
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Case Filed: May 06, 2021


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About Nathaniel Adebayo 734 Articles
Nathaniel is a News Reporting Intern at Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch (NLIPW). He has a passion for writing, capacity building and social media marketing. He is a graduate of Federal University of Technology, Minna, where he graduated with BTECHAGRIC. He is a member of Soil Science Society of Nigeria (SSSN) and the National Union of Campus Journalist (NUCJ). Nathaniel has served as Editor-in-Chief for a number of magazines and as a contributor to various online repositories. Email: anathaniel@nlipw.com

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