Programming Policies and Content Restrictions
Series Programming Policy
Members wishing to submit new television content on a regular basis can request one series timeslot 28-118 minutes long. Radio series can only be scheduled in 58-minute increments. The series timeslot must be chosen from within the available 10 Themeblocks for radio or television. Timeslots will be re-evaluated at the end of each year, and are never guaranteed beyond the current calendar year. Members must have at least 3 episodes ingested, and uploaded on DOM website to secure a recurring time slot. Once given a timeslot event and proper scheduling permissions, producers are responsible for scheduling their own shows.
Procedure to Schedule Series
Members will be given a recurring timeslot event for the series and permissions to self-schedule their shows from one project.
MEMBERS are responsible for scheduling their own show once given proper site permissions. Self-Scheduling should be done before Saturday for the following week. On Saturdays, the upcoming week's schedule is reviewed for programming holes and all empty slots must be filled.
Failure to provide new programming as scheduled will lead to program cancellation and restrictions in scheduling future programs. Accumulation of multiple programming suspensions may result in a permanent ban from the use of DENVER OPEN MEDIA’s facility and/ or prohibition from scheduling future programs. See Three Strikes Policy below.
Content Ingest Legal Agreement
While Denver Open Media is not responsible for the content submitted to our station/website, members must confirm that the content being provided is not contrary to local, state or federal laws, regulations, or Denver Open Media procedures and policies. Complete Program Content Legal Guidelines are posted below, but in the most basic terms, you agree that the material that you are submitting to Denver Open Media does not include:
Any material violating any state or federal law;
Any material that is libelous, slanderous, or otherwise defamatory, or constitutes an unlawful invasion of privacy;
Any advertising or material that promotes any commercial product or service;
Any use of material that violates statutory or common law copyright (DOM's Copyright Policy). You must have legal permission to submit/broadcast/cablecast/webstream any content you submit.
Additionally, if DOM's equipment and facilities were used in production––unless commercial rates were applied––it must be released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license. If any programming submitted for distribution by any member violates these provisions, Denver Open Media shall refrain from broadcasting, streaming, or cablecasting the programming and will also impose any other sanctions against the membership as dictated by the rules and regulations.
Denver Open Media rents out studios and production equipment for commercial use at standard rates. Noncommercial, public access, creative commons projects qualify for the use of equipment and studios at a discounted rate. If members want to own exclusive copyrights to their work, or if they want to produce commercial content, it will not air on the Denver Open Media distribution outlets, members must pay Commercial Rental Rates for use of studios and equipment.
Three Strikes Rule
Members are expected to comply with all programming guidelines. Members will be penalized in the following manner if a violation occurs:
Strike one: Show gets deleted from database
Strike two: All shows get deleted from database
Strike three: Membership is revoked and all privileges are suspended for a minimum of 1 year
Adult and Explicit Content Restrictions: Radio Content
DOM’s TV stations are not broadcast over the airwaves and are thus not subject to FCC rules and fines. However, DOM’s Radio station is, and thus Radio Content must adhere to the more strict rules set forth by the FCC. OMF’s Adult and Explicit Content Restrictions are a result of a thorough review of other station’s interpretations of FCC guidelines and legal precedent. Because we are a free speech organization, we have adopted the most liberal advisable policies regarding Content Restrictions. You can review the full language of these policies here. Violation of these policies may result in fines of up to $50,000 per occurrence, and thus are enforced strictly, in keeping with the 3-strikes policy above.
Members are asked to apply a rating to their content upon submission, and certain dayparts may not be available if the content is considered unsuitable for all ages. OMF reserves the right to edit content to comply with our interpretation of the legal requirements imposed by the FCC or any other governing body.
Adult and Explicit Content Restrictions: TV Content
The following restrictions apply to all public access programming on Denver Open Media's website and TV channels. As a free speech organization, OMF supports ALL speech that passes the so-called “Brandenburg Test”, which excludes limited speech that directly incites violence or other forms of imminent, intentional, AND probable illegal activity. However, our TV stations and websites are designated for non-commercial communications, and thus programs may not contain: Solicitation, advertising, bartering or promotion of commercial products, services, or transactions.
OMF will refuse or remove content that is reported as slanderous, libelous, an invasion of privacy, or made unlawful. Similarly, OMF reserves the right to refuse or remove material that is reported as obscene; (defined as material that the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that considered as a whole, its predominant appeal* is to the prurient interest in sex and it depicts or describes in a patently offensive manner, actual or simulated: sexual intercourse, sodomy, sexual bestiality, masturbation, sadism, masochism, excretion, or lewd exhibition of the genitals, and considered as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political, and scientific value.)
Programs containing mature themes, mild profanity, or lifelike imagery of nudity for the purposes of artistic, literary, political, or scientific discourse will be scheduled after 10:00 pm. Programs containing depictions or simulations of sexual intercourse will be scheduled after 10:00 pm.
Programs containing and/or entitled with excessive vulgar language, nudity, extreme physical violence, extreme degradation, graphic depiction of invasive medical procedures or indecent material will be preceded by a message advising viewer discretion and will be scheduled between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Indecent material is defined as material that describes or depicts sexual or excretory activities or organs in a patently offensive manner as measured by contemporary community standards.
DENVER OPEN MEDIA needs to provide a means of notifying parents or guardians when programming appears on the access channels that may be inappropriate for children. DENVER OPEN MEDIA also wants to assist people in making informed viewing decisions while providing an opportunity for all forms of expression without censorship and in accord with existing laws. Channel users shall be responsible for notifying DENVER OPEN MEDIA if their program contains material requiring an advisory message and must indicate adult content by rating shows for Mature Audience (MA) when submitting content on the show web form. It is a violation of DENVER OPEN MEDIA policy to submit for cablecast programming that is obscene or otherwise made unlawful.
Commercial Programming Restriction
Commercial Programming is strictly prohibited on all DOM outlets (Web, Radio, and TV). As noted above, programs may not contain solicitation, advertising, bartering or promotion of commercial products, services or transactions. Programs may not contain commercial telephone numbers or websites anywhere within the program except as noted below under "Program Credits for Contribution of Goods and Services," nor may programs contain information about purchasing a product or service.
Material concerning lottery information, gift enterprise, or similar scheme; Unlawful use of material requiring union residual, or other payment including but not limited to talent and crew; Unlawful use of material that is copyrighted or subject to ownership or royalty rights, right of publicity, or other payment.
DENVER OPEN MEDIA recognizes the commercial nature of non-original record and Film Company produced programming, including music videos and film trailers. In order to prevent the promotion of commercial products on the public access channel, programs containing more than 50% of such material are prohibited.
(Commercial program providers are encouraged to contact their local cable company regarding "leased access" and "commercial use" cable channels. In Denver, these channels are administered by Comcast; these channels are not affiliated with DENVER OPEN MEDIA.)
Representation of Authorizations
Channel users must represent that they have obtained all necessary permission for material and individuals appearing in their programs. Channel users are required to provide satisfactory evidence of such permission upon request by DENVER OPEN MEDIA. Submitting false information in connection with scheduling a program will result in program cancellation and restrictions in scheduling future programs.
Charging for Airtime
Time on the public access channels and radio station is available free of charge to members of DENVER OPEN MEDIA. Members may not require compensation from individuals in exchange for appearing on a public access channel. Furthermore, channel time may not be bartered or sold.
The membership program at DOM is designed to ensure that everyone in our community can access the communications technology resources they need to participate in our local media communications. Equipment is made available through subsidies from Comcast and the City of Denver, and free use of that equipment is restricted for non-commercial projects. DOM is responsible for ensuring that those subsidies do not constitute unfair competition against commercial equipment rental operations in Denver and that we are only providing free equipment access to projects that could not otherwise be completed.
In general, when a project has underwriting support, it has sufficient funding to rent equipment from a commercial rental house, or at DOM's Commercial Rental Rates. For that reason, no underwriting recognition is permitted for shows which were created using free or discounted equipment through a DOM membership. An exception can be made for small underwriting amounts (under $5,000), provided that the underwriting support is donated directly to DOM or the Open Media Foundation, not to the show producer. Any underwriting support received is then credited against the producer's account to cover membership, training, or equipment rental costs.
There are no restrictions on underwriting recognition (or any other content restrictions) for producers renting DOM equipment at Commercial Rental Rates.
Program Credits for Contribution of Goods and Services
Programs may contain credit for individuals, businesses or other organizations that have contributed goods, services or funding used in the program production. Individual credits for such contributions are limited to fifteen seconds. Total credits for all contributions are limited to sixty seconds. Credits may include an acknowledgment of the contribution made. Credits may not contain any advertising information. The following guidelines apply to all credits for contributors:
- Credit must appear at either the beginning or end of the program;
- Credit may be aural, visual or both;
- Credit may include a logo;
- Credit may include a name, address, and phone number;
- Credit may include a phrase describing the business of the contributor and the nature of the contribution;
- Credit may not contain any qualitative or promotional information.
Read more information and guidelines on underwriting.
Phone Numbers, Website Addresses, and Other Contact Information
Only non-commercial phone numbers and website addresses can be displayed throughout the duration of programming. This does not apply to commercial phone numbers or websites, which can only be displayed as a credit for the contribution of goods and services.
Solicitation by Non-Profits
Solicitation of funds during access programs is limited to non-profit organizations, pending DENVER OPEN MEDIA approval. An IRS letter of determination indicating 501 (c) (3) status must be submitted, and funds raised must go directly to DENVER OPEN MEDIA or its parent company, Open Media Foundation, who can then pass on the donations to the approved NonProfit, minus 25%. Only Colorado-based non-profit organizations may fundraise. The IRS letter of determination must be on file with DENVER OPEN MEDIA prior to any solicitation of funds. The 501 ( c ) 3 determination does NOT apply to political fund-raising, religious organizations (such as churches, synagogues, mosques, and other places or worship), and to certain types of foundations. The 501 ( c ) 3 is a federal designation, not a state or city designation.
Limits of Liability
DENVER OPEN MEDIA is not liable for any mistakes, omissions or interruptions in the cablecast and any other means of distribution of programs. DENVER OPEN MEDIA is also not liable if the program or material submitted is damaged, lost or stolen while in its custody except in the case of gross negligence on the part of DENVER OPEN MEDIA.
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