Open Media Foundation supports the equal right for everyone to have a voice in their community. We believe that the more diverse the discourse of a society, the better our community is informed and able to make good decisions. We believe no organization or individual should have the right to determine which ideas do (and do not) have an opportunity to be heard. For this reason, we have created DOM’s Fairness Policy.
Our organization enables individuals and organizations with limited financial resources to produce independent media in Denver for a local and global audience. In developing partnerships throughout the community, we strive to provide all the tools necessary to produce high-quality, professional media. In order to maintain and offer services to the community, we must ask that members agree to abide by certain rules and procedures.
Producing at Denver Open Media
The following is an outline of the steps a member must take prior to being eligible to use/rent equipment or DOM facilities:
Complete online membership registration and pay for desired membership type.
If you wish to use Field Equipment or the Studios, you will need to sign up for and take the required certification classes (Introduction to Studio Production or Field Production Workshop) offered by DOM to gain usage rights to equipment and facilities. You may use DOM’s iMac lab without certification, but you will not be given any assistance in using any post-production or graphics applications unless you have taken the respective classes first.
All Members must submit their non-commercial content to our station: for cablecast and web streaming, or radio. The content MUST follow our Content Agreement. Denver Open Media is only able to continue offer equipment, facilities and classes to community members due to this exchange.
Member Guidelines for Use of DOM Equipment and Facilities
All Members may reserve one edit station per day. DOM will allocate 100 gigs of storage to be used by Equipment Access and Organizational Members for DOM productions, which can be accessed from any edit station at DOM/OMF. It is your responsibility to let the staff at DOM know when you would like to access your 100 gigs of storage space. This is a working storage space and not meant for archival purposes and may be deleted after membership expiration. Users must follow the Editing policies.
Classes offered at Denver Open Media certify members to use DOM Field equipment and Studios covered in the Field Production or Studio Production classes.
Anyone can rent DOM equipment at commercial rates, or you can purchase a DOM membership (Equipment Access or Organization Memberships), take classes and then check-out DOM equipment free of charge as follows:
DOM Field Equipment (Field Production Class)- Individuals may reserve one complete field package, including but not to exceed: 1 camera and accessories, 2 batteries, 2 microphones and cables, one camera support, 1 light kit with accessories, field monitor and headphones for 24 hours, or for 72 hours if you rent Saturday-Tuesday. For equipment needed beyond these quantities, members will be charged MEMBER rates. Field equipment users must follow the field policies.
DOM Studio (must complete the Studio Production Class) - Individuals may reserve one studio for up to 3 hours. All DOM members are allowed to be camera crew and non-members can be “shadow crew” up to 2 times before membership is required. Studio users must follow the studio policies.
If you are accessing our equipment through your DOM membership, all material you create using DOM equipment must be non-commercial in nature and be submitted to air on our channels with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license. If your material is commercial in nature and/or cannot air on our station, you must rent our equipment at the Commercial Rental Rates.
If you are accessing our equipment through your DOM membership, NEITHER YOU NOR YOUR CREW MAY BE PAID TO PRODUCE YOUR VIDEO PROJECT. If you are getting paid to use DOM equipment you must rent the equipment at the Commercial Rental Rates. Exceptions are made for the staff of nonprofit organizations. Please see staff for more information.
Uncertified people cannot touch DOM equipment except where the shadow policies apply, see #3, Studio Membership.
All payments are due up front, and a copy of a credit card and driver's license and deposit may be required. Click here for info on the bounced check policy.
Reservations / Checking in and out
To make a reservation you must have an active membership, the proper certifications, and an active project. All equipment and studio time must be reserved via the website and should be done in advance. DOM will provide computer and Internet access for members needing to make online reservations. Drop-ins are allowed, but the same rules of use apply.
Please see Field Policies for details on picking up and returning equipment, late fees, and missing or damaged equipment.
Denver Open Media members must be aware of all of the rules detailed in the Membership Agreement. Failure to observe these rules could result in a loss of privileges at DOM.
Members must act in accordance with the Code of Conduct and are responsible for the conduct of everyone participating in their production and guests invited into the facilities.
Members are not required but encouraged to take a New Member Orientation course (1st Wednesday of the month, 6:45-8:15 pm) when they become a member. We also highly encourage all members to take the Open Media Foundation Tour (1st & 3rd Wednesday of the month, 5:30-6:30 pm). Follow this link for upcoming schedule and to make a reservation.
Members must be certified to use equipment and facilities. Those who have prior experience with field camera equipment can opt to Test-Out of our certification class. For those who are in need, there are scholarships available for all classes. Please click here for more info on class fees, test-outs, and scholarships.
Members are to exercise extreme care and common sense when operating all equipment whether in the studio or when using field or editing equipment.
Members are responsible for inspecting all equipment at the time of rental. Members will be held financially liable for missing equipment and for the repair or replacement of equipment damaged by negligence or misuse upon return.
Under no circumstances shall any member attempt any maintenance, repair, or adjustment to any equipment rented. Any member attempting any of the above shall have their membership privileges revoked. All problems should immediately be brought to the attention of the Station Director.
All use of DOM equipment or facilities must result in a non-commercial Creative Commons program and submitted for airing on DOM TV channels/radio, and streamed on the website.
All member producers are responsible for submitting programs that are in compliance with the Content Agreement.
Open Media Foundation’s Responsibilities to Denver Open Media and it’s members:
Studio, editing and field equipment will be provided by DOM for use by members and will be maintained by OMF.
OMF will provide the equipment and instruction for members to upload programming for the access channels/radio station and for web streaming.
OMF will provide internet access to members in order to complete all required forms, reservations, ingesting, uploading and accessing other materials needed for membership.
OMF will provide qualified and knowledgeable staff and interns to offer orientations, workshops and provide assistance to members.
OMF will do it’s best to provide a productive, collaborative and user-friendly environment.
Do our utmost to inform the membership of changes to policies and procedures.
Allow members in a productive manner to provide comments and feedback to the processes and procedures at DOM.
If for some reason you are not satisfied with your membership within 30 days, you may request a refund under the Refund Policy guidelines.
Failure to Comply with Stated Policies and Applicable Law
Via Denver Open Media, The Open Media Foundation is committed to providing video production facilities and workshop training at reduced costs for the production of non-commercial Public Access programs. All users are welcome to use the facilities in the manner described in existing policies. The Executive Director or Station Director may impose, at his/her discretion, sanctions and penalties for failure to comply with policies.
Members are responsible for their actions within the facility and the care of the equipment they use. Open Media Foundation may require reimbursement for replacement or repair of property and equipment damaged by facility users. At the discretion of the Executive Director, persons who fail to pay for such reimbursements or whose behavior is not in accordance with the Code of Conduct, Programming and Member Policies may be suspended or banned from use of the facilities.
Open Media Foundation will make every reasonable effort to inform individuals about programming policies and prohibitions when a violation has occurred and to cure those violations. Open Media Foundation reserves the right to take any action with regard to program scheduling and transmission to comply with applicable law and to ensure compliance with these policies, including but not limited to immediately suspending access rights.
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 theme blocks 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 must complete this TV Series Application or Radio Series Application.
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. 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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