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Operating Policies and Procedures
Released 12.13.11, Revised 1.25.12, Revised 1.3.13
The purpose of this document is to clearly set forth the rules and procedures that govern the operation of Seattle Community Media’s facilities and channel. Producers must agree to and follow the operating policies and procedures. These rules and procedures are intended to encourage maximum participation by individuals and groups from Seattle and King County in a fair and equitable manner. These policies may be revised by the operators of Seattle Community Media. Approved changes in these policies will be published and disseminated to the members, and funding jurisdictions of Seattle Community Media. All policy changes will be posted on the Seattle Community Media website. Members are required to acknowledge receipt of these Operating Policies upon becoming a member. Members are also required to acknowledge any change to operating procedures and policies the first time they log in to the Seattle Community Media Website after such changes have been made. All prior policy versions will be available via PDF on the Website. The policies and procedures described in this document supersede all other Operating Policies previously issued by Seattle Community Media, as well as any express or implied representations previously made by its employees. Policy statements as written do not amount to promises of specific treatment and are merely general statements of Seattle Community Media policy. Seattle Community Media specifically reserves the right to modify these policies and procedures. Announcements of policy changes are made through the office of the General Manager. If a member has questions concerning current policies and practices, he/she is encouraged to contact Seattle Community Media via email.
1.0 WELCOME to Seattle Community Media
1.1 Seattle Community Media’s Mission, Vision and Values
The City of Seattle provides the privilege of public access television and contracts with Seattle Community Media who provides access to communication resources in order to build a stronger community. Seattle Community Media believes that community access media is an appropriate and powerful vehicle for promoting greater awareness and understanding of the larger community and the diversity of its people. Seattle Community Media values free expression of ideas and open communication; empowerment through technology and training; diversity through access and involvement; community building through outreach and education.
1.2 Statement of Purpose
Seattle Community Media was created to administer the use of the community access channel while incorporating new technologies and maintaining economic efficiency. Our goal is to provide a resource that empowers individuals in Seattle and King County to produce their own programs or messages. Seattle Community Media coordinates outreach, training, production facilities and gear, playback, and promotional activities to achieve this goal. Seattle Community Media operates in a cooperative partnership with the City of Seattle to facilitate open communication between government agencies and citizens, residents and their neighbors, and nonprofit organizations and schools with the community at large.
Seattle Community Media broadcast on Comcast Channel 77 /Wave Broadband Channel 23 is a division of Seattle Community Colleges Television (SCCtv), which broadcasts on Comcast Channel 28/Wave Broadband Channel 19.
SCCtv began operation to facilitate the use of educational video content for instructors within the Seattle Community Colleges. Daytime cable programming on weekdays is often tied directly to the coursework of instructors at Seattle Community Colleges. Web portal Web In the summer of 2011, the City of Seattle announced SCCtv as the new provider of public access for Seattle. SCCtv soon announced it would provide the public access services as Seattle Community Media. SCCtv has streamlined operations by utilizing the Open Media platform on Drupal CMS, seattlecommunitymedia.org.
Seattle Community Media utilizes a membership-based structure to increase user accountability, demonstrate commitment to the principles of cable access, and help defray operating expenses. Seattle Community Media wants to make programming that reflects the interests and serves the needs of every segment of our community available to cable viewers. Our responsibility is to facilitate the use of available production equipment to assist all residents, nonprofit organizations, and schools within Seattle/King County in the production of their programs. Seattle Community Media will encourage high technical quality, while realizing that all content and all production of the programs is the responsibility of the producers. Seattle Community Media hopes that this will lead to entertaining, diverse, informative, challenging, and interesting video that, in the aggregate, will represent the community.
Seattle Community Media does not create productions for any members, nor do they provide production crew to create productions for any groups. It is the responsibility of the members to learn all production gear and to be self-sufficient.
This document describes the policies guiding membership, training, program production, channel use, and user responsibilities, and Seattle Community Media commitments. These policies are designed to be flexible, to change as the needs of the community evolve. They are guided by:
• The Constitution of the United States of America;
• The Washington State Constitution;
• The Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984, as amended:
• The Cable Consumer Protection Act of 1992, as amended;
• The Telecommunications Act of 1996, as amended;
• other applicable federal and state laws and court decisions;
• Seattle Community Colleges policies
• North Seattle Community College policies
• SCCtv policies
• SCCtv’s service contract the City of Seattle
-“Advertising” is defined as material designed to promote a commercial service, business or product.
-“Channel” refers to Comcast Channel 77/Wave Broadband 23 on the Comcast Cable system in the greater Seattle area that are administered by SCCtv.
-"Equipment" shall refer to any and all video and audio equipment available for the production of community access programming.
-“Episode” refers to the individual programs of a series, including full programs, promotional videos, and short videos
"Erotic Material" and “minor” are defined in the Revised Code of Washington 9.68.050as:
"Erotic material" means printed material, photographs, pictures, motion pictures, sound recordings, and other material the dominant theme of which taken as a whole appeals to the prurient interest of minors in sex; which is patently offensive because it affronts contemporary community standards relating to the description or representation of sexual matters or sado-masochistic abuse; and is utterly without redeeming social value;
- "Minor" means any person under the age of eighteen years;
-"Facilities" shall refer to the building and parking lot, and other property that may or may not be directly related to the production of community access programming currently under control of North Seattle Community College, SCCtv, and Seattle Community Media.
-“First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America” – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
-"Indecent Material" is defined by the courts as the repetitive and deliberate use of language or material that depicts or describes, whether directly or by innuendo, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory activities or organs. For example, extreme physical violence or degradation, nudity, graphic depiction of medical procedures, and repetitive use profanity would be considered “indecent”. Profanity includes, but is not limited to, words such as those identified in FCC vs. Pacifica.1
FCC vs. Pacifica identifies the words fuck, shit, piss, cunt, motherfucker, cocksucker, and tits as indecent.
-"Lewd matter" is synonymous with "obscene matter" and means any matter:
- Which the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find, when considered as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest; and
Which depicts or describes patently offensive representations or descriptions of:
- Ultimate sexual acts, normal or perverted, actual or simulated; or
- Masturbation, excretory functions, or lewd exhibition of the genitals or genital area.
Lewd matters do not include or proscribe any matter which, when considered as a whole, and in the context in which it is used, possesses serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. Revised Code of Washington 7.48.050(2).
-Memberships: Seattle Community Media is based on membership levels which enable the user different levels of access to production equipment. Refer to Section 2.
-"Obscene" is defined by applying the Miller test:
- whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals 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 sexual conduct specifically denied by applicable state law and
- whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value
-“Personal Financial Compensation” – compensation paid to an individual for time or services provided when utilizing Seattle Community Media equipment, facilities or resources, not limited to monetary compensation, but to include gifts, trips, or other rewards in trade for productions created with public access production gear.
-“Producer Member” – See Basic Membership.
-“Producer” - See Basic Membership. -“Protected Speech” refers to any content that is protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States
-“Resident/Seattle or Resident/King County” is defined as an individual whose principal abode -- i.e. the home, house, apartment, facility, structure, etc. - within which the individual lives the majority of the time is located in the City of Seattle or King County (outside of Seattle), respectively
-“Series” is a single episode or collection of episodes of similar content by the same producer.
-“Simulcast” refers to the content cablecast on the Seattle Community Media channel being streamed simultaneously on the Seattle Community Media website.
-“Unprotected Speech” refers to those forms of expression not protected by the Constitution of the United States – slander, libel, sedition, incitement to violence, and obscenity.”
-“The Website” – seattlecommunitymedia.org. The website used to administer Seattle Community Media. Also called SCM Platform, The Platform, The Open Media Platform.
1.5 Non-Discrimination Policy Statement
No individual will be denied SCCTV membership or access to any Seattle Community Media equipment, facilities, or channel time on the basis of race or ethnicity, color, age, national origin, religion, marital status, sex, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, political affiliation or belief, citizenship/status as a lawfully admitted immigrant authorized to work in the United States, or presence of any physical, sensory, or mental disability, ability to pay, or due to the nature of the programming interest.
Seattle Community Media membership is open to individuals who reside in Seattle/King County, Washington and non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies located in Seattle/King County, Washington. Membership dues are subject to change. All memberships expire one year from the date of becoming a member and must be renewed at that time to continue as a member.
All producers outside of Seattle/King County who want to broadcast their programs must have a local sponsor for their program. The local sponsor is fully responsible for the content, uploading, and scheduling of the program. Securing a local sponsor is the responsibility of the producer. Seattle Community Media will not act as a liaison between local sponsors and outside producers.
Non-profits and agencies throughout Washington State may become non-profit/government/promotional members.
2.2 Relationship Between Seattle Community Media and Members
Seattle Community Media is a private division of Seattle Community College Television (SCCtv), the television station for Seattle Community Colleges, District VI. Members and producers are not agents or employees of Seattle Community Media or the Seattle Community Colleges district. They are considered to be independent producers and create programming for themselves or the organization they represent. At no time may any individual or organization identify themselves as an employee or agent of Seattle Community Media, Seattle Community Colleges district, or any of the funding jurisdictions unless hired by Seattle Community Media or the jurisdictions to perform a service.
Seattle Community Media exercises no control, beyond these policies, over production activities by members. Members must not identify their production efforts as being “for Seattle Community Media.” Rather, members should indicate that their programs “will be seen on Seattle Community Media.”
Seattle Community Media members will have only limited access to Seattle Community Media staff. Staff will respond to limited, reasonable requests in a timely manner. Seattle Community Media staff are not required to respond to repetitive, unreasonable demands made by producers as this infringes on the amount of time they have available to other members and to the other demands on their work time.
Seattle Community Media staff are not required to assist members who are acting disrespectfully.
Seattle Community Media does not provide production crew to create productions for any groups.
It is the responsibility of Seattle Community Media to create a safe environment for all members of Seattle Community Media. This necessitates the disclosure of information regarding arrests and convictions involving safety concerns for others by all members interested in using any of the facilities located at Seattle Community Media (including studio, editing, ingesting). Members must truthfully respond when filling out the Membership Application. Failure to truthfully respond may result in a suspension of privileges. While disclosure is kept confidential, some offenses may require that we notify the community room users in general terms.
2.3 Producer Member Description
Production Members may take training workshops and use the Seattle Community Media production facilities and equipment to create programs to be seen on the public access channel. Membership does not obligate the member to create content for the public access station. Production members must provide to Seattle Community Media a current, accurate address of their primary residence and current mailing address if different from their residence. Waivers and/or fee reductions are available for Producer Members based on financial need as described in Section 2.7. Memberships are a rolling, yearly fee. Producer Membership fee must be paid or a waiver granted before taking training workshops or using Seattle Community Media production equipment and must be renewed yearly. There are no age restrictions for Seattle Community Media membership. However, parents or legal guardians of Producer Members under age 18 must sign a consent form when a minor requests training and sign a financial/legal responsibility statement when a certified producer under age 18 requests the use of Seattle Community Media production facilities and equipment or schedules programming on the channel.
Anyone using any Seattle Community Media gear in any way must be a production member. All production members are fully eligible to use equipment (based on the add-ons that they have purchased) and produce programming for Seattle Community Media.
Resident/City of Seattle/King County Production Members receives the highest priority regarding cablecast scheduling and use of facilities.
Governmental and Non-Profit Organizations within King County receive next priority.
Local program scheduling has priority over imported programming.
2.4 Types of Memberships
All members must become basic members, regardless of additional certifications. All memberships are annual, based on the date that the member became a Basic Member. The basic membership and all add-ons expire one year from the initial membership date. Membership must be renewed prior to expiration to maintain uninterrupted access to Seattle Community Media. If a membership expires, Seattle Community Media is not required to retain any account information or stored materials for any member/producer.
There are several types of Seattle Community Media memberships:
All add-ons must be renewed annually at the time of basic membership renewal.
Basic Members pay the annual Basic Membership fee to obtain access to Seattle Community Media website, limited digital storage, and access to ingest stations in the community room for use to create programs to be aired on the Seattle Community Media channel. The Basic Member fee is not considered to be a tax-deductible donation as the Basic Member receives services that are greater in value than the fee paid. All members regardless of additional certification must purchase basic membership.
- Studio Certified; Field Certified; Edit Certified: shall refer to those Seattle Community Media Producer Members who have successfully completed a Seattle Community Media training workshop or demonstrated to Seattle Community Media staff a sufficient working knowledge to allow the equipment on which they are certified to be available to them. To receive certification, members must attend a class (generally $50 per class). After receiving certification, an add add-on fee of $10 must be paid to access the added benefits.
- Edit-Certified Members must attend a workshop on how to use the editing equipment. After successful completion of the workshop, they must pay an added Edit Add-on fee that grants use of Seattle Community Media editing facilities and equipment. Editing equipment must be reserved through the Seattle Community Media website.
- Field-Certified Members must attend a workshop on how to use the field equipment. After successful completion of the workshop, they must pay an added Field Production Add-on fee that grants them the privilege of checking out Seattle Community Media field production equipment. If a member has previous field experience, they may request to take a test to prove their proficiency which can take the place of the workshop. Field production equipment must be reserved through the Seattle Community Media website.
- Studio A-Certified Members must attend a workshop on how to use the studio equipment. See staff for requirements. These members must also pay the studio certification add-on fee that grants them the privilege of using the Seattle Community Media studio. Studio A must be reserved through the Seattle Community Media website.
- Studio B-Certified Members must attend a workshop on how to use the studio equipment. After successful completion of the workshop, they must pay an added Studio Add-on fee that grants them the privilege of using the Seattle Community Media studio. Studio B must be reserved through the Seattle Community Media website.
- Local Sponsor Basic Membership: A member who is a representative for a program created outside of the Seattle/King County area. It is the responsibility of any producer located outside of the area to obtain a local representative. The local member must pay a basic membership fee as well as a Imported Programming Fee. All services of Basic Members (Seattle/King County) have priority over Local Sponsor Basic Members. The local sponsor member is 100% responsible for all aspects of the program, including the responsibility toward content of the program.
- Organizational Non-profit/Government/School Members
A non-profit organization recognized by the IRS as a 501(c) tax-exempt organization that is registered with the State of Washington. This can be an independent organization, or a duly recognized chapter, branch or other division of a larger state, national or international organization. Non-profit groups applying for this membership will be asked to present proof of this registration and an IRS letter of determination.
Producers who are part of an organization must abide by all standard membership policies.
Organizations must provide to Seattle Community Media a current, accurate address of their primary location and mailing address. The initial Organizational Membership provides access for one person, who will be the primary contact person. Anyone beyond this person expecting access to public access production equipment must become an individual member and can then be associated with the specific series created by the organization. These individuals may receive training and use Seattle Community Media production facilities to create programming on behalf of the organization for cablecast on the access channel. Persons listed on an organizational member’s production/training roster are considered to be individual members of Seattle Community Media.
- Non-profit/government promotional membership: Groups that wish to air short, occasional, informational, or promotional programming can apply for this annual membership. Seattle Community Media does not provide production crew to create productions for any groups.
- Organizational Members are nonprofit groups, government agencies, or schools that wish to cablecast beyond promotional programming on Seattle Community Media or utilize its services. Seattle Community Media does not provide production crew to create productions for any groups. For any of the groups to utilize the services, a designated individual must be identified as the primary contact. All individuals who will be utilizing gear or facilities must become “Basic Members” and obtain proper certifications and pay appropriate fees.
2.5 Membership Fee Waiver
Persons who, for reasons of financial hardship and meet the requirements to receive low-income discounted rates on their Seattle City Light bill or are receiving unemployment benefits (producer/members must provide proof of this status) and cannot pay the membership fee may request a fee discount or fee waiver. Persons who receive discounted fees or a waiver of membership fees from Seattle Community Media receive all the benefits of paid basic membership. Add-ons may be purchased at the full add-on price. Membership discounts and waivers expire one year after membership is activated. Membership must be renewed yearly and at that time, producer/members must provide current proof of financial hardship status. Non-profit organizations with limited revenue may, with approval of the Seattle Community Media General Manager, arrange for a discounted rate or an in exchange for their membership.
Current producer members enjoy a discounted rate for workshops. Non-members may take the workshops, but at the full rate. The Orientation workshops are designed to ensure that members understand their rights and responsibilities as members, producers, programmers, and viewers. Current Seattle Community Media Producer Membership and attendance at an Orientation meeting are not required but highly recommended before producer/members may sign up for other training workshops. Seattle Community Media orientations are free and open to the public. All other training workshops are offered on a first come, first served basis and require nonrefundable training fee at time of registration. They are designed to familiarize the user with proper equipment operation, preventing damage to production equipment, Seattle Community Media policies and procedures, and the specific technical set up of the Seattle Community Media facilities.
Training scholarships are available for members who, for reasons of financial hardship, cannot pay the training fee. Persons who, for reasons of financial hardship and meet the requirements to receive low-income discounted rates on their Seattle City Utility bill, or receiving unemployment benefits (producer/members must provide proof of this status) and cannot pay the membership fee may request a fee waiver.
3.2 Training Re-Certification
Members who have not participated in a production using Seattle Community Media equipment for over a year must be re-certified before equipment privileges are restored. This requires attendance at a training workshop or a training waiver issued at the discretion of the Seattle Community Media training staff.
4.0 USE OF PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT
4.1 General Guidelines
The Seattle Community Media Community Room production facilities are open for member use only
Monday 1pm - 5pm
Tuesday 1pm - 5pm
Wednesday 1pm – 8pm
Thursday 3pm – 8pm
The Seattle Community Media Studio is open Wednesday 1:30PM to 9pm and Thursday 1pm – 9pm.
Studio, edit, ingest, gear pick up and drop off are conducted during community room times only. Reservations are made on-line at www.seattlecommunitymedia.org.
Seattle Community Media is public access and focuses on its members and their productions. Members are responsible for all work done on their productions. Seattle Community Media does not create productions for any members, nor do they provide production crew to create productions for any groups. It is the responsibility of the members to learn all production gear to be self-sufficient. Staff members are not allowed to fill in as crew on studio productions. Staff will not produce producer/members program for producer/members. Staff can provide suggestions on technique, equipment, and production planning that can help to ensure a successful project if members express interest in such assistance.
Seattle Community Media production equipment and facilities are made available on a first come, first served basis, to certified members. Only current members with proper certification are allowed to reserve or operate Seattle Community Media equipment.
The intent for the use of Seattle Community Media production equipment must be to create programming that will be seen on the access channel. All material producer/members create with using Seattle Community Media equipment must be non-commercial in nature and be submitted to air on the channel. Seattle Community Media equipment is not available for rent, personal use, or use in any commercial production. If it is determined that Seattle Community Media equipment was used to create commercial productions, the member may lose privileges or be banned.
Reservations must be made using the on-line reservation request form. Voice-mail or e-mail messages do not constitute a reservation. A member is considered a “no-show” if they are 15 minutes late without advising Seattle Community Media. The time they reserved will then be open on a first come, first served basis. Certified members, who are repeatedly late returning equipment, fail to cancel reservations, or violate any other Seattle Community Media policies will be subject to disciplinary action.
Computers in the Seattle Community Media community room are for use by members only. Members are not allowed to log in to computers for their guests to use. The community room should not be used as a holding place for guests.
4.2. Seattle Community Media reserves the right to adjust equipment use policies based on user demand and the working condition of our production equipment.
NEITHER PRODUCER/MEMBERS NOR THEIR CREW MAY RECEIVE PERSONAL FINANCIAL COMPENSATION OF ANY TYPE, TO PRODUCE VIDEO PROJECTS WHEN USING SEATTLE COMMUNITY MEDIA EQUIPMENT.
4.3 Financial Responsibility
Certified members must sign an Equipment Use Agreement agreeing to reimburse Seattle Community Media for replacement (not repair) of any equipment that is damaged, lost or stolen while in their possession (please note section 4.1.1 regarding traveling with production equipment). If the certified member is under age 18, a parent or legal guardian must sign the Equipment Use Agreement. Payment for replaced or repaired gear must be made within 90 days of reported loss. Unmade payments will be sent to collections. Use of collected funds recovered from equipment loss is at the discretion of the Seattle Community Media staff.
4.4 Portable Field Production Equipment
Members are to exercise extreme care and common sense when operating all equipment whether in the studio or when using field production equipment.
Field production equipment (equipment includes camcorders, tripods, light kits, audio equipment, audio cables, microphones, laptops, power accessories, and other accessories for remote field productions) may be picked up and/or returned during the following times (community room hours).
- Monday and Tuesday – between 1 PM and 5 PM
- Wednesday and Thursday - between 1 PM and 8 PM
Field Production equipment checked out by a Producer Member must be returned on the final day of the stated check-out period. Seattle Community Media may operate on days considered holidays. If equipment check out ends on a Monday considered a holiday, it is the Producer Member’s responsibility to inquire about possible changes of operation hours on holidays (ask, do not assume, a Monday is a holiday for Seattle Community Media). All observed holidays are announced in advance on the Website. Portable equipment reservations may be extended if the additional time has not been reserved by any other member. Reservation extensions will be granted on the day of gear return. Portable equipment reservations will be taken up to 14 days in advance. No more than one camcorder may be checked out by any one individual. Non-members are not allowed to pick up checked out gear for any member. Members may pick up gear for other members if the other member has created a reservation and have noted that the other member will be picking it up on the reservation form.
Only certified members are allowed to operate Seattle Community Media equipment. Uncertified people cannot touch Seattle Community Media equipment. The member checking the gear out is 100% responsible for ANY damage or loss that may occur to the gear regardless of who causes the damage or loss.
Equipment MUST be returned to Seattle Community Media and checked in before being issued to another person.
4.4.1 Traveling with Equipment
No Seattle Community Media production equipment may leave the state of Washington unless prior permission has been received from the Seattle Community Media staff. Even when permission is granted, producers are responsible for the full cost of replacement (not repair) of any production equipment damaged or lost while in their possession. This includes damage or loss due to approved or unapproved travel related incident (i.e. lost by airline, damaged by airline, water/moisture damage), damage or loss due to negligence by another person, stolen, or any other potential reason or damage to or loss of production equipment.
If a member is flying with a camera, the camera must be carry-on baggage and must not be checked luggage.
Studio B includes the control room, studio room, and all other equipment in them for taped productions. Studio requests are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Seattle Community Media website and can be made 14 days in advance. All reservations are posted on the Seattle Community Media website as they are made. Individual reservations appear on the sidebar of the website when the member is logged in.
Wednesday’s calendar is broken into 1.5 hour long blocks, beginning at 1:30 and ending at 9:00pm. Thursday’s calendar is broken into two hour blocks, beginning at 1:00pm and ending at 9:00pm. Producers are encouraged to book one block per week. Follow the specific instructions on the reservation form for reservation times.
The total number of hours an individual may reserve during the programming season will be based on the demand for the resource. Only current members with studio certification may be used as crew for studio productions. The studio must be left in a clean, orderly state, with all equipment in a "normal" setting and ready in time for the next production. Refer to the posted studio rules and checklist for details. Studio productions must be completed at least 15 minutes prior to the end of the reserved time in order for staff to do a walk-through and complete the check-in procedures before the next production. Studio productions MUST be completed no later than 9:00PM Wednesday and Thursday. No food or drink is allowed in the community room, control room, or studio. If producer/members are bringing food for crew, Seattle Community Media recommends that it is consumed at a location other than the Seattle Community Media facilities.
The producer is responsible for all actions of all of their guests at all times when using the studio. Inappropriate behavior of guests may result in banning of the guest from the studio and suspension of privileges of the producer. See Section 6.
4.6 Use of Mac Editing Suite or Laptop
Only current members certified to use the editing equipment may reserve edit time on the Macintosh computers. Certified members may reserve a maximum of 4 hours per reservation. The number of hours of edit reservations an individual may hold during a week may be limited based on demand. Edit reservations will be taken up to 14 days in advance via the reservation form on the Website. Editing MUST be completed no later than 4:45PM Mondays and Tuesdays, 8:45pm Wednesdays and Thursdays. Macintosh laptops may not be removed from the community room.
4.7 Videotape/Memory Cards/DVDs
Members are required to provide their own videotape, memory card and DVD stock for their productions. Seattle Community Media does not provide videotape, memory cards and DVDs. Seattle Community Media can provide a list of vendors who supply these items, or members can purchase videotape, memory cards and DVDs from Seattle Community Media when available inventory allows.
5.0 PROGRAMMING & CHANNEL USE
5.1 Program Rights
Time on the public access channel is available free of charge to paying members of Seattle Community 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.
Producer Members are the owners of the programs they create and as such retain the copyright for their program. Programs produced with Seattle Community Media equipment must be primarily intended for televising on the Seattle Community Media channel. Seattle Community Media recognizes that additional uses occasionally develop which are not part of the primary intent of the producer. Any use of the program for fund raising activities must be by an organization that has been granted 501(c) tax- exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service.
Seattle Community Media reserves the right to retain a copy of selected programs for archival, broadcast, and streaming purposes. Seattle Community Media retains the right to cablecast as reruns programs created with Seattle Community Media facilities and gear and/or uploaded to the Seattle Community Media website.
Seattle Community Media Website utilizes archive.org for archiving of all programs (except those that are mature/explicit/rated M/R in nature). All programs archived will be available to any users of archive.org. All programs available via archive.org are available to citizens for download and may be selected to be broadcast by other public access stations.
5.2 Program Content
Seattle Community Media encourages community producers to exercise the responsible expression of their First Amendment rights. Program producers and/or sponsoring agencies are held solely responsible and legally accountable for the content of their programs and as such may be subject to prosecution for the cablecast of illegal material.
When creating a new series on the website, producers must agree to statements recognizing the ownership of the program and its contents and allowing Seattle Community Media to broadcast/stream the program. Producers must truthfully and accurately represent their ownership of the contents of the episode or series they are submitting for cablecast. If a member does not have ownership or permission to broadcast elements of their episode, they should not submit the episode. Willful falsification of the form, material misrepresentation of information required, or falsely agreeing to the Program Release statements are grounds for revocation of membership privileges. Should a court order be issued against an episode or series for any reason, the cablecast of that series will be suspended pending the legal decision. The following content limitations apply to any and all programs or messages cablecast on the access channel administered by Seattle Community Media. Community producers should seek staff assistance in meeting these guidelines.
5.2.1 The following are absolutely prohibited:
- Lotteries / Contests: Lotteries or contests that involve directly or indirectly the elements of a prize, chance, and/or consideration. Reference section 76.213 of the rules of the Federal Communications Commission.
- Illegal Material: Material which would subject the producer or supplier to civil or criminal prosecution under any applicable local, state, or federal law for production or presentation of obscene or erotic material, slander or libel, invasion of privacy.
- Licensed Material: Material that is copyrighted or subject to ownership or royalty rights, union residuals, or other payment (e.g. music, written works, photographs, film, video) unless producer has obtained all necessary permission, releases, licenses and made all necessary payments to authorize televising of any such material. SCCTV may require producers to provide evidence of such payment or permission. If a copyright claim is made, the episode will be made unavailable on archive.org and will be deleted from the Seattle Community Media website and will no longer be broadcast, until proof of permission is provided to Seattle Community Media staff.
- Advertising / Commercial Endorsements: Advertising or other material that is designed to promote commercial businesses, the sale of commercial products, , or any call to action resulting in any profit for anyone involved is prohibited . This includes but is not limited to, product or business endorsements and/or service descriptions. For example: A program guest may be identified as “John Doe - Owner ABC Business Supplies” but not “John Doe, owner ABC Business Supplies, the best selection and the lowest prices in town.” To advise viewers how to get more information about program topics, program credits can include a contact name, phone number, web site or e-mail address.
- Unauthorized Fundraising: Solicitation of funds by organizations other than those that have been granted 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service.
5.2.2 Potentially Indecent Programming
Seattle Community Media wants to provide parents and guardians with a means of controlling the viewing of programming with indecent material by children as well as provide viewers with notification of programming with potentially indecent material so they can make informed cable-viewing choices. Seattle Community Media requires a Content Advisory Notice before each program with potentially indecent content. While providing such notification, Seattle Community Media does not wish to preclude the opportunity for all forms of expression on the Seattle Community Media channel in accordance with all relevant laws. Programming with potentially indecent material as defined in Section 1.3 will be scheduled between 10:00pm and 6:00 AM. Indecent content will not be streamed on-demand on the Seattle Community Media website. Producers may direct viewers to their own, privately held websites where they may choose to stream their own content.
When a producer creates an episode containing mature content on the Seattle Community Media website, they must mark the rating as TV MA and check the box indicating that it contains mature content. This alerts the Seattle Community Media staff to process the program manually, prevents the episode from streaming on the website, and keeps the episode from being automatically scheduled outside of appropriate times. Failure to mark the episode as containing mature material may lead to suspension of privileges.
5.2.3 Indecent, Erotic, Lewd, or Obscene Content
Seattle Community Media follows SCCtv policy in regards to content that is “indecent” as defined by the FCC. See In the Matter of Industry Guidance on the Commission’s Case Law Interpreting 18 U.S.C. § 1464 and Enforcement Policies Regarding Broadcast Indecency, 16 F.C.C.R. 7999 (2001). Indecent content must be preceded by a programming notice. See Section 5.3.
Seattle Community Media does not broadcast indecent programming before 10:00 p.m. or after 6:00 a.m. and reserves the right to remove programming deemed by staff to be “lewd,” or “obscene” as defined this policy. Content that is lewd or obscene will not be broadcast at any time. Indecent content will not be streamed on-demand on the Seattle Community Media website. Producers may direct viewers to their own, privately held websites where they may choose to stream their own content.
5.3 Programming Notices
It is strongly suggested that programs containing and / or entitled with excessive vulgar language, nudity, extreme physical violence, graphic depiction of invasive medical procedures or indecent material will be preceded by a message advising viewer discretion. Programs of this nature may only be broadcast from 10:00PM to 6:00AM as per FCC regulations.
Seattle Community Media requires a Content Advisory Notice before each program with content that may be considered indecent. This notice must be on screen for 15 seconds preceding the program and must contain the following verbiage: “This program is rated TV-MA: Mature audiences; not suitable for children. Contains strong language, explicit sexual content, graphic nudity, and/or graphic violence.”
5.5 Political Programming
Any program describing or endorsing declared political candidates or describing ballot issues that is directly related to a current campaign is considered "Political Programming." Programs, which include appearances by incumbents acting in their current elected or professional capacity, are not included in this definition. This does not preclude the cablecasting of political debates or candidates' meetings, provided that fairness and equal time rules are followed. Also not precluded shall be the possibility of cablecasting reports by current elected officials regarding the status of issues and other governmental business, providing again, that fairness and equal time rules are followed where applicable.
Programs on Seattle Community Media cannot be used for solicitation of funds nor for political purposes. Broadcast time may not be used for political campaigning by individuals or organizations seeking public office or legislation.
5.6 Programming Preview
It is the responsibility of each producer to accurately designate their programming as containing mature content. Seattle Community Media reserves the right to preview any programs. Management reserves the absolute right to terminate the cablecast or any program, pre-broadcast or in progress, it deems is in violation of these policies. Seattle Community Media also reserves this right in regards to any programming flagged by any viewer post-broadcast that contains material deemed upon review by staff to contain sensitive material. Any producer submitting programming with potentially sensitive content who did not mark the program as mature may face a suspension of privileges following a review by Seattle Community Media staff.
5.7 Program Scheduling
Seattle Community Media members are responsible for scheduling their own episodes of their series based on the time slots that they have been assigned. Seattle Community Media staff oversee the implementation of scheduling and reserve the right to modify scheduling at any time.
Timeslots are assigned to each producer who qualifies on a yearly basis. The method of assigning time slots will be determined based on what is most fair to all members for a given year and will be announced in advance on the Website.
Producers or program sponsors who supply more than one concurrent Program or Series for a programming season will be required to pay an additional fee of $25 for each unique per Program/Series to guarantee with its own unique time slot (available when demand allows). Producer Members can produce or sponsor up to three concurrent unique Programs/Series. The additional fee is intended to offset the additional scheduling and digital file program resources needed to process the additional programming and does not entitle Producer Members to any other additional services. Producer Members with concurrent unique Program/Series and choosing to pay only the initial producer fee will be guaranteed only one time slot.
It is the producer’s responsibility to create the video file for upload to Seattle Community Media. Seattle Community Media will provide limited assistance to help producers create their video files, but Seattle Community Media is not responsible for the creation of video files.
Producers must upload and create their episode pages a minimum of 96 hours prior to the desired air time to ensure the highest probability of the episode broadcasting in the desired timeslot.
Seattle Community Media staff is not responsible for programs that fail to appear when uploaded within 96 hours of the desired time slot. Staff will make every effort to help process programs that have been uploaded prior to 96 hours. Staff will not honor requests to assist the processing and scheduling of video files uploaded within 96 hours of desired scheduling time.
5.8 Local / Imported Programming
Any non-commercial program with a majority of material produced by a Seattle Community Media Production Member or a City of Seattle resident, whether it was produced through Seattle Community Media, a school or other institution, or a private production facility, is considered “local” programming for purposes of scheduling.
Non-commercial programming produced by non-residents is considered to be "imported" programming and requires a local sponsor to air on Seattle Community Media. Local program scheduling has priority over imported programming. The local sponsor of an imported program must note on the series page that this is not a locally produced program and must pay the sponsored program add-on fee of $25.
5.9 Series Programming
Any producers who submits occasional programs will have the ability to have their programs air. Producers who do not have a guaranteed time slot have the opportunity to schedule their episodes during pre-scheduled theme time slots. Existing producers can schedule their episode during their assigned time slots.
To receive an assigned time slot, a producer must submit and schedule at least two episodes per month for three consecutive months (two episodes during month one, two episodes during month two, and two episodes during month three). After meeting these criteria, the producer is responsible for contacting Seattle Community Media staff with a record of their airings. Seattle Community Media staff will then provide the producer with available time slot options to choose from.
Series programs that are scheduled at the beginning of a programming season will be assigned regular time slots for one year. Mid-season additions will be assigned a time slot for the duration of the programming season. In order to make time available for all current and future programs, Seattle Community Media reserves the right to make schedule changes at the beginning of each programming season.
When a producer does not provide new episodes for their series for a period of six weeks, their timeslots will be relinquished into the time slot pool. Seattle Community Media may decide to no longer air those programs, but reserves the right to air them at will.
All episodes in a series with an assigned time slot are scheduled by the producers. Episodes not in a series with an assigned time slot can be scheduled during times that match the theme of the episode. If series timeslots are not filled by a producer within 24 hours of broadcast time, the automatic scheduler will fill the time slot with the last aired show. If theme time slots are not filled, the automatic scheduler will fill them with a random show in that theme.
The number of additional repeat showings any program receives after its first cablecast will be scheduled at the discretion of Seattle Community Media staff based on the available channel time and may change as demand for channel time increases. Seattle Community Media reserves the right to pre-empt program repeats to facilitate the scheduling of special programming. Seattle Community Media is not required to notify producers in advance if their program schedule is being changed.
5.10 Program Broadcast/Cablecast
The Seattle Community Media program schedule is subject to change. SCM is not liable for changes made to the broadcast schedule that prevent a program from airing in its originally scheduled broadcast slot.
5.11 Program Liability
Program submitters must agree to the Program Release when they create a series on the Seattle Community Media Website acknowledging legal responsibility for program content. If the submitter is under 18, a parent or legal guardian must come in to the Seattle Community Media community room and sign the Program Release. The content of programs presented on the access channel(s) is solely the responsibility of the producer. As such:
1. No liability for the content of access programs shall attach itself to Seattle Community Media, the funding jurisdictions, their agents or employees, or the cable operator.
2. Applicants for cablecast time shall sign a release which saves and holds Seattle Community Media, the funding jurisdictions, their agents and employees, and the cable operator harmless for all damages or claims arising as a result of the use of access channels by the applicant.
All full-length or short programs must include the producers name in the opening credits and name and contact information in the closing credits. All promotional material must include the sponsoring producer name on screen for a minimum of 10 seconds. Failure to include this information in producer/members program may lead to the suspension of the broadcast of producer/members program.
5.12 Program Support and Underwriting
Members may seek underwriting, whether cash or in-kind contributions of their programs. While members may not solicit or receive personal financial compensation for the production of their own programming, underwriting may be used to pay for costs incurred in creating the production. All contributors must be acknowledged in the program closing credits. In addition, producers may acknowledge contributors once every 30 minutes during the body of the program. Programs less than 30 minutes in length may have 1 contributor acknowledgment in addition to the closing credit. Underwriting credits must be formatted as described below. NO CALL TO ACTION IS PERMITTED. However, a tag line may be included that makes an association between the company and the program or the company and the community.
The title of the program cannot contain the sponsor’s name. The ever-present sponsorship name is more equated to commercial television.
Tom’s cooking show, sponsored by Rain City Plumbing cannot be called “Rain City Plumbing Cooking with Tom”.
SUPPORT FOR THIS PROGRAM PROVIDED IN PART BY
(business name and/or logo, city, telephone, e-mail, or web address )
THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING FOR THEIR SUPPORT
(business name and/or logo, city, telephone, e-mail, or web address )
ABC BUSINESS SUPPLIES Seattle, WA (206) XXX-XXXX www.abcbusiness.com
NO CALL TO ACTION IS PERMITTED. However, a tag line may be included that makes an association between the company and the program or the company and the community.
ABC Business Supplies is proud to support this program or ABC Business Supplies – serving King County businesses since 1962
5.12 Technical Requirements
Programs submitted for playback must have technical standards high enough to deliver a clear, consistent and unbroken picture to cable subscribers. Audio must be clearly understandable and at audible levels, and without distortion. Producers will upload digital video files of all programs. Producers are solely responsible for the quality of file uploaded. As technology changes, Seattle Community Media may require variations to submission methods. Program contained in each video file should immediately fade up from black. There should be no color bars and no tones prior to the program beginning and a distinct end. Seattle Community Media reserves the right to reject programs that do not meet technical standards. Seattle Community Media is not responsible for technical issues with program files that prevent the program from airing, airing with audible audio or other technical issues caused by the Producer Member’s program file.
5.13 Technical Support
Seattle Community Media is committed to successful creation and upload of all members’ content. Seattle Community Media offers limited training and support to ensure this success. Members who have issues with program file creation, uploading, or scheduling, and broadcast of an episode should contact Seattle Community Media. Seattle Community Media encourages all members to also double check their own work, which may lead to a solution. Staff will troubleshoot the issue and then contact the member within a reasonable time. Lack of planning on a member’s part does not consititute an emergency on Seattle Community Media’s part. Staff will not respond to habitual abusers of this policy. Staff will also discontinue assisting those who rely on this policy to complete their own work or fail to improve their own workflow to avoid issues. Seattle Community media is an online based entity. As such, it must utilize the latest technological advances demanded by technological updates to the Seattle Community Media as a whole to maintain viability. Member/producers have hundreds of technological options available to them when they make their productions, including cameras, editing software, and encoding software. When a member/producer is having difficulty with the technological aspects of producing a video file, Seattle Community Media staff will present the member/producer with possible options to solve the technological issue, but Seattle Community Media staff is not responsible for solving the technological issue.
6.0 SUSPENSION OF PRIVILEGES
6.1 General Statement
In order to ensure that Seattle Community Media equipment and facilities remain in good working order, are used in such a manner as to fulfill Seattle Community Media's contractual obligations to our funding jurisdiction, and that Seattle Community Media remains a safe and respectful workspace for all persons involved, Seattle Community Media reserves the right to refuse on a temporary or permanent basis or otherwise initiate disciplinary or legal actions against individuals or organizations that violate the Code of Conduct or otherwise interfere with or jeopardize Seattle Community Media operations or otherwise violate these Operating Policies. Suspension/termination of privileges may be appealed to the Seattle Community Media Executive as described in Section 7.0.
Verbal or written threats of violence will be taken seriously. Individuals making threats toward Seattle Community Media or any individual in the facility or at a Seattle Community Media sponsored event will be escorted from the premises and/or banned from the Seattle Community Media facilities.
6.2 Code of Conduct
Individuals and organizations using the Seattle Community Media facilities and channel must agree to abide by all Seattle Community Media policies regarding the use of equipment or channel for the production and presentation of their programming. In addition all members are expected to follow all laws and Seattle Community Colleges policy and North Seattle Community College policy and respect the rights and dignity of the staff and other individuals in the facility and on the North Seattle Community College campus. Seattle Community Colleges policy and North Seattle Community College policy supersede Seattle Community Media policy where applicable.
Conduct that harasses, discriminates against, or degrades any person will not be tolerated. A reasonable standard of courtesy and respect must be observed. Seattle Community Media reserves the right to restrict any person from using Seattle Community Media facilities and assets for violation of this or other policies that result in the disruption of Seattle Community Media activities and operations.
In addition to the Code of Conduct, individuals who use the Seattle Community Media facilities, assets and/or channel must agree to abide by the following rules. Specific violations are set forth in writing in order to provide notice to all who use Seattle Community Media facilities and assets. They are not designed to define violations in exhaustive terms. Individuals may be accountable to both civil/criminal authorities and Seattle Community Media for acts which constitute violations of law on or off the premises. Individuals shall be subject to disciplinary action for violation of any provision of the Seattle Community Media policies.
Parents/guardians are responsible for supervising their children while in the facility. Likewise, producers are responsible for the actions of their talent and guests.
The following acts are prohibited:
A. False information: Intentionally providing false information to Seattle Community Media for the purpose of obtaining membership services, access to channel time, or to avoid determination of facts in accordance with any Seattle Community Media investigation or hearing.
B. Misrepresentation: Individuals and organizations may not identify themselves as being an employee or agent of Seattle Community Media or the funding jurisdiction.
C. Destroying or damaging property: Intentionally and/or recklessly or carelessly destroying or damaging Seattle Community Media property or the property of others on Seattle Community Media premises or at Seattle Community Media sponsored events or activities.
D. Drugs/alcoholic beverages: Use, possession or distribution of any controlled substance, illegal drug, or alcoholic beverage on Seattle Community Media and North Seattle Community College premises or at Seattle Community Media sponsored events or appearance at any Seattle Community Media sponsored event while intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance is prohibited and will be considered a violation.
E. Weapons, firearms, explosives and dangerous chemicals: Use or possession of any weapon, explosives, dangerous chemicals, substances or instruments or other weapons, as defined by state law, which may be used to inflict bodily harm on another individual or damage upon Seattle Community Media premises or Seattle Community Media sponsored events is prohibited, except when being displayed or demonstrated in conjunction with a bona fide production, for which prior permission has been granted by the Seattle Community Media General Manager.
F. Unlawful harassment, threats and/or physical harm: systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying actions of one party or a group, including threats and demands. The purposes may vary, including racial prejudice, personal malice, an attempt to force someone to do something against their will, apply illegal pressure, or merely gain sadistic pleasure from making someone fearful or anxious. Threatening, intimidating or harassing another with intent to substantially harm the person with respect to his or her physical safety or mental health. This includes causing physical harm to any person or property on Seattle Community Media or North Seattle Community Colleges premises or at any Seattle Community Media sponsored activity or causing reasonable apprehension of such harm to another person.
G. Disrupting Seattle Community Media functions: Intentionally and/or recklessly interfering with the normal Seattle Community Media operations or with Seattle Community Media sponsored activities.
H. Smoking: All facilities must remain smoke free, and free of residual smoke. Smoking of any substance is prohibited inside the Seattle Community Media facilities. All North Seattle Community College rules pertaining smoking must be followed. Smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of any doors or windows Building doors may not be propped open for re-entry.
I. Theft or conversion: Deprivation of another person’s property including Seattle Community Media property or services without that individual’s or Seattle Community Media’s authorization.
J. Use of Seattle Community Media name/logo: Unauthorized use of the Seattle Community Media logo, name, indicia, motto, or symbols for any purpose without prior consent by Seattle Community Media staff. Logos or labels indicating Seattle Community Media or City of Seattle ownership of production gear may not be covered or hidden.
K. Inappropriate Behavior: Engaging in lewd, indecent, erotic, or obscene behavior on Seattle Community Media premises or at Seattle Community Media sponsored activities.
L. Unlawful acts: Engaging in any unlawful act while on Seattle Community Media premises or while participating in a Seattle Community Media sponsored event or activity.
M. Trespassing: Unauthorized entry into restricted areas.
N. Recording Video/Audio on Premises: Recording video within the Seattle Community Media facility is not allowed, with the exception of studio productions and when permission has been granted by the General Manager.
Violation of any of these rules may lead to suspension of privileges.
6.3 Disciplinary Actions
Engaging in any of the acts prohibited in Section 6.2 may result in immediate revocation of all member privileges. Violation of any Seattle Community Media policies may result in suspension or revocation of privileges. The Seattle Community Media General Manager will determine the termination or length of any suspension based on circumstances surrounding and the severity of the incident(s) that resulted in the suspension. Services may also be suspended or prohibited to individuals for criminal activities off-site that may pose a danger to Seattle Community Media or its operations.
7.0 DISPUTE RESOLUTION & APPEALS PROCESS
It is hoped that disputes over policy interpretation can be resolved by a good faith effort to reasonably discuss the problem to arrive at an acceptable solution for everyone involved. When an incident occurs, the member will be notified that they have violated policy. Staff members are empowered to act immediately when a violation occurs. The General Manager will then review the incident and will then make a determination regarding disciplinary action. The member will then be notified about the disciplinary action. A member may file a written grievance with the General Manager if they do not agree with the disciplinary action. The General Manager will review the grievance and attempt to mediate a solution. If a member still does not agree with the decision, they may contact the City of Seattle’s Do It office.
Grievances relating to Seattle Community Media staff conduct should be addressed to the General Manager.
8.0 Limits of Liability
Seattle Community Media is not liable for any mistakes, omissions or interruptions in the cablecast and any other means of distribution of programs. Seattle Community Media is also not liable for any program material submitted and is damaged, lost or stolen while in its custody.
Lack of planning on a member’s part does not constitute an emergency on Seattle Community Media’s part.