Operating Rules and Procedures

Access Carson City Television

PURPOSE

The purpose of these operating rules and procedures is to clearly define the rights, responsibilities and privileges of ACCtv, its staff and the community members in the use of the access channel, facility, and equipment. The primary reason for the existence of this facility is to encourage residents of this area to utilize the opportunities provided by access television in the production and cablecasting of localized programming.

In order to encourage local participation in this public access channel and its programming, ACCtv offers the community an access studio, equipment facilities, assistance and mini dv tapes for no charge as long as this is for public access content, once trained for a fee.

These operating rules and procedures are based upon the Federal Communication Regulations and the Public Access Authority. Recommendations for these rules were also made by the National Federation of Local Cable Programmers and the Board of Directors. They are created to ensure maximum use by all area individuals, groups and organizations that desire access to ACCtv’s facilities, equipment and cablecast time.

DEFINITIONS
Access – The ability for community members to use the available video equipment, studio and access channel time to produce and display community programming.

Access Cablecasting – Refers to programs provided by access users on access channel time provided by ACCtv

Access Channel Time – Refers to the designated cable access time on a specific signal path provided by ACCtv

Access Coordinator – The staff person designated to promote the use of the community access channel on a non-discriminatory, first-come, first-served basis. This person, Darla Bayer (775-830-7939) is responsible for enforcing the operating rules and procedures, maintaining the access channel and equipment, and supervising the staff and volunteers.

Access User – Any individual, partnership, group or organization that makes proper application for using access equipment and/or access channel time and presents access cablecasting material or programming for distribution over the cable system access channel(s).

Advertising – Various methods of attracting attention to commercial goods and services, including candidates for public office.

Cablecasting – The origination of programming by a cable system exclusive of broadcast signals and usually other that automated services.

Community – Refers to any resident, business, businessperson, group, organization, or any other entity, located within the boundaries of the service in areas of Charter Cable
Community Access Channel – At this time, Channel 210 on the Charter Cable system in Carson City and Dayton, NV has been designated as the channel on which access programming for this area will be cablecast.

Community Producer – Any individual, group or organization, who becomes certified through ACCtv’s workshops, applies for & uses ACCtv’s channel(s).

Copyright – The exclusive legal right of publication, duplication, imitation, or sale of literacy, music or artistic work. All necessary copyright clearances are the responsibility of the access user.

Defamation – Anything which exposes a person, group, organization, business, class, race, or association to hatred, contempt, ridicules, degradation, or disgrace within society or community, or injury to his/her or its business or occupation and any matter which renders and individual issuing defamatory subject matter liable for damages within the laws of the State of Nevada

Legally Qualified Candidates – Any person who has publicly announced the he/she is a candidate for nomination by a convention of a political party, or for nomination by a convention of a political party, or for nomination or election in a special primary or general election for municipal, county, state or national office, so that he/she may be voted for by the electorate directly or by means of delegate, or electors, and who has qualified for a place on the ballot, or is eligible under applicable law to be voted for by sticker, by writing his/her name on the ballot, or other methods, and has been duly nominated by a political party which is commonly known, or makes a substantial showing the he/she is a bona fide candidate for nomination for office.

Libel – Any written, printed, or pictorial statement that damages a person by defaming his/her character or exposing him/her to ridicule. Also, the act of presenting such a statement to the public.

Lottery – Any device, scheme, plan, promotion, contest, or other program which involves directly, or indirectly the elements of prize, change and consideration, or any such act which is declared a lottery under applicable local, state, or federal law.

Non-Discriminatory – All certified people shall be allowed access to the available equipment and studio on a first come, first served, non-discriminatory basis. No person shall be denied access to these services and facilities because of race, color, creed, religion, nationality, origin, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, or disability.

Obscene or Indecent Material – Any material in a program or character generated message which would subject a producer or supplier of it to the prosecution under local, state or federal law for the production and/or presentation of obscene or indecent materials.

Production Assistance – Once the community producer is trained, at a fee, our staff or crew will assist when needed on small tasks, such as additional instruction on use of equipment. Full and partial production is charged on a per episode basis as listed here.

Sponsored Programs – A program that has been financed in part or in its entirety through monetary grants or donations and or material contributions. Sponsored programs may not resemble an advertisement or any commercial products or services.

ACCESS CHANNEL TIME
Channel time shall be made available for access cablecasting to any community member, group or organization on a first come, first served, non-discriminatory basis after completion of the necessary filings of the Submission forms and dependent upon the availability of the cablecast channel time. When competing claims for the same channel time arises, the priority rules shall be resolved by the Access Coordinator on a non-discriminatory basis in a manner that will ensure that no one community member, group or organization monopolized the equipment or facilities to the disadvantage of others and they will maximize fairness and diversity of expression.

Live cablecast time for non-residents will be assessed in the same manner and at the same rate as residents.

Productions produced by members of the community will have priority over any pre-packaged programs.

Local educational authorities and local governmental bodies, both for playback or pre-recorded programming and live presentations, shall share the same priority for access channel time on a first come, first served basis.

Use of channel time for productions funded, sponsored or underwritten in part or in full with grant monies donated by an individual, group or organization or business shall also share the first come, first served basis for channel time.

A message identifying the sponsor or underwriter may appear at the beginning and end of a half hour program and at the half hour of an hour long in the following manner: “This program was made possible with funds provided by (name of supporter).” Reference to town or city is permissible. The only audio message in this announcement is a voice-over, accompanied by instrumental sound if chosen, which may be read during the fifteen seconds that the visual message appears.

Addendum: web addresses are allowed.

The program content of a funded access production shall not resemble an advertisement of the individual business or organization who is supporting it.

Charges shall be consistent with affording the producer(s) a low-cost means of television production & shall be negotiated according to the rates listed here. All extraneous expenses such as costumes, set pieces, copyright clearances, auditorium rental, etc., shall be incurred by the supporting individual, group or organization or business.

The Access Coordinator may reserve a block of time each day for regularly scheduled programs, and shall be responsible for scheduling programs within this block.

CONTENT
The community producer or organization producing the program bears sole responsibility for the content and materials used in the program. The producer’s signature must appear beneath the indemnification clause on the Submission Form (and remain on file of a period of two (2) years) for each program submitted before that program will be cablecast on Channel 210. This responsibility includes libel, defamation, copyright and any other legal accountability that may arise from the production or cablecasting of that program.

The following announcement will be cablecast at the beginning of each programming day:
“You are viewing community access programming made available by ACCtv The contents and opinions presented in the following programs are not necessarily those of Carson City or ACCtv

The following announcement will be cablecast after the last scheduled program for the day:
“We now end our cablecast of scheduled programming for today.”

Our business hours are flexible to accommodate outside shoots and evening production, Monday through Friday. Weekends by appointment.

Upon determination by the Access Coordinator or the Board of Directors that a program’s subject matter may cause some viewer or parental concern due to its’ content, the following message may precede and / or during breaks in cablecast of that program:
“The following program may be considered offensive to some viewers. Viewer/Parental discretion is encouraged.”

The Access Coordinator or ACCtv Board of Directors may suggest a block of time each day for the programs that may contain potentially offensive material. Access producers have the right to reject such a suggestion.

A program produced or cablecasted with ACCtv equipment or channel time shall not contain any of the following:
Advertising material designed to promote the sale of commercial products or services

Promotion by or on behalf of any one legally qualified candidate.

Requirements for broadcast licensees and cable operators under the Communications Act and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules related to political broadcasting aimed at ensuring fair and reasonable access by political candidates are not applicable to PEG (public, educational and governmental) access channels. An article, dated 2003 here. Rules could change without notification.

Therefore, ACCtv, under the guidance of an advisory committee, shall treat political programming no differently than any other programming that appears on the public access TV channel–ACCtv 210-with five important exceptions:

1.ACCtv shall not make any special scheduling changes on its channel, including the cancellation or preemption of regularly-scheduled programming in order to accommodate programming that favors or opposes any candidate for public office.

2.ACCtv shall not air programming that favors or opposes any candidate for public office, especially on the day of an election for that office.

3.Political programming must carry the following or similar advisory notice: “The content and opinions presented in this program are not those of ACCtv or the Brewery Arts Center.” The notice shall be provided at the start of the program and at the end of the program for a minimum of 15 seconds on each occurence.

4.ACCtv will limit political candidates to appearing on news or debate formats.

5.ACCtv reserves the right to prohibit the appearance of political candidates altogether, should the political climate rise.

Soliciting of funds for any group, organization, or individual with the exception of the public access channel (ACCtv) to raise funds for operating revenues as needed.

Obscene, indecent, libelous, or slanderous material

Lottery or lottery information

Any public meeting that is cablecast over Channel 226 shall not be edited or subjected to editorial comment. Meeting coverage shall be from gavel to gavel.

A program produced or cablecasted with ACCtv equipment or channel time may contain any of the following:

Forums and Lectures

Debates

Religious services

Legal or Medical Advice

Sports

How To’s

Discussions

All DVDs submitted for cablecast on ACCtv’s Channel 210 must be received by the Coordinator 14 days in advance before cablecast time. Persons submitting the program for cablecast should indicate any possible cause for concern with regard to the technical standards of the program.

The Access Coordinator or Board of Directors may not censor by editing the submitted program. However, if the Access Coordinator finds that the program contains any of the items described above they may reflect the program or message on the grounds that it is unsuitable for cablecasting.

In the event of problematic technical quality that while not severe enough result in the prevention of cablecasting, may cause viewer concern, the following announcement may be shown prior to the program with additional information as to the specific problem, and during breaks in the program when warranted:
“The viewer may find some (identification of technical problem) during this program which is beyond the control of our public access TV technicians.”

USE OF ACCESS EQUIPMENT
Persons using the video equipment will be responsible for damage to the equipment which requires equipment to be replaced or repaired resulting from their negligence or abuse, and must sign a Responsibility Form assuming such each time equipment is checked out or used.

Persons under 18 years of age may not use or check out the equipment unless their parent or legal guardian signs a Responsibility Form personally assuming this liability for damage to the equipment that is checked out. A parent or guardian must accompany each minor to ACCtv the first time equipment is checked out or used by the minor to sign the necessary Responsibility Form. Thereafter, that minor need only provide the parent or guardian’s signature on the appropriate Responsibility Form to use the equipment.

A credit card number will be required for all check out.

The user should take all the necessary actions to identify himself or herself to the person being videotaped as a volunteer for ACCtv, and carefully explain the nature of the program being produced.

All appropriate clearances and permission, including that of copyright, are the responsibility or the Access User.

SCHEDULING EQUIPMENT
The use of all equipment and production assistance is available to all qualified persons on a first come, first served, non-discriminatory basis.

Request for equipment and necessary production assistance may be submitted to the Access Coordinator up to one month (30 days) in advance and must be submitted at least 7 days in advance. The use of the portable equipment may be accessed on shorter notice depending upon it’s availability and the discretion of the Coordinator.

Only one portable camera may be reserved and checked out by any community producer or producers per production unless additional equipment is available at the time of checkout.

Portable equipment may be checked out during ACCtv’s operating hours or a prearranged time with the Access Coordinator or designated staff person. Upon completion of the necessary Responsibility form, it is the user’s responsibility to set up the equipment, to ensure that it is working properly prior to leaving ACCtv

Portable equipment must be checked in by the Access Coordinator or designated staff person. The equipment contract form shall be reviewed at that time. User responsibility is complete when the request form has been initialed by the Coordinator or staff person.

Portable equipment may be checked out for a period not to exceed twenty-four (24) hours at one time unless permission is granted by the Coordinator.

Studio facilities and equipment shall be available to trained individuals without charge by appointment.

The editing zone is by appointment as well and an external drive owned by the Producer must be utilized for content. This hard drive comes and goes with the producer and is not the responsibility of ACCtv.

CABLECAST TIME
Playback time on the access channel shall be limited to three weekly time slots, space permitting.

All programs produced with ACCtv’s equipment, studio equipment and videotape must be cablecast on the local access channel.

Request for cablecast time may be submitted up to one month (30 days) in advance and must be submitted at least fourteen (14) days in advance to the Access Coordinator. Playback or pre-recorded programs may be accessed on shorter notice depending upon the availability and discretion of the Coordinator.

Live presentations must be scheduled at least thirty (30) days in advance. Contact Darla (775-830-7939) for an appointment.

PRIVILEGES OF USERS
Any qualified user of ACCtv’s access equipment, studio or cablecast time has the following rights:
To use the ACCtv equipment and resources to produce visual pieces or programs for cablecast on Channel 210.
To have a DVD which has been produced through other sources to be played on Channel 210

To have five minutes per calendar month of free live cablecast time for presentation of one’s own ideas. This time is scheduled at the discretion of the Access Coordinator during regular business hours scheduled in advance by a minimum of 10 days.

To call on the ACCtv staff for advice in the production of a community program

To copyright original creations and protect them against copyright infringement

RESPONSIBILITIES
Any qualified user of ACCtv’s access equipment, studio or cablecast time has the following responsibilities:
To read, understand and agree to the Operating Rules presented by ACCtv

To allow one’s name and address to be recorded for ACCtv’s programming file.

To bear responsibility for equipment checked out or for a minor acting with your permission.

To respect the right of others

To bear full responsibility and liability for the content of the produced program and any copyright material contained within it.

To follow the rules set down in the ACCtv Operating Rules regarding advertisements, lotteries, obscene and indecent material.

To identify the originator, producer, and sponsor of a program which is cablecast on Channel 210.

To return the equipment promptly and in the same condition in which it was received.

To uphold the integrity of the organization by conducting oneself in a responsible manner while representing ACCtv, using ACCtv’s equipment or facility and/or participating in ACCtv activities.

GROUNDS FOR LOSS OF PRIVILEGES
The following may result in the loss of privileges regarding the use of ACCtv’s equipment and facility:
Not returning the equipment on time as promised on the Equipment Request Form

Taking ACCtv portable equipment out of town without prior approval of the Coordinator

Returning equipment in a condition other than it was prior to check-out.

Damaging the equipment as a result of but not limited to one of the following:
Leaving the equipment in a car above 75 degrees Fahrenheit or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit

Causing a “burn-in” image in the camera tube by not replacing the lens cap or aiming the camera at intense light

Dropping, smashing, throwing, running over and/or permanently breaking any of the equipment.

Abusing the equipment, or exposing internal parts.

Using the equipment improperly, or with equipment that does not belong to ACCtv

Using the portable equipment in a watercraft while on water, or using equipment near water or high-risk conditions (ie: tornadoes, fires, flying debris or explosives) without providing prior proof of adequate insurance coverage.

Taking or returning the equipment without the knowledge of the Coordinator or designated staff person.

Leaving the equipment in an unsafe, unlocked or unattended area

Losing the equipment or any part of it

Failure to notify access staff when unable to keep scheduled studio/editing time or equipment checkout

Acting in an abusive or disruptive manner, or in demonstrating a pattern of non-cooperative behavior

General carelessness, recklessness or lack of regard for the well – being of the equipment

The following may result in the loss of privileges regarding the use of ACCtv equipment, facility, cablecast program and/or character generator time:
Producing material that contains advertising, solicitation for funds, lottery or lottery information, obscenity, indecency, slander or defamation

APPEAL
Any individual, group, or organization who uses the access equipment or facility or who cablecasts on the access channel shall be held responsible for following the guidelines set forth in these operations rules and regulations. Depending on the class status of the violation, disciplinary action will be initiated by one or all of the following actions:
An oral notice of regulation violated and request to resolve the problem (Three oral warnings within a 60-day period will automatically upgrade the violation status to the next class.)
A written warning stating the regulation in violation and further action that may be taken if the problem is not corrected. (Two written warnings with a 30-day period will automatically upgrade the violation status to the next class)
Written notification or denial of privileges. Denial of access privileges may be categorized according to the severity of the violation and the loss of privileges extended accordingly:
Class A (60 days): Violations that interfere with the scheduled time of others or with staff time, or infringe on the rights of others or abuse the environment of the access facility.
Class B (One Year) Violations that affect the operation or will-being of the equipment, facility or channel or impair the relations between staff and access user.
Class C (Permanent) Violations that clearly are careless or reckless in nature, lacking all regard for the well-being of the equipment, facility, channel, staff or concept of public access.
Any individual, group or organization who is denied access to the equipment, studio, editor, or cablecast time by the Access Coordinator for reason stated in these operating rules (including grounds for loss of privileges) may appeal to the Public Access Authority within thirty (30) days of the mailing of notification of denial. The appellate process shall follow these steps;
The Access Coordinator shall notify the access user in writing of the disciplinary action to be taken, the regulatory provision in violation and a written statement of facts supporting the action. Along with these materials shall be sent a copy of the operating rules section regarding loss of privileges, the appeal process and the provision(s) in violation. These materials shall be sent by first class and certified mail to the address on file.
Upon receipt of the aforementioned materials, the access user may request an appeal hearing. This request must be made by filling out the request form and personally delivering it to the Coordinator within thirty (30) days of the mailing of notification of loss of privileges. Failure to do so within that time will invalidate any requests for a hearing on the matter. Requests for hearings on loss of privileges will also be denied of the access user attempts to or makes contact with, an individual member of the Board of Directors in written or otherwise with regard to the appeal or loss of privileges.
Upon the receipt of a request or an appeal that meets the above criteria, the Coordinator may respond in writing to claims made by the access user in the appeal form. When the Coordinator shall schedule a hearing date with the Board of Directors and provide them with all written statements prior to the hearing. The Coordinator should also notify the access user in writing of the pending hearing date.
The Board of Directors should review all statements prior to the hearing. The Board of Directors should limit the scope of the appeal hearing exclusively to the written statements but may; in its’ sole discretion, permit discussion by interested person(s). Following appropriate discussion among themselves, a recommendation and/or decision of the matter should be made at that time.
The decision of the Board of Directors is final.