Cities sue Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, declare they owe cable “franchise charges”

A person's hand holding a remote control in front of a TV screen with a Netflix logo.

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4 cities in Indiana are suing Netflix and different video firms, claiming that on-line video suppliers and satellite-TV operators ought to need to pay the identical franchise charges that cable firms pay for utilizing native rights of method.

The lawsuit was filed in opposition to Netflix, Disney, Hulu, DirecTV, and Dish Community on August four in Indiana Industrial Court docket in Marion County. The cities of Indianapolis, Evansville, Valparaiso, and Fishers need the businesses to pay the cable-franchise charges established in Indiana’s Video Service Franchises (VSF) Act, which requires funds of 5 p.c of gross income in every metropolis.

The lawsuit relies on an uncommon authorized argument and does not appear more likely to succeed. Basically, the cities are claiming that Netflix and comparable suppliers use the general public rights of method just by providing video streaming companies over the Web:

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