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Operating Policies

Easton Community Access Television POLICIES & PROCEDURES

Easton Community Access Television
50 Oliver Street Suite 201A North Easton, MA 02356
phone:  508-230-7200   email:  info@eastoncat.org
http://www.eastoncat.org

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of Easton Community Access Television (ECAT) is to develop and produce educational, cultural and informational community programming for the Town of Easton, MA and to provide an electronic forum for the free exchange of information and ideas which reflect the talents, interests, concerns and diversity of Easton residents.

1. Annual Membership

A. Categories of Membership

In order to participate in training classes and/or to use production resources, a person must become a ECAT Access Member. At the present time there are two basic memberships:

1. Individual Access Membership

Any Easton resident may become an Access Member. Definition: An Easton resident is defined as an individual whose principal residence is located in the Town of Easton. (That is, where he/she normally eats, sleeps and maintains his/her personal and household effects)

Access Members may:

enroll in any of ECAT’s workshops (see the Training section of these policies)

volunteer/assist on any production using ECAT equipment

upon certification, use ECAT’s video equipment and facilities for a specified period of time without charge provided the production is for ECAT’s channels (See Section Four ~ Training, Workshops, and Certification)

cablecast programming on ECAT’s channels join any of ECAT's electronic communications (list serves, social networks, websites, etc.)

2. Organizational Access Membership

Any organization including businesses, non-profits, or departments of an institution that is based in Easton may become an Organizational Access Member.

Organizational Access Membership fees are determined by the annual operating budget of the organization or business. Organizational Access Members are eligible to receive training for up to four people per membership year with training for additional people available at the discretion of ECAT staff.

Organizational Access Members may:

have all the privileges of Individual Access Membership

schedule specialized training

request coverage of events through our Field Stringers Program

Note: An incorporated organization without an Easton address may be eligible for Membership if 50% of its service area, constituency, Membership, and events are in Easton.

B. Membership Fees
The Board of Directors of ECAT may establish membership fees, which shall be published annually.

C. Requirements for Access Membership
In order to gain access to production resources and certification training, a person becomes an Access Member by following these steps:

Showing proof of Easton residency or, if a non-resident, submitting a letter from an Easton based Organization contact person.

Proof may include, but is not limited to, current license, utility bill, or lease. A letter received at an Easton address is not deemed to be sufficient proof of residency.

Post Office Boxes are not acceptable

Signing and submitting an Access Membership Application

Easton residents who are between the ages of 12 and 18 who would like to become a member must also have their parent or guardian fill out an additional parental consent form

Signing and submitting an Agreement With ECAT Policies form.

Note: All Access Members must attend an Orientation prior to enrolling in workshops, using the facilities or producing a program.

Further: It is the Access Member’s responsibility to ensure that ECAT has his or her current contact information.

D. Interns

ECAT relies on the services of Interns in many capacities. Generally, an internship requires a four-month commitment of a minimum of three hours weekly. In exchange, Interns receive all the benefits of Access Membership. Students receiving high school or college credit are also encouraged to intern. Those wishing to become interns are required to submit an Intern Application and a resume.

Note: Internships are provided at the discretion of ECAT staff. Every applicant is not guaranteed acceptance.

E. Program Funders, Sponsors, and Friends of ECAT

ECAT seeks funding from many sources in order to support it operations. Donations from individuals, foundations, corporations and businesses are tax deductible and are gratefully acknowledged on ECAT’s channels, in ECAT publications and in other promotional materials. Donors do not receive any goods or services for their donations, nor do they receive Membership benefits, unless such benefits are part of a special Sponsorship package.

F. Town of Easton Users

Employees of the Town of Easton and the School Department automatically receive ECAT Membership. Any employee of the Town or School Department wishing to join ECAT as an Access Member may do so.  Non-resident employees must have a supervisor or department head approve the Membership and serve as the Organizational contact person for the department. All other policies apply to these Members.

G. Representation

Access Members do not represent ECAT and should refrain from implying such representation. False representation of ECAT may result in suspension of membership privileges. Such false representation might include (but not be limited to) statements such as "I am producing for ECAT..." or "I work at ECAT...". A Community Producer may inform interested persons that he or she is "a volunteer community producer, working on my own TV program which I produce at Easton's PEG access facility, ECAT. I am responsible for the entire production...", or words to that effect.

2. Programming

By agreement with the Town of Easton, the community cable channels are administered by ECAT. These channels are provided as a public forum for solely noncommercial speech and are therefore not subject to content regulation by ECAT, the Town of Easton, or the cable operator. ECAT is content neutral and any content that is considered protected speech under the First Amendment of the US Constitution is permissible on ECAT’s channels. Reference to a Community Producer is to indicate a local resident producing programs with ECAT equipment or facilities. Reference to a Local Sponsor refers to an Easton resident who is taking legal responsibility for the cablecasting of either a locally-produced program or a program produced elsewhere.  ECAT retains the right to preempt programming at any time in order to provide timely local programming, such as live or taped special municipal events, important local debates/forums, election-related programming, satellite downlinking, or other local events of general interest to the Easton community for which time is of the essence (Example: The unscheduled appearance of a local school team in a championship final match). Furthermore, ECAT may place a higher priority on access to limited channel cablecast time for programming for and about Easton or by a Easton resident, against programming on more general or wider topics, or that produced outside of Easton. The Easton resident who provides programming for ECAT’s channels takes personal responsibility for the content of that programming by signing the Cablecast Agreement.

A. Submission of Programming

In order to cablecast any programming, one must be an ECAT member in good standing, or an Easton resident,and submit the completed paperwork along with disc or file metadata and appropriate releases and clearances. Community Producers on the access channels are fully responsible for the content of their program material, and must have signed an acknowledgement of responsibility.

A Playback Request Form for Series or Single programs must accompany media submitted for cablecast. This Playback Request Form functions as a contract between the program provider and ECAT. Series Playback Request Forms must be resubmitted once per calendar year as long as the series is active. Formatting and labeling requirements are detailed on the Playback Request Form.

ECAT staff has the right not to show or stop a program if the audio and/or video signal is below minimum technical standards as determined by those monitoring the channel signal (see section 2-P).

B. Program Delivery and Pickup

Programs on disc may be submitted in person during normal ECAT operating hours. Internet submissions are acceptable, however, arrangements must be made with the staff. Under special circumstances and only by permission of the ECAT staff, shows may be mailed to ECAT. A Playback Request Form must accompany all submissions of Single programs. The first episode in a Series must be submitted with a signed Playback Request Form. All subsequent Series episodes must be submitted at least 48 hours (2 business days) before their scheduled cablecast. Exceptions may be made only at the discretion of ECAT staff.

For each individual program or Series episode, program providers will have one month from the last cablecast date to pick up their programs. Media will not be returned by mail. Media left at ECAT for over a month after the last scheduled play date becomes property of ECAT. ECAT is not responsible for media lost, stolen, broken, or erased while on the premises.

C. Content Responsibility, Ownership and Liability

The community producer is holder of the copyright of their program.

In addition, all productions that utilize ECAT equipment and/or are disseminated through ECAT channels are designated with a Creative Commons Attribution, Noncommercial, Share-Alike License.  All ECAT producers including those who did not use ECAT equipment have the option of selecting the "No Derivatives" option, which prevents anyone from building upon your work, using excerpts or segments, remixing, or any other derivative uses of your work. 

ECAT retains the right of first distribution for all programs produced using ECAT equipment. (Cable subscribers pay for ECAT, so they have the right to see the programs first.)

ECAT has the right to maintain a copy of any program in its archive to cablecast an unlimited number of times.

ECAT has the right to use any program for promotional purposes related to ECAT.

Community producers that make a for-fee or commercial use of a program produced for cablecast on an ECAT channel shall be required to remit 20% of all royalties resulting from said project to ECAT.

Any exceptions to the above shall be determined solely by the Executive Director on a case-by-case basis.

The responsibility and liability for program content lies solely with the program provider, that is, the Easton resident or Easton business or organization whose designated representative signs the Playback Request Form. ECAT, the cable operator, and the Town of Easton assume that the program provider has obtained all necessary releases and clearances. The program provider may be asked to furnish proof that proper releases and clearances have been obtained. ECAT, the Town of Easton, and the cable operator are not responsible for the content of the programming shown on the community cable channels or on ECAT’s website.

D. Programming Restrictions
Presentation of the following is prohibited:

Any commercial advertising or programming including:
- promotion of the sale of any service or product
- price information
- commercial calls to action or inducements to buy
- within permitted programming, contact information must be limited to the name of an individual, business or organization. Addresses, phone numbers, and websites may not be included.

Programming that does not have clearances, releases, or other assurances from copyright holders and/or those appearing in the production

Programming that falls below minimal technical standards for cablecast. Please see
the Playback Request Form for information on formatting requirements.

Programming that does not fall under constitutionally protected speech and raises serious risk of liability on the part of ECAT. This may include, but is not limited to: libel, slander, unlawful invasion of privacy, sedition (advocacy of violent overthrow of the government), or obscene material.

Obscene material as determined by the courts is material which:
- to the average person, applying contemporary community standards, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest,
- depicts or describes sexual content in a patently offensive way, and
- taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

E. Potentially Objectionable Material

Unlike obscene material, potentially objectionable material may be shown on ECAT’s channels, but ECAT’s staff will schedule this material between the hours of 11 PM and 5 AM. It is the responsibility of the program provider who signs the Playback Request Form to indicate on that Agreement whether or not a program includes potentially objectionable material.

Potentially objectionable material may include, but is not limited to:

strong coarse language, intensely suggestive dialogue, or coarse indecent language

intense sexual situations or explicit sexual activity

intense or graphic physical violence or degradation

most forms of nudity

graphic depiction of medical procedures

Note: Any program provider who violates ECAT’s content guidelines or misrepresents the content of a program on the Playback Request Form will receive a written Notice of Violation (see Section Six ~ Violations of Policy). A second such offense will result in a second written Notice of Violation and the program will be scheduled between the hours of 11 PM and 5 AM. Scheduling decisions and Notices of Violation for programming infractions may be appealed to ECAT’s Programming and Policies Committee, consisting of representatives from the ECAT Board of Directors, staff, and Members Advisory Committee. Appeals must be made within ten business days of an action by submitting a request, in writing, to the Committee. Within ten business days of receiving a request, the Committee will schedule a meeting, which will occur no more than twenty business days after the appeal is submitted. Decisions of the Committee may be appealed to the full Board of Directors by submitting a request, in writing, within ten business days of the Committee’s decision. The Board will consider the appeal at its next scheduled meeting. During the appeal process, the program in question will be shown between 11 PM and 5 AM.

ECAT has the right to place a disclaimer before, during, and after any program that, as indicated by the program provider or in the best judgment of ECAT staff, may be objectionable to cable subscribers. The disclaimer will advise viewer discretion for the program and will indicate that responsibility for the content of the program lies with the program provider and not with ECAT, the Town of Easton or the cable provider. If placed during the program such a notice will be as discreet as possible in order to avoid interference with the program content.

F. Scheduling

ECAT staff will program the channels with the goal of presenting a coherent schedule to cable subscribers, building the audience, diversifying programming, distributing channel time equitably, and minimizing technical issues. ECAT staff will retain the right to schedule each program in a time slot that is appropriate for its content and likely audience. In the interest of ensuring diversity of programming and equitable distribution of channel time, submissions from a single program provider shall not include more than one non-local Series.

Programs will be scheduled in a timely manner within 7 days of submission.  Program providers will be notified of their time slots the first time the program is broadcast on ECAT.  It is the responsibility of the community producer to submit a program no less than 48 hours (2 business days) before its scheduled airtime.

Requests for program time will be honored within the constraints of scheduling as well as staff and equipment availability. Producers are encouraged to rerun programs at other time slots, and will be permitted up to a maximum of 5 showings of an episode in any one week.  These three program repeat routines are designed to be flexible for use by the producer.  Prime time shall be defined as any time between the hours of 5:00pm and 10:30pm daily. An individual may be limited to one (1) prime time opportunity, per show, per week, depending on scheduling demands, but every episode submitted shall be scheduled for at least one prime time slot. Only the producer may request that an episode not be scheduled at least once during prime time.

G. Scheduling Priorities

When scheduling ECAT’s channels, first priority is given to programs produced by ECAT Members. Second priority is given to programs produced by Easton residents who are not ECAT Members. Third priority is given to non-local programs. Series and Single programs are considered separately; therefore a locally produced Single submission will not displace a non-local Series. ECAT reserves the right to pre-empt all programs for live or special event coverage.

All programming schedule decisions by ECAT staff are final.  Viewers may contact the Programming Director to request that programming be repeated and ECAT staff will, to the best of its ability, try to satisfy such requests. At the discretion of the Programming Director, the program provider responsible for the program may be notified of the repeat.

H. Live / Live Remote Programming

Live Shows

A Live slot may be requested by Access Members by submitting a Live Agreement Form, which includes all of the rules and procedures related to Live programming and indicates that the program provider consents to these rules and procedures. ECAT staff will set up a training session with the producer prior to scheduling a slot.  Live programs are subject to the same restrictions as other programming on ECAT’s channels. However, due to the time slots available for the production of live programming, potentially objectionable content is prohibited during Live slots. Any Individual or Organizational Access member  producer who violates ECAT’s content guidelines or misrepresents the content of a program on Live Agreement Form will receive a Notice of Violation.  A second such offense will result in cancellation of the live program.

Live Show Call-In Policy

All calls must be answered "off-air" so that the producer may obtain the caller's name and telephone number

For a call to be taken live on ECAT, the producer or designated phone operator must call back the individual who wishes to talk on the program

Producers must maintain a log of names and telephone numbers of individuals who are call-in participants. Caller names and numbers remain confidential to producer, except as otherwise may be required by a court order or legal action.

 

The Board of Directors of ECAT is concerned regarding "anonymous" or unidentified callers, especially regarding issues of libel, slander, obscenity, or threats to public and personal safety. Nothing in this policy is designed to censor or thwart commentary, even anonymous commentary, but rather is a precaution should any actual instance of FCC-prohibited content occur.

Live Remote Programming

Requests for live remote programming require much coordination with ECAT, other producers whose programs are already scheduled, and the staff. Hence, requests for live programs must be made 6 weeks prior to the event.

Exact information about date, time, location and the nature of the event must be provided.

An individual Access or Organizational member who fails to use a live time slot that has been scheduled, or who cancels a live remote production with less than two weeks notice, must submit a written explanation to the Executive Director. Such cancellation may be reason to deny other such live program requests.

Live remote productions require complicated engineering coordination with employees of the cable company, the town's network administrator, and ECAT staff. Therefore, such requests are subject to the approval of these representatives. Producers are admonished to not publicize such a live event until such time as all approvals are secured.

I. Series Programming

Definition: A Series consists of at least four new programs with a consistent theme and/or format. To meet the requirements of series programming, at least one new episode per month must be submitted.

Time slots: Persons providing a series may request a regular time slot, which will be granted when an appropriate time becomes available. Series time slots are renewed annually on a calendar-year basis and a Playback Request Form must be resubmitted at that time. ECAT staff will attempt to provide a renewing Series the same time slot, however, the same time slot is not guaranteed.

In order to maintain a time slot, and to meet the requirements of a Series, the program provider must submit at least one new episode per month. New episodes should be submitted at least 48 hours prior to the cablecast date or by special arrangement with the Program Director. Episodes that have previously played on ECAT channels may be re-submitted only after at least three months have elapsed since the original cablecast. Cancellation of a Series time slot may result from a failure to meet the above conditions and is at the discretion of the ECAT staff. The ECAT staff may require four episodes to be submitted with the renewal of a show previously cancelled due to episodes not being supplied in a timely manner.

J. Disclosure of Information and Comment

Residents may call ECAT's main number at 508-230-7200 and both residents and the general public may leave comments or ask to be contacted by the program provider and the ECAT staff will relay that information. The name of a program provider will be provided upon request.

K. Copies of Cablecast Programs

If a viewer requests copies of a program, ECAT staff will contact the producer for permission, and if permission is granted will provide copies for a reasonable fee.

L. Use of Community Bulletin Board

ECAT operates an electronic Community Bulletin Board (“CCB”) which is shown on the channels when no other video programming is scheduled. Events or notices sponsored by non-profit organizations and the Town of Easton are listed as space allows, and are generally shown for one week, prior to the posted event. ECAT gives priority to Easton-related notices, but there is no guarantee that every notice submitted will be shown. Notices sponsored by political campaigns or candidates are not permitted. All other programming restrictions apply to the Community Bulletin Board.

Notices may be submitted by email to info@eastoncat.org, or mail to ECAT, 50 Oliver Street Suite 201A, Easton, MA. 02356.

M. Political Campaigning

1. ECAT provides to all Easton residents, including those residents running for local, state or national public office or those supporting a ballot issue, equal opportunities for access to training, equipment resources and cable channel programming time, on a first-come, first-served, non-discriminatory basis. Any candidate for public office for whom Easton residents may vote shall be afforded the same rights as a resident of Easton with regard to access to ECAT facilities and channel time.

2. Due to the time pressures inherent in a political campaign, within ten (10) business days after the filing deadline for candidates running for  the Board of Selectmen,the Easton School Committee, or other elective office, ECAT will mail to each candidate a copy of the ECAT Policies & Procedures and inform them of a special orientation meeting for candidates.

3. In order to ensure equal opportunities for programming time on ECAT channels, the following rules apply.

ECAT maintains the right to limit length and frequency of programming. Such limits when imposed shall apply to all programs on the channel and to all program producers.

ECAT retains the right to preempt programming at any time in order to provide timely local programming, such as live or taped special municipal events, important local debates/forums, election-related programming, satellite downlinking, etc.

A sufficient block of time will be reserved during each political season to enable a wide selection of political programs to be cablecast.

4. Use of the CBB shall be restricted to one page, per candidate for public office whose constituency includes Easton or ballot issue, beginning with closing date for the filing of papers with the Election Commission.  ECAT may issue a Candidate CBB Form to guide candidates in appropriate use.

N. Publicity

ECAT staff will publicize programs in a variety of ways, including listings on the ECAT website, social networking websites, local papers, other local Easton based websites and on the electronic Community Bulletin Board. Please consult ECAT staff for deadlines and more information. In addition, program providers are encouraged to consult the staff for guidance in preparing short promotional spots or utilizing other avenues for publicizing their program. 

O. Outside or Sponsored Programming  

Programming that is produced outside of Easton, including legally permissible downloads from the Internet may be allowed to be cablecast on Easton public access channels. Any ECAT Member may sponsor such programming as the Local Sponsor by completing the agreement with the ECAT Policies & Procedures.  Requests for cablecast time-slots will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis. Locally produced programming will take precedence as ECAT's top priority in scheduling. ECAT staff may determine appropriate playback periods for outside programming to ensure program continuity. When all time-slots in a playback period are full, approval for cablecast of new programs will be withheld until time becomes available. Outside programming may be excluded from Prime Time cablecast when locally produced, Easton based programming fills all of these time slots.

All outside programs are required to have the ECAT disclaimer and funding acknowledgment at the beginning of the program (Exhibit A attached). The Local Sponsor is responsible for compliance with these provisions, not ECAT staff. Failure to comply will mean the tape does not get cablecast.

An ECAT Access Member may produce programming with non-ECAT equipment, and facilities and still be considered "Locally-produced programming". Community producers wishing to use their own equipment must be ECAT Members, meet the minimum technical standards for cablecast of their final product, and must complete a Project Application indicating that no ECAT equipment is requested.

Satellite Import programming
If the technology becomes available any ECAT member may make a request to have ECAT carry satellite-delivered programming. To be considered, such programming must be available on the existing satellite equipment and subscription service (currently the Dish Network) which ECAT operates. Also, ECAT must be given express, written permission to carry such programming from the copyright holder. Finally, the ECAT member requesting the programming must complete a program proposal application, and sign a statement re-affirming his or her responsibility for the content of the programming. As with other Import programming, time will be granted on a first-come, first-served, non-discriminatory basis. However, since current equipment only permits live or real-time carriage from the satellite receiver, Satellite Import programming may only be shown at the time such programming is scheduled on the satellite, and may not be shown during the Friday evening to Saturday morning hours currently reserved for taped Import programming. Any satellite delivered program that is produced as a new episode daily may be requested and shown, not to exceed five episodes in any week. 

P. Technical Requirements and Standards

As of 6/01/10 ECAT will only accept DVD submissions and/or file based content.  

DVD-R is the prefered format.  DVD's that are delivered to ECAT with excessive scratches and damages may be rejected.  In addition:

DVD must only have 1 program per disc

All programs Be timed out from the producer.  Disc and case must be clearly labeled with program time (including disclaimers - from "black to black"), show title, producer name

Must be preceded by the ECAT disclaimer and funding acknowledgment (if applicable)

Files submitted for playback on the ECAT Server must be in the MPEG2 format and adhere to the ACM Server Standards (http://alliancecm.org/standards). 
 

If a problem with the audio and/or visual signal is identified during actual cablecast, then the cablecast operator will attempt to complete the cablecast. The cablecast operator will terminate the cablecast prior to the scheduled end of the cablecast if the break-up or poor signal quality persists.  The program will not be repeated until the technical problems are solved.

Producers requesting a half-hour time slot must submit a program of no more than 29:00 minutes in total program running time. Programs for one-Hour slots must be no more than 59:00.   The 30 minutes must include the ECAT provided disclaimer and funding acknowledgment which is one minute in length.(Exhibit A attached).  
 

Q. Staff-Produced Community Programming

ECAT is required under its agreement with the Town of Easton to produce programming of interest to the community and will make every effort to inform members of volunteer production opportunities on such production.

3. Training, Workshops and Certification

ECAT offers Access Members an extensive training program in multi-media production. A free Orientation session is required for Members prior to enrolling in any of ECAT classes. Class schedules are posted on the ECAT website, on the scheduling calendar in the facility and in the local paper. Schedule brochures and special flyers are available at ECAT. Workshops are conducted on an on-going basis and new schedules are announced quarterly.

Access Members may enroll in any workshop for which they have satisfied the prerequisites;  Classes for groups can be arranged on an ad hoc basis. A minimum number of participants is required for each class to be held as scheduled.

Note: ECAT encourages Members to make proposals to teach classes that are not currently offered.

A. Class Fees

Class slots are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis, upon payment being received by ECAT. Access Members may arrange to do volunteer work in lieu of paying class fees (See C. Volunteer Opportunities). Class fees will be held until the class convenes and are refundable if ECAT cancels the class, or if a Member notifies ECAT of inability to attend by 10 AM the day of the first session.  If a class is full, Members may ask to be put on a waiting list.

B. Attendance

Members are expected to notify ECAT no later than 10AM of the day of the class by leaving a message in the general voice mailbox if they are not able to attend the class. Those who fail to provide such notification will forfeit the class fee.

D. Volunteer Opportunities

Access Members may offer to volunteer in lieu of paying class fees; volunteer hours must be completed prior to the beginning of the class. Just as with all cancellations of class attendance, Members canceling by 10AM the day of the class will be credited for their volunteer hours. Members who do not cancel and do not show up for a class will forfeit those volunteer hours.

E. Cancellation of Classes by ECAT

There is a posted minimum enrollment required for each class. If the minimum is not met, ECAT may cancel the class. Further, ECAT reserves the right to cancel classes at any time due to instructor illness, absent students, or at the reasonable request of the instructor.

F. Certification

Access Members may be certified to use facilities, check out equipment, and take advanced classes by successfully completing the appropriate workshops:

Beginning Studio, Field, and Edit Equipment Certification: Access Members must attend all sessions of a certification course, complete required hands-on and written tests, as well as meet the standards set by ECAT staff and instructor.

Intermediate and Advanced Classes Certification: Access Members who have completed the required pre-requisites may enroll in Intermediate and Advanced certification classes.

Testing Out of Certification Classes: Experienced producers may be certified and by- pass classes in studio, field production, and editing by passing a written test and a hands-on demonstration of equipment skills. Access Members cannot test out of classes for technical directing and engineering. For specific equipment, ECAT may require further demonstration of proficiency.

G. Recertification
Annual re-certification of community producers will automatically take place with renewal of membership, so long as the community producer has been involved in an ECAT-based production in the previous six months of their membership.

 

4. RESPONSIBILITIES AND INSURANCE

A. Signing and acknowledging agreement with these Rules and Procedures is a prerequisite to using equipment.

B. Community producers are responsible for the ECAT facilities and equipment signed out to them, as well as for the actions of their talent, crew, guests, and any others involved with their production.
 

C. ECAT has an insurance policy for the equipment while it is used by members. Premiums are paid by ECAT and the policy is in ECAT's name. In the event equipment is damaged, destroyed, lost or stolen, the community producer must cooperate fully with the ECAT Insurance Carrier. The community producer is responsible for the deductible, which is $500.  In case of theft, in order for the insurance company to honor the claim, the community producer is responsible for the following:

A police report must be filed immediately;

Equipment cannot have been left unattended;

Equipment cannot have been left in a car overnight; and,

There must be proof of forcible entry.

In the event ECAT's claim is not honored by its carrier, and the community producer is found to have failed to take reasonable precautions to protect the loaned equipment, it is the responsibility of the community producer to reimburse ECAT for the full replacement value to be determined by ECAT.
 
 

5. EQUIPMENT ACCESS/PROGRAMMING PRODUCTION

ALL ECAT EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES ARE TO BE USED FOR PRODUCING LIVE OR TAPED NON-COMMERCIAL PROGRAMMING FOR CABLECAST ON THE EASTON ACCESS CHANNELS.

ECAT community producers may use portable production, post-production, and studio production equipment on a first-come, first-served basis. Equipment may not be used in hazardous situations.

Note: Equipment may not be used in hazardous situations that compromise the safety of the users or equipment. Portable equipment may not be used outside of Massachusetts without prior approval of ECAT staff and acceptance of the insurance co-payment option.

 

STEPS TO FOLLOW FOR AN ECAT PRODUCTION

                 

A. Project Proposal Conference

No reservations for equipment or facilities can be made without a completed Project Proposal Conference, and a separate Project Proposal is required for each Program, or for Episodes of a Series.

By telephone or in person, complete a Project Proposal Conference with ECAT staff, preferably a minimum of 24 hours BEFORE the first reservation under this project. During this conference, you will be asked to provide the following information:
 

Title or Working Title of the Program you would produce;                  

A brief description of the type of production you will do -- i.e. is it a studio talk show, a field documentary, event coverage, etc;

The length of the final program;

Whether it is a series or not;

Whether it is to be LIVE;

The date you project for completion of production work ("Planned End date");

What equipment and facility time you think you will need to complete your project.

 

PLEASE NOTE: The purpose of this conference is to assure that you have everything you need to do your shoot, and that you are using the methods and materials best suited to your production. Nothing in this conference concerns the content of your program, subject matter, etc. Program content is strictly yours to control. But we may need to know a few things about what the program will contain (for example, will slides be shown, is it a team sport shoot, will a public audience be involved, etc.) in order to provide the appropriate resources.
 
 

B. Field Production Resources

1. The amount of equipment available for a given project will be determined by ECAT staff during the Project Proposal Conference, based on the needs of the project, and the equipment available at the proposed time of the project production.

2. Equipment must be reserved no more than 13 weeks in advance.

We cannot guarantee availability of equipment requested with less than 48 hours notice.

3. In the event of facility bookings in excess of 75% of available resources, the staff may institute a per project budget of Usage Dollars, in order to more equitably control access to resources.

4. Equipment Check-out

Equipment must be checked out at the ECAT office by the community producer named in the project proposal as Producer or Co-producer. The staff will enter the check-out information into the computer and a hard copy will be signed by the community producer.

Approximately 30 minutes should be allowed for checking equipment in or out.

5. Exceptions - If there are compelling reasons to get equipment at other times than the regularly scheduled check-out times, a staff person must approve such a request. That staff person is responsible for following through with the check-out and must also be responsible for setting up the check-in time with that user.

6. Return of Equipment - Community producers are responsible for notifying the staff if there are any problems with the equipment by submitting a completed Equipment Trouble Report. Community producers may not attempt repair of damage to equipment. Community producers may not borrow additional equipment until all items have been returned in good working order (normal wear and tear excepted).

7. Completion - All projects are given an initial 13 weeks for completion from the date of the first reservation. Producers are expected to deliver a disc/file for cablecast no later than this "Planned End date." A single, 13-week extension will be considered at a Project Extension Conference with the ECAT staff.

C. Editing

1. Community producers coming in to Edit must check in with the staff member on duty. If a producer fails to check in, the producer may be listed as a "No Show", and his or her edit time given away.

2. Community Producers must consult with the staff engineer before bringing in accessories. There are areas posted as off-limits to the public in the edit rooms. Unauthorized connection of external devices is a major violation, and grounds for suspension of membership and its privileges.

3. Edit times must be reserved no more than 13 weeks in advance. Producers may reserve only one four hour block per day in advance. However, on the day of an edit session, a producer may extend this edit time if the room is available, or make an additional reservation of up to four hours.

4. No one may reconfigure the wiring of any edit station. Violation of this rule will result in the immediate and permanent loss of all access privileges.

D. Studio Facilities

1. The ECAT staff person on duty during a studio production is not to be considered part of a crew.

2. Crew position assignments are the responsibility of the community producer. All studio crew must be certified or approved by the ECAT staff.

3. A Studio reservation is not confirmed until the community producer has confirmed, at minimum, the assignment of a Director for the production.

4. Producers must consult with the staff before bringing in accessories to the control room. There may be areas posted as off-limits. Studio time must be reserved, no less than one week and no more than 13 weeks in advance. A studio production block of up to 6 hours may be reserved in advance. The studio reservation may be extended on the day of production if time is available. Hours of studio use are firm; therefore all community producers should allow time to strike sets and clean up before their time is up.

5. No one may reconfigure any studio wiring. Violation of this rule will result in the immediate and permanent loss of all access privileges.
 

E. Cancellations

Community producers must give at least 24 hour notice when canceling any reserved use of ECAT equipment, facilities, channels or classes. If a community producer is more than 20 minutes late without notification, the reservation may be canceled. (See Minor Violations) Repeated instances of failure to make a timely notice of cancellation may result in a suspension of privileges.

If a community producer is more than 20 minutes late, the cancellation will be designated as "No Show." After three "Late Cancels" the producer will be notified that his or her membership privileges are at risk, and that a minor violation has been noted.  Three "No Shows" constitute a Major Violation, and may result in a 90-day suspension of member privileges.

F. Digital Media Storage
1.    ECAT has limited digital hard drive and network storage capabilities that are allocated to members by reservation according to resources available and number of users.  Access Members will be assigned hard drive space for a period of four (4) weeks, after which the drive will be wiped clean and reassigned to other projects.  This process will happen without prior notification.
2.    In the event that a producer needs more time than allotted for the use of production facilities, it is the responsibility of the access member to alert ECAT staff.
3.    Access members may use storage assigned to them at their own risk.  ECAT is not liable for lost or stolen work left on computer lab workstations or digital media storage devices.  In the event of technical difficulties, ECAT staff will make every effort to save project files, but is not liable for any unrecoverable digital assets.
4.    Digital storage devices are the property of ECAT and are not permitted to leave the facility.

G. Computer / Internet Usage
1.    Do not alter system settings, software or hardware configurations, or any other part of individual workstations or the network that may make it difficult for others to do work or may cause damage (temporary or permanent) to lab resources.  Doing so is strictly prohibited and is a major violation.
2.    Installation of any software on any ECAT computer without consent of staff is forbidden and is a minor violation.
3.    Each station is equipped with virus detection software and we ask that you remain mindful of the possibility that a virus may exist on discs you bring into the ECAT.  ECAT is not responsible for lost material or damage to discs caused as a result of a computer virus.
4.    Technical problems should be brought to the attention of the ECAT staff and recorded on a Trouble Report Form.
5.    Computer users are responsible for the safety, content and use of their material.
6.    Computer resources are not to be used for illegal or criminal activity.
7.    Be mindful of copyright infringements and the use of others’ work.  You are fully liable for any unauthorized use of any material including, but not limited to, audio clips, graphic images, software applications, text, video clips, etc.
8.    Be aware that duplication of software programs for use on computers outside of the lab is considered software piracy and punishable by law.
9.    It is understood that ECAT has full, uncensored access to the Internet and that access to such resources requires critical and discretionary use by everyone.
10.    ECAT does not filter or restrict access to any Internet resources.  This means that we are not aware of activity of any minors using our facilities. Parents of minors should be aware of their child’s activity and regulate as they see fit.

 

6. VIOLATIONS

In order for these rules and procedures to be effective and to keep operations running smoothly, a penalty system has been instituted. There are two types of rules which, if violated, can result in restrictions on a community producer. The Executive Director or a designee is authorized to issue warnings and suspensions. Membership fees will not be refunded to a member whose privileges have been suspended or revoked.

A. Major Violations

1. Major violations will result in an immediate 90-day suspension of membership. These may include, but are not limited to:

Commercial or profit-making use of ECAT facilities.

Abuse of staff or other members.

Misrepresentation of members' affiliation with ECAT to others.

Falsifying forms.

Taking or reserving equipment without staff permission.

Mishandling or unsafe use of equipment.

Abuse of equipment, including attempted repair, facility reconfiguration, or improper transport.

Tampering with, copying or deleting ECAT software or data.

Failure to follow any requirement of the stations' Live Call-In Screening Policy.

Three "No Show" cancellations in any one-year period

2. Any subsequent major violation will result in the permanent loss of ECAT equipment and facilities privileges.

B. Minor Violations

1. These may include, but are not limited to:

Failure to cancel a reservation in accordance with sect;IV.,para;E

Late pick-up or return of equipment without notification and approval. .

Eating, drinking or smoking in non-designated areas of ECAT facilities.

Failure to clean up after using the facilities.

Handling off-limits equipment or being in off-limits areas.

Rowdiness, or horseplay while in the facility, or creating any disturbance to other ECAT members, producers, guests, or the public.

Three "Late Cancels" in any six-month period.

2. Minor violations that take place within a one year period will result in the following series of actions :

First violation - written warning

Second violation - 30-day suspension

Third violation - 90-day suspension

Fourth violation - permanent loss of ECAT privileges

7. Other Policies and Conditions

A. Copies of Programs

ECAT will allow producers to make a copy of their own program on dedicated duplication and burning equipment. 

B. Members Contact Information
Provided the Member gives permission, the Member’s email addresses and phone numbers  will be made available to other Members for the purpose of networking, productions, and other ECAT business. Provided that the Member gives permission, ECAT may make available its mailing list to non-Members.

On a limited basis, and for the purposes of production or other ECAT-related business, Members may communicate with other Members via ECAT’s electronic or postal mailings. For postal mailings, Members must provide the materials to be mailed and assistance with the mailing. Materials to be distributed require previous approval and will be included at the discretion of ECAT. Members are encouraged to use the message boards on the ECAT website.

Note: ECAT is not liable for any unauthorized release of names.

C. Public File
ECAT will make available to the public, by appointment during normal business hours, program logs and individual producer or sponsor names which are public documents.  Membership applications, addresses, or donor information will not be made available to the public.

D. Volunteers
ECAT relies heavily on the services of volunteers. ECAT Members are encouraged to volunteer during and after their training/certification in order to further develop their skills and to help ECAT serve the community. Members wishing to volunteer in lieu of payment for classes or equipment may do so upon agreement with ECAT staff.

In order to be eligible for discounts on classes or Membership, Members must have signed up in advance for a volunteer credit at the time they requested the discount. Volunteer time must be accrued before it can be ‘spent’. The volunteer hours will be forfeited if a Member does not attend the class for which they were applied, unless they have canceled by 10AM on the day of the class (See Section Three ~ Training, Workshops and Certification) .

F. Misrepresentation
Members of ECAT must not misrepresent themselves as employees of ECAT or as having the ability to speak for ECAT. Such action may result in a temporary or permanent suspension of Membership and privileges.

G. Facility Rules

Access Members are expected to clean up after themselves each time they use the facility.

Eating and drinking are allowed only in kitchen, meeting rooms and the front reception area.

No smoking, alcohol or illicit substances will be permitted on the premises. 

Animals are not allowed in the building with the exception of seeing-eye dogs or as part of a production.

Props. ECAT provides some props and supplies for sets. Members may store props on the premises for no more than 48 hours.

ECAT’s office supplies, furniture, etc. may not be used for sets and may not be used without permission of the staff.

H. Right to Refuse
ECAT staff reserves the right to refuse the use of its facilities to any individual who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs or who interferes with the orderly conduct of business.

I. Indemnification
Users of the facilities shall indemnify and hold harmless ECAT, the cable operators, and the Town of Easton and its employees against any and all liability arising from any use of facilities and resources or from breach of these ECAT Policies and Procedures.

J. Interpretation
When the implementation of these policies and procedures are subject to interpretation, decisions shall be at the discretion of the Executive Director or designee.

K. Denial of Services
ECAT has the right to deny membership, access, and other services to any individual or group who has exhibited disruptive behavior at ECAT or any other public access center or organization.

L. Amendments
Amendments to the policies may be generated by the staff, Board of Directors, or proposed to the staff then submitted to the Board for consideration.  The Board of Directors will approve amendments. Access Members will be notified of any changes via email, the website, and in the facility. All significant proposed changes will be made available to Access Members for a 2-week comment period. ECAT cannot guarantee to grandfather any policies.

INDIVIDUALS WHO SIGN THE ECAT STATEMENT OF COMPLIANCE ACKNOWLEDGE THEY ADHERE TO POLICIES AND PROCEDURES SET FORTH IN THIS DOCUMENT.

(v.1.0.1 - 11/09/10)