Policies & Procedures
Below is the summary of Policies and Procedures that address the most frequently asked questions about the use of the Lower Merion & Narberth Public Access Television (PATV) channel. Don't hesitate to contact PATV for additional information by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by mail at P.O. Box 167, Ardmore, PA 19003.
This Public Access Channel is a hyper-local channel for and by residents of Lower Merion and Narberth, as well as for and by non-profit organizations that actively serve the residents of this Township and Borough. Your Public Access stems from provisions of the federal Communications Act and the local Comcast and Verizon Cable Franchise Agreements.
Take for granted that all music and lyrics are copyrighted, including 'Happy Birthday'. Copyright issues extend to all performing arts, including school plays. You either have to obtain written authorization for television use from the author, composer, and performer, or purchase rights, for example, low cost limited rights from www.magnatune.com and other similar providers. You can also compose your own music with some video editing software. Your Public Access Channel will ask to see the written authorization from the author and performer or a copy of the contract with the music-provider web site. The YouTube web site provides good additional copyright information. The link is http://www.youtube.com/t/copyright_education.
Public Access Television is a non-commercial channel. For-profit corporations and their representatives may not produce their own programs related directly or indirectly to their business. This policy is to prevent the use of the channel for commercial gain or influence. For example, a real-estate agent may not produce a program on how to stage or sell a house; however, the president of a civic or non-profit association, who happens to be a real-estate agent, may produce a program about a civic or non-profit organization. The circumstance, in which a professional or business owner would inform viewers about a subject related to the business, would be as a guest of a producer to provide expert information. However, no reference is to be made - other than to identify the speaker - that would promote or give particular status over other competing businesses in that same field.
It is noted, that donations to Public Access from business sponsors - whether in funding or in kind - may be acknowledged under specific guidelines of the Federal Communications Commission.
Government elected officials and candidates may not produce their own programs on this Public Access channel. The policy is to prevent the use of the channel for political gain or influence. It is noted that the policy stems in part from the fact that - in reverse - residents may not produce programs on channels that are reserved for the use of government institutions, for instance the Township of Lower Merion channels 7 (Comcast) and 37 (Verizon), the School District channels 6 (Comcast) and 36 (Verizon), and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania channels 186 (Comcast) and 9 (Verizon), which are reserved for the use of the respective government entities.
Lower Merion and Narberth political party committees registered under the PA Election Code, for example the Democratic and Republican Committees, and 501(c)(4) organizations such as the League of Women Voters, may produce programs - just like any other non-profit organization - about their respective organizations, events, and activities, as long as they do so without proselytizing content.