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Use Policies

DCAT Use & Membership
Policies

I. Eligibility
A. Residents. All residents La Plata, Montezuma, San Juan, and Archuleta Counties are eligible for services by DCAT. A person need not be a cable subscriber to be eligible for these services. Proof of residency must be presented to DCAT staff and may include a current Colorado’s driver’s license, personal utility bill or bank checks with a current address.


B. Organizations. Non-profit organizations, businesses, and government agencies located in La Plata, Montezuma, San Juan, and Archuleta Counties are eligible for services by DCAT.


C. Non-residents. Individuals not residing in La Plata, Montezuma, San Juan, and Archuleta Counties are not eligible forservices by DCAT. Proof of residency must be presented to DCAT staff and may include a current Colorado’s driver’s license, personal utility bill or bank checks with a current address.


D. Dues/Donations. Annual membership dues and donations benefit DCAT by helping to cover costs associated with providing services and equipment to public access users. Any member whose annual dues are paid may substitute volunteer hours for additional cash payment of fees. DCAT staff must approve volunteer assignments in advance.


E. Minors. Producers and Sponsors must be of legal age to sign contracts in the State of Colorado. Alternatively, minors acting as Producers and Sponsors must be acting under the auspices of their parents or legal guardians who are eligible under the above policies and who will sign contracts and take responsibility on
their behalf.


II. Facility Use/Prohibitions.
The offices and production facilities managed by DCAT shall be under thesupervision of staff persons or qualified volunteers as designated by staff. The following activities are prohibited unless special permission has been granted by
supervising persons:


A. Use of business telephones, office machines and supplies.
B. Use of intoxicating beverages or controlled substances.
C. The carrying of firearms or other weapons.
D. Actions which obstruct normal business operations or others’ use of the facilities.
E. Bringing animals into the facility unless needed by persons with disabilities.
F. Activities of a commercial nature, such as selling goods and services.

It is expected that all persons visiting the facility will observe reasonable rules of
conduct and civility. Persons acting in a hostile, confrontational or potentially
abusive manner will be asked to modify their behavior or leave the facility.


III. Programming
A. First Amendment Provision/Disclaimer. There will be no prior restraint or censorship of programming submitted to DCAT for presentation on the public access channel, unless such programming contains material used illegally or
material not protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. It is recommended that programming include a disclaimer in which the Sponsor accepts responsibility for her/his speech and holds harmless DCAT, the City and Bresnan Communications.


B. Non-commercial Provision/Sponsorship. All programming accepted for play on the Public Access channel must be non-commercial in nature; i.e., containing no solicitation of funds, or attempt to sell products or services. Programs may,
however, contain sponsorship credits acknowledging support given to producers to develop their program (i.e.: reasonable recoupement of actual production costs.) Program Producers and Sponsors shall not enter into contracts or
agreements making third-party provisions to lease the use of DCAT-managed equipment, facilities or channels.


The following are not permitted:


1. Superlative description or qualitative claims about any sponsoring company, its products or services; any comparison with other companies, or with other company's product or service, whether direct or implied.
2. Any inducements to buy, sell, rent, or lease.
3. Official spokespersons, owners, employees or professional talent that is featured in commercial promotion of a sponsor’s business or product may not appear on any program for which the sponsor has provided support, except that a producer may provide sponsorship for his/her own show.


Sponsors for programs may be credited with an acknowledgment at the beginning and/or end or each show with audio and video including the sponsor’s name, address, telephone number, web page, email and a logo. A brief descriptive line may follow the credit clarifying the nature of the sponsor’s business (e.g., “Computer Products and Repairs”).


Sponsorship credits must name the donor in mission-statement terminology that is neither commercial nor promotional in language. The business or service may be described in value-neutral terms that avoid comparative or qualitative claims. Sponsorship credits are to recognize sponsors only, and no other outside organization or nonprofit.


Products may be shown on screen as a graphical portion of a sponsorship acknowledgment. Products must be shown in a setting that is plausible, appropriate and value-neutral.  No more than three locations can be listed in a credit.


The following are not allowed in sponsorship credits:
1. Any solicitation of direct consumer response of any kind, whether direct or implied.
2. Music with lyrics.
Each sponsor’s acknowledgment may be no longer than fifteen seconds. Total
sponsorship acknowledgments may not exceed five sponsors per program.


C. Local Sponsor Requirement. Programming presented on DCAT must be at the request and under the responsibility of a resident of La Plata County, La Plata County based business, or nonprofit organization. Proof of residency must
be presented to DCAT staff and may include a current Colorado’s driver’s license, personal utility bill or bank checks with a current address. DCAT cannot accept programming from non-residents. DCAT has the right to check tapes for
these requirements and will advise sponsors on compliance guidelines. In addition to programming produced by local access producers, and programming sponsored for local airing by Durango residents – programming offered directly to
or sought by Durango Community Access Television may be aired on Channel 22 at the discretion of the Executive Director or Programming Coordinator. This type of programming will be referred to as “general programming” and scheduled as filler and on an “at-will” basis.


D. Program Agreement. For every show or program series telecast, there must be a Program Agreement signed by the responsible party for that program. The agreement will contain language holding harmless DCAT, the City and Bresnan
for all content of that program. The Sponsor of the show will take full responsibility for the content and will certify that the program contains no illegal or commercial material. The agreement must be submitted prior to telecast and will be kept on file in perpetuity by DCAT.


E. Fees. No fees will be charged for programming services unless DCAT incurs outside costs such as special engineering or technical fees, in which case such costs will be passed on to the Sponsor.


F. Replays of programs. DCAT will telecast a given program at least one time upon submission of a Programming Agreement. Replays of a given program are at the discretion of DCAT unless limits on replay of programs are agreed to in advance between DCAT and the Sponsor.


Repeats will be prioritized under the following criteria (in order of preference):
1. Programs produced with DCAT facilities
2. Programs produced in La Plata County
3. Programs produced in communities other than Durango (referred to an
“Import”)


G. Programs. DVD programs must be submitted no later than two weeks in advance of the preferred play date(s). DVD’s must meet minimum technical standards, as follows:


1. DVD format only with no menus.
2. No visible dropouts.
3. Video signal within .7 and 1.0 volt peak to peak during the program.
4. Audio signal within -5.0 and +3.0 db peak during the program.


DVD’s should be labeled with the name of the program and/or volume number (for series), sponsor’s name, contact information, and exact program length. Any DVD’s not picked up within 60 days of drop off may be disposed of by DCAT.


H. Scheduling Priorities. Programs will prioritize under the following criteria.
1. Programs produced by City of Durango and La Plata County residents.
2. Programs produced in communities other than Durango (referred to an “Import”)


I. Political Programming. Because DCAT does not enter into prior restraint practices and the facility is open to all citizens of La Plata County, DCAT does not place any restrictions on political programming that is not already covered by
these Policies. Additionally, DCAT is under no governance from the FCC or any other governing or contractual body to assure “Equal Time” for candidates and issues. DCAT may, from time-to-time, host candidate and issue forums either
through a third-party organization or in a manner that will promote equal access.  DCAT will strive to offer non-bias programming when conducting “In-house” productions by ways of notifying all parties and giving equal access to scheduled forums.


IV. Equipment Use.
A. Equipment is provided to members for the sole purpose of producing programming for the Community Access Television Station.


B. Certification. Only Producers who are current in fees may use equipment.  Only Producers certified by DCAT staff to operate that particular equipment may use equipment. A Producer must be certified on a particular equipment system
prior to making reservations to use that system. This may be accomplished by attendance to a specific class or individual certification. Upon completion of the first certification and when the volunteer requirements have been met, an
individual has attained Producer status and is availed to DCAT services including -- but not limited to -- equipment checkout, facility reservations and other services.


C. Volunteerism and Fees. DCAT wishes to foster an atmosphere of collaboration and volunteerism in the development of community programming. Fees have also been established for training classes; Producers may perform volunteer service to reduce or offset fees.


1. Producer Status: This status allows individuals to have access to DCAT managed equipment, facilities and services
2. DCAT has developed basic and advanced media classes to enhance Producer initiated productions. These classes are a vital component of the facility and an integral part of the DCAT mission. DCAT shall establish
fees for all classes and certifications as needed. Provisions for scholarship or volunteer service in lieu of fees may be offered, dependent on individual need.
3. Individual equipment uses: DCAT requires an equipment-use fee per standard reservation times, with an additional for use over the allotted time. Provisions for scholarship or volunteer service in lieu of fees may be
offered, dependent on individual need.


D. Production Restrictions. Equipment may be used only for the production of material to be first telecast on DCAT. Producers may not charge persons, organizations or businesses to appear on DCAT.


E. Reservations. Equipment is available on a first-come, first-served basis. As many as five (5) prior reservations may be made. Prior reservations may be made up to one month in advance. Exceptions to these limits are available for long-term projects and series for which an approved production plan has been submitted to the Executive Director. An example of this is a series placement agreement that is tied to a facility reservation like a weekly live studio production.
In this case, the studio reservations are made for the pre-arranged six-month period and are not subject to the “five prior reservations” policy. All reservations must be for times when staff is present in the DCAT facilities. Reservations may
be made or amended by telephone at any time staff are present in the facilities.  Producers must inform staff if they will be late or need to cancel a reservation.


F. Contracts for usage; liability for damages. The Producer using the equipment is responsible for its safe use and return in working condition. An Equipment Use Contract accepting liability for damages and signed by the Producer is required
for each use. The Producer will fully compensate DCAT for any damages beyond normal wear and tear (that deterioration that occurs without negligence, carelessness, accident or abuse) which occur during the time she/he has
checked it out.


G. Editing Systems. Editing systems may be checked-out for up to four (4) hours per reservation. Use of editing rooms for viewing, logging or dubbing tapes is permitted, but no prior reservations will be given for these purposes. No food or
beverages may be brought into the editing room.


H. Field Equipment. Field equipment may be checked-out for up to forty-eight (48) hours, except on weekends when use extends to 72 hours. Equipment may not be taken outside of La Plata County without prior permission. Equipment
must be returned no later than the time specified on a contract at the time of check-out unless the Producer has received authorization for late return from DCAT staff.


V. Facility.
A. Hours of Operation. As the DCAT Production facility is scheduled based on reservations, the hours are set by factoring use and staffing concerns. Generally, DCAT is open Monday through Friday for office and facility hours. DCAT
reserves the right to set facility hours and make staffing decisions to cover the facility during peak times. This is done at the discretion of the supervising employee, Executive Director. DCAT is closed for the following Holidays: New
Years Eve, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Other closings may include Facility Upgrades and Staff Retreats. All scheduled closings will be posted in advance at the facility. As a matter of course, DCAT staff is not scheduled to work past posted closing times and Producers are urged to leave the facility before closing. Requests for using the facility after posted closing times must be and be approved by the ExecutiveDirector.


B. Drop-In Use. DCAT does not allow “drop-in” use of equipment after one-half hour before scheduled closing time.


C. Equipment. Any material defect, equipment malfunctions or system failure should be reported to DCAT staff.


D. DVD Storage. DCAT is not responsible for DVDs left in the facility after they
have played on the channel. It is the program provider’s responsibility to arrange
for prompt tape pickup. DCAT reserves the right to dispose of abandoned tapes
60 days after drop off.


E. DVD Copies. DCAT provides equipment for making personal copies of an
individual’s self-produced program. Generally speaking, DCAT does not provide
equipment for making multiple (in excess of three) copies and discourages the
use of the equipment in this manner. DCAT may monitor the use of the
equipment to ensure fair access to this service.


F. Staff-Only Areas. DCAT may designate “Staff Only” areas in the facility to
protect client information either by files, database or other electronic means.
Generally, this includes all Staff offices and computers.


VI. Infractions of the Operating Policies and Procedures
.
A. The Executive Director shall have the discretion to determine a willful violation
of this section requiring disciplinary action and to assess up to the maximum
penalty provided for the specific offense, except that the Executive Director may
reduce the penalty if there exist mitigating circumstances that the Executive
Director believes warrant such a reduction.


B. In the absence of the Executive Director, any employee of Durango
Community Access Television may order the cessation of any activity reasonably
considered a willful violation, and may assess an interim suspension until such
time as the Executive Director has been apprised of the alleged violation and
can take action.


C. Any decision imposing a penalty of more than fourteen (14) days suspension
shall be accompanied by a written report issued by the Executive Director
setting forth all facts and circumstances giving rise to the penalty and the specific
provision violated. The written report required under this section shall be
provided no later than seven days after the imposition of a penalty.


D. The Executive Director may stay the imposition of any penalty pending
appeal to the Rules Committee if the Executive Director believes that a
continuation of the violation during the appeals period is unlikely or for other good
cause shown.


E. The following shall be violations of the Policies and Procedures of Durango
Community Access Television and may require the imposition of the penalty
provided for that specific offense:


1. Violation of the Agreement Set Forth in the DCAT Program Agreement.
Penalty: The Sponsor loses eligibility to submit or telecast material for up
to three (3) months for the first offense, up to six (6) months for the second
offense and up to twelve (12) months for any subsequent offense, except
that, if the relevant material should lead to litigation or prosecution, the
suspension shall continue beyond the penalty period for the time the case
remains under legal review.


2. Charging for Use of DCAT-managed Equipment or Appearances on
Access Channel(s) or Using DCAT-managed Equipment in Other For-
Profit Activity. Penalty: The Producer loses eligibility to check-out
equipment for up to three (3) months for the first offense, up to twelve (12)
months for the second offense, and up to thirty-six (36) months for any
subsequent offense. Additionally, if the producer engages in for-profit
programming, the Producer loses the right to submit or telecast material
for up to three (3) months for the first offense, up to twelve (12) months for
the second offense and up to thirty-six (36) months for any subsequent
offense. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to penalize a
producer for the later commercial viability of productions first produced
with the proper intent. All copyrights vest in the program’s producer.


3. Use of Equipment and/or Facility Without Permission of Staff or Without
Signing an Equipment Use Contract. Penalty: The Producer receives a
warning for the first offense, loses eligibility to check-out equipment for a
period of up to one (1) month for the second offense, and up to three (3)
months for any subsequent offense. Additionally, removal of any DCATmanaged
equipment from the premises without a signed use contract may
be considered theft.


4. Damage or Loss of Equipment. Penalty: The Producer may be required to
reimburse DCAT for all costs of equipment repair or replacement not the
result of normal wear and tear. In addition, the Producer is ineligible for
further equipment uses until all costs have been paid, or a written
agreement for payments to meet the financial obligation has been
executed with the Executive Director of DCAT. Default of any such written
agreement shall be grounds for indefinite suspension of equipment use
privileges, in addition to any other legal remedies Durango Community
Access Television may have. If equipment is stolen, a police report must
be filed immediately.


5. Failure to Return Field Equipment at the Time Specified. Penalty: The
Producer is subject to penalties of $5.00 per day, applicable to any portion
of a day the equipment is late. In addition to the $5.00 penalty, the
Producer will be suspended from check-out privileges for a period of up to
two (2) weeks if the equipment is more than twelve (12) hours late without
notice, or another Producer loses a production opportunity due to the
failure to timely return the equipment (whether or not the Producer is
aware that another Producer has lost or will lose such opportunity), and for
up to two (2) months if the Producer fails to return equipment for a period
greater than forty-eight (48) hours.


6. Failure to Check-out Equipment at the Time Specified in a Reservation.
Penalty: The Producer may forfeit any reservation for equipment if they
are more than fifteen (15) minutes late for that reservation. If the Producer
does not show up for a reservation at all, all subsequent reservations are
forfeited and no additional reservations may be made for up to two (2)
weeks.


7. Disruptive Behavior, Failure to Observe Sobriety or Proper Safety
Procedures, or Failure to Leave Premises at Scheduled Closing Time.
Penalty: Staff may require said individual to vacate the access facilities
immediately. If the party fails to leave in a timely manner or if Staff feels
physically threatened, Staff is required to call the Police and an automatic
suspension of equipment and facility use of up to two (2) months shall be
imposed for the first offense, up to six (6) months for the second offense,
and up to twelve (12) months for any subsequent offense. Disruptive
Behavior includes any openly hostile behavior or behavior that
intentionally interferes with the orderly conduct and operations of the
facility or any person using or working at the facility

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