- Mission Statement
- SECTION I – GENERAL INFORMATION
- SECTION II. – CODE OF CONDUCT
- SECTION III. – TRAINING
- SECTION IV – USE OF EQUIPMENT AND FACILITES
- SECTION V – PROGRAMMING
- Requests for Cablecast Time
- Program Content
- Live Show Call-In Policy
- Live Remote Programming
- Election/Campaign Programming
- Technical Requirements and Standards
- Selling Videotapes
- Outside, “Imported” or “Bicycled” Programming
- Community Bulletin Board: CBB
- “Checkbook Access” or Producer-for-Hire Policy
- SECTION VI – GUIDELINES FOR IDENTIFYING AND SCHEDULING ADULT AND POTENTIALLY OFFENSIVE PROGRAMMING AND DEFINITION OF LATE NIGHT CABLECAST TIME SLOTS
- SECTION VII – VIDEOTAPE
- SECTION VIII – PROGRAM AND TAPE RIGHTS
- SECTION IX – PERSONAL CONDUCT
- SECTION X – MEETINGS AND VIEWING PARTIES
- SECTION XI – LEASING EQUIPMENT
To empower Foxborough citizens, government, and educational institutions to communicate through media.
Manage an electronic forum for the free exchange of information and ideas. Promote its use by providing access to media-making tools and education.
SECTION I – GENERAL INFORMATION
What is FCA?
Foxboro Cable Access (FCA) is a private, not-for-profit organization. The primary FCA goal is to empower individuals and groups in the community to produce programs by, for, and about the community of Foxborough. FCA provides development in media literacy and video production training as well as the facilities needed to produce local community programming. FCA helps people become effective communicators and users of emerging and traditional communication technology. From time to time FCA produces programs such as special town meetings and self-promotion videos.
How Does FCA Operate?
FCA operations, facilities, and channel space are governed by polices developed by community volunteers who serve on the Board of Directors. Day-to-day and ongoing activities and functions of FCA operations are carried out by the professional staff under the direction of the Executive Director. The Executive Director is hired by and reports to the Board of Directors. FCA operates according to a set of rules and procedures (contained in the Guidelines for Community Television & PEG Access Policies), which are developed by the FCA staff and ratified by the Board of Directors. These rules and procedures guide FCA staff decisions that ensure equipment and resources are available to the widest number of people who want to produce programs, on a first come, first-served basis.
What is the Role of FCA Staff?
FCA staff manages the day-to-day business operations of FCA and provides training for its members. Staff members will only assist with volunteer-produced productions when requested and staff has time available.
What About Membership?
According to the FCA Bylaws, membership in the Foxboro Cable Access corporation, including the right to vote at annual meetings, is automatically extended to all subscribers to the town’s CATV service. However, subscription to the town’s CATV service is not required for purposes of production. Anyone who lives or works in Foxborough is eligible to take advantage of training opportunities and technical resources as a volunteer Producer, Crew or Board Member. The only requirement for participation is attendance at an Orientation Session or equivalent conference with FCA Staff to understand general operating procedures and clarify expectations between staff and community volunteers.
While many PEG access centers around the country have membership fees, FCA remains completely free of charge for all Foxborough residents and non-profit organizations.
Are there any Age Restrictions?
Although there is no minimum age restriction, residents under the age of 18 years must have on file a Parental/Guardian Consent Form (PDF). Those under the age of 16 will not be permitted to check out equipment or use production facilities unless accompanied by the parent, family member or another adult who has co-signed the aforementioned liability form. The Executive Director has the latitude to deny any resident under the age of 18 access to FCA’s facilities/equipment on said premises without the presence of a parent or legal guardian, or professional instructor. Users of all ages must complete all appropriate certification requirements as set forth in these rules and procedures.
When Are Facilities And Equipment Available?
FCA production facilities are available to all members on a first come, first served basis for the purpose of non-commercial community access cablecasting. Any use of these facilities that is commercial in nature and/or not intended to result in a program cablecast on the access channel is forbidden. Non-compliance to the above may result in being banned indefinitely from the facility.
SECTION II. – CODE OF CONDUCT
NOTE: FCA Staff and active volunteers are required to have a signed code of conduct form on file with FCA. A PDF version of the form is available here.
To protect FCA staff, volunteers and program participants, at no time during an FCA program may a staff person or volunteer be alone with a single child where the staff person or volunteer cannot be observed by others.
Staff shall not abuse children or use corporal punishment of any kind. This includes physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse, or neglect. Any type of abuse will not be tolerated and is cause for dismissal.
Staff and volunteers will respect children’s rights to not be touched in ways that make them feel uncomfortable. A child’s right to say “No” is to be encouraged and respected. Children are not to be touched in areas of their bodies that would be covered by a bathing suit.
Staff and volunteers may use appropriate touch including pats on the back or shoulder, side hugs, handshakes, high fives, and fist pumps. Staff and volunteers will refrain from full frontal hugging, touching of personal areas, or patting of the buttocks.
Staff and volunteers will not give gifts or special favors to individual children, or show preferential treatment to a child or group of children to the exclusion of others.
Staff and volunteers will have limited and appropriate private interactions through social media, computer or handheld devices with any children in the program.
Staff and volunteers will respond to children with respect and consideration and treat all children equally regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual identity, or culture.
Staff and volunteers will refrain from intimate displays of affection toward others.
Adult staff and volunteers will not be alone with children they have met through FCA activities. This includes babysitting, sleepovers, and inviting children to their home.
Participation in FCA activities does not normally include transportation to or from any event. Under normal circumstances, staff and volunteers are not to transport children alone in their own vehicles.
Staff and volunteers are strongly encouraged to attend child sexual abuse prevention training.
Staff and volunteers are required to report any suspicion of child abuse to the proper authorities (Foxborough Police Department)
I understand that any violation of this Code of Conduct may result in termination of staff member or letter of disinvite to a volunteer.
SECTION III. – TRAINING
Orientation and Basic Training Workshops will be offered, free of charge, to individuals who live or work in the Town of Foxborough. Additional workshops, technical training or other assistance will be available as needed. Foxboro Cable Access will schedule specialized training workshops at the request of volunteers who have completed basic training.
Registration – Production workshop schedules and registration forms will be posted in the FCA offices and publicized on the Community Bulletin Board. Registrations will be accepted and approved on a first come, first served basis. When workshops are full, additional workshops will be scheduled and made available whenever possible.
Workshop Fees – At this time FCA continues to offer all workshop classes FREE OF CHARGE.
Waivers – Workshop waivers may be awarded to FCA members at the discretion of the Executive Director providing the individual demonstrates proficiency in the use of requested equipment. No waivers will be made for Orientation Sessions, a requirement for all potential users.
Users who attend all workshop sessions and successfully demonstrate the ability to operate the video and audio equipment will be considered certified FCA users, providing them access, without charge, to the equipment on which they have been trained. Completion of each production workshop will be indicated on the users membership file. Users may also be asked to fill out a Workshop Evaluation form.
1. Certification Levels
Certification at specific levels, designated by FCA staff, will be issued to individuals based upon their level of training and experience. The levels of certification are as follows:
(NOTE: ALL LEVELS OF CERTIFICATION REQUIRE ATTENDANCE AT AN ORIENTATION SESSION)
LEVEL 1 – CREW – Requires completion of the Studio or Portable segments of the Basic Workshops. Training will include a hands-on crew experience during a studio production or the use of a portable camera in the field.
LEVEL 2 – PRODUCER – Requires completion of the Editing segment of the Basic Workshop, crew service for at least one government meeting or public service production, independent program production and understanding of producer’s responsibilities, and if possible, crew experience for other FCA volunteers.
LEVEL 3 – DIRECTOR – Requires completion of Advanced Technical Workshops (or equivalent experience) in the use of Control Room Equipment, Camera Registration and/or Mobile Van Production with help, knowledge of production planning and the ability to operate equipment independently under Level 4 supervision.
LEVEL 4 – STUDIO SUPERVISOR – Requires working knowledge of all production phases and also actual corporate in-service time as Crew Chief, Member of the Board, Clerical Work/or other efforts on behalf of the organization. Level 4 Supervisors must be at least 21 year old.
2. Certification Renewal
Certification will remain active by maintaining a current membership and using the equipment or facilities at least once a year. After a period of one year or more without use of equipment or facilities, the user will be asked to demonstrate proficiency on the equipment they wish to use. If you cannot demonstrate proficiency, you may be asked to attend a refresher training workshop.
Other Educational Opportunities
Further training and education in the field of telecommunications is supported by Foxboro Cable Access through programs such as scholarship awards, tuition reimbursement, and other special interest projects. Books and training tapes are also available for loan to any interested volunteers.
SECTION IV – USE OF EQUIPMENT AND FACILITES
ALL FCA EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES ARE TO BE USED FOR PRODUCING LIVE OR TAPED NON-COMMERCIAL PROGRAMMING FOR CABLECAST ON THE FOXBOROUGH ACCESS CHANNELS.
FCA community producers and crew 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.
The producer is responsible for the program content, its development and method of presentation, the selection of crew and their assignments, and compliance with FCA’s general operating procedures for reserving equipment and facilities or scheduling finished programming for cablecast.
These procedures include:
- Advance and ongoing communication with FCA staff regarding studio scheduling or equipment needs, especially if changes are made to an established routine.
- Advance and ongoing communications with crew members regarding scheduling, or changes to a scheduled production date or time.
- Handwritten notification on the studio or editing facilities calendars of the scheduled use.
- Arrangements for studio/location set up and breakdown.
- Technical standards and specifications of the Master tape:
30 Sec or more Black before 1st video
2 minutes or more of Black after last video
Rewound with ID Label on tape and on case
- Completed CHANNEL TIME REQUEST with program title, episode, guests and time.
- Publicity and promotional activity outside the FCA Program Schedule, and Bulletin Board.
The producer may enlist crew members to assist with any or all of these tasks, as long as it is understood that the producer is ultimately responsible that the procedures are followed so that FCA staff can perform their duties without unnecessary effort or delay. Crew requirements will vary depending upon the type of production.
STUDIO PRODUCTION requires a director, camera operators, audio and graphics technicians in the control room, and possibly additional assistance for studio set up and breakdown.
REMOTE PRODUCTION with the Mobile Van requires an Engineer-in-Charge, as well as the crew positions, and any special assistance (such as announcers) that may be needed.
PORTABLE PRODUCTION may require assistance with transporting equipment, and or post-production.
In addition to the usual positions, producers may also designate a Co-Producer, Associate Producer, or Production Secretary to handle administrative details, communication, publicity, or follow-up tasks, such as program dubs or “Thank-You’s”, Set Designers, Grips, Gaffers or Lighting Technicians for physical or technical specialties.
Individual volunteers may perform more than one function on a crew, and often do.as long as they are aware of that commitment and the technical or administrative requirements of the production are covered.
FCA staff members who are on duty during a production are not to be considered part of the crew. They serve only as Studio Supervisors but will provide emergency technical assistance if needed. However, staff members will assist, by advance appointment, with routine lighting set-up or specialty technical set-ups, such as using computer slides, bluescreen, or publicity planning.
1. Prerequisites and Limitations – Having successfully completed the appropriate training workshops, access users may schedule FCA equipment and facilities for the production of access programming. No person will be permitted to operate FCA equipment without first completing the appropriate workshop or hands-on training session. The use of FCA equipment to produce programs for commercial gain is prohibited.
2. Project Proposal Conference – No reservations for equipment or facilities can be made without a Project Proposal Conference, by telephone or in person with an appropriate staff member, 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 expected length of the final program;
- Whether it is a series or a single program;
- Whether it is to be cablecast 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 insure 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?) in order to provide the appropriate resources.
A separate Project Proposal is required for each program.
3. Reservation of Production Equipment and Facilities – Upon completion of a Program Proposal and a Proposal Conference, the user may request a reservation of production equipment or facilities through direct contact with a member of the FCA staff who will schedule the request using the computer reservation system. FCA will accept request for facilities and equipment over the phone, but a signed form must be completed before equipment or facilities are made available. Please use the calendars outside the edit suites to make reservation for studio or editing facilities. Equipment/facility request will be approved by FCA staff if they meet all the guidelines and if the equipment/facilities are available.
a. CANCELLATIONS – In the event a user fails to use the equipment and/or facilities reserved without 24-hour notice of cancellation, that user may be prohibited from use of that equipment and/or facility for a period of 30 days. Users showing up 30 minutes late for use of reserved production equipment of facility without notification, relinquish their reservation, which may then be available to other users. Repeated offenses may result in indefinite suspension and loss of FCA certification.
b. DAMAGE OR LOSS – Users must sign the FCA Equipment/Facility Request form agreeing to be financially responsible for damage or loss of equipment during the period it is reserved in their name. If the equipment was damaged while the appropriate care was being made to assure it’s safety, the user will not be held responsible. However if the equipment is lost or damaged while being used in a reckless manner, the user WILL be held responsible! Users that are found responsible must replace and/or repair the equipment within 30 days. Failure to comply within this time period will result in suspension from all FCA equipment and facilities until the lost or damaged item has been replaced or repaired, or may result in legal action. The user will not be responsible for normal wear and tear of equipment. In all cases of loss or damage, FCA will make the final decision.
c. CHECK OUT – Portable equipment will be checked out and in by FCA staff. Equipment will be thoroughly examined both at check out and return to determine the condition of the equipment at that time. Users should allow time in their production planning for this procedure.
Approximately 30 minutes should be allowed for checking equipment in or out.
d. PRACTICE – New workshop graduates may reserve production equipment and facilities for the purposes of practice. It is understood however, that access productions in progress will take precedent and the user may be required to relinquish their practice time to facilitate the production’s completion.
e. CONFERENCE ROOM – The conference room may be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis by Community Producers for program planning meetings or by any community organization for a special meeting or event. The conference room may only be reserved on a regular basis by organizations conducting FCA related business. Also, the conference room availability will be limited to FCA staff hours, unless a studio supervisor is available.
1. Crew – A Studio reservation is not confirmed until the community producer has confirmed, at a minimum, the assignment of a Director and Camera Operators for the production.
a. Crew position assignments are the responsibility of the community producer. All studio crew must be certified or approved by the FCA staff.
b. The FCA staff person on duty during a studio production is not to be considered part of a crew.
2. Timeframe – Studio time must be reserved no less than one week 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 within their allotted time.
3. Accessory Equipment – Producers must consult with the staff before bringing in accessories to the control room. No one may reconfigure any studio wiring. Violation of this rule will result in the immediate and permanent loss of all access privileges
1. Connection of External Devices – Users must consult with the staff engineer before bringing in accessories to connect with existing equipment.
2. Reconfiguration of Wiring – Users may not reconfigure the wiring of any edit station. Violation of this rule will result in the immediate and permanent loss of all access privileges.
Mobile Unit Usage
Reservation – Booking of the Mobile Studio will be done on a first-come first-served basis by completion of a Project Proposal form and/or Conference. The date of the Program Proposal form will be used to determine the date of the request. In rare cases, exceptions may be made if the later request for the van is for coverage of a unique event whose timing cannot be controlled by the producer. For example, MIAA tournament events would take precedent over a regular season game in another sport. FCA also encourages any availability conflicts to be worked out between Community Producers.
a. A tentative van booking can be made if the van is available on the given date by providing the following information: producer name, production, date requested, exact location, and approximate beginning and end time for the production. If the van is not available, FCA Staff will inform the Community Producer and attempt to arrange alternate dates.
b. To confirm a van booking, the Community Producer must complete a Program Proposal Conference and a scout of the location by the Community Producer, often accompanied by FCA Staff, to determine logistics and technical requirements, and the development of pre-planning arrangements with FCA staff
c. Booking of the van for rain date back-ups at the time of the booking is not allowed owing to the large number of van requests received. After cancellation because of bad weather, a new production date can be booked on a first-come first-served basis. The Access staff will make every effort to book the van as quickly as possible in this case.
d. Trading of van dates is not allowed without the approval of the Access Director.
Crew – The pre-planning arrangements will include the number of crew that will be needed and the time that those crew members will arrive. The number of crew will normally be six, but may be fewer if the Executive Director agrees that the production does not require six. In no case shall the crew be fewer than four.
a. The Community Producer must be on location with the agreed number of crew at the time of the crew call as determined in the Pre-planning arrangements. All crew members must be FCA members, and all must be certified (either portable or studio), unless otherwise authorized by the Access Director. The producer must stay on location from the time the van arrives until the production is finished and the van leaves.
b. The Van Engineer can cancel a shoot if after 1/2 hour from the crew call there are fewer than the agreed number of crew people on location, if any crew member is not a certified producer, or if the producer is not present for the entire shoot. In determining whether to cancel a shoot, the Van Engineer should consider whether it is technically feasible for the shoot to continue with the available crew. The Van Engineer and other staff assigned to the production are responsible for maintaining the technical quality of the van and equipment, and will not be available to direct, switch or serve in any crew positions.
TECHNICAL SUPPORT – The Mobile Studio must be accompanied on all remote productions by an FCA certified Engineer-in-Charge. Community producers should contact the appropriate FCA Staff four weeks in advance, whenever possible, to complete a Program Proposal Conference, and arrange for scheduling the vehicle and technical support.
TIMEFRAME – Producers should plan on at least 3 hours for set-up and 1 hour for strike in addition to the actual production time. Producers are also advised to book extra time should the event be delayed or run later than scheduled.
The van will only be available to the producer for scheduled hours – including set-up, strike, and travel time – per booking. Extra hours used will be overtime hours.
a. The van will arrive at the location on the date and time indicated on the Van Request form. The van includes one Van Engineer who makes all the technical decisions about the shoot.
b. If the Van Engineer cancels the production due to weather, he/she will notify the Access Producer. Producers are responsible for notifying the crew and the event organizers. Should weather conditions deteriorate while production is in progress, only the Van Engineer can decide to cancel.
c. Producers are advised to make contingency plans in case of bad weather, such as an alternative location indoors. This location must also be scouted prior to the submission of the Van Request form if it is to be used as a back-up.
LIVE REMOTE CABLECAST – Requests for live cablecast of a van production must be made in the Program Proposal. Since live cablecast requires considerable cooperation from Comcast, FCA cannot guarantee a live cablecast can be arranged. Likewise, time for a live cablecast must be arranged on the channel, meaning other productions have to be pre-empted. The Executive Director is responsible for clearing the channel time with the Program Scheduler and the cable drop with Comcast.
SECTION V – PROGRAMMING
ALL PROGRAMMING PRODUCED FOR CABLECAST ON FCA’S CHANNELS SHALL BE OF A NON-COMMERCIAL NATURE
Community Producer: a local resident producing programs with FCA equipment or facilities.
Local Sponsor: a Foxborough resident who is taking legal responsibility for the cablecasting of either a locally-produced program or a program produced elsewhere.
PEG ACCESS CHANNELS – FCA is responsible for the administration of three cable channels on the cable TV systems in Foxborough. By becoming an FCA member, any resident or non-profit organization in Foxborough may request channel time for the presentation of programming they produce at FCA, or programming produced elsewhere.
PRE-EMPTING PROGRAMMING – FCA retains the right to pre-empt 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 Foxborough community for which time is of the essence (Example: The unscheduled appearance of a local school team in a championship final match). Furthermore, FCA may place a higher priority on access to limited channel cablecast time for programming for and about Foxborough or by a Foxborough resident, against programming on more general or wider topics, or that produced outside of Foxborough.
Community Producers and Local Sponsors must agree to comply with all applicable sections of these Guidelines and abide by the following conditions:
Requests for Cablecast Time
Community Producers and Local Sponsors may request that their program be scheduled on the appropriate PEG Access Channel. All requests for channel time on FCA will be processed on a fair and equitable basis.
A. A CHANNEL TIME REQUEST form must be completed by the producer/sponsor for each program submitted for cablecast. The form states, among other things, that the producer/sponsor is solely responsible for the content of the program and channel has obtained all necessary performance and copyright clearances.
Series programs may fill out a single Channel Time Request form for the entire series, but an updated form must be filed annually.
B. Program time slots for the access channels are scheduled by the staff when a tape has been submitted with the proper documentation. Time slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Locally produced programming will take precedence in program scheduling. The FCA staff will schedule program playback with the goal of presenting a coherent schedule and will make the final decisions for scheduling matters.
C. Programs submitted for cablecast will be granted one cablecast. Any repeat showings will be scheduled at the discretion of staff.
D. Access to a Regular Cablecast Time Slot for Series – Requests for regular time slots for a series will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis within the resources of the organization. A series is defined as any program having a regular cablecast time slot scheduled either weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. All repeat times and requests for additional repeats may be granted at the discretion of the staff if the time is available and not requested by other producers. Series Producers must make consistent use of their time slot with new material.
Presentation of materials designed to promote the sale or exchange of goods or services is prohibited. In regards to all other materials, it is the policy of FCA not to preview such material for the purpose of censorship. FCA shall not act as a censor to such materials prior to transmission on the access channels.
However, presentation of the following materials on the access channels is specifically not authorized by FCA, and may subject the producer or other responsible party (or parties) to criminal prosecution or civil liability:
Presentation of the following is prohibited
- Any commercial programming or advertising;
- Any material which constitutes libel or slander;
- Any obscene material or pornography;
- Any unauthorized use of copyrighted material or publicity rights, and invasion of privacy;
- Any material in violation of FCC regulations; and,
- Any material which violates local, state or federal laws.
A. Safe Haven / Adult Programming
Producers are expected to alert FCA staff to programming that may be inappropriate for younger viewers or objectionable to some others. FCA reserves the right to cablecast programming with excessively violent material, offensive language, nudity, or sexually explicit material after 11:00 pm, and before 5:00 am, in order to preserve a safe haven for viewing by “all audience members”. FCA believes that when it comes to controversial content in programming, the response should be to encourage more speech, as opposed to enforcing silence. Furthermore, FCA is forbidden by law from censorship, or content control. FCA encourages anyone who disagrees with a program to produce counter-programming presenting an opposing point of view, or otherwise responding to the program in question. Upon receipt of a Request for Cablecast Time for any program, FCA reserves the right to inform the public of a local Producer of Record’s intent to cablecast a particular program to which it believes a segment of the community may wish to respond.
B. Live In-Studio Programming/Viewer Call-Ins
Requests for live programs must be made four (4) weeks prior to the taping. In order to produce a live studio telecast, the community producer must sign a Statement of Responsibility for All Program Content. If viewer call-ins are to be included, the following policy must be strictly observed:
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 FCA, 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 FCA Board of Directors has clearly stated its concern 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
Please refer to Section IV – Equipment and Facilities Use, “Mobile Unit Usage”
FCA provides to all Foxborough 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 Foxborough residents may vote shall be afforded the same rights as a resident of Foxborough with regard to access to FCA facilities and channel time.
Due to the time pressures inherent in a political campaign, within ten (10) business days after the filing deadline for candidates FCA will mail to each candidate a copy of FCA’s Operational Rules and Procedures as it relates to opportunities for community programming.
In order to ensure equal opportunities for programming time on FCA channels, the following rules apply.
(a) FCA 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.
(b) FCA 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.
(c) A sufficient block of time will be reserved during each political season to enable a wide selection of political programs to be cablecast.
(d) Use of the Community Bulletin Board (CBB) shall be restricted to one page, per candidate for public office whose constituency includes a Foxboro or ballot issue, beginning with the closing date for the filing of papers with the Election Commission. FCA may issue a Candidate a sample CBB Form to guide candidates in appropriate use.
Technical Requirements and Standards
A. Tapes may be submitted for cablecast in either ½” VHS/SVHS, DVD or MEG2 file format. The tape itself must be high quality and in excellent physical condition. Video must be NTSC format. Wrinkled, spliced, old or damaged tape will be rejected.
B. All programs must be timed by the producer, “from black to black,” including the disclaimer required below. The tape and tape case must be clearly labeled with this time. The time must be accurate to the second, in the following format: “hour:minute:second – 00:00:00”.
C. Programs to be cablecast must meet certain minimum technical standards in the opinion of the FCA staff. Programs having poor audio and video signal quality may be withheld from cablecast at the staff’s discretion. Control track (video sync) should be consistent, that is, no breaks of sync (an unintended electronic distortion or break-up) as measured by visual inspection by the staff. If tapes fail to meet this standard in the opinion of the staff, the producer must remedy the problem prior to cablecast.
D. DISCLAIMER/ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: FCA reserves the right to include a disclaimer and funding acknowledgment preceding and or following the program.
Underwriting and Grants
A. Acknowledgment of underwriting by businesses, organizations or grantors providing monetary or other assistance to the making of the program must be included in the program credits. Such acknowledgment should meet the standards of the Public Broadcasting System and may include the underwriter’s name, business name, logo, and up to a 15-second statement of the nature of the underwriter’s contribution or product. Prohibited are direct sales talk, marketing, or “calls-to-action” which disclose specific products on sale, business address or business phone. Foxboro-based firms may identify the neighborhood in which they are located.
B. Any Community Producer soliciting underwriters for financial support must provide that potential underwriter with the FCA Fact Sheet which makes clear that no commercial content is allowed on public access programs.
C. All underwriter funds in excess of $1,000 must be paid directly to Foxboro Cable Access, Inc.. FCA will then distribute 85% of the funds received to the community producer whose program is being underwritten. When the amount is $2,500 or more, FCA will retain 20% of the funds. When the amount is $5,000 or more, FCA will retain 30% of the funds. FCA retains a portion of such funds for two reasons: First, we extend our non-profit status to our members in order that their contributors may qualify for tax deductions (if applicable), and, secondly, the receipt of the funding by the community producer would be impossible without the actual and in-kind support of the free resources of FCA.
D. FCA Members are encouraged to seek grants from outside sources for their productions. For grants over $2000, Members must make arrangements for co-application with FCA, as it may be necessary to provide proof of certain in-kind requirements of the grant — services and/or equipment which only the FCA Executive Director may commit and guarantee. FCA reserves the right to retain up to 20% of such grants for administrative and in-kind services, to be arranged by mutual agreement with the participants and, if necessary, the grantors. Grant applicants are urged to review the section concerning representation in relation to any affiliation statements requested in grant applications.
Ownership of Locally Produced Programs –
FCA Community Producers own their program and hold the copyright, provided it is cablecast at least once on any of the access channels. FCA has the right to maintain a copy of any program in its tape library to cablecast an unlimited number of times. FCA has the right to use any program for promotional purposes related to FCA. Only the Community Producer, as holder of the copyright, may authorize any other use of a taped program.
Community Producers that make a for-fee or commercial use of a program produced for cablecast on an FCA channel shall be required to remit 20% of all royalties resulting from said tape to FCA. On a case-by-case basis the Executive Director shall determine any exceptions to this policy.
Outside, “Imported” or “Bicycled” Programming
A. Programming that is produced outside of Foxborough may be allowed to be cablecast on Foxborough public access channels. Any FCA member may sponsor such programming as the Local Sponsor by completing the Channel Time Request Form in accordance with these Guidelines and Procedures.
B. Requests for cablecast time-slots will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis. Locallyproduced programming will take precedence as FCA’s top priority in scheduling. FCA 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, Foxborough- based programming fills all of these time slots.
All outside programs are required to have the FCA disclaimer and funding acknowledgment at the beginning of the program. The Local Sponsor is responsible for compliance with these provisions, not FCA staff. Failure to comply will mean that the tape will not get cablecast.
A Community Producer may produce programming with non-FCA equipment/facilities and it will still be considered “Locally-produced programming”. Those producers wishing to use their own equipment must be FCA Members, meet the minimum technical standards for cablecast of their final product.
Community Bulletin Board: CBB
The Foxborough Community Bulletin Board is a service provided to the community by FCA at no charge for the purpose of disseminating information to town residents by town departments and other non-profit organizations. However, this service is also available to other organization within the community wishing to promote a non-commercial activity, event or service. Due to the limited amount of available space, FCA has set forth certain guidelines to regulate and insure that no one organization can monopolize the available space. FCA staff reserves the right to schedule announcements at FCA discretion. FCA is not responsible for mistakes made on the CBB. FCA reserves the right, as producer of the CBB, to reject or edit any message. A “Call for More Info” phone number is permitted.
Anyone wishing to run a message on the FCA Community Bulletin Board should contact the FCA Office via telephone, email, postal mail or fax with the pertinent information at least four (4) days prior to the beginning date for the message to run. The request should include a phone number for further information.
- Messages must be non-commercial in nature.
- Messages concerning fund raising will be run as long as no specific products, goods, services, or their prices are mentioned.
- FCA Staff reserves the right to determine the length of time that messages run on the system.
- Emergency messages will receive first consideration.
- Messages must also abide by the regulations set forth by the FCC in the governing of community access channels.
- No message that discriminates against any individual or group, or promotes a service or event not open to the general public will be run.
- FCA reserves the right to refuse any message, or edit a message to fit these guidelines, but not as to change the overall content or meaning of the message.
FCA encourages all Community Producers to publicize their programs in a variety of ways. Two weeks notice should be allowed to put a notice on the Program Schedule on FCA’s Web Page. FCA will assist Community Producers in announcing their programs in local newspapers. FCA shall make the Community Bulletin Board available for programming-related announcements. Furthermore, producers are encouraged to prepare 30 or 60-second promos for cross promotions by other producers or staff and submit press releases to local newspapers of their upcoming programs. Producers must remember to clearly identify themselves as individual citizens, and make it clear to editors and their readers that the program is not a production “of” or “by” FCA.
“Checkbook Access” or Producer-for-Hire Policy
At the present time, there is no formal policy covering the issue of members who wish to pay another eligible FCA member to perform production services or tasks. The Board of Directors of FCA is studying a final policy directive. Any member who wishes to enter in to such production-for-pay arrangement must meet with the Executive Director to obtain the latest policy directive on this topic.
SECTION VI – GUIDELINES FOR IDENTIFYING AND SCHEDULING ADULT AND POTENTIALLY OFFENSIVE PROGRAMMING AND DEFINITION OF LATE NIGHT CABLECAST TIME SLOTS
A. GUIDELINES – The following guidelines are provided to assist FCA producers and staff in determining what may be ADULT and POTENTIALLY OFFENSIVE program content or subject matter. They are subject to re-evaluation and change in light of ongoing experience and the dynamic nature of community standards.
These guidelines are not intended to limit or discourage free expression. They are, in fact, intended to create a balance between the PRODUCER’S right to free speech and the VIEWER’S right to make informed decisions about appropriate cable television programming within their own home or business. FCA’s program schedule is determined by two primary guiding principles: 1) First-come, first-served and 2) Reasonable and appropriate time, place and manner.
B. NOTIFICATION – The PRODUCER is required to notify FCA when requesting live cablecasting or playback, that a program contains material that may be considered inappropriate for children and young audiences due to potentially offensive, adult, violent or indecent content or subject matter.
C. VIEWER WARNING – The PRODUCER must include the following text on the screen for a minimum of 15 seconds at the beginning of the program (if the program is longer than 30 minutes the same Viewer Warning must be shown for a minimum of 15 seconds within the 30th minute of program content):
THE FOLLOWING PROGRAM CONTAINS MATERIAL WHICH MAY BE OFFENSIVE TO SOME VIEWERS OR INAPPROPRIATE FOR VIEWING BY CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED. THE CONTENT OF THIS PROGRAM IS SOLELY THE RESPONSIBILITY OF (INSERT PRODUCER NAME) AND NOT THE FCA STAFF, BOARD, MEMBERSHIP OR ASSOCIATES.
Late Night Cablecast
In keeping with standards and appropriate time, place and manner, all Adult and Offensive programming premiers and playbacks will be scheduled to be cablecast in late night time slots on a first-come, first-served basis. Late night time slots are defined as: after 11:00 pm in the evening and before 5:00 am in the morning.
SECTION VII – VIDEOTAPE
A. AVAILABILITY – Videotapes will be available to users for production of access programs. Videotapes will be distributed during equipment checkouts. All videotape provided by FCA should be stored at FCA. Users are permitted to use their own videotapes for the production of access programs as long as they meet basic standards.
B. RECYCLING – Once a program has been completed, the raw footage tapes can be recycled and made available to other members.
C. OWNERSHIP – The access user retains all copyrights to the program content regardless of whether the user or FCA provides the tape stock. However, when the user is using FCA tape stock, the videotape itself is the property of FCA. In the event a user desires to keep the program, arrangements must be made to replace the tape with new identical tape stock or have a copy made.
D. DUBBING – Users may not use FCA production equipment to make copies of their programs. A replicating unit is available for Members to make dubs of their programs using their own tape stock. Dubs may be requested for completed programs only and only after they have been scheduled for airing on the access channel. FCA reserves the right to provide copies upon request, to the general public of all programming produced through FCA production facilities unless permission to do so is specifically denied in writing by the producer. (For details of FCA Dubbing Policies and Procedures, please see current Bulletin re: Dub Issues)
SECTION VIII – PROGRAM AND TAPE RIGHTS
A. AUTHORSHIP – Although all non-commercial copyrights and content responsibilities belong to the Producer, the actual tape stock belongs to FCA. FCA does have the right to show FCA programs or any portion of them, for purposes of promotion, etc.
B. RECOVERING COST OF PROGRAMS – Copyright ownership of programs produced through FCA facilities does not extend to sale of the program or commercial distribution of such. (If the program is sold or leased or put into commercial distribution, FCA must be reimbursed for all production costs.)
C. PRIOR PERMISSION FOR DUBS – Subject to Section VII, #4, FCA will not make copies of programs for anyone without the producer’s permission.
D. FCA MASTER TAPES – FCA will keep master tapes on file for one year or longer, at their discretion. FCA reserves the right to playback any program at any time, to “bicycle” the program to other cable systems for non-commercial use, and to use excerpts of programs in promotional events.
SECTION IX – PERSONAL CONDUCT
A. SAFTEY FIRST – Keep yourself safe, keep others safe, keep organization property and equipment safe at all times. Endangering the safety of oneself, others, or organizational property will not be tolerated.
B. SMOKING– Smoking is prohibited in all areas of the FCA facility.
C. FOOD AND DRINK – Consumption of food and beverages is forbidden in all production areas including edit rooms and the studio. Exceptions to this rule will be at the discretion of the Executive Director. Users/Producers are responsible for cleaning up after themselves and those associated with their production.
D. SPIRIT OF COOPERATION – FCA users are expected to exhibit a spirit of cooperation at all times. Courtesy, understanding and flexibility will result in a more productive facility for everyone.
E. BEHAVIOR & VIOLENCE – Appropriate, professional, and respectful behavior is expected at all times. Violent behavior will not be tolerated. This includes threatening or intimidating language, any form of physical assault such as striking or manhandling another person, or fighting. Weapons, or any objects resembling weapons, are prohibited while on or in FCA facilities unless used for production purposes.
F. HARASSMENT – It is the policy of FCA to promote a work place free of tensions involving matters which are not related to FCA business. It is the policy of FCA that an environment of tension created by ethnic or religious remarks, offensive jokes or language, animosity, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or conduct of a sexual nature does not belong in the community’s television facility. Sexual considerations or favors shall not be used as a condition of employment, volunteer status, use of the facility, scheduling, or affect any personnel decisions, such as hiring, promotion, or compensation. If any such verbal or physical conduct interferes with an individual’s work performance or volunteer status, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work/volunteer environment, the offended individual shall notify management. The claim will promptly be reviewed and investigated.
SECTION X – MEETINGS AND VIEWING PARTIES
A. VIEWING PARTIES – As possible, FCA will provide space for individuals or organizations to host “Viewing Parties” to view programs for select audiences. Viewing Parties are subject to the limitations of space, equipment and staff resources. The program must be scheduled for cablecasting before the producer can make reservations for a Viewing Party. The Producer can supply food and drink at their party, but no alcoholic beverages. The Producer is responsible for the conduct of guests and clean up after the party.
B. MEETINGS – As possible, FCA will provide meeting space for any series production planning. Space is scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis, based upon availability. Set-up and cleanup are the responsibility of the person scheduling the meeting space.
SECTION XI – LEASING EQUIPMENT
At this time FCA does not have a policy regarding leasing equipment for commercial or private use. Any inquiries about leasing equipment should be directed to the FCA Board of Directors. FCA Producers creating programs for cablecast will always have priority regardless of any other leasing equipment policy.