- SCC Public Acces Operating Rules
1 - GENERAL ACCESS RULES
1.1 A “Producer” is defined as anyone who has demonstrated proficiency and/or completed a class, has been certified by SCC, makes proper application for access equipment, facilities, and/ or channel time, and presents access programming for cablecast.
1.2 The availability and administration of access equipment, studio, staff, and the public access channels are the responsibility of the SCC Director of Facilities and Operations.
1.3 Training, equipment and facility use, and non-series programs submitted for cablecasts are scheduled on a non-discriminatory, first-come, first-served basis.
1.4 Channel time may not be booked less than 5 days or more than 91 days in advance, and booking of channel time is limited to no more than three cablecast hours per week, per program, per producer. No fee shall be assessed for use of public access channel time.
1.5 Producers may make one dub of their completed program using SCC’s equipment. A tape, DVD or other recordable medium acceptable to the Director of Facilities and Operations for program dub is to be provided by the producer.
1.6 SCC will offer regularly scheduled classes in video production for a reasonable fee.
1.7 The use of SCC facilities and equipment must result in programming to be cablecast on SCC public access channels. All programming produced through use of SCC facilities and equipment must have its premiere presentation on SCC public access channels.
1.8 Video equipment and facilities maintained by SCC will be provided for use to certified producers for non-commercial purposes.
1.9 If the SCC Director of Facilities and Operations determines that a producer’s program violates Section 4.1 or that a producer has damaged access equipment or facilities, failed to return equipment, failed to comply with SCC policies, failed to provide a legal name and address for the purpose of establishing access privileges, or exhibited inappropriate conduct, the Director of Facilities and Operations shall take action as authorized by these policies. Authorized action shall be determined by the Director of Facilities and Operations and may include (but is not necessarily limited to): an oral and written warning, immediate (temporary or permanent) suspension of access privileges, loss of series timeslot, and immediate expulsion.
1.10 If the Director of Facilities and Operations suspends the producer’s access privileges on a temporary or permanent basis, the Director of Facilities and Operations shall notify the producer in writing, explaining the reason for the suspension and the process for appeal and shall inform the Ramsey/Washington Counties Suburban Cable Communications Commission Executive Director of the action. Any producer may appeal in writing a notice of violation or suspension to the Executive Director. If the suspension is upheld by the Executive Director, the producer may make a final appeal to the Chair of the Ramsey/ Washington Counties Suburban Cable Communications Commission who will refer the appeal to a three-person ad hoc committee to consider the appeal. If a producer appeals a suspension of access privileges, the suspension in question will be in effect until the Executive Director or Commission ad hoc committee renders a final decision on the appeal. All appeals will be rendered as expeditiously as reasonably possible.
1.11 A producer must be certified by SCC staff in the use of any equipment or facility requested before the producer will be permitted to use the equipment or facility. A producer may become certified by successfully completing appropriate classes offered by SCC. Producers are responsible for knowing and abiding by the operating rules when using any public access facilities or equipment. Violation of these rules or applicable local, state, and federal law may result in suspension or termination of producer’s access privileges.
1.12 Producers shall not interfere in the production and/or studio usage time of another person.
1.13 No eating or drinking is allowed at any time in the control room, studio (with the exception of non-alcoholic beverages on set), editing suites or mobile production truck. Beverages are exempted in some areas with provided drink enclosures. Tobacco use, in all forms, is prohibited in the entire SCC public access facility and mobile production truck.
1.14 The use or possession of illegal drugs or any type of alcoholic beverage within the Suburban Community Channels production facility (including, but not limited to, the control room, studio, editing suites, offices, hallways, waiting area, lunch room, restrooms, and garage) or production truck is prohibited. Additionally, anyone who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, or whose conduct in any way endangers the safety of people or equipment will be immediately expelled from the facilities and/or suspended from future use of the access facilities.
1.15 All producers, volunteers, visitors, etc. operate under the supervision and authority of the public access staff and Director of Facilities and Operations. No person shall engage in any conduct, which disturbs, interferes with, or obstructs users or employees of the facility as determined in the sole opinion of SCC staff. Anyone exhibiting inappropriate conduct is first warned by the SCC staff member in charge at the time of the offense. If the conduct continues, the offender will then be asked to leave the premises. Staff may expel offender(s) or anyone at the sole discretion of SCC staff. All producers are responsible for the conduct of associated volunteers and visitors. Refer to section 1.9 for information regarding the SCC access privilege suspension procedure.
1.16 No animals are permitted unless it is necessary for assistance or if it is necessary for the production of a program (animal is on the set) and the animal(s) are pre-approved by SCC staff.
1.17 Producers are not employees or agents of the Suburban Community Channels or the Ramsey/Washington Counties Suburban Cable Communications Commission, and no producer is authorized to present himself/herself as an employee or agent of the Ramsey/Washington Suburban Cable Communications Commission or the Suburban Community Channels.Additionally, no producer shall distribute or use any materials, printed or otherwise, that directly state or indirectly suggest that the producer is an employee or agent of the Ramsey/Washington Counties Suburban Cable Communications Commission or the Suburban Community Channels. Prohibited materials could include, but not be limited to, materials utilizing the SCC or Ramsey/Washington Counties Suburban Cable Communications Commissions’ name, logos, call letters, telephone numbers or addresses, or containing other information that states or suggests a producer is an employee or agent of the Suburban Community Channels or the Ramsey/Washington Counties Suburban Cable Communications Commission.
2 - FACILITY AND EQUIPMENT USE RULES
2.1 (A) Producers assume full responsibility for any damage to or loss of equipment or production facilities while in control of the producer and must sign a liability agreement at the time of equipment checkout unless waived in whole or in part by SCC Director of Facilities and Operations.
(B) In the event equipment is damaged or lost, payment in the full amount of repair or replacement must be made within 30 days of the damage or loss, or satisfactory arrangements made with the SCC Director of Facilities and Operations for the reimbursement of such loss or damage to SCC. Failure to pay within the prescribed period of time will result in the producer’s loss of access privileges. SCC further reserves the right to take necessary legal action for failure to pay all costs, including any associated legal and staff costs, associated with damage or loss.
(C) A parent or legal guardian of minor (less than 18 years of age) producers must sign a blanket responsibility agreement that covers equipment and facilities damage or loss during the use by said minor.
2.2 Producers may reserve, in advance, facilities and equipment as follows:
- up to four hours per week studio time;
- up to eight hours per week editing time;
- up to one 24-hour block for portable equipment per week. Exceptions may be made for scheduled studio closure days, weekends or if producer demonstrates need and requested equipment is not otherwise reserved. Note that these times are for per week advanced bookings, not for total time per week for each category. See also 2.3 below.
2.3 Producers may obtain excess time on a day-by-day basis. Example: if no reservation follows a producer’s scheduled time, a producer may continue for up to four hours beyond the scheduled time, or, until the next reserved time on the same equipment, with prior staff approval. Or producers may, on a day-by-day basis, book facilities in four-hour reservation blocks of time.
2.4 Portable equipment can be checked in and out during SCC’s regular operating hours only. All equipment transactions must be made in the presence of SCC public access staff. This includes use of facility and equipment check out and returns.
2.5 All checked out SCC equipment must be returned to SCC for check-in by the same producer who signed for and checked out equipment.
2.6 Producers are responsible for informing the access staff in the event of any change in equipment reservations. Failure to provide notice of reservation cancellation, any reservation change, or if producer fails to checkout equipment or return equipment as previously arranged may result in the loss of access privileges. See section 1.9.
2.7 Producers may not at any time transfer use of SCC equipment to non-certified individuals for the purpose of non-certified individuals using or operating SCC equipment.
3 - FACILITY USE RULES - STUDIO AND PRODUCTION TRUCK
3.1 Producer must be certified in studio or production truck and must provide a crew that has been studio or truck certified. Additionally, truck productions will be dependent upon staff availability for supervision.
3.2 Producer may provide sets and/or props for production or use any sets and/or props that are currently stored in the studio and/ or prop storage areas. Storage is provided as a courtesy and SCC is not responsible for sets and props stored in the SCC Public Access facility.
3.3 No unauthorized persons will be permitted in the studio or production truck during the production. All studio or production truck producers are responsible for the conduct of associated crew, volunteers and visitors.
3.4 Studio time may not be available on short notice. To ensure that studio time is available, requests for studio time should be made well in advance of shoot date. Studio time can be scheduled in person or by phone during SCC’s regular operating hours.
3.5 The producer is responsible for returning the studio to its original configuration.
3.6 Producers or groups requesting use of the production truck must:
- Complete a production request not less than 30 days in advance;
- Upon submission of production request, producer must complete site inspection with SCC On Location staff not less than 21 days prior to proposed shoot date;
- Obtain written approval from SCC On Location staff;
- Identify a production truck crew certified on or before the date of the production truck request.
3.7 Truck productions will be dependent upon staff availability for supervision. A reasonable service fee may be charged for gasoline and/or production costs. Signed premise release forms must be submitted before approval of truck use. Use of production truck must result in a completed, ready to be cablecast program at the conclusion of the production truck shoot.
3.8 Violators of studio and/ or production truck use rules or policies will be subject to policy set forth in sections 1.9 and/ or 1.14.
4 - PROGRAMMING RULES
4.1 (A) The Ramsey Washington Counties Suburban Cable Communications Commission (the “Commission”) seeks diversity of programming throughout all of the Access Channels controlled by the Commission. Any series producer seeking or holding a SCC Public Access series time slot shall agree that the producer will not submit the same programming for playback on any other Commission Access Channels or resubmit the same programming played on any other Commission Access channel for playback on the SCC Public Access Channel.
(B) SCC will not exercise editorial control over the content of any Producer’s program. SCC does not assume responsibility for viewing submitted program media. All program content is the responsibility of the producer. Any submitted program will be guaranteed one playback. Program must not violate parts (A) (C) (D) or (E) below.
(C) Access equipment, facilities, and channels may not be used for the presentation or production of material designed to promote the sale of commercial products or services, fundraising, or the dissemination of any information in violation of Rule 5 (Underwriting) or directly or indirectly involving lotteries as defined in Section 76.213 of the Rules of the Federal Communications.
(D) All programming submitted to SCC shall be non-commercial, lawful, and retain the general purpose of the public access programming.
(E) Federal law provides that any person who transmits obscene programming or programming unprotected by the United States Constitution over cable systems may be fined and/ or imprisoned.
4.2 Any producer found to have violated Section 4.1(C) or (D) shall be required to compensate SCC for commercial use of the access facilities, equipment and channels as listed on the SCC commercial use rate card.
4.3 Programming accepted for cablecasting on the public access channels will be guaranteed one cablecast unless it is known that the program violates Section 4.1. SCC reserves the right to cablecast any program more than once.
4.4 SCC reserves the absolute right to control the time, manner, and placement of any playback of any material.
4.5 SCC reserves the absolute right to label any program with an on-air graphic as to its adult or violent content, or that its content is not representative of the views of SCC, the Ramsey/ Washington Counties Suburban Cable Communications Commission or its members, officers or employees.
4.6 Anyone submitting a program must submit a Statement of Compliance form for each scheduled program, live or recorded, to the SCC staff to present programming on the SCC public access channels. Series producers holding a SCC Public Access series time slot, live or recorded, can submit an Annual Statement of Compliance form, which covers the entire programming year. Producers under age 18 must have parent or guardian co-sign the SCC Statement of Compliance form.
4.7 Channel time may not be booked less than 3 days or more than 91 days in advance.
4.8 Producers will bear full responsibility and liability for all program content. Producer will assume sole responsibility to obtain all necessary rights to program production materials and content. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, all necessary literary, artistic, intellectual, performance, and music rights as well as all necessary clearances from the owners or licensees of such material. Producer must sign and submit a Statement of Compliance form, accepting responsibility and liability for program content to present programming on SCC public access channels.
4.9 Producer shall indemnify and hold harmless SCC, The Ramsey/Washington Counties Suburban Cable Communications Commission, and franchise grantee from and against any damages, liabilities, fees, losses and costs of any nature, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, resulting from any action related in any way to the producer’s use of the access channels and/or SCC equipment and facilities. This includes, but is not limited to, any damages, fees, losses and liabilities and costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, which may arise as a result of the producer’s failure to abide by the Operating Rules of SCC. Each producer shall sign an indemnity agreement at the time the producer checks out equipment, uses the SCC access facility, and presents programming on the SCC public access channels.
5 - PROGRAM UNDERWRITING
5.1 Underwriting is defined as goods, services, and/ or grants in aid of production provided to a program producer by a third party. An acknowledgment of underwriting may be made, but any acknowledgment of underwriting shall be made only in writing at the end of the program in the same font or manner as the other program credits. This acknowledgment manner shall not include the use of a third party’s business logo(s), graphics, color scheme, brand identifiers, etc unique to the underwriter. Acknowledgment shall be stated as follows:
- “Special thanks to (name of underwriter) for (goods, services, or support provided),” or
- “This program is made possible, in part, by a grant from (name of underwriter or grant provider).”
- No business name, logo or brand identification can be displayed or mentioned during a program in exchange for goods, services, or a grant in aid of production.
5.2 Any producer who produces a program concerning a service or product which the producer sells commercially or in which the producer has a direct or indirect financial interest may not mention the cost of the product or service, where or how it may be purchased, or include an acknowledgement for any business which offers the product or service in which the producer has a direct or indirect financial interest.
5.3 Any producer found to be in violation of underwriting rules will be subject to policy set forth in section 1.9.