From what I can tell, the legality of downloading a complete, publicly-available TV program is still being fought in court. Newmark v. Turner
(a case involving the ReplayTV's ability to skip over commercials and send programs to other devices) and MPAA v. RecordTV
(which never went anywhere after RecordTV folded) are the closest cases I can find, although back in 2001 a company called ICraveTV.com attempted to stream live US TV to Canadian viewers
, but buckled under the barrage of lawsuits.
I believe cable companies here can rebroadcast over-the-air channels without paying a licensing fee to the broadcasters
, and rebroadcasting a program over the Internet might fall under the same rules, provided that the entire show is left intact (including local ads). So, it may be legal to download, but only if you get a version recorded off of the Portland station.
Then again, 17 USC 111(b) says that:
Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (c), the secondary transmission to the public of a performance or display of a work embodied in a primary transmission is actionable as an act of infringement under section 501, and is fully subject to the remedies provided by sections 502 through 506 and 509, if the primary transmission is not made for reception by the public at large but is controlled and limited to reception by particular members of the public
The question is, is a broadcast by a local network affiliate a transmission to the public at large or just the public in a certain area?
So, I don't think there's a definite answer as to whether downloading TV shows is legal.