Category: First Amendment

Second Circuit strikes strict indecency regs

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Federal Communications Commission’s policy prohibiting “fleeting expletives” is arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act for “failing to articulate a reasoned basis for its change in policy.” Fox v. FCC, 06-1760 (2d Cir., Jun. 4, 2007). “The Networks contend that the Remand Order is arbitrary and capricious because the FCC… Read more →

The F Word

The NY Times reports that the four television networks are challenging the Constitutionality of the FCC indecency and profanity standards: TV Networks Sue to Challenge F.C.C.’s Indecency Penalties: “With no allies among either the Democrats or the Republicans on the Federal Communications Commission nor any significant ones in Congress, the four broadcast networks, joined by the Hearst-Argyle Television group of… Read more →

Are Indecency Regulations Obsolete?

The Authority to Regulate Indecency Broadcasting is an area where the government has a greater interest in regulating indecent speech than in other media. In FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, the Supreme Court upheld the Commission’s authority to prohibit indecent speech in the broadcast media and to punish broadcast licensees who air indecency. Two unique characteristics of broadcast allow the FCC… Read more →

Chilling Effects from Broadcast Indecency Regulations?

The most recent FCC rulings on broadcast indecency caused the WB to edit a new show. The NY Times reports: WB Censors Its Own Drama for Fear of F.C.C. Fines The pilot episode of “The Bedford Diaries,” which concerns a group of college students attending a class on human sexuality, had already been accepted by WB’s standards department. After the… Read more →

Broadcast Indecency Regulation: The Profanity Standard

In Complaints Regarding Various Television Broadcasts Between February 2, 2002 and March 8, 2005 (FCC 06-17, Mar. 15, 2006), the FCC discussed the standard used for determining when broadcasters violate the prohibition on broadcast profanity. The broadcast of “obscene, indecent, or profane language by means of radio communication” is prohibited. 18 USC Read more →