F.C.C Policy On Indecency Turned DownJuly 14th, 2010 - 8:17 pm ICT by Pen Men At Work
July 14, 2010 (Pen Men at Work): A federal appeals court has rejected a Federal Communications Commission indecency policy on Tuesday reasoning that the longstanding rules of the agency are ‘unconstitutionally vague’.
In a 32-page ruling, a panel of three-judge on the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals stated that the indecency rules of FCC developed a chilling effect, which goes far beyond the ‘fleeting expletives’ at issue here.
In a statement, FCC commissioner Michael Copps said that the decision of the court was ‘anti-family’. According to him, the policy of the FCC was constitutional and enforceable. However, he asked the commission to clarify and strengthen its indecency framework immediately.
The television and radio broadcasters have complained against the ruling of FCC that violated First Amendment rights and the decision of the appellate court acted as a major milestone.
The FCC had charged fines on the scripted expletives many years back. But, it had been moderate in case of the use of accidental vulgar language in the live shows.
While receiving an award on NBC in 2003, U2 singer Bono swore but no fine was levied on the network. However, FCC warned that any such profanities in the future can lead to fines even if it is unscripted. Later on, several networks were fined by the FCC for uttering expletives on live television.
NBC Universal, Fox Television and many other broadcasters sued the FCC in 2006 as they found the policy to be vague and uneven.
The case moved to the Supreme Court and it said in April 2009, the policy was correctly enacted by the FCC. But the case was sent back to the Second Circuit Court for deciding whether the policy was constitutional.
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