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The FCC's Regulation of Indecency

A 'First Report'

By Lili Levi
University of Miami School of Law

  • See also: The Indecency Battles, in The Supreme Court Library
  • A First Report from the First Amendment Center, 2007.

    A fully formatted Adobe Acrobat PDF file of the printed report can be downloaded here.

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    FCC v. Fox draws intense interest
    By Tony Mauro Administrative-law case expected to veer quickly into free-speech realm; see excerpts of briefs. 11.03.08

    2nd Circuit: FCC's policy on accidental expletives is arbitrary
    Court sides with Fox TV's challenge, says agency's policy might not survive First Amendment scrutiny. 06.05.07

    3rd Circuit to study 'wardrobe malfunction'
    Panel to decide whether 2004 Super Bowl halftime incident was indecent or fleeting, accidental glitch that shouldn't be punished. 09.11.07


    CBS attorney: Network was careful with Super Bowl halftime show
    FCC lawyer tells 3rd Circuit that CBS was indifferent to risk that 'a highly sexualized performance' might cross the line. 09.11.07

    Conference to explore media indecency, violence
    ‘Indecency and Violence in the Media’ June 26 marks 30th anniversary of FCC v. Pacifica. 06.24.08

    Court avoids dirty words during TV indecency hearing
    Justices spend an hour talking about profanity on television without making plain how they would decide whether government could ban such words. 11.05.08

    FCC's puritanical actions should be reined in
    By Ronald K.L. Collins Broadcast-regulation agency justifies censorship of indecency in the name of enforcing 'community standards,' but how those are determined is anyone’s guess. 04.08.08

    FCC's Tate: need to balance freedom, protection of kids
    By Courtney Holliday Current, former commissioners advocate measured approach to broadcast regulation. 06.27.08

    Fox appeals $91,000 indecency fine for reality show
    Spokesman says broadcaster believes FCC's decision to penalize stations that aired 'Married by America' episode was 'patently unconstitutional.' 03.25.08

    Government seeks high court review of broadcast-indecency ruling
    2nd Circuit said it was 'skeptical that the commission can provide a reasoned explanation for its fleeting expletive regime that would pass constitutional muster.' 09.27.07

    How the FCC regulates indecency
    By Lili Levi Report examines cases such as Janet Jackson 'wardrobe malfunction' in analyzing how agency views its duty when offensive material hits the airwaves. 12.03.07

    Indecency regulation: beyond broadcast?
    By David L. Hudson Jr. Currently FCC can't restrict indecent content on cable or satellite services — but some would like to change that. 12.05.07

    Justice Department sues to collect indecency fines from Fox
    Action follows FCC's move to return 'without consideration' appeal of decision that broadcasting company called 'arbitrary and capricious.' 04.07.08

    Look for ’08 to be year of broadcast-regulation battles
    By Gene Policinski Looming showdown likely will redefine what government can regulate regarding what we see and hear, not just on television but also in new media. 12.30.07

    Panel explores whether Pacifica is outdated
    By Dan O’Neil Discussion also addresses fine line between broadcast regulation, censorship. 06.27.08

    Research suggests link between sexy TV, teen pregnancies
    Study is first to connect viewing habits with teen pregnancy, says Rand Corp. behavioral scientist. 11.03.08

    Senate panel moves to restore FCC indecency policy
    In bid to counteract 2nd Circuit ruling, committee approves bill that would allow agency to fine television, radio broadcasters for airing profanities, even if they are fleeting references. 07.20.07

    Timeline: broadcast decency

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