Senate Commerce Passes Indecency Bill

[SOURCE: tvnewsday]
The Senate Commerce Committee passed the Protecting Children from Indecent Programming Act (S. 1780). The legislation would, in essence, overturn a Second Circuit of Appeals ruling and return to the FCC the right to fine broadcast stations for airing incidental words or images deemed indecent. The legislation would specifically allow the FCC to establish that a single word or image in a given context may be considered indecent and levy fines against the broadcaster. The bill was introduced by Sen. John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-WV).

* FCC Chairman Martin:
I appreciate the actions by the Senate Committee on Science, Commerce and Transportation, which affirmed the Commission's ability to protect our children from indecent language and images on television and radio. Significantly, members of Congress stated once again what we on the Commission and every parent already knows; even a single word or image can indeed be indecent.

* Bill Would Expand FCC Authority to Regulate Speech
The Senate Commerce Committee today passed legislation that would authorize the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to punish broadcasters for single "fleeting" utterances of common expletives. The Protecting Children from Indecent Programming Act would effectively negate a recent ruling by a federal appeals court, which found the FCC's policy of punishing "fleeting expletives" to be unlawful. CDT opposes the legislation, which seeks to expand the FCC's authority to regulate speech at a time when the legal basis for that authority is diminishing in the face of convergence and evolving user empowerment technology.
PolicyBeta: Broadcast Indecency Bill: