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Tag Archives: First Amendment

Commission Affirms that its Authority to Enforce Broadcast Indecency Rules Is Alive and Well; Issues First-Ever Maximum Fine for Indecency

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, First Amendment, Indecency, Program Content
On March 23, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission proposed a fine of $325,000 – the maximum amount possible – against the licensee of television station WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia for airing sexually explicit content during a newscast. According to the Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, WDBJ aired a video clip that included less than… Continue Reading

GAO Report Explains Sponsorship Identification Rules for Issue Ads Aired by Television and Radio Stations and Reaffirms Death of Fairness Doctrine

Posted in Advertising Issues, Broadcast Regulation, Copyright, First Amendment, GAO Reports, Political Broadcasting, Program Content, Spectrum
The General Accountability Office (“GAO”) has issued a report regarding the disclosure requirements that apply to, and broadcaster practices concerning, content that affects broadcasters’ interests and may be intended to influence Congress.  The GAO report responds to a request of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who has supported legislation requiring radio stations to pay performance royalties… Continue Reading

FCC Pulls Plug on Critical Information Needs Study

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, First Amendment, Program Content
A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) statement issued late today indicates the agency will not just modify its Critical Information Needs (CIN) study but, rather, will not proceed with the study at all.  As explained in the statement:  “The FCC will not move forward with the Critical Information Needs study.  The Commission will reassess the best way… Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Wheeler Confirms: The FCC Will Not Regulate Broadcasters’ Speech, Through “Community Information Needs” Study or Otherwise

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, First Amendment, Program Content
In response to a December 2013 letter sent by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Wheeler has publicly confirmed that the FCC “has no intention of regulating the political or other speech of journalists or broadcasters.”  Chairman Wheeler’s letter response and an accompanying statement were issued in response… Continue Reading

Can Radio and Television Stations Run Ads for Online Gambling Operations? It Depends…

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Contests, First Amendment, Legislation
Today, advertisements for brick-and-mortar casinos provide significant revenue streams for broadcasters across the country.  Such was not always the case.  Just over a decade ago, the federal broadcast lottery statute – 18 U.S.C. §1304, as amended by 18 U.S.C. §1307 – prohibited the broadcast of casino-related advertisements by broadcasters located in a state that had… Continue Reading

Members of Congress Question FCC on “Critical Information Needs” Study, Suggesting Attempt to Revive Fairness Doctrine

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Program Content
UPDATED On December 10, 2013, Fred Upton (R-MI), Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and several other members of the Communications and Technology subcommittee (including subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR)) sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler asking about the FCC’s announcement that it would soon commence a field… Continue Reading

Congress Considers a Federal Shield for Reporters

Posted in First Amendment
This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the Free Flow of Information Act (S.987), a media “shield law” designed to protect journalists and their sources against prying prosecutors.  We’ve been here before.  The House passed such a bill on two different occasions, and the Senate moved legislation through the Senate Judiciary Committee only to… Continue Reading