The FCC and Regulating Indecency (Point/Counterpoint by Paul Ruschmann

By Paul Ruschmann

Examines the government's expanding makes an attempt to regulate the airwaves to take care of a customary of decency.

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Extra info for The FCC and Regulating Indecency (Point/Counterpoint (Chelsea Hardcover))

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Sup. Point2 12/15/04 3:02 PM Page 57 The Broadcast Indecency Rule Should Apply to All Media 57 sidestepped the issue of whether COPA was constitutional. Instead, a fivemember majority sent the case back to the District Court, with directions to hold a trial focusing on whether filtering was an effective alternative to legislation. That decision left open the possibility that COPA might be held constitutional. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion. He suggested that filtering technology might be more effective than COPA for a number of reasons.

And the complaint provides evidence of indecency, Commission staff will determine whether the broadcast is patently offensive. If they decide that it could be, the case is referred to the Enforcement Bureau, which examines the broadcast and decides what action to take. Possible outcomes include (1) denying the complaint; (2) asking the station to provide more information; (3) issuing a Notice of Apparent Liability, the first step toward imposing a fine; or (4) referring the case to the full Commission, if it is serious or unusual.

15 of the New York Penal Law, which made it illegal to distribute a depiction of someone younger than 16 engaging in sexual activity. Ferber argued that the law was unconstitutional because it applied to material that was not obscene. The case went to the Supreme Court, which unanimously upheld Ferber’s conviction. Justice Byron White wrote the Court’s opinion. He concluded that the government had more leeway to ban child pornography than obscenity in general. Justice White found that using young people in pornography was both physically and mentally abusive and that the government had a compelling interest in preventing such abuse.

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