Censorship

Time Warner Stands Up for Fleeting Indecency (A.K.A. Free Speech)!

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Last year, a federal appeals court struck down the FCC's policy on "fleeting indecency," through which the agency was fining broadcast stations for occasional fucks and shits, mostly on awards shows (thank you, Cher!). The FCC's crackdown in recent years, notes Multichannel News, "reversed three decades of precedent in which only repetitive and lengthy acts of indecency were considered violations" worthy of fines.

The Supreme Court is reviewing that ruling and Time Warner, which is spinning off its cable franchise operation but owns HBO and various production companies, cable channels, and websites, is speaking out against the FCC policy. And, perhaps more importantly, against attempts to extend broadcast-style content regulation to cable and satellite, the dream of FCC Chairman Kevin Martin. In court papers, Time Warner argues:

"This court should never lose its vigilance to prevent restrictions on broadcast speech from spawning copycat restrictions on non-broadcast speech….Members of the FCC at various times have expressed an interest in obtaining the authority to regulate the content of cable television speech as well as broadcast television speech….In light of the tools available to allow viewers to choose what cable speech to hear and not here, the government cannot possibly establish that content-based restrictions on such speech pass First Amendment muster."

More here.

Extending content regulation to pay services such as cable and satellite (or to the Internet, which is the Clinton-era Communications Decency Act would have done had most of it not been struck down by the courts) is a real and potent threat from both sides of the legislative aisle. It's good to see a major corporation, however self-interested, speaking out in favor of freedom of expression.

reason on the FCC.

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  1. Kudos to them.

  2. Extending content regulation to pay services such as cable and satellite … is a real and potent threat from both sides of the legislative aisle.

    Which is another example that there really isn’t any difference between the two major parties.

    As for Time Warner, I say, “Fuck Yeah!!!! You go dudes.”

  3. Extending content regulation to pay services such as cable and satellite (or to the Internet, which is the Clinton-era Communications Decency Act would have done had most of it not been struck down by the courts) is a real and potent threat from both sides of the legislative aisle.

    QFT. Like the War on Drugs Sanity suppression of “offensive”, “obscene”, or “indecent” speech and ideas is a bipartisan assault on liberty.

    Fucking assholes.

  4. Sounds to me like Warner Bros has too much money and spare tim on thier hands

    KT
    http://www.Ultimate-Anonymity.com

  5. Former FCC chairmen Newton Minow, Mark Fowler, and James Quello are (fortunately) all on the same side concerning the issue. (See here, here, and here.)

  6. As Bill O’Reilly might say, “Fucking thing SUCKS!!! Time Warner, you are a PINHEAD!!!”

  7. In light of the tools available to allow viewers to choose what cable speech to hear and not here

    Do you think they just didn’t know which version is correct and decided to use both as a hedge?

  8. suppression of “offensive”, “obscene”, or “indecent” speech and ideas is a bipartisan nonpartisan assault on liberty.

    It’s popular among persons who don’t consider themselves, and don’t act, partisan in major ways. We need to grow up about assaults on liberty, because they’re mostly not the result of partisan machinations.

    Among those who’d consider it an important issue, important in the sense of motivating, far more people would want to suppress communication in small ways than to free it. It’s only a small imposition affecting much less than 1% of communicative content, so most people who would miss such content wouldn’t miss much — not enough to motivate them. Few people would consider indecency important enough to communicate, compared to those who think it important to keep from communicating.

  9. Before we cheer too loudly for Time Warner, consider that they probably just want a level playing field. I suspect they’d be happy to get to equality by extending the same speech restrictions to cable if they could.

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