The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Sunday, April 25, 2004

Infinity appeals Stern fine

'Sonny Boy' Powell's post-Jackson projectile diarrhoea is fertilising the unprecedented growth of spines amongst one or two of the nation's broadcasters.

Bloomberg (April 23) reports that Infinity is appealing the NAL imposing a $27,500 fine in relation to a 2001 Stern broadcast on WKRK Detroit [1].

This follows the petition to the FCC from, amongst others, Infinity's parent Viacom, to reconsider its regime of broadcast censorship (April 21).

Moving from cost of business to put out of business in the level of fines - the FCC anticipating possible new legislation in the Clear Channel NAL of April 8 - has evidently helped to galvanise some faint hearts.

Quite on what grounds the WKRK NAL is being challenged, I'm not sure. A broad challenge on the constitutionality of 18 USC 1464 (in relation to indecency and profanity) is certainly needed; but any challenge is better than none - taking a narrow point on WKRK would not, I suspect, estop Infinity from taking a broad point on some other NAL, or in some form of collateral litigation (whatever that might be).

Meanwhile, in Congress, the Senate version of the Comstock Bill, S 2056, having been reported out [2] and placed on the Senate calendar on April 5, shows no sign I have seen of coming to the floor.

From the Supreme Court, on the related matter of Ashcroft v ACLU - the net smut case - we are due a decision which could - if it goes the right way - hole the good ship USS Comstock below the waterline. According to SCOTUS Blog on Friday, opinions are expected next Wednesday. No idea how likely the ACLU case is to be amongst them.

  1. There is apparently a 64 page filing: I can find it nowhere online.

  2. Report 108-253.


Also of interest, the intervention with the FCC of lawyer Carl Person in support of Stern. There is paperwork.

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