Remember when we told you how FMC filed a joint intervenor brief in a high-profile court case, Fox vs. FCC? (It’s totally cool if you don’t — you’ve got a lot on your mind). The proceeding came
Center for Creative Voices in Media (CCV) in telling the 2nd Court of Appeals that the FCC’s indecency policies were “vague and arbitrary,” and had a chilling effect on speech — especially artistic expression.joined the
The court today struck down the FCC’s 2004 policy, which basically said that any reference to sex or excrement is always indecent — even when it comes out of the mouth of an Irish rocker in the form of an unintentional f-bomb.
“By prohibiting all `patently offensive’ references to sex, sexual organs and excretion without giving adequate guidance as to what ‘patently offensive’ means, the FCC effectively chills speech, because broadcasters have no way of knowing what the FCC will find offensive,” the court wrote in its opinion.
“To place any discussion of these vast topics at the broadcaster’s peril has the effect of promoting wide self-censorship of valuable material which should be completely protected under the First Amendment,” it added. Or, as Andy himself said to the New York Times, “The score for today’s game is First Amendment one, censorship zero.”
The opinion is actually pretty neat, and if you’re into the whole legal thing, you should check it out. If not, you can at least know that FMC is all about protecting your free speech. If you feel like thanking us, why not make a contribution to the cause during our Summer Giving Campaign? We’d tell you to think of it like a swear jar, but the court says that’s not necessary.