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Submission + - US court strikes down media swearing ban (

mysidia writes: A federal appeals court in Manhattan struck down a policy of the FCC which banned broadcasters from allowing curse words on live TV. The court concluded the rule was unconstitutionally vague and had a chilling effect on broadcasters. In the 2 to 1 ruling, the court found that policy was "arbitrary and capricious", but that the FCC might be able to craft a policy that does not violate the First Amendment.

"'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 appeals court wrote."

Fox Stations, owned by News Corp., and other networks had brought suit in 2006 after the FCC cited use of profanity during the airing of awards programs.

Digital Signals Spark Static From AM Radio 176

Carl Bialik writes "Digital radio is touted as broadcast radio's golden ticket, but the transition to digital broadcasts is creating static and interference for many smaller AM stations that are still analog-only, the Wall Street Journal reports: 'The AM stations most affected are those whose neighboring stations -- nearby on the dial -- add a digital signal.' The WSJ adds, 'For some small AM operators, it adds insult to injury that the only company licensing the digital broadcast technology is one backed by the small stations' deep-pocketed competitors.' Critics question why the FCC only approved the technology from that big radio-backed company, Ibiquity."

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