network decency

Bill in Brief

After America got a glimpse of Janet Jackson's nationally televised "wardrobe malfunction" in 2004, Congress started on a mission to increase fines for networks that didn't follow decency rules.

A couple of years on the House and the Senate finally passed and "indecency" bill that raises the amount a network can be fined for a decency violation - up from $35,000 to $325,000. The bill was signed by the president in June 2006.

Earlier versions of the bill in the house would have raised fines to $500,000, increased penalties on individual performers who "willfully or intentionally" buck the decency rules - from $11,000 to $500,000 - and given the FCC the option of revoking licenses of broadcasters that violate the rules three times.

Some senators had also pushed to add decency rules for cable as well, but after cable companies made an effort to police themselves, the Senate to lay off. (WP)

Status: The bill was signed into law in June 2006. (WP)

Updated June 18, 2006

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