The broadcast of obscene programming is prohibited by federal law at all times. Indecent or profane programming is prohibited during certain hours of the day. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has the responsibility of enforcing the law that governs these broadcasts. There are certain actions that the Commission may take for the broadcast of obscene or indecent programming:
Indecency is defined as language or material that depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community broadcast standards, sexual or excretory organs or activities. However, indecent programming does not rise to the level of obscene programming. Indecent programming may be restricted to avoid the chance that children may view it. Television and radio broadcasts that are deemed indecent and air between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. are subject to enforcement.
Profanity is defined as language or epithets tending to provoke violent resentment. It may also include language that is offensive to members of the public (i.e. a nuisance). Profanity is also prohibited on broadcasts between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Enforcement by the FCC is based on documented complaints. These complaints come from the public about such broadcasting. You may file a written complaint and send it to the FCC, Enforcement Bureau, Investigations and Hearings Division, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20554. You will be asked to provide:
The information must be sufficiently detailed so that the FC can determine the words and language actually used and their context. If there seems to have been a violation, the FCC will start an investigation. Otherwise, the complaint may be dismissed.
Complaints come from people themselves so you probably will not need a lawyer if you wish to file one. A business lawyer may be able to inform you of the laws on indecent and obscene broadcasts.
Last Modified: 06-17-2018 08:34 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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