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Old 03-18-2004, 08:22 AM   #1
jc
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Default FCC petition. Please Sign

http://www.stopfcc.com/

I've signed.

The reason why as you may or may not know is this.

from http://www.tvweek.com/topstorys/031504senate.html

One thing it doesn't metion is satellite radio which they are trying to regulate also. These are subscription services! We don't need the government to tell us what we can or can't watch or can or can't listen to! This is absurd!

Senate Targets TV Violence
Panel Approves Measure Encompassing Cable, Satellite

By Doug Halonen

Dragging cable television into the wildly escalating furor over programming content, the Senate Commerce Committee approved legislation last week to regulate violent content on television-whether it originates on broadcast, pay cable or satellite TV.

The measure, sponsored by Sen. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., was included as an amendment on legislation to crack down on off-color broadcasts by raising the maximum cap on fines for indecency violations to $500,000.

Until last week the legislation, approved in the committee by a 23-0 margin, applied only to programming on broadcast radio and television.

But in a surprise twist, the Hollings amendment leveled the playing field among broadcasters, cable and satellite TV, at least for TV violence.

If the legislation is ultimately enacted into law, it will represent the first time the federal government has directly regulated cable and satellite TV's programming content.

Cable TV industry lobbyists vowed to fight the initiative, focusing their energies on getting the provision axed when House and Senate leaders are expected to meet in a conference to work out the differences between House and Senate indecency bills.

In the cable industry's favor is that the House version of indecency legislation, approved in a 391-22 vote last week, did not include a violence prohibition.

House leaders, including Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., also have made clear that they would prefer that legislation target broadcast indecency alone at this point. "It is my hope that we will come to consensus and send a streamlined bill to the president to be signed into law," said Rep. Upton.

"We oppose this amendment," added Brian Dietz, a spokesman for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

But Sen. Hollings, who is retiring from the Senate at the end of his term, has been promoting similar anti-violence initiatives for years. He is also expected to be assigned to the conference committee for the indecency bills. So some sources say it might be hard to knock out the violence provision.

"Monkey see, monkey do. Children will mimic what they see on TV," said Sen. Hollings. "I just couldn't stand by and do nothing."

Assuming the leg islation is enacted, the violence prohibition, which is supposed to target only "excessive or gratuitous violence," is not automatically enacted.

It's only supposed to go into effect if a Federal Communications Commission study confirms that v-chip technology and voluntary industry programming ratings that allow parents to block objectionable programming on TV are not already effectively protecting children-a case that Sen. Hollings maintains has already been clearly and repeatedly made.

The prohibition is also supposed to be in place during hours "when children are reasonably likely to comprise a substantial portion of the audience." Under the FCC's existing indecency regulations, that period is defined as the hours between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

NCTA's Mr. Dietz said the provision raised constitutional concerns. "As the U.S. Supreme Court has found, the subscription nature of cable service and the ability of cable customers to block unwanted programming through the use of tools offered by local cable systems strongly differentiate cable from broadcasting, which is distributed free and unfiltered over the air," Mr. Dietz said. "As announced [two weeks ago] in letters to members of Congress and FCC Chairman [Michael] Powell, the cable industry has committed to further increase its efforts to educate customers about using the tools available to them to block programming they find unsuitable for their families. From a First Amendment standpoint, we continue to believe that there are less intrusive means to accomplish the objectives sought by this amendment."

Sen. Hollings also introduced an amendment that would have required cable operators to offer their programming a la carte-allowing consumers to buy and pay for only the programming they want. Proponents argue the provision is needed to allow consumers to determine what cable programming they allow into their homes. Sen. Hollings withdrew the measure, after it became clear he didn't have the votes.

In another poke at cable, Sen. John Breaux, D-La., offered an amendment that would have subjected basic cable and satellite TV programming for the first time to the same indecency rules and penalties that broadcasters face. But it was defeated by one vote, 12-11.

In addition, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., released the text of legislation that would force cable operators to offer their programming a la carte, a measure for which the senator is said to be planning hearings.

Gene Kimmelman, Consumers Union senior director, public policy and advocacy, said watchdog groups will be lobbying the Senate to include amendments to the indecency bill on the Senate floor that would require a la carte and extend the broadcast indecency regulations to cable and satellite.

"More fun to come," Mr. Kimmelman said. #
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Old 03-18-2004, 10:06 AM   #2
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I dont think these things work to well...
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Old 03-18-2004, 10:18 AM   #3
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Default Don't do it

First, as you stated satellite radio is a subscription service, they cannot regulate us. If they did they would have to regulate HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, etc. They will not do this.
By signing the petetion all you are doing is helping the antichrist (FM/CC). Let terrestrial radio get regulated it will only help us. Don't side with Satan, don't do it!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-18-2004, 12:52 PM   #4
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I wrote a long, reasoned letter to my congressman regarding this issue. I've found that works A LOT better than signing an online petition.

ESPECIALLY if you do it before the day of the vote
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Old 03-18-2004, 12:52 PM   #5
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The FCC hasn't regulated what I watch. I turn to whatever channel on Satellite TV that I want to. I'm all for having restrictions of broadcasts on the public airwaves for indecency like we have had for decades. Cable has plenty of unregulated programming so I think people are blowing this discussion way out of proportion by suggesting that this is somehow an infringement of our constitutional rights.
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Old 03-18-2004, 01:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manco
The FCC hasn't regulated what I watch. I turn to whatever channel on Satellite TV that I want to. I'm all for having restrictions of broadcasts on the public airwaves for indecency like we have had for decades. Cable has plenty of unregulated programming so I think people are blowing this discussion way out of proportion by suggesting that this is somehow an infringement of our constitutional rights.

I totally agree FREE radio and TV needs to be regulated. If you want uncensored TV and Radio pay for it, I do.
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Old 03-18-2004, 02:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TX WJ
I totally agree FREE radio and TV needs to be regulated. If you want uncensored TV and Radio pay for it, I do.
I agree, I kinda like how FM is regulated becuase it will just help out Sat. radio If you want better uncensored radio go to sat. if you want free radio full of comercials, censors, and many down sides then listen to FM.
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Old 03-18-2004, 06:15 PM   #8
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I wonder if Sirius would take the FCC to the supreme court if they tried to censor them? If so I know a lawyer that would probably take the case. She used to be a constitutional lawyer for the state of Arizona, but now she just teaches at my community college.
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Old 03-18-2004, 09:55 PM   #9
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Something tells me that Sirius has both corporate counsel and hired legal guns that would take on such fight, if need be, perhaps even jointly with XM and the cable channel providers...
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Old 03-19-2004, 02:33 AM   #10
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The frequency allocation that Sirius has is only for Sirius, much like the XM one is only for XM.

FCC would have to refund some of that big fat licensing fee for private spectrum if that was to happen.

It's to the FCC's benefit to let it go, financially as well.. :-)

But - I think you'll find that people that don't even have Satellite Radio yet, as well as existing customers, would be kicking some ass if such a manuever was ever tried.

The FCC has already ruined a lot of things this year. Like Amateur Radio in the 2-80mhz band, for instance (check out www.arrl.org about BPL).. Powell really has got to go.

I admit that the public airwaves need cleaning, but as long as they're going to have little kids getting gunned down in Israel on the 6-o-clock news, I really think some fart jokes and talking about sex is the least of our issues.

--Droo, @Network
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Old 03-19-2004, 08:27 AM   #11
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Default Re: What?!?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESP
By signing the petetion all you are doing is helping the antichrist (FM/CC). Let terrestrial radio get regulated it will only help us. Don't side with Satan, don't do it!!!!!!!!!!!
What?!?! I don't believe this! :\
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Old 03-20-2004, 06:34 PM   #12
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The theory here is seems to be that if you pay money for something it should not be regulated. Under this theory you should be able to purchase cocaine, meth prostitutes, child pornography, you name it and the govenment should not have a say so.
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Old 03-20-2004, 06:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
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The theory here is seems to be that if you pay money for something it should not be regulated. Under this theory you should be able to purchase cocaine, meth prostitutes, child pornography, you name it and the govenment should not have a say so.
No.. The argument here is that the government regulates the PUBLIC AIRWAVES.. However, Cable TV does not use airwaves at all, and Satellite Radio uses private encrypted blocks of the 'public airwaves'.

Therefore, these services should be regulated more like print media is, rather than over-the-air broadcast mediums. Keep in mind that magazines are not allowed to have child pornography, either. Likewise, you will not find a free sample of 'Grandma's Home-Made Crack' in one.

The government has to make suggestions and restrictions based on the medium AS WELL as the content. There is a far narrower market when you need to subscribe to a service, or buy specialized hardware (or have a line run to your house) to access the medium.

Also many broadcast restrictions are grandfathered. Realize over-the-air broadcast has been around much longer than any of the other mediums.

Realize I can say whatever I want on a Cell phone, without penalty. But, if I said such things on my amateur radio, I'd lose my license as well as likely be fined.

--Droo, @Network
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