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FCC to Fine Curses More Than Nuke Violations

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the punishment-fits-the-crime dept.

Censorship 634

DiZNoG writes "With Congress debating new higher fines for broadcast indecency in the wake of last year's 'wardrobe malfunction' and Howard Stern's antics, Rolling Stone has published an interesting perspective on things. Rolling Stone did a review of fines levied by other federal regulatory bodies, and has found the new indecency fines disproportionately large compared to other fines. According to the article, if the bill passes then 'for the price of Janet Jackson's 'wardrobe malfunction' during the Super Bowl, you could cause the wrongful death of an elderly patient in a nursing home and still have enough money left to create dangerous mishaps at two nuclear reactors.' The article further states the largest fine the Nuclear Regulatory Commission levied last year was $60,000, this new bill would allow broadcast indecency fines up to $500,000. Glad I keep my broadcast cursing to a minimum, now if I could only get a handle on those pesky dangerous nuclear mishaps."

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It's the FCC! (0, Redundant)

OverkillTASF (670675) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786639)

They're seperate of any nuclear commission. Why compare the two?

You're a pee-in's (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11786651)

Europe's long term strategy: elegant decay

Re:You're a pee-in's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11786769)

That's much better than the your way: a vulgar display of power and rapid collapse into a theocracy.

Re:It's the FCC! (2, Insightful)

Gaspo (862470) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786665)

They compared the two because they're both government organizations, and as a demonstration of how simply stupid the bill is.

Re:It's the FCC! (3, Insightful)

OverkillTASF (670675) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786711)

$500,000 is a lot to you and me. But it's not a HUGE sum of money to a broadcast corporation.

It's like, if the only punishment for speeding was a $50 fine... It would probably still keep me from doing it, because I'm a poor bastard, but Bill Gates in his V12 armchair wouldn't care, because to him, $50 is well worth the enjoyment derived from driving fast.

And the nuclear thing... So what if that was the biggest fine issued last year... Maybe there weren't any violation deserving of their bigger fines.

Re:It's the FCC! (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786748)

No, they compared the two because it was an easy way to play with statistics and obtain hyperbole out the other end. You can use the exact same rationale to determine that one Peyton Manning is, as a human being, worth about 500 waitresses.

Re:It's the FCC! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11786822)

Because they are both goverment organisations?

Re:It's the FCC! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11786823)

Indeed. I thought fines were supposed to be a punishment. What kind of punishment is it if the fine is only 0.5% of your annual income? For me, that would be a fine of $50. Do you think that would stop me from doing anything that would get me $500?

Useful Terms (5, Funny)

DrunkenTerror (561616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786641)

Shit
piss
fuck
cunt
cocksucker
motherfucker

Re:Useful Terms (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11786654)

Keep it up, I can feel the budget deficit shrinking as you speak.

Re:Useful Terms (3, Informative)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786655)

You left out tits.

Re:Useful Terms (1)

DrunkenTerror (561616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786684)

Actually, I left that word off because I feel that tits have been overexposed lately on /., what with the last 2 polls, Favorite Anatomy, and Farovite Curve. :D

Re:Useful Terms (1)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786709)

Ahhh, but can tits ever really be overexposed???

Re:Useful Terms (2, Funny)

cbrocious (764766) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786751)

Only Janet Jackson's.

Re:Useful Terms (1)

whiteranger99x (235024) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786758)

Well as Ron White says, "You've seen one set of breasts, you...wanna see the rest of 'em!" :D

Re:Useful Terms (1)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786771)

Any that are fake, yes; please put them back in. I don't want to see them. They don't excite me.

Re:Useful Terms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11786681)

Is 'tinkle' safe?

I also like 'craphound.'

Re:Useful Terms (4, Funny)

Tjoppen (831002) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786683)

You left out Barbara Streisand

Re:Useful Terms (2, Informative)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786687)

Warning! You're gonna make it to the Profanity blacklist! [slashdot.org] . BOOOOO!

YAFP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11786643)

A little first post to start the weekend off!

-DT

The fines are large because of the, ah, exposure. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11786644)

Lots of people see and hear things they term "indecent" when those things are broadcast over TV or radio.

And that results in lots of letters to Senators, Congressman, and the FCC.

It's democracy in action. Otherwise known as the tyranny of the masses.

"tyranny of the masses"? (2, Informative)

game kid (805301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786754)

Perhaps more like the tyranny of the conservative-supported Parent's Television Council [washingtonpost.com] , which makes between 21-99% of complaints against TV indecency. [cnsnews.com]

I do agree with their unsuccessful "'a la carte' programming option" plan though; hopefully soon I won't have to pay for a bunch of channels I don't need.

Wrongfully Causing a Death? (1)

Gaspo (862470) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786653)

Isn't wrongfully causing a death the same as murder?

Not in the medical profession (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11786663)

What do you call the person who graduated last from medical school?

Doctor!

Re:Not in the medical profession (1)

Gaspo (862470) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786678)

Oh. Right. My bad. Duh.

Re:Wrongfully Causing a Death? (2, Informative)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786697)

Nope. There are many ways to wrongfully cause someone's death that don't involve premeditation.

http://www.cogsci.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/webwn?stag e=1&word=murder [princeton.edu]

Re:Wrongfully Causing a Death? (1)

zackrentwood (828124) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786768)

Premeditation is not usually a requirement for murder. Typically, recklessness manifesting extreme indifference to human life will suffice.

If you're ever in court I don't suggest you try to use WordNet 2.0 as a source for your legal definitions.

Re:Wrongfully Causing a Death? (1)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786698)

Here's a good working definition of wrongful death that helps differentiate it from murder:

Wrongful death is defined as "a tort law action which claims damages from any person who, through negligence or direct act or omission, caused the death of certain relatives (eg. spouse, children or parent)."

Re:Wrongfully Causing a Death? (3, Informative)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786699)

Wrongful death is what one is charged with in a civil case, murder is a criminal charge. As an example, OJ Simpson was found not guilty of murder but was found responsible of wrongful death.

Re:Wrongfully Causing a Death? (1)

Gaspo (862470) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786708)

Thanks everyone, that makes a lot more sense now.

Re:Wrongfully Causing a Death? (2, Informative)

zackrentwood (828124) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786739)

Not at all. OJ Simpson was held to be not guilty for the murder of his wife. But he was found to be liable for causing her wrongful death. Murder is a criminal charge, and a particularly nasty one. Being a criminal charge means that only the government can prosecute you for committing murder. The Model Penal Code requires for murder that:
(a) it is committed purposely or knowingly; or (b) it is committed recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.
(Excerpt from MPC 210.2. Murder) Murder requires a criminal conviction. This means that you can't be found guilty for murder unless you're convicted unanimously by a jury of your peers. Wrongful death is a civil cause of action. This means that any individual can sue any other individual for wrongful death. You cannot go to jail over a wrongful death suit, you can only be required to pay damages to the victim's estate/family/close friends. Wrongful death only requires a civil conviction which means that you simply need to be found liable by one judge, or by the majority of a jury. Note that like OJ, one person can be sued for both Wrongful Death and for Murder. Also note that most doctors do not have the intent or recklessness manifesting extreme indifference required to be guilty of murder, but may be liable for wrongful death if their jurisdiction requires a lesser culpability standard such as negligence. Hey, maybe I'll pass this Criminal Law class yet! Notice: IAAAL (I am almost a lawyer)

Nothing new (1, Interesting)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786664)

I have always thought most of the sentences handed down for drug crimes are completely out of whack as well. People convicted of marijuana possession seem to get more time than ones convicted of, what seems to me anyway, far more serious crimes. So why should fines being handed down by two separate departments make much sense when compared.

Re:Nothing new (2, Funny)

luvirini (753157) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786821)

Ofcourse pot is much more damgerous than assaulting someone? Are you some kind of left wing radical or something?

Thank You Right Wing Loonies (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11786667)

A big thank you to all the right wing loonies who voted for the murderous and retarded chimp so they could get a government handout.

PS. Remember fundementalism is still bad, just not this PARTICULAR form of fundementalism.

Re:Thank You Right Wing Loonies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11786715)

The chairman of the FCC was appointed by Bill Clinton.

Re:Thank You Right Wing Loonies (4, Informative)

DarkFencer (260473) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786781)

The chairman of the FCC was appointed by Bill Clinton


Michael Powell (son of Colin Powell) was appointed as chairman by GW Bush in his first term, though he was made a commisioner of the FCC (but not chariman) by Clinton.

Re:Thank You Right Wing Loonies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11786741)

We chimps and near-chimps deeply resent being compared to that muderous and retarded demonstration of the importance of women's right to choose! Ook!! #:(

Re:Thank You Right Wing Loonies (1)

Gaspo (862470) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786767)

so they could get a government handout.
Do you honestly believe that noone who voted for Kerry was purely looking for a handout?

The punishment must be a deterrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11786668)

I think the think general idea is that the broadcasters, the studios, etc., have a lot more money than some of the other federal agencies. If the fines were any lower then they broken as a matter of course because the profit would outweigh the punishment. Sort of what Microsoft does each time it skirts or breaks another law.

Not that I think either the government or the broadcasters are sinless.

Re:The punishment must be a deterrent (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786746)

I think the think general idea is that the broadcasters, the studios, etc., have a lot more money than some of the other federal agencies.

Really the entertainment industry, while it is very in our faces and seems to be a dominant industry, is chump change in the overall financial world.

Regarding the deterrent factor, most, or many, nuclear power plants are privately owned and operated. While they are heavily regulated, ultimately it can be hugely beneficial for them to skirt a few regulatory corners wherever possible, and it can mean tens of millions of dollars in saved expenses. In the environmental realm, huge mega companies reaping in billions save millions skirting environmental laws, and again the federally mandated punishment is usually laughable.

Ultimately the FCC fines are all about one single thing - placating the bible belt. There's a bitter paradox that TV can be full of crime and brutal violence, just so long as you don't show a boob or utter a profanity.

Wrong dept. (5, Insightful)

game kid (805301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786670)

from the punishment-fits-the-crime dept.

You mean the punishment-fits-the-bra dept.? I think this says a lot, though, about the hypocrisy of our country--we bomb others who have nukes, we punish nuclear gaffes for a lot, but we allow violence over sex and must punish boob-revelations and the like for 4* as much? *sigh*...I apologize, I just still don't get it.

Re:Wrong dept. (-1, Offtopic)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786686)

When did we leave Iraq and head to North Korea?

Benjamins (4, Insightful)

Malicious (567158) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786675)

The entertainment industry brings in far more capital than a powerstation does.
This is just an example of proportionate fines. Like charging a person for speeding based on their income. Why should someone not fear the penalty if they can easily afford the fine? I see no problem with this practice.

Re:Benjamins (1)

Gaspo (862470) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786692)

That may be true, but in the case of a power station, you're talking about nuclear waste that could potentially harm thousands of people.

Re:Benjamins (1)

E_elven (600520) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786807)

People don't matter, I think was the point, just the money.

The GP's accusation is somewhat diminished by the fact that the power industry actually moves more money, but the general sentiment is valid.

Re:Benjamins (5, Funny)

Tjoppen (831002) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786696)

Well, a wardrobe malfunction won't cause the death of a few thousand souls for starters..

"Oh no, a naked breast! Run for your lives!"

What? (1)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786716)

You're joking, right? I don't think our country can easily afford to have our own special Chernobyl.

Safety issues should be part of doing business for a nuclear powerplant. If a power station can't compete with other energy sources and maintain safety, perhaps they shouldn't be doing business at all.

Re:What? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786759)

?? We haven't had any Chernobyl. We have, on the other hand, had a lot of violations of FCC standards. Nobody wants a nuclear disaster. But certain people do want to hype their career, and Janet Jackson, for instance, clearly came out ahead by doing her little stunt.

Maybe there shouldn't be a financial fine for FCC violations at all, but rather the people in question would be suspended from the public airwaves for a year. Now *that* might directly address these publicity seekers.

It's about risk (4, Insightful)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786834)

I think for me, it's about risk. The risk of my heart going into defib due to looking at Janet Jackson's nipples is pretty small. The risk of a nuclear accident causing death, cancer, and birth defects is somewhere above that.

I also tend to feel that just because something didn't happen yet doesn't mean it's not going to happen in the future.

Finally, I'm not anti-nuclear power by any means. France has done a great job keeping it clean and safe over the years. I also feel that the cost of coal and oil powerplants don't reflect their true cost in pollution, deaths from respiratory disease, and contribution to global climate change.

Re:Benjamins (5, Insightful)

TVC15 (518429) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786774)

We don't give rich parking violators bigger tickets than poorer ones. Why should we give an industry which makes more money than another a bigger fine for something which is less dangerous? Unless the argument is that swear words and breasts on TV are more damaging than a nuclear accident?

Except, a nuclear accident could cost MORE (4, Insightful)

tentimestwenty (693290) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786777)

Fines are a deterrent to bad behaviour. Sure, the "average" nuclear accident might be small and non-lethal, but if the fines aren't large, there's no incentive to keep standards high to prevent a huge accident. If a bad nuclear accident was to happen, the total cost on the environment and human lives would be far greater than what one TV or Radio show was worth or could affect.

Nothing really new. (4, Interesting)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786688)

Playboy magazine had an article some years back during the war on drugs (boy, I'm glad we killed all those drugs and only have partially nude pop stars and terrorists to deal with) comparing typical prison sentences for murder and rape vs. selling LSD to an undercover cop. Guess who the government thinks is more dangerous --- as measured by length of time served?

Re:Nothing really new. (3, Interesting)

wwwrench (464274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786832)

You think that's bad? Get this: A guy in Oregon Jeff "Free" Luers" [freefreenow.org] got 23 years in jail for setting 3 SUV's on fire. I guess protecting cars can get a higher priority than protecting women from rape or murder. His case is not that well known, although there are a few websites [google.com] about it.

They have the money (0)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786689)

Broadcast companies tend to have a lot more money than your average nuke violator. They are fined more because it takes more to make them listen.

And stern's switching to XM anyway, which just shows that the problem isn't the cursing, it's using a public resource to broadcast your curses.

I'm a fan of Howard Stern, but at the same time I can understand why we have an FCC. The airwaves are a public resource, and as such they pretty much have to be regulated.

Re:They have the money (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786725)

The please provide a link to the rules so people know what is and isn't allowed.

Re:XM uses the public airwaves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11786743)

XM does use the public airwaves. The fact that you need the correct decryption keys doesn't change that. Heck, your computer and DVD player uses the public airwaves though a person would need about $10,000 of SIGINT equipment to receive and decode the signals your monitor, CPU, and video card put out.

Re:XM uses the public airwaves (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786764)

XM does use the public airwaves.

True, but the broadcast isn't open to the public. That said, XM might very well be regulated (as strictly as FM) one day, and probably should be.

Re:XM uses the public airwaves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11786801)

The same should apply to DVD players and computers including the Internet then. Every electronic device gives off radio signals that with the proper equipment can be decoded. Even ignoring the TEMPEST issue, if XM can and should be regulated as strictly as FM then why shouldn't the internet be regulated that way as well.

Re:They have the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11786761)

I've never fucking figured out what's so goddamn bad about saying some shitty little four-fucking-letter words anygoddamnway. Are we going to outlaw every little cocksucking thing that offends some poor old son of a bitch??? People should get over themselves. The world is filled with violence and poverty; yet in the midst of all those problems, these petty bastards still get upset over someone with a potty-mouth. Jesus-fucking-goddamn Christ on a crutch.

Re:They have the money (1)

Evil W1zard (832703) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786765)

I'm sorry but doling out fines based on capitol that a company or an agency is total crap. So with that logic lets say a local mom and pop pharmacy accidentally gives out the wrong prescription. We should fine them only $1000, but if Walmart does the same thing well they are a big company and they should get fined 1 million. What needs to happen is the government takes a hard look at finable offenses across the boards and does a total revamp based on severity/consequences of actions or inactions.

Re:They have the money (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786812)

So with that logic lets say a local mom and pop pharmacy accidentally gives out the wrong prescription. We should fine them only $1000, but if Walmart does the same thing well they are a big company and they should get fined 1 million.

I don't see what would be so horrible about that, but you've pointed out an even bigger difference between the two. What the broadcasting companies are doing is intentional (if not directly then via the doctrine of respondent emptor).

Re:They have the money (1)

BlueCodeWarrior (638065) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786770)

Wasn't Stern going to Sirius, not XM?

Re:They have the money (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786792)

You're right. XM is the name of the Company, not the band, I keep getting confused on that one.

Satellite radio (3, Informative)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786804)

And stern's switching to XM anyway, which just shows that the problem isn't the cursing, it's using a public resource to broadcast your curses.

Make sure the FCC knows you want them to keep their grubby paws of satellite radio. The religious right [townhall.com] are coming after satellite radio as well.

And it gets worse. The terresterial broadcasters are now saying [billboardr...onitor.com] that they won't be able to compete against satellite unless the FCC levies the same restrictions against satellite that they do on regular radio.

I'm a very happy XM subscriber and I'd hate to think that they might get sucked into this rediculous quagmire as well.

-S

Stupid, yes. But surprising? (3, Insightful)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786691)

What exactly do you expect when the religious right [afa.net] gets the current administration re-elected.

The best thing WE can do is to contact the FCC [afa.net] and let them know that we disagree (yes, use the American Family Association's website against them). The bulk of the feedback they get tells them that showing a naked breast on TV or speaking a certain word is the most horrific thing that could happen to the populus.

-S

Re:Stupid, yes. But surprising? (1)

OverkillTASF (670675) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786745)

I'm not religious. But I'm right. :-P

I still kept Kerry out of the W-house.

Why is anything that a left-winger or European (Ha!) disagrees with immediately decided to be the workings of the mystical "religious right"? None of my family is religious. But none of us voted for Kerry. Are we just seriously fucked up then? On top of that, since when is being religious a bad thing?

Re:Stupid, yes. But surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11786806)

Being religious is a bad thing when you decide to run a country based on your deity's responses to your prayers, trusting faithfully that it was the right course of action.

Jeez.

Re:Stupid, yes. But surprising? (4, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786750)

One of the people on the FCC who keeps pushing for these fines is a Democrat. Not that the facts matter in your little rant as you forget all the laws that Liberman has supported. It is much easier to just blame one side, when both are guilty I mean we can't hold OUR SIDE to the same rules as the BAD GUYS, now can we?

Re:Stupid, yes. But surprising? (2, Insightful)

Mr Ambersand (862402) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786826)

Both of the "sides" you mention are "the BAD GUYS". Not everyone in America buys the myth that Democrats and Republicans are our only choices. Some of us are Greens. Others are Libertarians.

We vote with our conscience because we cannot stomach the neo-fascist posturing and legislating done by Bush, Ashcroft, Cheny, Kerry, Liberman, Clinton, etc.

Re:Stupid, yes. But surprising? (3, Interesting)

BlueCodeWarrior (638065) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786785)

Michael K. Powell is Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Chairman Powell was nominated by President William J. Clinton to a Republican seat on the Commission, and was sworn in on November 3, 1997. He was designated chairman by President George W. Bush on January 22, 2001.

http://www.fcc.gov/commissioners/powell/mkp_biogra phy.html [fcc.gov]

Don't be so quick to blame things on those who oppose your views.

Inflation (1)

mmerlin (20312) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786693)

Well if fines for indecency are going up in price then so should fines for the other "more serious" matters. A company that has a nuclear accident through negligence (just one example) should not be $60,000 --- it should be more like $6,000,000.

Perhaps... (5, Insightful)

damian cosmas (853143) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786701)

...this is an indication that those responsible for nuclear reactors have their act together to a greater extent than the media.

Write your congressperson. (1, Interesting)

gellenburg (61212) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786702)

It just goes to show you where our (since I live in the US) priorities are.

We are a puritanical society.

When it comes to sex, language, drugs, and violence, the US will always favor violence over sex and language any day.

Violence directly helps the NRA & gun lobbyists.

Drugs directly help the pharmaceutical companies.

You don't see Hugh Heffner making big contributions to campaigns do you? Or the porn industry in general.

Ergo, there's no money in sex as far as politicians are concerned (other than paying for it.)

Even methamphetamines help the pharmaceutical companies. Who do you think makes methadone?

As for the nukes... well, our religious leaders yearn for all our children to be born in nuclear families. What do you expect?

Re:Write your congressperson. (2, Interesting)

OverkillTASF (670675) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786800)

Yes, Hollywood violence and shows that further the belief that only cops and bad guys have guns do SO much for the NRA.

I have never seen a movie involving firearms that didn't have me cringing because of how it depicted gun owners or some particular class of firearm.

I'm not sure where glorifying violence fits into my agenda... Actually... It doesn't.

Hell, gun boards went crazy after Tom Cruise's "Collateral" because it was the first time in a long time that someone took some training and performed something realistically... because of ONE SCENE in the movie (The alley scene, where he's getting his briefcase back.) Does this help the NRA though? No. Cruise was a bad guy with a gun. It's only ever the bad guys with the guns. So outlawing guns will make the bad guys give them up, and it won't effect anyone else.

Glorifying violence does NOTHING for the NRA. It is not an organization about violence. It is an organization that believes in the second ammendment: the right to self-preservation and the right to defend the country from an oppressive government in times of need. Amazingly, "hunting" is just a more publicly accepted use of firearms, so that works into the agenda too, even though that's not what the good old 2ndA is about.

Re:Write your congressperson. (1)

gellenburg (61212) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786820)

Take a chill-pill, dude.

You read //way// too much into what I said.

Apples v. Oranges (2, Insightful)

Trix606 (324224) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786706)

The article mistakenly compares the proposed maximum fine of $500,000 to the largest fine actually levied by the NRC last year. What they should have told us was how the NRC's maximum fine compares to the FCC's maximum.

Wrong Comparison.... Fine Levels set by Congress (1)

HighOrbit (631451) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786722)

Congress makes the law and determines the possible min and max fines for various violations. Congress decides what a maximum fine for a nuke violation will be and what a maximum fine for a indecency violation will be. In many cases, the fine levels were set decades ago and have not been updated.

The regulatory body (like FCC or NRC) simply looks at the particular instance of violation and decides where it falls in the spectrum set by Congress.

So if you have a beef with how Congress decides to make a law, you have two options. Persuade your current congressman to support new legislation now, or failing that show up at the polls November 2006 to elect one who will.

Maybe... (1)

Tethys_was_taken (813654) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786723)

Maybe the American government should stop trying to solve problems through money. AOL-Time-Warner or whoever can easily afford $500,000, just the same as they can afford $500. It doesn't affect them, they'll find a way to make up the losses from share holders.

Re:Maybe... (1)

Trix606 (324224) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786797)

Unfortunately the alternatives might include:

1. Letting rich offenders get way with offenses. (Hey they can afford it why bother?)

2. Rounding up offenders and shooting them.

Fines work because there usually is no profit in them for the companies and for a company like AOL-Time-Warner, the publicity isn't good either.

Should the levels of fines be debated, yes, but doing away with them altogether would be a mistake.

Fines.... (5, Funny)

thewiz (24994) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786726)

Showing a breast on national TV... $500,000
Killing an elderly person...$100,000
Screwing up at a nuclear power plant...$60,000
Running a red light...$250.00
Getting your story posted to Slashdot...Priceless

I will punch myself in the head for posting this: (1)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786802)

...
Profit!

Rolling Stone Magazine (2, Insightful)

errxn (108621) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786730)

There's a nice unbiased source of information if I've ever seen one <coughs>. If we're going to start using sources like this, shouldn't these topics be on politics./.org?

If Americans ruled British TV... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11786732)

... they'd be fucking loaded, a single 30 minute show would net them about $20m, the fines would soon equate to the combined GDP of all the third-world nations combined. US guests are sometimes amazed with what's being said, Jonathan Ross seems to faze them most... imagine Stern doing the Letterman at 8pm primetime on the biggest network... saying whatever he fucking likes and without no bloody adverts!

I thought it odd that Radio 1 [bbc.co.uk] now says during certain shows "this show contains strong language, if you easily offended please turn off your radio, if NOT please turn it up!"... now that's unreasonable, they just to do all that without warning or apology before, it's a bloody outrage... cunts.

Re:If Americans ruled British TV... (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786824)

"this show contains strong language, if you easily offended please turn off your radio, if NOT please turn it up!"

I now wish I was anywhere near Britain; I'd listen every day. No wonder Bush loves the plac--oh wait, he's against indecency he says...*my head a splode* [homestarrunner.com]

Re:If Americans ruled British TV... (1)

OverkillTASF (670675) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786827)

"and without no bloody adverts!"

Yeah, that would somehow rake in a LOT of money! Would Howard Stern be selling jewely and blenders during his show?

A matter of proportion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11786733)

The IDEA is to make it expensive to make a mistake for the industry in question so they won't do it. 60,000 is a lot of money to a nuclear company. It's a drop in the bucket for the entertainment industry.

Duh (0)

QuantumFTL (197300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786735)

FCC to Fine Curses More Then Nuke Violations

Uh, maybe the nuclear power industry is better at following government guidelines?

(is it me or is this a non-story?)

Blame in the wrong place (4, Insightful)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786744)

Much as I loathe some of the stupid things the FCC does, and makes broadcasters do, they're not the ones to blame here.

Congress is pushing the stepped-up enforcement.
Congress is responsible for the raise in fines.

If you've got a problem with this, write your two senators, and representative.

Furthermore, there is one group [parentstv.org] who are responsible for 99.9% of the FCC indecency complaints. Perhaps there's a problem not with the government, but with some ninnies who have nothing better to do than worry about what people are watching on TV, or listening to on the radio.

(Yes, I am a broadcaster, no I'm not speaking on behalf of my employer, yadda, yadda, yadda).

Re:Blame in the wrong place (1)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786773)

http://news.scotsman.com/features.cfm?id=101892005

Guess the lameness filter got the reference to the 99.9% factoid.

It's entirely justified. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11786752)

after all, only bad people say bad things and good poeple obey authority without question after all, if it wasn't right, it wouldn't be telling you what to do!

So you accidentally spilled something naughty from your nuclear reactor, it was an accident! you are innocent and not like those bad people who swear while in the nude on tv!

Only naked terrorists say fuck.

WHo does it surprise ? (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786753)

After all, you can for copyright infrigement and redistribution (aka, copying bits and bytes when not authorised) get a stiffer penalty and prison stay than , say, when doing a rape or killing somebody.

Re:WHo does it surprise ? (0)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786763)

and given that most of what's on the internet is porn, it's only logical. People should stop stealing porn and just take their frustration out by raping somebody instead. Mickey Mouse is safe.

Law is an ass (1, Troll)

Skiron (735617) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786778)

In the UK the price of a human life is about 5 years in prison, maybe let off to 3 years with good behaviour. But rob a bank (i.e. go against the state) you will be looking at a minimum of 25 years in prison.

do you have the facts to back your statement up (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786811)

That's a strong statement, very interesting. Can you point to some references to back it up? Would be intriguing to see these stats, plus some other crime ones for the UK.

Re:Law is an ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11786831)

I'd be very interested to know where that 'statistic' came from.

Music and Shoplifting (4, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786780)

Same sort of story there.. You get less time if you actually commit a crime and steal a cd then if you commit a copyright violation and copy the same thing.

Its all about who has more money..

The FCC Song (3, Funny)

kekeruusperi (771725) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786787)

I wonder how much it would cost to broadcast Eric Idle's FCC Song [pythonline.com] after this...

Solution (1)

thenightwatch (862981) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786828)

I say we build a power plant next to the FCC offices and eliminate NRC fines altogether.

Janet Jackson killed the Super Bowl. (1)

generalleoff (760847) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786830)

This year sucked BAD! The game sucked, the comercials sucked, the half-time show sucked... and I blame it all on her wrinkled old tit.

Broadcasting Curses (3, Funny)

buckhead_buddy (186384) | more than 9 years ago | (#11786833)

The use of curses has always been a freedom taken for granted by most geeks on Unix systems. Next thing you know they'll be going after CUPS as well.

Oh! You mean those #*&@%ing curses. Well, I better look out when the feds start spying on my WiFi network :-)
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