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Attempt to Apply Decency Standards to Cable/Satellite Television

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the i'm-paying-for-my-klingons-dangit dept.

Censorship 709

bigtallmofo writes "Reuters is reporting that Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (Senator from Alaska) is pushing for decency standards to apply to cable television and subscription satellite TV and radio. You may recall Senator Stevens for voting against a measure to criticize the FCC in 2003 for loosening its broadcast ownership restrictions. Maybe he thinks profanity provides an unfair advantage to his broadcast-company constituents?" We touched on this last year, in the attempt to apply decency standards to satellite radio.

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Easy solution (5, Funny)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11816949)

Before running a movie, just place a statement:

"Warning: WE HAVE NOT CHECKED IF THIS MOVIE IS DECENT"

Re:Easy solution - some standards (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817035)

Everyone, except for lunatics, favors some minimal standards.

E.g,. showing things that are patently illeegal like chilld prrn

Discount? (5, Insightful)

nizo (81281) | more than 9 years ago | (#11816951)

Do cable subscribers get to withhold a percentage of their monthly payments in compensation for the good bits of programs that have been cut/bleeped out? If they edit out 10% of the total months content, then it is only fair that their subscribers get a 10% discount right?

Re:Discount? (2, Insightful)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11816985)

If it's just a standard of decency, maybe it can work like the classification, so nothing's cut, but parents are warned of before hand.

Re:Discount? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11816993)

Eh,
They'll just increase the fees to compensate.

Re:Discount? (5, Insightful)

severoon (536737) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817200)

This is ridiculous. Are they going to start regulating pay-TV channels next, like HBO? You can't say the f-word anymore in movies?

One thing I've never understood about this censorship was articulated by George Carlin best. His sentiments are something along the lines of, why is it ok to use profanity as long as at least the key vowels are left out? For instance, "f*ck" is perfectly acceptable in most censored media, even though it still clearly expresses the idea, the concept behind the word, just as clearly as if that little asterisk were replaced by the "u" it "censors".

S*ck my fat f*cking c*ck, *ssh*le. Do you really feel protected from my sentiment because I've applied the appropriate amount of "censorship"? (Or am I simply not allowed to express certain sentiments at all under this new bill? Isn't that unConstitutional?)

Worried about decency? (2)

bryan986 (833912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11816962)

Simply block channels or just cancel the cable/satellite service, end of story. Don't like broadcast? There are always G rated movies...

Re:Worried about decency? (1)

Jim_Maryland (718224) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817190)

Problem is that too many parents don't want to take the time to filter what their children watch. They want to place the responsibility on others.

I agree with you though on blocking channels or cancelling subscriptions. The content is only available if I enable it into my house.

No constitutional basis, no public airwaves (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11816974)

I wish that was enough to stop them.

I was hoping we would all just move to cable and dump the government along the way.

Precedent Set (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11816978)

If you can't apply it to Sat radio what is the logic of applying it to Sat TV?

You know... (-1, Troll)

dodem (827889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11816981)

DAR! DAR! DAR!

Go all the way (4, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | more than 9 years ago | (#11816990)

Ask them to apply decency standards to books, movies in theatres, and finally to what you say in your own home. After all, won't somebody think of the children?

Re:Go all the way (5, Funny)

MattBowen (858436) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817056)

What we need is a committee of "qualified" judges to sit and pure-approve everything we see hear and read. That way only chaste and edifying content gets to the citizenry, promoting a plurality of thoughts and critical thinking. That's how they handle the Internet in public schools, and thanks to that policy, the Internet has no smut.

Re:Go all the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817059)

It's those damn Dawson's River kids!

sleeping in each other's beds and such....

Re: Go all the way (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817091)


> After all, won't somebody think of the children?

I think Michael Jackson has that covered.

Re:Go all the way (0, Flamebait)

ThomasFlip (669988) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817110)

Books are typically associated with intelligent people. You shouldn't have worry about Republicans getting involved, they might have to read them first !

Do as we do in Europe: (5, Interesting)

Peden (753161) | more than 9 years ago | (#11816994)

Transmit the sattelite TV from another country. Easy-peasy, no problem.

Re:Do as we do in Europe: (3, Insightful)

KontinMonet (737319) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817020)

Stream it over the Net...

Re:Do as we do in Europe: (5, Insightful)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817080)

Except that in most of Europe you can show on normal TV what you can barely get away with on X-Rated cable in the US...

Re:Do as we do in Europe: (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817173)

Please let me know how you have solves the pesky LOS issues.

The Fairness Doctrine as well. (2, Interesting)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817003)

There are some people who want "the Fairness Doctrine" brought back and expanded to include cable TV and satellite radio (in order to get political views they do not like censored). If this ever happened, it would open up the pathway for other censorship like what is mentioned in this news item.

I for one do not favor any such content regulation.

I thought they already had this... (2, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817005)

In satellite TV, decoders had a parental-block, and would stop you if the movie was rated-R or something.

And that was 10 years ago.

Now if you mean enforcing all tv producers to say "This movie is rated R" and use some blocking, I agree.

After all, kids watch cable, too, don't they?

Re:I thought they already had this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817085)

Sure they do, but the 'R' movies they show on Cable are trimed and edited to make them more PG13 (suck ass) so no.

Re:I thought they already had this... (5, Insightful)

TheAntiCrust (620345) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817115)

Yeah, kids watch cable too, but kids are supposed to have these things called 'parents' too. It is the parents responsibility to decide what thier children should and shouldnt be able to see and it is thier responsibility to carry that out, our taxes should not be spent on programs and enforcement of laws that abridge the flow of information. Seriously, paying to NOT get information? Thats entirely backwards.

Re:I thought they already had this... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817203)

Sure, all you have to do is sit with your kids every minute that they are watching TV from the time they're born until their 18th birthday. No problem.

Land of the Free (4, Insightful)

Husgaard (858362) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817009)

I wonder why some US people still say that they live in the land of the Free with all the regulation that their government is imposing on them...

It's because (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817136)

We have 2 competing groups (progressives and conservatives) that both think their regulation is wonderful and responsible for our freedom. Neither group seems to have any respect for the constitutional limits that get in the way of their values policing or social engineering. And more things spiral around the drain hole, the more totalitarian, and friendly fascist we become, the more we speak of our freedoms, so we can remain in denial to the crumbing of the empire that is appearing before our eyes.

Re:Land of the Free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817142)

The only ones that call it the land of the free are the disillusioned few. For the most part the land (taxed up the ass, so it never really belongs to you) is not free (because everyone likes to impose their beliefs on everyone else). So if you like paying other people for them to lie to you by saying that is "your" property, and then bowing down to their beliefs because they can afford to pay off the government official, you can truely say its the "land of the free". Slightly off topic I know, but thats our government, censor everyone in the name of the child because heaven forbid their parents ever take care of crap for them.

"Damnit child! Have the government change your diaper, I have to... eat... chicken..."

Re:Land of the Free (1)

Deraj DeZine (726641) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817240)

Just because some moron who somehow made it into politics proposes a law that would restrict our freedom doesn't mean that we lose any freedom. Chances are there is no way this law will actually pass and if it did, it would be repealed as unconstitutional.

I wonder why so many people think that the US is less free because someone proposed a law to restrict freedom BEFORE the proposition is even shot down...

Re:Land of the Free (4, Funny)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817243)

The TV told us we are free. That's why.

Let me be the first to say... (4, Insightful)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817015)

Fuck this!

so sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817016)

if you dont want to see it you have many options:

1) dont buy
2) block it
3) learn to appreciate it
4) learn not to be so retarded as to find any of this scary and threatning
5) kill your self and your family and send them to heaven.

You people need to get out of the way now.

Re:so sad (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817146)

6) Prophet!

Holy Crap! (1)

Enigma_Man (756516) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817017)

Next, we won't be able to swear on the internet... How can someone think that they're right when they're saying something like that, ho-ly-crap.

-Jesse

Alaska? (1)

AdityaG (842691) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817024)

When did they start getting cable there?

Re:Alaska? (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817119)

They don't, that's why the senator is pissed. This is his payback.

Finally, decent movies! (3, Funny)

Pfhorrest (545131) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817026)

Excellent! Finally someone is doing something about filtering out all that motion picture equivalent of spam that comes out of Hollywood, keeping these "blockbusters" from congesting our airwaves and cable lines! We may see television dominated by decent, quality entertainment at last!

Oh, wait, did they mean "decency" as in, no words like "fuck" or "cunt", and no bare tits or ass? Damn. There's a good number of decent flicks that we'll be missing if that goes through then...

Big difference (5, Insightful)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817034)

On Satitalite radio/TV and Cable, you choose to pay for the service. Broadcast television is over air transmission anyone with TV may tune in at only the cost of the TV and electricity to run it.

If you find cable indecent, you don't pay for the service. Arguement can be made if you don't like what's on broadcast TV, don't watch as well, but you don't pay directly for the programming on the public airwaves.

If people don't want South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut airing in all its rated R glory at midnight on saturday's then they won't watch it.

Voluntary Service (4, Insightful)

robbway (200983) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817036)

This is bad. If they can apply decency to media I pay to have piped into my house, they'll shoot at DVD and CD content. The only difference is the transmission media. Only adults can order cable, so you already have your "adult check" verification.

Hmmm (1)

CMF Risk (833574) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817040)

Land of the free indeed....

This is dangerous ground... (5, Insightful)

edwardd (127355) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817041)

The entire concept of pat-television is that it is not available to everyone, and that people should be able to view what they wish in their own homes. If we take measures like this to the extreme, then the next argument will be to prevent people from buying porn.

"The People Vs. Larry Flint" is a great case to show that there should be firm limits to what the government can or cannot say about decency standards. Larry Flint was able to show that his product, while distasteful to many, is covered under free speech and is not subject to this type of restriction. I don't see how pay-tv services should be treated differently. There are controls in place (parents) to restrict viewing. If these controls are insufficient, the problem is not with the material that's available to be viewed, the problem is with the parent.

Still watching the 700 club too, eh? (3, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817063)

"The entire concept of pat-television is..."

Oh. Still watching the 700 Club [cbn.com] , are we?

Re:Still watching the 700 club too, eh? (1)

edwardd (127355) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817124)

OK, so they don't pay me for my typing skills...

Decency or censorship (1)

rdavidson3 (844790) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817042)

If anything has ever seen the TBS version of "The Breakfast Club" will notice that a good chunk of the movie is replaced with bad voice overs and pieces missing.

I realize that the movie is going on 20 years old, but couldn't they re-release it.

On a side note, I do find the TBS version very funny with the obvious voice overs.

Will this censor premium channels? (2, Funny)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817046)

I don't know about the rest of slashdot but I enjoy Cinemax after dark.

I have prepared a statement for Mr. Stevens... (1)

iamzack (830561) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817047)

/clears throat Fuck you.

Don't push it Alaska (5, Funny)

SlayerofGods (682938) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817049)

Your lucky you even get a vote.

Re:Don't push it Alaska (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817226)

Maybe after GWB drills all the oil out of it he will donate it to Canada.

That sucks. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817060)


I mean, "stinks".

Paid content should be restricted (1)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817062)

We need to apply decency standards to all content sources, not just broadcast.

That includes all cable, satellite, video rentals, books, and website. We must stop pornography, violence, drugs, swearing, blasphemy, and dissenting opinion! To purge our society of these horrible influences, we should put it all in a big pile and burn it. Next, we will publish a list of government-approved media that you are allowed to create, sell, or consume. Finally, we will hire top scientists to develop tracking chips so that we can ensure that 1) our children* are safe and 2) they aren't in danger of having evil thoughts.

This is, as always, in the best interest of the people.

* All persons, regardless of age, will be required to wear the implants.

Ridiculous (5, Insightful)

hanshotfirst (851936) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817071)

The whole difference between broadcast and cable is broadcast is in the public domain. Anyone with the proper equipment can receive the signal and hear/view the content. What comes over the air is regulated for "the public good". Cable and Satellite are closed non-public systems. You pay for the ability to receive and/or decode their signals. It is a private transaction, and should not be subject to regulation. This would be akin to saying p1*yb0y cannot publish material of their choice for their private subscribers. Now, I try to limit my intake of indecent material, and I certainly screen for my kids. But that is the whole point, to me. My responsibility, My rights to view what I have payed to receive in the form originally produced. I don't need the government babysitting me and my kids.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

surreal-maitland (711954) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817197)

I certainly screen for my kids

this is the kind of insensitivity i'm talking about! i mean, what about all those parents who don't bother to screen for their kids! are you suggesting that they should be held responsible?

Step 2 the missing link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817072)

1) Patent software for automagically bleeping profanities
2) Government mandated profanity bleeping
3) Profit!

The Sopranos 2006 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817074)

What, no flipping ziti?

No cause for FCC to get involved (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817077)

With broadcast TV/radio, the argument was that airwaves are limited public resource and should have content that the majority in the public will find acceptable. Last I heard, cable lines are built by private companies, so what cause does FCC have to regulate what they do or don't show? Consumer groups are insane if they voluntarily sign up for a cable channel and then expect to control its content. I am sure there are a few christian or whatever channels already where they don't even say "darn". Do people in US really have to be educated about the revolutionary idea that you can buy stuff you like rather than trying to change the stuff you don't through legislation?

Republican WRONG again (0, Troll)

dotslashdot (694478) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817082)

The problem is the Alaskan senator does not understand the law (typical republican moron.) Congress can regulate broadcast TV because of the "surprise" element (much like broadcast radio) where a child or a person may--without warning--accidentally stumble onto a station that is playing objectionable material (to the local community.) Cable is a private company for which people must subscribe--thus, it is treated differently in terms of restrictions from a pubilc forum. One cannot accidentally stumble onto a cable "broadcast" because it is something that must be sought after and the consumer knows what it is they are purchasing & hence are not "surprised." That's my limited understanding of the situation.

Sure, why not! (1)

adolfojp (730818) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817084)

I love it when the government takes away the pain and hardships associated with having to make desitions on my own.
In that way, I don't have to assume the responsibility for my actions. I love USA, the nanny state (tm).

Cheers,
Adolfo

PS. What is wrong with the V Chip. Parents should be the ones who are responsible for what the children watch on TV.

We knew this was coming... (2, Informative)

Jjeff1 (636051) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817086)

I remember listening to some sort of interview with the head of the FCC (Powell), months ago. He remarked that kids didn't know the difference between a pay channel and a broadcast channel. So he felt the FCC should be regulating any sort of medium that kids might listen/view, no matter where it came from.

Don't like it? Get involved - Write to the US Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Senator Ted Stevens [senate.gov] .

And the Co-Chairman Senator Daniel K. Inouye [senate.gov] . It's cool to complain on websites, but if even a fraction of us actually contacted our representatives in congress, maybe things might change.

Nobody Understands the Federal System (5, Insightful)

Thunderstruck (210399) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817088)

From TFA:

"Cable is a much greater violator in the indecency area," the Alaska Republican told the National Association of Broadcasters, which represents most local television and radio affiliates. "I think we have the same power to deal with cable as over-the-air" broadcasters.

Now let us consider the following:

1. Violator of what, exactly, if there are not laws in place regulating cable right now?

2. You THINK you have the same power to regulate cable as "over-the-air"?

It makes sense that the federal government regulates airwaves as a "channel of commerce." This is fairly straightforward since the airwaves are generally considered publicly owned "space." Cable, however, runs over private property in a physically limited location. While there may be some power to regulate it, how can this be done without interfereing with private contract and first amendment rights?

3. [begin rant] Does it bother anyone else that federal officers will attempt to pass a law just because they "feel" they have the power, and "feel" something is needed? If there must be standards, why not let the bloody states set them and stop trying to distend the limits of federal authority beyond all recognizable bounds? [end rant]

Re:Nobody Understands the Federal System (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817236)

why not let the bloody states set them and stop trying to distend the limits of federal authority beyond all recognizable bounds?

You must be new around here.

Re:Nobody Understands the Federal System (4, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817241)


It makes sense that the federal government regulates airwaves as a "channel of commerce."


Actually from what I recall free speech issues on regulation of broadcast media are gotten around because the information is sent into everyones homes without any kind of subscription. It has nothing to do with being a channel of commerce. It's like regulating nudity on billboards, etc.

Cable television on the other hand is a subscription model, and broadcast into nobodys home that doesn't want it. Cable (and really satelite TV and satelite radio) are really like newpapers and magazines, and are granted the same first amendment protections.


Does it bother anyone else that federal officers will attempt to pass a law just because they "feel" they have the power, and "feel" something is needed? If there must be standards, why not let the bloody states set them and stop trying to distend the limits of federal authority beyond all recognizable bounds?

No, it bothers me when people try to regulate things that are clearly protected by first amendment rights. It would equally bother me if individual states tried the same thing.

contradiction (4, Informative)

randyest (589159) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817089)

"There has to be some standard of decency," he said. But he also cautioned that "No one wants censorship."
Does not compute. Let's step through this, shall we:
  • There must be decency.
  • There must be some person(s) given the task to decide what is decent and what isn't.
  • Those given that task will be government officials/bureaucrats.
  • Whatever those persons deem not decent should not be shown on CATV or played on satellite radio.
  • The not decent material will not be shown/played based on the decisions of the government officials.
How is that not censorship?

My thoughts. (0)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817094)

Fuck that.

Re:My thoughts. (1)

tomjen (839882) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817220)

Agree see you on alt.binaries.picture.erotica

Can I say "WTF"? (0, Redundant)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817095)

Call it whatever you want, censorship is censorship.

If you don't like what you see/hear, turn it off. Don't force your flavor of "decency" on other people.

What happened to all these freedoms that terrorists are supposed to hate us for?

Opie and Anthony on XM Radio (2, Informative)

Gannoc (210256) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817099)

That show is an excellent example of how a completely uncensored show can be amazingly entertaining.

I laugh out loud everytime I listen to the show, unlike Howard Stern, etc. If you don't have XM, try to find an mp3 on usenet.

Re:Opie and Anthony on XM Radio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817248)

OMG I was listening to those guys. That's new-age crap for you. Give me george carlin anyday.

With apologies to Johnny Horton (5, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817107)

Bringin' pork, (Pork for Alaska)
Bringin' pork, (Pork for Alaska)
Pork! for Alaska,
They bring pork, the rush is on!
Pork! for Alaska,
They bring pork, the rush is on!

Big Ted left Alaska in the year '72,
On the Senate Rules Committee, was a real workhorse too,
With George and Michael Powell, and the FCC gang too.
They crossed the Yukon River and found the bonanza gold
Below that white-domed fountain, way the hell southeast of Nome.

Ted crossed the majestic mountains to the valleys far below.
He talked to his team of lobbyists as he mushed on through the snow.
With the northern lights a-running wild in the land of the midnight sun,
Yes, Teddy Stevens, a mighty man, in the year 2001.

Where the river is winding,
Pig nuggets they're finding!
Pork for Alaska!
They bring pork, the rush is on.

George turned to Ted with his pork in his hand,
Said: "Ted you're a-lookin' at a lonely, lonely man.
"I'd trade all the pork that's buried in this land,
"For one small slab of pork to[no, no NO, we are NOT goin' to find out what happened to Ginny in this filk as long as I have any say at the FCC]

To the tune of North to Alaska [cowboylyrics.com] , Johnny Horton

Re:With apologies to Johnny Horton (1)

mnagy (854980) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817185)

"Below that white-domed fountain, way the hell southeast of Nome."

Er, since this is /., shouldn't it be Gnome?

Don't worry (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817111)

This will never pass. I don't care that this guy is a Republican. There won't be a majority that will vote for this.

Porn Industry (1)

NaruVonWilkins (844204) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817112)

Given that pay per view porn is *not* a small industry, I strongly suspect this man will fail miserably. Did I read right that this came from Alaska, land of libertarians?

Solution (5, Insightful)

Potatomasher (798018) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817114)

If cable/satellite providers would only sell channels individually, there would be no need for "decency standards". If you are not happy with the contents of this channel, simply don't buy it. Dont' want your kids looking at porn on your tv ? Simply don't buy channels that air such material.

Now lets move on to next issue.

Here in Canada (1)

rdavidson3 (844790) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817131)

We have the CBC, and I've yet to see them censor anything.

I do enjoy watch the French CBC station in the middle of the night, there is some interesting French "soft porn" that comes on.

What slashdot could look like in the future.... (1)

rjelks (635588) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817138)

**The following message has been Super-Moderated by the F.C.C. Any further disregard to the Internet Decency Standards Act of 2007 will result in a really crappy karma score.**

oh well... (1)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817143)

back to National Geography mag and Victoria Secret's catalog for me...

Slippery slope (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817150)

If the government can censor speech on a closed proprietary system, then nothing stops them from censoring speech on our phones, on the internet, or even talking amongst ourselves.

I'm all for forcing decency standards on TV (1)

srini91 (859711) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817156)

... if they're my standards that is. And rest assured, they are low.

The moment this goes into law it will die in court (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817166)

because it will infringe upon the 1st amendment rights of broadcasters. The consumer is paying for the content and its not free the courts and freedom of speech advocates will be all over this like white on rice.

Based on what???? (1)

folstaff (853243) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817169)

The feds do this to broadcasters because they use public airwaves. What are they going to base this idea on?

I have an alternative, let's get rid of all of the federal decency regulations.

I believe that if entertainment providers were exposed to the market, the market would dictate different standards for different providers and you wouldn't have wardrobe malfunctions b/c the provider would want to keep a level of trust with their customers.

Wow. Free market. What a concept.

Next thing you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817172)

next thing you know we will have little boxes in our houses that give out demerits and fines for cursing, and wiping our asses with sea http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106697/

Fuck you very much, the FCC (1)

jopet (538074) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817176)

obligatory link [pythonline.com] on the topic.

Stop trying to NATIONALIZE EVERY ISSUE (2, Insightful)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817179)

We could avoid much hostility and conflict if we'd just agree to let each community decide for itself what is permitted.

The right tries to set standards for the whole country, while the left refuses to allow anyone to set any standards anywhere.

Folks, there are all sorts of people out there and just as many ideas about how communities ought to operate.

Some like the order and peace that comes with tough limits on behavior, and some like the thrill of anarchy.

So long as people have the right to choose the city/town/village/rural backwater compatible with their outlook I don't see what the problem is leaving each community to decide for itself what is or isn't appropriate.

broadcast companies in Alaska???? (1)

greenrom (576281) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817184)

Maybe he thinks profanity provides an unfair advantage to his broadcast-company constituents?
Tell me, what kind of broadcast-company constituents [reference.com] does a senator from Alaska have?

Silver lining? (1)

Ruprecht the Monkeyb (680597) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817188)

You know, there might be a silver lining to this. I'm sure the argument will be made that cable needs to be regulated because it's largely a have it/don't have it proposition. Can't have my Learning Channel and Discover Channel and Cartoon Network for my kids without also having to have Comedy Central (where they will hear bad words) or Oxygen (where they might hear stuff that even I don't want to know about).

So, if this passes, this might be an incentive for the cable companies and content providers to provide a more a la carte experience. If you have to specifically seek out and pay for X, instead of having X forced down your throat because it only comes bundled with Y, it's a lot easier to argue that X should be exempt from decency regulation.

I think the question on all of our minds is... (2, Funny)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817191)

How will this affect South Park???

How about Congress? (1)

dfay (75405) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817192)

When will we be able to get decency laws applied to Congress? I consider the wholesale abandonment of the ideals embodied in the Constitution by our legislators to be indecent.

And I DO vote, and I always favor the candidate who I think will do the "right" thing, not necessarily what I favor, but I haven't noticed that it does a lot of good. Especially since neither party in our "two-party government" fields candidates that seem to care about preserving what once made our government unique and outstanding. Those who even make noises about it seem to sell out quickly.

OK, yes... I know I'm ranting.

Dupe! (1)

mondoterrifico (317567) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817196)

Err... just practicing for later today.
Gotta keep my fingers nimble.
:)

Not possible. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817199)

First of all, this already got decided in the Supreme Court, so this is FUD right?

Second of all, if they were to somehow do this, it would be the beginning of the book burnings [usf.edu] .

These religious [vote-smart.org] zealots all trying to dream of a way to get rid of pornography while they're busy shacking up with everyone but their wife. 'Nuff said.

Newspeak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817201)

Maybe we should just change the language so you can't offend people or bad-mouth the government.
We could call it "newspeak".

Republicans for the Nanny State (2, Insightful)

ortcutt (711694) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817208)

Isn't it funny that Republicans love to complain about big, intrusive government while supporting the nanny state?

If they believe in the power of the free market, then let the cable companies respond to the demand for "decent" cable TV.

Typical government boondoggle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817213)

If they wanted a long-term, cost effective solution to this problem, they would just poke out each citizen's eyes at birth or time of naturalization. Simple and easy, and no more chance of sinful images being impressed upon the eyes, but in the end the citizenries right to bear eyes is probably a state's right.

ah, the republicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817217)

well focused energy, guys! lets let some bible thumping idiots parent our children.

fucking republican scum.

like unto sheep.

What's next? (1)

turtled (845180) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817225)

Well, now that the Broadcast Flag is dead (or dying), they will try the next thing to harrass us on how we pay for what we want to view, then make our TV watching habits unbearable... why? What happened to "Land of the Free"?

You are free* (1)

CainMcDougal (859833) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817230)

*You are free to watch what we tell you to watch. **You are free to listen to what we tell you to listen. Soon you will see "Rated R" movies or even your favorite "indecent" shows with asterisks and fine print everywhere. But who reads them anyway..?

I was just thinking about this, this morning (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817231)

The FCC needs to get OUT of censorship, and let the market decide. We need to get religion, including the Vatican, out of our government.

I agree that the FCC needs to "regulate" frequencies. And I think there needs to be an annual fee to cover the administration costs, only. They should be able to enforce people stepping on frequencies for which they are not licensed. This includes HAM "operators" without a handle. This includes freelancers who jam ambulance and police frequencies.

That's it. No indecency fines or any other moronic behavior like that. No control over content. If the Islamists take over our airwaves, then we should have gotten to them years ago; it's our own fault. If parents can't handle explain a pair of boobs to their 7 year old, then they can throw the TV out in the dumpster. If you can't handle a pair of tits, then Christ knows there's no good reason you should be having kids or a TV. Or they can buy from a manufacturer that locks the TV to stations which market themselves as PROMOTING VIRTUE AND PREVENTING VICE, just like the Saudis do (with public beatings, but that's another thread).

I want the FCC out of censorship. I want to be required to decide what my child will, and will not, watch.

Parental responsibility.

Call the Senator and tell him how you feel. (5, Informative)

UEinSD (750756) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817234)

Do something about it. If every Slashdot member calls the Senator, believe me, they will get the message.

His webpage is here: http://stevens.senate.gov/ [senate.gov] and his phone number is (202) 224-3004.

Do it now. Kill this crap in the bud. You only earn the right to rant and rave if you pick up the phone, send an email, or write a letter. If not, then keep quiet (no more whining to Slashdot), since that's what they want you to do.

corporate greed (1)

achacha (139424) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817237)

Radio stations are threatened by satellite radio, and they should be, if satellite radio takes off in the next year or two, there will be little if any use to broadcast radio and radio station owners will lose money unless they use these laws and corrput politicians to keep themselves in the money making area. Making satellite radio indecent is a way to level the playing field. The issue here is that satellite is a subscription service and should not be subjected to the same rules as a free one.

STFU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817238)

Cable is regulated. It is regulated by the advertisers. If every MTV program started using the work fuck then advertisers might not want to advertise on their network and so they don't say fuck. The advertisers don't want to advertise on a network that uses the word fuck because they don't like the bad publicity they get from the MILF's(Mothers Intended on Limiting Fuck).
This is how it has worked, how it is working, and how it should continue to work. Why fix something that is not broken, especially when it does not involve the use of duck tape in any way!

compromise? (1)

cot (87677) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817252)

First off, I have to say that the government has no business getting involved here. But, practically speaking, the government gets involved in all sorts of places I believe it has no business in, so automatically assuming that we'd be able to keep it out is possible too optimistic.

Maybe a reasonable compromise is to require that cable operators offer a "family safe" package of channels. They can receive all the broadcast networks and any basic cable networks who self censor sufficiently.

It's clearly a compromise, and I hate letting the govt get their foot in the door in yet another area, but maybe in this post janet jackson era it's inevitable. Hopefully this whole wave of hypersensitivity will settle back down, but really I doubt that people in this country will ever relearn the level of disdain for a nanny state that our forefathers had.
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