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Appeals Court Sides With CBS in Janet Jackson Indecency Case

FCC ‘disappointed’ by decision

For the second time, a federal appeals court has sided with CBS against the FCC and thrown out a $550,000 indecency fine for the broadcaster for Janet Jackson’s infamous “wardrobe malfunction” breast during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, reports Bloomberg.

In 2008, a federal appeals court in Philadelphia ruled the fine should be scrapped because the commission’s broadcast indecency policy was arbitrary and capricious.

The U.S. Supreme Court asked the panel to review its opinion after a separate ruling in a different case revived the issue. In its ruling today, the three-judge appeals panel concluded the agency was changing its policy, without warning, by fining CBS for fleeting nudity, reports Bloomberg.

FCC spokesman Neil Grace said in a statement the agency as disappointed by the decision, but noted that the court overturned the FCC’s 2006 forfeiture order “on narrow procedural grounds.”