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Indecency Bill Fine Raised Higher Than Expected

Indecency Bill Fine Raised Higher Than Expected

Members of the House Commerce Committee made two big changes to the indecency bill passed to the full House; they raised the fines by 20, not 10 times the current amount and they included a provision to fine on-air talent. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., passed 49 to 1.
House Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton, R-Texas, said passage of the bill is a statement that “enough is enough. Personal responsibility is as important a freedom as free speech. America’s responsible parents seek to raise their children with a strong sense of responsibility for their actions – why should performers be excluded from this expectation? We are not going to accept indecent, irresponsible material on the public
airwaves anymore. If performers or broadcasters choose to play with regulators by behaving obscenely during a public broadcast, we can see that they pay for their conduct.”
Rep. Upton has said he hopes the measure, which has the backing of the administration and 142 co-sponsors, would be on the President’s desk by the end of the month.
The original bill called for the FCC fines for broadcast indecency to rise tenfold, to $275,000. Now, the measure calls for a fine of $500,000 per violation.
The measure requires the commission to hold a license revocation hearing for after three violations for broadcast indecency.
The bill establishes a 180-day time period for the agency to make a decision for a broadcast indecency case. There is no set time period to wrap up a case now.
Maximum fines for “nonlicensees” (performers) would be raised from $11,000 to $500,000.
The Senate Commerce Committee is said to be crafting its own indecency bill.