Indecency Bill Passes First Hurdle

Indecency Bill Passes First Hurdle
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The House Telecom Subcommittee passed a bill to raise broadcast indecency penalties ten-fold. If passed, the fine would be $275,000 per violation with a cap of $3 million. During the vote and in hearings Wednesday, lawmakers discussed adding on various other provisions when the bill is voted on by the full committee next week. These include revoking the license of a station found to be airing indecent programming more than three times, making the networks responsible for paying the fines rather than affiliate stations, having the broadcast indecency guidelines also cover violence, and bringing back the requirements for stations to save tapes and the programming code. Bill sponsor Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., has said he hopes to have the measure ready for the president to sign by March.

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