RULESWATCH

July 18, 2010

Fleeting Expletives II:Freedom of Expression: Times on Techology and Thomas, Thomas on Technology and Times

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruleswatch @ 6:39 am

More on Freedom of Expression and American Broadcast policy: The New York Times of July 19 editorializes:

But as the Second Circuit noted, the current media landscape “would have been almost unrecognizable in 1978.” Nearly 90 percent of all television viewers subscribe to cable or satellite services, and speech that is regulated on the handful of channels used by broadcasters is unregulated on the hundreds of cable-only stations. Millions of people are watching television programs and videos over the Internet, where speech of all kinds is unregulated. Technology has also made it easier to block children’s access to television. Virtually every set sold in the last decade contains a V-chip that parents can use to restrict access to shows of differing ratings.

It cites to a dissent of Justice Clarence Thomas in an earlier decision (who in turn cites to the Times):

But as the Second Circuit noted, the current media landscape “would have been almost unrecognizable in 1978.” Nearly 90 percent of all television viewers subscribe to cable or satellite services, and speech that is regulated on the handful of channels used by broadcasters is unregulated on the hundreds of cable-only stations. Millions of people are watching television programs and videos over the Internet, where speech of all kinds is unregulated. Technology has also made it easier to block children’s access to television. Virtually every set sold in the last decade contains a V-chip that parents can use to restrict access to shows of differing ratings.

These dramatic changes in factual circumstances might well support a departure from precedent under the prevailing approach to stare decisis….. “FCC v. FOX TELEVISION STATIONS, INC. (No. 07-582) 489 F. 3d 444

 

 

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