Let It Bleed: Playboy Entertainment Group, Inc. v. United States - Adult Programming, Cable Television and the First Amendment - An Analytical Comment
60 Pages Posted: 29 May 2011 Last revised: 3 Jun 2011
Date Written: November 26, 2000
Playboy Entertainment Group, Inc. ("Playboy") and Graff Pay-Per-View, Inc. ("Graff"), challenged the constitutionality of § 505 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 ("CDA" see infra) based primarily on the premise that the statute was not a narrowly tailored and least restrictive means of promoting the government's interests as well as under a statutory vagueness theory.
The defendants in this action are the United States; the Federal Communications Commission (hereinafter, "FCC"); the United States Department of Justice; and the Attorney General of the United States, Janet Reno (collectively, "the government"). Playboy did not deny that almost all of their programming was to some degree sexually oriented, in contrast to other entertainment channels that less frequently display sexual scenes or programming, but contends that as their content is merely indecent and that the CDA's § 505 only addresses indecent content, it does not meet the strict scrutiny standard required for such content-based speech regulation, and as such, is unconstitutional under the First Amendment.
Keywords: signal bleed, playboy, first amendment, FCC, CDA, supreme court, cable television, content-based, free speech, janet reno, obscenity, indecency, strict scrutiny
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