The FCC's Indecent Proposal: Copyright Implications of the Proposed 'Record and Retain' Rule

29 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2006 Last revised: 5 Feb 2010

Christopher S. Reed

Claremont Graduate University

Date Written: Spring 2006

Abstract

The issue of broadcast indecency has recently been on the forefront of congressional and regulatory agendas. Prompted in part by the January 2004 Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently proposed a new regulation that would require broadcasters to maintain an archive of their entire program stream. The FCC believes the recordings would aid in the investigation of indecency complaints against broadcasters.

While there are many troubling aspects to the FCC's proposal, this article explores the copyright implications of the proposed rule. The paper argues that if the FCC were to promulgate the new rule, it would force broadcasters to infringe upon the material rights of various programming producers. This issue is illustrative of a fundamental tension between the Copyright Act and the Communications Act that has caused trouble before and will undoubtedly do so again in the future.

Keywords: broadcasting, FCC, indecency, copyright, regulation, media, communications

Suggested Citation

Reed, Christopher S., The FCC's Indecent Proposal: Copyright Implications of the Proposed 'Record and Retain' Rule (Spring 2006). Buffalo Intellectual Property Law Journal, Spring 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=893301

Christopher S. Reed (Contact Author)

Claremont Graduate University ( email )

150 E. Tenth Street
Claremont, CA 91711
United States

HOME PAGE: http://cmci.cgu.edu

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