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Court Rules FCC Fined CBS Improperly Court Rules FCC Fined CBS Improperly

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Court Rules FCC Fined CBS Improperly

The Federal Communications Commission improperly fined CBS for singer Janet Jackson's Super Bowl "wardrobe malfunction" in 2004, a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday—reaffirming its own, earlier decision.

The Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Court of Appeals said the agency didn't provide broadcasters fair warning about a change it made to indecency enforcement rules, The Wall Street Journal reports.


The FCC fined CBS $550,000 for airing a Super Bowl halftime show during which Jackson’s breast was briefly uncovered. CBS appealed and the case made its way to the Supreme Court, which sent it back to the circuit appeals court.

"While we are disappointed by the Court of Appeals decision, we note that the court overturned the FCC's 2006 forfeiture order on narrow procedural grounds," an FCC spokesman said in a statement. "In the meantime, the FCC will continue to use all of the authority at its disposal to ensure that the nation's broadcasters fulfill the public interest responsibilities that accompany their use of the public airwaves."

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