cr> Playboy ruling (clipping)


Sender: John Whiting <•••@••.•••>

Deja nu!


(Moderator's note: The following material is under copyright in the
U.S., and is posted to this newsgroup under "fair use" and "teachable
moment" doctrines.  Please do not post indiscriminately.)

---------- Forwarded Message ----------

From:   Larry or Lynn Tunstall, INTERNET:•••@••.•••
TO:     John Whiting, 100707,731
DATE:   08/03/96 17:48

RE:     Playboy ruling (clipping)

>>From this morning's San Jose Mercury News:


WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) -- A federal judge Thursday suspended part of a
new telecommunications law requiring cable companies to block audio and
video of sexually explicit programs. The law is being challenged by

U.S. District Judge Joseph Farnan said Playboy Enterprises Inc. had
demonstrated it probably will succeed in its efforts to overturn that
portion of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 on constitutional grounds.

The blocking provision, scheduled to take effect Saturday, applied to
channels that are ''primarily dedicated'' to sexually explicit programs,
for instance, Playboy's channels, Spice or Adam & Eve, but not to
sexually explicit programs on HBO, Showtime or other channels.

Playboy argued the law was unconstitutional and discriminatory because
it allowed other cable premium channels to carry programming that can be
found on the Playboy channel without having to block them.

''This is a victory for sanity in government,'' said Christie Hefner,
Playboy chairwoman and chief executive. ''Playboy has always supported
the right of individuals to control what comes into their homes.''

Playboy and many other cable channels already scramble their signal, but
the audio portion often is not scrambled so non-subscribers can hear the
programs. The video portions of sexually explicit channels also often
can be seen as distorted images.

The law requires cable companies to either black out sexually explicit
channels or keep them off the air during the day. Playboy argued it
would lose viewers and revenue if companies limit when the service is

The blocking provisions would cost cable companies $300 million to $1
billion to implement, and those charges ultimately would be passed on to
customers, Playboy has said.

In his ruling, the judge said Playboy had demonstrated the provision
would cause irreparable harm to the company and other cable businesses,
and that it was necessary to halt enforcement until there is a final

Transmitted:  96-03-08 05:44:24 EST

 Posted by Andrew Oram  - •••@••.••• - Moderator: CYBER-RIGHTS (CPSR)
   CyberJournal:  (WWW or FTP) -->
 Materials may be reposted in their _entirety_ for non-commercial use.