11.15.2007 10:45 AM
FCC proposes $7.74 million forfeiture for violation of DTV V-Chip rule

The FCC proposed a $7.74 million forfeiture Oct. 31 for DTV set maker Funai for violating its rules prohibiting the interstate shipment of sets without DTV V-Chip technology, which is used by viewers to block programs with a common rating.

In a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture released Nov. 1, the FCC set the amount for the company’s “willful and repeated violations” of its V-Chip rules.

In 2004, the commission set up technical standards for implementation of V-Chip functionality in DTV receivers. On March 15, 2006, the rule requiring the inclusion of V-Chip technology in digital television receivers with screens 13in or bigger became effective.

In July, the Enforcement Bureau received a complaint alleging Funai was not in compliance with the V-Chip rules. The following month, the bureau issued a letter of inquiry to Funai, and in September the company responded. From Funai’s response, the FCC determined the company had violated its V-Chip rule.

In proposing the forfeiture, the FCC set the amount based on a scale tied to the number of DTV receivers shipped without the V-Chip technology.

Funai has 30 days to pay the fine or file a written request seeking a reduction or cancellation of the forfeiture.

For more information, visit: www.fcc.gov.

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