Upton bill seeks to raise anti-indecency broadcast fines

Rep. Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, has introduced legislation that would raise the cap on fines for “indecent” broadcasts from $32,500 to $500,000.

The proposed legislation includes a “three-strikes-and-you’re-out” provision that would put in jeopardy the licenses of stations with three indecency violations.

It also includes language making clear that the FCC can fine performers who utter indecencies — not just the broadcast station licensee. It also includes a provision requiring the FCC to act on indecency complaints within 180 days of their filing at the agency.

In a statement, Upton said the legislation is identical to a measure approved March 11, 2004, by a 391-22 vote in the House. That measure failed to be enacted into law before Congress adjourned.

Similar legislation will be introduced in the Senate.

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