The Third Circuit has thrown out a $550,000 indecency fine against CBS for Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” at the 2004 Super Bowl.

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Per this AP story:

… The three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Federal Communications Commission “acted arbitrarily and capriciously” in issuing the fine for the fleeting image of nudity.

Ninety million people were watching the Super Bowl when singer Justin Timberlake reached for Jackson’s chest.

The court found that the FCC fine for the “broadcast of a nine-sixteenths of one second glimpse of a bare female breast” deviated from its nearly 30-year practice of fining broadcast indecency only when it was extremely “pervasive.”

The opinion is here. Nice to see some common sense on this issue.

–Ann Bartow

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