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183 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Was radio first thought of as a form of mass media?
What was radio originally called, and what was it originally considered to be an extension of?
Who is considered to be the first person to send radio signals without wires?
Gulielmo Marconi
Why was the Wireless Ship Act of 1910 necessary?
concern that distress signals might be ignored
The radio act of 1910was the first American law to do what?
regulation of devices using the electromagnetic spectrum, a natural resource through which radio signals are transmitted
How was the sinking of the Titanic related to this act?
a ship only a few miles away could have saved many lives, but the law didn't require someone to man the radios 24/7.
The Radio Act of 1912 was the first law affecting what?
driectly affecting commercial radio
What were the limitations of the 1912 act?
although the act gave the secretary of commerce the power to grant licenses, it did not allow the secretary to reject license applications. Station operators would unhesitatingly change frequencies and the height of transmission towers. An operator might even move a station from from city to city.
What agency was established by the radio act of 1927?
the Federal Radio Commission
The radio act of 1927 was the first law giving the U.S. government what?
control over radio broadcasting to the public
The act required the FRC to act in the public what?
public interest, convenience, or necessity
What does the text mean when it says the broadcast stations were not common carriers?
the licensee was responsible for the content of the station's transmissions
What did the communications act of 1934 establish?
the Federal Communications Commission
What does the FCC have jurisdiction over?
radio and wire communication service--that is, broadcasting and various aspects of telephone service
Which act was passed in 1996?
The Telecommunications Act
May various mass media be treated differently under the First Amendment?
Are broadcasters' rights equal to those of the print media?
Why, by the mid-1930s, had the courts not extended the same freedoms to broadcast media as it had extended to the print media?
held that pictures were enteratinment and, therefore, not entitled to first amendment protection
Is there a right of reply in broadcasting? In print?
Yes; no
Of all forms of communication, which receives the most limited First Amendment protection?
What are the rationales for this discrepancy?
spectrum scarcity, the concept of public trusteeship, pervasiveness and the special impact broadcast media can have, especially on children
What does the FCC assign to stations?
Why is the award of a broadcast license considered to be a grant of a privilege?
another person or company who wants to communicate with the community by owning a broadcst station simply may not do so if no frequencies are available in the area.
Who owns the most broadcasting stations in the U.S.? But the spectrum is in whose hands?
Privately owned, but the spectrum remains in the government's hands
Why are broadcast licensees considered to be public trustees?
those who are given licenses hold potions of the spectrum in trust for the public
Must broadcasters take any and all advertisements?
Is there a general right of public access to broadcast stations?
What is the "pervasiveness" rationale for government regulation of broadcasting?
they are heard and seen in homes, stores, and in many other places, and are constatly intrusive, especially on the lives of children. Further, a listener or viewer has no idea what is being broadcast utnil a receiver is turned on.
In what ways is broadcasting different from other media?
radio and television are omnipresent; they are intruders rather than forms of communication people invite into their lives.
Why is "special impact" one of the rationales for broadcast regulation? How do children relate to this issue?
radio and tv have a greater impact on audiences than do print media. Broadcast media can have a pwerful impact on children when it comes to indecent programming, and children should have protection and FCC constitutionally channel indecent broadcasts to times when children were less likely to be in the audience
What does the FCC regulate?
broadcasting, other spectrum uses such as satellite communications and amateur radio, and various aspects of telephone service
Is the FCC an independent government agency?
How many commissioners are on the FCC, how are they appointed, and what is their political mix?
5, appointed by president and confirmed by senate, only 3 can be of the same party
Which bureaus of the FCC are of particular relevance to broadcasters, and what issues do they deal with?
The MEdia Bureau--administers the policy and licensing programs related to electronic media, incl radio, tv and cable tv. Also handles post-licensing matters related to direct broadcast satellite.
The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau--tries to encourage more public participation in the works of the commission.
Enforcement Bureau--resolves complaints involving radio frequency interference, indecent communications, and false distress signals.
What powers does the FCC have?
judicial, legislative and executive powers.
What threat generally keeps broadcasters in line?
The threat of losing a license
What is the order of appeals?
US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Then appealed to the Supreme Court.
When can a court overturn an FCC decision?
only if it was arbitrary, capricious or an abuse of discretion
The FCC is required to operate how?
in the public interest, convenience and necessity.
How much flexibility does the FCC have in defining its standard of operation?
What are the problems with this scenario?
The FCC may give the worrd different meanings at different times
Does the Supreme Court have a role in helping to define the proper role and function of the FCC?
What does "the public interest" mean, according to the text?
the interest of the listening public
What is a pirate station?
stations operating without licenses
What do pirate station operators have to say about programming diversity?
claim that the mergers in the broadcast industry have eliminated programming diversity and the illegal stations are trying to fill the void.
What did Congress do when the FCC began licensing low-power FM stations?
passed a law that significantly restricted the number of LPFM stations the FCC could license
What is a network?
distributes programs to stations, and the stations broadcast the programs.
What is an affiliate?
stations receiving the programs from networks, have contractual obligations to carry the programming distributed by the networks.
What does broadcasting mean?
sending a signal intended for general reception
Are networks licensed by the FCC? Why or why not?
no, because they don't broadcast
Why can the FCC set certain rules for the networks?
bc each of the major networks has licenses for several tv stations it owns and operates. Also, courts have allowed the FCC to set certain rules for the networks because of the networks' contractual relations with the broadcast stations over which the Commission does have jurisdiction.
What is the value of diverse ownership?
would lead to diverse viewpoints in programming and increased economic competition
What were ownership regulations designed to prevent?
undue concentration of ownership at both the national and the local levels.
Which political party generally favors media concentration, and which is generally opposed? What about consumer groups?
democrats--opposed to action that would permit increased media concentration
consumer groups opposed as well.
How many radio stations throughout the country may one company own?
as many as it wants
Are there limits on how many stations one company may own within a local market?
What is the limit on how many television stations one company may own?
What is the 45% rule?
one licensee cannot control tv stations capable of reaching more than 45% of the country's households with television sets
Are TV ownership rules in local markets determined by the number and ranking of TV stations in that market?
What is cross ownership?
common ownership of radio and tv stations in the same market and common ownership of broadcast stations and newspapers in the same market
Is cross ownership allowed in large markets?
Are there still some cross ownership bans in smaller markets?
Are the four major networks allowed to merge?
What are fin-syn rules, and why were they adopted in the first place?
they prevented broadcast tv networks from engaging in certain kinds of broadcast-related activities. Enacted to limit broadcast network' control over tv programming
What has been the effect for networks of the rescission of the fin-syn rules?
significantly broadened the networks' roles in tv program production
Why is there a movement toward re-enacting the fin-syn rules?
producers have very little chance of placing one of their programs on the broadcast networks without giving up an ownership interest.
What does the Communications Act forbid?
Forbids the FCC from censoring broadcast programming
Does the FCC nevertheless make regulations concerning content?
they've adopted a number of regulations and laws affecting broadcast content
What is a format?
the selection of the programming
What is the FCC's rationale for no longer assigning formats to stations?
market forces should determine the formats of the large number of stations on the air
What did the Fairness Doctrine require?
required broadcasters to inform audiences about controversial issues of public importance in the stations' license areas and to present contrasting viewpoints about the issues.
What is the rationale for its rescission?
the number of broadcast and other outlets available to most people for dissemination of news and opinions about controversial issues had grown significantly
Are electronic media stations allowed to carry obscene material?
Are broadcasters forbidden from airing "indecent or profane" programming?
Is this restriction placed on other (non-broadcasting) mass media?
What is the definition of indecency, according to the FCC standard?
words that describe, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory activities and organs, at times of the day where there is reasonable risk that children may be in the audience
What are the two points of rationale for the acceptability of these restrictions?
People could be exposed to radio or tv at any time, in any place, with little control over what they would hear or see. The primary concern was preventing children from being exposed to indecent programming = not total limit on it
What is a safe harbor, and at what times is it currently in force?
during which broadcasters are permitted to carry indecent programming. 10pm-6am
What are the principal factors, including context, in determining whether material is indecent for FCC purposes?
1)the explicitness or graphic nature of the description or depiction of sexual or excretory organs or activities
2)whether the material dwells on, or repeats at length, descriptions of sexual or excretory activities or organs
3)whether the material appears to pander, is used to titillate, or appears to have been presented for shock value
Might a station lose its license for airing indecent content?
What does the Children's Television Act require (including the 1996 rules)?
requires broadcast stations to provide certain types of children's programs, limited the amount of commercial time that could be inserted before, during, and after children's programming on broadcast stations and cable networks. Specifically, stations were to broadcast three hours per week of programs specifically designed to serve children's intellectual/cognitive and social/emotional needs. The programs are required to be at least 30 min long, regularly scheduled on a weekly basis and broadcast between 7am and 10pm.
Do these programming requirements apply to cable?
Do commercial limits apply to both?
What are the commercial rules in terms of how many minutes per hour and characters in children's programs?
12 min/hr during the week, 10.5 min/hr Sat & Sun; no characters from program during that time
What is a V-chip, and which televisions are required to have them?
beginning in 1998 all tvs sold in the US, a means for viewers to prevent certain programs from being seen on the sets
Who developed the TV parental guideline (rating) system?
The tv industry at the prodding of congress
The current ratings are a combination of what?
TV-ratings, age-based
combo of V, FV, S, L, D
Is most programming now coded?
Do parents use it? Why or why not?
use rating, not v-chip. lack of awareness of how the technology works
Do political broadcast rules from section 315 of the Communications Act apply to cable?
Do rules from Section 312 apply to cable?
What is required under Section 315, and to what candidates does it apply?
once a legally qualified candidate for an elective office has used a station or cable system--has been given or sold time--all other legally qualified candidates for the same office must be given an equal opportunity. That is, candidates for the same office have the right to approximately the same amount of time during a period of the day when they are likely to be seen or heard by the same size and type of audience.
What is required under Section 312, and to what candidates does it apply?
requires broadcast stations (doesn't apply to cable systems) to give fed candidates "reasonable access" to radio and tv audiences
What is a point of contention between broadcasters and candidates running for federal office?
the length of the political ads
What has the FCC ordered on this issue?
candidates cannot be b arred from purchasing advertising time in lengths more useful for their purposes simply because broadcasters traditionally sell commercial time in thirty-and sixty-second slots
Why don't stations just avoid the problem of political advertising by just refusing to sell time to any candidates?
The FCC has indicated it would frown on such action. The requirement under section 312(a)(7) that broadcast stations offer reasonable access for federal candidates essentially means that a station must sell time to even the first candidate for a federal office asking to run an advertisement
Note that Section 315 is triggered by "use" of a station or cable system by a candidate. What constitutes "use"?
happens when a candidate, the candidate's picture or the candidate's identifiable voice appears on the air
What are the four exemptions to the use rule?
1)on-th-spot news coverage, debates
2)candidate's appearance on a regularly scheduled newscast
3)appearance on a regularly scheduled news interview program
4)a news documentary program is not a use if the appearance is incidental to the campaign
Do news events, newscasts, press conferences, news interviews, news documentaries, speeches, and debates constitute a use and therefore trigger 315?
Can minor candidates be excluded from a debate without use implications?
If on-air news personalities run for office, does their appearance on air constitute a use?
When does Section 315 apply?
whenever there are two or more legally qualified candidates for the same elective office
Think for yourself: how would this application time apply to primary candidates? To presidential candidates before the national conventions? To President George W. Bush's and democratic candidate John Kerry's campaign for the 2004 election?
When and by whom must requests for equal opportunity be made?
a candidate whose opponent has used a broadcast station or cable system
What is the obligation of a broadcast station or a cable system to notify candidates that 315 has been triggered?
They have no obligation to notify.
What is the advertising rate rule under Section 315?
candidates purchasing time for political commercials must be charged no more than the station's or cable system's most-favored advertiser would pa. That is, whatever the rate would be for the advertiser who purchases the most minutes during the year on a station is the rate a candidate would be charged
When does the lowest-unit-rate provision take effect?
forty five days before a primary election and sixty days before a general or special election
What changes in the lowest-unit-rate rules have been proposed in Congress, and why?
members of congress, upset with the high cost of political campaigns, have sought revisions that would make political advertising even less expensive
Can broadcast stations and cable systems edit political ads, or refuse to run them?
No and no
Are stations and systems liable for what is said or shown in political commercials?
Is the Zapple rule part of Section 315? If not, what is it?
no. applies to political appearances and works as a quasi-equal opportunity rule.
When does the Zapple rule take effect?
takes effect when a candidate's supporters--but not the candidate or the candidate's picture or voice--use a station
What is the Zapple rule and to whom does it apply and not apply?
the station must offer comparable time to supporters of the candidate's opponent
Do the "use" exceptions from Section 315 apply in the Zapple rule?
Does Section 312 apply to the Zapple rule? (Must stations and systems sell time to a candidate's supporters?)
Do Section 315 and the Zapple rule apply to ballot issues?
Is cigarette advertising allowed on any medium of electronic communication? What is the rationale for this ban?
No, because of the costs to public health caused by cigarette smoking
Why was there no hard liquor advertising on television for so many decades?
there was a 4-decade long self-imposed ban of hard liquor advertising ton tv
What is the legal issue involved with the broadcast advertising of spirits?
whether the govt can constitutionally ban the advertising of some types of alcohol products on tv while allowing others
Why did NBC decide not to advertise hard liquor?
pressure from congress, public interest groups and the beer and wine industries
When was the Public Broadcasting Act adopted, and what did it establish?
1967, established the corporation for public broadcasting, an agency through which federal govt and other funding is used to produce programming for noncommercial stations.
Are non-commercial stations permitted to carry advertisements?
How do underwriting announcements differ from commercial advertising?
The difference between commercial advertising and noncommercial underwriting announcements is sometimes described as follows: commercial advertising is persuasive; noncommercial underwriting is informational.
Are broadcast stations required to operate under basic Equal Employment Opportunities rules?
Does the FCC also enforce its own equal employment rules?
According to the U. S. Supreme Court, of all forms of mass media, which kind has the least protection under the First Amendment?
The FCC always operates under whose watchful eyes?
the courts and the congress
What percent of television-owning households in the United States subscribe to cable?
What are the primary issues involved in cable regulation?
concern about monopoly power, and fostering competition
Why are there different constitutional standards for each new technology?
the US Supreme Court has recognized that the unique traits of each mass medium permit different constitutional standards
Why is convergence a problem for policymakers?
as the distinctions between cable companies, tv companies and broadcasters blur, their different regulatory schemes come into conflict.
Cable regulations can be divided into what two broad categories?
structural or content-based
Why have regulators felt in the past that cable should be treated as a natural monopoly instead of a competitive industry?
some industries have unique characteristics that make competition more difficult to achieve or sustain. The large infrastructure costs and economies of scale involved in operating a cable system led many regulators to believe that cable, like the telephone industry, was a natural monopoly. In other words, it is more efficient for one company to run a single cable down the street and serve every house than for two companies to run two separate cables down the street with each company serving half the houses.
Why have regulators in the past imposed structural regulations on cable operators?
In most areas of the country, each home is served by only one cable operator, typically a huge co that owns hundreds or thousands of cable systems across the nation
Today, regulators are trying to promote what?
competition in the hope that competition will reduce the need for regulation of the industry
Why must cable operators deal with both federal and local regulations?
Cable operators must negotiate a franchise agreement with local communities for the right to run their cables over (or under) city streets. Broadcasters, who don't need to use wires to distribute their signals, don't need permission to us the public rights-of-way.
When was cable television introduced and why?
late 1940s, expanded the audience for local stations by physically extended the reach of broadcast signals.
What is CATV?
tall antennas that picked up tv signals and strung cables to transmit the signals to homes unable to receive the broadcast signal clearly (community antenna tv)
How did broadcast television initially respond to cable television?
as an ally that increased the number of homes that could receive their signals
Who eventually requested the FCC to control the cable industry?
Why was the FCC caught in a bind over the prospect of regulating cable? What issues were involved?
on the one hand, increased viewing choices clearly promoted the FCC's mandate to serve the public interest and foster diversity. Broadcasters argued that if enough cable viewers stopped watching the local tv stations, those stations would go bankrupt, leaving those homes that didn't subscribe to cable w/o tv at all.
Did the FCC originally (through the 1950s) want to regulate cable? Why or why not?
initially said the Communications Act didn't grand the commission power to regulate cable; the commission's legal jurisdiction was limited to radio, broadcast tv, other techs using the electromagnetic spectrum and common carriers
Why did the FCC eventually say it could regulate cable?
because of the effect cable had on broadcast tv
What did the Supreme Court rule about this issue in 1968?
the Communications Act of 1934 gave the FCC responsibility to foster the growth of broadcast tv, the commission could regulate cable as long as the regulation was reasonably ancillary to the commission's jurisdiction over broadcast tv
What was the decade in which cable subscriptions skyrocketed?
How did the Telecommunications Act of 1996 seek to encourage competition among telephone companies, cable companies, wireless companies, etc? Nevertheless, what has been the result of the Act?
by allowing local telephone companies, long distance telephone companies, and cable companies to enter eaach others' businesses.
What are "must-carry" rules?
give tv broadcast stations the option to require cable systems to carry their signals
Does cable have free speech interests?
Under what circumstances can states tax cable systems?
so long as the tax is unrelated to speech and is non-discriminatory, property and service tax applied to a large number of other businesses
What is the significance of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. v. FCC (1994)?
the court drew a distinction between content-based and content-neutral regulations of cable
According to the Supreme Court, are must-carry rules constitutional?
How is the First Amendment to be applied to cable television content issues? To content-neutral (structural) issues?
content issues: they must pass the strict scrutiny test
content-neutral: tested only under the O'Brien Intermediate scrutiny test
What has been the impact (in general) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 with regard to media mergers?
Multiple System Operators
Digital Band Compression
What percentage of all cable subscriptions are controlled by the top four cable companies?
What does the text speculate that the FCC will do about cable ownership limits?
Raise the cable ownership limits, leading to a new wave of mergers in the cable industry.
What concerns did broadcasters and regulators have about the impact of cable on television and the marketplace of ideas?
believed that if viewers wanted to watch a local tv station that wasn't carried by the cable system, they would have to switch back and forth between cable reception and antenna reception. Believed that most viewers would not be willing to make this effort, meaning that local stations not carried by the cable system would lose that portion of their audience.
What did the Supreme Court say about must-carry rules in 1997?
they were a narrowly tailored, content neutral means to protect the broadcast industry from extinction. an appropriate means by which the govt could assure that cable operators would not force broadcasters out of business and deprive consumers of broadcast programmming
What three reasons did the Court give to justify that the must-carry rules are legitimate content-neutral controls on the cable industry?
1)they protect the strength of local tv broadcasting that enhances the diversity of content avail to viewers
2)they ensure that viewers who are not cable subscribers have access to local news, info and opinions
3)they promote competition for the delivery of video programming
Why must cable operators adhere to local as well as federal regulations?
Because cables are placed on public property
Can local laws violate the First Amendment or other constitutional restrictions?
Which local authorities have a right to grant cable franchises?
city or county, state
How does the franchise award process generally begin?
city asks interested companies to submit proposals
Can franchising authorities award exclusive franchises?
Why have most communities only franchised one company?
becuase other companies have not sought franchises; they don't want to invest the large amounts of money necessary to build competing cable systems
Can cities run their own cable systems?
Must satellite and telephone video systems obtain franchises?
What does "new communication technologies" mean?
those mass media developed after broadcast and cable tv
What have been some of the sociological and legal impacts of new and converging technologies?
stiff competition between potential providers of video services, and some of the legal battles are about which companies and media technologies will survive and prosper
What is "unbundling" (or "open access") and why are ISPs pressing Congress for it?
to assure the continued strength and growth of the communications network, som ISPs are lobbying for laws that would req local cable tv companies to provide access to their lines for internet use
How did the Supreme Court distinguish the Internet from broadcasting in Reno v. ACLU (1997)?
the internet does not use the limited public spectrum, and people are not as likely to be exposed inadvertently to sexually explicit material on the internet as they might be on broadcast stations
What was the Supreme Court's decision in the CIPA case (United States v. American Library Association, 2003)?
that the filtering software required on library computers was constitutional because it protected children from harmful pornographic images
In general, are on-line service providers liable for the content of third-party materials?
When is original material protected, and what are the exclusive rights of the creator?
upon its creation, and the creator has exclusive rights to reproduce and distributed the work, as well as the right to create other works derived from the original
What's to be learned from the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times cases?
Don't try to bundle other peoples' sites for your own profit
What questions arise in computer and Internet settings relative to fixation?
if an online document is a copy of material that already exists on paper, it is unclear whether the online document should be considered "original" and therefore protected. Additionally, it remains to be determined whether material created and transmitted electronically is "fixed in a tangible medium"
What efforts have been made by Congress to update copyright laws to adapt to the digital age?
the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act
What has been the result of Napster and similar cases for on-line music sharing and downloading?
once legal adversaries becoming partners, ie itunes, napster monitoring software
In general, when are ISPs liable (in America) for copyright infringements and when are they not?
whether the provider had, or should have ad, prior knowledge of the infringement. online providers who electronically screen or preview material may be held accountable for copyright infringements while provider who act as common carriers may not.
What is the impact of DVD-copying on the motion picture industry, according to the MPAA?
350,000 movies are being downloaded illegally each day at a cost of billions of dollars to the industry
What Internet privacy issues does this section detail?
employment networks, internet from home. erosion of traditional common law views about the sanctity of privacy in one's home
How has the development of new technologies created new legal and regulatory issues?
the focus on telephones, digital tv and ti=he internet led people to think about the predicted convergence of online and wireless media. struggle to find legal and regulatory standards that pass constitutional muster years after the technological developments are no longer new.