Yale Broadcasting Co. v. Federal Communications Commission

478 F.2d 594 (1973)

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Yale Broadcasting Co. v. Federal Communications Commission

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
478 F.2d 594 (1973)

Facts

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) (defendant) issued a notice and order regarding drug-oriented music allegedly played by some radio stations to remind broadcasters of their preexisting duty to have knowledge of the content of their programming and, based on that knowledge, to evaluate the desirability of broadcasting music dealing with drug use. The FCC explained that a broadcaster could fulfill its obligation through (1) pre-screening by a responsible station employee; (2) monitoring selections while they were being played; or (3) considering and responding to the public’s complaints. The order made it clear that these procedures were merely suggestions and that they were not to be considered as either absolute requirements or the exclusive means by which a broadcaster could fulfill its station’s public-interest obligation. Yale Broadcasting Company (YBC) (plaintiff) challenged the notice and order as an unconstitutional infringement on its First Amendment right to free speech.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wilkey, J.)

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