The New York Daily News is reported that federal appeals court has dropped the $550,000 fine against CBS for the “wardrobe malfunction” at the 2004 Super Bowl.
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.”
Basically, the FCC made up a new rule after the incident and used it against CBS. The court said they couldn’t go around making up new rules and then fining people without telling them about the rule first.
I think the ruling is fair, as it never made sense to me. CBS couldn’t possibly have known about this. MTV did maybe, but CBS was simply the broadcaster.
It was paternalism at its best.