Court Drops FCC Fine For Janet Jackson's Super Bowl Wardrobe Malfunction

According to the Los Angeles Times, the three-judge panel of the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia found that the Federal Communications Commission acted "arbitrarily and capriciously" in fining the network more than a half-million dollars for the "fleeting image of nudity."

According to the report, the judges found that by fining the network, the FCC broke with a decades-old policy that said, "Brief and isolated incidents, including impromptu expletives, did not violate rules designed to keep children from seeing indecent material broadcast between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m." The panel also ruled that CBS was not liable for the fine because Jackson and Timberlake were independent contractors, not network employees.

The incident led to a near-zero-tolerance policy from the FCC on the use of some expletives, even in unscripted scenarios as well as Congress raising indecency fines from $32,500 per incident per station to $325,000.

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