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Re: Marshfield cable TV controversy

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bob Nelson" <raccoonradio@yahoo.com>
To: <paul@03038.com>; <boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org>
Sent: Monday, October 20, 2003 3:52 PM
Subject: RE: Marshfield cable TV controversy
> True. "Where would they stop after taking one
> show off?" But imagine: someone coming to Marshfield
> Cable TV wanting to do a show to appeal to "man-boy
> lovers".
> The show would feature naked pictures of little
> boys and girls, and would air during the early
> evening... Any problems with that, folks?

Yes, doing so is illegal. When I was on the board of directors of our local
cable system (for the record, CTSB, Lee, MA)., we understood the rule to be
as follows: The public access channel can not prohibit a locally produced
show from airing as long as the program did not violate any copyright laws
or broke the law. Airing child pornography is illegal , plain and simple, so
airing it would also violate the law and get a lot of people in serious ,
well deserved trouble.

> > All this publicity will do is egg on other
> > angst-riddent anti-authority
> > Teens to put on similar shows in their communities
> > (Think like a 17 year-old
> > for a minute)

Again not understaing what rules have changed about Public Access, there was
nothing to prohibit this.

> I would argue that perhaps an "equal time" show would
> be a good bet. (But one could also argue: what about
> the fact that a community-access cable TV station
> is supported by _the dollars of the subscribers_?
> And what if a group of these subscribers go to
> the cable company and are told "we can't throw it
> off the air--that would be a violation of freedom
> of speech...")

Not turning this into a free speech issue here, but I don't think Free
Speech applies to privately run, closed circuit systems. Free Speech applies
to in the general public. A cable TV system is not a public entity, although
regulated by the Federal government via the FCC, it is still private so
freedom of speech rules do not apply to it or any channels carried on it.

--Mike Fitzpatrick