Helms Amendment

TitleHelms Amendment
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsLadenson, R
Corporate Authorsof Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, IIT
Date Published02/1996
PublisherCenter for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, Illinois Institute of Technology
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsFREEDOM of speech , MEDIA ETHICS , Media Studies , Public Policy
AbstractThe United States Supreme Court has recently agreed to hear a case that challenges the constitutionality of a 1992 federal law, known as the Helms Amendment, intended to regulate indecent programming on cable TV. Under this law, cable TV operators can be prosecuted for programming on channels they lease that is considered indecent by prosecutorial authorities. The law, however, also allows cable TV operators to ban programs they themselves regard as indecent. The law defines indecency as programming that describes or depicts sexual or excretory activities or organs in a patently offensive manner as measured by contemporary community standards. Does the Helms Amendment unjustifiably violate the rights of cable TV program providers and subscribers? If so, why? If not, why not?
NotesCase study from the February 3, 1996 Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl. Copyright, Robert Ladenson, Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, Illinois Institute of Technology, 1996.
URLhttp://ethics.iit.edu/EEL/Helms.pdf
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