Sunday, July 31, 2005

Government regulation for podcasting

I just finished a teaser for an upcoming series I’m planning on the future of podcasting and govenment regulation:

Does RSS and Podcasting tempt government regulators?

In the early days of the 1900’s most Americans were farmers and very familiar with “broadcasting”, the processing of spreading seeds by slinging them in a concentric circle, and this term was used to define the process of distributing information over the airwaves:

In the legal arena, courts have struggled to determine if existing broadcasting laws apply to the internet, and one of the major reasons cited for the difference between traditional broadcasting and the web was the “passive” nature of web pages, where you must actively find them via hyperlink or a search engine.

The future of the on-demand web

It's very clear that bloggers and traditional broadcasters may soon move onto the internet and a few key future developments will foster this issue:

  • The delivery of nationwide satellites that provides wireless web across all of the USA
  • The incorporation of TV and Radio devices to feed from the wireless internet satellite

I’m currently researching techniques to make this blog more professional, including video and audio technology, using my new Mac G5 and a professional video set-up. When the internet bandwidth increases, I'll be ready:

I’m also experimenting with automated incorporation of voice recognition (VR) software into my blog audio, so that the hearing impaired might get a chance to see my face while reading the text of my compelling arguments:

As a licensed FCC radio operator and pilot, and I’m familiar with all of the confounding rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Trust me, we don't need the oppressive "Uncle Charley" coming-in and regulating the web . . .

The FCC and Obscenity

Because blogs may be considered a form of broadcast media, all blog operators have to be careful not to violate the strict FCC guidelines for content delivery and obscenity. This link has great examples of obscenity rules for broadcasters:

Material is offensive if it offends the "average" broadcast viewer or listener. Commission staff, and ultimately the Commissioners themselves, decide what the average person finds offensive. Examples of the Commission's findings include:

  • popular songs which contain repeated references to sex or sexual organs (e.g., "I Want To Be A Homosexual," "Penis Envy," "Walk With An Erection," "Erotic City," "Jet Boy Jet Girl," "Makin' Bacon");
  • DJ banter concerning tabloid sex scandals (e.g., Vanessa Williams' photographs in Penthouse and a honeymooner whose testicle was caught in a hot tub drain);
  • discussions between DJs and callers concerning intimate sexual questions (e.g., "What makes your hiney parts tingle?"; "What's the grossest thing you ever put in your mouth?");
  • dirty jokes or puns ("Liberace was great on the piano but sucked on the organ");
  • non-clinical references to gay or lesbian sex, masturbation, penis or breast size, sodomy, erections, orgasms, etc; description or simulation of various sexual acts;
  • and the seven dirty words (sh*t, f**k, p*ss, c*nt, c**ksucker, motherf**ker, t*ts).