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Court Drops FCC Fine Against CBS in Janet Jackson Case

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It's been eight years since Janet Jackson's infamous wardrobe malfunction at the 2004 Super Bowl. Just this week, a Federal Appeals Court threw out the $550,000 fine against CBS levied by the Federal Communication Commission for Jackson's exposed nipple.

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This week's ruling was the latest in a long line of court decisions which sent the case back and forth from the United States Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court, which ruled the the FCC had the right to hold broadcasters responsible for such an unscripted incident.

The Appeals court ruled that the FCC could not impose such a fine on CBS because the FCC decided to tighten up their policy after the incident. "The FCC failed to acknowledge that its order in this case reflected a policy change and improperly imposed a penalty on CBS for violating a previously unannounced policy," read the decision written by Federal Appeals Court Judges Marjorie O. Rendell and Julio M. Feuntes.

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In total, Jackson's breast was exposed on screen for nine-sixteenths of a second, according to the New York Times.

Now that it's completed, the FCC issued a statement, but didn't indicate whether they plan to appeal the decision. CBS also released a statement saying, "We are gratified that once again the court has ruled in our favor. We are hopeful that this will help lead the FCC to return to the policy of restrained indecency enforcement it followed for decades."

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