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Broadcasters Pile On Archive Plan

The National Association of Broadcasters, the Association of Public Television Stations (APTV) and National Public Radio have filed comments opposing the Federal Communications Commission's proposal to require broadcasters to record and archive all of their programming.

Comments were due Aug. 27, but there is still time to weigh in since replies are not due until Sept. 27.

The FCC wants to make it easier for the public to file indecency complaints, but  broadcasters say the slight benefit of the plan is far outweighed by the negative impacts.

Broadcasters argue that the proposed remedy is overbroad, punitive, and raises copyright and First Amendment issues.

NAB makes part of its argument that the FCC is already successfully chilling content and forcing stations to self-censor, indicating that its indecency enforcement is already effective, even overly so. It also points out that the FCC itself concedes that only 1% of complaints are dismissed for lack of documentation.

For their part, the noncommercial stations added that if the FCC does adopt such a reporting requirement, it should exclude noncoms because they have a clean record and lack the necessary funding.

They also suggested that the FCC might, instead, want to make the reporting requirement a sanction for repeat violators.

Hundreds of broadcasters, many of them in small markets,  have already weighed in against the proposal, aided by the NAB.