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in Filmmaking
on Mar 10, 2004

Um, is anyone else out there following the very scary goings on at the FCC these days? I know there’s been a lot to write about — the Oscars, The Passion of the Christ — but the collective entertainment blogosphere has been awfully quiet when it comes to Congress’s proposed changes to the FCC charter.

From the Howard Stern/Clear Channel ban to some of the measures detailed in this Washington Post article, risk-taking programming is under siege at the moment. Note the article’s last paragraph: by only one vote, a Senate provision sponsored by Senators Byron Dorgan and Trent Lott was defeated that would have extended the FCC’s indecency rules to cable and satellite programming.

One vote.

The independents won, for the moment, against the MPAA in the screener ban. But what will be the economic ramifications of some of these new rules — or, the even harsher rules that will be enacted down the line after another televised nipple baring — on independent films as they try to recoup in the ancillary marketplaces?

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