Click here for Adobe Acrobat version
Click here for Microsoft Word version


This document was converted from Microsoft Word.

Content from the original version of the document such as
headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, graphics, and page numbers
will not show up in this text version.

All text attributes such as bold, italic, underlining, etc. from the
original document will not show up in this text version.

Features of the original document layout such as
columns, tables, line and letter spacing, pagination, and margins
will not be preserved in the text version.

If you need the complete document, download the
Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat version.


Federal Communications Commission
445 12th St., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500
TTY 202 / 418-2555
DA 13-581
Released: April 1, 2013
GN Docket No. 13-86
Comment Date:  30 days after publication in the Federal Register
Reply Comment Date:  60 days after publication in the Federal Register
After the Supreme Court’s decision in FCC v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., 132 S.Ct. 
2307 (2012), in September 2012, Chairman Genachowski instructed Commission staff to 
commence a review of the Commission’s broadcast indecency policies and enforcement to 
ensure they are fully consistent with vital First Amendment principles.  In the interim, the 
Chairman directed the Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) to focus its indecency enforcement 
resources on egregious cases and to reduce the backlog of pending broadcast indecency 
complaints.  Since September 2012, the Bureau has reduced the backlog by 70% thus far, more 
than one million complaints, principally by closing pending complaints that were beyond the 
statute of limitations or too stale to pursue, that involved cases outside FCC jurisdiction, that 
contained insufficient information, or that were foreclosed by settled precedent.  The Bureau is 
also actively investigating egregious indecency cases and will continue to do so.  
We now seek comment on whether the full Commission should make changes to its 
current broadcast indecency policies or maintain them as they are.  For example, should the 
Commission treat isolated expletives in a manner consistent with our decision in Pacifica 
Foundation, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 2 FCC Rcd 2698, 2699 (1987) (“If a 
complaint focuses solely on the use of expletives, we believe that . . . deliberate and repetitive 
use in a patently offensive manner is a requisite to a finding of indecency.”)?  Should the 
Commission instead maintain the approach to isolated expletives set forth in its decision in 
Complaints Against Various Broadcast Licensees Regarding Their Airing of the “Golden Globe 
Awards” Program, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 19 FCC Rcd 4975 (2004)?  As another 
example, should the Commission treat isolated (non-sexual) nudity the same as or differently 
2than isolated expletives?  Commenters are invited to address these issues as well as any other 
aspect of the Commission’s substantive indecency policies.
Today’s Public Notice does not alter any of the Commission’s current substantive 
indecency policies. While we build a record for the full Commission’s consideration, the 
aforementioned directive to the Bureau to focus its indecency enforcement resources on 
egregious cases remains in force, and the Commission and/or Bureau may take enforcement 
actions during the pendency of this Public Notice.
For purposes of this proceeding, we are establishing a new docket, GN Docket No. 13-86.  
All comments should refer to GN Docket No. 13-86.
Comments may be filed using (1) the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System 
(ECFS), (2) the Federal Government’s eRulemaking Portal, or (3) by filing paper copies.  
Comments can be filed through the Commission’s ECFS filing interface located at the following 
Internet address:  Generally, only one copy of an electronic 
submission must be filed.  In completing the transmittal screen, commenters should include their 
full name, U.S. Postal Service mailing address, and the applicable docket or rulemaking number, 
in this case GN Docket No. 13-86.  Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and 
two copies of each filing.
For paper copies, filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial 
overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although we continue 
to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail).  All filings must be addressed to the 
Commission’s Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
? All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s 
Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12
St., SW, Room TW-
A325, Washington, DC 20554.  The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  All 
hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners.  Any 
envelopes must be disposed of before entering the building.  
? Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and 
Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 
? U.S. Postal Service first-class mail, Express Mail, and Priority Mail should be 
addressed to 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554. 
People with Disabilities:  to request materials in accessible formats for people with
disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to 
or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530, (202) 418-0432 
3This matter shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance with the 
Commission’s ex parte rules.
  Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that 
memoranda summarizing the presentations must contain summaries of the substance of the 
presentations and not merely a listing of the subjects discussed.  More than a one- or two-
sentence description of the views and arguments presented generally is required.
  Other rules 
pertaining to oral and written ex parte presentations in permit-but-disclose proceedings are set 
forth in Section 1.1206(b) of the Commission’s rules.
For further information about this Public Notice, please contact Eloise Gore, Associate 
Bureau Chief, Enforcement Bureau, at (202) 418-1066, or Jacob Lewis, Associate General 
Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, at (202) 418-1767.  
Please direct press inquiries to Mark Wigfield at (202) 418-0253.
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau and the General Counsel.
- FCC -
See 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.1200, 1.1206.  
See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1206(b).