Yesterday, the FCC proposed a new rule that would require broadcasters to keep a recording of their programming for up to three months in order to make it easier for investigators to research indecency complaints. These rules would apply to all television stations and AM/FM radio stations and would require them to record all material aired from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., according to the Associated Press. Recordings would be archived for 60 to 90 days "to increase the effectiveness of the commission's process for enforcing restrictions on obscene, indecent, and profane broadcast programming." FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, a Democrat (sadly, because I'm all about hating Republicans lately), has been pressing the agency to make it easier for citizens to seek an indecency investigation.
According to current guidelines, the FCC will begin an investigation only if a member of the public files a compliant. In order to do so, a person must record the questionable content and submit it to the FCC. Copps says this policy "ignores that it is the commission's responsibility to investigate complaints that the law has been violated, not the citizen's responsibility to prove the violations."
The proposed rules could present an incredibly large burden for smaller stations all across the country in terms of the time and money required to comply. Larger stations should be able to meet these guidelines without too much trouble if they have to.
The FCC will take comments from the public on the proposal over the next two months. Let them hear from you.