Federal Communications Law Journal

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Publication Citation

54 Federal Communications Law Journal 319 (2002)


This Note argues that the most important aspect of Playboy is the Court's determination that cable television is not analogous to broadcast media. Provided it withstands the test of time, this distinction allows the cable industry to avoid the more stringent regime placed upon broadcast media. The Playboy decision also shows the Court's willingness to invalidate laws even when they serve a compelling interest and impose less restrictions than a complete ban. Members of the Court differed on whether "signal bleed" actually constituted an influence harmful to children. This discrepancy evinces a significant disagreement on where lines should be drawn discerning dangerous from harmless material. It also demonstrates the extent to which the "least restrictive alternative" test can be bent to serve competing interests.