Attorney, FCC Expert Robert Corn-Revere to Deliver 2007 Silha Lecture on Regulating Television Violence

Attorney Robert Corn-Revere will deliver the 22nd Annual Silha Lecture on Monday, Oct. 1, 2007. His lecture, “The Kids are All Right: Violent Media, Free Expression, and the Drive to Regulate,” will examine the conflict between the First Amendment and government controls over media content that reaches children at a time when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Congress are poised to consider new regulations on violence on television.

The Lecture begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Cowles Auditorium at the Hubert H. Humphrey Center on the West Bank Campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Robert Corn-Revere is a partner at the law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine in Washington, D.C. He has served as counsel in litigation and regulatory proceedings involving the Communications Decency Act, the Child Online Protection Act, FCC Indecency Rules, Internet content filtering in public libraries, and public broadcasting and cable television regulations.

Corn-Revere was the lead counsel in United States v. Playboy Entertainment Group, Inc., 529 U.S. 803 (2000), in which the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated Section 505 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 as a violation of the First Amendment. Section 505 restricted the transmission of cable television channels primarily dedicated to sexually oriented programming, requiring that they be fully scrambled or not shown during times of day that, according to the FCC, children would likely be watching. Most cable operators responded to 505 by restricting the programs based on time of day, which meant paying subscribers did not have access to them for two-thirds of the day.

Corn-Revere also served as lead counsel for CBS television network in Fox Television Stations, Inc. et al. v. Federal Communications Commission, 489 F.3d 444 (2d Cir. 2007), in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the FCC’s new policy regarding “fleeting expletives” was “arbitrary and capricious” because the agency did not provide a sufficient reason for the change since 2004. (See “Second Circuit Strikes Down FCC’s ‘Fleeting Expletives’ Rule” on page 1 of this issue of the Silha Bulletin.)

Corn-Revere is co-author of a three-volume treatise, Modern Communications Law (West Group, Inc. 1999), and the author of a chapter, “Freedom of Speech and Content Regulation on the Internet,” in the treatise Internet Law and Regulation, (Pike & Fischer, Inc., May 2005).

The presentation will include an opportunity for audience questions following the lecture. The event is free and open to the public; no reservations or tickets are required. Light refreshments will be served.

The Silha Center is based at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. Silha Center activities are made possible by a generous endowment from the late Otto Silha and his wife, Helen.

– Sara Cannon



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