November 5, 2013Reefer Madness: Controversial Advertising Issues
The big broadcasting issues confronting Washington policy makers range from retransmission consent and newspaper-television cross-ownership to the "performance tax" and political advertising. But the everyday issues facing broadcasters in the trenches these days are more in the area of controversial advertising. Lately, that means whether to accept advertising promoting online gaming, electronic e-cigarettes and most recently, marijuana, since many states have now legalized its use.
Yes, the U.S., it seems, is going mad for reefer!
A Bit of History
Prior to 1937, hemp, or cannabis, was completely legal in the U.S., and used for durable clothing, rope, paper, plastics and textiles, and for medicinal purposes. Following the 1936 film "Reefer Madness," a morality tale of "reefer addiction," the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 made possession or transfer of cannabis illegal throughout the U.S. excluding medical or industrial uses. Notably, the American Medical Association opposed the Act as a burden on physicians prescribing cannabis, retail pharmacists and medical cannabis cultivation and manufacturing. It did no good. By that time, every state had already enacted laws criminalizing the possession and sale of marijuana and by the 1950s simple possession of marijuana was made a federal crime. In 1956, it was included in the Narcotics Control Act, leading to sentences of two to 10 years with a fine of up to $20,000 for simple possession.
October 15, 2013FCC Post-Shutdown: What Now?
Remember that old greeting, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you"? Well, not too much lately! But, after two weeks of a shutdown FCC, and only days away from a U.S. financial default, perhaps a little help may be in the wings. It appears that Senate ...
July 30, 2013The Dangers Of Broadcast Internships
Did you catch the item about the venerable broadcast journalist Charlie Rose and his PBS program interns? Sued by his interns, it cost Charlie Rose at least $250,000 to settle the lawsuit involving a program that may have been created, at least partially, in ...
July 16, 2013Zombie Alert! Are You Ready For The Next Attack?
Recent stories regarding the false EAS Zombie Alert should be of continuing concern to radio and television broadcasters. The perpetrator(s) of the Zombie Alert have still not been identified and the potential for a reoccurrence of that Emergency Alert System abuse, ...
Broadcasters frequently ask for guidance for compliance with the requirements of the station's local public file. Confronted with a certification requirement in renewal applications, licensees are reminded of the importance of public file compliance. The Commission ...
How Far Can You Go In A Non-Compete Agreement? In these days of radio broadcasting by cluster, some owners find they have more stations than they need and wouldn't mind "thinning the heard." There are buyers for these stations and we may begin to see some more deals. ...
Gregg Skall Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP Co-Author: James Kahl The Law Of Unintended Consequences In recent months, a number of media buyers have had funds stolen from their bank accounts. Even after repeatedly opening and closing accounts to stop the theft, ...
March 5, 2013Last Train for Translators -- Next Stop, LPFM
Gregg Skall Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP "Speak softly and carry a big stick!" That sage advice from revered President Teddy Roosevelt has taken on legendary importance over the last century. In the formative days of broadcasting, it seems to have been the ...
January 22, 2013Covenants Not-to-Compete
Gregg Skall Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP How To Tie Them Down! In my last article, I discussed covenants-not-to-compete from the employee point of view. But really, that was only half the story. Good broadcasters know that it is wise to invest in and promote ...
January 8, 2013Covenants Not-to-Compete
Gregg Skall Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP Can You Go ... When To Go ... What To Take! Several recent cases have again placed the spotlight on the broadcasting employee relationship ... and management efforts to lock in the employee and employee the branding with ...