(AFP) – Nov 21, 2008
WASHINGTON (AFP) — The US government has asked the Supreme Court to reimpose a half-million-dollar fine slapped on CBS television for a 2004 broadcast of live images of pop star Janet Jackson's breast, court documents obtained by AFP show.
It is up to the Supreme Court to decide whether it will consider the request.
Prosecutors are asking the high court justices to weigh in on a case that raised eyebrows and stirred passions in the United States, where nudity on non-pay television is a no-no in advertising, while rare and limited to late-night hours in television series.
Jackson was performing live at the Superbowl when the attention-getting move took place, in a routine featuring her and fellow performer Justin Timberlake.
The performers shrugged off Jackson's exposure level as a "wardrobe malfunction," amid criticism from some quarters that it looked every bit as carefully choreographed as their routine, watched by 90 million viewers at home.
The Federal Communications Commission imposed a 550,000 dollar fine on CBS for breaking indecency rules.
But after a three-year court fight, a federal court in Philadelphia in July ruled that the network could not be held responsible for Janet Jackson's actions.
The government asked the high court to consider "whether the court of appeals erred in holding that the federal communications commission acted arbitrarily and capriciously (...) in determining that the most widely viewed broadcast public nudity in television history fell within the federal prohibitions on broadcast indecency."
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