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Steve Cohen
FCC bad word???
on Jun 27, 2010 at 1:16:49 pm

My captioning company is questioning if it is ok to leave the word DAMN in the caption file.

Does anyone know where to find out if the FCC prohibits this word, in captioning or audio.

The exact phrase used is "
LIFE'S NOT WORTH A DAMN TILL".

Thanks for the help.

Steve Cohen

Supervisor of Post Production

O2 Media Inc.


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David Johnson
Re: FCC bad word???
on Jun 27, 2010 at 1:49:31 pm

Believe it or not, the FCC doesn't necessarily "ban" specific words from TV per se ... it is essentially the first line of defense in enforcing obscenity laws that are really enforced by the legal system. It's role is to keep broadcasters reasonably in line via threats to suspend or revoke licenses. So, in a practical sense, it's more the broadcasters' fear of losing advertisers that keeps them relatively clean than it is the FCC.

That said, although I am not an attorney, I seriously doubt that "damn" would break any obscenity laws, which in general terms, consider things like:
community standards (specific market the broadcast is in)
time of day (less strict guidelines during late-night hours))
sexual explicitness (self-explanatory)
context (literary value, etc.)

The bottom line is, it's basically up to the broadcaster whether they want to allow the word "damn" in that context on their broadcast so you might double check with the Program Director of the station the program will air on, but it should be fine unless it's in a children's program.


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Steve Cohen
Re: FCC bad word???
on Jun 27, 2010 at 3:00:11 pm

Thanks for the info.
After posting this I did a little more searching and found this on the FCC website itself...

17. Further, we conclude that uses of the words
“Jesus,” “Jesus Christ,” “God,” “God damn” and its
variations, and “damn” and its variations, are not
actionable under section 1464 for the reasons set forth in
Raycom America, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 18 FCC
Rcd 4186 (2003).

I will consult with Lifetime, but I feel it is safe to airs.



Steve Cohen

Supervisor of Post Production

O2 Media Inc.


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David Johnson
Re: FCC bad word???
on Jun 27, 2010 at 3:21:40 pm

Thanks for sharing the info you found as well. Just a thought about it ... "not actionable under section 1464" doesn't mean not actionable under any other section of the law. That's why it's best to leave such calls to station/network officials and/or their attorneys.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: FCC bad word???
on Jun 27, 2010 at 5:17:34 pm

Ever see the movie, "Gone With The Wind" on TV? What's Rhett Butler's final line? "Frankly, Scarlet, I don't give a damn."

Nor should the closed-captioning folks, in my opinion.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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walter biscardi
Re: FCC bad word???
on Jun 27, 2010 at 2:58:56 pm

You need to have the broadcaster weigh in on this. It is their decision to make, not the caption company.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

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David Roth Weiss
Re: FCC bad word???
on Jun 27, 2010 at 4:29:21 pm

The word "crap" is used in primetime all the time, and it doesn't trigger the Cow's moderation engine, so I gotta believe damn is fair game.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™

EPK Colorist - UP IN THE AIR - nominated for six academy awards

A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Rafael Amador
Re: FCC bad word???
on Jun 27, 2010 at 4:43:33 pm

First I thought was a new version of Final Cut, but..sorry for my ignorance, what is FCC?
rafael


http://www.nagavideo.com


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Andy George
Re: FCC bad word???
on Jun 27, 2010 at 5:11:39 pm

Federal Communications Commission

-Andy


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John Pale
Re: FCC bad word???
on Jun 27, 2010 at 5:16:40 pm

Just call or e-mail the person in charge of standards and practices for the broadcaster you are delivering to. Ultimately it's up to them. Some networks really like to push the envelope, others are unbelievably cautious.
They will usually be delighted you actually asked first before delivery.


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Mark Raudonis
Re: FCC bad word???
on Jun 27, 2010 at 6:06:23 pm

I'm reading this thread in disbelief.

How can you be delivering a final master WITHOUT having heard from somebody in standards and practices??? If you're doing a commissioned work for a network, their S & P folks will have been involved from your first rough cut. (At least that's my experience)

Something's very wrong here.

mark





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Craig Alan
Re: FCC bad word???
on Jun 27, 2010 at 5:42:18 pm

http://www.slashfilm.com/2009/12/05/movie-trailer-chris-rocks-death-at-a-fu...

Scroll down to movie trailer. "I was like, “Damn!,” aired (nationally, I think) on TV. I hear the phrase "You're damn straight," often. Granted, I've also heard the word "darn" used in its place.

I think you're safe.


OSX 10.5.7; MAC Book PRO (EARLY 2008); Camcorders: Sony Z7U, Canon HV30, Sony vx2000/PD170, Canon xl2; Pana, Sony, and Canon consumer cams; FCP certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: FCC bad word???
on Jun 27, 2010 at 6:52:15 pm

Remember George Carlin's 7 words you can't say on television? Most of those still apply today. "Damn" is okay, I think, but some places will bleep out or silence the "god" in "god damn." We're delicate flowers after all - prone to breakage at the slightest hint of a swear word.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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matthew bradshaw
Re: FCC bad word???
on Jun 27, 2010 at 9:50:13 pm

life's not worth a damn till... what? you can't just leave us hanging there.
Matt.



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Steve Cohen
Re: FCC bad word???
on Jun 27, 2010 at 10:23:17 pm

[matthew bradshaw] "
life's not worth a damn till... what? you can't just leave us hanging there.
Matt."


I honestly can't remember myself. I will have to listen to it when I get in the office tomorrow.

Lifetime's S&P doesn't really get involve to much since we are sending them a daily show there is not the time to scrutinize as much.

I will speak to them tomorrow and see what they say, and I'll let you all know the outcome.

I agree it's not the captioning companies place to say, but I guess there is some new guy trying to make points with someone hire up.




Steve Cohen

Supervisor of Post Production

O2 Media Inc.


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Steve Cohen
Re: FCC bad word???
on Jun 28, 2010 at 2:17:49 pm

I listened to the piece and I could make out what came after "life's not worth a damn till..." because it was part of a song lyrics for an Off Broadway show.

Lifetime approved it to air.



Steve Cohen

Supervisor of Post Production

O2 Media Inc.


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John Pale
Re: FCC bad word???
on Jun 28, 2010 at 5:03:25 pm

I have had to change some pretty innocent stuff in my day and have also been told to leave in some pretty edgy stuff... Its S&P's job to tell you what they want. Don't be shy about asking. Changing it after delivery can be stressful and expensive.



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Steve Cohen
Re: FCC bad word???
on Jun 28, 2010 at 5:16:48 pm

[John Pale] "Its S&P's job to tell you what they want. Don't be shy about asking. Changing it after delivery can be stressful and expensive."

S&P Cleared it this morning, so I'm not concerned anymore.

Thanks for all the comments.

Steve Cohen

Supervisor of Post Production

O2 Media Inc.


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Ron Craig
Re: FCC bad word???
on Jun 29, 2010 at 3:15:36 am

This whole conversation is sad. At least someone did make reference to George Carlin. When will be stop letting certain combinations of letters drive us to such distraction?

Sorry... I just can't help but be aghast that we would have a conversation in 2010 about whether "damn" is "OK" to put on television.

What a load of "crap."


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Craig Alan
Re: FCC bad word???
on Jun 29, 2010 at 4:04:01 am

Well at least we are not settling our differences by killing each other anymore. Oh wait, we still are.

OSX 10.5.7; MAC Book PRO (EARLY 2008); Camcorders: Sony Z7U, Canon HV30, Sony vx2000/PD170, Canon xl2; Pana, Sony, and Canon consumer cams; FCP certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Dave Johnson
Re: FCC bad word???
on Jul 20, 2010 at 6:34:46 pm

Steve, I remembered commenting in this forum string recently and and thought you might find this related article interesting:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/38226703/FCC_Policy_on_TV_Expletives_Is_Overturned_b...

A good example of why it's best to leave such calls to lawyers (by way of a network or station's Standards & Practices or Programming office).


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Steve Cohen
Re: FCC bad word???
on Jul 21, 2010 at 2:14:24 pm

Thanks David;

Yeah I wound up sending it to S&P and they had not problem with the word.

I'll take a look at the article later when I have some free time.

Thanks again.



Steve Cohen



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