APHA 2010, Denver, CO

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•“Block the Insanity! Leveraging Municipal Cable Franchising Powers to Battle Childhood Obesity,” American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, November 9, 2010, Denver, CO; Northeastern University Symposium, Boston, MA, January 14, 2011

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APHA 2010, Denver, CO

  1. 1. BLOCK THE INSANITY LEVERAGING MUNICIPAL CABLE FRANCHISING POWERS TO BATTLE CHILDHOOD OBESITY ROBERT J. L. MOORE, J.D. [email_address] AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING 2010 NOV. 9, 2010 DENVER, CO This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.
  2. 2. ROBERT J. L. MOORE, J.D. [email_address]
  3. 3. ROBERT J. L. MOORE, J.D. [email_address]
  4. 4. ROBERT J. L. MOORE, J.D. [email_address] How the proposal works <ul><li>Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 (“CCPA”), Public Law 98-549 (Oct. 30, 1984) </li></ul><ul><li>Most states delegate franchising power to municipalities </li></ul>
  5. 5. ROBERT J. L. MOORE, J.D. [email_address] How the proposal works <ul><li>Municipalities act through franchising authorities </li></ul><ul><li>Federal law sets procedures for grant and renewal of franchising agreements </li></ul>
  6. 6. ROBERT J. L. MOORE, J.D. [email_address] What can franchising authorities demand?
  7. 7. ROBERT J. L. MOORE, J.D. [email_address] “ Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed as prohibiting a franchising authority and a cable operator from specifying, in a franchise or renewal thereof, that certain cable services shall not be provided or shall be provided subject to conditions, if such cable services are obscene or are otherwise unprotected by the Constitution of the United States .” - 47 U.S.C. § 544(d)(1) (emphasis added). Franchising authorities can regulate content
  8. 8. ROBERT J. L. MOORE, J.D. [email_address] “… otherwise unprotected by the Constitution of the United States”? <ul><li>This phrase “would also permit changing constitutional interpretations to be incorporated into the standard set forth in [47 U.S.C. § 544(d)(1)], should those judicial interpretations at some point in the future deem additional standards, such as indecency, constitutionally valid as applied to cable.” -House Report on the CCPA. </li></ul><ul><li>The types of content covered by this exception within the CCPA would expand with “future U.S. Supreme Court decisions which may find that other kinds of speech are unprotected under the Constitution.” -Senate Report on the CCPA. </li></ul>
  9. 9. ROBERT J. L. MOORE, J.D. [email_address]
  10. 10. ROBERT J. L. MOORE, J.D. [email_address] About V-Chips <ul><li>Block TV signals based on ratings </li></ul><ul><li>Ubiquitous </li></ul><ul><li>Not widely used </li></ul>
  11. 11. ROBERT J. L. MOORE, J.D. [email_address] <ul><li>Rate commercials for target demographic </li></ul><ul><li>Empower V-Chips to block ads to kids </li></ul><ul><li>Default setting should be “blocked” </li></ul>The proposal
  12. 12. ROBERT J. L. MOORE, J.D. [email_address] Rating ads
  13. 13. ROBERT J. L. MOORE, J.D. [email_address] <ul><li>Scalable </li></ul><ul><li>Proper exercise of police power </li></ul>Why this proposal
  14. 14. ROBERT J. L. MOORE, J.D. [email_address]
  15. 15. ROBERT J. L. MOORE, J.D. [email_address] <ul><li>Federal law does not permit franchising authorities to make this sort of demand. </li></ul><ul><li>This proposal unconstitutionally infringes on Free Speech. </li></ul>Legal arguments against this proposal
  16. 16. ROBERT J. L. MOORE, J.D. [email_address] But government wouldn’t be restricting speech here!
  17. 17. ROBERT J. L. MOORE, J.D. [email_address] Advertising to kids isn’t constitutionally protected.
  18. 18. ROBERT J. L. MOORE, J.D. [email_address] An ad is deceptive if it is “a representation, omission or practice that is likely to mislead [a reasonable member of the advertisement’s target audience].” -FTC Ads to kids are inherently deceptive.
  19. 19. ROBERT J. L. MOORE, J.D. [email_address] <ul><li>An ad that targets kids exploits their undeveloped minds. </li></ul><ul><li>Accordingly, these ads are likely to mislead a reasonable member of their target demographic. </li></ul>Ads to kids are inherently deceptive.
  20. 20. ROBERT J. L. MOORE, J.D. [email_address] Constitutional protection for ads was established to protect consumers, not advertisers. Branding is not constitutionally protected
  21. 21. ROBERT J. L. MOORE, J.D. [email_address] <ul><li>Municipalities should require cable providers to empower V-Chips with the ability to block advertising to children. </li></ul><ul><li>By default, these ads should be blocked, meaning that parents should have to make the affirmative decision to allow them. </li></ul>Want to reduce children’s exposure to ads and thereby combat the childhood obesity epidemic?
  22. 22. Robert J. L. Moore, J.D. Cetrulo & Capone LLP 2 Seaport Lane, Boston, MA 02210 [email_address]

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