PHILADELPHIA, PA -- An appeals court today threw out a $550,000
fine against CBS over Janet Jackson's breast-baring "wardrobe
malfunction" at the 2004 Super Bowl in Houston.
A three-judge panel in Philadelphia says the Federal
Communications Commission "acted arbitrarily and capriciously" in
the fine for the fleeting image of nudity.
The unintended exposure happened during the halftime show at
People watching the Super Bowl on TV heard Justin Timberlake
sing, "Gonna have you naked by the end of this song," as he
reached for Jackson's bustier.
The court found the FCC deviated from its practice of fining
indecent broadcast programming only when it was so pervasive as to
amount to "shock treatment" for the audience.
CBS says it hopes the decision will lead the FCC to return to
the policy of "restrained indecency enforcement" that it followed
The FCC didn't immediately comment.