47 U.S. Code § 532 - Cable channels for commercial use
The purpose of this section is to promote competition in the delivery of diverse sources of video programming and to assure that the widest possible diversity of information sources are made available to the public from cable systems in a manner consistent with growth and development of cable systems.
Any person aggrieved by the failure or refusal of a cable operator to make channel capacity available for use pursuant to this section may bring an action in the district court of the United States for the judicial district in which the cable system is located to compel that such capacity be made available. If the court finds that the channel capacity sought by such person has not been made available in accordance with this section, or finds that the price, terms, or conditions established by the cable operator are unreasonable, the court may order such system to make available to such person the channel capacity sought, and further determine the appropriate price, terms, or conditions for such use consistent with subsection (c) of this section, and may award actual damages if it deems such relief appropriate. In any such action, the court shall not consider any price, term, or condition established between an operator and an affiliate for comparable services.
In any action brought under this section in any Federal district court or before the Commission, there shall be a presumption that the price, terms, and conditions for use of channel capacity designated pursuant to subsection (b) of this section are reasonable and in good faith unless shown by clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.
Notwithstanding sections 541(c) and 543(a) of this title, at such time as cable systems with 36 or more activated channels are available to 70 percent of households within the United States and are subscribed to by 70 percent of the households to which such systems are available, the Commission may promulgate any additional rules necessary to provide diversity of information sources. Any rules promulgated by the Commission pursuant to this subsection shall not preempt authority expressly granted to franchising authorities under this subchapter.
Any cable service offered pursuant to this section shall not be provided, or shall be provided subject to conditions, if such cable service in the judgment of the franchising authority or the cable operator is obscene, or is in conflict with community standards in that it is lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent or is otherwise unprotected by the Constitution of the United States. This subsection shall permit a cable operator to enforce prospectively a written and published policy of prohibiting programming that the cable operator reasonably believes describes or depicts sexual or excretory activities or organs in a patently offensive manner as measured by contemporary community standards.
For information regarding constitutionality of certain provisions of section 612 of act June 19, 1934, as added by section 10(b) of Pub. L. 102–385, see Congressional Research Service, The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation, Appendix 1, Acts of Congress Held Unconstitutional in Whole or in Part by the Supreme Court of the United States.
1996—Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 104–104 substituted “a cable operator may refuse to transmit any leased access program or portion of a leased access program which contains obscenity, indecency, or nudity and” for “an operator”.
1992—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 102–385, § 9(a), inserted “to promote competition in the delivery of diverse sources of video programming and” after “purpose of this section is”.
Subsec. (b)(5). Pub. L. 102–385, § 9(d), amended par. (5) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (5) read as follows: “For the purposes of this section—
“(A) the term ‘activated channels’ means those channels engineered at the headend of the cable system for the provision of services generally available to residential subscribers of the cable system, regardless of whether such services actually are provided, including any channel designated for public, educational, or governmental use; and
“(B) the term ‘commercial use’ means the provision of video programming, whether or not for profit.”
Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 102–385, § 9(b)(1), inserted “and with rules prescribed by the Commission under paragraph (4)” after “purpose of this section”.
Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 102–385, § 9(b)(2), added par. (4).
Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 102–385, § 10(a), inserted “or the cable operator” after “franchising authority” and inserted at end “This subsection shall permit a cable operator to enforce prospectively a written and published policy of prohibiting programming that the cable operator reasonably believes describes or depicts sexual or excretory activities or organs in a patently offensive manner as measured by contemporary community standards.”
Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 102–385, § 9(c), added subsec. (i).
Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 102–385, § 10(b), added subsec. (j).