Congress Agrees on Legislation Impacting Americans in All Tax Brackets

Mays-Obama.jpgIt may soon be tougher to catch your teenage child watching TV when they’re supposed to be studying (or sleeping). But actually, this may be a good thing. Everyone is all too familiar with spikes in TV volume during seques between programming and commercial breaks, and after many years of people saying (or at least thinking), “there ought to be a law against that,” our prayers, I mean Congress has answered.

Earlier this week, President Obama signed into law the Commercial Loudness Mitigation Act (pdf file), which requires the FCC to adopt and implement new regulations, which in lay terms, are supposed to ensure that TV commercials are no louder than the programming. (If you want the non-lay version, check out the Broadcast Law Blog.)

The new law gives the FCC one year to comply with CALM, however, experts are predicting that because of wide public appeal, the FCC may act more swiftly than that. It will also be up to the FCC to determine the penalties for violations of CALM, and with that, unfortunately, it’s doubtful that there will be any private right(s) of action. (In other words, if you’re a Time-Warner subscriber, and they’re killing you by blasting Billy Mays infomercials in between late night reruns of E.R., you won’t be able to sue.)