FCC Loses Janet Jackson Super Bowl Case

Government agency's fine against CBS deemed capricious

Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake perform at the Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show produced by MTV, 2004
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Philadelphia's 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the FCC wrongly fined Janet Jackson and CBS for the singer's infamous 2004 Super Bowl performance in which a "wardrobe malfunction" exposed her breast. The court ruled that the FCC's decision to fine CBS $550,000 was made "arbitrarily and capriciously."

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The appeals court ruling is supposedly the conclusion of a case that has had previous conflicting decisions. The 3rd Circuit Court voided the fine in 2008, but the Supreme Court vacated that ruling a year later.