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June 22, 1973 - Image 1

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-06-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Summer Daily
Vol. LXXXI I I, No. 32-S Ann Arbor, Michigan-Friday, June 22, 1973 Ten Cents Twelve Pages
Insurance snags public V

Public access cable TV is not publicly
Although supposedly available for com-
munity use, legal and technical difficulties
have held up programming on public ac-
cess channels.
BOTH LOCAL and federal regulations
stipulate that the cable company must
"maintain at least one specially designat-
ed, noncommercial public access channel
available on a first-come, nondiscrimina-
tory basis.'
Cable television has been in operation
since fall, but the four public access chan-
nels have remained unused and unavail-
able, except for one political program.

The primary difficulty, according to
Cable TV General Manager Robert Shaw,
is the possibility of libel suits against
either the company or the city. Indemni-
fication insurance is required by the city's
charter with the company to protect them
from such suits.
UNDER THE LAWS of libel, anyone
who assists in transmission of material is
equally libelous, according to Raymond
Clevenger, attorney for the cable com-
The company is prohibited by both fed-
eral and local regulations from censoring
or previewing material submitted to it for
cablecasting on the public access chan-

"Everybody seems to run around with
a fear of pornography," said Shaw. "If
you really want complete public access -
zero censorship - this insurance is neces-
THE COMPANY is not willing to make
the public access channels available with-
oit this insurance.
However, William Shepherd, chairman
of the city's Cablecasting Commission,
views the insurance requirement as a
stalling device.
"We just don't think insurance is neces-
sary. There's a one in a million chance
that anyone will be offended enough to
sue," he said in an interview.
THE HOLD UP on liability insurance is

caused by squabbles over who will finance
it. The commission has offered to pay
half of the city's share but the company
insists the city finance its own coverage
Shepherd maintains that insurance is
not the commission's concern and doesn't
want to allow the issue to stand in the
way of public access.
"Taking away their franchise is our
only real muscle," asserted Shepherd.
"It will not be too long a time before we
start thinking about this."
THE SITUATION was further compli-
cated last Friday, when George DePue
See INSURANCE, Page 10

S upree Court comes

dow ardon
Orders Denver schoo
WASHINGTON (T - In an attack
on "hard-core pornography," the
Supreme. Court yesterday w r o t e
stringent new guidelines on the lim-
its of sexual candor in books and
Combating the trend toward
greater sexual explicitness, the 5-4
decision gave local prosecutors a
broader definition of what is ob-
scene and therefore outside the pro-
tection of the First Amendment.
THE HIGH COURT abandoned its long-r
held test that to be obscene, sexual ma-
terial must, among other things, be utter-
ly without redeeming social value. And,
the court ruled, local community stand-
ards on permissible candor should govern
-not a national standard.
Critics of such an approach have
claimed that it would reduce movie dis-
tributors and publishers to offering works
that met the standard of the most prudish
community in the nation.
For the first time since the court first
grappled with the issue in 1957, "a ma-
jority of this court has agreed on concrete
guidelines to isolate 'hard-core' pornog-
raphy," proclaimed Chief Justice Warren
Burger who wrote the major opinion in five
related obscenity cases.
THE MAJORITY opinion prompted dis-
senting Justice William Brennau Jr. to
declare that it is now "hard to see how
state-ordered regimentation of our minds
can ever be forestalled."
In other action, the court yesterday:
* Held in a case from Denver that
system-wide desegregation is required
when school officials have caused racial
separation in a substantial portion of the
schools. The case hinged on the actions of
school officials, since Colorado has never AsironpgUts splash
had a law requiring segregation. Skylab astronaut Pete Conrad looks at the instruments in the Apoll
* Held that the first Amendment does today. The astronauts completed daring emergency repairs during
See HIGH, Page 10 11 and IH. (See story, page 3)


s integrated

NASA Photo
idown today
o module which will take him and his crew back to earth
their 28 day mission which will clear the way for Skylabs

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