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(g) Employees or applicants for employment who believe they have been discriminated against in violation of the requirements of this section, or rules under this section, or any other interested person, may file a complaint with the Commission. A complaint by any such person shall be in writing, and shall be signed and sworn to by that person. The regulations under subsection (d)(1) shall specify a program, under authorities otherwise available to the Commission, for the investigation of complaints and violations, and for the enforcement of this section.
(h)(1) For purposes of this section, the term "cable operator" includes any operator of any satellite master antenna television system, including a system described in section 602(7)(A) and any multichannel video programming distributor.
(2) Such term does not include any operator of a system which, in the aggregate, serves fewer than 50 subscribers.
(3) In any case in which a cable operator is the owner of a multiple unit dwelling, the requirements of this section shall only apply to such cable operator with respect to its employees who are primarily engaged in cable telecommunications.
(i)(1) Nothing in this section shall affect the authority of any State or any franchising authority
(A) to establish or enforce any requirement which is consistent with the requirements of this section, including any requirement which affords equal employment opportunity protection for employees;
(B) to establish or enforce any provision requiring or encouraging any cable operator to conduct business with enterprises which are owned or controlled by members of minority groups (as defined in section 309(i)(3)(C)(ii) or which have their principal operations located within the community served by the cable operator; or
(C) to enforce any requirement of a franchise in effect on the effective date of this title.
(2) The remedies and enforcement provisions of this section are in addition to, and not in lieu of, those available under this or any other law.
(3) The provisions of this section shall apply to any cable operator, whether operating pursuant to a franchise granted before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this section.
SEC. 635. [47 U.S.C. 555] JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS.
(a) Any cable operator adversely affected by any final determination made by a franchising authority under section 621(a)(1), 625 or 626 may commence an action within 120 days after receiving notice of such determination, which may be brought in
(1) the district court of the United States for any judicial district in which the cable system is located; or
(2) in any State court of general jurisdiction having jurisdiction over the parties.
(b) The court may award any appropriate relief consistent with the provisions of the relevant section described in subsection (a) and with the provisions of subsection (a).
(c)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any civil action challenging the constitutionality of section 614 or 615 of this
Act or any provision thereof shall be heard by a district court of three judges convened pursuant to the provisions of section 2284 of title 28, United States Code.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an interlocutory or final judgment, decree, or order of the court of three judges in an action under paragraph (1) holding section 614 or 615 of this Act or any provision thereof unconstitutional shall be reviewable as a matter of right by direct appeal to the Supreme Court. Any such appeal shall be filed not more than 20 days after entry of such judgment, decree, or order.
SEC. 635A. [47 U.S.C. 555a] LIMITATION OF FRANCHISING AUTHORITY
(a) SUITS FOR DAMAGES PROHIBITED.-In any court proceeding pending on or initiated after the date of enactment of this section involving any claim against a franchising authority or other governmental entity, or any official, member, employee, or agent of such authority or entity, arising from the regulation of cable service or from a decision of approval or disapproval with respect to a grant, renewal, transfer, or amendment of a franchise, any relief, to the extent such relief is required by any other provision of Federal, State, or local law, shall be limited to injunctive relief and declaratory relief.
(b) EXCEPTION FOR COMPLETED CASES.-The limitation contained in subsection (a) shall not apply to actions that, prior to such violation, have been determined by a final order of a court of binding jurisdiction, no longer subject to appeal, to be in violation of a cable operator's rights.
(c) DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS PERMITTED.-Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the relief authorized with respect to any claim against a franchising authority or other governmental entity, or any official, member, employee, or agent of such authority or entity, to the extent such claim involves discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, or handicap.
(d) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.-Nothing in this section shall be construed as creating or authorizing liability of any kind, under any law, for any action or failure to act relating to cable service or the granting of a franchise by any franchising authority or other governmental entity, or any official, member, employee, or agent of such authority or entity.
SEC. 636. [47 U.S.C. 556] COORDINATION OF FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL AUTHORITY.
(a) Nothing in this title shall be construed to affect any authority of any State, political subdivision, or agency thereof, or franchising authority, regarding matters of public health, safety, and welfare, to the extent consistent with the express provisions of this title. (b) Nothing in this title shall be construed to restrict a State from exercising jurisdiction with regard to cable services consistent with this title.
(c) Except as provided in section 637, any provision of law of any State, political subdivision, or agency thereof, or franchising authority, or any provision of any franchise granted by such au
thority, which is inconsistent with this Act shall be deemed to be preempted and superseded.
(d) For purposes of this section, the term "State" has the meaning given such term in section 3.
SEC. 637. [47 U.S.C. 557] EXISTING FRANCHISES.
(a) The provisions of
(1) any franchise in effect on the effective date of this title, including any such provisions which relate to the designation, use, or support for the use of channel capacity for public, educational, or governmental use, and
(2) any law of any State (as defined in section 3) in effect on the date of the enactment of this section, or any regulation promulgated pursuant to such law, which relates to such designation, use or support of such channel capacity,
shall remain in effect, subject to the express provisions of this title, and for not longer than the then current remaining term of the franchise as such franchise existed on such effective date.
(b) For purposes of subsection (a) and other provisions of this title, a franchise shall be considered in effect on the effective date of this title if such franchise was granted on or before such effective date.
SEC. 638. [47 U.S.C. 558] CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LIABILITY.
Nothing in this title shall be deemed to affect the criminal or civil liability of cable programmers or cable operators pursuant to the Federal, State, or local law of libel, slander, obscenity, incitement, invasions of privacy, false or misleading advertising, or other similar laws, except that cable operators shall not incur any such liability for any program carried on any channel designated for public, educational, governmental use or on any other channel obtained under section 612 or under similar arrangements unless the program involves obscene material.
SEC. 639. [47 U.S.C. 559] OBSCENE PROGRAMMING.
Whoever transmits over any cable system any matter which is obscene or otherwise unprotected by the Constitution of the United States shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
SEC. 640. [47 U.S.C. 560] SCRAMBLING OF CABLE CHANNELS FOR NONSUBSCRIBERS.
(a) SUBSCRIBER REQUEST.-Upon request by a cable service subscriber, a cable operator shall, without charge, fully scramble or otherwise fully block the audio and video programming of each channel carrying such programming so that one not a subscriber does not receive it.
(b) DEFINITION.-As used in this section, the term "scramble" means to rearrange the content of the signal of the programming so that the programming cannot be viewed or heard in an understandable manner.
SEC. 641. [47 U.S.C. 561] SCRAMBLING OF SEXUALLY EXPLICIT ADULT VIDEO SERVICE PROGRAMMING.
(a) REQUIREMENT.-In providing sexually explicit adult programming or other programming that is indecent on any channel of its service primarily dedicated to sexually-oriented programming,
a multichannel video programming distributor shall fully scramble or otherwise fully block the video and audio portion of such channel so that one not a subscriber to such channel or programming does not receive it.
(b) IMPLEMENTATION.-Until a multichannel video programming distributor complies with the requirement set forth in subsection (a), the distributor shall limit the access of children to the programming referred to in that subsection by not providing such programming during the hours of the day (as determined by the Commission) when a significant number of children are likely to view it.
(c) DEFINITION.-As used in this section, the term "scramble" means to rearrange the content of the signal of the programming so that the programming cannot be viewed or heard in an understandable manner.
PART V-VIDEO PROGRAMMING SERVICES PROVIDED BY TELEPHONE COMPANIES
SEC. 651. [47 U.S.C. 571] REGULATORY TREATMENT OF VIDEO PROGRAMMING SERVICES.
(a) LIMITATIONS ON CABLE REGULATION.
(1) RADIO-BASED SYSTEMS.-To the extent that a common carrier (or any other person) is providing video programming to subscribers using radio communication, such carrier (or other person) shall be subject to the requirements of title III and section 652, but shall not otherwise be subject to the requirements of this title.
(2) COMMON CARRIAGE OF VIDEO TRAFFIC.-To the extent that a common carrier is providing transmission of video programming on a common carrier basis, such carrier shall be subject to the requirements of title II and section 652, but shall not otherwise be subject to the requirements of this title. This paragraph shall not affect the treatment under section 602(7)(C) of a facility of a common carrier as a cable system. (3) CABLE SYSTEMS AND OPEN VIDEO SYSTEMS.-To the extent that a common carrier is providing video programming to its subscribers in any manner other than that described in paragraphs (1) and (2)
(A) such carrier shall be subject to the requirements of this title, unless such programming is provided by means of an open video system for which the Commission has approved a certification under section 653; or
(B) if such programming is provided by means of an open video system for which the Commission has approved a certification under section 653, such carrier shall be subject to the requirements of this part, but shall be subject to parts I through IV of this title only as provided in 653(c).
(4) ELECTION TO OPERATE AS OPEN VIDEO SYSTEM.—A common carrier that is providing video programming in a manner described in paragraph (1) or (2), or a combination thereof, may elect to provide such programming by means of an open video system that complies with section 653. If the Commission
approves such carrier's certification under section 653, such carrier shall be subject to the requirements of this part, but shall be subject to parts I through IV of this title only as provided in 653(c).
(b) LIMITATIONS ON INTERCONNECTION OBLIGATIONS.-A local exchange carrier that provides cable service through an open video system or a cable system shall not be required, pursuant to title II of this Act, to make capacity available on a nondiscriminatory basis to any other person for the provision of cable service directly to subscribers.
(c) ADDITIONAL REGULATORY RELIEF.-A common carrier shall not be required to obtain a certificate under section 214 with respect to the establishment or operation of a system for the delivery of video programming.
SEC. 652. [47 U.S.C. 572] PROHIBITION ON BUY OUTS.
(a) ACQUISITIONS BY CARRIERS.-No local exchange carrier or any affiliate of such carrier owned by, operated by, controlled by, or under common control with such carrier may purchase or otherwise acquire directly or indirectly more than a 10 percent financial interest, or any management interest, in any cable operator providing cable service within the local exchange carrier's telephone service area.
(b) ACQUISITIONS BY CABLE OPERATORS.-No cable operator or affiliate of a cable operator that is owned by, operated by, controlled by, or under common ownership with such cable operator may purchase or otherwise acquire, directly or indirectly, more than a 10 percent financial interest, or any management interest, in any local exchange carrier providing telephone exchange service within such cable operator's franchise area.
(c) JOINT VENTURES.-A local exchange carrier and a cable operator whose telephone service area and cable franchise area, respectively, are in the same market may not enter into any joint venture or partnership to provide video programming directly to subscribers or to provide telecommunications services within such market.
(1) RURAL SYSTEMS.-Notwithstanding subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this section, a local exchange carrier (with respect to a cable system located in its telephone service area) and a cable operator (with respect to the facilities of a local exchange carrier used to provide telephone exchange service in its cable franchise area) may obtain a controlling interest in, management interest in, or enter into a joint venture or partnership with the operator of such system or facilities for the use of such system or facilities to the extent that
(A) such system or facilities only serve incorporated or unincorporated—
(i) places or territories that have fewer than 35,000 inhabitants; and
(ii) are outside an urbanized area, as defined by the Bureau of the Census; and
(B) in the case of a local exchange carrier, such system, in the aggregate with any other system in which such