A US government policy that banned the broadcasting of profanity has been struck down by an appeal court.
The court ruled that the rule is unconstitutional.
Drawn up in 2004, the policy meant that broadcasters could be fined if indecent words went on air.
The court said the FCC’s (Federal Communications Commission) policy had a “chilling effect” on broadcasters.
The many media outlets that challenged the rule said that they were satisfied with the ruling.
According to the court, banning all “patently offensive” references to sex, sexual organs and excretion without a clear definition of what is considered offensive, effectively chills speech and creates an atmosphere of fear among America’s broadcasters.
The court’s decision was called “anti-family” by FCC commissioner Michael Copps. He also said that the commission would “clarify and strengthen its indecency framework”.