CALM Act and What It Doesn’t Cover

When a certain online TV site that rhymes with Sea Bee Ess blasted commercials at me from my laptop this year, I visited the FCC’s CALM Act website to submit a complaint. The CALM Act went into effect in December 2010 to mitigate loudness caused by broadcast methods not keeping commercials at the same relative volume as a program being watched, in my understanding. Through the process of visiting the website, my interest was peaked to look at the CALM Act and what it doesn’t cover.

venn CALM Act feb2013 wellman

CALM Act and What It Doesn’t Cover

Since I hoped a website blasting commercials at me was a blatant disregard of the CALM Act, I assumed my visit to the FCC website to submit a complaint about noise level would be straightforward. I couldn’t complete a complaint, though. The official form field options about the nature of complaints made no room for online TV watching.

In lieu of a complaint, I wrote to the FCC to ask how to submit a complaint of the nature of mine. They wrote back 26 days later to let me know that the CALM Act only covers the past. Actually, they wrote back to let me know the CALM Act doesn’t cover AM/FM Radio, Internet Broadcasts, Low Power Broadcast, and Non-Commercial Educational Broadcast. What to do? Mute my computer’s volume hoping the online options don’t become as evil, in my opinion, as Spotify. If you don’t know, while I like Spotify overall, it equates muting your computer’s sound with pausing its application’s sound.

The major lesson? The Venn Diagram for the CALM Act and viewing methods seems to show that the viewing options experiencing growth from what I read (such as online TV via computers) are part of what the CALM Act doesn’t cover.

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