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Friday, June 3, 2011

That Parental Advisory Sticker You Hated as a Kid May Come Back -- to Your Computer Screen

Posted By on Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 8:41 AM


There came a point in adolescence -- ours at least -- where, if a CD didn't have that starkly black-and-white Parental Advisory sticker on it, it wasn't worth spending our lunch money on. And if it was the 'rentals who were buying the CD, the sticker was, as Pitchfork's Tom Breihan reminded us today, easily concealed by a thumb. In the end, it didn't do much. We ended up owning several versions of "Last Caress" by middle school.

And that was before the Internet. Now, as the U.K. Guardian reports, the Parental Advisory notice may be resurrected to precede "explicit content" on YouTube videos and online streaming services.

The move comes after what the Guardian describes as "recent concern about the amount of risqué music content too easily available to children online." For now, it's just a set of guidelines from music industry group BPI -- and it's just affecting the U.K.

"We think it is important for parents to get the same standards of guidance and information online as they get when buying CDs or DVDs on the high street," said Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI. "We are updating our ... scheme for the digital age to ensure that explicit songs and videos are clearly labelled."

We can understand the concern, we guess, but we're curious how this is will actually affect things. Playing a warning at the beginning of a video or a song won't matter if a responsible adult isn't there to see it and turn off the video, right? And -- at least for us -- those stickers on CDs became an indication of which ones we wanted to buy: the ones that had them. Will the new digital warnings have the same effect on the videos and songs younger fans decide to stream?

Lastly, putting an "explicit content" warning on any music on the Internet seems strange on the, uh, Internet, where explicit content is always just a clever click away.


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