Monday, July 22, 2002

YOU CAN'T SAY IT: Of course, the BPI would never condone censorship, oh no no no; but it does like those little stickers that say 'this is rude'. It's just refreshed its advice on when its members really should put a Parental Advisory sticker on its product. Interestingly, rather than bother to draw up its own criteria, the BPI just says the best guide to deciding whether the content is explicit and/or offensive is to use the guidelines set out in the Video Recordings Act 1984. Now, while this might seem appropriate, there's a world of difference between a video and song. In fact, the 1984 guidelines state that anything which is "likely to encourage human sexual activity" should be stickered. So, that's Lets Get It On, Sexual Healing and the entire Barry White back catalogue going under the counter then. Meanwhile, the strictures on violence would have Another Sunny Day's You should all be murdered given a peace-keeping label, too. It's fair enough that a system should be in place to alert people to the potentially upsetting nature of some music, but the system really should be one designed for music, not brought lumbering over from another field of artistic endeavour.

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