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Wednesday, 25 July, 2001, 13:28 GMT 14:28 UK
US music ratings talks begin
Snoop Dogg CD
The sticker is currently used on CDs with explicit content
Representatives of the American music industry and politicians meet on Wednesday to discuss new plans to protect children from explicit lyrics.

The government has threatened to introduce sweeping reforms of ratings systems, which would replace the music business' current voluntary system.

Senator Joseph Lieberman
Lieberman: Will hear the new plans
Politicians have criticised the music business for not doing as much as the film and video game industries in warning to make parents and children aware of potentially inappropriate content.

But the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) hopes to convince a Senate committee that a raft of new initiatives will be enough to protect children.

Drive

Politicians are considering a new all-encompassing ratings law for films, TV shows, CDs and computer games - something the music business wants to avoid.

The RIAA, which represents the majority of record labels in the country, has posted a black-and-white logo, warning of explicit content, on album covers since 1985.

But in February, the RIAA was criticised for failing to implement new measures, including putting the logo on advertising and on internet retail sites.

As well as putting those measures in place, the RIAA has now said it will distribute a brochure about the scheme to parents and schools, promote an information website and broadcast a public service announcement featuring musician and producer Quincy Jones.

Wednesday's meeting follows testimony by RIAA president Hilary Rosen at a House Telecommunications Subcommittee hearing on media violence last week.

'Long term'

"This campaign will build on the commitment we already have in place: to give people the information they need to make decisions based on their own values," Ms Rosen said.

She added: "We're going to work hard to make sure our industry lives up to all these commitments. And I hope the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and others will recognise that progress over the long term."

Representatives from the entertainment industries were due to testify before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, who would consider any new ratings plans, on Wednesday.

The committee is chaired by Senator Joseph Lieberman, who has also been a central figure in campaigning to make Hollywood accountable for the influence of violent films on children.

See also:

24 Apr 01 | Music
Report slates US music industry
06 Jul 01 | Film
Baldwin leads plea to Bush
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