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Tuesday, 12 November, 2002, 17:02 GMT
Australia plans CD 'censorship'
Eminem
Eminem records could soon be for adults onlu

Australians under 18 years old could soon be barred from purchasing CDs by arists such as Eminem, the Rolling Stones, and Tori Amos, under a new restrictive classification.

The Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) and the Australian Music Retailers Association (AMRA) is revising the criteria for classification of CDs after talks with the government.


Consumers have the right to know what they are purchasing

Ian Harvey, AMRA
Currently, CDs containing strong language or themes such as violence, drug use, murder and suicide are rated as Level 1 (moderate impact) or Level 2 (strong impact) and labelled with a warning advisory sticker.

Under current CD monitoring, no CD is restricted for sale to anyone of any age.

But ARIA is advocating a new Level 3 standard for classifying CDs and for the first time certain CDs will restricted from sale to under 18s.

Too explicit

"We are talking about material that is quite extreme," said chief executive officer of ARIA, Stephen Peach.

The new classification will be similar to that applied to films by the Office of Film & Literature Classification (OFLC), where films deemed too explicit for under-18s are given a restricted, or R-rating.

Jennifer Lopez
Lopez's music is being reclassified
"We think if there are CDs that are truly R-rated in content, then they shouldn't be sold to under 18 year olds.

"It's just simply applying community standards that apply already to film, television, videos and video games," said Peach. The changes have come about following about 100 complaints to the government, ARIA and the OFLC, in the last year.

A Queensland Christian mother of five children, who will only identify herself to the media as "Robin", has been leading a campaign to have all CDs containing explicit material completely banned for sale to all Australians.

Under review

ARIA and AMRA are bringing in the voluntary industry code to prevent the Australian Government stepping in with its own CD classification laws.

Marilyn Manson, Missy Elliott, Nick Cave, Oasis, Jennifer Lopez and popular Australian acts Grinspoon and dance act Machine Gun Fellatio are among artists currently labelled Level 2 and will be under review for the new Level 3 classification.

Oasis
Is Oasis to harsh for some ears?
"Consumers have the right to know what they are purchasing, and for those with children this is even more important," executive officer of AMRA, Ian Harvey said.

He added: "The revised code provides clear, understandable advice plus the new Level 3 classification will protect minors from gaining access to what is adult material."

There are already murmurs among record companies that the new classification will lead to further drops in CD sales, as minors may illegally copy restricted music with CD burners.

The amended code will be brought in from March 2003 by ARIA and AMRA.

See also:

11 Nov 02 | Entertainment
04 Nov 02 | Entertainment
27 May 02 | Entertainment
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