Laws Regarding Music Censorship by scott2178


									Laws Regarding Music Censorship
Censorship of music or any other form of expression implies that the object under scrutiny can be
regulated by the government and the manner in which it is played, bought or distributed in the
community can be controlled in an external agency. Music censorship may not always take the form of
an outright ban. Music censorship may present itself as banned concerts, a ban on cover art, restrictions
on clothing or even just parental advisory labels.
Music censorship can be undertaken by many agencies. In the United States of America, these include
radio stations, television channels and even stores like Walmart. There are also organizations like the
Parents’ Music Resource Center that take up the responsibility and screening and putting advisory
labels on music.

Music Censorship and about laws
Unlike what most people think, the US Constitution does not encourage the government to place any
restrictions on any form of music or any other form of expression. However, it is perfectly legal for
other agencies to control the distribution and the purchase of music. Since the music companies are mot
owned by the government, they are well within their rights to censor and to control lyrics. For this
reason, when we speak of music censorship, we are essentially referring to a corporate control of music
rather than a governmental one.
For instance it was in 1990 that the Parents’ Music Resource Center exerted pressure on the Recording
Industry Association of America asking them to set up a uniform label stating “Parental Advisory
-Explicit Lyrics”. Despite this, no guidelines regarding the advisory labels have been formulated. Music
censorship in this form continues but without any strictures as such.
This is not to suggest that the government is not in the least concerned about music censorship and
about laws regarding music censorship. Members of Congress have in fact; debated about how stricter
vigilance can be imposed on the music industry and music censorship can be levied on music that is
considered harmful or inappropriate.
In fact, in an attempt to levy some degree of control and music censorship, the Louisiana House Bill
1237 was introduced in 1997 to stop the sale and purchase of music that was considered “harmful”.
The term “harmful” was defined as something that encouraged acts of rape, unlawful ritual acts,
suicide, homicide and the commitment of crimes of any nature.

Music censorship is to show some degree of responsibility
The debate on whether this action of music censorship of the state is justified or not can go on forever.
The music industry can and will continue to cry foul on acts of music censorship. However, what the
music industry can and should do, to eliminate acts of music censorship is to show some degree of
responsibility with regard to the production of music, especially in the use of lyrics. This will keep both
parental bodies and state agencies at peace and uninvolved with music censorship. Lyrics that are
explicit and are used to merely shock should be kept out. This is the responsibility of the music
industry as a whole.

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