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UK record industry’s video age rating pilot to be made permanent

By | Published on Tuesday 18 August 2015


A pilot programme set up by the UK government and the UK record industry that set out to stop children watching “age-inappropriate’ music videos online is to be made a permanent initiative, it was announced this morning.

As previously reported, the UK majors agreed last year to start submitting music videos to the British Board Of Film Classification, before passing on any age guidance the regulator provides to both YouTube and Vevo, which then mark content that is deemed unsuitable for younger audiences.

In a statement this morning, the government’s culture department said that, “building on the pilot, the government has agreed with the UK music industry and with the digital service providers that the measures trialled will be now be made permanent for videos produced in the UK by artists who are represented by major labels”.

Indies who were not part of the pilot are also being encouraged to participate though, for the whole thing to truly work, presumably it is hoped labels beyond the UK will adopt similar practices down the line, given many of the pop videos that have caused controversy in recent years have tended to come from the American record industry.

Commenting on the pilot becoming permanent, the government’s Minister For Internet Safety And Security, Joanna Shields, told reporters: “Movies in the cinema and music DVDs are age rated to inform the viewer and help parents to make informed choices. We welcome this voluntary step from industry to bring internet services in line with the offline world. Keeping children safe as they experience and enjoy all the benefits the internet has to offer is a key priority”

Speaking for the record industry, and encouraging the video platforms to now expand on the way they use the age rating information they are receiving, BPI boss man Geoff Taylor added: “UK record labels value the opportunity to work with government to build on the pilot and, as a key next step, we encourage Vevo, YouTube and other digital service providers to look at how they can make filters available to parents so they can use age ratings to screen out any inappropriate content”.

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