Music Censorship

March 12, 2008
Have you ever bought a new CD that you are really excited to hear and when you start playing it the music is censored with words bleeped out, or there is a big explicit sticker on the CD case? I don’t know how that makes you feel but when it happens to me I feel like the musical experience has been ruined and the artist disrespected. Musical artists are forced to censor their work in a country that claims to have freedom of speech, “Censorship is contrary to the political philosophy on which the United States was founded. The Bill of Rights ensures an individual's right to free expression.” , and that is why there should not be warning labels on CD’s.

Members of the opposition, the PMRC( Parents Music Resource Center) and the C.O.P.( Commission on Obscenity and Pornography ) , say that the warning label on CD’s are used as a reminder to parents and children alike that a CD with a warning label has explicit material and may be inappropriate for a younger audience. But “the label has failed in its goal of educating parents without censoring” therefore the label is more of a hindrance than it is a “reminder”. When one of these warning labels is slapped on a CD it creates a certain stigma toward that album, it becomes associated with being inappropriate or vulgar and people can stop buying the album altogether and their justification is that there is a warning label on the album, and warning labels cause major music distributors to not carry an album because of the warning label and that means “the dissemination of ideas of the artist is restricted in the marketplace because some persons think these ideas may be harmful”. Therefore, when a major retailer like Wal-Mart, a place where in a small town is the only store that sells CD’s, decides not to sell any albums with a censor label it takes music and culture away from, not only children, but adults as well. Also, when people stop buying an album due to a warning label with insufficient reasons such as not even listening to the music, it causes the musician to lose vast amounts of earnings. The musicians’ way to make a living is by selling albums and warning labels often cause poor sales of an album, which in turn hinders the musicians’ ability to make a living.

Finally, the warning label put on CD’s infringes upon the musicians first amendment, including freedom of speech, censorship is contrary to what this country was founded on. These musicians are getting punished for the words they write and the feelings they feel and to me that goes against everything that has to do with being an American, “for an artist, the sharing of artwork is a matter of pride and self-worth; it is an individual's contribution to civilization. It is also one's profession, a vital mean of self-support.” Therefore there should not be warning labels on CD’s. If you want to live in an America where there is no freedom of speech, or expression, where you can be punished for what you say, then go right ahead but if the PMRC, and in turn the United States government, can censor what you listen to who’s to say they won’t censor what you say, do or even feel.

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Vexa_Rave said...
Apr. 5, 2009 at 8:49 pm
i think this was a very good article and you made a good point. i don't like the labels that much, either, and i also feel like i'm missing something when the word is bleeped out. although, i do think there should be maybe a little something on the back that says "inappropriate language" at least. what if some little kid about five years old wants a CD, and there's no label on it, and the parents say, "Okay" and get it for them, and then as soon as they get in the car, the F-bomb has... (more »)
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