UK to trial movie-style age ratings for online music videos

Bad news for Cyrus and Thicke.

UK to trial movie-style age ratings for online music videos

The British government has unveiled a pilot scheme that could see online music videos given age ratings to help protect children from inappropriate content.

British Prime Minister David Cameron today unveiled a pilot scheme with YouTube and the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).

In his speech in central London outling 'pro-family' measure he intends to take, Mr Cameron said he was determined to help parents bring up their children where possible.

“To take just one example – bringing up children in an internet age, you are endlessly worried about what they are going to find online,” he said.

“So we’ve taken a big stand on protecting our children online. We’re making family friendly filters the default setting for all new online customers and we’re forcing existing customers to make an active choice about whether to install them.

“And today we’re going even further. From October, we’re going to help parents protect their children from some of the graphic content in online music videos by working with the British Board of Film Classification, Vevo and YouTube to pilot the age rating of these videos.”

(A still from Miley Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video)

The move follows concerns about vidoes such as Miley Cyrus’ 'Wrecking Ball' - in which the pop songstrel appears naked, licking a sledgehammer suggestively - and Robin Thicke’s 'Blurred Lines', the uncut version of which showed Thicke, Pharrell Williams and T.I. cavorting with a bevy of naked models.

From October, music videos sold on DVD and other physical media in Britain will be required to have age ratings under the Video Recordings Act.

“The pilot will commence October 1, coinciding with changes to the Video Recordings Act that will require physical music videos deemed to include 12-rated-plus material to go through the same age-classification process," said a statement from the BPI which represents the recorded music industry in the UK.

“If, as hoped, the pilot proves successful, then as a key next step we would call on Digital Service Providers to introduce filters linked to those age ratings so that families have the additional option to block video content they consider unsuitable viewing for children.”

"In as far as possible we should try to make sure that the rules that exist offline should exist online,'' Mr Cameron said.

“So if you want to go and buy a music video offline there are age restrictions on it. We should try to recreate that system on the internet.”

The premier also gave an insight into his own efforts to prevent his young children from watching material they should not.

“As for my own children, I am sure there are times when they have been disappointed because they haven’t been able to do something or see something,” Mr Cameron said.

“But that is part of what being a parent is about, is being able to deploy the use of the word ’no’ and even sometimes to deploy the use of the off switch on the television, as unpopular as that might be – and sometimes ineffectual because they find another screen somewhere that is switched on.”

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