Music Lyrics Censorship Essay

Essay on Censorship in the Music Industry

675 Words3 Pages

Censorship in the Music Industry

Censorship in the music industry can be divided into two categories involving new music technology and music products. In the United States, the issue of censorship doesn’t necessarily concern music products but rather new music technology. The music industry has become increasingly concerned with the online peer-to-peer services like Kazaa and Morpheus using the MP3 format or motion pictures expert group which allows users to download music free and fast (Cloonan, 2003). In almost every other part of the world, music is censored someway or another usually by a country’s government, religious leaders, or individual broadcasters who are financed by their government (Cloonan, 2003). For example,…show more content…

This particular type of censorship occurred in South Korea in 1997 when the state radio station KBS banned teen pop music due to the clothing style the entertainers wore (Cloonan,2003). A more recent event of censorship occurred in Morocco in March 2003 when 14 heavy metal fans between the ages of 22 and 35 were convicted and jailed for “acts capable of undermining the faith of a Muslim” and “possessing objects which infringe morals” (Index Online, 2003). All were sentenced between 1 to 12 months in jail.

The People’s Republic of China is one of the most heavily regulated countries involving music censorship. The Chinese record industry is controlled by the state government through the publishing houses which are also owned by the state (Cloonan, 2003). Essentially, publishers decide to release a music product, arrange the duplication of the master tape, and distribute it throughout the country. Since all the music appears on the market through a publishing house, the government has the power to censor music which they deem to be sensitive (Cloonan, 2003). All music is reviewed by the government in order to check compliance with Article 102 of the Chinese criminal law which states that it is an offence for any person “to confuse right and wrong, to poison people’s minds, to incite the masses and create chaos, to undermine socialist revolution and construction, and to achieve the final goal of overthrowing the people’s

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Censorship in Music Essays

1076 Words5 Pages

Censorship in Music

Censorship in music has been a major problem plaguing America since the early nineteen forties. It came to a head during the nineteen sixties with the Vietnam War and the hippie movement. During the nineteen seventies and eighties heavy metal and hard rock were getting the brunt of the censorship heat. Now in the nineteen nineties the major focus of censorship is rap; primarily gangster rap. Some of the main factors of music in general that cause legal ramifications are sexual content, suggestive violence and obscene language. Censorship is an attack against our first amendment right guaranteeing the freedom of speech. However if a song or album is deemed obscene the first amendment does not protect this. The mass…show more content…

It began by the Recording Industry association of America agreeing to voluntarily place-warning labels on albums that were deemed obscene. This came after a congressional hearing before the Senate commece, science and transportation committee. Frank Zappa a controversial musician attended the conference and called Tipper Gore who is co founder of the Parent's Music Resource Center a "Cultural Terrorist."(Winfield pg. 25) Record labeling made many angry and at the same time pacified others. It was seen as a step forward in attempting to control the one mass media aimed directly at teenagers. Musicians such as Axle Rose have spoken out against labeling claiming their right to express themselves musically no matter what the response. One artist, Luther Campbell, of the rap group 2 Live crew released a single titled "Banned in the USA" in response to the labeling (Winfield pg. 14). This labeling of albums is not the first attempt and success at censoring music. For 50 years radio stations have been censoring songs deemed inappropriate. In 1940 NBC banned 147 songs. The Supreme Court upheld the FCC's authority to regulate music in 1978 (Winfield pg. 14). The rock and roll community could only expect some sort of limited censorship. Initially the ban was only in effect from 6 am until midnight but in 1988 president Reagan made the ban all day. The FCC in an attempt to let radio stations know what types of songs were unacceptable sent a list of 22

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