Friday, April 23, 2010

MPAA cogitates over movie trailers; should users be screened for age to view them?

The Business Day section of the New York Times today Friday April 23 has an article about Marilyn Gordon, the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) advertising standards guru. The story by Brooks Barnes is titled “Deciding what is suitable in movie ads”, link (web url) here.

While some of the material would apply to bricks and mortar issues like billboards, her biggest issues is regulation of the content of trailers for R-rated (and NC-17) movies.

Many trailers can be viewed on multiple websites, and are often embedded in blogs, including mine. Should trailers with “R” content require adult verification? (The Times article mentions the idea.) That would mean that blogs embedding them would require the verification unless they were blocked automatically within the blog by some kind of labeling or metatag process. That issue has already been visited with the COPA trial.

A related issue is the ease with which kids could play R-rated movies over the Internet, even when paying for them legally by subscription, at free sites, or by P2P.

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