p2pnet.net News Feature:- ‘Contraband,’ from Velvet Revolver and loaded with DRM software, made it to Number One in the US, brags Germany’s BMG, the Big Five record label cartel member that released it.
The album has explicit lyrics, mentioned here because of the Big Five record labels’ avowed determination to halt the distribution of pornography on- and offline. They’re ably assisted by such stalwarts as senator Orrin ‘Terminator’ Hatch who flaunts porn as his reason to ram his Hollywood-friendly bills through congress …
… although Hollywood – the catch-all for ENTERTAINMENT with and its hardware, software, movie and music industries – is responsible for much of the pornographic pollution that poisons every part of the world and which is integral to much of its music and movie ‘product’.
While MPAA boss Jack Valenti tries to pass as someone who’s all for Mom and Apple pie, for good, clean, wholesome fun and for The American Way, the studios he represents are making billions of dollars every year making and marketing films based wholly on explicit violence, especially sexual violence. And all the while Valenti boasts about movie industry educational programs he and his teams of ‘educators’ are force-feeding the US educational system with sophisticated marketing programs disguised as anti-piracy measures.
At a Senate commerce committee hearing last year, Valenti, “characteristically, hit the P2P porn meme the hardest, even, in a surreal moment, inviting the Senators’ staffers to go download some porn from Kazaa and see for themselves how vile it is,” says Edward Felten on Freedom to Tinker here.
“As a parent, I had to chuckle on hearing the American movie industry complain about the distribution of inappropriate sexual content to kids. But then again the whole room seemed at times to be an irony-free zone.”
Ashley and Mary-Kate
There’s a truly appalling (from all perspectives) Warner Bros movie starring Made-in-Hollywood twins Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen who have for years featured in equally terrible formula books linked to all manner of expensive, subordinate crap.
Ashley and Mary-Kate are now prime movie ‘product’ and Hollywood hasn’t lost a second in exploiting them in a ‘sunny Teen Comedy Lite’ called, snappily, New York Minute.
It’s ‘Rated PG for sensuality’ and that should clue you in. But if not, you’ll get the rest from Detroit News film critic Tom Long.
New York Minute has an “undeniable underlying sexual tease that runs beneath the twins’ superficially wholesome image,” he writes here. “This is a PG movie, yet sister Ashley begins with a naked-behind-a-podium scene (you only see her shoulders and back), moves on to a shower scene (which includes a snake, no less) and eventually ends up naked in a garbage Dumpster after – whoops! – she loses the skimpy towel she’s been running around in.
“The kiddie porn flirtation runs through the twins’ skimpy outfits, their hooker-in-training eye makeup and numerous wet blouse scenes as well. These girls turn 18 next month – Internet sites are already drooling over the Playboy centerfold possibilities – and they’re obviously trying to make the same Britney-Christina-whomever wholesome-slut transition that tween goddesses have used of late in a desperate attempt to keep their audiences growing with them.
“Moreover, the unapologetic, no-consequence nature of the characters’ activities here, as well as the constant flow of dress-them-up Barbie outfits the twins don, wallow in the worst sort of amorality and image-is-everything indulgence.”
Other than that, says Long, “take your kids, these girls are great role models.”
Looking after business
New York Minute is probably as sick as anything you’re likely to find, but it’s dressed up as a cute and funny teenie-bopper film, and that’s exactly how it’ll come across to many (most?) audiences. Big Music, however, makes no pretence when it sells CDs specifically labelled ‘explicit lyrics’ to protect the innocent, claims the RIAA with a straight face.
Explicit? Probably has words like Shit in the lyrics. So what? There’s worse on TV. And in the movies. And on the p2p networks, according to Hollywood and Hatch.
“P2P stands for piracy to pornography,” states Andrew Lack, chief executive of Sony Music Entertainment. And, “As a guy in the record industry and as a parent, I am shocked that these services are being used to lure children to stuff that is really ugly.”
So that’s OK. Your kids and their sensibilities are in safe hands. But just to make doubly sure, last September the RIAA launched a campaign against p2p, says a CNET story here, going on, “a significant percentage of the files available to these 13 million new users [of P2P networks] per month are pornography, including child pornography.”
Little young thing go around my dick with your tongue ring / Deep throat my nine inch
That’s from a Sony Music CD, and you’ll find more Sony porn here. Or simply use your favourite search engine.
Or how about Eminem? He’s now doing his own thing, but he’s still Big Music, big time, so here’s a little Eminem prose:
Bitch getter, hid in the bush like Margot Kidder
Jumped out (Ahhhh!) killed the bitch and did her
Use to let the babysitter suck my dick when I was little’er
Smoke a blunt while I’m titty fuckin Bette Midler
Sniper, waiting on your roof like the Fiddler
Y’all thought I was gonna rhyme with Riddler
Didn’t Ya? Bring your bitch I wanna see if this dick gon’ fit in her
There’s tons of stuff like this around.
But don’t concern yourself. Even if the RIAA it is owned by the labels that are actively marketing music with sexually explicit and awesomely violent lyrics, Hatch, and Mitch Bainwol and Cary Sherman over at the RIAA are doing their best to deal with p2p by stamping it out.
Hatch can’t be aware of the lyrics in Big Five music, of course. If he was, as an honourable and upright member of the Bush administration, not to speak of a protector of the innocent, he’d instantly, and loudly, introduce powerful bills to compel the music industry to immediately remove the obscene, violent and pornographic music from retail shelves and online music sites around the world.
Not to worry, though. As I pointed out earlier, the RIAA has things in hand. For example, if you go to the RIAA page here, you’ll find this:
“The recording industry takes seriously our responsibility to help parents identify music with explicit lyrics. We believe that not all music is right for all ages and our Parental Advisory Label was created for just that reason. Parents can use the label to identify music that may not be appropriate for their children and make the choice about when – and whether – their children should be able to have that recording.
“Music can also be an opportunity – an outlet for parents or other adults to talk to kids and an opportunity for adults to tune into what kids are thinking and feeling. Listen to the music they choose and ask them why they like a certain song or album. What do they think the artist is saying?”
Nice. And how very responsible. It came originally, I believe, from the pen of ex-RIAA boss Hilary Rosen.
‘We are heartened’
“I think that it is hypocritical for the music industry to claim that it is helping parents by placing a parental advisory [explicit content] label on a CD, while at the same time undermining parents by aggressively marketing the same CD to children,” said Federal Trade Commissioner Orson Swindle in December, 2001.
Because in 2000 some (Most? All?) of the major record companies were knowingly and deliberately peddling records with explicit lyrics, to use the popular euphemism for obscene and/or violent and/or sexually suggestive content, to kids, said the FTC report, Marketing Violent Entertainment to Children: A Review of Self-Regulation and Industry Practices in the Motion Picture, Music Recording & Electronic Game Industries.
Of the 55 music recordings with explicit content labels the FTC reviewed, it found that all were aimed at children under 17.
December 5, 2001, saw the second follow-up to the FTC study and Rosen’s statement responding to it would lead anyone to conclude the FTC had awarded the RIAA a large pat on the back for a good job well done.
Her puff release said: “The Recording Industry has made tremendous progress in our campaign to inform parents about the Parental Advisory. Surveys show that public education is what parents care most about and we are confident in our success in this area.
“We are heartened that the Federal Trade Commission’s report did reflect the many steps we have taken and the progress we have made to strengthen our program.”
But far from acknowledging the music industry’s sterling efforts, the FTC singled it out for further deep criticism while in stark contrast, it praised the motion picture and electronic game industries who’d, “made commendable progress in limiting their advertising to children of R-rated movies and M-rated games and in providing rating information in advertising.”
In fact, Swindle went so far as to write a separate statement to the FTC’s 5-0 approval of the report to specifically emphasize, “the lack of serious attention given by the music industry and by retailers to the Commission’s recommendations in its two earlier reports,” and concluded:
“After over 12 months of scrutiny, reports, and numerous recommendations, the music industry and retailers have chosen to do next to nothing. I am deeply skeptical that the government could or should try to compel industry to improve its performance. But I also do not think that we should merely identify the problem here and then walk away. Instead, we – the Congress, the Commission, parents, and the general public – must persuade the music industry and retailers to change their behavior to solve the problem.” [Our emphasis.]
You’ll have noticed that in her puff release quoted earlier, Rosen stated proudly: “The Recording Industry has made tremendous progress in our campaign to inform parents about the Parental Advisory.”
On this aspect, Swindle wrote: “[...] the music industry has been obdurate. Industry representatives have said that the industry should not have to rate its music because its audible nature distinguishes it from visual media. Parents’ concerns about their children’s exposure to violence are no less important when a violent message is communicated orally. An oral message can be as effective as a visual one, as the power of propaganda has historically proven.
“Although the industry has established a label for explicit content, it has steadfastly argued that it has the absolute right to market music to children regardless of the nature of the content. I think that it is hypocritical for the music industry to claim that it is helping parents by placing a parental advisory label on a CD, while at the same time undermining parents by aggressively marketing the same CD to children. As it is, parents are challenged to protect their children from inappropriate material and impart values that will measure up to the test of time in a complicated world. Marketing violent entertainment directly to children only serves to frustrate parents’ efforts.
“Surely, the music industry ought to be able to do better. The movie industry has demonstrated that an industry can establish an age-based and practical rating system and can effectively restrict advertising to children if corporate executives are committed to making the system work.
“Given that in the music industry – like the movie industry – a small number of companies controls the vast majority of U.S. distribution, a commitment to change by the executives associated with relatively few companies could make a big difference.”
We haven’t heard much about this lately, but there’s no reason to think the RIAA’s record will have improved. There’s a section on ‘parental advisories’ on the RIAA site, so we went for a look.
Same old same old.
And in the meanwhile Hatch & Co are making a lot of noise about the evils of p2p, which contributes a tiny 1% to online porn.
If you want to see more on the subject, check out Rick Fulkerson’s entry in the p2pnet / Down Hill Battle movie contest here.
The entertainment industry is churning it out. But not for much longer.