Music Article

The State of Censorship

EW gives an overview of current state censorship legislation

The following is a partial list of state legislation pertaining to censorship in the areas of music, print, movies, video, and performance that has been introduced or enacted since 1988. The status of pending bills was correct at press time.

Alabama
HB 447
Obscene material includes books, records, movies, videos, and live performance. Persons disseminating publicly any obscene material are guilty of a misdemeanor.
Sponsors: Reps. Higginbotham, Clark, Turnham, others
Status: Passed 1989

ALaska
HB 133
Obscene material includes books, records, movies, videos. Person commits a crime if obscene material can be seen by minor.
Sponsors: Reps. Miller, Martin, Leman
Status: Introduced 2/1/89

Arizona
SB 1481
All recordings must show parental advisory sticker if lyrics advocate or encourage various forms of sexual conduct or illegal use of drugs or alcohol. If recording sold to minor, parents can demand refund. Civil action can be brought against performers or producers of recording if person is injured by act motivated by listening to a recording.
Sponsors: Sens. Brewer, Corbet, Denny, others
Status: Introduced 1990

California
AB 1242, Ch. 1058
Prohibits sale or rental of harmful videos to minors; X-rated videos must be in ''adults only'' room. Other harmful matter includes books, movies, recordings.
Sponsor: Assemblyman Lempert
Status: Passed 9/29/89

Florida
HB 367
No sale of any recording to under-18s if lyrics advocate certain forms of sexual conduct or illegal use of drugs or alcohol. Warning sticker must be affixed to such recordings.
Sponsor: Rep. Arnall
Status: Introduced 12/7/89
HB 433
Restricts sale and display of books and recordings containing material harmful to minors.
Sponsor: Rep. Logan
Status: Introduced 1990

Illinois
HB 1056
Amends Video Movie Sales and Rentals Act to require posting of signs, for every 500 square feet of floor space, concerning harmful effects of violent or sexual videos. Requires unrated or X-rated videos to be shelved in separate area.
Sponsor: Rep. Giorgi
Status: Introduced 3/31/89

Iowa
HF 740
Expands existing obscenity law to prohibit sale or rental of ''patently offensive'' material.
Sponsors: Reps. Jay, McKinney, Trent, others
Status: Passed 1989
SF 2179
All recordings must show parental advisory sticker if lyrics advocate or encourage various forms of sexual conduct or illegal use of drugs or use of alcohol. If recording sold to minor, parents can demand refund. Civil action can be brought against performers or producers of recording if person is injured by act motivated by listening to a recording. Promoters, performers, producers, or directors prohibited from allowing minors at concerts at which deviant lyrics or actions might be sung or performed.
Sponsor: Sen. Dieleman
Status: Introduced 1/30/90

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