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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:02 pm 
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Slamlander wrote:
It's just too bad that many of my fellow Americans no longer know what a Constitution is. Let alone, have read the damned thing. :-x :cry:


Courts twist it, Politicians lie about it and the people ignore it. Its sad but I don't know what to do besides fight where I can and smack the living *(&^ out of people who whine and do nothing (including vote)


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:34 pm 
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Briareos-Temp wrote:
Slamlander wrote:
It's just too bad that many of my fellow Americans no longer know what a Constitution is. Let alone, have read the damned thing. :-x :cry:


Courts twist it, Politicians lie about it and the people ignore it. Its sad but I don't know what to do besides fight where I can and smack the living *(&^ out of people who whine and do nothing (including vote)


I hardly think there has been a serious problem with censorship of movies and the like. Community standards have for the most part become more liberal.

One notable exception though is the comic industry.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:14 pm 
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Slamlander wrote:
Actually, I know about the sales loss and it's gotten worse since the 60's, not better. On a strict technicality, censorship, of any form, is unconstitutional and I don't care what the local community standards are. It's just too bad that many of my fellow Americans no longer know what a Constitution is. Let alone, have read the damned thing. :-x :cry:


Hm, I fail to see how "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech" makes a "Mature" sticker and/or shrinkwrap illegal censorship. After all, there are no prohibitions on production of the material, and it is available even to "restricted" persons (i.e. minors) as long as their legal guardians agree to it.

If you are going to bitch about something, bitch about the prudes who won't buy an otherwise excellent product because they can't take a bit of skin or an adult reference (or bad language, or violence, or whatever). Don't bitch about a packaging method or label/mark that gives an approximate idea of content -- that's just the free market at work. If you put something into a work and people don't buy it, tough. You made your choice; they made theirs. Unless of course you want to make people to buy/view things blind.

Personally, I think I'd bitch more about that, because while I can make my own decisions and don't mind the content, purposefully witholding information in order to increase sales smells of fraud to me.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:58 pm 
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Briareos-Temp wrote:
Sylvarius wrote:
Besides, who is to say she isn't, you know, physically changing her eyes when she casts the binoculars spell, which would be included under changing her body, eh?

I will as you can plainly see the field formed in front of her face that functions as a lens.


Because a random glow means that she has created a field in front of her face?Or that this field is in fact a magic lens? And this makes more sense that just altering your sight? Um.......o-kay.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:02 am 
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I think the sales go down for "Mature" books because a fair few people would equate "Mature" with "porn".

Also, "R" rated films probably gross less because there are more soccer moms than folks who like action movies, and good kid's movies are bloody rare.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 1:21 am 
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Deadly Sin No.8 wrote:
Slamlander wrote:
Actually, I know about the sales loss and it's gotten worse since the 60's, not better. On a strict technicality, censorship, of any form, is unconstitutional and I don't care what the local community standards are. It's just too bad that many of my fellow Americans no longer know what a Constitution is. Let alone, have read the damned thing. :-x :cry:


Hm, I fail to see how "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech" makes a "Mature" sticker and/or shrinkwrap illegal censorship. After all, there are no prohibitions on production of the material, and it is available even to "restricted" persons (i.e. minors) as long as their legal guardians agree to it.
...
Personally, I think I'd bitch more about that, because while I can make my own decisions and don't mind the content, purposefully witholding information in order to increase sales smells of fraud to me.


You don't see how one forces the other?!?!? :-o

The "Mature" label, as it is used in the US, has a chilling effect that is very real. :-x As Impy said, they watch the content in order to avoid that label and resulting loss of sales. If you consider that borderline fraud then ... :-x :bang:

The asshats that advocate the "Mature" label are the exact same ones that then go around screaming that Mature content is always pornographic and actively discourage everyone from buying it. This is called an end-run around the first Amendment. Better to not have a rating system at all. :911:


Edited: to be less nasty.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 1:40 am 
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I believe his point, Slamlander, is that voluntary mature labels are not a function of law but a function of choice. Admittedly, that choice is largely driven by a desire to play C.Y.A. so that one isn't sued for fraudulently corrupting minors or some such garbage... but so long as it remains a choice to label one's product, rather than being a requirement in order to sell the product, then it is in fact not illegal censorship.

In point of fact, even legally requiring that one label one's product isn't necessarily censorship, though it does abridge freedom of speech. It does not prevent one from expressing whatever one wants... it merely requires that one warn one's potential audience first.

That said, the question is then how to determine the appropriate label and the appropriate consequences for mislabeling... and once certain content becomes mandated as inappropriate, and the producer of a product which contains that content is denied access to an audience on the basis of that content... that IS censorship. Whether or not it is unlawful censorship is, by law, a matter for the Supreme Court to decide.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 1:43 am 
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And no rating system is perfect, right?

Look, if you want to remove a rating system you have to be prepared, as a country, to tell parents that they cannot educate their own children or decide what is best for them. Now, a lot of people are terrible parents and should not be allowed to educate their children, or for that matter, reproduce, but do you have any idea how much horrible, horrible shit it would cause if the government tried to interfere in such matters? Granted, we allow our government to do a lot of terrible things, but mostly because they disguise what they're doing, hiding it behind pretty words. But when things like say, the board of education, try to teach materials like evolution or sexual education, people jump all[ over it.

Now, if you remove a ratings system, you're directly interfering with a parents ability to raise their own child, because without a rating system there is no restriction on who to sell what to. How do you call something pornography without some criteria by which to judge, or rate, it? And if you cannot slap that label on it, what is to stop a 12, or 5, year old from buying a porn magazine? Now, while I think the system is all kinds of fucked too, I at least realize that it is there for a reason. Yes, it may decrease somethings sales, but only because those people actively don;t want to read that material. What are you going to say we should do next, remove advertising, or the little descriptions on the covers of books, because people might decide not to read them based on that? After all, that little cover may tell you that there is something in this story you may not want to hear about, and this advertisement might tell you that this food product has pork in it, which is against your religion for you to eat. But that makes you not buy the product!!!! Oh no! Can't have that happen!

It is as much a part of our choice as consumers to want to have an idea of what either we are about to see, or what the people we're buying it for will see. Now, it might work better if say, everything were required to have a description telling you exactly what it was about and what subject matter was covered therein, rather than slapping an all-encompassing label on it, but this wouldn;t work for several reasons, the chief one being that people like their short, undescriptive, frankly unfair little labels that they can stick all over things.

Like, hey, apparently you do, since saying that people who advocate mature labels also scream that all mature labels = pornography. I'm glad to hear that that is what I think.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 2:13 am 
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Sylvarius wrote:
Look, if you want to remove a rating system you have to be prepared, as a country, to tell parents that they cannot educate their own children or decide what is best for them.


How? All it does is tell a parent to research the material and decide for themself whether or not they feel it is appropriate for their child. It does not tell a parent they aren't allowed to educate their children or decide what's best for them... it in fact places the responsibility for doing so squarely on the parent's shoulders, where it belongs.

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And if you cannot slap that label on it, what is to stop a 12, or 5, year old from buying a porn magazine?


Presumably in the absense of labels just as in the presence of labels the end result is still that a responsible parent will stop their child from buying inappropriate material by overseeing their child's purchase, or at least hiring someone they trust to do so. Also, until such time as the child is able to legally work and secure funds, a parent has simply to deny their child money to prevent the unsupervised purchase of anything of which the parent disapproves. It is the responsibility of the parent, not society, to enforce the rules which they feel are most appropriate for the upbringing of their children.

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It is as much a part of our choice as consumers to want to have an idea of what either we are about to see, or what the people we're buying it for will see.


This is absolutely true. However, there is a difference between wanting something and being entitled to it. As a consumer, you indeed have a right to purchase something or not based on its label, lack thereof, or any other criteria that you choose. You do not, however, have an entitlement to conform the product to your wishes, nor do you have the right to require that those products which do not conform to your desires be made unavailable. If something does not meet your criteria for purchase, simply choose not to purchase it. Do without. Don't demand that the rest of the world change so that YOU feel better.

>,<'

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 2:18 am 
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Slamlander wrote:
You don't see how one forces the other?!?!? :-o


No. No, I don't.
And I still can't see how a slipperly slope argument makes it even remotely censorship.

Slamlander wrote:
The "Mature" label, as it is used in the US, has a chilling effect that is very real. :-x As Impy said, they watch the content in order to avoid that label and resulting loss of sales.


Big <s>fucking</s> freaking deal. (*gasp* Censorship! /jk)

That "chilling effect" is the result of millions upon millions of (yes, possibly idiotic and prudish) individuals making a choice whether or not to purchase an otherwise *freely available* commodity. Are the ratings systems perfect? Of course not. Might they be misleading? Maybe. But it still comes down to individual choice whether or not to even trust or investigate the rating systems and commodity content further.

Slamlander wrote:
The asshats that advocate the "Mature" label are the exact same ones that then go around screaming that Mature content is always pornographic and actively discourage everyone from buying it. This is called an end-run around the first Amendment. Better to not have a rating system at all. :911:


No, actually those asshats are practicing what is called "Freedom of Speech," which is exactly what the First Amendment does protect. And we have the right to ignore and/or blow razzberries at them as we walk out of the stores with our "Mature" merchandise in hand.

Now, if they start prohibiting publication of or banning/burning "objectionable" material, I will be first in line to help put a stop to the tyranny. But as things stand you have no case.

Yeah, I read the U.S. Constitution. Did you understand it?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 2:22 am 
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Sylvarius, would you please edit that so it's more clear because it isn't, at all. Just what are you saying? :confused:

The Comic Code Authority isn't a voluntary label, AFAICT.

My own book, on Lulu, is hitting the shelves with no such label, even though my legal page warns that adult themes, like religion, are covered and minors shouldn't be touching it (severe faith/brain warpage could result :wink: ). I might point out that labeling your work, on Lulu, is required. IMHO, this is wrong.

But then again, I live in an area where bare nipples are routinely shown on public bill boards, in the public train stations. Fellow residents also laughed at Americans when the Janet Jackson bare nipple scandle hit.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 3:33 am 
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Imp-Chan wrote:
Sylvarius wrote:
Look, if you want to remove a rating system you have to be prepared, as a country, to tell parents that they cannot educate their own children or decide what is best for them.


How? All it does is tell a parent to research the material and decide for themself whether or not they feel it is appropriate for their child. It does not tell a parent they aren't allowed to educate their children or decide what's best for them... it in fact places the responsibility for doing so squarely on the parent's shoulders, where it belongs.

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And if you cannot slap that label on it, what is to stop a 12, or 5, year old from buying a porn magazine?


Presumably in the absense of labels just as in the presence of labels the end result is still that a responsible parent will stop their child from buying inappropriate material by overseeing their child's purchase, or at least hiring someone they trust to do so. Also, until such time as the child is able to legally work and secure funds, a parent has simply to deny their child money to prevent the unsupervised purchase of anything of which the parent disapproves. It is the responsibility of the parent, not society, to enforce the rules which they feel are most appropriate for the upbringing of their children.

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It is as much a part of our choice as consumers to want to have an idea of what either we are about to see, or what the people we're buying it for will see.


This is absolutely true. However, there is a difference between wanting something and being entitled to it. As a consumer, you indeed have a right to purchase something or not based on its label, lack thereof, or any other criteria that you choose. You do not, however, have an entitlement to conform the product to your wishes, nor do you have the right to require that those products which do not conform to your desires be made unavailable. If something does not meet your criteria for purchase, simply choose not to purchase it. Do without. Don't demand that the rest of the world change so that YOU feel better.

>,<'


Sorry, most of my post was made with the presumption that children can find their own money/time to buy products. Basically, if a child can get their hands on whatever they want as long as they are resourceful enough, which most kids are, something which shocks a whole lot of parents, it means that it signifigantly impairs a parents control over what their child has access to. Meaning, with the current system(that it is illegal to sell innapropriate material to minors) there is at least a check on what children buy (that they have to have their parent approve, or at least be present during the process, signifying approval.

The point you have to keep in mind is that it is much easier for a store to restrict what a child buys than it is for a parent to restrict it, because stores simply have to say no to the kid, whereas parents have to watch the kid 24/7 and make sure they don't have any money that they can spend on innapropriate things.

And Impy, I am not demanding that anyone conform to my standards or censor their products. personally, very, veyr few things offend me. I am merely saying that information should be readily available on the products we are buying. People should not be expected to see a product in a store, run home to research it, then come back to the store to buy it. A product should clearly inform consumers as to exactly what it is, so they can make educated decisions then and there. This makes the system much more efficient.

The point of my entire post was that it is currently a parents responsibility to educate their child, and that removing a labeling system makes this more difficult for most people.

Slamlander, it goes like this... Parents educate their children, and labels help them do this-> removing labels restricts a parents control over what their child is exposed to -> knowledge of what you are buying is vital to understanding what impact your purchase will have -> therefore slapping labels or descriptions on things is helpful to a consumer, and if these labels prevent people from buying something, they are exercising their right to not buy a product. Sure, it may scare people away from a product, but only if they are too close-minded to accept its message in the first place.

In all honesty, slapping a mature label on the Errant Story books probably would lower sales, but better that than a lawsuit, eh? And best of all, Poe's story would still be in its original form.

Ok, the real world example, like I said.

Imagine, for a moment, that I'm a parent and my child wants to buy a video game. So, I go to the store and look at two games, Kingdom Hearts and Diablo II. Now, Diablo II has a rating right on the front that says it is rated M for Mature, because it has severe violence and nudity. Because I have been a responsible parent and read up on what my labels mean, I know that at some point in this game my child id going to see boobs when he plays it, and that enemies can die in ways that are supposed to represent fountains of blood or organs. I know this because I know what those two things under the rating mean, and I don't have to say, read a transcript of all of the text in the game, look at all of the sprites in the game to see if any of them are scantily clad or nude, and playtest every skill to see how violently enemies die. It saves me a whole lot of time because all I have to do is understand what the damned rating means.

Now, lets say, for a moment, that I am a bad parent, and I do not understand what the rating means. I can still look at it and think that maybe I don't want my kids to see this. I don't buy the game, I don't get angry, all is well.

If I *do* buy the game, and *do* get angry? Hopefully, I'll get laughed out of a courtroom when I try to sue, but that isn't always the case.

Now, if I decide to look at Kingdom Hearts instead, it is rated E for everyone, because of violence. Again, being a responsible parent, I know that this simply means that you run around and hit things with the oversized key the main character wields, or whatever his weapon of choice happens to be for whatever game I am looking at. No blood, no visible signs of injury, no gruesome death scenes. I decide that this is ok for my kid, so I buy it, no fuss needed because I knew what the label was. Again, alternatively I could fuss over exactly what is in the complete transcript of the game, but this is much simpler and covers the same grounds, because I can also see that the label doesn't include things like mature themes, sexual content, etc, so I can be assured that such things aren't in the game.

Again, alternatively I could be a bad parent, see the world violence, and not buy it. Not the bets situation for the kid, but at least I don't become an uppity bitch because I was too dumb and bought a game I objected to.

Yes, I realize that legally such a parent would not actually have a case, bt that doesn;t stop them from getting media coverage and causing a lot of shit for video game companies, and attempting to sue and wasting everyone's time. I didn;t make the system, eh?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 4:01 am 
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Right, because it would be impossible to find out a rating for a video game if such ratings are not required by law. :roll:

If people want ratings, then there'll be a way to get them, one way or the other. In a world without "required" ratings, someone who feels that ratings should be required would make a website rating videogames (and could probably make a business of it).


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 5:08 am 
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Sylvarius wrote:
The point you have to keep in mind is that it is much easier for a store to restrict what a child buys than it is for a parent to restrict it, because stores simply have to say no to the kid, whereas parents have to watch the kid 24/7 and make sure they don't have any money that they can spend on innapropriate things.


No it ain't. If the parents (both of them) aren't watching their little terrors 24x7, I consider them bad parents. Yes, I have already raised mine and she's doing well. One of the main opportunities for parental control is the little darling's budget. My daughter was always bugging me about her friends that had 75-100USD weekly allowances (hers was at $15). Once she started working, she got to buy her own supplies (makeup and crap, unbelievable how expensive that is) and if she wanted to waste her money on trivialities then it was her own problem. By my definition, if it was legal then it wasn't inappropriate. BTW, I didn't lock up the booze cabinet either. Yes, she had unmonitored Internet access since she was 13.

The key thing is that I made it 'not a big deal', either way. She was therefore never tempted to touch the forbidden fruit, simply because it wasn't forbidden. Labels actually work against that. There forbidden fruit is clearly labeled as such. :-x

Sylvarius wrote:
And Impy, I am not demanding that anyone conform to my standards or censor their products. personally, very, veyr few things offend me. I am merely saying that information should be readily available on the products we are buying. People should not be expected to see a product in a store, run home to research it, then come back to the store to buy it. A product should clearly inform consumers as to exactly what it is, so they can make educated decisions then and there. This makes the system much more efficient.

The point of my entire post was that it is currently a parents responsibility to educate their child, and that removing a labeling system makes this more difficult for most people.


No it doesn't. It makes parent do their jobs and actually understand what they are allowing their little dear, which, if they were really doing their jobs, they would have to do anyway. BTW, as liberal as I may seem, I banned "The Simpsons" and that show with the smart-assed black kid "Arnold", from the TV. Both shows advocated unsubordination, something much worse than the occasional 'naughty picture'. As an aside, both shows are too stupid to be funny.

Sylvarius wrote:
Slamlander, it goes like this... Parents educate their children, and labels help them do this-> removing labels restricts a parents control over what their child is exposed to -> knowledge of what you are buying is vital to understanding what impact your purchase will have -> therefore slapping labels or descriptions on things is helpful to a consumer, and if these labels prevent people from buying something, they are exercising their right to not buy a product. Sure, it may scare people away from a product, but only if they are too close-minded to accept its message in the first place.


As a content provider, I do not accept that reasoning. As a parent, I accept it even less. I have never seen a rating system that conformed to my values, even closely and it fosters the forbidden-fruit problem, actually making it worse.

Sylvarius wrote:
In all honesty, slapping a mature label on the Errant Story books probably would lower sales, but better that than a lawsuit, eh? And best of all, Poe's story would still be in its original form.


Under the First Amendment, a lawsuit would have no grounds and community decency can go fuck itself.

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... a parent has to spend extensive time researching EVERYTHING their child gets into in order to have the same level of knowledge.)


[sic]Awww, the poor overworked parent ... tsk, tsk.[/sic] They actually have to work at parenting their little dears. When I grew up, there was the Comic Code Authority. Yes, they were more than a mite draconian and we are well to be rid of them. Also, all SciFi literature was in the Adult section of the library, as was what little Fantasy that there was in those days. One of the few exceptions were the Tom Swift and Tom Swift Junior books. Yes, this was in the 60's. To this day, I don't see what the deal was.

However, it is now damned near impossible to get a publisher to buy a Fantasy book that isn't targeted at young-adults, with the appropriate PG-13 label.

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This thread turned to irrelevant shit real fast. Congrats and don't do it again.


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Slamlander has a real gift for it

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A lot of people seem to have a gift for it.

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:-o Jeepers, it's like the religion discussions. The exact same arguments every time, the same mixture of solid reasoning, common sense, nonsense, hysterical nonsense, and oodles of arrogance. Well, its new to everyone who hasn't heard it before.

I'd toss in something about historical context, but I gotta take my morning Tschitz Tzu and get to work. Which is where I left my Keeblar armor.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:35 am 
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I agree guys and it wont happen again.

Sylvarius, if you want to cover this ground send a PM or email my LJ. This thread is a buzz-kill.

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Slamlander wrote:
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But, getting away from that.

Impy, aren't at least two of the Errant Story volumes already labeled as mature content? Or does Poe leave teh elven sexx0rs out of the books?

And, yes, tis a shame about the decreased sales. I wish people didn't have the "oh no, it could be something that potentially maybe I'll be offended by if I glance inside of it, and I could never have my beliefs challenged because that would shatter my universe and as we all know I'm the most perfect lil' peach whatever deity I spend my worthless existence venerating has ever created" reaction to things that are labeled as mature. We'd live in a much prettier world if people didn't assume they were right about such things or read the word mature as thought-evoking rather than offensive.


offinsive is a community based standard. However Errant story doesn;t seem to carry that flag on any of the sites currently selling it. The fact of the matter is that "Mature" labled titles sell worse just like "R" rated and higher movies gross less on average than G and PG.

Impy and Poe's livelyhood depends on sales amongst other things and so avoiding anything that would decrease sales is beneficial (or benefinancial)


Actually, I know about the sales loss and it's gotten worse since the 60's, not better. On a strict technicality, censorship, of any form, is unconstitutional and I don't care what the local community standards are. It's just too bad that many of my fellow Americans no longer know what a Constitution is. Let alone, have read the damned thing. :-x :cry:


It's not censorship if the it's not the government doing it. If a private business decides not to carry a book or movie because of the content, they are completely within their rights to do so, and it's not censorship.

It still stinks, quite often, but it's not about the Constitution at that point.

_________________
"I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence." -- Frederick Douglass, 1817-1895


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