Music Industry

The music industry might get a new warning symbol

The music industry has a history of creating universal warning symbols designed to keep the public from doing stuff of which it disapproves.

Here are a couple of oldies but goodies.

Home Taping

In the wake of the release of the Sony Walkman in 1979, the music industry became very concerned that people were making mixtapes. Its position was “If you want to listen to music on cassette, then dammit, buy the cassette. Don’t just tape your album onto a blank tape.”

Music consumers just laughed, of course. Even some artists hit back.

Parental Advisory

This sticker started showing up on albums in 1990 after Tipper Gore’s group of busybody Washington wives formed the PMRC: the Parents Music Resource Centre. Their goal was to warn parents about music that should be kept away from their children. They even published this hit list.

Naturally, this only made records with this sticker more desirable.

The newest warning label comes from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. It’s designed to warn people about music piracy.

At this point, the new icon is just a proposal but UNLV is hoping that it might be adopted by the music industry at large. Details here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37835 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

3 thoughts on “The music industry might get a new warning symbol

  • Hmmm…first of…if they adopt something like this, the big record companies haven’t learned anything. Their “us vs. fans” attitude isn’t healthy. And second…as a designer…this looks atrocious. I don’t even know what I’m looking at.

    OH! And let’s not forget when Sony’s copy protection rootkit scandal. I own a copy of Switchfoot’s “Nothing Is Sound”…which is on the cover of the Wikipedia article.

    I buy records, buy band shirts, go to shows and pay for Spotify. But this attitude from the big companies encourages people to find ways to stick it to the man! And the casualty? The artists who work hard so the man can live in wealth.

  • Was there a contest to come up with a logo, winner gets $50. What garbage! Is this logo even necessary?

  • I don’t know, but maybe the record labels (and the industry generally) should spent more of their time and effort getting their signed artists decent payment rates from streaming services and less time discussing what graphic might look good…


Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.