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Old April 7th, 2011, 09:01 AM   #1
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Is a rating required on retail DVD box?

Anyone know whether a rating (or warning) is required on retail DVD packaging? I have a documentary that has one instance of reasonably bad language, some skin (not nude) and provocative posing by a model in a photoshoot, which might be considered the equivalent of TV MA.
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Old April 7th, 2011, 04:22 PM   #2
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Re: Is a rating required on retail DVD box?

The ratings system is completely voluntary. For feature films the MPAA handles rating issues, and for TV Broadcast/Cable, the FCC established V-Chip guidelines. Video Games ratings are handled by the ESRB in the US and PEGI in Europe. No one has to do any of this, and there isn't any requirement at all for packaged DVDs.

However, you may wish to include an advisory on the box to prevent disgruntled customers. But it is completely up to you.
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Old April 7th, 2011, 05:28 PM   #3
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Re: Is a rating required on retail DVD box?

Thanks Adam; I appreciate your comment.
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Old April 8th, 2011, 07:06 AM   #4
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Re: Is a rating required on retail DVD box?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Quinn View Post
Anyone know whether a rating (or warning) is required on retail DVD packaging? I have a documentary that has one instance of reasonably bad language, some skin (not nude) and provocative posing by a model in a photoshoot, which might be considered the equivalent of TV MA.
As Adam said, there's no legal requirement for ratings. But that's not to say a distributor or retailer might not require something on the box before they'll carry the product.
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Old April 8th, 2011, 08:39 AM   #5
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Re: Is a rating required on retail DVD box?

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Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
As Adam said, there's no legal requirement for ratings. But that's not to say a distributor or retailer might not require something on the box before they'll carry the product.
Sure, good point. It's a little unclear exactly what to put on the box; an MPAA rating is out of the question unless it's officially MPAA rated. I notice that for many older streaming titles, Netflix just lists them as "unrated" and often no guidance on content, even when the content is explicitly sexual or violent.

Can I put "TVMA" or does that require rights to use that designation?
Anyway, thanks for the replies.
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Old April 8th, 2011, 03:32 PM   #6
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Re: Is a rating required on retail DVD box?

It's a good question and I was actually just about to edit my post: it's possible (though unlikely) that there is some sort of copyright or trademark restriction on the ratings used by the networks and studios, although it's unlikely anyone would come after you. But even if TV-MA is out, you could find a way to phrase that differently, such as "Contains Mature Language and Images" or something like that.
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