Letter: Research on violent videos inconclusive

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The Independent Online
Sir: In the long term, David Alton's suggestion of a blanket ban on all video 'nasties' is unnecessary in order to protect children from exposure to these films. Instead, technology can achieve the same task more effectively while avoiding censorship for adults.

In the United States, many cable-TV remote-control units allow adults to deem certain programmes or channels off-limits to their children by insisting on a several-digit protection code being entered before access is allowed. Exactly the same kind of technology, which is very simple by today's standards, could be introduced into all video recorders.

For example, entry of a three- or four-digit code could be required before each newly-inserted video tape can be operated. As a somewhat less restrictive alternative, the adult classification of certain movies could be encoded on the tape and on recognition the tape recorder would insist on entry of a code before proceeding. Using modern approaches such as these, full parental control is guaranteed and there need be no censorship debate.

Yours faithtully,



12 April