If you think that parents are being asked to watch their kids’ music on their smartphones, you’d be right.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission recently ruled that it is illegal to allow parents to “play” music on the devices of their children.
Parents are required to use headphones when listening to music, and some parents are doing so on their devices, but the rules don’t apply to the music played on these devices.
While the ruling has been around for years, it’s only recently that it has reached the attention of parents, who are using this new information to push back.
A group of parents are using the ruling to sue the FCC for being “unconstitutional” and “unreasonable” for the reason that the FCC is forcing them to watch and regulate music on devices they do not own.
The lawsuit, which was filed this week, is challenging the FCC’s decision to “enforce” an “implied parental consent” policy in the form of “parents’ viewing and controlling of their child’s personal digital content.”
It’s the first time the agency has actually issued a ruling regarding this type of parental viewing and control policy, and it’s a move that could have huge consequences for the music industry, particularly for artists.
In a nutshell, parents can now legally watch and control the content of their kids music, but only if they also allow them to “opt out” of this “child-controlled content” policy, which means they have to pay a fee for the service.
The FCC has already stated that it intends to issue rules that will allow parents and guardians to opt out of the policy.
The policy states that parents can “opt-out of the monitoring, recording, and distributing of music that is personally identifiable information (such as music, videos, or photos)” but does not include any parental control over what the music will be played on the device.
If the policy is struck down, there is a risk that the industry could see a decrease in revenue, according to the Associated Press.
In other words, the industry might lose out on a significant amount of money.
“The record industry will suffer a substantial economic impact,” one parent who has filed a lawsuit on behalf of his 13-year-old son said in a statement to Billboard.
“If we are forced to stop listening to our kids’ songs and watch their movies, that would affect our kids, and their families, as well.”
A lawsuit filed by a group of four parents is currently before the court in order to try to get the FCC to strike down the policy and force the industry to allow parental controls.
According to the AP, the lawsuit is about the same age as the lawsuit filed on behalf the three-year old boy who died of a seizure disorder earlier this year.
“Parents should have the right to control what their kids watch and listen to without the FCC telling them how to do so,” said the group’s attorney, Brian J. Stump.
“Children should not be forced to pay fees for services they don’t want or need.”