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RSAC shelves news rating, bowing to criticism from journalists (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 1997 14:51:57 -0700 (PDT)
From: Declan McCullagh <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
Subject: RSAC shelves news rating, bowing to criticism from journalists



RSAC shelves news rating
By Tim Clark and Courtney Macavinta
September 10, 1997, 5:55 p.m. PT

	WASHINGTON, D.C.--The Recreational Software Advisory
	Council, which has created an Internet ratings
	system for Web sites, has put its controversial plan
	to create a special label for news-oriented sites
	on hold.

	RSAC's decision came after resistance from news
	organizations, particularly from established players
	in offline media, which raised First Amendment
	concerns about the so-called "N" label.

	"We are not aggressively pursuing the 'N' label at
	this time," RSAC executive director Stephen Balkam
	told CNET's NEWS.COM.

	Earlier this year, RSAC asked the Internet Content
	Coalition (ICC)--whose members include technology,
	entertainment, and online news companies--to develop
	guidelines outlining who should be able to use the
	label, which was designed to circumvent browsers
	that screen violent or sexual Net sites by "reading"
	the voluntary ratings. (See related story)

	But during an August 28 meeting organized by the ICC,
	most news sites declared that they wouldn't rate
	their content or use a news label. With the ICC
	votes in, RSAC essentially lost its market for the

	"We will pursue discussions with other potential
	partners," Balkam said. "We might talk to mainstream
	press, we might talk to international press. We are
	conducting a thorough review of the issue."