I am a motivational speaker and am self publishing a nonfiction book about child abuse. i ahve some inappropriate language in the book and want to know if my designer by law can use a parental advisory sticker on my cover?

  • Do you mean an advisory in general? Or a specific parental advisory graphic? Are you self-publishing this book? What country are you in? Apr 25, 2014 at 22:01
  • Why don't you read the RIAA's license terms and usage standards? riaa.com/toolsforparents.php?content_selector=parental_advisory
    – user5645
    May 26, 2014 at 6:55
  • There is a copyright on that label, just in case my previous comment was not clear.
    – user5645
    Jun 25, 2014 at 11:44

2 Answers 2


I'm not quite sure what you're asking.

Do you mean, Can I legally put some words on the cover of my book that say that the material is not suitable for children? I'm not a lawyer, but I'd be surprised if there's any country in the world that says you are not allowed to do that. I can't imagine someone saying, "It's okay to publish a book with this highly sensitive material as long as you DON'T warn people that it may not be appropriate for children."

Do you mean, Can I use a specific symbol or logo invented by someone else? I would check with the inventor of the symbol to see if they are claiming trademark protection on it, and if so if they will agree to let you use it and under what circumstances.

Or maybe possibly you mean, Will putting a warning on my book protect me from laws in my country against publishing potentially offensive or disturbing material? That would be very specific to the laws of your home country.

Or possibly you mean, Am I REQUIRED to put such a notice on my book? Again, that would depend on the laws of your country. Where are you from?


Depends on the country's laws and target-audience of the book. Books in general do not have a parental advisory on them as would a video-game or CD would.

Considering the sensitive topic of the book, you may wish to view articles on the reactions on Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. A book that has language in it does not mean it's illegal, but it also does not prevent it from being proposed as ban-able by those offended by its publishing.

For more information check out the ALA:


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