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10th December

 Offsite Article: BBFC Podcast Episode 62...

Link Here
david austin interviewChief Executive David Austin in a QandA in which he reveals that he enjoyed horror films and was keen to seek out uncut versions

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

22nd November

 Offsite Article: Paying the price of censorship...

Link Here
BBFC logoBBFC increases its fees by 1%. I wonder how much the new internet censorship regime will cost?

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

2nd November

  Censor cuts...

BBFC examiners to be downgraded to compliance officers with a 20k salary cut
Link Here
BBFC logoThe Belfast Telegraph reports that the BBFC wants to get rid of five of its current examiners by the end of the year and replace them with younger, less experienced, cheaper compliance officers.

The trade union Unite has responded with the unlikely claim that the staff economies would risk material slipping through the censorship process. Unite's general secretary Len McCluskey has written to the BBFC's president Patrick Swaffer about the planned staff changes. He wrote:

It has always been my impression that the BBFC has maintained the trust of the public, particularly in relation to its child protection responsibilities, through the recruitment of mature and experienced individuals who have come from a variety of backgrounds, both personal and professional.

It seems to me that to replace those individuals with young, inexperienced graduates is both unfortunate in terms of the BBFC's public persona, and, quite possibly, a case of age discrimination.

Furthermore, I do not believe the public's trust, and especially that of many parents, will be enhanced by the knowledge that the BBFC is willing to lose the few examiners who view material on a day-to-day basis who are themselves parents, a status that brings an unimpeachable knowledge and understanding of child development.

The examiners are being given a choice of leaving on voluntary severance terms or being redeployed as compliance officers with a reduction in status and £20,000-a-year drop in salary.

Unite is arguing that the cost savings are not necessary because the BBFC's most recent accounts revealed an operating surplus of more than 1.2 million and that turnover is up by 2%, and operating costs down by the same amount. The union's regional officer Rose Keeping said:

You can't put a price on protecting children and young people from the tidal wave of sexually explicit and very violent films and videos that are available in 2016.

With less experienced examiners, there is an increased possibility that an unacceptable sex scene and/or one of extreme violence sneaking past the censors' net - this would be detrimental to the promotion of child protection that the Government is actively supporting.

We are also investigating whether what the BBFC is proposing for our members contravenes the age discrimination provisions in the 2010 Equality Act.

The BBFC responded in a press release saying:

The BBFC's classification standards protect children and empower families.

In making classification decisions, the BBFC has in place a structure that ensures consistency of approach and is based on published Classification Guidelines that are founded on large-scale public consultation.

The BBFC is currently in consultation with Unite in relation to this phase of the reorganisation of its examining and compliance functions, which began in 2013. The BBFC must respect the privacy of the ongoing formal consultation process.

BBFC logo

BBFC

British Board of Film Classification

The BBFC is an independent company tasked with UK film, video and games censorship. It is funded through classification fees.

The BBFC role is different for cinema,  home media and online.

For cinema the BBFC historically represented the interests of the film industry to ensure that film makers avoided legal issues from obscenity law etc. BBFC cinema ratings are advisory and the ultimate censorship responsibility lies with local authorities. In the vast majority of cases BBFC advice is accepted by councils. But advice has often been overruled to ban BBFC certificated films or to allow BBFC banned films.

For home video, DVD, Blu-ray and some video games, the BBFC acts as a government designated censor. BBFC decisions are enforced by law via the Video Recordings Act of 2010.

For online films the BBFC offers a voluntary scheme of reusing BBFC vide certificates for online works. The BBFC will also rate online  exclusive material if requested. Note that the Video Recordings Act does not apply online and content is only governed by the law of the land, particularly the Obscene Publications Act and Dangerous Pictures Act.

The BBFC is due to relinquish responsibility for video games in late 2011. The Video Standards Council will take over the role and ratings will be provided using Europe wide PEGI ratings and symbols.

BBFC Directors:
- John Trevelyan 1958-1971
- Stephen Murphy 1971-1975
- James Ferman 1975-1999
 - Robin Duval 1999-2004
- David Cooke 2004-present

BBFC Ratings:

-  U: Universal: Suitable for all

- PG: Parental Guidance: General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children

- 12A: Suitable for 12 years and over. No-one younger than 12 may see a 12A film in a cinema unless accompanied by an adult. [cinema only]

- 12: Suitable for 12 years and over. No-one younger than 12 may rent or buy a 12 rated video or DVD. Responsibility for allowing under-12s to view lies with the accompanying or supervising adult.. [home media only]

- 15: No-one younger than 15 may see a 15 film in a cinema. No-one younger than 15 may rent or buy a 15 rated video or DVD.

- 18: No-one younger than 18 may see an 18 film in a cinema. No-one younger than 18 may rent or buy an 18 rated video.

- R18: To be supplied only in licensed sex shops to persons of not less than 18 years. Hardcore pornography is allowed in this category

- Rejected. The BBFC has the power to ban the sale of home media. A rejected cinema film may be shown with permission of the local authority.

Not that rejected home media is banned from sale. It is not generally illegal to possess. However criminal law makes it illegal to possess child & extreme porn.

Websites:
BBFC
Parent's BBFC
Student's BBFC
Children's BBFC

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