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19th August

 Update: Re-recommending the movie Found...


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Australian film censors re-ban Found, even in a heavily pre-cut version
Link Here  full story: Banned Films in Australia...I Want Your Love
Found DVD Gavin Brown Found is a 2012 USA horror by Scott Schirmer.
Starring Gavin Brown, Ethan Philbeck and Phyllis Munro. YouTube icon IMDb

The uncut version of the movie was banned by the the Australian film censors earlier this year in May.

The distributor, Monster Pictures,  has just resubmitted a cut version, approximately 6 minutes shorter than the previous submission.

However the film censors did not relent and the film is still banned,, even in its cut form.

Still no word how the film is faring at the BBFC. It is due for UK release on 13th October 2014.

 

4th August

  Symbolic Outrage...


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Australian political cartoon on Gaza causes offence by using jewish symbol instead of an Israeli symbol
Link Here
glen le lievre gaza cartoon A newspaper has been forced to apologise for publishing a cartoon that showed a Jewish man watching the bombing of Gaza from his armchair to accompany a column about the Middle East crisis.

The Sydney Morning Herald outraged Australia's Attorney-General and the Jewish community for using the drawing of an old man seated in an armchair emblazoned with the Star of David, watching comfortably from a hill as bombs dropped on Gaza.

The paper's Editor-in-Chief Darren Goodsir said it was a serious error of judgement when they published the cartoon drawn by Glen Le Lievre on July 26.

The Sydney Morning Herald apologised:

The Herald now appreciates that, in using the Star of David and the kippah in the cartoon, the newspaper invoked an inappropriate element of religion, rather than nationhood, and made a serious error of judgment.

 

27th July

  Watchdogs Watch Watch Dogs...


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Australian advert censor dismisses whinge about poster for computer game Watch Dogs
Link Here
UBI Soft Watch Dogs PS4 Australia's Advertising Standards Board (ASB) has dismissed a complaint against an outdoor ad for controversial Ubisoft video game Watch Dogs which claimed it was intimidating and normalised guns.

The poster depicted the game's character Aiden Pierce standing in the street of Chicago wearing mask and holding a mobile phone in one hand and a gun in the other.

The complaint to the ASB said the ad was displayed on a bus shelter outside a high school, adding it prompted their own children to ask about guns:

Why is an R rated game advertised in bus shelters, particularly around schools? I can monitor and restrict where my children go in a store, what advertising they see on TV or what magazines they read, but public space advertising like this should always be suitable for all audiences that see it.

In its ruling, the board noted that while the man is pointing a gun he does not look menacing and there is a clear association being made with the television series being promoted (sic) .

It was the board's view that most members of the community would be unlikely to interpret the image as a real life situation and while it was a billboard and could potentially be seen by children, the board considered that the image does not portray explicit violence and was relevant to the advertised product.

The board ruled that the image is not so strong as to be inappropriate for general viewing , dismissing the complaint.

 

24th July

 Update: Blocking Inquiry...

Australia forms group to investigate a secretive avenue of state internet censorship
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Australia...Wide ranging state internet censorship
australian government logo The Australian federal government has founded a committee to inquire into law enforcement's use of the Telecommunications Act. The inquiry will specifically look into the Australian Securities and and Investments Commission (ASIC) alongside the Australian Federal Police (AFS). The groups had initiated website blocking that was revealed in 2013 after a clumsy implementation blocked 250,000 other websites in the process.

Australian tech news site IT News first suggested federal agencies may be taking advantage of Section 313 after a third unnamed agency was found making similar website blocking demands. The federal government refers to the third organization only as a national security agency and has repeatedly declined to disclose any further information regarding the identity or motives behind its behavior.

Australian Greens senator Scott Ludlam issued a public statement on his website accusing the government of a secret Internet filter, referring to an unpopular government proposal earlier that year to establish a mandatory Internet filter. Ludlam asserted that ASIC and AFP activities amounted to a filter by stealth whereby law enforcement agencies disrupted access to online content without transparency or public statements of explanation.

After more than a year of public statements from corporations and politicians, the federal government is opening a parliamentary committee to undertake an inquiry into ASIC and AFP behavior.

The investigation will address whether these agencies' uses of Section 313 have been appropriate or abusive. The current law does not explicitly require transparency, but the inquiry will review whether legal adjustments are necessary, with the committee calling it an important public policy question. Other questions will include the authority of who can use Section 313 to block websites, circumstances in which it is appropriate, and accountability procedures.

Australian Film Classification Board

Australia

The Film Classification Board

The Australian state censor has responsibility for cinema, home video, video games, books and magazines.

Appeals about censorship decisions are heard by the Classification Review Board.

Film & Game Classifications

- G: (General Exhibition) These films and computer games are for general viewing.

- PG: (Parental Guidance) Contains material which some children find confusing or upsetting, and may require the guidance of parents or guardians. It is not recommended for viewing or playing by persons under 15 without guidance from parents or guardians.

- M:  (Recommended for mature audiences) Contains material that is not recommended for persons under 15 years of age.

- MA15+ (Mature Accompanied) The content is considered unsuitable for exhibition by persons under the age of 15. Persons under this age may only legally purchase or exhibit MA15+ rated content under the supervision of an adult guardian.

- R18+ (Restricted) People under 18 may not buy, rent or exhibit these films

- X18+ (Restricted) People under 18 may not buy, rent or exhibit these films. This rating applies to real sex content only

- RC (Refused Classification)Banned

Note that there is no R18+ X18+ available for games so adult games often end up getting banned much to the annoyance of gamers.

Note also that films classified as X18+ (Restricted) are banned from sale or rent in most of Australia. They can only be sold from Northern Territory and ACT (Canberra). Mail order and imports are allowed though and possession of X18+ material is legal

Publication Classifications

 - Unrestricted

- Unrestricted Mature: Not recommended for readers under 15.

- Restricted Category 1: Not available to persons under 18 years. Softcore

- Restricted Category 2 : Not available to persons under 18 years. Only to be sold in adults only shops: Hardcore

- RC: Refused Classification. Banned

Only publications that would be restricted 1 & 2 need to be submitted for censorship. There is also a scheme that magazines only need to be submitted once. Subsequent issues inherit the same rating. However later issues can be 'called in' for reassessment if anything crops up to alert the censors of changes.

Websites:
Classification Board

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