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Melon Farmers



6th April

 Update: Good Question...

Australian Sex Party MP asks why the State of Victorian hasn't yet acted on a Law Reform Commission recommendation to legalise the sale of hardcore porn
Link Here  full story: Australia Sex Party...Adult trade association organises a politcal party
parliament of victoria logo Last week during the sitting of the Victorian Parliament, Fiona Patten MLC questioned the Attorney General about legalising hardcore porn sales in the state of Victoria (currently sales are only legal in Canberra and the Northern Territories):

In relation to the Australian Law Reform Commission's 2012 Review of Australia's classification system, will the Government legalise X18+ classified films in line with public opinion and, if so, when?

The Victorian government now has 30 days to answer the question.

 

1st April

 Update: Copying Britain...

Australia publishes new draft law to extensively block file sharing websites
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Australia...Wide ranging state internet censorship
Australia Government: Attorney-General's Department A draft of new legislation aimed at stopping Aussie consumers accessing pirate sites has been published. The amendments, which contain criteria that could see hundreds of sites blocked by ISPs, is believed to have been reworded to ensure that VPN services don't become caught in the dragnet.

Attorney-General George Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull instiugated the process resulting in the legislation.

The site-blocking elements of the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 are likely to please rightsholders with their significant reach.

In order to apply for an injunction against an ISP, rightsholders need to show that the provider in question provides access to an online location outside Australia and that the location infringes or facilitates infringement of copyright. The location's primary purpose must be to infringe copyright, whether or not in Australia .

Once an injunction is handed down against an ISP it will be required to take reasonable steps to disable access to the infringing site. What amounts to reasonable will almost certainly be the subject of further discussion as any over-broad moves could result in collateral damage and bad PR.

There will now be a six week consultation period for additional submissions and tweaks.

 

12th March

  Singing from the right hymn sheet...

Australian film censors drop the rating for Boychoir on appeal
Link Here
boychoir Boychoir is a 2014 USA drama by François Girard.
Starring Dustin Hoffman, Kathy Bates and Debra Winger. Youtube link IMDb

Summary Notes

Stet, a troubled and angry 11-year-old orphan from a small Texas town, ends up at a Boy Choir school back East after the death of his single mom. Completely out of his element, he finds himself in a battle of wills with a demanding Choir Master who recognizes a unique talent in this young boy as he pushes him to discover his creative heart and soul in music.

Boychoir has had its rating downgraded on appeal in Australia. The film has been re-classified PG (Mild bullying violence and themes) from M (Mature themes, PG-15 in US terms) by the Review Board. The Australian appeal board explains:

The National Classification Code and Classification Guidelines allows for violence and themes which are mild and justified by context. In the Classification Review Board's opinion BOYCHOIR warrants a PG classification because the violence and themes are mild in impact and justified by context.

The other classifiable elements can be accommodated within the PG classification or lower. The overall impact of the classifiable elements in the film was no higher than mild. Films classified PG may contain material which some children find confusing or upsetting and may require the guidance of parents or guardians. For this reason, PG films are not recommended for viewing by persons under 15 without guidance from parents or guardians.

Consumer advice is additional information about the main content of a film, intended to help consumers decide if they want to view this type of material. The Classification Review Board convened today in response to an application from the original applicant, Becker Film Group, to review the decision made by the Classification Board on 10 February 2015, to classify Boychoir M with the consumer advice 'Mature themes'.

For comparison:

  • UK BBFC: Rated PG for mild violence, mild bad language
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

Melon Farmers Pages:
Australia News