Australia Censorship News

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28th September   

Update: The Censored Pill...

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Peaceful Pill Handbook to be resubmitted to the Australian censor
Link Here  full story: Euthanasia...Euthenasia campaigns wind up the censors

A censored version of The Peaceful Pill Handbook by Dr Philip Nitschke was awarded an adults only R18 certificate in May 2008.

It has just had the R18 reconfirmed by the Review Board, who dismissed a challenge brought by the Society for the Promotion of Community Standards and Right to Life New Zealand.

The author Dr Philip Nitschke has said the decision clears the way for a fresh attempt to get the book classified so it may be published in Australia where it is currently banned outright: We are talking to our Australian lawyers about lodging a copy of the New Zealand edition of the Handbook with the Australia Office of Film and Literature Classification, making use of the detailed the arguments outlined by the New Zealand Board of Review to justify re-classification here.

 

28th September   

Self Centred Liberalism...

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Australian sex trade association sides with nutters again
Link Here

Eros Vol 9 No 1 One Australian state has so many shops selling adult entertainment that a trade group has called on the government to limit their numbers.

Queensland has about 65% more sex shops now than it did two years ago, The Brisbane Sunday Mail reported. With 180 adult stores, Queensland has twice as many sex shops as Blockbuster video outlets.

EROS, the trade group, said capping the number of sex shops and regulating them more strictly would halt the proliferation of stores and allow the government to crack down on sales of illegal items. Queensland bans the sale of the most explicit DVDs and restricts the sale of some magazines.

Family First, a nutter group, also wants to limit sex shops, saying too many are opening in suburban areas: I've had so many families say they don't want their children confronted with these sexual images and issues in suburban areas, Family First Chairman Peter Findlay said.

 

26th September   

Censors Homecoming...

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Australia bans video game Silent Hill: Homecoming
Link Here

Silent Hill: Homecoming game Horror game Silent Hill: Homecoming has become the fourth game this year to be refused classification by Australia's censors.

The game, which was due for release on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in November, is the sixth installment in the popular Silent Hill survival horror series published by Konami and features a soldier who returns from war to search for his missing brother.

Homecoming was refused classification by The Classification Board last week, presumably for excessive violence, and follows similar verdicts for Fallout 3, Shellshock 2: Blood Trails and Dark Sector.

No doubt the distributors will now edit the game to produce a suitably child friendly version to get an MA15+

The film was passed 18 uncut by the BBFC, the UK's game censor.

 

19th September   

Update: Wowsers and Censors...

Australian Longer Lasting Sex advert modified
Link Here  full story: Longer Lasting Sex...Nutters get off on advert for longer lasting sex

Sex censored on ad Jack Vaisman, CEO of Advanced Medical Institute, has started replacing 120 giant posters promoting longer lasting sex after the advertising watchdog upheld complaints.

The medical institute has swapped the word "sex" for the word "censored" in a cheeky swipe at the Advertising Standards Bureau.

Vaisman said: We have to comply with the Advertising Standards Bureau regulations and we decided that we would change the message and we appeal to the public through our interviews and asked if anyone could come up with a better substitute for the word 'sex'.

But wowsers have done it much cheaper after taking matters - and a roll of red vinyl - into their own hands at Stanwell Park, south of Sydney. They turned "sex" into "sox": It wasn't done for notoriety and nor are we wowsers, ... [BUT] ... we just got sick 'n' tired of our kids having to be subjected to 'sexual inadequacy' and 'limp-penis' adverts everyday when going past on their school bus.

 

18th September   

Aboriginal Abuse...

Another attempt to ban Aboriginal access to pay TV
Link Here  full story: Discriminatory Porn Ban in Australia...Porn is banned in Aboriginal communities

Aborigine woman with a beer The federal opposition wants access to pornographic pay-TV programs banned from Aboriginal communities.

The coalition will use the Senate to press for the ban even though the Rudd government had already rejected a similar proposal in the House of Representatives.

South Australian Liberal senator Cory Bernardi claimed watching pornography led to child abuse.

The coalition supports a blanket ban on pornography on pay TV, he told the Senate during a debate on a government bill which deals with aspects of the Northern Territory intervention.

The coalition also believed the permit system, which traditionally had restricted access to remote Aboriginal communities, had not worked. The system was abandoned by the previous Howard government during its dramatic intervention into the Northern Territory's remote indigenous communities last year. The government is seeking to restore the system.

Senator Bernardi criticised the need for journalists to obtain ministerial approval before visiting certain communities. Problems within those communities could be addressed, if people knew about them.

 

17th September   

Update: Queen Victoria's Land...

Brisbane shops fined for selling standard hardcore porn
Link Here  full story: Sex Shop Raids in Australia...Police raid sex shops looking for porn

Naughty but Nice logo Queensland's Office of Fair Trading has prosecuted two adult shops for selling banned films and magazines.

Attorney-General Kerry Shine said Costa George and Con Ange, the proprietors of Brisbane store Everything Adult, were each fined $5,000.

Merlaway Pty Ltd, proprietor of Naughty but Nice, at Capalaba in Brisbane's east, was fined $2,000 for the sale and display of banned publications and films.

Office of Fair Trading inspectors found the banned items on sale supposedly while responding to consumer complaints, Mr Shine said.

The items were then sent to the Commonwealth Classification Board, which found the DVDs classified as X18+ and RC, Refused Classification, while the magazines were classified as Category 2 Restricted. Items with these classifications are banned from sale in Queensland.

Shine said the Office of Fair Trading took breaches seriously and would continue to carry out spot checks.

 

17th September   

Update: Mile High Censors...

Qantas to restrict internet access to a few safe and crappy websites
Link Here  full story: Inflight Internet Access...Airlines consider internet access on planes
Airstewardess serving

Tissue Sir?
A good job you brought your own porn
The Qantas selection is bollox

Qantas has shelved plans to offer live internet access on its A380 planes from next month as American Airlines comes under fire from nutters and flight attendants for allowing passengers to surf porn websites.

Qantas will instead offer only a limited selection of what it calls cached internet content and access to web-based email and chat services.

A Qantas spokeswoman said the internet plans had been paired back due to logistical and regulatory issues encountered by its connectivity provider, OnAir. The airline said the full internet service was now scheduled to be available later in 2009.

The lack of a full internet service will most likely disappoint many passengers who will have to make do with a limited selection of cached internet content. Qantas has refused to give further details of what content will be included - other than qantas.com - or how much the service would cost.

Laptop power sockets will be provided for every passenger. USB ports, also built into every seat, will potentially allow passengers to access multimedia content from music players and portable hard drives through the seat-back screens.

Update: Profanity Filtering

18th October

Unlike American Airlines and Delta, the scope of Qantas' filtering seems to go far beyond just pornography.

Restrictions may include sites that contain violence, profanity, nudity and other content we consider may be offensive to our customers, said a Qantas spokesman who did not respond when asked if the filtering would include sites that criticised Qantas.

 

16th September   

Update: A Picture of Repression...

Australia's magazine censorship under fire from Eros Foundation
Link Here  full story: Magazine Censorship in Australia...Barely Legal winds up Australia'n nutters

Busty Beauties issue 61 The Eros Foundation, Australia's adult industry trade association, has called on the Australian government to overhaul its mandatory nationwide classification system for publications.

Eros CEO Fiona Patten said that less than 5% of adult publications currently sold in Australia are classified and in many cases importers of adult magazines cannot afford the government's fees for classification.

The cost to classify a publication ranges from $400-$500. Patten said: Many adult publications are imported in small numbers. If an importer wants to bring in 10 copies of a specialist magazine they have to load the cover price of that magazine by up to $40 just to recover the classification costs, so, clearly, they cannot comply with the law or they will go broke.

When more than one business imports the same publication, the company that classifies it first clears it for all companies. This makes many companies reluctant to pay the classification fees.

Patten said that in the past, explicit adult magazines were not classified but were only allowed to be sold from age restricted adult shops.

Censorship laws are inconsistent in Australia, Patten pointed out. In West Australia, Category 2 explicit magazines can be sold legally by minors working at newsstands, a situation Eros has challenged. In Queensland, R-rated films are legal but the equivalent Category 1 Restricted magazines are illegal.

It's time the government reformed the classification scheme to create a powerful uniform adult category called Non Violent Erotica (NVE), that spans film, publications and computer games, that all fall under the same set of guidelines, Patten said: The public has no idea about the differences between an R- or X-rated film, a Category 1 or 2 Restricted magazine and an MA rated online or computer game.

Patten's recommendation is that NVE magazines in Category 2 and X rated films should only be available to adults, purchased from adult shops.

 

10th September   

Update: Fallout from Australian Games Censorship...

All territories to get the same children's version of Fallout 3
Link Here  full story: Fallout 3...World censors ban Fallout 3

Fallout 3 game Speaking to Edge, games make Bethesda has explained what it calls a “misconception” regarding the classification of Fallout 3 in the Australian region. Edge has also learned that due to concerns and issues raised in the process of international classification, Fallout 3 will not contain real world drug references in any territory.

Fallout 3 was originally refused classification by the Australian Censor Board, citing among other reason the in-game use of Morphine in order to ignore limb pain. According to the censor's guidelines, material promoting or encouraging proscribed drug use is banned.

In mid-August, the OFLC announced that a revised version of the game had been granted a rating in Australia, thanks to edits that changed the context of the in-game drug use.

While it has been assumed that these changes would only be in place in the Australian release of the game, Edge has been told by Bethesda vice president of PR Peter Hines that there will be no differences between the version that releases in Australia and the versions that will release in other territories, including Europe and the US.

Hines said, An issue was raised concerning references to real world, proscribed drugs in the game, and we subsequently removed those references and replaced them with fictional names. To avoid confusion among people in different territories, we decided to make those substitutions in all versions of the game, in all territories.

 

9th September   

Encyclopaedic Censorship...

Wikipedia's explict sex education images come under fire from nutters
Link Here

Wikipedia logo Australian nutters say Wikipedia has crossed the line by allowing graphic videos and photographs of sexual acts on its articles.

While school children used to look up dirty words in dictionaries, searching for the same phrases on Wikipedia can result in images and videos of masturbation, hardcore sex and orgies.

On one entry, an 18-second video of a man ejaculating appears on the page - without any warnings or age verification.

On another page, various photos from the sets of both a heterosexual and homosexual hardcore pornography films are featured. Several images of masturbation appear on another page.

Childwise head Bernadette McMenamin says sex education is a good thing , ...BUT... displaying sexualised images in an online encyclopaedia crosses the line: Do we really need to see a woman masturbating on Wikipedia? Do we really need to see so many seconds of ejaculation?

According to Wikipedia's policies, there is no censorship in the online encyclopaedia: Obviously inappropriate content (such as an irrelevant link to a shock site, or clear vandalism) is usually removed quickly, the site says: However, some articles may include objectionable text, images, or links where they are relevant to the content - such as the articles about the penis or pornography.

Internet Industry Association boss Peter Coroneos says there is no need for moral hysteria over graphic images if they are used in context.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) says it can only begin investigating the images and videos if a complaint is received.

 

9th September   

Update: Childish Sensitivity...

Another Bill Henson work published
Link Here  full story: Art Censorship in Australia...Getting wound up by children in art

Bill Henson photo In a move that could reignite the divisive children-in-art scare, a photograph by artist Bill Henson of a naked girl has been reproduced on the internet and in an art auction catalogue.

Auction house Lawson-Menzies has displayed the work, Untitled 1985/86, in publicity for the sale in two weeks.

The photograph depicts a naked girl, apparently a teenager but whose age is unknown, lying on sheets, her legs parted. The girl appears to be sleeping. Henson created the work in 1985-86 and it was exhibited in 1989.

The National Gallery of Victoria and the Albury Regional Art Gallery are believed to own works from the same series.

Lawson-Menzies' national head of art Tim Abdallah said last night the photograph belonged to a Melbourne collector who had decided to sell.

The director of the National Association for the Visual Arts [NAVA], Tamara Winikoff, said: Bill Henson's work has been assessed by the Classification Board on the basis of community complaints and the board agreed it was perfectly fine to be seen by the general community and it didn't break the law. That should be the end of it.

NAVA is currently working on an arts censorship guide to clarify people's rights and responsibilities. The Australia Council is also developing a set of protocols to address the depiction of children in art works, exhibitions and publications that receive government funding. The protocols will be in place by January 1 next year, and adherence to them will be a condition of receiving Australia Council funding.

 

8th September   

Comment: Scissor Work...

Interview with an Australian film censor
Link Here

Film Classification Board Alexandra Greene is a qualified lawyer on the Australian Film Classification Board since 2003.

In her role Ms Greene spends each working day watching about 300 minutes of material, taking notes every two minutes to pick up each instance of nudity, profanity and violence before classifying the product as G, PG, M, MA, R, X or refusing it classification.

The board censors and makes classification decisions about films, computer games and publications

About 16% of all the material that she and the other members of the board have to watch is what they call "adult product".

You get used to the adult product, you get used to seeing it and you know what to expect but I that makes you the opposite (of desensitised). You know what you're supposed to look out for and when it comes up it jumps out at you, she said: It does get repetitive; it's the same old thing. They go through the same scenes, vignettes and motions. They can only go so far with it, there is not much more they can invent. It's one of the easier things to do because all we really have to look out for is violence and some fetishes that aren't permitted.

Ms Greene claims her role is not to censor but inform people about what they are about to watch and if necessary restrict the content from being viewed: You know what the community is going to find offensive on a general level .

People should be able to watch or read what they like ...BUT... we do need to protect people and children from unsolicited material, or at least give them the choice if they want to watch it.

I've got a pretty strong stomach so I haven't had any really bad reactions. I had one which was was an internet site a few years ago which was a live beheading. It caught me by surprise. That was quite confronting obviously. I got a physical reaction to it. I felt quite sick but I just went for a walk around the block and spoke to a few people about it.

But the double entendres in children's films such as Shrek and The Cat in the Hat' s title character calling a garden tool " a dirty hoe" tread a line that can be hard to define.

I saw an interview with (Scottish comedian) Ronnie Barker where he said double entendres were OK because the children couldn't understand it and the adults would get a laugh. But now it's that adults get offended because they're worried their kids might understand.

 

7th September   

Update: Censorial Nightmare...

ACMA whinges at Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares
Link Here  full story: Gordon Ramsay...Gordon Ramsay stirs trouble for Australian TV censors

Gordan Ramsay's The F Word DVD ACMA finds that coarse language in Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares exceeded M classification guidelines

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has found that Channel Nine breached the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice on 6 March 2008, by broadcasting Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares – Secret Garden with an incorrect M (Mature) classification. The finding arose out of a complaint about coarse language in the program.

ACMA found that the program contained both aggressive coarse language and very coarse language, neither of which is permitted in M-classified programs. While the code allows frequent coarse language in M-classified programs (where it is particularly important to the storyline or program context) ACMA determined it was not justified in this case.

ACMA concluded that the program should have been classified MA (Mature Audience). Programs which are classified MA are considered suitable for viewing only by persons aged 15 years or over in view of the intensity and/or frequency of coarse language or other material contained in the program. Such programs must be broadcast in the later MA time zone.

‘The code establishes a scale for the level and amount of coarse language that is permissible in programs at each classification level, and requires programs that contain more impactful coarse language to be classified appropriately.

Both the broadcaster and the Nine Network conceded that the program contained very coarse language that is not permissible in M-classified programs, and have confirmed that the very coarse language contained in the program will not be broadcast in any future programs.

 

28th August   

Offsite: Objectional Censorship Laws...

Australian censors explain their role
Link Here  full story: Fallout 3...World censors ban Fallout 3

Fallout 3 game Games website Kotaku posed a few questions to the Australian Classification Board and received a few useful replies of which this was one:

Kotaku AU: Regarding the use of drugs in computer games - could you elaborate on what specifically made its use in Fallout 3 too much for an MA15+ rating, and what was changed in the revised version to bring it in line?

Classification Board: The Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games (the Guidelines) provide that at the MA 15+ classification (the highest classification for computer games) drug use may be strong in impact and should be justified by context. The Guidelines also provide a general rule that material that contains drug use and sexual violence related to incentives or rewards is RC (Refused Classification).

Accordingly, computer games may include the depiction of drug use. However, if the use of drugs provides an incentive or reward the computer game must be RC. An incentive may be the ability to progress faster through the game. A reward may be a gain in points or access to a wider choice of weapons.

In regard to the computer game Fallout 3, the Board is of the opinion that the use of morphine in the game has the positive effect of enabling the character to ignore limb pain. This ability to progress through the game more easily is the incentive to take the drug while the reward is in the character's abilities.

The revised version of the game has been modified to remove the incentive and reward of progressing through the game more easily from the element of drug use. The revised version has fictional drugs depicted as stylised icons which will alter the physiological characteristics of the characters in the game.

In the decision of the Board, there is no incentive or reward to select drug use.

...Read full interview from kotaku.com.au

 

27th August   

Tea Tree Gully Prudery...

Australians get all coy about nudes in art
Link Here

Naked torso An Adelaide council has banned nude works from its annual art competition adding fuel to the recent national controversy about art and censorship.

Adelaide's Tea Tree Gully Council said the works - a painting featuring a seated nude by Margaret Tuckey, and a sculpture of a female torso by Scot Eames - were too graphic.

The two artists said they were stunned by the council’s decision.

I unwrapped my work and they looked at it and told me it was inappropriate and they would not hang it in the exhibition, Ms Tuckeytold the community Messenger newspaper. They said that school children would be seeing the exhibition.

Eames said he was dumbfounded to be excluded and pointed out that school children could see nudes at the Art Gallery of South Australia. I said `you’ve got to be joking and the organiser said `if you’re both going to continue to protest, I’ll have to ask you to leave the premises,’ Eames told The Messenger.

Tea Tree Gully Mayor Miriam Smith said she supported the decision: Staff, rightly so, rejected the pieces based on their graphic nudity

She said she was not personally opposed to nude art ... when people go (to the exhibition) ...[BUT]... they don’t expect to be confronted with extremely graphic nude pieces of art work’.

 

25th August   

Update: Australia Bans Longer Lasting Sex...

Nationwide ban on advertising billboard
Link Here  full story: Longer Lasting Sex...Nutters get off on advert for longer lasting sex

Want Longer Lasting Sex? billboard Following the Kwinana ban on billboards advertising longer lasting sex, the slogan has now been outlawed nation-wide.

The Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) made the decision after widespread public whinging.

More than a year since the ASB deemed the signs acceptable it has ordered all 120 be torn down across Australia, ignoring its own policy which states the board will not reconsider its decisions for five years.

ASB chief executive Alison Abernethy said there was a clause in the policy allowing the board to overthrow its own decisions in exceptional circumstances.  Community concern about the sexualisation of children has lowered public tolerance of advertising relating to sex, prompting the ASB board to act, Abernethy said: While this billboard itself wasn’t sexualising children it was placing sex before them. Given what was happening in the community and the Senate inquiry into the sexualisation of children in the media we considered that there had been a definite shift in community standards.

She denied this approach could lead to excessive censorship: There will always be certain hot-points within the community that are of concern. The board’s role is to walk the line between advertisers being able to advertise their product and the community not being offended.

AMI spokesperson George Zaharias said his company would comply with the ASB ruling. He said it was a fair decision, agreeing that the billboard could prompt children to ask questions: Now it’s been brought to a head and we have to find a new message. The challenge is for us to come up with something clever.

 

24th August   

Update: Orgasmic Nutters...

Whingers get off on advert for longer lasting sex
Link Here  full story: Longer Lasting Sex...Nutters get off on advert for longer lasting sex

Want Longer Lasting Sex? billboard The Advanced Medical Institute's bold red and yellow signs advertising erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation treatment were the second-most complained about advertisement in Australia last year.

One council has ordered it be removed within 14 days because it breaches bylaws. The Town of Kwinana has written to the owner of the billboard telling them to remove the sign immediately,' council chief executive Neil Hartley said: Council bylaws state that any advertising sign must relate to land use only, unless granted an exemption from council. In regards to this particular advertising sign wording, the town believes it is inappropriate and that it would not be granted approval. The landowner will be prosecuted if the sign is not removed.

In 2007, the Advertising Standards Bureau received more than 190 complaints about the sign. The first, in February, was dismissed by the ASB on the basis that it was not insensitive and the word sex itself was not offensive.

The same billboards were pulled down in New Zealand this year after its Advertising Standards Authority ruled them offensive.

 

21st August   

The Stalker...

Australian Jim Beam advert jokes about stalking
Link Here

The Stalker advert screen shot An Australian TV commercial which makes a joke of stalking could be pulled off our screens after complaints it would cause anguish for real victims of the crime.

In the Jim Beam ad The Stalker , which is shown on Fox Sports and free-to-air TV, an attractive woman talks about stalking a man she broke up with two years earlier.

A restraining order is just a piece of paper, she says before revealing she wears a disguise when she follows him.

Another Jim Beam commercial The Neighbours - in which two naked Swedish girls encourage people to undress as they are spied on by a neighbour - and its associated website have also been removed.

Victims of Crime Assistance League executive director Robyn Cotterell-Jones said the ad trivialised a form of violence: Stalking is a frightening tactic and has ended in murder. There is nothing amusing or enticing to those who are its victims, who suffer its tragic consequences for the rest of their lives.

Jim Beam Global Spirits and Wine marketing director James Sykes said the tongue-in-cheek ads were designed to appeal to the Aussie sense of humour.

The Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code states that advertisements must be mature, responsible and not promote offensive behaviour. The Advertising Standards Bureau confirmed it had received complaints about both ads and its board would decide when it met next month whether they should be taken off air.

 

17th August   

Update: Animated to unban...

Australia unbans Bondage Mansion
Link Here

Bondage Mansion DVD There has been a rapid rethink by the Review Board and Bondage Mansion is no longer banned

Classification Review Board Convenor, Maureen Shelley said the anime genre and that the characters appear 18 or older means the film can be accommodated in this legally restricted category. However, the connection between sexual activity and the themes remains a concern.

 

12th August   

Update: Children's Version of Fallout 3...

Australian censors passes cut version of Fallout 3
Link Here  full story: Fallout 3...World censors ban Fallout 3

Fallout 3 game The Australia Censorship Board has pass and edited version of Fallout 3 with an MA 15+ title.

The reward and incentive for in-game drug abuse had been toned down, according to GameSpot.

However, there is no confirmation of exactly what changes were made.

Using naughty substances plays a large part in Fallout 3 , which proved a major sticking point in the original ruling.

Update: Passed in the UK

8th September 2008

Passed 18 uncut by the BBFC

 

4th August   

Fallout from a Lack of R18+...

Rumours of another Australian games ban
Link Here  full story: Fallout 3...World censors ban Fallout 3

Fallout 3 game The Australian Censorship Board has acknowledged that it is has a new edited version of Fallout 3 from Bethesda, and is in the process of judging its appropriateness for Australian children.

Last month, Fallout 3 was refused classification by the OFLC for its depiction of real-world drugs.

An edited version will assure the game gets into the hands of the average consumer, however, those seeking sane pricing and a "pure" experience will still look to the miracles of importing.

Meanwhile it looks like the uncut version of Fallout 3 will be submitted to the New Zealand censor

 

3rd August   

Update: Animated to Ban...

Australia bans Hentai videos Bondage Mansion and Holy Virgins
Link Here

Bondage Mansion DVD The Australian censorship Review Board met to consider the ratings of four DVD's from Siren's Hentai collection. The result is two titles are banned, and two retained their R18+ ratings

What the Review Board decisions confirm is that as long as none of the characters are portrayed as being below eighteen then it is okay to show hardcore sex in these animated features.

The two banned titles are Bondage Mansion and Holy Virgins . Both were rated R18+ earlier in the year, and were released on June 19th.

T&A Teacher retained its R18+ along with Classes in Seduction .

So what happens to all the copies of Bondage Mansion and Holy Virgins that are already out there? Technically they should be pulled from stores, though in practice this is often not the case. In this case we suspect collectors will quickly snap up any stray copies of these two DVD nasties.

Update: Hentai Removed on the back of the 2008 Papal visit to Sydney

10th May 2009. See article from refused-classification.com

The Pope flies to Sydney, and a million pilgrims duly follow. Killing time between wholesome Catholic activities, said pilgrims stop off in a VERY popular music/DVD shop to peruse the latest in family entertainment.

While shopping, they find copies of HOLY VIRGINS on the shelf in the Anime section. Complaints (x100) to the store manager - and eventually the Government - ensue. The result? Surprise, surprise - the Pope and the pilgrims may be long gone, but you can't find the Hentai Collection in most stores anymore, even though these titles have been given an R rating by the Government-run Classification Board.

 

2nd August   

Update: Naked Chill...

Australian book publisher feels somewhat chilled over Henson affair
Link Here  full story: Art Censorship in Australia...Getting wound up by children in art

Bill Henson photo Fallout from the Bill Henson controversy has prompted book publisher Thames & Hudson to seek a classification from the federal Government for a proposed monograph on the artist.

It is understood that on July 23 the Classification Board received a submission from the publisher in relation to a reprint of the 2003 book Lux et Nox , produced by Swiss publisher Scala.

The 5000 copies of the original 192-page edition sold within 12 months. For the past 18 months, Thames & Hudson has been planning a reprint.

It is believed the publisher and the artist were close to finalising the project when police raided a Sydney gallery in May and confiscated several Henson works.

Two weeks ago, the board ruled the July issue of Art Monthly Australia warranted unrestricted classification, but advised that readers would need a mature perspective.

Despite that outcome, Thames & Hudson remained uneasy about its forthcoming publication. A spokesman for the publisher declined to comment yesterday. Industry sources say the intense debate prompted the publisher to tread carefully.

Henson's spokesman declined to comment, but it is understood that the artist and publisher agreed to submit the book to the Classification Board.

The submission of a book that has already been published has prompted concern in some quarters of a new era of censorship.

 

28th July   

Animated to Censor...

Minister seeks classification review of 4 Hentai DVDs previously passed R18+
Link Here

Bondage Mansion DVD Someone is unhappy about the R18+ ratings awarded to Siren Visual Entertainment's Hentai collection.

The R18+ ratings of four titles are to be looked at by the Review Board this coming Wednesday.

The application has been made by Bob Debus, the Minister for Home Affairs.

This is just further proof that Rudd's Government is no better than Howard's when it comes to censorship.

The films are Classes in Seduction, T & A Teacher, Holy Virgins and Bondage Mansion.

 

28th July   

Australian Government Out of Touch...

Cannot sell X rated DVDs at Sydney Sexpo
Link Here

Eros magazine A recent national opinion poll conducted in Australia by Newspoll on the sale of X-rated films suggests that state government bans on adult films are out of touch with the majority of Australians.

According to the poll, approximately 70% of Australian adults favor overturning bans on the sale of non-violent, X18+ films. The percentage jumps to 82% for 18-24 year olds.

The survey also shows that people who have children support the availability of adult material significantly more than those who don't. Specifically, 80% of Australians who have children are in favor of non-violent erotica being legal and available from adult shops compared to 69% of those who do not have children.

Fiona Patten, CEO of Australian-based adult industry trade group Eros Association, expressed her disappointment that even though more than 50,000 people would be attending the Sydney Sexpo in the anticipation of seeing and buying federally classified X-rated films, the state's prohibition on the product meant that they would be let down.

 

23rd July   

Update: The Art of Politics...

Something has to be done about children in art
Link Here  full story: Art Censorship in Australia...Getting wound up by children in art

Bill Henson photo Australia's censorship laws are set be reviewed following the furore over photographs of naked children depicted in art.

Attorney-General John Hatzistergos has written to ministers responsible for censorship urging them to take action.

Recent events have highlighted how concerned the community is about how children are represented in artworks and publications, Minister for Community Services Kevin Greene said: Where there is a concern that an image of a child has been obtained inappropriately, or is displayed or publicised inappropriately, then some parts of the community want to see measures put in place that protect children.

Greene will bring the subject up at a meeting of state and federal community services ministers: I agree with the Attorney-General that the community would benefit from greater clarity and consistency in the rating of the display and publication of artworks. I am not an art expert, but I am a father, and I am a member of a community that wants to see protection given not just to children, but to the notion of what childhood is.

He said the public outrage following exposure of the Henson photos and the ensuing Art Monthly revealed the depth of concern.

 

19th July   

Disneyification...

Californication too adult for Australian TV
Link Here

Californication The TV censor, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), has found that Network Ten breached the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice on 29 October 2007, by broadcasting an episode of Californication that was incorrectly classified MA (Mature Audience). The finding is in response to two separate complaints about sexual activity and nudity depicted in episode 10 of the series.

ACMA found that sexual activity depicted in a scene in the program was not discreetly implied or discreetly simulated (as required under the code), due to the length of the scene, the amount of detail it contained and its conceptual strength. While Network Ten advised that the program had been edited to meet the Australian classification guidelines, ACMA decided that the editing was insufficient and as a result the program was not suitable for television. The MA category comprises the strongest material that is permitted for broadcast on commercial television (apart from the Adult Violence (AV) category).

 

18th July   

Update: Internet Censorship...

Australia internet industry publishes its Content Censorship Code
Link Here

ACMA logo The Australian-based Internet Industry Association (IIA) has announced its new code of best practice censorship for online and mobile service content providers.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which regulates the industry, reviewed and approved this code of industry practice to oversee, monitor and enforce.

It took effect on July 16, following a 30-day public comment period.

According to IIA's chief executive, Mr. Coroneos: It provides a way for locally-based commercial content service providers and live content service providers to ensure that potentially restricted commercial stored content services or live content provided by commercial content services now comply with Australian classification schemes .

The code provides the Internet and mobile industries with guidance on a variety of subjects, including handling complaints; taking-down notified content; means of promoting online safety for Australian families; implementing restricted access systems for some content services; and regulating certain chat services.

According to the ACMA, any content that is likely to be rated MA15+ (for mature audiences over the age of 15) must be assessed and classified by "trained content assessors."

As part of the code, ISPs will use access controls to provide content that is rated MA15+ or R18+ (restricted to those over 18).

Standard hardcore material rated X18+ is banned.

 

17th July   

Update: Ruddy Useless PM...

Disputed art magazine cover cleared for unrestricted publication
Link Here  full story: Art Censorship in Australia...Getting wound up by children in art

Bill Henson photo Federal censors have delivered a slap to critics of Art Monthly Australia when they effectively cleared the magazine's July issue, with its cover of a naked five-year-old girl.

The Classification Board said the edition - including three illustrated essays on the Bill Henson row - warranted unrestricted classification.

In a sign of the heat generated by condemnation of the cover image from Kevin Rudd down, the board advised that readers would need a mature pespective.

The ruling was by majority, with a minority believing the cover and other illustrations were likely to cause offence and required classification.

In a report to editor Maurice O'Riordan, the board said the publication can be accommodated in the unrestricted classification as it is considered to be a bona fide arts publication which is addressing serious issues of interest and concern.

 

16th July   

Offsite: Australian Wowser...

Michael Atkinson defends Australia's ban on games for adults
Link Here  full story: Fallout 3...World censors ban Fallout 3

Fallout 3 game Someone who has contacted the South Australian Attorney Generals office regarding the lack of an R18 rating in video games, and they received a response from Michael Atkinson! Quoting a segment from the letter:

Given this data, I cannot fathom what State-enforced safeguards could exist to prevent R18+ games being bought by households with children and how children can be stopped from using these games, once the games are in the home. If adult gamers are so keen to have R18+ games, I expect children would be just as keen. I have publically argued that because electronic games are interactive, the violence and other adult content in games have a strong impact. I am particularly concerned about the impact these games have on children, who can spend a lot of their unsupervised leisure time gaming.

As per usual, it's all about 'protecting the children', and skirts around the issue of adult gamers HAVING the choice to play the games they want. I didn't realise it was the job of the government to do the parents job for them.

...Read full article

 

16th July   

Offsite: A Naked Return for Puritanism...

Looking at the art that wound up Kevin Rudd
Link Here  full story: Art Censorship in Australia...Getting wound up by children in art

Bill Henson photo A row in Australia over an art magazine cover shows that our leaders are less at ease with child nudity than the prudish Victorians were.

Kevin Rudd, Australia's prime minister, has started yet another row over nudity in art by protesting about the July cover of Art Monthly Australia (AMA). The cover photograph was taken by Melbourne photographer Polixeni Papapetrou in 2003, and it shows her daughter Olympia at the age of six, seated nude on a seaweed-covered rock on a beach, against a painted backdrop of white cliffs. The July AMA issue also contains two other pictures of nude children.

...Read full article

 

15th July   

Update: Australia Falls Out with Freedom...

Sign the petition to save Fallout 3
Link Here  full story: Fallout 3...World censors ban Fallout 3

Save Fallout 3 To Robert McClelland (Australian Attorney-General)

We the undersigned wish to express our disappointment with the recent decision to ban the game Fallout 3 .

The decision is inconsistent with previous rulings where games with similar content were granted an OFLC rating and their sale permitted.

There are many precedents for games with similar content passing classification, and no precedent that justifies Fallout 3 's banning.

We request that you review this assessment. We welcome fair and just assessment of computer games, but we feel strongly that this decision causes confusion and can only result in a lack of faith in the ratings system for computer games.

We are concerned that this decision will result in Fallout 3 being purchased from overseas sources, which in turn will hurt the computer games industry as a whole.

We are especially concerned that this is yet another example of computer games being viewed needlessly harshly when compared to other forms of media with more mature content.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Sign the petition at gameplayer

 

13th July   

Sadistic Abuse of Censorship Power...

Australian censor bans Pasolini's Salo again
Link Here

Salo The Australian classification board have again banned Pasolini's Salo. This is a controversial 1975 Italian/French film based on the writing of deSade.

In Britain the film has a long history of being banned but was eventually passed 18 uncut in the year 2000.

See a good history of the censorship of Salo in Australia from Refused Classification

 

10th July   

Update: Australia Falls Out with Censor...

Confirmation of ban on the computer game Fallout 3
Link Here  full story: Fallout 3...World censors ban Fallout 3

Fallout 3 game Australian Gamer managed to get its hands on the OFLC's report for Fallout 3 . The ban had nothing to do with decapitation, gore or dismemberment. It was the drugs, and only the drugs.

From the report:

The game contains the option to take a variety of "chems" using a device which is connected to the character's arm. Upon selection of the device a menu selection screen is displayed. Upon this screen is a list of "chems" that the player can take, by means of selection. These "chems" have positive effects and some negative effects (lowering of intelligence, or the character may become addicted to the "chem"). The positive effects include increase in strength, stamina, resistance to damage, agility and hit points.

Corresponding with the list of various "chems" are small visual representation of the drugs, these include syringes, tablets, pill bottles, a crack-type pipe and blister packs. In the Board's view these realistic visual representations of drugs and their delivery method bring the "science-fiction" drugs in line with "real-world" drugs.

The report then states that "material promoting or encouraging proscribed drug use" is grounds enough to refuse classification. Furthermore, the use of morphine is highlighted, as well as its in-game effect: allowing the player to ignore damage.

 

8th July   

Update: Dark Sector: Children's Version...

Game has been cut to achieve an Australian MA15+ certificate
Link Here  full story: Dark Sector Banned...Australian Censor bans Dark Sector video game

Dark Sector video game Dark Sector will finally get an Australian release after a series of cuts enabled the PS3 and Xbox 360 game to secure an MA 15+ rating.

Released in March in Europe and North America, the Digital Extremes developed third person action title had been deemed too ‘violent, gruesome and sinister' for Australian gamers by the country's Classification Board.

The ratings body has now granted the game an MA 15+ rating following a series of cuts. The revised version of Dark Sector still features strong violence, according to the censors.

 

8th July   

Update: Zed Rated Whingers...

Nutters whinges at Love Guru's Australian M rating
Link Here

The Love Guru Rajan Zed, a nutter Hindu leader has criticised Australia classification board for giving it 'M' (recommended for mature audiences) classification when he said it deserved the highest 'R18+' (restricted to 18 and over) classification.

Nobody wants the next generation of Australians, who are under 18 and passing through highly impressionable period of their lives, growing up with distorted view of Hinduism, Zed says.

According to reports, a protest has been planned outside Brisbane theatres, when the movie is released in Australia on July 10.

 

7th July   

Update: Artistic Wind Up...

Latest Art Monthly cover referred to the Australian censor
Link Here  full story: Art Censorship in Australia...Getting wound up by children in art

Bill Henson photo A girl who posed nude as a six-year-old is defending the use of the photograph on the front cover of an arts magazine.

Now 11 years old, Olympia Nelson says she has no problems with the photo her mother, Melbourne photographer Polixeni Papapetrou, took of her when she was six.

The photo is on the front cover of this month's Art Monthly magazine, and the New South Wales Government is referring the magazine to the Classification Board.

Martyn Jolly is the co-author of an article on the controversy that is published in the same edition of Art Monthly. He is also the head of photography and media arts at the Australian National University. He says the magazine had a duty to reignite the debate over children in art: I guess if you're the editor of a magazine which is meant to be reporting on Australia on a month-by-month basis and this has been the biggest thing in Australian art for a long time, you'd be [neglecting] your duty if you didn't actually discuss the debate .

The Federal Government says the Australia Council will now be asked to draw up a set of protocols on the representation of children in art.

 

6th July   

Update: The Art of Rudd Baiting...

Art Monthly magazine winds up Australian prime minister
Link Here  full story: Art Censorship in Australia...Getting wound up by children in art

Bill Henson photo Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he cannot stand the photo of a young naked girl published on the cover of an art magazine.

Art Monthly Australia says it put the six-year-old naked girl on its cover to protest against the censorship of nude children in art.

Rudd has told ABC1's Insiders program that the cover goes against the interests of protecting children: How can anyone assume that a little child of six years old, eight, 10, 12, somehow is able to make that decision for themselves . I mean I don't think I can [assume that] - that's just my view and that's why frankly I can't stand this stuff.

The New South Wales Minister for Community Services wants the magazine referred to the Australian Classification Board.

 

4th July   

Fallout from a Lack of R18+...

Rumours of another Australian games ban
Link Here  full story: Fallout 3...World censors ban Fallout 3

Fallout 3 game Rumours are circulating that the Australian Classification Board has banned the video game Fallout 3.

Apparently the game includes the use of Morphine by your character. By all accounts this did not sit well with the Board as the portrayal of the unregulated use of proscribed substances is a bit of a no no and will damage the fragile minds of Australia's game-playing populace.

The post says the information comes from a "senior" person in the organisation.

 

4th July   

Update: Australians Treated Like Children...

Second Sydney sex shop suffers police raid
Link Here  full story: Sex Shop Raids in Australia...Police raid sex shops looking for porn

NSW police badge Police have seized over 7000 explicit pornographic films in the second Sydney sex shop raid in a week.

Detectives raided a Parramatta adult book shop on Church Street, seizing about 7000 DVDs and 1000 videos on sale in the store.

A police spokeswoman could not confirm the exact nature of the films, but said they were likely to be X-rated pornography, which is illegal to retail in  most Australian states, including NSW, but not in the ACT and Northern Territory.

The films seized in today's raid will now be viewed and classified by the classification board.

Police expect to lay charges against the owners of both stores.

 

4th July   

Update: Guru of Ridiculing Faith...

Australian nutters whinge at Love Guru
Link Here

The Love Guru Australia's Hindu community has called for a boycott of Mike Myers' new film The Love Guru .

Sajana Nand, president of the Australian Hindu Multicultural Association, said he believed a comedy should make people laugh... BUT ... not at the expense of ridiculing faith or spreading misinformation.

Nand called on other religious and community leaders to support the boycott: We support free speech ...BUT... our faith is sacred and attempts at belittling it has hurt the devotees.

Any attempt by an individual or an organisation to make a mockery of a guru shouldn't go unchallenged. Based on the information I have got, I would strongly urge a nationwide boycott of the movie.

Nand said he would call on the Film Classification Board to review the suitability of the fun.

 

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