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Australia Censorship News

2015: July-Sept

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You've just gotta Love perverse Australian censorship rules...

Australian Sex Party MP asks why is legal to sell arty hardcore but illegal to sell standard porn

Link Here 29th September 2015
Love is a 2015 France / Belgium drama by Gaspar No.
Starring Gaspar No, Aomi Muyock and Klara Kristin. Youtube linkBBFC link IMDb

UK: 2D and 3D versions were passed 18 uncut by the BBFC for strong real sex, very strong language.

Australia: The film has just been passed R18+ uncut for scenes of actual sexual activity, graphic nudity and sexual themes. Australian R18+ is equivalent to the UK 18 rating.

Australia has an X18+ rating for hardcore porn but only Canberra and Northern Territories allow the sale in local sex shops. A silly situation that has just been highlighted by Victorian Sex Party MP, Fiona Patten. She said she was:

pleasantly surprised by the rating. Traditionally any form of explicit sex has been shunted to the X category. This is quite a grown-up decision for Australia.

Yet, she says, it doesn't take away from the fact that in Victoria:

it's still illegal to show or sell tickets to Debbie Does Dallas , an X-rated film. We still ban the sale, distribution of sexually-explicit films.

Did it help that Love premiered at Cannes? Patten answered:

I hate to say it, but there is an element of cultural snobbery in this.

There is a provision for taking artistic merit into consideration in censorship decisions, she says, but there are those who would argue that Debbie Does Dallas has artistic and historical merit .



Commented: What has caused the most misery in the world, religion or porn?...

Theological debate at Melbourne University after internet porn is banned from student residence...

Link Here 18th September 2015
Students have been banned from accessing pornography at the University of Melbourne's largest residential college, sparking a fiery campus debate on sexual freedoms and censorship.

Ormond College has blocked access to adult sites on its Wi-Fi network, claiming that pornography does not allow people at a formative stage of life to develop a healthy sexuality .

But some students have reacted angrily to the censorship, arguing they pay $200 a semester for college Wi-Fi, and in the privacy of their own rooms they should be allowed to access legal adult sites.

Inevitably the college master in charge is a theologian who seeks to impose his religious nonsense on other people. Dr Rufus Black claimed in a student newsletter that pornography was exploitative and presents women primarily as sex objects who are a means to the end of male pleasure . He preached  that allowing the college's 400 students to access porn on its network would be condoning the objectification of women. He spouted:

Pornographic material overwhelmingly presents women in ways that are profoundly incompatible with our understanding of what it is to treat people with respect and dignity.

He maintained that even same-sex pornography was treating another person as a means to an end , and that porn was addictive.

Rachel Withers, president of the Melbourne University Student Union, said as long as students were accessing legal sites what they viewed in the privacy of their own rooms should be their decision:

I would personally prefer to see colleges tackling issues around respect for women's bodies and consent through educational programs and ensuring students receive comprehensive information on consent as part of their college orientation.

Offsite Comment: Rufus Black preaches about imposing his religious morality on others

18th September 2015. See  sermon from

In a free and plural society, our disposition is to prefer freedom with responsibility over restriction. ...However ... the priority we give to freedom does not relieve us of the task of deciding what we as a community are going to be about.

... Read the full sermon



Sydney Underground Film Festival...

Organisers speak of those films with issues for censors, Love, Bunny the Killer Thing and Dolphin Love

Link Here15th September 2015

The Sydney Underground Film Festival
17 -20th September 2015
The Factory Theatre in Marrickville, Sydney

After a recent change to Australian film censorship law, festival organisers have been speaking of an improved process making it a bit easier to schedule censor baiting material. Festival organisers are now allowed to self-assess as to whether yet to be censored movies are permissible.

Events such as the Sydney Underground Film Festival's co-director Stefan Popescu welcomed the new classification exemptions for festivals and special events:

I think it's far more intelligent to give festivals greater responsibility in assessing the suitability of content for their exhibition, he says. It is good to see that the [Classification Board] is moving towards a less controlling and fearful position in their policies concerning content for media.

The festival opens on Thursday with a screening of French film Love, which has been described as a 3D pornographic movie. Popescu says the film, which premiered at this year's Cannes film festival, challenges the way sexuality is addressed in Australia.

I think we should relax the censorship laws and generally relax our conservative attitudes towards sexuality, he says. I personally don't understand why people are so uptight about something that forms the basis of human existence, yet we celebrate and support violence and warmongering publicly.

This year's festival was programmed before the new censorship rules were enacted and Popescu speaks of films creating issues for the censors. The Australian censors were concerned in particular about two scenes from a Finnish comedy-horror movie, Bunny The Killer Thing. One of the scenes had a woman being bashed unconscious and then sexually assaulted, but the censors did not required cuts. Popescu commented:

I chose Bunny The Killer Thing , because I love ridiculous gore films, there is some sort of sick pleasure in it for me

But even Popescu said he was shocked by the documentary Dolphin Love:

I just find it one of the more confronting films, because this guy really believes he had a loving relationship with a dolphin, he says. I just don't know how I feel about that because firstly it's real and secondly there is no way to assess whether the dolphin consents.

The festival will close with Eli Roth's Knock Knock, an erotic horror film featuring Keanu Reeves.



Never let go...

Australian film festivals can self censor films as long as they have a trained censor onboard

Link Here11th September 2015

New classification exemption arrangements for festivals and special events

On 11 September 2015, amendments to the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) (Modifications of Films) Act 1995 take effect that streamline and simplify the classification exemption arrangements for special events like film festivals and computer game expos and for cultural institutions such as art galleries and museums wishing to exhibit unclassified films, computer games and publications.

The Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) (Conditional Cultural Exemption Rules) Instrument 2015 , which provides further details on the exemptions, will also take effect on 11 September 2015.

Event organisers will no longer be required to apply to the Director of the Classification Board for an exemption from the usual classification requirements. Rather, they will be able to self-assess their eligibility for an exemption.

  • For an exemption to apply, events that wholly or mainly involve the showing of films, computer games or publications, such as a film festival or a computer games expo, must be registered on the online classification portal .

  • Approved cultural institutions are not required to register their events. However, event organisers must use persons trained by the Attorney-General's Department to assess the unclassified material for the exemption to apply.

More information about the new classification exemption arrangements is available on the Industry Guides and Fact Sheets pages.



Offsite Article: Good questions...

Link Here11th September 2015
Drugs, pornography and bicycle helmets under Senate microscope as David Leyonhjelm's nanny state inquiry begins

See article from



Bullies take control...

Major Australian supermarket bans Zoo Weekly

Link Here20th August 2015
A PC lynch mob has targeted Australian shops selling lads' mags.

Laura Pintur started an online petition three months ago calling on supermarket majors Coles and Woolworths to ban Zoo Weekly from their shelves.

An employee at Coles joined the campaign, writing to her union and store manager with an official complaint claiming that selling the magazine contributed to an unsafe workplace and made her complicit in promoting rape culture .

Now the two are claiming a victory, with Coles announcing that it will withdraw the title from sale. In a brief statement, the company claimed it had made a commercial decision to delete Zoo magazine following a regular range review . Pintur crowed:

Zoo Weekly teaches boys that girls like me and my friends exist purely for their sexual use. I couldn't understand why Coles and Woolworths, which pride themselves in their corporate responsibility, family values, and care for their local communities could profit from selling this harmful product. By discontinuing Zoo , Coles has finally done the right thing for women and girls.

IWoolworths indicated there were no plans to withdraw the magazine. A spokesman said:

Zoo magazine is widely available across retailers, newsagents and many other outlets. To reduce the exposure to these magazines in our store, we have it positioned in the magazine reading centre in the aisle in the top right corner. We do not position it at the front of store or on the checkouts in recognition that some customers could be offended by the magazine's content.



Update: Membership Sexed Up...

Australia's Sex Party bounces back after election concerns about minimum membership requirements

Link Here24th July 2015
Full story: Australia Sex Party...Adult trade association organises a politcal party
The Australian Sex Party is back in the federal political contest, two month's after the party's registration was cancelled.

Back in May, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) determined the party should be deregistered because it was not meeting the membership requirements of 500 members to maintain registration.

The leader of the party, and elected member of the Victorian Parliament, Fiona Patten said the AEC decision provoked an angry response.

There was outrage amongst many of our members.

But deregistration appears to have worked in the party's favour. Patten explained:

What was interesting was the number of people who joined the party during this process. Even people who weren't members, but may have been voters for our party, were outraged by this process and by the prospect that we wouldn't be allowed to contest the next election. So they joined.

Patten says there are about 6,000 members of the party across the country, and a candidate will contest the next election in all states and territories.



Offsite Article: Playing the PC censorship game...

Link Here23rd July 2015 catalogues some of the apps being ludicrously banned in Australia

See article from



Mike and his magic vest...

Australia censors Magic Mike XXL posters

Link Here20th July 2015
It looks like Australia have censored a Magic Mike XXL poster.

The original cinema poster features its stars showing off their bare chested torsos.

But Australian distributors have photoshopped the image and covered up the muscles with white t-shirts and vests.

The Mirror reports that the bus shelter posters have been printed on special paper which makes it look like the lads are wearing tops during the day, but at night their naked torsos are revealed.




Abandon hope all ye who enter Australia...

Police raid Adelaide shop for not selling the novel, American Psycho in a sealed plastic wrapper as required by Australian book censors

Link Here17th July 2015
An Adelaide bookshop owner has been gently raided by police for selling copies of the cult novel, American Psycho that were not plastic-wrapped.

The novel, by American author Bret Easton Ellis, has been classified R18 by book censors since its release in 1991, requiring it to be sold in plastic and only to those aged over 18.

It is a satirical book depicting a psychotic high-flying Wall Street worker in an era of greedy America and includes a number of very violent and graphically shocking passages.

Imprints Booksellers co-owner Jason Lake said previous editions had always been plastic-wrapped but the most recent edition was a Picador Classic with an introduction by famous Scottish author, Irvine Welsh, and it did not come plastic-wrapped. He said:

We just assumed the classification has been lifted.

It's the only book on our shelf that we ever have with a plastic wrapper.

Lake said the police were very gentle when they arrived and asked that the book be removed from the shelf. He said the raid occurred because somebody complained to police after reading in a weekend newspaper column that the book was being sold by bookshops without plastic wrapping.



St. Mary Mac's Holy Rack...

Australian censors reveal a little 'outrageous' fun from their archive

Link Here13th July 2015
Documents released under freedom of information laws reveal that Australia's Classification Board found there was no reason to restrict sales of ZOO Weekly's Saint Mary Mac and Her Holy Rack edition in 2010.

The lads' mag caused 'outrage' with photographs of a model on all fours with the caption: She's begging for it ... so she can give it to the poor!

Mary MacKillop is a historical figure, born in 1842, who eventually became Australia's first and only Roman Catholic saint. The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney labelled the publication as:

Disgusting, an insult to her legacy and demeaning to all Australian women.

Although Government censors found the picture spread was in bad taste and could be offensive to some, it did not warrant ZOO to be deemed a submittable publication , which would restrict its sales to people aged 18 or over.

Classification Board director Donald McDonald found the classifiable elements of sex, nudity and themes did not have a high impact. He wrote that censors' role was based on community standards and the principle adults should be able to read, hear and see what they want -- with appropriate exceptions.



Update: Australia measures up as a big girl's blouse...

More details on Australia's censorial new game and app banning scheme

Link Here2nd July 2015
Full story: Online Games Censorship in Australia...Online games producers try to evade censorship

In the past four months, the Australian Classifications Board has labelled 220 video games, making it illegal to sell, advertise or exhibit them in the country.

Australian newspapers have been downplaying the censorship saying that it doesn't sound so bad when one realises that the amount of bans is related to the large quantities of back catologue apps being processed via a new rapid decision program, perhaps up to 150,000 of them.

In fact that the 220 games are properly banned under censorial rules for what's allowed in adults only R18+ games. There was a lot of political opposition to allowing an adults rating at all and the final compromises rules ban games for content that would be perfectly legal in most western countries. For instance more or less anything to do with the depiction of drugs is banned from Australian games.

Examples of banned games on the list include:

  • AK47 Simulator
  • Torture the Murderer 2
  • Measure Bra Size Prank
  • Islam Today
  • Douchebag Beach Club
  • Pass the Grass
  • Time for Cocaine
  • Wrecking Miley
  • Police Bus for Criminals
  • 2015 Athletic Fruits Girls
  • Fun Swimming Pool Love Kiss

There are also several instances of the same game developer submitting multiple, obviously identical games (for example Weed Time submitted as Smoke a Bong FREE, Smoke a Bong, Smoke a Joint, Smoke a Joint FREE and Nose Dose ).

So it seems there are still serious discussions to be had around Australia's game censorship system, including the fact that Australia is much stricter than other countries when it comes to representations of sexual content and drugs, something that has resulted in the blocking of a handful of high quality, well-respected games that adult players in other countries enjoy.

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