Australia News

 2009: Oct-Dec

2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017  
Jan-March   April-June   July-Sept   Oct-Dec   Latest  


23rd December   

Update: Ruddy Repressive...

Hot Movies icon
Internet
Video

Free Sample Minutes
Hot Movies

 

Reporters Without Borders slates Australia's Internet filter
Link Here  full story: Website Blocking in Australia...Stephen Conroy's attempt at internet censorship

Reporters without Borders logoReporters without Borders has written an open letter to Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd, condemning communications minister Stephen Conroy's plan to introduce mandatory Internet filtering by ISPs.

In the letter the organisation says: If Australia were to introduce systematic online content filtering, with a relatively broad definition of the content targeted, it would be joining an Internet censors club that includes such countries as China, Iran and Saudi Arabia.,

It claims that the plan, as proposed would violate the rule of law. The decision to block access to an inappropriate website would be taken not by a judge but by a government agency, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Such a procedure, without a court decision, does not satisfy the requirements of the rule of law. The ACMA classifies content secretly, compiling a website blacklist by means of unilateral and arbitrary administrative decision-making. Other procedures are being considered but none of them would involve a judge.

Reporters without Borders also says that the criteria the proposed law would use are too vague. Filtering would be applied to all content considered inappropriate, a very slippery term that could be interpreted very differently by different people. In all probability, filtering would target refused classification (RC) sites, a category that is extremely controversial as it is being applied to content that is completely unrelated to efforts to combat child sex abuse and sexual violence, representing a dangerous censorship option. Subjects such as abortion, anorexia, aborigines and legislation on the sale of marijuana would all risk being filtered, as would media reports on these subjects.

 

21st December   

Minister For Fascism...

Hot Movies
Internet
Video

Free Sample Minutes

Hot Movies

 

Stephen Conroy website taken down in a hurry
Link Here
Stephen Conroy

Minister for Fascism

The Australian domain registry company, auDA, has been accused of political censorship as it took down a website satirising the minister for internet censorship.

The closed website has relocated to stephen-conroy.com where they explain the story:

On Fri 18-12-2009 auDA issued a notice giving us 3 hours to provide evidence of our eligibility to hold stephenconroy.com.au and related domain names. We asked for reasonable time to prepare and make representations on our eligibility but auDA refused to grant this, insisting we reply within the 3 hour window.

After several attempts at convincing them to give us reasonable time to reply we made a last-ditch attempt at 16:10AEDT stating that we provide a consultancy product with Stephen Conroy in it's name. We hoped that this would at least enable us to stay up over the weekend, but they didn't want to know. We believe that auDA had decided to pull our registration regardless of what we did.

After we were ultimately unable to obtain appropriate advice and representation in the manifestly inadequate time they pulled the domain, sending the site off-line. We've temporarily moved to stephen-conroy.com while we assess and respond to auDA's actions. Please update your bookmarks.

During the course of the weekend we have obtained advice from several sources and had discussions with the extremely helpful guys at EFA, who have agreed to provide their support. They also confirmed having received numerous other complaints from members of the public regarding auDA's actions.

We've received widespread support and messages of condemnation aimed at auDA for their actions, which seem to have been rightly interpreted as a manifestly political move.

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support and state that we WILL BE fighting what we consider to be a heavy-handed attempt to silence us. If you think this is as ridiculous as we do feel free to contact auDA directly and register your disapproval:

Update: Restored

13th January 2009. See article from qlinks.net

Stephen Conroy is Australia's Communications Minister and, in that role, has been instrumental in pushing for ISP-level traffic filters that will block access to illegal content by his nation's citizens.

A site that was combination parody and protest, stephenconroy.com.au, saw its domain registration deleted late last month since they had no business relationship with anyone or thing by that name.

Its creators, however, registered stephenconroy as a business in Victoria, simply waited for it to reappear in the pool of available domains, and grabbed it again.

 

20th December   

Children's Hour...

Hot Movies
Internet
Video

Free Sample Minutes

Hot Movies

 

Australian TV censors publish new guidelines
Link Here

ACMA logoA new code of practice for commercial free-to-air television services registered today by the Australian Communications and Media Authority provides 'important' viewer safeguards and should provide for greater program choice on the emerging digital multi-channels.

The past five years have seen significant changes to commercial free-to-air television broadcasting in this country including, this year, the launch of digital multi-channels that give Australians more program choice, said Chris Chapman, Chairman of the ACMA. While the new code allows some greater flexibility for broadcasters in programming for these multi-channels, the ACMA has ensured that industry also correspondingly introduces related community safeguards.

Under the new code, PG-classified programs may be shown at any time on a commercial television broadcaster's multi-channels. However, G classification time zones will continue to apply to the main digital and analog services before and after school on weekdays and between 6.00 am and 10.00 am on weekends.

It is important that parents and carers know about the new arrangements so they can help mediate children's television viewing accordingly. Therefore, commercial free-to-air broadcasters are required under the code to undertake a 12-month community education campaign to comprehensively inform viewers, said Chapman.

Licensees must also, for the life of the code, provide consumer advice with any PG-classified program on the multi-channels where material may be stronger than expected by parents and guardians of young viewers and the program corresponds with the main channel's G programming time zones.

For the first time, viewers will be able to lodge complaints electronically using a live online form. For administration establishment reasons, this initiative will take effect on 1 March 2010 under provisions in the new code.

The code sets out detailed rules for a range of other matters including the classification of programs and program promotions, reporting of news and current affairs and time occupied by non-program matter. New features of the code include:

  • amended sex and nudity restrictions in MA programs—all depictions of sexual activity or nudity and all verbal sexual references must now be relevant to the story line or program context and must not be high in impact
  • new provisions intended to encourage broadcasters to correct significant factual errors in news and current affairs programs in a timely manner
  • scope for broadcasters to schedule additional amounts of non-program matter on digital multi-channels, facilitating flexibility in program scheduling in the channels' establishment period
  • new protections in reality television programs, as recommended in the ACMA's Reality Television Review, where broadcasters will be expressly prohibited from presenting participants in reality television programs in a highly demeaning or highly exploitative manner.

The code will come into operation on 1 January 2010. It was developed by Free TV Australia, the industry group representing commercial free-to-air television broadcasters. It replaces the previous code, which has been operating since 2004.

The new Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice 2009 is available at the Free TV Australia website, www.freetv.com.au.

 

18th December   

Updated: Predatory Censors...

Australian censors ban the video game Aliens vs Predator
Link Here

Aliens Vs Predator PC DVD The Australian Classification Board has banned yet another video game. This time around it is Aliens Vs Predator .

Slated for a February 2010 release on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC platforms, Aliens vs Predator picks up on a rich cinematic and video game history to once again launch us into the horror tinged sci-fi world that has captivated many around the globe.

SEGA Australia's response so far? Well it is suitably annoyed yet determined in the face of the initial submissions rejection. A SEGA Australia spokesperson told iTWire; SEGA Australia can today confirm that the initial submission of Aliens vs Predator has been Refused Classification by the Classification Operations Board of Australia. We will continue to investigate all options available to us, including the possibility of appeal .

Ausgamers.com has been sent a document from Australian Classification Board with the actual reason for the games classification refusal in this country.

In short The game contains violence that is high in impact and is therefore unsuitable for persons aged under 18 years to play.

The game contains first-person perspective, close-up depictions of human characters being subjected to various types of violence, including explicit decapitation and dismemberment as well as locational damage such as stabbing through the chest, throat, mouth or eyes. Characters can be stabbed with a Predator's wrist blade or an Alien's tail in depictions reminiscent of impalement.

The Predator collects trophies by explicitly ripping off human heads, their spinal columns dangling from severed necks. Heads can be twisted completely around in order to break a character's neck. Eyes can be stabbed through or gouged, leaving empty, bloodied eye sockets. It increases impact; for example, a Predator can stab a character through both eyes with its wrist blade and then rip off their head, the spinal column still attached. Extensive post mortem damage, including decapitation and dismemberment, is also possible.

Depictions of violence such as the above are accompanied by copious amounts of blood and gore, including ample wound detail and visible skeleton.

In the opinion of the Board, the violence in the game causes a high playing impact due to its first-person, close-up perspective, conceptual nature and the level of explicit detail involved in the depictions. The game is therefore unsuitable for a minor to see or play and should be refused classification.

Update: Developers won't release a kids version for Australia

5th December 2009. Based on article from uk.gamespot.com

Many developers, including Valve and Bethesda, opt to censor their products by toning down the violence to adhere to the Classification Board's standards. However, Rebellion, the developers of Aliens vs Predator has decided to simply not release the game in the region.

In a statement, the UK-based studio noted that it was upset that the game was refused classification but said that it will not be altering the game to make it acceptable by the Classification Board's standards: Rebellion is disappointed that its upcoming title Aliens vs. Predator has been banned in Australia, Rebellion said. However, as we understand the law in that country, the authorities had no choice as we agree strongly that our game is not suitable for game players who are not adults.

The content of AVP is based on some of the most innovative and iconic horror movies, and as such we wanted to create a title that was true to the source material. It is for adults, and it is bloody and frightening, that was our intent. We will not be releasing a sanitized or cut down version for territories where adults are not considered by their governments to be able to make their own entertainment choices.

Update: Sega appeals ban

12th December 2009. Based on article from refused-classification.com

Sega have applied to have the ban on Aliens vs Predator examined by the Review Board.

The Board are asking for input from individuals or organisations that wish to make submissions as an interested party.

If an individual or organisation wishes to apply for standing as an interested party to this review, please write to the Convenor of the Review Board. The closing date to lodge your application for standing as an interested party and any submissions is Monday 14 December 2009

We are unsure what constitutes an individual interested party. However we can tell you that in recent times the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties, the Australian Family Association, and Young Media Australia have all been accepted as organisations that are an interested party.

The review is due to take place next Friday. See more about submissions to the review board at refused-classification.com

Update: Sega wins appeal

18th December 2009. Based on article from gamesindustry.biz

Sega has won its appeal with Australia's Classification Board against the banning of Aliens Vs Predator meaning the game will be released in the country after all.

The uncut original game will now be released with a MA15+ rating.

It is with great pleasure that we announce the success of our appeal, Sega Australia's general manager Darren MacBeth told Kotaku. We are particularly proud that the game will be released in its original entirety, with no content altered or removed whatsoever. This is a big win for Australian gamers. We applaud the Classification Review Board on making a decision that clearly considers the context of the game, and is in line with the modern expectations of reasonable Australians .

 

15th December   

Update: Australchina...

Australian government to implement state internet filtering across a broad range of prohibited content
Link Here  full story: Website Blocking in Australia...Stephen Conroy's attempt at internet censorship

Australia China flagThe Australian Government has confirmed that it would proceed with broad scale internet censorship in Australia following a trial into ISP based internet filtering.

Stephen Conroy spun the decision by selectively quoting parts of the trial report. Conroy claimed among other things that banned material can be done with 100% accuracy and negligible impact on internet speed and that the filter would apply to all RC (Refused Classification) content.

It's an interesting line, because the reports findings don't actually say that the filtering of RC content is either 100% accurate nor would it necessarily have a negligible affect on internet speeds.

The study asked the nine ISP's to trial several forms of internet filtering. The first test was based on the flawed ACMA blacklist of approximately 2,000 sites, which as we know from earlier in the year blocks dentists, poker sites, and other legal sites along with illegal sites. The second was based on a broader child safe filter which attempted to filter more sites (although the exact figure was not disclosed.)

The tests found that 100% accuracy was obtained with the ACMA blacklist only, a list of 2,000 odd sites that would only be a small sample of sites blocked under the scheme. The tests found that when the list was expanded to the bigger child safe list, that accuracy dropped to between 78.8% and 84.6%.

On those results, the study claimed Enex considers it unlikely that any filter vendor would achieve 100 percent blocking of the URLs inappropriate for children without significant over-blocking of the innocuous URLs.

The report also details the circumvention of blocked sites. It notes in its summary that A technically competent user could, if they wished, circumvent the filtering technology.

The report seems to accept that proxies aren't that hard to use to some degree, and this is where it gets into scary territory: the report suggests that proxies should be banned: Filtering of additional categories of content enabled ISPs to implement measures which made some common circumvention techniques difficult. For example, a third party website which hides the origin of the requested content (proxy site) can be included in a wider list of URLs to be blocked.

Conroy claims that adult computer games will not be initially included in the filter as the Australian Government has started a public consultation process into whether there should be an R18+ classification category for computer games.

It's a sad day for freedom of speech in Australia when the Government delivers a slanted report that when you actually read it doesn't back everything it is claiming. It's not dissimilar to Iran: you don't get the result you want so you ignore the results you don't want, you stuff the boxes in other places, and you deliver a result that was always predetermined to begin with.

Conroy claims again that the filter is all about kiddie porn (which is already illegal to view and host anyway) but at the same time will ban euthanasia and abortion sites, along with adult computer games as well. The dark clouds of totalitarianism are descending on Australia; remember, history shows that Governments who start on the road to censorship usually expand the regime with time. The can is open now, and who knows when the madness might end.

 

14th December   

Update: Consultation Games...

Australian government launches consultation on adult rated games
Link Here  full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games

R18+ bannedThe long-heralded public consultation process on whether Australia should introduce an adult rating for games commences; Federal Government releases discussion paper discussing pros and cons of the debate.

Aussie gamers will finally be able to voice their opinion directly to government, with a long-awaited public consultation launched by the Federal Attorney-General's Department.

The public consultation is asking for Australian's opinions on whether the country should introduce an adult R18+ rating for games. Currently, any game deemed by the Classification Board to contain content which is unsuitable for anyone aged over 15-years-old is refused classification, effectively banning it for sale down under. Australians are being asked to download a form from the Federal Attorney-General's website, and fill out a questionnaire outlining their views on the R18+ issue.

The Federal Attorney-General's Department has also released a discussion paper outlining the key arguments for and against an adult game rating for Australia.

Submissions will close on 28 February 2010. From there, all of Australia's State and Federal Attorney Generals must agree to introduce an R18+ rating before it can be introduced, which may continue to be a major stumbling block given the vocal opposition of South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson in the past.

 

12th December   

Updated: Predatory Censors...

Australian censors ban the video game Aliens vs Predator
Link Here

Aliens Vs Predator PC DVD The Australian Classification Board has banned yet another video game. This time around it is Aliens Vs Predator .

Slated for a February 2010 release on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC platforms, Aliens vs Predator picks up on a rich cinematic and video game history to once again launch us into the horror tinged sci-fi world that has captivated many around the globe.

SEGA Australia's response so far? Well it is suitably annoyed yet determined in the face of the initial submissions rejection. A SEGA Australia spokesperson told iTWire; SEGA Australia can today confirm that the initial submission of Aliens vs Predator has been Refused Classification by the Classification Operations Board of Australia. We will continue to investigate all options available to us, including the possibility of appeal .

Ausgamers.com has been sent a document from Australian Classification Board with the actual reason for the games classification refusal in this country.

In short The game contains violence that is high in impact and is therefore unsuitable for persons aged under 18 years to play.

The game contains first-person perspective, close-up depictions of human characters being subjected to various types of violence, including explicit decapitation and dismemberment as well as locational damage such as stabbing through the chest, throat, mouth or eyes. Characters can be stabbed with a Predator's wrist blade or an Alien's tail in depictions reminiscent of impalement.

The Predator collects trophies by explicitly ripping off human heads, their spinal columns dangling from severed necks. Heads can be twisted completely around in order to break a character's neck. Eyes can be stabbed through or gouged, leaving empty, bloodied eye sockets. It increases impact; for example, a Predator can stab a character through both eyes with its wrist blade and then rip off their head, the spinal column still attached. Extensive post mortem damage, including decapitation and dismemberment, is also possible.

Depictions of violence such as the above are accompanied by copious amounts of blood and gore, including ample wound detail and visible skeleton.

In the opinion of the Board, the violence in the game causes a high playing impact due to its first-person, close-up perspective, conceptual nature and the level of explicit detail involved in the depictions. The game is therefore unsuitable for a minor to see or play and should be refused classification.

Update: Developers won't release a kids version for Australia

5th December 2009. Based on article from uk.gamespot.com

Many developers, including Valve and Bethesda, opt to censor their products by toning down the violence to adhere to the Classification Board's standards. However, Rebellion, the developers of Aliens vs Predator has decided to simply not release the game in the region.

In a statement, the UK-based studio noted that it was upset that the game was refused classification but said that it will not be altering the game to make it acceptable by the Classification Board's standards: Rebellion is disappointed that its upcoming title Aliens vs. Predator has been banned in Australia, Rebellion said. However, as we understand the law in that country, the authorities had no choice as we agree strongly that our game is not suitable for game players who are not adults.

The content of AVP is based on some of the most innovative and iconic horror movies, and as such we wanted to create a title that was true to the source material. It is for adults, and it is bloody and frightening, that was our intent. We will not be releasing a sanitized or cut down version for territories where adults are not considered by their governments to be able to make their own entertainment choices.

Update: Sega appeals ban

12th December 2009. Based on article from refused-classification.com

Sega have applied to have the ban on Aliens vs Predator examined by the Review Board.

The Board are asking for input from individuals or organisations that wish to make submissions as an interested party.

If an individual or organisation wishes to apply for standing as an interested party to this review, please write to the Convenor of the Review Board. The closing date to lodge your application for standing as an interested party and any submissions is Monday 14 December 2009

We are unsure what constitutes an individual interested party. However we can tell you that in recent times the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties, the Australian Family Association, and Young Media Australia have all been accepted as organisations that are an interested party.

The review is due to take place next Friday. See more about submissions to the review board at refused-classification.com

 

8th December   

Update: Utter Bullshit...

Game developer comments on Australian games censorship
Link Here  full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games

God of War 3 PS3 Recently, God of War Creator David Jaffe commented on the Australian classification board, labeling its methods as utter BS . Jeffe was expressing his views on the possibility of cutting content from his own games.

There's a government board and if they say it's too offensive, in that case there's no fight to fight — it is what it is, he said. There's not much you can do if you're making games aimed at a mature audience. We never like to cut it, but what are you going to do? You're dealing with governments.ss

Jaffe then further commented on the attitude towards games as a form of entertainment. There's absolutely an inconsistency in the consciousness about video games. The reality is people still see a lot of these things as kids' toys. It's utter BS.

God of War III is set for a March 2010 release date in Australia and is yet to be classified. However, previous entries in the God of War series gained a MA15+ rating for violence and sexual references by the Australian Classifications Board. Hopefully mature content in God of War III doesn't stir any controversy.

 

7th December   

Update: Good Start...

Australian Sex Party secures 3.3% of the vote
Link Here  full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games

Australian Sex PartyIt's a party that stands for equality and social justice, for civil liberties and for freedom of choice.

In the leafy electorate of Bradfield on Sydney's north shore, where more than 20 candidates vied for what is a very safe Liberal Party seat, it attracted the third-highest primary vote of the field.

We're talking about the Australian Sex Party; a political grouping with a policy platform not nearly as racy as its name might suggest. Think of it as libertarian rather than libertine.

In both Bradfield and Higgins it received just shy of 3.3% of the primary vote.

This may not sound like a lot, but these by-elections were dominated by two big federal issues; that of the federal Liberal Party leadership, and the national angst over what to do (if anything) about the fact that summers seem to be getting hotter.

The ASP, which was born out of adult industry lobby group the Eros Foundation, is headed by Fiona Patten, the charismatic and articulate chief executive of Eros, and a veteran campaigner on issues such as censorship, gender equality and discrimination.

But the last word to Fiona Patten: We don't want to restrict what adults do as long as they don't hurt others.

 

7th December   

Update: Treat Us Like Adults...

Brisbane rally for R18+ video games
Link Here  full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games

R18+ bannedThe rally planned to show the support of gamers for an R18+ rating in Australia drew about 50 people.

The event, promoted by the website Treat Us Like Adults, took place on Saturday, December 5 in Brisbane. Speeches were given by Ethan Watson from Treat Us Like Adults and Nicolas Suzor, CEO of Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA).

Suzor documented the proceedings on the EFA website, and four YouTube.

The next step in pressuring the government, according to Suzor, is to pressure the Commonwealth Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O'Connor, to release the long-awaited R18+ discussion paper.

 

2nd December   

Update: Electoral Games...

Australian Sex Party campaigns for R18 video games
Link Here  full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games

Australian Sex PartyThe Australian Sex Party have produced a YouTube video to get some of their ideas across to the public

Fiona Patten, Sex Party Convenor, said:

The Australian Sex Party is the newest registered political party in Australia and the only party with a policy to legalise R rated games. We are also the only party actively opposing mandatory internet filtering. We are standing candidates in this weekend's by elections of Higgins in Victoria and Bradfield in Sydney. Unbelievably, the Greens are standing the architect of the government's internet filtering scheme, Clive Hamilton, as their candidate in Higgins.

Our ideological base is predicated on the fact that Australian parliaments are becoming more stacked with overtly religious MPs. Kevin Rudd is a well known committed Christian who goes to church every week and openly admits that his parliamentary life is strongly influenced by his religious one. The new leader of the Liberal Party, Tony Abbott, is a former Jesuit priest in training and close friend of Archbishop George Pell. His religious zeal is legendary.

R (and X) rated computer games are currently illegal because a religious Attorney General from South Australia, has the power to veto all the other Attorneys General on this issue. This is unlikely to change in the near future.

A vote for the Sex Party in the two by elections this weekend will send a strong message to the major parties about support for R rated games. We need to activate gamer networks in Australia to contact friends and colleagues who live in these electorates to vote for the Sex Party. We also need help on polling day in handing out How To Vote cards at polling booths. It's a fun day and the smartest way to support legalising R rated games and getting rid of internet filtering.

 

2nd December   

Bad News Censors...

Australian TV censor whinges at Bad News Bears
Link Here

Bad News Bears Greg Kinnear The TV censor, Australian Communications and Media Authority, has found that Network Ten breached the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice by broadcasting an incorrectly classified film.

The ACMA found that Bad News Bears , broadcast  on 18 January 2009, was incorrectly classified PG (Parental Guidance Recommended) rather than M (Mature).

Films broadcast on commercial television are censored according to the Guidelines for Classification of Films and Computer Games (the guidelines).

When modifying films for broadcast, licensees must ensure that they are modified in accordance with the guidelines so that they are suitable for broadcast at particular times, said Chris Chapman, Chairman of the ACMA. The film contained sexual references and coarse language which exceeded acceptable levels for the PG classification.

For PG-classified films these guidelines state that, sexual activity should be mild and discreetly implied, and be justified by the context, and that coarse language should be mild and infrequent, and be justified by the context.

The ACMA found that the Bad News Bears film contained frequent sexual references that were stronger than mild in impact, and very frequent mild coarse language. The frequent coarse language, particularly in combination with verbal sexual references, and its often aggressive use in the context of insults, resulted in an impact which could not be accommodated within the PG classification.

Originally classified M by the Classification Board for theatrical release, the film was cut by the licensee for broadcast as PG. However, the ACMA concluded that the film was not sufficiently cut from its original M classification and should have been broadcast in the later M time zone with the corresponding M classification.

 

2nd December   

Gloss Fades...

Penthouse on the decline in Australia
Link Here

Penthouse AustraliaThe cause of the global rout of what are coyly called men's interest or adult magazines is obvious: printed porn cannot compete with the unlimited moving -- not to mention moaning -- pictures available gratis on the internet.

The Australian version of Playboy folded in 2000 after its sales sank to an average of about 25,000 copies per issue.

That left just three of the so-called P-mags still standing: Australian Penthouse, published by Gemkilt, and ACP Magazines' weeklies People and The Picture.

In the 1980s and 1990s these were among the most profitable magazines in the nation, with Penthouse and Playboy selling about 150,000 copies a month, The Picture up to 190,000 a week and People as many as 250,000 a week, according to people who worked for them.

In the latest audit, for the three months to September, the mags were anorexic shadows of their former full-figured selves, with The Picture averaging sales of about 63,000 copies an issue and People down to about 44,000.

Penthouse, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in Australia this year resigned from the audit in mid-2007 after its sales dived from 61,000 copies to 26,000 in just two years. Boxall, who is also a former Penthouse managing editor, predicts girlie mags may well disappear altogether within a decade.

 

1st December   

Update: Censors on Drugs...

CrimeCraft banned over fictional drugs
Link Here  full story: CrimeCraft...Australian censors ban yet another game

CrimeCraft Pc Australia's Classification Board banned CrimeCraft for rewarding drug use with in-game benefits.

The board ruled that the online shooter could not be sold in the country because of boosts in the game which mimic real world drugs. In the board's opinion, there is insufficient delineation between the 'fictional drugs' available in game and real-world proscribed drugs, the report stated.

Boost parallels the names, chemical elements, administration, treatment and addictive elements of real-world proscribed drugs, and when used provide quantifiable benefits to a player's character. The game therefore contains drug use related to incentives or rewards and should be refused classification. In addition, the names of boosts mimic the chemicals and colloquial names of proscribed drugs. Examples include K-Dust, Birth, Chimera, Majoun, Betadyne ResistX and Zymek Stim-Ex, as well as the anabolics Raze and Frenzy.

There is no indication whether Vogster Entertainment, makers of CrimeCraft, will be releasing a version without the drug-use.

 

28th November   

Crime Against Humanity...

Australian censors ban another video game, CrimeCraft
Link Here  full story: CrimeCraft...Australian censors ban yet another game

CrimeCraft Pc Vogster Entertainment's CrimeCraft is the latest title to be banned by the Autsrlian Classification Board. This MMO game was 'Refused Classification' on Thursday.

In the U.S. the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) awarded it a Mature rating meaning that it is suitable for persons seventeen and older.

The speculation is that violence was responsible for causing the ban.

 

23rd November   

Update: Call of Censorship Duty...

South Australian Attorney-General to appeal MA15+ for Modern Warfare 2
Link Here  full story: Call of Duty...Nutters wound up by warfare video game series

Call Duty Modern Warfare DVD South Australian Attorney-General and video game censorship nutter Michael Atkinson is to appeal the MA15+ rating handed out by the Classification Board to Modern Warfare 2 .

Speaking to Radio National, Atkinson was asked for his views on the recently released game, described by interviewer Peter Mares as violent and bloody and graphic and confronting.

I'll be appealing against that classification, I think it's wrong, said Atkinson.

Atkinson, who will be challenged for his Croydon seat at the March 2010 state election by Australia's first gamer rights party, went on to admit he had no faith in the Classification Board to do its job properly.

It doesn't surprise me. The Classification Board in Australia does everything to try to get games in under the radar. But just because the system is not being applied properly, it does not mean that the principles of the system are wrong.

What I want the Classification Board to do is to apply the guidelines properly. What I don't want is the extremely violent, sexually depraved, drug use games in Australia at all. At the cinema, we can stop people under 18 going in to see R18+ rated movies. We can't stop these games that are extremely violent and depraved from getting into the home or getting into the hands of children.

 

20th November   

Update: Left 4 Dead 2 Abomination...

Australian censored version doesn't impress
Link Here  full story: Left 4 Dead 2...Australian censor bans video game

Left for Dead 2 The Australian version of Left 4 Dead 2 has been mutilated to the point of mediocrity.

Everything that made Left 4 Dead what it is, the fear, gore and tension has been removed, and what is Left 4 us is an ugly rotting carcass of what was once a great game. The disparity between the censored and uncensored versions is huge, as shown by IGN's review scores. IGN AU, the poor guys who had to play through the censored version, gave the game a 5.0, a score unheard of for such a prestigious developer as Valve. On the flipside, the US team who had the uncompromised version of the game gave it a 9.0.

The level of change is ridiculous, to the point of looking glitchy. Bodies flash away before your eyes (As you can see in the video at the bottom of the page), burning bodies don't even catch on fire and zombies barely look like they have taken a hit as they crumple stupidly before your eyes. Wait for the part in the video where a zombie bait grenade is used, upon its explosion the 30 or so zombies simply vanish into thin air, leaving one body behind, which quickly dissipates.

This is a sad moment for Australian gaming. When it comes down to it, we would rather a game not be released rather than having this insult spread to unsuspecting consumers in Australia. That is also why Gamerz Ink will not be bothering to review this game until we can get a copy on the true version, just like Valve hasn't bothered to make at least an acceptable edited version for Australian stores.

More on the censor's reasons for banning the full version

Based on article from uk.gamespot.com

According to the recently issued review board report, EA argued that Left 4 Dead 2 should be allowed as an MA15+ game due to the unrealistic nature of the violence . Specifically, the EA rep called out the facts that: the game includes zombies who were not and never had been human; that zombies were fictional characters and that zombie killing was an ancillary component to the central objective of the game being played online and in multiplayer format; 15 year olds would know that the zombies were fictional characters and could distinguish them from humans and that therefore lessened the impact (but in any event it was not unlawful to kill zombies which meant that no crime had been committed); and there was no moral issue involved in killing fictional characters.

But the Review Board didn't take those arguments to heart, saying that there was insufficient delineation between the depiction of the general zombie figures and the human figures as opposed to the clearly fictional 'infected' characters . Even so, it was still the violence issue that sunk the appeal, with the Board report stating that whether the objects of the violence were fictional or real, and whether a 15 year old could discern the difference, is largely irrelevant where the game displays the level of realism this one does .

The Board listed specific examples of violent content within the game, including:

  • in the early stages, a body on the ground was shot at repeatedly, a body disintegrated leaving a head on the ground with copious amounts of blood
  • a fire left a visibly charred body
  • a body was lying face down on a bathroom floor with a trail of blood--screaming and moaning accentuated the impact
  • copious blood including repeated instances of blood splatter on camera lens
  • in a store with buses and trucks, blood splatters, a body on the ground having been dragged leaving a trail of blood
  • a person hanging by fingertips from a beam with fingers being stamped on, another person with arm shot off
  • swords used to behead and dismember with blood everywhere
  • in a swamp, with an aircraft crashed, persons being attacked, as they run towards camera some are shot with blood everywhere and fleeting glimpses of stomach entrails spilling out
  • a group between several buses shot at, copious blood including on camera lens, and several heads blown off
  • chainsaws used on attackers, heads cut off and lots of blood
  • exclamations and coarse language from time to time accentuating the impact of acts of violence.

 

7th November   

Update: Vote XXX for Patten...

Sex Party activist Fiona Patten to stand for Higgins by-election
Link Here  full story: Australia Sex Party...Adult trade association organises a politcal party

Australian Sex Party The Australian Sex Party will nominate its convenor and anti-censorship activist Fiona Patten for the Higgins by-election.

The organization said Patten will stand in contrast to the Liberal and Greens candidates to campaign for gay rights, a national sex education curriculum in primary and secondary schools. She also will tackle censorship issues, including the increasing influence of religion in politics and Internet filtering.

Patten said that censorship of the Internet was already at critical levels even before any national filtering scheme was in place. Many sex education, health and fertility agencies were having their sites blocked by inefficient filters.

She said the Australian Sex Party's site had been censored by the government as well: This is a clear breach of the implied rights to political free speech in the Constitution and an example of how difficult it has become for anyone who deals in sexuality to operate online, she said. If ever we get a Clive Hamilton's style national filter in place, the Internet will be off limits for many people.

 

2nd November   

Update: Zombie Censors...

Left 4 Dead 2 Australian censor cuts detailed
Link Here  full story: Left 4 Dead 2...Australian censor bans video game

Left for Dead 2 Left 4 Dead 2 got banned in Australia. So Valve have had to release a censored version.

The aptly-named The Australian Version Thread   over on the Steam community forums has an excellent summary of what's missing from the local, censored edition of the game. Highlights include:

  • No Gore: When you shoot an Infected to you see a small splash of blood. You will not see any gibs at all.
  • No Blood Spatter: You will not see blood spattering on the screen.
  • No Dismemberment: You cannot shoot or melee any limbs, including the head, off an Infected.
  • No Corpses: As soon as they're dead, Infected bodies will disappear.
  • No Burning: Infected will not catch fire from, for example, a molotov. They will, however, still die.
  • No Riot Cop: The riot cop Uncommon Infected will spawn at all. In fact, if just one player on the server is running the Australian edition, the riot cop will not spawn at all.

See also Comparison Cut vs Uncut from youtube.com

The article also describes simple configuration file edits can change the cut demo version into the uncut demo version

 

31st October   

Update: Appealing to Swing Voters...

Australian Sex Party to field by-election candidate
Link Here  full story: Australia Sex Party...Adult trade association organises a politcal party

Zahra StardustThe Australian Sex Party will nominate human rights advocate Zahra Stardust, who also is a burlesque dancer, for the Bradfield By-election on 5th December.

The organization calls Stardust, aka Marianna Leishman, a strong generation Y woman who believes in changing the world from upside down and using the stage as a space to talk about social injustice.

Stardust is a feminist writer and law graduate who also works as a trapeze artist, burlesque performer, showgirl, fire twirler and pole dance instructor.

We look forward to hearing from and consulting with the youth and women of Bradfield about issues affecting their rights, priorities and desires and providing a more nuanced representation of the beautifully diverse electorate of Bradfield, Stardust said.

 

27th October   

NSW survey shows 72% support legal sale of hardcore DVDs...

Australia is like living in Iran or China
Link Here

X18+ symbolMore than 70% in Australia's New South Wales believe that the state's ban on the sale of adult content at brick-and-mortar stores is wrong, according to a study by the Australian Sex Party.

The Australian Sex Party study, commissioned by the Eros Association and Sexpo, was created to assist the party assess the electoral landscape.

Sex Party leader Fiona Patten said that the results were a wake up call to both the Liberal and Labor parties in New South Wales about the moribund morality that is inherent in many of their policies. Both parties continue to fine and jail adult shop owners for selling federally classified X rated film, she said. Its no wonder that over a third of New South Wales voters feel that there is too much religious influence in politics. It's like living in Iran or China.

Politicians have a responsibility to keep abreast of these issues in their electorates and to not be dictated to by a handful of religious ideologues in their party, she said.

In the study conducted over two days this month, 72.1% of citizens supported the legal sale of adult films from age-restricted adult shops, while 20.5% thought they should continue to be banned.

 

26th October   

Not So Erotic Short Film Festival...

Australia still ruled by limp dick politics
Link Here

Sexpo logoWhen is an erotic film festival not an erotic film festival? According to the Australian Sex Party, when it is in held in New South Wales.

On Wednesday the party will stage the nation's first Erotic Short Film Festival, but the party convener Fiona Patten says that because of censorship laws the films will not nowhere near as racy as desired by most party members.

All the films will be classified R-rated, Patten said of the black-tie fund-raising dinner, which will form part of the Sexpo festivities in Sydney this week: About half the submissions we got we had to reject because they had X-rated scenes in them.

Ms Patten said the party expected to sign up a host of new members from the 60,000 visitors expected at Sexpo.

 

25th October   

Pussy...

Porn video hype gets Rammstein album noticed
Link Here  full story: Rammstein Censored...Rammstein wind up nutters and censors

Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da Retailers in Australia cannot sell the new Rammstein album to anyone under the age of 18 because it has been rated R18+.

Under Australian censorship laws, the R18+ rating is restricted to content with high impact and restricted to adults 18 years and older.

Liebe ist fr alle da was released in Australia this week under somewhat controversial circumstances after the band pre-empted the album release with an X rated pornographic video of the first single Pussy.

Swedish director Jonas Akerlund, who has worked with Metallica and The Prodigy, shot the Pussy porn clip.

The band will also release a limited edition of the album soon in a flight case packaged with six sex toys, handcuffs and lubricant.

 

24th October   

Update: Category 2 Nutters...

Australia considers restricting softcore mags to sex shops
Link Here  full story: Magazine Censorship in Australia...Barely Legal winds up Australia'n nutters

Category 1 labelrefused-classification.com has reported on a parliamentary meeting discussing the censorship of games, films and magazines.

Interesting on the topic of magazine censorship. At the moment Category 1 softcore is restricted to adults only but can be sold in general shops. Category 2 hardcore is restricted to sex shops.

Now it seems the authorities are considering restricting softcore mags to sex shops too.

Senator BARNETT—Let us take another route. What progress has been made by the Commonwealth state and territory compliance and enforcement working party which is developing proposals to improve compliance with the National Classification Scheme for offensive publications and films?

Helen Daniels—The working party was established following the censorship ministers meeting in April 2009. It is developing proposals to strengthen and harmonise classification offences and penalties, reforming serial classification declarations and considering other means to regulate offensive publications including replacing the category 1 restricted and category 2 restricted classifications with a single restrictive classification and also looking at issues of sale and display of restricted publications.

Senator BARNETT —What was the last one and can you expand on it?

Helen Daniels—It is about limiting the sale and display of restricted publications to adult-only premises. They are some of the issues that the working party is looking at.

 

23rd October   

Update: Left 4 Dead Too...

Australian ban on Left 4 Dead 2 confirmed by review board
Link Here  full story: Left 4 Dead 2...Australian censor bans video game

Left for Dead 2 A three-member panel of the Classification Review Board has unanimously determined that the computer game Left 4 Dead 2 is classified RC (Refused Classification).

In the Review Board's opinion, Left 4 Dead 2 could not be accommodated within the MA 15+ classification. The computer game contains a level of violence which is high in impact, prolonged, repeated frequently and realistic within the context of the game.

In addition, it was the Review Board's opinion that there was insufficient delineation between the depiction of general zombie figures and the human figures, as opposed to the clearly fictional 'infected' characters. This was a major consideration of the Review Board in determining the impact of this game on minors.

 

23rd October   

Denial of Service Linked to Denial of God...

Denial of Service attacks against Australian atheist websites
Link Here

AFA logo According to the Sydney Morning Herald, savage attacks hit the websites of both the Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) and the Global Atheist Convention and knocked them offline.

The attacks seemed to be related to the Global Atheist Convention, which is being held in Melbourne next March. Speakers include prominent evolutionist and atheist Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion.

About 1,000 tickets have been sold so far through the Global Atheist Convention website, which was set up, and is operated, by the AFA.

The cyber attacks halted ticket sales for the convention, which is expected to be the largest gathering of non-believers ever held down under.

David Nicholls, president of the AFA, was agnostic as to whether the attacks were motivated by religion or were the work of right wing Christian fundamentalists upset that the AFA has been lobbying for a more secular society. In Australia religious conservatives have a voice in politics that is as loud as their numbers are small.

Nicholls said he believed that since two separate atheism-related websites were hit that suggested the attacks were targeted at atheists.

Whichever bunch of religious nuts carried out the attacks it appears their god was on their side. The company hosting the websites pulled the plugs following the attacks, forcing the atheists to find new servers.

 

22nd October   

Rated M for Mad...

Australian games censor has his beady eye on iPhone apps
Link Here

Australian Film Classification BoardThe Australian Classification Board has written to Government expressing concerns that mobile phone applications are being made available in Australia without being subject to a ratings process.

Whilst movies and computer games are subject to ratings from the Classification Board, the many thousands of games released as mobile apps on smartphone platforms such as the Apple iPhone bypass the process.

I recently wrote to the minister regarding my concern that some so-called mobile phone applications, which can be purchased online or either downloaded to mobile phones or played online via mobile phone access, are not being submitted to the board for classification, Australia's Classification Board director Donald McDonald told a Senate Estimates committee in Canberra on Monday.

McDonald made the comment after informing Senators that the Classification Board had recently classified online game World of Warcraft with a rating of M , five years after the game became available in Australia.

While this is not the first online game to be classified by the board, World of Warcraft is arguably the most popular online game in the world, and the fact that it was not classified attracted industry and media interest, McDonald said.

Should the Classification Board be asked to rate downloadable mobile applications, the numbers of apps available to Australians on the Apple iTunes store alone would prove overwhelming. According to Apple, there are over 80,000 applications on its iTunes store - the platform it uses to deliver games and applications to the iPhone.

 

17th October   

Offsite: Television - Not in Front of the Children?...

Australia is planning to advise against TV for toddlers
Link Here

Teletubbies Time DVD A draft ofAustralian government's guidelines says that TV time for young children may reduce the amount of time they have for active play, social contact with others and chances for language development , and may also affect the development of a full range of eye movement [and] . . . reduce the length of time they can stay focused .

Jo Salmon, associate professor of epidemiology at Deakin University, was one of the researchers who informed the Australian government's draft guidelines. Children aged six to 30 months who are watching television have less developed vocabulary, display more aggressive behaviour and have poor attention spans, she says. Parents and childcare centres are not justified in encouraging children, under the age of two, to watch television. While there is no evidence that so-called educational programming is harmful, she would discourage under twos from watching it. I really would not put my young one under two in front of a television. Generally, the evidence that's out there says it could be detrimental, she says.

...Read the full article

 

14th October   

Update: PostPrudes...

Major Australian retailer pulls literary classics
Link Here

Delta Venus Penguin Modern Classics The retail Australian reatail chain, PostShop, has banned the sale of three literature classics amid nutter concern over 'racy' passages and graphic sex scenes.

Crikey understands that two weeks ago, staff at 848 PostShop outlets across the country were ordered to pull the Popular Penguin titles Lolita , The History of Sexuality and The Delta of Venus from shelves after nutter complaints. All three books contain celebrated sexual encounters.

A spokesprat for Australia Post, Alex Twomey, confirmed the ban this morning, saying the titles were inappropriate for a mainstream shop like Australia Post . He said the government-owned corporation had received the books unsolicited from Penguin.

It was purely a decision around whether it fitted our stores. That also extends to DVDs and many other different products, Twomey said. When pressed by Crikey, he was unable to name the exact selection criteria that led to the decision to remove the licentious titles from sale.

However, one postal worker, who did not want to be named, said the books were removed because of customer complaints over inappropriate passages . Requests for the books at other outlets were met with a awkward silence. However, Crikey understands that in some shops, the Penguin stands, containing up to 50 titles, have been completely shielded from view.

Penguin Australia sales director Peter Blake told Crikey he had no idea why Australia Post had removed the offending titles. He said had never encountered a similar objection to their content from other retailers. We were certainly surprised by Australia Post's reaction, Blake said.

 

9th October   

Update: Left 4 Dead 2 Plan B Cert 15...

Edited version of game passes Australian censor as MA15+
Link Here  full story: Left 4 Dead 2...Australian censor bans video game

Left for Dead 2 A toned-down version of Left 4 Dead 2 has now been given a rating of MA15+ after the original was refused classification last month.

According to the Classification Board's report, the modified version removes considerable amounts of gore from gameplay.

The board notes that the game no longer contains depictions of decapitation, dismemberment, wound detail or piles of dead bodies lying about the environment, it said.

No wound detail is shown and the implicitly dead bodies and blood splatter disappear as they touch the ground.

The report said melee weapons such as axes, crowbars and chainsaws were still featured in the game.

 

9th October   

Red Faces...

Australian nostalgia show 'offends' with blacked up Jackson 5 parody
Link Here

Your Songs Harry Connick Jr An Australian variety show has become embroiled in an international racism controversy after airing a skit featuring men dressed as the Jackson 5 - with their faces painted black.

The Jackson Jive parody, which aired on a reunion episode of the variety show Hey Hey It's Saturday , was deemed offensive by the guest judge, the US singer Harry Connick Jr, who complained on air, saying: If I knew that was going to be part of the show I definitely wouldn't have done it.

On behalf of my country I know it was done humorously, but we've spent so much time trying to not make black people look like buffoons that when we see something like that we take it really to heart.

The show's host, Darryl Somers, apologised on air to Connick Jr, who lives in New Orleans, for causing offence. However, Somers said yesterday that the controversy over the blackface routine, which aired as part of the Red Faces talent segment, had been blown out of proportion.

If there were any Australians who were offended ... on behalf of the show I apologise,'' he told Sky News. To most Australians I think it's a storm in a tea cup.

Hey Hey It's Saturday ran on Australian television for 27 years until 1999. The latest episode was watched by 2.3 million people. The six doctors who performed the Jackson Jive parody had performed a similar routine 20 years ago, without controversy, when they were medical students.

 

8th October   

Update: Left 4 Dead 2 Plan B...

Edited version of game submitted to Australian censor just in case
Link Here  full story: Left 4 Dead 2...Australian censor bans video game

Left for Dead 2 Three weeks ago, Valve's Left 4 Dead 2 was refused classification by the Australian Classification Board on the grounds that the game contains violence that is high in impact and is therefore unsuitable for persons aged under 18 to play.

Speaking at a press conference in Sydney today, Valve's Gabe Newell confirmed reports that they had appealed the original decision. Newell said the Review Board would announce their findings on October 22.

Newell also revealed that an edited version of Left 4 Dead 2 had been submitted via the standard classification process. Newell said he thinks this Australian-only version is fully compliant with the guidelines for an MA15+ rating. The Board's classification decision on this edited version is expected to be announced soon.

We think Left 4 Dead 2 is a lot of fun, said Newell. It's a game for adults. But we're aware that different countries have different restrictions, and we want to make the choices that make the game the most fun for that country.

However, Newell stressed that this edited version is just a back-up plan in case the appeal fails or takes longer than expected. Our goal is not to ship this second version, he claimed, while declining to detail what elements had been edited.

 

2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017  
Jan-March   April-June   July-Sept   Oct-Dec   Latest  

melonfarmers icon
 

Top

Home

Index

Links

Email
 

US

World

Media

Info

UK
 

Film Cuts

Nutters

Liberty

Cutting Edge

Shopping
 

Sex News

Sex+Shopping

Advertise
 


US

Americas

International

World Campaigns
 

UK

West Europe

Middle East

Africa
 

East Europe

South Asia

Asia Pacific

Australia
 


Adult DVD+VoD

Online Shop Reviews
 

Online Shops

New Releases & Offers
 
Sex Machines
Fucking Machines
Adult DVD Empire
Adult DVD Empire
Simply Adult
30,000+ items in stock
Low prices on DVDs and sex toys
Simply Adult
Hot Movies
Hot Movies