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Australia Censorship Games

AU Internet Censorship Spells Bad News For Gamers 152

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-hope-for-call-of-duty-kangaroo-wars dept.
eldavojohn writes "Kotaku is running an investigative piece examining what internet censorship means for games in Australia. Australia has some of the most draconian video game attitudes in the world, and the phrase 'refused classification' should strike fear in game developers and publishers looking to market games there. Internet censorship may expand this phrase to mean that anybody hosting anything about the game may suffer censorship in AU. Kotaku notes, 'This means that if a game is refused classification (RC) in Australia — like, say, NFL Blitz, or Getting Up — content related to these games would be added to the ISP filter. [This would bring up] a range of questions, foremost of those being: what happens when an otherwise harmless website ... hosts material from those games (screenshots, trailers, etc) that is totally fine in the US or Japan or Europe, but that has been refused classification in Australia?' Kotaku received a comment from the Australian Department of Broadband Communication promising that the whole website won't be blocked, just the material related to the game (videos, images, etc). Imagine maintaining that blacklist!"
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AU Internet Censorship Spells Bad News For Gamers

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  • by Bananatree3 (872975) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @02:15AM (#31256106)
    Once the flood gates of ISP level censorship are pushed open, it's simply going to keep cascading until our Mate's internet connection is "sanitized" to death, where sanitized is on a sliding scale depending on whoever is in power at the time.
  • wow. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Joelfabulous (1045392) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @02:26AM (#31256158)

    death by bureaucracy... department of broadband communication. are you fucking kidding me?

    this is the kind of idiocy that was generally historically corrected by violent revolution... sigh.

    gg Australia, way to self-immolate in the present tense. it was nice knowing you, I guess. thanks for all the fish, or whatever condolences I'm supposed to offer.

  • by precariousgray (1663153) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @02:27AM (#31256160)
    Why can't we simply accept that this is the 21st century, and nothing should be censored? Ever. Don't want to see the content within a particular video game? Great, don't look at it. That's your right. It is also mine to masturbate to bloody, mutilated appendages if I so choose. Please replace "video game" above with any applicable form of media.
  • by Barny (103770) <bakadamage-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @02:29AM (#31256184) Homepage Journal

    Hate replying to myself, particularly when I wanted to just make it funny, but FUCK this is going to be a growth industry in Australia.

    Lets just work on youtube, 20 hours of vid uploaded per min (quick google search gave me this number), thats 1200 people required to be constantly watching new youtube vids for potentially bad content.

    People can't work 24/7 :)

    So, in 8hr shifts, we have 3600 people... wait, holidays...

    Lets just make it a round 4000 people employed just for keeping up with the current youtube uploads.

    Now thats to keep up, how much to get ahead and start indexing all those vids already there?

  • by wizardforce (1005805) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @02:34AM (#31256202) Journal

    Why can't we simply accept that this is the 21st century, and nothing should be censored? Ever.

    Politicians never got that upgrade. The bug in their code that compels them to control various aspects of peoples' lives for whatever reason has not been patched nor is there any real sign that it ever will be.

  • Re:wow. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mjwx (966435) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @02:37AM (#31256224)

    way to self-immolate in the present tense.

    You do know that self-immolation refers to suicide by fire, more specifically to a form of extreme protest by Buddhist monks. Monks who have taken vows not to harm other creatures set themselves on fire, it was commonplace in south Vietnam as protest against the war and corrupt South Vietnamese government and is occasionally done in China in protest over China's occupation of Tibet.

    Deffo used the wrong word there mate.

  • by some_guy_88 (1306769) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @02:52AM (#31256288) Homepage

    Sounds like they have similar goals to the Australian Pirate Party. (also worth joining)

  • by Calinous (985536) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @03:19AM (#31256426)

    There are 40 work hours a week (and a total of 168 hours), and the free time is about 3 weeks a year. Add one week for other issues (medical leave, ...) and you end up working about 48 weeks a year, or some 1920 hours a year.
      20 hours of content a minute, 525000 minutes a year makes 10 million hours of content a year, against 2000 hours work a year makes 5,000 employees.
      Now, what about all the pictures updated to all the picture sites?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @03:22AM (#31256444)

    The upshot of this whole thing is of course that our jobless rate is going to evaporate as we are going to need that chunk of the the population to surf the net and flag possible bad content.

    ...

    So, in 8hr shifts, we have 3600 people... wait, holidays...

    More likely Australia is going to be funding the outsourcing industries in India and China. Wishful thinking on your part, but not very realistic. There are no silver linings here.

    And yeah, I heard prices for Internet service is already sky-high in Australia; expect pricing to get worse while you need to pay for even more exorbitant services which deny you services. It's as sensible as politics gets.

  • by wizardforce (1005805) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @03:51AM (#31256606) Journal

    Why care if that country wants to hide behind a second great internet wall?

    Even if that were true (which is debatable) There is the minority to consider. Just because a majority decides to throw their rights away does not make it ok to force that decision on to those who aren't ok with giving up their rights to free speech.

  • by JasterBobaMereel (1102861) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @05:04AM (#31256968)

    The great firewall of China is the nearest anyone has got to censoring the internet, and they only just manage it by controlling all access to the internet, running everything through their filters, and having draconian penalties for trying to bypass it.... and it still does not work ....

  • by mangu (126918) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @05:05AM (#31256978)

    Once the ISPs are having trouble maintaining their REAL services for their users just because some non-sense law bullies them into this filtering, they will take action to change the law.

    One of the main differences between rich countries and poor countries is how the law is regarded by the population.

    In developed countries there is a general sentiment among the people that obeying the law is something that benefits everybody. In the Third World the general sentiment is that the law is something created by those in power for their own benefit.

    The way things are going, expect a major increase in corruption and violence in the currently rich contries in the next decades. You cannot keep creating law after law that go against the wishes of the majority of the people without unwanted consequences.

  • by thasmudyan (460603) <udo.schroeter@g m a i l.com> on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @05:26AM (#31257074) Homepage

    Of course, ideologues like the limitless possibilities censorship offers when it comes to shaping the thoughts of the population by making inconvenient material unavailable. It also helps them get re-elected. But in this case, censorship has a very clear business aspect: it means that if you as a publisher don't pay up, they have the power to make your product disappear. Not only will your website disappear from view, the censorship filter makes it impossible for people to even talk about your product. So this is about corruption, clear and simple.

  • by Xest (935314) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @05:59AM (#31257234)

    Which would be quite amusing, because it'd basically mean you had half the population looking for content the government doesn't want them to see.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @09:01AM (#31258174)

    You say i in jest, but this report alone might be already enough. We're talking about RC games here. Is mentioning a "banned" game enough to get hit by the censor bat? Is reporting about a "censored" event, practice or even fad enough to be censored?

    If so, it basically means that censoring ANY medium is perfectly possible in Australia now. Fox reported badly about the Aussie Prez? Let's see, did they have something about happy slapping lately? Yes? Great, *POOF*. BBC disagreeing with Australian foreign policy? Hmm... browse their documentaries, I'm sure we find something that matches our filter criteria. /. repeatedly slapping our censoring policy? Now, that should be easy, I'm sure they have something about copyright in one of their stories that make them censor worthy.

    The threat isn't so much that we might not get to play some computer game. The threat is that it becomes easily possible to silence media outlets that are deemed "unwanted". Oh, you cannot block them for their anti-Aussie-Government stories, but they will for sure carry something that makes them blockworthy.

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