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Australia Censorship Iphone Games

Australia Considering iPhone App Censorship 284

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-apps-mate dept.
srjh writes "Having raised concerns about 'the classification of games playable on mobile telephones,' the Australian government has now 'put the wheels in motion to address this.' Under current Australian legislation, video games sold in the country must pay between $470 and $2040 to have the game classified, and due to the lack of an 18+ rating in Australia, if it is not found to be suitable for a 15-year-old, it is banned outright. This is the fate met by several recent titles, such as Left 4 Dead 2 and Fallout 3. Over 200,000 applications are available for the iPhone, many of them games, and developers have raised concerns about the prohibitive costs involved, with many announcing an intention to drop the Australian market altogether if the plan proceeds."
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Australia Considering iPhone App Censorship

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  • by exomondo (1725132) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @02:43AM (#33298220)
    As an Australian i'd like to redirect that slightly to 'Fuck you Australian Government'. I can't believe we have such idiots thinking that their 'filter' will censor the net...idiots that have no knowledge of P2P, Usenet, IRC, Anon Proxies, Tor, etc... Their focus has been on child porn and yes this may stop Joe Moron Pervert from going to childporn.com, but are the sorts of people interested in such material really that stupid anyway?
  • by nickd (58841) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @03:03AM (#33298322)

    Basically:

    If the liberals/nationals coalition gets in, we are all kinds of fucked (they have become the religious extreme with their preferences going straight to the Christian Democratic Party and Family First after themselves)
    If labor gets in again - we get the only visionary policy any of the politicians have to offer - the National Broadband Network, but they saddle it with filtering, censorship and the lack of an R+18 classification for games.
    So the only decent vote left is the Australian Sex Party - which is a civil libertarian group who are anti-censorship, pro same sex marriage and also want to remove the tax exempt status for religious organisations.

    Next election we will hopefully have the Australian Pirate party fully formed to be able to run a candidate.

    This election is really a case of trying to pick a candidate that is the least awful.
    Ugh

  • by benbritten (72301) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @03:07AM (#33298344) Homepage

    This has nothing at all to do with Apple, it applies to any mobile app. So even if you have android, the developers who want to sell apps in Australia will have to pay to have their apps (well, games) rated.

  • Re:Good grief! (Score:2, Informative)

    by slackarse (875650) * on Thursday August 19, 2010 @03:26AM (#33298452) Journal

    This is not what the average Aussie wants. There was a petition that set the record http://bit.ly/aJuLUO [bit.ly] in Australia for the most number of supporters, for anything, ever! There was also a public debate http://bit.ly/cts8kl [bit.ly] showed 98.2% support for a higher rating from over 60,000 submissions.

    The current government may well be voted out this week, but the problem is, the state attorney generals decide classification guidelines http://www.ag.gov.au/www/agd/agd.nsf/Page/Classification_policy [ag.gov.au]. And if only one of them has a personal vendetta http://www.news.com.au/technology/attorney-general-to-veto-r-rating-for-games/story-e6frfro0-1111115654451 [news.com.au] against something it won't get through.

    Our hopes were raised when Michale Atkison, main detractor for a new rating, "retired" http://www.kotaku.com.au/2010/04/new-s-a-attorney-general-might-support-r18-might-not/ [kotaku.com.au] earlier this year. But all that seemed to do was delay decisions.

    If you'd like more information, please subscribe to the very informative r18 tag for Kotaku http://www.kotaku.com.au/tags/r18/ [kotaku.com.au].

    Disclaimer: I am in no way afilliated with any political party or news site. I just value my freedom, or what little we have left. http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23nocleanfeed [twitter.com]

  • Decision time (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2010 @03:37AM (#33298488)
    FTFA

    The issue was on the agenda of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General meeting of state AGs and the Home Affairs Minister, which was postponed three weeks ago due to the election. Media understands the issue will be raised at a separate meeting of state ministers overseeing classification in November, although most attention will focus on Mr O'Connor's expected announcement, if he and Labor are re-elected, on whether the Australian National Classification Scheme should include an R 18+ classification for computer games.

    (emphasis mine)

    They've delayed the decision for R18+ games once before [slashdot.org]. The next meeting was delayed because of the election... so now it will happen in November, and the issue will be discussed--if Labor is re-elected.

    It feels like this will go on forever.

  • by srjh (1316705) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @04:50AM (#33298800)

    You might be joking, but they are already doing it for pornography [smh.com.au].

    Along with the standard "did you spend time in agricultural regions" and "are you carrying more than $10,000 cash" is a question about whether travellers are carrying pornography. Not just child porn or videos intended for redistribution in the country, but any porn whatsoever, including your honeymoon snaps. Privacy isn't really something that is taken quite seriously by successive Australian governments. The one we end up with on Saturday won't be any different, regardless of who wins, but at least it looks likely the Greens will hold the balance of power and keep whoever wins accountable.

  • Re:Good grief! (Score:2, Informative)

    by HJED (1304957) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @05:39AM (#33299006)
    Your link is broken, where you looking for this: http://www.belowtheline.org.au/ [belowtheline.org.au]?
  • Re:Good grief! (Score:5, Informative)

    by tdelaney (458893) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @05:59AM (#33299090)

    Actually, it's looking likely that the Greens will probably have enough seats in the Senate to hold the balance of power in their own right.

    If you want to vote for progressive parties in the Senate without the hassle of voting below the line, I strongly suggest thinking about voting for the Australian Sex Party. Their preferences flow through a variety of progressive parties (who are unlikely to achieve a quota) before going to the Greens and then Labor.

    Unlike many minor parties, the ASP don't seem to feel the need to have a policy on every issue. But I find that they don't have a policy I disagree with.

    http://www.sexparty.org.au/index.php [sexparty.org.au]
    http://www.sexparty.org.au/index.php/policies [sexparty.org.au]

    Remember - parties need to obtain 4% of the vote (I think) to get their deposit back - voting for a minor party can help them even if they don't get a seat.

  • by rsilva (128737) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @06:48AM (#33299304) Homepage

    Brazil has the same rules since the start, hence in Brazil the appStore does not carry any games.

    What people do here is to have accounts in other countries, usually Argentina. Then the country looses the taxes...
    Since taxes are outrageously high for video games in Brazil, this is probably better for the costumers here.

  • by wall0159 (881759) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @03:12PM (#33305514)

    This is the iPhone we're talking about, right? What's the use of downloading apps from IRC if you can't install them?

  • by exomondo (1725132) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @07:07PM (#33308608)

    An R18 rating isn't a solution, but a means to introduce further censorship.

    Wrong, it means less censorship. Because anything above the M15 rating would not be just outright banned like it is now.

    The fact that there is always something 'worse' wouldn't be the point. Right now you have a rating of what T15? That IS your R18 rating.

    No it isn't, anything that would receive an R18 rating is refused classification and banned because M15 is the highest rating.

    So you increase the level to R18, what difference would that make. All it would do is give people justification for applying more censorship.

    No it would mean that actually have a category of material higher than M15 that would be legal and classified rather than just being deemed illegal.

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