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The Courts Government Entertainment Games News

Legal Trouble For MMOs In Australia 207

Zonk tips a story at Massively that has uncovered a potential legal controversy in Australia where some MMOs are concerned. Under Australian law, all games require a formal rating to be sold. Due to an oversight, many MMOs do not carry such a rating, yet they have been sold since release without anyone realizing the problem. "According to the Act, selling a single copy of an unclassified game attracts a penalty of AU$27,220.80 or two years. Selling unclassified games in commercial quantities (50 or more) can have a much steeper schedule of penalties, and additional penalties apply to advertising unclassified material, or simply omitting the correct ratings labels on the merchandise. ... publishers and distributors at some point misunderstood their obligations with respect to MMOG classifications in Australia, and operated under the belief that no such rating was required here." Reader Clomer points out that this has been brought to the attention of the Australian media, so hopefully the issue will be resolved soon.
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Legal Trouble For MMOs In Australia

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  • by Carfiend ( 1274550 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @07:43AM (#26723259)
    I was led to believe that the Aussies were criminal types that we kicked out and the first American Colonists were people who were too uptight even for us English types.

    So why then do we have the Aussies being uptight about foolish things and the Americans being pretty chilled out about most things?

    My belief in stereotypes has been shattered!
  • by Patito ( 1088621 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @07:49AM (#26723281)

    AU$27,220.80 or two years? I for one vote for doing things like in the old days: Just send all the convicts to Australia...

  • by gandhi_2 ( 1108023 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @09:11AM (#26723663) Homepage

    condense a complex game / movie / whatever into a single number

    Yes you can. [wikipedia.org]

  • by Bastard of Subhumani ( 827601 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @09:35AM (#26723853) Journal

    Guns [snip] because they're dangerous if NOT handled properly

    They're also quite dangerous if they are handled properly. That's the point of them, isn't it?

  • by MrNemesis ( 587188 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @09:52AM (#26723985) Homepage Journal

    Video games, generally being an arbitrary collection of binary information (typically expressed by electron progression through [semi]conductive materials), have effectively zero mass and since the amount of kinetic energy inherent in any body is proportional to the square of the mass, you can only literally kill someone with a video game by using a localised black hole and/or particle accelerator to get the data to near the speed of light.

    Secondary effects, such as that of the media carrying the "static" copy of the data (usually a small circular device made of hydrocarbon polymers) offer limited offensive possibilities in the terms of discus-like protectiles, or fragmented discs used as makeshift knives (although, technically, the data is no longer intact and therefore cannot be truly defined as a still being a video game). Long term exposure to phosphors emanating from cathode ray tubes sometimes used to display the visual interpretation of the data have also been linked to melenomas and/or rhomboid iris syndrome.

    Hence, it seems reasonable to me that those of us who chose to travel ourselves around in disturbingly fast-moving piles of iron should have some mandatory skill at it. The worst casualty you're likely to get from computer games is someone who stoved their own head in after accidentally playing a copy of ET.

    In summary:
    Person with a six pack of beers in a 2-ton lump of steel travelling at 60mph == dangerous fucktard
    Person with a six pack of beers on a couch playing Mario Kart with his mates == non-dangerous

  • by FredFredrickson ( 1177871 ) * on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @12:45PM (#26726473) Homepage Journal
    Hey! What are you talking about? I'm a deer covered in peices of paper, you insensitive clod! I think they're mighty dangerous.
  • by finelinebob ( 635638 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @01:17PM (#26726877) Homepage

    ... the MMO's penalize YOU!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @03:50PM (#26728855)
    This. Also, let me remind you of the scientifically objective Crate Review System [oldmanmurray.com] for videogames.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers