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back to article Aussie censor wants power to ban iPhone apps

The Australian censorship board wants to extend its tentacles into classifying mobile games and iPhone applications. Aussie censors are already an enthusiastic lot, but trying to wrest control of iPhone applications from Apple's iron grip might prove a step too far. Classification Board director Donald McDonald told a Senate …

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Anonymous Coward

lol

stupid country, but then England wants to be just like them.

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Bunch of...

... bloody wowsers!

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Anonymous Coward

"but then England wants to be just like them"

Really? Do we?

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Big Brother

Strewth

and I thought the UK was a nanny state.

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Pirate

Why bother?

Has any of this censorship actually prevented the games from being available - bootleg copies passed around in the school yard for example?

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Anonymous Coward

@A/C 12:42 GMT

Do we?

Maybe on some scores, such as sending gun boats to keep illegals from landing (aka having a bit of spine), but generally we are happy to be England. Unfortunately the powers that be want us to be Britain, and then have that swallowed up in Europe.

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Anonymous Coward

Crikey

And I thought Aussies were laid back and stuff.

Australia must be the worst first-world country for video games, they seem to ban a lot.

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England wants....

To get rid of Labour, take control back from self assigned money grabbing idiots like the classification board. If this wasn't about making money from producers any uncertified media would automaticly have an 18+ cert, allowing the sale to adults without hassle. Job done, problem solved, some protection for the bloody kiddies who's parents really should be the ones doing the protection and filtering not the rest of us. However, this certification board wants its slice of the cake. Greedy for no reason.

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Proposal Needs Serious Consideration

(that's "serious consideration" as in a proper discussion of its merits/flaws as well as those of the current system, taking into account the broader picture of classification in general)

First off, the article title is sensationalist and only serves to undermine any kind of reasoned discussion on the subject (case in point: the first four comments).

Back on topic, the ratings which Apple give an app are often overly restrictive, so I don't think the current situation is ideal. If I remember correctly, this is done to protect themselves form the accusation of selling objectionable content to minors, etc.

Maybe the age-classification step for apps should be delegated to the various classification boards. This seems like a reasonably sensible option, since different countries have different ideals on what is acceptable and what is not (e.g. the U.S. and its stupid hatred for anything closely resembling nudity, whilst at the same time happily showing death, violence, mutilation, etc. for all to see on prime-time TV). Furthermore, from my view of the BBFC at least, the ratings given out by the classification boards are generally more consistent - partly due to them having more experience, and partly due to them spending more resources (time/people/etc) on the process.

Of course, it would probably complicate any appeals process that a developer would have to go through to question the possibly multiple ratings that their app had been given. But the current appeals process is hardly straightforward.

An alternative solution could be for the classification boards to investigate any apps where a complaint has been raised about the suitability of the Apple-supplied rating. However, not only would this lead to a "high watermark" rating, the potential for a complex appeals process isn't really fixed by this approach either. And there's still the question of how any disparity between Apple's rating and the one deemed appropriate by a given classification board is resolved.

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Badgers

He must be suffering......

.......from the same terminal boredom that his parents were when they named him.

He needs to get some lazily-named sprogs of his own sorted out so he can stop casting about for things to interfere with.

Also, what the HELL is with the Australian Gov't these days? Are they really a bunch of reactionary loons or does it just seem that way?

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WTF?

but then England wants to be just like them

huh? since when?

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title

First off, surely the classification board already has the power to classify iPhone games: if Apple is selling unclassified games in its app store, then it would be breaking the law.

Of course, only video games are required to be classified, so there shouldn't be any problem with apps outside of that category being sold.

I agree that the price for classifying video games is a bit steep. While they've got a sliding scale in place for film so that shorter films have lower fees, there seems to be a fixed fee for games. Given that a trivial iPhone game is going to be easier to review than a PC game with 10 hours of game play, it is unreasonable to charge the same fee for both.

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Paris Hilton

extend its tentacles

Oh, Paris thought you said "extend their testicles." (as in Pom Poco).

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FAIL

Australian Government

As an Aussie, I'm sick and f'ing tired of our recently elected labour government sticking their noses where they are not wanted. They are as pathetic as their british equivalent. They need to stop reacting to our idiotic media, and start using common sense, if thats even possible for a bureaucrat or politician.

In short, Mr Rudd, F**K THE HELL OFF AND LEAVE OUR SOCIETY ALONE!!!

We don't need you or your cronies deciding what is and isn't good enough for us, Your retarded "Great Firewall of Australia" being a case in point...

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Other countries already do this

IIRC, the app store's "games" category is not available in a number of countries including Brazil, China, S. Africa, and Singapore because those countries require that computer games must be vetted before sale. Apple's response is to say, "either we do it our way or not at all". So "not at all" it is.

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A title is required

@ Iron Oxide

"Australia must be the worst first-world country for video games, they seem to ban a lot."

refusing classification means the product cannot be marketed or sold or publicly shown in Australia, unlike banning i would not be breaking the law by being in possession the refused content. So if i can get it somehow ie. ordering over the web from another country its all good.

@ Nomen Publicus

"Has any of this censorship actually prevented the games from being available - bootleg copies passed around in the school yard for example?"

No. See above.

@ Jay Castle and Aussie AC

This article is reporting the personal opinion of a bureaucrat not the policy position of the Australian Federal Government. That's not to say that the government won't listen favorably to to his suggestion that the Office of Film and Literature Classification review iPhone apps but at the moment there is just as much chance they will share my view that he's a bureaucratic twat looking to extend his own jurisdiction. Your anger at the government over this is misdirected. Still there plenty of other things to be angry at them for.

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Unhappy

@ Jay Castle

The Aus Government is seeded with crazy religious fundies who don't like anyone having fun or enjoying themselves.

I hear masturbation will be banned next!!

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Another issue

would be that if they were to bring it in Apple could just sell the apps from overseas and fuck the Government right off.

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Australia...

In terms of individual and media liberty, it's the China of the southern hemisphere. No wonder no-one wants to go there any more.

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WTF?

Piss Off

and hands off my iboobs. They're mine and I'll jiggle them any way I want.

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Big Brother

depressing but not surprising

it's depressing to say but as an aussie we got the govt we deserve. on the whole we're a conservative/reactionary bunch - think Texas minus a bill of rights - and I'm convinced this is the sort of govt most people want. as I was saying - depressing...

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hmmmmm

first I must say I am an Australian and 2 months ago I would have agreed with most of the comments above but since relocating to the UK I have to say I am all for sensorship on violent games. Fact is there is no where near as much violence or murder in Australia, the news over here in London gives me nightmares! And be they take the sensorship too far sometimes but I would rather that then the alternative, becoming like the UK.

Oh AndyTowler I wish it was true but immagration to the island never seems to stop!

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Paris Hilton

Don't judge us by our esteemed leaders

Approximately 0% of Australians back Mr Rudd and Mr Conroy on any of this. They were elected as a protest against John Howard and have repeatedly proven their complete uselessness as effective leaders.

Paris because she's smarter than Rudd, Swan and Conroy put together.

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@Geoffy

I think you'd be surprised by the levels of violence in Australia. For a small population they've had more than their fair share of serial killers. The principal difference to when I last returned to the UK (recently) is that the Aussie media is generally upbeat and UK media utter doom-sayers. Same news, different viewpoint.

As for general violence, I'd never seen so many fights in boozers with such abundant regularity until I came to Australia.

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FAIL

@Geoffy

I suppose you consider violent video games responsible for crimes committed in the ghettos of Johannesburg, and victims of drug gangs' crossfire in Colombia and Mexico?

I guess you're opposed to censorship of movies, music, and books, however. And against the video game censorship that's gone 'too far' - it's a good thing that you're here to be the sole arbiter of what adults are allowed to see, hear, and think about, isn't it? Three cheers for Geoffy, who has finally found that crime can be eliminated by preventing people from watching imaginary bad things!

Thank goodness - now that you're in charge, we can go back to the pre-TV, movie, video game, and book days of the early 1300s, when crime was virtually unknown.

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