South Australia Cracks Down on R18+ Movies

Australia still does not have an R18+ rating category for videogames and now the R18+ category for movies has undergone a severe transformation in South Australia.

South Australia is, of course, home base for anti-game Attorney General Michael Atkinson, so it may not be a total surprise that a new law, which limits how R18+ rated movies can be displayed, exhibited and promoted in South Australia, came into effect on January 10.

A PDF detailing the new law is on the government of South Australia’s website. In it are instructions for handling R18+ rated movies, which applies to any establishment (other than adult-only) that sells, displays or rents movies with ratings below the R18+ threshold. Obviously the idea is to “shield” R18+ movies from those who might be shopping for lower rated films.

Among the law’s provisions:

  • The material for an R18+ film must be displayed in a different area from that in which material for other films is displayed.  The different area must be marked with a prescribed notice displayed in a prominent place near the area. i.e. R 18+ FILMS AREA—THE PUBLIC ARE WARNED THAT MATERIAL DISPLAYED IN THIS AREA MAY CAUSE OFFENCE.
  • The displayed material for an R18+ film may bear no images or markings other than the name of the film in letters of 10 millimetres or less in height and the determined markings relevant to the film’s classification.

Penalties for non-compliance call for a maximum fine of up to $5,000A.

What’s perhaps more disheartening than even the law itself is the reaction from retailers and distributors  who seemed to have no inkling that the law even existed.

Speaking to The Australian, film distributor Mark Spratt of Potential Films said he was “gobsmacked” by news of the law, adding, “It’s gone completely under the radar.”

|Via Gizmodo, Thanks Grant!|

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25 comments

  1. Erasmus Darwin says:

    The summary’s poorly written.  It makes it sound like the Australian law requires the movies to be segregated AND have minimalist, title-only covers.  Checking the Gizmodo article shows that it’s an either/or — they can either segregate the movies in their own special section OR have minimalist, title-only covers.  That makes a lot more sense as it’s extremely unlikely for someone to be offended by a movie title alone.

    Of course it’s still a gross overreaction, but GP mischaracterizing the law doesn’t help things.

  2. Skillz817 says:

     

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    Courage is not the absence of fear, but the strength to overcome it.

     

  3. Father Time says:

    So they’re treating the movies like they’re a biohazard.

    If we ever need proof that these people are out of touch and/or perfectly willing to force their tastes onto everyone else. This is it.

    —————————————————-

    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  4. Longjocks says:

    I’m glad to be in NSW right now. But when we head down the same path I don’t want it to be half-arsed… it’s a good old-fashioned book burning or nothing for me.

  5. Lichbane says:

    Ok. Something you need to realize is the South Australian government is not all of Australia. This new law is only able to be applied to South Australia …. just ONE of Australia’s states. It would be like Alabama imposing a state based law; it doesn’t affect the rest of the country. Let’s face it … you can still buy X-rated movies over the counter in the Australian Capital Territory.

    Now … The games issue is seperate. This involves a CHANGE to a law that the states administer. Hence the reason it needs all AG’s approval. Here’s the kicker: Atkinson could allow the law to be changed, allowing the states to have a consistent rating system, allowing R18 games into the country and still restrict content within his own state.

    I’ll be happy to see Atkinson go. I hope this new state law means people will raise thier voices and protest. This affects more than gamers … but we are talking abut the most conservative state in the country. But please don’t damn the whole my country because of one man. It is an insult to a great place to live … as is that one man.

  6. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    I think the most of the australians don´t care about it! Until he tries to ban something that australians really really care about, that´s when they actually will ask him to GTFO.

    The question is why any organization or company hasn´t answered to any of this actions that the government is trying to impose to the industry. The have the right to defend themselves and their costumers.

    My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

  7. nighstalker160 says:

    I’ve been saying for awhile that the key to taking down Atkinson is to attack him in this fashion. Stop talking about videogames. Atkinson wants to control MEDIA, not video games, but movies, TV, and books as well.

    Atkinson believes that HE is the arbiter of content in Australia and that it is his morals which should control what content Australians are permtited to view.

    And now we start to see the creeping influence.

  8. SeanB says:

    If any austrailians want to move to canada, i’l be more than willing to help you find work and a place to live. Get out before they start regulating who can leave.

  9. chadachada321 says:

    That’s why you download…Gimme a sec to find the name of it…"Forum Proxy Leecher." It’ll collect lists of proxy servers out there, so that you can go on websites without the AU’s blacklist blocking it. Find one that’s blocked? Just try a different one.

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

  10. Dejiko says:

    They will most likely add the sites that show those movies to their internet blacklist too(or hopefully just the pages that have the movie on them…but that would just make too much sense, and be a tiny bit more work than blocking the entire site.)

  11. sharpshooterbabe says:

    I feel bad for South Australia. But that’s why those people down under should go online to download or watch full movies or half movies online for free. I do that & it’s totally free. Isn’t their government supposed to tell the people there what laws are going into affect?

     

     

    "It’s better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." – Montgomery Gentry

  12. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    I think they just don´t care what is Atkinson banning. It seems we have to wait until Atkinson tries to ban something that australians actually care about. Then yes, australians will want his ass out from his position.

    My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

  13. DarkSaber says:

    Only if they use their brains for once and make it part of their campaign about movies too, instead of continuing to laughably expect non-gamers to care about game ratings.

    ————————————————–

    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  14. black manta says:

    Well, we knew this was coming.  It’s been pointed out before that Atkinson wouldn’t have been content to stop with games and that he wanted to ban all forms of entertainment he didn’t find apporpriate if he had his way.  This is just a logical extension of his line of thought.

    The good news though is that movies enjoy much wider support from the public.  So even the people who don’t play games, once they see how this affects them and their entertainment, will start to get angry and start clamoring to get this guy out of office.  Gamers 4 Croydon’s campaign could get a real big shot in the arm from this.

  15. JB says:

    Wow! That’s one more step closer to censorship. I’m starting to get the impression that Australia is a total police state where no one has any freedoms at all. Scratch that country of my places to visit.

  16. Cheater87 says:

    Wow so its just a title of a movie with an R18 rating on it no box art or anything. 0_o I can see R18 games being treated the same if they are ever allowed. Seesh adults are gettting less and less freedom on their entertainment choises there.


  17. DarkSaber says:

    It’s funny that any R18 games that COULD have also been affected by this wont be because they are being sold as "kid-friendly" age 15-rated games 😛

    ————————————————–

    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  18. hellfire7885 says:

    I get the feeling that they know they can’t get away with an outright ban , so they’re going to make it so much work that many may just decide it;s not worth the trouble.


Comments are closed.