Labor Vows to Shut AU Mobile App Loophole

August 18, 2010 -

A longstanding loophole that has allowed mobile application developers to avoid submitting their wares for classification in Australia has been vowed to be sealed up by the country’s Labor Party.

The Australian reports
that the issue is on the agenda of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General meeting, which was postponed three weeks ago due to the looming state elections (that take place on August 21).

Labor’s Brendan O’Connor, and Minister of Home Affairs, said that he was, “… concerned about the classification of games playable on mobile telephones and had put the wheels in motion to address this with his state and territory counterparts.”

Meanwhile, a Sydney Morning Herald story notes that such submissions could cost developers between $470 and $2040 per entry, which didn’t sit well with some creators.

Bjango Founder Marc Edwards indicated that if his company was forced to submit apps for classification, they would simply cease to release them in Australia, a notion shared by fellow developer Matt Comi of Big Bucket Software.

Edwards also wondered if the Classification Board was up for handling all the new submissions, noting that, “The sheer volume is going to make it very, very difficult.”

Comi lamented the financial aspects of such an implementation, stating:

You can't know in advance whether you've got a hit on your hands or whether or not you're going to recoup your costs. So I think with a smaller industry, particularly with my team - myself and a designer - we couldn't say whether we were going to make $10.

Nick Lowe, of the non-profit Let’s Make Games stated, “I'm sceptical that the government simply sees potential to generate revenue at the expense of what they see as a minority demographic.”

One has to wonder just many apps would be deemed worthy of release if they had to run the gamut of both Apple and the country’s Classification Board censoring and rating submissions.


Comments

Re: Labor Vows to Shut AU Mobile App Loophole

 Australia isn't a state, they're called Federal elections.

Re: Labor Vows to Shut AU Mobile App Loophole

Officially, the maximum is 20 business days, according to the Classification Board's website. As of 2007, though, the Board can extend that to 40 days for any "sufficiently complex" submission, which computer games (presumably including mobile phone games) are automatically considered to fall under. If I'm reading the full Classification Act correctly (page 75 of the PDF), there's no explicit penalty for failing to meet the limit, although they are required to include an explaination as to why they couldn't meet the limit in their yearly report. (Mind you, I'm not even Australian, let alone an Australian lawyer, so I could easily be mistaken about this.)

Re: Labor Vows to Shut AU Mobile App Loophole

I think the AU board would choke on the sheer volume of applications it would be asked to rate. Is there a statutory time limit for the board to conduct a rating one an application is submitted?

 
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PHX Corp@prh99 Not to mention the Dangerous Precedent that sony's hacking scandal just set http://mashable.com/2014/12/17/sony-hackers-precedent/12/18/2014 - 8:25am
Matthew WilsonI hope its released to netflix or amazon12/18/2014 - 12:11am
prh99Basically they've given every tin pot dictator and repressive regime a blue print how to conduct censorship abroad. The hecklers veto wins again. At least when it comes to Sony and the four major theater chains.12/17/2014 - 11:55pm
MaskedPixelante"It's not OUR fault that our game doesn't work, it's YOUR fault for having so many friends."12/17/2014 - 9:48pm
Matthew Wilsonapparently tetris did not work because he has a full friends list12/17/2014 - 9:21pm
WonderkarpSo Sony cancelled the release of the Interview. was it ever confirmed that the Sony hacking was done because of that specific movie?12/17/2014 - 8:54pm
MaskedPixelanteWow, Ubisoft went four for four, I didn't think it was actually possible.12/17/2014 - 8:37pm
MechaTama31Oh, ok, I was mixing up "on Greenlight" and "Greenlit".12/17/2014 - 8:23pm
Matthew Wilson@phx you beat me to it. how do you screw up tetris?! my ubisoft this is just stupid. no one should ever preorder a ubisoft game again! ps people should never preorder any game regardles of dev.12/17/2014 - 6:28pm
PHX Corphttp://www.ign.com/videos/2014/12/17/what-the-heck-is-wrong-with-tetris-ps4 I give up on ubisoft12/17/2014 - 6:01pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://comicbook.com/blog/2014/08/16/exclusive-original-unaltered-cut-of-star-wars-trilogy-to-be-rele/ Yeah, this'll never happen.12/17/2014 - 5:03pm
NeenekoThey have and exercise control over which games are allowed on their privately controlled 'open forum'. Their endorsement is fairly minimal since it is only 'we do not reject this', but it is still an endorsement of sorts.12/17/2014 - 3:58pm
NeenekoHistorically there have been issues with libraries allowing some groups but not others. Perhaps 'endorsement' is too strong a word, but their editorial control IS a preapproval process, even if the standards are pretty minimal.12/17/2014 - 3:56pm
E. Zachary KnightLet's put this a different way. My local library allows any group to reserve and use multipurpose rooms. That does not mean that the Library endorses all events that take place in those rooms.12/17/2014 - 12:54pm
E. Zachary KnightValve's editorial control comes from removing problem games and accepting games to Steam. They make no claim over any games otherwise.12/17/2014 - 12:52pm
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, It is not at all a form of endorsement. Grenlight is an open forum for game developers to pitch their game to Valve/Steam and Steam users. Does Valve have some editorial control? Yes, but not to the point that they preapprove games.12/17/2014 - 12:51pm
Neeneko@EZK - I disagree. Greenlight is built off Valve's brand. While not an explicit endorsement, it is a form of it, otherwise Greenlight would have no value over other platforms.12/17/2014 - 12:05pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.latino-review.com/news/exclusive-viola-davis-bags-amanda-waller-role-in-suicide-squad Latino Review says Viola Davis will be Amanda Waller. History of Latino Review says "wait for a REAL news site to confirm".12/17/2014 - 10:48am
PHX Corphttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/17/7407869/assassins-creed-unity-glitch-broken-problems-xbox-one-patch -Facepalm- Screwup means Assassin's Creed Unity's patch is the 40GB full game on Xbox One12/17/2014 - 10:17am
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