"Not since the days of Mike Brown’s conviction of obscenity over 50 years ago have Australian police successfully prosecuted an artist over such charges. These repeated failures have not, however, stopped the police from trying." [more inside]
How Reader's Digest Became a Chinese Stooge Larkin was delighted when Reader's Digest said it would take her work for one of its anthologies of condensed novels. Thirst would reach a global audience and – who knows? – take off. Reader's Digest promised "to ensure that neither the purpose nor the opinion of the author is distorted or misrepresented", and all seemed well. [more inside]
The upcoming game Saints Row 4, an over-the-top open world action game that features weapons like a Dubstep Gun, has been refused classification (banned) in Australia. The new R18 classification for games was supposed to make this less common, but Saints Row 4's (trigger warning) 'alien anal probe' weapon and 'alien narcotics' have caused it to fall afoul of the new guidlines. Developer Deep Silver said they'll resubmit Saint's Row 4 to the reclassification board, while The Guardian sees this as evidence of Australia's conservative culture. Saints Row previously.
Telstra and Optus, two of Australia's biggest ISPs, will start censoring the Internet next month. The two companies will block more than 500 websites.
Mortal Kombat has been banned in Australia. In the highest profile censorship incident since last year's butchering of Left 4 Dead 2, the new Mortal Kombat game has been "refused classification by the Australian Classification Board and will not release in Australia". This should galvanize efforts to implement an R18 rating for Australian games, though so far progress has been slow.
Salo has been discussed before here in the blue, but last week the Australian Classification Review Board determined that the DVD release can be classified R18+ (available, but with sale restricted to adults), if it includes 3 hours of additional material proposed by the potential distributor, Shock. In the decision, the Board notes that the additional material "facilitates wider consideration of the context of the film." While this decision is a win for anti-censorship campaigners and film buffs, it may not be the final chapter. The film has had a checkered history in Australia. The Board's media release is here (PDF).
In January, Google Australia agreed to take down links to the Encyclopedia Dramatica. The Australian Human Rights Commission has now written to the owner of the ED threatening legal action. [more inside]
The Australian Federal Government has decided to implement legislation filtering web content at the ISP level, despite ongoing criticism that the filter will do nothing to protect children and is diversion of funds from more fruitful policies, and is fairly simple to circumvent, and ignores peer-to-peer traffic completely. In light of March's leaked ACMA blacklist, many are understandably concerned about the list becoming a political tool. [more inside]
Wikileaks has posted the complete list of websites that the Australian Government intends to block under its proposed opt-out internet censorship scheme. The Government has flagged plans to expand the blacklist to 10,000 sites or more. [more inside]
Sheep and Ostriches Closed brothels. Banned books. Closed minds. Internet censorship. Australia, the land of the free.
But what about the children! An internet censorship bill before the South Australian Parliament gives police ridiculously broad powers in going after material "unsuitable for children".
"The irony, of course, is that I can buy the book in any country except the one I've been living in for the past 14 years."
"The irony, of course, is that I can buy the book in any country except the one I've been living in for the past 14 years." -Eddie Campbell who can't get his book, From Hell, that he made with Alan Moore imported into Australia.