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6th January

  BBC censors news story about an advert being censored in Australia...

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Another example where BBC does its best to avoid spelling out of the complaint
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cu nt censored
  
Only half the advert was published by the BBC
 

Australian advert censors of the Advertising Standards Board have upheld complaints about an unofficial tourism advert promoting holidays in the New Territories (NT). The advert read 'CU' (see you) 'in the' (smaller letters) 'NT'.

The censors ruled that the language was obscene and not appropriate in advertising in any form .

Many believed it was an official tourism campaign after it went viral in November , but the territory's tourism authority said it was not involved. The creators of the ad, NTOfficial.com, describe themselves as a brand that aims to represent the true spirit of the Northern Territory .

The BBC were a bit cryptic about describing the advert and only included half the picture. The BBC described the advert as follows:

An unofficial slogan for Australia's Northern Territory has been declared obscene by a standards watchdog, two months after it swept the internet. The advert used an acronym for See You in the Northern Territory to effectively spell a profanity.

cu nt uncensored
  
The original advert in all its glory
 

 

23rd December

  Big business against people's fair use...


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Australian Productivity Commission Report Sparks More Unproductive Whining from Copyright Monopolists
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Electronic Frontier FoundationBack in May, we wrote about a draft report by Australia's Productivity Commission on how Australia's copyright and patent laws could be reformed to foster domestic production and innovation. That report is back in the news this week, after it was released in its final form , and a consultation seeking public feedback was opened.

The most important proposed change would introduce a fair use right into Australia's copyright law. Currently Australia's copyright flexibilities are narrowly pre-defined; for example, it is lawful for Australians to backup their computer software and to digitize their video tapes (remember those?), though there is still no similar exception allowing them to back up their iTunes downloads or to rip copies of their DVDs. This approach has made Australia's copyright law a complicated and anachronistic mess.

By swapping these kinds of narrow exceptions out for a broad and flexible fair use right, Australians would be permitted to make any use of a copyright work that is fair, taking into account the purpose of the use, the nature of the work, the amount copied and the effect on the potential market value of the work. This would make the day to day operation of copyright law much simpler and more adaptable to changes in society and technology. It will also stimulate the development of innovative new products and services that rely on fair use.

A second important change proposed in the Productivity Commission report is to guarantee Australians' right to circumvent geoblocks that prevent them from accessing videos, music, books and software from overseas online stores or streaming services. These geoblocks mean that Australians pay more money for the same products, or are forced to wait for longer for their local release. The result is that some users resort to piracy. Clarifying that circumventing these geoblocks is lawful is therefore likely to create a win for users and copyright holders alike.

Although the Productivity Commission makes many more recommendations, we'll stop at one more--that universities, schools, and libraries should receive the benefit of the same safe harbor that protects ISPs from copyright liability for infringements by their users. This reform is a sensible one, which would bring Australia into line with U.S. and European law, and with our Manila Principles on Intermediary Liability . In practice, it means for example that if a student uploads a copyright-infringing file to their school's website, the school won't be held responsible until they are notified of the infringement and refuse to remove the file.

It's predictable that copyright monopolists are up in arms about the proposed changes, dragging out the usual doomsday scenarios about job losses , tear-jerking celebrity pitches , and even some frankly bizarre similes . And the worst thing is that these tactics, which have previously been successful in obstructing reform, may be so again . Yet the facts are difficult to argue with; Australians pay more to access copyright works lawfully, suffer tight constraints on what they can do with works to which they do have access, and risk legal liability for acts that harm nobody. The time for reform is long overdue.

Further comments on the Productivity Commission final report are due by Valentine's Day 2017 . If the government resists the monopolists' uproar and legislates to implement the Commission's recommendations, that will be the love letter that Australian users and creators have been waiting for.

 

9th November

  See You in Hot Water...


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Australians have fun with unofficial tourism adverts
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cu in the nt adverttAn attention grabbing Australian advertisement has swept the internet. The slogan See you in the Northern Territories has been cleverly written in acronyms: CU in the NT.

The logo quickly made headlines - it was dubbed the wildest tourism slogan ever by one news outlet - with critics variously hailing it as hilarious or distasteful.

But despite appearances, it is not an official campaign - as the actual NT tourism authority soon made clear.

Tourism NT is aware of inappropriate use of our trademarked Brolga logo. We are in no way affiliated with these promotions

The creators of the ad, NTOfficial.com, released a statement describing themselves as an independent underground campaign promoting the NT to young people.

The BBC reports that the word 'cunt' in Australia, is not taken as seriously as in other English-speaking countries, sometimes being used almost affectionately.

Australian Film Classification Board

Australia

The Film Classification Board

The Australian state censor has responsibility for cinema, home video, video games, books and magazines.

Appeals about censorship decisions are heard by the Classification Review Board.

Film & Game Classifications

- G: (General Exhibition) These films and computer games are for general viewing.

- PG: (Parental Guidance) Contains material which some children find confusing or upsetting, and may require the guidance of parents or guardians. It is not recommended for viewing or playing by persons under 15 without guidance from parents or guardians.

- M:  (Recommended for mature audiences) Contains material that is not recommended for persons under 15 years of age.

- MA15+ (Mature Accompanied) The content is considered unsuitable for exhibition by persons under the age of 15. Persons under this age may only legally purchase or exhibit MA15+ rated content under the supervision of an adult guardian.

- R18+ (Restricted) People under 18 may not buy, rent or exhibit these films

- X18+ (Restricted) People under 18 may not buy, rent or exhibit these films. This rating applies to real sex content only

- RC (Refused Classification)Banned

Note that there is no R18+ X18+ available for games so adult games often end up getting banned much to the annoyance of gamers.

Note also that films classified as X18+ (Restricted) are banned from sale or rent in most of Australia. They can only be sold from Northern Territory and ACT (Canberra). Mail order and imports are allowed though and possession of X18+ material is legal

Publication Classifications

 - Unrestricted

- Unrestricted Mature: Not recommended for readers under 15.

- Restricted Category 1: Not available to persons under 18 years. Softcore

- Restricted Category 2 : Not available to persons under 18 years. Only to be sold in adults only shops: Hardcore

- RC: Refused Classification. Banned

Only publications that would be restricted 1 & 2 need to be submitted for censorship. There is also a scheme that magazines only need to be submitted once. Subsequent issues inherit the same rating. However later issues can be 'called in' for reassessment if anything crops up to alert the censors of changes.

Websites:
Classification Board

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