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Australia Considering iPhone App Censorship

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the no-apps-mate dept.

Australia 284

srjh writes "Having raised concerns about 'the classification of games playable on mobile telephones,' the Australian government has now 'put the wheels in motion to address this.' Under current Australian legislation, video games sold in the country must pay between $470 and $2040 to have the game classified, and due to the lack of an 18+ rating in Australia, if it is not found to be suitable for a 15-year-old, it is banned outright. This is the fate met by several recent titles, such as Left 4 Dead 2 and Fallout 3. Over 200,000 applications are available for the iPhone, many of them games, and developers have raised concerns about the prohibitive costs involved, with many announcing an intention to drop the Australian market altogether if the plan proceeds."

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This comment not safe for 15-year-old (4, Funny)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298192)

Fuck you, Australia

Re:This comment not safe for 15-year-old (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298214)

In more civilized nations, we have no problem with children using extreme language in extreme situations.

the problem arises when the children think it's fun/cool to use that language everywhere.
This is where parents should do something, not when government should.

the same arguments could be used against most things censored.

Re:This comment not safe for 15-year-old (5, Insightful)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298232)

This is where parents should do something, not when government should.

Exactly! This is all about lazy parents trying to absolve themselves of the responsibility of raising children.

Re:This comment not safe for 15-year-old (2, Insightful)

migla (1099771) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298306)

In more civilized nations, we have no problem with children using extreme language in extreme situations.

the problem arises when the children think it's fun/cool to use that language everywhere.
This is where parents should do something, not when government should.

What is the problem with that? Sure it can be an annoyance, but I'm not sure it would qualify as a real "problem". If kids want to fit in under some circumstances, they won't use extreme language, if that is improper. If they don't care about fitting in, that's their business, isn't it?

Re:This comment not safe for 15-year-old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298448)

no it isn't.
there is an age requirement for that. under that age (usually around 16-21) it's the parent business to care about their children fitting into the society, because under that age it's considered that children could not take care for themselves

said that, if you don't agree with laws please go forth and make them change. this is a democracy after all.

Re:This comment not safe for 15-year-old (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298600)

But extreme language is not a question of legality, it's a question of manners. We would like kids to have manners mostly (we wouldn't like them to bow down to the next Hitler, though, but to tell him to go fuck himself). Point remaining: I don't think etreme language is that much of a problem. There might of course be an underlying problem of some anti social nature, but getting ones longjohns in a twist over the symptoms of foul language wouldn't be the correct approach any way, I think.

Re:This comment not safe for 15-year-old (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298702)

Agree, Migla. My recurring thought is -- who in the hell do they think they're protecting? I've never met a 10 year old who didn't use language that would make a sailor blush among their own.

Given the choice of religious snapcase Tony Abbot or Gillard with that censorious Stephen Conroy, I can forecast the upcoming Australian election with complete confidence; everybody will be disappointed.

Re:This comment not safe for 15-year-old (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298612)

this is a democracy after all.

Is it?

I thought Apple was already censoring the App store.

Though judging by their choice of censor [reuters.com] , their level of hypocrisy will match that of our Australian politicians quite nicely.

Re:This comment not safe for 15-year-old (2, Insightful)

AtomicDog1471 (1881258) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298630)

>if you don't agree with laws please go forth and make them change. this is a democracy after all.

Aww, look. He actually thinks the system works! How quaint.

Re:This comment not safe for 15-year-old (1)

AtomicDog1471 (1881258) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298622)

>the problem arises when the children think it's fun/cool to use that language everywhere.

What problem? If that's how they want to express themselves, let them. They're just words for gods sake...

Re:This comment not safe for 15-year-old (4, Informative)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298220)

As an Australian i'd like to redirect that slightly to 'Fuck you Australian Government'. I can't believe we have such idiots thinking that their 'filter' will censor the net...idiots that have no knowledge of P2P, Usenet, IRC, Anon Proxies, Tor, etc... Their focus has been on child porn and yes this may stop Joe Moron Pervert from going to childporn.com, but are the sorts of people interested in such material really that stupid anyway?

Re:This comment not safe for 15-year-old (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298268)

Their focus has been on child porn and yes this may stop Joe Moron Pervert from going to childporn.com, but are the sorts of people interested in such material really that stupid anyway?

Are you suggesting that people who look at child porn are intelligent? Seriously?

Re:This comment not safe for 15-year-old (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298298)

Morality and Intelligence are completely separate traits. Just look at history...

Re:This comment not safe for 15-year-old (1)

Pseudonym (62607) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298428)

Are you suggesting that people who look at child porn are intelligent? Seriously?

Anyone who is that dumb and looks at child porn has already been caught, or will be within the week.

Re:This comment not safe for 15-year-old (3, Insightful)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298462)

Assuming criminals are stupid is a great way to catch fewer criminals.

Re:This comment not safe for 15-year-old (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298506)

This has nothing to do with child pornography. We have already totally debunked the governments claims that the filter is intended to block child pornography. Wikileaks even has one of the blacklists.

Re:This comment not safe for 15-year-old (1)

slackarse (875650) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298226)

Seconded

Re:This comment not safe for 15-year-old (1)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298266)

That's how I tagged this article.

Re:This comment not safe for 15-year-old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298464)

The irony being that Australian people care less about swearing that Americans do. Seriously, for the 'land of free speech', you sure do get a lot of frowns when you use a light smattering of non-directed swear words over there.

Re:This comment not safe for 15-year-old (1)

sthomas (132075) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298756)

No Left 4 Dead 2? When the zombie apocalypse comes, I expect Australia to be totally wiped out. It will serve them right, too!

Re:This comment not safe for 15-year-old (1)

beav007 (746004) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298934)

We ended up getting an edited version of it. Woo.

This just in: Australian Government stupid. News at 11...

Re:This comment not safe for 15-year-old (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298890)

You get the rating ... MA15+

Sorry but Australians are much like Americans. We can swear at each other as much as we want. We can shoot each other in the face, but for the love of god don't show any tits.

Good grief! (3, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298230)

What is with the Australians? This is just the latest in a long line of this sort of shit. Is this really what the average Australian wants? Surely the Assie public is not this stupid? They do elect their politicians, don't they?

Re:Good grief! (5, Interesting)

jessejackson100 (1881962) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298270)

Oh we elect them alright. The problem is neither of the major parties has a full set of policies that don't suck.

- Vote Labour and there will be Internet Filtering for all!
- Vote Liberal and we no longer get the promised high speed broadband network, because apparently 'wireless is the future'.

EPIC FAIL either way...

Re:Good grief! (1)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298588)

There is a choice, don't vote for the major parties - Vote Green - No Filter and Support the NBN

Re:Good grief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298680)

The only problem with voting green though is that their preferences go to labour. Labour gets the balance of power. Greens don't have the number to get that.

Re:Good grief! (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298726)

That only matters if you care whether Labour or Liberal get in. If, as GP suggested, they're equally bad choices then at least voting for someone else will register your ire at the main parties - sure the one who gets into power might not care this time around, but next time it might give the other party the prompting they need to adopt the policies that won your vote.

Re:Good grief! (1)

jellyfrog (1645619) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298848)

So you can vote below the line.

That's actually an option, you know.

Re:Good grief! (1)

gizmonty (1636241) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298870)

Yes, do this! Go to www.belowtheline.cc and get a pdf of your preferences made to take into the polling booth. It's easy - I've done it!

Re:Good grief! (0, Flamebait)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298894)

And fuck Australia in every other way. Ruin all international ties in the favour of saving a few whales etc.

The greens are a great balance to have sitting there in the useless thing we call parliament, but you do NOT want them actually running the country.

Re:Good grief! (5, Interesting)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298280)

What is with the Australians? This is just the latest in a long line of this sort of shit. Is this really what the average Australian wants? Surely the Assie public is not this stupid? They do elect their politicians, don't they?

Thank god we have an election coming up in the next couple of days and neither liberal nor labor are looking to be clear winners but it looks like the greens are most certainly going to dominate in the senate so these censorship bills are going to get a serious beatdown very soon! Hopefully we won't have to deal with any of this shit ever being implemented.

Re:Good grief! (0)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298352)

Thank god we have an election coming up in the next couple of days and neither liberal nor labor are looking to be clear winners but it looks like the greens are most certainly going to dominate in the senate so these censorship bills are going to get a serious beatdown very soon! Hopefully we won't have to deal with any of this shit ever being implemented.

Right, assuming by "Greens" you mean "Family First" and by "going to get a serious beatdown" you mean "actually be taken seriously and implemented". A clear win for either of the major parties is a blow to anything this stupid.

Re:Good grief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298494)

But this is a major party policy!

Re:Good grief! (1)

zblack_eagle (971870) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298682)

No sane person votes for the Religion First party. The only reason they've ever had -one- senate seat was due to preferencing by Labor. I guess that could conceivably happen again with the Liberals preferencing them this election, but it was enough of a fluke in the 2004 election.

Re:Good grief! (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298916)

Religion first party? We're about to vote in a guy who in all honesty was about to start a career with the clergy before he decided to become the least liberal liberal leader this country has ever seen.

I'm not sure what's worse, the Family First party or a prime minister who got up on national television and told everyone he believes girls should remain virgins till they get married. I mean putting aside the absurdity of this, it comes from a party who previously gave monetary bonuses to people who had kids. Now with the average marriage rate where it is he's suggesting a massive cut in breeding? Maybe that's the secret to his completely obscure immigration policy.

Bah fuck this I'm emigrating to Canada. They even sell Bundy Rum there.

Re:Good grief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298302)

I think you mean what is it with South Australians?

The lack of a R rating for games is because of one hold out state. For a new rating to be created all state AGs must agree.

I don't think the nickname for Adelaide (The capital of South Australia), "The City of Churches" is a coincidence.

Re:Good grief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298492)

They also voted for Nick Xenophon. They're not perfect, but they're not all bad.

Re:Good grief! (1)

zblack_eagle (971870) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298660)

I grew up in and used to live in South Australia. Considering the "tough on crime" and other nanny-state approaches the state government has, I'd put it down to the government playing on various ignorant people within the population. Also they've had a Labor state government for a while because last time the Liberals were in they either severely neglected or privatized public services and property.

I'm pretty sure there are many people there, and in fact in every state in Australia who are sick of the two major parties and would vote for someone else if they properly understood the electoral system. After all, in the second-to-last South Australian state election Nick Xenophon as an independent got enough votes for the senate to get himself and another senator elected. That's just the power of someone having a big enough name and reputation, unlike the people who get elected because they're behind the mask of a big name political party. Last election Xenophon stood for election for the federal senate and once again got in.

Since then I've moved to Victoria, so on Saturday regardless of my other choices I'll be doing my part in voting below the line on the senate ballot to put Stephen Conroy last.

Re:Good grief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298330)

It's just one bad government, in their first term. Try not to blame the whole country lol.

Re:Good grief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298416)

What is with the Australians? This is just the latest in a long line of this sort of shit. Is this really what the average Australian wants? Surely the Assie public is not this stupid? They do elect their politicians, don't they?

It is a prison colony. You can't let criminals play with violent games as it might make them go out and commit crimes.

Re:Good grief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298424)

I don't see the problem with this. All its doing is requiring games sold on the iPhone store to be classified, the same as they do if you buy a physical box. I'm not sure why the title mentions censorship. I doubt Apple let games that would normally deserve an R rating onto their store anyway?

Re:Good grief! (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298538)

The cost of seeking classification amounts to de facto censorship. Having to throw down upwards of $470 is not a trivial cost for small-scale developers. I'd imagine as well that there'll be delays in publishing.

Re:Good grief! (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298646)

Perhaps you missed the part about games being effectively banned completely if the state deems them inappropriate for a 15 year old

Re:Good grief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298826)

Not for long though, an R18+ category is supposed to be introduced later this year.

Re:Good grief! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298438)

Is this really what the average Australian wants?

Of course not, and it's not what will actually happen either. There's a snowball's chance in hell that the government will form a new body to review hundreds of thousands of applications, and if they tried to lock out the app store altogether... they'd be booted at the next election. This is a publicity stunt that will lead to nothing. There are 2 parties in Australia . .. Liberal & Labour. Labour just ousted their leader, meaning that the new *female* leader (a first for Australia) is ahead in the polls, but standing on shaky ground ahead of the election in a few days time. The Labour party is rallying whatever votes they can and this is an ideal stunt in the "Think of the children" and "We'll catch those tax dodgers" veins to bring more people on board the party line. Note that TFA specifically calls for changes that require no legislation but enforcement was not discussed at the meeting of attorney generals ... translation "We aint doin nothin, but the media will pick up on our concern".

It's an election stunt, slashdot has officially been trolled by the Australian government.

Re:Good grief! (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298566)

It's an election stunt, slashdot has officially been trolled by the Australian government.

I now understand Conroy. Nobody could be that stupid. I think my head's going to explode.

Re:Good grief! (2, Interesting)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298898)

There's a snowball's chance in hell that the government will form a new body to review hundreds of thousands of applications, and if they tried to lock out the app store altogether...

Isn't that the point of the administration fee - to pay for someone else to review the app? As for them being kicked out if they tried to lock out the app store, well they're not suggesting anything they don't already do with traditional (and much bigger) game markets. If that's not sufficient to generate enough uproar to get the law overturned, what makes you think smart phone owners will have any more impact?

Re:Good grief! (2, Informative)

slackarse (875650) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298452)

This is not what the average Aussie wants. There was a petition that set the record http://bit.ly/aJuLUO [bit.ly] in Australia for the most number of supporters, for anything, ever! There was also a public debate http://bit.ly/cts8kl [bit.ly] showed 98.2% support for a higher rating from over 60,000 submissions.

The current government may well be voted out this week, but the problem is, the state attorney generals decide classification guidelines http://www.ag.gov.au/www/agd/agd.nsf/Page/Classification_policy [ag.gov.au] . And if only one of them has a personal vendetta http://www.news.com.au/technology/attorney-general-to-veto-r-rating-for-games/story-e6frfro0-1111115654451 [news.com.au] against something it won't get through.

Our hopes were raised when Michale Atkison, main detractor for a new rating, "retired" http://www.kotaku.com.au/2010/04/new-s-a-attorney-general-might-support-r18-might-not/ [kotaku.com.au] earlier this year. But all that seemed to do was delay decisions.

If you'd like more information, please subscribe to the very informative r18 tag for Kotaku http://www.kotaku.com.au/tags/r18/ [kotaku.com.au] .

Disclaimer: I am in no way afilliated with any political party or news site. I just value my freedom, or what little we have left. http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23nocleanfeed [twitter.com]

Re:Good grief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298458)

Each major party is a distinct kind of crazy which has the effect of cancelling each other out over time. Basically, every few years, we elect the other guys who clean up the mess left by the previous guys, and then introduce their own messes, which will get cleaned up later.

It's called the "use-by date theory" of Australian politics, and it only fails when one of the major parties puts up a complete and utter moron, thus giving the public no choice but to vote for the other one. Mark Latham and Tony Abbott are the two most recent examples of this happening.

Re:Good grief! (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298466)

No. Just like the rest of the democratic world, we are allowed to choose which fox we want to let in the hen-house for the next term of office. They've spent the last couple of centuries creating a two-party system with a false dichotomy, so no matter who you vote for, nothing changes.

Representative democracy (1)

justleavealonemmmkay (1207142) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298476)

That's the issue with representative democracy, party politics and lobbying.

Suppose 33% of the voters support A, 30% support B, 20% support C and 17% support D
Furthermore, suppose that unrelated to this general policy choice, 90% of the voters support X.

Now, suppose that the 10% that would lose when a policy favoring X would be in place, are actually rich enough to lobby parties A, B, C, and for all it matters don't bother lobbying D. For all it matters, party D can even find a niche in actively defending X.

This is how after the elections, anti X legislation gets passed. Sheeple live with it, party D opposes but nobody cares.

DMCA, HADOPI, PATRIOT are typical examples of this situation.

Re:Representative democracy (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298746)

What's your alternative? Direct Democracy? Watch California for how much of a clusterfuck that can be. Some form of oligarchy? Read about the french revolution for the clusterfuck that that was. Monarchy? Benevolent dictator? Really, I'm all ears. I know how much Democracy sucks, but as Churchill (?) said - it's the worst political system there is, except for all the others. I'd love to hear a good alternative.

Re:Representative democracy (1)

justleavealonemmmkay (1207142) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298794)

Did I propose any system that was better? Churchill was pretty much spot on.

But if you want a direct democracy that works, forget about Cali and go to Switzerland.

Re:Good grief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298480)

The problem we have with the current party arrangement is that although many people hate the current Labor government's censorship agenda, both the Liberals (current opposition) and the Greens (minor party which will likely hold the balance of power in the senate) have indicated that they will team up to defeat such legislation in the upper house. This means that it is no longer an election issue, as Labor voters can rely on the probable Greens and Liberals Senate power to effectively oppose the censorship agenda.

Re:Good grief! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298526)

What is with the Americans? PATRIOT, revocation of habeus corpus, free speech zones, a prison population 5-10 times that of *any* other western nation... even 2257? Is this really what the average American wants? Surely the Yank public is not this stupid? They do elect their politicians, don't they?

Or we could go across the pond to where it's the House of Lords, of all things, that is standing up for human rights by beating down unprinicipled legislation submitted by the House of Commons.

Yeah, it's all "those crazy people in Australia". No-one else has whackos. At least our major politicians don't have to mention God in every. damned. speech. Next time you see any quality of life measure, have a look to see which nation is usually nestled under the Scandanavian countries which top the list - it's not the US, nor the UK. But no, you go dwell happily in your caricature that we're weird and repressed.

Re:Good grief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298572)

> But no, you go dwell happily in your caricature that we're weird and repressed.

At least I can buy games in the USA that are not limited to what is appropriate for a 15 year old.

Re:Good grief! (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298594)

What is with the Americans? PATRIOT, revocation of habeus corpus, free speech zones, a prison population 5-10 times that of *any* other western nation... even 2257? Is this really what the average American wants? Surely the Yank public is not this stupid? They do elect their politicians, don't they?

Yeah, well... Umm... At least we have the most violent video games available without much real restrictions... Most Americans don't know how to say "habeus corpus", let alone what it means... But *BY GOD* we have Grand Theft Auto with fucking HOOKERS and MACHINE GUNS...

Re:Good grief! (1)

CrashandDie (1114135) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298556)

I recently spent about 6 months in Australia, after having spent months in the US, a couple years in the UK, France, but also time in the Ukraine, Belgium, the Netherlands, and so on.

By far, Australia has one of the most "nanny-state" governments around. Maybe I just visited at a wrong time, maybe the politicians were really trying to make an impression or something, but good grief. This being said, in my experience, what the politicians are trying to do doesn't really reflect the view of most medium-class Australians (don't know about the farmers in the outback).

The fact is that most of Australia doesn't give a shit about these issues. The firewall? Well, that's hidden by the politicians behind the "save the children" argument. There is not a single discussion about the firewall on TV without the words "pedophile" or "underage pornography" being swung around left and right. So how does the public react? Well, first of all, I would say that "greater Australia" doesn't have the same relationship with the Internet as other westernised countries do. Yeah, it's a great tool, yeah, it's good infotainment, but I'd wager that most voters don't give a flying fuck whether there's a firewall that kinda limits their access or not -- after all, the government is telling them that being good citizens, they have nothing to fear, right?

I'm guessing this is the same. The main news channels will spin the story by showing extreme gore graphics (or blurring them, which makes their point even stronger) on PC, regardless of the fact that the game is unavailable in Australia, or rated 18+. They'll b-line to illegal downloads, showing how potentially easy it is to download this stuff on the internet (re-enforcing the firewall argument), and probably barely talk about mobile games. I even remember a 8PM main news story where they showed a 12 year old kid purchasing a 18+ game in a shop.

Actually thinking back to all this, I'd say that the government has been thinking about this a whole lot longer than just last week, and the media are helping them out great. There is no stronger censor in the western world than in Australia; I wouldn't be surprised if the Australian government also greatly encouraged specific news stories, months in advance, just to make people at large roughly aware of things, and then to the general public, it seems like the government is actually doing stuff that matters.

Effectively, the government is attempting to bubblewrap anything that is sharper than a golf ball. At least, that's how I remember Oz.

Re:Good grief! (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298584)

What is with the Australians

I suspect that, on average, Australia is a lot less prudish than (for example) the USA. Our national broadcaster's "Youth radio station [abc.net.au] " for example frequently plays songs with swear words in them, including "fuck", though I think "cunt" is still "out of bounds [wikipedia.org] " despite some more recent attempts and discussion [smh.com.au] .

As for why some parts of our government occasionally seem to get on their high horse, this song from last nights TV probably explains it best [youtube.com] .

Re:Good grief! (1)

timbo234 (833667) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298634)

Is this really what the average Australian wants? Surely the Assie public is not this stupid?

No and no. The problem is that just like in any other western democracy internet issues tend to be more of a sideshow. People focus on the economy, healthcare and education. This allows fuckwit politicians to sneak in these laws once elected.

Still, even though Labor's likely to win the election this week, there'll be a big swing to the Greens. Add that to the fact that the Liberals (conservatives) have said they'll vote against Internet censorship and it's likely that at least that bill will never be passed.

I doubt this mobile phone censorship bullshit will go anywhere either - it's just not practical and is probably just something suggested by an idiot politician who can't operate a VCR.

Re:Good grief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298640)

Apparently the legislators can't imagine the desire for a person over 15 to play these games.

They must think 'grown-ups' have better things to do.

regulatory capture (4, Insightful)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298254)

a fine example of it as only the big boys can absorb the costs and this effectively closes the market on their smaller competitors.

Re:regulatory capture (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298490)

That $2040 classification cost is really cutting into your profits, eh? Really, $2040 will employ a single developer for two weeks or so. The only ones who can't absorb that cost are people doing work for free, and they don't need to worry about the ratings because they aren't selling stuff.

No, this isn't regulatory capture by competitors, if you've been paying attention, Australia's been having problems with censorship for several years now. Somehow the religious faction has gotten a strong hold on parts of the government down there. Makes me wonder what kinds of things would be censored in America if the founding fathers hadn't been so wise as to write the first amendment.

Re:regulatory capture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298550)

Of course it is. For many iPhone games that's likely more than the assets like graphics and audio cost.

Add to that the fact that these small game apps have to be developed in a short time and quick succession and suddenly those 2k$ (per product no less) are a huge burden, relative to those AAA major games that take years to develop.

Not to mention it's wasted money. You get NOTHING for it. You have to sell 1000s more of your apps just to compensate for another useless law.

So yes, it is cutting into profits and keeps smaller developers off the market.

Re:regulatory capture (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298578)

Yup, thank God they thought to write in that provision for Free Speech Cages [wikipedia.org] .

From the people who find cartoons pornographic. (1)

retech (1228598) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298256)

So the aristocratic pompous short sighted pricks who used to run the penal colony have ancestors who set the laws still? You'd think for such a drunken cavalier society (no offense just my observations whenever I was there) that the gov't would either wise up or get tossed on it's collective ass.

Re:From the people who find cartoons pornographic. (1)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298324)

Your signature so succinctly shows how we ended up with Australia as a country to begin with.

Re:From the people who find cartoons pornographic. (1)

_merlin (160982) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298782)

Obviously the average Aussie is too drunk and/or lazy to actually to anything about it.

Election Time (1)

CommanderEl (765634) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298282)

It's election time guys, have your say.
This is rediculous.

Re:Election Time (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298368)

It's election time guys, have your say. This is rediculous.

The idea that they would try this blue me away!

Re:Election Time (1)

h7 (1855514) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298838)

Their stupid!

Yet another reason not to get an IPhone (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298294)

With another phone system, I can download my own apps without needing them to be approved by either Apple or the Australian Government.

If you want fast uncensored internet; Without having a clue as to what their policies are, I'd suggest voting Australin Sex Party this weekend.

Re:Yet another reason not to get an IPhone (4, Informative)

benbritten (72301) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298344)

This has nothing at all to do with Apple, it applies to any mobile app. So even if you have android, the developers who want to sell apps in Australia will have to pay to have their apps (well, games) rated.

Re:Yet another reason not to get an IPhone (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298672)

The only reason to mention Apple is that they're up for $25,000 for every unrated title they sold and they make a big deal of the number of games in the app store. Ouch.

Re:Yet another reason not to get an IPhone (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298398)

Do you think they wouldn't do the same to the android marketplace or any other phone's app shop? I belive this would affect all of them otherwise there is no point.

greed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298296)

$470-$2040 given to Australia to have my iPhone game sold there? Yeah, and then all the countries start following suit and it becomes prohibitive to sell games. Also these games are tiny, selling for $0.99, so need to sell 470 copies (excluding what Apple takes) just to break even with the low end of the game classification.

What's the point? (2, Interesting)

Netshroud (1856624) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298316)

Aside from the government making money. Applications that get classified as RC wouldn't be affected by any of the RC restrictions. The biggest restriction is that RC material cannot be sold in brick and mortar stores. iOS Apps aren't.

We have an election coming up.. (4, Informative)

nickd (58841) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298322)

Basically:

If the liberals/nationals coalition gets in, we are all kinds of fucked (they have become the religious extreme with their preferences going straight to the Christian Democratic Party and Family First after themselves)
If labor gets in again - we get the only visionary policy any of the politicians have to offer - the National Broadband Network, but they saddle it with filtering, censorship and the lack of an R+18 classification for games.
So the only decent vote left is the Australian Sex Party - which is a civil libertarian group who are anti-censorship, pro same sex marriage and also want to remove the tax exempt status for religious organisations.

Next election we will hopefully have the Australian Pirate party fully formed to be able to run a candidate.

This election is really a case of trying to pick a candidate that is the least awful.
Ugh

Re:We have an election coming up.. (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298390)

Vote Greens! That means we get Labor as the government but we also get the Greens smacking down the censorship policies in the senate!

Re:We have an election coming up.. (1)

giorgist (1208992) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298392)

Nobody cares in these elections,
so the only chance the politicians have to get any votes is to peddle to the few % of extreemist that do. It is the tragedy of democracy ... when things go well, the nutjobs get power

G

Re:We have an election coming up.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298414)

Its a choice between bad and worse.

It's obviously much better to have the national fibre network with a filter (since it will be easy to bypass anyway).

The alternative proposal is slower cheaper wireless with no fibre and optional filtering.

This is not the only issue that is muddied with fear, where rational debate is replaced with hysteria. People aren't interested in the detail and dont understand the implications, you can see their eyes glaze over. Even the opposition leader openly says he doesn't understand, and people who identify with him like him for that.

Re:We have an election coming up.. (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298676)

That's the problem with the NBN, it's visionary. When will I get it? Nobody knows, but it's not this year.

Re:We have an election coming up.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298844)

If the NBN ever gets built, Labor won't be able to use it as an election promise anymore. They wouldn't want that now would they?

Re:We have an election coming up.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298804)

The NBN is a complete mis-allocation of resources. Fiber to the home for everybody sure sounds nice, but $43 Billion is $2000 for every man woman and child in Australia that could be much better spent. Renewable technology research, nuclear energy, high speed rail, indigenous health etc.. are all more useful to the population than increasing broadband speed. Everyone who really needs fast broadband in Australia can get it, all data centers and High tech companies have already got fiber. Do rural farmers really need a 1Gb Internet link?

The whole scheme is essentially a gamble that the network effects of everyone having fiber will be worth the expense. True the increase from 24Mbit to 1Gbit is huge!.. but most people just use the net for youtube, email and maybe torrenting/itune movies. There is also the possibility that 4G technologies will come along and provide 90% of the benefits (ubiquitous fast internet) at only 10% of the cost (no digging up the country).

 

Re:We have an election coming up.. (1)

Netshroud (1856624) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298812)

Hasn't Australian politics always been a lesser-of-two-evils? I think the Chaser hit the nail on the head: Undecided, Uninspired, Unimpressed [cl.ly]

Re:We have an election coming up.. (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298882)

I think the filter is dead because it will no longer pull in the "think of the children" vote. Pressure groups have woken up to the situation where hiding the stuff is not going to save any children from being abused.

Relax people (2, Insightful)

giorgist (1208992) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298378)

This is growing up pains ...
None of all these things have come to pass.
They come up with them, the realise they don't work, and they let them go.
No better way to learn, it is the process of making laws.

What is an iPhone app ? They only reason they are attacking, is because they are contained by apple.
What next, webapps ? Android and HTML5 and FLASH will make them indistinguishable to a normal app.

I would much rather they try and get it out of their system, than winge for ever ...

Re:Relax people (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298704)

uh huh. Tell that to Blizzard.. they were delivering unclassified games through Steam and got the same smackdown from the Australian government. It's literally about keeping the fees running into the classification board. You think they aint gunna go after every possible source of income?

Oz border agency to search iPhones ? (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298400)

So does this mean that the Oz immigration people will, when looking for drugs/...., also search your iPhone to see if you are bringing in an unclassified game ?

Will that also apply to someone bringing in a Linux install CD that may have some games [ubuntu.com] on it ?

Fun and games at Oz airports!

Re:Oz border agency to search iPhones ? (1)

gonebursar (1113685) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298570)

They're already quite happy to search your mobile devices for pr0n, so I don't imagine searching them for unclassified apps would be too big a step.

Re:Oz border agency to search iPhones ? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298694)

They're already checking laptops and they are supposed to stop certain material, so possibly yes. They don't do domestic, so just fly to Canberra or Darwin (or anywhere else that ends in Territory) and buy up big.

Re:Oz border agency to search iPhones ? (3, Informative)

srjh (1316705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298800)

You might be joking, but they are already doing it for pornography [smh.com.au] .

Along with the standard "did you spend time in agricultural regions" and "are you carrying more than $10,000 cash" is a question about whether travellers are carrying pornography. Not just child porn or videos intended for redistribution in the country, but any porn whatsoever, including your honeymoon snaps. Privacy isn't really something that is taken quite seriously by successive Australian governments. The one we end up with on Saturday won't be any different, regardless of who wins, but at least it looks likely the Greens will hold the balance of power and keep whoever wins accountable.

There's a real easy solution to this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298468)

Change the app store NOT to be region specific. Then the government will have to choose to block Apple entirely, or not. Since this isn't Google in China, the chances are slim. (and it would be fun to see what would happen to the politicians if they did...). This isn't something Apple should be helping the government with. (i.e. make it the same as with web sites, if Australia wants to block them, they will have to do it the hard way).

too much government (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298470)

When society creates too much government, it has nowhere to go but down. The economy will have nowhere to go but down.

It's because there are too many people, who become leeches on society, they are unproductive, they don't do anything useful and they start coming up with justifications for their own existence and leeching, they don't do anything useful anymore, they are just parasites.

Government is a parasite of society - produces nothing, takes away everything it possibly can.

Decision time (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298488)

FTFA

The issue was on the agenda of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General meeting of state AGs and the Home Affairs Minister, which was postponed three weeks ago due to the election. Media understands the issue will be raised at a separate meeting of state ministers overseeing classification in November, although most attention will focus on Mr O'Connor's expected announcement, if he and Labor are re-elected, on whether the Australian National Classification Scheme should include an R 18+ classification for computer games.

(emphasis mine)

They've delayed the decision for R18+ games once before [slashdot.org] . The next meeting was delayed because of the election... so now it will happen in November, and the issue will be discussed--if Labor is re-elected.

It feels like this will go on forever.

Politicians and what they are doing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298524)

What else does Australia want to do for us normal people. The iPhones have been around for longer than 3 years now and there have been no issues with any of the games already. What makes the games so special now that they need to create a fucking censorship on mobile gaming. The politicians now days are stupid with all their stupid laws. 15-30 years ago there weren't as many laws as today and everyone I k know over 30 turned out fine. But now everything is a big deal. You watch soon they are going to make walking down the street a tax aswell.

Re:Politicians and what they are doing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298650)

it's not so much the politicians here, as an underfunded and bullying government body making a noise in the hope of creating an election issue and securing more funding for themselves.

i'm talking about the COB, formerly OFLC (Office of Film and Literature Classification).

~4 years ago, when all the fancy coloured classifications came out, they threatened to shut down major (independent of course...) film and DVD distributors until they re-classified their entire back-catalogues. these all came at comparable fees - hundreds to thousands per title (i believe disputing a classification and getting it re-classified is 6 grand). they also required a full month to classify a DVD title, meaning release dates and critical paths were thrown into disarray (and whether you agree or not, downloaders don't necessarily feel like waiting a month when there's a torrent of the R1 or R2 release already available for free).

they want to try the same for Apple, Android, etc. Apple should make a stand and challenge them in court to shut them up for good.

RC is a bullshit classification. they tried to pull an RC out on a documentary about street art for fuck's sake - under pressure from local councillors of course. there was no child porn, terror advocacy or bomb-making instructions in that documentary - just footage of people spraying paint or sticking things on walls. with a _secret_ blacklist, we'll have more of this to look forward to.

Remember the World's Biggest Luddite? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33298690)

Well, it's a step down from Richard Alston's wanting classification for every webpage in Australia...

Uhoh. The future looks grim for Australia (1)

Issarlk (1429361) | more than 3 years ago | (#33298810)

Bread and games. Remove either and the people will be unhappy!
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