Australia, which wants to be at the forefront of any censorship programmes, and is just behind China, is being stuffed up by its backward facing censorship laws.
Former Aussie censors have admitted that the current laws are not up-to-date with the information age.
Paul Hunt, former deputy director of the Office of Film and Literature Classification, which is now known as the Classification Board, told the Sydney Morning Herald that publishers should set their own age ratings with the Board only stepping in to handle complaints.
Hunt said that if censorship was put in the hands of the industry to self manage most people will do it, purely from an economic point of view.
Another former Board member, Anthony Hetrih, said there needs to be a “complete revamp” of the system with a new independent body created to act on complaints and perform an annual audit on a random cross-section of content.
Currently the system is similar to that which was used 50 years ago with the Board required to assess and classify all films, video games, DVDs and other publications and give it a rating.
This worked when you had just films to deal with, but these days there is so much content out there it is impossible to do it all.
The last thing it did was to ban the ninth version of the game Mortal Kombat.
It did this because there was no R18+ rating for video games, anything that is unsuitable for 15 year olds is automatically banned.
Politicians have been reluctant to bring in an R18+ rating because they are worried about Parents groups and born-again Christians working to vote them out of office. There is also the problem that they really like the power censorship gives them to shut people up. Equally they cannot be seen to overtly tighten censorship laws.
However just before it banned Mortal Kombat, the Board let a sexy spanking game, We Dare, through as PG.