The laws relating to R 18+ classifications for both films and computer games have recently been under the microscope. The Federal Government has released a discussion paper relating to the introduction of an R 18+ rating for computer games and the South Australian Government has passed an act amending their laws relating to the promotion of R 18+ classified films.

On 10 January 2010, South Australia’s laws relating to the promotion and display of R 18+ films were changed. The new laws place restrictions and prohibitions on the way certain film distributors and sellers together with video rental stores may display and promote R 18+ classified films.

The two major changes to the current laws restrict the way most businesses can display and promote R 18+ films.

Broadly speaking, the first change means most stores may only display R 18+ rated films in one of two ways:

1. The films must be displayed in packaging no bigger than 300cm2, and only in a specific area of the store with a notice that the area contains R 18+ material; OR

2. The films can be displayed amongst non-R 18+ films, if they are in “plain packaging” setting out only the classification of the film and the title of the film (in type no more than 10mm in height).

The second change prohibits the display of promotional material (such as posters) which relate to R 18+ films

Andrew Williamson and Chris Chow

Simpsons regularly advises on classification regimes, freedom of speech, freedom of information (FOI) requests and their impact on content providers. For further information please contact Andrew Williamson, Adam Simpson or Chris Chow.

External links: