Censor’s website to show ratings

Should you be in any doubt that the video or magazine you have just obtained is legal and has been labelled with its correct age restriction, the chief censor's office has come to your rescue with a redesigned website.

Should you be in any doubt that the video or magazine you have just obtained is legal and has been labelled with its correct age restriction, the chief censor’s office has come to your rescue with a redesigned website.

The site of the Office of Film and Literature Classification (the chief censor) has been hooked into the OFLC’s voluminous database of decisions made by it and by the previous Indecent Publications Tribunal (1963-1995).

“We are yet to incorporate the decisions of the Video Recordings Authority (1987-1994) and the Chief Censor of Films (1916-1994),” says a spokesperson, “but rest assured we are working on this.”

The database can be searched by keywords contained in the title, by date, classification body, country of publication and for the experts and internal reference number of a decision here.

While the database records whether a work has been edited for local release, it does not give the detail of the decision; so a title obtained overseas may still contain illegal moments censor excised.

A relatively small number of digital image files are rated. Most of the ones whose entries we retrieved, through keywords “jpg” (824 records) and “mpg” (a mere 15), were classed “objectionable”, but the value of this is limited as many of them have titles like “pic8.jpg” with no further information. There are also 15 digital .txt files listed.

The OFLC has made at least one strike against a different kind of digital nasty; The Giant Black Book of Computer Viruses was classified objectionable in 1998.

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