Pirate Party Australia welcomes several of the recommendations put by the Australian Law Reform Commission in regard to reforming the current classification system.

The ALRC’s final report includes several recommendations that are in line with the Pirate Party’s policies, proving that the Party’s policies are not as extremist as often made out to be. In one instance, Telstra agreed with the Pirate Party on the issue of voluntary industry classifications.

Other recommendations that the Pirate Party are pleased with are the recommendations that all commercial computer games that are likely to be MA15+ or higher must be classified. The report also recommends that all media must be classified according to a platform neutral system that would end discrepancy between various mediums whilst not extending to various non-commercial and user generated content media, as well as the suggestion that the ‘Refused Classification’ category be replaced with the more appropriate ‘Prohibited’ category.

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Pirate Party Australia are dismayed by the perpetual delays regarding the introduction of an R18+ classification for video games.

The Party applauded the introduction of a bill to Parliament last Wednesday that would finally create an R18+ classification for video games[1]. The Government appears to have listened to the overwhelming public support for a new rating system that caters to the ever expanding video game market. Many games that would previously have been squeezed under the bar into the misleading MA15+ rating can now receive a more appropriate, far more informing rating.

“I am enthusiastic about an R18+ rating for video games entering our system. It will provide a far superior rating system for parents. However, it is important to watch this space closely, as poorly formed classification guidelines have the potential to create no greater flexibility, with ‘refused classification’ games such as Syndicate, that are perfectly legal to purchase and play around the world, to remain banned here in Australia,” commented David Campbell, President of Pirate Party Australia.

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No PDF of submission

Below is the submission that Pirate Party Australia made to the Australian Law Reform Committee National Classification Scheme review. In summary, we recommended a voluntary system similar to PEGI or ESRB and recommended the abolition of the Refused Classification category.

Answering this inquiry in such a regimented format proved to be quite troublesome for such a broad inquiry, but we believe that we have answered the questions to the best of our ability.

Thanks to all those who contributed to this paper, your input is greatly appreciated!

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[PDF Version]

According to the Australian1 the Australian Labor Party have announced that they plan to force app developers to submit games and apps to the censors. The Pirate Party condemns this move as completely unworkable and a direct assault on the software industry.

“With the announcement that the government plans to force app developers to submit their works to the Australian censors, any credibility the ALP have in dealing with the digital environment has been torn to shreds. Apps are globally developed and available. Many developers work from home as a hobby and cannot afford the cost of classification, especially if they need clearance with each country separately as would occur if other countries followed Australia’s lead,” said Pirate Party Australia spokesperson, Simon Frew.

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26 March, 2010

Dear Minister,

My name is David Gaetjens. I am the Vice President of Pirate Party Australia. I have read the “Update on Labor’s mandatory web filter plan” article on your blog and I am interested in further clarification. Although you have voiced an opinion on various censorship issues, you seem to have stopped short of saying how Liberal intends to vote on such issues, if and when legislation is presented.

Could you please answer the following questions so that we, and the electorate, may understand your party’s policies?

* What is the Liberal Party’s policy on Mandatory Internet Filtering?

* How will you vote if mandatory filter legislation is introduced?

* How will you vote if opt-out filter legislation is introduced?

* How will you vote if opt-in filter legislation is introduced?

* What is the Liberal Party’s policy on R18+ Classification for games?

Is the Liberal Party planning an independent review of the results of the filtering trials due to the controversy surrounding these results?

What alternatives to ISP-based internet filtering are the Liberal Party considering? Would an optional PC-based content filter, such as the one provided by the previous Coalition government be considered?

Thank you for taking the time to read our enquiries. I look forward to your considered reply at your earliest convenience. If you want to discuss these policies in greater detail, I would be more than happy to organise a meeting.

Kind Regards,

David Gaetjens
Vice President
Pirate Party Australia

Web: http://www.pirateparty.org.au/
Email: [email protected]