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What we classify

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What we classify

Every film and computer game has to be classified before it can be legally made available to the Australian public, unless it is exempt or is being shown at a registered event.

Films

Films include movies and episodic series available on streaming services, DVD or Blu-ray and in cinemas or festivals.

Computer games

Computer games include games played on consoles, computers and mobile devices such as phones and tablets.

Publications

Only some publications, called ‘submittable publications’ need to be classified. Submittable publications are those that contain depictions or descriptions that are:

  • likely to cause the publication to be Refused Classification (RC)
  • likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult
  • unsuitable for a minor to see or read

Enforcement

We also classify films, computer games and publications content submitted by:

What we don’t classify

Radio and TV broadcasts

The Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (BSA) establishes a co-regulatory scheme for broadcast services including radio and television. These rely on codes of practice developed by industry and registered with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

We don’t classify programs for broadcast on TV or radio networks, pay TV or digital broadcasting.

Contact the ACMA for the complaints process regarding radio and TV content.

For films screened on TV, the BSA requires that codes of practice apply the film classification system set out in the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995.

Online content

Online content is regulated by the Online Content Scheme in Schedules 5 and 7 of the BSA and administered by the  e-Safety Commissioner. Prohibited and potentially prohibited content is determined by reference to the classification categories in the National Classification Scheme.

To report illegal and harmful online content, image-based abuse or cyberbullying, refer to the process at the eSafety Commisioner’s website.

Music

Recorded music is monitored by the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA). Warning stickers are displayed on products with music that includes strong lyrics. Contact ARIA for complaints about the content of recorded music (without any visual content).

Live shows and music concerts

Live theatrical performances (including music concerts) do not generally fall within the classification scheme. If a theatre production is considered indecent or obscene, it may breach state and territory legislation or common law. This is a matter for the enforcement authority in the relevant state or territory. There may be limitations on how and where performances that are arguably obscene and/or indecent are shown. Works may be considered obscene where they are offensive to contemporary community standards.