Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Porn store loses film sex challenge

AN online adult store has lost a legal challenge to Australia's film classification system after arguing that most adults are no longer offended by seeing actual sex in movies.

The Federal Court today dismissed an appeal by Adultshop.com against an X rating given to the adult film Viva Erotica.

Adultshop.com had been fighting a legal battle for the movie to be given an R18+ rating, following a 2006 decision by the Classification Review Board to give Viva Erotica the more restrictive X18+ rating.

The application by Adultshop.com for a review of the board's decision was unsuccessful and in November last year Federal Court Judge Peter Jacobson upheld the board's ruling.

Today the full bench of the Federal Court dismissed Adultshop.com's appeal against Justice Jacobson's judgment.

In its appeals, Adultshop.com argued the guidelines for the classifications of films were invalid because they failed to properly consider whether most adults would be offended by Viva Erotica

Adultshop.com argued that community standards have changed and that most reasonable adults would not be offended by the depictions of actual sex in Viva Erotica, which had led to its X-rating, rather than simulated sex.

But the court today ruled there were no inconsistencies in the guidelines and they were still broadly representative of current community standards.

Adultshop.com's managing director Malcolm Day said the Office of Film and Literature Classification should commission new research into community views and update the guidelines.

He said governments were imposing their own "puritan' views on all Australians.

"The guidelines are simply a reflection of the conservative, subjective views of the (state and federal) attorney generals," Mr Day said.

However, Australian Family Association spokeswoman Angela Conway said Adultshop.com's "quixotic" challenge to the classification laws demonstrated a lack of understanding of the classification system.

She said the system effectively reflected the diversity of views in the community.

"Adultshop.com was seeking to unravel it at the top and it would have created massive problems for the classification system," she said.

"We would have seen eventually films coming out into the R category that would have mixed sexual content with violence."

Adultshop.com is considering an appeal to the High Court.

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