Renaming the RC category

11.41 The category name ‘Refused Classification’ is problematic for two reasons. First, the plain meaning of the term is confusing because content that is ‘Refused Classification’ has, in fact, received a classification. That is, the term is open to misunderstanding because it does not make it clear that the content has been subject to a classification decision-making process. This may give the erroneous impression that, for example, RC content is ‘material that the Classification Board is incapable of classifying’.[56]

11.42 Secondly, the term does not make clear the important implications of content being classified as RC—that is, the content is effectively banned and may not be sold, screened, provided online or otherwise distributed.

11.43 The RC category should be named to better reflect its nature. In the ALRC’s view, referring to ‘Prohibited’ content would be more appropriate, reflecting the fact that the distribution of the content is prohibited.

11.44 Schedules 5 and 7 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 already use the terms ‘prohibited content’ and ‘potentially prohibited content’ to refer to categories of online content that include, but are broader than, the RC category. This includes, for example, content that has been classified MA 15+, access to which is not subject to a ‘restricted access system’.[57] The legislative framework for the new National Classification Scheme would replace these schedules, removing any confusion between these terms and a new ‘Prohibited’ classification for content.

Recommendation 11–1 Under the Classification of Media Content Act, the ‘Refused Classification’ category of content should be named ‘Prohibited’.

[56] R Harvey, Submission CI 2467.

[57]Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Cth) sch 7, cl 20.