Classified content sold with other classified content
8.43 If multiple classified films, computer games or television programs are sold as a package—for example, a box set of DVDs—then this package of content should not have to be reclassified as though it were new content. Rather, the package should display the classification marking of the content in the package that received the highest classification.
8.44 The relevant markings determination currently provides that a container that holds more than one film or computer game must display the markings applying to the film or computer game included in the container that has the highest classification.
8.45 The ALRC proposes that the new Act should provide that, where multiple pieces of classified content are sold or distributed together as a ‘package’ (even if the package only amounts to one media disc, or one computer file, with multiple pieces of content), then the package should display the classification of the content with the highest classification.
Classified content sold with unclassified content
8.46 A related scenario concerns packages containing content that must be classified and other content that is not required to be classified. A DVD, for example, may be sold that contains a feature film that must be classified, and other content that, if it were sold separately, would not be required to be classified, such as a short interview with the director of the film.
8.47 It is important that ‘extras’ and other content not be sold in a package marked with a lower classification than the extra content would receive if it were classified. Accordingly, the ALRC suggests that the new Act should provide that unclassified media content must not be distributed in a package marked with a lower classification than the extra content would receive if it were to be classified.
8.48 For example, if in an interview, the director of the children’s film used strong coarse language, parents would hardly expect the interview to be sold on a disc classified G. Distributors may, of course, choose to have higher-level content sold with a feature film with a lower classification; but if they do so, the distributor should have the extra content classified.
8.49 Sometimes an ‘extra’ sold with a feature film, such as a television program about the making of the feature film, might itself meet the definition of content that must be classified. In this case, the extra will need to be classified (but the feature film will not need to be reclassified). The introduction of authorised industry classifiers will reduce the cost of classifying this content.
Additional content scheme
8.50 Under the ALRC’s model, there is no need for an ‘additional content scheme’. Currently, this scheme allows authorised assessors to submit to the Board assessments of ‘additional content’ in a film. Additional content is defined to include: additional scenes for the classified film, such as alternative endings or deleted scenes; a film of the making of the classified film; and interviews with, and commentaries by, directors, actors and other persons involved with the making of the classified film. The assessments are considered by the Board when it classifies the new ‘film’ that essentially consists of all of the content on the DVD or disc—the feature film and additional content.
8.51 Under the new scheme, this additional content does not modify or declassify the feature film, even if it is sold on the same media disc. However, if the additional content is unclassified, it must not be sold on a disc or in a package with classified content, unless it is likely to have the same or a lower classification as the classified content. In the ALRC’s view, this is an efficient and effective process that maintains the integrity of the classification scheme.
Computer game ‘mods’ and expansion packs
8.52 In Chapter 6, the ALRC suggests that only computer games that are ‘works’, that is, games that are ‘produced for playing as a discrete entity’, should be required to be classified. ‘Mods’ and expansion packs will rarely be produced for playing as a discrete entity, and therefore would not meet the definition of content that must be classified. If they are sold separately, therefore, they should not need to be marked and classified. In the ALRC’s view, this is an appropriate and effective means of dealing with the volume of separate ‘mods’ and expansion packs that can be released, many made and produced by users rather than the original developers.
8.53 However, this does not mean they may be sold with classified content, under a classification marking that is lower than the ‘mod’ or expansion pack would receive if it were classified. This would undermine the integrity of the scheme, and give misleading information to consumers and parents.
8.54 As noted above, the ALRC suggests that the new Act should provide that unclassified media content must not be distributed in a package marked with a lower classification than the content would receive if it were to be classified.
8.55 If an expansion pack or computer game ‘mod’ increases the impact of a computer game, such that the modified game is likely to have a different classification, then the expansion pack or ‘mod’ may need to be classified. For example, if an original game were classified M, and the expansion pack were likely to make the game MA 15+, then the expansion pack should be classified.
8.56 This is consistent with the recommendation of the iGEA that add-on content, which it defines as ‘content that is additional to the core game such as expansion packs and in-game micro-transactions’, should only be required to be classified:
if the potential impact of the Add-On Content is higher than the impact of the computer game to which the Add-On Content will be applied. In circumstances where the Add-On Content has the same or lower level of impact, such Add-On Content would inherit the classification of the computer game to which the Add-On Content will be applied.
Classification (Markings for Films and Computer Games) Determination 2007 (Cth) s 32.
 See Recs 6–1 and 6–2 for the content the ALRC recommends should be required to be classified.
 See Ch 7.
Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (Cth) s 5.
 However, these games should only be required to be classified if they are also likely to be MA 15+ or higher, made and distributed on a commercial basis, and likely to have a significant Australian audience: see Rec 6–2.
 In the new Act, it may prove unnecessary to have a definition of ‘add-on’, as there is in the Classification Act. This content can be treated in the same way as other media content.
 Interactive Games and Entertainment Association, Submission CI 1101.