Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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This instrument adds to the statutory exceptions for computer games. It provides for a greater range of modifications to computer games that do not require classification again. The instrument covers modifications of a computer game that are of a ‘minor and/ or technical nature’ as defined. The exceptions in the instrument will only apply if the modification does not affect the computer game’s original classification. If the game’s classification is affected by the modification, the modified version is unclassified.
Administered by: Communications and the Arts
Exempt from sunsetting by the Legislation Act 2003 s 54(1)
Registered 01 Jul 2015
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR10-Aug-2015
Tabled Senate10-Aug-2015
Table of contents.

 

Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) (Modifications of Computer Games) Instrument 2015

Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995

I, Michael Keenan, Minister for Justice, make the following instrument under paragraph 20A(2)(e) and sub-section 21(3) of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995.

Dated                           22 June 2015

Michael Keenan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contents

                                1     Name                                                                                                                                  2

                                2     Commencement                                                                                                              2

                                3     Definitions                                                                                                                         2

                                4      Prescribed computer games modifications permitted                                               3

                                5      Meaning of minor and/or technical modification                                                     3

                                6      Rule for permitted computer games modifications                                                   3

                                7      Examples of operation of rule                                                                                       4

                                8      Rule not to prevent classification of modified computer games                            4

 

 


 

1              Name

                This instrument is the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) (Modifications of Computer Games) Instrument 2015.

2              Commencement

                This instrument commences on the day it is registered.

3              Definitions

                In this instrument:

Act means the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995.

gameplay means the general manner in which a player interacts with a computer game.

Example:        In a car racing game, the general manner in which a player interacts with the game involves driving (rather than, for example, specifically driving a Formula 1 car through particular types of environments). 

original game means a computer game before it is subject to the modification concerned.

Note:                For the meaning of Board, computer game and work see sections 5 and 5A of the Act.

 


 

4              Prescribed computer games modifications

Modifications of unclassified games that are later classified

(1)   For the purposes of paragraph 20A(2)(e) of the Act—modifications of a kind prescribed under section 6 are covered by subsection 20A(2) of the Act.

Note 1:   If a computer game is modified and is classified in unmodified form at a later time, and the modification is of a kind covered by subsection 20A(2) of the Act, the modified game is taken from that later time to have the same classification as the classified game.

Note 2:   Section 20A of the Act applies in relation to computer games classified on or after 1 January 2013, regardless of when the computer game was modified.

Classified games that are later modified

(2)   For the purposes of subsection 21(3) of the Act—subsection 21(1) of the Act does not apply to modifications of a kind prescribed under section 6.

Note 1:   If a classified computer game is modified, the modified game becomes unclassified when the modification occurs, except if subsections 21(2) or (3) of the Act applies.

Note 2:   Section 21 of the Act applies in relation to computer games classified on or after 1 January 2013.

5              Meaning of minor and/or technical modification

A minor and/or technical modification means a modification to a computer game that:

(1)   does not cause the game, as modified, to be materially different to the original game; and

(2)   is not a work.

6              Rule for modification of computer games

Notwithstanding anything contained in section 7, a modification to a computer game is prescribed by this section if the modification:

                                    (a)    is a minor and/or technical modification; and


                                   (b)    does not have a material effect on the gameplay of the original game; and

                                    (c)    does not change the title of the original game; and

                                   (d)    is not likely to cause the game, as modified, to be given a different classification to the original game.

7              Examples of operation of rule

(1)   The applicability of a particular example in subsections (2) and (3) will depend on the specific nature of the original game and the modification.

(2)   Without limiting or extending the operation of section 6, examples of modifications that may be covered by that section include:

                                        (a)            patches or updates that fix security vulnerabilities, compatibility problems or bugs;

                                       (b)            graphics enhancements;

                                        (c)            format changes;

                                       (d)            additions of songs, characters, weapons, costumes, skins or vehicles;

                                        (e)            additions of environments, levels, missions, storylines or modes, even if these affect the overall difficulty or setting of the game.

(3)   Without limiting or extending the operation of section 6, examples of modifications that are unlikely to be covered by that section include:

                                        (a)            patches or updates that make accessible previously inaccessible content that is likely to change the computer game’s overall classification;

                                       (b)            a remake of a simple game with vastly improved graphics that causes the game, as modified, to become unrecognisable from the original game;

                                        (c)            the addition of items or environments that completely alter the general manner in which a player interacts with a game;

                                       (d)            a computer game involving the same or similar characters, settings and plot as the original game but can be played without the original game.

8              Rule does not prevent classification of modified computer games

(1) Section 6 does not apply to a modification to a computer game if:

(a)    an application to classify a modified computer game has been made to the Board; or

(b)   an approved classification tool is used to produce a decision for the computer game as modified and the decision would be taken to be a decision of the Board but for the operation of section 6.