16 April 2008
ACMA welcomes release of draft industry code of practice to promote safety of children using online and mobile phone content
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has welcomed the release of the Internet Industry Association’s (IIA) draft industry code of practice for online and mobile content services for public and industry consultation.
ACMA encourages interested parties to review the draft code and submit their views to the IIA by 15 May 2008. The draft code is available from the IIA’s website at www.iia.net.au/images/content services code - public consultation.pdf
Following consultation and consideration of comments, the Internet Industry Association is expected to submit the code to ACMA for registration, which will give the code legal force. Before registering the code, ACMA will need to determine that there has been adequate public and industry consultation, that the code provides appropriate community safeguards in relation to online and mobile content, and that the code specifies how providers of commercial online and mobile content will conform to Australia’s content classification scheme.
After registration, the code will complement new rules, introduced by legislation that took effect in January of this year, that regulate converged online and mobile content for the purpose of promoting the safety of users (primarily children) using these content services.
Media contact: Donald Robertson, ACMA Media Manager on (02) 9334 7980.
A new Schedule 7 to the Broadcasting Act 1992 came into force on the 20th of January 2008, with the purpose of regulating all content services delivered via carriage services, including online and mobile content.
The main elements of the new content regulatory framework introduced by Schedule 7 are:
- a prohibition on X18+ and RC content;
- a prohibition on R18+ content, unless it is subject to appropriate access restrictions;
- a new prohibition on MA15+ content, unless it is subject to appropriate access restrictions;
- providers of hosting services, live content services, link services and commercial content services to have in place access restrictions if providing R18+ and MA15+ content;
- ‘take down’ or ‘access removal’ notices to remove access to content that is the subject of a complaint; and
- a co-regulatory approach that provides for the development of an industry code to address issues including the classification of content, procedures for handling complaints about content and increasing awareness of potential safety issues associated with the use of content services.