A motion picture rating system(PORN IS THE BEST) is designated to classify films with regard to suitability for audiences in terms of issues such as sex, violence, substance abuse, profanity, impudence or other types of mature content. A particular issued rating is called a certification.
This is designed to help parents decide whether a movie is suitable for their children. Yet, the effectiveness of these systems is widely disputed. Also, in some jurisdictions a rating may impose on movie theaters the legal obligation of refusing the entrance of children or minors to the movie. Furthermore, where movie theaters do not have this legal obligation, they may enforce restrictions on their own. Ratings are often given in lieu of censorship.
In countries such as Australia, an official government body decides on ratings; in other countries, such as the United States, it is done by industry committees with no official government status. In most countries, however, films that are considered morally offensive have been censored, restricted, or banned. Even if the film rating system has no legal consequences, and a film has not explicitly been restricted or banned, there are usually laws forbidding certain films, or forbidding minors to view them.
The influence of specific factors in deciding a rating varies from country to country. For example, in countries such as the US, films with strong sexual content are often restricted to adult viewers, whereas in countries such as France and Germany, sexual content is viewed much more leniently. On the other hand, films with violent content are often subject in countries such as Germany and Finland to high ratings and even censorship, whereas countries such as the US offer more lenient ratings to violent movies.
A film may be produced with a particular rating in mind. It may be re-edited if the desired rating is not obtained, especially to avoid a higher rating than intended. A film may also be re-edited to produce an alternate version for other countries.
The Office of Film and Literature Classification is a government funded organization which classifies all films that are released for public exhibition.
Theatrical advertising is accompanied by a colour-coded symbol for each classification category. This is accompanied by consumer advice such as mild, moderate, strong or high level coarse language, nudity, sexual references, themes etc. Only the MA15+, R18+ and X18+ classifications are legally restricted.
The E rating is used in films which do not have a need to be classified, such as documentaries. However, documentaries or concerts that may exceed the guidelines of the PG classification must be submitted for classification.
Motion pictures are rated in Austria by a commission of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture (Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur). This commission issues an age recommendation for each title from the following list:
The ratings are published on the ministries website and can be either accepted or changed by the nine federal states.
Storage media, such as DVDs, are not rated in Austria. Usually the german FSK-ratings are printed on the cases, although they don't have any legal meaning. For this reason many films which are banned in Germany can be bought on DVD in Austria.
For DVD releases, Belgium uses the same system as the Netherlands.
Movies are rated in Brazil by the DJCTQ, or Department of Justice, Rating, Titles and Qualification (Departamento de Justiça, Classificação, Títulos e Qualificação in Portuguese), controlled by the Brazilian Ministry of Justice (Ministério da Justiça). No "parental guidance" ratings are used. It's interesting to notice that this rating system is also used for television shows.
The DJCTQ uses the following system:
People younger than the minimum age indicated by the rating can watch the movie accompanied by their parents or an adult guardian, except for pornographic films. The films are rated by trained raters and, more recently, the DJCTQ has surveyed the audience's opinions on the ratings indicated for specific films. No "parental guidance" ratings are used.
The Bulgarian film rating system is defined in the Film Industry Law (or Act) of 2003. The National Film Rating Committee examines every film that is going to be distributed in the country and gives it a rating. In practice, the ratings are rarely displayed on posters and in film advertisements, but almost all DVDs have them on the back cover.
|Rating||Accompanying inscription||When is it given|
|A||Recommended to children||"When the film is for children and has an educational nature."|
|B||No age restrictions||"When the film confirms the ideals of humanism, promotes national and world culture or by no means contradicts to the universally accepted moral norms in the country and there are no restrictive recommendations by the Committee."|
|C||Not recommended to children younger than 12 years of age.||"When the film contains certain erotic scenes or scenes with drinking, taking drugs or stimulants or a few scenes of violence."|
|D||No people younger than 16 years of age are admitted.||"When the film contains quite a number of erotic scenes or scenes with drinking, taking drugs or stimulants or a considerable number of scenes showing violence."|
|X||No people younger than the age of 18 are admitted.||"When the film is naturally erotic."|
|E||"Films the contents of which is contrary to the universal rules of morality, that laud or exculpate atrocity, violence or taking drugs, that incite to racial, sexual, religious or national hatred, are not rated."
Note: unrated films can not be distributed, as no visa is given.
Before 2003 there was another rating system which was very similar to the current one (the same letter ratings were used, but the meaning of most letters was different; for example "B" stood for "not recommended for persons under the age of 12").
In practice, the rating "B" is given to most popular American films, even if they receive a more restrictive one in other countries.
In 2007, a few changes to the law were made, the effect of which will probably not be big for the rating system, though a film's rating could change. These changes are in effect from January 1, 2008.
Movie ratings in Canada are a provincial responsibility, and each province has its own legislation, rules and regulations regarding rating, exhibition and admission. Ratings are required for theatrical showings of movies, but are not required for home video. Film festivals which show unrated films (because they are independent films or foreign films not submitted for ratings) are treated as private showings by selling memberships to the festival, which circumvents the theatrical rating requirement.
There are currently six film classification offices rating movies in Canada, each an agency of a provincial government:
The province of Newfoundland and Labrador has not legislated on film ratings and does not have a dedicated agency; some theatres use the ratings of the Maritime Film Classification Board.
by an adult
by an adult
All the provincial film boards (except the Québec Régie du cinéma) participate in the Canadian Home Video Rating System (CHVRS), a classification applied to home video products such as DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and VHS tapes. The ratings of the individual film boards are averaged and applied by the distributor on home video packaging. Major studios and distributors usually print the CHVRS ratings along with the Motion Picture Association of America ratings, on materials destined for North-American markets.
In Québec, the Régie du cinéma ratings apply to home video products. Sticker rating labels must be provided by the distributor, and displayed on rental material.
The Council of Cinematographic Classification (Consejo de Calificación Cinematográfica) uses the following system:
The first film rating system of the People's Republic of China was expected to come out in 2005 as a part of the Motion Picture Industry Promotion Law (Chinese: 电影促进法). However, the National People's Congress has not passed such a law.
As of June 22, 2005, the Ministry of Culture issued its new rating system. The classifications are:
The Media Council for Children and Young People uses the following classifications.
Children who have turned 7 are allowed admission to all films if accompanied by an adult (a person turned 18). Consequently it is the responsibility of the parents to ensure that their children do not watch violent and hard-core pornographic films.
Films accessible to the public do not have to be classified by the Media Council but consequently must be labeled as 15 -Approval of the film for admittance of children from the age of 15 – no matter the content of the film.
The Egyptian government has only three movie classifications:
Usually excessive violence, nudity, and sexuality is cut from motion pictures in order to release with a General audience certificate.
The Finnish Board of Film Classification has a film classification system under which films are classified into one of the following categories:
A person two years younger than the given rating is permitted to see a film in a movie theater when accompanied by an adult. The only rating which this rule is not applied was K-18, because this classification is legally restricted.
Only material intended to be accessible to minors (those below 18 years of age) is subject to mandatory inspection. A proper notification is sufficient for adult material. However, the board has the right to inspect material suspected of violating laws or material which was not properly notified.
Prior to showing in theaters, a license (visa d'exploitation) must be obtained from the Ministry of Culture. Upon the advice of the commission pertaining to cinema movies, the minister decides either not to grant the license (a very rare occurrence), or to grant a license among the 6 following:
Each rating can be accompanied by a special "warning". In practice, the ministry always follows the decision of the commission.
In addition, a movie bearing the "-18" rating may be considered "pornographic or inciting to violence" (colloquially referred to as "X-rated"). In this case, it bears high taxation and may be showed only in specific theatres, which are now rare in France. This classification is not used for merely violent movies, or movies containing mere erotic scenes.
Related link:  (in French)
The Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle der Filmwirtschaft (Voluntary Self-Regulation of the Film Industry, FSK) has a film classification system under which films are classified into one of the following categories:
All the above ratings also contain the phrase "gemäß §14 JuSchG" (in accordance with §14 of the Youth Protection Law), signifying that they are legally binding, rather than being mere recommendations.
Furthermore, while a rating by the FSK is not legally required for a film to be sold, "unrated" films may be sold only to adults, and since most retail chains and virtually all cinemas will sell/show only films with an FSK rating, all films are normally submitted to the FSK for classification, with the exception of films that will most likely be refused a certificate (pornography or films containing extremely strong violence, for example).
After a title has received a rating for a cinematic release, the FSK must approve this rating again for a home entertainment release. Some titles therefore have different FSK certificates for the cinematic release and for the DVD release.
After 10 years, films may be resubmitted to the FSK for re-rating. Older films which have gained a FSK 18 certificate during the '50s or '60s often gain a much lower certificate now, due to a more liberal approach the FSK now takes in issuing ratings. However, due to the cost involved in resubmitting a film, it is common practice to keep the old certificate for the cinematic release and only submit bonus materials or extended scenes for classification. This leads to the seemingly paradoxical result of extended, and more violent versions of previously-rated films gaining a lower certificate than the "tamer" version.
Further to the above restrictions, it is also illegal to supply a film with an FSK 18, Keine Jugendfreigabe or SPIO/JK certificate, including those not on the index, without definitive means to supply proof of age. This severely limits distribution of films with these certificates, and thus it is extremely common for distributors to supply a cut version with a lower certificate so that the film can be distributed by mail order or Internet.
Almost all major online distributors have declined to distribute FSK 18 or Keine Jugendfreigabe films due to the legal difficulties in the past. Shopping Centres, Malls and Amazon Germany have started selling films with this certificate since 2002. Amazon Germany started selling films with this certification in November 2006. Many smaller online retailers provide an FSK 18 section which may be accessed only by sending a scanned copy of the buyer's identification card or providing the ID card's number (which includes the date of birth encrypted). The legality of this practice, however, is as yet untested. In September 2006, Amazon.de became the first major retailer to provide FSK 18 rated films, by making use of an ID checking service offered by the German postal service.
Any movies that will be shown in Greek movie theatres, whether local or foreign, must be classified. There are four ratings for movies shown in Greece and they are:
K-17 is a restricted category. No persons under 17 is allowed as ID card has to be checked before a person can watch or buy a DVD of a movie that was classified as K-17.
An official government agency issues ratings for any movie that will be shown in Hong Kong movie theatres, instead of a private institution. They are:
Of the four levels, Levels I, IIA, and IIB are unrestricted. Only Level III is a restricted category. Ticket sellers in movie theatres have a legal right to check the identity of a person who wishes to watch a Level III film to ensure legal compliance.
Hungarian ratings are decided by the Rating Committee of the National Office of Film:
Before 2004, there was 14 instead of 12, and there wasn't any fifth category.
Kvikmyndaeftirlit Ríkisins was started in 1932 and ran until 1997. That year the name changed into Kvikmyndaskoðun and ran until 2006. Since 1997 the board does not edit movies. The old rating system from Kvikmyndaeftirlit Ríkisins and Kvikmyndaskoðun is still valid and is as follows:
From July 1, 2006 Kvikmyndaskoðun was closed and Smáís has taken over the responsibility of rating systems in Iceland. Simultaneously, a new rating system started and is as following:
In India, Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is responsible for certifying films meant for public exhibition.
The Censor Board presently gives four categories of certificates, namely,
Critical Analysis of Censor Ratings in India:
1. The Film Rating system of CBFC categorizing films into 'U', 'UA', 'A', 'S' is not only simplistic but also primitive. Except for the letters such as 'A', 'U' etc. there is no audience-friendy system of film ratings in the form of 'icons' of different colors indicating different age groups, unlike many other countries.
2. Before screening of the film, only the original Censor certificate is displayed in which except for the 'certified title' ('A', 'U' etc.) in which nothing else can be read by the audience. (See the sample censor certificate)
3. It is ironic that the vital details of Censor Caution such as 'interpretation of certified title', 'suitable age group', 'name of the film' etc. appear in a very small font that no body can read them on the screen. This practice of showing Censor Certificates (instead of easily-recognizable colour icons with age group) dates back to the 1950's and is still continued without any modifications.
4. While the CBFC certifies hundreds of films in Indian regional languages (e.g., Telugu, Tamil, Bengali etc.), the contents of Censor Certificate/Caution are in English and Hindi only. Hence, ordinary viewers and illiterates can't understand anything about CBFC Film ratings.
5. As the CBFC's website (www.cbfcindia.gov.in) is non-functional for many years, the audience has no online facility to know about the CBFC Ratings of the newly-certified films.
6. The Film ratings of CBFC are not prominently indicated in the film publicity material such as posters, handbills etc. and advertisements in print media etc. though the law provides for the same. Nowadays, television and the internet have become major forms of media through which film publicity reaches millions of audience through advertisements, film-based programmes, Local Film listings, exclusive websites on new films etc, but presently, there is no legal stipulation that film publicity through electronic media should indicate/display CBFC rating. This lacuna questions the very utility and relevance of CBFC and its ratings.
7. Citing above lacunae responsible for disinformation to audience about CBFC Film ratings (and violation of their fundamental right to know about films), 'MediaWatch-India' , a voluntary organisation filed a writ petition (WP No. 15732/2009) in High Court of Andhra Pradesh, against Ministry of I&B to modify the format of censor caution to make it audience-friendly and in line with international best practices.
8. Consequent to the High Court's order in above writ petition, Ministry of I&B, in December, 2009, has decided to modify the censor caution and amend relevant rules accordingly. Also, the Ministry has decided to introduce few more Film Rating Categories apart from the present four ratings, as mentioned above. The same is proposed to be done shortly as part of the comprehensive review of Cinematograph laws by the Ministry of I&B. (Position as in February 2010)
Motion pictures shown in Indonesia must undergo reviewing by the Indonesian Film Censor Board (Lembaga Sensor Film). Other than issuing certificates, the LSF also reviews and issues permits for film-related advertising, such as movie trailers and posters. LSF has the authority to cut scenes from films. Certificates are issued based on the following categories:
The Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO) under which theatrical films are placed into one of the following categories:
In addition, televisions in Italy have adopted a common rating system that requires them to mark contents not suitable for all audiences: generally movies, prime-time broadcasts and TV shows are labeled with a green mark if them are suitable for all audiences; with a yellow mark if parent supervision is suggested for children view; and with a red mark if their content is not suitable for children. Generally broadcasts featuring the red mark have strong graphic contents, ranging from violence to nudity and mild-to-medium sexual contents (pornographic broadcasts are forbidden on open-channel TVs and allowed only on satellite, DTT or otherwise pay-per-view channels, and only after 23:00 hours). TV channels also respect a "Protected Time Schedule" (14:00 to 19:00) similar to the old Family Viewing Hour used in the United States, when children or otherwise underage audience is more likely to be watching, when non-suitable contents are not to be broadcast. Film that are rated VM14 can only be broadcast after Prime time.
In Latvia, the film presenters added classification is the same as the one applied by the producers of the film. However, this could change from 2008, because in July 2007 the government of Latvia made a law that indicates a more strict classification policy. The classifications are approved by the National Cinema Center (Latvian: Nacionālais Kino Centrs). There is a new 'refreshed' rating system from July 2007. (The following classifications will operate as of September 2007)
Malaysia's motion picture rating system was introduced in 1996. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, all films in Malaysia, whether local or foreign, are scrutinized and then categorized by the Film Censorship Board Film Control Division before being distributed and screened to the public. The board was established under the Film Censorship Act 1952 and was later replaced by the Film Censorship Act 2002. In accordance to this act, the Film Censorship Board is appointed by the Minister of Home Affairs. A panel is then appointed by the chairman of the board to view each film.
The decisions made by the board on any film are categorized as follows:
Approved films are classified as follows:
All film and cinema advertisements in newspapers must clearly show the classification for a movie. Some cinema advertisements on newspapers classified all movies as "U" unless stated.
The two main cinema operators in Malaysia, Golden Screen Cinemas, and Tanjong Golden Village are known to be strict in ensuring that no persons under age 18 admitted for films that was rated 18SG, 18SX, 18PA or 18PL. Although movies shown in Malaysian cinemas are slapped with a rating such as 18SG or 18PL, most of the time profanity, and nudity in films which have an 18+ rating are censored, sometimes excessively, which deems the 18+ rating meaningless and strict entry by the cinema operators pointless.
On the other hand, there have been many 18+ films filled with profanity that were hardly, or not even censored. This was evident in movies such as Law Abiding Citizen, Street Kings, Rambo 4 and most recently Legion, whereby profanity such as the many 'F-Words' were not censored at all. This clearly shows a pattern of irregularity and inconsistency with the movie censorship in Malaysia. Rumor says that on the first day or the first week movies are screened in Malaysian cinemas, they are the uncensored version. Later there are taken back to the censors to be censored. However, this is just a rumor that has yet to be confirmed.
The 18SX rating became an umbrella for the rapid growth of pornographic films, however, while considered graphic on Malaysian standards, these films would be more on par with any movies with non-excessive sex scenes, and not "XXX". The movie classification may vary during television broadcast of a movie. For example, a Korean movie, 200 Pounds Beauty, was classified as U while showing in cinemas, later rated as PG-13 during television broadcast. Some 18SG, 18SX, 18PA and 18PL movies later classified as U or PG-13 during the television broadcast of a movie, for example, a Hong Kong movie, Breaking News, which was classified as 18SG during theatrical release, later rated U during television broadcast. If a movie is classified 18SG, 18SX, 18PA or 18PL, it can only be broadcast on television between 10:00 PM and 06:00 AM.
Due to piracy of music CD's and DVD/VCD in Malaysia, all original DVD/VCD/Blu-ray disc of a video is required to have a hologram sticker with the word "Tulen KPDN & HEP Original" and a sticker of a movie certification by Lembaga Penapisan Filem Malaysia with a signature with the word "Pengerusi Lembaga Penapisan Filem Malaysia", a serial number of a DVD/VCD/Blu-ray disc and a classification of a video before it can be sold.
With the formation of National Bureau of Classification on December 29, 2005, a new classification regulation and a new rating system for movies were introduced. A classification certificate must be obtained first, before a movie or a movie-related production is released for commercial use including its trailers. NBC has the authority to cut scenes from movies. Classification certificates issued are based on the following categories:
Graphic sex scenes are not permitted.
In Malta, All motion pictures are classified by the Government appointed Board of Film and Stage Classification. The renting and selling of videos and DVDs is unrestricted.
The General Directorate of Radio, Television and Cinematography (in Spanish, Dirección General de Radio, Televisión y Cinematografía, or RTC) is the issuer of ratings for television programs (although only one channel in Mexico explicitly shows the classification on each program, XEIMT-TV in Mexico City) and motion pictures. The RTC is a dependency of the Department of State (Secretaría de Gobernación). It has its own classification system, as follows:
Mostly, these icons are used along with other symbols, displaying if a movie contains violence, sexual content, frightening scenes, drug or alcohol abuse, discrimination, or coarse language.
The Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 gives the Office of Film and Literature Classification (New Zealand) the power to classify publications into three categories: unrestricted, restricted, or "objectionable". All films, videos, DVDs and computer games must carry a label before being offered for supply or exhibited to the public.
The currently available unrestricted ratings are:
The most common restricted ratings are:
Under New Zealand law it is possible for the New Zealand Film and Video Labelling Body to give an unrestricted rating to a film if it has been given an unrestricted rating by either the Office of Film and Literature Classification in Australia or, if the Australian Board has not reviewed it, the British Board of Film Classification, and it is not likely to be restricted under New Zealand censorship law. If a film has received a restricted rating (of at least 15+) in either Australia or the UK it must be classified by the OFLC.
The OFLC may restrict a film to a certain audience, either by age or by purpose. The Office can assign any age restriction, but R13, R16 and R18 are most commonly used, with R15 used less often. Persons under the age restriction may not see the film under any circumstance, even with parental consent. However, the Office may assign an RP rating (i.e. RP13 or RP16) which allows children under the age of classification to see the film with an accompanying parent or adult guardian.
The Office may also restrict a film to a certain purpose, in which case the R rating is used. The film is considered objectionable unless the conditions of the restriction are met. This may mean that a film is limited to viewing for study or research purposes, theatrical release, or for screening at film festivals. For instance, the film Irréversible is classified R18, but with additional restrictions limiting it to "the purposes of theatrical exhibition or study in tertiary institutions only".
The National Film and Video Censors Board classifies films, videos, DVDs, and VCDs. The categories are:
In Norway all movies have to be registered by the Norwegian Media Authority (Medietilsynet, formerly Filmtilsynet), a government agency, to be exhibited commercially. Though if distributors wish, they can just register the movie with the agency without any need for approval, but the distributor is then obligated not to admit anyone under the age of 18. The distributor is also responsible that the movie does not violate Norwegian law (only applies to movies with "degrading hardcore sexual content").
Movies are rated using the following classifications:
Films rated 7, 11 or 15 may also be seen by children accompanied by a parent or adult guardian if the child has turned 4, 8 or 11 years, respectively. In addition to the ratings, the board indicates if a movie is suitable for children, families, youths or adults. A film may be given a rating even though it is intended for an older age group, e.g. an "A" film might be intended for adults if it does not contain material unsuitable for young children. Norway also cares less about bad language than others, so films rated PG-13 in America, often gets '7+' or the 'Suitable for all' rating. One example is The Simpsons Movie or Step Up.
The board also indicates if a rating is "hard". A "hard" 11/15 rating is usually indicated by the text "not advised for children/youths under 11/15" ("frarådes barn/ungdom under 11/15 år"), however this does not affect if children under the given age are allowed to see the film if accompanied. In 2000 a Board of Appeal was established. Prior to this the ratings board could choose to reclassify a film.
Movie ratings database: http://www.filmtilsynet.no/Filmdatabase List of Norwegian ratings: http://film.medietilsynet.no/Film/Om_aldersgrenser
The motion picture rating system for movies shown in Peruvian movie theatres are:
In the Philippines, motion pictures are rated by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, a special agency of the Office of the President. Television programs are also subject to the same ratings classification system.
There are five ratings currently in use:
Ratings in Poland are not set by any board or advisory body, but it rather depends on distribution company, cinema or television station. In case of television, the supervisory body - Krajowa Rada Radiofonii i Telewizji (KRRiT, The National Council of Radio Broadcasting and Television) can impose fines upon those responsible for improper rating of a broadcast, or lack of it.
Movies are rated in Portugal by the Comissão de Classificação de Espectáculos of the Ministry of Culture. This organization also rates theater, video games, other types of shows like circus, music concerts, opera and dance shows. It is also responsible for the rating of video releases.
Movies are rated using the following classifications:
These classifications can be added to the previous ones:
National Audiovisual Council of Romania rating system:
At the same time of the revision of the film ratings in Singapore, it also saw Consumer Advice introduced to provide information on the content of the films. This would allow parents and adults to make more informed film-viewing decisions. Consumer advice is necessary for PG, but NC16, M18 and R21 rated films, which is restricted, must carry consumer advice.
G and PG generally has no restrictions on age and most audiences are admitted. Regulation on the presence of adults for PG rated shows are advised but not strictly enforced.
NC16, M18 and R21 groups are restricted to only persons of the specified age or above of the particular group. No persons under the specified age would be admitted as identity cards have to be checked before the person is allowed to enter the cinema. Film that was classified as R21 are excluded from video releases.
South African ratings are issued, certified and regulated by the Film and Publication Board. All broadcasters, cinemas and distributors of DVD/video and computer games must comply with the following:
Additional symbols indicate the reasons for ratings:
If a member of the public or a Film and Publication Board Official finds that a Cinema or a Film Distributor is allowing under-aged children to view prohibited material, the accused may be liable for a hefty fine and/or closure of that specific establishment. Proof of age is required of anybody who wants to buy/rent R18 material.
The Film and Publication Board has the discretion and right to ban any film it deems unworthy of public exhibition.
If the movie is classified as 18+ or Limited, it is restricted and no persons under age 18 and 19, respectively is allowed to watch.
Attitudes toward film censorship in Spain are unusual due to the adverse affect of dictatorship and heavy censorship until 1975 under General Francisco Franco. Therefore, most Spanish citizens are against censorship of any kind and prefer personal responsibility and liberalism, thus very few people show serious respect for certification of films. For example, cinemas in Spain never ask for identification.
Films with the Película X rating are only allowed in eight theaters in Spain. In 2009 for the first time a film got this rating because of violence instead of pornography: the film Saw VI. Buena Vista, the distributor, has appealed the decision.
Statens biografbyrå (SBB) (the Swedish National Board of Film Censors) reviews the content of all films or pre-recorded video recordings (videograms) prior to showing at a public gathering or entertainment (subject to some exceptions), in accordance with law SFS 1990:886. This means that films not intended for public viewing do not have to be screened; however, this is the practice: when a film is let through, is rated and not prohibited, it can not be considered to violate any laws regarding its content. It is a criminal offense to hire or sell videos containing unlawful depictions of violence, thus meaning that the distributor could be held responsible for the content of a film if unrated or prohibited. It is illegal also to rent or sell videos depicting realistic violence to children below the age of 14.
The censors, scientific professionals in the field of behavioural sciences, are contracted for a term of two years (so that they do not become habituated) and rate films so that they are not harmful in any psychological or behavioral sense for a certain age group - and not if the film is suitable for the age group, a common misconception. Violence is seen as far more socially disruptive than consensual sexual acts, nudity or strong language, which is generally looked at more liberally than violence. This can have the effect that some PG or PG-13 rated films in USA are being rated "15 years" in Sweden for violence, while some films getting an R in USA for containing profanity or depictions of sexuality are rated at 7 or 11 years, or even for all audiences.
The censors have the option to cut out scenes from 15 years films if they are considered brutalizing. However, this has been used only rarely in the last 15 years. The director-general has expressed that the censors have a hard time convincing friends and even themselves that anything in a non-pornographic movie would affect the values of an adult, especially in a brutalizing manner. There is a strong political opinion for dismantling the board in the future and to replace it with a solution similar to that in Denmark or Norway. Even though it is practically inactive, government censorship is seen wildly seen as a pre-democratic anachronism, especially in a society which portraits itself as one of the banners bearer when it comes to freedom of expression. However, disagreements on the details have stalled the question.
The following categories are used by the SBB:
Taiwan did not have motion picture rating system until April 1994. The Government Information Office in Taiwan divides licensed films into one of the following four categories pursuant to its issued Regulations Governing the Classification of Motion Pictures of the Republic of China (電影片分級處理辦法 in traditional Chinese):
Film advertisements use a single Chinese character surrounded by a square to show the film's category. Television stations must clearly show a film's rating before the start, and after each commercial break.
Related and official link: Classifications of movies (in traditional Chinese)
As of 2007, Thailand had no ratings system. Instead, films are subject to the 1930 Film Act, under which films must be viewed by the Board of Censors, which can then impose cuts on the films prior to release. The board is composed of members of the Royal Thai Police and the Ministry of Culture, with advisory roles from the Buddhist religion, educators and the medical community. Most cuts are made for sexual content, while acts of violence are typically left untouched.
A motion picture rating system was proposed in the Film and Video Act of 2007, and was passed on December 20, 2007 by the Thai military-appointed National Legislative Assembly. Under the law, the ratings, in effect since August 2009, are:
The draft law had been met with resistance from the film industry and independent filmmakers under the Free Thai Cinema Movement. Activists had hoped for a less-restrictive approach than the 1930 Film Act, but under the Film and Video Act, films are still be subject to censorship, or can be banned from release altogether if the film is deemed to "undermine or disrupt social order and moral decency, or might impact national security or the pride of the nation".
|Universal||Available to anyone who wishes to view the film|
|Universal with caution''||Similar to the "PG" rating, may contain some scenes that will upset children.|
|Seven or over||The person must be seven or over to view the film|
|Eleven or over||''The person must be eleven or over to view the film|
|Thirteen or over||''The person must be thirteen or over to view the film|
|Sixteen or over||''The person must be sixteen over to view the film|
|Sixteen with privilege||''The person must be over sixteen to view the film alone, but under 16's can watch if accompanied by a person over the age of 18|
|Eighteen||The person must be over eighteen to view the film|
The Ministry of Information and Culture of the United Arab Emirates rates all movies according to a set standard.
Despite being a teen comedy, Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging was rated 18+ in the UAE due to sexual references and language.
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) rates both motion pictures and videos (and an increasing number of video games). County authorities are ultimately responsible for film ratings for cinema showings in their area but for most of the time all County Councils generally accept the BBFC rating, although, films can technically bypass the BBFC as the BBFC has no legal power (technically, films do not even have to be submitted for classification) to be classified by the Counties the film is shown, in but due to practicality this is rarely done. County Councils often ignore the BBFC advised rating and rate films with anothe BBFC certificate in their county only, eg: the BBFC rates a film as 15 but the County council gives the film a 12A rating in their county. Rating certificates from the BBFC are not legally binding whereas those for videos are.
The current BBFC system is:
Films may receive a different rating when released on DVD/video to that at the cinema. It is not unusual for certain films to be refused classification, effectively banning them from sale or exhibition in the UK. Any media which has been banned receives an 'R' certificate (Rejected).
Videos deemed by their distributors to be exempt under the Video Recordings Act 1984 (typically non-fiction content such as music videos, sporting highlights, fitness videos, nature films, etc.) may bear the mark E (for exempt), though this is not a rating and the BBFC does not maintain a symbol. The BBFC also provides ratings for video games which may be unsuitable for sale to young people or children (such as Grand Theft Auto). However, the majority of games are merely rated by the voluntary PEGI rating system, that replaced the ELSPA rating system. It is very rare for a video game to be banned in the United Kingdom, as many controversial games have been released under more recent and more lenient directorship at the organisation.
Prior to 1968, some large cities and states had public rating boards which determined whether films were suitable for display to the public in theatres. The United States Supreme Court in the case of Freedman v. Maryland 380 U.S. 51 (1965) effectively ended government operated rating boards when it decided that a rating board could only approve a film; it had no power to ban a film. A rating board must either approve a film within a reasonable time, or it would have to go to court to stop a film from being shown in theatres. Other court cases decided that since television stations are federally licensed, local rating boards have no jurisdiction over films shown on television. When the movie industry set up its own rating system, most state and local boards ceased operating.
In the United States, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), through the Classification and Rating Administration (CARA) issues ratings for movies. The system was instituted in November 1968 and is voluntary; however, most movie theater chains will not show unrated domestic films and most major studios have agreed to submit all titles for rating prior to theatrical release. Most films will have the MPAA insignia at the end of the closing credits. Earlier films that had full opening credits such as The Poseidon Adventure would bear the insignia in the opening.
The ratings as they exist in 2009 are:
The Film Advisory Board (FAB) has instituted a rating system based on the level of maturity of the material's intended audience, rather than the film's content. While the FAB ratings system is not as recognized or well-known as the MPAA's rating system, it is in use by a number of commercial video distributors for direct-to-video releases that would have been impractical to submit to the MPAA. The Film Advisory Board has six ratings categories. Each includes a brief description as to the rating's explanation, such as "Violence in Battle Scenes", "Substance Abuse" or "Brief Nudity". The ratings as of 2008 are:
YouTube has its own rating system that is used to rate web shows. Here are the different ratings:
Content labeled "L" may contain some expletives and profanity; however such words should be infrequent and not used in a sexual context. Content with expletives and profanity that have been bleeped should be labeled L as well. An L may also indicate suggestive dialog, sexual innuendo, or other discussion of adult themes. Other L-labeled speech may include the expression of strong views and opinions that viewers are likely to find offensive, disrespectful, or otherwise controversial.
Content labeled "L+" may contain persistent use of expletives and profanity. It may also include coarse and vulgar dialog that is strongly sexually explicit.
Content not labeled L or L+ should not contain any strong, coarse, or other potentially offensive language. Even mild cursing such as "hell" and "damn" or words that are bleeped would not be appropriate.
Content labeled "N" may contain brief or partial nudity. This includes prolonged focus on individuals who are minimally clothed (e.g., underwear or revealing bathing suits). This also includes fleeting displays of nude buttocks or breasts with the areola not visible. Content labeled 'N' should not contain exposed genitalia or areola.
Content labeled "N+" may contain full nudity. N+ may also indicate content featuring exposed buttocks or partially nude breasts where the exposure is prolonged and/or the primary focal point of the content.
Some films and television shows may contain N+ content; however, videos originating from the YouTube user community must abide by the YouTube Community Guidelines and are not permitted to include such content.
Content not labeled N or N+ should not contain nudity or partial nudity of any kind.
Content labeled S may contain mild sexual activity or themes. This includes implied sex acts, light or comedic fetish references or behavior, prolonged and/or passionate kissing and fondling of another's breasts or buttocks. 'S' may also indicate the presence of sexual situations or discussion.
Content labeled S+ may contain explicit sexual activity. This includes engaging in sex acts, touching of genitals and individuals engaging in fetishes for purposes of sexual gratification (e.g. bondage, domination and sadomasochism).
Some films and television shows may contain S+ content; however videos originating from the YouTube user community must abide by the YouTube Community Guidelines and are not permitted to include such content.
Content not labeled S or S+ should not contain any sexual conduct or themes. Brief displays of affection, such as a kiss or hug are excepted.
Content labeled "V" may contain mild, comedic violence, fantasy violence, or isolated incidents of realistic violence. However, any violence depicted should not be gory, pervasive, or sexual in nature. Similarly, V-labeled content may contain a small amount of other imagery or situations that are disturbing or repulsive to sensitive viewers (such as real or dramatized medical footage, or depictions of disgusting or scary content in a horror or fantasy context).
Content labeled "V+" may contain violence that is persistent, intense, and graphic. V+-labeled content may also include pervasive imagery or situations that are disturbing or repulsive to the average viewer. This may also include animated content, if it features realistic depictions of extreme violence or other extremely disturbing or repulsive imagery.
Content not labeled V or V+ should be free of violence, injury, or other imagery that may be considered gory, disturbing, or repulsive to sensitive viewers.
Content labeled "D" may contain mild drug use, including excessive or persistent consumption of alcohol or tobacco. It also includes occasional or comedic use of drugs such as marijuana, sativa, hallucinogens or prescription pharmaceuticals. Implied, non-graphic use of other drugs, such as heroin may be labeled 'D' as well, along with the display of drug paraphernalia.
Content labeled "D+" may contain pervasive drug abuse, including depictions of drugs being abused through extreme or unconventional means, such as injection, snorting, free-basing, and inhalation. This also may include graphic use of "hard drugs" such as heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine, and crack cocaine.
Content labeled D- should not contain drug abuse. However, fleeting and moderate consumption of alcohol or tobacco by adults as well as responsible use of medications may appear.