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Australia Cracking Down on ‘Age Verification,’ Eros Says

Australia Cracking Down on ‘Age Verification,’ Eros Says
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Sep 16, 2015 7:44 AM PDT    Text size: 

MELBOURNE — Eros, Australia’s adult entertainment trade group, said today that the federal government is issuing take-down notices to sexually explicit websites that are not complying with the Restricted Access System (RAS) Declaration.

The RAS Declaration requires Australian content service providers put in place systems to verify that people accessing R18+ content are at least 18.

In a statement today, Eros said “it is now clear that the Children’s e-Safety Commissioner is working with officers from the classification branch in checking Australian adults-only businesses online presence for compliance with the RAS Declaration.”

Eros recommended to member online adult site operators to host such sites outside of Australia.

“For those with content hosted in Australia, as an interim measure, remove images that are likely to be classified R18+, X18+ or RC (refused classification) for DVDs and/or Category 1 and 2 publications,” Eros said. In addition, “all members with an online presence should visit the Association of Site Advocating Child Protection (ASACP.org) and follow the instructions to ensure your site is using the RTA (Restricted To Adults) Label and is RTA Verified.”

Eros noted it previously worked with government officials to ensure that the RAS Declaration, which was implemented in 2007 as part of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992,  contained provisions that would protect its members.

But “in real terms, this meant that Australian adults-only businesses would by-pass the requirements for an RAS Declaration, so long as the content was hosted overseas,” Eros said. “Any content hosted with an Australian provider therefore constitutes an ‘Australian connection’ and is subject to an RAS Declaration.”

Eros said it is in the process of sourcing some “preferred” overseas hosting companies and will update members as soon as information is available.

The trade group said it would be available for questions from Australia adult businesses that could be affected by new enforcement measures, as well as those that received a take-down notice. Contact Eros’ Joel Murray at 0402 690 488 or joel@eros.org.au for queries.

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