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Aussie Online Retailer Challenges Ruling on X-Rated Video

AdultShop.com files appeal to have X-rating for video showing penetration reviewed by judge
Aussie Online Retailer Challenges Ruling on X-Rated Video
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May 16, 2008 6:00 AM PDT    Text size: 
PERTH, Australia — A story on DailyTelegraph.com reported that online adult retailer AdultShop.com has filed an appeal in a case brought in the Australia, asking the court to reduce the X-rating by Australia’s Classification Review Board (CRB) for a movie titled “Viva Erotica.”

The video is currently rated X18+ and is prohibited from sale in several regions in Australia. According to the Australian film rating system, a movie must contain "real depictions of actual sexual activity ... in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult," in order to earn an X-rating.

The retailer argued that though “Viva Erotica” depicted adult performers having intercourse, the video was not offensive and that the X-rating did not accurately reflect community standards for adult content.

In November, Judge Peter Jacobson dismissed the retailer’s petition for judicial review of the CRB’s rating for the film.

On Wednesday, in Australian Federal court, AdultShop.com’s lawyer argued that Judge Jacobson had been incorrect in his judgment to dismiss the retailer’s petition to have the video’s rating reviewed.

According to the lawyer, the video had not been given an X-rating due to content that portrayed violence, bestiality or incest, leading to its R18+ classification.

Federal Justice Antony Siopsis said that the depiction of intercourse could still be considered offensive and that the ratings’ board’s standards for classification were clear.

Siopsis asked, "Don't you start with the presumption that films that do depict actual sex are offensive?"

The hearing is ongoing. AdultShop.com operates a brink-and-mortar store located in Darwin, as well as a retail website.

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