Shelf it….should books have classifications?

film and literature

It’s a question I have been wondering for a long time, should books have classifications? Movies do, television shows do, even websites are starting to provide a rating, whether or not they stick to that rating is another issue…But why don’t books have to?

The former Office of Film and Literature Classification (the OFLC) ceased to exist when new administrative arrangements came into force on 1 July 2007. The policy and operational functions of the OFLC were transferred to the Attorney-General’s Department. Decisions are still made by the Classification Board, and reviews of decisions are still made by the Classification Review Board.[1]

Case One: The Hunger GamesThe hunger games

Before I go any further, for the record I love the hunger games, they are amazing books that have managed to recreate the end of the world/ rebellion genre. That being said the books are considered quite graphically violent in relation to children killing children. for its 17+ audience reading this book, this level of violence is easily handled. But for the younger violence, particularly readers that are a little bit more sensitive, this book could be concerning for the parents. For a parent buying books for their children, reading the title of the book you wouldn’t be aware of the details of the book. While I was growing up my parents had said that their were certain books I wasn’t allowed to read. They always said to me that there were so many books in the world I can read, I don’t have to read those ones. but how did they know what was in those books, largely it was due to my siblings and what their friends told them about the books. what if a parent doesn’t have that, would classifications help?

Case two: 50 shades of grey

50 shades of greyThe book series 50 shades of grey spent at least 50 weeks on the bestseller list. Walking into my local dymocks at the start of its reign i saw it there and wanted to read it to find out what it was about.Personally I will read a book because of its title and cover, I very rarely read the blurb on the back, in-fact i don’t know a lot of people in my age group that do read the backs of books. A greater number of book audiences will read a book because a friend recommended it or by it’s reputation. I was already buying two other books so I decided to leave it for a week. When I went back to school I joined a conversation about the book simply saying I wanted to read it, everyone looked at me weirdly before they explained what the book was about. I had no idea what the book was about, only that it was a best seller.

Now…what was the point of that rant… luckily I hadn’t bought the book before I actually heard everything about it, but what if I had been younger than what i was and had bought that book? Granted I should have read the back, but even then, the blurbs are meant to entice the audience not tell them everything that is going to be in the novel. Especially for parents who are concerned with what their kids are exposing themselves to, knowing what their kids are actually reading as well as what knowing what you are buying is important for today’s consumers. to be honest having classifieds wont stop kids from reading these kinds of books if they dont want to but it is still important to have the option there if they want it, even if the classifieds were just listed online for books.

Australian Classification 


Digitally Amish

amish apple

There may not be a third world war but there is a virtual war between Android and Apple. Android providing a free and open network where the audience can determine how to use the technology compared with Apple, holding tight onto its control of how Apple’s products are to function. The attitude Apple currently has towards its audience and the content it allows and doesn’t allow constantly makes me think of a case study we did on the Amish community.

Now im not saying the Amish are bad, but rather there are pro’s and con’s with that type of lifestyle, in the same way there are pro’s and con’s for both android and apple choices to control their content. It has been discovered that in the Amish community, due to isolation, they are currently facing the problem in the lack of genetic diversity in their community. They controlled their community, limiting what entered their community, although this could be considered a negative, through that control they have prevented the entering of many diseases. Similarly within Apple by restricting the content that is available to their audience they could be reducing the diversity entering their market and the stream of new ideas could affect the “gene pool” of the Apple garden wall. Facebook is struggling to keep up with the new social sites such as Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and other new platforms which has created trends of the users getting bored with the ordinary format. Apple could face the same fate if they don’t start competing with androids open network.

In saying that, controlling the content does have its benefits in that it prevents controversial ideas, subjects and content as well as preventing viruses for the audience. But is that enough of a positive to a keep an evolving audience? Apple is going to need to either release their grasp over the content they allow on their products or come up with a new idea that Android just can’t compete with.


Futher reading

Amish Community

Android vs Apple

It may be the alcohol talking

Ads are made to either entice us into buying a product or warn and educate us about the dangers of a product.

But which is more effective? Consider a beer ad and a public health ad about drink driving.

The place yo be from where you'd rather be

“Corona” ads are all brightly lit, showing people on beaches or parties, just enjoying life. With tag lines like “Corona:” from where you’d rather be” and “corona: the place to be”. An audience is more likely to look at these kinds of ads because they are pleasant and represent happiness although that doesn’t mean they are going to buy the product.

“The idea behind the new campaign was to recreate the strong connection between our brand and its consumers, so that when they open a bottle of Corona, they leave everything else behind and start enjoying life in the place they want to be.”

only a little bit dead

Contrast the beer ad with a public health campaign against drink driving. We are shown a very dark ad with a young woman surrounded by debris. We don’t know the identity of the women, but that is how this public service ad reaches so many different people. She could be a wife, girlfriend, best mate, sister, or even daughter. This ad is aiming to target not feelings of self-protection, but the fear of losing someone the driver care about. It is also casting a lot more judgment on the driver than other drink driving ads. The tag line “only a little bit over? You bloody idiot” is really in your face as it doesn’t sugar coat the issue.

But is it really that affective? We remember the funny beer ads because they are just that, funny. But do we really remember and talk about the ads for drink driving?

September 5 2012, the Australian government launched this video about having a plan B. This ad focused not on the consequences of drink driving but rather emphasised making back up plans if you are going drinking. This allowed them to make an entertaining and memorable ad.

Which ad is most effective? Which ad needs to be the most effective?

If a copyrighted tree were to fall in a crowded area, would we be allowed to hear it?

In todays modern society copyright is playing a bigger role every day. Consider tumblr, being a passionate Tumblr blogger myself I have witness countless arguments and posts complaining about certain people claiming photos, gifts, fan fictions etc. as their own, but even then are these works really the bloggers? They are using footage from TV shows and movies to created artistic collages and giffs, but this footage is copyrighted and not in the public domain.

Consider sites like fanfiction that host thousands of fan written stories inspired by the characters of their favourite book, television show and movies…But do they have the right to make them in the first place. According to copyright, No they don’t. What does that do to the consumers let alone the prosumers our society is turning into

How does copyright affect comedy shows like “the big bang theory” and “Community” where a large portion of their show is based on references and homage to different shows, brands, books, comics, etc. what counts as a breach of copyright and what is acceptable as fair use. Is referencing an idea, concept,or a book a breach of copyright?

The writers of Community have an incredible attitude towards  ownership and copyright rules. The first “fan video” made using footage from the show was done to the song “gravity”. Because of the copyright rules the writers and producers had the right to remove the footage INSTEAD they payed tribute to their fans by paying $50,000 dollars for the rights to play that song in an episode. That interaction changes the relationship between the producers and consumers.

On the flip side, consider Disneys attitude towards its content and audience. When disney’s movies reach a certain age they are put in the disney vault for a set time. For a limited time every ten years the  movie is released again as “platinum” or “silver” editions, increasing the price with every “upgrade”.

“Disney claims the Vault keeps its movies new for each generation, but the Vault is really all about market control. The company enjoyed getting a fresh infusion of money from each of its animated films for each re-release, so they found a way to recreate this cash flow for the modern home video market…By releasing a movie for a limited time, Disney takes advantage of being able to sell the film for the full price, then pulls the movie off the market” [1]

Disney attempts to restrict the access the consumer has to its content other than what it prescribes. Disney has gained greater control over more content. just last year they purchased the copyrights to “Marvel comics”.

“Under the deal Disney will now control and own 5,000 Marvel characters, including Iron Man and Spider-Man” [2]

Although Disney hasn’t enforced their copyright rights, the concept of the vault potentially being enforced across all their channels raises issues with controlling content from the public domaine.

Through my tumblr feed I came across this video in tribute to Disney classics.Would you consider this a breach of copyright regulations or is it within fair use.

[1] the disney vault: why does it exist

[2]Disney purchases Marvel