I've just finished watching This Film Is Not Yet Rated and I've got to say, what the fuck?
I mean, as a foreigner what they do in the US is extremely confusing.
Here in Australia we have the Office of Film and Literature Classification. It's a government body that does pretty much what it's title suggest (and video games and other media too).
As a side note, I'd just like to shout out to Michael Atkinson (Attorney-General of SA) and say the following:
You are a bloody idiot for not allowing an R18+ rating for video games. Honestly, why the hell can't we have such a rating for video games? We seem to do just fine with one for movies.
Anyway, back to what I am supposed to be talking about.
It seems that, on top of nobody having any bloody clue about the rules for classification in the US, and that the "appeals" process sounds just like a way for the Motion Picture Association of America to say "we're keeping our rating". As far as I can tell the closest thing that there is to rules is reading the Wikipedia article on the subject.
Now compare that to the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFCA for ease now), where you can actually download a copy of their guidelines.
Funnily enough the same thing appears to exist with the MPAA review board and their appeals board. At most the public only gets the list from 2005 which the film found through the use of a private investigator. The MPAA go on about some crap about "protecting integrity".
My god that must mean that the Classification Board and the Classification Review Board are a bunch of corrupt bastards because we can easily find out who they are, what they can do, and where they are from. What utter bastards. Well that clearly means that I can't trust them because I know who they are and what qualifications they hold.
Oh wait, I know the answer to this question. No.
In fact it actually helps understand why they make the decisions that they do. You know, it gives the boards a bit more respectability then "faceless reviewers" and "faceless appeals board with a Catholic and an Episcopalian priest to give the board credibility but you can't know who exactly they are".
I guess the US people care about their right to free speech only if it's the government that is restricting that right.
Well, good on them I guess. I'll stick with a classification body that has accountability.