New content restrictions in Germany
In Germany, new content restrictions were introduced for the protection of
minors, extending current regulations and indexing schemes for film and
video to internet and games. Since 1 April all kinds of ego shooters and
electronic media “glorifying war” are banned. Furthermore, under the new
regulation, all computer games must carry labels with minimum age
requirements. The restrictions on computer games were speeded up after a
youngster killed 18 people in his school in the city of Erfurt a year ago.
The youngster was addicted to the game ‘Doom’, media reported.
Through the new additions on the Treaty on Human Rights & the Protection of
Minors in Broadcasting and Telecommunication Media a new central commission
decides on illegal and harmful media and Web content. Though the
implications are not yet clear, the extension to web pages might mean
filtering mechanisms will have to be introduced to prevent minors from
accessing indexed web pages.
Based on a German article in Heise (03.04.2003)
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