|Industry||Film and video game classification|
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), originally British Board of Film Censors, is a non-governmental organisation, funded by the film industry and responsible for the national classification of films within the United Kingdom. It has a statutory requirement to classify videos, DVDs and some video games under the Video Recordings Act 2010. The BBFC rates theatrically released films, and rated videos and video games that forfeited exemption from the Video Recordings Act 1984, which was discovered in August 2009 to be unenforceable until the act was re-enacted as the Video Recordings Act 2010. Legally, local authorities have the power to decide under what circumstances films are shown in cinemas, but they nearly always choose to follow the advice of the BBFC. The Video Recordings Act requires that video releases not exempt (music, documentary, non-fiction, video games, etc.) under the Act had to be classified, making it illegal to supply any recording that had not been certified. Certificates could restrict release to any age of 18 or under, or to only licensed sex-shops. The government currently designate the BBFC as the authority for certifying video releases. As the law requires the certificate to be displayed on the packaging and media labels of the video recording, in practice only UK releases can be legally sold or hired in the UK, even if a foreign release had identical content. Video games with specific themes or content (such as the Grand Theft Auto series) must also be submitted to the BBFC to receive a legally binding rating (contrast with the advisory PEGI ratings) in the same way as videos, however, under the Digital Economy Act 2010, responsibility for rating games that include violence or encourage criminal activity will pass from the BBFC to the Video Standards Council. Other video games may be submitted at the publisher's discretion. All films and video games rated by the BBFC receive a certificate, along with "consumer advice" detailing references to sex, violence and coarse language. If a certificate specifies that a film or video game is only suitable for someone over a certain age, then only those over that age may buy it. The BBFC can also advise cuts for a less-restrictive rating. This generally occurs in borderline cases where distributors have requested a certificate and the BBFC has rated the work at a more-restrictive level; however, some cuts are compulsory, such as scenes that violate the Protection of Children Act or Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act. The final certificate then depends on the distributor's decision on whether or not to make the suggested cuts. Some works are even rejected if the distributor refuses the cut. Both examiners and the directors of the BBFC are hired on a permanent basis. Examiners are required to watch 5 hours 20 mins of media, to a maximum of 35 hours a week. Turnover is low and vacancies, when available, appear on their London job vacancies website.