Today's legislation is based on a system of classification rather than censorship. In order to restrict access to a publication, the Office must clearly apply the law to show that a restriction is necessary in order to prevent injury to the public good.
Under the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993, the following definitions apply:
(a) Any film, book, sound recording, picture, newspaper, photograph, photographic negative, photographic plate, or photographic slide:
(b) Any print or writing:
(c) a paper or other thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words:
(d) a thing (including, but not limited to, a disc, or an electronic or computer file) on which is recorded or stored information that, by the use of a computer or other electronic device, is capable of being reproduced or shown as 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words:
Unlike films, books are not required to be submitted for classification before they are supplied to the public. Instead, publications such as books and magazines are usually submitted for classification by members of the public, librarians or other officials who think that the publication should be classified under the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993. Information about submitting a non-film publication for classification can be found here.