Seize the time! Reform the 1984 Video Recordings Act!

Jon Williams

Boss Bad Lad
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The Video Recordings Act (1984) requires DVDs to be classified by the BBFC, even if they are only sold to 18+ aged credit card holders over the internet.

Times have changed now people can make films on no-budget for niche audiences, they can produce compilations of short films, and they can create loads of extras. And anyone can make all this available on the internet as downloads at whatever seems a reasonable price. Heck, you can even provide downloads that can be burnt to disc and provide labels and box cover artwork which buyers can print themselves.

But under the VRA 1984 you'd be breaking the law of you sold 'actual', rather than 'virtual' DVDs if you hadn't paid the BBFC for every single minute of content. And if you have several audio commentaries and many extras, that would be £-thousands! It's completely mad.

In the USA unrated DVDs can be sold to the 18+ audience. In Denmark to 15+, and Sweden is planning the same. And in Canada, Austria and Malta, DVDs are sold the same as books.

Now it turns out that the 1984 VRA was cocked up by Maggie Thatcher and her chums and was never actually law! So right now anyone can sell DVDs without BBFC permission. But the government is going to rush through the Act again and put a stop to this by early next year.

So if you care about British indie filmmaking, campaign for the right for over 18s to be able to buy unrated films, and for filmmakers and distributors to sell them.

Post details of your campaign ideas and actions right here. And join the "Reform the 1984 Video Recordings Act" group on Facebook.
 
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