Regulating Internet and convergent mobile content: the new content services regime

The purpose of this article is to explain the new regulatory regime (the 'content services regime') that applies to the wide range of content delivered via the Internet and mobile devices. The article will first outline the various regimes that regulated content delivered by these technologies prior to the introduction of the content services regime. It will then provide an overview of the new regime, including details of its objectives and of the legal complexities involved in determining its scope. It will then summarise the Australian system for classifying content, and explain how the content services regime adapts and applies the classification system to forms of content delivered via the Internet and mobile devices. After detailing some of the minutiae of the scheme, the article will conclude with comments about the policy choices made in designing the new regime and some observations about the likely effectiveness, and the attendant benefits and costs, of the regime. Copyright 2008 David Lindsay, Sharon Rodrick and Melissa de Zwart. No part of this article may be reproduced by any means without the written consent of the publisher.