The Film and Video Labelling body (“FVLB”), like the Society for Promotion of Community Standards Inc (“SPCS”), is constituted as an incorporated society under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908. Like the Society, which is a registered charity (registered with the Charities Commission on 17/12/2007 Reg. No. CC20268); it too is a registered charity (registered 28/01/2008 Reg. No. CC20715).
For many years the FVLB was headed by Mr William (Bill) Hood, with whom the SPCS had regular contact. He retired as FVLB committee member and executive secretary on 31/01/2011. Ms Sharon Rhodes has taken over his leadership role.
The gross income of the FVLB for “service provision” for the financial year ended 31/12/2010 was $1,504,338, according to financial records it registered with the Charities Commission (www.charities.govt.nz). From this income, $588,376 was absorbed in salaries and wages.
The FVLB employs five persons full time and two part-time to achieve its “service provision” and the total hours worked by “all employees” per week is 262 hours (equivalent to 6.55 full time persons). Each full time equivalent employee receives on average an annual remuneration package of about $90,000 per annum.
The FVLB has been registered as a charity by the Commission on the basis that its purpose it to serve “some other public benefit” to society ( it does NOT qualify as a charity on the basis that it fulfils any one of more of the remaining three charitable purpose categories: relief of poverty, advancement of education or adavancement of religion). (Note: The SPCS qualifies as a charity for its “advancement of public welfare” or “public well-being”, which are terms recognised in law).
All films supplied to the public must be submitted to the FVLB which rates only unrestricted films (e.g. “G”, “PG” and “M” ratings). It also cross-rates such unrestricted films that have been rated in Australia or the UK. It issues the coloured sticky labels that must be affixed to films before they can be suppliedv to the public. It also acts as the agent for distribution when films are submitted to the Office of Film and Literature (“OFLC”).
Under the law, all film distributors intending to make a film available to the public, must first submit it to the FVBL and this includes all distributors of hardcore pornographic (Adult only) titles, such as Eden Digital Ltd and Calvista Australia Pty Ltd.
The FVLB has total assets of $800,389 acording to its latest financial statement for the year ending 31/12/2010. The cost 0f service is recorded as $537,663 and the cost of its trading operations $312,840 leaving a net surplus of $1,7101.
The FVLB plays a very important role in society – making sure official stickers are attached to film advertisements in cinemas, DVD covers and videos allowing parents and care-givers to ensure that children and young persons have some idea about the rating/suitability of unrestricted films. This charitable entity also has a critical role, recognised one would hope by the Charities Commission – in ensuring that films that are intended for public screening that contain or may contain “objectionable” content and are likely to be “injurious to the public good”; are directed to the OFLC (the Chief Censor’s Office) for classication – films such as those containing gratuitous depictions of necrophilia, the sexual xploitation of children, gang rape, sexual violation and bestiality etc.
The SPCS, a recognised charitable entity, has standing in the Courts as an organisation that is entitled to appeal the classication decisions issued by the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) and the Film and Literature Board of Review. It has successfully used the legitimate avenues in law open to it to do so, both in the Court of Appeal and the High Court. It has also made applications to the Broadcasting Standards Authority relating to such matters. However, it has not pursued any legal action in the courts, thus far, since being registered as a charity with the Charities Commission on 17 December 2007.