Austria 🇦🇹 is a European country which mostly practices Catholic Christianity. It is part of the European Union.

After the Anschluss in 1938, Austria was incorporated into Nazi Germany and therefore was subject to its extreme censorship laws until Allied occupation.

General censorship[]

  • Freedom of speech and press are provided for by the Austrian constitution and the government generally respects these rights in practice. An independent press, an effective judiciary, and a functioning democratic political system combine to ensure freedom of speech and the press. The independent media are active and express a wide variety of views with few restrictions. Individuals generally criticize the government publicly or privately without reprisal. The law prohibits arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence, and the government generally respects these prohibitions in practice.

The law prohibits incitement, insult, or contempt against a group because of its members' race, nationality, or ethnicity if the statement violates human dignity and the government strictly enforces these laws. The law prohibits public denial, belittlement, approval, or justification of the Nazi genocide or other Nazi crimes against humanity in a print publication, a broadcast, or other media and the government strictly enforces these laws. Strict libel and slander laws discourage reporting of governmental abuse. For example, many observers believed that the ability and willingness of the police to sue for libel or slander discourages individuals from reporting abuse by police.

Book censorship[]

  • Josephine Mutzenbacher or The Story of a Viennese Whore, as Told by Herself - this erotic novel was banned in forbidden in Austria from 1913 on when it was taken into the list Catalogus Librorum in Austria Prohibitorum due of its obscenity. In 1931, a bookseller called Josef Kunz was convicted in Vienna for a public act of obscenity because he had published a new edition of said novel, and the copies of the book were confiscated. However, in 1971, the Supreme Court of Austria decided that there is no longer reason to punish a publisher for distributing the novel because there are artistic tendencies in the work. Still in 1988, there was another legal process to ban the novel because of obscenity, but this time, too, the Supreme Court judged in favour of the publisher.
  • The Sorrows of Young Werther - this novel written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was banned by the authorities in the Austrian territories ruled by the Habsburg monarchy.
  • All of Karl Marx's works were banned in Austria after the country was annexed by Nazi Germany.
  • All of Albert Einstein's works published up to 1938 were banned in Austria, after it was annexed by Nazi Germany.
  • Mein Kampf -In Austria, the Verbotsgesetz 1947 prohibits the printing of this book written by Adolf Hitler. It is illegal to own or distribute existing copies. Following the general prohibition of advocating the Nazi Party or its aims in § 3 and of re-founding Nazi organizations in § 1, § 3 d. of the Verbotsgesetz states: "Whoever publicly or before several people, in printed works, disseminated texts or illustrations requests, encourages or seeks to induce others to commit any of the acts prohibited under § 1 or § 3, especially if for this purpose he glorifies or advertises the aims of the Nazi Party, its institutions or its actions, provided that it does not constitute a more serious criminal offense, will be punished with imprisonment from five to ten years, or up to twenty years if the offender or his actions are especially dangerous.

Film censorship[]

  • All Quiet on the Western Front - this film was banned in both Austria and Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945 for its anti-war and perceived anti-German messages.

Internet censorship[]

  • In August 2014, IFPI Austria has requested the block of several file sharing web sites such as The Pirate Bay and isoHunt, starting the latest August 14, 2014 (which postponed from August 1, 2014). The procedure has been heavily criticized in the media, as there is no formal procedure for unblocking such IPs ever again, and no formal review process that incorrect blocks cannot be obtained. Users sharing an IP may be blocked as a side effect, too.

As of May 2016, Austrian ISPs are now once again free to unblock all previously blocked sites after the government appealed a new law for file sharing similar to the one in Switzerland. Although the IFPI is still trying to challenge this ruling.

There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet or credible reports that the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms without appropriate legal authority. Individuals and groups engage in the peaceful expression of views via the Internet, including by e-mail. Authorities work to restrict access to Web sites containing information that violates the law, such as neo-Nazi and child pornography sites. Authorities restrict access to banned websites by trying to shut such sites and forbidding the country's Internet service providers to carry them.

On 31 July 2012, a 26-year-old man was sentenced for 18-month sentence, of which he served 12 months, for posting that his favorite book was Hitler's Mein Kampf and linking to Nazi material on his Facebook page.

In February 2007 Austrian authorities managed to uncover a "child-pornography ring" involving seventy-seven countries, based on a report by a man working for a Vienna-based Internet file-hosting service.

Television censorship[]

Video game censorship[]

The Austrian state of Salzburg requires the use of Germany's USK labels for video games sold there.

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