Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch

2013: March

 2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   2022   2023   2024 
Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   June   Jul   Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec   Latest  


Negative Depiction of a Failed State...

GI Joe: Retaliation banned in Pakistan

Link Here31st March 2013

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a 2013 USA action thriller by Jon M. Chu.
With Dwayne Johnson, D.J. Cotrona, Channing Tatum. YouTube icon IMDb

The latest installment of the Hollywood film franchise GI Joe , has been banned in Pakistan for its negative portrayal of the country, according to officials of the Central Board of Film Censors.

GI Joe: Retaliation starts off with an American special security team recovering lost nuclear warheads in Pakistan. The story depicts Pakistan as an unstable country in which terrorists are on the verge of stealing the country's nuclear assets.

Censor Iftikhar Durrani, the adviser on national regulation and services,  explained that the film portrays Pakistan negatively, not just on the issue of the war on terror, but also in the context of the country's international standing:

There is a scene which shows the assassination of the Pakistani president and the imposition of martial law, which is not a fair representation of the country.

Meanwhile, Atrium Cinema elaborated that the film had been banned as it showed Pakistan in a negative light:

Due to initial scenes depicting Pakistan as a failed state and fictionally portraying foreign invasion of Pakistan's nuclear installations.



Addicted to Easy Offence...

Whinges about a moisturiser advert alluding to drug addiction

Link Here31st March 2013

A television advert for E45 cream, featuring a young woman talking about her addiction problems, has been accused of supposedly trivialising drug abuse.

60 viewers have complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about the  advert for the popular moisturiser.

The advert features a thin, pale-looking woman sitting on a chair in a darkened basement rubbing her arms anxiously saying:

It all started with a small dose. All my friends were using it. I immediately liked it and wanted more. It became a routine. It affected how I looked and how I felt. I couldn't stop thinking about it.

She is shown applying it to her arms, before saying:

It was the perfect daily moisturiser. It's so light and smells great . . . I was hooked.

Ken Stringer, chief executive of Alliance, which is a support group for addicts, claimed:

It certainly trivialises the issue of addiction and people who are struggling to overcome their addiction. It is exploitative because it relies heavily on a stereotype of people in recovery.

Vivienne Pattison, director of the campaign group Mediwatch-UK, had little to say:

I can imagine people might find it offensive.



The Fashion for Easy Offence...

French gender extremists kindly publicise video for the Louis Vuitton autumn/winter collection

Link Here31st March 2013

Gender extremists have whinged about a video for the French fashion house Louis Vuitton advertising the label's autumn/winter collection.

In the video models including Georgia Jagger and Cara Delevingne wander through the dark streets of Paris wearing lingerie-inspired clothes, stopping to lean into car doors.

The French newspaper Liberation published a letter signed by various high-profile lawyers and intellectuals accusing the fashion company of:

Assimilating luxury with the world's second most profitable criminal activity after drug trafficking. Do creators from the universe of luxury realise that they are promoting violence, pornography and sexual slavery?

One signatory, Dominique Attias, a lawyer who is outspoken about gender issues in France, claimed it to be:

An extremely shocking representation of women. This is very damaging, because we are trying to fight the idea, to which some young women in France subscribe, that prostitution is banal and just a way of getting money to buy clothes.



The Sexualisation of Christ...

Former Bishop speaks out against Good Friday documentary suggesting that Mary Magdaline was Christ's lover or wife

Link Here30th March 2013

Michael Nazir-Ali, the former bishop of Rochester, said the BBC programme, The Mystery of Mary Magdalene , presented by Melvyn Bragg would be hugely offensive to devout Christians because it amounted to the sexualisation of Christ .

He said it was all the more upsetting because it is being screened at midday on Good Friday, the moment the Bible says Jesus was put on the cross.

Lord Bragg, who describes himself as no longer a believer , argues that Mary's close relationship with Jesus was effectively airbrushed out of the accepted Biblical account by misogynist Romans. He points to a series of ancient writings known as the Gnostic Gospels which were not included in the agreed list of books which became the New Testament. They include references to Mary being kissed on the mouth by Jesus, being his favourite and even, as one passage suggests, his wife.

Nazir-Ali accused the BBC of deliberately causing offense to Christians. He said:

This is going out at 12 o'clock on Good Friday which is exactly the time that Christians are thinking about Christ on the cross, this highly provocative stuff that really encourages a sexualisation of Christ with references to him being kissed on the mouth by Mary Magdalene and it refers to her being his wife.

I am concerned about the misuses of very obscure Gnostic gospels to impugne the integrity of the Bible.

It is highly provocative in terms of its content for Christians on Good Friday and it attempts to sexualize Christ in the most offensive way.

The campaign group Christian Concern has emailed its supporters urging them to complain to the BBC. Andrea Williams, director of Christian Concern, said:

Noon Good Friday is the precise time Christians are remembering Jesus' crucifixion. To air a programme which questions the purity of Christ is at best insensitive and at worst offensive.

Who is making such bewildering decisions in the BBC's religious programming department?

No doubt Andrea Williams is well aware that the head of BBC religious programming is actually a muslim.



Updated: Merry Christmas ASA...

Advert censor bans Christmas card for the use of strong language. Isn't this unjustified and disproportionate censorship exactly what the Human Rights Act is meant to protect us from?

Link Here30th March 2013
Article 10: Freedom of Expression
  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
  2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

Given that the non-threatening use of the word 'cunt' is perfectly legal and commonplace on the street, on post watershed TV, and in 15 rated films, then it is clear the part 2  exclusions simply do not apply.

An internet ad for a Christmas card, displayed on, featured an image of the card, on which text stated YOU'RE A CUNT SORRY, I MEANT TO SAY 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' . Text alongside the image stated YOU'RE A C*NT Sorry, I meant to say 'Merry Christmas' - Greeting/Christmas Card by SMELLYOURMUM .

  A complainant challenged whether the ad was inappropriate and offensive. (SYM) believed the use of the word cunt should be considered in the specific context of it appearing on a humorous card intended for close friends or family; in that context it was simply the set-up to the punchline of the gag. It was not offensive and did not single out any groups of people based on ethnicity, religion, appearance or other characteristics. SYM said that when used with a positive qualifier, in this case Merry Christmas , the word could convey a positive sense of the person or object referred to, and they understood that the origins of the word were non-offensive. They said a documentary devoted to the word had been broadcast on the BBC and they believed that if it was acceptable to broadcast a documentary which used the word repeatedly and which had greater reach than their advertising in terms of audience, it was acceptable to use it in their advertising.

SYM said they accepted that some people might have had a strong reaction when seeing the word in the Amazon listing, because they had failed to view it in context. They said that unfortunately the Amazon system did not allow them to list an item in specific adults only or over 18 categories and it also did not allow them to censor the image. They said they would happily alter the image if that would help.

Amazon queried whether it was within the ASA's remit to prevent the display of product titles and images which were not otherwise prohibited by applicable decency laws. They said it was appropriate for the ASA to investigate ads used to generate sales, but it was inappropriate for the ASA to investigate the display of a product for sale, especially if that investigation targeted one retailer amongst many selling the same product online.

Notwithstanding that, Amazon said they were confident that the display of the product image was compliant with the CAP Code. The card was not offensive, aggressive or lewd in its message. The wording of the card did not target any particular group, nor was it likely to cause offence to any particular race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. It was meant as a bit of light-hearted, irreverent fun. They acknowledged that the humour might not be to everybody's taste, but considered that the subjective values of a small minority who might find it distasteful should not dictate a product's availability or the method of its advertisement to the wider public. They noted that Code rule 4.1 stated that marketing communications may be distasteful without necessarily breaching the rule. Amazon said the card had not been included in any customer mail-outs and, assuming that children would rarely search for Christmas cards, the only people who were likely to come across the listing were adults.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA considered that the product listing was an advertisement which fell within the remit of the CAP Code and it was therefore appropriate for us to investigate the complaint we had received. We understood the product might be available for purchase elsewhere online, but considered that because we had received a complaint specifically about an ad by SYM on Amazon, it was entirely appropriate to investigate the ad specifically in that context.

We acknowledged that the wording of the card did not target any particular group, and also acknowledged that in the context of an online shop it was likely that in the majority of cases the ad would be viewed by adults rather than by children. Nonetheless, we noted that CAP guidance on language advised advertisers that consumer research showed that the use of the word cunt was so likely to offend that it should not be used at all in marketing communications even when it was relevant to the name of the product. We noted the expletive in the product description was partly obscured by an asterisk but considered that even in the absence of the product image which showed the word in full, the intended meaning was still clear. We concluded the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told SYM to take care to avoid causing serious or widespread offence in future.

In response to the ASA censorship decision, Amazon took down the listing of the product.

Update: Tattooed rockers defend Christmas card c-word shocker

30th March 2013. From

Lord Zion and Vikki Spit - the tattooed couple behind the ASA / AMAZON Christmas Card C-Word debacle - speak out in defense of the card in question, their SMELLYOURMUM.COM website and criticise the ASA over their ruling.

Lord Zion:

We started our website after years of unemployment. We wanted to start our band, SPiT LiKE THiS, and needed to be able to fund that as well as provide us with an income. Vikki learnt to screen-print, I built the website, designed our wares and we started advertising. It became really popular and we were soon able to come off Job Seeker's Allowance and pay our way through life. At the same time, it provided much needed fuel for our band, as well as good cross-promotion. To that end, not only have we sustained a living, our band has released several EP's, two full albums and played on the same bill as bands like Iron Maiden and Alice Cooper. Quite an achievement.

Vikki Spit:

We are not necessarily what the mainstream expect people like us to be. We don't drink, don't do drugs and keep fit. We might look a bit odd to them but, thanks to the sales of our items, we have been able to rescue two disabled cats from Cat's Protection and give regularly to various charities. I donate blood as often as I can and, in what little amounts of spare time I have, I give it to teach disabled people to ride horses. All the while, we just get on with what we do, work very hard and mind our own business.

Lord Zion:

The ASA ruling is way out of proportion. They received one complaint over the card. Before that complaint, the card was the number one best-selling single card on Amazon. So hundreds of YES votes versus one NO. The problem with organisations like the ASA is that their intentions are misguided. The majority of intelligent people understand the origins of words and how their structure within a sentence or situation qualifies their meaning. Problems tend to arise from the small portion of society who see a word and simply have a knee-jerk reaction to it, putting the cart before the horse. Fortunately for us, most of our customers are intelligent, sentient beings. The irony is, by their ruling, the ASA has caused the widespread offense they warned us against. Our website, it's wares and the C-Word has reached a far wider audience than we could ever manage on our own - all because of the ASA.



Update: What do you do when there is nothing left to censor and society is still shite?...

Indian government debates whether the film censor's latest rules are just plain silly

Link Here 30th March 2013

India's Information and Broadcasting Ministry has called for a truce between filmmakers and the film censors of the CBFC over new censorship ideas.

Films are being blamed for recent rape cases and generally bad attitudes to women. Pressure has been brought to bear on the censors to cut more from films. However as the portrayal of sex is already banned from Indian films, then the censors have been scratching round for ideas. They have come up with the idea of 'item songs' being adult rated. These are songs where a female singer is the focus of attention from a set full of admiring guys. The censors have also come up with the idea of banning girls (but not wives) from being slapped by men.

The Information & Broadcasting Ministry has now stepped in to broker peace between the warring parties - the producers and the Board. The I&B Ministry has called for a meeting with all parties concerned between April 3 and April 5.

The meeting will set the pace for the necessary amendments to the Cinematograph Act 1952, after taking into consideration suggestions by all concerned. Special song and dance numbers, foul language, and scenes portraying actors and actresses smoking and drinking are likely to be discussed during the meet.

Film producer Mukesh Bhatt:

Today, there is a lot of ambiguity about what will be cut and what will go through. As things stand, there are no guidelines.

Meanwhile, a filmmaker on the condition of anonymity, said censors seem to have turned a bit too prudish:

Recently, Leela Samson assured there is a wrong impression within the film industry that the Censor Board has adopted a rule to certify all special numbers with an 'A' (adults only) certificate. Despite the assurance, filmmakers are extremely cagey. The meeting on April 3 is very good news for the films being made.



Update: Shown the Autobahn Out of Town...

Kraftwerk banned from performing in China

Link Here30th March 2013

Electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk have been denied visas necessary to perform in China because the group was once billed to be part of a Tibetan Freedom Concert in Washington, D.C. 15 years ago.

Ironically, bad weather forced promoters to scrap the benefit concert and Kraftwerk never played, but Chinese Ministry of Culture censors are still upset the German act was among those set to hit the stage.

The ban means the band cannot perform at this year's Strawberry Festival at the end of April.



Updated: Blasphemy Against Free Speech...

Bangladesh extends blog censorship to avoid protests

Link Here30th March 2013
Full story: Blasphemy in Bangladesh...Penalising disbelief

Bangladesh has extended the censorship of supposedly blasphemous blogs after a threat by extremist muslims to march to the capital to demand the prosecution of atheist blogger.

The internet censor has ordered two leading Internet sites to remove hundreds of posts by seven bloggers whose writings are claimed to have 'offended' Muslims, according to its assistant director Rahman Khan:

These writings have defamed Islam and the Prophet Mohammed. The two sites, and, have removed most of the posts.

Khan said the regulator was scrutinising other sites to identify and erase blasphemous blogs in an attempt to appease the extremists.

Update: Mass protest in Dahka calls for blasphemy laws against bloggers

30th March 2013. See  article from

Tens of thousands of muslim activists prayed on the streets of the Bangladeshi capital today during a rally calling for the introduction of blaspemy laws and the restoration of a caretaker government.

Members of the Islami Andolan Bangladesh are demanding the arrest of atheist bloggers who insulted Islam and to pass laws punishing those who insulted Islam in the parliament .

They have announced plans to lay siege to the office of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on April 25 if their demands are not met.



No Slap and Tickle Before Marriage...

India film censor seems to have written a new rule that a man is not allowed to be shown slapping his partner until they are married

Link Here29th March 2013

India's Central Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) has written new rules about slapping scenes in movies.

A film titled Bazar-E-Husn is being issued an adults only 'A' certificate with three cuts for its depiction of violence against women.

Says producer AK Mishra:

They have asked me to delete three slapping scenes, including the one in which a villain slaps his wife. I was told by the committee members that they have a directive from the board that atrocities against women cannot be shown in cinema.

The CBFC letter addressed to the producer states that only the visuals of slapping scenes after marriage could be retained. The remaining slapping scenes have to be deleted.

Insisting that this is a period film, Mishra says, I find these rules ridiculous. He has refused to accept the cuts and now the film has been appealed to the revising committee.



Update: Improper Blurring...

Indian Government bans FashionTV for 10 days over supposedly indecent broadcasts

Link Here29th March 2013
Full story: TV Censorship in India...India considers the regulation of TV for adults

Upset over the broadcast of supposedly indecent visuals on Fashion TV, a committee of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry ordered that the channel be taken off air for 10 days.

The ministry said it had issued a show cause notice to FTV after it telecast programmes like Midnight Haute & Designers in High Definition ,'Chantellie Lingerie, Paris' and Lingerie in September 2011. It claimed that the visuals offended good taste and decency and were obscene and vulgar and not suitable for unrestricted public exhibition and also for children.

According to the panel, the programme Designers in high definition showed models walking on the ramp while a man in an underwear was clinging to a woman in an embrace in the background:

Both are shown insinuatingly swaying their bodies and making suggestive postures. Such a portrayal appears to offend good taste and decency and also appears obscene.

Again in April 2012, the channel telecast another programme 15th Anniversary- Top Designers . The committee claimed:

The programme showed nudity of female bosom, which appeared obscene and vulgar, showing form and figure of women in an indecent way. The visuals did not appear suitable for unrestricted public exhibition and also not suitable for children.

Representatives of FTV during a personal hearing at the panel said there was no nudity in the content. When the committee offered them to show recorded instances where buttocks and breast were fully exposed, they replied that these instances would have happened due to improper blurring.

This is the third time that the government has ordered FTV to be taken off air.



Violently Censored...

Film maker reportedly attacked at film festival in France

Link Here29th March 2013

A group of Arab youths have reportedly attacked an Israeli film director, Yariv Horowitz.

Horowitz, who directed the film Rock the Casbah was participating at the Aubagne Film Festival in France when he was attacked by a group of Arab youths just before the film won the best film award.

He is reported to have lost consciousness and has been subsequently treated. Horowitz is said to have returned immediately to the festival after treatment. Authorities are estimating that the attack was racially motivated. Horowitz was attacked immediately after the screening of the film by a group of Arab youths. The director lost consciousness and was treated at the festival. After recovering from the blows he received, he returned to the festival area in good condition .

After the violent incident, Horowitz's film won the Special Prize of the Jury for Best Picture.

The film Rock the Casbah, starring Yon Tumarkin, follows the story of young soldiers in the first intifada in Gaza. The soliders are located on the roof of a Palestinian family whose son is involved in the murder of one of their battalion.



Internet Censors...

House of Lords Committee recommends measures to move internet video to Ofcom style heavy handed TV censorship

Link Here28th March 2013

The House of Lords' Communications Committee are looking for 'voluntary' participation in Ofcom's content regulation, but these kinds of voluntary arrangement are rarely truly voluntary. Usually the government threatens legislation if the required 'volunteering' doesn't take place.

These are the key paragraphs from the House of Lords Communications Committee recommendations :

204.  Ofcom should investigate the option of non-broadcast providers of TV-like services, such as Netflix and the content providers mentioned in Box 1, being invited to comply with an appropriate set of standards (the Broadcasting Code suitably amended for their environment) in return for some form of public recognition or kitemark. (Para 53)

211.  We urge the Government to ensure that cooperation on the regulation of converging media content, such as the category of TV and TV-like material, is included as part of the discussions between the EU and the US about the establishment of a free trade agreement. (Para 94)

221.  Specifically, Ofcom should be required, in dialogue with UK citizens and key industry players, to establish and publish on a regular basis the UK public's expectations of major digital intermediaries such as ISPs and other digital gateways, specifically with regard to protecting UK audiences and their families when accessing content through digital intermediaries' services, covering for example:

  • The scope of their responsibilities (given they are not always in direct control of the content to which they provide access);

  • Appropriate processes for receiving complaints and subsequent redress;

  • Any specific measures, such as access controls, content classification systems, or other actions which the UK public might expect them to take in protecting children from harmful material. (Para 141)



Update: Blurring History...

Israeli newspaper blurs out women in iconic historical image

Link Here28th March 2013

The special Passover holiday supplement of the haredi newspaper BaKehillah blurred out Jewish women's faces in the iconic photograph of the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto after the uprising.

In BaKehillah's version of the photograph, all the faces of the women and girls are blurred out, and the little girl in the front left of the original photo is completely cropped out.

BaKehillah's editor responded to questions about the censorship by acknowledging it was done for modesty reasons. Avraham Dov Greenbaum told Ynet:

We honor the memory of the martyrs of the Holocaust, and unlike [you in the secular press] - respect our readers and bring them only what they need and want to see.



CK One Shocks...

CK One advert too sexy to be shown during children's programmes

Link Here27th March 2013

A TV ad, for CK One perfumes, showed a group of young people, who were dancing. Some of the males were topless and some of the females wore hot pants and cropped or bra tops. One scene showed one of the males crouched down, with a female who was touching his shoulders behind him and another female straddling his lap; the male was touching her breasts. Voice-overs stated CK One, the original shared fragrance , ... and CK One Shock, daring fragrances for him and her.

The ad was cleared by Clearcast with no timing restriction.

  1. The ASA received 21 complaints from viewers, who challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, because they believed it was overtly sexual.

  2. Most of the complainants also challenged whether the ad was suitable for broadcast at times of day when children could be watching.

Clearcast said the ad had superseded a previous version and was approved without restriction. They said the scene the complainants were concerned about was fleeting and was too quick for them to notice, so they had not recognised the potential issue with the ad. They believed, however, the scenes were largely in line with those previously approved for the products, in particular the previous version of the ad referred to by Coty which included a close up of a couple kissing.

ASA Assessment

1. Not upheld

The ASA considered the scene the complainants were concerned about, which showed one of the males crouched down, with a female straddling his lap while he touched her breasts and another female touched his shoulders, was overtly sexual. We noted, however, there was no explicit sexual content in the ad and that the scene was very brief. Although we considered the ad was briefly overtly sexual and acknowledged it might therefore be distasteful to some, we considered that, in the context of marketing for perfume and if appropriately scheduled, the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to most viewers.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 4.2 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.

2. Upheld

We considered the scene the complainants were concerned about was overtly sexual and, although brief, therefore unsuitable for young children. We disagreed that the previous ad Coty referred to visibly included the same scene. We noted the ad complained about had no timing restriction and that it was therefore likely to be seen by children. While we acknowledged Coty's comment that the ad had not been scheduled in or around programmes of particular appeal to children, we were concerned that some complainants reported having seen it during family films. Nevertheless, we considered the overtly sexual nature of the scene in question meant the ad was inappropriately scheduled and an ex-kids restriction should have been applied to prevent the ad from being broadcast in or around children's programming. We concluded that the ad breached the Code.

On this point, the ad breached BCAP Code rules 4.1 (Harm and offence), 5.1 (Children) and 32.1 and 32.3 (Scheduling). Action

The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form in or around programmes of particular appeal to children.



You Have 7 Days Or Else...

Saudi authorities demand the capability to snoop on Skype communications

Link Here27th March 2013

Encrypted messaging services such as Skype, Viber and WhatsApp could be blocked in Saudi Arabia. The telecommunications censor is demanding a means to snoop on such applications.

Saudi newspapers are reporting that the companies behind the applications have been given a week to respond. No explanation has been given of why the demand has been made.

Internet communications has had a big impact in Saudi Arabia, which has the highest take-up of Twitter in the world, reports the BBC's Arab affairs editor Sebastian Usher. He adds  that this latest threat would potentially deprive people of what has become an essential means of simply communicating with friends and family.

One Saudi user told the local media that she would feel uncomfortable talking to her relative on Skype without her hijab (headscarf) if she believed someone might be listening in on her.

Expatriate workers have messaged newspapers pleading with the Saudis not to stop their only affordable means of communication to their families back home.



Googleised Swedish...

Google tries to get the word 'ungoogleable' struck off Swedish language word list

Link Here27th March 2013

Objections from Google have forced the removal of the word 'ungoogleable' [ogooglebar in Swedish] from a list of new Swedish words, the Language Council of Sweden says. The word means something that cannot be found with a search engine.

But Google wanted the meaning to relate only to Google searches, according to the council, saying it was protecting its trademark.

Every year, the Language Council publishes its top 10 new words which have become popular in Sweden to show how society and language are changing.

Council head Ann Cederberg told the BBC she received an email from Google soon after publication of the list in December 2012, citing brand protection. It called for changes to the Language Council of Sweden's definition and asked for a disclaimer stressing that Google is a trademark.

The council, worried at the prospect of a lengthy legal battle and balking at the idea of changing the word's definition, removed it from the list. A statement on the Language Council of Sweden's website, asks:

Who decides language? We do, language users. We decide together which words should be and how they are defined, used and spelled.



Using a Hammer to Crack a Blog...

Government seems keen to censor small bloggers, so as to ensure that anything bigger doesn't slip through the net

Link Here26th March 2013

Big Brother Watch writes:

We have highlighted that the current drafting of relevant publisher for the purposes of the Leveson law risks capturing blogs and organisations like Big Brother Watch in a system of regulation never intended for them.

The Government's amendment to the Crime and Courts Bill exempts a person who publishes a small-scale blog from the definition of relevant publisher is an attempt to deal with growing concern, as demonstrated by the 20 person signatory letter in Saturday's Guardian.

Sadly the amendment offers no definition of what is small scale or how it relates to an organisation who publishes the blog in question, so the compromise arguably makes the situation worse. The first time an organisation is sued as being a relevant publisher would have to fight in court to prove they are not -- or risk facing exemplary damages. That could be a hefty legal bill and for small organisations a fight they might not be able to even consider, let alone see to the end.

However the Government stills seems keen to only exclude the tiniest of the tiny

See  article from .

The government has moved to exclude small-scale bloggers from the threat of media regulation, and will hold a mini-consultation with the newspaper industry on how best to construct a workable definition of the bloggers that need to be protected.

Ministers concede that the definitions offered so far may have loopholes, and will attempt to put in place a clear watertight amendment after Easter when the crown and courts bill returns to the Commons.

Lord McNally, the justice minister, said the government's aim was to bring under the ambit of the regulator only the main elements of the press as well as what he defined as press-like activity online. He said:

I have seen over the past week some concerns voiced regarding the extent to which bloggers and tweeters may be caught.

Clearly, the online version of the national press or their regional counterparts, or indeed an online press-like news site, carry with them very different public expectations when compared with a small-scale blog or for that matter a tweet.



Updated: Erotic carvings an undeniable part of sailors' scrimshaw art...

Whale bone porn at Vancouver museum should be censored, says 'offended' teacher

Link Here 25th March 2013
A Vancouver schoolteacher is sounding the alarm after stumbling upon another medium that she thinks may corrupt young and impressionable minds: 19th-century whale bone porn.

Ann Pimentel raised the concern after visiting the Vancouver Maritime Museum (VMM), a modest institution on the city's west side. That's where a small collection of etchings and engravings on whale teeth and bone is on display, part of a larger show that also features example of maritime tattoo art.

Nine of the etched pieces on display show images of a sexual nature, some of them quite explicit. A Whaler's Hope of the First Night Ashore is etched across a tooth that's eight inches long, extracted two centuries ago from an unfortunate sperm whale. Underneath the title is etched a saucy scene. A man and a woman, flesh exposed. Mouths open, limbs entwined.

To date, Ms. Pimentel is the only person to complain. She has mounted a minor jihad, writing missives on various tourist-oriented websites and approaching local media outlets. I am disturbed and troubled after a morning at the Vancouver Maritime Museum, she spouted on

The Museum has a new exhibit called Scrimshaw which features numerous images of inappropriate nature (oral sex, sex, nudity, male anatomy etc.) on tusks. ... As a mother and a teacher I was extremely disturbed and believe these pieces of 'art' should be removed.

Tattoo and Scrimshaw: The Art of the Sailor opened last week and runs to mid-October.



Update: Censorship Objects...

Establishing a British news and internet censor is not enough for the gender extremists of Object

Link Here24th March 2013

Object writes:

Half-Hearted Implementation of Leveson Recommendations is Missed Opportunity for Fair and Equal Representation of Women in the Media

Equality Now, Eaves, Object and the End Violence Against Women Coalition welcome the decision by the government to implement at least the majority of Lord Justice Leveson's recommendations -- particularly in relation to permitting third-party complaints. However, we consider the currently proposed plan of implementation to be a missed opportunity.

Holly Dustin of the End Violence Against Women Coalition said:

The much-compromised plan does not provide any guidance about women's equality in the new code; it does not propose that any representative of the equality sector might be part of the new body, and it has made no attempt to bring consistency between the broadcast watershed and print media in terms of sexually explicit material.



Update: Parents TV Council Recommend...

Spring Breakers

Link Here24th March 2013
Full story: Parents TV Council...US moralists whinge at TV sex and violence

Former model Nicole Clark and director of Cover Girl Culture joined the new 4 Every Girl campaign to call for 'concerned' parents to contact the Federal Trade Commission about the marketing of R-rated Spring Breakers to a largely underage audience through Seventeen magazine. Clark said:

Many teens grew up watching Vanessa Hudgens in Disney's High School Musical franchise and Selena Gomez in Disney's Wizards of Waverly Place -- both entertaining and wholesome programs enjoyed by millions of children over the years.

It is natural that as these actresses enter their late teens and twenties they will take on more mature roles. This does not justify marketing their new R-rated film to their child fans. Seventeen magazine and the film's distributors are promoting an R-rated film to readers who are 12 - 19 years old. 2/3 of Seventeen readers are underage for this film.

According to the MPAA's ratings there is strong sexual content (one of which is a three-some), nudity, drug use and violence throughout. If tobacco companies are banned from marketing cigarettes in teen magazines, why would sex, violence, and drugs get approval?

This stunt has inevitably given the film free press coverage. There should be a price to pay for this inexcusable and irresponsible act against our young girls. Too many companies have learned they can earn national, free press coverage through shock and awe stunts. There needs to be a heavy fine to deter this irresponsible behavior.

The Federal Trade Commission has an obligation to examine the ways this R-rated film has been marketed to children.

We hope that Hearst and Seventeen magazine will take responsibility for the harmful sexual and violent messages they've promoted and remove the harmful ads aimed at their young readership. We will be asking all concerned parents and families to join us in contacting the FTC to advocate for responsible advertisements.



Exterminator 2...

US 4 pack DVD release includes film with Robert Ginty once cut by the BBFC

Link Here23rd March 2013

US : 4 Action Packed Movie Marathon released on:

  • US 2013 Shout! Factory R1 DVD at US Amazon released on 19th March 2013

Exterminator 2 is a 1984 US action film by Mark Buntzman.
With Robert Ginty, Mario Van Peebles and Deborah Geffner. YouTube icon IMDb

censorship History

US: Cut for a US MPAA R Rating. An Unrated never appeared so this is the best available version.

UK: The cut US R Rated Version was passed 18 after 2:39s of further BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1985 Guild VHS
  • UK 1984 cinema release

From imdb : cut scenes:

  • the robbery and murder of the elderly couple at the beginning
  • shots of burning pilot in crashed helicopter
  • a guard being run over by a truck
  • the forced heroin injection of the girl
  • Robert Ginty's girlfriend being beaten up by X's gang
  • assorted shots of weapons including nunchakus
  • almost the entire killing of the guard in the subway train scene.

There has been no release since in the UK

Publicity Material

CYCLONE: When her inventor boyfriend (Jeffrey Combs, Re-Animator) is murdered, Teri Marshall (Heather Thomas, The Fall Guy) must keep his high-tech futuristic motorcycle from falling into the wrong hands. Martin Landau (Ed Wood), Troy Donahue (Hawaiian Eye) and Martine Beswick (Thunderball) costar in this explosive and thrilling adventure!

EYE OF THE TIGER: When former Vietnam veteran and ex-con Buck Matthews (Gary Busey, Lethal Weapon) returns home to find his town is overrun by a sadistic motorcycle gang, he enlists the help of a fellow vet to win the town back . Yaphet Kotto (Alien) and William Smith (Conan The Barbarian) also star in this action-packed epic!

EXTERMINATOR 2: Robert Ginty reprises his role as the torch-wielding outlaw vigilante in this dynamic sequel. Drug lord X (Mario Van Peebles, New Jack City) and his army of thugs have declared war on New York City...but they have yet to meet someone like The Exterminator.

ALIENATOR: From a remote space-station prison, an iron-willed alien warden sends an indestructible assassin, The Alienator, after an escaped prisoner who's crash-landed on Earth. Starring Jan-Michael Vincent (The Mechanic), P.J. Soles (Halloween), John Phillip Law (Barbarella) and female bodybuilder Teagan as the Alienator.



Offsite Article: Deputy Dawson and the Propaganda Kid...

Link Here23rd March 2013
BBFC acts as sheriff in 'wild west' of internet TV. Worrying to note that Tesco VOD service has banned 18 rated films and Sainsbury is expected to follow suit

See article from



Update: Seeing Red...

YouTube bans bloody bullfight videos and triggers 'outrage' in Spain

Link Here23rd March 2013
Full story: Bull Fighting...Entertainment vs animal rights

YouTube has sparked outrage in Spain by banning videos featuring bloody bullfights from its site.

The web portal pulled the plug on the pablolr89 channel.

A spokesman from the U.S. firm told El Mundo newspaper people could still post videos of bulls with the cape or the bullfighter's stick. But those featuring blood and where the bull is speared or killed are now banned.

A petition has also been set up on the website, with more than 2,100 signatures already calling for YouTube to reinstate the channel.



Updated: Banned and Proud...

Boris Johnson set to be challenged in High Court over a ban on bus adverts proclaiming pride in being ex-gay

Link Here23rd March 2013

London mayor Boris Johnson will this week face claims in the High Court that he failed to respect a Christian group's right to free speech by banning their posters from the side of London buses.

Johnson refused to run the advertisements which promoted the Core Issues Trust's view that homosexuals can be reoriented through therapy and prayer. Johnson said the ads were offensive to gays, and said they could even spark retaliation against the wider Christian community. Johnson was acting in his mayoral role of being in charge of Transport for London, which is responsible for approving advertising on buses in the city.

The posters said Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it! and was in response to a previous poster campaign by Stonewall, the gay rights group, which said: Some people are gay. Get over it!

Mike Davidson, the head of the trust, and his supporters will go to the High Court to claim Johnson's ban on their poster campaign should be reversed on the grounds that he unlawfully stifled free speech.

A Transport for London spokesman said:

The advertisement breached TfL's advertising policy as in our view it contained a publicly controversial message and was likely to cause widespread offence to members of the public.

Update: Judge backs ban on anti-gay advert but criticises acceptance of pro-gay advert

23rd March 2013. See  article from

The High Court has ruled that Transport for London's decision to refuse a Christian group's bus advertisement was not unlawful.

The advertisement had been booked by the Core Issues Trust, which works with people who have unwanted same-sex attractions. It was to run with the slogan: Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!  The advert was a response to one placed on buses by gay lobby group Stonewall reading, Some people are gay. Get over it!

The Core Issues Trust advert was withdrawn in April last year following an intervention by London Mayor Boris Johnson, who is chairman of Transport for London. TfL justified the decision at the time on the basis that it was likely to cause widespread or serious offence to members of the public and that it included images or messages which relate to matters of public controversy and sensitivity .

Mrs Justice Lang ruled that Johnson did not abuse his position by imposing the ban. However she said that the advert placed by Stonewall was highly offensive and that the TfL had fallen below the standards to be expected of a responsible public body .



Schoolgirl Hitchhikers...

Once cut Jean Rollin sexploitationer gets a US DVD release

Link Here22nd March 2013

Schoolgirl Hitchhikers is a 1973 France adult film by Jean Rollin.
With Joëlle Coeur, Gilda Arancio and Marie Hélène Règne. YouTube icon IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

UK Censorship History

Passed 18 after 56s of BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 2010 Salvation R2 DVD

The BBFC commented:

  • Compulsory cuts were required to remove sight of a restrained woman being beaten on the breasts and stomach with a cane
  • and to remove sight of the same woman's breasts being twisted.

Summary Review: Fairy tale

Said to have a fairy tale feel to the mixture of jewel heist and softcore sex and plenty of nudity.

Summarised as fun exploitation.




Malaysia bans film previously banned in Singapore

Link Here22nd March 2013

  The Singapore film Sex.Violence.FamilyValues, already banned for a while in its home country, has now been banned in Malaysia.

The 47-minute film written, directed and co-produced by Ken Kwek has been pulled out of the Asean International Film Festival (AIFFA) following a ban by the Malaysian Film Censorship Board (LPF).

According to a statement released by the censorship board, the anthology of three short films :

contains strong and obscene language as well as scenes that show obscene actions that is insulting to local cultures.

Kwek told Yahoo! Singapore:

I'm not surprised, despite the AIFFA's earlier assurances that the film would not be banned. I'm a bit disappointed, but not surprised.

Now set for US distribution

22nd March 2013. See article from

Sex.Violence.FamilyValues producers have now sold the 47-minute pastiche of three comedies to a U.S. distributor and are close to finalizing a deal with iTunes.

The film was banned in Singapore last October when censors deemed one segment in which a Chinese porn director played by Adrian Pang rants against an Indian actor racially offensive . After the scenes in question were deleted the film was allowed to open.

The full, unedited version has been acquired by U.S. distributor Virgil Films and Entertainment, which will release it VOD and online.



Update: Such Serious Issues Debated at Such Irresponsible Speed...

Realisation that a whole host of tiny websites, including Big Brother Watch, would be covered by the provisions of the new press regulator

Link Here 22nd March 2013

Big Brother Watch writes:

As the bell tolls for press freedom, the realisation that a whole host of tiny websites, including Big Brother Watch, would be covered by the provisions of the new press regulator is dawning on Westminster.

On Monday, the Lords will vote on the legislation underpinning the Royal Charter on press-self regulation. They will determine who is to be a relevant publisher and at present risks catching broadly any site that is has more than one author, carries news or information about current affairs, or gossip about celebrities, and has some kind of editorial control.

We are urgently trying to garner support for the below amendment to exclude small organisations from the provisions of what is already becoming an unwieldy and unpredictable piece of legislative horse trading.

This is not an ideal situation -- as with most things formulated in meetings at 2am -- and it would make much more sense for this to be handled rationally and thought through properly. This amendment protects a few, but the principle has already gone.

We are still looking for a peer to table this amendment -- any help is appreciated -- please call the office on 0207 3406030.


Insert into New Schedule 5 of the Crime and Courts Bill Exclusions from definition of "relevant publisher"

9) "A publisher who does not exceed the definition of a small or medium-sized enterprise as defined in Section 382 and 465 Companies Act 2006."

Let us be clear

The manner in which this has been brought to bear, in 2am meetings with lobbyists, no civil society input, rushed drafting and ill-considered consequences should not be the way to make law. Indeed, we cannot think of a worse way to make law.

See  article from

Meeting Hacked Off

The explosive revelations that websites will be included in the post-Leveson press regulation arrangements this weekend led to a flurry of analysis --- and a meeting between Hacked Off, bloggers and free speech groups yesterday.

See  article from



Growing Up...

Nintendo ends its ludicrous 11pm internet watershed on content related to 18 rated games

Link Here22nd March 2013

A while ago the internet ship for the Wii U console introduced a ludicrous TV like watershed on 18+ rated content. Access was only allowed after 11pm.

The restrictions were something to do with Nintendo of Europe being based in censorial Germany.

Well those silly restrictions have now been removed much to the delight of our Wii U owning brothers and sisters in various regions throughout Europe including the UK, according to Daily Joypad .



Update: Who's Asking?...

Microsoft starts up a transparency report about the scale of law enforcement requests

Link Here22nd March 2013

Brad Smith , Microsoft's General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Legal & Corporate Affairs at Microsoft writes in a blog post:

Today, we are releasing our 2012 Law Enforcement Requests Report. This is our first Law Enforcement Requests Report. It provides data on the number of requests we received from law enforcement agencies around the world relating to Microsoft online and cloud services and how we responded to those requests. All of our major online services are covered in this report, including, for example, Hotmail,; SkyDrive; Xbox LIVE; Microsoft Account; and Office 365. We're also making available similar data relating to Skype, which Microsoft acquired in October 2011.

We will update this report every six months.

In recent months, there has been broadening public interest in how often law enforcement agencies request customer data from technology companies and how our industry responds to these requests. Google, Twitter and others have made important and helpful contributions to this discussion by publishing some of their data. We've benefited from the opportunity to learn from them and their experience, and we seek to build further on the industry's commitment to transparency by releasing our own data today.

Like others in the industry, we are releasing publicly the total number of requests we receive from law enforcement in countries around the world and the number of potentially affected accounts identified in those requests.

We are also publishing additional data that we hope will provide added insights for our customers and the public who are interested in these issues. For example, we are providing more detailed information that shows the number of law enforcement requests resulting in disclosure to these agencies of "customer content", such as the subject line and body of an email exchanged through; or a picture stored on SkyDrive. We similarly are reporting on the number of law enforcement requests that result in disclosure only of "non-content" data, which includes account information such as an email address, a person's name, country of residence, or gender, or system-generated data such as IP addresses and traffic data.

I've tried to summarize what has struck me as some of the principal trends reflected in the data we're releasing today:

  • First, while we receive a significant number of law enforcement requests from around the world, very few actually result in the disclosure to these agencies of customer content. To be precise, last year Microsoft (including Skype) received 75,378 law enforcement requests for customer information, and these requests potentially affected 137,424 accounts or other identifiers. Only 2.1%, or 1,558 requests, resulted in the disclosure of customer content .

  • It's insightful, I believe, to look at the governments to whom customer content was disclosed. Of the 1,558 disclosures of customer content, more than 99% were in response to lawful warrants from courts in the United States. In fact, there were only 14 disclosures of customer content to governments outside the United States. These were to governments in Brazil, Ireland, Canada and New Zealand.

  • Of the 56,388 cases where Microsoft (excluding Skype) disclosed some non-content information to law enforcement agencies, more than 66% of these were to agencies in only five countries . These were the U.S., the United Kingdom, Turkey, Germany and France. For Skype, the top five countries accounted for 81% of all requests. These countries were the U.K., U.S., Germany, France and Taiwan.

  • Roughly 18% of the law enforcement requests (again, excluding Skype) resulted in the disclosure of no customer information in any form, either because Microsoft rejected the request or because no customer information was found.

  • Finally, while law enforcement requests for information unquestionably are important (and raise important issues around the world), only a tiny percentage of users are potentially affected by them. We have many hundreds of millions of accounts across our online and cloud services. To give you a sense of proportion, we estimate that less than two one-hundredths of  one % (or 0.02%, to put it another way) were potentially affected by law enforcement requests.



Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards...

Index on Censorship honours those showing courage in the face of extreme adversity

Link Here22nd March 2013

Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, Greek journalist Kostas Vaxevanis, Syrian internet activist Bassel Khartabil and South African photographer Zanele Muholi were honoured at the Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards in London this evening.

Doughty Street Advocacy award:

In October 2012, a Taliban gunman shot education campaigner Malala Yousafzai in the head and chest for her activism, as she was returning home from school in Pakistan's Swat district.

Journalism award sponsored by the Guardian:

Greek investigative journalist Kostas Vaxevanis was arrested in October 2012, days after he published the Lagarde List of wealthy Greeks with Swiss bank accounts in his weekly magazine Hot Doc. He was found not guilty of breaking data privacy laws in November 2012, but the Athens public prosecutor subsequently ordered a retrial.

Digital freedom award sponsored by Google:

Palestinian-born Syrian software engineer Bassel Khartabil is a champion of web freedom and a computer engineer, who specialises in the development of open source software. Khartabil has been held in prison in Syria for over a year.

Index Arts award:

South African photographer and LGBT activist Zanele Muholi challenges traditional perceptions of the black female body --- and specifically black lesbians --- through her work. She has faced considerable opposition in South Africa where lesbians have been the targets of horrendous hate crimes including murders and corrective rape .



Update: Introducing the UK News and Internet Censor...

So will websites be liable to astronomic and unjust 'exemplary' damages?

Link Here21st March 2013

The very worrying establishment of a UK news and internet censor has been rushing through parliament with the lack of scrutiny and consideration that you would expect given a 3 party stitch up.

See  Hansard transcriptions of the latest debate from

See Bill amendments containing the new laws [pdf] from

Press regulation deal sparks fears of high libel fines for bloggers

See article from

Bloggers could face high fines for libel under the new Leveson deal with exemplary damages imposed if they don't sign up to the new regulator, it was claimed on Tuesday.

Under clause 29 introduced to the crime and courts bill in the Commons on Monday night, the definition of relevant bloggers or websites includes any that generate news material where there is an editorial structure giving someone control over publication.

Bloggers would not be at risk of exemplary damages for comments posted by readers. There is also a schedule that excludes certain publishers such as scientific journals, student publications and not-for-profit community newspapers. Websites are guaranteed exclusion from exemplary damages if they can get on this list.

Kirsty Hughes, the chief executive of Index on Censorship, which campaigns for press freedom around the world, said it was a sad day for British democracy. This will undoubtedly have a chilling effect on everyday people's web use, she said.

She said she feared thousands of websites could fall under the definition of a relevant publisher in clause 29. Hughes said:

Bloggers could find themselves subject to exemplary damages, due to the fact that they were not part of a regulator that was not intended for them in the first place.

There does seem to be two exclusions to signing up for censorship. Solo bloggers seem to be excluded as the law only applies to websites with multiple (presumably two) authors. There is also an exclusion for single interest publications, but definition are vague enough that this will be worthless when courts get involved and interpret the rules to suit the authorities.

Offsite: An in-depth examination of the bill's clauses about liability to news censorship

See  article from

There are doubts that the censor will be able to address all the issues anyway

See  article from

The Leveson-inspired draft bill deals with the past, not the future, of the press in failing to address the myriad ways we now receive news' What Miller seems to want to define is a news business , which fails to admit any complexity at all in the news ecosystem as it is presently constructed.

The press is melting before our very eyes, and the public it served is trickling away in a thousand different streams. The impact a story has now is as much dependent on the network it travels through as on the news brand that presents it.

The sole blogger , or even a person in possession of a microblogging Twitter account, can have as devastating effect on any number of lives as the front page of a tabloid newspaper. Under Miller's definition of press , the richest and most powerful publishers of all, Google, Facebook, and Twitter, are arguably exempt because they do not seek to exercise editorial control or indeed report news as part of a business model. It would be interesting to know whether Miller views an algorithm as editorial control . I suspect not, even though by most definitions it is just that. It was once the case that to reach a broad audience you needed an industrial publishing complex behind you, whereas now, you just need a mobile phone.

And the buzzards are already circling

See  article from

'Cut the wire ' Max Mosley calls for websites to be closed down if they flout new Press watchdog rules

His remarks were condemned by anti-censorship campaigners claiming it would turn Britain into a totalitarian state like China or Iran



Daily Mail Provides Some Comic Relief...

Ludicrously tenuous whinges about charity TV show

Link Here21st March 2013

The Daily Mail has served up the usual nonsense about a few nobodies being easily offended by trivial innuendo:

Viewers' fury at explicit Comic Relief sketches aired over an hour before the watershed

Dozens have complained to the BBC after it was aired The sketches included swearing and sexual innuendo Some have vowed not to support the cause again

It was classed as a family night of comedy for charity. But while the BBC's Comic Relief evening raised millions it also prompted complaints after ill-advised sketches containing explicit sexual references were aired more than hour before the 9pm watershed.

And the cause of 'dozens of complaints' [24 perhaps!]

At 7.45pm, Rowan Atkinson, playing the Archbishop of Canterbury, told viewers that Jesus said love your neighbours but it doesn't mean shag your neighbours .

A sketch from Call the Midwife followed with a reference to a vajazzle , a type of erotic decoration used by women and popularised in the reality TV show The Only Way is Essex.

Comedian Peter Kay also sat on his arse for the charity event leading to parents complaining that their children started using the term.

John Bishop quipping that Geordies all have rottweillers.

The BBC admitted pulling the repeat of the Archbishop sketch on its iPlayer service following a surge of emails and calls complaining about the offensive language.

Tory MP John Whittingdale, chairman of the commons culture, media and sport select committee, said: I'm pleased the BBC has recognised this was a mistake and whether Ofcom decides to investigate further is a matter up to them.

Ofcom, the broadcasting watchdog, is assessing complaints before deciding what action to take [And no doubt treat them on their merits and bin them].

Update: BBC Prayers Don't Work

21st March 2013. See  article from

The Comic Relief sketch featuring Rowan Atkinson as the Archbishop of Canterbury has drawn about 2,200 complaints to the BBC.

Atkinson - playing a fictional version of the Church leader - compared boyband One Direction to Jesus's disciples. He also claimed praying doesn't work .

Around a quarter of the complaints were specifically about religious offence, with the rest concerned with pre-watershed language.

The sketch has since been removed from the BBC's iPlayer.

The BBC received almost 3,000 complaints in total over the charity fundraising night of programming. Other complaints over the event involved another sketch involving the popular series Call The Midwife.

Update: The BBC Responds

21st March 2013. See  article from


We've received complaints from some viewers about the suitability of some of the content in this year's Comic Relief, with many complainants singling out sketches by Rowan Atkinson and Call the Midwife.

The BBC's response

Comic Relief night featured seven hours of live television and has become known for pushing at the boundaries of comedy alongside heartfelt appeal films. The team was faced with the difficult challenge of scheduling items so that they appealed to a varied and wide ranging audience.

Getting the language, tone and content of the evening is therefore extremely important and the team closely monitor all the audience feedback as it comes in.

It was clear from this feedback that the Rowan Atkinson sketch was problematic for a number of different reasons, with many viewers noting the subject matter, the language used and its placing early in the evening. It is clear to us that this sketch did not translate as we had hoped and as a direct result of viewer feedback we took a swift decision to remove this from BBC iPlayer.

With the Call the Midwife sketch we hoped viewers would appreciate the mix of different genres, comedy styles, (Miranda) and time travel (Doctor Who), and that it would be clear how absurd the sketch was - with the Midwife characters trying to attend to a couple in a modern-day hospital setting.

We would now like to take this opportunity to say that we are sorry that any of the above offended our viewers. This year the programme was watched by a peak audience of 12.2m and raised a record total of over £75m, and the very last thing we wanted was to take away from all of the hard work everyone put in. We will bear these issues in mind for all future events.



Creating Mischief...

Mediawatch-UK easily offended by joke in TV comedy London Irish

Link Here21st March 2013

A TV sitcom joke has 'offended' moralist campaigners even before it has been shown.

The Channel 4 show, London Irish, is billed as a comedy about young hard-drinking, hard-living ex-pats.

In one scene, a woman wakes up in bed after a boozy night and pulls back the covers to discover a five-year-old boy next to her. In a clear sexual reference, she says to him: We didn't? Did we?

A spokesman for moralist campaigners Mediawatch-UK said:

Channel 4 have a history of trying to create mischief but I feel they have seriously misjudged the social mood if they think this is a laughing matter.

A spokesman for the easily offended at Kidscape added:

This crosses lines that should not be crossed.'

A Channel 4 spokesman explained:

The joke is directed at the character's inability, because of drink, to remember the night before.



Updated: Police Censorship...

Jews of Egypt film banned the country's authorities

Link Here21st March 2013

Jews of Egypt is a 2013 Egypt documentary by Amir Ramsis YouTube icon IMDb

The film is described on IMDb::

A documentary that captures fragments of the lives of the Egyptian Jewish community in the first half of the twentieth century until their second grand exodus after the tripartite attack of 1956. An attempt to understand the change in the identity of the Egyptian society that turned from a society full of tolerance and acceptance of one another to a rejection of the minorities. How did the Jews of Egypt turn in the eyes of Egyptians from partners in the same country to enemies?

Egyptian authorities have stopped the screening of the documentary a day before it was due to debut in local cinemas. The film producer said that no reasons were given. Film producer Haytham el-Khamissy said he heard from the chief of the censorship authority that a security agency asked to view the movie before granting it a license to be shown in theatres.

Update: Unbanned

21st March 2013. See  article from

Egypt's censors have now given permission for the screening of a historical documentary about the country's Jewish community, the director said, following a delay caused by a security agency that expressed reservations about the title.

Jews of Egypt will screen on March 27, director Amir Ramses said. The film will be screened at two cinemas in Cairo and a third in Alexandria. The film depicts changes in Egyptian society's acceptance of its Jewish minority in the first half of the 20th century.

When reviewing the most recent request for a license, Abdel Sattar Fathy, chief censor, said he had come across a security note stating that the film was not for public screening due to it being a documentary. Fathy said he then followed up with the security apparatus:

They told me that the name of the film could cause great doubt in the general situation in the country, [and] the current complicated conditions in the street.



Update: Reprehensible Beliefs...

Kenyan condom advert banned after complaints from religious leaders

Link Here21st March 2013

A TV advertisement promoting condom use in Kenya has been withdrawn after an outcry by religious leaders, health official Peter Cherutich has said. He told the BBC the advert had been launched because up to 30% of married couples had other partners.

In a BBC Focus on Africa interview, Dr Cherutich said that while the advert had been withdrawn, he was unapologetic about its message - that it was essential for people to use condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/Aids.

In the government-sponsored advert, a woman in an extra-marital affair is advised to use condoms. Two women are walking to the market. One woman asked about her lover glances at a man selling fruit nearby, implying he is her lover. She says she is happy with him, even though she does not spend much time with him. When asked if she uses a condom she looks embarrassed. The advert ends with the other woman advising her that it is important to use a condom to protect herself and her loved ones including the school girl that runs towards the woman and hugs her.

Christian and Muslim clerics claimed the advert encouraged infidelity, rather than safe sex to curb HIV/Aids.

The Kenyan Anglican Church's Bishop Julius Kalu claimed the advert, shown on free-to-air TV stations at peak audience times, had promoted extra-marital affairs and sex among school pupils:

It openly propagates immorality, especially when all family members are gathered before television sets, waiting to watch news,

Kenya's Muslim religious body, the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK), also condemned TV stations for showing the one-minute-long advert. Sheikh Mohammed Khalifa, CIPK's organising secretary, told Kenya's Business Daily newspaper:

The advertisement depicts this nation as Sodom and Gomorra and not one that values the institution of marriage and family.



Grave of the Vampire...

US DVD release of the much cut 1972 horror

Link Here20th March 2013

Grave of the Vampire is a 1972 USA horror by John Hayes.
With William Smith, Michael Pataki and Lyn Peters. IMDb

US: Cut and MPAA PG Rated for:

  • US 2013 Bayview R1 DVD at US Amazon released on 19th March 2013

Cuts History from IMDb:

  • The UK Vipco DVD release is identical to the old cinema print which was cut by the BBFC to remove a shot of a woman cutting her breast with a knife to feed a child and shots of blood running down her arm during a syringe injection.
  • The versions available in North America are all censored. Even the Japanese release is cut.
  • Uncut version was released on tape in Germany and features extra gore in several of the murders, which are noticeably trimmed in the US versions.

Publicity Material

The 40th Anniversary Edition! Considered by many as one of the greatest cult movies of all time, Grave of the Vampire finally arrives on DVD in a Widescreen anamorphic edition from a High-Definition 35mm transfer.

Starring B-movie icon William Smith (Maniac Cop, Red Dawn), this film shocked audiences 40 years ago when the young mother of a vampire baby began nursing it with her own blood! Grim and grisly, it quickly became a cult favorite through frequent midnight movie showings and television airings and can now be seen in this newly-remastered version on DVD. The film also stars Michael Pataki, Lyn Peters, and Diane Holden, and was written by David Chase (The Sopranos, Not Fade Away).

The DVD includes the original Theatrical Trailer and a before-and-after film restoration comparison.



Extract: Tongue Wagging...

Writer-Director Fede Alvarez Talks Evil Dead, Cutting Down to an R-Rating, the Appeal of the Extreme Violence, Evil Dead 2, and More

Link Here20th March 2013
Full story: Evil Dead...Remake re-awakens the franchise

Evil Dead director Fede Alvarez spoke of his experience of film censorship at the MPAA:

The MPAA is actually a bizarre thing. You don't have to try to understand it.

We didn't butcher any scene or anything. We just had to trim. We took out frames here, You know, when she cut her tongue, we were showing a lot. You see the tongue, you get to see the tongue moving. Probably there was a version where we showed more frames. We've cut about 20 frames here, that kind of stuff, where you take that out and you get your R rating.

They were very nice to us. They were very nice to us because they were saying it was supernatural horror, which means it's not real, like the other is real. It's kind of a fantasy universe, so that makes it more friendly. Don't ask me.

...Read the full article



Extract: Justice Based on Pakistan's Blasphemy Law...

Forbes points out the reprehensible injustice behind 'exemplary' damages cited in new UK news censorship law. Innocent people can be screwed by mere accusations, regardless of how baseless they are

Link Here20th March 2013

The British Government Has Decided To Censor The Entire World's Press And Media

They've agreed a law which effectively censors the entire world's media. And they've done this simply because they are ignorant of the very laws they're trying to change. Which is, I think you'll agree, a little disturbing, that politicians would casually negate press freedom just because they don't know what they're doing.

The problem is the particular restrictions that they've decided to bring in. Essentially, to be a news or current affairs publisher then you must be registered as such with some regulatory body. That this is a despicable idea goes without saying: it's a reversal of the past three hundred years of liberty where we've been allowed to say or print whatever we damn well want to subject only to the laws of libel, incitement to immediate violence and pressing concerns of national security (and even that last was a voluntary matter). If there's a complaint about something you've published then that regulatory body can get you to correct it, apologise, pay damages and so on. And of course we all worry that this will then morph into more direct control of the press.

The basis of the English legal system is that yes, of course, you can bring a case against anyone you like for whatever you want to allege. But the limit on people doing so is that if they lose said case then they've got to pay the legal costs of the defendant. This is how we prevent most (but sadly not all) frivolous cases from ever making it to court. You have to take a risk in bringing a case.

Note that, if you're a publisher who is not regulated, then you won't get your defense costs paid even if you do win. Therefore there will be costs associated with being complained about: whether that complaint has any justification or none. This does rather leave all press outlets open to shakedowns from anyone and everyone.

...Read the full article



Bat Signal Calls for Internet Action Against US CISPA Law...

Will the Internet Defence League also help fight against the proposed UK news and internet censor?

Link Here 20th March 2013

Anti-censorship campiagners have switched on an internet signalling system to help co-ordinate protests about a draft law in the US.

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (Cispa) looks set to erode privacy in the US by exposing people's browsing habits and surveillance of internet usage.

The bat signal system tells followers to start displaying protest materials such as website banners and petitions.

Plans for the signalling system emerged in early 2012 following protests and website blackouts in opposition to two other draft laws in the US, the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act. The web action was widely seen as influential in the campaign that saw both those laws shelved.

In a bid to harness the wave of activism those protests started, social news sites such as Reddit and Fark joined up with rights groups and many others to launch the Internet Defense League (IDL). Instead of reacting on an incident-by-incident basis, the IDL monitors threats to online privacy and let supporters know when to ramp up protests.

The IDL also said it would create protest materials such as website banners, petitions and information about how to contact politicians, so people can voice their opposition in a co-ordinated manner.

The question is, will the bat signal be turned on to help fight against the news and internet censor proposed for the UK.



Update: Wall of Censorship...

Mumbai police set up a lab for the surveillance and censorship of internet social networks

Link Here20th March 2013
Full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn

Mumbai police have set up a group for the surveillance of social networks.

This follows several arrests across the country for political cartoons or comments made online.

Obviously internet users are worried. Sunil Abraham, executive director of the Bangalore-based Centre for Internet and Society research group, said the natural reaction was to worry about the new police lab given the way the law has been used. He told AFP:

Police in the last four years have acted in an arbitrary and random fashion, often using the IT Act to settle political scores

When there's no crisis for the police, proactively keeping an eye on what people are saying or doing is overkill.

But the police unconvincingly claim that this will not be censorship.

Police commissioner Satyapal Singh claimed the lab was not set up to censor comments. His spin on police censorship was:

By reading the mindset of what people are writing on various modes of communication, we will try to provide better and improved safety and security to the Mumbai citizens.



Update: Breaking News...

Major political parties come to an accord on plans for a new UK news censor

Link Here19th March 2013

A shellshocked newspaper industry was struggling to come to terms with a sudden all-party agreement to create a powerful new press censor.

The nominally independent censor seems be subject to state approval and will have powers to impose fines and demand prominent corrections. Courts will be allowed to impose exemplary damages on newspapers that fail to join the body.

All three party leaders hailed the historic deal, sealed in extraordinary late-night talks on Sunday in the office of the Labour leader Ed Miliband after months of wrangling, but many of the country's leading newspaper publishers were ominously wary.

Under the deal, the newspaper industry has lost its power to veto appointments to the body that will replace the Press Complaints Commission.

In a statement, Associated Newspapers, News International, the Telegraph Media Group and the Express's publishers, Northern & Shell, said they would be taking high-level legal advice before deciding if they could join the new watchdog. The deal, they said, raised several deeply contentious issues.

No representative of the newspaper and magazine industry had any involvement in, or indeed any knowledge of, the cross-party talks on press regulation that took place on Sunday night, they said. We have only late this afternoon seen the royal charter that the political parties have agreed between themselves and, more pertinently, the recognition criteria, early drafts of which contained several deeply contentious issues which have not yet been resolved with the industry.

Alan Rusbridger, the Guardian's editor-in-chief, gave a cautious welcome to the deal. He said:

We welcome the fact that there has been cross-party agreement. The regulatory settlement is by and large a fair one, with compromises on all sides. We retain grave reservations about the proposed legislation on exemplary damages. The agreed terms are not ideal but after two years of inquiry and debate we finally have the prospect of what the public wants - a robust regulator that is independent of both press and politics. It's a big improvement on what went before.

Downing Street sought to reassure small-scale web-based news providers and blogs that they would not be required to co-operate with the new regulatory system. No 10 said bloggers, tweeters, news aggregators and social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter, as well as special interest titles, would be excluded, but there was concern that a workable definition of these would be difficult to come up with.



Possessed by Mean Spirits...

Ofcom claim that Most Haunted was too scary for kids

Link Here19th March 2013

Most Haunted
Pick TV, 17 October 2012, 18:00

Most Haunted is a well-established series which takes viewers to locations where in the past, according to the programme, there has been reported supernatural activity. The series is presented by Yvette Fielding and celebrity psychic Derek Acorah. The programme involves trying to film paranormal activity, as well as attempting to demonstrate possible paranormal activity through seances and possession by spirits at the location.

Most Haunted was last made in 2010 but repeats of episodes continued to be broadcast regularly on the Living TV channels and, since July 2012, on Pick TV, a channel which offers repeats of popular programming. Pick TV is broadcast free-to-air on all platforms. Sky holds the licence for Pick TV.

A complainant alerted Ofcom to this episode because of concerns regarding the suitability of the content before the watershed when children might be watching.

In this episode, Most Haunted investigated Chatham Dockyard in Kent where, over a number of years, there had been several accounts of malevolent spirits and dark evil shadows...wandering around as well as more benign ghostly sightings.

Ofcom provided several examples of programme content:

  • Members of the production team, who were conducting night-time vigils in various locations in the dockyard, reported on their experiences of dragging sounds, doors slamming, changes in atmosphere and calling on the spirits to make themselves visible. These sequences were replayed a number of times.

  • A scene of a seance in which Derek Acorah was possessed , firstly by a nine-year-old boy called Barney Little , and spoke in a childlike voice to say he had been treated cruelly and whipped by a woman called Lizzie . Secondly, Derek Acorah, who was then possessed by Lizzie , referred to as an obnoxious entity , contorted his face and spoke in a rasping and aggressive voice: What's your name, leper? Bleeps were used to mask offensive language. In response to the Lizzie possession, one of the employees at the Dockyard, not associated with the production, started to cry because she recognised Lizzie as the person responsible for the death of one of the children who had resided in the building, called Isabelle.

Ofcom considered:

  • Rule 1.3 : Children protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.

  • Rule 1.27: Demonstrations of exorcisms, occult practices and the paranormal (which purport to be real), must not be shown before the watershed (in the case of television) or when children are particularly likely to be listening (in the case of radio). Paranormal practices which are for entertainment purposes must not be broadcast when significant numbers of children may be expected to be watching, or are particularly likely to be listening.

Given this episode included paranormal practices and was broadcast pre-watershed, Ofcom also considered the broadcast should be investigated under Rule 1.27 of the Code:

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.3 and Rule 1.27

In Ofcom's view, the cumulative effect of the malevolent nature of the spirits who appeared either through Derek's possessions or were recounted in the experiences presented, and the repeated references to children being harmed, mistreated or murdered resulted in this particular episode being consistently dark and menacing. Therefore it had the potential to cause distress to younger members of the audience.

Further, while an adult may have picked up on the signposting throughout the programme, and particularly in the last five minutes, and concluded the programme was entertainment, children may not have understood this and could have been left feeling fearful of what they had viewed. Ofcom noted Sky's view that because children aged 10-15 viewing this programme may have been fully aware of the nature of the content, the assertion that this programme would have been distressing to this age group is not correct . However, it is Ofcom's view that even if children are old enough to understand, and also be scared by, paranormal activity, it does not necessarily follow that they are old enough to understand various statements made by some of the contributors suggesting this programme was for entertainment purposes.

Ofcom therefore considered that this material was unsuitable for children.

Ofcom was of the view that the nature of some of the content in this particular case (especially the nature of the alleged possessions by malevolent spirits and the fact they concerned children), and its scheduling in a teatime slot, meant it was likely that the expectations of viewers (and particularly of parents) of this channel at that time would have been exceeded. In the circumstances of this case the material was therefore not appropriately scheduled and breached Rule 1.3.

In this particular case, Ofcom noted that this episode did not feature any demonstrations of exorcisms, occult practices and the paranormal which purported to be real. We were of the view however that it did include paranormal practices, such as possessions and a seance, for entertainment purposes. Ofcom also noted that in this case these paranormal practices were broadcast at teatime, when children were likely to be viewing, and on Pick TV, which is a general entertainment channel. Consequently, in Ofcom's view, a significant number of children could have been expected to view this episode. Therefore, in this case, Ofcom concluded that Rule 1.27 was breached.

Breaches of Rules 1.3 and 1.27



Thankfully Little in the UK to be 'Concerned' About...

IWF commission survey find lots of 'concerned' internet users

Link Here19th March 2013

A ComRes poll conducted among a representative sample of 2058 British adults for the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) shows the vast majority of people in Britain think that child sexual abuse content ("child pornography") (91%) and computer generated images or cartoons of child sexual abuse (85%) should be removed from the internet.

  • 83% are 'concerned' about child pornography with 74% saying they are 'very concerned'.
  • 77% are 'concerned' about computer generated images or cartoons of child sexual abuse;
  • 73% are 'concerned' about terrorist websites;
  • 68% are 'concerned' about very extreme/violent pornography;
  • 62% are 'concerned' about hate websites (racist or homophobic);
  • 61% are 'concerned' about suicide websites;
  • 51% are 'concerned' about eating disorder websites.

The survey also revealed some differences in views between men and women, with women being more concerned than men across all categories of material:

  % concerned
  Men Women
Photographic child sexual abuse 80 86
Computer-generated images or cartoons of child sexual abuse 73 80
Terrorist websites 71 75
Very extreme/violent pornography 60 76
Hate websites, eg, racist/homophobic 56 67
Websites promoting suicide 54 69
Websites encouraging eating disorders 40 61

Throughout the whole of 2012, the Internet Watch Foundation logged just 73 UK webpages hosting child sexual abuse images or videos. This compares to 9,477 hosted in other countries around the world.



PC Vandalism...

BBC censors Elvis Costello's Oliver's Army

Link Here19th March 2013

It has been played in full thousands of times over 30 years without causing a fuss.

But Elvis Costello's hit song Oliver's Army was censored to remove the word 'nigger' when it was recently played on a BBC digital station to the surprise of listeners.

The song, taken from the album Armed Forces , is one of Costello's best-known and has received endless plays across all BBC radio stations without any complaint...until now. The offending lines are:

When you've been on the murder mile
Only takes one itchy trigger
One more widow, one less white nigger

A listener who heard the edited tune on Steve Lamacq's show on 6 Music was prompted to complain to Radio 4's Feedback, stating the word was actually necessary for the song:

I do know the song inside out, as most people probably do, then all of sudden -- clunk- it had the n-word taken out.

The listener said that their understanding of the lyric was that it referred to British troops in Northern Ireland who used the phrase as a derogatory term for the Irish.

Former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read also criticised the decision:

I think cutting a piece out and changing the whole tempo of the music simply draws attention to it. If you don't like the sentiment or you don't agree with the sentiment then don't play it but to take the scissors and cut a bit out of it, I am sure Elvis Costello might have something to say about that.

Everybody played it, there was no trouble, nobody thought about it and I don't think there were any complaints. It was just slightly post-punk so there had been an awful lot of stuff going down on record that wasn't playable, so this maybe compared to what had gone before maybe seemed a little tame.

A 6 Music spokescensor said of the decision:

We are guided by our editorial guidelines and production teams use them to make decisions about language in songs on a case by case basis. We take into consideration a number of factors including the nature of the language, the station and its audience, the time of day, editorial justification and the wider context of the programme.'



Offsite Article: But is it Enough for the Sexualisationists?...

Link Here19th March 2013
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn
One in three new TalkTalk customers with children opt for ISP level internet blocking

See article from




Cuts restored to the classic 1958 Hammer Dracula released today on Blu-ray/DVD Combo

Link Here18th March 2013

Dracula is a 1958 UK horror by Terrence Fisher.
With Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Michael Gough. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: The Definitive Restoration Version was passed 12 uncut for moderate gory horror for:

  • UK 2013 Lions Gate [Definitive + Restored US Theatrical] RB Blu-ray/R2 DVD Combo at UK Amazon released on 18th March 2013


Promotional Material

Terence Fisher's 1958 classic Dracula, fully restored in High Definition and available on Blu-ray and DVD for the first time.

The release will contain two versions of the feature, seamlessly branched on the Blu-ray - the 2007 BFI restoration plus the 2012 Hammer restoration, which adds additional footage that has been unavailable for decades.

The additional footage comprises two of the scenes that were originally censored by the BBFC in 1958 that have now been restored to the film from the Japanese reels :

  • Dracula's seduction of Mina

  • Dracula's sunlight disintegration

These will be the most complete versions ever released and taken together fully deserving of the description definitive .

Dracula has been unavailable on any UK home entertainment format for many years. This release will be at the correct aspect ratio of 1.66:1 which has never been available for the home.

Available on 3-disc Double Play, the pack comprises 1 x Blu-ray and 2 x DVD, the release also includes brand new featurettes, a new commentary track, multiple bonus extras and a stills show.

Dracula is the first in the series of Hammer films inspired by the Bram Stoker novel Dracula. It was directed by Terence Fisher, and stars Peter Cushing, Michael Gough, Carol Marsh, Melissa Stribling and Christopher Lee. Dr. Van Helsing, investigating the death of his friend Jonathan Harker concludes that Harker was the victim of a vampire. When Harker's fiance'e, Lucy, becomes affected by the terrifying force and hypnotic power of Count Dracula, Van Helsing releases her tortured soul by driving a stake through her heart. But Dracula seeks revenge, targeting Lucy's beautiful sister-in-law, Mina. Van Helsing, now aided by Mina's husband Arthur, swears to exorcise this evil forever by confronting the vile and depraved Count himself.



Not the 'Legacy' she was Hoping for...

Liz Longhurst bemoans lack of prosecutions under the Dangerous Pictures Act

Link Here18th March 2013

Campaigner Liz Longhurst has said she is disappointed that the Dangerous Pictures Act banning extreme porn has not been implemented as well as it could have been.

Longhurst, who campaigner alongside former Brighton Kemptown MP David Lepper for the law, part of the 2008 Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill, to be implemented, spoke on the tenth anniversary of her daughter Jane's death.

She wanted watching extreme porn to be outlawed because her daughter Jane's killer, Graham Coutts, looked at such pornographic images before killing her.

Woefully uninformed, Longhurst said:

I am very disappointed that the law has not been used more.

As far as I am aware it has only been used on a handful of occasions.

However, I am very glad there is such a law, even if I am disappointed it is not used as often as it could be.

In fact the Dangerous Pictures Act has been used countless times. It is used by police to persecute those being investigated on other charges who have had to submit their computers for police search. It is also used to add to the charge list for those prosecuted on more serious charges.

However Longhurst is right in one respect, it has been used very few times for the purpose that it was originally envisaged by Longhurst and co.



Censorship to a 'T'...

Alabama city of Gulf Shores looks to ban 'vulgar' t-shirts from shops

Link Here18th March 2013

The city of Gulf Shores in Alabama is pursuing a city law to censor stores from displaying T-shirts and other merchandise that contain supposedly vulgar messages.

Mayor Tony Kennon started pushing for the law following a recent trip to a Gulf Shores souvenir shop. He told that he was absolutely mortified by the messages on some merchandise being sold in Gulf Shores. He claimed that many of the shirts containing the obscene messages also said Gulf Shores on them. He said he was disappointed and sickened by the messages on the shirts.

City council members say they will consider a proposed ordinance to restrict the open display of vulgar or indecent items. Weary of censorship issues they say the ordinance would not stop the sale of such items, just restrict their open display.




Wicked Campers stand up to the bullies of Australia's advert censors

Link Here17th March 2013

Australia's easily offended advert censors of the Advertising Standards Bureau are seeking police assistance in forcing Wicked Campers, to remove amusing slogans that it has deemed somehow obscene, discriminatory and derogatory in decisions dating back to 2008.

It is also pursuing the company over an internet promotion offering discounts to customers who identify as marijuana smokers or massive pot heads .

ASB Chief bully Fiona Jolly said Wicked Campers, whose controversial graffitti-style painted vans have been the subject of 39 advertising complaints since 2008, was Australia's biggest serial offender when it came to ignoring the censor's rulings.

Jolly said the company was refusing to comply with ASB decisions to remove three slogans with supposedly obscene language.

Jolly said she had this week written to Queensland Police Minister Jack Dempsey to seek police and government assistance in having the vans painted over.

Wicked Campers are our one and only problem advertiser in terms of compliance.

Ninety-eight per cent of advertisers will withdraw their ad immediately after a board decision, in other cases if an ad is on TV or on a billboard or on radio we have an arrangement so the actual media company or network will withdraw the ad.

But Wicked are in the very small category of an advertiser who a) doesn't want to comply and b) their marketing is their own van, so there's no broadcaster or publisher that can help.

A Queensland Police spokesperson said the van slogans might constitute a public nuisance offence under state laws, and it would consider any complaint made on its merits .

Wicked Campers spokesperson Ross Dudgeon, whose witty official title is junior executive vice president of awesomeness , declined to comment.



A Little Bitch about The Little Witch...

German children's book offends after the meaning of 'negro' evolves over time

Link Here17th March 2013

The classic children's book, The Little Witch by Otfried Preussler, is an enchanting tale of a witch who flies and birds who talk.

But it has caused a PC kerfuffle in Germany. It uses the German word 'neger', describing a black boy. It is true that it can mean negro in German, but it also means nigger . When the book was written, the former may have been true - but now it is more like the latter.

A black father, Mekonnen Mesghena, originally from Eritrea, found the word completely unacceptable:

It made me very angry. I know that people use that word to insult me or to give me the sense of not belonging.

He decided on a one-man campaign and wrote to the publisher. It sparked a national debate.

One television presenter with the public broadcaster ARD blacked up, minstrel-style on screen, in protest at changing the text of classics. Denis Scheck made what he called a plea against politically correct speech exorcism . He warned of a cowardly obedience to political correctness.

The German Family Minister Kristina Schroeder weighed in, leaning towards Mekonnen Mesghena's complaint.

Die Welt likened those who would change offensive language to the Taliban, thundering:

Anyone who believes art should be changed in retrospect because it contradicts the prevailing morality must have been pleased in 2001 when the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan.

In the end, the publisher, Thienemann Verlag, announced that it would revise the book and review all its other works of children's fiction to remove offensive terms and plot lines.

In the midst of the row, the author of the children's book at the centre of the storm died. Otfried Preussler was 89 and, by all accounts, a genial spirit whose charm translated easily into the books which, in their turn, have charmed millions of children, not just in Germany but around the world with more than 50m copies sold in 50 different languages. Just before he died, he sanctioned the changes.

Later this year, new editions are to be released as a birthday celebration. They will be full of charm - and without offending anyone.



Mohamed gets the biopic treatment...

Two directors are undertaking the delicate task of making films about the founder of Islam

Link Here17th March 2013

There are controversial subjects, and then there is Mohamed. Yet the fear of controversy appears not to have deterred film-makers in Iran and Qatar, who are producing a pair of rival biopics of the seventh-century religious character Mohamed.

As a protagonist, Mohamed poses a unique challenge: much of the Muslim world forbids his depiction on screen.

The Iranian director Majid Majidi, whose $30m (£19.8m) biopic began shooting last October, reportedly intends to show parts of Mohamed's body, though not his face. While Iran's Shia population may be flexible about such imagery, Sunni Muslims elsewhere are not. Cairo's Sunni-led al-Azhar University has already demanded the unfinished film be banned.

Meanwhile in Sunni-majority Qatar, Alnoor Holdings announced plans to spend $1bn on its own series of epic movies about the life of Mohamed. The team has hired the Islamic theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Lord of the Rings producer Barrie Osborne as technical advisers. They are being understandably very cautious, Osborne told The Hollywood Reporter.

...Read the full article



Obscenely Easily Offended...

Kerala Women's Commission still whingeing about sexy film posters

Link Here17th March 2013

The display of supposedly obscene film posters in public places in Kerala is a serious offence. However the Kerala Women's Commission (KWC), who launched a campaign against sexy poster in 2009, is convinced that there are still posters that are claimed to be 'obscene'.

The group seems to find sexy pictures of women as 'obscene'. For a while the group was happy that theatre owners painted over women portrayed sexily in the posters, but they soon gave it up. KWC member Dr Rohini said:

Theatre owners did paint over obscene posters for a short while after our campaign, but now such posters are seen even on roadsides and at crowded junctions.

KWC secretary, Komlavally Amma, claimed without providing any evidence:

Obscene advertisements and film songs send a wrong message to youngsters and many parents lose control of their children as a result.

If the commission gets any petition on posters portraying women in a vulgar manner, it will take action.



Update: This is Not a Film...

UK DVD release from Iranian director who has been banned from making movies

Link Here16th March 2013

This Is Not a Film is a 2011 Iran documentary by Jafar Panahi.
With Jafar Panahi. IMDb

UK:  Passed U uncut for no material likely to offend or harm for:

  • UK 2013 Tartan Palisades R2 at UK Amazon released on 11th March 2013

There is also a US release


Summary Review: Banned

A day in the life of a banned Iranian film director. Smuggled out of the country and endangering all those who helped out in the production.

This clandestine documentary, shot partially on an iPhone and smuggled into France in a cake for a last-minute submission to Cannes, depicts the day-to-day life of acclaimed director Jafar Panahi (OFFSIDE, THE CIRCLE) during his house arrest in his Tehran apartment. While appealing his sentence six years in prison and a 20 year ban from filmmaking Panahi is seen talking to his family and lawyer on the phone, discussing his plight with Mirtahmasb and reflecting on the meaning of the art of filmmaking.

See A 'non-film' about not being allowed to make a film from



Update: Quick and Nasty...

Scottish report following on from Leveson proposes a very wide net of news censorship

Link Here16th March 2013

  A rather lightweight report on the regulation of the press in Scotland has recommended statutory controls underpinned by law which applies to all news media no matter how small.

John McCluskey was invited to chair a committee by First Minister Alex Salmond after the Leveson Report. The McCluskey report concluded that a voluntary code was unlikely to work, but opposition parties at Holyrood described the proposals as draconian .

The former high court judge and solicitor general chaired a group set up to recommend press regulation reforms in Scotland.

His report recommended the creation of an independent, non-statutory, regulatory body of a character to be proposed by the press , alongside an independent body with responsibility for ensuring that the independent regulatory body complies at all times with the Leveson principles .

The expert group said that if Westminster fails to create a UK-wide press regulator, Holyrood should create one.

The regulator could have the power to censor newspapers, magazines and websites, including gossip sites, while the expert group said further regulation of social media may also be required.

The co-convener of the Scottish Greens, Patrick Harvie, said his party supported the implementation of the Leveson proposals. But he added:

The McCluskey report appears to go much further than anyone had expected.

To include every source of news coverage would result in a torrent of complaints about every website, every blog, even every single tweet. I cannot see how this is remotely practical, even if it was desirable.

If the will exists in Scotland to see the Leveson proposals implemented, it should not be beyond our ability to ensure that professional, commercial media organisations are properly regulated, but individual citizens are not caught up in the same system.

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said:

We agreed with the first minister that this group should look solely at the technicalities of implementing Leveson in Scots law. We did not agree to the Leveson recommendations being re-written or built upon.

While Lord McCluskey and his fellow panel members are not to be criticised, rather than pursue the original agreed objective they were asked to rework Leveson on a ridiculously short timescale.

That in itself appears to be bad faith on the first minister's part. We hope he will take forward the recommendation that Scotland would be best served by having a UK-wide solution.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson accused the first minister of trying to shackle a free press at a time of the utmost political sensitivity .



No Respect for Free Expression...

MP George Galloway initiates parliamentary motion calling for the censorship of Twitter

Link Here16th March 2013

EDM 1190 Twitter and the Detection of Crime

Primary sponsor: Galloway, George:

That this House

  • notes that Twitter is now a very widely used mode of social networking;

  • further notes that Twitter is a US-based enterprise whose primary motivation is to maximise its profits;

  • further notes that Twitter is now used for a variety of criminal activities including sending malicious communications;

  • further notes that Twitter refuses to co-operate with the UK authorities in general and the police in particular in trying to detect the source of criminal communications unless it is a matter of life and death , to be determined by Twitter;

  • believes that this failure to co-operate with the detection of the sources of criminal behaviour is reprehensible;

  • and calls on the Government to impose sanctions on Twitter until it agrees to fully co-operate with the UK authorities and police in the detection of crime.

As of 16th march, no other MPS had signed the motion



Playing Safe...

Singapore introduces self censorship for theatres but threatens yearly checks to make sure that they are toeing the line

Link Here16th March 2013

A new theatre censorship scheme has been announced by Singapore's Minister for Communications and Information, Yaacob Ibrahim. It is expected to take effect early next year, following amendments to the Public Entertainment and Meetings Act.

The Media Development Authority said that devolving the regulatory function to arts groups was in line with its principle of co-regulation and greater partnership with industry players.

The new term licence scheme will give out yearly licences to stage performances, instead of on a per-event basis, and allow arts groups to classify some or virtually all of their own performances without the need to submit scripts to the authority.

The yearly licensing scheme divides arts groups into two tiers. Tier1 groups can self-classify performances with a General rating and without racial, religious or political content. Groups with a good track record selected for Tier 2 can self-classify all scripted performances.

But their licence to do so is subject to an annual review, in which the authority will evaluate whether licensees have complied with regulations and classified performances 'accurately'.

The three types of ratings for theatre remain: General, Advisory and R18, restricted to audiences aged 18 and above. For works containing racial, religious or political content, an advisory of mature content or a rating of R18 may apply. An advisory attached to a performance is meant as a guide to help audience members make an informed choice when buying tickets and does not restrict admission.

Based on this framework, arts groups will have to send a representative to undergo a training programme on how to classify performances.

Most theatre practitioners say this additional layer of checks, instead of liberalising the current system of regulation, betrays the lack of trust in artists, and as Theatre Practice's artistic director Kuo Jian Hong puts it, amounts to regulating how we regulate .

One practitioner who took issue with the yearly-licensing and annual review is Chong Tze Chien, company director of the puppet theatre group The Finger Players. He said:

Why only a year? And who is it reviewed by? Essentially, the MDA is saying that it is still putting terms and conditions to whatever it is that we are doing. They don't trust the artist, at the end of the day, to be responsible.

He suggested that the review panel be an independent one comprising artists and audience members, instead of an authority panel acting on behalf of a group of conservatives who may or may not exist in reality .



Mass Resistance Recommend...

The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, a play by Paul Rudnick

Link Here16th March 2013

A gay-themed play that re-imagines stories from Christianity is drawing the ire of a Massachusetts family advocacy group, as well as condemnation from religious organizations nationwide.

Titled The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told , the production retells Bible stories portraying biblical characters as gay. The self-described satirical comedy by playwright and novelist Paul Rudnick opens its weekend run Friday night at the Academy of Music Theater in downtown Northampton. The actors are students from the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School in nearby South Hadley.

Brian Camenker, founder and director of MassResistance, claims religious organizations nationwide are 'outraged':

[The characters] Adam and Eve are 'Adam and Steve.' In the second act, they have the nativity scene where Mary is a lesbian who says all kinds of gross things. It's just a terrible play.

At one point, the Virgin Mary shouts:

I'm not supposed to be pregnant, I'm a bulldyke!

Camenker believes Christians must openly oppose such 'atrocities':

And the trouble is that this is tomorrow's America that's learning this stuff, and we need to take it a little more seriously than we are

According to Camenker, religious groups around the country have protested vociferously. He says one local newspaper reported the school had received nearly 12,000 emailed petition messages against the production.

The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield spouted:

I didn't know it was the responsibility of charter schools to teach religious bigotry. [...That's the responsibility of the church!]

The school says it has no intention of canceling the play or changing its content. PVPA's head of school, Scott Goldman, has stated the play is consistent with the school's philosophy and is, in the school's view, an appropriate theater piece for its students.



Extreme Sentence...

Victim of Dangerous Pictures Act sentenced to a year in jail

Link Here16th March 2013

A former presenter on Chinese TV has been jailed for a year for having more than 800 extreme porn videos, including footage of women being tortured, presumably BDSM videos.

Sen Luo had more than 800 video images on his laptop and hard drives, which also included bestiality. Police found the porn while conducting the usual computer scan on an unrelated fraud inquiry.

Luo was convicted at the Old Bailey last month of possessing extreme pornography. Jurors found him guilty of two counts of possessing the videos by a majority of 11-1.



Festival of Censorship...

Rangoon authorities to censor folk songs at the upcoming water festival

Link Here16th March 2013

Rangoon authorities have announced that Thangyat songs and performances in the upcoming Burmese water festival, which is called Thingyan and starts on April 12, can only be performed with permission from its Thingyan Songs and Thangyat Scrutiny Committee.

The Mirror, a state-run Burmese language newspaper, reported that lyrics for all Thingyan songs and Thangyat must be submitted to the committee by March 22.

Thangyat is one of the oldest examples of Burmese folk art. Usually amusing and satirical, Thangyat combines poetry, dance and music and is sung to the beat of a traditional drum. It is frequently used to express public grievances.



An Insult to Free Expression...

Bangladesh announces a panel of internet censors to trace supposed blasphemy on social networks

Link Here15th March 2013

Bangladesh has announced plans to monitor social media networks such as Facebook in a bid to identify bloggers who have been accused of insulting Islam and the religious character Mohammed.

A special panel is being set up, including leaders of the main intelligence agencies and the telecoms regulator, to exchange information and track down the people behind recent posts that have caused 'outrage' among Islamic groups.

Mainuddin Khandaker, a senior home ministry official who will head the panel, threatened:

We will try our best to dig out what's actually happening and find out the people who're making blasphemous comments against Islam and the Prophet.

There might be differences in opinion, but that does not mean anyone in the country has the rights to mock others' beliefs.

Islamic parties and leading clerics have targeted writings by atheist bloggers, calling nationwide strikes in protest and demanding the execution of those they accuse of blasphemy. Last month an alleged anti-Islam blogger was murdered. At least eight people have been killed in the anti-blasphemy protests. The government has blocked about a dozen websites and blogs to stem the violence, as well as stepping up security for the bloggers, some of whom claim to have been threatened by the activists of a leading Islamic party.



Read All About It (If You Can)...

Closure of Google Reader is bad news for censored folks in Iran

Link Here15th March 2013

Google Reader users are angry that Google is snuffing out its RSS newsfeed viewer. But as Quartz's Zach Seward points out , censored folks in Iran used Google Reader quite a bit to get around internet censorship. The news articles from censored websites are accessed by Google servers in the US (or other free countries) and are packaged by Google for access via

Theoretically this could be stopped by blocking the whole, or part, of but maybe this is step too far even for a repressive country like Iran.

Iranian users won't be helped by replacement software popping up in the wake of Google Reader, because these can then be easily blocked.

Google is a business, not a public utility, and its decision to kill Reader makes business sense. But was maintaining Reader really so much of a drain on Google's vast resources that it couldn't have let the little remora keep hanging on as long as possible, as a kind of pro-bono, don't be evil brand-burnishing project? Google didn't design Reader to be used this way, and couldn't have predicted that it would be, but there it is. Why extinguish the benefit?



A Winning Hand...

Opus Dei lose court case seeking compensation from a games developer who used the name for a card game

Link Here15th March 2013

The religious organization Opus Dei has lost a lawsuit against a Danish game developer behind the card game Opus Dei: Existence After religion . Opus Dei failed in their demands for compensation from game developer Mark Rees-Andersen.

Opus Dei claimed its name, which is Latin for God's Work was protected by trademark law, but the judges of the Maritime and Commercial Court found this was not the case, because the game was so different from the services that the organization offer. However when it comes to religious education and organizing religious meetings, then Opus Dei are within its rights to run the claim term Opus Dei .

Opus Dei have been ordered to pay $45,000 costs.



Inflamed Passions...

Bible burning by Kazakhstan authorities

Link Here15th March 2013

In what may be the first such instance in Kazakhstan, a court has ordered religious literature to be destroyed. A total of 121 books confiscated from a Baptist, Vyacheslav Cherkasov, were ordered destroyed in the northern Akmola Region, according to the verdict seen by Forum 18 News Service. The books comprise Bibles, Children's Bibles, and other books and leaflets on the Christian faith, mainly in the Kazakh language.

Cherkasov was also fined one month's average wage. If he loses his appeal, court executors will carry out the destruction. A Justice Ministry official in the capital Astana told Forum 18 that most likely the books would be burnt .

A state Agency of Religious Affairs (ARA) official told Forum 18 that I'm not interested in whether court executors are bothered by having to destroy religious literature .

Local Council of Churches Baptists told Forum 18 that we were shocked - this is sacrilege and illegality .

Human rights defender Yevgeni Zhovtis of the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law sounded distressed, telling Forum 18 that this is terrible, terrible . Religious literature is frequently confiscated, and the state appears committed to using censorship and other freedom of religion or belief violations as a means to control society.



Offsite Article: Get Lost You Sad Prick...

Link Here15th March 2013
European Court overrules French prosecution of protester who insulted the president

See article from



Offsite Article: BBFC has persuasion job over online ratings...

Link Here15th March 2013
Online-only shows, such as Netflix's House of Cards, are not legally covered by BBFC ratings so the organisation is on a mission to persuade.

See article from



Offsite Article: Where's the love?...

Link Here15th March 2013
The sudden death of the Hollywood sex scene

See article from




UK Blu-ray and DVD release of Ron Howard's fantasy once cut for PG

Link Here14th March 2013

Willow is a 1988 USA action fantasy by Ron Howard.
With Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Warwick Davis. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed PG uncut with previous cuts waived for:

  • UK 2013 20th Century Fox RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 11th March 2013
  • UK 2013 20th Century Fox R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 11th March 2013


UK Censorship History

UK: Passed PG after 34s of category cuts for violence for:

  • UK 1995 VCI VHS
  • UK 1989 RCA/Columbia VHS
  • UK 1988 cinema release
From IMDb. The BBFC cuts were:
  • Cut scene where the nurse is attacked by the dog after she puts the baby basket into the river
  • Deleted second sword thrust into General Kael when Madmartigan steps on the sword and drives it through him. The cut version only shows Madmartigan step on the sword, then cuts to Kael falling.
  • Cut scene during the battle between Bavmorda and Fin Raziel which actually showed where the scratches on Fin's face came from.
  • Also, during the fight at the castle towards the end, Willow zaps the troll with his wand, and 2 creatures emerge from its skin. In the cut version, the bit where the creatures quickly rip the skin off of the troll is missing.

UK: Passed PG uncut with previous cuts waived for:

  • UK 2002 20th Century Fox R2 DVD

Promotional Material

From legendary filmmakers George Lucas and Ron Howard comes one of the most beloved fantasy tales of all time. This ground breaking film features stunning special effects, dazzling action and a classic battle between good and evil. When young Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis) finds an abandoned baby, he is suddenly thrust into an adventure filled with magic and danger. According to an ancient prophecy, the sacred child is destined to end the reign of the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh). Now, with only a single swordsman (Val Kilmer) at his side, Willow must overcome the forces of darkness that threaten to destroy anyone who stands in the Queen's way.



A Crap Whinge...

ASA dismisses complaint about Holy Crap Erin Smith Art products catalogue

Link Here14th March 2013

A brochure, for a range of stationery products called holy crap erin smith art , featured a number of different products which had images of Victorian children alongside quotes. One quote stated I'm having one of those days where I just want to say fuck you! grab a couple of beers, and deploy the emergency slide ... .

A complainant challenged whether featuring the words fuck you! alongside an image of a child was offensive.

Enesco Ltd (Enesco) said they had featured the product in advertising produced for trade-only brochures and had since deleted it from their 2013 trade catalogues.

A law firm, representing the artist Erin Smith and Erin Smith Art, said the word fuck in British media and marketing was not uncommon and was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence. They also said the advertised products were sold in speciality shops patronised by those specifically looking for edgy, non-standard merchandise whom they believed would not find the image and language offensive. The photograph in question was of the artist's mother-in-law as a child and was used with permission. They believed that, while some may find it distasteful, it did not breach the Code.

Assessment: Complaint not upheld

The ASA considered that some readers might find the words fuck you alongside the image of a child distasteful. However, we considered that in the context of a brochure directed at traders only, which promoted various, similarly-themed stationery products produced by the artist, it was unlikely to cause serious offence to the target audience, or cause widespread offence amongst them.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence), but did not find it in breach.



Green Policies...

Green Band Trailers adopted by the US games rating body

Link Here14th March 2013

The US Entertainment Software Ratings Board has implemented changes that will impact the way Mature-rated (17 rated) games are advertised on the Internet.

Most notably, video games marketing will be following the lead of film. Publishers now have an opportunity to produce and distribute trailers for Mature-rated games at a much larger general audience. As per green band trailers for movies, trailers suitable for all ages will have a green slate that airs before the trailer rolls, and is required be on-screen for at least four seconds.

Such green band trailers will not require an age gate on websites, but have to be approved by the ESRB prior to release. Green band trailers will also be allowed for in-game promotions in games with a lower rating.

This concession is not allowed for 18 rated, Adults Only games.

Another small change is that the ESRB will now allow promotional material to display both US ratings and international ratings such as PEGI. The previous prohibition had undesirably resulted in international promotional material being stripped of rating information entirely.



Update: Stereotypical European Political Correctness Continues Unabated...

A total porn ban was dropped by MEPs but other worrying policies were approved

Link Here 13th March 2013

Language that would ban all online pornography throughout the EU has been dropped from a report approved by the European Parliament but other worrying aspects of the policy remain.

Christian Engstrom, MEP with Sweden's Pirate Party, explained to RT:

The European Parliament said no to turning Internet service providers into porn police, and they said no to setting up authorities to regulate media.

The controversial wording about a porn ban was dropped following a show of hands but controversial proposals calling for the creation of regulators with the power to police the depiction of women in media were voted through.

MEPs voted for the establishment of independent regulation bodies with the aim of controlling the media and advertising industry and a mandate to impose effective sanctions on companies and individuals promoting the sexualisation of girls.

The report also still contains references to an earlier resolution passed by the parliament in 1997 which calls for statutory measures to prevent any form of pornography in the media and in advertising.

Marina Yannakoudakis MEP, the Conservative spokesman on women's rights and in the European Parliament, remained critical of proposals despite the dropping of the ban.

This would be a charter for ultra-feminist interference in the way countries choose to run their media systems

As such it would do women and women's rights more harm than good

The report Eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU is nominally about improving rights for people across the gender spectrum. The Dutch gender extremist MEP for the Socialist Party, Kartika Tamara Liotard, tabled the report in the European Parliament's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) late last year.

Although the resolution accepted by the European Parliament is not legally binding, it can be used as a basis to form legislation.



Extract BBFC Opens its Tombs...

Archive document reveals script censorship for the 1959 Hammer version of The Mummy

Link Here13th March 2013

The Mummy is a 1959 UK horror by Terence Fisher
With Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Yvonne Furneaux. YouTube icon IMDb

The BBFC writes:

Dusting off the ancient archive files for the 1959 Hammer production of The Mummy, starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, we find documents which detail script advice given to Hammer by the BBFC.

Recurring elements of the script to be noted as potential classification issues include the various instances of throttling and the sounds of bones crunching.

...Read the full article



The Dirty Dozen and The Green Berets...

US Blu-ray release of John Wayne film once cut by the BBFC

Link Here13th March 2013

US: The Blu-ray Double Feature is Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

  • US 2013 Warner/Europic [Green Berets + Dirty Dozen] RA Blu-ray at US Amazon released on 12th March 2013

The Dirty Dozen is a 1967 UK/USA action drama war by Robert Aldrich.
With Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine and Charles Bronson. YouTube icon IMDb

There are no censorship issues with this film.

The Green Berets is a 1968 USA war film by Ray Kellogg & John Wayne
With John Wayne, David Janssen and Jim Hutton. YouTube icon  IMDb

Censorship History

UK: Passed A after BBFC cuts for its 1968 cinema release. It suffered edited shots of a man impaled with a tree branch

UK: Passed PG uncut for VHS and DVDs until 2005

UK: Passed 12 uncut for 2010 Blu-ray.



Have I Got Complaints for You...

BBC dismisses whinges about Ross Noble Elephant Man joke...but...

Link Here13th March 2013

Have I Got News For You?
BBC One, 1 June 2012

In a sequence discussing which advertisements had received the most complaints, guest Ross Noble made a comment about actors attending The John Merrick School of Drama and impersonated the speech of John Merrick as portrayed by John Hurt in the film The Elephant Man. The complainant said this made fun of people with disabilities and as such encouraged ridicule and bullying.

The Committee concluded:

  • that the programme was not in breach of the Guidelines on Harm and Offence as the remarks were editorially justified because they referred to the actors in the commercial (with reference to the character of John Merrick) and were not intended to stereotype people with this kind of disability.

  • that the programme met generally accepted standards in the context of this comedic exchange.

  • that, notwithstanding its decision not to uphold, the Committee could appreciate that some viewers may have been offended by this segment and it considered that the impersonation of John Merrick's speech and physical disability, in particular, was at the margins of acceptability.

The complaint was not upheld.



Have a Killer Christmas...

ASA dismisses whinges about homicidal advert

Link Here13th March 2013

An internet video, for the online clothing retailer, appeared on YouTube and the Entertainmentwise website. It showed a man pulling down large Christmas decorations, which crushed a man. He was also shown pushing a radio into a bath in which a man was sitting as well as shutting a woman in a chest freezer. On-screen text stated HAVE A KILLER CHRISTMAS .

Three complainants challenged whether the ad was irresponsible, in particular because it could be seen by children who might emulate the scenes shown.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Not upheld

The ASA noted that potentially dangerous scenarios were depicted in the ad, which was not age-gated on YouTube. While we considered it was therefore not suitable for younger children due to the risk of emulation, we also noted the ad, which did not show death or any explicit violence, was targeted at an audience of males in their twenties. We noted that Entertainmentwise was a gossip website, which we considered was unlikely to appeal to young children, and that the complainants had not reported seeing the ad with material that was targeted at children on YouTube. We considered the targeting used would not entirely prevent those younger than the intended audience from seeing the ad, but its placement meant it was unlikely to be viewed by young children. We considered that if older children, such as those interested in celebrity gossip, saw the ad, they were likely to understand that it was tongue-in-cheek and that the actions shown should not be emulated. Because we understood the ad was unlikely to be seen by younger children, and was likely to be understood as being tongue-in-cheek by older audience members, we considered it was not irresponsible. We therefore concluded that the ad did not breach the Code.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 1.3 (Responsible advertising) but did not find it in breach.



Updated: Stereotypical European Political Correctness...

Gender extremist proposal for total EU ban on porn voted down

Link Here12th March 2013

The European Parliament will vote next Tuesday on a report that could lead to a blanket ban on pornography in any forms of media, not limited to advertising, television and radio, but also the Web.

Titled Eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU , the report is nominally about improving rights for people across the gender spectrum. The report states that there is an increasingly noticeable tendency... to show provocatively dressed women, in sexual poses it also notes that pornography is becoming mainstream and is slipping into our everyday lives as an evermore universally accepted, often idealised, cultural element.

Christian Engstro m, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Pirate Party, said on his blog that the devil is in the detail. He warned that the wording in older resolution from 1997 could lead to statutory measures to prevent any form of pornography in the media.

A Dutch PC extremist for the Socialist Party, Kartika Tamara Liotard, tabled the report in the European Parliament's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) late last year. In one section of the new report, Liotard calls on the European Union to enforce a blanket ban on pornography in the media of the the 27 member states, which could also include online pornography. The report makes several calls on the EU:

Calls on the EU and its Member States to take concrete action on its resolution of 16 September 1997 on discrimination against women in advertising, which called for a ban on all forms of pornography in the media and on the advertising of sex tourism.

Points out that a policy to eliminate stereotypes in the media will of necessity involve action in the digital field; considers that this requires the launching of initiatives coordinated at EU level with a view to developing a genuine culture of equality on the internet; calls on the Commission to draw up in partnership with the parties concerned a charter to which all internet operators will be invited to adhere;

Calls on the Member States to establish independent regulation bodies with the aim of controlling the media and advertising industry and a mandate to impose effective sanctions on companies and individuals promoting the sexualisation of girls;

This initiative report, which will be voted on is not a draft legislative measure, though it is a report to suggest that legislation should be in the future drafted and voted on.

Update: News makes the UK press

9th March 2013. See article from . Thanks to David & MsDemmie

MEPs to vote on EU ban on all forms of pornography MEPs will next week vote on a ban on all forms of pornography including censorship of the internet in a bid to eliminate gender stereotypes that demean women.

Update: Voted Down

12th March 2013. See article from

EU politicians have voted against a pan-European ban on all forms of porn, including on the web, at least for now.

European citizens can breathe a sigh of relief after a vote in the European Parliament has rejected proposals to ban all forms of pornography -- including on the Web -- in the region.

The European Parliament voted in favor of the report, but rejected the porn ban section.

Today, 625 members of the European Parliament voted 368-159 in favor of passing the report, which aims to stamp out gender stereotypes in the region, with 98 abstaining. However, the controversial porn ban section of the proposal was rejected.

This vote forms a majority opinion based on Europe's voting politicians, from which the European Commission can form legislation. Such a law would again be voted upon, and become legally binding in the 27 member state bloc of the EU.

Because the opinion of the parliament has now been made, it will make it extraordinarily difficult for the Commission to draw up similar porn-blocking legislation only to pass it back to the parliament for another vote.



Not Treating Sexuality with Sensitivity...

Australian advert censors take easy offence at sexy Fiat TV advert

Link Here12th March 2013

A TV ad for the Fiat 500 has been banned for depicting unsafe driving and being too sexy.

The ad features a feisty Italian woman who transforms into a car in the imagination of a man. It ends with the car speeding off.

One complaint read:

With all the media attention on the over sexualisation of girls and young women, this ad doesn't portray women in a positive light. It equates the woman with a car.

Chrysler Australia, which owns Fiat, responded to the Advertising Standards Bureau by saying that the ad does portray women in a positive light by cleverly drawing a parallel between a beautiful woman and a car that people find appealing .

The ASB banned the ad for unsafe driving and not treating sexuality with sensitivity to the audience.



Extract: Not the Humble Housewife...

Ben Thompson speaks of Mary Whitehouse at the Bath Literature Festival

Link Here11th March 2013

Mary Whitehouse was not only a censorious zealot and a thorn in the side of the BBC but she was also a pioneer who pre-empted the Internet age and became a master of image-making, an audience heard today at The Independent Bath Literature Festival.

Ben Thomspon, whose book, Ban This Filth! , focuses on Whitehouse's fervent letter writing career, said her legacy had been reappraised in recent times to reveal a ruthless, fame-grabbing and sometimes flirtatious woman who was ahead of her time.

She was not the humble housewife who was reluctantly forced to take a stance against so-called obscenities and moral outrages on British television, he added, but someone who cleverly spun her own image. She had given up teaching by the early 60s and was working as a freelance journalist, sometimes writing anonymously, before she launched her prominent 'Clean Up TV campaign in the 1964.

She was an absolute fame-hound. She would never do anything without a press briefing. She loved to go onto David Frost [TV show] and he was a key figure in her story. He introduced her as a showbiz figure, said Mr Thompson.

...Read the full article



Update: Iran Blocks Unlicensed VPNs...

Where Iran leads, the EU will have to follow if it wants to block internet porn

Link Here11th March 2013
Full story: Iranian Internet Censorship...Extensive internet blocking

AN Iranian official Ramezanali Sobhani-Fard has told Reuters:

Within the last few days illegal VPN ports in the country have been blocked. Only legal and registered VPNs can from now on be used.

So, those looking to tap into Facebook, YouTube, various news sites and, yes, even Google's search engine itself (among other banned websites) will have to find different methods for doing so -- which do exist, according to an Iranian interviewed by Reuters who said he was using an unnamed software tool to bypass Iran's blocks.

 Iran's Mehdi Akhavan Behabadi explained further in the Tehran Chronicle:

We have started distributing official VPN services for Iranian users. Those need this service to open safe connections can apply in the program and we will review their cases one by one. If their request was approved, then we will introduce legal providers and licensed clients can buy their needed services.

By launching this program, Iranian government can prosecute users who are violating state laws and Internet Filtering Committee will be able to take offenders to national courts.



Making a Song and Dance about It...

Indian film censors consign sexy dance numbers to the adult category

Link Here11th March 2013

India recently traumatised by a particularly nasty gang rape incident in Delhi. Somehow films seem to have been selected to carry the can, and so censorship has had to be ratcheted up a notch. But it is not easy to find much else to censor when nudity and sex have been banned for years anyway. However a suitably ludicrous scapegoat was found in dance numbers where an admiring chorous line of guys swarm round a female singer. These so called 'item songs' now seemed destined to invoke an adults only A certificate from the film censors. And the first victim has inevitably kicked up a bit of a todo.

The Central Board of Film Certification's (CBFC) initial decision to give Priyanka Chopra's item number Babli Badmaash in Shootout At Wadala an A certificate has taken the film industry by shock and surprise. An A certification disallows the producers, Balaji Motion Pictures and audio label, Sony Music, from promoting the track on television during prime time.

Tanuj Garg of  Balaji Motion Pictures said:

After submitting Babli Badmaash for certification, we were informed that it would get an 'A' because it was an item track. We were shocked and informed the CBFC that the industry was not aware of such a rule. We were later told that there was no blanket directive; songs would be certified according to their content.

Soon after, the Film and Television Producers Guild wrote to the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, stating that the industry deserved to be informed about the new regulation. The guild explained how most of these special songs are mainly used as a promotional song/video. If dance numbers are going to be held back after being labelled item songs , all pre-release marketing plans will go down the drain, they said.

The film industry, understandably, is against any arbitrary change in the certification of item songs. A senior producer asked:

What is an item number? How does one define it? It is a phrase with no formal dictionary meaning. It is an industry-coined phrase. A rule cannot be made about something that is so inherently vague and subjective.

In the meanwhile, the industry is waiting with bated breath to see if Babli Badmaash is cleared by the board's appeals committee.

Meanwhile the Censor Board has claimed that there is no move yet to give A certificate to all dance numbers and such film songs will be examined on a case-to-case basis. Leela Samson, Chairperson, CBFC, said in a statement:

For the last few weeks there seems to have been an impression in the media, and also within the film industry, that CBFC has adopted a rule to certify all dance numbers with an 'A' certificate. I would like to unambiguously clarify that no such decision has been taken either by the Board or by I and B Ministry, and nor is such a move being contemplated,

The guidelines governing certification of films, trailors, or any part thereof, simply state that they will be certified depending on the age-group of audiences that they are suitable for. Hence, dance numbers too will continue to be examined purely on a case-to-case basis to see whether they are suitable for a U, UA, or A certificate.



The Burning...

Video nasty and notable slasher set for a US Blu-ray release

Link Here10th March 2013

The Burning is a 1981 US/Canada slasher by Tony Maylam
With Brian Matthews and Leah Ayres. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

US: uncut and MPAA Unrated (but labelled R Rated) for:

  • US 2013 Shout! Factory RA Blu-ray at US Amazon released on 21st May 2013.

UK Video Nasty


Passed X (18) after 10s of BBFC cuts for 1981 cinema release

Thorn EMI initially released the video uncut. They then tried to replace rental videos with the BBFC cut version but most shops stuck with the uncut version. The uncut version of the video was banned as a video nasty in October 1983. It remained on the list throughout the scare

Re-released after 19s of BBFC cuts in 1992 by Thorn/EMI

BBFC Cuts waived for the 2002 Vipco R2 DVD

The US Theatrical Version was cut by 1:01s for an R Rating. This version was also released on US VHS. DVD versions are unrated but still have an R Rating on the packaging.

Summary Review : Must Have

A former summer camp caretaker, horribly burned from a prank gone wrong, lurks around an upstate New York summer camp bent on killing the teenagers responsible for his disfigurement.

I personally love the killer in the woods slashers the best and this is the perfect premise. This film starts as a flashback "of course"... The kids at a summer camp play a trick that goes terribly wrong on Cropsy the mean spirited grounds keeper and he is burned beyond recognition,

Flash back to the woods "summer camp " Cropsy returns to the scene of the crime to wreak havoc and spill PLENTY of blood. I personally don't see why they didn't make a sequel, Cropsy and his garden shears are scarier than Jason and his machete any day as far as I'm concerned.

This is a MUST HAVE for slasher fans.



Update: Inappropriately Wide Reaching...

British Naturism points out that Elspeth's Howe's Online Protection Bill has become a Censorship Bill

Link Here10th March 2013
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

When first proposed, the House of Lords Online Protection Bill was of no concern to naturists, but it had the potential to become a concern. Originally the Bill proposed that children should be blocked from access to pornography, and pornography was defined as material intended to be sexually arousing. However amendments have been proposed which have increased the scope of the bill.

Baroness Benjamin has put forward an amendment which would change the definition from pornographic images to adult content . Lord Morrow has also moved an amendment which would insert at an age appropriate level past the word content .

The new line in the Bill would then read:

Manufacturers of electronic devices must provide customers with a means of filtering adult content at an age-appropriate level from an internet access service at the time the device is purchased.

The danger here is the lack of any definition of what the words adult and appropriate actually mean. There are several shortcomings in this Bill that absolutely must be addressed:

  • Appropriate must be defined on evidence and facts, not emotion, myth, and prejudice;
  • Classification must be evidence based;
  • Emotion and prejudice are not evidence;
  • Over-blocking is just as serious as under-blocking, both result in serious harm;
  • It must be clear which filters provide protection and which ones support prejudice and may be harmful;
  • Freedom of Expression is important and must be protected;
  • Blocking of web sites that are not harmful to children is libel;
  • Blocking web sites without justification is just as much censorship as preventing the publication of a newspaper. There must be a practicable means to find out if blocked and to contest the blocking.

Unless there is real protection for Freedom of Expression then the manufacturers, software providers, and ISPs will minimise costs and filter everything that could possibly cause offence to anyone. That will cause considerable harm, not just to Naturism, but to society in general and to children and young people in particular.



White Metal...

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance censored in Japan

Link Here10th March 2013

Computer game, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance , will be released uncensored in the US and UK in February 2013.

However Japanese gamers will have to put up with a censored version. An employee of developter Platinum Games confirmed in the official message board that the Japanese version will feature white blood instead of red for censorship reasons.



Update: Addicted to Moralising...

Connecticut a morality tax of 10% on Mature Rated computer games

Link Here10th March 2013
Full story: Violent Games in the US...Attempts to restrict video games from minors

The Escapist reports that Connecticut State Representative Debralee Hovey has introduced H.B. No. 5735, or an act establishing a sales tax on certain video games.

The bill would add a 10% tax in Connecticut on video games rated Mature by the ESRB, which would then be redirected to the State's department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.



European Parliament blocks constituents emails re porn censorship...

Pirate Party MEP blows the whistle on a disgraceful disregard for democracy

Link Here 9th March 2013

Next week the European parliament will be voting on a resolution to ban all forms of pornography in media . After this information became known to a wider audience, many citizens have decided to contact members of the European parliament to express their views on this issue.

This is absolutely excellent. Citizens engaging actively in the democratic process is a very positive thing, at least in my opinion. Before noon, some 350 emails had arrived in my office.

But around noon, these mails suddenly stopped arriving. When we started investigating why this happened so suddenly, we soon found out:

The IT department of the European Parliament is blocking the delivery of the emails on this issue, after some members of the parliament complained about getting emails from citizens.

This is an absolute disgrace, in my opinion. A parliament that views input from citizens on a current issue as spam, has very little democratic legitimacy in my opinion.

I will be writing a letter to the President of the European Parliament to complain about this totally undemocratic practice.

In the meantime, please continue to email members of the parliament on both the issue of the porn ban and on any other issue that you feel that you want to bring to the attention your elected representatives. Citizens taking active part in the political process is a fantastic asset for a democratic system, not a spam problem.

I am very disappointed that some of my colleagues in this house evidently have a different opinion.



For God's Sake Chill...

Catholic League gets 'outraged' at Loaded magazine cover

Link Here9th March 2013
Full story: Catholic League...Always ready for a good whinge

A US catholic nutter organisation is claiming 'outrage' over the cover of the latest edition of the UK's Loaded magazine.

The 'offending' cover has glamour model Lucy Pinder cantily covered in priestly regalia with the headline For God's Sake .

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, whinged to TMZ:

Lucy Pinder shouldn't have any problem turning men's heads, so it is all the more gratuitous to see her wearing a priest's stole, stitched with crosses, nicely covering her plus-sized chest.

If Lucy has any guts, perhaps next time she'll carefully drape herself in some Islamic garb during Ramadan. And then run for the hills.

Lucy Pinder retorted:

The shoot is meant to be fun and very tongue-in-cheek, so chill, Catholics.



Extract: End of a Love Affair?...

Has Page 3 come between Mediawatch-UK and the Sun

Link Here9th March 2013

Could this be the beginning of the end of the love affair between the right-wing tabloid press and Mediawatch-uk?

The Sun is one of the tabloid newspapers which provide Mediawatch-uk with a platform to air their views and promote their moral crusade against violence and sex in the media. Mediawatch-uk have shyed away from targetting things like Page 3 and the other sexual content found in The Sun and this is the first time they have expressed some criticism. It's very interesting indeed.

...Read the full article




BBFC rating raised from PG to 12

Link Here8th March 2013

Wargames is a 1983 USA sci-fi thriller by John Badham.
With Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, John Wood. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: Passed 12 uncut for moderate language and soft drug references for:

Previously rated PG by the BBFC for submissions from 1983 - 2000



Mrs. Doubtfire...

Another video release raised from PG to 12

Link Here8th March 2013

Mrs. Doubtfire is a 1993 US comedy by Chris Columbus
With Robin Williams & Sally Field. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: Passed 12 for moderate sex references for:

  • UK 2013 20th Century Fox RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 4th March 2013

Censorship History

Passed PG-13 in the US

Originally passed 12 uncut by the BBFC for 1993 cinema release. However the distributors decided to cut out the fruity innuendo for a PG rated cinema release.

See cuts details from

  • removed of 13 seconds of dialogue

    Mrs. Doubtfire: You know, dear! Sink the sub! Hide the Weasel? Park the porpoise? Bit of the old humpty dumpty? Little Jack Horny? The horizontal Mambo?
    Stuart: Mrs. Doubtfire....
    Mrs. Doubtfire: The bone dance, eh? Rumpleforeskin? Baloney bop? Bit of the old cunning linguistics? Hm?
    Stuart : Mrs. Doubtfire, please!

The cut PG cinema version was then released for the 1984 VHS and the same version continued to be released for home until the 2001 DVD

The cuts were waived in 2003 for a still PG rated DVD release which was reissued in 2007 without BBFC submission.

In 2012 the BBFC upped the certificate to 12 uncut for the 2013 Blu-ray release.

Promotional Material

Robin Williams stars as difficult actor and husband, Daniel Hillard, who separates acrimoniously from his wife (Sally Field) and receives a court order limiting his visits to his children. As a result he dresses up as a Scottish nanny and gets gainful employment with his ex-wife looking after his own kids. Directed by Chris Columbus (Home Alone).



Updated: Pantomime Censors...

Ofcom find WWE wrestling sequence too violent for Saturday mornings

Link Here8th March 2013

WWE Superstars
Sky 1, 10 November 2012, 09:00

Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment ( WWE ) matches are broadcast on Sky 1 during the morning at weekends.

A complainant alerted Ofcom to the violent content in a pre-recorded sequence featuring WWE contestant Wade Barratt broadcast at the beginning of the second segment of the programme at around 09:20 on a Saturday.

The sequence, lasting approximately one and a half minutes, depicted Wade Barratt in several underground wrestling and bare-knuckle fights surrounded by a group of men who appeared to be betting money on the outcome. It featured several close-up punches and kicks to the head and chest in slow motion with dramatic sound effects to underline the impact and, on one occasion, a bloody bruise on the chest of a competitor. The scene was set to a track of rock music and was accompanied by the following voiceover:

Where I come from the grim realities of life smack you in the face at every turn. An onslaught of fury is the only way to survive. I am Wade Barratt and my barrage has just begun. It doesn't matter if I'm fighting on the street or if I'm fighting in the ring. If I'm fighting I might as well make as much money as I possibly can. I decided I'd had enough of not getting my own way. I came here with one goal only. That was to become a world champion. One way or another I'm going to get to the top. I'm relentless. I am remorseless. I am Wade Barratt and my barrage cannot be stopped.

Ofcom considered rules:

  • Rule 1.3 Children must be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.

  • Rule 1.11 Violence, its after affects and the descriptions of violence, whether verbal or physical, must be appropriately limited in programmes before the watershed and must also be justified by the context.

Sky explained that WWE has broadcast on Sky 1 since 1999 and is widely known for its outrageous storylines and pantomime characters. It said the fights themselves are only one element of the show as it also focuses on the backstories and feuds between wrestlers, and that the sequence involving Wade Barratt was intended to portray him as a dark and dangerous character.

The Licensee said that the fights in the arena are highly dramatic and pantomime, and that most of the violence shown is not graphic. It added, however, that due to the family nature of the audience, it carefully edits WWE for daytime transmissions on Sky 1. Sky said repeated kicks or punches and explicit shots are removed along with scenes including weapons and violence that occurs outside the arena. Scenes that involve blood are shot in black and white to minimise detail.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of rules 1.3 and 1.11

Ofcom noted that the scene in question depicted bare-knuckle fighting in an underground setting, clearly distinguishing it from staged competitive wrestling that takes place in a ring with a referee. The dark, aggressive and realistic nature of this scene combined with close-up slow-motion punches and kicks to the head and chest with powerful sound effects to underscore the impacts to make the material, in Ofcom's view, clearly unsuitable for children.

We took account in particular of the high likelihood of children watching this channel early on a Saturday morning, the strength and brooding nature of the images exemplified by the slow-motion shots of impact, and the fact that in Ofcom's opinion this content exceeded the likely expectations of the audience.

Ofcom noted Sky's acceptance that the material may not have been suitable for a Saturday morning audience, and its decision to review its compliance guidelines for all future WWE broadcasts. However, in this case, particularly given the violent content of this sequence and the very high proportion of child viewers, Ofcom decided that the material breached Rules 1.3 and 1.11.




US Blu-ray release of Michael Chricton's film once cut by the BBFC

Link Here7th March 2013
Westworld is a 1973 US Sci-Fi by Michael Chricton.
With Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin and James Brolin. YouTube icon IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA PG Rated for:

Censorship History

UK: Passed AA (14) after BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1973 cinema release

IMDB notes that: Early prints contain a scene in Medieval world where a guest is tortured on a rack. That scene was deleted from television and video. This probably gives a clue as to what was cut from the UK cinema release

Promotional Material

For $1,000 a day, vacationers can indulge whims at the theme park called Westworld. They can bust up a bar or bust out of jail, drop in on a brothel or get the drop on a gunslinger. It's all safe: the park's lifelike androids are programmed never to harm the customers.

But not all droids are getting with the program. Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park, Twister) wrote and made his directing debut with this futuristic thriller that heralded moviemaking's future as the first feature to use digitized images. Richard Benjamin and James Brolin portray pals confronted by a simulated reality turned real. And Yul Brynner is their stalking, spur-jangling nemesis. It's man versus machine - in a tomorrow that isn't big enough for the both of them.



ASA Pokes Fun at Fat People...

Advert censor finds that a fat man advert causes 'widespread' offence

Link Here7th March 2013

A poster, for a mirror retailer, was headed . On the left was an image of an overweight man's naked body, visible from shoulder to thigh, with his hands covering his genitals. Text underneath the image stated Need a small mirror? . On the right was an image of a woman, shown from shoulder to waist, wearing a bra and pushing her breasts together. Text above the image stated Need a big mirror? .

The ASA received four complaints.

  1. Three complainants objected that the ad was offensive and unsuitable for display in a public place.
  2. One complainant challenged whether the ad was unsuitable to be displayed where it could be seen by children.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

1. & 2. Upheld

The ASA noted that the ad did not feature any explicit nudity. However, we considered that the text Need a small mirror? under the image of the male figure and Need a big mirror? above the female figure, invited consumers to consider the physical attributes of the models, whose heads were not shown in the images. We further considered that that text was likely to be understood by consumers as innuendo relating to the size of the male figure's genitalia and the female figure's breasts, and that the ad therefore objectified both men and women. We concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and that it was irresponsible because it was not suitable to be displayed where it could be seen by children.

The ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and offence).



Update: No Rapport with the OIC...

UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion comes out strongly against blasphemy laws

Link Here7th March 2013
Full story: Defamation of Religion...OIC pushes for global blasphemy laws at UN

the United Nations' special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief has come out strongly against laws against blasphemy and apostasy.

Heiner Bielefeld said in a report to the U.N. Human Rights Council that legislation outlawing apostasy and insults against religious figures could be used to violate the rights of minorities:

States should repeal any criminal law provisions that penalize apostasy, blasphemy and proselytism, as they may prevent persons belonging to religious or belief minorities from fully enjoying their freedom of religion or belief.

Bielefeld does not speak for the U.N. but was taken on as an independent official to report regularly on how freedom of religion was respected across the world.




An extended version is included on Blu-ray only for this week's UK video release

Link Here6th March 2013

Argo is a 2012 USA history thriller by Ben Affleck.
With Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: The Extended Version was passed 15 uncut for strong language for:

  • UK 2013 Warner [Theatrical + Extended] R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 4th March 2013

UK: The Theatrical Version was passed 15 for strong language without BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2013 Warner [Theatrical + Extended] R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 4th March 2013
  • UK 2013 Warner [Theatrical only] R2 DV D at UK Amazon released on 4th March 2013

Promotional Material

Based on real events, the dramatic thriller Argo chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis, focusing on the little-known role that the CIA and Hollywood played--information that was not declassified until many years after the event. On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point, militants storm the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, the Canadian and American governments ask the CIA to intervene. The CIA turns to their top "exfiltration" specialist, Tony Mendez, to come up with a plan to get the six Americans safely out of the country. A plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies.

Blu-ray Features:
  • Feature Length Picture in Picture: Eye Witness Account (theatrical version) -- Relive the takeover of the US Embassy in November of 1979 and the daring rescue mission in January of 1980 through the eyes of those that lived it.
  • Commentary
  • Rescued from Tehran: We Were There -- President Jimmy Carter, Tony Mendez and the actual house guests recount the real-life harrowing experience they endured.
  • Argo: Absolute Authenticity -- From characters to heart-stopping action, Ben Affleck's eye and ear for hard-hitting realism and attention to exacting detail has become his signature as an A-list filmmaker.
  • ARGO: The CIA & Hollywood Connection -- Director Ben Affleck and former CIA agent Tony Mendez give a firsthand view of the actual documents and cover story used to create the phony movie Argo that had all of Hollywood believing in.
  • Escape from Iran: The Hollywood Option -- Escape From Iran commemorates the 25th anniversary of the "Canadian Caper," taking us back to this startling affair through the direct testimony of the Americans who found sanctuary at the Canadian embassy in Tehran, and the Canadians who risked their own safety to shelter their closest neighbours.



Update: Martyrs...

Ofcom warns the Sikh Channel about positive references to a leader of a banned terrorist organisation

Link Here6th March 2013
Full story: Ofcom on Religion...ofcom keep religious extremism in check

Sikh Channel Report
Sikh Channel, 18 October 2012, 21:40

The Sikh Channel is in the religious section of the Sky Electronic Programme Guide (EPG), and the channel is aimed at the Sikh community in the UK. The licence for the Sikh Channel is held by TV Legal.

This programme was a live transmission, broadcast in Punjabi, and consisted mainly of the performance of commemorative songs broadcast from a Gurdwara located in Coventry.

A complainant alerted Ofcom to a lecture which was also included in the programme. According to the complainant, a speaker appeared in front of a poster which had the words Babbar Khalsa International ( BKI ) written on it, and talked effusively about the Sikh militant Talwinder Singh Babbar, the founder of the BKI, which is a proscribed terrorist organisation in the UK.

The speaker introduced his lecture as follows:

This programme has been arranged in the memory of the martyrs and what they did, and in particular I want to tell you about the martyr Brother Talwinder Singh Babbar.

During the lecture the speaker recounted moments from Talwinder Singh Babbar's life . For example, we noted that the speaker made the following statements:

The Sikhs who lived with [Talwinder Singh Babbar] tell that if you told him that there were 32 policemen with AK-47 rifles outside waiting to arrest him, the respected Brother [Talwinder Singh Babbar] was the sort of person who would go out to meet them; he wouldn't stop and sit there but say, Let's go and fight with them. He had so much courage! You can see when you look at his face that his forehead reflects glory. His face reflects divine illumination. These are pure martyr devoted Sikhs. They have the Sikh spiritual narration inside them and a trust in this spirit.

Ofcom considered that the material raised issues warranting investigation under Rule 2.3 of the Code:

In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context...Appropriate information should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 2.3

In this case, we noted that a programme contributor gave a lecture in which he made a number of statements that could be interpreted as being strongly positive, or being otherwise supportive of actions taken by, the leader of a terrorist organisation (the BKI), which is proscribed in the UK. Ofcom considered that these statements were not sufficiently contextualised to justify the potential offence caused by positive references to the leader of a proscribed terrorist organisation. The man who delivered the lecture spoke directly to camera and to the audience in the Gurdwara. Also, the lecture was delivered in front of a poster referring to the BKI and depicting the armed founder of that proscribed terrorist organisation. In Ofcom's opinion, these factors increased the impact of his words and so the potential for offence. At no point was the lecturer challenged to justify his unqualified praise for Tavinder Singh Parmar, by referring for example to the acts of terrorism with which he is alleged to have been involved. Also neither the Licensee nor the lecturer himself attempted to place his positive statements in praise of Tavinder Singh Parmar in some form of context by acknowledging, for example, the deaths for which Tavinder Singh Parmar is widely held responsible. For these reasons, Ofcom's view is that the offence caused by the lecturer's comments was not justified by the context.

Ofcom is putting TV Legal on notice that any future similar breaches are likely to result in Ofcom taking further regulatory action.

Breach of Rule 2.3



Immature Censorship...

ASA whinges at marginally sexy picture appearing on YouTube

Link Here6th March 2013

A banner ad, for, featured text which stated mature dating uk ... Find the One Today on MatureDatingUK . The ad included a photograph of a woman sat on a chair wearing a short yellow dress and with her legs apart. One hand was placed on the inside of her left calf and one hand next to her crotch.

  1. One complainant, who viewed the ad on their e-mail account home page, objected that it was offensive and overtly sexual.

  2. One complainant, who viewed the ad on, objected that it was offensive and overtly sexual.

  3. A further complainant, who viewed the ad on YouTube, objected that the ad was offensive, overtly sexual and unsuitable for an untargeted medium where it could be seen by children.

Cupid acknowledged that the ad could be viewed by children. However, they pointed out that children could view more explicit content on YouTube. They therefore believed the ad did not breach the Code on this point.

Google said the ad was set up by the advertiser using Google AdWords and pointed out that advertisers were required to comply with Google's AdWords advertising policies, as well as with applicable laws and regulations, including the CAP Code. They further said that the ad breached Google's policies and that they were taking action to have the ad removed.

ASA Assessment

1. & 2. Not upheld

The ASA noted the ad showed the model in a short dress, with her legs apart and her hand placed over her crotch. The ad did not, however, include any explicit nudity and whilst we understood the ad might be viewed by some as sexually suggestive in nature, we considered it was not overtly sexual. Whilst we recognised that some people might find the ad distasteful, we considered the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

On this point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and Offence) but did not find it in breach.

3. Upheld

As noted in points 1 & 2, above, we did not consider the ad to be overtly sexual in nature, however, we did consider the ad could be viewed as sexually suggestive. We therefore concluded that the ad was unsuitable for an untargeted medium where it could be seen by children.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and Offence). The ad must not appear again in untargeted media where it could be seen by children.



Update: Recommended by the nutters of the Women's Support Project...

Pussy Energy Drink

Link Here 6th March 2013

A Scottish women's campaign group has called for consumers and shopkeepers to boycott Pussy energy drink after a few complaints about its supposedly sexist billboard campaign.

Posters promoting the product, Pussy, in large letters above the sexually suggestive slogan:

The drink's pure. It's your mind that's the problem.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has received 90 complaints from members of the public who claim it is sexually demeaning to women and unsuitable for children.

Jan Macleod, co-ordinator of the Glasgow-based Women's Support Project, said the adverts had damaged the group's attempts to changes attitudes towards women and sex. She spouted:

The people behind these adverts know what they are doing. It's up to people not to buy this drink. The public does have a sense of humour about sex, but is it necessary to have a drink called Pussy and a slogan which reinforces they are talking about sex?

If consumers stopped and said to shopkeepers they didn't like it being stocked, they would be helping to make a difference. Parents should be even saying to their children 'do you need to drink that'.

Well if it winds up the nutters then the drink must surely be worth a try.



Updated: Australian Film Censors Don't Want I Want Your Love...

Gay film banned from film festival screenings

Link Here6th March 2013
Full story: Banned Films in Australia...I Want Your Love

I Want Your Love is a 2012 USA drama by Travis Mathews.
With Jesse Metzger, Brontez Purnell, Ben Jasper. YouTube icon IMDb

A feature film that includes explicit scenes of gay male sex has been banned by the Australian Film Censorship Board. I Want Your Love , written and directed by young American filmmaker Travis Mathews, was due to screen at queer film festivals around Australia.

Festival films are generally granted exemptions from the censorship process. Festivals provide synopses of the works they are screening but the board can then ask to see individual films.

Melbourne Queer Film Festival director Lisa Daniel says that in her 15 years at the festival, I Want Your Love is the first film that has been refused an exemption. It has been seen in many festivals around the world, and its distributors have told her this is the first time it has been banned. Mathews is a well-known filmmaker, and the decision is an embarrassment for Australia, she says.

The film focuses on a young gay man who is preparing to leave San Francisco after living there for 10 years. The film shows his last 36 hours in the city, and a party thrown for him by his friends, in which his ambivalent feelings about departure are clarified.

The film was also on the program at Sydney's Queer Screen and the Brisbane Queer Film Festival.

Jain Moralee, director of Queer Screen, said she was very disappointed that she would be unable to show the work. The sex scene, she says, is a six-minute montage of friends, housemates and partygoers that is part of the narrative context of the film. She describes Mathews as a filmmaker who explores the line between narrative and documentary.

Update: Petition to Overturn the refused exemption status of the film I Want Your Love

23rd February 2013. See  petition from

There is no reason why this film should not be shown to a paying adult audience within the context of curated film festivals. I Want Your Love has screened at every major queer film festival in the world and is getting a DVD release in the United States this month. Why are we the only country in the world to refuse its citizens the right to see it?

To: Ms Lesley O'Brien - director, Australian Classification Board

We the undersigned believe that your decision to refuse exemption to Australian queer film festivals to screen Travis Mathew's film I Want Your Love is wrong.

I Want Your Love shows us the modern gay experience with intimacy and frankness. It has a level of reality that is refreshing and reflects what life is really like for many gay men. Honest, intimate depictions of gay love and sex do not harm us to see.

I Want Your Love shows love and sex between happy, healthy and consenting gay men. While it contains actual sex, it is shown within a non-violent, intelligent and artistic narrative. This element is therefore not gratuitous and should not form a reason why it should be refused exemption.

We believe there is no reason why this film should not be shown to a paying adult audience within the context of curated film festivals. I Want Your Love has screened at every major queer film festival in the world and is getting a DVD release in the United States this month. We ask you to reflect on why we are the only country in the world to refuse its citizens the right to see it?

In light of this, we ask you to overturn the refused exemption status of the film I Want Your Love.

...Sign the petition

Update: Petition Result

6th March 2013. Based on article from

To everyone who signed the petition

This is to let you know that a hard copy of the petition was sent to the Australian Classification Board yesterday. It contained 2398 signatures and 54 pages of your comments.

Your signatures send a strong message. Your comments are articulate and powerful. More powerful and persuading than the legislation that the censors have been hiding behind.

I thank you for signing the petition and arguing your point so well. Let's hope some sense transfers from us to them. I will let you know.

Yours sincerely,
Grant Scicluna



Updated: Maligning Free Speech...

Indian film censors ban the film Kangal Malsat for political reasons

Link Here6th March 2013

After India's Central Board of Film Certification banned the Bengali film Kangal Malsat (War Cry of Beggars), its director Suman Mukhopadhyay explained that the board had objected to the comments in the film on the movement against land acquisition in Singur.

Mukhopadhyay, told The Hindu:

It was dangerous for a democratic State to act in a manner where artists cannot be allowed to express their views freely.

He approached Film Certification Appellate Tribunal regarding the matter. A letter to Mukhopadhyay from the regional office of the censor board states that the pull-out from Singur of Tata Motors has been portrayed in a way that seems to malign or at least look down upon a significant movement of civic society.

Haranath Chakraborty, a member of the censor board claimed that there was no political reason behind the ban:

From beginning to end, the characters use offensive language. The director was asked to delete some dialogues, which he refused.

Update: Unbanned on Appeal

6th March 2013. See  article from

Kangal Malsat, the movie banned by the film censors for distorting history through its depiction of Mamata Banerjee's swearing-in ceremony, has been cleared and is likely to hit theatres soon but only after director Suman Mukhopadhyay was forced to make extensive cuts.

The Film Certification Apellate Tribunal headed by chairman Lalit Bhasin dismissed most objections raised by the Censor Board, like the depiction of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and a reference to the Tatas withdrawing from Bengal, after it watched the film in Delhi. The tribunal also dismissed objections raised over excessive sexuality and had no objection to the use of abusive language since that is what the characters speak , Mukhopadhyay said.

However, though it didn't agree with the Censor Board that the depiction of the swearing-in was a distortion of history, it asked the director not to show the actual ceremony as the movie was a work of fiction, not a biopic. Mukhopadhyay was also asked reduce the 76 swear words by 50% , according to the Central Board of Film Certification, and tone down political comments that it found too harsh .



Offsite Article: Triumphant and Heroic Run Down the Home Straight Ruined by a Reprehensible Film Producer...

Link Here6th March 2013
Full story: Censorship by Libel...British libel law allows the rich to censor the truth
David Puttnam Years of effort set to be lost over libel reform as David Puttnam's selfish hijack of the bill makes it unacceptable to progress further

See article from



Offsite Article: Easily Offended Censors...

Link Here6th March 2013
How India's Censor Board has initiated a banning boom

See article from



Update: Australian Film Censors are an Embarrassment...

Actor James Franco comments on the banning of I Want Your Love

Link Here5th March 2013
Full story: Banned Films in Australia...I Want Your Love

The Oscar-nominated star James Franco has weighed into the censorship debate via a Youtube message, in which he speaks directly to the Australian Classification Board.

Franco describes the banning of I Want Your Love as hypocritical and disappointing :

Travis is making this film, including sex, because he wants to explore story and character and the nuances that sex contains.

Because films have been banned because of sex, sex and films hasn't had a chance to grow and become a sophisticated storytelling device. And frankly adults should be able to choose. They're not going in blind. I don't know why in this day and age, something like this --- a film that is using sex not for titillation but to talk about being human --- is being banned. It's just embarrassing.

The Australian Classification Board not just embarrasses by the films it chooses to ban and the inconsistencies in its approach --- it also embarrasses by the films it allows to screen, or simply doesn't bother to review.



Update: Banned Babe Links...

Ofcom whinges at babe channels for promotion of related porn websites

Link Here5th March 2013
Full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

Northern Birds, Essex Babes, Sportxxx Girls, and Livexxx Babes
24 September to 8 February 2013, various times throughout the day

The services all transmit interactive daytime chat and adult chat advertising content. These services are freely available without mandatory restricted access and are situated in the adult section of the electronic programme guide of the Sky digital satellite platform ( Sky EPG ). Viewers are invited to contact on-screen presenters via premium-rate telephony services ( PRS ). The female presenters dress and behave in a sexually provocative way while encouraging viewers to contact the PRS numbers. The licencesare all held by Satellite Entertainment Limited ( SEL ).

Ofcom received a complaint that, throughout the day and across all these channels, on-screen references were made to the website by means of a graphic giving the URL of the website positioned in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. The complainant said that on accessing the website there were no access restrictions, and that users were directed to freely accessible R18 equivalent content by clicking on any number of links .

From Ofcom's examination of the broadcast material, it appeared that no verbal references to the website URL were made by the presenters.

The website consisted of a homepage containing a number of tab-style links to Bluebird branded content. There were no access restrictions other than responding OK to a pop-up box on first visiting the site to confirm that the user was over 18 years of age.

Ofcom observed that this website contained explicit pornographic material (equivalent to the British Board of Film Classification ( BBFC ) R18-rated content 1 ). Registration and age verification by means of using a credit card (holders must be over 18 years of age) was only required if the user wished to become a member of the premium Bluebird service.

Two types of explicit pornographic material could be accessed and viewed from the Bluebird Films homepage.

The first type, on initially accessing the Bluebird Films website, consisted of an embedded video player positioned in the centre of the screen, which automatically played a video clip. The player showed a 50-second video clip, the first 30 seconds of which featured edited glamour shots of scantily clad or naked women, kissing, touching and posing in an erotic way. The final 20 seconds of the clip, however, featured explicit sexual material involving shots of oral sex, vaginal penetration, and the use of sex toys for sexual stimulation or penetration some of which were in close-up.

The second type of pornographic material was accessible at the bottom of the page and consisted of 17 photographic hyperlinks under the heading Bluebird Films Hot Movies . These links promoted pornographic films that could be viewed in full by purchasing premium Bluebird membership or by purchasing the associated DVD product (from the Buy DVD's [sic] tab positioned at the top of the page). Clicking on these photographic hyperlinks led the user through to teaser videos, each between about one and two minutes in length, promoting the full film to which the photographic hyperlink corresponded. These teaser videos featured explicit sexual material including vaginal penetration, oral sex, and masturbation some of which was again in close-up.

Ofcom considered BCAP Code Rule 30.3, which states:

Advertisements for products coming within the recognised character of pornography are permitted behind mandatory restricted access on adult entertainment channels only.

[After an initial approach from Ofcom the company reorganised the website so that the first website which would be accessed by viewers does not contain adult material itself but links though to another related website that does. Ofcom judged that this technique does not circumvent the ban on links to porn sites].

Ofcom Conclusion: Brach of Rule 30.3

The broadcast of an advertisement, on channels without mandatory restricted access, for a website containing pornographic material, is a serious breach of the BCAP Code. Ofcom is particularly concerned that the Licensee in these instances broadcast, for extended periods both during daytime and immediately after the watershed when children were available to view (some unaccompanied), on-screen references to a website which led to R18 equivalent material without any access restrictions.

Ofcom therefore puts the Licensee on notice that it will consider these breaches for the imposition of a statutory sanction.

Breaches of BCAP Code Rule 30.3



Updated: That's the Trouble with Entrusting Censorship to Moral High grounders...They Often Aren't...

Former Nigerian film censor arrested over radio programme which may have incited the murder of 9 polio vaccinators

Link Here5th March 2013

The police in Kano, Nigeria, have arrested three staff members of Wazobia FM 95.1 Kano and a former director general, Kano State censorship board, Rabo Abdulkareem over a radio programme which may have instigated the killing of 9 polio vaccinators.

Radio Wazobia, on its popular Hausa magazine programme Sandar girma , allegedly aired an item about the polio vaccine which the presenters claimed was laced with chemicals that were likely to cause infertility and hence reduce population.

In the wake of the event, unknown gunmen stormed polio vaccine centres at Tarauni Local Government in the state killing nine female polio vaccinators and injuring many.

A member of staff of Wazobia FM, told LEADERSHIP about the arrests by the team of policemen. LEADERSHIP gathered that Rabo Abdulkareem may be indicted over his alleged view that:

 I will always be defiant to Polio vaccination because nobody will convince me that it wasn't an act that goes against the will of Allah and it wasn't a deliberate western conspiracy against our children.

Update: Shouting fire in a crowded cinema and then getting press freedom groups to support the statement on grounds of freedom of expression

5th March 2013. See  article from

The radio station that broadcast the programme implicated in incitement to murder polio vaccinators has unsurprising been taken off air. Nigeria's media regulatory body shut down the radio station in connection with the broadcast that questioned the local government's motives in implementing an anti-polio vaccination program. The authorities accused the station of violating a part of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code that prohibits the use of language likely to encourage or incite crime, or lead to disorder.

However anti-censorship campaigners have taken issue with this decision and contend that this is censorship.

Nigerian press freedom group Media Rights Agenda cited that the commission did not include specific examples of the show inciting crime or disorder. The groups seems to have convinced the Committee to Protect Journalists that the criticism of the polio vaccination programme was political comment and so should not be censored.

CPJ Africa Advocacy Coordinator Mohamed Keita said:

Nigerian authorities closed Wazobia FM because they did not like its critical coverage... and then they cloaked their decision in highly charged but unsupported allegations of incitement, We call on the National Broadcasting Commission to reverse this censorship order immediately.



Update: Nose Job...

Philippines artist cleared of blasphemy

Link Here5th March 2013

Philippines' Office of Ombudsman has dismissed the criminal case filed against controversial artist Mideo Cruz in connection with his allegedly blasphemous collage titled Poleteismo which was part of the Kulo art exhibit organized by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in 2011.

In a joint resolution and joint decision signed on Feb. 28, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said there was no probable cause to hold Cruz and 10 CCP officials criminally liable for violating Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code or the law which penalizes offenses against decency and customs. Charged along with Cruz were CCP board of trustees.

The Poleteismo piece was a collage showing religious statuettes, religious icons, graduation photos, calendars, maps and images of actors, politicians, sports stars and pop celebrities. It was part of the Kulo art exhibit that featured the work of 30 artists in June 2011 until an outcry from some nutter groups led to its closure nearly two months later.

The offending item was a Jesus Christ poster with a wooden penis glued to his face.



Offsite Article: On Joke Trials...

Link Here5th March 2013
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media
The Director of Public Prosecutions talks to Index about Twitter, Facebook and diminishing free speech

See article from



Offsite Article: A Time for War...

Link Here5th March 2013
Full story: China International Censors...China pressures other countries into censorship
Author Michael Savage says the marketing campaign for his new novel depicting China at war with the U.S. has been sabotaged by advertisers who fear the China lobby.

See article from



Update: The Moscow Trials...

Russian authorities and christian nutters disrupt stage play about the persecution of Pussy Riot

Link Here4th March 2013
Full story: Pussy Riot...Protest in a church sparks vengeful persecution

A performance of a play about the embattled Russian protest group Pussy Riot was disrupted in Moscow when immigration officials approached the Swiss director to ask for his travel documents.

Immigration authorities entered the Sakharov human rights museum, where the play was being staged, and harangued the director Milo Rau for holding a business visa that supposedly did not allow for work activity.

The play was later disrupted a second time when Orthodox Christian nutters and Cossacks gathered outside the venue to protest what they claimed was the play's antireligious content.

The play, called The Moscow Trials , tells the story of last year's trial of three Pussy Riot members for hooliganism after staging a protest against Vladimir Putin in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral.



For A Good Time, Call...

All talk and no action...even in the Unrated Version now released on UK DVD and Blu-ray

Link Here3rd March 2013
For a Good Time, Call... is a 2012 USA comedy by Jamie Travis.
With Ari Graynor, Lauren Miller and Justin Long. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: The Unrated Version was passed 18 uncut for frequent strong sex references for:

  • UK 2013 Universal RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 25th February 2013
  • UK 2013 Universal R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 25th February 2013

See review from : "left me feeling empty for most of the film"

Version History

The Unrated Version released on home has a little more strong language/sex references than the Theatrical Version

Promotional Material

Former college frenemies Lauren and Katie move into a fabulous Gramercy Park apartment, and in order to make ends meet, the unlikely pair start a phone sex line together.

Features :

  • Deleted Scenes: The C Word, Library Flashback, Somebody Wrote That, Doing The Dishes, Late Night Make Out



Thou Shalt Love Thy Reflection as Thy Self...

Harvey Nichols adverts interpreted as lesbian kisses cleared of religious offence

Link Here3rd March 2013

Three posters promoted the opening of a new beauty section in the department store, Harvey Nichols. Each poster showed a woman about to kiss her mirror image. Text stated LOVE THYSELF .

The ASA received 17 complaints:

  1. Nine complainants challenged whether the ads were offensive, irresponsible and unsuitable for untargeted display where they might be viewed by children, because they appeared to portray a lesbian kiss;
  2. Ten complainants challenged whether the ads were offensive, irresponsible and unsuitable for untargeted display where they might be viewed by children, because they were sexually explicit;
  3. Two complainants challenged whether the phrase LOVE THYSELF , combined with the images in the ads, was offensive on religious grounds.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted that each of the three ads showed an image of a woman leaning in to kiss her mirror image, rather than another woman. We considered that, particularly because of the identical styling of the model in each ad and the text LOVE THYSELF , the content was sufficiently clear and was unlikely to be widely misunderstood.

We acknowledged that some complainants had interpreted the posters differently and had understood them to depict a lesbian kiss. One person also mentioned a young child who had not identified that the kiss was between one woman and her mirror image. Although we recognised that some people might have found what they perceived to be a portrayal of a lesbian kiss distasteful, we considered that a reference to homosexuality in an ad would be unlikely in itself to cause widespread or serious offence or constitute irresponsible advertising.

Because we considered that it was sufficiently clear that the posters showed one woman about to kiss her mirror image, and because we also considered that they were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence even if interpreted differently, we concluded that the ads were not offensive, irresponsible or unsuitable for untargeted display because they appeared to portray a lesbian kiss.

2. Not upheld

We noted that close-up images of models' faces were common methods of advertising beauty products, and that the emphasis in each of the ads was on the styling of the model. In addition, the text LOVE THYSELF was prominent because of its size and position on the posters. We therefore considered that the aim of the ad, to promote the beauty department of a well-known department store, was clear and that the images used were consistent with that message.

The posters showed close-up shots of the face of a woman leaning in to kiss her mirror image; in each instance her lips were slightly parted but the faces were not touching. We noted that no nudity was shown and the poses were not provocative. We therefore concluded that the ads were not sexually explicit and were consequently not offensive, irresponsible or unsuitable for untargeted display.

3. Not upheld

We noted that the words LOVE THYSELF bore some similarity to the bible verse Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself and understood that, if that association was made, the ads could be seen to distort a religious message for commercial means. However, in our view the text LOVE THYSELF was not so strongly linked to the most central tenets of the Christian faith as to be widely interpreted as mocking the sacred elements of that religion. We also noted that LOVE THYSELF was not a direct biblical quote, and for that reason considered that it was not exclusively associated with Christianity. Given the absence of any other imagery or references which could carry religious meaning in the ads, we concluded that, in the context of an ad promoting a store's beauty department, the phrase LOVE THYSELF , combined with the images of a woman about to kiss her mirror image, was not offensive on religious grounds.

We investigated the ads under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find them in breach.



Facebook Has Created Something of a Monster...

Court hears that Facebook cannot prevent people from opening accounts as there is no ID verification system

Link Here3rd March 2013

A judge has claimed that: Facebook has created something of a monster which it cannot control.

The judge had been asked by a father to prevent his daughter from accessing Facebook after she used it to post sexually suggestive pictures and had sexualised contact with older men.

Facebook explained that it was powerless to stop the girl using an account because she could create new ones under different pseudonyms and access the site from different devices. Although Facebook insists only those aged 13 or above can create a profile on their site, the social network does not use any age or identity verification systems to enforce this rule.

Mr Justice McCloskey sitting in the High Court in Belfast said Facebook's defence largely rested on the idea that it has created something of a monster which it alleges it cannot control . The requested injunction was denied as unworkable.



Outrage Bubbling Up...

Bloomsberg Businessweek winds up the easily offended

Link Here3rd March 2013

Bloomberg Businessweek is taking a beating from the easily offended who claim the magazine's recent cover---featuring a cartoon illustration of what appears to be a black family rolling in cash from a housing rebound---is racist.

The cover depicts the cash-grabbing family members as caricatures inside a two-story pink home above the headline: The Great American Housing Rebound.

Josh Tyrangiel, Bloomberg Businessweek's editor in chief, said in a statement to Yahoo News:

Our cover illustration got strong reactions, which we regret. If we had to do it over again, we'd do it differently.

Jacob Gaffney partly explained about the housing rebound on

The claim that minorities are creating a housing bubble through flipping, no-look bids, and 300% returns is simply not reality. Flipping is a form of fraud and not a typical transaction. No-look bids are not exclusive to Hispanic and African-American investors. No one is making a 300% return.

Andres Guzman was commissioned by Bloomberg Businessweek for the illustration said:

I was asked to make an excited family with large quantities of money. I simply drew the family like that because those are the kind of families I know.



Midnight Movies Vol 11: Mondo Triple Feature...

The iconically banned Mondo Cane gets a US DVD release

Link Here2nd March 2013

US : Midnight Movies Vol 11: Mondo Triple Feature is uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

  • US 2013 Blue Underground R1 DVD at US Amazon released on 26th February 2013
Mondo Cane is a 1962 Italy documentary by Paolo Cavara & Gualtiero Jacopetti.
With Rossano Brazzi and Stefano Sibaldi. YouTube icon IMDb

Censorship History in the UK

UK: Banned by the BBFC for:
  • UK 1962 cinema release

UK: Passed X (18) after ~14:00s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1963 cinema release

From IMDb:

  • Passed after 14 minutes of cuts with heavy edits to the animal killings,
  • scenes showing German drug addicts
  • and the killing of a man by a bull.

From Wikipedia : Iconic Documentary

The film consists of a series of travelogue-vignettes providing glimpses into cultural practices throughout the world intended to shock or surprise the mostly Western film audience, including an insect banquet and a memorable look at a practising South Pacific cargo cult. Mondo Cane's shock-exploitation-documentary style was the inspiration for numerous imitations, including Shocking Asia and the Faces of Death series of movies.

It was nominated for the Palme d'Or, the highest prize given to a competing film at the Cannes Film Festival.

Mondo cane n. 2 is a 1963 Italy documentary by Gualtiero Jacopetti , Franco Prosperi.
With Stefano Sibaldi, Henning Skaarup and Peter Ustinov. YouTube icon IMDb

There are no censorship issues with this release

La donna nel mondo is a 1963 Italy documentary by Gualtiero Jacopetti , and 2 more credits ».
With Stefano Sibaldi and Peter Ustinov. IMDb

There are no censorship issues with this release



On the Road...

The shorter version is released on UK DVD and Blu-ray

Link Here2nd March 2013
On the Road is a 2012 France/UK/USA/Brazil adventure drama by Walter Salles.
With Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley and Kristen Stewart. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: The Shortened Version was passed 15 without BBFC cuts for strong sex and drug use, and strong language: for

  • UK 2013 Lions Gate (RB) Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 25th February 2013
  • UK 2013 Lions Gate R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 25th February 2013


Version History

The Original Version shown at Cannes went on French cinema release. This was shortened by 12 minutes for US and UK release.

Promotional Material

After the death of his father, Sal Paradise (Sam Riley), an aspiring New York writer, meets Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund), a young and dangerously seductive ex-con. They hit it off immediately. Determined not to get trapped in a narrow life, the two friends burn their bridges and hit the road: thirsting for freedom, they discover the world, others and themselves.

Features an all star cast including: Kristen Stewart (Twilight), Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia, Spider-man) and Viggo Mortensen (A Dangerous Method, The Road). On the Road, is from acclaimed director Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries), based on the generation-defining novel by Jack Kerouac.



Tits and Tatts...

ASA clears Rihanna concert poster

Link Here2nd March 2013

A poster promoting a music concert featured an image of Rihanna, who was topless. Her nipples and most of her breasts were covered by her elbow and by text relating to the event.

Two complainants objected that the ad contained sexual imagery and was inappropriate for display where it could be seen by children.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Not upheld

Although it was clear from the image that Rihanna was naked from the waist up, the ASA noted she was presented in such a way that only a little of her breasts were visible and that her nipples were not shown. We further noted she was not posed in such a way as to accentuate her cleavage. We noted Rihanna was shown looking directly out at the viewer and considered that her facial expression was more challenging to the viewer than sexually suggestive. We considered that overall the image portrayed confidence and that it was not presented in an overtly sexual way. Although we understood some consumers would find the image distasteful, we considered that the ad was not unsuitable for public display or that a placement restriction was necessary to prevent the ads from appearing within 100m of a school.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code rules 3.1 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.



Offsite Article: We've discussed cutting movies for a 12/PG-13 rating. What about the other way round?...

Link Here2nd March 2013
What's the point of making a movie with a 9-year-old boy's sensibility, then including just enough violence to garner a PG-13 rating?

See article from



Midnight Movies 13: Suspense Triple Feature...

US DVD release includes Fifth Cord and Forbidden Photos which were once cut by the BBFC

Link Here1st March 2013

US: Midnight Movies Vol 13: Suspense Triple Feature is uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

  • US 2013 Blue Underground R1 DVD at US Amazon released on 26th February 2013
The Fifth Cord is a 1971 Italy mystery thriller by Luigi Bazzoni.
With Franco Nero, Silvia Monti and Wolfgang Preiss. YouTube icon IMDb

Censored in the UK

UK: Passed 18 after 2s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1988 Redemption VHS

The BBFC cuts were:

  • The cut removes a shot of a man slashing a woman's neck with a knife after stalking her for a while.

Summary Review:  Atmospheric giallo

An alcoholic journalist finds himself on the trail of a murderer after the police make him a suspect in their investigation.

A stylish, atmospheric giallo. Great score, great locations, superb cinematography by the great Storaro. The story, however, is quite muddled, but here, the mood makes up for that to a large extent.

Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion is a 1970 Spain/Italy mystery thriller by Luciano Ercoli.
With Dagmar Lassander, Pier Paolo Capponi and Simón Andreu. YouTube icon IMDb

Once censored in the UK


UK: Passed X (18) after BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1971 cinema release titled Forbidden Photos

UK: Passed 18 uncut for:

  • UK 1998 Salvation VHS

Summary Review: Impeccable direction

A triangle of friendship, love, sex, and, perhaps, murder. A stranger accosts Minou one night on the beach while her husband Peter is away. He tells her that Peter has murdered a business associate and blackmails her into sleeping with him. He compounds the blackmail with photos taken of their tryst.

While gorehounds may be a tad disappointed by the lack of extreme violence in this picture, there are abundant joys to be found. Luciano Ercoli's direction is impeccable; the script by Ernesto Gastaldi is one made to keep you guessing; and Susan Scott, playing Minou's best friend, is remarkably sexy. 

La ragazza dal pigiama giallo is a 1977 Italy/Spain mystery thriller by Flavio Mogherini.
With Ray Milland, Dalila Di Lazzaro, Michele Placido. YouTube icon IMDb

There are no censorship issues with this film



Paranormal Activity 4...

UK DVD and Blu-ray releases both include Theatrical and Extended Versions

Link Here1st March 2013

Paranormal Activity 4 is a 2012 USA horror by Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman.
With Katie Featherston, Kathryn Newton and Matt Shively. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: Both the Theatrical Version and Extended Versions were passed 15 uncut for strong threat and language for:

  • UK 2013 Paramount R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 25th February 2013
  • UK 2013 Paramount R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 25th February 2013
  • UK 2012 cinema release

Promotional Material

When Katie disappeared with her nephew Hunter, there were no survivors. Five years later she's returned with a mysterious boy, ready to target new victims with her demonic rage. Now, a family's young daughter will capture every one of the terrifying occurrences, beginning with her new neighbours' arrival.



Updated: Just Asking...

The BBFC is publishing an online survey as part of its review of the Film Classification Guidelines.

Link Here1st March 2013

From Friday 1 March for six weeks, anyone will be able to complete the survey on the BBFC website, helping to contribute to the large scale public consultation exercise the BBFC carries out every 4-5 years. The review ensures the BBFC Classification Guidelines for age rating films are in step with public opinion.

The survey asks the public to give their views on the age ratings of recent cinema and DVD releases. It also captures how often respondents visit the cinema, watch films online and whether they usually watch films with a particular age rating. The survey takes around 10 minutes to complete.

David Austin, Assistant Director of the BBFC says:

The online survey is an important part of the Classification Guidelines review process. We're keen to hear from adults and young people about whether they agree with BBFC age ratings for recent films and DVDs and how frequently they watch films both at the cinema and at home.

The results of the online survey will be processed alongside the results of nationwide focus groups, telephone interviews and specialist research, giving the BBFC the views of around 10,000 members of the public. The updated BBFC Classification Guidelines will be published at the end of 2013. The previous BBFC Classification Guidelines Review was carried out in 2009.

Update: The Survey is now live

1st March 2013. See survey from



UAE Recommends...

Ram Gopal Varma's film, The Attacks of 26/11

Link Here1st March 2013

The Attacks of 26/11 is a 2013 India drama by Ram Gopal Varma.
With Nana Patekar, Atul Kulkarni. IMDb

UAE has banned the cinema release of Ram Gopal Varma's The Attacks of 26/11

The film  depicts the terrorist attacks on a Mumbai hotel in 2008.

However the film has been cleared by film censors in Bahrain and Oma.



Update: Kicking Ass...

High Court blocks UK internet users from 3 more major torrent sites

Link Here1st March 2013
Full story: Internet Blocking File Sharing in UK...High court dictates website block

Website blocking is continuing in the UK, with the High Court adding three major torrent sites to the country's official ban list.

Following complaints from the music industry led by the BPI, the Court ordered the UK's leading Internet service providers to begin censoring subscriber access to Kickass Torrents, H33T and Fenopy.

Last year nine major record labels led by the BPI asked several of the UK's leading ISPs to censor The Pirate Bay. The process concluded at the end of April 2012 when the High Court ordered the site to be blocked.

October 2012 and the labels were back for more, this time asking six ISPs (BT, Sky, Virgin Media, O2, EE and TalkTalk) to begin blocking three more leading BitTorrent sites under Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.



Offsite Article: The Kafkaesque reality of Pakistan's blasphemy laws...

Link Here1st March 2013
Sherry Rehman, Pakistan's ambassador to the US, is under police investigation for alleged blasphemy after making the case on television for the law to be re-examined and for the death penalty to be removed

See article from

 2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   2022   2023   2024 
Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   June   Jul   Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec   Latest  

Censor Watch logo





Censorship News Latest

Daily BBFC Ratings

Site Information