Censor Watch
 2010: May
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31st May   

Council Bums...

Glasgow Council whinges at Reebok taxi advert
Link Here

reebok easytone advertA taxi advert for new Reebok trainers has been refused by council prudes in Glasgow because it was deemed too racy and contained the word bum .

The EasyTone running shoes advert showed woman's legs with the slogan: Better Legs And Bum With Every Step .

The city council's licensing and regulatory committee voted against it.

A director from applicant Greaves Sports was removed from the meeting after saying taxi ads promoting lap dancing bars had been allowed. Stephen McCranor, director of communications at Greaves Sports, also pointed out that taxi adverts for holiday companies featured bikini-clad woman, and adverts for council-run gymnasiums even featured the word bum . Reebok taxi advert The advert would have been displayed on Glasgow taxis

McCranor said: The committee seemed to object on moral grounds due to the use of bare legs, which is ironic when you come out of City Chambers and see taxis on the road advertising lap dancing venues. We're simply advertising a pair of shoes which helps tone up your legs and backside, in line with a global campaign run by Reebok.

Councillor Gilbert Davidson, who chaired the licensing and regulatory committee meeting, said: The committee considers each advert on its own merits and, if necessary, takes a democratic vote on whether it should be approved. On this occasion, the majority view was that some of the text - and also the image, which showed a pair of bare legs from just below the backside - were not appropriate.

 

31st May   

Dressed to Censor...

Juliette Binoche taunts Iran during the Cannes festival and gets her film banned in Iran
Link Here

certified copyA rumbling row over censorship between the Cannes film festival and Iran flared anew as Tehran banned celebrated director Abbas Kiarostami's new movie due to star Juliet Binoche's attire .

The actress award last weekend for her role in Certified Copy, a tortuous tete-a-tete about love and marriage in which she remains determinedly fully clothed throughout.

If Juliette Binoche were better clad it could have been screened but due to her attire there will not be a general screening, Deputy Culture Minister Javad Shamaqdari was quoted as saying by local newspapers.

Binoche and Kiarostami heaped criticism however against Tehran throughout the festival, for the way it treats its film-makers and for its tough censorship stance.

On picking up the best actress prize, the French star brandished a sign with the name of Jafar Panahi, the Iranian film-maker jailed in Tehran in March for planning a film against the Islamic regime.

After years of friction between the Cannes film festival and Tehran, organisers may have added insult to injury this year by inviting jailed Panahi to join the festival jury that decides on the winners of its awards. At the festival's gala opening, the jury headed by Alice in Wonderland director Tim Burton called for his release and left a seat symbolically empty for him on stage.

 

31st May   

The Mayor Sucks!...

US small town mayor enacts local law to censor critical website
Link Here

New Jersey state sealFed up with supposedly defamatory content found on one website on the Internet, Bordentown Mayor James E. Lynch Jr. convinced City Council members to pass a law forcing the hosting service of that website to take down its pages.

The website BordentownMayorReallySucks.com greets visitors with a raunchy dose of criticism against city's mayor.

According to an article in The Trentonian the mayor was cited as saying: This website has to be removed […] I'm not going to go down the freedom of speech road. But some of the stuff that's on there is fraudulent. You want to put information out? Fine. Say you don't like me? Fine. But attacks on my wife, my daughter? I won't stand for that.

While the website currently doesn't contain any remarks about the mayor's wife or daughter, no technical records at this moment prove that the website did or didn't host them in the past.

Even before the decision was approved, many Freedom of Speech agencies rose against it, accusing the town's Council of breaking the US Constitution's First Amendment. Nevertheless, the Council's decision passed by two votes against one.

At this moment, the website is still active, but BlueHost received a take down notice from Bordentown officials to dismantle [the website] on grounds the domain violates New Jersey's consumer affairs law and possibly other state and federal laws.

 

31st May   

Update: Squeeze on Crush Videos Constricted...

US considers narrower replacement for the depictions of animal cruelty law thrown out by the courts
Link Here  full story: Animal Cruelty in US Media...Legal challenge to censorship of animal cruelty

US SenateA wide ranging law banning depictions of animal cruelty failed in court recently and so politicians are considering narrower regulations targeting the supposed threat of 'crush' videos.

During a hearing on the Supreme Court's ruling in U.S. v. Stevens, witnesses said the Court left the door ajar in April when, with one dissenting vote, it struck down a federal ban on so-called crush videos. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the 1999 federal law could have been read to allow prosecution of producers of hunting films.

The videos appeal to a certain sexual fetish by showing women crushing to death small animals with their bare feet or high-heeled shoes.

Representatives. Gary Peters and Elton Gallegly explained that separate bills they introduced would narrowly confine the illegal act to making or selling crush videos.

Gallegly said that while all 50 states have laws against animal cruelty, state prosecutors have told him that prosecutions are almost impossible because crush videos don't show faces, dates or locations of the acts. He said his bill, H.R. 5092, provides a tool in order to prosecute, by banning the sale of the crush videos.

Peters' legislation, H.R. 5337,states that the act of crushing the animals would be illegal if done specifically to create the videos.

Three legal experts said it may be possible to craft a constitutional law by creating exceptions to free-speech protections — exceptions like those banning pornography and obscenity. Nathaniel Persily, professor at Columbia Law School, testified that a new law would need to make clear that hunting and agricultural videos are not covered.

 

31st May   

Updated: Salo Unbanned and Confirmed...

Australia appeal body confirms R18+ certificate
Link Here

Salo DVD The Classification Review Board (an appeal board) has cleared Pier Paolo Pasolini's transgressive 1975 film, Salo , for DVD release.

In a majority decision, a five-member panel of the Classification Review Board determined Salo can be classified R18+  with the consumer advice Scenes of torture and degradation, sexual violence and nudity if the DVD includes up to three hours of additional material, as presented by the film's distributor, Shock.

The review board's majority opinion said the inclusion of additional material on the DVD facilitates wider consideration of the context of the film which results in the impact being no more than high .

Not so Liberal Senator Julian McGauran, who previously called for the chief censor to resign over the issue, derided the decision. He questioned whether Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor's request for a review after Salo was initially cleared was merely a political stunt . The Minister should now step in. If he's bona fide, he should take the next step and step in, which he is able to do with the state attorneys general.

The Salo decision was overturned 12 years after it was banned. The cult art film has become the cause celebre of anti-censorship campaigners after finally being deemed suitable for screening in 1993 before the Office of Film and Literature Classification re-instituted an Australia-wide ban in 1998.

The Review Board's minority was of the view that the film should be Refused Classification. It is not known whether it was a 3-2 or 4-1 decision.

The board does advise though that consumers should consider whether this is a film they wish to see as it contains scenes of torture, degradation, cruelty and sexual violence that may offend some sections of the community.

Update: Nutters Pained

8th May 2010. Based on article from smh.com.au

ACL logoA christian lobby group has pushed for classification laws to be reviewed after the controversial Italian film Salo was given the green light to be distributed in Australia.

The decision to classify the DVD of the film Salo as R18+ clearly breaches Australia's classification guidelines and is completely out of touch with community standards, the Australian Christian Lobby chief of staff, Lyle Shelton, said.

He called on the federal government to either rewrite the guidelines or ensure the board takes a stricter approach in enforcing them.

Offsite: Salo ban discussed in Australian parliament

31st May 2010.  See  article from refused-classification.com

australian senateTwo topics were covered when the Classification Board and Classification Review Board appeared before Senate Estimates last week.

First up was the on-going dispute over the availability of unclassified adult magazines. The other topic was the R18+ rating that has been awarded to Salo .

...Read full article

 

30th May   

Law Against Bad Taste Jokes...

Tiger Porn defendant miscarriage of justice averted
Link Here
pouncing tiger

  About to be fucked by a tiger

The sexual civil liberties organisation Backlash have assisted in averting a miscarriage of justice.

Andrew Holland was charged with one count of possessing extreme pornography under the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 at the Mold Crown Court. He stood to be sentenced for the offence, having pleaded guilty mid trial under advice from his local legal team in Wrexham. Backlash contacted Holland to offer advice to discover that he may have been misadvised by his local legal team; and that he did in fact have a defence to the charge. Backlash provided funds for provisional legal advice and research to be performed. We put Holland in contact with our legal adviser, who is a solicitor specialising in extreme pornography offences, Myles Jackman of Audu and Co in King's Cross, London.

Holland transferred representation to the specialist solicitors and was given leave on Friday the 28th May 2010 by His Honour Judge Rogers sitting at the Mold Crown Court to vacate his plea from Guilty back to Not Guilty. That means that he will stand trial again; this time in the knowledge that he has a defence. However, had he not contacted Backlash in the first place he would have been sentenced for an offence which he may have been misadvised that he did not have a defence for.

Holland's case gained notoriety as he had previously been charged with a second, separate extreme pornography charge relating to a video clip purportedly depicting a sexual act between a human and a tiger. This charge was withdrawn when it was discovered that the prosecutor had failed to listen to the video's soundtrack, whererin one of the actors made a comment about Tony the Tiger from the Frosties commercials, proving the video was an elaborate joke and the tiger was not real; leaving the prosecution deeply embarrassed. [And of course the Director of Public Prosecutions, who personally approved the prosecution]

Myles Jackman commented that: it is ridiculous and dangerous that the CPS are trying to criminalise the posession of dirty jokes .

 

30th May   

Don't Expect to be Unsubjected to Offence...

New Zealand's Family First whinge at Mayhem concert
Link Here

Mayhem Pure Fucking Limited DVD Controversial metal group Mayhem is playing its first ever New Zealand gig later this year and the nutters are predictably not happy.

The band is considered to be one of the most important in the influential Norwegian black metal scene, gaining notoriety early in their career with violent stage shows, the singer committing suicide and the bass player being found guilty of murder and church burnings.

Family First NZ says Mayhem should be avoided: Any band that glorifies issues such as drug use, suicide, and negative behaviours associated with Satanism should be given a wide berth, Bob McCoskrie of Family First NZ told 3news.co.nz: We would ask that the censorship board do a pre-approval of their performance and lyrics to ensure they're not breaking the law in encouraging illegal activity and containing offensive material.

3news.co.nz spoke to concert promoter Gareth Craze of RW Entertainment about the show, which takes place at the Kings Arms Tavern, September 21.

We asked should people be concerned for their safety if they attend the Auckland gig? Craze answered: Absolutely. If there is one show this year where one can reasonably expect one's safety to be compromised by the performing act, this is the one. With the history this band have, it would be flat out ludicrous for one to attend this show with an expectation of being safe, unmolested and unsubjected to offence.

Mayhem's 1994 album De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is widely regarded as one of the black metal genre's greatest masterpieces, however its release was extremely troubled. Work on the album began in the late 80s, but was halted when singer Dead committed suicide in 1991 by shooting himself in the head. Band mate and Mayhem founder Euronymous took photos of Dead's body before calling the police, and allegedly made a stew with pieces of Dead's brain, and necklaces with fragments of his skull.

In 1993 Euronymous was stabbed to death by Mayhem's bass player at the time, Varg Vikernes, who performs as solo act Burzum to this day. Vikernes was sentenced to 21 years in prison for the murder, and was also found guilty of a string of arson attacks on Norwegian churches.

 

30th May   

Obituary: Don't you fuckin' look at me!...

Dennis Hopper dies aged 74
Link Here

dennis hopper blue velvetDennis Hopper, the hard-living Hollywood star with acclaimed roles in films including Apocalypse Now and Easy Rider , died yesterday of prostate cancer. He passed away at his home in Venice, California, at the age of 74.

He was surrounded by his family and friends and died peacefully at around 9am local time.

His private life was as variable as his professional one. He married five times and fathered four children. One of his marriages, to his second wife, Michelle Phillips, a singer in the group The Mamas and the Papas, lasted just eight days in 1970. Of the experience Hopper famously quipped: Seven of those days were pretty good. The eighth day was the bad one. His final marriage, to actress Victoria Duffy took place in 1996. The pair were undergoing a bitter divorce when he died. So bitter, in fact, that a dreadfully ill Hopper sought a restraining order against his spouse even though he was dying and virtually bedridden.

Hopper's private life was often blighted by tales of hard-drinking and drug-taking. He confessed that he used cocaine in order to sober himself up so he could binge on more alcohol. His problems and lifestyle became the stuff of Hollywood legend – or nightmare. He once spent time on a New Mexico commune drinking spirits, taking drugs and firing machine guns. He was committed to a psychiatric ward in 1984 after experiencing violent hallucinations.

Nothing in Hopper's personal life could overshadow a handful of truly great screen performances. In 1969's Easy Rider , which he directed, co-wrote and co-starred in, Hopper explored the hippy counter-culture and the reaction to the Vietnam war. He dubbed the film his state of the union message and it was a roaring critical success, paving the way for the New Hollywood of the 1970s and directors such as Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. Then in Apocalypse Now Hopper seemed to blend reality and fiction with his portrayal of a burned-out and insane war photographer. Finally, Hopper's portrayal of a sadistic brute, Frank Booth, in David Lynch's surreal Blue Velvet introduced the actor to an entirely new generation of fans.

Dennis Hopper graced the Melon Farmers with an excellent banned chainsaw duel in Tobe Hooper's Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 .

His appearance in The Trip was banned by James Ferman who was quoted as saying In the wrong hands, a tremendous advertisement for LSD. In the film Dennis Hopper educates Peter Fonda in the pleasures of mind expansion.

And of course there was the unforgettable scene in True Romance where little guy Hopper so eloquently taunts the sophisticated Mafiosi Christopher Walken, with 'your mom was fucked by niggers'.

A great melon farming contribution to the movies.

 

29th May   

Update: Calling for a Termination...

Campaigners call for ban on TV advert for abortion services
Link Here  full story: Marie Stopes Advert...Advert for abortion services winds up nutters

marie stopes logoAn advert offering abortion services will be shown for the first time on British television next week.

Last year the authorities changed their code of practice to allow condoms to be advertised on television in an attempt to reduce teenage and unwanted pregnancies. However, they postponed a decision on whether to allow abortion, or post-conception , services to advertise because the issue was too controversial.

The new advert shows images of various women whose period is late and are wondering what to do. The first advert will run at 10.10pm on Channel 4 on Monday and the campaign will continue until the end of next month.

The organisation that pre-vets TV ads, Clearcast UK, has not imposed any restrictions on the time of day it can be aired except that it is not to be shown around children's programmes.

Marie Stopes International, a charity that carries out about 65,000 terminations a year at its British clinics, said that it wanted to encourage people to speak more openly about abortion, and reach the widest possible audience with information about its services.

Julie Douglas, marketing manager at Marie Stopes, said that the advert made clear that termination was one of the services that Marie Stopes offered, although the term abortion was not used. The ad features ordinary women who are not sure what to do if their period is late. All women will recognise that message. We do not use the term 'abortion' because we would never assume someone wants an abortion.

Anti-abortion campaigners said they deplored the campaign. I can only express utter disbelief that this is being allowed, said Michaela Aston, a spokeswoman for Life.

To allow abortion providers to advertise on TV, as though they were no different from car companies or detergent manufacturers, is grotesque. By suggesting that abortion is yet another consumer choice, it trivialises human life and completely contravenes the spirit of the 1967 Abortion Act. Whatever your opinion of the procedure . . . it is ending a human life.

Campaigners also claim that the availability of abortion has encouraged more teenagers to have sex without contraception, and prevented progress in reducing the number of teenage pregnancies. The British rate is among the highest in Europe.

Vivianne Pattison of Mediawatch UK, said: We are not a pro-life group but we do have issues with this because women with an unplanned pregnancy are in a vulnerable position.

Based on article from dailymail.co.uk

Channel 4, as a publicly-funded broadcaster, needs to reassure people that it is not going to take sides on one of the most controversial issues in British culture, said Simon Calvert, of The Christian Institute.

He added: The public and Parliament are split right down the middle on this. Why on earth can't the regulator stop the advertising of abortion services on TV until there has been proper consideration?

Calvert said: People will be shocked to know how much public money is given to Marie Stopes to carry out abortions for the NHS: They will be more shocked some of that money is being used to promote the pro-abortion agenda.

Comment: Nutters 'Shocked'

From Dan

"Marie Stopes should not be allowed to 'ride roughshod over the widely held and deeply felt objections of a very large section of the British public', said Mr Calvert".

Yeah a bunch of God botherers who think their religious beliefs gives them the right to dictate what women can and cannot do with their bodies makes up a very large section of the British public.

"People will be shocked to know how much public money is given to Marie Stopes to carry out abortions for the NHS".

Or rather they might be reassured that the NHS is helping an organsation give help to young and frightened women who need help!

Update: ASA receive 300 complaints

29th May 2010. Based on article from guardian.co.uk
See also video from youtube.com

are you late advert The first totally innocuous UK TV commercial offering advice on abortion services has generated 350 complaints to the advert censor, the ASA.

Launched on Monday night on Channel 4 at 10.10pm, the ad for sexual health charity Marie Stopes simply asks the question Are you late? in reference to how missing a period could mean pregnancy.

The Advertising Standards Authority has received 350 complaints from viewers 'offended' by the commercial. The ASA will assess the complaints to see if there is grounds to investigate whether the TV commercial breached the advertising code.

No doubt the ASA simply won't want to get involved in the ongoing moral argument.

 

29th May   

Stuck on Censorship...

Old cuts to Police Academy 4
Link Here

Police Academy DVD Steve Guttenberg Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol is a 1987 US police comedy by Jim Drake

The film was passed uncut but with a 12 certificate for the 2004 Warner DVD.

Previously the BBFC cut 8s from the 1987 Warner video.

  • The cut was to Steve Guttenberg jokingly opening a tube of superglue.

    Not quite sure as to why this was cut. Some could argue kids could imitate it. True, but you still get to see Guttenberg applying the glue to a megaphone, then G.W. Bailey sticking it to his lips.

 

29th May   

Update: Brakes on the Internet...

South Africa proposes bill to block all internet porn
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in South Africa...Proppsal to block all porn from South Africans

South Africa flagSouth Africa wants to censor the internet from pornography .

According to the South African government in a statement from The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba: The Internet and Cellphone Pornography Bill proposes that pornography be filtered out at the tier one service providers to avoid it entering the country. The Bill is aimed at the total ban of pornography on internet and mobile phones. United Arab Emirates and Yemen already have legislation in this regard. Australia and New Zealand are currently seeking to do so.

Malusi Gigaba met with Justice Alliance of South Africa that was represented by Advocate Johan Smyth and Brendan Studti. The meeting was part of the ongoing work to draft the bill and to get legal opinion on constitutional issues related to the Internet and Cellphone Pornography Bill.

Current legislation in South Africa already bans child pornography but the proposed bill iwill ban all pornography entirely from computers and cellphones through the internet.

Malusi Gigaba said that Cars are already provided with brakes and seatbelts, it is not an extra that consumers have to pay for. There is no reason why the internet should be provided without the necessary restrictive mechanisms built into it.

 

29th May   

Mickey Mouse Justice...

Turkish student given suspended jail sentence for posting a cartoon of his mayor
Link Here

Turkey flagReporters Without Borders condemns the 11-month suspended prison sentence that a Turkish court imposed on 22-year-old student Erdem Byk on 10 May for posting a cartoon of his local mayor, Yilmaz Bûykersen, on Facebook.

Byk is just a scapegoat because he did not himself draw the cartoon and all he did was post it online, Reporters Without Borders said. This violation of free expression is meant to serve as example and encourage those who use social networks to censor themselves.

The press freedom organisation added: We are astonished by the mayor's determination to punish Byk because it is normal for a public figure to be exposed to criticism and satire. The prosecution is all the more disgraceful as the mayor himself is a former cartoonist and the cartoon in question did not incite violence.

 

28th May   

Updated: British Police Insult Freedom...

More abuse of unbelievably broad public order powers
Link Here  full story: Preachers in the UK...Preachers come under censorship duress

god hatesStreet preacher Dale Mcalpine was held in a cell for seven hours and charged with a public order offence after telling a gay police community support officer that homosexuals were going against the will of God.

He said he would fight to have the charge - usually used to tackle rioters or football hooligans - dismissed.

Mcalpine was spouting nonsense to shoppers and handing out leaflets when he was allegedly warned he was committing an offence by PCSO Sam Adams - who introduced himself as his force's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender liaison officer.

When he continued preaching, Mcalpine was arrested while debating his views with a passer-by.

I think justice will be served and this will be found to be a ridiculous charge, he said. He told how he was speaking to a woman about behaviour that he believed the Bible regarded as sinful, including blasphemy, adultery, drunkenness and homosexuality, while being watched by two PCSOs.

After she walked away, he claimed Adams approached to warn him they had received complaints and that if he made any racist or homophobic comments he would be arrested. I told him homosexuality is a sin, and he told me "I am a homosexual, I find that offensive, and I'm also the liaison officer for the bisexual-lesbian-gay-transsexual community", he said yesterday. I told him it was still a sin.

While he talked to a passer-by the PCSO radioed for assistance and he was arrested by uniformed officers. He was taken to a police station, had his pockets emptied and his mobile phone taken along with his belt and shoes, and was kept in the cells for seven hours where he sang hymns to keep his spirits up.

He was later charged with using abusive or insulting words or behaviour contrary to the Public Order Act 1986 and released on bail, appearing before magistrates in the town last week.

The self-proclaimed born-again Christian insists he has a right to express his views. It's not just my right I'm fighting for, it's everyone's ,' he said: We're going down the route of a police state. Some people in the homosexual community may not like me after this. But it would be very intolerant of them to not allow me to have my say.

Update: Video of Street Preacher's Arrest

15th May 2010. See video from youtube.com

preacher arrest Yet more examples of the police abusing their incredibly wide powers under the Public Order law. This law grants draconian powers to deal with unruly situations. Somehow it is now being applied to normal peaceful life.

Interesting to see that the hidden video camera footage arrest has now been posted on YouTube and that the Crown Persecution Service have decided to drop the case.

Prosecution Dropped

Based on article from christian.org.uk

Crown Prosecution ServiceDale Mcalpine was arrested on 20 April after a conversation with a police community support officer in which Mcalpine said the Bible calls homosexual conduct a sin.

This week crown prosecutors decided to drop the case after reviewing the evidence.

Mcalpine was assisted by The Christian Institute. He says he is relieved that the prosecution has been dropped. He said: It was a ridiculous charge, I should never have been arrested. I'm relieved that they have seen sense. I'm a Christian man, I forgive the police. But it is important this doesn't happen to someone else. We are now looking at the legal options that we have got, and we will take it from there.

Christian Institute spokesman Simon Calvert said the police must be held to account. He said: Cumbria police can't just walk away from this. They have arrested and charged an innocent man for no other reason than he peacefully expressed his religious beliefs. And it has happened in other parts of the country too. So there is clearly a problem with the system and it has to be put right.

Chief Superintendent Steve Johnson, police commander for West Cumbria, said: Our officers and staff often have to make difficult decisions while balancing the law and people's rights. This is not easy especially when opinions and interpretations differ. We would like to reassure the public that we respect, and are committed to upholding, the fundamental right to freedom of expression ...[BUT]... We are just as committed to maintaining the peace and preventing people feeling alarmed or distressed by the actions of others in public places.

The Crown Prosecution Service has carefully assessed the evidence in the case and has decided to discontinue the prosecution of Mr Mcalpine.

Police to be Sued

Based on article from news.bbc.co.uk

Old BaileyThe Christian preacher who told police homosexuality was a sin is planning to sue for wrongful arrest.

Dale Mcalpine was charged with a public order offence after speaking to a community support officer (PCSO) in Workington, Cumbria, in April.

The charge was later dropped by Cumbria Police, which claimed it respected freedom of expression.

Mcalpine said he would launch a civil action against the arresting officer and the chief constable.

He also intends to sue for false imprisonment and unlawful interference with his right to freedom of expression and freedom of religion.

Mcalpine denies making any mention of homosexuality in his sermon. He said: As a Christian man, I forgive the police for their actions... HOWEVER ...I also want to protect others who may face similar problems in the future. This can't just be brushed under the carpet, freedom of speech is too precious for that.

The Christian Institute, which acts to defend religious liberty for Christians, is supporting Mcalpine and financing his legal action.

 

28th May   

Updated: I'm Still Standing...

Elton John set to be banned from Egypt after comments on homophobia there
Link Here  full story: Elton John...International tours censored

Madman Across Water Elton John Egypt's musician's union has rejected plans for British singer Elton John to perform a private concert scheduled for May 18, because of his controversial remarks attacking religions.

How do we allow a gay, who wants to ban religions, claimed that the prophet Eissa (Jesus) was gay and calls for Middle Eastern countries to allow gays to have sexual freedom, head of the Egyptian Musician Union, Mounir al-Wasimi told the German Press Agency dpa.

The pop superstar stirred controversy after his remarks to US celebrity news magazine Parade in February, where he said Try being a gay woman in the Middle East - you're as good as dead, after saying he believed Jesus was gay .

Al-Wasimi said that he has begun coordinating with security bodies to ban John's concert, saying that the union is the only body authorized to allow performances by foreign singers in Egypt.

Update: Concert Goes Ahead in Morocco

28th May 2010. Based on article from azcentral.com

Elton John will be the highlight of Morocco's biggest music festival despite calls by the country's main Islamist party to shelve the British singer because of his homosexuality, organizers said.

The public spat between organizers for the Mawazine Festival and the Justice and Development Party, or PJD, the country's largest authorized Islamist group, illustrates the growing rift between Morocco's Western-leaning authorities and the more conservative Muslim movements that are on the rise in the North African kingdom.

This singer is famous for his homosexual behavior and for advocating it, said Mustapha Ramid, a leader and spokesman for the PJD, the biggest opposition party with 40 lawmakers in parliament.

We're a rather open party. ..BUT... promoting homosexuality is completely unacceptable, Ramid said in a phone interview, stating is was against Muslim values. Ramid feared the singer would encourage the phenomenon and be a bad influence for Morocco's youth.

While Egypt recently canceled an Elton John concert because of remarks he made on homosexuality, Moroccan officials ignored calls to ban him. We deal with artists and intellectuals for what they do, without taking into account their private life, Mawazine Festival organizer El Hassan Neffali told reporters. Somebody's private life is one thing, and their art or creative activities are another.

 

28th May   

Update: Truth Today...

Thailand bans 4 red shirt newspapers and magazine
Link Here  full story: Red ShIrt Censorship in Thailand...Overt censorship of Thaksin supporting politicians

truth today logoThai authorities have banned four publications linked to the anti-government protest movement.

Thailand's army chief Anupong Paochina signed an order this week to ban three newspapers and one magazine associated with the red-shirt protesters at the centre of the worst rioting in modern Thai history last week.

The bans to supposedly protect national security will further stifle communications by the protesters' United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD).

Breach of the bans carry a maximum jail term of two years.

The move follows the blocking of scores of websites, community radio stations and the UDD's television station, People's Channel, under a state of emergency currently in place in Bangkok and 23 provinces.

The outlawed publications include:

  • the twice-weekly Truth Today newspaper
  • the weekly Thai Red News
  • Vivatha
  • bi-monthly Voice of Taksin.

These media outlets are not real newspapers. They are tools for groups to create chaos in the country, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thuagsuban told reporters. There are some community radio stations and some print media outlets which encourage people to be antagonistic towards one another so we have to do something.

 

28th May   

Re-awakened...

George A Romero's Day of the Dead released on Blu-ray
Link Here

Day Dead Blu ray Joseph Pilato Day of the Dead is a 1985 US zombie film by George A Romero.

BBFC cuts were restored for the 1997 Arrow video/DVD(2006)/Blu-ray(2010) and the 1998 Polygram video

Previously the BBFC cut the 1986 cinema release and 1986 Media Releasing video:

  1. Brief cut to a shot of a female zombie biting a strip of flesh off a soldier's neck.
  2. The scene where Miguel (Antone DiLeo) gets his infected arm amputated loses the shot of the machete working its way through the arm along with a shot of spectators reaction.
  3. A shot of a shovel cutting through the head of zombie has been removed.
  4. A soldiers death has been much reduced and loses a zombie biting off the soldier's fingers
  5. Several shots are missing from the zombies feasting on the remains of Rhodes (Josef Pilato)

Review from UK Amazon : Classic

George A Romero's zombie films are probably the most famous of all the zombie flics and are for good reasons.

Day of the dead is the third in Georges line-up and is a masterpiece and has some of the best blood/gore special effects I have ever seen on a film before! The infamous scene where a man is ripped in two looks almost what you would expect to be real!

The story goes on the simple lines of a group of solders and a couple of other people, including a scientist, who are trying to survive in an underground bunker.

Don't be expecting any award winning acting though, as this doesn't have it. But to be honest, this is a zombie film, and does a zombie films need great acting....NO. If anything the awful acting has a good effect on the film. There is lots of annoying shouting and swearing in this too, which does get on your nerves, but that makes it all the better when you see the annoying soldiers get eaten alive!

Over all, this is a must see for the zombie films fan. Enjoy.

 

28th May   

Taking the Initiative...

The Netherlands and France to develop code of conduct for freedom of the internet
Link Here  full story: France Netherlands Anti-cenorship...Initiative against worldwide internet censorship

france netherlandsThe Netherlands and France are taking the initiative to develop an international code of conduct for the freedom of traffic on the Internet, the Dutch foreign ministry has said in a statement.

The foreign ministers from both countries met in Rotterdam and expressed concern over a recent rise in Internet censorship.

A pilot group is due to meet in the coming weeks in Paris, and will bring together governments, rights organisations and web-based businesses all working to protect freedom on the Internet, the French foreign ministry said.

 

28th May   

Politics of Censorship...

Indian film proves controversial over resemblance to Sonia Gandhi's life
Link Here  full story: Rajneeti...Indian film censors and oliticians

raajneetiUncertainty loomed over the release of Prakash Jha's political drama Rajneeti with the Censor Board having objections to certain scenes which are said to be about Congress leader Sonia Gandhi.

The film has been in the midst of controversies with reports that Katrina Kaif's character has some resemblance to Gandhi's life.

Jha, however, has been insisting that his film has nothing to do with real life politics or politicians.

I have just made a film about an election. It is not about Bihar or Sonia Gandhi or the Congress, so I don't understand the whole controversy, said the filmmaker.

Asked if the Censor Board has taken any decision on issuing a certificate, its Regional Officer Vinayak Azad told PTI: Actually the movie is not with us. It is with the Film Certification Tribunal so they are to take a decision on it.

 

27th May   

Does Not Fit Cultural Values...

UAE ban Sex and the City 2 set in Abu Dhabi
Link Here

Sex City Sarah Jessica Parker The United Arab Emirates (UAE) film censors of the National Media Council have decided that the new movie Sex and the City 2 will be banned from being shown in UAE cinemas.

A senior spokesman for the UAE National Media Council told Time Out Dubai that the ban was for various reasons: Among them are that the film's website stated that filming was done in Abu Dhabi even though they were denied permission to do so and that they continue to attribute the locations shot in Morocco as being in Abu Dhabi, which is false, as the theme of the film does not fit with our cultural values. Also, they persisted in using Abu Dhabi's name in the movie despite the fact that no official permission was given to them to do so.

While the movie was being banned in its setting, the UAE -- in Hollywood, it was being described as an anti-Muslim movie, by the Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter's review of the movie stated that [Carrie] and her friends run up against the puritanical and misogynistic culture of the Middle East... The rather scathing portrayal of Muslim society no doubt will stir controversy, especially in a frothy summer entertainment, but there's something bracing about the film's saucy political incorrectness. Or is it politically correct? SATC 2 is at once proudly feminist and blatantly anti-Muslim, which means that it might confound liberal viewers.

 

27th May   

No Bottle...

Bottle censors ban Dan Aykroyd's Crystal Head vodka
Link Here

crystal head vodkaThe Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) has banned Dan Aykroyd's Crystal Head vodka, deeming the bottle to be in poor taste. LCBO is the only legal source of distilled spirits in Ontario.

Aykroyd, an Ontario native, is unperturbed by the ban, which he says kind of makes the product more appealing.

A spokesman explains the LCBO's concerns:

The image of the human skull is the thing that's really problematic for us. That's an image that's commonly associated with death. It's especially problematic at a time when there are concerns around binge drinking by younger adults, which in some cases unfortunately has resulted in alcohol poisoning.

Whatever the merits of that argument, it's highly improbable that binge-drinkers will want to lay out $60 for a bottle of Aykroyd's super-premium vodka in the first place.

 

27th May   

Unblacked...

New release of Blackbelt
Link Here

Blackbelt DVD Don Dragon Wilson Blackbelt is a 1992 US martial arts film by Charles Philip Moore

The BBFC waived their cuts for the 2010 Nouveaux DVD.

Previously the BBFC cut 1:06s from the 1994 Imperial Entertainment video.

 

27th May   

Half Baked...

Spanish blasphemy prosecution over Jesus crucifix casserole
Link Here

jesus casserole Javier Krahe is one of the most popular left wing singer-songwriters in Spain, but he also likes to express himself in other artistic ways. In 1978 he recorded a clip called Cooking Christ. Christ is taken off a crucifix and is cut up, spread with butter and put into the oven, before becoming a delicious dish!

On 15 December 2004, Spanish channel Canal+ showed the clip as a part of an interview with Krahe. According to right wing site HazteOir, Canal+ received more than 10,000 letters protesting about the broadcast.

Now the Thomas More Law Studies Center has presented a criminal prosecution stating that broadcasting such material goes against Article 525 of the Spanish Penal Code, which punishes offending religious beliefs. The court now asks Krahe to pay € 192,000, and the TV channel to pay € 144.000.

 

27th May   

Nutter Spokesperson on JobCentrePlus...

Hardly a meaningful job for life it is?
Link Here

Job Centre Plus logoGovernment-run Jobcentres are offering unemployed women jobs on X-rated websites.

Jobseekers are told they can earn up to £700 a week if they strip naked on webcams and have sexually explicit conversations with customers.

Women looking for clerical work were given applications for sex line jobs when they went to sign on at Jobcentre Plus offices in Birmingham, Warwickshire and Shropshire.

The job adverts have sparked nutter 'outrage', with Birmingham MP Khalid Mahmood demanding an official inquiry.

A spokeswoman for Mediawatch-UK called for the adverts to be removed immediately and said: Can you imagine being the parent of an 18-year-old who is sent down to the job centre and offered that sort of job? It's just one step away from prostitution, and it's hardly a meaningful job for life is it?

When contacted by Sky News, the Department for Work and Pensions said it was now reviewing its procedures. A spokeswoman said: We are aware of public concern about advertising these vacancies. We have undertaken a public consultation on this issue and we are reviewing existing policy in light of the responses received.

Comment: Wanted: Nutter Campaign Spokesperson, Must be able to spout bollox on any issue at short notice

From Dan

The issue for Viv isn't really that jobs for these sex chat websites are being advertised in the Job Centre it's that she objects to these sex chat websites being available at all.

Mediawatch UK's campaign against sexual entertainment isn't about where it's being advertised but about trying to get rid of it completely!

"It's just one step away from prostitution."

Erm, not really though is it?

"It's hardly a meaningful job for life is it?"

Probably not but 95% of jobs advertised in the Job Centre aren't meaningful jobs of life!

Update: Moral Censorship

27th May 2010. Based on article from jarrowandhebburngazette.com

The recruitment ad looking for X-rated internet stars has been pulled. The Jobcentre Plus office, in Chapter Row, South Shields, was running a posting for webcam performers for adult website Faceclick, paying £700 per week .

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions claimed it was not removed due to its nature, but because they couldn't confirm it was genuine. He added: To make sure jobs advertised with us are genuine, we will approach employers for further information. If we aren't able to get the information we need, we will withdraw the advert until we can.

 

27th May   

Offsite: The Warren Cup...

Beeb, British Museum face smut issues over saucy pot
Link Here

british museumThe BBC and the British Museum could be in a tight spot if the legal system puts two and two together over a Roman cup which also puts two and two together... in a naked, underage sort of way.

A Radio 4 series, entitled The History of the World in 100 Objects , features the Warren Cup, a luxurious silver cup believed to have been used at Roman dinner parties.

According to the Beeb's description of this objet d'art: One side shows two teenage boys making love, while the other shows a young man lowering himself onto the lap of his elder, bearded lover. A slave-boy peers in voyeuristically from behind a door.

The problem with this image lies in the recently commenced Cartoon Law, aka s. 62 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, which makes it an offence to possess depictions of the performance by a person of an act of intercourse or oral sex with or in the presence of a child .

...Read full article

 

26th May   

Judgment Day...

Advert censors publish their annual report for 2009
Link Here

asa annual report 2009 The ASA (enforcers of the advertising rules) and CAP (authors) of the advertising rules have published their annual report for 2009.

The ASA Chairman, Chris Smith set the scenes for an ever expanding remit and an ever expanding political correctness for advertising. He wrote in his introduction:

The year ahead will throw up even greater challenges. The industry has recently reached its conclusions on proposals for an extension of the self-regulatory system to marketing communications on companies' own websites in the digital environment, and have asked us to implement this. We are keen to play our part, and are already beginning our preparations for the launch later this year. In addition, the Government has decided that the ASA is the right body to regulate video-on-demand ads, under the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, and we have been working with Ofcom to put the necessary structures in place for implementation soon.

We have been aware, too, of the growing public and parliamentary concern about the need to protect children and young people from harm and inappropriate content � especially in relation to the commercialisation and sexualisation of children, the promotion of alcohol and some food products, and the potential glamorisation of violence. The rules in all these areas are increasingly strict, and we are determined to uphold them with robustness and independence.

ASA summarised their workload as: more complaints but targeted at fewer adverts:

We received 28,978 complaints during the year, an annual increase of 9.6%. However, it was reassuring that the complaints related to significantly fewer ads (13,956) than in the previous two years, representing a decline of more than 10% from 2008.

The total of number of complaints received was lifted by a handful of ads which prompted high levels of complaint, such as The Christian Party's bus ads claiming There definitely is a God (1,204 complaints) and Volkswagen's Matrix style TV ad (1,070 complaints).

We received 14,245 complaints about 4,732 broadcast ads. The number of broadcast ads complained about declined by 6.5% and just 785 of the complaints related to 444 radio ads. The number of non-broadcast ads complained about also declined to 9,224 (-12.5%). However, the total number of complaints received about non-broadcast ads increased (14,733, +9%), but again this was owing to a small number of ads receiving multiple complaints.

Top 10 Adverts of 2009

As rated by the number of complaints

  1. The Christian Party (1,204 complaints; ruled out of remit)

    Complainants objected that the bus ad's claim There definitely is a God was offensive to atheists and could not be substantiated. As a political party ad, it was outside our remit.
     
  2. Volkswagen (1,070 complaints; Upheld in part) Graphic scenes in TV ads of a man fighting his clones, Sometimes the only one you have to beat is yourself were deemed not suitable to be shown before 9pm.
     
  3. HomePride (804 complaints; Not upheld)

    A TV ad for an oven cleaner with the strapline So easy, even a man can do it . Council ruled that the ad was tongue-in-cheek and did not uphold the complaints that it was offensive.
     
  4. Advanced Medical Institute (525 complaints; Upheld) The poster asked Want longer lasting SEX? and attracted complaints for being offensive and unsuitable for display in public locations where it could be seen by children. The ASA also challenged that it advertised an unlicensed medicine.
     
  5. 05 Israeli Government Tourist Office (445 complaints; Upheld)

    A poster with the headline EXPERIENCE ISRAEL featured a map of Israel that included the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. The ASA upheld complaints that the poster misleadingly implied the regions were internationally recognised as part of Israel.
     
  6. British Humanist Association (392 complaints; ruled out of remit)

    A bus ad that stated There's probably no God prompted complaints that it was offensive to people of faith and could not be substantiated. The ASA ruled that the ad did not make claims about particular religions and had an upbeat rather than hostile or offensive tone. We concluded that the ad was an expression of the advertiser's opinion and that the claim was not capable of being objectively substantiated.
     
  7. Kellogg's (323 complaints; Not upheld)

    A TV ad showed a man chasing after a runaway shopping trolley with a toddler inside, only to 'save' the Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. Whilst some viewers found the ad in poor taste, we considered it was unlikely to cause widespread offence or encourage harm to children.
     
  8. Pfizer (312 complaints; Not upheld)

    A TV ad showed a dead rat emerging from a man's mouth and stated Rat poison. Just one of the dangerous ingredients that may be found in fake medicines purchased from illegal websites. Although the imagery was distasteful for some viewers, we did not uphold the complaints because it was shown post-11pm only and conveyed an important public message.
     
  9. SC Johnson (292 complaints; No investigation)

    The TV ad for an air freshener featured a child saying Mummy I want to poo at Paul's house. The ASA acknowledged the language and subject may be off-putting to some, but considered the ad was not likely to cause harm or widespread offence.
     
  10. Department of Health (242 complaints; No investigation)

    A multi-media campaign to raise awareness of the effects of a stroke and the need to act fast portrayed people having a stroke with a fire spreading on parts of their bodies. Complainants believed the images of the fire depicting the effects of a stroke were offensive and could be distressing, particularly to children. The ASA considered that most viewers would accept that the campaign had to be hard hitting in order to convey its important message and were unlikely to be seriously offended or distressed.

 

26th May   

Shear Revenge...

I Spit on Your Grave returns to the news
Link Here  full story: I Spit on Your Grave...Remake enjoys some good publicity

i spit on your grave remakeSome news coming out of the Creation Weekend of Horrors concerning Steven R. Munroe's remake of I Spit on Your Grave .

Producer Lisa Hansen and director Steven R. Monroe let curious convention-goers know that they've been battling it out with the MPAA for quite some time now and are in the fourth round of dealing with the ratings board. Apparently they've been asked to make more than one hundred cuts to the movie due to its tone, realism, and grisly violence.

As a result all those involved promised that when fans finally do get to see the controversial little film, it will be in an unrated form as they all agreed, It's the only way to do it to properly revere the original work.

Meanwhile DarkAngel reports that the original I Spit on Your Grave has been resubmitted to the BBFC in its uncut format. No news of a decision yet though.

 

26th May   

Freed from BBFC Shackles...

New release of The Big Bird Cage
Link Here

Big Bird Cage DVD The Big Bird Cage is a 1972 Philippines/US prison film by Jack Hill

The BBFC waived their cuts for the 2002 Film 2000 DVD and 2010 Nouveaux DVD

Previously, the Warner Home Video was cut by the BBFC  in 1986

From cuts details on IMDb :

  • Lost footage from the rape
  • Cuts to the beating of Terry
  • Entire torture of Blossom was cut

Review from US Amazon : Worth seeing!

There are tons of women in prison films out there. There are so many that often times they seem almost repetitive. However, this film was very unique because it provided a great mix of comedy and action.

Pam Grier as a tough revolutionary provided all the action as she plotted to free the mistreated women from prison.

The comedy mostly came from the sexually deprived women, who were full of one-liners and crazy notions.

But of course the movie still contained all the things that make a good prison exploitation film....lots of nudity... violence... bad language and did I mention lots of nudity.

It's worth seeing!

 

26th May   

Smacked in the Kisser...

Ofcom reject whinges about a lesbian kiss on Coronation Street
Link Here

Coronation Street 1960s Disc Box The TV censor Ofcom has cleared one of Coronation Street 's recent lesbian screen kisses.

During the soap's 8.30pm installment on April 23, viewers saw best friends Sophie Webster (Brooke Vincent) and Sian Powers (Sacha Parkinson) finally confess their true feelings for each other, before cementing their relationship with a lingering kiss.

Following the broadcast, ten viewers logged complaints with Ofcom under Section 1 of the broadcasting code, which covers sexual material .

However, after reviewing the material and consulting with programme makers Granada, Ofcom cleared the scenes and took no further action.

 

26th May   

Updated: Flying Kites...

Kites censored in India and the UK
Link Here

barbara mori toplessKites is a 2010 India action romance by Anurag Basu

Even before the Hrithik Roshan- Barabara Mori starrer Kites hits the screens, the movie is creating ripples enough about the sensuous and flirty scenes between the two actors, but the international version of the movie seems to have far bolder scenes than the desi version.

The international one has a sizzling liplock between topless Barbara with Hrithik Roshan which is censored to the Indian audience.

Payal Rohatgi, who is known for her bold image says, I think the Indian audience is not mature enough. Men download images to gratify themselves but movies are a different genre. Movies are meant for family watching and a raunchy promo will insure that family audiences don't pull in. So movie makers are also vary,

BBFC logo Meanwhile the BBFC cut the 2010 UK cinema release by 9s for a 12A rating. Company chose to make cuts to reduce violent detail in one scene (a man's ear being cut off and a man being shot with accompanying bloodspray) in order to achieve a 12A classification. An uncut 15 classification was available.

The BBFC further explained their 12A rating:

Kites is a subtitled Hindi language romantic action thriller in which an Indian man and a Mexican woman are on the run across America. The film was classified 12A for moderate violence and threat.

The film contains frequent action sequences and stunts, but the violence is generally not realistic or shown in detail. One scene, however, does involves a more realistic threat to two alleged thieves. They are threatened with a knife and a shooting is implied. This scene is the strongest moment of threat in the film. At 12A'/'12 , the BBFC's Guidelines state that Moderate physical and psychological threat may be permitted, provided disturbing sequence are not frequent or sustained .

The film also contains some mild language including piss and shit .

Update: Kites Remix

Based on article from bbfc.co.uk

The Remix Version was passed 12A without cuts for the 2010 cinema release.

This version is about 30 minutes shorter than the original

Perhaps this is version targets western audiences and the longer version targets Indian speaking audiences. Or vice versa. The film has been noted as one of the first Bollywood films attempting to sell to worldwide audiences.

 

26th May   

Obituary: Maria Kerigan...

Of the National Viewers and Listeners Association
Link Here

maria keriganMaria Kerigan, teacher and campaigner, died in Alcester, Warwickshire on 6th February 2010.

What had struck Kerigan about television was that violent scenes could arrive in the home without prior warning. She felt that television had the potential to enlighten but also to undermine the education she was striving to provide in one of the poorest parts of London. So she volunteered for Mary Whitehouse's new National and Viewers and Listeners' Association.

Kerigan was the Association's first national secretary in 1970, sharing platforms with Whitehouse as they toured the country speaking to schools and at other public engagements. However, her approach to censorship and broadcasting standards was far more complex than Whitehouse's clear moralistic standpoint.

Unlike Whitehouse, she was careful to differentiate between a film depicting violence for its own sake and a film where the on-screen violence could be contextualised or even justified. Where Whitehouse's approach was absolute , Kerigan approached censorship from the perspective of information-provision, and the film's appropriateness for its intended audience. The Godfather , which she saw in 1972 by accident when her Catholic altar society misunderstood the film's name, became her favourite film; she felt that the scenes of violence were justified by the plot.

Their very different views of The Godfather may have been the first sign of the difference between the practical nature of Kerigan's approach with the more (some would say) dogmatic views demonstrated by Whitehouse. While Whitehouse was on television and radio making the moral case for taste and decency, as national secretary Kerigan quietly and effectively made the case for greater provision of information about what to expect from a film, TV or radio production.

Kerigan's pragmatism, as opposed to Whitehouse's absolutism, may have produced an unspoken tension between the two, and they parted company shortly after the Romans trial. Although there was no falling-out, and the two remained in contact, Whitehouse omitted any mention of Kerigan in her autobiography despite her 13 years of dedicated work.

 

25th May   

Update: Slow Witted...

Oops Channel 4 were slow to notice that the word 'retard' has been hyped into a major no-no.
Link Here  full story: The R Word...Campaign against the word 'retard'

Vinne Jones(Celebrity) Big Brothers Big Mouth E4, 29 January 2010, 23:05

Big Brothers Big Mouth (BBBM) is the sister programme to Channel 4s main Big Brother series . It is transmitted live and is broadcast post-watershed and looks at events in the Big Brother House with a studio audience and celebrity guests. It provides a platform for fans to voice their views, put questions to the evicted housemates and discuss the latest events in the house. Viewers are able to contribute to the programme by phone, e-mail, textpolls, or by leaving a message on the 24-hour Mouthpiece rant line.

This episode was broadcast the same night as the CBB series finale and followed the Channel 4 coverage of the event. The programme was presented by Davina McCall. It was preceded with a warning which stated: First on Four, with strong language, adult humour and flashing images, the Big Mouth on a big event, Celebrity Big Brother.

One of the guests on the programme was Vinnie Jones, who came third in the competition and had been evicted from the CBB house that night. During the programme a member of the studio audience asked Jones how he had known instantly that the person who came into the house disguised in a chicken outfit was Ms McCall and not fellow housemate Nicola Tappenden. In response to the question, Jones said: she was walking like a retard, she was walking like this [he then demonstrated walking with difficulty] and our Nicky walks lovely.

Ms McCall then responded by saying: I do not walk like a retard.

Ofcom received eight complaints about the programme. In summary, all of the complainants were offended by the use of the term walking like a retard by  Jones, and the demonstration he gave after saying the comment. Seven of the complainants were also offended by the response from the presenter, Ms McCall, who had repeated the phrase. Four of the complainants also raised concerns that Ms McCall had appeared to enjoy the joke and did not reprimand Jones for the comment.

In line with Ofcoms procedures, the complaints were initially considered by the Executive without representations being requested from Channel 4. On 18 February 2010, Ofcom wrote to Channel 4 informing them that eight complaints had been received but not upheld. Ofcom stated that it was mindful of the overall context of the programme and decided on balance that there was not sufficient evidence to conclude that the word was necessarily intended to be offensive to anyone with learning difficulties.

Two of the complainants requested a review of this decision. Ofcom considered Rule 2.3 of the Code (which requires material that may cause offensive must be justified by the context).

Ofcom Decision : Resolved

The Committee first examined the language used in this case in order to assess the potential it had for causing offence. In doing so the Committee recognised that the use of discriminatory language of this nature can be profoundly offensive to some viewers as it singles out a minority in society. Ofcoms own research (-3-) into offensive language identified that the word retard is quite polarising. Those people who consider it offensive do so because it is a derogatory term that refers to a disability.

In the Committees opinion, the comments made by both Jones and Ms McCall in this programme were clearly capable of causing offence. In reaching this view, the Committee noted that the use of the word retard by Jones, although arguably intended as a joke and not aimed at an individual with learning difficulties, could be seen as being a comment on people in society with a particular disability. This was reinforced by Jones demonstrating walking with difficulty when imitating the way in which Ms McCall had walked. Jones then unfavourably compared the walk with that of fellow housemate Nicola Tappenden, which he described as lovely. It was the Committees view that his use of the word retard was capable of being understood not as merely a passing reference directed towards Ms McCall, but also as ridiculing those with a physical or learning difficulty, emphasised by his attempt at imitation.

The Committee was particularly concerned that not only was Jones comment not corrected but that it was repeated by the presenter, Ms McCall, without any apparent recognition of its potential to cause offence. The Committee, while acknowledging this was a live show, considered that in this instance the action of Ms McCall had the potential to heighten the offence to viewers.

The Committee was also concerned that the programme makers took no action during the programme to seek to mitigate the offence that would have been caused by the comments. The Committee noted Channel 4s admission that it would normally respond to a comment of that nature by asking the presenter to admonish the person responsible and if appropriate, apologise to the audience. It said that, due to human error, it had failed to do so on this occasion.

In the Committees opinion that failure suggested a lack of understanding during the live broadcast of how offensive the comments had been.

However, the Committee concluded that, on balance and in the circumstances of this particular case, there was insufficient context to justify the offence that was likely to be caused by the comments made during the programme. Therefore the broadcast breached generally accepted standards.

The Committee then went on to consider whether Channel 4 had taken immediate and appropriate steps to remedy this breach of generally accepted standards. The Committee noted the action taken by the broadcaster in response to the complaints made about the programme. In particular Channel 4 had voluntarily removed the comments from the Video on Demand (4OD) version of the programme after an internal review (albeit this was in response to a complaint several days after broadcast by an individual who is also a complainant in this case), and had apologised in writing to the complainant. The Committee also noted the measures taken by Channel 4 to ensure this does not happen again. The Committee considered these measures appropriate to remedy the breach of generally accepted standards and therefore considered the case resolved.

 

25th May   

Comment: Redressing the Balance...

Lord Lester to introduce libel reform bill in the Lords
Link Here  full story: Censorship by Libel...British libel law allows the rich to censor the truth

anthony lesterThe right of free speech is a central democratic principle. But so too is the right of individuals to be protected against libel and defamation of character. The job of the legislature and judiciary is to balance those conflicting freedoms. In England, that balance has become skewed: libel law gives robust protection to reputation, but it increasingly does so at the expense of freedom of speech.

The Government is aware of the problem. Nick Clegg has indicated that the coalition will review the libel laws. It is fortunate, then, that on Thursday a Private Member's Bill will be published that offers an ideal model for reform. Lord Lester of Herne Hill will bring a Defamation Bill before the House of Lords that aims to modernise and simplify the law in several respects. It would bring up to date the defences available for those being sued for libel. It would require claimants to show real harm before they could sue. It would demand that corporate claimants must prove actual damage. And it would make the normal mode of trial one of a judge sitting alone, rather than a jury.

Lord Lester's Bill also contains measures to cope with the advent of the internet. At the moment, foreign claimants are pursuing cases in the UK courts based on the fact that articles published on the world wide web can be downloaded here. Every time an article is downloaded, it constitutes a new publication, which resets the one-year limitation period for libel actions, a law that dates from 1849, when the Duke of Brunswick made law by sending his valet to obtain a 17-year-old back copy of the Weekly Dispatch to sue for defamation.

This is not a Bill to promote irresponsible journalism, or to placate newspapers whingeing about libel. It seeks to restore the right balance between those who pursue public interest reporting and those who seek to defend themselves from malicious attacks. If nothing is done the result will be increasing self-censorship, because of the uncertainty over what constitutes fair comment and because of the size of damages that can be awarded, which Lord Lester's Bill seeks to limit.

 

25th May   

Update: Banging On...

TV censor continues twice monthly rant at Bang Babes
Link Here  full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

Babe ChannelOfcom have found a few more examples of mild sex material to have a rant at on the various day and night time babe channels.

Ofcom predictably found all the examples in breach of their code and so concluded:

Ofcom is presently considering the imposition of a statutory sanction against Bang Media (London) Limited and Bang Channels Limited for material transmitted between 20 June and 25 November 2009. In light of Bang Media and Bang Channels Limiteds serious and/or repeated breaches of the Code and Condition 11 of their licences, and their continued transmission after 25 November 2009 of content which appears similar in nature to that which had already been found in breach of the Code, Ofcom issued them with a Direction on 12 March 2010.

As a result of the serious and repeated nature of the breaches recorded in these current findings, and those recorded against Bang Media (London) Limited elsewhere in this Bulletin and in Bulletin 157, the Licensee is put on notice that these present contraventions of the Code are being considered for statutory sanction.

 

25th May   

Offsite: Speculation of a Scaled Down Ofcom...

How should Jeremy Hunt confront Ofcom?
Link Here

libdem con logoOfcom's budget for 2010/11 is 142.5 million GBP. That compares to the legacy regulators' combined budget of 118.3 million GBP in 2002/03. Now that's a significant nominal increase, but perhaps a real decrease if you fully buy Ofcom's spin. It also depends on whether you consider Ofcom's duties to have changed much since 2002/03. My take: Ofcom still spends far too much for this digital era. The regulator has achieved some easy efficiencies but needs to make much harder choices to lower its total cost to regulated firms and the public.

The grand, withering vision. After the 2005 general election Lord Currie, then chair of Ofcom gave a speech where he stated:

In practice a bias against intervention means that we will try to get out of the way. I have also said that we must encourage innovation and investment in the sector, and the best way to achieve this is by being somewhere else. In essence, an effective regulator must aim to regulate itself out of a job. This withering of regulation will be seen by some as a threat. But I see it as a proper ambition.

Let's face it, Ofcom appears to have quietly abandoned its ambition. In some respects, the fault lies with Parliament, the government, regulated firms (and even the complaining public). But in many important respects, Ofcom has shown a desire to intervene even where there was no statutory duty and the evidence showed it might have very little real impact with its actions (eg, junk food advertising).

...Read full article

DCMS Takes a Budget Cut

Based on article from 38minutes.ning.com

DCMS logoBroadcast magazine writes that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is to have its budget trimmed by £88m and Ofcom is preparing to have its powers reigned in under the new coalition government's public spending cuts.

Ofcom is bracing itself for a significant reduction in its powers. Officials are still waiting to hear how the details of the cuts will impact them, but are expecting some of its current responsibilities to be brought into central government in line with the Tories' pre-election pledge.

Insiders do not expect the body to be scrapped altogether.

 

24th May   

Updated: Great British Repeal Bill...

You can't get more promising than this
Link Here

libdem con logoFrom the text of the coalition agreement reached by the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats:

Civil liberties

The parties agree to implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties under the Labour Government and roll back state intrusion.

This will include:

  • A Freedom or Great Repeal Bill.
     
  • The scrapping of ID card scheme, the National Identity register, the next generation of biometric passports and the Contact Point Database.
     
  • Outlawing the finger-printing of children at school without parental permission.
     
  • The extension of the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater transparency.
     
  • Adopting the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database.
     
  • The protection of historic freedoms through the defence of trial by jury.
     
  • The restoration of rights to non-violent protest.
     
  • The review of libel laws to protect freedom of speech.
     
  • Safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation.
     
  • Further regulation of CCTV.
     
  • Ending of storage of internet and email records without good reason.
     
  • A new mechanism to prevent the proliferation of unnecessary new criminal offences.

Offsite: The voices of liberty have triumphed and Britain is better for it

17th May 2010. See article from guardian.co.uk by Henry Porter

Henry PorterOne of the great pleasures of last week was hearing Jack Straw speaking on the Today programme in that patient, reasonable way of the true autocrat, and suddenly realising that I never have to pay attention to him again. Nor for a very long time will I have to listen to Mandelson, Campbell, Clarke, Smith, Reid, Falconer, Blunkett, Woolas or Blears: they're history and the New Labour project to extend state control into so many areas of our lives is incontestably over.

The Queen's speech, now being drafted, will establish a Freedom or Great Repeal bill – the title has not yet been chosen – as a major part of the coalition's legislative programme. All the areas detailed in the agreement between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives, such as the abolition of ID cards and the children's database (ContactPoint database??), the further regulation of CCTV and the restoration of right to protest will be in it. Measures that weren't in the published agreement will reassert the right to silence and protect people against the huge number of new powers of entry into the home allowed by Labour.

Separate from this will be a complete review of terror legislation that will assess 28-day detention, control orders, section 44 stop and search powers, the harassment of photographers, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, and its amendments, which sanctioned 650 agencies and local authorities to carry out undercover surveillance operations on, for example, people suspected of making dubious school applications for their children, eel fishermen in Poole harbour, punt operators in Cambridge, depressed police officers and malingering council workers.

...Read full article

Update: Tell us the laws you want to get scrapped

Dangerous Pictures...Dangerous Cartoons...Dangerous Prostitution...and many more. Perhaps it would be more efficient to list Labour's laws actually worth keeping. (Repealing betting tax is one that springs to mind).

19th May 2010. Based on article from telegraph.co.uk

nick cleggThe public will be asked what laws they want ripped up, in far-reaching reforms designed to put back faith in politics , the Deputy Prime Minister will say.

The reordering of power will sweep away Labour legislation and new criminal offences deemed to have eroded personal freedom.

It will involve the end of the controversial ID cards scheme, the scrapping of universal DNA databases – in which the records of thousands of innocent people have been stored – and restrictions placed on internet records. The use of CCTV cameras will also be reviewed.

Dubbed the Great Reform Act , the measures will close down the ContactPoint children's database. Set up by Labour last year, it includes detailed information on all 11 million youngsters under 18. In addition, schools will not be able to take a child's fingerprint without parental permission.

In an attempt to protect freedom of speech, ministers will review libel laws, while limits on peaceful protest will be removed.

Clegg said the Government wanted to establish a fundamental resettlement of the relationship between state and citizen that puts you in charge .

In a speech in London he will say: This Government is going to transform our politics so the state has far less control over you, and you have far more control over the state. This Government is going to break up concentrations of power and hand power back to people, because that is how we build a society that is fair.

As we tear through the statute book, we'll do something no government ever has: We will ask you which laws you think should go. Because thousands of criminal offences were created under the previous government. Taking people's freedom away didn't make our streets safe. Obsessive law-making simply makes criminals out of ordinary people. So, we'll get rid of the unnecessary laws – and once they're gone, they won't come back. We will introduce a mechanism to block pointless new criminal offences.

The measures to repeal so-called surveillance state laws will be included in next week's Queen's Speech.

Under the coalition agreement, Clegg and David Cameron said they would end the storage of internet and email regulations and email records without good reason . This is likely to mean the end of plans for the Government and the security services to intercept and keep emails and text messages.

Update: Vetting and Barring

23rd May 2010. See article from theregister.co.uk

The new government has announced plans to scale back vetting and barring.

It says the vetting and barring scheme, used to check the backgrounds of people working with children and vulnerable adults, will be reviewed to scale it back to common sense levels .

Update: Queen's Speech

24th May 2010. Based on article from telegraph.co.uk

The Queen's Speech will contain pledges to introduce 21 bills and other legislation during the next parliamentary year. Here are a few with some relevance to Melon Farmers

Identity Documents Bill (Home Office).

The imminent scrapping of identity cards and the planned National Identity Register is already being foreshadowed on the Home Office website. This Bill will enact a policy that both coalition partners put forward but the fact it is one of the first three pieces of legislation to be unveiled is a boost for Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems' civil liberties agenda.

The Great Repeals Bill aka The Freedom Bill (Cabinet Office).

This will enact a raft of reforms described by Nick Clegg last week as the most radical redistribution of power from the state to the people in 200 years. It will include the scrapping of universal DNA databases and the placing of restrictions on internet records while the use of CCTV cameras will be reviewed, the ContactPoint children's database will be shut down. Libel laws will be reviewed while limits on peaceful protest will be removed.

Public Bodies Bill. (Cabinet Office)

An assault on quangos is likely to be a key feature of efforts by the new government to find billions of pounds of efficiency savings across Whitehall. The drive was promised by the Conservatives in opposition but, significantly, has been handed to Nick Clegg and his team at the Cabinet Office.

Ofcom in particular have been mentioned for scaling down

Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill (Home Office).

The vehicle for making police forces more accountable, including oversight by what ministers refer to as a directly elected individual . Police must also publish monthly local crime data statistics. This is also likely to include a fresh crackdown on anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related violence.

Any chance that the police can be prevented from abusing laws and harassing photographers, protestors, anti-religious cartoon pamphleters and even street preachers.

 

24th May   

Queer Censorship...

Australian TV censor bans Dante's Cove
Link Here  full story: Dante's Cove...Gay drama winds up Australia's TV censor

Dantes Cove 1 3 Complete DVD Australia's TV censor, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, has found that WIN Television breached their code by airing an episode of the program Dante's Cove.

ACMA were not impressed by suggestions that they were targeting depictions of gay sex.

The ACMA is aware of reported comments from the Nine Network that the breach decision was a result of the depiction of homosexual activity, said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.

The ACMA rejects this offensive suggestion that its decision portrays a homophobic approach to application of the TV Classification Guidelines. Under the code the sexual orientation of characters is not considered a factor in deciding whether or not sexual activity depicted in a scene is discreetly implied or discreetly simulated. The breach occurred due to the amount of detail in the scene, which included several depictions of detailed genital nudity, and its duration.

The ACMA is also disappointed that the Nine Network chose to comment publicly on the matter before the ACMA had completed its investigation.

The code states that sexual behaviour may be only discreetly implied or discreetly simulated in programs that are classified at the top level of AV (Adult Violence).  The ACMA found that the program, broadcast on the multi-channel GO!, contained depictions of implied oral sex and simulated sexual intercourse which were not discreet, due to the amount of detail they contained. The ACMA concluded the program was incorrectly classified AV and therefore not suitable to be broadcast on commercial television.

Australia's TV Ratings

Based on article from youngmedia.org.au

  • General (G)
  • Parental Guidance Recommended (PG)
  • Mature (M)

Recommended for viewing only by persons aged 15 years or over because of the matter it contains, or the way the matter is treated.

Allowed weekdays (during school term): 8.30pm - 5.00am and 12.00 noon - 3pm
Allowed weekdays (school holidays) & Weekends: 8.30pm - 5.00am

  • Mature Adult (MA)

Suitable for viewing only by persons 15 years or over because of the intensity and/ or frequency of sexual depictions, or coarse language, adult themes or drug use.

Allowed 9:00pm - 5:00am.

  • Adult Violence (AV)

Suitable for viewing only by persons aged 15 years or over. It is unsuitable for MA classification because of the intensity and/or frequency of violence, or because violence is central to the theme.

Allowed 9.30pm and 5.00 am.

  • 18 rated material (R)

Banned at all times of free to air TV. (Allowed on subscription TV)

Dante's Cove Rated MA (15) on DVD

Based on article from crikey.com.au

Was the decision to punish the Nine Network over airing racy same-sex love scenes a case of homophobic double-standard or confusion between two different classification systems?

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced on that Nine's digital channel GO! had breached the code of practice by airing an episode of US soap Dante's Cove late last year. The finding sparked calls of homophobia, with Nine's classification chief Richard Lyle saying he was annoyed by the decision given we'd shown exactly the same visuals implying rear entry intercourse between a male and a female .

The commercial TV censorship rules for AV states: Visual depiction of intimate sexual activity may contain detail but must only be implied . According to ACMA's investigation report, the program contained a visual depiction of intimate sexual behaviour , amounting to a breach.

Dante's Cove was already available on DVD in Australia before GO! broadcast the offending episode, which was classified with an MA rating by the Classification Board. Lyle explained to Crikey: They said the violence was accommodated by the MA rating and the sex scenes would have been accommodated by an M rating.

Nine subsequently made the decision to classify Dante's Cove AV in order to account for the program's main advisory concern, violence. In its ruling, ACMA actually states Nine should not have relied on the Classification Board decision: While the reasoning of the Classification Board may be one factor that licensees may consider when determining the proper classification of a program, ultimately the assessment will need to comply with the Television Classification Guidelines.

 

24th May   

Updated: Ghostly Parable...

Director criticises censorship restraints on Thai film makers
Link Here

uncle boomee titlesThai arthouse director Apichatpong Weerasethakul slammed the country's tough censorship rules as his latest movie entered the race for the top Cannes film festival award.

Acclaimed by many Western film critics for his auteur offerings, his latest movie Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives is a parable on a cinema that's also dying or dead , he said: But you cannot blame Thai film-makers. They cannot do anything because of these censorship laws.

We cannot make a movie on the current situation, he added, due to laws that ban threats to national security. Anything can be thrown into that.

The film-maker, who said he flew out of Bangkok as the city was burning , expressed hoped that something will change for the best from the current chaos. Thailand is a violent country, he said. It's controlled by a group of mafia.

In his movie, Uncle Boonmee is sufffering from acute kidney failure and has decided to spend his last days in the jungle, where the ghost of his dead wife returns along with his missing son, turned into a hairy monkey ghost.

Update: Palme d'Or

24th May 2010. Based on article from guardian.co.uk

Asian cinema tonight emerged as the surprise winner of this year's Cannes film festival when a lyrically beautiful and often surreal Thai movie took the Palme d'Or.

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives , directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, already had the best title of the 19 films in competition. Jury chairman Tim Burton named it best film, seeing off films from an impressive roster of film makers that included Mike Leigh, Ken Loach and Abbas Kiarostami.

Burton said deciding the Palme d'Or had felt like an easy choice. The jury saw the film early and it stayed in their heads throughout the festival, he said. The world is getting smaller and more westernised, more Hollywoodised and this is a film where I felt I was watching from another country. It was using fantasy elements but in a way I'd never seen before so I just felt it was like a beautiful, strange dream.

Accepting the award, Weerasethakul, the first Thai winner of the Palme d'Or, said: I would like to thank all the spirits and all the ghosts in Thailand who made it possible for me to be here.

 

23rd May   

Tit for Twat...

Romanian twats censor art exhibition
Link Here

tit for twatRenowned artist Kaucyila Brooke, an invited exhibitor and speaker at Bucharest Biennale 4, which begins on May 21, 2010, has, without warning, had her work removed from the show.

Ms. Brooke had been formally invited to participate in BB4 by curator Felix Vogel who has been following her work since viewing one of her exhibits in Munich in 2007. Kaucyila Brooke is a highly respected Los Angeles-based artist whose work has been shown extensively in museums and art galleries throughout Europe and in the United States.

However, once the director of the Geology Institute had viewed the partially installed exhibit, he demanded that it be removed from the museum. No formal explanation has yet to be offered, although officials at BB4 have indicated they still expect Ms. Brooke to speak, but without having her work exhibited.

This de-installation will make Kaucyila Brooke's work, Tit for Twat , the only project to be censored during the 2010 Biennale.

Kaucyila Brooke's ongoing project, Tit for Twat , is a three part photo montage, photo novella, gender art narrative designed for both exhibition and publication. Its chapters, Madam and Eve in the Garden, Can We Talk?, and It's Not About Shame. Accessorize!, address the biblical presumption of heterosexuality and its relationship to other theories of origin, notions of innovation and origin in history, creationism, science and material culture.

 

23rd May   

Rated R for Rumour...

Who's to be the next US film censor?
Link Here

MPAA logoFormer senator Bob Kerrey is in line to be the next head of the MPAA.

According to the Wrap, Kerry has been given the nod of approval from the heads of Hollywood's major movie companies. He hasn't yet signed a deal to take the gig, but it's apparently his to lose.

 

23rd May   

Update: Electric Funeral...

Westboro Baptist to picket rock singer's memorial
Link Here

Best Ronnie James Dio Ronnie James Dio's public memorial on May 30 looks set to be disrupted by nutters of the Westboro Baptist Church, who oppose his supposed links with the devil.

Dio passed away on May 16 after losing his battle with cancer.

The 'church' are already known throughout the US for their hatred of homosexuality and for picketing funerals. Their current website schedule sees them accuse Dio, who pioneered the so-called devil horn sign and was the frontman of Black Sabbath, of worshipping the devil, encouraging violence and hating god.

They are asking members to attend Dio's public funeral in Los Angeles to remind you who worship that old serpent, Satan, that your time is very short .

 

23rd May   

Update: Blocking Protest...

Police prevent protest against internet blocking in Tunisia
Link Here

Tunisia flagWitnesses say the security forces moved to prevent a planned demonstration by internet users against the blocking of access to internet sites.

There was a strong police presence in the main avenue of the capital and adjoining streets Saturday, after a demonstration was announced in recent days via sites including Twitter and Facebook.

One of the protest organisers, opposition journalist and blogger Soufiane Chourabi, said the protesters had planned to march, wearing T-shirts with slogans such as Lift the lockdown of the internet , to the Ministry of Communications. He said organisers had applied to the Interior Ministry for permission to hold the demonstration, but received no reply.

 

22nd May   

Banging On Somewhere Else...

TV censor to stand down
Link Here

stewart purvisStewart Purvis is to leave the TV censor Ofcom after two-and-a-half years.

Purvis, who is the Ofcom partner responsible for content regulation and standards, is understood to be leaving in the autumn. Purvis joined Ofcom in November 2007.

Ofcom's content and standards group oversees censorship of television and radio standards and compliance with the broadcasting code

 

22nd May   

Erotic Awards Winners 2010...

Campaigner
Link Here

Erotic Awards trophyclair lewis Congratulations to Clair Lewis

The public face and voice of the Consenting Adult Action Network (CAAN) since its inception in May 2008. She is a disabled woman who is totally upfront about her sexuality and tireless in her campaigning.

The CAAN statement reads: We believe in the right of consenting adults to make their own sexual choices, in respect of what they do, see and enjoy alone or with other consenting adults, unhindered and unfettered by government.

CAAN demonstrations invariably invite Ben Westwood to be their centre piece. 

 

22nd May   

Disarmed by the BBFC...

Old cuts to Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers
Link Here

Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers 20th Anniversary Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers is a 1988 US comedy horror by Fred Olen Ray

The BBFC passed the 1999 Maingrip video/DVD 18 uncut as Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers.

Previously the BBFC cut the 1988 Colourbox video by 1:06s and also censored the title to become Hollywood Hookers

From cuts details on IMDb :

  • Cut by 1 minute 6 seconds to remove all use of chainsaws as weapons.
  • The distributor - Colourbox Video was also forced to remove the word 'chainsaw' from the title.

Colourbox apologized on the video cover at the amount of footage they were forced to cut.

 

22nd May   

Update: Rated as Censorial...

Sony boss adds his voice for changes to Australia's games rating censorship
Link Here  full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games

sony computer entertainment logoMichael Ephraim, boss of Sony Computer Entertainment Australia, has spoken out against Australia's video game censorship system, citing double standards for leniency shown to other forms of media.

He said: Gaming has moved on, the choice of content has moved on and I think it is time Australia gets in step with the rest of the world and has an R rating classification.

I think it is just giving people choice. You give people choice for movies, books, whatever. Why aren't you giving them choice for gaming?

The Government needs to move on, to stop thinking that gaming is for kids, gaming has grown up. Eight to 88 (year olds) play games now ... the average age of a gamer is something like 24 years old.

 

22nd May   

Update: Slaves to Oppression...

Bahrain bans AJ-Jazeera
Link Here  full story: Press Freedom in Bahrain...Slighty improved press law

Al Jazeera logoBahrain has suspended local operations of the Qatari broadcaster al-Jazeera and barred a crew from travelling to the Gulf Arab state.

Al-Jazeera, with a record of tense relations with Arab states over its coverage of sensitive political topics, recently aired programmes on poverty and the treatment of Asian labourers, both sensitive matters in Bahrain.

Bahrain has temporarily frozen the office of the Qatari al-Jazeera satellite TV channel for breaching the professional media norms and flouting the laws regulating the press and publishing, the official Bahrain News Agency said.

 

22nd May   

Update: Torn Off a Strip...

Sudan censors two opposition newspapers
Link Here

ajras al hurriya logoSudanese security officers stormed two newspapers tearing up articles ready for printing, employees said.

Authorities went to the offices of the Ajras al-Hurriya, which is linked to the former southern rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement and the independent daily Al-Sahafa, and confiscated articles.

Security officers also went to the offices of the Al-Sahafa daily and demanded to see editorial material and opinion columns, an employee said.

The move comes just days after authorities shut down the Rai al-Shaab newspaper of Islamist leader Hassan al-Turabi, and detained four employees.

 

22nd May   

Offsite: Jailhouse Rock...

Kurdish music in turmoil of censorship and court cases
Link Here

Turkey flagA Kurdish song has been banned, and Kurdish singers are being arrested for singing - or just sing along to - specific Kurdish songs, accused of making propaganda for banned parties and organisations, reports the Turkish human rights organisation Association for Freedom of Expression.

...Read full article

 

21st May   

Update: Killer Games Ban Killed...

German government backs off from ban on violent video games
Link Here  full story: Killergames...German politicians target video games

Counter Strike Source PC DVD A group of Interior Ministers have been asking for a total ban on the production and distribution of violent videogames in Germany. 

Thanks in large part to a petition, such a ban will not be enacted in the near future. German website Game Captain reports that the 73,000 signatures captured on a petition against banning such games allowed the matter to be taken up in front of the Committee on Petitions. The petitioner was allowed to speak, and apparently asked more education on media be provided in place of the ban.

Parliament State Secretary Dr. Herman Kues, of the Federal Ministry for Home Affairs must have been swayed, as he announced that no changes to the current criminal code would be enacted. Instead the government will push for more public education of the PEGI ratings system.

 

21st May   

Nuttersville...

Russian town tries to ban 'satanic' heavy metal music
Link Here

Marilyn Manson Fear Satanic Planet A Russian town famed for its crusades against swearing and easy morals is trying to ban heavy metal concerts arguing that they are satanic and ideologically destructive.

Officials in Belgorod, a town some 400 miles south of Moscow, have written to local café, club and restaurant owners asking them to refuse to host heavy metal concerts.

I am not familiar with such music myself but we have been asked to head off any satanic activity, a local official, Vladimir Shatilo, told the daily Kommersant newspaper.

The parents of youngsters who attended such events would never forgive us for (allowing) the performances of people interested in satanic ideology, added another official. He cited recommendations from an infamous Soviet-era psychiatric hospital that said heavy metal music had an ideologically destructive effect on young people.

Some local club owners appeared unlikely to comply. One of them, Oleg Proskokov, told the same newspaper that he planned to hold a number of rock events in the near future and that any officials who tried to interfere would get a punch in the face.

 

21st May   

Offsite: Good Doc Gone Mad...

Why do Rihanna's pop songs have to tell girls they're 'sluts'?
Link Here  full story: Sexualisation...Sexualisation as reported by Linda Papadopoulos

Good Girl Gone Bad Rihanna Driving my little girl to school the other morning, we had the radio playing in the background as usual.

But while I chatted to my seven-year-old about preparing her costume for the school's open day, I began to notice the lyrics of the song that was playing.

Hey rude boy, is you big enough? Hey rude boy can you get it up? sang American pop star Rihanna.

Had it not been for my daughter's presence in the car, I probably wouldn't have batted an eyelid. After all, it was a mainstream station and she's a mainstream singer.

So as I fumbled to change stations it hit me that this was just another instance of how desensitised we have become to the sexual language and imagery that pervades our everyday lives.

...Read full article

 

21st May   

One Way Trade Filter...

EU complains that Chinese internet censorship is used as a tool for protectionism
Link Here

EU flagEU digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes has hit out at Chinese online censorship, saying the government process constitutes an unfair trade barrier that may require World Trade Organisation (WTO) action.

It is one of those issues that needs to be tackled in the WTO and I'm aware it is at stake, Kroes said in Shanghai.

Analysts suggest the Chinese practice of blocking online content, ranging from pornography to political dissent, is likely to become an issue of increasing concern for European firms.

Dubbed the Great Firewall of China, they say Beijing uses the practice as a means of restricting foreign firms in favour of domestic companies.

Google became the highest profile example this year, with the company announcing it would no longer comply with Beijing's censorship requirements, subsequently rerouting its server to Hong Kong.

 

21st May   

Minor Rebuke...

Gordon Ramsay attracts a few Canadian whinges
Link Here

Gordan Ramsay's The F Word DVD The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has re-iterated its stance that Canadian broadcasters must censor 'fuck' if it airs prior to 9pm.

The decision was in response to a viewer complaint about the Gordon Ramsay cooking program The F-Word broadcast on BBC Canada on April 9th 2009 at 8:00 pm.

During the program, Ramsay used the word fuck or fucking on numerous occasions. Some instances reflected his frustration with the cooking team, while other uses were of a more good-natured tone.

After almost a year of investigation, the CSBC confirmed that the show did indeed violate the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) Code of Ethics for broadcasting which prohibits coarse or offensive language intended for adult audiences before 9pm.

Interestingly, if BBC Canada was an American station, the use of the word fuck would have resulted in a $250,000 fine by the FCC. Because BBC Canada is Canadian and because such violations are investigated by an industry trade group comprised of broadcasters, there will be no fine. The penalty for violating the CAB Code of Ethics is for the station to make a public announcement of the CBSC decision on air and write a letter to the offended viewer letting him or her know that the announcement has been made.

 

20th May   

Censors on Demand...

ASA find that trailer for Carriers was not suitable playing with the Video On Demand X Factor final
Link Here

Carriers DVD Chris Pine A video-on-demand (VOD) film trailer for the 15-rated film Carriers , was seen by the complainant before and during the X Factor final on the ITV Player.

The voice-over described life after a virus outbreak and stated The sick are already dead, avoid populated areas at all cost. You come into contact with other people - assume they have it . The ad featured survivors wearing masks and carrying weapons, such as a gun, as well as images of body bags piled up and dead people with decayed skin appearing to come back to life. Issue

The complainant objected that the ad was frightening and inappropriate for display during a family programme, because it had distressed his young children.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

Although we acknowledged that the trailer was representative of the content of the film, we considered that younger children were likely to be frightened by some scenes in the ad, and in particular the scene in which the dead decaying body appeared to come back to life. We noted that children had seen the ad on the ITV Player. We noted that if a VOD programme contained adult themes, ITV had safeguards in place to ensure that it could only be accessed if the viewer was over 18 and, in those cases, an on-screen notice warning of the adult content also appeared prior to the start of the programme. However, we understood that X Factor itself on the ITV Player was not protected by a restricted content warning, nor was there any warning about the scenes in the trailer.

Because we considered that some scenes in the ad were unsuitable for younger children, as they were likely to frighten them, and because adequate steps had not been taken to ensure that the ad was appropriately targeted around suitable programming, when shown on a VOD service, we concluded that the ad was in breach of the Code.

 

20th May   

Nothing Natural about Censorship...

Press Complaints Commission publish their annual review
Link Here

PCC logoThe Press Complaints Commission (PCC) have just published their annual review of 2009.

Chairman Baroness Buscombe defended the PCC decision not to censure the Daily Mail over a Jan Moir story suggesting was nothing natural about the death of gay Boyzone singer Stephen Gately.

Gately died of natural causes at his holiday home on the island of Majorca in October last year.

Writing in the PCC's annual review, chairman Baroness Buscombe said it had been a difficult but important case that attracted 25,000 complaints: In the end, the commission considered that newspapers had the right to publish opinions that many might find unpalatable and offensive, and that it would not be proportionate, in this case, to rule against the free expression of the columnist's views on a subject that was the focus of intense public attention. This was a difficult decision to make but I believe we made the right one.

Parliament's Culture, Media and Sport select committee inquiry into press standards, privacy and libel, issued a report in February. It criticised some of the work of the PCC, singling out coverage of Madeleine McCann's disappearance in Portugal in 2007 as an example of a lack of teeth , and recommended increasing its powers.

However, Baroness Buscombe said: An upheld complaint is a serious outcome for any editor and puts down a marker for future press behaviour. The fact that breaches of the code can lead to public criticism means that editors have to consider the key ethical issues before publishing.

The total number of investigations initiated by the commission increased from 949 to 1,134 in 2009, with those that raised a possible breach of the editors' code of practice rising from 678 to 738.

The PCC ruled there had been a breach of the code in 129 cases, but in 111 of those remedial action by the publication was considered sufficient by the commission. Public censure was seen necessary in 18 cases, compared with 24 the previous year.

 

20th May   

Australian Embarrassment...

Travellers now have to declare any porn to Australian customs
Link Here

australian customs logoThe Australian Sex Party is demanding an enquiry into why a new question has appeared on Incoming Passenger Cards at the Customs point of entry into Australia. The new question asks if they are carrying any pornography .

Sex Party President, Fiona Patten, said that this development now gave Government officials an unfettered right to examine someone's laptop or mobile phone as they re-entered the country. A senior Customs official, Richard Janeczko, has been quoted as saying that materials stored on electronic media devices such as laptops, thumb drives and iPhones are on their target list.

Travellers must now also declare perfectly legal materials such as Category 1 and 2 Restricted magazines, X18+ films and quite probably a large section of R18+ films which have explicit sex in them. Ms Patten said the change marked the beginning of a new era of official investigation into people's private lives – being investigated or searched on the basis that you might have legal material in your possession.

She said that by answering YES to the new Question One on the declarations, people would then be asked whether they are declaring a weapon, illicit drugs or pornography. When they answered pornography their materials would then be examined by one and possibly a number of Customs Officers. If people were at all embarrassed by the question, often surrounded by family and friends, they could be taken into a private room and even have their person searched.

Is it fair that Customs officers rummage through someone's luggage and pull out a legal men's magazine or a lesbian journal in front of their children or their mother-in-law , she said?

Customs' official reasoning behind the changes states that No consultation was undertaken under section 17 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 before this instrument was made as it is of a minor or machinery nature and does not substantially alter existing arrangements.

How can the Minister call this monstrous invasion of people's privacy and the criminalisation of hundreds of thousands of people who will answer NO to this question out of embarrassment, a 'minor' or 'machinery' change , she said? If the question was designed to stop child pornography being smuggled into the country then the question should have asked about 'child pornography' and not about a product that one in four Australians use on a regular basis. (La Trobe University, Sex In Australia, 2006).

Ms Patten said the changes were part of a continuation of the demonisation of sex by the Christian leaders of both major parties.

 

20th May   

Updated: Creepy...

The Human Centipede sounds fun
Link Here  full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse

human centipedeThe horror film The Human Centipede is opening in a handful of US theaters this weekend. It was not submitted to the MPAA for a rating.

The Chicago Sun-Times' s Roger Ebert is awarding it no stars as well. In his review, he writes I am required to award stars to movies I review. This time, I refuse to do it. The star rating system is unsuited to this film.

The movie deals with a mad doctor, a surgeon who once separated conjoined twins and now goes about capturing victims and perform reverse surgery, bonding them end to end so that they have a common digestive system.

No horror film I've seen inflicts more terrible things on its victims than The Human Centipede , Ebert writes. Nevertheless, he says that within Dutch director Tom Six, there stirs the soul of a dark artist. Likewise, Mark Olsen wrote earlier this week in the Los Angeles Times . Centipede is at once arduously rough to sit through and compelling. There's a real film hidden beneath the hooky idea.

And in an interview with New York's Village Voice, Six himself acknowledged that during test screenings, Some people walk out of the cinemas, others can't stop laughing, and if people are eating during the movie, they are vomiting their food out because they didn't expect this to happen. It has a lot of influence on people's emotions.

Update: The Sun Supports the hype for The Human Centipede

20th May 2010. Based on article from thesun.co.uk , thanks to DoodleBug

the sun logoIt's being hailed as one of the most twisted, stomach-churning movies of all time which has sent American cinemagoers reaching for the sick bags.

The Human Centipede features a depraved storyline about a psychopathic German surgeon who drugs his victims before surgically joining them together, mouth to backside, in order to create a human centipede.

The horror is said to be so gross that cinemagoers have been racing out of US screenings to be sick - and reviewers are warning audiences not to eat before seeing the film.

Clips from the film have been a YouTube sensation, with the trailer alone racking up 1.4million views. Screenings in Los Angeles have also sold out.

In a few months time, the movie is set for release in Britain - so long as it doesn't get banned first.

The buzz surrounding the film has led to several UK companies competing for the rights to release it later this year.

The twisted flick looks set to become a lucrative new horror franchise with The Human Centipede 2 already in production.

 

19th May   

Update: Obscene Private Chat...

Police bring obscenity charges over online private chat
Link Here  full story: Obscene Private Chat...Extending OPA to private internet chat

Kent PoliceAs already reported by The Register, Kent Police are in the process of using the Obscene Publications Act as a means to prosecute an individual, Gavin Smith, of Swanscombe for publishing obscenity in respect of a log of a private online chat he had with another individual.

This case has now been given the green light to proceed.

Due to reporting restrictions, theregister.co.uk are unable to give any further details of the alleged content of the conversation at this point in time.

The legal principle at stake here is whether internet chat constitutes publication in the ordinary sense of the word, or can be treated as private conversation. If the former is the conclusion, then anyone with even a passing interest in more extreme fantasies (not just underage, but also BDSM, rape and other matters currently covered by the extreme porn laws) may need to be very careful in respect of any online conversations they have in future. IRC will no longer be quite the refuge of the bizarre and the outlandish it once was.

Yesterday's hearing, before magistrates in Gravesend (the date was moved from May 6) resulted in the date of a committal hearing being agreed for 9 July. At that time, a judge may decide that the case has no legal merit. Otherwise, a date will then be set for trial, and the seriousness of this matter will escalate another notch.

...See full article

Gavin Smith has been charged with two counts of making indecent images of children, four counts of possessing indecent images of children, and nine offences under the Obscene Publications Act.

 

19th May   

We Are Not Amused...

BBC local radio DJ announces the death of the Queen as a joke
Link Here

danny kellyThe BBC has apologised after a radio DJ joked live on air that the Queen had died.

Danny Kelly began playing the national anthem and sombrely told up to a quarter of a million listeners he had some astonishing news to deliver. He then said: Queen Elizabeth II has now died .

The DJ had been half-way through his two-hour afternoon show on the local BBC WM station which broadcasts to the West Midlands from Birmingham.

Within seconds, producer Mark Newman jumped in, telling him: You can't say that .

Kelly then clarified that he had been referring to a friend on his show's Facebook page who went by the name Queen Elizabeth II , but who had vanished from the site.

Vivianne Patterson, chairman of nutter group Mediawatch-UK, said Kelly's remark was incredibly ill-conceived and added: It's a bit sick actually. I think because it's the Queen and they treated it like a big announcement it makes things worse. It's the BBC we are talking about here and there's a certain expectation from them. The use of the national anthem is a problem here as well - I really think it's pushing things.'

A BBC spokesman said: We can confirm that Danny Kelly made an inappropriate remark about the Queen during his radio show on BBC WM today. Although made as part of a light-hearted piece about social media friends, and corrected on air immediately after it was made, this comment was entirely inappropriate and the BBC apologises unreservedly for it. There was no intention to offend. BBC WM takes these comments very seriously. Action is being taken.

Ofcom said it had not received any complaints about the joke.

 

18th May   

Update: WikiLeaks Founder Given a Shake Down...

Australia still sore at their embarrassing internet blocking list
Link Here  full story: Website Blocking in Australia...Stephen Conroy's attempt at internet censorship

Wikileaks Wikileaks founder Julian Assange had his passport briefly confiscated when he returned to his native Australia last week, according to The Age.

Arriving at Melbourne, immigration staff told Assange his passport was looking worn and would be cancelled. Thirty minutes after his passport was returned to him, a police officer then searched his bags and questioned him about his computer hacking offences he committed in 1991 when he was a teenager.

Despite the search, Assange was then told his passport is still classified as normal on the immigration database and could therefore travel freely.

Speaking on Australia's Dateline show, Assange said he is wary of travelling in Australia, where he was born, because of information that has been published on Wikileaks.

Assange had been told that the publication of a proposed blacklist of banned sites has been referred to the Australian Federal Police, who were investigating how it was leaked and then published on Wikileaks, though AFP told the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday that the case had been dropped.

 

18th May   

Psychedelic...

New release of Fulci's Lizard in a Woman's Skin
Link Here

Lizard Womans Skin DVD Lizard in a Woman's Skin is a 1971 Italy/Spain/France giallo by Lucio Fulci

The BBFC passed a long version 18 uncut for the 2010 Optimum DVD.

This appears to be the fully uncut version aggregating the most complete version from several international releases.

See cuts details from dvdcompare.net

Review from UK Amazon : Psychedelic

This film is normally grouped together with other Italian based films under the banner of Giallo. Which having now seen this film, does it a serious disservice. Many of the Giallo films feel like an excuse for naked writhing ladies, stalking killers, and psychedelic soundtracks. While not always a bad thing(!) the plot and acting tends to come way down in the pecking order.

Not so with this film. Visually this movie is stunning. Lots of superbly thought out hallucination scenes show the main character's decent into possible madness with really quite jarring effect. Yes there's the naked beauties and 60's soundtrack, but neither of these feel like they've been shoehorned in for the sake of it. In fact the psychedelic party at the start of the film only adds to the uneasiness of everything.

The script has more twists and turns than a basket full of snakes. You're left wondering what's going to happen right up to the very end of this film.

Forget about movie genres and pigeon holes, this film is quite simply just a cracking ride from start to finish.

 

18th May   

Twinsanity...

New release of Alan Gibson's Goodbye Gemini
Link Here

Goodbye Gemini Digitally Remastered 1970 Goodbye Gemini is a 1970 UK drama by Alan Gibson

The BBFC passed the 2010 Odeon DVD 15 uncut.

Previously the BBFC cut the 1970 cinema release.

The 2010 re-release promises a new reportedly uncut master from the original cinema negatives.

Review from US Amazon : Ambiguous poignancy

Filmed around 1969 in post Antonioni's ( Blowup ) Swinging London we have here the tale of brother and sister twins, brought to screen-life by Martin Potter and Judy Geeson along with a sterling British cast including Michael Redgrave, Freddie Jones, Mike Pratt and Peter Jeffrey providing characteristically able support.

Directed with a sense of ambiguous poignancy by Alan Gibson, who fans of 70's horror will recall from Crescendo, Dracula A.D. 1972 and The Satanic Rites Of Dracula. Goodbye Gemini is further aided by some sumptuous art-direction, imbuing the picture with a contemporary look which when viewed today does not befall other more dated looking examples of films made from this era.

I can assure 1960's/70's genre fans will find this a worthwhile time.

 

18th May   

Perils of the Media...

Taiwan minister talks about imposing video game censorship
Link Here

Taiwan flagTaiwan is considering revisions to its Children and Youth Welfare Act that could result in the introduction of a videogame rating system.

Interior Minister Jiang Yi-huah hopes to 'protect' youngsters from the 'perils' of media and the Internet, telling lawmakers that With handsets, palm games and video games becoming ever more popular among teenagers, it is necessary to revise the welfare law to authorize stricter management of video game software, reports Focus Taiwan.

 

18th May   

Police Censorship...

Police ask BBC to remove website story of wrongful conviction
Link Here

cleveland police logoA police chief has been accused of trying to censor the BBC after demanding it remove website stories about the wrongful murder conviction of a babysitter.

The stories questioned his force's handling of the investigation into Suzanne Holdsworth, who spent three years in jail for the killing of Kyle Fisher, two, of Hartlepool.

Cleveland Chief Constable Sean Price told the BBC the stories should be removed because complaints against his force had been rejected by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

But the IPCC has confirmed its inquiry has not finished and said it had spoken to Price to clarify the situation.

Suzanne's partner Lee Spencer accused Price of abusing his position, adding: It's underhand.

 

17th May   

Updated: Boyling Over...

Frankie Boyle writes to BBC Trust over their cowardice against well drilled lobbying
Link Here  full story: Frankie Boyle...Whinges about Frankie Boyle and Mock the Week

My Shit Life So Far Comedian Frankie Boyle has written an open letter slamming the BBC governing body's cowardly rebuke of his jokes about Palestine.

The BBC Trust's editorial standards committee apologised earlier this week over comments made by Boyle two years ago, comparing Palestine to a cake being punched to pieces by a very angry Jew .

In his letter, the former Mock The Week star said he had been moved to tears after watching a documentary about life in Palestine and had promised himself he would do something.

He said that the BBC wished to deliver the flavour of political comedy with none of the content , and also slammed the BBC's decision not to air a charity appeal for aid to Gaza last year. He said: It's tragic for such a great institution, but it is now cravenly afraid of giving offence and vulnerable to any kind of well-drilled lobbying.

Boyle made the remarks on Radio 4 show Political Animal. He said: I've been studying Israeli Army martial arts. I now know 16 ways to kick a Palestinian woman in the back.

Update: Open Letter to the BBC Trust

17th May 2010. See article from mpacuk.org

Obviously, it feels strange to be on the moral high ground but I feel a response is required to the BBC Trust's cowardly rebuke of my jokes about Palestine.

As always, I heard nothing from the BBC but read in a newspaper that editorial procedures would be tightened further to stop jokes with anything at all to say getting past the censors.

In case you missed it, the jokes in question are: I've been studying Israeli Army Martial Arts. I now know 16 ways to kick a Palestinian woman in the back. People think that the Middle East is very complex but I have an analogy that sums it up quite well. If you imagine that Palestine is a big cake, well…that cake is being punched to pieces by a very angry Jew.

I think the problem here is that the show's producers will have thought that Israel, an aggressive, terrorist state with a nuclear arsenal was an appropriate target for satire. The Trust's ruling is essentially a note from their line managers. It says that if you imagine that a state busily going about the destruction of an entire people is fair game, you are mistaken. Israel is out of bounds.

The BBC refused to broadcast a humanitarian appeal in 2009 to help residents of Gaza rebuild their homes. It's tragic for such a great institution but it is now cravenly afraid of giving offence and vulnerable to any kind of well drilled lobbying.

I told the jokes on a Radio 4 show called Political Animal. That title seems to promise provocative comedy with a point of view. In practice the BBC wish to deliver the flavour of political comedy with none of the content. The most recent offering I saw was BBC Two's The Bubble. It looked exactly like a show where funny people sat around and did jokes about the news. Except the thrust of the format was that nobody had read the papers. I can only imagine how the head of the BBC Trust must have looked watching that, grinning like Gordon Brown having his prostrate examined.

The situation in Palestine seems to be, in essence, apartheid. I grew up with the anti apartheid thing being a huge focus of debate. It really seemed to matter to everybody that other human beings were being treated in that way. We didn't just talk about it, we did things, I remember boycotts and marches and demos all being held because we couldn't bear that people were being treated like that.

A few years ago I watched a documentary about life in Palestine. There's a section where a UN dignitary of some kind comes to do a photo opportunity outside a new hospital. The staff know that it communicates nothing of the real desperation of their position, so they trick her into a side ward on her way out. She ends up in a room with a child who the doctors explain is in a critical condition because they don't have the supplies to keep treating him. She flounders, awkwardly caught in the bleak reality of the room, mouthing platitudes over a dying boy.

The filmmaker asks one of the doctors what they think the stunt will have achieved. He is suddenly angry, perhaps having just felt at first hand something he knew in the abstract. The indifference of the world. She will do nothing, he says to the filmmaker. Then he looks into the camera and says, Neither will you .

I cried at that and promised myself that I would do something. Other than write a few stupid jokes I have not done anything. Neither have you.

Frankie Boyle

 

17th May   

The Party's Over...

Controversial in the 1960's but now uncut
Link Here

Partys Over Blu ray DVD The Party's Over is a 1965 UK drama by Guy Hamilton

The Uncut Version was passed 12 uncut for the 2010 BFI DVD/Blu-ray

(Almost the whole range of certificates as the UK Amazon text reckons 15 and the DVD cover has an 18)

Previously the Theatrical Version was cut for the X rated 1964 cinema release

Review from UK Amazon : Beatniks

Guy Hamilton's The Party's Over is a stark look at the 'other' side of life in the 60s, where conformity and convention have no place. Whilst the storyline that revolves around the actions of a group of beatniks and, in particular their leader, is undoubtedly interesting and keeps the viewer intrigued throughout, the subject matter of sex, death and necrophilia is at times somewhat nauseating.

The striking thing about this film is the complete lack of compassion or emotion shown by the cast towards each other and the situation they find themselves in and this results in the film having a somewhat depressing undertone.

However, it is always a pleasure and most interesting to see a young Oliver Reed, and an even younger Louise Sorel makes a notable appearance with a good supporting cast of solid British character actors.

Not surprising that it has fallen foul of the censors for so long, but as it was an important film in the development of British cinema in the 60s it is good to see it finally released. Not for the faint-hearted though!

 

17th May   

Bullied by the BBFC...

Tormented is cut for a 15
Link Here

Tormented DVD Alex Pettyfer Tormented is a 2009 UK comedy horror by Jon Wright

The BBFC suggested cuts for the 2009 cinema release and 2009 Pathe DVD.

This film was originally shown to the BBFC in an unfinished version. The BBFC advised the company that the film was likely to receive a 18 classification but that the requested 15 certificate could be achieved by making reductions to a number of scenes. In particular the BBFC suggested that the number of blows in a fight scene should be reduced; an aggressive use of very strong language should be removed; sexual bullying of a naked young male in showers should be significantly reduced; sexualised killing of a partially naked young male should be significantly reduced; visual element of a severed penis in condom in comic context should be reduced; focus on a screwdriver embedded in hand should be reduced; focus on screwdriver in neck should be reduced, along with subsequent closer focus on neck wound as blood flows. When the finished version of the film was submitted, all the reductions had been made satisfactorily and the film was classified 15 .

 

17th May   

Caned by the BBFC...

St Trinian's 2 is cut for a PG
Link Here

St Trinians Legend Frittons Gold St. Trinian's: The Legend Of Fritton's Gold is a 2009 UK comedy by Oliver Parker & Barnaby Thompson

The BBFC suggested cuts for PG for the 2009 cinema release and 2010 EIV DVD/Blu-ray

This film was originally shown to the BBFC in an unfinished version. The BBFC advised the company that the film was likely to receive a 12A classification but that the requested PG certificate could be achieved by making changes to four scenes, including dialogue. In particular the BBFC suggested that the company remove a phallically placed dart on a newspaper picture; reduce the enthusiasm with which an electric chair and death is presented; remove any imitable detail of household products being mixed to create a weapon; and remove an aggressive use of bitch . When the finished version of the film was submitted these changes had been made and the film was classified PG .

 

17th May   

Offsite: Dangerous Tweets...

Bad taste jokes have become a sackable offence
Link Here

Twitter logoAustralia has been utterly captivated over the past week, but not by the old motherland's general election or the hoopla over its own federal budget. The biggest story has concerned nothing but a couple of tweets.

It started with Australia's annual television awards (the unfortunately named Logies ), which inspired comedian and the Age newspaper columnist, Catherine Deveny, to let fly on Twitter. When Steve Irwin's 11-year-old daughter hit the red carpet, Deveny observed: I do so hope Bindi Irwin gets laid. On seeing fellow comedian Rove McManus, who lost his wife to cancer in 2006, she tweeted: Rove and [new wife] Tasma look so cute … hope she doesn't die, too.

It took two days of public outrage before the Age sacked Deveny, setting the Twitter and blogospheres further aflutter. Even a week after the story broke, Deveny's response on a rival website clocked over 900 comments from crowing anti-Devenyists and aggrieved free speech supporters.

...Read full article

 

16th May   

Updated: Ministers of Censorship...

Cameron appoints new government censors
Link Here

libdem con logoTheresa May has been appointed Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality in David Cameron's first Cabinet.

In this latter role of Minister for Equality her appointment attracted immediate criticism. Her voting record is rated as moderately against equal rights for homosexuals by The Public Whip website. In recent years she was absent or voted against most gay equality measures.

Kenneth Clarke had been appointed Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Jeremy Hunt has been appointed secretary of state for culture, Olympics, media and sport in a newly created department in the Lib Dem/Conservative coalition government. Hunt's new brief combines the Department for Culture, Media and Sport with Tessa Jowell's ministerial responsibility for the London 2012 Olympics.

The Lib Dems are expected to have one minister in the new department, although it is understood responsibility for media is likely to go to a Tory.

Update: Promising Appointments

16th May 2010, thanks to Harvey

The following government appointments are of interest to Melon Farmers

Edward Garnier has been appointed Solicitor General and Lord Wallace (of Miller/Wallace amendment fame) has been appointed Advocate General for Scotland.

Along with Ken Clarke at the Ministry of Justice, the LibDem Lord McNally is also there as Minister of State which gives me hope that the commitments to scrapping ID cards, extending Freedom of Information and the rest as detailed in an earlier post are not there simply as window dressing, but will actually be carried through.

Update: Lynne Featherstone

17th May 2010, thanks to David.

Apparently most of the actual work at the Ministry of Women and Equality - while Theresa May concentrates on her Home Office duties - will be down to Lynne Featherstone, a Lib Dem with a far more pro-equality voting record.

See www.lynnefeatherstone.org/2010/05/doing-not-saying.htm

Update: Theresa May Minister for Lap Dancing

23rd May 2010. Based on article from morningadvertiser.co.uk

A DCMS spokesman said some licensing issues are set to be taken on by the Home Office; for example, the licensing of lap dancing clubs.

 

16th May   

Too Old and Too Minor...

Libel claim against blogger thrown out of court
Link Here

Old BaileyA political activist today failed in her libel action over a journalist's blog which referred to her Baader-Meinhof link.

In a ruling that gives bloggers some protection against libel actions, Mr Justice Eady rejected a claim by Johanna Kaschke, a  Conservative, against David Osler, a Labour Party member, over an article that was written in April 2007. Kaschke claimed that some of the comments linked her with terrorism.

Osler, a journalist and blogger, said that he only posted the material after seeing an article on Kaschke's own website and had never suggested that Kaschke was involved in bank robberies, violence or terrorism.

He accepted that, although she came under suspicion in the 1970s and was imprisoned for a time, she was not guilty of any criminal offence and was paid compensation in Germany for her wrongful arrest.

He said that he had given Kaschke a right of reply, which appeared on the blog in May 2007, and was prepared to join in a statement reaffirming his acceptance of her innocence.

Kaschke issued proceedings in April 2008, just over a year after the blog was originally published. Mr Justice Eady agreed with lawyers for Osler that the claim should be limited to a publication proved to have happened within the 12 months leading up to the issue of proceedings.

The judge said that he was quite satisfied the posting did not link Kaschke to terrorism in the sense of suggesting in any way that she was directly linked with it or that she approved of the extremist activities. Osler, he added, was merely choosing to highlight an unusual event in the history of someone who was at the material time active in politics in London.

Striking out the claim, he concluded that if a jury found in favour of Kaschke, the damages would be very modest and out of all proportion to the time and money spent on the cost of a two-week trial.

Robert Dougans, a media lawyer with Bryan Cave, said: This ruling is good news for the online media, as Mr Justice Eady was clear that 'stale' blog posts and articles available online but not actively linked to a site will not be deemed to have been published without actual evidence that someone has read them.

He said that would provide some protection for bloggers and online media pending any legislation to tackle the problem of the internet and multiple publication giving rise to endless potential libel lawsuits. He said that the multiple publication rule still existed and that meant that each time a blog posting was downloaded there was a separate cause of action, no matter when the posting was originally put online.

Update: More Bloggers Win

25th July 2010. See article from indexoncensorship.org

Blogger and political activist Johanna Kaschke has had her libel case against fellow blogger's John Gray and Alex Hilton struck out.

Mr Justice Stalden ruled that Kaschke's lawsuit constituted an abuse of process. This is the second time Kaschke has had a libel case struck out this year.

Although Mr Justice Stalden denied her permission to appeal, Kaschke today confirmed that she will apply to the Court of Appeal.

She was ordered to make an interim costs payment of £10,000 to Hilton and £250 to Gray.

 

15th May   

Recipe for Censorship...

Police claim that the Anarchist Cookbook is illegal
Link Here

anarchist cookbookOnline retailer Amazon is facing pressure to stop selling copies of a supposedly terrorist books downloaded by a teenage white supremacist whose racist father produced a chemical weapon.

Nicky Davison was sentenced to two years in a young offenders' institution after being convicted of charges relating to downloading copies of the Anarchist Cookbook and The Poor Man's James Bond .

His father, Ian Davison was jailed for 10 years at Newcastle Crown Court after he manufactured enough ricin to kill nine people and kept it in a jar in his kitchen for two years.

The court heard that copies of the Anarchist Cookbook , which Davison Snr also possessed, are still on sale on Amazon.

Judge John Milford QC said any documents stored by Amazon should be destroyed and taken off the website. Police later also called for their removal from the internet.

Speaking outside the court, Detective Superintendent Neil Malkin said: This is a landmark case and will bring the attention of the authorities at a national level to the need to restrict these documents.

The detective said just downloading the Anarchist Cookbook from the internet was an offence. Clearly, Amazon needs to look at what happened today in this case and reflect on the availability of these manuals .

Amazon said it would stop selling the books if it was found to be illegal but said it believed people had the right to choose their own reading material.

 

15th May   

A Shower of Whingers...

Complaints dismissed over TV adverts for Heavy Rain game
Link Here

Sony Heavy Rain PS3 Four TV ads, featuring game footage, for the Heavy Rain video game.

a. The first ad showed a shop keeper being threatened by an armed man. A customer was shown watching the incident unfold.

b. The second ad showed the watching customer choosing to Intervene in the situation and was shown wrestling the armed robber and being shot by the armed robber.

c. The third ad showed the customer choosing to Attack the armed robber and was shown hitting him over the head with a glass bottle.

d. The fourth ad showed the customer choosing to Negotiate with the robber and was shown to calm the situation down and the robber left the shop.

  1. Several viewers believed that all four ads were inappropriate for scheduling at times when they could be seen by children.
  2. Several viewers objected that the depiction of violence in all four ads was offensive.
  3. Several viewers objected that all four ads were harmful because they glamorised violence.
  4. Some viewers objected that the ads were offensive, because they were broadcast at the time of the death of a shop keeper in Huddersfield in an armed robbery.

ASA Assessment: Not Upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted that ads (a), (b) and (d) had been given post 19:30 restrictions and that ad (c) had been given a post 21:00 restriction. We considered that these were sufficient to prevent the ads from being broadcast around childrens programming or when a high number of younger children were likely to be watching. We also noted the characters in the ads were obviously digital animations and considered that children who did see the ads would not believe the characters were real. We therefore considered that the ads had been scheduled appropriately and that the restrictions were sufficient for the ads content.

2. & 3. Not upheld

We noted the ads featured alternate endings of a sequence where a bystander could chose how to intervene in a threatening situation. We understood that this was used to demonstrate the interactivity possible with the game, in contrast with games with more structured, linear, narratives. We also noted that the protagonist of the game was a bystander and was not shown actively seeking to perpetrate violent or threatening behaviour. We considered that the scenarios featured in the ads were likely to be viewed as associated with the fictional narrative of the game and the action within it, rather than as real violent situations.

We acknowledged that some viewers might object to the theme of the game and the inclusion of violent imagery per se. However, we concluded that the ad itself was unlikely to be seen to be encouraging or glamorising violence in a harmful way, or to be likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

4. Not upheld

We understood the broadcast of the ads coincided with tragic events in Huddersfield, and we accepted that that may have been upsetting to those directly affected by the incident and similar events of robbery. However, we considered that the ad was likely to be viewed by most people within its context of an ad for a videogame, rather than as a reference to or comment on a current news event, and would therefore expect to see footage that was representative of the games genre. We therefore concluded that, although the timing of the broadcast was unfortunate, it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence on those grounds.

 

15th May   

A Big Burley Bully...

1500 complaints about aggressive post-election interviews on Sky News
Link Here

Kay BurleyTV censor Ofcom has received almost 1,500 complaints about Adam Boulton's on-screen clash with Alastair Campbell and Kay Burley's interview with electoral reformist David Babbs.

Burley's interview with Babbs, of electoral reform campaigning group 38 Degrees, attracted 722 complaints. The complainants accused Burley of bias and aggressive behaviour in the interview. The interview resulted in the presenter being heckled by protesters saying sack Kay Burley and a Twitter campaign.

Ofcom has also received 696 complaints about Sky News political editor Adam Boulton's on-screen row with former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell. Most of the complainants are understood to have objected to what they viewed as unprofessional behaviour by Boulton, who appeared to lose his temper after Campbell accused him of being upset that David Cameron is not prime minister .

Update: 2600 complaints

20th May 2010. See article from guardian.co.uk

TV censor Ofcom has received a total of 2,600 complaints about Sky News's coverage of the general election.

Adam Boulton, the Sky News political editor, attracted 1,605 complaints. A total of 936 viewers complained about an interview between Boulton and Campbell last Monday, 10 May. Ofcom is also assessing 669 complaints that Boulton allegedly heckled Clegg about his expenses during the second leaders' debate, which was hosted by Sky News.

The media regulator also received 832 complaints about Burley's interview with electoral reformist David Babbs on Saturday, 8 May.

In addition, 163 called Ofcom received 163 joint complaints about the Burley and Boulton interviews.

 

14th May   

Epic Boobs...

Widely circulated image loses privacy protection
Link Here

epic boobsA woman complained to the Press Complaints Commission that an article headlined Wanted! The Epic Boobs girl! , published in the February 2010 edition of Loaded , intruded into her privacy. The complaint was not upheld.

The article featured a number of photographs of the complainant - who was said to have the best breasts on the block - taken from the internet and offered readers of the magazine a reward of £500 for assistance in encouraging her to do a photo shoot with it.

The complainant said that the article was intrusive: the magazine had published her name and the photographs, which had been uploaded to her Bebo site in December 2006 when she was 15 years old, had been taken from there and published without permission.

The publication of the article had caused her upset and embarrassment. The magazine said that that it had not taken the photographs from the complainant's Bebo site; rather, they were widely available on the internet. The complainant's photograph, for example, came up in the top three in a Google image search on the word boobs . At the time of complaint, there were 1,760,000 matches that related to her and 203,000 image matches of her as the Epic Boobs girl. Moreover, the complainant's name had been widely circulated and achieved over 100,000 Google hits, including over 8,000 photographs.

PCC Decision: Not Upheld

This case raised the important principle of the extent to which newspapers and magazines are able to make use of information that is already freely available online. The Commission has previously published decisions about the use of material uploaded to social networking sites, which have gone towards establishing a set of principles in this area.

However, this complaint was different: the magazine had not taken the material from the complainant's Bebo site; rather it had published a piece commenting on something that had widespread circulation online (having been taken from the Bebo page sometime ago by others) and was easily accessed by Google searches.

The Commission did not think it was possible for it to censure the magazine for commenting on material already given a wide circulation, and which had already been contextualised in the same specific way, by many others. Although the Code imposes higher standards on the press than exist for material on unregulated sites, the Commission felt that the images were so widely established for it to be untenable for the Commission to rule that it was wrong for the magazine to use them.

That said, the Commission wished to make clear that it had some sympathy with the complainant. The fact that she was fifteen-years-old when the images were originally taken - although she is an adult now - only added to the questionable tastefulness of the article. However, issues of taste and offence - and any question of the legality of the material - could not be ruled upon by the Commission, which was compelled to consider only the terms of the Editors' Code. The Code does include references to children but the complainant was not a child at the time the article was published.

The test, therefore, was whether the publication intruded into the complainant's privacy, and the Code required the Commission to have regard to the extent to which material is already in the public domain . In the Commission's view, the information, in the same form as published in the magazine, was widely available to such an extent that its republication did not raise a breach of the Code. The complaint was not upheld on that basis.

 

14th May   

Update: iBurkha App for iPad...

Apple censorship dismays fashion magazines
Link Here  full story: iPhone iCensor...Apple is censorial about apps for iPhone

dazed and confused According to Business Insider, a number of fashion magazines are now having to clean up their content in order to get them approved and into Apple's App Store. Dazed and Confused , a British fashion magazine, has even dubbed its iPad issue the Iran edition because of the strict no nudity rules they must follow.

A report from SFGate covers three distinct standards currently in place at the iTunes Store:

  • Small, independent developers are not allowed to include any overtly sexual content . This includes pictures of women in bathing suits.
  • Magazines with established brands — Sports Illustrated and Playboy, for instance – are allowed to depict overtly sexual images of scantily clad women, but aren't allowed to depict actual nudity. Fashion magazines appear to be in this category too.
  • Netflix can stream movies to the iPad with whatever content it chooses, including full nudity, graphic depictions of sex, and brutal violence and gore.

 

14th May   

Seven Jewish Children Censors...

Australian nutters wound up by play
Link Here

seven jewish children advertPerth's Town of Vincent is embroiled in a tiff over its decision to allow a play about the history of Israel to be presented at a town hall, despite the production being branded anti-Semitic by Perth's Jewish leaders.

Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza is a 10-minute, six-page play by British playwright Caryl Churchill covering events over 70 years such as the Holocaust, Palestinian suicide attacks and the 2008 Gaza invasion.

Throughout the play Jewish adults discuss what, if anything, their children should be told of the events.

Plans by Friends of Palestine Western Australia to have a reading at the North Perth Town Hall have been attacked by the Jewish Community Council of Western Australia, which is petitioning the local council to cancel the booking.

Council president Tony Tate, who yesterday admitted he had not read the play, said it was offensive and in parts based on the libel that Jewish people killed children in order to use their blood for religious rituals.

But Friends of Palestine WA convenor Alex Whisson and director Vivienne Glance disagreed the play was racially vilifying, saying attempts to block the play were an attack on free speech and artistic liberty.

Town of Vincent chief executive John Giorgi, who said he had received threatening phone calls over the matter, said the production met booking requirements and it was not the role of local government to act as a censor.

 

14th May   

Update: Ongoing Emergency...

Egypt plans to ease press censorship
Link Here  full story: Press Freedom in Egypt...Press under duress in Egypt

Egypt flagEgypt's government plans to ease press censorship for two years and end property confiscation by the state, Al Ahram newspaper reported, without saying how it obtained the information.

Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif will present the proposals to parliament in Cairo, the state-run newspaper said.

The measures temporarily ease an emergency law that was introduced after Islamist militants assassinated President Anwar Sadat in 1981. The emergency law will still be applied against terrorism and narcotics suspects, Al Ahram said.

 

13th May   

Norml News...

New Zealand pro-cannabis magazine reported to the censor
Link Here  full story: Norml News...New Zealand police try to ban pro-cannabis mag

norml news New Zealand authorities want the Censor's office to look at a national pro-cannabis magazine which even sells in some branches of Whitcoulls.

 But their move, which could result in the censor banning Norml News is outraging politicians and cannabis law reformers who say it's undemocratic.

Norml News is the voice of New Zealand's dope smokers and since 1990 it's been calling for the reform of the country's cannabis laws.

The magazine carries pro-cannabis articles, gardening supply advertisements, and the latest issue even has a message from Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei.

Now Internal affairs has sent it to the Censor's office, Ms Turei says she's horrified and it's an attack on democracy – the magazine's editor is livid. Internal Affairs says it's just seeking guidance.

No member of the public has ever complained about any marijuana publication – it's always coming from the authorities who are trying to be thought police and tell us what we can think and what we can read, Chris Fowlie says.

It will be at least six weeks before the Censor's office announces its decision on any possible ban.

 

13th May   

BBFC Likely to be Spouting Bollox...

Code Geass cut by the BBFC
Link Here

Code Geass Lelouch Rebellion Part Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2: Episode 10 is 2008 Japanese anime by Goro Taniguchi

The BBFC cut 1s from the 2010 Beez DVD. Company was required to remove a shot likely to encourage an interest in underage sexual activity (in this case a young girl in the background of a shot suggesting sexual activity).

How can the the BBFC claim that a 1 second background shot in a 15 rated non-sex work cartoon be LIKELY to encourage an interest in underage sexual activity?

In my understanding of the English language, 'likely' means a better than 50% chance or at least a 'good' chance. Isn't Code Geass a popular TV programme? If the BBFC are correct then there must be thousands of people corrupted by watching the 'dangerous' 1 second.

 

13th May   

Hunk Dory...

Whingeing about crisp adverts in Ireland
Link Here

hunky dory advertLargo Foods has braved the wrath of the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland with its poster campaign for Hunky Dorys crisps, centred on busty women clad in sports gear. Complete with double- entendre tag lines, the posters attracted a threat of legal action and 300 complaints from the public to the ASAI.

The posters are now to be withdrawn , although the campaign was never intended to last more than a few weeks anyway.

The Hunky Dorys campaign imagery loosely allied itself with rugby and, on the basis that Largo sponsors Navan Rugby Club, the posters included the message Proud Sponsors of Irish Rugby .

This prompted a legal missive from the Irish Rugby Football Union, with the result that the company that put up the posters went back to the sites and blacked out the Irish Rugby reference. Of course, the spat generated media coverage, as did the poster images, adding to the cut-through achieved by the brief campaign.

The ASAI is a self-regulatory body set up and financed by the advertising sector. The ASAI's code of practice states that advertisements should avoid sex stereotyping and any exploitation or demeaning of women or men.

The association could not formally make an order forcing Largo to pull the campaign until after its complaints committee meets on May 19th. However, the association requested Largo to pull the campaign and the company agreed.

The ASAI now has the option of insisting that Largo submit any future advertising for approval. The body's code of practice says that if an advertiser deliberately flouts the code with the intention of generating complaints, PR and subsequent notoriety, the ASAI can insist on a vetting procedure.

Largo has form with sexploitation advertising. In 2005, the snacks brand produced posters showing three scantily clad women and the words: Which one would you throw out of bed for eating Hunky Dorys?

Ray Coyle, owner and managing director of Largo Foods, is unapologetic about his sexist approach. He says: The target audience for my crisps is young men and it's highly unlikely that they will have been offended by the ads. The people who have been offended were never likely to buy a packet of Hunk Dorys.

 

13th May   

Updated: Encyclopedia of the Politically Correct...

Removalists, deletists and censorists get their way over Wikipedia images
Link Here

Wikipedia logoFounder Jimmy Wales has poured fuel on the Wikimedia pornography row, by encouraging admins to delete images that appeal solely to prurient interests .

The comments come Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sagner reported the Wikimedia Foundation to the FBI for serving up depictions of child sexual molestation on its servers.

The report brought a scathing response from the Foundation, which claimed we don't have material we would deem to be illegal. If we did, we would remove it. The organisation denied hearing from the authorities.

However, Wales has now waded into the argument by encouraging immediate deletion of pornographic content, calling for a large-scale cleanup project of the site: Wikimedia Commons admins who wish to remove from the project all images that are of little or no educational value but which appeal solely to prurient interests have my full support . I am stating here my public support for admins who are prepared to enforce quality standards and get rid of a large quantity of what can only be characterised as 'trolling' images of people's personal pornography collections. .

In a separate post he claimed Wikimedia would be making a formal statement on the issue in the next few days.

Update: Jimmy Wales prevented from vandalising his own website

13th May 2010. Based on article from news.bbc.co.uk

Wikipedia co-founder, Jimmy Wales, has given up some of his site privileges following protests by contributors angered that he deleted images without consultation.

Wales had previously urged the removal of pornographic content from the user-generated site. This followed a complaint about child pornography to the FBI from another Wikipedia co-founder and the subsequent haranguing from the nutters of Fox News.

In early April, the estranged co-founder, Larry Sanger, reported Wikimedia Commons to the FBI, alleging that the organisation was knowingly distributing child pornography .

Last week, administrators of Wikimedia Commons, a media file store widely used for Wikipedia articles, deleted hundreds of images. Some images deemed by the Wikipedia community to have educational merit have since been reinstated.

Pressure on the organisation had increased after Fox News reported the story, contacting a number of high-profile corporate donors to the Wikimedia Foundation, which owns Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and related sites. Continue reading the main story

Wales has faced criticism from the band of volunteers who help to maintain the site, some of whom argued that the decision to delete was undemocratic and taken too quickly. They also expressed concerns that valid material might be deleted accidentally.

 

12th May   

Update: Snobs...

Elitists complain about bans on naked 'art' but are hardly supportive of ordinary guys enjoying adult entertainment
Link Here

nude balletSome of the country's most celebrated arts bodies have welcomed clarification to new laws designed to crack down on lap-dancing clubs which would have inadvertently prevented them from staging shows featuring nudity.

Nationalist MSP Sandra White has put forward an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Licensing Bill going through Holyrood which would allow local authorities and licensing boards to ban lap-dancing venues in their area.

But organisations such as Scottish Ballet and the Festival Fringe Society had warned that under plans to tighten licensing rules, renowned shows featuring nudity, such as Nic Green's Trilogy , could have been pulled.

Cindy Sughrue, Scottish Ballet's chief executive, had urged the committee to carefully consider the wording of White's amendment, given the potential unintended consequences for theatre companies, who would be unable to show iconic works by world-renowned directors and choreographers.

She said: Nudity, as defined, would rule out presentations of some of the most powerful performance work of the 20th and 21st centuries, including numerous acclaimed productions created and presented in Scotland, including at the Edinburgh International festival.

At a meeting of the Scottish Parliament's injustice committee, politicians echoed such concerns. Robert Brown, Scottish Liberal Democrats justice spokesman, said: For theatrical performances, I'm not sure it presents as clear exemptions as one would hope.

Bill Aitken, his Tory counterpart and the committee's convener, agreed. I do have serious reservations and I don't think the issue of theatrical performances has been satisfactorily resolved.

Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill told the committee that while communities should be allowed to refuse permission to license the clubs, the government had significant concerns over Ms White's amendment. He said: There are drafting difficulties with the amendment which will have to be addressed.

Ms White accepted an offer of assistance to clarify her amendment, meaning the government will now draft a tighter licensing regime which will come before MSPs when the bill is considered by the full parliament at its final stage.

 

12th May   

Update: Australian 'Democracy' in Action...

The wrong kind of 98% majority support games for adults
Link Here  full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games

australia attourney general logoThe strong response from Australia's gaming community to the R18+ issue may have backfired a bit, as the government is now delaying discussion of the issue in order to get feedback from more of the community.

GameSpot notes that Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor indicated that, …further work needs to be done before a decision can be made. When pressed, O'Connor told the publication that ministers had agreed that a broader consultation of the public's views was needed following the dominant response from 'interest groups.'

Perhaps the Australian government doesn't understand that gamers now permeate just about every corner of culture, a point made by Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (iGEA) President Ron Curry, who stated, I'm not sure how the [Home Affairs] minister pigeon-holes them as an 'interest group', because gamers cover all facets of society.

 

12th May   

Alarmed, Harassed and Distressed...

Police visit seeks removal of trivially insulting David Cameron poster
Link Here

class war cameronA man who placed a poster of David Cameron containing the word wanker in his window has described how police handcuffed him in his home on election day, threatened him with arrest, and forcibly removed what they said was offensive campaign literature.

David Hoffman said a local inspector told him over the phone that any reasonable person would find his poster alarming, harassing or distressful .

The visit from police followed a complaint from a neighbour, who told Hoffman she found the poster offensive. The word wanker was printed beneath a photograph of a smiling Cameron.

Hoffman said four officers knocked on his door on polling day. When asked by them for identification, he said he tried to momentarily close the door. The officers then forced the door open, he said: They burst into my house, pushed me back and handcuffed me. They said I had committed an offence under section 5 of the Public Order Act, I was being detained, and I might be arrested.

The poster, one of several images of party leaders produced by the veteran anarchist group Class War, was removed.

In a statement, the Metropolitan police denied officers forced their way into Hoffman's home and claimed he was restrained with handcuffs to prevent a breach of the peace after becoming agitated. It said that words of advice were given to the resident … who removed the material .

 

12th May   

It's All Russian to Me...

Chinese censors cut references to Russia in Iron Man 2
Link Here

Iron Man DVD Robert Downey The Chinese censors have made all spoken references to Russia or Russian in Iron Man 2 inaudible.

The Russian references were not political in nature. They were innocuous nods to the nationality and spoken language of Ivan Vanko, aka Whiplash, the villain portrayed by Mickey Rourke.

While most of the censorship consisted of altering the audio track, one scene — during a dinner in a hangar, Vanko asks Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) to fetch his pet cockatoo — appeared to be cut short.

Another viewer noted that the censorship, not surprisingly, also carried over to the Chinese subtitles:

In one specific scene I recall, the dialogue was between Hammer and the Russian guy, and he says You do realise that I don't speak Russian? The word was distorted enough to make me think something was briefly wrong with the audio, but the Chinese subtitles also said You know I don't speak your mother language?

Chinese censorship is nothing new, but this latest edition really has me confused. It had nothing to do with China. Nothing to do with politics. Nothing to do with violence. And, as far as I know, Russia is not a dirty word here — at least officially. So what's going on?

 

12th May   

Update: Taking Censorship as Read...

Unprecedented censorship at the Tehran Book Fair
Link Here  full story: Book Censors in Iran...Iranian literary censors

iranian writers association logoReports have emerged about the banning of some books and pressure on independent publishers at the Tehran Book Fair.

Iran's Writers Association has said in a statement that a number of prominent publishing houses have been banned from attending the fair and the licenses of several have been cancelled. According to the statement, several of the publishers have also been summoned by security officials.

Censorship in the Islamic Republic is nothing new, but as the Writers Association points out, the summoning of publishers and revoking licenses is unprecedented.

The group has condemned the state pressure on independent book publishers and warned about the increased censorship and cultural crackdown in Iran.

Iranian news websites report that only books that have been published since President Mahmud Ahmadinejad took power in 2005 have been allowed to be presented at the book fair.

The Bamdadkhabar website cites a report by the ILNA news agency according to which books by renowned Iranian writer and critic Houshang Golshiri and prominent female poet Forough Farokhzad have been banned at the fair.

Books by Iranian reformist cleric and currently visiting research professor at America's Duke University, Mohsen Kadivar, have also reportedly been banned at the fair.

Bamdadkhabar quoted an unnamed publisher, who did not want to be named because of security fears, as saying that authorities have warned against political discussions and propaganda against the system at the booths and said they will be dealt with in a tougher manner than one can imagine.

Khabaronline also reported that on the first day of the book fair all books related to the late Grand Ayatollah Montazeri and Ayatollah Sanei were collected from various stalls and were being kept at the cultural office of Tehran's Mosala, where the book fair is being held.

 

12th May   

Authorities Infected by Internet Fear...

Hanoi to install spyware in internet cafes
Link Here

poilce noticeThe Hanoi People's Committee on April 26 issued a new decision to regulate Internet cafes.

Pham Quoc Ban, director of the Hanoi Department of Information and Communications explained the oppressive new laws to VNExpress:

The first new point in this decision is that responsibility for controlling Internet shops is assigned to district governments. Accordingly, the Culture and Information Divisions of districts must regulate Internet agents. Previously, only the police had this duty.

The second new point is that we will use technology to manage Internet shops. Specifically, competent agencies will install specialized software designed by National University. This software will oversee the activities of users and the owners of Internet shops to know whether or not they are obeying the law.

According to the new decision, Internet shops must have at least one employee with an A-grade IT certificate and they are allowed to open from 6am to 11pm.

Internet shops must be at least 200m from the gates of schools (from kindergartens to high schools) and be equipped with anti-fire equipment, audio and lighting, etc. to protect the health of all users.

At present, control of users at Internet shops is very poor. People of less than 18 years old can freely visit websites with bad content. If we continue the loose management of these shops, Vietnam will have corrupted youth infected with bad thoughts. Their personalities will be harmed because they easily see porn and violent materials. Security also worsens because some people become addicted to online games and, to have money for games, they become robbers. This is a pressing matter for society and citizens have asked the People's Council several times to crackdown on this situation. Therefore, controlling the behaviour of users at internet shops is a popular move.

 

11th May   

Update: Banging On...

TV censor still whingeing at the Bang Babe channels
Link Here  full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

Babe ChannelOfcom are continuing their long term whinge abiout the free to air babe channels of the Bang Babes/Tease Me stable

Ofcom considered

  • Bang Babes Tease Me 3, 16 January 2010, 03:20
  • Bang Babes Tease Me, 17 January 2010, 00:30

Bang Babes is an adult sex chat service, owned and operated by Bang Channels Limited ( Bang Channels or the Licensee ) and available freely without mandatory restricted access on the channels Tease Me and Tease Me 3 (Sky channel numbers 912 and 959). Both channels are situated in the adult section of the Sky electronic programme guide ( EPG ). These channels broadcast programmes after the 21:00 watershed based on interactive adult sex chat services: viewers are invited to contact onscreen female 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.

Ofcom received a complaint about the following broadcasts. The complainant said that the content transmitted was too sexually explicit to be available without mandatory restricted access.

Ofcom considered

  • Rule 1.18 ('Adult sex material' - material that contains images and/or language of a strong sexual nature which is broadcast for the primary purpose of sexual arousal or stimulation - must not be broadcast at any time other than between 2200 and 0530 on premium subscription services and pay per view/night services which operate with mandatory restricted access. In addition, measures must be in place to ensure that the subscriber is an adult)
  • Rule 2.1 (the broadcaster must apply generally accepted standards)
  • Rule 2.3 (offensive material must be justified by context).

Ofcom Decision

Having assessed this programme's content and purpose, Ofcom considered that the material broadcast constituted adult-sex material. Its broadcast, without mandatory restricted access, was therefore in breach of Rule 1.18.

Ofcom is concerned that the Licensee considers material, such as extensive genital and anal detail and simulated masturbation in a sexual context such as this, to be acceptable for broadcast without mandatory restricted access.

Ofcom concluded that this content was clearly not justified by the context and was in breach of generally accepted standards and therefore in breach of Rules 2.1 and 2.3 of the Code.

Daytime Babes

  • The Pad Tease Me, 26 February 2010, 11:45
  • The Pad Tease Me 3, 27 February 2010, 11:45
  • Tease Me: Earlybird Tease Me TV (Freeview), 26 January 2010, 07:15

The Pad is a televised daytime interactive chat programme broadcast without mandatory restricted access. It is broadcast on the Tease Me and Tease Me 3 channels, which are located in the adult section of the Sky Electronic Programme Guide ( EPG ) on channel numbers 912 and 959. The channels are owned and operated by Bang Channels Limited ( Bang Channels or the Licensee ). Viewers are invited to contact onscreen female presenters via premium rate telephony services ( PRS ). The presenters generally dress and behave in a provocative and/or flirtatious manner.

Ofcom received a complaint about the above broadcast. The complainant was concerned that the presenter was shown exposing nipples on several occasions and considered the content inappropriate for the time of broadcast.

Ofcom considered

  • Rules 1.3 (children must be protected from unsuitable material by appropriate scheduling)
  • Rule 2.3 (offensive material must be justified by context).

Ofcom Decision

In Ofcom's opinion the sexual imagery shown to viewers during both daytime broadcasts had no editorial context other than sexual stimulation. It was therefore not editorially justified and so not appropriately scheduled and in breach of Rule 1.3.

In Ofcom's view the material broadcast at this time on this service exceeded generally accepted standards and was in breach of Rule 2.3 of the Code.

Considering Sanctions

Ofcom is presently considering the imposition of a statutory sanction against Bang Media (London) Limited and Bang Channels Limited for material transmitted between 20 June and 25 November 2009. In light of Bang Media and Bang Channels Limited's serious and/or repeated breaches of the Code and Condition 11 of their licences and their continued transmission of content which appears similar in nature to that which had been found in breach of the Code, Ofcom issued them with a Direction on 12 March 2010.

As a result of the serious and/or repeated nature of the breach recorded in this current finding, and those recorded against Bang Channels Limited elsewhere in this Bulletin, the Licensee is put on notice that this present contravention of the Code is also being considered for statutory sanction.

 

11th May   

Update: On the Offensive...

Dutch public prosecutor reopens holocaust cartoon case
Link Here  full story: Holocaust Denial in the Netherlands...Cartoon wars over Mohammed cartoons

holocaust cartoonThe Dutch public prosecutor has appealed against a court ruling acquitting a Muslim group of insulting Jews with a cartoon suggesting they invented the Holocaust, in a case testing the bounds of free speech.

The court ruled last month the cartoon published by the Arab European League (AEL) showed bad taste and was exceptionally offensive, but it acquitted the group on charges it insulted Jews because of the context in which the cartoon was published.

The court ruled that the context of its publication removed its criminally offensive nature. The AEL had argued that the cartoon was meant to show how other religious groups were also sensitive about certain images.

In announcing its appeal, the public prosecutor said it was essential to determine whether the cartoon was unnecessarily offensive, adding it was not certain whether the cartoon was designed as a contribution to the social debate.

 

11th May   

Update: Unauthorised Circulations...

India's Chief Justice calls for internet censorship
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn

kg balakrishnanIndia's Supreme Court Chief Justice K. G. Balakrishnan has called for placing restrictions on websites circulating pornography and hate material, and justified the Central Government's action in the matter.

Addressing a seminar on Enforcement of Cyber Law here, Balakrishnan said the government initiative was the right step: They (websites) can also be used to circulate offensive content such as pornography, hate speech and defamatory material. In many cases the Intellectual Property rights of artists are violated by unauthorised circulations, he said.

He called upon monitoring agencies and the judiciary not to let gains of the IT (information technology) be an exploiting tool in society: It is the job of the legal system and regulatory agencies to make sure that newer technologies do not become tools of exploitation and harassment

 

10th May   

BBFC a bit Sniffy...

The Runways cut for cinema release
Link Here

Runaways Kristen Stewart The Runaways is a 2010 US drama by Floria Sigismondi

The BBFC suggested cuts for a 15 rating for the 2010 cinema release:

This film was originally shown to the BBFC in an unfinished version. The BBFC advised the company that the film was likely to receive an 18 classification but that the requested 15 certificate could be achieved by making cuts in one sequence, to remove sight of two teenage girls sniffing glue. When the finished version of the film was submitted, all sight of glue sniffing had been removed and the film was classified 15 .

 

10th May   

Offsite: Delayed but not Forgotten...

Internet censorship remains part of Conroy's agenda
Link Here  full story: Website Blocking in Australia...Stephen Conroy's attempt at internet censorship
australia custom dogs

  Customs dogs trained to hunt out
porny memory sticks

It was ironic that Communications Minister Stephen Conroy announced the postponement of his internet filtering legislation via an adviser last week. Advice was not something he was fond of taking. Sensing a voter backlash on the legislation, which was supposed to be introduced into the parliament before the federal election, Rudd and Conroy are banking on removing it as an election issue. But will they?

There is every chance a post-election internet filter will be more censorious than the proposed pre-election one. The Rudd government has been quietly increasing controls on sexual material coming into the country through other means. Anyone coming back to Australia from an overseas trip now has a new question on their incoming passenger card. It asks if you have any pornography in your suitcase. They've also raised the bar for those who bring in more than 25 DVDs that would be refused classification such as a DIY euthanasia film or an adult film where a couple spanks each other; both of which are available on Amazon and YouTube. Yet you can get five years' jail for them now.

Australian Christian Lobby chief executive Jim Wallace has boasted publicly of having numerous meetings with Conroy about banning sexual imagery in Australian homes and Rudd addressed the group's national conference last November. With another four years to run after an election win, Conroy could go back to the original plan he floated, which was to blacklist the X18+ classification entirely.

Conroy changed his mind about this one night on SBS television's Insight program in March last year when challenged by Australian Sex Party leader Fiona Patten. She pointed out X18+ material was legal in Australia and that filtering legal adult erotica would be the thin end of the wedge.

Suddenly, he changed his policy to we will only ban material that is refused classification and already illegal .

Curiously, Conroy fronted Patten in the green room after the show and regaled her with Why didn't you just call me about this? We could have sorted it out. You didn't have to set up a political party against us.

... Read full article

 

9th May   

Update: Detrimental to Society...

Thai Big Brother posters warn of dangerous websites
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Thailand...Thailand implements mass website blocking

Big BrotherGeorge Orwell's 1984 had its Big Brother, and Thailand has Ranongrak Suwanchawee.

The country's information minister stares down from billboards along Bangkok's expressways, warning that bad websites are detrimental to society and should be reported to a special hotline.

Anti-censorship campaigners yesterday warned that Thailand was now following regimes like neighbouring China and Myanmar in shutting down access to opposition internet sites and seriously restricting press freedom.

The government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is fighting a battle on at least two major fronts against protesters seeking to oust it. On the streets, a massive force of soldiers and police has only managed to battle them to a standstill.

In cyberspace, the authorities have fared little better, despite efforts to block dissenting voices with the threat of lengthy prison terms.

The often broad-brush approach to blocking websites even affects surfers just out for some video fun. Live streaming services justin.tv, ustream.tv and livestream.tv have also been blocked, apparently because they host transmissions by the so-called Red Shirt protesters.

Thailand is getting increasingly like China when it comes to internet censorship, said Poomjit Sirawongprasert, president of the Thai Hosting Service Providers Club.

 

9th May   

Update: No Fun in New South Wales...

Police continue their mean minded raids on hardcore in sex shops
Link Here

Australia: New South Wales flagPolice have seized almost 2000 unclassified and X-rated movies in a sex shop raid on the state's Mid-North Coast.

Officers from the Coffs/Clarence executed a search warrant on an adult shop on Grafton Street at Coffs Harbour.

There they seized over 1700 unclassified and X-rated pornographic movies.

All the items seized will undergo classification and charges may be laid in the future.

 

8th May   

Peta Pit Bulls...

Developer deletes dogs from a game after aggressive Peta whingeing
Link Here

ynga logoPeople for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) have whinged over the use of Pit Bulls as a fully fledged combat item. in the Mafia Wars online social game.

Developer Zynga has responded and now removed the dog as a fighting tool.

PETA noted that Countless social gamers stopped plowing their FarmVille fields long enough to voice their objections to Zynga about the game's negative depiction of this most used-and-abused breed, and the company quickly responded in just the right way.

Mafia Wars is obviously only a game, but the suffering endured by thousands of pit bulls who are treated as if they were nothing more than burglar alarms or fighting machines is very real, stated PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman: By removing Mafia Wars ' virtual pit bull, Zynga is no longer perpetuating the mindset that it's acceptable to chain, neglect, and abuse real dogs.

 

8th May   

Serious Injury to a Political Career...

Bye bye to some departing ex-MPs
Link Here
Vera Baird

  Vera Baird proved a little
rusty on local issues

The election results saw a fair few MPs depart who were associated with legislation of particular despite to Melon Farmers.

Jacqui Smith was Home Secretary seeing through several nasty laws. She was humiliated when seeking re-election in Redditch. More for being an icon of the expenses scandal, than for her disservices to freedom and the enjoyment of life. No doubt the dangers of porn will be uppermost in her mind whenever she reminisces over her failed political career.

In fact it is a common theme amongst the melon farming related departees, that their departure is little to do with their illiberal laws, but more to do with more personal issues. Perhaps Melon Farmers can take heart, that although they seem to get away with treating people like shit with nasty laws, their bad attitude sometimes catches up with them in other ways.

Another Home Secretary with a thuggish attitude to peoples rights was Charles Clarke, who also received the order of the boot. He seems to have wound up people on his own side in his disaster prone term as Home Secretary.

Vera Baird was perhaps the highlight of the departure list. She took a particular interest in issues where enjoyment of life is something to be banned particularly for men. She was always rumoured as being gifted with the legal talent to turn mean minded thoughts into carefully open ended nasty legislation. Perhaps she should have spent a little more time looking after more immediate basic needs in Redcar, where she was well stonked.

The two back bench agitators for the Dangerous Pictures Act, Martin Salter and David Lepper both stepped down at the election. But they can hardly have been pleased at their legacy. Salter was never a great hit as a local MP and Labour got stuffed in Reading West. Lepper's Brighton Pavilion seat fell notably to the Green Party. (Actually Lepper was reasonably well regarded in Brighton).

One voice that will be missed in parliament though is Evan Harris. He spoke out against the dangerous pictures laws and helped stick the knife into blasphemy laws. He was well embroiled in the expenses scandal though, and was accordingly turfed out by the electorate.

 

8th May   

Sack Danny...

Tasteless remark in Zoo magazine kicks off a fuss
Link Here

zoo 321A Lads' Mag has dropped actor Danny Dyer's advice column after it controversially advised a reader to cut his ex-girlfriend's face .

Zoo magazine received complaints by domestic violence campaigners after the Football Factory star's controversial advice in his weekly column Ask Danny .

A reader named Alex from Manchester had written to this week's edition of Zoo, asking the actor how to get over a recent love split.

Dyerwrote: I'd suggest going out on a rampage with the boys, getting on the booze and smashing anything that moves. Then, when some bird falls for you, you can turn the tables and break her heart. Of course, the other option is to cut your ex's face, and then no one will want her.

Zoo magazine have published the following statement on their website:

As an immediate result of an on-going internal inquiry following an indefensible comment published in this week's issue, ZOO has decided to bring the Danny Dyer column to an end. We would like to make it clear that Danny was not misquoted, but that does not excuse the fact his comment appeared in print.

By way of sincere apology and to underline that ZOO condemns any violence against women, we have made a substantial donation to Women's Aid. The space for Danny Dyer's column in next week's issue will be devoted to driving awareness to the issue of violence against women.

Offsite: Lads' mags and a toxic culture that treats all women like meat

See article from dailymail.co.uk by Jan Moir
See also take from mediasnoops.wordpress.com

It's been less than a decade since weekly lads' mags such as Zoo and its rival Nuts were launched.

They have become so much a part of the social fabric that we almost forget they exist. Until every now and again, like gloop rising from the underwater murk, they serve up a reminder of their malign presence.

And malign they most certainly are. Although their editors and publishers always claim that their product is nothing more than a harmless bit of fun, the lads' mag influence on British culture has been pervasive and brutish.

Their mantra is that all girls are easy. Not to be treated with respect. Week after week, Zoo, Nuts and all the other corrosive titles blur the boundary between what is pornography and what is normal sexual behaviour.

...Read the full nonsense

 

8th May   

Strike Warning...

Ukrainian TV news journalists complain that they are being censored
Link Here  full story: Press Freedom in Ukraine...Journalists protest censorship

1 plus 1 logoUkrainian journalists with the Television News Service (TSN), a new program that is broadcast on the 1+1 television channel, have complained that they are being censored during preparation of news materials.

The journalists made the complaint in an open letter posted on the internet website of the Telekritika publication.

We, the journalists of TSN, want to state that censorship is being introduced on the 1+1 television channel. We have been prohibited from covering certain issues and events. Our news materials containing criticism of the current authorities are being taken off air for political reasons, the journalists said in the letter.

The journalists said that they wrote the letter because they understood their responsibility to the society and because they valued their own reputation and refused to go outside the moral framework.

We do not want to be farmhands and propagandists. For us, freedom of speech is not just empty sounds by the foundation of our progression. This is specifically why we re are announcing that we categorically disagree with pressure on freedom of speech, the journalists said in the letter.

We are demanding an immediate end to the manual control of the Television News Service. We are demanding an end to the disgraceful practice of 'directives,' 'valuable instructions,' and bans on one topic or another. We are demanding a return of TSN to the basic principles of journalism: objectiveness, balance, equal distance from all political forces

The journalists said they were considering the possibility of a one-day warning strike if their demands were ignored.

 

8th May   

Thumbs Up...

Nobel Son re-released uncut
Link Here

Nobel Son DVD Alan Rickman Nobel Son is a 2007 US comedy by Randall Miller

The BBFC passed the 2010 Scanbox DVD 18 uncut.

Previously the BBFC cut 10s from the 2008 TPC DVD for a 15 rating: Company chose to remove shots which dwelt on the infliction of injury (in this case focus on a thumb being severed with bloody detail), in order to achieve a 15 classification. An 18 without cuts was available.

 

7th May   

Update: Overwhelming Response, Underwhelming Action...

98% of consultation responses support R18+ for games
Link Here  full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games

australia attourney general logoThe Australian government has published a status report regarding the public consultation on the possible introduction of R18+ classification within Australia.

Over the 2 month period 60,000 submissions flooded the Attorney-Generals Department with 98.2% of people supporting an R18+ for video games in Australia.

The majority of submissions received in a non-template hardcopy were from the games retailer EB Games (34,938 total: 4202 of these included individual comments while 30,736 provided no additional comments). This was followed by submissions that followed the template collated by the organisation Grow Up Australia (16,056), with many of these providing additional comments.

The remaining submissions were sent directly to the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department. The majority were received via email (7347), followed by post (745) and fax (592). Many of these also contained individual comments. The Department received 33 submissions from community, church and industry groups.

On 7th May Australia's Attorneys General met and discussed the R18+ situation. Federal Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor confirmed that no decisions were made over the issue. Censorship Ministers have requested further analysis of community and expert views. It is not just the weight of numbers that need to be considered. It is also the strength of the arguments on each side.

The next SCAG meeting will most likely be around September.

The Art of Criticism

Based on article from attackofthefanboy.com

electronice arts logoGames producer Electronic Arts boss Frank Gibeau wrote an editorial piece for Games Industry where he said that government policies that don't allow for the rating of mature content in videogames effectively censor entertainment choices for adults.

He goes on to say that the policies show a poor understanding of today's videogaming audience.

Existing legislation in Australia that limits age ratings of games to 16 demonstrates a distance between those policies and the reality of the videogame industry and the people that play interactive games in Australia today.

The spectrum of gamers is as wide as the viewership of television, movies, theatre, and the readers of books. Governments don't insist that all books be written for children, or that all television shows be cartoons. Adult gamers want their governments to treat them with the same respect they get as movie goers and book readers.

Adult Australians should be allowed to choose the games they play, including those with mature themes.

 

7th May   

Reprehensible...

Police notice to scare the shit out of internet cafe users
Link Here

poilce noticeSpotted at an internet cafe in Leather Lane, Clerkenwell, London.

Presumably it is a notice produced by the Metropolitan Police and distributed to internet cafes.

It is totally irresponsible to group all these categories into one and then suggest that they are all totally illegal.

A thoroughly nasty, fear creating tactic, produced by Britain's Stasi police.

 

7th May   

Too Many Herbal Cigarettes...

Polish nutters prosecute singer for comments on authorship of the Bible
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Poland...Under duress for minor comments about religion

Diamond Bitch The nutters of the All-Polish Committee for the Defence Against Sects is going singer Dorota Rabczewska.

Better known as Doda , she gave a TV interview last year in which she said of the Bible:

it is hard to believe in something written by people who drank too much wine and smoked herbal cigarettes.

This was too much for APCDAS. The chairman Ryszard Nowak said:

It is clear that Doda thinks that the Bible was written by drunkards and junkies. [...] I believe that she committed a crime and offended the religious feelings of both Christians and Jews.

If convicted, Doda faces up to two years in prison.

 

7th May   

Pinhead...

US state politician censors state seal
Link Here

virginia state seal coveredVirginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli risked more national ridicule when he gave his staff a censored version of the commonwealth seal recently.

The seal features the Roman goddess Virtus. Her blue tunic is draped over one shoulder, leaving her left breast exposed.

When Cuccinelli gave his staffers lapel pins of the seal, it was a rendition modified for modesty with Virtus wearing an armoured breastplate over both breasts.

A Cuccinelli spokesman said the attorney general's lapel pins are designed after an older, not-so-blue version of the seal.

Later Cuccinelli released a statement:

virginia state seal uncensoredThe seal on my pin is one of many seal variations that were used before a uniform version was created in 1930. I felt it was historic and would be something unique for my staff. My joke about Virtue being a little more virtuous in her more modest clothing was intended to get laughs from my employees -- which it did! Just because we've always done something a certain way doesn't mean we always have to continue doing it that way. Now seriously, can we get on with real news?

On Monday, Cuccinelli said he'd stop using the lapel pin. This is simply a media-made issue that has become distracting to the work of my office.

I am going to end this distraction by discontinuing future use of the pin, he fumed.

 

7th May   

Can't Even Talk about Sex...

Taiwan's adult satellite TV channels told to cover up
Link Here

chunghwa logoTaiwan's National Communications Commission (NCC) has reiterated that programming on adult TV channels is regulated by the Radio and Television Act and cannot show sexual intercourse or sex organs.

Any violation of the laws on obscenity will be reported to the Criminal Investigation Bureau, the NCC said, after discovering that some adult channels had broken the rules.

They were asked to improve the situation within three days, said Ho Chi-shen, the NCC's supervisor of TV programs.

According to Ho, adult TV channels are not allowed to broadcast any content beyond the R-rated category, and even some R-rated programming -- such as describing sexual behavior in detail -- is not allowed on the air.

Only nude pictures without showing sex organs or pubic hair, or pictures showing sex organs and pubic hair without involving sexual behavior that are necessary to the story, can be broadcast on television.

According to local media reports, the NCC asked 10 adult TV channels on May 1 not to broadcast images of sexual behavior such as touching sex organs, sexual abuse or using sex toys.

That led some encrypted channels and Chunghwa Telecom's MOD (Multimedia On Demand) channels to cut more explicit scenes or use mosaic blur to censor genitalia, sparking criticism from some of their customers.

 

7th May   

Tables Turned...

Egyptian christians whinge at popular Arabic novel
Link Here

beelzebubEgyptian Christians have called for government action against the author of a widely read novel they say insults Christianity, in an unusual case that puts freedom of expression in Muslim-majority Egypt under fresh scrutiny.

Government investigators are looking into the complaint filed by a group of Egyptian and some foreign Copts against Youssef Ziedan, a Muslim who wrote the 2008 award-winning novel Azazeel ( Beelzebub ).

Egyptian law prohibits insults against Islam, Christianity and Judaism, and Ziedan could be sent to jail for up to five years if prosecuted and found guilty.

They accuse me of insulting Christianity ... It's a serious crime and this is a big shock to people, especially since the novel has been so successful, Ziedan said.

Azazeel , which won the 2009 International Prize for Arabic Fiction, backed by the Booker Prize Foundation, tells the story of a 5th-century Egyptian monk who witnesses debates over doctrine between early Christians.

Mamdouh Ramzi, a Coptic lawyer who is among the group that have complained about Ziedan, said the novel is offensive to Christians: He insulted priests and bishops and said many things with no proof or evidence from books or history ... He is not a Christian man, what does he know about the Church?

The case has been joined by Coptic groups in the United States, the Netherlands, Canada and Austria.

 

7th May   

Propaganda TV...

Malaysian TV producer resigns over pro government censorship
Link Here

ntv7 logoA political talk show producer has resigned from one of Malaysia's main television stations, claiming his superiors censored him in an apparent attempt to favor the government.

The resignation bolsters demands by social activists for more freedom of reporting in the mainstream media, which are often perceived to be biased against opposition groups because most newspapers and TV stations are owned or closely linked to parties in the ruling coalition.

Joshua Wong, a producer who has worked at the private station NTV7 for seven years, said he quit in late April after his managers repeatedly imposed restrictions on his Chinese-language talk show.

Wong claimed he was barred from inviting an opposition member of Parliament to speak on the government's current economic reforms. He said he was also instructed not to include any discussion of campaigning for a recent legislature election that was intensely fought between Prime Minister Najib Razak's ruling coalition and an opposition alliance.

It's very difficult to compromise this time, Wong told The Associated Press. If we continue to keep silent ... this thing (will) happen again and again.

Wong's one-hour weekly show caters to the ethnic Chinese minority, who make up about a quarter of Malaysia's 28 million people. Najib's administration has suffered a slide in support among Chinese because of complaints that the ethnic Malay Muslim-dominated government discriminates against minorities by maintaining an affirmative action program for Malays.

TV2 Too

Based on article from malaysiakini.com

The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) is troubled to hear of another alleged self- censorship by a TV station.

This time round, it is in one of the television stations, TV2, of state-owned broadcaster Radio and Talivisyen Malaysia (RTM), which axed a current affairs series after screening the first couple of episodes on April 26 and 27.

The programme's producer, Chow Z-Lam, alleged in an April 27 press statement that his 10-episode daily programme about the social and economic plight of the indigenous people displaced by the Bakun Dam project in Sarawak was shelved after just two episodes on air because of the impending Sibu by-election.

He said he was told this by his superior, director of news Jumat Engson, who said that the series is better postponed to after the by-election due to the content's sensitive element . Chow said that although Jumat claimed responsibility for the decision, he had reason to believe the instruction came from someone higher, director of broadcasting Ibrahim Yahaya.

Chow's exposé, if true, paints another stark picture of the media being complicit in depriving the public of their right to be heard – in the case of the subject of his programme – and the right to information – in the case of the larger audience. It is distressing to note that in both the NTV7 and RTM cases, the by-election was cited as the excuse for abandoning discussion of current affairs.

 

7th May   

Freedom of Fucking Speech...

Fun in the US Supreme Court in obscene language case
Link Here
kanawha players logo

  Courting Disaster
Music by: Mark Scarpelli
Book and Lyrics by: Jeremy Eisler
Directed by: Kelly Strom

This is a musical comedy that makes fun of judges,
lawyers, and litigants without fear or favor.

In a decisive and vulgar 7-2 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court once again upheld the constitution's First Amendment this week, calling the freedom of expression among the most inalienable and important rights that a motherfucker can have.

It is the opinion of this court that the right to speak without censorship or fear of intimidation is fundamental to a healthy democracy, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote for the majority. Furthermore, the court finds that the right to say whatever the hell you want, whenever the hell you want, is not only a founding tenet, but remains essential to the continued success of this nation.

Added Ginsburg, In short, freedom of speech means the freedom of fucking speech, you ignorant cocksuckers.

The decision came Monday in response to the case of a City of Charleston v. The Kanawha Players, the WV theater troupe that had been sued by city officials for staging a sexually explicit play with public funds.

Reversing the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the theater, an outcome free-speech advocates are calling a victory and Justice Ginsburg called a bitch-slap in the face of all those uptight limp-dicks.

During oral arguments, Charleston's chief counsel Dan Roy said his clients could restrict any public speech they deemed offensive, an argument quickly dismissed by Justice John Paul Stevens, 90, who turned to his colleagues and made a repeated up-and-down hand motion intended to simulate masturbation.

I'm beginning to wonder if you really understand what 'abridging the freedom of speech' means at all, said Stevens, a 34-year veteran of the court known for his often-nuanced interpretations of the First Amendment. I'm also wondering whether you and your fat-faced plaintiffs over there need to have some respect for constitutionally protected expression fucked into your empty thick skulls.

...If only

 

6th May   

Update: Promoting Oppression...

Australian internet censorship minister to discuss restrictions on filter circumvention
Link Here  full story: Website Blocking in Australia...Stephen Conroy's attempt at internet censorship

anonymizer logo Australian internet censorship minister Stephen Conroy has confirmed his department was hosting a private online forum to discuss controversial issues about the filter with internet service providers (ISPs), including the possibility of making it an offence to promote methods of circumventing the filter.

He has repeatedly stated, however, that the act itself of circumventing the filter would not be made an offence.

The Pirate Party Australia has likened the idea being discussed to oppressive censorship regimes in Iran and China.

If circumvention will not be illegal, then how can it be illegal to simply tell people how to circumvent the government-controlled infrastructure in order to secure access to information that the Australian Government may deem inappropriate, said the Pirate Party in a statement.

 

6th May   

Update: Trigger Hair Sensitivity...

Supporting the hype for Four Lions
Link Here

four lionsFamilies who lost relatives in the 2005 London bomb attacks are appealing to cinemas not to show a British comedy about four aspiring suicide bombers.

Four Lions was created by satirist Chris Morris, who was also behind the controversial Channel 4 show Brass Eye. The film - on general release from Friday - focuses on four men travelling to London to target the marathon.

Grahame Russell, whose son was among the 52 killed on 7 July 2005, accused its makers of being morally bankrupt.

Graham Foulkes, who also lost his son in the bombings, said he and other relatives were appealing to cinemas not to show the British-funded film. He acknowledged that humour had a part when it came to examining serious issues but said for his family, and others like them, the tragedy was still too raw.

Chris Morris has described the film as showing the Dad's Army side to terrorism , as four incompetent jihadists plan an attack. A film like this is obviously a very strong counterpoint to the very serious side of it, which none of us condone.

In January when the film was premiered, Arsher Ali, who plays one of the would-be terrorists, told the BBC the film was first and foremost, a comedy: It's a dynamic of a bunch of guys who get together and mess everything up. Terrorism is in the news almost every day, but there are little stories within those things that are inherently comic and inherently human. A film like this is obviously a very strong counterpoint to the very serious side of it, which none of us condone, but there are human stories that need to be told, which can be quite touching.

 

6th May   

Best Online Resource...

Melon Farmers up for an Erotic Trade Only Award
Link Here

ETO Show 2010 It is great to see that Melon Farmers is a finalist for the Erotic Trade Only (ETO) Awards.

ETO is the major UK adult trade association, with representation from all of UK's adult retailers and distributors, both online and on the high street.

Voting is open now at www.erotictradeonly.com , but is only open to those registered as belonging to the UK adult trade. The free monthly trade magazine is very good and it is well worthwhile registering for those connected with the trade.

The Melon Farmers are one of the finalists in the Best Online Resource category. The complete line up is:

  • Bgafd.co.uk
    The British Girls Adult Film Database is an invaluable resource for those looking for information on performers. It also has a thriving forum where girls, and studios, can promote themselves.
     
  • MelonFarmers.co.uk
    Formed seven years ago, Melon Farmers is a daily updated anti-censorship website which, by definition, regularly reports on adult industry issues such as cuts to R18 films and licensing.
     
  • PinkPaper.com
    The online home of gay and lesbian interest newspaper Pink Paper features relevant news and articles about travel, health, lifestyle information, food, drink, music, films, theatre and much more.
     
  • Sextoysbuzz.co.uk
    Set up by Alex Parker and Suzanne Hamilton, the people behind the successful AlexSuze.com blog, this site specialises in in-depth, and very candid, reviews of sex toys and adult products.
     
  • The Vibe (Sextoys.co.uk/sextoystv/)
    The Vibe features a team of 'pleasure presenters' - all of whom were originally customers of the site - demonstrating and explaining the features of a wide range of adult products.

 

6th May   

Do as I Spout, Not as I Do...

Noted nutter campaigner caught travelling with a rent boy
Link Here

FRC logoIn 1983, George Rekers joined James Dobson and a handful of others in founding the Family Research Council (FRC).

The FRC has featured on several Melon Farming pages for publishing anti porn propaganda research; campaigning against Marriott hotels having in room porn channels and speaking against gay rights legilsation.

Last month, Rekers was reportedly discovered returning from an overseas trip with a rent boy :

On April 13, the rent boy (whom we'll call Lucien) arrived at Miami International Airport after a ten-day, fully subsidized trip to Europe. He was soon followed out of customs by an old man pushing an overburdened baggage cart.

That man was George Alan Rekers, of North Miami — the callboy's client and, as it happens, one of America's most prominent anti-gay activists.

Rekers, a Baptist minister who is a leading scholar for the Christian right, left the terminal with his gay escort, looking a bit discomfited when a picture of the two was snapped with a hot-pink digital camera.

Reached by New Times before a trip to Bermuda, Rekers said he learned Lucien was a prostitute only midway through their vacation. I had surgery, Rekers said: and I can't lift luggage. That's why I hired him. (Though medical problems didn't stop him from pushing the tottering baggage cart through MIA.)

 

6th May   

Offsite: Taboo Fades...

An unpublicised reading of the previously controversial play, Behzti
Link Here

Behzti Oberon Modern Gurpreet Bhatti An unpublicised reading of the cancelled Sikh play proved excuses for its continued censorship have been demolished

Behzti , a play about sex abuse and murder in a Sikh temple, was cancelled in 2004 after the Sikh community stormed the theatre.

Last Friday, British theatre took a small step in the direction of free speech. At the Soho Theatre, in the heart of London's west end, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti's Behzti was performed in the UK for the first time since it was controversially cancelled in 2004.

Let us be clear: this was no great stride for freedom, more an anxious shuffle. The performance was a rehearsed reading, not a full production, and received no publicity whatsoever. It was completely absent from the theatre's website, and was only advertised to those who had been to see Behud, Bhatti's most recent play. Buying a ticket felt a little like purchasing bootleg liquor from under the counter, and the atmosphere in the auditorium was, I imagine, how dissidents must have felt in the 1640s, when religious puritans closed the theatres and drama was performed illegally. Proper free speech has to be more open than this.

...Read full article

 

6th May   

Update: Spoilt Child Campaigners...

Parents TV Council impressed by Apple censorship
Link Here  full story: iPhone iCensor...Apple is censorial about apps for iPhone

PTCApple have been pandering to the censorial nutters of the Parents Television Council. So perhaps no surprises that the PTC are singing the praises of Apple.

But of course the nutters now think that they get the same level of censorship from other platforms such as Android.

Parents Television Council targeted the App Store earlier this year over concerns that some apps could be accessible to children, that App Store pages had Web links that led to yet more supposedly objectionable content, and that in the case where Parental Controls were activated, kids could still browse and preview these apps.

Apple ultimately responded by cleaning out a number of these 'contentious' apps and started blocking screenshots in iTunes in addition to the blocks already present in the on-device App Store app.

PTC applauded Apple's actions. Apple has taken a positive first step towards eliminating kids' access to sexually explicit and pornographic content on its product lineup and we applaud the company's efforts, the group's president, Tim Winter, said in a statement.

PTC now thinks other mobile platforms need to take similar measures.

Steve Jobs recently dinged the Android platform as being a porn phone during Apple's iPhone OS 4.0 unveiling, partly by virtue of its ability to run any app from any source. You know, there's a porn store on Android and it has nothing but porn apps, Jobs told journalists during a Q&A session. You can download them; your kids can download them.

PTC agrees with Jobs that this is a problem, as no other smartphone platform offers a system like Parental Controls. We plan to draw attention to other platforms, such as Android, or Verizon's Vcast service, that aren't really doing anything, PTC's Gavin McKiernan told Ars. We definitely want to see progress from some of the other handheld devices.

 

6th May   

Update: A Burkha for TV...

Draft proposal to ban everything on Aceh TV except islamic programming
Link Here

Indonesia flagThe Aceh Provincial office of the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission said it has proposed a draft regulation to ban non-islamic contents of broadcasting in the province. journalists.

In a discussion held by the Alliance of Independent Journalists a member of the Provincial Broadcasting Commission Muhammad Yusuf said the specific law or Qanun will authorize the regional authorities to impose further censorship on all film or television and radio production despite having past the National Censorship Body.

The draft regulation will also allow regional government to ban all forms of show of programs ranging from fund-raising, educational, documentaries, films, soap operas, dramas, features and investigative news, songs, music, advertising, health service messages, quizzes, and religious programs which do not serve the interests of Islam.

The Alliance of Independent Journalists, organizer of the discussion said it rejected the regulation and will file a judiciary review to the legal basis of the regulation.

 

6th May   

Update: Freedom to Roam...

Walking the length of Ireland to protest about blasphemy law
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Ireland...Irish politicians enact blasphemy law

Atheist Ireland A man is about to walk the length of Ireland to protest against the blasphemy law introduced in the Republic.

Former social worker and English teacher Paul Gill says that making blasphemy a crime undermines freedom of speech: It is a draconian, oppressive tool to use against people in a so-called vibrant democracy and it is unenforcable. Laws should be to protect people, not ideals .

Gill will set out from Mizen Head on the 625km trek and will walk 25km a day, sleeping most nights in a tent on the roadside. He expects to arrive at Ireland's most northerly point of Malin Head in Co Donegal in 25 days' time.

Along the way there will be public debates and forums for discussion at various venues organised by Atheist Ireland, which is sponsoring the event.

Gill hopes that debate and discussion would encourage the electorate to repeal the law in a referendum later in the year.

 

5th May   

Daily Mail Vampires...

Feeding on the lifeblood of entertaining TV
Link Here

dr who vampiresThe Daily Mail seemed to have gone a little over the top with a particularly sad rant about Dr Who .

Paul Revoir wrote:

It is billed as one of the BBC's most popular family shows. But Doctor Who fans have accused the corporation of cynically trying to sex up the programme to attract more adult viewers.

Dozens have complained about an overtly sexual scene in last Saturday's episode, which saw the Time Lord being propositioned by his new assistant Amy Pond. Sexed up? The Doctor will face a group of scantily-clad vampires in this week's episode

Karen Gillan's character was shown lying seductively on a bed, before lunging at the Doctor, trying to undress him against the Tardis and kissing him.

She then joked about how long it had been since the 907-year-old Time Lord last had sex and claimed she didn't mind if they had a one-night-stand.

Afterwards, a trailer for a forthcoming episode, to be screened on Saturday, revealed the plot centres around a group of young women vampires, scantily dressed in low-cut nightdresses.

Last night, fans reacted angrily to what they claim is the sexualisation of the show, saying the material was totally inappropriate for a family drama.

Even the inevitable trivial sound bite from Mediawatch-UK didn't exactly support the Daily Mail nonsense:

Vivienne Pattison, of pressure group Mediawatch UK, who watched last Saturday's episode, which went out at 6.25pm on BBC1, said: I have to say the scene was slightly out of place in a children's programme. I thought it sailed pretty close to the wind.

But the Daily Mail can always fall back on a few internet forums to find a bit of nutter 'outrage':

One viewer told the BBC's messageboard: I wish to complain about the overtly sexual scene. This programme is designed as a family series, so showing Amy Pond trying to get the Doctor into bed was wholly inappropriate. As a life-long fan I thought the series was above all that. I trust this is not a trend that will continue.

Another added: Amy Pond literally wanted to have sex with the Doctor, on the bed, right there and then. It is totally inappropriate for what is essentially children's TV.

Viewers have also posted messages on parents' website Mumsnet criticising the episode. One read: Just watched this on tape and am very disappointed. Why on earth do they have to have her asking him for casual sex?

And at east the BBC get a chance to add a little perspective:

A BBC spokesman confirmed it had received 43 complaints, saying: Millions of Doctor Who fans watched and enjoyed last Saturday's episode, including the lighthearted and humorous scene in which Amy kissed the Doctor.

 

5th May   

Re-awakening...

A new release for Fulci's City of the Living Dead
Link Here

City Living Blu ray Christopher George City of the Living Dead is a 1980 Italian film by Lucio Fulci.

The BBFC waived their cuts for the 18 rated 2001 Protected DVD and 2010 Arrow DVD/Blu-ray

A single cut of 1:01s was required for the 1981 cinema X certificate. The same cut cinema version was then released on video pre VRA in 1982 by Inter-Light. It missed hitting the video nasty headlines though.

When released after the VRA, 4 additional cuts totalling 1:29s were eventually inflicted by the BBFC to achieve an 18 video certificate. This version with a total of 2:21s missing was released by Network Distribution in 1986, Elephant in 1987 and Vipco in 1992

  • All 53s of a girl vomiting up her intestines has been deleted
  • 8s is deleted from Michele Soavi's head being ripped off and his brains spilling out
  • Sandra falls victim to a zombie who has a penchant for brains, but 10s of this is not shown
  • Without her brains, Sandra (Janet Agren) attacks Peter (Christopher George) and takes his. 9s of cuts prevent us seeing the meal

The 1:01s cinema cut still applied

  • The cut was applied to the infamous scene where John Morgan gets his head drilled.

Review from UK Amazon : One of Fulci's Best

Written and directed by the Italian horror master Lucio Fulci. The film follows a young woman who has a vision foretelling the gates of hell opening under the New England town of Dunwich. She voices her concerns to a journalist and the pair set out together for the town, where a lot of strange things have been happening. They soon discover an army of zombies that have returned with a quest for revenge after being burned at the stake hundreds of years ago.

City Of The Living Dead has a great atmosphere present throughout the film, which when combined with the appropriate and effective sound track generates a feel that's perfect for a horror. The effects and make-up used in the film are great and would still hold up today even after all this time. It's obvious that a lot of imagination and creativity has been put in to the creation of the Zombies. There are a couple of great scenes in the film that will really make your stomach turn, and looking back it's possible to tell that they may have inspired more modern film makers.

Naturally I could point out plenty of errors and mistakes, and the plot is a little thin. Certain things don't make sense, certain things don't add up, but in the end does any horror film make complete sense, but more to the point would you want it too. The acting leaves a lot to be desired, and the script is far from perfect, but the sheer atmosphere alone is enough to compensate. Dunwich really seems like a creepy town as opposed to a set.

But what counts the most in a film like this is the gore, and there is plenty of it here. If you're looking for a brutal gore packed and entertaining horror film you've found it. City Of The Living Dead is a perfect example of what the horror genre is about.

 

4th May   

Dangerous Hopes...

Tories plan bonfire of Labour's crap laws
Link Here  full story: Great Repeal Bill...UK government consults on bad laws to repeal

bonfireDavid Cameron has unveiled a detailed blueprint for the first days of a future Conservative government as the polls suggest he is on course to win the largest number of seats in the general election.

In a Sunday Times interview, the Conservative leader revealed the four pieces of legislation that would dominate his debut Queen's speech.

The centrepiece of the Tories' Queen's speech, to be held within the next month if the party forms a government, would be a great repeal bill .

This would scrap ID cards, home information packs and dozens of rarely enforced criminal offences introduced by Labour over 13 years.

Hopes that the Dangerous Pictures Act may be on the bonfire list

Thanks to freeworld

Douglas Carswell MP and Daniel Hannan MEP drew up a " great repeal bill " a couple of years ago, a blueprint of legislation which should be scrapped.

Carswell seems to be saying that Cameron's announced "legislation bonfire" has a basis in their "Great repeal bill", so it may be of interest to people here who haven't seen this document -

The notorious "Dangerous Pictures Act" in Straw's "Criminal justice and immigration act" of 2008 is listed, and they say this section of the act should either be abolished or "carefully amended", so the definition satisfies the tests of "consent or direct harm". It's the inclusion of patently fictional material for possession, even of clips from classified movies which cannot be real by definition, which are the worst aspects of the DPA.

 

4th May   

Update: No ID No Comment...

China bans anonymous comment on news websites
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship

Great Firewall of ChinaChina will push to end anonymous online comments, according to Wang Chen, director of the State Council Information Office, who recently reiterated the need for more restrictions in cyberspace.

The news regulator said that China would strengthen its monitoring on harmful information on the Internet, in an attempt to block bad overseas information from spreading into the country via the Internet and prevent overseas hostile forces from infiltrating through the Internet, according to his full speech published by the People's Daily.

In the speech, Wang confirmed, for the first time, that major news websites and business portals in China have already complied with the no-anonymity comment rule; a trend that Wang said will be pushed through the Internet, including the populous online bulletin boards.

 

4th May   

Moral Censors...

Bad Lieutenant considered too immoral for 15 year olds
Link Here

Bad Lieutenant Port Orleans Region The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans is a 2009 US police drama by Werner Herzog

The BBFC passed the film 18 uncut with an explanation suggesting that the sex/violence/strong language quota would be 15 except for the immorality. The anti-hero not getting his comeuppance for drug taking and corruption is just too much for 15,16 & 17 year olds to understand

The BBFC explained:

The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans is a US thriller about a policeman who becomes addicted to prescription and illegal drugs, becoming corrupt as a result. It was classified 18 for frequent drug use, very strong language, sex and violence.

The lead character indulges in a range of prescription and illegal drugs throughout the film. We see him smoking crack cocaine, snorting cocaine, using heroin and smoking marijuana. His path to drug use is established following a work accident which leaves him requiring pain killers for a back injury. However, he soon develops a need for a range of harder drugs. He obtains these substances by robbing the police custody room and by misusing his police powers to confiscate drugs from users on the streets. At 15 BBFC Guidelines state that Drug taking may be shown but the film as a whole must not promote or encourage drug misuse and that No theme is prohibited, provided the treatment is suitable for 15 year olds . While the character's life will be unappealing to most people, he shows little remorse for his actions and, in spite of his life being threatened on occasions, he appears to suffers little in the way of direct consequences. Indeed, it is his eccentric, illegal and dangerous behaviour that forms the main spectacle in the film. With no clear counterbalance or traditional path to redemption narrative it was felt that the film required an adult understanding.

In one of the street robberies in which the main character obtains drugs, we see him use his police status and gun to threaten a young couple. The woman allows him to sexually molest her as he imbibes her crack cocaine. The scene is ambiguous but could be read as a sexual attack as the woman has little choice but to acquiesce to his orders.

The film also contains at least two clear uses of very strong language. One of the uses is directed by the desperate lead character at an elderly woman in a nursing home. Although the use is comically exasperated, it is also aggressive and offensive. The second clear use comes during a heated row between two women. At 15 BBFC Guidelines state that The strongest terms (for example 'cunt') may be acceptable if justified by the context. Aggressive or repeated use of the strongest language is unlikely to be acceptable . In addition the film contains frequent use of strong language.

The film also contains some strong violence, but this does not go beyond the BBFC Guidelines for 15 which state that violence ...must not dwell on the infliction of pain and injury .

 

4th May   

Religiously Aggravated Justice...

Islamic call to kill Gordon Brown deemed to be political rather than religious hatred
Link Here

islam will dominateA muslim protester who daubed a war memorial with graffiti glorifying Osama Bin Laden and proclaiming Islam will dominate the world got off lightly after prosecutors ruled his actions were not motivated by religion.

Tohseef Shah sprayed the words Islam will dominate the world – Osama is on his way and Kill Gordon Brown on the plinth of the memorial in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire.

Shah could have faced a tougher sentence if the court had accepted that the graffiti – which included a threat to kill the Prime Minister – were inspired by religious hatred.

But the Crown Prosecution Service chose not to charge him with that offence and he escaped with only a two-year conditional discharge and an order to pay the council £500 compensation after admitting causing criminal damage. It was decided there was not enough evidence to prove this, and they decided it was politically motivated.

The CPS said Shah's offence could not be charged as a hate crime because the law requires that damage must target a particular religious or racial group: While it was appreciated that what was sprayed on the memorial may have been perceived by some to be part of a racial or religious incident, no racial or religious group can be shown to have been targeted.

There is now a Facebook group demanding that Shah be jailed then deported to a more suitable country .

 

4th May   

Update: The Daily Whinge...

The Daily Mail has a random whinge about strong language on TV
Link Here

Daily Mail logoFor no particular reason, the Daily Mail decided that now was a good time to list recent instances of strong language on TV.

The Daily Mail wrote:

Record numbers of TV viewers and radio listeners are making official complaints about unacceptable levels of swearing in programmes.

Television watchdog Ofcom fielded 500 complaints in the first three months of this year, and has been asked to rule on 1,159 during 2009. This represents a dramatic surge since 2006, when 841 complaints were made.

Critics last night described the amount of bad language on television and radio as unacceptable and called for clearer guidelines and tougher penalties for broadcasters.

And then proceeded to list a few recent examples of strong language on TV. Then they revealed that the 'critics' are in fact, just the perennial whingers of Mediawatch-UK.

Vivienne Pattison, director of Mediawatch-UK, said: This kind of language is not tolerated in the office or in the playground, so why is it on television?

Ofcom's guidelines should also be tightened up so it is really clear what is acceptable and what is not. And when a company breaches the guidelines there should be real sanctions.

An Ofcom statement rather summed up the Daily Mail's non-story

A spokesman for Ofcom said it had no evidence that offensive language is increasing on TV or radio. He added: We think our sanctions are sufficiently strong and that the Broadcasting Code is sufficiently clear.'

 

4th May   

Burqavaganza...

Light-hearted play banned for ridiculing Pakistan's religious ideologies
Link Here

burqavaganzaA Pakistan stage drama Burqavaganza has been condemned and banned by members of the Senate Standing Committee on Culture. The majority of whom had not even seen the drama.

Ajoka Theatre director Madeeha Gauhar argued that her play is a voice against oppression and intolerance. A humorous, light-hearted depiction of the problems that plague our society.

At first glance, the case in favour of Gauhar would seem strong. Ajoka has been around for 26 years, their productions are widely acclaimed and Burqavaganza has been previously staged in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi.

However, none of this mattered for the senators because the ministry of culture's additional secretary S M Tahir told them that the play was a conspiracy against Islam and ridiculed religious ideologies . The magic words had been spoken, the spell, cast. PPP's Nawabzada Ghazanfar Ali, MQM's Abdul Khaliq Pirzada and PML's Gulshan Saeed did not watch the play to determine if these allegations were true.

A single letter from the head of the women's wing of the JI who took offence to Burqvanganza was enough to ban Ajoka from performing. This move has now officially been backed by government representatives and a committee is to be formed that will vet all Ajoka Theatre plays before granting permission.

 

4th May   

Offsite: Unnecessary Censorship...

A bit of bleeping fun from American TV
Link Here

unnecessary censorship logo A bit of bleeping fun from American TV where even lip readers are protected from the horrors of strong language

..See the video

 

3rd May   

Update: More Consultation...

Australian internet censorship set to be delayed until after the elections
Link Here  full story: Website Blocking in Australia...Stephen Conroy's attempt at internet censorship
Kevin Rudd

  Natural Born Censor

The Australian  government is considering another round of public consultation on its repressive internet filter plans, this time to supposedly fine tune the transparency and accountability measures.

The legislation was already unlikely to get introduced to the parliament before the June sitting, and even a short public consultation would almost certainly push its introduction back further.

Which means this legislation probably won't get looked at until the after the Federal election.

This is a difficult issue for both sides of politics, and as much as Government might be gaming the drafting of the legislation to keep it out of the way of an election campaign, the Opposition is likely to just as pleased not to have to come to grips with a firm position.

The mandatory internet filter policy is not, as some might suggest, electoral poison. It is about as polarising an issue as you will find anywhere in contemporary Australia. The internet filter generates enormous heat – genuine anger and angst – among those who are strongly opposed to it. But equally, its goals find a quieter form of support among many in mainstream Australia.

Of course anything can happen in an election year. And in an immediate post-election environment. But if Kevin Rudd remains PM, you can be sure the filter will remain on the agenda.

 

3rd May   

Update: Fears of a Link...

Police investigate whether New York bomb attempt was related to South Park
Link Here  full story: South Park and Religion...South Park offends the easily offenced

viacom logoPolice in New York are investigating whether a car bomb in Times Square was targeted at the makers of South Park , the animated television series, because of a controversial depiction of Muhammad.

The device, which failed to detonate, was left near the offices of Viacom, which broadcasts the provocative cartoon on its Comedy Central network.

Last month, a posting on the U.S.-based Revolution Muslim website warned the creators of South Par k, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, that they could face violent reprisals after an episode featured Mohammed in a bear suit.

Detectives were understood to be investigating similarities between the New York bomb and two car bombs planted by Islamic terrorists outside the Tiger Tiger nightclub in London in 2007. In both cases, the devices comprised cylinders of propane gas and cans full of gasoline intended to be ignited by electronic detonators.

 

3rd May   

CBFC Online...

Indian film censor launches a new website
Link Here

cbfc website banner logo The Indian film censors at the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) have launched a new website at cbfcindia.gov.in .

The CBFC introduce themselves:

Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is a Statutory body under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, regulating the public exhibition of films under the provisions of the Cinematograph Act 1952.

Films can be publicly exhibited in India only after they have been certified by the Central Board of Film Certification.

The Board, consists of non-official members and a Chairman (all of whom are appointed by Central Government) and functions with headquarters at Mumbai. It has nine Regional offices, one each at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Cuttack and Guwahati. The Regional Offices are assisted in the examination of films by Advisory Panels. The members of the panels are nominated by Central Government by drawing people from different walks of life for a period of 2 years.

At present films are certified under 4 categories:

  • U: Unrestricted Public Exhibition
  • UA: Unrestricted Public Exhibition - but with a word of caution that Parental discretion required for children below 12 years
  • A: Restricted to adults
  • S: Restricted to any special class of persons

 

3rd May   

IDed as Repressive...

UAE introduce ID cards to track people's internet use
Link Here

id card uaePeople will be barred from accessing the internet publicly in the UAE without a national identity card under an initiative by the Interior Ministry to supposedly crack down on cyber crime and child sex abuse, UAE daily Emarat al-Youm reported.

The initiative will allow authorities to monitor everyone who accesses the internet from public locations such as internet cafes, coffee shops and malls, the Arabic newspaper said.

The newspaper said the restrictions would be come into force soon , without being more specific.

The UAE aims to issue mandatory national ID cards its citizens and expatriates by the end of 2010 under a population registration programme. The single card is expected to later replace other forms of identification in the UAE such as labor permit, health card and driving license.

Major General Nasser Lakhraibani-Naimi, Interior Ministry secretary-general, claimed the initiative would develop levels of awareness and protection of children against the potential risks from the use of the internet .

 

2nd May   

Update: For American Eyes Only...

National Enquirer website not available in Europe
Link Here  full story: Libel Tourism...UK prosecutions of books published abroad

national enquirerIf you are a European resident and you cannot access the National Enquirer to read the breaking story about Obama's alleged affair with Vera Baker, try surfing with www.hidemyass.com or any other anonymizer that works.

For various reasons, the National Enquirer is blocking European IPs. For example, in Britain, they block IPs because any publication that publishes in the UK is potentially liable to be sued.

Regardless the reasoning behind the European IP ban, the message displayed by the National Enquirer is at least questionable. A Page unavailable/under construction message is confusing and misleading. Correct would be to read the content of this website is not available in your area .

 

2nd May   

Offsite: Young Assassins...

Christopher Tookey responds to Mediasnoops
Link Here  full story: Kick-Ass...Movie hype featuring cussing teen assassin

Chris TookeyChristopher Tookey recently wrote of the somewhat strident internet criticism he received about his over the top Daily Mail Kick-Ass review.

Mediasnoops then commented on this piece and Tookey responded:

The attacks on me are all the more bizarre as many critics said almost exactly the same that I did.

One of the youngest national critics in the UK, Tim Robey of the Daily Telegraph, shared my view that the Hit-Girl character, a foul-mouthed, murderous 11 year-old, is a deeply icky fetish figure who should set all sorts of schoolgirl-porn alarm bells ringing.

In the Sunday Telegraph, Mike McCahill complained about the amount of cold, unfelt violence: clearly, at the Methusalean age of 32, I fall outside the designated demographic, but then again I am old enough to remember plenty of films based on comic books that didn't so obviously resemble instructional videos for sociopaths.

Reviewers for the Observer and Mail on Sunday also found the film despicable. Even Kevin Maher in the Times, who praised the film's action sequences, acknowledged that morally, Kick-Ass tends to drift into the abyss, and certainly the pig-tailed sexy-assassin poses of Hit-Girl are problematic.

...See full article

 

2nd May   

Offsite: Fear of Teddy Bears...

America's disappointing reaction to South Park censorship
Link Here  full story: South Park and Religion...South Park offends the easily offenced
Gosh International Bart 37 5cm Simpson

  South Park –
We'd stand beside you...
if we weren't so scared."

The trouble with terror is that it can be terrifying. Just ask Molly Norris, a cartoonist from Seattle.

As far as we know, she hasn't been explicitly threatened by Islamic extremists, but evidently she feared she might be.

Her error was to post on her website an illustration with many different household objects with speech bubbles all claiming to be the likeness of Mohammed, including a tea cup, a domino and a box of pasta. It was part of a mock campaign to dedicate May 20 as Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!

Ms Norris pinged her cartoon to a few bloggers and talked to local radio, saying she it was a cartoonist's job to be non-PC.

Norris was therefore inspired to let her own genie out of the bottle. Within a few days there were 8,000 members of a Draw Mohammed Day! group on Facebook. A counter group, Ban Draw Mohammed Day, started up. Bloggers picked up the campaign.

Thoroughly overwhelmed by the response, and realising that the ideological battleground was no place for coffee-guzzling Seattleite, Ms Norris removed the cartoon and its campaign .

Revealing something of her reasons, her newest cartoon is a mock advertisement: Try the New Diet of Fear! ... All you have to do is tick off a few million Muslims and you'll be too afraid to eat!

Editorial Comment: A Narrow Perspective

QuetzalcoatlClearly people are a little afraid to poke fun at islam but this is a minor matter. Why should people take risks when there is a better way.

It wasn't so many years ago that society as a whole was very tolerant of religion. Even disbelievers chose not to rock the boat, feeling perhaps that belief is at least benign, but probably good for society even if it's all nonsense.

But things changed as the West came up against islam. Here was a religion that was totally unacceptable in many (but not all) of its social mores. And the tolerance bubble seems to have burst. Now society is no longer giving religion an easy ride.

It is not just about mockery, it is about reasoned debate along the lines of Dawkins, it is about criticising church leaders for covering up child abuse, it is about not standing for homophobic attitudes, it is about not standing for nonsense arguments against condoms.

Society is rapidly withdrawing its support for the very fundamentals of all religion. And really, belief in nonsense requires an awful lot of community support.

As Reverend Ian Gregory said: “ People are fed up with religion. The bar-room talk is that it causes too much trouble in the world ”

 

2nd May   

Painful Censorship...

Old cuts to Barbet Schroeder's Maitresse
Link Here

Maitresse DVD Gerard Depardieu Maitresse is a 1975 France drama by Barbet Schroeder

The movie was a long time coming to video/DVD but all BBFC cuts waived for the 18 rated 2003 BFI DVD.

Previously the BBFC required 4:47s of cuts for the X rated 1981 cinema release.

From cuts details on IMDb :

  • Heavy edits made to a woman being bound and whipped
  • Edits to shots of abrasions after a man is whipped and subsequently probed with a needle between his buttocks
  • Edits to a scene where a male client has his genitals nailed to a plank of wood and his nipples pierced. This was particularly graphic. The scene showed a few pins going through the skin around the penis rather than through it. No blood either.

Before that the BBFC banned the 1976 cinema release. The film was distributed on the cinema club circuit though.

Review from US Amazon : Bound to Intrigue

Gérard Depardieu as Olivier enters an apartment in order to rob the place, but unknowingly breaks into a haven for sadomasochistic fantasies. During the burglary he encounters Ariane (Bulle Ogier) who he had met earlier, but this time she is a dominatrix who controls situations as she dives into other people's madness.

Ariane is an interesting character that separates her life and her profession as skillfully as do her slaves who consist of lawyers, judges, and other high ranked individuals who seek punishment from her.

Olivier is spellbound by Ariane as he falls in love with her, and it leads him into a scorching affair where he is bound to be burnt as he is mystified by Ariane's dark trade.

Schroeder's creation of Ariane's dual nature can be seen through her use of a downstairs apartment for her dark fantasies and her upstairs apartment for more accepted desires.

Maitresse is an avant-garde film as it explores in-depth the theme of sadomasochistic fantasies and its sub-culture as set in a love story.

As a cinematic experience, Maitresse   offers a shocking, for the unaware, experience that tells an intriguing story which imprisons the curiosity.

 

2nd May   

Diary: Is the Internet Safe for Free Speech?...

Index on Censorship debate
Link Here

Index on Censorship logoIs the Internet Safe for Free Speech?
Free Word Centre
60 Farringdon Road
London EC1R 3GA
12 May at 6.30pm

A debate with:

  • Richard Allan, Director of Policy EU, Facebook
  • Anthony House, European Policy and Communications Manager, Google
  • Gus Hosein, Policy Director, Privacy International

Chaired by Jo Glanville, Editor, Index on Censorship

New technology has revolutionised freedom of expression, but it's also transformed the business of censorship. Governments can monitor and control information as never before, while filtering and punitive action is becoming the norm — whether in the name of child protection or intellectual property. So what will it take to make the internet safe for free speech?

 

2nd May   

Update: War on the Internet...

Afghanistan starts internet blocking
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Afghanistan...A new toy to block the news

Afghanistan flagBeginning on the 1st of May, Afghanistan will begin filtering content on the internet, according to the Financial Times, noting that a senior official of the Afghani government believes gambling, alcohol, and pornography are against [their] values.

Twenty internet service providers will soon filter websites promoting porn, drugs, alcohol, dating, and weapons, though there's no word as to whether Jihadist-related material will be readily accessible by Afghani citizens.

 

2nd May   

Offsite: Sharing Repression...

Tunisia blocks most major video sharing websites
Link Here

flickr logoTunisia is carrying out one of the most massive wave of online censorship targeting major social websites, video-sharing websites, blogs aggregators, blogs, facebook pages and profiles. The most recent victim of this wave is flickr, the popular and one of the best online photo-sharing website, blocked today, April 28th, 2010.

Last week, on April 22, 2010, Tunisia has added 3 more websites to its list of banned video-sharing websites in the country. Blip.tv, metacafe.com and vidoemo.com are not welcome aymore in the country. In early April, 2010, WAT.TV, another social networking and media-sharing website, which is believed to be the 3rd video broadcaster on the Internet in France, has also been blocked.

The targeting of video-sharing websites by Tunisian censors started on September 3rd, 2007, with the ban of Dailymotion, then it was the turn of Youtube to be banned from the country's Internet on November 2nd, 2007.

...Read full article

 

1st May   

Erased by Censors...

Erasing David surveillance documentary cut for a 12A
Link Here

Erasing David DVD Bond Erasing David is a 2009 UK documentary by David Bond & Melinda McDougall

The BBFC passed the 2010 cinema release 12A with the comment: During post-production, the distributor sought and was given advice on how to secure the desired classification. Following this advice, certain changes were made prior to submission.

The BBFC explained their 12A rating:

Erasing David is a documentary about one man's attempts to escape from what he sees as the increasingly intrusive nature of public surveillance and data collection. It has been passed 12A for strong language.

The BBFC Guidelines at 12A state that the use of strong language (for example, 'fuck') must be infrequent . The film contains four uses of strong language, all of which are spoken by the film's director and subject, David Bond, in moments of extreme frustration. He is alone on each occasion and speaks only for the benefit of the camera. They are not, therefore, directed at any other person.

There are two mild sex references in the film. The first occurs when one of the witnesses used by Bond talks about how his credit card details had been stolen and used to visit pornographic websites, including some containing indecent images of children. The other occurs when Bond's wife, examining the extent to which her family's personal details had been stored by a number of organisations, says I feel like I've been data raped. The Guidelines at 12A state that sex references should not go beyond what is suitable for young teenagers . In the context of this serious documentary the sex references would have been permissible at PG .

 

1st May   

Update: Credibility Banned from Indian Film Censorship...

India mandates adult rating for films with smoking
Link Here  full story: Adult Rating for Smoking...Anti-smoking lobby for 18 for smoking in films

sharmila tagoreSharmila Tagore has been upset by the Indian government's new rules on smoking censorship, according to Mid Day.

The chief of the Censor Board of Film Certification reportedly does not like that all films which show smoking now have to be given an Adults only certificate.

It has been claimed that she thinks each film should be judged individually and that there should be no blanket rule.

 

1st May   

Update: Let Bygones be Bygones...

Court application for a ban on Tintin in the Congo
Link Here

Tintin Congo Herge A Congolese man wants a supposedly racist Tintin book banned in Belgium, the homeland of the cartoon detective.

Tintin In The Congo , first published in 1931, features an African sidekick named Coco who is portrayed as a little black helper, stupid and without qualities , according to Bienvenu Mbutu.

Mbutu, who lives in Belgium, is demanding the book be stripped from the shelves or printed with a warning that it contains racist content .

In one scene a black woman is featured bowing before Tintin and exclaiming: White man very great. White mister is big juju man!

When Tintin is chased by a villain and nearly fed to crocodiles, his saviour is a white Belgian missionary. It makes people think that blacks have not evolved, said Mr Mbutu.

Copies sold in Britain now come with a band around the outside warning that it may be offensive. Border's bookshop removed it from the children's section to the shelves reserved for adult graphic novels, while WHSmith recommended it for readers aged 16 and over.

A court in Brussels will rule on the case on May 5.

 

1st May   

Update: Tainted Apple...

Apple ban Gay New York app
Link Here  full story: iPhone iCensor...Apple is censorial about apps for iPhone

gay w yorkApple has rejected, for the second time, the iPhone app Gay New York: 101 Can't-Miss Places , citing objections to images showing too much skin and an irreverent caricature of Sarah Palin.

Gawker reports that Apple believes it has a moral responsibility to censor content developed for the iPhone, but the attempts to filter out images that could not fairly be construed as pornographic smacks of homophobia.

In addition to the Palin poster, the offending images include a man in a thong and a Renaissance painting of a nude male. The author of the app, Forbes and New York Times-contributing freelance travel writer Anthony Grant, says he did his best to make things PG-13 by, for example, representing a bar called The Cock with an image of a black rooster. However, he has been hard pressed to represent New York's gay male culture without offending Apple's sensibilities.

According to Apple's rejection letter, the offending screenshots (which can be viewed at Gawker's site ), are objectionable for certain age groups, despite the fact that the app is not available for download by all ages.

Grant says that the rejection is homophobic and discriminatory to the point of hostile and that other apps feature far racier content.

 

1st May   

Viet Ban...

Vietnam considers restrictions for online gaming
Link Here

Sold Out Software Conflict Vietnam The Vietnam government's Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has drafted legislation that could significantly restrict online gaming.

The proposals include limiting users to three hours of playtime for particular games, imposing licensing restrictions on the purveyors of online games and labelling that in-game assets are not convertible to real-world money.

The three-hour restriction on playtime would also be increased to four to five hours per day for games that are cultural or education-based.

For protectionism reasons the draft also would require foreign game makers to register titles earmarked for Vietnam one year before their debut.

The draft will be published in the next few months and there will be a supposed public consultation.