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 2011: May
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31st May   

More Revenge...

Revenge of the Ninja finally released uncut in the UK
Link Here
Revenge Ninja DVD Sho Kosugi Revenge of the Ninja is a 1983 US action film by Sam Firstenberg. See IMDb

Passed 18 uncut after the BBFC waived their cuts for:

Previously the pre-cut US VHS was passed 18 after a further 57s of BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1986 VCI VHS

From IMDb:

The US VHS cut scenes include:

  • In the opening scene when Sho Kosugi's family is murdered, a ninja throws a star at his older son. As he falls, you see a close-up of the star stuck in his head.
  • When Sho Kosugi stabs Brayden in the stomach, blood spurts out for about a good 5-10 seconds before Sho slices his mask in half.
  • Towards the end, when Brayden (evil ninja) hears someone in the stairwell. In the cut version, all you see is Brayden open the door and throw a smoke bomb. The un-cut version has the scene followed by Brayden slicing up both men, including cutting off one of their hands.
  • The last cut scene is when Brayden comes down through the ceiling and stabs two guards in the head with mini-spears.

The BBFC added their usual cuts at the time for martial arts weaponry:

  • Among the footage removed were all shots of throwing stars and nunchakus,
  • plus additional cuts to kicks and blows
  • a deleted blowpipe scene
  • a deleted fight in the gymnasium.

From the running time it appears that the final result is similar to the cinema version as cut just by the BBFC.

Summary Review: Lost Classic

An influential work that may be the pinnacle of the American ninja genre.

A legendary ninja Cho Osaki (Sho Kosugi) is forced to flee Japan when all of his family bar his infant son and his Mother are mercilessly executed. Arriving in America Cho looks to establish a new life for his and his family and settle down. But when a string of mysterious murders point towards Cho his ninja identity is compromised and he discovers that he is being hunted by a deadly enemy.

There are some great stunts from Sho who in one chase scene is hanging on to the back of a van and takes a nasty tumble to the climax of the film, the great skyscraper roof-top duel with his American partner; this scene is probably responsible for a lot of fans claiming it to be the best Ninja film ever made.

 

31st May   

A Tendency to Deprave and Corrupt...

Ex BBFC film censor jailed for false expense claims
Link Here

John TaylorFormer Conservative peer Lord Taylor of Warwick has been jailed for 12 months for falsely claiming £ 11,277 in parliamentary expenses. He claimed for travel between a home he used in Oxford and Westminster, as well for overnight stays in London.

Taylor listed his main residence as a home in Oxford, which was owned by his nephew, while he actually lived in a flat in Ealing, west London. He said he had made the false claims in lieu of a salary , and had been acting on colleagues' advice.

Jailing him, judge Mr Justice Saunders said the expenses scandal had left an indelible stain on Parliament .

Taylor was a former vice-president of the British Board of Film Classification serving from 1998 until 2000. He was appointed during moral times when the Government were keeping a close eye on BBFC presidential appointments. This was to ensure a bit of Jack Straw imposed morality after James Ferman had started the hardcore legalisation ball rolling by passing a few hardcore snippets in R18 videos. So much for their selection of moral high grounders.

 

31st May   

Dangerous Barnsley...

Shoppers warned to avoid Barnsley town centre lest they get fined for strong language by police abusing the Public Order Act
Link Here

Judge Dredd in BarnsleySwearing in public could land Barnsley town centre vistors with an £ 80 on-the-spot fine. Police are targeting bad language in the centre of Barnsley supposedly to encourage shoppers to return.

And members of the public are being urged to report offensive and intimidating language, including swearing, in a bid to clean up the town's bad image.

South Yorkshire Police will abuse existing powers under the 1986 Public Order Act to hand out fines. The 'initiative' comes into force today. 

Inspector Julie Mitchell of South Yorkshire Police said: It is important to note that some people feel upset and intimidated from hearing swearing. Therefore, it has been agreed that those found to be swearing in the town centre will be dealt with appropriately, by either advice or enforcement.

It is not clear how they will decide whether a particular use of language is offensive - both in terms of the words used and the effects on the person being spoken to. Perhaps they will take inspiration from Judge Dredd

Campaigner Phil Davies, from Barnsley Voice, which represents businesses in the town centre, said: There is nothing wrong with swearing, I do it every day, but it is when it is targeted at somebody. 

 

31st May   

Offensive Law...

Australian state to issue on the spot fines for strong language
Link Here

Austalia Victoria State flagThe Victorian Government plans to introduce laws this week that will give police permanent power to issue on-the-spot fines to people who swear.

Under the proposed legislation, people could be fined close to $240 for language that is considered indecent or offensive.

Attorney-General Robert Clark says the changes mean police will not have to use the courts to deal with people who use bad language: We're going to be confirming the power of police to issue on-the-spot infringement notices for these sorts of offences . It will also enable them to more effectively act against the sort of loud-mouthed, obnoxious behaviour that can make going out to public places unpleasant for other members of the public.

 

31st May   

Updated: End Game...

Australian government reveals proposed classification rules to finally allow adults only games
Link Here  full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games

R18+ bannedDraft changes to Australia's censorship rules have now been made public, outlining the type of content that could make it as an adults only R18+ game.

Under the proposed guidelines, an R18+ rating would allow:

  • Virtually no restrictions on themes
  • Violence except where it offends against the standards of morality, decency, and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults
  • Implied sexual violence, if justified by context
  • Realistically simulated sexual activity
  • Virtually no restrictions on language
  • Drug use and nudity are permitted.

The R18+ guides are similar to those that currently exist for film in Australia, except for the caveat that game violence must not offend community standards.

The MA15+ rating for games, too, has been tweaked in the proposal. While most of the guidelines for the rating have been retained, several have been added, including:

  • Strong and realistic violence should not be very frequent
  • Sexual activity must not be tied to rewards or incentives
  • Interactive drug use that is detailed and realistic is not permitted
  • Nudity must not be related to incentives and rewards.

The proposals have already been sighted by Australia's state and territory attorneys-general, who will review the guidelines before making a decision on the introduction of an R18+ rating for games at the next SCAG meeting in early July.

Update: State Support

30th May 2011. See article from kotaku.com.au

Tasmania flagThe previous pro R18+ Attorney-General for Tasmania, David Bartlett, resigned earlier this month, which sent alarm bells ringing for some. Thankfully, we've just gotten word that his successor, Brian Wightman, is following Bartlett by supporting the introduction of an adult rating for video games.

Journalism student, and Kotaku reader, James Sheppard interviewed him for an assigment, and asked him about his stance. During the interview Wightman claimed that he fully intended to push for an R18+ rating at the next SCAG meeting: It's not going to completely stop children getting this material, he said, it will reduce those that do and it definitely won't make things worse.

Comment: Why treat games more strictly than films?

31st May 2011.  See article from aussie-gamer.com

letter writingWhy should our classification system continue to uphold games to a higher standard than film?

The proposed draft guidelines for the classification of computer games released last week still have added clauses that give Australia's Classification Board assessors room to judge games to a higher standard than film.

For example, the guidelines for an R18+ film simply state that violence is permitted . But in the draft guidelines for R18+ video games, violence is permitted except where it offends against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that it should not be classified .

For M and MA15+ films, the only directive about drug use is that drug use should be justified by context .

But the proposed guidelines for M and MA15+ games make the job of assessors much more difficult, adding that interactive drug use that is detailed and realistic is not permitted and drug use must not be related to incentives or rewards .

A similar caveat is added to the MA15+ guidelines for sex in games when compared to nookie on the big screen. Sexual activity must not be related to incentives or rewards according to the proposed guidelines, a guideline not directed at film assessors.

When there is little evidence to support the suggestion that interactivity heightens impact, it seems as though these caveats have been added simply to appease vocal minorities rather than in the interests of a robust classification system.

Read the full article

 

31st May   

Update: Revealing More...

Another batch of claimed celebrity injunctions published
Link Here  full story: Super Injunctions...Granting super powers to rich gaggers

Twitter logoAnother twitter user has published details of more purported celebrity gagging orders.

A newly created Twitter account posted details of 13 alleged injunctions early yesterday morning, directing users to a website for further detailed information. After attracting more than 500 followers within the first 10 hours of publication, the tweets were removed.

Mark Stephens, a media lawyer, said the courts could instruct the Attorney General or solicitors to begin proceedings, at public expense, to find out who the person behind the breach was. They would then be subject to a contempt of court action: One of the things about this is that it is a cynical snub of the judiciary but a lot of this information has been available for people using the internet for quite some time.

But Sara Mansoori, a media barrister at Matrix chambers, which represents claimants and defendants including some mentioned in the latest alleged Twitter breach, said a judge had recently rebuffed solicitors' calls for the court to start contempt proceedings -- instead telling them they could apply to the Attorney General to intervene: The [breaches] are starting to be a head-on collision with the courts, she said. Courts are implementing laws by Parliament. We have moved away from privacy laws to contempt laws, we are in a very serious situation [but] we have got Parliament, through comments through the Prime Minister saying he is concerned about the courts, and John Hemming [the MP] saying they are unhappy with the way the courts are applying the law.

The author of the latest alleged Twitter breach used the anonymous mask -- employed by groups and individuals seeking to challenge institutions and whistle blow wrongdoings.

 

31st May   

Update: Shared Ban...

Turkey bans file sharing websites on grounds of obscenity
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Turkey...Website blocking insults the Turkish people

rapidshare logoTurkey has moved to block the URLs of two major file-sharing sites.

The domains of both RapidShare and FileServe are now banned in Turkey following a decision by a court in the capital, Ankara.

Turkish Internet users who try to access either site are presented with a page informing them that they are blocked.

Both sites are accused of providing access to pornography and breaches of Turkey's obscenity laws.

 

31st May   

Offsite: Daring Sex Films...

1932 BBFC Annual Report
Link Here

Freaks DVD Wallace Ford The BBFC's 1932 Annual Report warned the film industry about sex films that were supposedly becoming more daring.

The BBFC continued with a whole catalogue of concerns about the films of the time and the effects they had on the institution of marriage etc.

And there we were thinking that the 1930's were a golden age of morality.

The BBFC banned 34 filmsin 1932 including:

HER MAD NIGHT
GOOD SPORT
WHEN SUMMER COMES
THE LAST MILE
LIFE BEGINS
LE CHIENNE
LADY PLEASE
FREAKS
SULTAN'S CAT
L'OPERA DE ZUAT SOUS
FALSE FACES
THE GIRL IN THE TONNEAU
NIGHT BEAT
DIVORCE A LA MODE
ETHER TALKS
THE FLIRTY SLEEPWALKER
THE MONSTER WALKS
THE LINE'S BUSY
HERE PRINCE
MINNIE THE MOOCHER
NIGHT LIFE IN REMO
TANGO

...Read the full article

 

31st May   

Mutiny on the CBFC...

40 Indian film censors protest against corruption
Link Here

CBFC logoForty-odd members of India's Central Board of Film Certification have raised the banner of revolt against Ms Dhanalakshmi, the regional officer of the CBFC, and have submitted a memorandum to the MP, Mr Srinivasa Reddy, seeking action against her.

They accuse her of being undemocratic and biased. They claim that she is favouring big producers and that some films are getting away with lip-locks, skimpily-clad women, and gory scenes.

A majority of our members are upset with her unprofessional behaviour. Nearly 40-odd members met Mr M. Srinivasa Reddy, and he was shocked at our disclosures and assured necessary action. We'll also meet some more MPs and Ms Leela Samson, the chairperson, CBFC, in our pursuit to unseat her, said Ms Sailaja Reddy, a member of the censor board. The members also allege that corruption is seeping in and producers have to cough up between 10,000 and '5 lakh to get their films past the board with least cuts.

However, Ms Dhanalakshmi, denies all allegations: Our work has been transparent, so all these allegation like favouring big filmmakers and the rest are unfounded and false.

 

30th May   

Divided Attention...

Pakistan devolves central film censorship to regional boards
Link Here

Pakistan flagIt's been over a month since Pakistan's Central Board of Film Censors was devolved into the Punjab Censor Board and Sindh Censor Board.

Earlier, the Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) worked under the federal ministry of culture. After the passing of the 18th Amendment, however, the screening of films became a provincial matter, and the power to give clearance to the screening of films went to the Punjab Censor Board and the Sindh Censor Board.

The rules and regulations, however, are yet to be finalised and both these boards have so far just been dealing with the censoring of local films.

The CBFC is still giving permission to Indian and Hollywood films for screening after censoring them. This means that the CBFC gives clearance certificates to any film to be screened across the country. The rules are yet to be made, and it may be possible that an Indian or Hollywood film is allowed to be screened in Karachi and banned in Lahore, as two different censor boards will censor the film, an official from the CBFC told The Express Tribune.

So far, though, the situation is different. He said that Punjab and Sindh are both censoring local films, and if a film gets a clearance certificate from either of the two boards, it can be screened countrywide.

 

29th May   

BBFC Bahraini Cooperation...

Bahrain gives the BBFC a lesson in 'proper' censorship
Link Here

shaikh fawazPresident of the Information Affairs Authority (IAA) Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa conducted a visit to the BBFC as part of his visit to London.

During his meeting BBFC Assistant Director David Austin presented Shaikh Fawaz with a detailed briefing on the duties of the BBFC related to regulating and classification of films.

Austin also reviewed with IAA president the independency of the board financially and administratively along with means of monitoring movies and its final endorsement.

Meanwhile, Shaikh Fawaz reviewed with Austin various means of cooperation between the IAA and the BBFC making use of its expertise in the Kingdom of Bahrain through the study of privatization of film classification.

Bahrain shows off its censorship expertise by destroying 100,000 publications

Based on article from bna.bh

Following directives of the IAA's President Shaikh Fawaz, Bahrain's Publication and Publishing Directorate in coordination with the Public Prosecutor destroyed more than 100,000 publications that are contrary to the laws and regulations.

This action is considered the largest of its kind since the past five years, which included the seizure of large numbers of computer software, CD-ROMs and films in violation of the law regulating the press, printing and publishing and the copyright law and that related to rights and intellectual property laws.

The Director of Publications and Publishing Censorship, Nawaf Mohammed Al Mawadh,  said that this process comes in the framework of the keenness of the Kingdom of Bahrain's commitment to international covenants and laws, and to protect the market and society from counterfeit and indecent publications, which are incompatible with the teachings of religion and morals of society.

 

29th May   

Taking the Name of their God in Vain...

US nutters angle for public ban on supposed profanity
Link Here

american family association logoBryan Fischer of the American Family Association says there is no reason that society cannot enforce laws against blasphemy, which would include misusing the Lord's name or taking the name of God in vain.

Citing penalties imposed on sports figures and others who used the F word, anti-gay slurs and profanities publicly, Fischer thinks that these penalties should be expanded to include blasphemy.

Blasphemy laws are still part of a number of states' legal codes; however, they are unenforceable because they are unconstitutional.

 

29th May   

Twitter Snitches...

Twitter to hand over contact details of allegedly libelous tweeter
Link Here  full story: Anonymous Tweets...Twitter and identification under court duress

Twitter logoFor the first time, the American social networking site Twitter has bowed to a court action brought by a British group complaining that they were libelled in messages.

The individuals who brought the legal action were councillors and officials at a local authority, South Tyneside. They launched the case in an attempt to unmask an anonymous whistle-blower who calls himself Mr Monkey.

The action is believed to have cost council tax payers hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The unprecedented ruling has prompted a row over freedom of speech, with experts warning that it may lead to a flood of actions by lawyers in other cases seeking to obtain personal information about people who breach super-injunctions or post libellous messages on Twitter. Related Articles

Until now, Twitter has resisted releasing information about its users, although its privacy policy says it will do so to comply with a law, regulation or legal request . Tony Wang, the company's head of European operations, warned last week that it would not seek to protect users' confidential information when legally required to hand it over. He said the most the company could do was to inform users before it released their details, to give them a chance to challenge the rulings in court.

In their attempt to unmask Mr Monkey, the South Tyneside councillors and officials went to court in California, where Twitter is based. The court granted the order after it was told, by lawyers for the council, that messages posted on the accounts had been libellous.

Since 2008 Mr Monkey has levelled allegations against councillors ranging from ballot-rigging, drug-taking and fiddling expenses to a claim that one successfully ordered a public bus to turn around and pick him up from a pub late at night.

 

29th May   

Snap Judgement...

Lebanon bans award winning exhibit due to photographer being Israeli
Link Here

amit shaal photoA World Press Photo exhibit in Beirut shut down early after Lebanese authorities ordered the removal of an Israeli photographer's prize-winning work.

Erik de Kruijf, a World Press project manager, said the Netherlands-based organization preferred to close the exhibit 10 days early rather than face censorship. For a week it was no problem and then someone noticed that he is an Israeli photographer, de Kruijf told The Associated Press. We cannot allow censorship of any kind so that's why we decided to take everything down.

The World Press award is one of the industry's most coveted prizes.

The photographs in question are by Amit Sha'al. They show various street scenes in Israel in which the photographer holds up historical photos of the same places in front of the camera in a juxtaposition of past and present. Sha'al won the third prize in arts and entertainment stories and was among 60 winners whose work was being shown.

Sha'al said he was surprised by Lebanon's decision and noted that the photos remained available for all to view on the Internet. Any Lebanese person can go on the Internet today and look what all the fuss is about. Hopefully they will, he told The Associated Press in Jerusalem.

A Lebanese security official said the General Security Directorate, which is in charge of censorship, ordered the exhibit's organizers to remove Sha'al's work because he is Israeli. In explanation, he noted the two nations are in a state of war. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

 

28th May   

Update: Nutters Disturbed...

New Zealand nutters win review of 18 rating for LA Zombie
Link Here

society for promotion of community standards logoThe Society for the Promotion of Community Standards is fighting to try and prevent LA Zombie from being shown the Out Takes film festival.

It was given an R18 rating by the Classification Office, with the warning it includes horror, violence, sex scenes and content that may disturb .

The Secretary of Internal Affairs has granted the Society for the Promotion of Community Standards (SPCS) leave to apply for a review of the decision, which will happen on 3 June, three days before the film is due to show at the Auckland leg of Out Takes at Rialto in Newmarket.

Out Takes says SPCS has also applied for an interim restriction order that would block it from screening LA Zombie, despite the fact the decision to give it an R18 rating is going to be reviewed anyway.

 

28th May   

Update: Playing the Survey Game...

Australian Government surveys public support their proposed guidelines for adults only games
Link Here  full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games

Australia Government: Attorney-General's DepartmentThe Australian Government's Attorney-General's Department has posted an online survey to gauge public opinion on the recently released draft guidelines for the R18+ ratings classification released earlier this week.

The survey simply asks users to select from the following 4 statements:

  • I support the proposed R18+ category for computer games and I support the proposed draft Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games.
  • I support the proposed R18+ category for computer games but I do not support the draft Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games.
  • I do not support the proposed R18+ category for computer games but I do support the draft Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games.
  • I do not support the proposed R18+ category for computer games and I do not support the draft Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games.

See survey

 

28th May   

Updated: PROTECT IP Bill...

Repressive US internet censorship bill
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in USA...Domain name seizures and SOPA

US SenateThe US has come up with a far reaching internet censorship bill called  PROTECT IP ( Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property).

The bill is an attempt to deal with foreign sites which can be difficult for US enforcement to reach, even when those sites explicitly target US citizens.

The PROTECT IP Act makes a few major changes to last year's COICA legislation. First, it does provide a more limited definition of sites dedicated to infringing activities. The previous definition was criticized as being unworkably vague, and it could have put many legitimate sites at risk.

While the definition of targeted sites is tighter, the remedies against such sites get broader. COICA would have forced credit card companies like MasterCard and Visa to stop doing business with targeted sites, and it would have prevented ad networks from working with such sites. It also suggested a system of DNS blocking to make site nominally more difficult to access.

The PROTECT IP Act adds one more entity to this list: search engines. According to the detailed summary of the PROTECT IP Act, this addition responds to concerns raised that search engines are part of the ecosystem that directs Internet user traffic and therefore should be part of the solution.

Rightsholders also score a major victory with the new legislation, which grants them a private right of action---something Google publicly trashed as a terrible idea earlier this year. Copyright and trademark holders don't have to badger the government into targeting sites under the new bill; they are allowed to seek court orders directly, though these orders would only apply to payment processors and advertising networks (not to ISPs or search engines).

The emphasis here is on forcing intermediaries to get involved in policing such sites. The PROTECT IP Act goes even further than forcing these intermediaries to take action after a court order; it actively encourages them to take unilateral action without any sort of court order at all.

Update: Passed Committee

27th May 2011. See article from torrentfreak.com

The controversial PROTECT IP Act unanimously passed the Senate Judiciary Committee today. When the PROTECT IP Act becomes law U.S. authorities and copyright holders will have the power to seize domains, block websites and censor search engines to prevent copyright infringements. Introduced just two weeks ago, the bill now heads over to the Senate for further consideration and another vote.

Two weeks ago a group of U.S. senators proposed legislation to make it easier to crack down on so-called rogue websites, and today the Senate's Judicial Committee unanimously approved the bill.

When the PROTECT IP Act becomes law the authorities can legitimately seize any domain name they deem to be facilitating copyright infringement. All that's required to do so is a preliminary order from the court. But that's just the start, the bill in fact provides a broad range of censorship tools.

In case a domain is not registered or controlled by a U.S. company, the authorities can also order search engines to remove the website from its search results, order ISPs to block the website, and order ad-networks and payment processors to stop providing services to the website in question.

Update: Blocked

28th May 2011. See article from indexoncensorship.org

Just hours after the PROTECT IP Act passed unanimously in the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon placed a hold to prevent it from reaching the Senate.

Wyden argued the legislation was an overreaching approach to policing the internet.

 

28th May   

Moral Censors...

Russian proposal to monitor journalists' compliance with 'moral norms'
Link Here

Films Nikita Mikhalkov Region NTSC A Kremlin official has dismissed as unconstitutional, a proposal to establish a committee to monitor journalists' compliance with moral norms.

The idea of introducing censorship - for that is what this is - is against the constitution and does not fit in with the development path that our country has taken, said the officia.

The proposal was put forward by a group of prominent Russian cultural figures including Oscar-winning film director Nikita Mikhalkov.

The proposal has sparked angry reactions from journalists and bloggers. Editor-in-chief of the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily Pavel Gusev described it as a talentless idea, which contradicts Russian media laws.

 

28th May   

Update: As Bad as the Old Lot...

Tunisia soon returns to old censorial ways
Link Here  full story: Jasmine Revolution...Popular uprising to dipose President Ben Ali

Tunisia flagA Tunisian court has ordered porn sites to be re-blocked

Porn sites became accessible in Tunisia when censorship was lifted in January, following the collapse of the authoritarian regime of President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, and quickly became among the most popular websites visited by Tunisians.

Since censorship ended in January, seven porn sites have appeared among the 100 most visited websites in Tunisia, with five in the top 50, the Tunisian internet site Business News reports.

But last week three lawyers filed a suit in a Tunisian court, claiming that pornographic websites were a danger to Tunisia's young people and ran contrary to Muslim values, Agence France-Presse reports. The court ordered the Tunisian Internet Agency (ATI) to re-block all X-rated websites.

Update: Resigned

2nd June 2011. See article from monstersandcritics.com

A renowned Tunisian blogger who was imprisoned during the country's Jasmine Revolution announced his resignation from the country's interim government, apparently in protest over the resumption of internet censorship.

Slim Amadou, 23, minister for sport and youth, announced his decision on the Twitter social networking site: I confirm, I have resigned. Only the administrative formalities remain, he wrote. He did not give any explanation.

However, later he had told the country's private Express FM he intended to resign, after authorities barred four users' accounts on social networking site Facebook. The government was acting on the orders of a military tribunal, which ordered the accounts closed after the four Facebook users allegedly accused army chief of staff Rachid Ammar of plotting a coup.

 

28th May   

Update: Dangerous Links...

Thailand jails Thai US man for posting website link to banned book
Link Here  full story: Lese Majeste in Thailand...Criticising the monarchy is a serious crime

Man in Thai prisonA Thai-born dual Thai-US citizen and passport holder was arrested and detained without bail  for allegedly putting up a computer link to the content of the banned book , The King Never Smiles on his blog.

Joe Gordon told a Prachatai online newspaper reporter that he was having difficulties adjusting to Bangkok Remand Prison and that he was worried about the cleanliness of the drinking water. He denied committing lese majeste on the Internet.

Gordon was arrested and taken from Nakhon Ratchasima to Bangkok by the Department of Special Investigation.

Update: Appeal to Obama

12th June 2011. See article from bbc.co.uk

An American man, arrested in Thailand last week on charges of insulting the monarchy, has appealed to US President Barack Obama for help.

The man, who uses his American name Joe Gordon, is accused of posting a link on a blog to a royal biography that is banned in Thailand.

 

28th May   

Stats...

Press Complaints Commission review of 2010
Link Here

PCC logoClaims of inaccuracy or distortion remain the overwhelming cause of complaint to the PCC. Just over 87% of complaints with merit in both of the last two years have referred to such issues. Similarly, the proportion of complaints made against national newspapers has remained almost exactly the same: 50.3% in 2010, set against 51.5% in 2009.

The PCC did not see campaign-type complaints on the scale of 2009, when we received over 25,000 emails and letters about a single article. And the number of complaints about matters of taste and offensiveness also fell dramatically, from 196 in 2009 to 78 in 2010.

Overall, the key figures show that the PCC remains successful in obtaining redress for those who have been wronged by newspapers and magazines. The PCC received over 7,000 complaints, a large number of these fell outside our remit (for example, complaints about adverts) or because the complainant did not respond to requests for further information about their concerns. The figure also includes multiple cases where the PCC would make one ruling to cover a number of complaints.

1,687 cases fell within the actionable jurisdiction of the PCC. 750 raised likely breaches of the Editors' Code of Practice. And in all but 18 cases, the PCC obtained suitable offers to remedy the concerns that had been raised. In those remaining 18 instances, the Commission formally ruled against newspapers or magazines which had breached the terms of the Code. Those rulings were published by the offending titles with due prominence and are available for public view on the PCC's website in perpetuity.

A statistical analysis also shows that the PCC's proactive, pre-publication work has substantially increased. Last year the PCC issued desist requests on just over 100 occasions, enabling individuals to inform the media that they did not wish to speak to journalists (often about distressing matters).

 

27th May   

Update: Nutter Fury...

Hype begins for the up n coming video game Modern Warfare 3
Link Here  full story: Call of Duty...Nutters wound up by warfare video game series

Call Duty Modern Warfare DVD The Daily Mail has started the hype:

An ultra-violent computer game which features explosions and scenes of destruction on the London Tube and at the Houses of Parliament is to be released later this year.

Supporters of those affected by the 7/7 suicide attacks in July 2005, which killed 52 people, called for Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 to be banned.

The game's trailer , which is described as inappropriate for children, depicts military helicopters, rocket launchers and black-op style soldiers in balaclavas.

The game can be pre-ordered for £ 35 and will be officially released on November 8.

Vivienne Pattison, spokesman for campaign group Mediawatch UK, said: I have concerns as these games are hyper-real and take place in a landscape we are familiar with. In light of the fact we have just had the 7/7 inquests, it is in incredibly poor taste.

Activision, who make the game, said: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is a fictional action game aimed at mature adults and set in World War Three. The scenes in the game are entirely fictional and are not intended to recreate any historical events.

Offsite: Mediawatch-UK Explain

25th May 2011. Based on article from mediawatch-uk.blogspot.com

Mediawatch-UK bannerInteresting to note that the nutters of Mediawatch-UK are aware that their bleatings may contribute to hype, and hence may increase sales. They write in their latest blog entry:

We were called by several news outlets who wanted our view of the game. We walk a fine line when commenting on games like this because scenes are often inserted which are likely to attract protest thus creating a media buzz and selling more copies. Because we've not yet been able to play the game or see anymore than the contents of the trailer we weren't prepared to comment beyond saying that ,coming so close on the back of the 7/7 inquests which showed the devastating effects of an attack on the tube, including this in the game would appear to be cynical and in poor taste.

...Read the full article

 

27th May   

Update: Bishops See...

Australian Bishops begrudgingly support an adults only game rating
Link Here  full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games

R18+ bannedAustralian Catholic Bishops have begrudgingly welcomed proposed guidelines for adult rating for video games.

In a press statement, the Conference--which represents the official views of the Catholic church in Australia said:

In an ideal world, the sort of material that is included in R18+ or higher classification films and computer games would never be seen in a civilized democracy. However, it is not an ideal world and, in the real world in which we live, such material unfortunately is produced and is available, sometimes legally and often illegally, within our society.

The preferred position of the Catholic Church is that R18+ material should not be available. But if such an outcome is not achievable then the Australian National Classification Scheme should include an R18+ classification category for computer games.

Not all Christian groups are on this side, however. Vocal minority group, the Australian Christian Lobby, has lambasted the proposed guidelines, describing them as contrary to the interests of parents and children. ACL's chief of staff Lyle Shelton said in a press statement:

Not only is this proposal contrary to the claim that the introduction of an R18+ category for computer games would protect children by merely relocating existing MA15+ games to a new R18+ category, it would inevitably open the Australian hire and sale markets to a higher level of graphically violent and sexually explicit interactive games,

 

27th May   

Update: Judged Insulting...

Alan Shadrake loses appeal against conviction in Singapore over his book
Link Here  full story: Book Censorship in Singapore...Singapore takes offence and puts author on trial

Once Jolly Hangman Alan Shadrake Singap[ore's Court of Appeal has affirmed the sentence of six weeks' jail and a $20,000 fine handed down to British author Alan Shadrake by the High Court for contempt of court.

Last year, the Attorney-General had applied to commit Shadrake for contempt of court on the ground that 14 passages in his book, Once A Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock , had scandalised the judiciary.

In November last year, he was found by High Court judge Quentin Loh to have impugned the impartiality, integrity and independence of the courts here in 11 out of the 14 passages. Justice Loh sentenced Shadrake to six weeks' jail and a $20,000 fine - the heaviest punishment handed down here for contempt of court by way of scandalising the judiciary.

Shadrake appealed, a three-judge Court of Appeal, contrary to Justice Loh, found nine of the 14 passages to be in contempt.

Shadrake said he will not be able to pay the fine and will serve the default two-week jail term, making a total of eight weeks.

 

27th May   

Offsite: Chewing Things Over...

Video nasty director Deodato debates censorship
Link Here  full story: Cannibal Holocaust...Re-release of notable video nasty

Cannibal Holocaust Redux DVD Ahead of a public debate on censorship, director Ruggero Deodato explained what he might have done differently when making his controversial Cannibal Holocaust .

Now a new edit of the film, presented by Deodato himself, premiered in London on Thursday night at Brunel University's Cine-Excess V conference on cult film.

Deodato commented: I think the cuts of the new edition are right. If I had the chance to go back in time, I'd have avoided the animal killings. I paid a high price for that, such as losing the pleasure of introducing Cannibal Holocaust to the UK public.

...Read the full article

 

27th May   

A Soft Touch...

Melon advert tops the New Zealand complaints league
Link Here

rockmelon erotica advertA sexually suggestive fruit and a burger supposedly good enough to convert a vegetarian feature in adverts that have caused the greatest 'offence' in New Zealand.

The Advertising Standards Authority's annual report shows it received 1164 complaints about 792 advertisements last year on topics ranging from sex to bank loans for IVF treatment.

The recently fired porn king Steve Crow was behind the ad found to be the most offensive. The billboard promoting the Erotica Expo in Auckland featured a naked woman's pelvic area covered with a dissected melon. Her finger was inserted in the centre of the fruit.

The ASA received 71 complaints from people claiming it was offensive and dehumanising. Those complaints were upheld, but claims regarding seven of the 10 most complained-about adverts were not.

Five of the top 10 had a sexual theme, while the others included a beer ad thought to be too masculine, a Weetbix ad thought to encourage risky behaviour and a rapping radio jingle containing a derogatory word.

 

27th May   

Diary: Jess Franco Season...

On the Horror Channel in June
Link Here

Bloody Judge DVD Region NTSC The Horror Channel has scheduled a season of the best Of Jess Franco to show in June.

Jesus Franco, now a physically frail Octogenarian living in Spain, is regarded as one of the world's best exploitation auteur directors and the Horror Channel is dedicating the month of June to showing four of the higher-budgeted Franco films made in 1969 and 1970.

The season is introduced by Stephen Thrower, author of Nightmare USA , founder of Eyeball Magazin e and world-renowned authority on Euro-exploitation and horror. He has been associated with Jesus Franco and his films for over twenty-five years.

All movies start at 22:55:

The Bloody Judge -- Friday 3rd June

Kicking off the season is The Bloody Judge, Franco's spectacularly deviant version of the witch-hunting Judge George Jeffreys' story. Christopher Lee gives one of his most unforgettable performances as the infamous 17th Century witchfinder whose unholy obsession with a luscious wench (Maria Rohm) fuels a jaw-dropping spree of torture, brutality and flesh-ripping perversion.

Venus In Furs -- Friday 10th June

Next up is Venus In Furs a murder shocker starring Klaus Kinski, Franco regular Maria Rohm and Dennis Price. It also boasts cameo appearances by the director himself and Manfred Mann and is considered the best collaboration between Franco and Harry Alan Towers.

99 Women -- Friday 17th June

Jess Franco's campy women's prison film 99 Women is a worthwhile watch for genre devotees due to Mercedes McCambridge's performance as sadistic lesbian warden Thelma Diaz. Screen legend Herbert Lom also stars in this nod to a genre that never really took hold in the UK.

Eugenie: The Story Of Her Journey Into Perversion -- Friday 24th June

The season finishes with one of Franco's most controversial films -- Eugenie: The Story Of Her Journey Into Perversion. Based on the writings of the Marquis de Sade, this is a trip into sexual discovery where the innocent Eugenie (Marie Liljedahl) undergoes her extreme initiation at the hands of Dolmance (Christopher Lee).

 

26th May   

Internet Morality...

Sarkozy angles for internet censorship
Link Here

nicolas sarkozyFrench president Nicolas Sarkozy opened the first e-G8 forum by claiming that the internet needs governments to get involved in order to fulfill its potential.

Addressing an audience comprising the who's who of online commerce, Sarkozy said that governments should not allow internet use to remain unchecked. Sarkozy told the audience of technology executives: The world you represent is not a parallel universe where legal and moral rules and more generally all the basic rules that govern society in democratic countries do not apply.

Sarkozy said, Nobody can have his ideas, work, imagination and intellectual property expropriated without punishment, referring to France's strong line on filesharing with its Hadopi three-strikes law. Sarkozy admitted that other nations might find France's stance on copyright law not to their liking, however it looks like he could be facing widespread opposition to his call for governments to weigh in with heavy handed internet regulation.

British prime minister David Cameron is going to object to any calls for governments to get into the business of regulating the internet. According to the Guardian, Cameron's aides believe there are many issues that would have to be addressed before anyone could regulate the internet on an international scale, with one 10 Downing Street official saying, We will not be regulating the internet any time soon.

Jochai Ben-Avie, a policy analyst at Access told The INQUIRER that he wasn't buying Sarkozy's speech, calling it a thinly-veiled attempt... to bring together the leaders of government and business to demonstrate a consensus on tight government regulation of the internet .

 

26th May   

Dangerous Tweets...

Scottish government agree proposal to ban threatening communications about football
Link Here

roseanna cunninghamNew laws against soccer sectarianism could be in place by the start of the next football season after proposals won the support of the Scottish cabinet.

The Offensive Behaviour in Football and Threatening Communications Bill would see football supporters who cause sectarian disruption at matches or online jailed for up to five years.

Currently people who cause disruption at matches can be charged with breach of the peace, with a maximum one-year sentence. Online hate crime, such as comments posted on Twitter, will be included in the legislation and would carry the same punishment.

A spokesman for Alex Salmond said that the Bill is focused on particular areas of the issue of sectarianism and is part of a much wider and comprehensive effort to eradicate the problem .

The Bill is expected to be presented to Parliament by the middle of June and completed by the end of the month.

Community safety minister Roseanna Cunningham has been given special responsibility to tackle the issue.

 

26th May   

Update: Snitch Twitter...

Twitter will hand over data connected with accounts defying court injunctions
Link Here  full story: Super Injunctions...Granting super powers to rich gaggers

Twitter logoTwitter said it was prepared to hand over information identifying tens of thousands of people who have used the social-networking website to break privacy injunctions.

A senior executive from Twitter has admitted that the website would turn over information to authorities if it was legally required to do so.

Experts had previously assumed that people who breached gagging orders on Twitter were protected from legal reprisals because the website is outside the jurisdiction of British courts.

Ryan Giggs, the Premiership footballer, last week started legal proceedings against Twitter and persons unknown after more than 70,000 users revealed that he had obtained an injunction to hide an extra-marital affair.

Tony Wang, Twitter's head of European operations, said that the website would notify users in advance so they could fight the application in the court before Twitter handed over the information. He said:

Platforms have a responsibility, not to defend that user but to protect that user's right to defend him or herself. If we're legally required to turn over user information, to the extent that we can, we want to notify the user involved, let them know and let them exercise their rights under their own jurisdiction. That's not to say that they will ultimately prevail, that's not to say that law enforcement doesn't get the information they need, but what it does do is take that process into the court of law and let it play out there.

 

26th May   

Geordie Fury at TV Filth...

A few whinges on Twitter is enough for a shock horror outrage newspaper article
Link Here  full story: Geordie Shore...Fun in Newcastle is not acceptable to local nutters

geordie shore video The Daily Star obliges with suitable 'outrage':

Shock reality show Geordie Shore has sparked a Geordie war after being branded the most outrageous show on TV.

The X-rated series promised to reveal what the finest young lads and lasses of Newcastle get up to.

But viewers complained to Ofcom after the opening episode featured boob-fondling, drunken girls vomiting and naked hot tub frolics.

And many Geordies said they hate the show, claiming it makes the local girls look like slappers and the boys like poncey Muscle Marys .

Geordie Shore was launched on Tuesday night on MTV, billed as a UK version of the US hit Jersey Shore.

It features eight people living in a luxury house in the Jesmond area. Cameras follow them partying hard in city hotspots and working as nightclub promoters. However, episode one shocked viewers who saw Holly whipping out her FF breasts in a hot tub while the lads poured booze all over them.

One viewer, called ToonTime, Tweeted: This is the most outrageous show ever screened on British telly. I can't believe they've got away with it.

Tourism bosses reckon the show could wreck their bid to boost the region's economy. NewcastleGateshead Initiative boss Sarah Stewart said: Initial reaction to the depiction of the area and the behaviour of the people featured in Geordie Shore has been negative.

Yesterday broadcasting watchdogs Ofcom confirmed they had received complaints that the show gave Geordies and Newcastle a bad name. However it is unlikely that officials will do anything, since no broadcasting code has been breached.

The next episode airs on Tuesday on MTV at 10pm.

 

26th May   

Update: A Trial that Only the Judges Want...

Public prosecutor again asks to acquit Geert Wilders
Link Here  full story: Geert Wilders...Geert Wilders winds up the muslim world

Dutch High CourtThe Public Prosecution Office has once again requested an acquittal for Geert Wilders on all charges against him. The charges include insulting Muslims as a group, inciting hatred and inciting discrimination on the grounds of religion and race.

The Public Prosecution argues that Wilders' comments may be experienced as insulting by certain groups but they are directed at Islam as a religion and not at Muslims as people. The PPO also argued that many of the comments were made in political debates. Although the office did say his call to ban the Qur'an is on the edge of what is permissible.

The Public Prosecution was reluctant to bring the case against Geert Wilders to trial, but was ordered to by an Amsterdam court.

 

25th May   

Update: An Insult to Freedom of Speech...

Even with a new age blasphemy law, Netherlands can't let go of the old version
Link Here

NetherlandsDutch plans to repeal a 1932 old style blasphemy law, which mandates a maximum sentence of three months in prison for a convicted scornful blasphemer, have foundered in the latest round of party politics.

Governing parties have given up their hope to delete the law from Dutch jurisprudence in an apparent concession to a tiny fundamentalist Christian party, which emerged from elections this week holding the balance of power in the Senate, parliament's less-powerful upper chamber.

Boris van der Ham, one of three lawmakers who proposed dumping the blasphemy law, called it a dead letter and a legal anachronism that no longer belongs in the progressive Netherlands. We don't think religious opinion should have more protection than nonreligious opinion, he told The Associated Press.

But the strict Calvinist Political Reformed Party, or SGP, whose single senator now holds the key to success or failure for government legislation in the 75-seat Senate, thinks otherwise. The party's leader, Kees van der Staaij, is one of a minority of people in this largely secular country of 16 million who publicly support the blasphemy law, which he calls the legal expression of the conviction that some things are holy. The name of God is holy, the party says on its website. Insulting God, as he is portrayed in the Bible, must be combatted. The ban on blasphemy should be maintained.

But even though this old style blasphemy law has dropped into disuse, the Netherlands seem to have found a modern era replacement which talks in terms of insult and offence. The country's highest-profile court case of recent years has focussed on allegedly hurtful comments made by maverick anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders about Islam. Wilders is on trial in Amsterdam on charges of making statements insulting to Muslims as a group, and inciting hatred against Muslims.

 

25th May   

Nutter Awards 2011...And the Winner Is...

Parents Television Council have a knock at Rihanna's S+M
Link Here

S M The Parents Television Council is again going after the Billboard Music Awards Show. This is over the opening number of Sunday's show in Las Vegas, ie Rihanna and Britney Spears' performance of S&M .

I cannot imagine what would possibly lead the ABC television network to air a profanity-laced, S&M sex show on primetime broadcast television, PTC president Tim Winter said: The overtly sexualized performance by Rihanna and Britney Spears was no accident or mishap, but a deliberate effort to target teens with images and lyrics that glamorize whips, chains and other sexual fetishes. What happened in Vegas should have stayed in Vegas, as the saying goes. It certainly has no place at 8:00 pm on the publicly-owned broadcast airwaves.

 

25th May   

Offsite: Ofcom Get Political...

Ofcom censure Iranian Press TV for interview with arrested journalist
Link Here

Green protestOfcom has ruled that Iran's state-run Press TV is responsible for a serious breach of UK broadcasting rules and could face a fine for airing an interview with Maziar Bahari, the Newsweek journalist arrested covering the Iranian presidential election in 2009, that was obtained by force while he was held in a Tehran jail.

...Read the full article

 

25th May   

Offsite: Secret Extent...

Independent counts 333 gagging orders in the past 5 years
Link Here  full story: Super Injunctions...Granting super powers to rich gaggers

The IndependentThe extent of court privacy injunctions in British public life and the media can be revealed today after an analysis by The Independent found that more than 333 gagging orders protecting the identities of celebrities, children and private individuals have been granted in the past five years.

As the ramifications of the naming in Parliament of footballer Ryan Giggs continued to fuel the debate over injunctions, MPs renewed calls for the Ministry of Justice to begin collating figures for the number of privacy orders being granted in Britain's courts after a senior judge warned that the absence of reliable data was undermining public confidence in the administration of justice.

...Read the full article

 

24th May   

Line of Control...

The Economist censored in India over map showing Kashmir actual zones of control
Link Here

map kashmirThe Economist magazine has accused India of hostile censorship after officials prevented the distribution of the latest edition because of a map showing the disputed borders of Kashmir.

Customs officers ordered that 28,000 copies of the weekly magazine should have stickers placed over a diagram showing how control of Kashmir is split between India, Pakistan and China. Both India and Pakistan claim the whole of the Himalayan region and have gone to war twice over its control since 1947. New Delhi imposes tight restrictions on all maps, insisting they show all of Kashmir as being part of India.

The map appears next to the front-page story of the latest edition of the magazine on The world's most dangerous border between India and Pakistan.

Kashmir is divided between the two nuclear-armed neighbours along a de facto border known as the Line of Control. It closely matches the frontline of fighting at the end of the first India-Pakistan war over Kashmir in 1947.

The map is impartial, accurate and fair. We show everyone's claims, and it is also realistic as it shows where the unofficial border actually falls, John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of The Economist said.

The Economist still hoped to distribute the edition once the stickers had been added.

 

24th May   

A Mockery of Justice...

Poland's Internal Security raid blogger for mocking the president
Link Here

donald tuskPolish authorities have shut down a website that mocked the country's president. This, along with recent police fines given to soccer fans who called the prime minister a moron, has raised questions about an authoritarian legacy of criminal law that restricts freedom of speech.

Internal Security agents have raided the house of a blogger who ran antykomor.pl---a website with a name alluding to President Bronislaw Komorowski. The site was full of mockery of the president with games that allowed surfers to throw objects, like a hammer or excrement, at the president's image. The blogger is now under investigation for slandering the president.

Internal Security was enforcing a law that protects the president and other top officials from publicly expressed disrespect. It's an echo of communist-era penal legislation. Decades later, after a partial makeover of the criminal code, the law on slander still stands, earlier this month allowing the police to fine soccer fans for hanging out a poster that coarsely criticized Prime Minister Donald Tusk. Donald, you moron, soccer hooligans will overthrow your government , is what they had to say about Tusk's decision to shut some stadiums after riots following the Polish Cup finals this month.

 

24th May   

Going Postal...

US Postal Service wound up my advert featuring postman being distracted by a Burger King breakfast
Link Here

postman pratThe U.S. Postal Service has a whinge at Burger King over an ad campaign launched last year that featured a letter carrier getting distracted from his job by delicious Burger King breakfast food.

In the ad, a postman a uniform resembling that of a Postal Service employee sang about the joys of Burger King's new breakfast menu. The offending verse was: With pancakes and eggs on my plate, the mail has to wait.

According to a Postal Service statement, the agency asked the fast food giant to stop airing the ad, arguing that Burger King used its logo and uniform without permission while portraying a letter carrier in a less than favorable light.

Though Burger King denied wrongdoing, they reached a settlement allowing the company to use a uniform similar to the official Postal Service garb, minus the logo. Burger King is expected to air a revised and more positive commercial.

 

23rd May   

Update: Named and Shamed...

Ryan Giggs named in a Scottish newspaper, then Wikipedia, then the House of Commons
Link Here  full story: Super Injunctions...Granting super powers to rich gaggers

Twitter logoThe attempt to use super-injunctions to gag the media in the internet age has reached new levels of absurdity.

It was reported that a High Court judge had referred an unidentified journalist to the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, to consider a criminal prosecution for breaching a privacy injunction with a tweet about another footballer. The move could potentially mean that criminal proceedings would be brought against 30,000 people who have broken one or other of the contested injunctions by tweeting in recent days the identities of those involved.

However, sources close to the Attorney General suggested he would be highly unlikely to authorise criminal proceedings against anyone who had breached either injunction on Twitter. They said that he would be unlikely to want to become embroiled in an increasingly farcical situation and suggested that if the footballers' lawyers wanted redress against tweeters, they should do it through the civil courts.

Yet on the same day when the increasingly farcical attempts of lawyers to restrict the flow of information about their clients unravelled further, a Scottish newspaper, the Sunday Herald, devoted its front page to a clearly recognisable photo of one of the footballers involved. Below the picture, a caption read: Everyone knows that this is the footballer accused of using the courts to keep allegations of a sexual affair secret. But we weren't supposed to tell you that...

The Scottish paper's editor said he printed the picture because he did not think it was bound by the English legal injunction. However, the paper did not name the footballer in its two-page spread on privacy, and Scottish lawyers questioned whether it would be able to defend its decision in court.

However Campbell Deane, of the leading Scottish libel firm Bannatyne Kirkwood France & Co, said he believed the paper was covered by the injunction and could now be referred to the Lord Advocate, who could bring charges against the paper's editor and its owners.

But Reuters reports that Scotland's most senior politician Alex Salmond said on Monday that the Herald should not be pursued by the English courts for publishing the player's photo: It looks to me like the English law, English injunctions look increasingly impractical in the modern world, It seems that everyone is out of step except the English courts.

In a later development Wikipedia has now added an item about the injunction identifying the footballer involved

 

23rd May   

Offsite: Swearwords and Parental Guidance...

If the Guardian were a film, what BBFC rating would it get?
Link Here

The GuardianA reader says that he will no longer buy the Guardian. On the face of it, the reason is the use in The Guide, the paper's weekly entertainment supplement, of a band's name that includes an obscenity. It is not a new issue for the Guardian and the policy on swearwords has been written about in this and other columns before.

While sitting on my sofa this morning, my seven-year-old daughter turned to me and said, 'Daddy, what does 'fucked up' mean' , wrote the reader, referring to a music review of a punk band called Fucked Up, on page 22 of The Guide on 30 April 2011.

The reader was unhappy with my reply. Should I really be prepared 'to intervene', as you put it, when my daughter picks up The Guide next time? he asked. What age do you recommend for Guardian readership if you are content to write 'Fucked Up' in bold text at the top of a review? 16 years old? 18 maybe?

This is what I wrote to the reader: In the past I have written that it is hard to write a paper for adults that is suitable for children. I think inevitably some parents will take the view that all sorts of material is unsuitable ... If the Guardian was a film I don't think it would carry a U certificate -- I think it would be a PG. Legitimate coverage of adult issues in a clear and comprehensible way is fine but we should keep out cheap, quick, gratuitously offensive pieces and pictures that are just there to shock in a puerile fashion. I don't think the Guardian always gets it right but we try harder than you might think.

...Read the full article

Comment: 12 rather than PG

On the topic of strong language in the Guardian, the certificate 12/12A seems closest:

From the BBFC guidelines:

Strong language at PG: Mild bad language only

Strong language at 12/12A: Moderate language is allowed. The use of strong language (for example, ‘fuck’) must be infrequent.

 

23rd May   

Update: Copyright Domain...

US continues action against copyright infringing websites
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in USA...Domain name seizures and SOPA

US takedown noticeUS authorities have resumed Operation In Our Sites and have seized several domain names associated with copyright infringement or counterfeit related crimes. Among the new targets are two sites that linked to copyrighted films hosted on third party streaming sites such as megavideo.com and veoh.com.

Previously under the flag of Operation In Our Sites the authorities shut down a dozen file-sharing and streaming sites and many more accused of selling counterfeit goods.

TorrentFreak was able to confirm the latest targets:

  • Re1ease.net
  • Watchnewfilms.com
  • Dvdcollectionsale.com
  • Dvdscollection.com
  • Dvdsetsonline.com
  • Newstylerolex.com
  • mygolfaccessory.com
  • overbestmall.com

The first two domains are accused of copyright-related offenses, but did not host any copyrighted films themselves. Both Re1ease.net and Watchnewfilms.com linked to popular movie streaming sites such as Veoh.com and Megavideo.com. The rest of the domains appear to be connected to sales of counterfeit goods.

The new targets were most likely put forward to ICE by movie industry groups. In April of this year ICE director John Morton admitted that his organization was acting based on tips from industry representatives, among others.

The authorities are also aware of the fact that the domain seizures themselves are not really an effective tool. As pointed out before, more than half of the piracy-related domains that were seized by Operation In Our Sites simply continued under a different name.

 

22nd May   

Too Dark for UAE...

LA Noire banned in UAE
Link Here

Rockstar Games L A Noire Xbox United Arab Emirates retail chain Geekay Games has updated its Facebook page to say that the video game L.A. Noire has been banned.

 

22nd May   

Bullsh*t...

New Zealand political advert winds up the nutters
Link Here

labour privatisation advertA nuhetr group is telling the Labour Party to clean up its act after the party unveiled its latest election hoarding. Family

First claims a billboard reading Privatisation is not a dirty word. Bullsh*t is inappropriate, and seen by all members of the public including young children. National director Bob McCoskrie says asterisks do not hide the words and intention of the billboard and parents will be either telling their children to look the other way or saying that only politicians talk like that.

 

22nd May   

Updated: Own Goal...

Infamous footballer vs heroic Twitter
Link Here  full story: Super Injunctions...Granting super powers to rich gaggers

Twitter logoLegal proceedings are being taken by a professional footballer against Twitter for allegedly publishing information covered by a super-injunction.

The player, identified only by the initials CTB, is also known to be taking action against the Sun newspaper and ex-Big Brother star Imogen Thomas.

Papers lodged in the High Court are against Twitter and persons unknown . They request disclosure of Twitter users said to be behind the publication of confidential information. Legal fight The order requires Twitter to disclose the requested information within seven days - or within the appropriate time required by the law in California, where Twitter has its headquarters.

Media lawyer Nick Lockett said the legal action against Twitter may not have much effect. What will have to be established is that Twitter was subject to the jurisdiction of the court, he said. While UK courts claim worldwide jurisdiction this has often proved hard to enforce. In the case of the US, said Lockett, the situation was complicated by the Communications Decency Act which grants immunity from prosecution for providers of interactive computer services under certain circumstances. Lawyers acting for CTB may struggle to prove that Twitter does not deserve this immunity, said Lockett.

Based on article from bbc.co.uk

Hundreds of Twitter users have reacted to a footballer's bid to find out who is putting information about him on the website by posting new messages online.

Twitter has not commented but hundreds of users have repeated his name online.

Update: 30,000 Tweets

22nd May 2011. See article from dailymail.co.uk

A Premier League footballer's attempts to gag discussion of his extramarital affair with a Big Brother contestant appeared doomed to failure after the total of messages about the star posted on Twitter hit 30,000.

And the number of tweets about the affair has rocketed over the course of the last 48 hours following his decision to launch a second legal action aimed at trying to prevent disclosure of the relationship on Twitter.

Within 24 hours of the player launching the new challenge, more than 12,000 tweets about him and the relationship appeared on the site. Miss Thomas was named alongside the footballer in more than 6,000. Last night tweets about the affair were being posted at a rate of 900 every hour.

Update: Putting people in prison just to hide sexual peccadilloes

22nd May 2011. See article from dailymail.co.uk

A journalist on one of Britain's most respected newspapers -- who also appears on a widely-viewed BBC programme -- could face a jail sentence after naming on Twitter a Premier League footballer who had taken out a privacy injunction.

In the first case of its kind, lawyers for the soccer star have persuaded a High Court judge to ask Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC to consider a criminal prosecution against the writer for breaching a privacy injunction. If Grieve decides to issue contempt of court proceedings, the individual faces a prison sentence of up to two years.

The unprecedented legal action shows the extreme lengths to which public figure can go to prevent the exposure of adulterous affairs and misbehaviour.

 

21st May   

Less Walking Dead...

Cut UK release of The Walking Dead Season 1
Link Here

Walking Dead Season Region NTSC Walking the Dead Season 1 is a 2010 US horror TV by Frank Darabont. See IMDb

It seems that the UK DVD/Blu-ray release is a pre-cut version of the series shown in its entirety on US TV. The BBFC did not impose any further cuts for a 15 rating.

Saying that the pilot episode 1 is shown in its entirety rather than an (uncontentiously) shortened version shown on US TV.

But other episodes were cut for violence

  • Episode 2: 9s of cuts to Rick dismembering a corpse with an axe and then delving around in its innards. See pictorial cuts details from movie-censorship.com .
     
  • Episode 4: Missing two explicit and gory zombie bites in the scene where the camp is attacked near the end. One of these - where a young woman is bitten in the throat, with screams and gushing blood.
     
  • Episode 5: 12s of cuts to Carol twice driving a pickaxe into the head of her dead husband. See pictorial cuts details from movie-censorship.com

 

21st May   

Update: Secret Parliament...

Up n coming review of superinjunctions
Link Here  full story: Super Injunctions...Granting super powers to rich gaggers

lord neubergerLord Neuberger's soon to be published review is expected to warn spate of restrictive privacy orders pose a grave threat to tradition of open justice Superinjunctions should only be granted in exceptional circumstances because of the threat they pose to open justice, a report by one of Britain's most senior judges is expected to warn.

Pre-notification ought to be given to third parties, such as the media, of court hearings where celebrities or others are applying for restrictive orders protecting their anonymity, the study headed by the master of the rolls, Lord Neuberger, is also expected to recommend.

Another issue the report may address is the question of how far parliamentary privilege protects the media in reporting speeches by MPs or peers that may be in contempt of court orders.

Whether Neuberger's report will add to the argument that the government needs to pass a privacy law is not clear.

The culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has ruled it out following a meeting with the justice secretary, Ken Clarke.

The long-awaited survey of superinjunctions and privacy orders, which runs to around 100 pages, will provide the government with clearer evidence about the need for a privacy law. Established last year in the wake of the Trafigura affair and the row over the England footballer John Terry's private life, the Neuberger committee of experts was asked to examine the use of injunctions which bind the press and so-called 'superinjunctions' .

 

21st May   

Time Out...

Keith Vaz has another minor knock at video games
Link Here

Keith VazEarly day motion 1807: Video Games and Young People

Primary sponsor: Keith Vaz

That this House welcomes the call by Shigero Miyamoto, creator of Super Mario, for people to drop their joypads and venture out into the sunlight once in a while; recognises that video games have addictive properties; notes that children flourish when they undertake a variety of extra-curricular experience; further notes the current Hungarian EU Presidency priority of protecting minors from harmful audiovisual media content in media legislation; is concerned about the potential impact of violent video games on those under 18; and calls on the Government to ensure the purchase of video games by those under 18 is carefully controlled and that parents are encouraged to limit the amount of time children spend on video games.

Signed by 11 MPs:

Campbell, Ronnie Labour Party Blyth Valley1
Caton, Martin Labour Party Gower
Clark, Katy Labour Party North Ayrshire and Arran
Corbyn, Jeremy Labour Party Islington North
Dobbin, Jim Labour Party Heywood and Middleton
Hancock, Mike Liberal Democrats Portsmouth South
Hopkins, Kelvin Labour Party Luton North
Meale, Alan Labour Party Mansfield
Simpson, David Democratic Unionist Party Upper Bann
Tredinnick, David Conservative Party Bosworth
Vaz, Keith Labour Party Leicester East

 

21st May   

Updated: Censor Gender Bender...

US bookstores censor cover picture of topless man
Link Here

dossierTwo major U.S. book retailers have censored an image of andogynous male model Andre Pejic in case customers confuse him for a woman.

The Serbian-born catwalk star, 19, appears topless on the cover of glossy magazine Dossier. But both Barnes & Noble and Borders have demanded that issues of the magazine come wrapped in opaque plastic.

Barnes & Noble said that though it understood that Mr Pejic was male and not female, the model is young and it could be deemed as a naked female.

Dossier co-founder and creative director Skye Parrott told Jezebel.com that the directive came as a shock:

We knew that this cover presented a very strong, androgynous image, and that could make some people uncomfortable. That's partly why we chose it. I guess it has made someone pretty uncomfortable.

Nobody I know has ever heard of anything like this happening, she said. Especially with a guy. Guys are shirtless on magazine covers all the time. [It poses] a very interesting question of gender.

Update: Not True

21st May 2011. See article from advocate.com

Representatives from Barnes & Noble and Borders say reports they censored an issue of Dossier Journal featuring a shirtless, androgynous male model on the cover are false.

At no time did Borders request opaque polybags for this issue of Dossier magazine, Stephanie Laco, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, told The Advocate in a statement.

A spokeswoman for Barnes & Noble says she doesn't understand how the rumor was started, saying, There was absolutely no conflict.

 

21st May   

External Censorship...

Burma bans memory sticks, CD drives and external hard disks from internet cafes
Link Here

Burma flag 2010The use of USB sticks, CDs, floppy disks and other external data storage devices in Burmese internet cafe's has been banned. The new restriction was issued by the Communications Ministry.

The ban on data storage devices comes two months after the Burmese government adopted a law blocking transmission technologies for delivery of voice communication, this according to the Democratic Voice of Burma.

Ostensibly, the measure was designed to cut financial losses by local companies offering overseas calling, but it is also useful in enhancing state censorship since Skype and VoIP are hard to monitor.

Existing legislation is already draconian. Already foreigners are required to hand over passport details, address and phone number before using an internet cafe' computer, whilst cafe' owners must submit monthly records of users' internet usage data to the Myanmar Post and Telecommunications Ministry.

 

20th May   

Update: Reviled...

The creator of China's internet censorship comes under egg and shoe attack
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Malaysia...Malaysia looks to censor the internet

Great Firewall of ChinaPolice in China say they are seeking a man who allegedly threw an egg and shoes at the designer of the country's Great Firewall of internet censorship.

Fang Binxing was lecturing at Wuhan University, Hubei province, when the alleged protest took place.

Reports of the attack spread quickly on Twitter after a user named Hanunyi posted his account of the incident.

Hanunyi posted a live account of the alleged shoe-throw on his profile page, including a picture of a hand clutching an egg: The egg missed the target. The first shoe hit the target. The second shoe was blocked by a man and a woman .

Fang is reviled by many Chinese web users for overseeing development of China's system of internet censorship.

 

20th May   

Update: Ethical Dilemma...

A Swedish diocese comments on investments in TV channel TV 1000 which shows late night porn
Link Here

tv1000 logoThe Swedish diocese of Lund has been challenged about going against church policy by investing in companies that make money through distributing porn.

Despite guidelines from the Church of Sweden when it comes to pornography, the diocese of Lund has chosen to place money in companies that distribute pornographic material, for example by investing in commercial media house MTG, which broadcasts late night porn on the film channel TV 1000.

Skoog is aware of the connection to TV 1000 and commented:

Our strategy is to actively influence our fund managers not to invest in funds that make money this way and also get them to bring this up with the companies to try to influence these to stop..

But if the Church of Sweden would rule out all companies with connections to unethical industries there would be very few left to invest in and still be making money.

It is also really hard to know where one should draw the line. All ethical funds have this problem, because it is always possible to ague that something could be used in an unethical way.

And if a fund proves to be less ethical than we would prefer, we work actively in trying to influence them to change.

 

19th May   

Update: Searching for Defiance...

Google not impressed by UK website blocking measures in the Digital Economy Act
Link Here  full story: Digital Economy Act...Clause 11 grants government control of the internet

Google logoGoogle's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, has warned that government plans to block access to illicit filesharing websites could set a disastrous precedent for freedom of speech.

Speaking to journalists at Google's Big Tent conference in London, Schmidt said the online search giant would challenge attempts to restrict access to the Pirate Bay and other so-called cyberlocker sites,  part of government plans to fight online piracy through controversial measures included in the Digital Economy Act.

Schmidt described website blocking as akin to China's restrictive internet regime:

I would be very, very careful if I were a government about arbitrarily [implementing] simple solutions to complex problems, he said. So, 'let's whack off the DNS'. Okay, that seems like an appealing solution but it sets a very bad precedent because now another country will say 'I don't like free speech so I'll whack off all those DNSs' -- that country would be China.

It doesn't seem right. I would be very, very careful about that stuff. If [the UK government] do it the wrong way it could have disastrous precedent setting in other areas.

Speaking at the same conference, the culture minister, Jeremy Hunt, said plans to block access to illicit filesharing websites were on schedule. He admitted that a challenge of the controversial measure is deciding which sites get blocked.

Ofcom is due to present its report on the practicability of the site-blocking measures included in the DEA to Hunt in the coming weeks.

 

19th May   

Update: Successfully Avoiding the Point...

Nominet domain seizure debate discusses everything but
Link Here  full story: Internet Domain Censorship...In the Domain of Nominet internet censorship

NominetNominet, the .uk domain name manager, yesterday held its inaugural .uk Policy Forum, a talking shop designed to give stakeholders a chance to voice their opinions about internet governance.

Over the last year or so, law enforcement in the UK and US have started to zero in on top-level domain name registries -- such as VeriSign in the US for .com and Nominet for .uk -- as a useful choke-point that can be squeezed to shut down supposedly criminal activity online.

Yesterday's event, subtitled Protection & Trust , heard from lawyers, advocacy groups, journalists, law enforcement and government, and covered topics from porn-filtering by ISPs to balancing free speech rights against the needs of law enforcement in an increasingly complex international environment.

Every attendee we spoke to yesterday called the event a success, an unprecedented venue to air views about the wider internet governance debate. A similarly positive sentiment was recorded on Twitter (#nominetpf), but this reporter was surprised by the lack of discussion about Nominet's actual powers.

As the .uk registry, Nominet has the ability, if not necessarily the authority, to unilaterally remove any .uk domain name from the internet. Whether yesterday's debate focused on security, anti-pornography measures, copyright enforcement, or freedom of speech, the exercise of this power over internet addresses was arguably the only real, practical, underlying issue.

Yet Nominet itself barely merited a mention. The organisation sometimes felt the like the elephant in the room at its own conference. Its brand was on every PowerPoint slide, but it was not until the final minutes of the very last session that any panelist started to talk in any depth about its policies. Even then, they were hurried on by moderator Sarah Montague in the interests of timing.

 

19th May   

Diary: Cine-Excess...

Franco Nero on stage for a showing of Django
Link Here

Any Gun Can Play Euro westerns Odeon Covent Garden
Saturday 28th May 2011, 4.30pm-6pm

FRANCO NERO ON STAGE followed by screening of Django (1966).

The legendary Italian actor talks about his career in films and introduces Sergio Corbucci's cult Spaghetti western, Django

Franco Nero will also be signing copies of the new FAB Press book, Any Gun Can Play: The Essential Guide To Euro-Westerns by Kevin Grant. Franco Nero has also written the foreward.

Also on Fri 27th May A Quiet Place in the Country (18) (1969), directed by Elio Petri and with Ennio Morricone soundtrack. Starring Franco Nero and Vanessa Redgrave. Franco Nero will introduce the film. Time: 830pm - 11pm Venue: Italian Cultural Institute. Belgrave Square, London

 

19th May   

Searching for Damages...

US residents sue Chinese search engine over censored posts
Link Here

baidu logoEight New York residents have filed a lawsuit against China and Chinese online-search provider Baidu Inc., alleging they violated the plaintiffs' U.S. constitutional rights by blocking prodemocracy speech from Baidu search results. The complaint seeks damages of $16 million, or $2 million for each plaintiff.

The plaintiffs allege their articles or videos about the Chinese democratic movement are unavailable via searches on Baidu, which the lawsuit calls an agent and enforcer of the anti-democracy policies of China. The censorship violates their rights under the U.S. Constitution, the New York constitution and New York law, the suit alleged. It didn't elaborate on why Baidu should be punished for actions that Baidu says are required by Chinese law.

Senator Richard Durbin earlier this month wrote a letter to Baidu Chief Executive Robin Li expressing concerns that the company wasn't taking measures to safeguard human rights, including freedom of expression and privacy. Durbin said he was working on legislation that would require companies to take steps to protect human rights or face liability, and that Baidu would be subject to such legislation because its shares are traded in the U.S.

 

19th May   

Update: Soft on Censorship...

Turkey prosecutes publisher of William Burroughs novel for obscenity
Link Here

Soft Machine William Burroughs A Turkish publisher is currently facing obscenity charges for releasing an edition of William Borroughs' novel, The Soft Machine . The book features scenes of drug addiction and homosexuality.

A winner of the International Publishers Association's Freedom to Publish prize, Irfan Sanci has previously been sued under Article 226 of the Turkish penal code, for publishing books including Guillaume Apollinaire's Adventures of the Young Don Juan, but was acquitted in December.

He and his translator are now facing further obscenity charges for publishing 2,500 copies of a Turkish edition of the Burroughs novel in January, which could mean a jail sentence of up to nine years.

The International Publishers Association called the situation mind-blowing and disappointing and called for Sanci and his translator's immediate acquittal, saying that the obscenity charges violate Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European convention on human rights. Last year Turkey was found guilty of violating the article by the European court of human rights when it banned Apollinaire's erotic novel The Eleven Thousand Rods.

The Soft Machine develops attitudes that were permissive to crime by concentrating on the banal, vulgar and weak attributes of humanity , according to a report by the Turkish Prime Ministerial Board for the Protection of Children from Harmful Publications, quoted in Turkish paper Hurriyet. The Council also accused the novel of incompliance with moral norms and hurting people's moral feelings .

IPA Freedom to Publish Committee chair Bjorn Smith-Simonsen called the prosecution undemocratic, anachronistic and unworthy of a modern and open society ... Sanci is being harassed for doing his publisher's job. At a time when freedom to publish conditions deteriorate again in Turkey, it is urgent to stop these practices and to leave Irfan Sanci alone.

 

19th May   

Update: Lack of Interest...

Australia scraps scheme to provide parents with PC internet filters
Link Here

australian government logoPrior to getting committed to the idea of ISP website blocking, the Australian government had set up a scheme offering state recommended and subsidised filtering software for parents to install on their family PCs.

The Australian government has now decided to scrap its Voluntary Internet Filtering Grants Program in the 2011 federal budget:

The plan was intended to help give ISPs give consumers an additional filtering option for content that wasn't Refused Classification (RC), but that they still objected to. However there was limited interest among ISPs in the grants, and consumers had a number of filtering options at their disposal, including browser and search engine filters.

The government still plans to push forward with its involuntary, i.e. mandatory, blocking scheme that's been in the works since 2007.

 

18th May   

US Can Crow about an Uncut Crow 2...

The Crow: City of Angels is released on US Blu-ray
Link Here

Crow City Angels Blu ray US The Crow:City of Angels is a 1996 US action film by Tim Pope. See IMDb

The US release featuring the Director's Cut is uncut and MPAA R Rated for:

Meanwhile in the UK, The 'Directors Cut' was passed 18 after 14s of martial arts weaponry were pre-cut as per the cinema release for:
  • UK 2003 Buena Vista R2 DVD
  • UK 2003 Buena Vista VHS
  • UK 2001 Buena Vista R2 DVD
  • UK 1997 Buena Vista VHS

See pictorial cuts details from movie-censorship.com :

  • 2 throwing stars removed as Kali throws at Ashe. The first misses and the second hits his hand
  • The sight of butterfly knife is removed as Kali draws it on Ashe.

 

18th May   

Updated: Polluted Children...

Mediawatch-UK to lobby BT over ISP internet blocking
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn
 

  

toxic avenger childMediawatch-UK, the nutter campaign group, says children today are the polluted generation . It will launch a campaign tomorrow to alert parents. Acting with the charity Safermedia, it will put up 10ft-high letters reading Block Porn outside BT's headquarters in London as part of a drive to encourage providers to restrict access to pornographic content.

A Mediawatch spokeswoman said: Parents seem to be unaware of the scale of their children's porn consumption. Seventy-five per cent of teenagers say their parents have never talked about porn with them.

Far from being harmless, we are seeing evidence that children's consumption of pornography is affecting their development.

Update: Block Porn

18th May 2011. Based on article from safermedia.blogspot.com
See also article from marlboroughnewsonline.co.uk

block pornOn the 7th February 2011, Ed Vaizey MP, the Minister for Culture met with the major British ISPs to discuss the potential of this suggestion. Following a good discussion, the ISPs are now looking at the technical side of implementation and the next meeting with Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey MP, is today on the 18th May 2011.

As part of this campaign, on May 16th 2011 Safermedia travelled to central London and built a 10ft structure with coloured blocks outside the BT headquarters calling on ISPs to BLOCK PORN at the source.

 

18th May   

Update: Private Vices and Public Gags...

Justice Secretary indicates that he will introduce a privacy law
Link Here  full story: Super Injunctions...Granting super powers to rich gaggers

Kenneth Clarke Biography Malcolm Balen Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, has indicated that a new privacy law will be introduced after warning that the public is not entitled to know about the sex lives of footballers [and politicians?] .

Clarke said there were areas of privacy where Britons could expect to be protected, but added he was uneasy about the use of super-injunctions, which prevent the public from knowing if a gagging order has even been obtained.

Last week, The Daily Telegraph disclosed that more than 80 injunctions have been taken out by well-known people, including Premier League footballers, actors and an MP.

Lord Neuberger, the Master of the Rolls, will this week present an official report to the Government on injunctions, which is expected to recommend more public scrutiny of their use.

Clarke said: 

Plainly, I believe in the freedom of the press and freedom of speech in this country, even when sometimes it is exercised provocatively ...HOWEVER... I also think there are areas of privacy where an individual is entitled to have it protected.

It is probably right to say that Parliament passing a privacy act might well be the best way of resolving it. But we need to get somewhat nearer to a consensus, and one needs to know exactly how we are going to strike this balance.

 

18th May   

Secret Lack of Judgement...

US Secret Service question schoolboy about Facebook posting
Link Here

us secret service logoA 13 year old schoolboy faced US federal interrogation at school for what he posted on his Facebook page.

After Osama bin Laden was killed, 13-year-old Vito LaPinta posted an update to his Facebook status that got the Feds attention.

I was saying how Osama was dead and for Obama to be careful because there could be suicide bombers, says Vito.

A week later he was called in to the principal's office. A man walked in with a suit and glasses and he said he was part of the Secret Service . He told me it was because of a post I made that indicated I was a threat toward the President. The Tacoma school district acknowledged a Secret Service agent questioned Vito.

The teen's mom says she rushed to Truman Middle School immediately and arrived to discover her son had already been questioned for half an hour. I just about lost it, she said. My 13 year-old son is supposed to be safe and secure in his classroom and he's being interrogated without my knowledge or consent privately.

Vito said that once his mom showed up, the agent finished the interview and told him he was not in any trouble. Now he's more careful about what he posts online.

 

18th May   

Bus Censors...

Philippines bus operators told to end sex and violence video screenings
Link Here

philippis busPhilippines Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is now working closely with the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to crack down on bus drivers and operators caught playing sex and violence videos in their vehicles, said LTFRB Chairman Nelson Laluces, in an interview with Radyo Inquirer.

Operators who permit the showing of such films in their bus liners will be slapped a penalty of P3,000 ( £ 43) for the first offense, P6,000 for the second offense, and a possible suspension and revocation of franchise, said Laluces.

Meanwhile, erring while drivers could also be suspended, and will undergo seminars to be conducted by the LTFRB. The MTRCB will likewise file criminal charges against bus operators for the protection of minors.

Laluces said only motion pictures and television programs that are suited for the viewing of children are allowed in bus liners.

 

17th May   

Free Palestine...

BBC censor a Mic Righteous rap
Link Here

Revolution feat Mic Righteous Explicit The BBC has come under attack after the words free Palestine were edited out of a performance by rapper Mic Righteous on a 1Xtra show. The freestyle rap originally aired in December, but appeared again in a best-of show at the end of April with the political statement edited out.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign issued a statement last week urging listeners to write to the BBC and Radio Times to complain about what they termed an extraordinary act of censorship .

A BBC spokesman claimed: All BBC programmes have a responsibility to be impartial when dealing with controversial subjects and an edit was made to Mic Righteous' freestyle to ensure that impartiality was maintained .

 

17th May   

Updated: Unlawful Killing...

The film the British won't get to see
Link Here

unlawful killing video My documentary about the Diana inquest will be shown everywhere but the UK. Here's why

The internet is a global lavatory wall, a Rabelaisian mixture of truth, lies, insanity and humour. I felt its power and madness this week, when an excerpt from my new film, Unlawful Killing, was leaked on to YouTube and seized on by US conspiracy theorists, who immediately began claiming that the CIA had murdered Princess Diana, thereby allowing others to dismiss my documentary as mad.

Deriding its critics as mad is an age-old British establishment trick. My inquest of the inquest film contains footage of Diana recalling how the royals wanted her consigned to a mental institution, and the inquest coroner repeatedly questioning the sanity of anyone who wondered if the crash was more than an accident. His chief target was Mohamed Al Fayed, a man I once profiled for a Channel 4 documentary. Before I met him, I'd half-believed the media caricature of him as a madman, driven nuts by the death of his son, and wildly accusing the Windsors of having planned the 1997 crash. However, I found a man who was sane and funny but frustrated that Britain wouldn't hold an inquest into his son's death. Michael Mansfield QC thought it unfair too, and fought for one to be held; which was why the longest inquest in British legal history eventually began in 2007.

...

Why is the film being premiered next week at Cannes, three years after the inquest ended? Because British lawyers insisted on 87 cuts before any UK release could be contemplated. So rather than butcher the film, or risk legal action, we're showing it in France, then the US, and everywhere except the UK.

...Read the full article

Update: Maybe

17th May 2011. See article from digitalspy.co.uk

Keith Allen has suggested that his Princess Diana documentary Unlawful Killing may be screened in London.

Speaking at a press conference for the film in Cannes, Allen said:

I haven't made any cuts of the 87 that were suggested, which is contributing to why the film isn't being shown in England. When you want to screen a film in England you have to have insurance, and the only way to get insurance is to be lawyer-approved. I could get lawyer approval if I made the 87 cuts, which I wasn't prepared to make.

It's an ongoing process, there's a chance it may be seen in England. We're in talks with the [BFI] London Film Festival and it could be shown there.

Update: Sydney Film Festival

25th August 2013.  See article from dailyadvertiser.com.au

A controversial documentary alleging dark forces in the British establishment covered up details of Diana, the Princess of Wales' death in 1997 will be screened at a Sydney film festival next month.

The screening of Unlawful Killing at the Sydney Underground Film Festival on September 7 and 8 is understood to be the only time it has been shown outside a private screening at the 2011 Cannes film festival and at an Irish festival.

It will be screened one day after the world premiere of Diana , a biopic starring Naomi Watts, in London on September 5.

 

17th May   

Updated: We will not Bow to Censorship...

Turkey protests against mandatory ISP blocking options
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Turkey...Website blocking insults the Turkish people

Turkey flagThousands of people in Turkey took to the streets yesterday to protest government plans for compulsory internet filtering.

All connections in the country will have to choose between four different levels of interference in their internet access.

There were demonstrations in Istanbul and 40 cities around the country. Thousands of people carried banners marked Yes we ban! and We will not bow to censorship .

The Information Technologies Board is proposing people choose a child profile, family profile, domestic or standard profile for their connection. It is also proposing a ban on certain words from internet addresses.

Update: 50,000 Protestors

17th May 2011. Based on article from nationalturk.com
See also The Declaration of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, May 15th, 2011 from cyberlaw.org.uk

turkey protest intert censorshipThousands have gathered in more than 30 cities around Turkey in order to protest a new system of Internet censorship.

Protesters in Taksim Square in Istanbul called the action, which government related regulators claim is intended to protect minors, an assault on personal freedom and liberty and an act of censorship in Turkey.

Protesters organized coordinated demonstrations on social networking sites such as Facebook in dozens of cities around Turkey on Sunday. They carried posters reading Don't touch my Internet! during a march down I.stanbul's I.stiklal Street, which was attended by ten-thousands. Among the slogans people cheered, The Internet is ours and will remain ours! . In addition to street protests, about one million people joined campaigns organised online to protest the new regulation, which is claimed to mark the death of Internet in Turkey. The filtering is considered to be as unlawful and arbitrary .

 

17th May   

Blood Unspattered...

Old Cuts to The Blood Spattered Bride and a new appearance on US Blu-ray
Link Here

Blood Spattered Bride Region NTSC The Blood Spattered Bride is a 1972 Spain horror by Vicente Aranada. See IMDb

The US release is uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

In the UK the cut cinema version was passed 18 after a further 26s of BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1988 Sheptonhurst VHS

From IMDb:

  • BBFC cuts removed 26s of Susan being assaulted and her clothes being ripped

plus the BBFC cinema cuts:

  • edits to the castration scene
  • edits to close up shots of bloody stomach wounds during stabbing scenes

Summary Review: Haunting imagery

The film is noted for the haunting imagery photographed by veteran cinematographer Fernando Aribas.

Alexandra Bastedo (well known for TV role in The Champions) stars as a lesbian vampire lusting after a honeymooning bride.

There's a little nudity and some gore scenes to mixed effect.

A good atmospheric play on the Carmilla legend that would have been even better if more tightly paced.

 

16th May   

Update: Come Fly with Me to the Boonies...

British TV comedy deemed unsuitable for 'unsophisticated' regional Australia
Link Here

Come Fly Me 1 DVD Rural Australia won't be able to see the new comedy from the stars of Little Britain because TV executives believe it's too sophisticated for them.

Channel Nine's regional affiliates, WIN and NBN Television, have decided that David Walliams and Matt Lucas's airport-based satire Come Fly With Me is inappropriate for their regional audience in NSW. They will instead by shown a repeat of US sitcom Big Bang Theory .

The decision to filter the programming has upset some country viewers. Jess Corbett writes (with original grammar and spelling!):

i think its very unfair to assume that people in regional Australia wont understand the show as we are not sophisticated enough! We go to school and get taught the same things that places like sydney and melbourne do. Just cause we live in the country doesnt mean that be are all stupid bogans. And im sure that some if not most have seen little Britain so im sure that we can understand the show.

Despite weeks of teaser trailers hyping the PG-rated show, NBN head of programming and publicity Kellie Hampton said the network planned to first gauge the reaction in metropolitan markets to see if it was suitable to air.

 

16th May   

Update: Show Trial...

Jordan court case hears witnesses in case against Mohammed cartoonist
Link Here  full story: Mohammed Cartoons...Cartoons outrage the muslim world

Jordan flagWhile cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who gained fame for his 2005 drawing of Muhammad wearing a turban bomb in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, and his 19 co-defendants were nearly 3,000 kilometres away in Denmark, a blasphemy case against them got underway in absentia in Jordan.

The case resumed last week with witness testimony. It was brought by a group of Jordanian academics, journalists, lawyers and politicians calling themselves God's Prophet Unites Us .

None of the defendants, or any legal representation in their defense is taking part in the trial, which is being decried as nothing more than a show trial even by those who support the charges.

For his part, Westergaard said in April that he would have nothing to do with the trial: I have not heard about this trial and have not been informed, the 75-year-old told AFP. In any case, I have no intention of going even if I am asked to. I do not want to risk becoming familiar with the Jordanian prisons, which would be hell.

The summons in the case accuses Westergaard and the 19 newspaper editors involved in publishing the 2005 cartoon of defamation, slander, blasphemy and inciting racism. If convicted, he could be sentence to 10 years in prison under Jordanian law.

The odds of Westergaard actually serving time, however, are slim to none. Zaki Salem, an international law expert said that Interpol would not deport anyone for alleged crimes that fall under freedom of expression. Salem said he could imagine no circumstance in which Westergaard would be deported to Jordan.

 

16th May   

Update: Hot, Cross and No So Bothered...

New Zealand's advert censors give their blessing to pentagram hot cross buns posters
Link Here  full story: Advert Censorship in New Zealand...Advertising Standards Authority

hell pizza hot cross bun advertA pizza company caused nutter 'outrage' in New Zealand with billboards advertising hot cross buns accompanied by the slogan: For a limited time. A bit like Jesus. Instead of the traditional Christian cross, the buns bear an inverted pentagram. The giant billboards, placed by the Hell Pizza company, have been posted around Auckland.

New Zealand's Advertising Standards Authority received multiple complainants sharing similar views suggesting that the advertisement was: nothing short of emotional and spiritual abuse; grossly offensive; was sickening distasteful , discriminatory and insensitive ; that the use of the Satanic symbols as well as the wording is blasphemous; that the advertisement mocks Easter and its importance to the Christian faith; that it was inappropriate for tourists and children to see; was factually incorrect, inflammatory and promoted anarchy.

Additional matters raised by some Complainants included: showing the Satanic symbol on the bun in place of a sacred cross symbol which therefore put Satan in Jesus' place was extremely offensive; that the Christian faith was being slandered and ridiculed in a way that wouldn't be accepted if it were directed at other religions or minority groups; that by substituting the Cross with the Star of David belittles both Jesus and Jewish people; is a clear case of anti-semitism and a breach of Jewish Human Rights; that a characteristic of a healthy society was mutual respect which the advertisement could damage.

The ASA considered:

  • Basic Principle 4: All advertisements should be prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and to society.
  • Rule 5: Offensiveness - Advertisements should not contain anything which in the light of generally prevailing community standards is likely to cause serious or widespread offence taking into account the context, medium, audience and product (including services).

As a preliminary matter, the Complaints Board acknowledged that the number of complaints that had been received (179) about the advertisement was testimony to the fact that the billboard had caused deep offence to some people.

Turning to the advertisement, the Complaints Board noted that the symbol that appeared on the bun, together with the statement For a limited time a little bit like Jesus had caused offence. Turning first to the symbol that appeared on the bun, the Complaints Board clarified that it was an inverted pentacle - the symbol of the Church of Satan - but noted that some Complainants mistook the symbol for the Star of David and, as such, said that the advertisement denigrated the Jewish faith. However, because the symbol was not the Star of David, the Complaints Board agreed that, with regard to this aspect of the complaint, any potential derision or ridicule that Complainants identified as caused to the Jewish faith by the advertisement was not relevant.

The Complaints Board then considered the possibility of serious offence, taking into account the context, medium and audience. The majority of the Board acknowledged that the message and the timing was deliberately provocative, but noted that socially provocative and sometimes confrontational advertisements were predictable from this particular Advertiser. The majority also acknowledged the deep offence the advertisement had caused some to Christians however; the majority was of the view that the imagery itself on the advertisement was relatively innocuous, and that any possible offence would be caused by people's understanding of the symbol and the text in the advertisement. However, the majority said that nothing in the advertisement had specifically attacked the tenets of Christianity, or the existence of Jesus, but instead had used the well-known promotional line: here for a limited time in association with the Crucifixion.

The majority was of the view that, while provocative, the degree of black humour would be recognised by most people, including many Christians, and said that this humour - albeit provocative - saved the advertisement from being likely to cause serious or widespread offence in the light of generally prevailing community standards. As such, the majority of the Complaints Board was of the view that the advertisement was prepared with a due sense of responsibility to consumers and society and did not meet the threshold to reasonably likely to cause serious or widespread offence on the grounds of peoples' religious beliefs. Therefore, the Complaints Board ruled that the advertisement did not reach the threshold to breach of Basic Principle 4 or Rule 5 of the Code of Ethics, or Basic Principle 3 or 6 of the Code for People in Advertising.

A minority disagreed. Taking into account the context, medium and audience, the minority said that the advertisement was highly visible to a wide cross-section of the general public and, in combination with the deliberate timing of the advertisement was offensive, socially irresponsible and a cynical exploitation of Christian sensibilities at Easter. The minority also found that the advertisement was an attack that was aimed and timed specifically at Christianity and to offend Christians. As such, the minority found that the advertisement was reasonably likely to cause serious or widespread offence on the grounds of peoples' religious beliefs. Therefore, the minority found that the advertisement was in breach of Basic Principle 4 and Rule 5 of the Code of Ethics, and Basic Principle 3 and 6 of the Code for People in Advertising.

However, in accordance with the majority, the Complaints Board ruled to not uphold the complaint.

 

16th May   

Offsite: Hanna vs the BBFC...

Blogger has a go at the BBFC over the 12A certificate for Hanna
Link Here

Hanna Cinemas May 6 DVD It's Hanna that's got me all riled up. Obviously everything I say here is completely subjective to me and I'm not stating it as fact even if I believe it to be absolutely and irrevocably true. Hanna is not a 12A, even though the BBFC say it is. Oh and I completely adored the film, a fucking corker. But that's not the point.

The BBFC rate Hanna as 12A for moderate violence and one use of strong language. For the record Thor is rated 12A for moderate fantasy violence. Watch them both and tell me they're suitable for the same audience, one fuck or not.

...Read the full article

 

16th May   

Update: True Censorship...

Burmese newspaper suspended for 2 weeks
Link Here  full story: Press Censorship in Burma...World leaders in oppressive censorship

true newsIn the first press suspension under the new Burmese government, the Rangoon-based True News newspaper has been suspended for two weeks for reporting controversial information, according to local journalists.

The publication's editors were summoned to the censor board office and ordered to sign a pledge not to violate press regulations, a source close to the editors told Mizzima. It was the first suspension of a newspaper under the new government led by President Thein Sein.

The cause of the dispute and suspension was information in volume 3, number 34, which reported: Everyone who owns a 1.5 million kyat (US$ 1,660) GSM phone is qualified to buy a 500,000 kyat GSM phone at a price of only 180,000 kyat . Local journalists said the information had appeared in print in an earlier report.

According to a source close to the journal, the Posts and Telecommunications office reprimanded True News, threatened to sue, and the censorship board stepped in and punished the journal for the report.

 

16th May   

Offsite: Pixelated Breasts...

My strange, brief career as a video-game obscenity watchdog
Link Here

ESRBEarlier this month, the Entertainment Software Rating Board---the video-game equivalent of the MPAA---announced that its ratings for online games would soon be determined via an automated questionnaire. Such news would reverberate little outside the industry had it not seemed like the latest evidence that humankind would soon be supplanted by its own doodads. 

For me, though, this announcement was personal. That's because I was lucky enough to intern at ESRB, sifting through video games in search of sexual, violent, and obscene content.

In the summer of 2000, my fellow employees and I vetted releases like Wargasm and Punky Skunk for human blood and female nipples. My job was to plow through the venerable ESRB library, scouring older games for dubious content. Since historical parity ---that is, comparing the latest games to similar titles from the past---is central to the rating process, my work helped ensure the fairness and accuracy of our mission.

...Read the full article

 

15th May   

Update: Protesting Censorship Claims...

Bob Dylan denies that his Chinese gigs were censored
Link Here  full story: Performers Censored in China...Quick to ban and censor star performers from the west

Bob Dylan Concert Brandeis University Singer Bob Dylan has denied accusations that he had bowed to censorship during his first concerts in China last month. Dylan was criticised by Western media and by Human Rights Watch for not performing some of his best-known protest songs on his China tour in April.

In a rare online posting, Dylan said Chinese authorities asked for the names of the songs he would play in their country.

Dylan said he sent Chinese officials his set lists from the previous three months of shows. He performed in Beijing on 6 April and Shanghai two days later.

If there were any songs, verses or lines censored, nobody ever told me about it and we played all the songs that we intended to play, Dylan wrote in the post.

Media commentators cited the absence of songs The Times They Are A-Changin' and Blowin' in the Wind from Dylan's China set list as evidence that the counter- culture hero had caved to pressure.

In March, China's Culture Ministry said in a brief statement that an agreement to have Dylan sing in the country came with the proviso that he perform the approved content .

 

15th May   

Update: Virtually Blocked Networks...

China detects the use of VPNs and blocks all international traffic of users detected
Link Here

Great Firewall of ChinaChinese internet users suspect that their government is interfering with the method they have been using to tunnel under the Great Firewall to prevent them connecting with the outside world.

Since 6 May, a number of users says that internet connections via China Telecom, the largest telephone company, and China Unicom have become unstable , with intermittent access when trying to access sites in foreign countries using a virtual private network (VPN). Even Apple's app store has been put off-limits by the new blocks, according to reports.

The disruption has mainly affected corporate connections such as universities while home connections that use standard broadband systems have been unaffected, according to the prominent Chinese technology blogger William Long.

Normally traffic flowing over VPN connections is secure because it is encrypted, meaning that the Chinese authorities were unable to detect what content was flowing back and forth over it. A VPN connection from a location inside China to a site outside China would effectively give the same access as if the user were outside China.

According to Global Voices Advocacy, a pressure group that defends free speech online, the disruption follows new systems put in place in the Great Firewall -- in fact monitoring software on the routers that direct internet traffic within and across China's borders. The new software appears to be able to detect large amounts of connections being made to overseas internet locations.

The problem has become so bad that some universities and businesses have told their users not to try to use VPNs, and only to visit work-related sites; to do otherwise could lead to trouble for the company and the users involved.

 

14th May   

Hard Argument...

Playboy fail to convince ATVOD that a hardcore service is not 'TV-like'
Link Here

playboy tv logoPlayboy TV's appeal to the TV censor Ofcom has been rejected. Playboy had asked that their video on demand servces be declared outside of the remit of the Authority for Television On Demand ( ATVOD ), the video on demand censor.

The two hardcore adult video-on-demand websites operated by Playboy TV UK Ltd (Demand Adult and Climax 3) are therefore subject to new statutory rules enforced by ATVOD for on demand programme services and the explicit sex videos available on the websites must be kept behind access controls which ensure that children do not normally see them.

The new rules do not apply if videos are not TV-like . Playboy TV had argued that because the video content on Demand Adult and Climax 3 features fully explicit sexual images, and was therefore too explicit to be broadcast on UK television, it was not TV-like and was not therefore subject to the new ATVOD rules.

The appeals rested on whether the form and content of the hardcore sex videos made available on the websites should be considered comparable to the form and content of programmes normally included in television programme services , a key test under the new statutory regime. Playboy TV argued, in essence, that the videos were too explicit to be regulated.

In determinations made on 24 Sept 2010 (Demand Adult) and 21 Dec 2010 (Climax 3), ATVOD had ruled that, while more explicit than adult programmes shown on UK TV services, the videos were nevertheless comparable to such programmes and were essentially the same as adult programmes which are frequently broadcast on linear TV channels in other EU jurisdictions, and were therefore subject to rules designed to protect children.

Playboy TV appealed against the ATVOD determinations, but the appeals have today been rejected by Ofcom.

Commenting on the decision, ATVOD Chair Ruth Evans said:

The idea that a video on demand service should escape regulation on the grounds that its content was too extreme would make a mockery of the whole purpose of regulation in this area which, in large part, is designed to protect children from exposure to video content which poses a risk of serious harm.

ATVOD Chief Executive Pete Johnson added:

These are the first appeals heard by Ofcom under the new arrangements for the regulation of video-on-demand services in the UK and the decisions establish an important point of principle. UK websites offering 'hardcore' adult video-on-demand content cannot sidestep the new statutory rules by claiming that the content is, in effect, too explicit to be regulated. Instead they must ensure that such content is provided in a manner which ensures that children do not normally see or hear it.

 

13th May   

Updated: Censors Less Cruel...

BBFC confirms that Cannibal Holocaust now only requires one animal cruelty scene to be cut
Link Here  full story: Cannibal Holocaust...Re-release of notable video nasty

shameless logoShameless have heard from the BBFC that the long edition of Cannibal Holocaust (i.e. not the new edit from Deodato) has been passed with just 15 seconds of BBFC cuts to the killing of a muskrat.

Rather than just cutting the scene, Shameless have kept the audio and simply replaced the visual footage with alternative shots so the running time is as originally submitted. This will make the cut seamless as opposed to jarring jump-cut.

Although expected after the BBFC's earlier advice to Shameless, this is a real milestone for UK film classification and Cannibal Holocaust and is being celebrated up in Shameless Towers!

Update: BBFC explain their waived cuts

Kudos to the BBFC for the frank explanation of the 2001 animal cruelty cuts.

13th May 2011. See extended classification information from bbfc.co.uk , Thanks to Gavin Salkeld

BBFC logo Cannibal Holocaust is a 1980 Italian horror film. It tells the story of a group of documentary film makers who go missing in the rain-forests of South America. An anthropologist who goes in search of the film makers finds cans containing their undeveloped footage. When the processed footage is viewed, back in New York City, it reveals their fate. The film was classified 18 for strong sex, sexual violence, bloody violence and animal slaughter.

Cannibal Holocaust contains a number of scenes of sexual and sexualised violence that are insufficiently discreet for a 15 classification and which received varying levels of cuts when the film was previously submitted in 2001. In one scene, we see a native woman receiving a ritual punishment for adultery , which involves her being dragged out of a boat, being tied up, and then being violently assaulted with a spiked wooden dildo and a ball of mud containing spikes. Although the scene is shocking and some blood is seen, the emphasis is on the disturbing nature of what is happening, rather than on any erotic detail. The moments of nudity, which are generally shown in longer shot, are well broken up by facial shots of the woman and her attacker, as well as by reaction shots from the disgusted anthropologist and his team who are watching from behind a bush. In another scene, we briefly see a native woman being attacked by a member of another tribe. However, no detail is visible beyond some undetailed thrusting. Later in the film, we witness the documentary film makers raping a native woman. However, the woman in question is covered in mud and very little detail of nudity is visible in what is actually quite a chaotic scene. The scene is shot using a hand-held camera, with the woman moving in and out of view behind the thrusting buttocks of the film makers. The emphasis is firmly on the sadism of the film makers, rather than on any erotic detail, with cutaways to the female film maker protesting about what is being done. Finally, there is a scene in which the female member of the film crew is sexually assaulted and then killed by the cannibals, in retribution for the violence she and her crew have meted out against the native people. As with the previous scene, the manner of filming is chaotic, with hand-held camera-work and the action often moving in and out of focus behind other characters and the surrounding vegetation. The Guidelines state Content which might endorse or eroticise sexual violence may require cuts at any classification level . Although cuts were required to all four scenes of sexual violence in 2001, the BBFC's conclusion today is that the limited detail of nudity, and the frequent intercutting of the scenes with other material, renders the scenes horrific and aversive rather than erotic or likely to eroticise or endorse sexual violence in the real world.

The BBFC's Guidelines state It is illegal to show any scene 'organised or directed for the purposes of the film that involves actual cruelty to animals. This Act applies to the exhibition of films in public cinemas, but the BBFC also applies the same test to video works. In 2001, the BBFC permitted two scenes of unsimulated animal killing in Cannibal Holocaust , namely the decapitation of a snake and the stamping to death of a tarantula. In the case of the snake, the killing was permitted because the decapitation of the snake was instant and therefore comprised a quick clean kill, which is not inherently cruel in terms of BBFC policy. In the case of the tarantula, the killing was permitted because spiders are invertebrates and are therefore not covered by the relevant legislation, nor by BBFC Guidelines or policy. However, cuts were required to four other sequences in which animals were actually killed, namely a small mammal, a turtle, a monkey and a pig. On this occasion, the BBFC concluded that the killing of the small mammal, previously cut in 2001, was still in breach of BBFC Guidelines and policy. In the scene in question, a small mammal (described as a muskrat in the film) is killed using a knife. The animal is repeatedly cut with the knife, resulting in blood loss, and squeals in evident pain and terror. This protracted killing is a clear breach of BBFC Guidelines and policy in relation to the cruel infliction of pain and terror on an animal and in terms of the cruel goading of an animal to fury. However, careful examination of the other three scenes of animal killing revealed that, in each case, the animal in question is killed quickly and cleanly. The turtle's neck is completely and instantly severed, with a rapid blow from a machete; the monkey is killed by the first of two rapid blows from a machete, resulting in its head being cut in two; the pig is killed by a gun shot to the head at close range, resulting in instant death. Although, in the case of the turtle and the pig, there is some sight of the animals' bodies (or body parts) twitching, this is evidently a post mortem nervous reaction, akin to a headless chicken running around a farmyard. Although the BBFC recognises that these scenes of animal slaughter may be upsetting or offensive to some viewers, it is clear that the scenes in question depict animals being killed in a quick and clean fashion that is acceptable under BBFC Guidelines and policy and the Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937, on which that policy is based.

The 2001 decision to cut these scenes was primarily the result of the disgusting and exploitative nature of the sequences, as well as the history of the film as a DPP-listed video nasty , rather than the result of a strict application of BBFC policy. In spite of any ethical concerns viewers might have about the killing of real animals for film making purposes, removing these sequences would be inconsistent with the BBFC's decisions to permit quick clean kills in several other films, such as Apocalypse Now . It is clear that these scenes are not illegal and are not likely to be harmful to adult viewers. Indeed, the most likely reaction is disgust and revulsion.

 

13th May   

Update: Twitter Protection...

Latest privacy injunction specifically bans publication on social networking sites
Link Here  full story: Super Injunctions...Granting super powers to rich gaggers

Twitter logoThe first injunction specifically banning the publication of information on Facebook and Twitter was issued yesterday.

The far-reaching order was issued in the Court of Protection in the case of a mother who wants to withdraw life support from her brain-damaged daughter. It prevents the identification of the woman, her relatives and those caring for her.

Legal experts said they had never seen an injunction which specifically barred publication of information on social networking websites.

John Hemming, the Liberal Democrat MP who is campaigning against the excessive use of gagging orders, said: They are like King Canute, the tide will keep coming in no matter what they do. The problem the courts have is Twitter is not registered in the UK and is therefore outside British jurisdiction. What they are saying is unrealistic. This is about life and death and I don't think it's acceptable, there is a real issue with transparency. The Court of Protection operates in a bubble -- it's out of touch with the real world.

 

13th May   

Diary: Cine-Excess...

Featuring Ruggero Deodato's 21st Century edit of Cannibal Holocaust
Link Here

cine-excess 2011 logo Odeon Covent Garden
Thursday 26-8th May 2011, 6.30pm-7.30pm

The Cine Excess International Conference On Global Cult Film returns to the Odeon Covent Garden in London this year, with exclusive screenings, special guests and lively debate. Cine Excess V - Subverting the Senses: The Politics and Aesthetics of Excess (to give the event its full title).

Central to all this will be a new edit of Cannibal Holocaust put together by Deodato himself. The changes centre on the oft-discussed multiple (real) animal killings in the film, which Deodato has now toned down in a 21st Century Edit version.

 

13th May   

Updated: All Agog...

VSC suggests that online games censorship will tend to be advisory rather than mandatory
Link Here

VSC logoThe Video Standards Council (VSC) is the UK games censor in waiting. They have commented on a move by the online games distributor to allow Australian's to evade the state censorship of Witcher 2 .

The VSC said GOG.com's recent decision to ditch location controls is symptomatic of global trends and speculated  that all entertainment media could eventually shift toward an advisory rather than a legally-based system.

It seems inevitable that such systems will have an impact on the way national regulators control online content though the more authoritarian regimes won't have any qualms about shutting down a site if they deem it necessary, the VSC told Edge.

However, the more benign censorship/ratings organisations will probably move away from the mandatory model and replace it with an advisory systems which puts the onus on consumers to make informed buying decisions through the provision of detailed consumer information.

THe VSC added, though, that it doesn't believe regional ratings body are in danger of becoming irrelevant: We believe the public tends to trust the judgement and advice of the more independent, established and respected ratings organisations and will continue to do so.

 

13th May   

The Big Story...

Chelsea Charms gets noticed on daytime TV
Link Here

chelsea charms on this morning video Chelsea Charms, who claims to have the largest breasts in the world, 'horrified' daytime viewers by discussing her sex industry past

'Shocked' viewers have criticised This Morning for featuring porn star Chelsea Charms live on the show. Phillip Schofield interviewed her about colourful career and her huge breasts.

But parents expressed 'outrage' that the topic should be discussed during the programme which could have been seen by children.

Of course the only 'outrage' noted, was a couple of readers comments on the programme's Facebook page. But hey any old excuse will do to get a head turning story.

During the programme Phillip demonstrated how heavy the 35-year-old's breasts were by lifting buckets weighted with watermelons. American Chelsea also discussed her career in the adult entertainment industry. She got the breasts by having them injected with polypropylene. It irritates the breast lining making them swell - and they are still growing at a rate of one inch a month.

 

13th May   

Diary: Dangerous Art...

Ai Weiwei exhibition at Somerset House
Link Here  full story: Human Rights in China...Chinese round up the usual suspects

ai wei wei exhibit Circle of Animals
Somerset House, Londonuntil June 26.
Exhibition at the Lisson Gallery, London until July 16.

Ai Weiwei's bronze Circle of Animals in the courtyard of Somerset House make a surreal spectacle, but the subtle irony of the work is what makes it so appealing.

After the enormous acclaim he received for his show of a hundred million porcelain sunflower seeds at Tate Modern earlier this year, Ai Weiwei should have been in London this week for the opening of two major displays of his work. But last month the artist, writer, political activist and provocateur was detained by the authorities in Beijing, and has not been seen or heard from since. The international outcry grows louder by the day.

Ai Weiwei often uses art and the internet to expose the repression and corruption in the country of his birth. But just as often his work looks at Chinese history and culture without overtly engaging in political confrontation.

His first public sculpture to be shown in London will be displayed in the courtyard of Somerset House. In a semi-circle behind the fountains at Somerset House he's arranged 12 oversized bronze heads of animals, each about 4ft high and weighing about 800lb, and each representing a sign of the Chinese zodiac - rat, tiger, rabbit goat, pig and so on.

 

13th May   

Losing their Way...

Swedish authorities ban band for 'drug liberal' lyrics
Link Here

labyrintThe Swedish hip-hop group Labyrint was stopped from performing in Va xjo and Va rnamo after a notice from police authorities saying their lyrics glorify drugs.

Labyrint was scheduled to perform in a youth club in Vaxjo. But when police drew the attention of the Municipality of Vaxjo to the group's lyrics, saying they are 'drug liberal', the municipality cancelled the gig, and another concert due to be held in Varnamo was also called off.

The police and municipal action has been critizised on several fronts. Many think it smells like censorship, and that freedom of expression is being curtailed, because the group has not violated any law. The musicians of Labyrint argue that they do not glorify drugs, but rather that they depict the raw and unvarnished reality.

Several Swedish hip-hop artists, producers and journalists have now launched a petition against the banned performances.

Head of the local police in Va xjo , Ola Severinsson, defended the police involvement: I can not think of a single argument why we should have artists who sing positively about cannabis for children.

 

12th May   

Ping Pong Show...

Hangover II cut by the British film censor for a 15 rating
Link Here  full story: Hangover Part II...International hype for comedy set in Bangkok

HANGOVER REPRODUCTION PHOTO POSTER 16X12 The Hangover: Part II is a 2011 US comedy by Todd Philips. See IMDb

This time the stag party fun takes place in Thailand.

The film was passed 15 after BBFC suggested cuts for category for:

  • UK 2011 cinema release

The BBFC commented: Ping Pong Show

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 two cuts to still images seen during the end credits.

  • These cuts were to remove sight of a woman apparently penetrating her vagina with a string of material and
  • sight of a naked woman, with her legs apart, ejecting a ping pong ball from her vagina.

When the finished version of the film was submitted, these still images had been tightly reframed to avoid any explicit or graphic detail and the film was classified 15 .

 

12th May   

Top Ten Adverts...

ASA publishes Annual Report for 2010
Link Here

asa annual report 2010The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has just published their Annual Report for 2010.

The year saw the introduction of new Advertising Codes, assuming responsibility for video-on-demand ads, preparing for the extension of extension to online remit and a review of our processes.

The report reveals that ASA considered 25,562 complaints about 13,038 ads. 2,216 of these ad campaigns were censured. This was a 13% decrease on the previous year.

Looking back on 2010 ASA Chairman, Lord Smith says: Last year saw some landmark developments at the ASA, such as the preparation for our new online remit and the introduction of new Advertising Codes, which undoubtedly enhance consumer protection. Our engagement with consumers, industry and the wider public has been integral to us achieving this significant change.

The Annual Report also features the ever popular top 10 of complained about adverts:

  1. Paddy Power plc 1,313 complaints Not upheld

    Viewers complained that this ad, which showed a cat being kicked across a pitch by a blind football player, was offensive to blind people and could encourage animal cruelty. We felt the ad was surreal and light-hearted in tone and was unlikely to encourage or condone cruelty to animals or cause serious or widespread offence.
     
  2. Marie Stopes International 1,088 complaints Not upheld

    This TV ad offering sexual and reproductive health advice, information and services attracted complaints for various reasons, including that it promoted abortion. We felt it was clear that the advertisers were promoting their post-conception advice service and was neither advocating one course of action over another, nor trivialising the dilemma of an unplanned pregnancy. In addition to the complaints detailed above, we received over 3,600 other objections, some prior to broadcast and some via petitions.
     
  3. Department of Energy and Climate Change 939 complaints Upheld in part

    We received objections that this Act on CO2 TV and press campaign, which raised awareness of climate change, was misleading and scaremongering. We did not agree with the majority of the objections, but did uphold some complaints that claims in some of the press ads exaggerated the likelihood and impact of extreme weather conditions.
     
  4. Global Personals Ltd 420 complaints Not upheld

    A poster for maritalaffair.co.uk attracted complaints that it implied extra-marital affairs were acceptable and desirable. It was clear that people found the concept of the website distasteful and immoral. However, we can only consider the content of the ad and not the service being advertised. We felt the ad itself was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.
     
  5. John Lewis Partnership plc 316 complaints Not upheld

    This ad featuring a dog outside in his kennel on a windy and snowy Christmas day attracted complaints about irresponsible pet ownership. Complainants objected that it suggested it was acceptable to leave a family pet outside in cold conditions. We disagreed, and felt the ad did not endorse or encourage animal cruelty or neglect.
     
  6. HomePride Ltd 273 complaints Not investigated (previously not upheld in 2009)

    Both men and women complained about the gender stereotypes portrayed in this ad for an oven cleaner which claimed so easy, even a man can do it . We concluded the ad took a light-hearted and comical approach to its portrayal of traditional gender stereotypes, and was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.
     
  7. AG Barr plc 204 complaints Not upheld
     
  8. Viewers objected to this ad which featured cute cartoon animals, cheery music and a Pied Piper type figure. Things turned more sinister when the animals were led to a butcher's shop. The ad already had a restriction which meant it couldn't be shown around programmes targeted at children, but we still received a number of complaints that the ad was offensive, irresponsible and distressing to children. On balance, we felt the ad with its existing scheduling restriction was acceptable.
     
  9. Cardell Media Ltd 185 complaints Upheld

    This mailing consisted of a torn magazine or newspaper page with a handwritten Post-it note, which stated Hi, I saw this and thought you'd find it useful - he's really good! J . Complainants objected that the mailing was masquerading as personal correspondence and challenged claims being made within it. We upheld the complaints and told the advertiser to change their approach.
     
  10. Unilever UK Ltd 154 complaints Not upheld/Referred to Ofcom

    Continuing their you either love it or hate it themed campaigns, Marmite ran two TV ads parodying party political broadcasts. Some complaints related specifically to the political aspect of the campaign and these were referred to Ofcom. Other objections related to racism, denigration and offence. We felt the ads were delivered in a light- hearted way and therefore were not in breach of the rules.
     
  11. SSL International plc 151 complaints Not upheld

    Complainants, who had seen this TV ad for condoms before 11 am and in the early evening, objected that it was offensive and inappropriate for broadcast when young children might be watching. We accepted that the ad might not be to all viewers' tastes, but there were no explicit sexual scenes or images. We considered its existing scheduling restriction, which prevented it from appearing in or around programmes targeted at children, was appropriate

 

12th May   

Update: At the People's Court...

Jon Gaunt gets his day in the Court of Appeal
Link Here

Old BaileyRadio presenter Jon Gaunt has put his case to the Court of Appeal. He contended that his right to freedom of expression was violated by a decision to uphold complaints about him calling an interviewee a Nazi.

Gaunt, whose contract was terminated by TalkSport in November 2008, 10 days after the exchange with councillor Michael Stark, says media watchdog Ofcom's response was disproportionate .

His QC, Gavin Millar, told three judges headed by the Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger that context is everything when considering rights under Article 10 of the European Convention.

Last summer, Gaunt, supported by Liberty, challenged Ofcom's June 2009 finding that the interview failed to comply with the broadcasting code but the High Court backed Ofcom.

The judges have indicated they will give their decision at a later date.

 

12th May   

Updated: Mediawatch-UK Recommends...

Inside the Human Body on BBC 1
Link Here

inside the human bodyIn another final breaking down of barriers, the BBC will now show the final dying moments of an 84-year-old cancer sufferer.

Known only as Gerald, viewers of the science series, Inside the Human Body , will see his final breath as he dies at home surrounded by his family.

Gerald died on January 1. Like him, his family hope the programme will help others, and its presenter, Michael Mosely, has been quick to head off criticism. In an interview with the Radio Times, he said: There are those who feel that showing a human death on television is wrong, whatever the circumstance. Although I respect this point of view, I think there is a case to be made for filming a peaceful, natural death -- a view shared by many who work closely with the dying.

The BBC has also filmed the last moments of a man at a Dignitas clinic in Switzerland for a Terry Pratchett documentary.

Vivienne Pattison, of Mediawatch-UK said:

Both these programmes had the consent of all those involved. They are not turning death into Big Brother-style reality TV, but it is a question of balance, and I can understand why concerns are being raised, particularly by the Dignitas programme.

Quite a number of programmes have already been screened which have taken a pro-euthanasia stance. It's an emotive subject, but there are just as many people who oppose it, and their views don't seem to be represented. Our job is to campaign for socially responsible broadcasting and against content that is offensive and harmful to viewers.

I don't think showing someone's last moments is necessarily harmful, but the goal posts on what is acceptable on television have shifted greatly over the last decade.

Update: Tonight

12th May 2011. See  article from mirror.co.uk

The Living Body will air tonight (12th May 2011) on BBC 1 at 9pm.

Tory MP John Whittingdale, chair of the Culture, Media and Sports select committee, warned: Death is usually something that should not be turned into a spectacle for a TV audience.

A BBC spokesman said: Death is an important part of the human experience, and showing Gerald's death is integral to understanding what happens to the body when it is no longer able to function properly. The BBC does not shy away from difficult subjects like this.

 

12th May   

Updated: Freedom of Speech Retained in France...

Court finds that burning the Koran as a critique of terrorism was lawful
Link Here  full story: Koran Burning...Symbolic gesture and easy offence

France flagA French court has acquitted a blogger of a charge of provoking discrimination related to burning a copy of the Qur'an in an internet broadcast and urinating on the book.

The court in the north-eastern city of Strasbourg found that Ernesto Rojas Abbate had been acting within the boundaries of freedom of expression when he used the Qur'an as a prop in a simulation of the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks on New York.

Filming himself with a webcam on October 2, Abbate made a paper aircraft with pages from the Qur'an and launched it at two glasses representing the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre. He then burnt the aircraft and the book and urinated on them, to quench the flames .

The Mosque of Strasbourg and a local anti-racism organisation had pressed charges against the man. But the court ruled the video was aimed at terrorist acts and not the wider Muslim community, which could not be assimilated with the terrorist acts .

Update: ...BUT...

12th May 2011. See article from islamineurope.blogspot.com

European Parliament logoThe European Parliament has stripped parliamentary immunity from French far-right MEP Bruno Gollnisch, to enable a complaint of incitement to racial hatred to be investigated.

French authorities will now interview Gollnisch after asking for the move, following a complaint over an October 2008 press release issued by Rhone-Alpes regional authorities near Lyon, which Gollnisch led, that cited the invasion of our land and the destruction of our culture and values by Islam.

The International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism launched the complaint, and the European Parliament decided that, as the case related to Gollnisch's activities as a regional councillor, applying parliamentary immunity to such a situation 'would constitute an undue extension of those rules', a statement said.

 

12th May   

Censorial Spirit...

India censors sexual language even for an adults only film
Link Here

ragini mmsThree scenes featuring sexual language and gestures in Ragini MMS have come under the scissors of the Indian Censor Board.

The film is being touted as the sensuous paranormal flick about a young couple who go to spend an intimate vacation at a farm house which is rigged with secret cameras.

The Censor Board found three scenes too much for public viewing. One of the scenes has the film's male lead Raj Kumar Yadav describing quite graphically to Kainaz Motivala, who plays his girlfriend, the after-effects of taking an aphrodisiac. In another scene, he makes a demand of oral sex from her. In yet another scene, there is a clear-cut reference to male and female genitals.

The Censor Board told the makers of Ragini MMS to chop off these three scenes and gave an A (Adults Only) certificate to the film.

See article from indianexpress.com

The film's poster has now angered nutters who have gone out and blackened the faces of the lead actors Rajkumar and Kainaz in the hoardings.

At some places near Andheri and Bandra, the posters have been torn and damaged by angry junta who found it a bit too provocative while at other places the faces of the lead actors has been blackened.

The film is scheduled for release this Friday May 13.

 

11th May   

Update: Good Old Games...

Games delivery service makes it easier for Australians to get hold of censored games
Link Here  full story: Banned Games in Australia...Adult games ban

good old games logoA noted online distributor of popular video games such as The Witche r series has removed restrictions from its platform which limits some features to customers based on what country their internet address is from, potentially allowing Australians to clandestinely escape local video game censorship rules.

The feature, known as geo-IP or geo-location, is used by many online video game delivery platforms to restrict what forms of content customers in different countries can consume, and how much they will pay for it.

For example, it is common for Australian video game players to complain that the price of video games bought online can be different locally than in the United States with the price being set by determining a customer's IP address, despite the same content being delivered.

In a statement on its site published this week, game distributor Good Old Games said it had come to the conclusion that there were a number of issues with using a customer's IP address to determine what offer they were being presented with.

A good number of users can find themselves negatively impacted by a policy of using geo IP to set their region, the company said. For example, customers may be travelling when they want to purchase or download a game from GOG.com. In this case, automatic IP address capture might change the price or the content of the game they're ordering (such as the default language of the installer).

Furthermore, the company said, geo-IP data collection didn't always function correctly --- and could report an incorrect region for users. And lastly, it didn't want to violate its users' privacy by collecting data it didn't need to --- so had taken the decision to trust customers to voluntarily tell it their correct region when making a purchase.

 

11th May   

Update: Naked Prudery...

Sears end sale of porn after pressure from nutters
Link Here
sears proof

  Art erotica previously found
for sale at Sears Online

An American department store has pulled pornography off of their virtual shelves recently in response to nutter 'outcry'.

Sears, already under much scrutiny after their sale of nude posters last August, experienced further hassle from the American Family Association when the organization found out the family-friendly company was selling pornographic DVDs online.

X-rated videos were added to the Movies and TV Shows section and made available to adults.

'Outraged' by the new direction the recently appointed chairman, Edward Lampert, seemed to be taking the company, most likely due to the company's economic decline, AFA said they tried to settle the matter quietly and professionally.

The conservative group first ordered one of the DVDs to make sure the movies were actually from Sears. Confirming their suspicions, they received Hot Mamas Like Young Chicks 3 in a Sears envelope with a subsequent shipping label from a Sears distribution center. AFA reported that they were never asked to verify their age during the check out process.

The Christian organization had previously made a half-dozen attempts to 'reach out' to Sears only to get one response: We're going to keep on selling them! In response, through an email blast sent to over two million supporters and post online, they appealed to others to take action by making a personal phone call to Sears and leaving a direct message with Lampert.

Unless Sears hears from you, they will continue to sell hardcore pornography. Additionally, people could also send an email to Sears, make a call to the public relations department, or call the local store manager and ask that their concerns be passed to the district manager.

Now, whether or not it was due to these complaints, Sears has ended porn sales:

We sincerely apologize to any customers who were offended, Sears wrote in a statement to the AFA. Our agreements with our vendors prohibit content that is pornographic or sexually explicit in nature.

We are removing these items that do not meet our guidelines. We regularly review our processes to ensure compliance by our vendors, and we encourage our customers and community to help us flag any items that they believe might violate our guidelines.

And within the span of half an hour, Sears removed hundreds of pornographic DVDs from its website.

Tim Wildmon, president of AFA, thanked all of the supporters, and expressed in a statement:

Because you and thousands of others chose to get involved, Sears could no longer defend selling pornography, nor could they continue to deny it! Thank you for taking action and convincing Sears to get out of the pornography business.

Together, and with God's help, we are making a difference.

 

11th May   

Faceless Censors...

Jewish newspaper apologises for photoshopping Whitehouse pictures to delete women
Link Here

clinto at whitehouse meetingThe US based jewish newspaper, Der Tzitung, has had to apologise for removing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from a front page photograph.

Clinton, as well Audrey Tomason, the Director for Counterterrorism and the only other woman in the picture, were disappeared in accordance with the paper's religious beliefs . Its policy is not to intentionally include any pictures of women in the paper because it could be considered sexually suggestive.

The picture taken by a White House photographer shows the US President and his national security team seemingly transfixed as they watch the mission to kill Osama bin Laden.

In a statement, the paper said:

We should not have published the altered picture, and we have conveyed our regrets and apologies to the White House and to the State Department.

In accord with our religious beliefs, we do not publish photos of women, which in no way relegates them to a lower status. Publishing a newspaper is a big responsibility, and our policies are guided by a Rabbinical Board.

Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention. We apologize if this was seen as offensive.

 

10th May   

Update: TalkTalk BlockBlock...

British ISP starts a website blocking service for children
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

talktalk homesafe logoOne of the UK's largest ISPs has launched network-level website blocking aimed at protecting subscribers' children and their computers. While reports of HomeSafe's ability to block access to viruses, pornography and violent content has been widespread, it also blocks file-sharing sites and even information about file sharing at torrentfreak.com .

The package offers various services

  • Virus Alerts which blocks sites (or sections of sites) known to be infected with malware.
  • Homework Time , a feature which allows parents to grant kids access to the Internet for educational purposes, but stops them in their tracks should they attempt to become distracted by social networking sites such as Facebook.
  • KidsSafe, offers parents a set of controls to stop their kids (or indeed anyone else using a TalkTalk Internet connection) from accessing violent, pornographic or gambling content.

TalkTalk is stressing that HomeSafe is completely optional and is disabled by default. The list of blocked sites will not be made available.

 

10th May   

Update: Mosley Lashed by the European Court...

Max Mosley fails bid to force publishers to warn those effected by newspaper exposes
Link Here

European court buildingsEx Formula 1 boss Max Mosley has lost his European Court of Human Rights bid to force newspapers to warn people before exposing their private lives.

He said the Strasbourg verdict was disappointing but he may appeal, to keep fighting for tighter privacy laws: [I'm] obviously disappointed, but it's satisfying that they've been extremely critical of the News of the World.

Mosley won his 2008 High Court battle after a judge ruled there was no justification for the News of the World's front-page article about him paying five women to take part in a sado-masochistic orgy.

The tabloid reported that the orgy involving Mosley, the son of fascist leader Oswald Mosley, had Nazi overtones, but this was rejected by the judge.

Although he was awarded £ 60,000 damages, everyone had learned the details of his sexual preferences, and he argued money alone could not restore his reputation. He said once a story had been published, you could not un-publish it, and the damage had been done.

He took his case to the Human Rights Court, challenging UK laws which allow publication without giving targets advanced warning. The court clearly had some sympathy for Mosley's individual case, but said it had to look more broadly and assess the balance between an individual's right to privacy and the media's right to freedom of expression under the UK's legal system.

The UK, along with other contracting states, has a margin of appreciation - ie some leeway in the way it protects people's right to privacy. Taking that into account, the court found that the mix of rights and remedies available to people in the UK - which includes actions for damages, injunctions when the person knows of an imminent story, and regulation of the press through the Press Complaints Commission - sufficiently protected their privacy. It also feared that a general requirement of prior notification risked having a chilling effect on serious investigative journalism.

 

10th May   

Offsite: The Gorno Man...

An interview with BBFC senior examiner, Murray Perkins
Link Here

vice logoViceland Film interviewed Murray Perkins of the BBFC.

Viceland: Do you feel mainstream horror cinema has become more extreme recently, as a whole?

Murray Perkins: In some ways, films made a few decades ago are still more problematic from a censorship point of view than contemporary releases. A large part of that's because of the strong sexual violence which is less evident in contemporary horror films. What there has been over the last five years or so is an increase in torture themed horror works getting mainstream releases.

However, as I said earlier, this is a trend which is already showing some signs of decline. We're told we've seen the last of the Saw series, for example, though it's worth bearing in mind that none of the Saw films have ever been cut.

... Read the full article

 

10th May   

The Well Endowed Version...

Spartacus: Blood and Sand: Season 1 on Blu-ray
Link Here

Spartacus Blood Sand Season Blu ray Spartacus: Blood & Sand is a 2010 US TV series by various directors. See IMDb

The US release features the Director's Cut Extended Episodes and is MPAA Unrated for:

See article from movie-censorship.com :

There are 4 extended episodes with material that didn't make it into the TV Version:

  • Episode 1: The Red Serpent. 24s extra.
    - party scene with a slave with a dildo strapped to his head
    - party scene showing 2 girls rub breasts
  • Episode 2: Sacramentum Gladitorum. 17s extra
    - 2 clearer shots of Cirxus's penis
  • Episode 6: Delicate Things. 16s extra
    - several changes adding up to slightly naughtier sexy fun
  • Episode 8: Mark of the Brotherhood.
    - just a better shot of a well endowed Gaul
In the UK, the Original TV Version was passed 18 without BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 2011 Anchor Bay RB Blu-ray
  • UK 2011 Anchor Bay R2 DVD

 

10th May   

Diary: Censorship on the Edge of the Park Debate...

Ruggero Deodato Meets the BBFC
Link Here

cine-excess 2011 logo Odeon Covent Garden
Thursday 26th May 2011, 6.30pm-7.30pm

Cine-Excess V is presenting a debate between film policy makers, academics and one of cinema's most influential and controversial figures: Ruggero Deodato ( Cannibal Holocaust, House on the Edge of the Park, Cut and Run ).

In this special debate session, Ruggero Deodato discusses some of his most contentious titles with very the policy makers responsible for their legal classification, as well as the leading academics who have analysed their imagery and themes.

Features a keynote address by Professor Martin Barker (Aberystwyth University) on his recent BBFC funded audience study on House on the Edge of the Park . Other panellists include Craig Lapper (Senior BBFC Examiner) and Ruggero Deodato himself. Censorship on the Edge of the Park: Ruggero Deodato Meets the BBFC is chaired by Professor Julian Petley (Brunel University).

Censorship on the Edge of the Park: Ruggero Deodato Meets the BBFC is open to cinema goers over the age of 18, and tickets are priced at £ 12 each, ( £ 7.50 concessions). Please Ring the Following Ticket Hotline for tickets: 0871 22 44 007

 

9th May   

Sadistically Punishing WTF TV...

Ofcom get excited by Rihanna's S+M
Link Here

S M Music Video: Rihanna - S&M
WTF TV, 10 March 2011, 11:25

WTF TV [great name!] is a music channel that primarily broadcasts music videos of mainstream chart music, including pop and R&B/Urban, and classic music videos from the last 30 years. The channel uses a video jukebox format. The channel is owned and operated by TV Two.

WTF TV broadcast a music video by the R&B/pop singer Rihanna for the song S&M , at 11:25 on 10 March.

The video contained themes of sexual bondage, dominance and sadomasochism, including images of Rihanna: being dragged into a room of press journalists and cameras; her body and face being restrained behind cellophane; walking a man – who is the well known gossip blogger Perez Hilton - on a leash like a dog and whipping him; whipping a man dressed as a journalist with his hands and feet tied up with gaffer tape; in sexualised positions with blow-up dolls; lying on the floor on her chest with her hands and feet tied up with rope behind her back in positions of sexualised restraint; dressed up in various rubber and latex fetish outfits; and eating a banana and licking an ice cream encrusted with jewels in a sexually suggestive manner. The video also included images of people dressed as press journalists with bondage-style „ball gags? in, or gaffer tape across, their mouths. There were very brief images of the word slut written on Rihanna?s dress and a press journalist's notepad.

The song in the music video included the following lyrics:

Feels so good being bad (Oh oh oh oh oh) There's no way I'm turning back (Oh oh oh oh oh) Now the pain is for pleasure cause nothing could measure (Oh oh oh oh oh)…

Cause I may be bad, but I'm perfectly good at it Sex in the air, I don't care, I love the smell of it Sticks and stones may break my bones But chains and whips excite me…

Oh, I love the feeling you bring to me, oh, you turn me on It's exactly what I've been yearning for, give it to me strong And meet me in my boudoir, make my body say ah ah ah I like it-like it

Ofcom received a complaint that the music video was completely unsuitable for daytime broadcast.

Ofcom considered Rule 1.3 of the Code: Children must also be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.3

Ofcom had to consider first whether this broadcast material was unsuitable for children. We took into consideration that while the video included themes of bondage, sexual dominance and sadomasochism, as described above, such themes and corresponding images were presented in a surreal, colourful and sometimes humorous manner, rather than representing strong fetish material or depicting real or realistic sadomasochistic practices. We also noted that TV Two argued that the video reflects the real life drama of the artist who recently experienced well documented domestic violence from a partner , and that the broadcaster considered these images to be cartoon-like, over-the-top sequences which were artistic and not dark or seedy .

However, Ofcom considered that some of the images included in the video had a significant sexual fetish, bondage and sadomasochistic nature. The video included images of Rihanna: with her body and face being restrained behind cellophane; walking a man on a leash like a dog and whipping him; whipping a man dressed as a journalist with his hands and feet tied up with gaffer tape; adopting sexualised positions with blow-up dolls; lying on the floor on her chest with her hands and feet tied up with rope behind her backs in positions of sexualised restraint; dressed up in various rubber and latex fetish outfits; and eating a banana and licking an ice cream encrusted with jewels in a sexually suggestive manner. The video also included images of people dressed as press journalists with bondage-style ball gags in, or gaffer tape across, their mouths.

In addition, Ofcom considered that in tandem with the images in this video, the lyrics of the song clearly and repeatedly focused on sex, bondage and sadomasochistic sexual practices as a theme. For example:

Cause I may be bad, but I'm perfectly good at it, Sex in the air, I don't care, I love the smell of it, Sticks and stones may break my bones, But chains and whips excite me 2 ;

and

Oh, I love the feeling you bring to me, oh, you turn me on, It's exactly what I've been yearning for, give it to me strong.

In Ofcom's view, the cumulative effect of the images described above and the sexual lyrics of the song resulted in the video conveying a powerful, sexualised fetish theme. Further, in Ofcom's view, some of the behaviour in the video (such as images of Rihanna – and in particular her body and face – being restrained by a large cellophane sheet, and shots of people with their mouths gagged with gaffer tape or ball gags could have potentially dangerous consequences if imitated by children.

Given the above, it is Ofcom's view that the content of this particular music video was not suitable for children.

Ofcom therefore went on to consider whether this material was appropriately scheduled so as to provide adequate protection to children from viewing this unsuitable material.

Ofcom was conscious that WTF TV does not appear to attract a large child audience. However, we also took into account that Rihanna is a very well known and popular singer who has a widespread appeal to children, including younger children, and this particular music video received a large amount of press attention and interest before being broadcast. Further, we noted that WTF TV did not place a time restriction on this particular music video. Therefore it would have been broadcast at various times throughout the day (not just at 11:25) when children, especially younger children, are available to watch television, some unaccompanied by an adult. Ofcom noted the fact that, during daytime and before the watershed, other music channels only broadcast an edited version of this video.

In light of the above factors, it is Ofcom?s view that given the sexualised nature of the content and theme, and the at times inappropriate and potentially dangerous and imitable behaviour shown in this video, this material exceeded the likely expectations of the audience for this channel during daytime.

We therefore concluded that the material breached Rule 1.3.

Ofcom will shortly be issuing new guidance about the acceptability of material in music videos broadcast before the watershed. We will also be requesting that broadcasters who transmit such programming attend a meeting at Ofcom to discuss the compliance of such material.

 

9th May   

Better than American 'Shit'...

UK DVD/Blu-ray of King's Speech released today 12 Uncut
Link Here

Kings Speech DVD Colin Firth The King's Speech is a 2010 UK/Australia/US historical drama by Tom Hooper. See IMDb

It was passed 12/12A uncut by the BBFC for:

  • UK 2001 Technicolor/Momentum Online
  • UK 2011 Technicolor/Momentum RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon
  • UK 2011 Technicolor/Momentum R2 DVD at UK Amazon
  • UK 2011 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

This work was originally classified 15 without cuts on 15/10/2010. The BBFC has, after an appeal by the distributor of The King's Speech against the original 15 rating, applied its formal reconsideration process to the cinema release and classified it 12A with the Consumer Advice Contains strong language in a speech therapy context .

The BBFC's language Guidelines for 12A state: The use of strong language (for example f***) must be infrequent . In the case of The King's Speech there are two isolated instances where the character of King George VI uses strong language several times at the instigation of his therapist during the speech therapy sessions he is undergoing to alleviate his stammer. The strong language is not aggressive and not directed at any person.

The Guidelines state that because works from time to time present issues in ways which cannot be anticipated, these criteria will not be applied in an over literal way if such an interpretation would lead to an outcome which would confound audience expectations .

After careful consideration by the President and Director of the BBFC, the Board took the view that the way the strong language is presented in The King's Speech did not contravene the language Guidelines at 12A and that the public would understand why the Board has reached this decision.

Beware of the US PG-13 version where the strong language was cut via muting for a PG-13 certificate. The R rated version is uncut. It is reported that 42 occurrences of the word' fuck were overdubbed 'shit' for the PG-13 version.

 

9th May   

Update: There's No Twitter Smoke Without Fire...

Twitter user stirs things up by naming celebrities claimed to have taken out super injunctions
Link Here  full story: Super Injunctions...Granting super powers to rich gaggers

Twitter logoA Twitter user named InjuctionSuper has stirred things up with some celebrities who he claims to have obtained super-injunctions to prevent publication of details of their private lives.

The press say that some of these claims are not true but of course they cannot say which these are nor can they confirm any false names.

The use of super injunctions seems ever present in the news these days and seems to be causing much disquiet. A report by a committee set up by the Master of the Rolls - the most senior civil law judge at the Court of Appeal - will report on their use later this month.

BBC legal correspondent Clive Coleman said it will have to grapple with the issue of publication online.

If it doesn't the super or secret-injunction may no longer be an effective tool in the administration of justice, he said.

Media lawyer Charlotte Harris, of Mishcon de Reya, said the stories subject to super-injunctions were quite often cases of nasty blackmail . She said: You should be allowed to end a relationship with somebody, whether you are married or not, without having that person say 'right, I'm going to go to the paper, I'm going to destroy your life, I'm going to tell everybody every intimate thing about you'.

A lawyer who acts for newspapers suggested the viral effect of postings on social media websites could make a mockery of super-injunctions. Niri Shan, head of media law at Taylor Wessing, added: You can get an allegation that is made but before you know... it goes to potentially millions of people. Although people don't take these allegations as seriously as newspapers they certainly have a detrimental effect.

 

9th May   

PCC Tweet Tweak...

Newspaper censor set extend its remit to cover tweets from accounts associated with newspapers
Link Here

Twitter logoReporter and newspaper Twitter feeds are expected to brought under the censorship of the Press Complaints Commission later this year, the first time the body has sought to consolidate social media messages under its remit.

The PCC believes that some postings on Twitter are, in effect part of a newspaper's editorial product , writings that its code of practice would otherwise cover if the same text appeared in print or on a newspaper website. Last year the PCC found it was unable to rule in a complaint made against tweets published by the Brighton Argus.

Its plan, though, is to distinguish between journalists' public and private tweets. Any Twitter feed that has the name of the newspaper and is clearly an official feed -- such as @telegraphnews or @thesun_bizarre -- will almost certainly be monitored. However, that principle could be further extended to cover a reporter's official work account, whilst leaving personal accounts as outside its ambit.

The PCC wants each newspaper to develop a Twitter policy , to tell its reporters which accounts are considered part of its editorial product and which are not. But with many newspapers, including the Guardian, republishing tweets on their site, many journalist musings are likely to be drawn in.

An online working group of the PCC has already recommended that the body undertake a remit extension , after consulting with the newspaper industry as to how Twitter regulation can be implemented. That consultation is due to finish in the summer and the new rules are likely to be in place by the end of the year.

 

9th May   

Toxic Politicians...

Australian shadow minister likens adult sexuality to a toxin
Link Here

toxic chemical storageChildren as young as four are being subjected to toxic sexual imagery in public places, says a Liberal MP determined to get tighter standards imposed on advertising.

Sophie Mirabella, shadow minister for industry, attacked explicit billboards and magazine covers, and demanded the Parental Guidance Recommended classification be reviewed.

She claimed in a speech that youngsters were being bombarded with near-pornographic video clips in shopping malls and highly suggestive promotions at sporting events. And she insisted this was intrinsically linked with the heinous crime of paedophilia .

We would never knowingly allow our children to be exposed to a harmful toxin. The fact is, they are. Every day, Mirabella told the Australian Families Association in Melbourne: We just rarely think about it in those terms. Whether we like to admit it or not, exposure to adult sexuality can be a toxin for young children. It's an uncomfortable admission.

Mrs Mirabella said self-policing of the advertising industry didn't work and called for a statutory body with powers to levy serious fines on offenders: Let's codify community standards, but this time let's all place weight on the medical opinion about the effects on children, and let's err on the side of caution. We would if it was a chemical toxin, wouldn't we?

Mirabella said she was not becoming a wowser opposed to free speech ...BUT... arguing that adults had a moral responsibility, above all else, to protect children from those things that could harm them .

 

9th May   

Toxic Experts...

Daily Mail picks up on the idea of labelling adult television as toxic
Link Here

There is a well meaning article from hello.org.uk concerned about the way that TV is used to babysit pre-school kids. No outrageous language, and no mention of toxins:

hel campaign logoContrary to popular belief, 7 out of 10 parents do not feel guilty about allowing their children to watch TV. Of those parents, 42% think TV is a great way for kids to learn but only 16% always watch with their kids for bonding time , with 25% using TV as a babysitter .

The findings revealed that more than half of parents with pre-schoolers (54%) allow their children to watch adult programmes with Eastenders, The X Factor and Coronation Street being voted the most common for parents to co-view with their children. Parents play a crucial role in supporting their children's communication development.

Through the Hello campaign, The Communication Trust is encouraging parents to grab the communication opportunity to co-view with their child and to bring children's favourite characters and shows to life beyond the box.

But by when it gets reported in the Daily Mail, the paper throws in the new fashionable nutter word, 'toxic'.

See article from dailymail.co.uk :

toxic expertsHalf of all parents allow children to watch toxic TV shows

More than half of parents with children under six let them watch TV shows for adults such as The X Factor, EastEnders and Coronation Street. They allow children as young as two to see soap operas and light entertainment shows despite the fact many have inappropriate content.

Literacy expert Sue Palmer, author of Toxic Childhood , said that exposing children to inappropriate TV was like the mental equivalent of leaving a bottle of bleach lying around . She said: Parents seem to be under the impression children can cope with the same things as adults but they can't. It will disturb them.'

 

9th May   

Offsite: Apples and Oranges...

Wannabe censors eye standardised age ratings for phone apps
Link Here

Apple iPhone Black Mobile Phone The US wireless industry's trade group wants to put ratings on mobile apps to help parents keep inappropriate content out of their kids hands, but does a one-size ratings system fit all app stores?

The initiative, which was launched near the end of March by CTIA-The Wireless Association, calls for voluntary self-certification of apps . The program is on track to be in place by the end of this year and seeks to have app-makers define the content within their creations based on a specific set of ratings and guidelines. The end result is a system the CTIA hopes will give consumers a more informed choice when using applications on mobile devices.

...Read the full article

 

9th May   

Update: Feeding Hysteria...

More Facebook nonsense about banning breast feeding pictures
Link Here  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor

happy-nursing-baby Breast-feeding advocates are angry that Facebook has once again removed photos of mothers nursing their babies.

In the latest ludicrous censorship, last month Facebook removed breast-feeding images from Earth Mama Angel Baby's Facebook page.

Babies get hungry, explained a post on Earth Mama's website. And breasts feed babies. We don't consider either photo obscene. Each shows a human baby having lunch.

Peggy O'Mara, editor of Mothering magazine, decried the move in a lengthy blog post that called for readers to post pictures of themselves nursing on their personal Facebook pages if you agree with me that breast-feeding is normal and not obscene :

 

9th May   

Diary: Shock and Gore 2011...

Horror festival at the Electric Cinema, Birmingham
Link Here
 
 

electric cinema logoShock and Gore 2011
1st -3rd July 2011
Electric Cinema, Birmingham

On the first weekend of July, we shall be holding our first ever horror festival, entitled Shock & Gore 2011!

It's about time Birmingham had a proper horror festival, one that can eventually rival the likes of Frightfest or Dead By Dawn, and this is the beginning of that mission.

Initially taking place across three days, the full programme is still being finalised, but we can confirm that the festival will feature a sneak preview of upcoming gory grindhouse tribute Hobo With A Shotgun , starring Rutger Hauer (pictured), plus a return visit from the Bad Film Club, who'll be eviscerating Uwe Boll's truly tragic House Of The Dead .

It's not just film either - there'll be live stand-up from Goth comedian Andrew O'Neill, some unique audience interaction and a special all-nighter featuring live music and Xbox games on our upstairs digital screen.

 

8th May   

Not So Hot...

South Korea app store removes adult material
Link Here

sk telecom logoSouth Korea seems to be taking a dim view about adult material available for mobile phones.

Korea's largest mobile service operator, SK Telecom, will close down its hot zone category on its T Store. This section currently offers 600 adults only products including photos, cartoons and videos. T Store is extremely popular in Korea with some 6.6 million subscribers.

The hot zone used an age verification procedure in which users had to prove they were 19 years of age or older. But teenagers often used their parents' resident registration numbers to get around the system.

SK Telecom is taking the move despite the hot zone being a cash cow. In the first quarter of this year, SK Telecom raked in 3.8 billion won from T Store. And 270 million - or 7% - came from the hot zone.

The ban comes after the Korea Communications Commission, the country's telecommunications censor, announced last month that it will look into ways to solve the 'problems' of teenagers being exposed to obscene content in smartphone application stores.

The KCC said it is debating such measures as setting up separate application stores for adults and teenagers, among other options.

LG U+, the country's smallest mobile service operator, also said it will come up with ways to tackle the availability of adult material to its teenage users.

 

7th May   

New TV Censors...

Ofcom appointments to its Content Board
Link Here

Ofcom logoOfcom have announced the appointment of four new members of its Content Board and the appointment of a new Chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Wales. It has also announced the re-appointment of the Chairmen of the National Advisory Committees for both Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Content Board

The Content Board is the committee of the main Ofcom Board with delegated responsibility for TV and radio content issues, including setting and enforcing quality and standards.

  • Janey Walker worked at the BBC from 1982-95 and then Channel 4 from 1996-2010 where she was Commissioning Editor Arts and Performance until 2000, later becoming Managing Editor for Commissioning and Head of Education until 2010.
  • Dr. David Levy is Director of the Reuters Institute at Oxford University and had a distinguished career at the BBC from 1982 where he moved from editorial and programme making into wider-policy development becoming Controller, Public Policy from 2000-2007.
  • Glyn Mathias will be the Content Board member for Wales. Between 1973-1994 he worked as Political Editor/Correspondent for ITN and then until 1999 was Political Editor for BBC Wales. He was the Welsh member of the Electoral Commission from 2001-9 and joined Ofcom's Welsh Advisory Committee in 2007.
  • Iseabail MacTaggart is a fluent Gaelic speaker. She was a solicitor before moving to BBC Radio 5 as an assistant editor. She is now on the Highlands and Islands Enterprise Board and has been a Board member of MG Alba and the BBC Audience Council for Scotland. Iseabail will be the Content Board member for Scotland.

The appointments took effect on the 1st May 2011.

Advisory Committees

Ofcom announced that Glyn Mathias has been appointed as the Chairman of the Advisory Committee for Wales in addition to his role on the Content Board. Professor Philip Schlesinger of the University of Glasgow has been re-appointed as Chairman of the Advisory Committee for Scotland and Professor Wallace Ewart has been re-appointed as the Chairman of the Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland.

 

7th May   

Update: Censored Lest Tongues Wag...

Facebook ban kissing image for promotion of the movie, Attenberg
Link Here  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor

attenbergA Swedish film distributor's attempt to use an image of two women kissing in a Facebook advertising campaign has been rejected by the ever censorial website.

Sweden-based TriArt Film was hoping to use Facebook to publicise the Greek film Attenberg , currently showing in Swedish cinemas.

Our ad for Attenberg, using the poster image of two women touch tongues, has been DISAPPROVED, TriArt said in a statement on its own Facebook page. TriArt went on to suggest that Facebook appears to have a double standard when it comes to who can be seen locking lips in advertisements running on the site, explaining that their ad for the film Tre , featuring a male-female couple engaged in a deep kiss, was approved.

We're confused, TriArt CEO Eva Esseen Arndorff said in a statement.

 

7th May   

Offsite: Not So Complete 14th Season...

South Park Season 14 has the TV censored version of the Mohammed episodes
Link Here  full story: South Park and Religion...South Park offends the easily offenced

South Park Complete Fourteenth Season South Park Season 14 has now been released on US DVD and Blu-ray.

Unfortunately the controversial 200th and 201st episodes are still censored, just as they were seen on TV.

But it gets worse. Each episode has a mini-commentary with Trey Parker and Matt Stone talking about the episode for 2-4 minutes before signing off and the episode playing as normal.

The commentary for the 201st episode is, shall we say, unique. Parker and Stone come in talking about the circus that surrounded the episode, reiterating what a bumper card preceding the episode says regarding the episode appearing on the disc just as it aired. Then, just as they're about to offer their thoughts on how it was handled...the commentary track bleeps. It bleeps out for a full minute and you'll honestly think you have a concussion, and that it's a ringing in your ears. Then it cuts back in to Parker and Stone, seemingly satisfied they've said their piece, signing off. Again, I hope it's genius comedy, but it's hard to know for certain.

Offsite: Bleeping Hell

7th May. See article from parcbench.com

I figured Matt and Trey would get to say a few things on the commentary track that would allow more of their voice to be heard. Unfortunately, this is not the case and the bulk of their commentary is also bleeped out with that same annoying tone that is spread throughout episode 201 (supposedly a speech about fear and intimidation that doesn't mention Muhammed). The beginning of the episode on DVD says the following words.

In the 14 years we've been doing South Park we have never done a show that we couldn't stand behind. We delivered our version of the show to Comedy Central and they made a determination to alter the episode. It wasn't some meta-joke on our part. Comedy Central added the bleeps. In fact, Kyle's customary final speech was about intimidation and fear. It didn't mention Muhammad at all but it got bleeped too.

...read the full article

 

7th May   

It's Not Over Yet for Morally Decayed Tanzania...

Film censor bans the fat lady from singing
Link Here

inye plusTanzania's Ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports has banned the public showing of five local films, because they contravene with Tanzania's supposed cultural norms of human decency.

A statement issued by the Ministry said the Tanzania Film Censorship Board inspected 45 films last month and decided to ban five films namely Mtoto wa Mama, Inye, Inye Plus, Inye Ndembendembe and Inye Gwedegwede. These films are blamed for plunging the country into cultural and moral decay.

The statement said:

The ministry through the film board has decided to ban films that focus on explicit sex, obscenity and pornography which government consider immoral and a bad influence especially on the youth.

The Mtoto wa Mama film is in grade 'R' which means that it is not supposed to be shown anywhere at any time in the country because the movie is gay themed and features young boys actors in indecent dresses.

Inye, Inye Plus, Inye Ndembendembe and Inye Gwedegwede are in the same grade as they are comedy movies, which insult women with huge figures, suggesting that their movements arouse sexual temptations.

 

7th May   

General Pants Pulled Up...

Australian retailer to cover up Sex! and fashion advert
Link Here

ksubi advert Australian retailer General Pants Co. and fashion label Ksubi will censor its joint Sex! & Fashion advertising campaign after a supposed consumer backlash against its content.

The campaign was rolled out in General Pants stores nationally on April 28 to promote a collection created by Ksubi in collaboration with the youth chain store retailer.

Its hero image comprises a woman naked from the abdomen up, save for gaffer tape on her breasts. There also appears to be a man unzipping her jeans from behind and the word sex appears in bold above her head.

While the campaign will remain in General Pants Co. front store windows until its scheduled end date of May 16, the retailer's CEO Craig King revealed the image will now be partially covered with black strips reading censored . We made a decision on Friday [to alter the campaign] after we'd heard some of the responses and consulted with Ksubi that we'd be altering the imagery to diffuse the situation, King said.

He added that sales for the Sex! & Fashion collection had been strong .

Among the criticisms levelled at the retailer were claims the Sex! & Fashion campaign was too graphic , inappropriate and stooping to new lows .

 

7th May   

Update: Stolen News...

Sudan seizes all copies of a Sunday newspaper
Link Here  full story: Press Censorship in Sudan...Press is routinely censored

Sudan flagSudanese security forces confiscated the entire Sunday edition of an independent newspaper, its editor said.

Sudan's constitution supposedly guarantees press freedom but several journalists have been detained without charge in recent months and papers are often subject to direct censorship.

Police came after midnight and took all copies after we had printed it. They gave no explanation, said Osman Murghni, editor of Al-Tayar newspaper. He said authorities had not informed the newspaper why the edition was taken and he said it was probably to show its disapproval of coverage of Monday's elections in South Kordofan.

 

6th May   

Update: Censorship Workaround...

Mozilla refuse US government request to ban Firefox add-on
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in USA...Domain name seizures and SOPA

mafiaafire redirector logo Mozilla officials have refused a US government request to ban a Firefox add-on that helps people to access sites that use internet domain names seized earlier this year.

The Firefox add-on, available on Mozilla.org, made it easy for users to access sites that used some of the confiscated addresses. It did this by redirecting them to substitute domain names that were out of the reach of US courts, such as those with a .de top level domain.

You simply type Demoniod.com into your browser as usual, the add-on's authors wrote in an FAQ explaining how it works. The browser sends the address to the add-on, the add-on checks if Demoniod.com is on the list of sites to be redirected and immediately redirects you to the mirror site.

US officials alleged MafiaaFire circumvented their seizure order and asked Mozilla to remove it. The open-source group, in not so many words, said no. Our approach is to comply with valid court orders, warrants, and legal mandates, but in this case there was no such court order, Harvey Anderson of Mozilla explained.

A vocal chorus of lawmakers and policy wonks have decried the domain seizures, arguing that the ex parte actions are a serious power grab that threaten the stability of the internet. If the US government can confiscate addresses it doesn't agree with, what's to stop China or any other country from doing the same thing?

 

6th May   

An Earlier Watershed...

New Zealand MP campaigns to get Coronation Street rated adults only
Link Here

Coronation Street Best 1990 1999 DVD Popular soap operas on New Zealand television may be rated adults only if Lianne Dalziel has her way.

The Labour MP is calling on the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) to move the adult slot time because programmes like Coronation Street and Shortland Street undermine family values.

The two street soaps are rated PGR (parental guidance recommended) but Dalziel said the content has become increasingly unsuitable for children.

She has asked the BSA to move the 8.30pm watershed time in which television programmes are deemed to have adult content from 8.30pm to 7.30pm.

She is not suggesting that soaps should be programmed later, just that parents should be told that programmes in the 7:30pm - 8:30pm slot are not suitable for children.

Dalziel said content currently screening from 7.30pm has storylines covering complex issues such as prostitution, kidnapping, drug addiction and marital problems.

Dalziel told TV ONE's Breakfast that BSA findings show parents rely on the watershed time as marking the transition from family viewing to more adult themed shows: Surely you want to look at the time when you can guarantee to parents there won't be any adult themes creeping in .

Dalziel said that the content of Coronation Street, which is rated PGR, has changed markedly since the days of Ena Sharples and Minnie Caldwell.

 

6th May   

Update: The Death Warrant of the Internet...

Turkey tries to defend optional internet filtering from criticism
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Turkey...Website blocking insults the Turkish people

Turkey flagResponding to criticism that ISP website blocking, which is set to be implemented this summer, would turn the internet into a government-controlled structure, a Turkish official claimed that the control will be with users.

Tayfun Acerer, the head of the Prime Ministry's Information Technologies Board, or BTK, claims The new regulations are for the benefit of users

Under a decision on Rules and Procedures of the Safety of Internet Use, approved by the BTK in February, Internet users in Turkey will have to choose one of four Internet packages:

  • children: the most restrictive
  • family
  • domestic: all websites from outside Turkey are blocked
  • standard: currently blocked sites will continue to be blocked, but the voluntary blocks will not be applied

The blocking options will be implemented starting Aug. 22.

The news portal Bianet.org has filed a complaint to the Council of State, arguing that existing Turkish legislation gives the BTK no authority to make and enforce such a decision. According to the Washington-based advocacy group Freedom House, Internet censorship is on the rise in Turkey, where around 5,000 websites have been banned since 2001.

If we define the current structure of the Internet as the standard profile, then the changes can be seen as an addition to the current structure, Acerer said. He added that the BTK would decide the cost for subscribing to a particular package, but the actual transfer will be free of charge.

Users can either choose to continue with their current profile, or switch to another package, Acerer said, adding that the standard package will apply by default and that users who want to switch to another package will have to request it.

Republican People's Party, or CHP, deputy leader Emrehan Halici said Thursday that the new regulations are the death warrant of the Internet in Turkey.

Some 400,000 people will gather in several provinces of Turkey to protest the Information and Communication Technologies Authority, or BTK, which previously unveiled a content-filtering plan. The rally in Istanbul will take place on Istiklal Avenue's Galatasaray Square on May 15, bearing the catchphrase Don't touch my Internet.

 

6th May   

No Spies in China...

Spy dramas banned from Chinese TV
Link Here

China flagThe Chinese government has banned all spy dramas and any related programs from being broadcast on major television networks from May to July, according to reports.

The government agency in charge of censoring entertainment programming has not announced a reason for the ban, but observers speculate that it may be an effort to clear the way for official programming in the run-up to the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party on July 1.

 

6th May   

Update: Blasphemy, Hate, Defamation, Whatever...

US religion official warns of move to consider criticism of religion to be classed as hate speech
Link Here  full story: Defamation of Religion...OIC pushes for global blasphemy laws at UN

UN logoMuslim countries may seek a United Nations resolution that would brand criticism of Islam and other religions as hate speech, a top U.S. religious freedom official is warning.

Earlier this year, Islamic nations lost their most recent bid to pass a resolution against defamation or vilification of religions in the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Now they appear to be pursing a new tactic, said Leonard Leo, a presidential appointee who chairs the bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom: My concern is that the Organization of the Islamic Conference will now try to get 'defamation of religions' and 'blasphemy' resolutions passed through the back door -- that is to say, by pushing the 'hate speech' issue.

The Islamic conference was lobbying the U.N. for what Leo called a global blasphemy law, which would have condemned defamation of religions and urged member states to pass laws against it. Although the measure failed, Leo said Islamic states may have better luck using broader hate speech language that some Western countries already accept.

 

6th May   

Offsite: Gagging For It...

Celebrities in a rush for gagging orders
Link Here  full story: Super Injunctions...Granting super powers to rich gaggers

Old BaileySee  article from telegraph.co.uk

A Premiership footballer is the latest to obtain a gagging order to prevent details of an affair becoming public. Kimberley West

Miss West, 18, claims she had a three-month relationship with the footballer after meeting in a nightclub.

He joins a growing list of celebrities who have taken out injunctions to prevent details of their private life being made public.

See article from dailymail.co.uk

A serving MP is seeking a super-injunction preventing details of their activities being exposed, it was disclosed today.

The revelation came in the Commons as MPs discussed future Parliamentary business - including whether to debate creeping judge-made privacy laws and the spiralling use of gagging orders.

Each Thursday MPs are allowed to press Leader of the House Sir George Young to allocate Government time for debates. Conservative Matthew Offord (Hendon) used the session to raise the gagging orders.

He said: There has been much public discussion on the increasing use of super-injunctions and the ability of judges to decide policy instead of elected Parliamentarians.

Is the Leader of the House aware of the anomaly this creates if, as has been rumoured, a member of this place seeks a super-injunction to prevent discussion of their activities?'

See article from dailymail.co.uk

A celebrity chef won a privacy order yesterday granting him anonymity over claims he mistreated two employees whom he later sacked at his business empire.

The ruling means that he cannot be named at an employment tribunal later this year brought by the female and male members of his staff.

It is the latest example of a major public figure remaining anonymous thanks to creeping privacy rulings by judges.

The woman -- known only as Miss J -- claims she suffered sex discrimination and also a detriment after she acted as a whistleblower at the company -- which can be referred to only as K Ltd .

No reasons have been given for the gagging order, but such devices can be used in cases of sexual misconduct under industrial tribunal rules.

 

6th May   

Love and Less Bullets...

Old Cuts to Love and Bullets with Charles Bronson
Link Here

Love Bullets DVD Charles Bronson Love and Bullets is a 1979 UK crime drama by Stuart Rosenberg. See IMDb

Passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2011 Strawberry Online
  • UK 2011 Strawberry/Spirit R2 DVD at UK Amazon
  • UK 2003 Carlton R2 DVD
  • UK 2000 Carlton VHS

Previously it was passed 15 after 1:24s of cuts (as per the 1978 cinema version) for:

  • UK 1986 Channel 5 VHS

And before that it was passed A (PG) after 1:24s of cuts for:

  • UK 1978 cinema release

From IMDb:

  • Cut to remove a gunshot impact
  • Cut to heavily edit the scene where Charlie makes nail darts for a homemade blowpipe.

 

6th May   

Update: Public Virtue and Private Vice...

Making sex videos for personal use is still legal in Indonesia
Link Here  full story: Anti-Porn Law in Indonesia...A front for the implementation of shariah

indonesia constitutional courtIn a landmark ruling, the Constitutional Court threw out a request for a judicial review of the 2008 Anti-Pornography Law, which sought an amendment to criminalize the filming of sex videos for private use.

Chief Justice Mahfud M.D., in rejecting the request for a review filed by nutter lawyer Farhat Abbas, said: The plaintiffs' argument does not have a legal basis.

Article 4 of the law bans people from producing pornographic material, while Article 6 prohibits people from storing or broadcasting it. However, Farhat's camp has said supplementary explanations of the law exclude materials for personal use and interest.

If pornography is for 'personal use,' the actor might be seen as a victim [when material is distributed without consent], when in fact pornography exists because of the actors in the first place, Muhammad Burhanuddin, one of Farhat's lawyers, had argued.

However, Justice Ahmad Fadlil Sumadi said that while the court agreed with the plaintiffs that pornography violated norms of decency if made public, the point here was that a homemade video for private use was not meant to be made public.

Farhat sought the judicial review in the wake of the celebrity sex video scandal involving Nazril Ariel Irham, the frontman for the band Peterpan. One allegedly showed Ariel with his girlfriend, Luna Maya, while another was said to show him with TV presenter Cut Tari. Ariel has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison on a charge of distributing pornography, not for making the films, although he insists he did not upload the videos to the Internet.

Anwar Sadat, a representative for the plaintiffs, said that while the request for the judicial review had been rejected, the two women in the Ariel case should still be held accountable: The makers of sex videos must also be punished. We know that Ariel has been sentenced to prison, but what about Luna Maya and Cut Tari?

 

6th May   

Dangerous Opposition...

Belarus bans 2 newspapers and jails opposition leader
Link Here

nasha nivaThe Belarus government has intensified its repression of dissent by shutting two independent newspapers and sending another opposition leader to prison for two years.

The Information Ministry claimed the daily newspapers Nasha Niva and Narodnaya Volya were closed after receiving two or more warnings in the past year over their political coverage.

The opposition leader, Dmitry Bondarenko, was imprisoned for organizing a rally in December to protest the results of an election that extended the tenure of President Alexander Lukashenko.

 

5th May   

Fauning to the ASA...

ASA rejects complaints about scary O2 demon
Link Here

o2 faun advert video A TV ad promoting mobile phone deals, broadcast in February 2011, at different times throughout the day, featured a faun standing beneath a tree in a fantastical, pastoral setting. He said Welcome to O2's mind. What am I doing here? Well, they thought of me and here I am. Couples appeared in the background out of nowhere, along with the O2 Arena and some rubber ducks. The faun said Being here I get to see everything O2 thinks about and they think a lot about you. Take Mel. A woman appeared and the faun said Hi Mel. Mel's an O2 customer and O2 thought, what if Mel was out shopping around one day and she spots an offer for new customers that's better for the deal she's on? The woman was shown in a high street, and when the sky darkened, she looked angry and transformed into a demon-like creature with wings and horns. The faun said Oh dear! So, O2 thought, we'll make sure our existing customers always get our very best deals when they stay with us. The demon was then pacified and transformed back into the woman. The faun said And everyone can get O2 rewards. You see? They're always thinking of you. And me, apparently. The voiceover stated O2 we're better, connected. Issue

Eight viewers challenged whether the image of the woman transforming into a demon would cause distress to children and was inappropriately scheduled.

Telefonica O2 said that they had expected Clearcast to highlight any necessary restrictions or transmission times to minimise the risk that children would see any ads which might distress them. They said they had followed Clearcasts advice and there were no scheduling restrictions placed on the ad. They said it would never have been their intention to frighten or distress children at any time, regardless of any scheduling restrictions.

Clearcast said that the woman, who morphed from a swirl of dark smoke into a wicked fairy type with talons and fangs, was the kind of character who might appear in a fairy tale, childrens Disney film or pantomime and was, for example, similar to the ugly sisters in Cinderella. They considered that children were familiar with those types of characters and did not consider that they would find the brief shot frightening.

ASA Assessment: Not upheld

The ASA understood that Clearcast had not applied a scheduling restriction to the ad. We noted that the transformation scene occurred in the context of a fantastical scenario and considered that it was dramatic, but not overtly frightening or sinister. We also noted that the woman quickly returned to her human state and appeared happy and content after the temporary transformation. Although we acknowledged that some very young viewers might find the theme unsettling, we did not consider that the content or scheduling of the ad was likely to cause distress to very young children.

We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 5.1 (Children) and 32.3 (Scheduling of Television and Radio ads), but did not find it in breach.

 

5th May   

Update: The Greater Firewall of China...

China merges political and technical internet censors
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Malaysia...Malaysia looks to censor the internet

China flagChina has set up a new censorship body to control information on the internet.

The State Internet Information Office will take over responsibility from a number of lower-ranking directorates.

The new set-up is intended to enable the government to keep a more repressive grip on the content available to internet-users in China.

The newly-created State Internet Information Office brings technical and political control over the internet under one body, with Information Minister Wang Chen in charge. This in effect gives his ministry more power than the other agencies involved.

 

4th May   

Update: Idiots Protest...

Richard Herring winds up the nutters of Lowestoft
Link Here

richard herring christ on a bike advertRichard Herring performed his show Christ on a Bike -- the Second Coming at Lowestoft's Marina Theatre.

Before the show a group of 20 churchgoers waving placards demonstrated outside the theatre. They claimed that a flier promoting the show was blasphemous and vulgar. They also claim that the show mocks Jesus.

The protest was organised by the Rev Kyle Paisley of the Free Presbyterian Church in Oulton Broad and was attended by other church groups from across the region. Paisley is the son of Ulster politician Lord Bannaside (Ian Paisley).

Herring said that the show was a tribute to the life of Jesus, regardless if he was the son of God. He told the churchgoers he respected their views and right to protest. But he admitted he used vulgarity to annoy people.

The comedian, who is on a national tour, also defended himself after he described churchgoers who planned to protest as more backward than people of East Anglia, and imagine how backwards that makes them feel .

The controversial flier featured a mock up Bible in which God and Holy Spirit are seen to use 'offensive' words in a conversations with Herring. It also said Jesus was cool while people who follow him are idiots .

 

4th May   

Update: Bloodied But Comes Back Fighting...

Dog fighting game app reappears with a new name
Link Here  full story: Dog Wars...Dog fighting game for Android phones

kg docgfightingAfter a little controversy with Dog Wars , which Google pulled from the Android Market last week, Kage Games has returned with a new name, KG Dogfighting .

We appreciate everyone's thoughts about our app as we are firm believers in the right to free speech and the free exchange of ideas, writes Kage Games.

These freedoms are the building blocks of the Google Android operating system and the very reason so many users choose Google Android over the alternative.

A Google spokesperson talking to the LA Times has said that the original game wasn't removed because of any content issues, but because of copyright infringement , which suggests that this new title is enough to resolve the issues.

Not Impressed

See article from reviews.cnet.com

The head of the LA Police Department's officers union has spoken out against the app, according to the Los Angeles Times, calling it sick and disgusting, despite its new name. The app may have especially struck the wrong chord with police officers since it offers game players a gun that they can use in the event of police raids and to inject the virtual dogs with steroids.

In its response, PETA unveiled its own iPhone app last week that highlights stories about animal cruelty, inviting users to share the details on Facebook and Twitter and take action by sending letters of protest to politicians, corporate executives, and other officials. The app also enables people to donate money to the cause through PETA's mobile Web site.

 

4th May   

Updated: Bailey Bollox...

All society's ills to be cured by banning gay kisses from pre-watershed TV
Link Here  full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report

Daily Mail logoLesbian kisses could be banned from television screens until the watershed under nutter inspired Government plans to stop children being exposed to supposedly indecent images.

A review launched with the backing of David Cameron is expected to recommend that sexually suggestive scenes currently allowed before the 9pm watershed, such as the famous lesbian embrace on soap opera Brookside, should not be shown until later in the evening.

The inquiry is being led by Mothers' Union chief executive Reg Bailey.

The Daily Mail said that Bailey is likely to focus on more restrictive watershed rules. A source close to the inquiry said: It is hard to protect children in the internet and mobile-phone age but we have to do something.

Sources also suggested that raunchy dance routines, such as those by pop stars Christina Aguilera and Rihanna on last year's X Factor final, could also fall foul of more censorial watershed rules.

Bailey is also understood to be looking at a ban on sexy advertisements in public places. The source added: Some of those huge poster advertisements for bras and knickers leave precious little to the imagination and they are there for all our children to see.

Bailey is examining restricting internet pornography by enabling parents to ask ISPs to block adult websites at source rather than relying on parental controls.

Update: Mothers' Union chief executive Reg Bailey is not speaking for the Mothers' Union

4th May 2011. See article from themothersunion.org

mothers union logoClarification on reports published in print and online 1st and 2nd May 2011.

Mothers' Union explicitly refutes all allegations regarding the banning of lesbian kisses on television before or after the watershed as claimed by the media this week, including in The Sun and the Daily Mail newspapers.

The Bailey Review as conducted by the Department of Education is independent of the Mothers' Union's Bye Buy Childhood Campaign and therefore, any recourse to statements against Mothers' Union are unfounded and should be directed to the Department of Education.

The Mothers' Union's Campaign is gender inclusive and is therefore, neither targeted towards or against any type of relationship and should not be expressed as such.

 

4th May   

Diary: See You in Court...

BBC programme included Simon Singh's experience in the libel courts
Link Here  full story: Simon Singh vs Chiropractors...Chiropractors take science sceptic to libel court

see you in court video Almost two years in the making, See You in Court features unprecedented access to those affected by libel cases and explores how splashes in the media affect the individuals at the heart of them. London has become known as the libel capital of the world with people coming from far away to use the British courts and legal system to sue if they feel their privacy has been invaded or their reputation damaged. But what exactly is a reputation, how much is one worth and is it just the rich and famous that get to fight over them?

In this week's episode we follow science writer Simon Singh and his court battle with the British Chiropractic Association and family man Tristan Rogers who finds himself in hot water, having to defend comments he posted on an online property forum.

 

4th May   

Update: Politically Uncensored...

Again Malaysia promises no state censorship of the internet
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Malaysia...Malaysia looks to censor the internet

Malaysia flagMalaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak promised Malaysians that his administration would never censor the Internet.

Twice in recent years, the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition government has explored introducing Internet-filtering software, saying it was necessary to combat child pornography, before backing off after public outcry.

Speaking at the 1st Malaysian-ASEAN Regional Bloggers Conference, Mr Najib said that Malaysia has one of the liveliest and one of the freest, if not most free , blogospheres in the world.

While stressing that it is important for bloggers and Internet users to draw the line , Najib said his administration still welcomed constructive criticism and wanted to work with them as partners: There is a difference between disagreeing and being disagreeable. But what is important is for us to put forth our view to ... build a better Malaysi a.

 

4th May   

Update: Unmentionable censorship...

Thailand set to ban mere mention of the monarchy during election campaign
Link Here  full story: Lese Majeste in Thailand...Criticising the monarchy is a serious crime

Thai Election Commission logoThailand's Election Commission (EC) authorities have banned discussion of the monarchy in campaigning for the first national election since the political violence erupted in 2010.

The poll's body has not revealed the details of the new rules, which were announced at a meeting with political representatives.

The EC will discuss details of the ban later, said Apichart Sukananond, the body's chairman, suggesting that parties who disobey the rules may be dissolved and their leaders may be banned for five years.

Debate about the role of the monarchy is a taboo in Thailand as the country prepares its national election in early July.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva supported the ban stating that the monarchy was above politics and conflicts , while the main opposition party Puea thai pledged to respect the rules.

 

3rd May   

Update: Bewitched by Nutters...

Australia cuts computer game, The Witcher 2, to avoid being banned
Link Here  full story: Banned Games in Australia...Adult games ban

Witcher Premium PC DVD Namco Bandai has confirmed to Kotaku that The Witcher 2 has been cut for Australian release under an MA15+ rating.

According to Namco Bandai:

In the original version your character Geralt was given the choice of accepting sex as a reward for successfully completing this particular side quest. The Australian Classification Board originally refused classification as they deemed the inclusion of sex as a reward as not suitable for an MA15+ classification.

The change is only minor, in that the character choice is now made automatically for him. The character and the side quest are still in the game but presented in a slightly different context. No other cuts have been made and this change has no impact on gameplay, storyline or character development.

 

3rd May   

Darker Days...

The DarkSide Magazine returns
Link Here

darkside 144 Popular yet controversial British horror magazine The Darkside was started in 1990 by writer and editor Allan Bryce but by 2009 it went dark.

But Allan Bryce has seen the light, and The Darkside has returned with issue 144.

Editor Allan Bryce said on his DVD & Blu-Ray World website:

I'm pleased to be able to announce that Dark Side will be continuing with a new publisher, the same one as DVD and Blu-ray World.

The new magazine will pretty much be the same as the old one, though maybe a little spiffier on the design front since yours truly won't be doing it himself this time.

The first of the new issues should be out by the time you read these words and it has some great features on everything from the new Burke & Hare movie and cult giallo flick Amer to interviews with such genre legends as Gary Sherman (Deathline, Dead And Buried) and Troma king Lloyd Kaufmann.

 

3rd May   

Bangladesh Catches Political Disease...

Bangladesh debates first law banning production and distribution of porn
Link Here

Bangladesh flagBangladesh's cabinet has approved the country's first ever pornography law.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government said it would introduce a draft law in parliament to make production and distribution of pornography punishable by up to ten years in jail.

The law is likely to be passed after being debated by parliament.

A government spokesman said: We hope the new law will prevent immoral behaviour , adding that pornography had become a social disease .

Earlier this year, a married television actress was forced to go into hiding after a video was circulated online showing her having sex with her lover. Last month, another video hit the Internet showing a popular female host of World Cup cricket coverage having sex with an unidentified man. Police said the existing laws did not enable them to prosecute those involved in making or passing on the videos.

 

2nd May   

Updated: The New Giallo Collection...

Arrow release DVD set with Dario Argento's Sleepless, Opera, Stendhal Syndrome and the Card Player
Link Here

Dario Argento Neo Giallo Collection The Neo Giallo Collection features 4 films by Dario Argento.

  • Sleepless
  • Terror at the Opera
  • The Stendhal Syndrome
  • The Card Player

They are all now presented uncut.

Previously Terror at the Opera was released  after 3 cuts totaling 47s for

  • UK 1991 Virgin VHS
  • UK 1990 cinema release

BBFC cuts with thanks to Rob:

  1. A 4s zoom in to Inspector Alan Santini's (Urbano Barberini's) skewered tongue has been deleted.
  2. 20s, ie most of the stabbing of Stefan the stage manager has been cut. He gets a knife through the neck and up into the mouth and then is subsequently stabbed repeatedly.
  3. 9s showing the killer forcing a pair of scissors into the wardrobe girl's mouth have vanished

The Stendhal Syndrome was also previously released in the UK with pre-cuts for

  • UK 1999 Marquee DVD
  • UK 1996 Guild VHS

There were 11 pre-cut s totaling 2m:47s:

  1. In the rape of Anna (Asia Argento) by Alfredo (Thomas Kretschmann) 12s are removed that show Alfredo rolling a razor blade around in his mouth and then removing it. A couple of response shots from Anna are also effected.
  2. 14s have been removed from the subsequent rape of another woman whilst Anna is still watching. A shot of Alfredo holding a gun next to the victims face. The infamous slow motion close up of a bullet being fired through the victims mouth and face has been removed along with the view though the newly made hole. This cut is rather ineptly done as Anna screams and then gets covered in blood without any obvious reason.
  3. An entire scene lasting 100s has been eliminated showing Anna returning home to a rather cold and unfriendly reception from her family. Scene setting only.
  4. Alfredo moves on to another rape of a woman in a dress shop.10s of Alfredo hitting the woman in the face have been cut along with another 6s of a slow motion bullet going off by the woman's head. The bullet reflects an image of Alfredo as it passes him by.
  5. Anna gets raped again in Alfredo's hideout but we miss 11s of the action, Some screaming by Anna, s hot of Alfredo from Anna's point of view and Anna being hit in the face.
  6. In this version, Anna suffers 10s less of a razor blade being drawn down her cheek and she loses a view of Alfredo.
  7. Eventually Anna gets the upper hand and she gets to give Alfredo a beating with her gun. She hits him 6 times in the original but only 4 times in this version.

Promotional material from UK Amazon :

NEO GIALLO COLLECTION SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • 4 of Dario Argento s late Giallo works collected in this exclusive boxset
  • 9 option reversible sleeves of original and newly commissioned artworks!
  • 4 double-sided fold-out posters with newly commissioned artwork for each film
  • A host of extras for every film including Making ofs, trailers, booklets by Alan Jones (author of Profondo Argento ) and more!

TERROR AT THE OPERA SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork
  • Double-sided fold-out poster
  • Booklet by Alan Jones
  • Dario Argento Filmography & Biography
  • Terror s Photo Album
  • Opera by Deamonia Music Video
  • The Complete Dario Argento trailer gallery [18 films]
  • International Version with choice of original Italian 5.1/Stereo soundtrack & English audio
  • US edit feature with choice of original track or Cannes Dub audio
  • US Trailer
  • International Trailer
  • Top 6 Gore Scenes menu

THE STENDHAL SYNDROME SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork
  • Double-sided fold-out poster
  • Booklet by Alan Jones
  • The Complete Dario Argento trailer gallery [18 films]
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Choice of original Italian & English audio

SLEEPLESS SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork
  • Double-sided fold-out poster
  • Murder, Madness and Mutilation: Sleepless and the Modern Italian Giallo
  • The Making of Sleepless
  • Trailer
  • Photo Gallery
  • Press Kit [ROM Content]

THE CARD PLAYER SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork
  • Double-sided fold-out poster
  • Booklet by Alan Jones
  • The Making of The Card Player
  • The Complete Dario Argento trailer gallery [18 films]
  • Original Trailer
  • Choice of original Italian & English audio

 

2nd May   

Sharia Contradictions...

Saudi steps up censorship out of fear of uprising
Link Here

Saudi flagSaudi Arabia's King Abdullah has issued a decree prohibiting media from reporting anything that contradicts Islamic sharia law or serves foreign interests and undermines national security . The decree requires publishers to stick to objective and constructive criticism that serves the general interest.

The new media censorship restrictions are backed up by hefty fines and threats of closure of news organisations. In addition to a threat to close publishers who violate the decree, the authorities can also ban a writer for life from contributing to any media organisation.

The new restrictions come as the authorities aim to quell any uprisings inspired by the recent popular revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt and trouble elsewhere in the region.

 

1st May   

Update: Nutters with a Cucumber up their Arse...

New Zealand nutters whinge at a film festival showing of LA Zombie
Link Here

Bruce LaBruce Box Set 2DVD LA Zombie has been given an R18 rating and will screen in Auckland and Wellington at the glbt film festival. The film was banned by Australian censors.

The film follows an alien zombie who roams the streets of Los Angeles in search of dead bodies and gay sex, an activity that reveals a gift of shagging the deceased back to life. It has full-frontal nude scenes and zombies with prosthetic cucumber-shaped penises. Starring French porn star Francois Sagat, it features wound penetration and implied sex with corpses.

The Herald on Sunday says The Society for Promotion of Community Standards is shocked at the decision to allow the film to be screened, and has applied to the Film and Literature Board of Review to have the decision re-examined.

David Lane, the society's executive director, claimed the film appeared to breach the law by including acts of torture and extreme violence, and by emphasising sexual conduct with bodies of dead people.

Out Takes Chief Programmer Simon Fulton is confident LA Zombie won't be banned. He says it's definitely for a certain taste: It's grimy and grubby, some people will love it and some won't. It's a silly sort of zombie horror porn thing, but it's loads of fun to watch.

Fulton says the film's use of an alien sexual technique to turn bodies into zombies is what has worried censors in some countries, but he says it's not necrophilia.

Update: Still Stumbling On

2nd June 2011. See article from stuff.co.nz

The annual Out Takes film festival opens tonight at Wellington's Paramount Cinema and runs until June 12.

This year it includes one of the most controversial and talked-about films of the past year - LA Zombie.

The film has become notorious after it was banned from screening at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival. Directed by American Bruce LaBruce, it was refused classification by Australia's Classification Board.

 

1st May   

Little Dick Whingers...

Ofcom revisits complaints about Buried Penis Syndrome on Channel 4's Embarrassing Bodies
Link Here

embarrassing bodiesEmbarrassing Bodies
Channel 4, 28 March 2010, 19:00

Embarrassing Bodies is a series which describes itself as demystifying medical mysteries and features participants and their unusual medical conditions. In the series, participants are shown having medical consultations with one of the Embarrassing Bodies resident doctors concerning various „embarrassing? health problems and conditions. The participants are often also shown receiving further advice and treatment from medical specialists, and reviewing their treatment with the series?

This particular edition of Embarrassing Bodies featured a man with „buried penis syndrome? and at various points in the programme there was footage of this participant?s penis. In addition, in a parallel programme item, members of a rugby team were invited to measure their penis size, when aroused and non- aroused, to show the extent to which men?s penises vary in size. At two points in the programme, footage was shown of the penis of one of the rugby players being measured.

Ofcom received 10 complaints about the programme. In summary, complainants objected to the footage of, and discussions about, penises being shown before the watershed, at a time when children might have been watching.

Previously on 26 April 2010, Ofcom wrote to the complainants informing them that the complaints had been not upheld ( the 26 April Decision ). One complainant requested a review of the decision. In accordance with Ofcom's Procedures for the handling of broadcasting standards or other licence-related cases, on the 23 July  it was decided not to grant a review. The complainant subsequently submitted a letter before claim pursuant to the Judicial Review Pre-action Protocol, asking that Ofcom withdraw the 23 July Decision and grant a review of the 26 April Decision.

Ofcom considered that the 23 July Decision not to grant a review of the 26 April Decision was materially flawed, because its reasoning was flawed and/or lacked clarity in certain areas, and that there were compelling reasons why a review of the 26 April Decision should be granted.

Ofcom considered rules:

  • Rule 1.2: In the provision of services, broadcasters must take all reasonable steps to protect people under eighteen
  • Rule 1.3: Children [ here mysteriously defined as under the age of fifteen years ] must also be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them
  • Rule 1.21: Nudity before the watershed must be justified by the context
  • Rule 2.3: In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context

Ofcom Decision: Not in Breach

Rule 1.3

The Committee considered that Embarrassing Bodies is an educational programme. Viewers are informed about „embarrassing medical conditions that they might face in order to demystify those conditions and alleviate any anxieties viewers might have about them. The Committee considered that, in principle, educational programming on medical matters, and in particular a programme which stresses the importance of viewers not needing to feel anxious or embarrassed by any medical conditions, is not unsuitable for children.

In this case, the Committee considered that the segments of the programme featuring and discussing male genitalia and sexual problems clearly fell within the educational remit of the series. There were two related items which featured male genitalia. The first item dealt with a person with the medical condition buried penis syndrome , and sufficient footage of the participant's penis and surgery was shown to illustrate the condition and treatment.

The second item featured members of a rugby team being invited to measure their penis size, when aroused and non-aroused, to show the extent to which men's penises vary in size. At two points in the programme, footage was shown of the penis of one of the rugby players being measured. The Committee considered that, although arguably the tone of this item played to the stereotype of male locker-room humour, the reason for the footage of the rugby player's penis was also clear: namely, it was part of the educational message of the programme that there is variation in the size of penises in the population at large.

The Committee considered the content to be compliant with Rule 1.3 of the Code.

Rule 2.3

The Committee considered that nature of the content was a set of brief images of male genitalia and associated discussion, featured in a non-sexual context in a medical educational programme. The programme was broadcast on Channel 4, which has a special statutory remit to make and broadcast high quality and diverse programming. It was broadcast at 19:00 on a Sunday evening, a time at which Channel 4 does not schedule programming aimed at children. Historic trends for child audiences in this time-slot are low, as was the number of child viewers in the audience for the programme. The Committee noted that the programme was scheduled between other programmes targeted at an adult audience (Channel 4 News and Come Dine with Me).

The Committee considered that the degree of harm or offence likely to be caused by the inclusion of the images of male genitalia and associated discussion of intimate medical issues was low.

The Committee considered the likely size and composition of the potential audience and the likely expectation of the audience. Bearing in mind Channel 4?s remit, the fact that it typically schedules thought-provoking programming targeted at an adult audience during the early evening, and the historically low child audience for this timeslot on Channel 4, the Committee considered that it was likely that the potential audience would have been largely composed of adults, and that it was likely that a serious medical education programme would have been within their expectations.

The Committee also considered the extent to which the nature of the content was brought to the attention of the potential audience. The Committee noted that there was a pre-broadcast announcement. In addition, prior to each advertisement break, the programme signalled that the next programme segment would be returning to aspects of the discussion of male genitalia.

The Committee considered that these announcements would have brought the nature of the content to the attention of the potential audience before the programme and that the information was reinforced at appropriate points during the programme. This information would have assisted in avoiding or minimising offence.

The Committee considered the effect of the content on viewers who came across it unawares. It considered that the clear medical educational context, and the limited and non-titillatory nature of the images and associated discussion, would have minimised the offence caused by the material and prevented any possibility that it might cause harm to children.

In conclusion, the Committee considered that the material in the programme which may have caused offence was justified by the context. Therefore, the broadcaster had maintained generally accepted standards and there was no breach of Rule 2.3.

Rule 1.21

The Committee viewed the contextual factors considered in relation to Rule 2.3 as relevant, in particular the following: Channel 4's statutory remit to provide high quality and diverse programming; the fact that the programme was scheduled before and after other programmes targeted at an adult audience; and that the images of penises were limited and clearly not for the purposes of sexual arousal.

Given the above, the Committee considered that the inclusion of nudity in the programme was justified by the context and therefore there was no breach of Rule 1.21.

 

1st May   

Update: Pots of Money for Black Kettles...

US allocates funds to help the repressed world to work around internet censorship
Link Here  full story: Supporting Internet Censorship...US multi-nationals support repressive censorship

us dept of state logoThe US State Department is to provide $28 million in grants to help activists thwart internet censorship in repressive countries,.

The recent wave of revolutions in the Middle East and Africa has highlighted young people's use of Twitter, Facebook, and Google to organize protests and government opposition, as well as governments' willingness to cut off those services and even shut down all access to the web.

The U.S. has also criticized China for its Great Firewall, which broadly limits citizens' access to internet news and information.

It was not immediately clear which countries would receive the grants or how they would be administered, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decried internet crackdowns in Iran and Syria in a recent speech on Internet freedoms.

Republicans have criticized the program as wasteful in a time of government austerity.