Censor Watch
 2012: May
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31st May   

Updated: End Game...

VSC announces that it is finally set to take over video game censorship from the BBFC
Link Here  full story: Prometheus...Hype about PG-13 vs R
VSC logo The Video Standards Council announced this morning that the Department for Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) has confirmed their intention to appoint the organization as the regulator for rating games in the United Kingdom using the PEGI system used for the rest of Europe. The DCMS has informed the UK Parliament of their intentions.

Laurie Hall, Director-General of the VSC said:

This news is very welcome and gives us the mandate to undertake the role of statutory video games regulator in the UK. It is role that we will relish and which will ensure that children and younger people are protected and kept safe from inappropriate video games.

It has been a long and arduous task to arrive at this point and we thank all those involved in helping to establish PEGI as the legally recognised system. All the necessary administrative and technical systems are in place and we are simply awaiting confirmation of when we can officially start. The VSC has been rating video games since 1994. We will use our wealth of skill and experience to good effect in our new role as the national video games regulator.

No official date has been set but July this year has been mentioned several times.

Update: New Rules

21st May 2012. See  article from  gamepolitics.com

The Video Standards Council (VSC) has issued a press release announcing details on how the PEGI ratings system will work in the United Kingdom.

Video games rated PEGI 3 and 7 will remain advisory, but games in higher rating categories, PEGI 12, 16 and 18 will become mandatory and enforceable under the law. Games rated under these categories cannot be sold to individuals below the age-restriction shown on the packaging. If retailers sell games to an individual who is not in the prescribed age group, it may result in heavy fines or, in severe cases, even imprisonment. The VSC notes that these rules apply to online retailers as well as high street stores. (In the past PEGI ratings have been advisory, but BBFC ratings have already been mandatory with the banking of criminal sanctions).

Since PEGI and VSC are not enforcement agencies, they will pass on any reported breaches of the law to Trading Standards Officials, who will handle prosecutions.

Games featuring the depiction of real sex will still be classified by the BBFC.

The new rules are not retrospective and do not apply to games sold under the previous rules.

Update: New Name

31st May 2012. See Games Rating Authority from videostandards.org.uk

Games Rating Authority logo The Video Standards Council (VSC) has updated its website with a fair amount of information about the organisations impending role as games censors.

The Video Standards Council will use a separate operating name for this new role, namely the Games Rating Authority. And of course it has splashed out on a new logo.

 

31st May

  Splitting Hairs...

ASA dismisses whinges about jokey barbers advert
Link Here

barber browns A regional press ad for Barber Brown's, a hairdressing salon, seen in the South West edition of the Metro on 21 February 2012 and 8 March 2012, featured an image depicting Jesus, bathed in light. Text stated He is coming ... Better get your hair done! Barber Browns UNISEX .

Two complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive to Christians. One of the complainants believed the ad implied that Jesus would judge people on their outward appearance and the other believed it was offensive to depict the Second Coming as humorous.

Barber Brown's said that they had been using the ad for well over three years in various formats, including flyers that were available in a local church, and that they had received an overwhelmingly positive response, including being featured in an article in the national press. They said that it was not their intention to cause offence and they felt that their intentions had been misinterpreted. They said that the ad was meant to be humorous and different rather than offensive.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

The ASA noted that the ad featured a depiction of Jesus bathed in light and that the text appeared to make reference to the Second Coming. We acknowledged that some people might find the ad distasteful. However, we considered that most consumers would understand that it was a light-hearted take on the biblical story rather than a mockery of Christian belief. Because we considered that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence, we concluded that it had not breached the Code.

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

Comment: Arbitrary Mediation of Religious Offence

See  article from  secularism.org.uk

National Secular Society logo The National Secular Society has accused the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) of being inconsistent in dealing with complaints about ads using religious imagery after the watchdog cleared an advertisement for a barber's shop that appeared to mock Jesus' second coming but had previously banned adverts for ice cream featuring a pregnant nun and apparently gay priests.

The NSS has written to the ASA's chairman, Lord Smith, asking him to revisit the ice cream ad judgments with a view to reversing them.

In its latest report, the ASA has cleared an advertisement for a barber's shop which was accused of offending Christians.

But previously the ASA had banned two advertisements from the ice cream manufacturer Antonio Federici one of which showed a pregnant nun and the other featured two priests who appeared to be on the verge of kissing each other.

Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, said: The ASA is completely inconsistent in its approach to adverts featuring religious imagery. It bans much milder advertisements --- such as those for the ice cream company Antonio Federici which sent up clergy and nuns rather than anything directly to do with faith --- and yet clears this one that parodies Jesus. Where's the logic in that?

Mr Sanderson said that the ASA may be easing up a little on its previously strict approach to advertising using religious images after NSS staff met with Lord Smith to discuss the ASA's unjustifiable restrictions on free expression.

 

31st May

  Celebrating 50 Years of Political Correctness...

ASA publish their top 10 adverts of 2011
Link Here
Phones 4 U advert The most complained about UK adverts of 2011
  1. Phones 4 U

    659 complaints – not upheld

    A series of TV and video-on- demand ads featuring a ghost-like little girl prompted complaints that they were offensive, irresponsible, unduly distressing and inappropriately scheduled at a time when children might see them. Although we recognised the ads might cause some unease, we considered a post-7.30 pm restriction was appropriate.
     

  2. Littlewoods Home Shopping

    585 complaints – not upheld

    This online and broadcast ad generated a range of complaints including that it implied Father Christmas didn't exist and was sexist because it suggested mum bought all the presents. After careful consideration, we judged that there was nothing in the ad that broke the rules.
     

  3. CSL Sofas

    260 complaints – not upheld

    This TV ad for sofas depicted three female models posing and dancing in lingerie. We appreciated that some viewers might have found the images distasteful and gratuitous, but we considered the ad not to be problematic
     

  4. Lynx 2012 Deoderant

    214 complaints – not upheld

    In a TV ad parody of the story of Noah's Ark, a man attracted a hoard of women to his boat by spraying himself with deodorant. Viewers complained that the end of the world theme upset children mocked the Christian faith and was demeaning to women. We accepted the ad didn't appeal to everyone, but it contained nothing explicit that would cause harm or serious or widespread offence.
     
  5. Travel Palestine

    Travel Palestine 149 complaints – upheld in part

    Complainants challenged whether a magazine ad promoting tourist sites in Palestine was misleading because it suggested Palestine was a recognised country and suggested areas, including Jerusalem, were in Palestinian- administered territory. We told the advertiser not to suggest that it was universally accepted that locations were part of Palestine when that was not the case.
     
  6. Durex Condoms

    126 complaints – not upheld|

    This TV ad for condoms sparked complaints that it was inappropriate to appear before the watershed and was unsuitable to be seen by children. Because the ad was scheduled away from when young children might be watching and did not contain any graphic images or content, the ad did not breach the Code.
     
  7. Lynx Shower Soap

    115 complaints – upheld in part

    A poster featured a woman under an outdoor shower wearing bikini bottoms and clasping an undone bikini top against her breasts. We considered that, alongside the strap line the cleaner you are the dirtier you get , the ad was likely to cause offence and was unsuitable to be seen by children.
     
  8. Phones 4 U

    98 complaints – upheld

    A national press ad for miraculous deals on mobile phones featured a cartoon illustration of Jesus Christ grinning broadly and winking. Because the ad was published during Easter, we considered it was disrespectful to the Christian faith and likely to cause serious offence.
     

  9. The Money Advice Service

    80 complaints – not upheld

    Complainants objected that a TV ad and website for financial products and services were misleading. We concluded that the advertiser's claims about its advice service and that it was set up by Government had been substantiated.
     
  10. Phones 4 U

    79 complaints – not upheld

    Viewers considered a TV ad featuring a man being chased through the woods by a zombie to be offensive and unsuitable to be seen by children. We thought the post-7.30 pm restriction was sufficient to ensure it was unlikely to be seen by young children watching television alone.

 

31st May

 Update: Dangerous Discussions...

Widespread criticism of Thai conviction of webmaster over forum posting by somebody else
Link Here  full story: Lese Majeste in Thailand...Criticising the monarchy is a serious crime

Prachatai logo There has been worldwide criticism of the Thai authorities over a court ruling that penalized a webmaster for criticisms of the monarchy posted to a Bangkok-based website.

Chiranuch Premchaiporn, who manages web content for Prachatai, violated the Computer Crimes Act because she failed to quickly erase content deemed critical of the monarchy, Bangkok's Criminal Court said. The court fined her and imposed an eight-month jail sentence that it suspended for one year.

The ruling is a serious threat to the future of the Internet in Thailand, Ross LaJeunesse, Google's head of public policy in the Asia-Pacific region, said in a statement:

The precedent is bad for Thai businesses, users and the innovative potential of Thailand's Internet economy.

Telephone companies are not penalized for things people say on the phone and responsible website owners should not be punished for comments users post on their sites. But Thailand's Computer Crimes Act is being used to do just that.

The sentence is the latest in a growing number of convictions for royal criticism that has prompted academics to call for revisions to the lese-majeste law, a move the country's major political parties have denounced. The U.S., European Union and United Nations asked Thailand to respect freedom of speech following convictions last year.

Update: Appeal fails

10th November 2013. See  article from  en.rsf.org

Reporters without Borders logo Reporters Without Borders condemns today's decision by a Bangkok appeal court to uphold Prachatai news website editor Chiranuch Premchaiporn's May 2012 conviction on a charge of lese-majeste for failing to remove anti-monarchist comments from the site quickly enough. Reporters Without Borders said:

This ruling sets a dangerous precedent for editors, who could now be held responsible for the comments that visitors post on their sites. The judicial system's obstinacy is appalling, but the fight for freedom of information must not be abandoned. We will keep on condemning use of lese-majeste charges to persecute critics of the monarchy.

The court also upheld the eight-month suspended prison sentence that Chiranuch received at the original trial, arguing that, as an experienced journalist, she should have known that criminals often use the Internet to attack the monarchy and that it is every Thai citizen's duty to defend the royal family.

 

31st May   

Updated: No Dignity in Censorship...

Portrait of Joseph Zuma winds up the African National Congress
Link Here

spear by brett murray South Africa's African National Congress (ANC) plans to take an art gallery to court over a satirical depiction of President Jacob Zuma.

The painting titled The Spear (Umkhonto we Sizwe) depicts Zuma in an authoritarian pose with his gear hanging out. The ANC has labelled the work by artist Brett Murray an insulting depiction of the president and says it violates his constitutional right to privacy and dignity.

The party is demanding that the Goodman Gallery, where the painting is on display, takes it down. It has also asked the City Press newspaper to remove a photograph of the work from its website.

Goodman Gallery curator Liza Essers tweeted:

It is a sad day for South Africa when creative production is being threatened with censorship from our ruling party.

Update: Presumably State Censorship

23rd May 2012. See  article from  dailymail.co.uk

Two 'state censors' wielding cans of red and black paint walked into Johannesburg's Goodman gallery and daubed an X over South African President Jacob Zumat's groin before smearing paint over his face. The controversial painting draws attention to Zuma's genitals and his reputation for promiscuity.

The painting by Brett Murray entitled The Spear has been on display since early this month, but made the news only last week when it came to the attention of South Africa's governing African National Congress party.

Zuma filed an urgent application at the South Gauteng High Court for an order to have the portrait removed from the gallery and photographs of it taken off the City Press newspaper website.

Both the gallery and the newspaper refused on the grounds it would be censorship. The matter was set to be heard today.

Update: Newspaper under duress

29th May 2012.

See  article from  guardian.co.uk
See  article from  guardian.co.uk

city press South Africa's ruling party, the ANC, has called for a boycott of the City Press newspaper after it published a picture depicting President Jacob Zuma in a Leninist pose with exposed genitalia.

The ANC has demanded that the Sunday paper remove the image entitled The spear of the nation from its website.

It has called on advertisers not to buy space in the paper and on people not to read it until the publishers comply with its demand.

In calling for the boycott, the ANC described the paper as a paragon of immorality which does not belong to our shared democratic dispensation and values . It was therefore anti-ANC, the president, our democracy and the majority of South Africans.

The paper published a copy of Murray's painting column 10 days ago to accompany a review of the art exhibition in which it was displayed.

The Guardian's Roy Greenslade said that he included a copy of the picture as an act of solidarity with City Press.

Later the City Press bowed to the pressure and removed the painting from its website. Editor Ferial Haffajee wrote:

We take down the image in the spirit of peacemaking -- it is an olive branch. But the debate must not end here and we should all turn this into a learning moment, in the interest of all our freedoms.

Of course, the image is coming down from fear too. I'd be silly not to admit that. The atmosphere is like a tinderbox: City Press copies went up in flames on Saturday; I don't want any more newspapers burnt in anger.

Meanwhile in court

See  article from  iol.co.za

Lawyers for President Jacob Zuma will have to refine their arguments over how the High Court in Johannesburg will implement a ban on the controversial artwork, The Spear, since the image has already gone viral.

While on one hand, advocate Gcina Malindi delivered a compelling argument about the classist nature of the painting, and how it was an insult to Zuma, he appeared to falter when asked how the court would police a court order making the image unlawful and unconstitutional.

The ANC, along with Zuma and his children have called on judges to go beyond interdicting the Goodman Gallery and the City Press newspaper from displaying the portrait.

Since Brett Murray's painting of Zuma with his genitals on display first appeared in the newspapers two weeks ago it has been replicated, copied, lampooned and photographed. It has also been carried on international news websites, Facebook and Twitter.

Judge Kathree-Setiloane put it to Malindi that the image is already out there , while Judge Claassen said an apology from the gallery, City Press and artist Brett Murray, can be monitored while it would be near-impossible to police a declaration of unlawfulness in the digital age. What happens when the image is downloaded from various other websites? Would that be a transgression? Claassen asked.

Update: Gallery Removes Painting

31st May 2012. See  article from  bbc.co.uk

A South African art gallery has agreed not to display a controversial painting of President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed after reaching a deal with the ANC. The painting has sparked fierce debate about the balance between freedom of expression and the right to dignity.

Under the deal, the ANC has agreed to drop its legal action demanding that the gallery remove the painting from its exhibition and the website.

Hundreds of ANC supporters protested outside the gallery on Tuesday.

Update: Censors get involved

31st May 2012. See  article from  iol.co.za

south africa film and publication board logo The online version of the famed The Spear painting will be classified by the Film and Publications Board.

The Goodman Gallery's defence team had asked for the dismissal of the case against it because, advocate Matthew Welz said, the painting no longer existed.

But the censors insisted the online version still existed to pose problems for children and sensitive people. The board's chief operations officer, Mmapula Fisha, who chaired proceedings, said: We will still classify the painting as is our duty to children. Online content cannot be looked at in isolation.

After deliberations, the board agreed it had no jurisdiction over the same image in the City Press newspaper, and said the complaint would be escalated to the ombudsman: We accept that the print media self-regulation body needs to deal with this. But a decision on how to classify the online picture of the painting would be made within two days.

Meanwhile the Democratic Alliance party has reacted with disbelief at the Film and Publications Board's decision to classify the artwork. DA justice spokeswoman Dene Smuts said the board appeared to be scraping the bottom of the barrel in its attempts to find grounds for restricting the distribution or display of The Spear . It was in fact measurably the result of the ANC's attempts at censorship that images of the painting had gone viral.

 

31st May

 Offsite Article: The stupid cuts at the BBFC...

Link Here  full story: The Angels' Share...Language too strong for a 15 rating
Film classifiers have told Ken Loach to cut c-words from his new movie, in case the wrong people hear them. By Graham Barnfield of Spiked

See article from spiked-online.com

 

30th May

 Extract: Alien...

From the BBFC archives. Examiners debate whether Ridley Scott's classic should be AA or X
Link Here

Alien Definitive Edition DVD Examiners found themselves weighing up whether to pass the film AA , which would have made the film available to those aged 14 and up or X for 18 years and over. In the end the film was passed X in line with other horror films of the time such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers. However some comparisons were drawn between Alien and Jaws and there was discussion as to whether younger viewers would be able handle Alien or whether the level of fear generated and the dark tone were too much.

...See the full article

 

30th May

  Celebrating 50 Years of Political Correctness...

ASA publish their top 10 adverts of all time
Link Here
kfc mouths full advert video The most complained about UK adverts of all time
  1. KFC Zingers (2005) .

    1,671 complaints – not upheld.

    This TV ad showed call centre workers singing with their mouths full. Many objected it could encourage bad manners amongst children. Although not to everyone' taste, we thought it was unlikely to change children's behaviour or undermine parental authority.
     

  2. Auction World (2004)

    1,360 complaints – licence revoked.

    Shopping channel Auctionworld's consistently poor customer service, misleading guide prices and delays in delivery of goods resulted in a flurry of complaints, which we passed to Ofcom who issued a fine and revoked their licence to broadcast.
     
  3. Paddy Power Bookies (2010)

    1,313 complaints – not upheld

    Viewers complained that the image of a cat being kicked across a pitch by a blind football player was offensive to blind people and could encourage animal cruelty. We judged the ad was unlikely to encourage or condone cruelty to animals or cause serious or widespread offence.
     
  4. The Christian Party (2009)

    1,204 complaints – not upheld

    Complainants objected that the strap line There definitely is a God. So join the Christian Party and enjoy your life was offensive to atheists and couldn't be substantiated. Political party ads are out of our remit, but even if it had been in remit we wouldn't have banned it because it was clearly a statement of opinion, rather than fact.
     
  5. British Safety Council (1995)

    1,192 complaints – upheld

    This leaflet featured the Pope wearing a hard hat with the strap line The Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt always wear a condom . Although intended to raise awareness for National Condom Week and promote safer sex, we agreed with complainants that it was offensive to Roman Catholics
     
  6. Marie Stopes International (2010)

    1,088 complaints – not upheld

    A TV ad offering sexual and reproductive healthcare advice, information and services attracted complaints for various reasons, including that it promoted abortion. We felt it was clearly promoting an advice service and wasn't advocating one course of action over another, nor trivialising unplanned pregnancy.
     
  7. Volkswagen (2009)

    1,070 complaints – upheld in part

    The ASA upheld, in part, against this ad campaign that depicted an engineer fighting multiple versions of himself. We ruled that the level of violence in two of the ads meant they should only be shown after 9 pm.
     
  8. Opium Perfume (2000)

    948 complaints – upheld

    We agreed with complaints that a poster ad for Opium perfume featuring a naked Sophie Dahl was sexually suggestive and, in an untargeted medium, likely to cause serious or widespread offence. But we didn't uphold a small number of complaints about the same ad in women's magazines.
     
  9. Department of Energy and Climate Change (2010)

    939 complaints – upheld in part

    We received objections that this TV and press campaign about climate change was misleading and scaremongering. We didn't agree with the majority of the objections, but did uphold complaints about claims in some of the press ads for exaggerating the likelihood and impact of extreme weather conditions.
     
  10. Barnardo's (2008)

    840 complaints – not upheld

    Designed to raise awareness of domestic child abuse, this TV campaign featured repeated scenes of violence and drug-taking, which many viewers found upsetting and not suitable for broadcast at times when children were likely to be watching. We did not doubt the distress or offence described by many of the complainants. However, we considered the ads were scheduled appropriately and their aim justified the use of strong imagery.

 

30th May

  The Quality of Nutter Mercy is Somewhat Strained...

Mediawatch-UK and the Daily Mail whinge at mild nudity in a PG rated Merchant of Venice
Link Here

The Merchant Venice DVD Pacino The Merchant of Venice is a 2004 USA/Italy/Luxembourg/UK drama by Michael Radford. With Al Pacino, Joseph Fiennes and Lynn Collins. See IMDb .

The BBFC passed the film PG uncut for mild nudity and sex references.

But the Daily Mail ranted:

BBC viewers got a little more skin than they bargained for when they tuned into a lunchtime film of the Merchant Of Venice .

Some were taken aback by repeated scenes of topless women in the 2004 Hollywood version of the story starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons.

As well as around 15 shots of bare breasts there were scenes of a sexual nature. One viewer described it as Shakesperian porn while another suggested it was strange to have shown it at 1.45pm.

The film was just two minutes in before the first sign of nudity -- a woman walking down some steps with her breasts out over the top of her dress. Just a minute later another scene showed a woman on a boat with her breasts exposed as she flirted with men. Then at about 45 minutes in there was a prolonged segment showing topless women, as well as sexual scenes which included a man groping a woman in a brothel. Just before this a group of topless women were shown on a balcony, calling out to passing men: Come taste my Christian flesh.

Vivienne Pattison of Mediawatch UK said: It is incumbent on broadcasters to check what the content is. This should not have been shown at this time of day.

The BBC was showing the film as part of its Shakespeare season. It defended its decision to air the film saying it had been rated PG. Yet on the BBC's iPlayer service the website warns: Contains adult themes. A BBC2 spokesman said it didn't feel the content went beyond what was acceptable for a daytime audience, adding the film had been shown at a similar time of day before without viewer concerns.

The Daily Mail reported that the BBC had received four complaints about the broadcast.

 

30th May

  Chronicle...

New UK and DVD releases of Sci-Fi action film
Link Here

Chronicle Blu ray Digital Michael Jordan Chronicle is a 2012 UK/US Sci-Fi action drama by Josh Trank. With Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell and Michael B. Jordan. See IMDb

UK: The Extended Version/Director's Cut was passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 20th Century Fox [Theatrical + Director's] R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 28th May 2012

See pictorial version details from movie-censorship.com . The additional material in the Director's Cut is uncontroversial and doesn't really add much to the film.

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

  • UK 2012 20th Century Fox [Theatrical + Director's] R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 28th May 2012
  • UK 2012 20th Century Fox [Theatrical  only] R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 28th May 2012

Previously Cut by the BBFC

UK: The Theatrical Version was passed 12A, for moderate violence, threat, bloody moments and language, after pre-cuts for category suggested by the BBFC were implemented for:

  • UK 2012 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

This work was originally seen for advice in an unfinished form. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive a 15 certificate but that their preferred 12A classification could be achieved by making some cuts and visual reductions. When the finished version of the film was submitted for formal classification, cuts had been made in two scenes.

  • Cuts involved the removal of a violent act [featuring bloody dental work] and subsequent discussion of this, with some bloody focus, reducing focus on bloody injuries, and

  • reducing sight of a character being impaled [with a stake].

With these changes having been made when the film was formally submitted, it was passed at 12A

 

29th May

  Stooges at the BBFC...

The Three Stooges is cut for a PG rating
Link Here

The Three Stooges Sean Hayes The Three Stooges is a 2012 US comedy by Bobby Farrelly & Peter Farrelly. With Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos and Will Sasso. See IMDb ,

In the US the film received an uncut MPAA PG Rating. But in the UK it had to be cut to receive its BBFC PG rating for the upcoming cinema release.

The BBFC explained:

This work was originally seen for advice. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive a 12A certificate but that their preferred PG classification could be achieved by making cuts in five sequences. These were to remove four sequences showing everyday objects being used in a potentially dangerous manner that young children may copy:

  • a vegetable peeler used on a man's head,
  • a cheese grater used on a man's foot,
  • hair tongs used on a woman's tongue and
  • a man's head in a microwave and
  • a line of dialogue about teaching children to play with matches.

When the finished version of the film was submitted for formal classification, the recommended cuts had been made and the film was classified PG .

 

29th May   

Updated: ASA Get in a Pickle as an Arbitrator of Political Correctness...

ASA asked to think again about Channel 4's Big Fat Gypsy Wedding posters
Link Here  full story: Big Fat Gypsy Wedding...TV winds up the easily offended

Bigger Fatter Gypsier The advert censor has been asked to review its decision not to formally investigate a controversial Channel 4 billboard campaign for the Big Fat Gypsy Weddings documentary.

The campaign - which featured the words Bigger. Fatter. Gypsier printed over images of gypsy children - led to 372 complaints that claimed it was offensive and racist.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) decided against investigating the campaign earlier this year because it judged that although the ads might not be to everyone's taste , the images and text reflected the tone and content of the programme, and were therefore unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

The ASA's independent reviewer, Sir Hayden Phillips, has recommended that the ASA council review its decision following a request by the Irish Traveller Movement in Britain (ITMB).

David Enright, a solicitor representing the ITMB, said:

The advertising campaign caused outrage. Hundreds of travellers and gypsies complained to the ASA about these adverts, which they saw as being racially demeaning and damaging to them, their communities and their children.

Travellers and gypsies now wait to see if the ASA council considers that they are entitled to equal protection by the regulator.

Update: ASA will now formally investigate complaints

29th May 2012. See  article from  guardian.co.uk

ASA logo The ASA is to formally investigate Channel 4's Bigger. Fatter. Gypsier advertising for Big Fat Gypsy Weddings , after the Traveller community successfully appealed the regulator's original decision.

The ASA has said its original decision to clear the campaign was flawed and admitted it never knew that one of the complainants was the Irish Traveller Movement of Britain, a material fact to which they should have had regard .

Legal representatives of the Irish Traveller Movement in Britain, and several co-complainants, appealed to the ASA's independent reviewer, Sir Hayden Phillips, to reassess the decision and consider an investigation. Phillips, who cannot force the ASA to conduct a formal investigation, told the regulator's council he believed that the ad campaign should be subject to a full investigation.

The ASA council, which met on Friday, has now asked the regulator to open an investigation to see if Channel 4's ad campaign is in breach of advertising rules relating to supposed widespread offence. The ASA will investigate the ITMB complaint, and the issues raised by co-complaints submitted for review by the traveller body's solicitors, but not the 371 other complaints the advertising also watchdog received.

 

29th May   

The Demoniacs...

New Re-mastered and Extended Edition set for US DVD and Blu-ray
Link Here

Demoniacs Remastered Extended Joelle Coeur The Demoniacs (aka Les Demoniaques) is a 1973 French/Belgian horror by Jean Rollin. With Joëlle Coeur, Willy Braque and Paul Bisciglia. See IMDb .

US: Re-mastered Extended Edition is MPAA Unrated for:

The details of the extended content are as yet unknown

Summary Review: Surreal, hypnotic, absorbing

Jean Rollin makes movies that perplex movie viewers - his films are always poetically surreal, hypnotic, absorbing, enchanting and hallucinatory, and almost never have a coherent storyline. They are highly unconventional and appreciated by fans but hated by others

This films sees a gang of pirates rape the two sole survivors of a ship wreck. The violated girls are rescued by the strange inhabitants of a supposedly haunted island, where they are granted supernatural powers to strike revenge against the pirates.

Other Versions

Netherlands : Uncut for:

UK: Passed 18 after 54s of BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 2004 Redemption/Salvation R0 DVD

The BBFC commented :

  • Cuts required to remove an image of rape and accompanying images of sexualised nudity which further eroticise the sexual violence.
US: From IMDb:

The US Image/Redemption Entertainment DVD is missing the graphic rape sequence between Tina and the Captain. This footage was left out at the director's request due to personal reasons he had with his distributor at the time.

However, see also pictorial cuts details from movie-censorship.com which details an alternative take for the sexual assault that is actually longer but less detailed. This was noted for the 1999 Image/Redemption DVD. There is also a 2009 DVD re-release

 

29th May

  How to Cook Jesus Christ...

Spanish artist on trial for supposedly offending religious feelings
Link Here

Javier Krahe CD Primeros One of Spain's leading underground artists is due to appear in court over a film short he made in 1978 on How to cook Jesus Christ.

Javier Krahe has been taken to court by a Catholic legal association, the Centro Juridico Tomas Moro, for supposedly offending religious feelings . The Catholic association says the law has never before been applied in Spanish legal history.

Banned under Spain's strict censorship laws in 1978, Krahe's 54-second film was finally broadcast on television in 2004 as the backdrop to an interview with the artist.

The film uses culinary language and images to show viewers how to remove the nails and separate him from the crucifix, which we leave to one side before the white ebony figure of Christ is shown being lightly smothered in butter, placed on a bed of aromatic herbs in a glass tray, and popped into an oven. Another culinary guideline recommends using a proportion of one gaunt Christ for each two potential diners. After three days inside, he comes out of the cooker by himself! is the film's punch line .

Two previous attempts to prosecute Krahe over the film ended up being dropped.

Krahe, who has sought to expose the darker and more hypocritical facets of Spanish society for nearly half a century through acerbic anti-establishment humour, said he considers the trial over a film he made 34 years ago, and its much later broadcast, to be absurd.

Montserrat Ferna'ndez Villa, the producer of the television programme in which Krahe's film was aired, is also on trial for the same crime

 

29th May

 Update: The High Court Needs to Get Its Shit Together...

A split decision means that another High Court hearing is required for Paul Chambers' appeal against conviction for a jokey tweet
Link Here

Old Bailey Paul Chambers, the victim of extreme police over reaction when he posted a message on Twitter joking:

Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!

He was ludicrously convicted in May 2011 of sending a menacing electronic communication at Doncaster Magistrates Court last year. An initial appeal was dismissed, leading Chambers' legal team to escalate the challenge to the High Court.

Now a two-judge hearing at the High Court has ordered a new hearing to go ahead, after being unable to reach an agreed decision.

A campaign in support of Chambers has attracted various high-profile Twitter users, including Stephen Fry, Graham Linehan and Al Murray. A support fund has also been established to help pay for his legal fees as he fights the case.

 

29th May

  Just Don't Mention the Fake Rolexes...

A Thai whinge about Lady Gaga tweeting about fake Rolexes for sale is escalated to diplomatic levels
Link Here
 

  

lady gagas

  Fake Lady Gagas
for sale in Thailand?

The Thai Intellectual Property Department will submit a letter to the US ambassador in Bangkok voicing its concern over pop princess Lady Gaga's tweet about buying a fake Rolex in the city.

Shortly after her private jet arrived in Bangkok, Lady Gaga tweeted:

I just landed in Bangkok baby! Ready for 50,000 screaming Thai monsters. I wanna get lost in a lady market and buy fake Rolex.

Department director-general Pachima Thanasanti said she was very disappointed with the singer's comment because Lady Gaga herself was the owner of intellectual property as a songwriter and singer.

Lady Gaga should have been a better role model for youngsters. The department will send a letter to express what she claims to be public concern over her conduct, which was seen as disrespectful.

Perhaps Thailand would be better advised to stop selling fake Rolexes in the first place.

 

29th May

 Offsite Article: Failing European Citizens and Businesses...

Link Here
Documents reveal democracy failure by the European Commission ACTA negotiators

See article from torrentfreak.com

 

29th May

 Offsite Article: Community Censorship...

Link Here
Sexist attitudes towards women are rarely tolerated by employees in the workplace, a new Australian study has shown.

See article from news.com.au

 

28th May   

Updated: Island of Lost Souls...

UK DVD/Blu-ray combo set to be released in the Masters of Cinema series
Link Here

Island Masters Cinema Format Blu ray Island of Lost Souls is a 1932 US Sci-Fi horror by Erle C Kenton. With Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi and Richard Arlen. See IMDb

UK: Passed PG uncut for mild violence and scary scenes for:

  • UK 2012 Eureka Masters of Cinema Limited Edition Steelbook RB Blu-Ray/R2 DVD at UK Amazon released today on 28th May 2012
  • UK 2012 Eureka Masters of Cinema RB Blu-Ray/R2 DVD at UK Amazon released today on 28th May 2012

Robin Cooke explained:

Our view now is that if you compare it with the PG Harry Potters let alone the 12A Harry Potters or the PG Doctor Who it looks quite tame in comparison.

UK: Passed 12 uncut with previous cuts restored for:

  • UK 1996 Visionary VHS

Previously cut by the BBFC

Passed X (18) after BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1958 cinema release

Cuts included:

  • Removal of Parker's line: They're vivisecting a human being. They're cutting a man to pieces!
  • Removal of the sight of Moreau's less successful experiments walking on a treadmill.

Previously banned by the BBFC

Banned by the BBFC for:
  • UK 1957 cinema release
  • UK 1933 cinema release

Robin Cooke explained:

The precise reasons for its rejection in 1933 were lost when BBFC records were destroyed during World War II.

There are themes to do with vivisection, animal experimentation and animal hybrids and it looks as though that was regarded as completely beyond the pale in 1933. In 1932, an H for horror category had been introduced but Island of Lost Souls wasn't even regarded as suitable for that.

There was no one set of guidelines from the early days . Some of them are very alien from the kind of things we would have now. Things like no mixed bathing, no lascivious dancing.

Summary Review: Mad Doctor Doctoring Animal

The story sees Edward Parker (Richard Arlen) shipwrecked on an isolated South Seas island, where he discovers Dr Moreau (Charles Laughton) is conducting sadistic experiments to transform animals into humans.

 

28th May

  Miserable Vietnam...

Vietnam takes aim at pop performers wearing sexy clothes
Link Here

thu minh Vietnam's Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism has proposed to the government a new decree under which scantily-clad stage entertainers could be banned from performance for a period of between three and six months.

According to the proposed decree, besides receiving monetary fines, artists who violate in performing costumes will not be allowed to perform overseas.

The decree seems to be a kneejerk response to a recent event in which the pop singer Thu Minh offended a few nutters for wearing a low cut dress for a performance on the music show Ngan Sao Hoi Tu.

She was fined but the nutter's weren't impressed as they considered the fine just a light slap on the wrist that serves as a poor deterrent compared with the fame the singer attracted after the 'scandal'.

The ensuing public debate included several miserable contributions.

Pham Xuan Phuc, deputy chief inspector of the ministry, said that the penalty should include both fines and bans, like in football.

Le Ngoc Cuong, former director of the Performing Arts Department added:

It's not right to issue fines to singers only, the show's organizer is the one who should be fined.

Singer Thanh Thuy from the Military Zone 7 art troupe said it's time to have detailed regulations on performing costumes. she complained:

Artists who regularly wear ao dai (Vietnam's traditional long gown) cannot be hotter than those who wear just a little or nothing,

Musician The Hien suggested a stricter penalty for decency flouters:

Artists who like revealing their bodies must do community service!

 

28th May

 Update: Rumours of Chinese Repression...

Twitter-like Weibo users get points system to punish those failing to following government restrictions on the content of their tweets
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship

Weibo logo China's biggest Twitter-like microblogging service has introduced a code of conduct explicitly restricting the type of messages that can be posted.

Weibo has responded to criticism from the authorities about rumours posted by users of the service.

Reports suggest a credit score system will also be introduced with points deducted for rule breaches. Users are reported to start with 80 points - they gain more by taking part in propaganda activities, but lose points if they break any of the rules.

It is reported that if a subscriber's points fell below 60 a low credit warning would appear on their microblog, leading to the possible cancellation of their account if it hit zero. If they toe the line for two consecutive months their score is reported to return to 80.

The Weibo rules say that members may not use the service to:

  • Spread rumours
  • Publish untrue information
  • Attack others with personal insults or libellous comments
  • Oppose the basic principles of China's constitution
  • Reveal national secrets
  • Threaten China's honour
  • Promote cults or superstitions
  • Call for illegal protests or mass gatherings

The rules add that members must not use oblique expressions or other methods to circumvent the rules.

 

27th May   

The Woman in Black...

US release the uncut version on DVD and Blu-ray
Link Here
The Woman Black Daniel Radcliffe The Woman in Black is a 2012 UK/Canada/Sweden ghost story by James Watkins. With Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer and Ciarán Hinds. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA PG-13 rated for:

UK Releases

UK distributors are not very forthcoming about whether cut or uncut versions will be released on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK on 18th June. Both the cut and uncut versions have been passed by the BBFC so all options are open to the distributors.

UK: Passed 15 Uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Technicolor/Momentum video
UK: Passed 12A after 6s of BBFC category cuts for intense supernatural threat and horror for:
  • UK 2012 Technicolor/Momentum video
  • UK 2012 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

Distributor chose to reduce moments of strong violence / horror in order to achieve a 12A classification. Cuts made in line with BBFC Guidelines and policy. A 15 classification without cuts was available.

In addition to the 6 seconds of visual cuts, substitutions were also made by darkening some shots and by reducing the sound levels on others.

 

27th May   

Updated: Killer Rating...

William Friedkin's Killer Joe sticks with the dreaded NC-17 rating
Link Here  full story: Killer Joe...Movies goes out with an NC-17 rating for violence

killer joe LD Entertainment will release William Friedkin's Killer Joe with an NC-17 rating, opting not to edit it for a more commercial R Rating..

David Dinerstein president of LD Entertainment said:

As we support the artistic integrity of our filmmakers [...] 'Killer Joe' will be released in theaters on July 27th in its original version as an NC-17 film.

The film has played to enthusiastic crowds at the Venice, Toronto and South-by-Southwest Film Festivals where many critics have noted this is Matthew McConaughey's best performance to date. As our initial LD Entertainment release, we are excited to bring this very entertaining, funny and provocative film to audiences this summer.

The last major film to bow with an NC-17 ratings was Shame, which earned the vast majority of its grosses overseas.

Update: 18 Uncut

27th May 2012. See article from bbfc.co.uk

The BBFC have now passed the film 18 uncut for strong bloody and sadistic violence and sexual threat for:

  • UK 2012 cinema  release

 

27th May

 Update: Facebook Automatons...

Breast cancer recovery pictures offend Facebook's cheapo censors
Link Here  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor

joanne jackson banned on facebook Joanne Jackson had a photo session to commemorate winning her battle with the killer disease after having a mastectomy - and posted them on the social networking site.

But Facebook removed some of the images, which revealed her operation scar, for being offensive.

Joanne has been warned that further abusive breaches will result in her account being shut down.

Angry Joanne said:

There is nothing pornographic or explicit about these pictures. That was not the idea at all. I took breast cancer and the mastectomy in my stride and decided it wasn't going to stop me living my life. It wasn't going to define who I was, and it didn't make me any less attractive as a woman.

She has no idea who reported the pictures but the warning came out of the blue and lacked any hint of sensitivity. The message said:

Content you shared on Facebook has been removed because it violated Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Shares that contain nudity, pornography and graphic sexual content are not permitted on Facebook. This serves as a warning. Additional violations may result in the termination of your account.

A Facebook spokesman confirmed that several images had been removed because they breached terms and conditions. He shamefully spouted that Facebook welcomed mastectomy pictures. ..BUT... said that some images may breach regulations.

 

27th May

  Smoked Out...

Russia introduces wide ranging anti-smoking bill that includes film censorship
Link Here  full story: Adult Rating for Smoking...Anti-smoking lobby for 18 for smoking in films

smoking russian advert A Russian ban on smoking in public places may soon turn into law, warns the Russian Health Ministry.

A draft law has been submitted for MPs' consideration. If passed, the bill will be tougher on smokers than legislation in most European countries.

The bill includes the clause that cigarettes and smoking in children's movies will be subject to censorship.

 

26th May

 Update: L'antisEmite...

Banned from Cannes
Link Here  full story: Dieudonne Mbala Mbala...Comedian winds up with near anti-semitic humour

posterlantisemite Cannes Film Festival has banned a controversial comedy by French comedian/provocateur Dieudonne. L'antisEmite (The Anti-Semite) was scheduled to play not in the official festival but in the Cannes Film Market, but 'outrage' over its content, including mockery of Auschwitz and Dieudonne in Nazi dress, led the organization to scrap screenings.

Produced by the Iranian Documentary and Experimental Film Center, The Anti-Semite stars Dieudonne, who has been charged numerous times for violating European laws with his controversial statements and performances.

The Cannes Film Market's Jerome Paillard explained the ban:  

Our general conditions ban the presence of all films threatening public order or religious convictions, as well as pornographic films or those inciting violence

 

26th May   

Updated: Tajikistan Recommends...

Sacha Baron Cohen's latest comedy, The Dictator
Link Here

The Dictator Sacha Baron Cohen Paramount released Sacha Baron Cohen's latest comedy, The Dictator, worldwide on Wednesday, but one country has decided to ban the film. The Central Asian state Tajikistan has opted to ban the film.

A Tajik film distributor told the Kyrgyz blog Kloop.kg that the real reason that the film is being banned is because of its content, even though other former Soviet republics in the region will be showing the film. It's wrong to compare us with Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and with other countries, Daler Davlatov told the site, reports The Guardian.

It's incorrect because we have a different mentality. We're not going to give Dictator a premiere because of these considerations, Davlatov explained.

AFP reports that the repressive Turkmenistan is also likely to ban The Dictator.

Update: Uzbekistan Recommends...

26th May 2012. See  article from  uznews.net

Sasha Baron Cohen's political spoof The Dictator has been censored for Uzbek cinemas: a number of episodes that have not appealed to the Uzbek authorities have been cut off from the film.

Uzbekistan made 12 minutes of cuts to reduce the 83-minute long film to 71 minutes.

Presumablly the scenes that failed to pass state censorship were those that resonated with the dictatorial Uzbeki government.

The previous films starring Sasha Baron Cohen, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and Bruno have not been showed in Uzbek cinemas at all.

The appearance of The Dictator in Uzbekistan contrasts with other post-Soviet authoritarian countries, Belarus, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, that have already banned the filmm before its global premiere.

 

26th May   

Plot of Fear...

A US Blu-ray release of Paolo Cavara's giallo
Link Here
Plot Fear Michele Placido Plot of Fear is a 1976 Italy Giallo by Paolo Cavara. With Corinne Cléry, Michele Placido and Quinto Parmeggiani. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

There are no censorship issues.

Promotional Material: Orgies, drugs and murders

Reminiscent of Eyes Wide Shut and told through ingenious flashbacks, Plot of Fear tells the story of a decadent weekend party full of orgies and drugs on the outskirts of Milan.

After two deaths occur Inspector Lomenzo (Michele Placido) interrogates one of the guests, a fashion model (Corinne Clery) who becomes his informant. Clery reveals that after a wildlife orgy one of the hosts tried to jokingly feed one of the prostitutes to a tiger but she got so frightened that she dies of heart attack.

In his attempt to find a connection between the victims a connection is established through what is soon to be the killers calling card.

 

26th May

  Banning Parody...

Hong Kong artists see new copyright law as stifling free speech
Link Here

Hong Kong flag A plan for more restrictive copyright law in Hong Kong has sparked protests from artists, who say it will stifle free speech, criminalise satire and hurt the arts.

More than 1,700 artists have signed a petition urging the government to shelve proposed amendments to the Copyright Act, while pro-democracy lawmakers have launched a filibuster campaign to delay its passage into law.

The proposed law will create an environment of fear and will lead artists to self-censor themselves, performance artist and graphic designer Ger Choi, one of the organisers of the petition, told AFP.

Some petitioners claim the amendments are politically motivated, and stem from candidates in a March leadership poll being viciously and humorously parodied on Facebook and blogs.

At present, copyright infringement occurs when the work causes significant damage to the copyright holder, but the government wants to broaden the rules to cover any re-use that could affect prejudicially the owner. It also updates pre-internet law by criminalising any unauthorised communication of copyright works on the Internet.

The current Copyright Act already allows for fair dealing with a protected work for education purpose or criticism, review and news reporting , as long as sufficient acknowledgement is made of the original material.

 

25th May

 Update: The Hunger Games...

Passed 15 uncut by the BBFC for video
Link Here  full story: The Hunger Games...UK version gets cut for a 12A

The Hunger Games Jennifer Lawrence The Hunger Games is a 2012 US Sci-Fi action film by Gary Ross. With Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. See IMDb

The International Version has just been passed 15 uncut for strong violence and threat for:

  • UK 2012 Lions Gate Online
  • UK 2012 Lions Gate Video
The UK Version, the result of pre-cuts and a further 7s of cuts by the BBFC was passed 12A/12 for intense threat, moderate violence and occasional gory moments for:
  • UK 2012 Lions gate Online
  • UK 2012 Lions Gate Video
  • UK 2012 cinema release
  • UK 2012 cinema release [IMAX]

It will be interesting to see the release pattern for the DVD and Blu-ray.

 

25th May

  Get That Down Your Throat!...

A good selection of Troma movies now free on the YouTube Troma Channel
Link Here

troma logo Troma Entertainment is proud to announce a selection of full movies are now available for free on YouTube. Troma is sharing many highly rated and critically acclaimed movies with their fans for free, to show gratitude for their support over the last 40 years.

More films are added every day, but the features currently available are:

 

25th May   

A Bullet for the General...

A US Region free Blu-ray release of Damiano Damiani's spaghetti western
Link Here
Bullet General Blu ray Maria Volonte A Bullet for the General is a 1966 Italy western by Damiano Damiani. With Gian Maria Volonté, Klaus Kinski and Martine Beswick. See IMDb

US: The Longer Version is uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

There is also a 135 minute version, a shorter International version, and a shorter Theatrical Version.

Promotional Material: One of the Greatest

At the height of the Mexican revolution, a mysterious young American joins a gang of marauders led by El Chucho on a series of savage raids to steal guns for a powerful rebel general. But when the Gringo brings his own cold-blooded ideals to the bandits, El Chucho discovers that the real weapons of war belong to no army.

In a land ravaged by poverty and violence, can true freedom be bought with a single bullet? Klaus Kinski and Martine Beswick co-star in this legendary western.

This thrilling epic features some of the most surprising performances, radical politics and shocking violence of any Spaghetti Western ever made and is now presented here in handsome High Definition!

 

25th May

 Update: Choice Rather than Compulsion...

ISP Review survey finds that ISP customers support parental options rather than mandatory blocking
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

isp review logo A new ISPreview.co.uk survey of 728 internet access subscribers in the United Kingdom has found that the majority of respondents (84%) are against any proposals which might force broadband providers into imposing mandatory adult website blocks by default. The introduction of such a system, which could be applied to all internet accounts in the UK, is being sought by campaigners led by Claire Perry MP.

According to the study, nearly all of the biggest domestic ISPs have, since last year's agreement with the UK government, started to adopt an Active Choice system that provides customers (e.g. parents) with an enforced option to block adult web content at the point of purchase.

Some 74% of respondents to the survey said they were in favor of ISPs offering optional parental control solutions. But, when respondents were asked whether or not they thought ISPs had done enough to protect children online, more than half (55%) said Yes, 23% gave a flat no and 22% were not sure.

ISPreview.co.uk's Founder, Mark Jackson, said:

It's encouraging to see ISPs offer customers more options to filter out adult content and we'd like to see that continue. But at the same time we should be careful not to impose mandatory opt-in internet filters, which risk lulling parents into a false sense of security and encouraging state sponsored censorship through mission creep. Parents must be given more trust to act on their own initiative. Sadly some MPs are already proposing stiffer measures, before the 'Active Choice' solution has even been given chance to work, which only adds to the ever growing burden of new legislation that internet providers are being asked to shoulder.

We must never forget that website blocking measures are also easy to circumvent (children often know the best methods), can restrict legitimate sites (clothing retailers, sex education/medical content etc.) and cost huge amounts of money to develop. BT is alleged to have spent £ 500k developing its Cleanfeed solution and that's enough to put smaller ISPs out of business. We should instead be focusing on education and awareness, as well as boosting the availability of Active Choice so that the industry can adapt through self-regulation.

 

24th May

  Less Wrath of the Titans...

British Airways start submitting pre-cut airline versions of their VOD films to the BBFC
Link Here
british airlines censors logo For reasons unknown, British Airways has started submitting cut versions of films to the film censors of the BBFC.

The films are submitted for a Video on Demand rating and are noted as an Airline Version.

Assuming that the British Airways video system works on NTSC with the same running times as cinema versions, then the first 3 examples have been pre-cut as follows:

  • Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Pre-cut by 1:02s It received a PG certificate without BBFC cuts. Note that the longer and uncut cinema version was also rated a PG with the same consumer advice: contains mild action adventure

  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was more illuminating. The Airline Version was pre-cut by 1:23s for a 12 rating (the same as the cinema version) but the cuts resulted in a change of consumer advice. The Cinema Version reads: Contains one use of strong language and moderate sex references . The Airline Version advice reads: Contains infrequent strong language and moderate sex references.
  • The Wrath of Titans. The airline version was pre-cut by 2:24s. The 12 rating and consumer advice was unchanged from the uncut cinema version.

 

24th May

  Salmon Fishing in the Yemen...

Angling for more strong language in a 12A rated film
Link Here
Salmon Fishing The Yemen DVD Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a 2011 UK comedy drama by Lasse Hallström . With Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt and Amr Waked. See IMDb .

It was originally submitted to the BBFC for a cinema certificate and it was passed 12A without BBFC cuts for one use of strong language and moderate sex references.

It was then resubmitted in a version shorter by 35s. This time it was passed 12A without BBFC cuts for infrequent strong language and moderate sex references. The BBFC noted the resubmitted version contained dialogue changes.

The Airline Version, pre-cut by 1:23s, was passed 12 without BBFC cuts for implied strong language and moderate sex references for British Airways VOD

 

24th May   

Updated: Demons 2...

Delayed Blu-ray now released of Lamberto Bava's Demons 2
Link Here
Demons 2 DVD Asia Argento Demons 2 is a 1986 Italy horror film by Lamberto Bava. With David Edwin Knight, Nancy Brilli and Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni. See IMDb

UK: The Director's Cut was passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Arrow Limited Edition Steelbook [Demons 1 + Demons 2] RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 30th April 2012
  • UK 2012 Arrow RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 21st May 2012
  • UK 2012 Arrow R0 DVD at UK Amazon released on 30th April 2012
  • UK 2010 Arrow R0 DVD
Previously the Director's Cut was passed 18 uncut for:
  • UK 2000 Divid R2 DVD
  • UK 1993 GLS VHS
  • UK  Avatar VHS
  • UK 1987 cinema release

New Arrow Blu-ray & DVD Promotional Material:

Panic on the streets! The Demons are back!

The Demons are back! Unleashed through the TV and bringing Hell direct to your Living Room. Out of the dark Forbidden Zone, the world's ugliest zombies are causing carnage in an apartment block, eating the residents and spreading their deadly plague.

Watch as a teenage birthday girl ruins the party by eating her guests, see bodybuilders torn to shreds and tremble in terror as possessed children run amok. Will anyone survive or will the Demons rise once more and destroy us all?

Directed by Lamberto Bava (Demons, Macabre) and produced by Dario Argento (Sleepless, Inferno), this Italian splatter classic will leave you in fear of turning on the Television...

Features

  • Four option reversible sleeve with original poster and video artwork with additional fifth artwork panel featuring all-new Jeff Zornow artwork
  • Double-sided fold-out poster
  • Collector's Booklet featuring brand new writing on Demons by Calum Wadell
  • Collector's Comic: Demons 3 Part 2 of 2! Not The Ogre . Not The Church . Not even Black Demons ! For the first time ever, Arrow Video presents an original sequel to the cult classics.
  • Remastered from a brand new HD restoration of the film
  • Optional English and Italian audio
  • Optional English subtitles for Italian and English (SDH) audio
  • Original Aspect Ratio- 1.66:1 (16x9)
  • The audio recollections of director Lamberto Bava, Mechanical Creations & Transformation Artist Sergio Stivaletti and Journalist Loris Curci
  • Creating Creature Carnage: Extensive Interview with makeup man Sergio Stivaletti
  • Bava to Bava: Luigi Cozzi tracks the history of the Italian horror film; from Riccardo Freda and Mario Bava to the end of the golden age with Michele Soavi and Lamberto Bava as well as considering recent Italian horror films.
  • OrigOriginal trailer

 

24th May

 Update: Commercial Companies Make Naff Internet Censors...

Google cites the low quality of internet filters when coming out against default porn blocking
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn
Google logo Proposals forcing a default block on adult content would be a mistake , Google has said. Speaking at its Big Tent forum, the company warned against allowing private companies to manage lists of inappropriate websites.

Sarah Hunter, Google's head of public policy, said the search giant was strongly in favour of education over technical measures. She said:

We believe that children shouldn't be seeing pornography online. We disagree on the mechanisms. It's not that easy
There is a problem about the extent to which we deskill parents by giving them simple solutions.
We should be making more effort than we've done in the past to make sure parents really do know the risks children face online.

TalkTalk ISP recently introduced an option for parents to block adult content at a network level.

It's a great way of managing what children can see. We don't see that as censorship, it's about choice, said Andrew Heaney, TalkTalk's executive director of strategy and regulation. However, he warned against filters being on by default, describing it as a slippery slope:

I think the government should be encouraging ISPs to offer [blocking]. Certainly do not force them to turn it to default on. We step over this Rubicon into a dangerous world.

TalkTalk's filtering system is managed by security firm Symantec. It administers a list of blocked sites.

Kirsty Hughes, chief executive of Index on Censorship, warned against the privatisation of freedom of expression:

Who decides what is blocked? Who puts together these lists? This is a form of censorship.
We're talking about putting legal communication, information, either out of bounds or something you have to turn on to be part of that free world.

 

24th May

  Tired of Easy Offence...

Advert censor dismisses ludicrous whinges about woman in hot pants appearing in tyre advert
Link Here

mr unique logo A regional press ad, for Mr Unique tyre and exhaust centres, was seen in the Harlow Star and the Hoddesden and Broxbourne Mercury. The ad stated We're Back and featured an image of a woman wearing denim hot pants and a cropped top. She was shown leaning on a car with a wrench in one hand and the other placed on her hip. Issue

The ASA received two complaints from members of the public.

  1. Both complainants challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, because they believed it was sexist.
  2. One of the complainants also challenged whether the ad was suitable to be distributed in an untargeted medium.

1. & 2. Mr Unique said the ad was in a retro style which they had been using in their advertising for many years. They said that the image was related to their business and that the woman holding the wrench was shown working on a vehicle in a workshop. They said they regretted if the ad had offended any members of the public, because that was not their intention, and that they had had positive feedback about the ad from both male and female customers.

A SA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. & 2. Not upheld

The ASA noted that the woman was wearing denim hot pants and a cropped top. We also noted that she had her hand on her hip. We considered that the overall effect of the image, including the woman's facial expression, was only mildly sexual. We noted that the ad did not contain any innuendo and concluded that, because it was no more than mildly sexual, the ad was suitably targeted. We also considered that children were less likely to view the ad than if it had appeared in an untargeted medium. We concluded that, although some might find it distasteful, the ad was not overtly sexual and was not demeaning to women. We therefore concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence in the medium in which it appeared.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social Responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.

 

24th May

  Baseless Political Attacks on Free Speech...

New York State lawmakers seek to censor anonymous internet posts
Link Here
New York State seal Proposed legislation in both chambers of the New York state legislature would require New York-based websites, such as blogs and newspapers, to remove any comments posted on his or her website by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post.

However the bills stand no chance of surviving any constitutional scrutiny even if they were approved.

Republican Assemblyman Jim Conte claimed the legislation would cut down on mean-spirited and baseless political attacks and turns the spotlight on cyberbullies by forcing them to reveal their identity.

This statute would essentially destroy the ability to speak anonymously online on sites in New York, said Kevin Bankston, a staff attorney with the Center for Democracy and Technology. He added that the legislation provides a heckler's veto to anybody who disagrees with or doesn't like what an anonymous poster said.

Sen. Thomas O'Mara, a Republican who is also sponsoring the measure, claimed it would help lend some accountability to the internet age.

The Senate and Assembly measures, which are identical, cover messages on social networks, blogs, message boards or any other discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. The bills also demand those sites to have a contact number or e-mail address posted for such removal requests, clearly visible in any sections where comments are posted.

 

24th May

 Offsite Article: Saving Face...

Link Here
Pakistani acid attack survivors whose plight featured in an Oscar-winning film are unsurprisingly threatening to go to court to stop it being shown in Pakistan. Lest they get attacked again.

See article from bbc.co.uk

 

24th May

 Offsite Article: Official Olympic Protestors...

Link Here
Activists who set themselves up as official Olympics protesters are suspended from Twitter after complaint from London 2012 organisers

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

24th May

 Offsite Article: Circumventing Censorship...

Link Here
A growing number of young Turks are turning to social media, complaining that mainstream media are being increasingly controlled by the government.

See article from en.qantara.de

 

23rd May   

The Language of Angels...

The Angels' Share suffers ludicrous strong language cuts for a 15 rating
Link Here  full story: The Angels' Share...Language too strong for a 15 rating
angels share The Angels' Share is a 2012 UK drama by Ken Loach.

The film has just been passed 15 for very strong language and strong violence after BBFC category cuts for:

  • UK 2012 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

  • Company chose to reduce the number of uses of very strong language (in this case 'cunt') in order to obtain a 15 classification. An uncut 18 classification was available.

Comment: Beyond Absurd

And as goatboy said on the Melon Farmers Forum:

Beyond Absurd! We must protect the 16 and 17 year olds from a word they probably hear every day!

Update: Ken Loach has some strong words for the BBFC

23rd May 2012. Based on article from  minivannews.com

ken loach Film director Ken Loach has criticised British film censors for asking him to remove swear words from his new film, The Angel's Share , in order to qualify for a 15 certificate.

The Scotland-set comedy tells the story of young, unemployed father to be who discovers a talent for whisky tasting.

Speaking at Cannes, the director said:

We were allowed seven 'cunts' but only two of them could be aggressive 'cunts'.
You get into the realm of surrealism here in terms of language. The British middle class is obsessed with what they call 'bad language.'
But the manipulative and deceitful language of politics is accepted. I'd call those bad words. Embracing the ancient swear words that have gone back for centuries and words we all enjoy should be embraced.

The film's producer Rebecca O'Brien said the film's script represented natural language spoken by young people:

If they're looking for diversity in Britain they should look no further than this film and Glasgow and see that there are different ways of speaking and see that that should be acceptable to all and sundry and should not be censored.

 

23rd May   

Updated: Rated H for Hype...

Ridley Scott's Prometheus is rated R by the MPAA and 15 by the BBFC
Link Here  full story: Prometheus...Hype about PG-13 vs R
Prometheus Michael Fassbender theflickcast.com writes:

For all of you who have been buying into the drama surrounding Prometheus ' ultimate rating, we have some good news for you. Fox has confirmed that the moody, dark and probably terrifying sci-fi film will indeed be rated R for sci-fi violence including intense images, and brief language.

Many people never believed that a PG-13 rating was possible for the subject matter, so when it took this long to get a confirmed rating people were getting nervous. It also didn't help that Ridley Scott has been telling people conflicted things about the movie, the process and the rating for months now.

...Read the full article

Update: BBFC 15 Rated

10th May 2012. See  article from  entertainmentcocktail.com

20th Century Fox The BBFC have rated Prometheus a 15 uncut for Intense images and brief strong language .

This was confirmed by Fox studio execs at a press conference, they said:

Fox confirms there will be no edit to Prometheus to secure a lower rating, it will be a 15.

Update: BBFC 15 Officially Conformed

11th May 2012. See  article from  bbfc.co.uk

BBFC uncut The BBFC have now officially rated Prometheus as 15 uncut for 'strong violence, gore, threat and horror' for:

  • UK 2012 cinema release in 2D and 3D

Update: BBFC Extended Classification Information

 23rd May 2012. See  article from  bbfc.co.uk

BBFC logo The BBFC have now released its Extended Classification Information. The general tone is that the 15 rating is compared against the possibility of a 12/12A rating but that it is pretty firmly a 15. Maybe a few spoilers for purists but it doesn't seem to give too much away:

PROMETHEUS is a science fiction horror film which was classified 15 for strong violence, gore, threat and horror.
The film contains a number of scenes of strong violence that feature heavy blows and bloody detail. For example, in one scene a character's arm is broken, revealing blood and bone, and in another scene a character's head is smashed against the floor, resulting in a large spurt of blood. This emphasis on bloody detail exceeds the terms of the BBFC's Guidelines at 12A/'12 and is more appropriately classified at 15 where the Guidelines state Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury . There are also some scenes featuring gory detail, both when dead bodies are seen and when people are injured. One scene features some gory surgical detail that exceeds the type of occasional gory moments that may be permitted at 12A .
The Guidelines at 12A'/'12 also state Moderate physical and psychological threat may be permitted, provided disturbing sequences are not frequent or sustained . The second half of the film in particular features a sense of threat towards the central characters that is both frequent and sustained.
PROMETHEUS also includes one use of strong language and one implied use of strong language, when a remark is broken up by static. It also includes some undetailed verbal sex references and a brief scene in which a couple start to have sex, without any nudity or other detail.

 

23rd May

 Offsite Article: Day of the Triffids...

Link Here
The BBFC unearth a few pot plants from their archive of 100 Years of Film Censorship

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

23rd May

  Playing Safe...

Advert censor plays down the easy offence for a while and dismisses whinges for a Durex Play advert
Link Here
durex play o advert An internet display ad for Durex Play O lubricant gels, which was seen on www.tvguide.co.uk, featured the facial expressions of a number of women who appeared to be experiencing sexual pleasure, whilst an operatic aria played. A voice-over stated Feel more with Durex Play. Lubricants to add pleasure to every touch. Get your free sample on Facebook. The ad offered the functionality to click through to further details of the free sample offer.
  1. One complainant challenged whether the ad was offensive due to its sexual nature.
  2. Three complainants challenged whether the ad was irresponsibly placed, because they considered that it was unsuitable to be displayed on a general interest TV listings website, which could be viewed by children.

Reckitt Benckiser said that, whilst the product and the brand were of a sexual nature and the advertising must therefore have some sexual content, they did not believe that the sexual content was explicit or likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

TVGuide.co.uk said that the ad was provided by an independent network that serves ads through their website. They told us that, following the complaints, they had requested that the ad be blocked from appearing again. They told us that 4.6% of their users were under 18 years old.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA acknowledged the complainant's concern, and appreciated that advertisers and publishers needed to be aware of the sensitive nature of ads for this type of product. However, we considered that the ad was not overtly graphic, contained no explicit material and we concluded that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence, provided it was targeted appropriately.

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

2. Not upheld

We acknowledged the complainants' concern that children using the website might have been exposed to the ad. We noted, however, that only a small proportion of TVGuide.co.uk's users were under the age of 18, and we therefore concluded that it had been targeted appropriately and was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to users of TVGuide.co.uk.

On this point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code  rule 1.3 (Social responsibility) but did not find it in breach.

 

23rd May   

Extract: ASA Concedes Lord Smith's Conflict of Interest...

Archbishop Cranmer makes the Telegraph over his call for Chris Smith to resign from the ASA
Link Here  full story: Archbishop Cranmer vs ASA...ASA hassle blogger over innocuous advert supporting gay marrieage

archbishop cranmer logo Thanks to John Bingham, the brilliant Social Affairs Editor of The Telegraph, the demands of this blog for the Chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority to step down over his manifest conflict of interest have entered the mainstream media. See  article from  telegraph.co.uk

The issue really is quite straightforward, and His Grace is at a loss to understand why others cannot see it. Lord Smith is actively campaigning for same-sex marriage while chairing an organisation that is investigating a perfectly reasonable and inoffensive advertisement promoting traditional marriage for alleged homophobia . The complaint is malicious and vexatious and ought to have been dismissed; the investigation is harassing, bullying and intimidating. Lord Smith's position is untenable.

Yet the intrepid Mr Bingham has established that the ASA itself believes that their Chairman has a conflict of interest in this matter. A spokesman said: Our chairman ordinarily does not vote, we have got 13 members of the council and the decisions are taken by them and our chairman does not ordinarily vote unless it is split. There is a conflict of interest here so even should the decision have been split he would not vote.

Well, thank God for that.

So much for Dr Webster's insistence that the ASA Chairman is operationally distinct : it is apparent that he chairs all Council meetings (how many limited companies have a council?) which take the decision to investigate potential breaches of the advertising code. This being the case, it is simply not sufficient for Lord Smith to lose his vote. He would have been (and will be) present at all discussions and party to all decisions: it is absurd to assert that his status and influence as Chairman have no bearing at all upon the decisions of other ASA Council members. It is very difficult indeed to support an advertisement in favour of heterosexual marriage in the presence of someone who believes it to be homophobic .

...Read the full article

Update: ASA and Lord Smith's (shifting) declarations of interests

26th May 2012. See  article from  archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.co.uk

The ASA have kindly acknowledged His Grace lengthy contribution to their investigation, which they summarised thus:

Archbishop Cranmer did not believe that ad (c) would be seen as offensive or homophobic. He pointed out that it merely featured pictures of photos of couples on their wedding day and a quotation from the marriage liturgy, and did not believe any rational or reasonable person would find this offensive.

And he has been given until 10.00am on 30th May to send them any comments on the factual accuracy of this.

...Read the full article

 

23rd May

 Update: Call to Nutter Duty...

Keith Vaz asks in Parliament whether Anders Breivik's use of video games for combat training will result in further restrictions
Link Here  full story: Keith Vaz...Keith Vaz in votes for knighthood claim

Keith Vaz House of Commons, Questions re Culture, Media and Sport, 16th May 2012.

Keith Vaz (Leicester East, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether his Department has any plans to place further restrictions on the content of video games following the testimony of Anders Breivik.

Edward Vaizey (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Culture, Communications and Creative Industries), Business, Innovation and Skills; Wantage, Conservative)

The Government is currently moving towards strengthening the laws in respect of video game regulation. We have recently announced our intention to designate officers of the Video Standards Council as the authorities responsible for the classification of video games. When that process is complete, it will for the first time be a legal requirement for all video games suitable for those aged 12 or over to be classified. It will be an offence to supply a video game in breach of its classification. In addition, there is one extra safeguard in the UK that is not part of the general Pan European Games Information scheme that we will be using: in the UK, there will be the option of refusing classification where a video game cannot fit within the published PEGI criteria. If a game that |s not exempt has no classification, it will be an offence to supply it to anyone.

Keith Vaz:

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many representations his Department has received from the Pan European Game Information Service in relation to newly-published video games.

Edward Vaizey:

The Pan European Games Information system is the mechanism by which video games are rated. The bodies that implement the scheme are independent of Government and have not made any representations about newly-published video games

 

23rd May   

Updated: Demons...

New UK Blu-ray release of Lamberto Bava's zombie classic
Link Here
Demons Blu ray Lamberto Dario Argento Demons is a 1985 Italian horror by Lamberto Bava. Urbano Barberini, Natasha Hovey and Karl Zinny. See IMDb

UK: The Director's Cut was passed 18 uncut with previous BBFC cuts waived for:

  • UK 2012 Arrow Limited Edition Steelbook [Demons 1 + Demons 2] RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 30th April 2012
  • UK 2012 Arrow RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 21st May 2012
  • UK 2012 Arrow R0 DVD at UK Amazon released on 30th April 2012

New Arrow Blu-ray & DVD features

  • Four option reversible sleeve with original poster and video artwork with additional fifth artwork panel featuring all-new Jeff Zornow artwork
  • Double-sided fold-out poster
  • Collector's Booklet featuring brand new writing on Demons by Calum Wadell
  • Collector's Comic: Demons 3 Part 1 of 2! Not The Ogre . Not The Church . Not even Black Demons ! For the first time ever, Arrow Video presents an original sequel to the cult classics.
     
  • Blu-ray re-mastered from a brand new HD restoration of the film
  • DVD restored from the original camera negative by Cineteca di Bologna
     
  • Optional English and Italian audio
  • Optional English subtitles for Italian and English (SDH) audio
  • Original Aspect Ratio- 1.66:1 (16x9)
     
  • The audio recollections of director Lamberto Bava, Special Make-Up Creations Artist Sergio Stivaletti and Journalist Loris Curci
  • The audio recollections of the cast and crew, a brand new commentary
  • Dario's Demon Days: Producer Dario Argento discusses the inception of Demons
  • Defining an Era in Music: Composer Claudio Simonetti on the Demons Soundtrack
  • Luigi Cozzi's Top Italian Terrors: Cozzi discusses the highpoints of Spaghetti Splatter
  • Original trailer

Previously cut by the BBFC

BBFC logo Passed 18 after 42s of BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 2000 DIVID R2 DVD

The BBFC commented: Cut required to sight of razor blade scraped along breast in medium close shot

  • This is the scene where one of the "punk" characters scrapes cocaine off the bare breast of Nina (the punk girl) with a razor blade

Passed 18 after 2:04s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1987 cinema release

Passed 18 after1:05s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1986 Avatar video by 1:05s

The BBFC cuts were:

  • a blind man having his eyes gouged out,
  • a close-up of a Demon's tooth pushing though it's gum
  • a man having his eye forced onto a metal stake.

Summary Review: Goes straight for the jugular,

A group of people are trapped in a large West Berlin movie theater infected by ravenous demons whom proceed to kill and posses the humans one-by-one thereby multiplying their numbers.

Demons is cited on the commentary that accompanies this DVD as being one of the most important Italian horror films of the 80's, and indeed it is. Bypassing the flabby, overcooked acting, unevenly distributed action and horrendous scores of many a Euro-horror, Demons goes straight for the jugular, eyeballs, guts and groin. This film is certainly one of the best paced non-American horror flicks of the decade and contains a level of lovingly crafted, sickeningly visceral gore which just wouldn't happen these days.

For a European film the acting isn't actually too bad and the set is very effective. This film of course has bad points. Loads of them, but as is sometimes the case with these trashy horrors, the bad bits are so bad that they end up enhancing the enjoyment of the picture. I love It.

 

22nd May

  Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu: Home...

Cold hearted BBFC cut LEGO cartoon depicting a character hiding in a fridge
Link Here

LEGO Ninjago Masters Spinjitzu Season Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu: Home is a 2011 children's TV cartoon by Justin Murphy. With Ian James Corlett, Jillian Michaels and John Novak. See IMDb

Passed PG for mild fantasy violence and use of martial arts weapons after 12s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2012 cinema release

The BBFC explained the cuts:

  • A cut was required to remove a scene in which a character with whom children may identify is shown hiding inside a fridge. Given the likely appeal of the work to young children, an uncut classification was not available.

The BBFC also explained that martial arts and fighting can be allowed at PG:

The BBFC's Guidelines at U state there may be Mild violence only and no emphasis on weapons. Although the violence occurs between fantasy characters who are made out of LEGO, there is frequent use of martial arts weapons and occasional clear sight of blows being landed. For example, we see child characters brandishing a selection of golden weapons which include throwing stars, nunchuks and blades as they charge against their enemies. In other scenes there are close-up shots of a kick to the chest and a slow-motion kick to the torso as part of an elaborate Ninja move. There is, however, no sight of blood or injury. This undetailed fantasy violence and the use of martial arts weapons within an animated Ninja fantasy context is permissible at PG where the Guidelines state Moderate violence, without detail, may be allowed, if justified by its context (for example, history, comedy or fantasy) .

 

22nd May

  Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things / Dead of Night...

Double Bill released on UK DVD
Link Here

Children Shouldnt Play Things Night Double Bill

UK: Passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Nucleus Double Bill R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 21st May

Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things

1973 US comedy horror by Bob Clark.
With Alan Ormsby, Valerie Mamches and Jeff Gillen. See IMDb

Promotional Material:

A troupe of method actors and their despotic director head out to Cocount Grove, Florida where, as a prank, they exhume a corpse called Orville and are subsequently horrified when his similarly deceased friends emerge from their graves to play some deadly games of their own. Filmed as America experienced its post-60s comedown, director Bob Clark's first horror feature began a truly terrifying trilogy that continued with the powerful anti-Vietnam war statement Dead Of Night and climaxed with the classic seasonal (and subsequently re-made) scarefest Black Christmas. This weird and unique horror debut - so lysergic in places you can almost smell the Florida grass - is a long way from Clark's later Murder by Decree, which pitted Sherlock Holmes against Jack The Ripper in the fog-shrouded streets of Victorian London.

Featuring a cast assembled from various friends, including future Cat People re-make writer Alan Ormsby  as well as Jane Daly, Clark created one of US independent horror cinema s offbeat classics. Like Let's Scare Jessica to Death, Axe, Devil Times Five and Death Bed, Children Shouldn t Play with Dead Things shows what can be done with inspiration, determination and a limited budget. An unsettling, minimalist electronic score from Carl Zittrer and some of the most outrageous zombies you'll ever see also await within this cult horror classic. And remember, just because somebody's called Orville, it doesn't mean that they're your very best friend !

Previous Uncut Releases

UK: Passed X/18 uncut for:

  • UK 1999 Exploited VHS
  • UK 1974 cinema release

US: Uncut and MPAA PG rated for:

Previous Shortened Releases

Short versions were passed 15/18 without BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2005 Anchor Bay R2 DVD
  • UK 1986 Screen Indoors VHS

From IMDb:

  • Missing around 7 minutes of dialogue scenes for reasons unknown.

Dead of Night

1974 US/Canada/UK horror by Bob Clark.
With John Marley, Lynn Carlin and Richard Backus. See IMDb

No censorship issues

 

22nd May

 Extract: Dismantling the Nonsense of Keith Vaz...

Attempts to link last year's Norway shootings to Call of Duty are spectacularly misguided. Moral panic about violent video games is based on prejudice, ignorance and the selective use of flawed research
Link Here

Keith Vaz Labour MP Keith Vaz has worked tirelessly in recent years to demonstrate the link between violent video games and historic acts of violence, tracing the correlation right back to the tragic consequences that Rome: Total War inflicted on the Gauls. As far back as 2004, he was attempting to link the murder of Stefan Pakeerah to Manhunter, undeterred by the minor point that his killer didn't have the game. By 2010 he was using an Early Day Motion to tie Counter-Strike to pretty much every newsworthy use of a gun that year.

In recent weeks the tireless MP has used the 2011 Norway attacks to put Call of Duty in his sights. In a new EDM he asks the House of Commons to note that in his submission of evidence to the court [Anders] Breivik describes how he trained for the attacks using the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare; and to declare that he is disturbed that Breivik used the game to help hone his 'target acquisition' and the suggestion that the simulation prepared him for the attacks.

Dealing with Vaz's various claims it's tempting to take him out to a pub, get him extremely drunk, and have correlation does not equal causation! tattooed on his forehead while he sleeps. Before that, though, it's worth putting all this in context. Let's start by recounting a brief history of video games and violent crime, told through game releases and British Crime Survey figures. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin:

...Read the full article

 

22nd May

  Coloured Judgement...

Ofcom considers ITV News item using the word 'coloured' instead of 'black'
Link Here

ITV News ITV News and Weather
ITV1, 26 February 2012, 13:30

This news bulletin included an item on racism and homophobia in British football and reported on an anti-discrimination summit chaired by the Prime Minister at Downing Street that day about how to combat discrimination in the sport.

Four complainants alerted Ofcom to the reporter using the term coloured to describe some football players and coaches during this pre-recorded news item, indicating that they found it offensive.

During the item the reporter said in voiceover:

... Football has certainly come a long way since bananas were routinely thrown at coloured players. But one shameful statistic remains – only three of the 92 League clubs employ a black manager, and one of those Keith Curl, was only appointed at Notts County a few days ago. The Government are funding a scheme to promote more coloured coaches and are also tackling the issue of homophobia in the sport.

Ofcom considered the material raised issues warranting investigation under Rule 2.3 of the Code, which states:

In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context ... . Such material may include, but is not limited to, offensive language, ... discriminatory treatment or language....

ITV said that the reporter's use of the term coloured was inappropriate and we do not defend its use. It was an editorial misjudgement and we apologise to those who were understandably offended by the use of this term .

ITV said that once the report was broadcast, the Licensee recognised very quickly that inappropriate language had been used and took swift action to mitigate the potential for further offence by: editing the reference from the news programme

scheduled on ITV1 +1; issued an apology that was distributed to the press that afternoon; published an apology on the ITV News Twitter account within the hour of the broadcast; and removed the report from the ITV News website. The Licensee said that approximately 20 viewers had contacted ITV News and ITV Viewer Services directly and apologies were made to all these complainants.

Ofcom Decision: Resolved

Ofcom recognises that the use of language changes over time and likewise the impact of offence it may cause will also be subject to change. However, broadcasters are required to ensure that potentially offensive material is justified by the context.

In this case we noted that the pre-recorded news report concerned: the issue of racism in British football; an anti-discrimination summit at Downing Street; and two recent high profile cases regarding racism and Premier League football players. Ofcom noted that on two occasions the reporter used the term coloured during this news item.

Although the word coloured has various meanings, Ofcom understands that it is potentially offensive when used to describe certain individuals from ethnic minority groups because it fails to recognise adequately their specific differences and also has associations with racial segregation. Therefore in Ofcom's view the use of the word twice in a news report was clearly capable of causing offence to viewers.

However, we noted that ITV recognised the editorial mistake almost immediately after broadcast, and took swift and appropriate action to mitigate the potential for further offence by for example: editing the report prior to its repeat on the ITV1 +1 service and issuing apologies via the press, the social media site Twitter and to those viewers who contacted it directly.

On balance, and in light of the steps taken by ITV to mitigate this offence, Ofcom therefore considered the matter resolved.

 

22nd May   

Extract: ASA v. Coalition for Marriage Ltd (2012)...

Archbishop Cranmer responds to the ASA demands for justification of the totally inoffensive anti-gay marriage advert
Link Here  full story: Archbishop Cranmer vs ASA...ASA hassle blogger over innocuous advert supporting gay marrieage

archbishop cranmer logo And finally Archbishop Cranmer wrote to the ASA to answer their original questions:

By sending out complaint papers which demand responses with such phrases as We require you to respond... and we will need to see robust documentary evidence to back the claims and a clear explanation from you of its relevance ; and by doing so with demands to answer your questions by a certain deadline with threats of punitive action for non-compliance, you fraudulently convey an excess of power and claim an authority which you do not, in law, possess. You impress upon the recipient that you are the superior moral agent, and that submission and obeisance are the only appropriate response. Authority which is exerted without right is an illegitimate use of power; illegitimate authority is tyranny; and tyranny leads to injustice, which can have no authority at all. By abusing your self-certified power and self-authenticated authority for the perpetuation of an image of your self-integrity, you deny all authority. You ought to rename yourselves the Political Substandard Tyranny.

Your treatment of His Grace has been mendacious, oppressive, and partisan. This has only become apparent as he refused to comply with your demand to keep all correspondence confidential. How many others have been intimidated, harassed and bullied into submission by you as they suffered in silence, fearful of the consequences of disclosure?

...Read the full article

ASA's Chris Smith comes Out4Marriage

See  article from  archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.com

Archbishop Cranmer also questions whether Chris Smith's campaigning in favour of gay marriage is appropriate to for the head of an organisation that is seemingly harassing political opponents.

With impeccable ('interesting') timing, Lord Smith of Finsbury has come out in favour of the campaign for same-sex marriage.

For all the reasons previously observed, Lord Smith must now resign his position as Chairman of the ASA, who have aggressively and deceptively made demands of His Grace (and others) in relation to a Coalition for Marriage advertisement which merely sought to uphold the traditional view of marriage and English law as it presently stands.

...Read the full article

 

22nd May

  A Helluva Read...

'Research' from the religious university Brigham Young finds that adolescent literature contains strong language
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Pakistan...internet website blocking

mass communication and society A Helluva Read : Profanity in Adolescent Literature

Abstract:

Although the use of profanity has been examined in a number of types of media, to our knowledge profanity has not been examined in adolescent literature. Thus, the frequency and portrayal of profanity was coded in 40 bestselling adolescent novels.

Results revealed that some novels did not contain a single instance of profanity, whereas others contained hundreds of often very strong profanity.

When profanity was used, characters were likely to be young, rich, attractive, and of pronounced social status.

Novels directed at older adolescents contained much more profanity. However, age guidance or content warnings are not found on the books themselves.

Discussion is provided regarding the implications of the findings and the appropriateness of including content warnings in adolescent literature.

Offsite Comment: Our swear words have been devalued by overuse -- but not because teenagers are reading too many profane books

22nd May 2012. See  article from  blogs.telegraph.co.uk

Apparently experts (unidentified, as experts so often are) have estimated that American youths use an average of ninety swear words a day. This makes them seem quite restrained as anyone who has stood at a bus-stop with a collection of British teenagers can testify -- only ninety times a day? On the other hand there are parents of adolescents who will be surprised to learn that their offspring are capable of articulating or muttering as many as ninety words of any kind in the course of a day.

To my mind it's unlikely that all these foul-mouthed adolescents have learned the habit from books, since many of them never open one.

...Read the full article

 

22nd May

 Updated: Censorship Extremism...

Pakistan winds up internet users by temporarily banning Twitter over a couple of supposedly offensive posts
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Pakistan...internet website blocking

Twitter logo Pakistan's government blocked the popular social networking website Twitter after material considered 'offensive' to Islam was posted on the site.

Mohammed Yaseen, the head of Pakistan's telecommunications body, said Twitter refused to remove material referring to a group on Facebook in which users post images of the religious character Muhammed.

The ban was lifted eight hours later. Interior Minister Rehman Malik wrote on Twitter itself to reveal that prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani had lifted the ban. Malik tweeted:

I spoke to PM and informed how people are feeling about it. PM ordered to reopen the Twitter.

Husain Haqqani, the previous Pakistani ambassador to the UN, wrote on the website:

Ban on any form of free expression has no place in a democracy. If some1 offends, bar offender instead of banning medium.

Update: Everybody Draw Mohammed Day

22nd May 2012. See  article from  tgdaily.com

Pakistan once again blocked access to Twitter over the weekend because of concerns over blasphemy. Apparently the block related to the Draw Mohammed Day Facebook page, this time apparently because people were tweeting about it.

Two years ago, Pakistan blocked access to Facebook, Twitter and other sites after a competition page was created calling on users to draw the religious character Mohammed. A year later, there was another short-lived block on the anniversary of the original competition.

Thousands of users went online to protest what they saw as a pointless and ineffective ban that actually drew attention to what it was supposed to block.

 

21st May   

Updated: Cruel Passion...

UK DVD release of Koo Stark as Marquis de Sade's Justine
Link Here

Cruel Passion DVD Koo Stark Cruel Passion (aka Marquis de Sade's Justine) is a 1977 UK/West Germany/Italy drama by Chris Boger. With Koo Stark, Martin Potter and Lydia Lisle. See IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut with previous BBFC cuts waived for strong sex and scenes of sexual violence:

  • UK 2012 Nucleus R2 DVD at UK Amazon released today on 21st May 2012

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

Previously cut by the BBFC

Previously passed 18 after 18s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1994 Jezebel VHS
And before that it was passed X (18) after 2:46s BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1986 AVR VHS
  • UK 1977 cinema release

Summary Review: Koo Stark is good as Justine

Justine is a nubile young virgin cast out of a French orphanage and thrust into a depraved world of prostitution.

She slips into a life of debauchery, torture, whipping, slavery and salaciousness. Meanwhile, her brazen, flirtatious and liberated sister Juliette ironically receives nothing but happiness and reward for her wanton behaviour.

Koo Stark is good as Justine, innocent, naive, and of course, beautiful. The film has great period detail is beautifully shot.

 

21st May

  ETO Adult Industry Awards...

The Melon Farmers are proud to be nominated for Best Online Resource
Link Here

ETO Award Erotic Trade Only is the UK adult industry trade magazine. The annual ETO Trade Show held at Birmingham NEC also hosts the ETO Awards. This year the show will be held on the 24th and 25th June. Voting is open now for ETO readers.

The Melon Farmers are proud to have been nominated in the category of Best Online Resource. The list of nominees for this award is:

Other award nominees to follow.

 

21st May

  Mick Jagger Deep Down in the Shit...

Broadcasters black out Mick Jagger song even after US TV watershed
Link Here

mick jagger jeff beck video S ome NBC affiliates apparently didn't like it when host Mick Jagger used some strong language in political song on Saturday Night Live.

Near the end of Saturday's season finale, the Rolling Stones frontman performed Tea Party , a bluesy number featuring guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck. Jagger told the audience he wrote the song, which is about the current presidential campaign and its candidates who have to strategize a bit. And then something along the lines of: You're gonna end up deep down in the shit.

The word 'shit' led some stations to cut away early to commercials, according to numerous Twitter users. However, other stations, including KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, ran the whole number uncensored. 

Saturday Night Live airs during the FCC's safe harbor hours of 10 p.m. to 6 am when broadcasters can broadcast material deemed indecent. NBC was not obligated to censor the song at the national level, but local station managers could use their discretion.

 

21st May

 Update: Indian Minister Doesn't Believe in Censorship But...

Wants control of the internet anyway
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn

ambika soni The Indian government needs to have qualified control over web content, Information & Broadcasting minister Ambika Soni has said.

Claiming that the government doesn't want censorship of social media , Soni justified the need for some sort of a mechanism for reasonable restrictions.

Some content is found to be inflammatory. That's why the government doesn't want to take chances, she spouted.

Sometimes, we need certain steps to maintain the unity and integrity of the country within such diversities, she added.

But Soni was quick to distance herself from Meenakshi Natarajan's Bill proposing curbs on the media. We believe in self-regulation, she claimed somewhat unconvincingly

The media wants to have the freedom to say or show anything, but is very averse to criticism, she added.

 

21st May

 Update: Free Speech Prevails...

Parts of Utah law targeting porn websites in the name of child protection struck down
Link Here  full story: Internet Minors...Criminalising internet comms harmful to minors

Utah state seal A federal judge has overturned part of a Utah law trying to target porn sites by making them responsible for limiting children's access to harmful or pornographic material.

U.S. District Judge Dee Benson ruled people cannot be prosecuted for posting adult content on generally accessible websites, and are not required by law to label the content that they post.

The ruling does not forbid prosecution of those who send inappropriate images or language directly to children via email, instant message or text.

A group of booksellers, artists, Internet service providers and the ACLU of Utah sued the state after the Legislature passed the Harmful to Minors Act in 2005, arguing it violated free speech rights. Benson had blocked enforcement of the law since the lawsuit was filed in 2006.

 

21st May

  Another Iranian Propaganda Channel Under Duress...

Egyptian police raid offices of the Iranian satellite TV stations Al-Alam
Link Here

al alam logo Reporters Without Borders condemns the raid carried out by the Egyptian police on the Iranian Arabic-language satellite TV station Al-Alam.

The press freedom organization said.

The Egyptian authorities seized the station's equipment and issued a warrant for the arrest of the bureau's director, Ahmed Sioufi, on the grounds that Al-Alam did not have the necessary operating licences. However, the station had made numerous licence applications in recent years without success.

The Egyptian authorities appear reluctant to grant licences to certain media organizations so they can take punitive action against those that displease them at their discretion. Even if it was carried out legally, this raid qualifies as arbitrary.

The Egyptian authorities must abandon such practices and give a clear and reasoned response to media organizations that apply for licences. We also demand the return of the seized equipment and the dropping of all proceedings against employees of the station.

The police had a warrant for the arrest of Ahmed Sioufi, who was reported to have gone on hunger strike in the face of what he considered to be a gag attempt . Since the raid was carried out, security forces are reported to have surrounded the station's Cairo premises and threatened anyone trying to enter or leave with arrest.

The raid on Al-Alam appears to be part of a broader picture. The station is a propaganda organ of Iran and is a bitter critic of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has been running Egypt since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, regularly accusing it of perpetuating the repressive practices of the former regime.

 

20th May   

Mortuary...

Horror with Bill Paxton released on US DVD
Link Here

gp Mortuary is a 1983 US horror by Howard Avedis. With Mary Beth McDonough, David Wallace and Bill Paxton. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA R Rated for:

There are no censorship issues with this release.

Promotional Material: Nightmare Theater experience

Bill Paxton, Christopher George, and Lynda Day George star in this chilling tale of horror-filled nightmares that comes startlingly close to reality! Christie Parson (Mary McDonough) has been having terrifying nightmares ever since her father drowned in the family swimming pool. She knows his death was not an accident, but no one believes her. That is, until her boyfriend Greg (David Wallace) sees a hooded figure, identical to the one that Christie has described as being in her nightmares, in the town's mortuary. But is it real, or is it all in Christie's mind?

Features:

  • Play with or without the Nightmare Theater experience
  • Brand New 16:9 (1.78:1) HD master from the original InterNegative
  • On camera interview with composer John Cacavas
  • Original Trailer
  • Reversible sleeve with and without the banner

 

20th May   

Age Gap...

Philippines censor proposes a new 16 rating
Link Here

MTRCB logo Philippine's Movie and Television Review and Classification Board may revise its classification system for movies to include an R-16 rating, according to chairperson Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares.

There are currently five ratings for movies:

  • General Audience (G), which means all ages are admitted;
  • PG-13, children below 13 years old should be accompanied by an adult;
  • R-13, strictly for 13 years and older;
  • R-18, strictly for 18 years and older
  • X, banned from public viewing.

The gap between 13 and 18 is very wide and the awareness of a 16-year-old is different from a 13-year-old, Llamanzares pointed out. She cited the case of the Darren Aronofsky psychological thriller Black Swan, which got an R-13 rating from the board, a decision that resulted in numerous complaints from parents.

Many mothers thought it was just about ballet. They were shocked when they discovered that it also tackled lesbianism, self-gratification and other adult topics, Llamanzares told Inquirer Entertainment. However, the board thought it was a good movie and that the public also needed to be educated with such kinds of films. We felt that an R-18 would be too restricting because then some movie theaters would not screen it. As a matter of policy, SM prohibits the showing of R-18 movies in its cinemas.

The MTRCB chief reported that the board had initiated consultations with producers and film distributors about the proposed amendment. Some of them were apprehensive, and we understand. This would mean a smaller audience would get to see their films.

She said the board would conduct public consultations to orient people about the situation and take their suggestions into consideration.

 

20th May

 Offsite Comment: Sluttish Stars Harm Youngsters...

Link Here  full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report
Claims Mike Stock in a bland nutter whinge in the Independent

See article from independent.co.uk

 

19th May   

Extract: An Admission of Error...

ASA write again to Archbishop Cranmer
Link Here  full story: Archbishop Cranmer vs ASA...ASA hassle blogger over innocuous advert supporting gay marrieage

archbishop cranmer logo The ASA finally wrote to Archbishop Cranmer without the previous patronising Foboffish:

We're sorry for any confusion or upset we've caused. We do accept that our first email didn't state that you were not compelled to respond to us, though we did clarify that explicitly in our second email to you. We do try to work with -- rather than against -- advertisers, agencies and publishers to resolve complaints that are raised with us. We also strive to make sure that our communications are clear, so we will certainly take on board the issues you've raised for future investigations.

Our website statement clarifies that publishers are not compelled to respond in these cases and was published after our second email to you.

Given that our investigation is ongoing and that you are not the subject of that investigation, I will not be addressing the wider queries you have raised or corresponding further on those points. That's because your questions go beyond your involvement in this case.

See the full article

 

19th May   

Update: What Next? The Paddy Powers Handicap Chase?...

ASA uphold complaints about Paddy Power's Stallions and Mares TV advert
Link Here

stallions or mares video A TV ad for Paddy Power, seen in February 2012, had a voice-over which stated Ian Reed wrote on our Facebook wall 'Can't wait to see some beauties at Cheltenham Ladies Day' and showed the comment on their Facebook page. The ad then showed various shots of Cheltenham racecourse while the voice-over stated We hear you Ian and we're going to make Ladies Day even more exciting by sending in some beautiful transgendered ladies! Spot the stallions from the mares! . The words Stallions and Mares appeared on screen in large text and were shown to mate with each other. The voice-over then stated Here we go and the ad showed a series of brief shots of people at the event while the voice-over attempted to guess their gender. Their actual gender was not given. In one scene a woman was shown holding a dog while the voice-over stated woman then hesitated while the shot changed to show a woman walking out of a men's toilet and stated dog, I mean, man . At the end of the ad the voice-over stated And remember, all the runners, all the riders, right in the palm of your hand with Paddy Power Mobile. We hear you Ian Reed!

The ASA received 92 complaints:

  1. The Kent Transgender Forum, LGBT Diversity and 90 other complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive.

  2. The Kent Transgender Forum and LGBT Diversity and 24 other complainants challenged whether the ad condoned and encouraged harmful discriminatory behaviour and treatment.

Paddy Power plc (Paddy Power) said they sought to comply with the CAP and BCAP Codes and were mindful of the regulation around the betting and gaming industry. They said, because their customers were adults, the ad contained adult humour directed to an adult audience.

Paddy Power said they took their responsibilities as an advertiser very seriously and had carefully considered the issues associated with the idea at the concept stage. They said, in following what they considered to be best practice, they consulted the Beaumont Society, which they understood was the largest and longest established transgender support group in the UK. They said they had shared the script for the ad with the Beaumont Society and worked with them and Clearcast to ensure the ad met with broadcasting and decency standards and argued that the ad had therefore been prepared responsibly.

Paddy Power said, at the time of responding, the ad was still on YouTube and had attracted a large number of views and had been liked by the vast majority.

Clearcast said they worked very closely with the advertising agency prior to approving the ad to ensure that the treatment complied fully with both the spirit and letter of the BCAP Code. They said, when the ad was first submitted they had expressed concerns about the offence that may be caused to members of the transgender community and had therefore directed Paddy Power to seek a view from the Beaumont Society, whom the ASA had previously recognised as an appropriate place to seek advice on scripts concerning possible transgender related issues.

Clearcast said, whilst they acknowledged that the ad might not be to everyone's personal taste, they also took into account the view received by the Beaumont Society, that the ad fell short of encouraging negative stereotypes of transgender people and women in general. They said, once the ad went to air, the response from certain groups in the transgender community as well as viewers, made them uncomfortable with the advice which they had received. They said, given the level of discomfort that was expressed they consulted with the broadcasters and jointly agreed that the clearance for the ad should be revoked.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

The ASA noted the response provided by Clearcast and that Paddy Power, at Clearcast's direction, had sought a view on the concept and script from the Beaumont Society who were a national self-help body run by and for those who cross-dressed or were transsexual. The Beaumont Society explained that they had advised Paddy Power to use transgendered believing that that phrase was not problematic, but that they now understood that some sections of the transgender community were offended by it. They provided a copy of the script on which they had advised and pointed out that it did not include the scene in which a woman left a men's toilet and was referred to as a dog, and said they did not agree with its inclusion. They said, while the script they were provided with did make reference to stallions and mares , they were not happy with the manner in which those terms were used in the finished ad, which they had not seen prior to broadcast. We noted that, following negative feedback, Clearcast had now revoked the clearance for the ad.

The ASA also sought advice from Trans Media Watch whose specific area of work was the media portrayal of transgender issues and people.

1. Upheld

We considered that the suggestion that trans people could be segregated into the gender stereotypes stallions and mares as part of a guessing game, trivialised a complex and difficult issue and objectified them in a way that was likely to cause them serious offence.

We noted that, in one scene, a person was shown holding a dog, while the voice-over hesitated, before saying dog , by which time the scene had changed to show a woman leaving a man's toilet. We considered that the suggestion that a trans woman would need to, or should, use a men's toilet and the reference to a woman as a dog were also likely to cause serious offence to women generally and trans women specifically. We concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence.

On this point the ad breached BCAP Code rule 4.2 (Harm and offence).

2. Upheld

We considered for the reasons given in point 1 above, that the ad trivialised a highly complex issue and depicted a number of common negative stereotypes about trans people. We considered that by suggesting that trans women would look like men in drag and that their gender could be speculated on as part of a game, the ad irresponsibly reinforced those negative stereotypes and, particularly by framing the game in a way that involved a member of the public who had commented on Paddy Power's Facebook page, the ad condoned and encouraged harmful discriminatory behaviour and treatment.

On this point the ad breached BCAP Code rules 1.2 (Social responsibility) and 4.8 (Harm and offence).

 

19th May   

Updated: Don't Even Mention Breaking Free from Apple...

Low quality censorship by Apple blanks out name of Thin Lizzy album
Link Here  full story: iPhone iCensor...Apple is censorial about apps for iPhone

jailbreak on iphone Apple in the US considers the word 'jailbreak' to be an obscenity in need of asterixing to 'j*******k. They may consider it an obscenity that people may want to break free of their control freakery and use Apple devices on the network of their choice.

However it does seem a bit much that the Thin Lizzy album of the same name should get subjected to this nonsense.

But there you go!. The odd bit of censorship was first discussed on Twitter and apparently iBooks are also subject to the same j*******k censorship. It also transpires that the 'jailbreak' is only censored in the US, and European products from their local iTunes are left unscathed.

Update: Released on Parole

19th May 2012. See  article from  amog.com

Apple has now addressed the bad publicity about their ludicrous censorship. The company lifted the censorship and the fearful word has started to appear across iTunes.

 

19th May   

A Mayor Above Criticism...

Guatemalan mayor shuts down 5 critical local TV stations
Link Here

Guatemala flag Journalists in Mazatenango, in southern Guatemala, have condemned the closing of six local TV stations, a decision that was made by the company Cable DX after local mayor Roberto Lemus, who is a member of the ruling party, put pressure on the company, saying he would not tolerate criticism of his administration.

The six channels were closed on 25 April 2012, leaving only one station on the air; that station, TVI, is managed by the nephew of the mayor's wife.

Twenty-four journalists have lost their jobs as a result of the closures.

 

19th May

 Offsite Article: As If Anyone Reads Them Anymore...

Link Here
Agatha Christie and Rudyard Kipling have made Britain nation of passive racists, claims John Barnes as he blames classic authors for bigotry

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

18th May   

Update: Shame...

Controversial in the US for its NC-17 rating but a totally uncontroversial Blu-ray/DVD release in the UK
Link Here
Shame DVD Michael Fassbender Shame is a 2011 UK drama by Steve McQueen. With Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan and James Badge Dale. See IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut for;

  • UK 2012 Momentum RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 14th May 2012
  • UK 2012 Momentum R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 14th May 2012

US: Uncut and MPAA NC-17 rated for:

The film hit the censorship headlines, not because it was cut or banned, but because it was released in the US with an adults only NC-17 rating. This is rare in the US as many cinemas and advertisers refuse adults only films lest they lose their 'family friendly' status.

 

 

18th May   

Monty Python and the Holy Grail...

New release on UK Blu-ray
Link Here

Monty Python Grail Blu ray Region Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a 1974 UK comedy by Terry Gilliam. With Graham Chapman, John Cleese and Eric Idle. See IMDb

UK: Passed 12 uncut for"

Passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2002 Columbia/TriStar R2 DVD
  • UK 1997 20th Century Fox VHS

This version restores the dialogue edits for the A certificate cinema release and restores the missing 24 seconds:

I n the scene where the heroic knights come across a castle full of nubile women: When the girl states that her sister has lit the beacon that is grail shaped, my Paramount print goes on to say that they should all be spanked as punishment. The Paramount print has several shots along the following lines before the line "You should spank us all" The girl stating that "that was a good chance for a pussy gag" The knight saying that "he's glad this will/won't be cut" A shot of the crowd shouting "Get on with it" and God shouting "Get on With it".

The running time seems inconsistent between releases by about 2 minutes. Perhaps this was a supplemental video sometimes included in the running time for the release and sometimes not.

Previously Cut

UK: The cut Cinema Version was passed 15 without further cuts for:
  • UK 1988  Film & Video VHS

From IMDb. Although the certificate was raised to 15 the dialogue cuts for the cinema 'A' by mistake weren't actually reinstated.

UK: Passed A after BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1975 cinema release
The BBFC cut the 1975 cinema release for an A certificate.

From IMDb:

  • Dialogue cuts to Zoot's texture about the oral sex
  • Overdubbing of uses of Jesus Christ .

 

18th May   

Safety for Journalists...

High Court overturns lower court order for media organisations to hand over footage of violence at the Dale Farm eviction
Link Here

Old Bailey Violent scenes were filmed by the media as bailiffs evicted travellers from part of the Dale Farm site.

The police claimed they needed the footage from organisations like the BBC and BSkyB to pursue prosecutions. The police obtained court disclosure orders to obtain the material from Judge Gratwicke at Chelmsford Crown Court in February.

The BBC, Independent Television News, BSkyB, Channel 5, Hardcash Productions and freelance video journalist Jason Parkinson joined forces to oppose the orders. Their lawyers said the media risked becoming seen as coppers' narks if they were forced to comply.

Now the High Court has said that the police had failed to make a sufficiently strong case and broadcasters viewed the orders as a fishing expedition for evidence. The previous court have now been quashed by Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Eady.

In a written judgement, Mr Justice Eady said it was difficult to dispute there was a real public interest in tracing people involved in public disorder or violence. But he said that had to be set against the level of interference with the media's right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Essex Police had to demonstrate that the degree of interference and the wide scope of the production order was necessary and proportionate , he said. However, there was nothing to justify any such conclusion .

Mr Justice Eady said disclosure orders can never be granted as a formality , and while police should not be discouraged from seeking to obtain material in future, it is not easy to do so and it should not be easy .

 

18th May   

Extract: The ASA Responds to His Grace...

The Archbishop is somewhat unimpressed by an ASA response written in Foboffish
Link Here  full story: Archbishop Cranmer vs ASA...ASA hassle blogger over innocuous advert supporting gay marrieage

archbishop cranmer logo The ASA has kindly responded to His Grace (within the 48hr deadline requested), and they appear to have opted for Discursive Deflection Letter No.17b, which incorporates expressions of absolute vacuity patronisingly written in sentences of monosyllabic nothingness as though the recipient were a moron. It answers none of the eight questions asked, and merits a jolly good fisking:

RE: ASA Complaint Investigation - 192907/JT

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your email. I am writing to provide some further explanation as to why we contacted you about this ad, and how our process works.

His Grace thanks you for that, but he has no questions about how your process works. He simply asked why you chose to escalate this matter immediately to the level of formal investigation , and why you chose His Grace alone from the blogosphere to justify his decision to publish/distribute it. You answer neither question. And His Grace doesn't like the tone of I am writing to provide some explanation as to... how our process works : he is neither five years old nor mentally deficient.

See the full article

 

18th May   

Update: Police Bellyaching...

Egyptian police arrest owner of satellite belly dancing channel
Link Here

belly dancer Egypt's vice police have arrested the owner of a belly dancing TV station on on grounds of supposedly inciting licentiousness and facilitating prostitution.

The station, ElTet, broadcasts videos 24 hours a day of scantily clad belly dancers giving sultry performances. Available on satellite TV, the station has gained a following, in part because it shows an Egyptian art form that has grown increasingly inaccessible for many people in the country, having been largely relegated to expensive clubs and hotels as a consequence of increasing religious extremism.

The police raided an apartment where the station's owner, Baligh Hamdy, had been running the operations and recording most of the videos, a police official said. apes and video equipment was seized in the raid.

The official said Hamdy would record the videos and send them over the Internet to his partners in Bahrain and Jordan, who would in turn broadcast them on the station's satellite TV, making it accessible in Egypt and elsewhere.

The raid was prompted by nutter complaints. The station also carries advertisements for sexual enhancement products and matchmaking messages. Theses ads seem to have triggered the complaints.

 

18th May   

Dogged by Poor taste...

New Zealand sitcom renames dog over references to murderers
Link Here

news-29-hounds New Zealand comedy Hounds Producers of a new TV sitcom have renamed a dog character, after a complaint that it was a reference to notorious murder cases.

The New Zealand comedy Hounds featured a greyhound called Lundybainwatson. It is a reference to killers Mark Lundy and Scott Watson, who were both jailed for life for double killings, plus David Bain, who was convicted of murdering his family but acquitted after 13 years behind bars.

Bain's lawyer, Joe Karam, complained to chiefs at the TV3 station, saying that it was in extremely poor taste , as well as a slur on Bain's name to associate him with the two killers.

Executives at TV3 agreed, and told producers they must over-dub the lines before the show goes out in a fortnight.

 

17th May   

Jaws...

Getting scarier with age? The BBFC reckon so anyway
Link Here

Limited Edition Steelbook Blu ray Digital Jaws is a 1975 US thriller by Steven Spielberg. With Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss. See IMDb .

The film is set for a re-release as part of the celebration for the 100th Anniversary of Universal.

But as if to celebrate a modern age of extreme child protection, the BBFC have upped the age rating to a 12A for cinema release.

Previously the BBFC have rated the film as PG (known as 'A' when the film was first released) from 1975 until the 25th Anniversary DVD released in 2000. The same version was released without BBFC input in 2005.

But now its 12A rated for moderate threat and occasional gory moments.

No doubt the BBFC will point out that had a 12 rating existed in 1975 then Jaws would have been rated as 12 all along.

 

17th May   

Extract: An Interview with David Cooke...

Speaking of many of this year's film releases
Link Here

bva prize for the bbfc Summer blockbusters are seldom rated 15 -- they get a 12A, ensuring that the movie is accessible to the masses -- so Prometheus is a rarity. Yet even this relatively adult rating has caused disapproval among sci-fi die-hards who feel that anything less than an 18 certificate is a cop-out by the director.

They are sanguine about this at the BBFC. If we rated Alien now, says Cooke, it would be a 15. For a film to get an 18 certificate today it has to be either utterly terrifying throughout or there would have to be a level of sadistic violence. It seems that over the past 30 years or so we have become far more tolerant of blood, guts and gore, not to mention bad language. [In fact the BBFC have rated Alien as 15 since 2003] .

The examiners will watch a film under natural conditions so that it feels as if we are actually going to the cinema , he says. We always view it straight through, though obviously at the end we can go back and look at stuff. There is a cinema at the BBFC headquarters in central London, where examiners watch about three films a day. But sometimes -- as with Prometheus -- they go to the film company to watch the movie, to ensure its security.

That film has been passed with no cuts. But even if it had been censored , you'd barely be able to tell. When we make cuts, people think in terms of 'snip-snip', says senior examiner Craig Lapper, but these days, with digital, there are so many other ways you can make a film more acceptable. You can suggest soundtrack changes and things like colour darkening, putting shadows in to obscure the more gory elements of a scene. So in The Woman in Black, the adaptation of Susan Hill's ghost story starring Daniel Radcliffe, we didn't hear the crack of the woman's neck as she hung from a noose -- and, thanks to the cunning use of shadows, neither did we see her face.

I won't say what the film was, continues Lapper, but there's a forthcoming British movie that was a little bit too gory to get a 15 certificate. So I nipped round to the place where they were editing it and they [the film-makers] increased the shadows so that you could no longer see someone's jaw hanging off.

...Read the full interview

 

17th May   

BBC Viewers Force Fed Cookery Shows...

BBC receives 400 complaints about foie gras featuring in the Great British Menu programme
Link Here

Lobe Fresh Goose Foie 500 700g Hundreds of complaints have been made to the BBC after two chefs competing on its Great British Menu programme were shown preparing dishes including foie gras.

Johnnie Mountain made foie gras ice cream while Aiden Byrne served black cherry and foie gras terrine in an episode screened last week.

Production of foie gras, made by force-feeding ducks or geese until their livers are enlarged, is prohibited in the UK, although it is still a legal ingredient.

In a letter to the BBC director general, Mark Thompson, Yvonne Taylor, senior programme manager for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) said:

Foie gras is uniquely cruel in that it is one of the few 'foods' that is produced by intentionally inflicting illness on animals.

Viva, which promotes vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, has written an email for supporters to send to the BBC. Part of it says:

Foie gras is not produced in Britain, as the government has made it clear that its production would contravene existing animal welfare regulations, but sadly it is still perfectly legal to import it.

The BBC said it had received 418 complaints following the programme. The BBC said in a statement:

There is currently no ban on the use of foie gras in the UK, and while we appreciate it is a controversial matter, many people do enjoy it. As long as foie gras remains legal and freely available there is the possibility that it could be used as an ingredient in cookery programmes, just as it remains on restaurant menus around the world. If it were to be banned we would of course no longer allow it to be used.

 

17th May   

Update: ASA Deny Bullying...

But Archbishop Cranmer demonstrates that they are speaking bollox
Link Here  full story: Archbishop Cranmer vs ASA...ASA hassle blogger over innocuous advert supporting gay marrieage

gay marriage Presumably due to the Daily Mail picking up the story of Archbishop Cranmer's battle with the ASA who say that they are investigating offence and homophobia attributed to a totally innocuous advert calling for people to sign an anti-gay marriage petitition

 ASA have now made a statement on their website at  asa.org.uk . This includes:

One of the bloggers on whose blog the ads appeared has raised concerns about us contacting him as part of our investigation. We have long found it useful to ask, in confidence, publishers of ads subject to offence complaints for their views, because they can give us a valuable insight into whether or not their readers are likely to be offended. They are not the subject of our investigation, as we have made clear to them in this case, and they are not compelled to respond.

But Archbishop Cranmer takes particular notice of the claim: "they are not compelled to respond". He has published correspondence between himself and the ASA and demonstrates that the ASA bullies are speaking bollox:

See  Archbishop Cramer's response: ASA semantics and lies from  archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.co.uk

 

17th May   

Update: Underworld: Awakening...

Released on UK DVD and Blu-ray
Link Here
Underworld Awakening DVD Kate Beckinsale Underworld: Awakening is a 2012 US action fantasy by Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein. With Kate Beckinsale, Michael Ealy and India Eisley. See IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut for:

US: Uncut and MPAA R Rated for:

  • US 2012 VOD to rent/buy [US only] at US Amazon released on 8th May 2012
  • US 2012 Screen Gems R0 Blu-ray at US Amazon released on 8th May 2012
  • US 2012 Screen Gems R2 DVD at US Amazon released on 8th May 2012

 

 

17th May   

China Girl...

French Blu-ray release of Abel Ferrara's West Side Romeo and Juliet Story
Link Here

China Girl Blu Ray James Russo China Girl is a 1987 US crime drama by Abel Ferrara. With James Russo, Richard Panebianco and Sari Chang. See IMDb

France: Uncut (with English soundtrack) for:

  • Fr 2012 Blaqout RB Blu-ray via UK Amazon recently released on 10th February 2012

Cut on UK DVD and VHS

UK: Passed 18 after 7s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2004 Columbia/TriStar R2 DVD
  • UK 1991 VCI VHS
  • UK 1988 Locus VHS

The BBFC cuts were:

  • The offending scene occurs during a gang fight where the censors would rather like us not to see the use of a butterfly knife.

 

17th May   

Update: Blogged Off...

Indian court orders Google to take down two blogs hosted on Blogger
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn

Blogger.com logo The Delhi Court has found blogger Jitender Bagga's blogs against Art of Living leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to be defamatory and has ordered Google to take them down. Google complied with the order.

The complaint against the blogger is for content posted on his blog hosted on Blogpost (owned by Google) at revolutionprithvi.blogspot.in and srisriravishankarisguruorconman.blogspot.in. The directive by the High Court seemed to be another harsh ruling biased against the Internet and freedom of speech. However, if one looks at the websites listed in the complaint and the content, it does appear that Jitender Bagga was vindictive and has an axe to grind. Voicing ones opinion as form of art or literature is one thing, going hammer and tongs against someone in a malicious and resentful attack, is something completely different.

 

17th May

 Offsite Article: On censorship...

Link Here
A wide ranging post by Salman Rushdie

See article from newyorker.com

 

16th May   

Update: ASA Persecuting His Grace Now in the Public Gaze...

Daily Mail reports on the ASA and republishes the supposedly offensive advert
Link Here  full story: Archbishop Cranmer vs ASA...ASA hassle blogger over innocuous advert supporting gay marrieage

gay marriage The well known and respected blog archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.co.uk is being put under pressure by the politically correct advertising police of the ASA.

An innocuous 'advert' calling for reader to sign a petition opposing gay marriage resulted in 24 complainants, including the Jewish Gay & Lesbian Group.

The call to sign the petition simply consists of

1. Photos of couples on their wedding day on the first frame.

2. The second frame stated I do .

3. The third frame stated 70% of people* say keep marriage as it is ...(Source:ComRes poll for Catholic Voices) .

4. The final frame stated Help us keep the true meaning of marriage. PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION Click here ...Coalition for Marriage .

The ASA demanded that Archbishop Cranmer justifies the advert and how he answers the ludicrous claim that it is somehow offensive and homophobic,

The story has now being picked up by the Daily Mail who gave the ASA to explain their requests of Archbishop Cranmer. The Daily Mail wrote:

ASA logo The ASA today stressed it would not necessarily uphold the complaints, which would lead to the ad being banned.

It said in a statement: The right of advertisers responsibly to express their views will undoubtedly be an important factor in our assessment of whether the ads are likely to cause serious or widespread offence. We are also looking at whether the ads are misleading.

The authority also responded to Archbishop Cranmer's outrage over the threatening way in which it approached him, explaining that: We have long found it useful to ask, in confidence, publishers of ads subject to 'offence complaints for their views, because they can give us a valuable insight into whether or not their readers are likely to be offended'.

Note the conciliatory tone used by ASA when being exposed in the press. Note the reasonable sounding:

We have long found it useful to ask, in confidence, publishers of ads subject to 'offence complaints for their views, because they can give us a valuable insight into whether or not their readers are likely to be offended'.

Then compare it with the bullying tones used by the ASA in an adjudication published today re a Facebook advert for Manhattan Bar. The ASA then wrote about 'asking' for advertiser input:

[Advertiser] Response

Manhattan Bar did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.

Assessment Upheld

The ASA was concerned by Manhattan Bar's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.

Meanwhile the Jewish Gay & Lesbian Group have published a statement about complaints attributed to the group. The group shouted on their website somewhat unconvincingly that it wasn't a call for censorship:

JGLG HAS NOT CALLED FOR CENSORSHIP OF ANYTHING. ONE OF OUR MEMBERS ASKED THE ASA FOR AN INVESTIGATION INTO AN ADVERT SEEN IN A MAGAZINE BECAUSE HE BELIEVED IT TO BE UNLAWFUL. HE WAS NOT ACTING ON BEHALF OF JGLG. WE WOULD LIKE TO STATE THAT CALLING FOR AN INVESTIGATION ISN'T THE SAME THING AS CALLING FOR CENSORSHIP.

 

16th May   

ASA Political Censors...

ASA policing political donations on the grounds that they could be used for something harmful
Link Here

chimney daubed toxic crime Claims on Redecorate a power station chimney page on www.greenpeacegiving.org.uk on 30 December 2011 stated Chimneys, they're a bit dull aren't they? We prefer them when they have statements written down them, like 'no new coal' or 'stupid', which say what we think about them. Actually we'd prefer them if they weren't there at all, because coal is the most climate-wrecking fuel there is, but we're working on that one. £ 80 Send this Gift. How this gift works ... Direct actions are about being there in person to stop an environmental crime from taking place. The proposed new power station at Kingsnorth in Kent would emit about the same amount of CO2 as the world's 30 poorest countries, and when we shut down the existing power station in 2007 we brought the issue of whether it needs to be built firmly to the front line. Shutting down dirty power stations is just one of the ways Greenpeace is working to secure a clean energy future, but painting down the side of giant chimneys cranks up the political pressure and throws a vital spotlight on one of the greatest threats to our climate . A photograph on the page showed a person in a climbing harness painting on the side of a power station chimney.

An internet user challenged whether the claims were harmful and irresponsible, because he believed they encouraged consumers to sponsor an illegal activity and encouraged and condoned anti-social behaviour.

Greenpeace said they took non-violent direct action based on their intention to protect the planet from environmental harm and they did not aim to break the law. They believed, while the tone of the heading Redecorate a power station chimney was tongue-in-cheek, the example in the ad of the action taken at Kingsnorth power station was clear. They said those activists had not taken direct action with the intention of breaking the law and had subsequently been found not guilty of causing criminal damage.

ASA Decision: Complaint Upheld

The ASA noted Greenpeace took direct action without the intention of breaking the law, but understood that, although the Kingsnorth activists had been found not guilty of criminal damage, other similar activity might nonetheless lead to acts that were illegal or anti-social.

We considered that defacing property would generally be viewed as anti-social, and would in some circumstances be illegal, and considered that the claims Redecorate a power station chimney and ... We prefer them when they have statements written down them, like 'no new coal' or 'stupid' ... and the photograph of a man painting slogans on the side of a chimney condoned such behaviour. Although we considered that the claims themselves were unlikely to influence the public to engage in such exploits themselves, we considered that the claim ?80 Send this Gift. How this gift works ... sought donations in order to make it possible to finance similar direct action by others and thereby encouraged such behaviour. We therefore concluded that the ad was harmful and irresponsible because it encouraged and condoned anti-social behaviour.

The claims breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.4 (Harm and offence). Action

 

16th May   

Update: What Can We Do About Crappy Website Blocking?...

Open Rights Group and LSE publish report about the poor implementation of internet blocking in the name of child protection
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

Open Rights Group logo A new report from Open Rights Group and LSE Media Policy Project reveals widespread over-blocking on mobile networks, helping to demonstrate why we shouldn't accept default-on adult Internet filtering

Today we're launching a new report called Mobile internet censorship: what's happening and what we can do about it , which is a joint publication with LSE Media Policy Project.

The report is about how mobile operators' child protection filters work. It shows how systems designed to help parents manage their childrens' access to the Internet can actually affect many more users than intended and block many more sites than they should. It reveals widespread overblocking, problems with transparency and difficulties correcting mistakes.

We argue that mobile operators need to offer an active choice , be far more transparent and open, and provide easier ways to address errors.

More broadly, the report helps emphasise that the neo Mary Whitehouse campaign for default blocks, led by Claire Perry MP is calling for the wrong solution in looking to default on filtering. The lessons from mobile filtering suggest fixed-line Internet filtering should concentrate on users and devices rather than networks, be properly described as parental controls (because the content blocked is far broader than adult sexual material) and above all involve an active choice , not be set by default.

Without that guarded approach, seemingly simple, laudable goals such as protecting children through technical intervention may have significant harmful and unintended consequences for everybody's access to information.

Blocked.org.uk

The report is based on reports of inappropriate blocks provided to our website Blocked.org.uk through January to March. These were cases where sites or services were blocked that should not have been. Working with a small group of volunteers, we received over 60 reports, including personal and political blogs, sites for restaraunts, and community sites. Here are some examples:

  • Biased-BBC (www.biased-bbc.blogspot.co.uk) is a site that challenges the BBC's impartiality. We established it was blocked on O2 and T-Mobile on 5th March.
  • St Margarets Community Website (www.stmgrts.org.uk), is a community information site created by a group of local residents of St Margarets, Middlesex. Their mission is simple - help foster a stronger community identity. We established it was blocked on Orange and T-Mobile on 8th March.
  • The Vault Bar (www.thevaultbar.co.uk) in London. We established that the home page of this bar was blocked on Vodafone, Orange, and T-Mobile on 6th February.
  • Shelfappeal.com was reported blocked on 15th February 2012 on Orange. This is a blog that features items that can be placed on a shelf.
  • 'Tor' (www.torproject.org). We established that the primary website of this privacy tool (meaning the HTTP version of the Tor Project website, rather than connections to the Tor network) was blocked on at least Vodafone, O2 and Three in January.
  • La Quadrature du Net (www.laquadrature.net/en). The website of this French digital rights advocacy group was reported blocked on Orange's Safeguard system on 2nd February. La Quadrature du Net has become one of the focal points for European civil society's political engagement with an important international treaty called the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The block was removed shortly after we publicised the blocking.

...Read the full article

Update: MelonFarmers gets mentioned in the report

16th May 2012. From Mobile internet censorship: what's happening and what we can do about it [pdf] from openrightsgroup.org

The ORG report contains mystery shopper examples to see how various phone companies handle complaints about false blocking:

Re 3 Mobile Phone Company

melon farmers blog logo We reported to 3 that the site melonfarmers.wordpress.com - a conspiracy theory discussion site - was blocked. The customer services representative asked what message we received when trying to access the site. We told them we were shown a blocking screen telling us over-18 blocking was enabled. We were advised that 'adult sites' were automatically blocked on all pay-as-you- go 3 mobile phones.

However, we were not asked what site we were attempting to access, despite our insistence that it contained no adult material. We were then asked if we were having issues accessing other sites like Google or the BBC, and replied no. Again, the representative concluded that the content filter was working correctly and that the site we were trying to access must have some sort of adult material on it, hence its blocking. When we asked 3 how the company classifies blocked websites, the representative told us that 3 does not make the rules, and that the government' does. We were also informed that no record is made of sites which are reported as incorrectly blocked and our phone would be unblocked once we provided age verification.

This experience seems somewhat at odds with the official propaganda about overblocking.  In an  article from  bbc.com , Hamish MacLeod, chairman of the Mobile Broadband Group, claimed:

Even allowing for the ORG missing a few, 60 misclassified websites does not amount to anything that could reasonably be described as 'censorship', particularly when mobile operators are happy to remove the filters when customers show they are over 18 and will re-classify websites when misclassifications are pointed out to them.

This is how the small handful of websites that get referred to mobile operators each year are already dealt with.

Perhaps a small handful of websites because operators are told to willfully ignore such requests

Offsite Comment: ISPs Censor the BNP, Lifestyle an dTechnology Sites

26th May 2012. See  article from  blog.indexoncensorship.org by Alice Purkiss

index logo A number of British mobile networks are blocking the far-right British National Party's website, it has been revealed.

Following a report by LSE Media Policy Project and Open Rights Group (ORG) on mobile internet censorship, a number of web-users alerted ORG that the BNP's website is blocked on a variety of mobile networks if child protection filters are active, once again raising the question of the efficacy of online filtering systems.

...Read the full article

 

 

16th May   

The Salman Rushdie of Rap...

Website offers a reward for the murder of an Iranian rapper based in Germany
Link Here

naghi video IAn Iranian rapper has become the Salman Rushdie of music after clerics in the Islamic republic issued fatwas calling him an apostate, which is considered punishable by death under the country's sharia law.

Shahin Najafi, a Germany-based Iranian singer, recently released a song with references to Ali al-Hadi al-Naqi, the tenth of the 12 Shia Muslim Imams, a senior religious character.

The clip posted on Youtube, watched by hundreds of thousands online, has divided opinions in the country with many finding it 'offensive' and 'insulting' to their beliefs and others defending the song, saying it broke taboos especially in regards to expressing views about religious characters.

When asked for a religious ruling on the fate of Najafi and his blasphemous music , clerics unanimously declared that such a person must be considered an apostate.

Ayatollah Naser Makareme Shirazi said:

Any outrage against the infallible imams ... and obvious insult against them would make a Muslim an apostate.

Najafi has denied claims that his song Naqi is meant to insult people's religious beliefs, though the song criticises Iranian society. He told Deutsche Welle:

I thought there would be some ramifications. But I didn't think I would upset the regime that much. Now they are taking advantage of the situation and making it look like I was trying to criticise religion and put down believers.

An Iranian religion website, Shia-Online.ir, has offered a $100,000 reward for anyone who kills Najafi.

 

16th May   

Trying to Cure Society of all its Ills?...

Nurses have a whinge about video games
Link Here

Hysteria Hospital Emergency Ward Nintendo The Royal College of Nursing passed a motion calling for more education and awareness about the risks of children playing adult-rated games. At their annual conference in Harrogate, they claimed exposure to these images could harm children.

Nurses said some products on the market were littered with explicit references to violence, sex and drug-taking.

The nurses cited the case of Anders Behring Breivik, who was said to have trained for the attacks he carried out in Norway last summer by using games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and the World of Warcraft.

 

16th May   

Bay Cap 3...

Vietnam bans local horror film
Link Here

bay cap 3 The producer of the Vietnamese movie Bay Cap 3 also announced its release on May 18 complete with a prominent publicity campaign. However, information about this film on websites of big cinemas like MegaStar, Galaxy and BHD Star were removed on May 8.

A member of the National Movie Censorship Council said that movie was not approved because its content is illogical, non-educational and its technical quality is unqualified.

The official decision is going to be announced this week.

The movie producer, Tran Trong Dan, told VNExpress newswire that violence and sex in Bay Cap 3 does not exceed many Vietnamese and American movies that were released in Vietnam before. It is a horror movie about a group of high-school students who experience a nightmare during their tour to Da Lat city. Each of them is gradually killed by a mysterious killer. They are trapped by unexpected and dangerous methods.

 

16th May

 Offsite Article: Why should an insult be against the law?...

Link Here
Suddenly newspaper commentators are talking against the inclusion of mere 'insult' as a reason for arrest in the much abused Public Order Act. Maybe a precursor of a welcome change to the law

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

16th May

 Offsite Article: Repression on Remand...

Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Russia...Offending religious beliefs or desecration of holy objects or symbols
Russian punk collective Pussy Riot speaks exclusively to Index

See article from uncut.indexoncensorship.org

 

15th May   

Scuppered by Crappy Website Blocking...

German political party website blocked in schools over its cannabis legalisation policy
Link Here

Pirate Party A student in a North Rhine-Westphalia school attempted to access the German Pirate Party's website from a school computer to find it was blocked under the illegal drugs classification.

No doubt the Pirate Party is a victim of crappy automated website blocking systems. The system itself, operated by an organization called Time for Kids, is developed by IBM. It apparently crawls the web and categorises web pages according to its own internal algorithms.

The assumption is that when these web crawlers found the Pirate Party's pledge to legalize cannabis, the word cannabis tripped the filters and caused the site to be blacklisted.

The issue, however, is not whether this was an accidental block . The reality is that the Pirate Party was blocked and that this filtering system is blocking political debate, and is contravening the right to freedom of expression.

Monica Horten at IPtegrity points out that this wrongful categorisation happens all the time in automated filtering.

 

15th May   

Updated: Advertising Standards Authority Persecutes His Grace...

ASA harangues well known blogger over polite call to sign a petition against gay marriage
Link Here  full story: Archbishop Cranmer vs ASA...ASA hassle blogger over innocuous advert supporting gay marrieage

gay marriage The well known and respected blog archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.co.uk is being put under pressure by the politically correct advertising police of the ASA. As Archbishop Cranmer explains:

Apparently there have been a number of complaints about one of the advertisements His Grace carried on behalf of the Coalition for Marriage. He has been sent all manner of official papers, formal documentation and threatening notices which demand answers to sundry questions by a certain deadline. He is instructed by the Investigations Executive of this inquisition to keep all this confidential.

Since His Grace does not dwell in Iran, North Korea, Soviet Russia, Communist China or Nazi Germany, but occupies a place in the cyber-ether suspended somewhere between purgatory and paradise, he is minded to ignore that request. Who do these people think they are?

The call to sign the petition simply consists of

1. Photos of couples on their wedding day on the first frame.

2. The second frame stated I do .

3. The third frame stated 70% of people* say keep marriage as it is ...(Source:ComRes poll for Catholic Voices) .

4. The final frame stated Help us keep the true meaning of marriage. PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION Click here ...Coalition for Marriage .

Apparently 24 complainants, including the Jewish Gay & Lesbian Group challenged whether the claim '70% of people say keep marriage as it is' However, His Grace is not required to respond to that point, since he did not conduct the research. But it transpires that 10 of these 24 complainants objected that the petition call is somehow offensive and homophobic, and he is requested to respond to these allegations.

...Read the full article

Update: Illiberal Conspiracy

14th May 2012. See  article from  liberalconspiracy.org

liberal conspiracy logo An interesting post at liberalconspiracy.org suggested that it is correct that the ASA should follow up the complaints and demand a response from the blogger:

They are, of course, people who are tasked simply with doing a job which entails investigating complaints about advertising lodged by members of the general public, and all they've done so far is contact Cranmer and offer him the chance to give his side of the story.

...

As regards the allegation that the advert is, itself, offensive and homophobic well. let's be honest, we're hardly in God Hates Fags territory here are we? And, in any case, this is essentially a single issue political campaign and should, therefore , attract a greater degree of protection under Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights than would be the case for purely commercial advertising.

In short, it should take no more than 10-15 minutes to compose a suitable response which addresses and roundly dismisses the complaint.

Why is it that the British authorities always seem to start from the default position that a complainant is right?

The 'advert' in question is clearly not threatening, or inciting in anyway whatsoever, it is not even mildly insulting. It is just a call to support a stance that is actually the status quo and is currently the law of the land.

The PC police at the ASA should not be allowing political campaigners to make complaints that end up hassling those merely exercising their right to free speech. It is not free speech if people are harassed and bullied into justifying their stance. The ASA should tell the complainants to sling their hooks and not support bullying.

Update: His Grace Responds with support from diverse organisations

15th May 2012.

Christian Concern are unimpressed by ASA bullying. From an article on  christianconcern.com :

Christian Comcern The investigation was launched after anonymous complaints were received against the blog for featuring the online advert which urged members of the public to sign the Coalition for Marriage petition.

The complainants, including the Jewish Gay & Lesbian Group, have described the advert as offensive and homophobic . The anonymous writer has now been given until 21 May to respond to the allegations.

The writer behind the blog, which was ranked as the 24th most influential blog in the UK, commented:

This is nothing short of censorship. Nothing in the advert is factually incorrect or offensive. It is an advert to campaign to simply keep the law as it is. It is outrageous to suggest it is homophobic and the fact that the ASA are even considering such an allegation is ludicrous and displays evidence of a lack of even basic research by them before making the demand of Cranmer that they have done.

Critics have noted that the Chairman of the ASA is Lord Chris Smith of Finsbury, who is Vice President of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality and a leading supporter of same-sex marriage. He has previously been named by Pink News as being in the top 30 of the most powerful homosexual people in British politics.

Meanwhile the National Secular Society are also unimpressed. From an  article on  secularism.org.uk

National Secular Society logo The rather eccentric Christian blogger Archbishop Cranmer is under investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority after he reproduced an advertisement from the group Coalition for Marriage which is seeking to thwart the Government's plans to legalise same-sex marriage.

The ASA has said that it has received ten complaints that the advertisement is offensive and homophobic . It demands that the Archbishop explain himself before he is once more sent to the stake.

Needless to say his wit and style is more than a match for the rather authoritarian tendencies at the Advertising Standards Authority, and he has turned the tables on them quite deliciously.

The NSS wants to announce its support for the Archbishop Cranmer blog. Although it disagrees with this blogger profoundly on so many issues, it agrees with him entirely that the Advertising Standards Authority is overstepping the mark and posing a rather sinister threat to freedom of expression.

But Archbishop Cranmer is enjoying confronting the ASA bullies. He has written a fine response.

archbishop cranmer logo He asks some pertinent questions of the ASA:

[Re] the complaint concerns the Coalition for Marriage advertisement, it must be observed that the same advertisement appeared on numerous blogs ('Internet [display]'), including Guido Fawkes (which you acknowledge) and ConservativeHome. You appear not to have troubled ConservativeHome at all in the pursuit of your enquiries, and your letter states that you have copied in Guido Fawkes for information only. Ergo you appear to have singled out His Grace alone in the blogosphere ('Internet [display]') and made demands only of him to respond to Point 2 of the complaint, i.e., that the advertisement was homophobic and offensive . Why are you harassing His Grace alone in the blogosphere? Why are all blogs which displayed this advertisement not being treated equally?

You state that 10 of the 25 complaints received deem the advertisement to be offensive and homophobic . His Grace understands the plainest meaning and definition of the term offensive . But, since homosexuals and homosexuality are nowhere mentioned in the advertisement, could you please clarify how the term homophobic is being used in this context?

See the full response from  archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.com

 

15th May   

Updated: The Exterminator...

Cult classic set for a UK DVD release from ArrowDrome
Link Here

The Exterminator DVD James Glickenhaus The Exterminator is a 1980 US vigilante film by James Glickenhaus. With Christopher George and Robert Ginty. See IMDb

UK: The Director's Cut/Unrated Version was passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence with previous BBFC cuts waived for:

  • UK 2012 Arrow/ArrowDrome R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 14th May 2012

Promotional material: Scorching the streets clean...

Flamethrowers ready as the alleyways of skid row are set ablaze with the brutal vengeance of one man... The Exterminator!

John Eastland has been to Nam and he s seen things... Things you wouldn t believe. Surviving torture and witnessing the brutal deaths of his friends, John returns home to a tough neighbourhood in New York and his loving family. But when some local thugs take a crippling dislike to his best friend Mike, leaving him paralysed, something snaps in John. Did he fight the Vietcong for this?

Taking the law into his own hands, Eastland sets out to clean the streets of every low life, good for nothing gang banger, mobster and ghetto ghoul across the city in director James Glickenhaus (McBain) brutally violent vigilante classic.

Features:

  • includes an interview with James Glickenhaus
  • collector's booklet by author Calum Waddell

Summary Review:  Decent cult movie

A man's best friend is killed on the streets of New York. The man (Robert Ginty) then transforms into a violent killer, turning New York into a great war zone.

Sure there are lots of cruel scenes and bloodshed. It still isn't far as ultra-violent critics sometimes makes it to be. Violence is just something that gives audience the necessary shocks to built the excitement or to keep it up.

Actors aren't brilliant and the plot is faulty but from time to time this movie gets very interesting and it has a great bunch of magnificent sequences and couple of really good lines. Not a perfect thriller but surely a decent cult movie.

Previous Uncut Releases

UK: The Director's Cut/Unrated Version was passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence with previous BBFC cuts waived for:

  • UK 2011 Arrow R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon
  • UK 2004 Optimum R2 DVD at UK Amazon
  • UK 2000 Synergy R0 DVD Cuts order by the BBFC but not implemented
  • UK 2000 Synergy VHS Cuts order by the BBFC but not implemented

US: The Director's Cut is uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

Previous Cut Releases

US: There is a cut US R Rated version to avoid.

UK: The Director's Cut/Unrated Version was passed 18 after a further 2.54s of cuts (totalling 3:38s) for:

  • UK 2000 Synergy video (unreleased, the Director's Cut was then submitted, see above)
  • UK 1991 Braveworld VHS
  • UK 1985 Intervision VHS

UK: The Director's Cut/Unrated Version was passed X (18) after 44s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK Alpha Vision/Intervision pre-cert VHS
  • UK 1980 cinema release

 

15th May   

The Decameron...

A new Dual Format release of Pasolini's classic
Link Here

Decameron Blu ray Pier Paolo Pasolini The Decameron is a 1971 Italy comedy drama by Pier Paolo Pasolini. With Franco Citti, Ninetto Davoli and Jovan Jovanovic. See IMDb

Passed 18 uncut for strong sex and sexualised nudity with previous BBFC cuts waived for:

  • UK 2011 BFI Dual RB Blu-ray/R2 DVD at UK Amazon recently released on 5th December 2011
  • UK 2009 BFI R2 Online
  • UK 2009 BFI RB Blu-ray
  • UK 2009 BFI R2 DVD
  • UK 2001 BFI R2 DVD
  • UK 1971 cinema release

Promotional Material:

The first part of Pasolini's colourful and highly erotic Trilogy of Life is full of bawdy, earthy spirit, romping through tales of lusty nuns and priests, cuckolded husbands, murdered lovers and grave-robbers with five of the stories linked to character of an intriguing artist, played by Pasolini himself. Presented in a new High-Definition restoration. Pasolini's visual notes for an unrealised film project, Notes for an African Oresteria, is also included here, fully restored to High-Definition by Cineteca di Bologna.

Special Features

  • Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
  • Alternative English-language version
  • Original Italian trailer
  • Notes for an African Oresteria (1970, b&w, 1.33:1, 73 minutes)
  • Fully illustrated booklet including essays, reviews and biography

Previously Cut:

UK: Passed 18 after 22s of BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1988 Warner VHS

The BBFC cuts were:

  • Full frontal nudity and an erection offended the censors and so had to go

 

15th May   

X Rating...

XBox Live video marketplace to use BBFC ratings
Link Here

xbox live logo Xbox LIVE will use the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)'s well-known ratings for content sold via the Xbox LIVE Zune video marketplace, allowing users to make informed choices about the content that they purchase for themselves and their families.

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC, says We're delighted to add Microsoft's Xbox LIVE to the roster of customers using BBFC services. In the digital age the variety of content platforms available means that, more than ever, the BBFC has a role to play as a trusted guide to content. The public, especially parents, have told us it's important for them to see classification ratings they can trust before choosing entertainment for themselves or their children and by joining the BBFC's voluntary service Xbox LIVE is helping its users make informed and confident choices about what they watch.

Microsoft's goal has always been to provide parents and caregivers with the tools and resources necessary in managing age-appropriate entertainment experiences on Xbox 360 for children, says Stephen McGill, Microsoft Ltd's Director of Xbox and Entertainment. Alongside use of the forthcoming PEGI ratings system for video games, deploying BBFC classifications for film and video content on Xbox LIVE will allow parents to make more informed choices regarding what they and their families watch on our service.

The BBFC's service for streamed and downloaded content was launched in 2008 to provide its trusted and recognised classifications, category symbols and Consumer Advice to set-top box, video-on-demand and other online content providers. The BBFC worked closely with the home entertainment industry to develop a voluntary regulatory service that would bring the benefits of the DVD classification system to content delivered online. When the public was surveyed about the new service, 82% of parents said that they preferred to download films that were classified with the trusted BBFC symbols and content advice. Government ministers and other Parliamentarians are on the record as supporters of the BBFC's work in this area.

Microsoft Ltd joins other key affiliates to the BBFC service including Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Europe, Warner Bros., Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Universal, BT Vision, Tesco/Blinkbox, TalkTalk, Picturebox and Netflix, bringing the total number of members to 38.

 

15th May   

Password Protection Bill...

US considers a law to ban employers from demanding employee's social networking passwords
Link Here

US Senate US Senator Richard Blumenthal, Representative Martin Heinrich, and a number of cosponsors filed the Password Protection Act of 2012 in the Senate and House to prevent employers from strong-arming employers and job applicants into sharing information from their personal social networking accounts.

The PPA is sweeping in scope. It doesn't just apply to just Facebook or social networks, but rather to any situation when an employer coerces an employee into providing access to information held on any computer that isn't owned or controlled by the employer. For example, even if the employee is looking at a social network on his or her work computer, the employer still couldn't force that employee to disclose a password, because that would allow the employer to access another computer (that of the social network). This protection would extend to Gmail accounts, photo sharing sites and an employee's own iPhone or other smart phone.

However there is a glaring omission in that it does not afford the same protections to students. This ACLU case in Minnesota highlights how far school administrators will go to force students to divulge social network passwords. Student athletes are so frequently coerced into allowing access to their personal pages that there are at least three different companies marketing this service.

Another bill filed last week by Representative Eliot Engel, the Social Networking Online Protection Act (SNOPA) does a better job in this regard, covering both employers and students.

 

15th May   

Updated: Unfair Penalty...

Britain condemns Iran for sentence of 25 lashes for cartoonist over innocuous whimsy about a politician
Link Here

ahmad lotfi ashtiani cartoon Britain has added its condemnation to the unprecedented lashing sentence against Iranian cartoonist Mahmud Shokraye.

He was sentenced to 25 lashes earlier this week over his depiction of conservative lawmaker Ahmad Lotfi Ashtiani as a football player.  Ashtiani is noted for interfering in sports issues.

A British Foreign Office statement said:

Charges should never have been brought at all for this innocuous act, but it is sadly not surprising given the government has consistently shown such flagrant disregard for its citizens' rights and freedoms.

In an earlier joint statement, a dozen Iran-based websites condemned Shokraye's sentence and warned that it sets a dangerous precedent. The statement noted that drawing cartoons of politicians, including of Iranian presidents and other top officials, is common in Iran.

Update: Uncomplained

15th May 2012. See  article from  guardian.co.uk

An Iranian MP who brought a case against a cartoonist that resulted in a sentence of 25 lashes has withdrawn his complaint after widespread condemnation of the artist's conviction.

Mahmoud Shokraye was found guilty of insulting Ahmad Lotfi Ashtiani, MP for Arak, in a cartoon he drew of the parliamentarian in Nameye Amir, a city newspaper.

In an unprecedented punishment for an Iranian cartoonist, a media law court in Arak handed down a sentence of 25 lashes, triggering domestic and international outcry among Shokraye's colleagues and human rights organisations.

Iran's semi-official Fars news agency reported on Monday that Ashtiani had withdrawn his complaint. Experts familiar with Iranian law said it would mean the cartoonist's conviction would be quashed.

In response to the artist's sentence, cartoonists launched a campaign of drawing new caricatures of the MP, with many Iranians and their colleagues across the world contributing by posting their cartoons online. The Guardian's Martin Rowson also contributed by drawing Ashtiani in a nappy with a lash in his mouth.

 

15th May   

Printing Press Censors...

Ethiopia's printers take new role as state news censors
Link Here

Ethiopia flag In late April, Ethiopia's state-owned Barhanena Selam (Light and Peace) Printing Company, which is used by most local newspaper publishers, issued a directive saying it would refuse to print any material it believes would breach Ethiopia's 2009 anti-terrorism law

The legislation criminalizes independent reporting on opposition groups or causes that the government deems terrorist and holds printers, as well as publishers, accountable for material that promotes terrorism.

The directive, a copy of which CPJ obtained, allows Barhanena Selam the right to cancel any printing contract if the publisher repeatedly submits content the printer considers legally objectionable.

Barhanena Selam said it would require all newspaper publishers to agree to the new terms before further publications would be printed.

Local journalists said there haven't yet been interruptions to printing even though not all newspapers have signed.

 

15th May

 Offsite Article: The Game Tera Features a Race of Scantily Clad Young Anime Girls...

Link Here
In the Korean original, Elin characters pranced about wearing outfits that would make their mothers blush. But in the US and EU, producers replaced the panties with shorts.

See article from eurogamer.net

 

14th May   

Update: TalkTalk BlockBlock...

Now TalkTalk proposes to force all customers to choose between a censored or uncensored internet feed
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

TalkTalk HomeSafe TalkTalk, which provides web access to 4million subscribers, already offers new customers the option of activating blocking for websites with adult themes. Now it has said it will be the first company to ask both new and existing subscribers whether they want to block adult content.

TalkTalk's filter, HomeSafe, blocks sites categorised as unsuitable for under-18s, including those related to pornography, suicide, self harm, gambling, dating, drugs and weapons. But it also blocks websites for strong language, references to sex and any sites that happen to contain a few words that trigger automated classification software.

It has been available to customers since May last year, but only if they requested it. From March this year, new subscribers have been asked to choose whether or not they want the filter.

Now the company wants to force all of its customers to decide whether they want access to adult material, with a view to making them choose their settings once a year.

It is believed other internet providers will introduce a system in October which will be more tailored to devices and individuals.

 

14th May   

Forbidden Zone...

Richard Elfman's bizarre fantasy released on UK Blu-ray
Link Here

Forbidden Arrow Limited Edition Blu ray Forbidden Zone is a 1982 US fantasy by Richard Elfman. With Hervé Villechaize, Susan Tyrrell and Gisele Lindley. See IMDb

UK: Released but not noted in the BBFC database for:

  • UK 2012 Arrow Limited Edition R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 14th May 2012

Previous Releases:

UK: Released but not noted in the BBFC database for:

Promotional Material:

Step into The Forbidden Zone, a bizarro world of frog butlers, topless princesses, machine-gun toting teachers, eccentric dwarves, their demonic wives, and the Devil himself (Danny Elfman). You've never seen anything like it...!

Check your basement. Is there door to the 6th Dimension there? If so, you re going on a wild ride into excess as you join Frenchy and Rene in a land of musical madness, despotic queens and strange frog man-servants.

If you ve tired of Rocky Horror and had enough of Hedwig, it s time discover The Forbidden Zone, a demented tribute to the hot jazz and dark glamour of a lost age, featuring new wave pop music and Cab Calloway-style insanity, filtered through the mind of a maniac!

Features:

  • Reversible sleeve with 3 original poster artworks and newly commissioned artwork cover
  • Double-sided fold-out artwork poster
  • Collector s booklet featuring writing on the film by director Richard Elfman and critic David Hayles illustrated with stills from the private collection of Richard and Danny Elfman
     
  • Brand new High Definition restoration of the Black and White and Colour versions of the film approved by Richard Elfman
  • Optional 5.1 & 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio / LPCM Uncompressed 2.0 Audio
  • Optional English SDH subtitles
     
  • Audio commentary with director Richard Elfman and writer-actor Matthew Bright
  • A Look into Forbidden Zone extensive behind the scenes documentary featuring interviews and archive footage, including scenes from Elfman s lost film The Hercules Family
  • Two complete scenes from The Hercules Family
  • Japan Promo
  • Outtakes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Oingo Boingo Music Video Private Life
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

 

14th May   

Update: Fair Use...

Perfect 10 fails to convince the US court that Google's thumbnail images used in search results infringes copyright
Link Here

google images logo After 8 years the legal battle between Google and adult magazine publisher Perfect 10 has been put to rest. The latter accused the search giant of a variety of copyright infringement breaches which included Google's use of cached images. The case has now been dismissed without the option for further appeal.

In 2004 Google was sued by Perfect 10. The adult publisher demanded a permanent injunction against Google to prevent it from copying and distributing thumbnails of its images, and to stop the search engine from linking to websites where Perfect 10 content was hosted illegally.

Initially Perfect 10 scored a substantial victory as the court agreed with the adult company's position on Google's use of thumbnails. However, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals later reversed this ruling stating that this utilization of thumbnails amounted to fair use.

What followed was a lengthy legal battle in which the adult company targeted Google with a wide range of secondary liability claims. These claims were often supported by the MPAA and RIAA, and opposed by digital rights groups such as the EFF. After nearly 8 years of litigation and two failed requests for a Supreme Court review, the case continued at the District Court where both sides accused each other of breaking the rules. Notable is Perfect 10's quite unconventional last-minute attempt to find more dirt on Google. Earlier this year the company called on the public to provide evidence that Google was aiding or abetting copyright infringements. The publisher went as far as offering a $25,000 bounty, which is still listed on its website.

 

14th May   

Updated: A Watershed for Indian TV...

Indian government reported to have decided to ban all adult and parental guidance films from TV until 11pm
Link Here  full story: TV Censorship in India...India considers the regulation of TV for adults

The Dirty Picture Vidya Balan A popular film called The Dirty Picture was released in India with an A (18) certificate. It was massively cut by the film censors for a UA (PG) rating so that it could be shown on TV in daytime. However it seems that it was cut enough for the moralists and the daytime showing caused a bit of a stink in India.

Now sources from the Information & Broadcasting Ministry say that a decision has been taken to prevent all films with an A (adult) or a UA (parental guidance) certificate to be screened during daytime. A source said:

At a high-level meeting recently in the I & B Ministry it was decided that only films certified for universal exhibition would be screened during daytime on television. Films that are certified A or UA can only be screened post 11 pm.

But the TV and film industry are not happy. An industry explained that producers nowadays sell satellite rights of their films for huge amounts of money. A major part of a film's revenue comes from the television premiere. If the screening-time of films with an A and UA certificate on television is restricted to post 11 pm, satellite revenue would be accordingly reduced since the viewership would be seriously dented.

Many interested parties are now keenly waiting an official statement from the ministry.

Update: Separate TV Censorship

6th May 2012. See  article from  hindustantimes.com

The government is all set to introduce a separate rating system for films being telecast on private TV networks. The decision on the new rating system, which will co-exist with the one for films released in theatres, was taken after a meeting between officials of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and the information and broadcasting ministry.

Sources said CBFC chairperson Leela Samson has given in-principle approval for the idea, and a detailed set of guidelines will be framed soon.

Update: Still Arguing

14th May 2012. See  article from  timesofindia.indiatimes.com

CBFC logo Tense television broadcasters can breathe a sigh of relief. It seems the proposal to not screen Adults films on television may not be implemented at all. According to sources, there was a serious proposal to completely ban Adult films from television and thereby do away with the procedure of re-certification for television.

Television broadcasters went into a panic mode. A hush-hush high-level meeting between CBFC members and television broadcasters was called and the heated discussion lasted till late in the night.

The outcome, however, was in favour of the broadcasters. According to very reliable sources, the proposal to ban A films completely from satellite television has been revoked. Instead some very censorial guidelines regarding the telecast of A films on television are likely to be laid down.

The source said: The procedure of re-censoring 'A' films for television is likely to continue. However even when films are passed with a 'UA' certificate strigent rules would have to be applied. These include prominent scrolls declaring the relevance and full significance of the 'UA' certificate and warnings about cigarette smoking being injurious to health.

The CBFC, it is reliably learnt, would make its recommendations to the I&B ministry that the UA certification for the television broadcast of feature films be allowed to continue. But with several new additional censorship rules.

 

14th May   

Update: Law Like Swiss Cheese...

Switzerland decides not to sign ACTA
Link Here

Switzerland flag According to web site Geneva Lunch, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) quietly suffered another setback in Switzerland where the Swiss Federal Council said it would not sign the agreement.

The Federal Council noted that since negotiations for the treaty concluded criticism of ACTA has continued to grow in a number of countries. The Federal Council went on to say that they are taking fears expressed about ACTA seriously because they concern fundamental liberties and important legal provisions.

Update: Judicial Review

18th May 2012. See  article from  gamepolitics.com

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) will get a judicial review in Europe's highest court, according to the Wall Street Journal. The European Commission has asked the European Court of Justice - the highest court in Europe, to review the treaty and make sure that it is compatible with current European treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

The Court's opinion is vital to respond to the wide-ranging concerns voiced by people across Europe on whether ACTA harms our fundamental rights in any way, said John Clancy, the spokesman for EU trade commissioner Karel de Gucht.

 

13th May   

Fyx Nyxd...

New Zealand ISP stamped upon by control freaks for offering work around to location based internet restrictions
Link Here

fyx logo On the 9th May, webpronews.com wrote:

Living in a country that is not the U.S., Canada or the UK can be a pain sometimes, especially when it comes to accessing online content. Many online services like Netflix geo-lock their Web site to only certain countries. People in, say New Zealand, can access these sites via proxy, but not everybody is tech savvy enough to take advantage of such technologies.

Enter FYX, a new ISP start up in New Zealand that's offering users the chance to access these geo-locked sites through their service as part of their basic service. It's a subsidiary of New Zealand ISP Maxnet, but it's differentiated itself to perhaps keep its parent company out of legal trouble.

The new ISP's focus is on offering a much bigger Internet to New Zealanders -- the type of Internet the rest of the world have had access to for years, said Chief Internet FYX-er Andrew Schick speaking to New Zealand's National Business Review.

NBR points out that Sky TV currently holds the rights to downloadable media like TV, film, etc in the country. It's not only damaging the growth of local services, but it keeps out other services from competing against their monopoly. It's these kind of monopolies that users could get around with FYX.

But by the 11th May from article from voxy.co.nz :

Statement from to Chief FYX-er, Andrew Schick:

New ISP FYX has made a decision to withdraw its popular global mode service from the market for the time being.

FYX sincerely apologises to our customers and the New Zealand internet community for putting a halt to global mode, which will happen tonight at 11.59pm.

While legal opinions have supported FYX's global mode under New Zealand law, there are matters that require further consideration before continuing the service.

 

12th May   

Crawling Along...

New Zealand belatedly bans Human Centipede 2
Link Here

Human Centipede II Sequence Region The New Zealand film censor at the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC). Has banned Tom Six's Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence).

The film was banned as 'objectionable' on 4th April 2012.

The OFLC summarised its reasons for the ban:

The publication is a DVD containing a sequel to a well-known horror film and a number of extra components relating to its development and marketing.

The availability of the publication is likely to he injurious to the public good.

The feature is an unsubtle portrait of a sexually deranged man who tortures a group of largely anonymous victims in extreme, unflinching detail. Despite the occasional flashes of humour and a degree of sub-textural irony, these elements are overwhelmed by the feature's sustained, gratuitous focus on victims' torture, mutilation, forced defecation, rape and murder. These images are linked by a threadbare plot that provides limited narrative justification.

While the feature does not promote or support this material, the likely injury to the public good is one of inuring people more generally to cruel, violent and degrading material through its presentation as entertaining, and of eroding the viewer's ability to empathise with others. This material would disturb and shock most people.

Consideration was given to offering excisions in order to remove the strongest images, however due to the pervasiveness of this material excisions were not deemed practical.

While the classification is an absolute restriction on the freedom of expression as contained in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, it is a restriction consistent with Parliament's intention that publications containing such a high extent and degree of torture, violence, cruelty, sexual violence and strongly degrading, dehumanising and demeaning material can be classified as objectionable to prevent the likelihood of injury to the public good.

 

12th May   

Combat Shock...

Gritty Troma film finally set for a UK DVD release
Link Here

Combat Shock DVD Combat Shock is a 1986 war drama by Buddy Giovinazzo. With Rick Giovinazzo, Veronica Stork and Mitch Maglio. See IMDb

Set for UK release for:

  • UK 2012 Arrow (Theatrical + Director's Cut) R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 6th August 2012

The Director's Cut titled American Nightmare was dropped in favour of another cut used for the Theatrical Version

Promotional material: From jungle hell to urban hate

Nam, a green jungle hell. A terrifying place of death, violence and bloody war where seeing your buddies die in front of you is a daily event and getting your seed corrupted by Agent Orange is an occupational hazard. Poor Ricky came home with a messed up head and scrambled DNA, now he has a mutated baby, a nagging wife and a grim collection of junkie friends to deal with. In the dilapidated tenements of Staten Island, life is harsh and sanity is transitory at best.

Combat Shock is Troma's meanest, grittiest movie. A headfirst trip into the seedy urban trough where hookers, desperate junkies and slowly unravelling Vietnam vets crawl over each other just to survive as the movie jacks up the grime flecked horror on its journey to one of no budget cinema's most shocking conclusions.

You've witnessed the Surf Nazis on the rampage, you've laughed at the kids of the Class of Nuke 'Em High... Now take a trip into Troma's dark heart in COMBAT SHOCK.

Features :

  • Reversible sleeve with original poster and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphries
  • Collector's Booklet by horror expert Anthony Timpone
  • Two disc DVD edition featuring both cuts of the film
  • Feature Presentation of American Nightmares, director Buddy Giovinazzo's Original Cut
  • Feature Presentation of Combat Shock, the Troma theatrical cut of the film
  • Audio Commentary with writer-director Buddy Giovinazzo and Jorg Buttgereit (Nekromantik)
  •  Post-Traumatic: An American Nightmare -- A documentary on the film's impact and influence featuring William Lustig (Maniac Cop), John McNaughton (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer), Scott Spiegel (Evil Dead 2), Richard Stanley (Hardware), Roy Frumkes (Street Trash) and more!
  • Buddy's Early Works: Five short films directed by Giovinazzo and three music videos from the Giovinazzo brothers band
  • Interview with director Buddy Giovinazzo
  • Unscarred: Interview with star Rick Giovinazzo
  • Buddy Giovinazzo and Jorg Buttgereit at the Berlin Film Festival
  • Der Combat: Buddy Giovinazzo and Troma President Lloyd Kaufman at the Tromanale in Berlin
  • Hellscapes: The Locations of the film revisited
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

 

12th May   

Cuts Commissioner Censured...

Movies4Men in trouble for not cutting movie enough for day time TV and then falsely using a BBFC style symbol to claim that it was PG rated
Link Here

Commissioner DVD John Hurt The Commissioner
Movies4Men, 16 February 2012, 14:30

The Commissioner is a political thriller. The BBFC gave the film a 15 rating for its DVD release in 2003.

A complainant alerted Ofcom to the use of the word fucked in this broadcast of the film, and believed this was particularly inappropriate as before the film Movies4Men had stated on air that the film had a PG rating.

Ofcom viewed a recording and noted information shown by Movies4Men before the film. The following announcement was given in audio, This film is rated PG and is suitable for viewers of all ages. However, some scenes may be unsuitable for younger children . As this was read out, a PG symbol in the style of the official PG certification mark of the BBFC was shown on screen.

At around 80 minutes into the film a character says, You fucked up your marriage. . . and you fucked up with Koenig.

Ofcom considered the material raised issues warranting investigation under Rule 1.14 of the Code, which states:

The most offensive language must not be broadcast before the watershed...

The Licensee said that the genre and storyline of The Commissioner was a strong fit for the daytime audience profile of Movies4Men. It said that, through the removal of strong language [it] made a version suitable for a PG audience . It went on to explain that, unfortunately, while around eight and a half minutes of material were removed, the offending sentence was missed due to human error.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.14

Rule 1.14 of the Code states unequivocally that the most offensive language must not be broadcast before the watershed… . The broadcast of the word fucked twice in this programme was therefore a clear breach of Rule 1.14.

The BBFC confirmed to Ofcom that it had rated the original DVD release of this film at 15, and had not rated any edited versions of the film at PG. Ofcom was therefore concerned that the Licensee had used a BBFC-style PG certification symbol on an edited version of the film that had not received official PG certification by the BBFC. While the Licensee may have considered it was suitable to apply a reduced rating to the version it had edited for pre-watershed transmission, Ofcom does not consider that it was appropriate to do so in a way which was likely to have led viewers to believe this version had been officially certified as such by the BBFC, when in fact it had not.

All broadcasters should note that the BBFC symbols are the property of the BBFC and cannot be used unless under licence. Ofcom advises broadcasters not to use BBFC symbols or similar-looking symbols without prior consultation with the BBFC

 

12th May   

Brave in a Kilt...

Pixar film gets an MPAA PG rating for kilt raising humour
Link Here

kilt video Brave from the makers of Toy Story and Finding Nemo is getting a lot of attention in Scotland in the hope of a tourism boost from a hit film.

But American censors have dealt cinema giants Disney and Pixar a box office blow after imposing a PG rating on their eagerly-awaited fantasy set in the Highlands.

Scenes of kilted characters lifting up the traditional Scottish garb are thought to have earned the film the rating, with an MPAA warning: contains rude humour.

In one scene featured in Brave trailers, one character is seen lifting his kilt and loudly declaring: Feast your eyes.

Pixar's teaser, said to promote a new product by Ruff McLauren , states:

What makes a man feel like a man, is it tossing logs, is it fighting bears, or is it freedom -- the freedom a man feels when he is wearing a small plaid skirt?

One film blogger, John Young, said: It's definitely worth a laugh, but for me, the movie's advertising campaign is starting to raise some concerns. I feel like Disney's trailers and ads have emphasised the rude humour aspect.

A spokeswoman for VisitScotland, which is spearheading a £ 7 million campaign to promote Brave, said:

The Scots are very good at laughing at themselves and we think the film captures our sense of humour perfectly. It all looks harmless fun.

 

12th May   

Extract: Don't Even Think About It!...

The Advert Censors ask LOCOG about the restrictions on advertising which references the London Olympics
Link Here

CAP logo The Advert Censors at ASA have asked London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) about the restrictions on adverts referencing the London Olympics.

ASA : What top tips can you give marketers planning ad campaigns around the Olympics on how to avoid breaching LOCOG rules?

LOCOG : Our legal rights are very wide and therefore any Olympic themed campaign is likely to infringe them -- even if it doesn't refer explicitly to the Games. If a business is looking to undertake a marketing campaign which capitalises on the Games we would ask them to consider the ethics of doing so.

To understand the scope of our rights, we would recommend businesses look at the faqs and documents available at www.london2012.com/brandprotection.

ASA : What are the common pitfalls that non-Olympic-partner advertisers run into?

LOCOG : Some businesses think that if they don't use any of our logos or refer explicitly to the Games, this won't infringe our rights. However, the London Olympics Association Right is drafted widely so that any representation which creates an association between a business or brand with the Games (subject to certain defences) infringes the right.

...Read the full article

 

12th May   

Extract: Not What You Would Expect From A European Democracy...

Irish journalists speak out against the country's draconian gagging orders on police officers
Link Here

Ireland Journalists in Ireland have raised concerns about the country's draconian gagging orders on police officers talking to the media, including allegations that the state is monitoring their mobile phone calls to try to reveal sources.

Dublin-based reporters have told MediaGuardian that the Irish police force, Garda Siocha'na, has questioned them about police contacts, threatened them with arrest and has been checking their mobile phone calls to suspected sources.

Ian Mallon, the deputy editor of Dublin's Evening Herald newspaper, said the gardai appeared more interested in who was the source of his stories than in acting against a crime boss who put a EUR20,000 bounty on the head of his colleague Mick McCaffrey. Mallon described the Garda's ongoing pursuit of journalists' sources in the Republic as Stasi-like .

The human rights organisation Index on Censorship said the Irish Republic's 2005 Garda Siochana Act, especially clause 62 of the legislation outlawing most rank and file police contact with the media, was not the behaviour of a European democracy . Under the act, Irish police officers who speak to journalists without authorisation from their superiors can face fines of up to EUR75,000, dismissal from the force or even seven years in prison.

Index on Censorship described the act and the recent upsurge in gardai pursuing journalists over their sources as akin to the kind of behaviour one would expect in an unreconstructed dictatorship .

...Read the full article

 

12th May   

Except in Germany...

Wolfenstein 3D has now been released in a free to play browser version.
Link Here

wolfenstein 3d I was overjoyed to see that Wolfenstein 3D has been released again as a free to play browser version. I was less pleased to find out that as I'm in Germany I am not able to actually play it. It's an interesting reminder that this World Wide Web isn't quite all as worldwide as we might think.

The game that paved the way for Doom was released by iD Software 20 years ago, and Bethesda has written it up in handy cross-platform browser form.

The original Wolfenstein 3D was banned in Germany because of the Natzi-related content. And it is still banned: attempting to use the browser version tells me that I cannot because of the country I'm in. Wolfenstein cannot be even given away in Germany.

 

12th May   

Update: Easy Offence at a Snail's Pace...

Indian politicians get wound up by cartoon drawn in 1949
Link Here

jawaharlal nehru cartoon A row over a cartoon showing Dalit icon BR Ambedkar in a school textbook has disrupted India's parliament.

Opposition MPs said the cartoon was disrespectful to Ambedkar and forced several adjournments of both houses of parliament on Friday. Education Minister Kapil Sibal later said the cartoon would be removed.

It shows former PM Jawaharlal Nehru holding a whip while standing behind Ambedkar, who sits on a snail, to speed up work on drafting the constitution. The cartoon, by iconic Indian illustrator Shankar Pillai, first appeared in his magazine, Shankar's Weekly, in 1949.

BR Ambedkar, a contemporary of Mahatma Gandhi, authored and shaped the constitution for independent India.

Dalit politician and member of the Rajya Sabha [upper house] Mayawati told reporters:

This is an insult on Indian democracy. The government should intervene and take strong action against those who are involved in this.

If it fails to do so, we will wait for two to three days or else our party will not allow the House to run, she said.

 

12th May   

Update: Prisoners of Conscience...

Pussy Riot protestors persecuted by Russian authorities via continued imprisonment awaiting trial
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Russia...Offending religious beliefs or desecration of holy objects or symbols

Russia flag A judge in Moscow City Court has backed the extended detention of three members of the female punk group Pussy Riot, who are facing charges of committing hooliganism inside Russia's most undeservedly revered Orthodox church.

The judge rejected an appeal by defense lawyers challenging a lower court's decision to jail the trio until at least June 24 as authorities pursue the legal case against them.

The three were arrested February 21 after staging a performance against Vladimir Putin's 12-year rule in Russia inside Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral.

The human rights group Amnesty International has described the three young women as prisoners of conscience who have been unjustly jailed.

 

12th May   

Update: Running Scared of Prudes...

German news magazine censors cover in fear of censorial Apple banning its app
Link Here  full story: iPhone iCensor...Apple is censorial about apps for iPhone

focus magazine The German news magazine Focus has announced that it has altered the digital version of its current issue, screening the bared breasts of the female front cover model to avoid a possible run-in with Apple.

The action followed pressure from digital distributor Zinio, an iPad app, to adhere to Apple's censorial requirements regarding nudity. Apple had not actually made any complaints.

Zinio threatened to withhold the issue from the Internet, a Focus spokesman said. He said that censorship stemming from prudery did not comport with the magazine's concept of freedom of the press.

The cover story offered 22 tips on skin care, and the topless model displayed more skin than Zinio was comfortable with. However there is still an uncensored photograph of the model on page three.

 

12th May

 Offsite Article: PG-13...

Link Here  full story: PG13ification...Hollywood cramming R rated movies into PG-13
Now the most 'appropriate' rating for box office success. Last year, R-rated films constituted only 21% of the overall US box office, the lowest percentage in more than 30 years

See article from heraldextra.com

 

12th May   

Update: Creating a Legal Bag of Worms...

Judges patch Dutch law in an attempt to ban work rounds to the blocking of The Pirate Bay
Link Here  full story: Pirate Bay...Pirate Bay, Swedish file sharing site

Netherlands The Court of The Hague has handed down another ruling that restricts access to The Pirate Bay website. The Court has forbidden the Dutch Pirate Party from linking to, operating or listing websites that allow the public to circumvent a local Pirate Bay blockade. The political party is further ordered to shutdown its reverse proxy indefinitely and block Pirate Bay domains and IP-addresses from its generic proxy.

After two Dutch ISPs were ordered to censor The Pirate Bay earlier this year there was an influx of visitors to Pirate Bay proxy sites. In an attempt to take these proxies offline the Hollywood funded anti-piracy group BREIN obtained an injunction against one of the sites and used this to convince others to shut down as well.

The list of secondary targets included the local Pirate Party, who initially refused to give in to the demands but were later ordered to take their reverse proxy offline by the court. The Pirate Party claimed that the case against them amounted to a restriction of their freedom of speech, and sued BREIN over the order.

The Court of The Hague then delivered its verdict, which confirms most of the earlier injunction. The Pirate Party is now forbidden from encouraging the public to circumvent the Pirate Bay blockade and from listing or hosting tools that can enable others to do so. Should the Pirate Party fail to comply with the Court's ruling it faces fines of EUR5,000 per day to a maximum penalty of EUR250,000.

Pirate Party chairman Dirk Poot told TorrentFreak:

For many who where hoping for the law to come to the rescue of basic civil liberties, today must be a rough awakening. This ridiculously broad verdict allows BREIN to take down any site that is posting information that displeases their censors.

A first in Dutch law is that a judge has now also ordered a generic proxy to filter internet traffic as well. BREIN has created jurisprudence that will now allow them to come after any open proxy they have set their sights on.

 

11th May   

Spectatorial Prejudice...

Spectator magazine to be prosecuted over article about the Stephen Lawrence defendants during the trial
Link Here

spectator logo A magazine is being prosecuted for potentially putting the Stephen Lawrence trial in danger of collapse.

The Spectator is accused of breaching a court order preventing prejudicial material being published before jurors reached verdicts.

An article written by Rod Liddle called defendants Gary Dobson and David Norris disgusting racists during the Old Bailey trial. Liddle wrote that Dobson and Norris were part of a bigger group of suspects who had been named in the press, including Jamie Acourt and Luke Knight. He also said that Norris had a father who was a major criminal.

Mr Justice Treacy said the Spectator article titled A Vindictive Charade breached three specific sections of the contempt order placed on the case by the Lord Chief Justice in the appeal court, and continued at the trial. He referred the magazine to the Attorney General for contempt of court in November.

The Spectator took down the article from its website that afternoon.

The Spectator said it would admit the offence and faces a fine of up to £ 5,000. Had it faced the alternative of contempt of court charges any penalty could have been far greater.

 

11th May   

Updated: Too Slim, Too Young, Too Tanned, Too Beautiful, Too Gullible...

HM tanned model causes inevitable 'outrage'
Link Here

hm tanned model advert Swedish fashion store H&M has apologised over a swimwear campaign featuring a deeply tanned model that sparked 'outrage' among cancer groups.

The company said in an email sent to AFP:

We are sorry if we have upset anyone with our latest swimwear campaign. It was not our intention to show off a specific ideal or to encourage dangerous behaviour, but was instead to show off our latest summer collection.

H&M's apology came after the Swedish Cancer Society and others criticised advertisements featuring Brazilian model Isabeli Fontana wearing brightly-coloured swimwear accentuated by a dark-brown tan. The campaigners said:

The clothing giant is creating, not least among young people, a beauty ideal that is deadly.

Every year, more people die in Sweden of (skin cancer) than in traffic accidents, and the main cause is too much sunning.

Regardless of how the H&M model got her tan, through sunning or a computer programme, the effect is the same: H&M tells us we should be very tan on the beach.

It is sad to write this, but H&M will through its latest advertising campaign not only sell more bathing suits but also contribute to more people dying from skin cancer.

Update: Brown with Envy

22nd September 2012. See article from thelocal.se

The Swedish Advertising Ombudsman (Reklamombudsmannen RO) received seven complaints against the campaign, saying that it was sexist and discriminatory, that the model was too thin and that she was sporting an unhealthy tan.

The advert censor ultimately ruled that the campaign was neither sexist nor did it promote an unhealthy and skinny ideal body image.

However, the body did rap H&M for using a model that was too tanned.

It is widely known that an exaggerated exposure of the skin to radiation to the sun is bad and can lead to skin cancer. The advertisement shows an ideal through the model's extremely tanned skin, which would be harmful to try to achieve, the censor wrote in a statement.

 

11th May   

Update: Speaking The Wright Language...

Ofcom considering complaints about the use of the word 'retard' on the Wright Stuff
Link Here  full story: The Wright Stuff...Matthew Wright's TV show is the traget of many a whinge

The Wright Stuff logo Matthew Wright's Channel 5 show The Wright Stuff is being investigated by TV censor Ofcom over a survey that used the words mong , spaz and retard .

Viewers were asked which of the three words was the most offensive term to describe someone with learning difficulties , according to a BBC poll.

The daytime show was debating Rupert Murdoch's use of the word retarded with reference to David Cameron's son.

The 26 April edition of The Wright Stuff received about 10 complaints and Ofcom is considering whether the programme breached broadcasting rules relating to harm and offence.

 

11th May   

Fined the Crown Jewels...

Kuwaiti TV channel suffers enormous fine for supposed insult of the monarchy
Link Here

Scope TV Reporters Without borders is shocked at the imposition by a Kuwaiti court of a fine of 500,000 dinars (approximately 1,360,000 euros) on the television station Scope TV for insulting a member of the royal family.

Under the guise of protecting national unity, this exorbitant and disproportionate fine is aimed at muzzling Scope TV and all media organizations that are critical of the monarchy, the press freedom organization said. It demanded that the penalty be rescinded.

The station was ordered to pay the sum to the former information minister Sheikh Faisal Al-Malek Al-Sabah, a member of the ruling family. The court ruled that the station's director, Tallal Al-Said, a former member of parliament, had broadcast a programme last October that it deemed offensive to the royal family.

 

10th May   

Music to be Muffled with Red Tape...

Government proposes that music, sport and religious videos should be expensively vetted by the BBFC if it is felt that they would be rated 12 or higher
Link Here

DCMS logo As announced in the Queen's Speech, the Department for Culture, Media, Sport and Censorship is seeking views about the exemptions in the Video Recordings Act and about how advertisements shown in cinemas are censored.

Consultation Open date: 09 May 2012
Closing date: 01 August 2012

Please send your comments or if you have any queries about this consultation to:

AdsExempt@culture.gsi.gov.uk

or by post:

Advertising and Exemption Consultation Department for Culture,
Media and Sport
2-4 Cockspur Street
London SW1Y 5DH

Cinema Advertising Censorship

The government is asking whether the BBFC really needs to get involved in the censorship of cinema adverts. At the moment it is mandatory that the BBFC rate such advertising, but the Government is asking if the more general system of advert censorship provided by CAP and ASA is sufficient.

Option 0: No change

Under this option cinema advertisements would continue to be referred to the BBFC for age rating whilst also being subject to mandatory self-regulation overseen by the ASA.

This regime has been in place for a number of years and it could be considered that it should remain on the grounds that it appears to work effectively to ensure that children are not exposed to inappropriate content via cinema advertisements and consumers' rights are properly observed. Some may feel also that the statutory backing is an essential element of the regime.

However, as set out earlier in the preceding paragraphs, others may consider that the age rating role provided by the BBFC in relation to cinema advertisements is already adequately covered by the self-regulatory approach of the industry and that it therefore represents an unnecessary burden on business.

Option 1: Remove the requirement for BBFC classification of cinema advertisements

This option would potentially remove the financial and administrative burdens on the cinema advertising industry of having to submit each advert to the BBFC for an age rating. Arguably, this would also make matters simpler for industry, reducing the additional time constraints resulting from both BBFC and CAA clearance.

The BBFC has indicated that the current average classification cost is around £111 per ad classified. There is an additional administrative burden for industry attached to this process in supplying the BBFC with hard copies of the adverts requiring classification. The impact on the BBFC of removing the classification requirement would simply relate to their resourcing of this function.

However, could removing the requirement to age rate adverts shown in cinemas by the BBFC result in a reduction in consumer and child protection? The industry bodies and the CAA believe the existing advertising clearance system as set out in paragraphs 4.6 to 4.23, underpinned by the ASA's non-broadcast advertising code (CAP Code), is robust enough to ensure there are no regulatory gaps, particularly in relation to child protection, and that suitable consumer safeguards will be maintained.

This option would also not place additional enforcement burdens on local authorities

On music censorship the government is nominally considering 4 options:

option 0: Leave the existing exemptions in place and untouched, on the basis that either the present arrangements do not give rise to concerns to an extent that would justify legislative change, or that removing exemptions would place unnecessary or disproportionate burdens on industry for limited benefit.

option 1: Remove the exemptions from age rating for music, sports, religious and educational video works. This requires primary legislation to achieve. Removing the exemption would mean that producers would have to submit all film material to the BBFC for classification before making them available for sale in the UK regardless of genre.

option 2: Lower the existing content thresholds for exemption so that more products are brought within scope of the age rating requirement (as we have done recently for video games). This can be achieved by secondary legislation.

option 3: Ask other parts of the video industry to introduce a self-regulatory parental advisory system for the currently exempt genres, similar to the BPI's PAS labelling scheme for the music-themed products.

Option 2 is noted as the Government's preference

 

10th May   

Update: UK Government 2010-1984...

The Queen's Speech heralds a snooping law that the KGB would be proud of
Link Here  full story: Censorship by Libel...British libel law allows the rich to censor the truth
Big Brothers Clegg and Cameron My Government intends to bring forward measures to maintain the ability of the law enforcement and intelligence agencies to access vital communications data under strict safeguards to protect the public, subject to scrutiny of draft clauses.

So there we have it -- the Communication Capabilities Development Programme will have it's day in Parliament. We don't know what the draft clauses will be or when we will see them, but the Government remains intent on pursuing legislation in the coming session of Parliament.

The Home Office have been very good at saying what the problem is, but seem intent on keeping the technical details of what they are proposing secret. Is it any wonder that the public are scared by a proposal for online surveillance not seen in any other Western democracy.

Update: Promises Promises

From openrightsgroup.org

Open Rights Group logo The Snoopers' Charter : the Communications Data Bill is about to be published by the government.

When the coalition was elected, they promised that:

We will end the storage of internet and email records without good reason (1)

Nick Clegg added:

We won't hold your internet and email records when there is just no reason to do so. (2)

Now, the government is saying that companies like Facebook and Google must keep your email and messaging records for 12 months, whether or not you are under suspicion: and that the records (not the content) must be handed over on the say-so of a police officer.

The government are asking for powers to intercept and collect information about who you talk to online by snooping on your Internet traffic, in case companies based outside the UK don't agree to hand over your information.

That makes us all a suspect. Instead of being under surveillance when there is evidence of wrongdoing, you will be under suspicion by default.

 

10th May   

Update: Hoping for Free Speech in the UK...

The Queen's Speech heralds a law to protect freedom of speech and reform the law of defamation
Link Here  full story: Censorship by Libel...British libel law allows the rich to censor the truth
libel reform campaign logo As announced in the Queen's Speech, the Government will introduce a law to protect freedom of speech and reform the law of defamation .

The libel reform campaign, nearly 100 organisations and 60,000 supporters including leading names from science, the arts and public life have been calling for legislation to reform the libel laws since December 2009. Congratulations to all on this momentous stage.

Now we need to see the details of the Bill and will work to ensure the reforms will do away with unwarranted chilling, bullying effects of the current laws.

Over the coming months, the Libel Reform Campaign will continue to fight for:

  • a public interest defence so people can defend themselves unless the claimant can show they have been malicious or reckless.
  • a strong test of harm that strikes out claims unless the claimant can demonstrate serious and substantial harm and they have a real prospect of vindication.
  • a restriction on corporations' ability to use the libel laws to silence criticism.
  • provisions for online hosts and intermediaries, who are not authors nor traditional publishers.

...Read comments from supporters

Update: Details of Defamation Bill

20th May 2012. See  article from  publicaffairs.linx.net

The Bill contains a number of measures of interest to ISPs, including a single publication rule and new defences for hosting providers and operators of websites with user-generated content.

The single publication rule

Currently, a claim for defamation can be brought up to one year after publication. This limitation is measured from the last time the allegedly defamatory article was published. However, viewing an article online essentially involves the host transmitting a copy of that article over the Internet, which counts in legal terms as republishing the article. This means that there is, in effect, no time limit for making a defamation claim against the publisher of an online article, since the law considers the article to be republished every time it is viewed.

The Defamation Bill solves this problem by introducing a single publication rule. If the Bill becomes law, the limitation period will be measured from the first time an article is published, rather than the last, as long as the manner of a subsequent publication is not materially different from the manner of the first publication . This should go some way towards placing online content on an equal footing with offline content.

New defences for website operators

Under current defamation law, website operators and hosting providers risk being found liable for defamation if they refuse to take down content that a court later finds to be defamatory. A blogger could, for example, be held liable for failing to remove a defamatory comment posted by one of her readers, while the ISP that hosts the blog could in turn be liable for failing to remove defamatory statements posted by the blogger.

The new Defamation Bill provides a weak looking defence in cases where the defamatory contents was posted by someone other than the website operator or host:

5 Operators of websites

It is a defence for the operator to show that it was not the operator who posted the statement on the website. The defence is defeated if the claimant shows that---

  • it was not possible for the claimant to identify the person who posted the statement, the claimant gave the operator a notice of complaint in relation to the statement, and the operator failed to respond to the notice of complaint in accordance with any provision contained in regulations.

This seems hardly worth having as websites are generally are not in a position to meaningfully identify posters, and so the defence simply will not apply in the vast majority of cases.

 

10th May   

The Nurses Collection...

Another US DVD in Shout! Factory's series of Roger Corman's Cult Classics
Link Here

Nurses Collection Region Import NTSC US: The Nurses Collection is uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

The Nurses Collection contains:

  • Candy Stripe Nurses (1974) by Alan Holleb. See IMDb
  • Night Call Nurses (1972) by Jonathan Kaplan. See IMDb
  • Private Duty Nurses (1971) by George Armitage. See IMDb
  • The Young Nurses (1973) by Clint Kimbrough. See IMDb

Only Candy Stripe Nurses has been release in the UK and there were no BBFC hassles for an 18/X certificate.

Promotional Material:

Marisa, Dianne and Sandy are three sexy teenagers who work as candy stripers at a local hospital. Marisa has been assigned her duties as a disciplinary action following a fight at school; Diane considers her work a first step toward becoming a doctor; and Sandy works at the hospital only to be near her intern boyfriend. You'll fall in love with Candy Stripe Nurses as they get into all sorts of mischief with the doctors, patients and each other!

Join three luscious nurses specializing in psychiatric therapy as they bend over backward to help the desperate, deviant and deranged. Deeply involved with their work, these dedicated women give intensive care to their aching patients! They do it gladly in the spirit of charity and in the name of love! If you feel out of sorts, the Night Call Nurses know just what to do . . . you'll be off your feet in no time!

They're gorgeous . . . and oh, so helpful. They're the Private Duty Nurses , calling on patients in need (medically and otherwise)! Get ready for Spring, Lynn and Lola, who are enrolled in an experimental pilot program at a major hospital where they must confront underground drug traffickers, racism and even murder.

Kitty, Michelle and Joanne are lively young nurses who work at a large hospital and give the sexiest treatment you've ever seen in The Young Nurses . This is the story of the loves and lives of these beauties who must struggle to establish themselves as professionals in medicine at a hospital where sex, drugs and violence are rampant.

 

10th May   

Updated: The Pirate Bay...

Recommended by media industry copyright activists
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking File Sharing in UK...High court dictates website block

Pirate Bay logo Last week the UK High Court ruled that several of the country's leading ISPs must block subscriber access to The Pirate Bay. The decision is designed to limit traffic to the world's leading BitTorrent site but in the short-term it had the opposite effect. Over the last few days The Pirate Bay has had 12 million more visitors daily than it has ever had before.

A site insider told TorrentFreak that this provided a golden opportunity to educate users on how to circumvent blocks: We should write a thank you letter to the BPI.  It's not possible to buy advertising articles from leading UK publications such as the BBC, Guardian and Telegraph, but The Pirate Bay news was spread across all of them and dozens beside, for free. The news was repeated around the UK, across Europe and around the world reaching millions of people. The results for the site were dramatic.

Another thing that's good with the traffic surge is that we now have time to teach even more people how to circumvent Internet censorship, the insider added.

Last Friday the UK High Court ruled that several of country's leading ISPs must censor The Pirate Bay website having ruled in February that the site and its users breach copyright on a grand scale. The blocks, to be implemented by Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media (BT are still considering their position), are designed to cut off all but the most determined file-sharers from the world's most popular torrent site.

In fact Virgin Media were the first off the blocks and have already started to block the site.

I don't suppose the security services will be very pleased that so many internet users are encouraged to use VPNs and proxies etc. They will now be looking for needles in much larger haystacks with some of the barn lights going dark.

Update: Seeing Orange

10th May 2012. Thanks to James

pirate bay at orange As of 9th May, The Pirate Bay has been vetoed by Orange.

Here is a screenshot of what Pirate Bay visitors get to see via Orange.

Absolutely disgusted, a total violation of internet freedom and what it is meant for.

 

10th May

 Offsite Article: An Ailing Government...

Link Here
Government claims that releasing information about NHS policy is apparently a matter of national security and must be censored. Suggested by phantom

See article from pharmafield.co.uk

 

9th May   

Pandering to the Sexualisationists...

The Queen is set to outline more censorship of music videos and computer games and the introduction of extensive internet snooping
Link Here

Houses of Parliament A new Children and Families Bill will be one of the major pieces of legislation for the next year to be announced in the Queen's Speech at the state opening of Parliament.

Measures in the Bill will include:

  • Tighter controls on music videos and computer games to stop unsuitable material being seen by children as part of new laws to enact recommendations from an official review of child sexualisation.

The Home Office will also unveil legislation to extend police and intelligence agency surveillance to forms of internet-based communication.

 

9th May   

The Innkeepers...

UK DVD/Blu-ray release of old style ghost story by Ti West
Link Here

The Innkeepers DVD Sara Paxton The Innkeepers is a 2011 US horror thriller by Ti West. With Sara Paxton, Pat Healy and Kelly McGillis. See IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Metrodome RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 25th June 2012
  • UK 2012 Metrodome R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 25th June 2012

There are now censorship issues with this release.

Promotional Material:

One of the best, smartest and scariest indie horror films that I've seen in a long time - Eli Roth

After over one hundred years of service, The Yankee Pedlar Inn is shutting its doors for good. The last remaining employees - Claire (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy)- are determined to uncover proof of what many believe to be one of New England's most haunted hotels. As the Inn's final days draw near, odd guests check in as the pair of minimum wage ghost hunters begin to experience strange and alarming events that may ultimately cause them to be mere footnotes in the hotel's long unexplained history.

 

9th May   

Condoning Murder...

DM Digital censured by Ofcom for inciting violence and is to be considered for sanction
Link Here

dm-digital logo Rehmatul Lil Alameen
DM Digital, 9 October 2011, 18:30

DM Digital is a television channel primarily aimed at an Asian audience in the UK, which features broadcasts in a number of languages including English, Punjabi, Urdu, Sindhi, Kashmiri and Hindi. The service is also received in the Middle East and parts of Asia. The licence for this channel is held by DM Digital Television Limited.

The programme above, which was in Urdu and was approximately one hour in duration, featured a presenter who introduced an Islamic Pir (a religious scholar) who delivered a live televised lecture about points of Islamic theology with reference to the shooting dead in early 2011 of the Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer by his bodyguard Malik Mumtaz Qadri. Salmaan Taseer had been a vocal critic of Pakistan's blasphemy law.

 This law punishes derogatory remarks against notable figures in Islam and carries a potential death sentence for anyone who insults or is judged to blaspheme against the Prophet Mohammed. At certain points the presenter of the programme made comments or asked the religious scholar for clarification.

A viewer alerted Ofcom to statements made during the programme that it was acceptable to murder any person thought to have shown disrespect to the Prophet Mohammed, and that the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community was an acceptable target for murder. The Ahmadiyya religion is a comparatively small Islamic movement founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiyani that grew out of mainstream Islam in the nineteenth century, whose followers believe themselves to be true Muslims.

Ofcom noted in particular the following remarks from the Islamic scholar's lecture:

Under the guidance from Islamic texts it is evident that if a Muslim apostatises, then it is not right to wait for the authorised courts; anyone may kill him . An apostate deserves to be killed and any man may kill him. For this, you do not need to contact the authorised courts. Because the prophet did not question Omar's act.

...if someone denies the existence of God, you may have a defensive war with them but if someone insults the Prophet, you should not be defensive but you should aggressively attack them. You should go to their homes and fight them there .

The man who has killed [Salmaan Taseer] has done an act of great love and proved his loyalty. It was his duty to do so. Some people say that he was supposed to guard [Salmaan Taseer] but a man's first duty is to protect his father and Abu Ubaydah killed his own father because the latter denied the apostolate of Prophet Mohammed….When Abu Ubaydah killed his father, Allah praised him because he had killed in the love of the Prophet Muhammed. Such an act does not fall into the category of terrorism .

I hail those who made this law [i.e. Pakistan's blasphemy law] which states that one who insults the Prophet deserves to be killed – such a person should be eliminated .

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rules, in particular Rule 3.1

We are also aware of various and very serious threats and attacks made in Western countries in recent years against individuals or entities perceived as insulting or making pejorative remarks about the Prophet Mohammed . The possibility of remarks like those of the Islamic scholar in this case encouraging crime or disorder is therefore in Ofcom's opinion likely.

Ofcom concluded that the statements quoted above when assessed in context did amount to direct calls to action and were likely to incite or encourage crime or to lead to disorder. It is clear from the statements above that the scholar went beyond merely stating what the blasphemy law of Pakistan was. He did not issue any direct death threats, but he commented on and praised the law in such a way that, in Ofcom's view, his comments were likely to encourage crime or disorder against those perceived to insult or make pejorative remarks about leading Islamic figures and the Prophet Mohammed in particular, and against apostates. In Ofcom's opinion this result was likely whether the remarks were seen by Muslim viewers of Pakistani origin who were already aware of Pakistan's blasphemy law or not.

Ofcom considered this a breach of Rule 3.1:

Material likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder must not be included in television and radio services

The breach of Rule 3.1 in this case is regarded by Ofcom as a serious breach of the Code. This is because Ofcom views any incident where a licensee has allowed content to be broadcast that is likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder as a significant contravention of the Code. In this Broadcast Bulletin, Ofcom has also recorded serious breaches of the Code against DM Digital, which Ofcom is also considering for the imposition of a statutory sanction .

Ofcom therefore puts the Licensee on notice that we will consider this breach for the imposition of a statutory sanction.

POAF Conference
DM Digital, 25 November 2011, 19:00 and 4 December 2011, 21:00

Ofcom also found another programme from DM Digital similarly in breach of their rules and is also to be considered for sanction.

 

9th May   

Update: A Mere Pimple...

Ofcom dismiss complaints about a Jeremy Clarkson quip about the Elephant Man
Link Here  full story: Top Gear and the Grand Tour...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers
The Elephant Man Special Edition Ofcom has cleared Jeremy Clarkson's comparison of a Japanese car to the Elephant Man of breaching the broadcasting code. Ofcom had received about 40 complaints that it was offensive to people suffering from facial disfigurement.

Clarkson compared a Japanese car/camper van hybrid to people with growths on their faces in an edition of BBC2's Top Gear in February.

The controversial presenter deployed gestures as if he had a disability and slurred his speech in a way that seemed to mimic Joseph Merrick, the so-called Elephant Man, saying that the car looked like something you would not talk to at a party. Co-presenter Richard Hammond called it the elephant car.

An Ofcom spokesman said:

Ofcom recognises that the comments were potentially offensive to individuals living with facial disfigurement. However, on balance we believe that they would not have exceeded the likely expectation of the audience, and any potential offence was justified by the context. We have informed the BBC of the issues raised by the complainants so they can be taken into consideration for future programmes.

 

9th May   

Mixed Messages...

Advert censor dismisses whinge about reference to woman looking good
Link Here

nottingham readymix advert An ad, on the back of a local bus seen in January and February 2012, for a company supplying concrete, featured a picture of a woman wearing a short, low-cut black dress lying on her front. Behind the woman was an image of a cement mixer and a man laying cement using a pump. Text stated Why barrow it ... pump it! ... YOU THINK SHE LOOKS GOOD...CHECK OUR NEW CONCRETE PUMP!!

A complainant challenged whether the ad was unsuitable for children to see.

Ratcliffe Fernley Media Ltd (RFM), Nottingham Ready Mix's agency, responded on their behalf. They said that the ad was not targeted at children and that they did not feel that children would make the connection between the text and the image of the woman. They explained that barrow and pump were technical terms used by builders with regards to concreting areas and they believed they would mean little, if anything, to children.

RFM said that the female model used in the ad was fully clothed and was not in an overtly sexual pose, nor could her cleavage be seen. They believed it was unlikely that a child would think there was anything untoward about the ad. They did not believe it was unsuitable for children to see.

ASA Assessment: Not Upheld

The ASA noted that the woman was wearing a low-cut short black dress and that her position meant that she was not showing any cleavage. We considered that she was unlikely to be seen as indecently dressed. We did not consider her pose was provocative or sexually suggestive. We considered that children were unlikely to understand the connection which might be inferred between the text in the ad and the image of the woman. For those reasons, we concluded that the ad was suitable for outdoor display and was unlikely to be seen as socially irresponsible.

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

 

8th May   

Obituary: James Isaacs...

Director of Jason X dies aged 51
Link Here

Jason X DVD Kane Hodder Some sad news as director James Isaac has passed away at age 51.

Isaac was heavily influenced by David Cronenberg (note Cronenberg's appearance in Jason X) and also did special effects work for eXistenz.

James Isaac directed his first film, The Horror Show , in the late 1980s. He then concentrated on being a visual and special effects supervisor and did not direct another film until 2001. This film was the 10th installment in the Friday The 13th franchise, entitled Jason X which was a small box-office success but panned by critics. He later created two more films in the 2000s: Skinwalkers and Pig Hunt.

 

8th May   

Ganja and Hess...

Notable blaxploitation horror released on US DVD and Blu-ray
Link Here

Ganja Hess Classics Remastered Edition Ganja & Hess is a 1973 US horror by Bill Gunn. With Marlene Clark, Duane Jones and Bill Gunn. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA R Rated for:

Promotional Material: Cursed with a thirst for human blood

Dr. Hess Green, a wealthy and respected African-American anthropologist, is assigned a new assistant, an intelligent but unstable man named George Meda (Bill Gunn). One drunken night, George stabs Hess with a dagger from the ancient African tribe of Myrthia and then kills himself.

The Myrthians were cursed with a thirst for human blood, and, by the time George's wife, Ganja (Marlene Clark), comes looking for him, Hess has developed a similar addiction to blood. Hess and Ganja fall in love, and they soon marry, but Hess infects his new bride with the Myrthian curse, which gives them eternal life, but at a terrible price.

Features:

  • Brand new high definition transfer and restoration.
  • Audio commentry by the filmmakers;
  • Restored footage;
  • Featurette The Blood of the Thing on the history of the production,
  • photo gallery,
  • Original screenplay by Bill Gunn (ROM Access);
  • Article on the film by Tim Lucas and David Walker (ROM Access).

Summary Review: Masterful

The story is masterful, the acting nuanced and subtle, the over-arching story intriguing and the twist unexpected enough to leave your jaw hanging open as you understand what you just watched.

 

8th May   

The Canterbury Tales...

Old cuts detailed and a new Dual Format release of Pasolini's classic
Link Here

The Canterbury Tales DVD Blu ray The Canterbury Tales is a 1972 Italy/France comedy drama by Pier Paolo Pasolini. With Hugh Griffith, Laura Betti and Ninetto Davoli. See IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut for frequent moderate sex and sex references with previous BBFC cuts waived for:

  • UK 2011 BFI RB Blu-ray/R2 DVD at UK Amazon recently released on 5th December 2011
  • UK 2009 BFI Online
  • UK 2009 BFI RB Blu-ray
  • UK 2009 BFI R2 DVD
  • UK 2001 BFI R2 DVD

Promotional Material:

The second part of Pasolini's Trilogy of Life plunges with gusto into dark and bawdy tales which celebrate almost every conceivable form of sexual act with a rich, earthy humour. Pasolini himself has a cameo appearance in this playful film, presented here in a new High-Definition restoration.

  • Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition

  • Alternative English-language version presented with English version inserts

  • Original Italian trailer

  • Exclusive new documentary exploring Pasolini's significance on the Italian genre film

  • Fully illustrated booklet including essays, reviews and biography

Previously Cut:

UK: Passed X (18) after BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1972 cinema release

From IMDb. The BBFC cuts were:

  • edits to anal sex shots,
  • a man being whipped,
  • Rufus urinating on the crowd during the Pardoner's Tale'

 

8th May

 Offsite Article: Porn Panic!...

Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn
Fear over online pornography is leading anti-porn campaigners into irrational, knee-jerk responses. Are we hurtling toward a future where the only thing left to masturbate to is the Daily Mail?

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

8th May   

Don't Blame the Censors, They Just Write the Reports...

Kuwaiti book censor explains the system
Link Here

kuwait ministry of information logo Dalal Al-Mutairi, head of the Foreign Books Department at Kuwait's Ministry of Misinformation explained to the Kuwait Times abut book censorship in the repressive state:

Censorship laws set the basic rules to deal with right and wrong acts announced or published in the media. This is also related to books, electronic publications and games and many other things.

There are certain red lines that should not be crossed by the publishers, writers, authors and others. In order to check the application of the laws and that it's not violated, there are inspectors and censors working at the Ministry of Information, she added.

As a censor, I read a book from beginning to the end, word by word. In case the censor makes a mistake, the head of the department will be responsible for this mistake, as they should also read the book. The time to finish censoring a book depends on the kind of the book. For instance, a philosophical book needs about four days to read, Dalal added.

This department was set up in the year 2000. Before we were working in the censorship department that included newspapers, magazines, books and any other printed material. It was then separated into a foreign books section and an Arabic books section. The censor in the foreign department is responsible for many different languages.

We have a list of banned books in Kuwait and we deal with publications containing forbidden material that are not on this list, and which we have to censor. The author or the distributor of this censored publication can appeal the decision issued by the censorship department at the ministry, and then another committee will review the publication to give its decision. Usually we are not very strict with foreign books, she admitted.

According to the law, if there is a violation, the censor writes a report about it. Nobody can distribute any book unless he has a license to do so. The distributor should bring a copy of the book to our department. Sometimes we receive complaints from people regarding some books. Then we investigate with the printing press that published and printed this book. The printing house is responsible for the material and books printed by it and they should inform the Ministry of Information that they are printing a book, and then the book is not distributed without a license. There are some censors and inspectors from our department who inspect different printing presses to check their license, Dalal stated.

The greatest load on the department is during the Book Fair. We start censoring the books in this fair about three months before it is held. We receive about 7,000 to 8,000 books to read. There are about 15 censors working on this fair. These censors take the books home with them to finish their reading. If we find a book containing restrictions, we write a report that is passed to a committee which decides that certain books will be banned from the fair, she highlighted.

The media or press sometimes exaggerates in describing the situation or news. Always during each Book Fair, the media writes about banning hundreds of books from being sold. And they blame us for this. The committee that decides the ban consists of members in high positions from outside and inside the Ministry of Endowments and the Ministry of Information. The censor is not responsible for the ban. He only reads and gives his opinion according to the law, she added.

It takes about a year or a year and a half to become a censor, as the person is first employed as a censor assistant. The employee first starts slow in reading and it takes him a week or days to finish a book. Also, beginners are not given political or religious books in the beginning as these are difficult. Instead we give them children's books or some scientific books, which are easy, said Dalal. In some religious books, the censorship department cooperates with the Ministry of Endowments. Religious opinions may differ and that's why we demand a professional explanation, although we have some censors who are graduates of the Faculty of Islamic Law. Some religious issues are transferred to the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs. The banned books include publications printed in Israel, Christian missionary and Jewish books and other similar books, she noted.

The censors have to pass some courses and practicals to be eligible to do this job. After graduating and appointment to this job, the new censor receives practical training at the Ministry of Information. For instance, he or she is given a book containing violations to be censored and we see how good they are. Within a year or so, they will be completely trained. Also the employee receives a course about the laws related to censorship. Usually the employees are graduates from the college of political science, history and similar fields, she concluded.

 

8th May   

A Talent for Whingeing...

Parents TV Council whinge about Judge Howard Stern on America's Got Talent
Link Here

PTC logo The following is an excerpt from letters sent by Parents Television Council President Tim Winter to 91 corporations that have sponsored prior episodes of America's Got Talent on NBC:

As a former sponsor of NBC's America's Got Talent, the Parents Television Council urgently brings to your attention the return of this program, but with the addition of shock-jock Howard Stern as a judge. The season premiere is scheduled to air on Monday, May 14th.

Programs like AGT have offered millions of American families a brief respite from the otherwise-ubiquitous stream of violent, profane and sexually-explicit content on primetime broadcast television. Talent/performance competitions like American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, The Voice and AGT are among the highest-rated programs on the air. A key reason is that these programs have been relatively safe for family viewing. NBC's decision to add Mr. Stern to AGT will likely result in a sharp increase in explicit content, and we urge you to be mindful when considering a media buy.

Stern's reputation for sleaze and misogyny is well known; and to our knowledge his only previous judging experience consisted of looking at insecure, naked young women and telling them whether or not they were hot enough to pose for Playboy. He once told a female guest, I would like to kiss you and chop off your feet…I wanna bite off your fingers…I wanna have sex with you and throw you in a ditch…[and] chop your head off. Does such commentary accurately reflect your corporate values?

...

There can be, and there must be, a presumption that Mr. Stern will only continue to conduct himself in precisely the same manner as he has done for decades. Unless and until his conduct consistently reflects and respects the time, place and manner of an 8:00 p.m. broadcast television program, we would urge you and your advertising agency to consider alternate network television programming for your media dollars.

The risk of associating your hard-earned corporate brand image with such shock is not worth the cost involved – a cost not just in terms of wasted media dollars, but also in terms of countless millions of dollars in customer goodwill. I assure you that every advertiser on America's Got Talent will be held publicly accountable for underwriting any of the inevitably vile antics of Howard Stern

 

7th May   

A Bit Blacker...

BBFC pass an uncut version of Woman in Black
Link Here

The Woman Black Daniel Radcliffe The Woman in Black is a 2012 UK/Canada/Sweden ghost story by James Watkins. With Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer and Ciarán Hinds. See IMDb

UK: Passed 15 Uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Technicolor/Momentum video

The BBFC commented:

The film was originally classified 12A for cinema release and 12 for video release after visual cuts, visual darkening and sound reductions were made in a number of scenes. This is the uncut version of the film, restoring the cuts and reductions originally made, and has been classified 15 for strong supernatural threat and horror.

It is not yet clear what versions are planned for the UK 18th June release

 

7th May   

Neighborhood Watch...

Movie re-titled to The PC Watch
Link Here

Neighborhood Watch Poster Movie Teaser A Ben Stiller comedy has been given a new title to avoid it being linked to the controversial shooting of an unarmed teenager in Florida.

Neighborhood Watch had already had promotional material pulled following the death of Trayvon Martin, who was killed by a Neighborhood Watch volunteer.

The film will now be called The Watch.

The distributors have emphasised that the film is in not connected with the Trayvon Martin killing, it in fact features a group of fathers that band together to fight extra-terrestrials.

 

7th May   

Ban That Scene...

Burmese filmmaker has fun satirising the country's censor board
Link Here

ban that scene When Burmese filmmaker Htun Zaw Win decided to make a short comedy about the tragically bizarre process of getting movies made in his oppressed homeland.

Ban That Scene! makes a daring mockery of Myanmar's dreaded film censorship board, whose members are cast as comical guardians of a tyrannical state's idealized image of itself.

Sunk into the faux-leather chairs of a government screening theater. The officials are offended at everything that appears on screen, beggars, corruption, power outages, even a street fight, because they all allegedly make the state look undignified.

Beyond its highly satirical take on modern day filmmaking in Myanmar, what's most striking about the movie by Htun Zaw Win, who goes by the name Wyne, is that it was made at all. Wyne says he never submitted Ban That Scene! to the government's Film and Video Censor Board for approval because they would almost certainly have, well, banned the entire thing.

The board's mandate is limited to screening films made for sale, and Wyne says he chose to forgo all profit to ensure it would be produced uncut. The sacrifice was essential, he said, to show the public both at home and abroad what barriers filmmakers are facing.

The 18-minute short was first shown in the former capital Yangon in January during a film festival dubbed Art of Freedom . It has been posted on YouTube and Wyne has so far distributed about 10,000 copies on DVD for free.

 

7th May   

A Bit of a Shock...

Iranian human rights lawyer told that he had been tried in secret, had an appeal turned down and sentenced to 9 years in prison all without a word mentioned to the lawyer
Link Here

Iran flag A judge has upheld the nine-year prison sentence for prominent lawyer and distinguished human rights activist Mohammad Ali Dadkhah. Dadkhah told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that he was only informed of the decision when he went to court to follow up on a client's case.

Dadkhah told the Campaign:

I went to the Revolutionary Court on Saturday morning [April 28] to defend one of my clients, Arjang Davoodi. The branch Judge told me that I was not allowed to defend my client. He said, 'You yourself will have to go to prison.' He said, 'Your sentence has been finalized by the appeals court,' and he told me to expect service of the ruling. According to this ruling, I have been sentenced to nine years in prison, ten years' ban on legal practice, ten years' ban on teaching, cash fines, and flogging. It appears that the flogging sentence will be converted to a cash fine.

The ruling, which was upheld by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court, was not actually presented to Dadkhah. Unfortunately, during recent years it has become standard procedure for the Revolutionary Court not to present the suspect with a ruling. They only announce the sentence and now I expect to be served and go to prison, he said.

Mohammad Ali Dadkhah is a prominent lawyer who has defended many political activists, students, and prisoners of conscience such as Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, Ebrahim Yazdi, and Youcef Naderkhani, a Christian pastor sentenced to death for apostasy.

Update: Serving Time

10th October 2012. See  article from  christiantoday.com

The lawyer who defended Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani in his apostasy case has been jailed. According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah was imprisoned to begin his 9 year sentence last Saturday.

 

6th May   

Mimic 3 Film Set...

New US Region A Blu-ray features the Director's Cut of Mimic
Link Here

Mimic Film Set Blu ray Triple Bill Blu-ray

  • US 2012 Lions Gate 3Film Set (Mimic [Director's Cut] + Mimic 2 + Mimic 3) RA Blu-ray via UK Amazon and at US Amazon released on 1st May 2012

Mimic

Mimic is a 1997 US Sci-Fi horror by Guillermo del Toro.
With Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam and Alexander Goodwin. See IMDb

Promotional Material: Mimic Director's Cut :

Featuring seven minutes of restored footage, this version introduces subtle character moments that transform Mimic into a film that Del Toro fans and newcomers alike will embrace as the definitive version.

Mimic 2 and Mimic 3

Mimic 2 and Mimic 3 are presented in their definitive Theatrical Versions and have never had any censorship issues.

The DVD Triple Bill Features the Theatrical Cut

  • US 2012 Lions Gate 3Film Set (Mimic [Theatrical Cut] + Mimic 2 + Mimic 3) RA Blu-ray at US Amazon released on 1st May 2012

The DVD features the Theatrical Cut of all 3 films Mimic , Mimic 2 and Mimic 3

 

6th May   

Arabian Nights...

A new Dual Format release of Pasolini's classic
Link Here

Arabian Nights Blu ray Paolo Pasolini Arabian Nights is a 1974 Italy/France adventure by Pier Paolo Pasolini. With Ninetto Davoli, Franco Citti and Franco Merli. See IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut with previous BBFC cuts waived for:

  • UK 2011 BFI RB Blu-ray/R2 DVD at UK Amazon recently released on 5th December 2011
  • UK 2009 BFI RB Blu-ray
  • UK 2009 BFI R2 DVD
  • UK 2001 BFI R2 DVD

Summary Review: Entertaining

Part of a trilogy with Canterbury Tales and Decameron. The acting is underwhelming and the sex is pretty sterile. However the visual style is very impressive and the film is entertaining enough.

Promotional Material:

The final part of Pasoloni's Trilogy of Life series is rich with exotic tales of slaves and kings, potions, betrayals, demons and, most of all, love and lovemaking in all its myriad forms. Mysterious and liberating, this is an exquisitely dreamlike and adult interpretation of the original folk tales, presented here in a beautiful new High-Definition restoration.

Special Features

  • Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
  • Alternative English-language version
  • Original trailer
  • Deleted sequences
  • Fully illustrated booklet including essays, reviews and biography

Previously Cut:

UK: Passed X (18) after BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1975 cinema release

From IMDb:

  • heavy edits to all shots of genital nudity
  • cuts to a a man firing a phallic shaped arrow at a woman
  • cuts to a naked man having wine licked from his feet

 

6th May   

Update: Bad Blocking...

Orange found to be blocking website for peace campaign
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

conciliation resources logo The past few days have seen a lot of attention given to the neo Mary Whitehouse campaign for default censorship. It's important to remember that filtering systems are fallible - for example, they catch too much content, whether by accident or abuse.

Today we happened upon a fine example. Through our reporting website Blocked.org.uk , we established that the website of anti-violence advocates Conciliation Resources is blocked by mobile networks Orange, O2 and Vodafone by their child protection filters.

Here's what Conciliation Resources actually do:

supports people at the heart of conflicts who are striving to find solutions. We work with them to deepen our collective understanding of the conflict, bring together divided communities and create opportunities for them to resolve their differences peacefully.

I had a look around the site, and I couldn't find any pornography. Or any reason why it would be a bad idea for a young person to have access to the site.

Maybe its blocked simply because it frequently uses the word 'violence', eg in the strapline: Preventing violence, building peace.

This is clearly a mistake. But it demonstrates a key flaw with Internet filtering. It tends to block far too much content, both because the categories of blockable content are so vague and broad (see Orange's categories below) and because the systems doing the filtering make mistakes. And because the decisions are made on the cheap as there are so many websites to get through.

Orange Categories for blocking. See article from help.orange.co.uk

  • Anonymizers: These sites allow you to browse the Internet and access content anonymously.

  • Anorexia - Bulimia:  Promoting and instigating eating disorders.

  • Gambling:  Access to online gambling such as casinos and any other online services that let you place bets.

  • Chat: Where you chat in real time to people you don’t know.

  • Bombs: Explaining how to prepare, make, build and use explosives and explosive devices.

  • Dating: Websites for match-making where the user can meet other people - make friends, find a partner, etc.

  • Forums: Where you’re invited to take part in discussions on predetermined topics with people you don’t know.

  • Pornography: Websites with a pornographic or sexual content.

  • Racism: Sites promoting racist behaviour based on culture, race, religion, ideology, etc.

  • Sects: Websites on universally acknowledged sects. Within this category URLs are included on organizations that promote directly or indirectly: (i) group, animal or individual injuries, (ii) esoteric practices, (iii) content that sets a bad example for young children: that teaches or encourages children to perform harmful acts or imitate dangerous behaviour, (iv) content that creates feelings of fear, intimidation, horror, or psychological terror, (v) Incitement or depiction of harm against any individual or group based on gender, sexual orientation, ethnic, religious or national identity.

  • Violence: Containing openly violent content and/or that promote violence or defend it.

Perhaps the blocking decisions could be made robust by allowing business and campaigns such as Conciliation Resources a straightforward process to sue for lost earnings and donations from incompetent censorship

 

6th May   

Update: Super Censor...

Australia discusses a new media censor with a very broad remit
Link Here  full story: Australian Censorship Review... Reviewing censorship law for all media
Stephen Conroy The Australian Press Council would be abolished and replaced with a single industry-led complaints body covering print, radio, television and internet news outlets under a proposed rewriting of media law.

And existing cross-media ownership regulations would be scrapped and replaced by a minimum number of owners rule and public interest test overseen by a powerful new media censor.

The long-awaited Convergence Review into Australia's media has found the regime overseeing newspapers, TV and radio news is outdated, thanks to the rise of the internet. The report recommends abolishing regulator the Australian Communications and Media Authority, largely regarded astoothless, and creating a media censor incorporating the Classification Board.

The new complaints body would be funded almost entirely by its members, though the Government would be able to make contributions in unusual circumstances.

All media companies, or content service providers as they would be known, would have to be members of the new standards body and bound to publish corrections and clarifications as ordered. To encourage companies to join the industry standards body, the report suggests linking the right to legal privilege for news and commentary to membership.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy gave no hint about whether the Government would adopt any of the recommendations, saying only he would respond in due course .

 

6th May   

Update: Soap Censor...

Sri Lanka is to appoint a script censor for TV soaps and ration the number of episodes that these can run
Link Here

sri lanka teledrama The Sri Lankan government is to appoint a censor for teledramas shown on private and state television, the Media Ministry said.

Media Ministry Secretary W. B. Ganegala told The Sunday Leader that the cabinet has already decided that a script of the teledrama should be passed by the Censor Board, before the teledrama is produced. He said that this is to ensure there are no racial comments made or foul language used.

In future the Media Ministry is considering censoring visuals in teledramas as well, Ganegala further added.

Meanwhile the Media Ministry is to also reduce the number of episodes on mega teledramas shown on state television. Ganegala said that mege teledramas will be reduced to a maximum of 100 episodes as some run well over 200 episodes and as a result new teledramas are not produced. He said that a teledrama director or producer will in future have to wait six months to produce a new teledrama on state television.

The Media Ministry will also carry out research on teledramas that are being produced for local television to see if they meet  government requirements.

 

6th May   

Thou Shalt Not Lie...

New Zealand advert censor bans church nonsense about healing cancer
Link Here

jesus heals cancer advert The New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority has upheld complaints against the Equippers Church in Hawke's Bay, saying it breached three rules and one basic principle of the code of ethics.

A poster outside the church proclaimed that Jesus Heals Cancer.

In its deliberation, the authority noted duplicate complainants held similar views while others expressed concerns that the claim made in the billboard could not be substantiated and the billboard may influence some cancer sufferers into stopping conventional medical treatment .

The Equippers Church told the ASA it did not mean to cause offence with its billboard, which it later amended, saying its claims were:

a message of hope and life in Jesus Christ. Our belief is substantiated by the fact six people within our congregation have testified to Jesus healing them from cancer.

The church also felt it could make its claims through freedom of speech and freedom of religion, as allowed under the Bill of Rights Act.

After some media coverage, it also claimed overwhelming support for its billboard, but decided to change the wording, removing Cancer but still spouting bullshit: Jesus Heals Every Sickness & Every Disease - Matthew 4:23 .

 

6th May   

Request Filed in the Circular Filing Cabinet...

Voice of America asks Indonesia to ease up on their censorial ban of live broadcasts by foreign media
Link Here

Indonesia flag The US government's broadcast arm has called on the Indonesian House of Representatives to amend several broadcast regulations to make it easier for foreign media to operate in the country, a legislator has said.

Eva Kusuma Sundari, an opposition legislator, said the request was made by Norman G. Goodman, chief of the Voice of America's Indonesian service.

Eva, who took part in the visit, said the contingent's discussions with Goodman and other stakeholders focused on scrapping an article from the Broadcast Law that prohibits foreign media from carrying out live broadcasts.

The VOA officials argued the prohibition prevented most of its viewers and listeners from getting information but is irrelevant today because anyone with Internet access can watch live news streams online, Eva said.

We advised VOA to submit their proposals in writing so the House can formally follow up on them later, she said in Jakarta.

 

6th May

 Offsite Article: Scottish Employers Worrying about Responsibility for Sectarian Comments by their Employees...

Link Here  full story: Football Sectarianism...Sectarian Rangers football song wind up
Or maybe just an opportunity for touting advice and consultation to companies regarding their internet policies

See article from scotsman.com

 

6th May

 Offsite Article: Discriminating Queue Jumpers from the Queue Fodder...

Link Here  full story: Top Gear and the Grand Tour...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers
Telegraph sniffing at Jeremy Clarkson's Heathrow queue comments in the hope of some nutter 'outrage'

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

5th May   

Supporting the Industry that Feeds It...

BBFC receive praise from the trade group, the British Video Association
Link Here

bva prize for the bbfc The BBFC has been awarded the 2012 British Video Association (BVA) Special Award. BVA Director General Lavinia Carey explains why the BBFC should be recognised on its 100th anniversary.

2012 BVA Special Award -- BBFC

In 1984, when the BBFC was 72 years old and the BVA was just four, it made a significant change to its name, replacing Film Censors with Film Classification , that indicated the beginning of the end of a peculiarly British tendency to want to protect people from themselves by strictly controlling their entertainment and ensuring films screened in cinemas were sufficiently wholesome for public viewing.

This name change took place during the long reign of James Ferman as Director, while Lord Harlech was the BBFC's President, succeeded the year after by the Earl of Harewood.

By the time I joined the BVA in 1993, the video industry had gone through a tumultuous period of adjusting to the introduction of statutory regulation through the BBFC with the passing of the 1984 Video Recordings Act, which must have seemed at the time like a step backwards after an apparent era of enlightenment. Yet this was a cloud with a silver lining. It heralded the development of the most strictly regulated video industry in the free world but one which provided a defence against future storms to come.

The moral panic whipped up by the media in 1994 and the hand-wringing within our sector, having been accused of stimulating violence among young people, required the BVA and BBFC, and supported by the Video Standards Council, to work more closely to explain to politicians, journalists and the public that our business could hardly be more severely regulated without banning many popular and acclaimed titles.

Amendments were made to the Video Recordings Act later in 1994 expressly to give the BBFC ultimate power to cut scenes or reject works entirely where they are found to fail the test of suitability for home viewing. This modification was far less harsh than the draconian amendments proposed by the then Liberal MP David Alton. It was accompanied by a collaborative solution to make BBFC classification decisions clearer to adults through the introduction of consumer advice on theme, language, sex and violence within the content printed on BVA members' new releases. This pilot was later rolled out on a voluntary basis across the entire video industry and remains in place today as an example of best practice in packaged media.

James Ferman ruled the roost. Despite his zeal for authoritarian adherence to the spirit as well as the letter of the law, which intimidated some film and video distributors of the day, he had the wisdom to reach out to the public in a series of road-shows to consult with audiences and critics alike, resulting in more relaxed interpretation of the law that allowed the over 18s greater freedom to decide what they watched, while tightening up on the lower age ratings to give adults greater confidence in the classification system when making decisions about the suitability of titles they were buying and renting for children's viewing.

With successive Directors, up to the present day with David Cooke at the helm, the BBFC has greatly increased its collaboration with the BVA and its members. We enjoy unparalleled cooperation, with the BBFC-BVA working party, first set up in 1998, as a valuable sounding board for both sides to air ideas, concerns, solutions, news and views. This has resulted over recent years in a much faster and more flexible classification process, plus many innovations, ranging from directors' cuts, the distributors' extranet for online submissions, the launch of the unique BBFC.Online system for voluntary classification of content as well as internet retailers and aggregators who make our content available to users, up-dated fee structures for its voluntary online classification scheme, 3D BD and for previously viewed works, to the findings of its 2011 customer survey which sought ways to improve its service to industry still further.

These initiatives, many proposed by the BBFC itself, have contributed to a sense of working in partnership -- eons away from the rigid and remote regulator-versus-regulated relationship that existed 15 years ago. Distributors trust the BBFC and the majority acknowledge that self-regulation in this country would not achieve the same public confidence that exists in our classification regime today. Furthermore, industry recognises the value of the BBFC's efforts to keep in touch with public opinion. In recent years, it has developed tailored user-facing websites for children, students and parents, with educational resources and extended consumer advice which provides more detailed information about the content of age-restricted works and the explanation for the category given to individual titles.

The BBFC has employed an outward-facing and commercially focused approach to achieve the status of a modern, responsive organisation. Its aim to stay ahead of the curve in our rapidly evolving industry by keeping up to date with the latest technology and through a positive working relationship with all its customers is applauded by BVA Members in the year of the BBFC's 100th anniversary.

 

5th May   

An Age Old Issue...

The European Commission is considering the issue of age verification for child internet users
Link Here

EU flag The European Commission is considering setting up an age-based authentication system that limits where children can visit online. It says children are in danger of finding inappropriate material because ways to control where they can go are fragmented .

The system is part of a series of proposals Brussels has put forward to make the net safer for children.

In its draft proposals, the commission warns that neglecting protections for children could have a profound impact on European societies. Current child safety measures taken by member states covering parental controls, rating content and reporting illegal content are insufficient , according to the report. Many controls, such as filters for web pages, only work well for English, it says, and in some sectors - such as mobile apps - rating, filtering and control systems are almost non-existent.

The report also says there is a dearth of sites specifically aimed at children where they can go to learn and play, or ones which stimulate creativity and critical thinking.

More details of the proposals are expected to be published on the 30th of May.

 

5th May   

Dead News...

BBFC rate Dead Island (Game of the Year Edition)
Link Here

dead island logo The BBFC momentarily announced their decision for an up and coming video game release.

Dead Island (Game of the Year Edition) was passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence and strong language.

The BBFC then pulled the database entry, but not before the news of the impending release was tweeted and blogged throughout the gaming universe.

 

5th May   

Teaching Kids to Beware of Nasty Adults...

Headmaster reprehensibly threatens to report parents of underage Facebook users to social services
Link Here
Child Catcher

  Sorry kids...
your headmaster snitched you up

A primary school head has threatened to shop parents to social services if they allow pupils to use Facebook and other networking sites.

Paul Woodward has warned parents that persistently letting children flout Facebook's 13-plus age rule could warrant investigation by child protection teams.

He estimates that at least 60% of the 270-plus children at his school have access to social networking sites.

Woodward, a branch secretary for the National Association of Head Teachers,  demanded a ban on children setting up social media accounts.

Head teachers are also demanding greater protection from porn accessed through smartphones, as well as measures to stop young children playing 18-rated video games.

 

5th May   

The Wizard of Gore/The Gore Gore Girls...

New US Double Feature Blue-ray of Herschell Gordon Lewis films
Link Here

Wizard Gore The Girls Blu ray Double Feature

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

  • US 2012 Image [Double Feature: Wizard of Gore + Gore Gore Girls] RA Blu-ray via UK Amazon and at US Amazon just released on 1st May 2012

The Wizard of Gore

1970 horror by Herschell Gordon Lewis.
With Ray Sager, Judy Cler and Wayne Ratay. See IMDb

The are no censorship issues with this title

The Gore Gore Girls

1972 US comedy horror by Herschell Gordon Lewis.
With Frank Kress, Amy Farrell and Hedda Lubin. See IMDb

The are no censorship issues with this title

 

5th May   

Update: TalkTalk StatsStats...

One in Three new TalkTalk customers opt for ISP website blocking of adult content
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

TalkTalk HomeSafe One in three new customers choose to activate TalkTalk's network based website blocking feature, according to a recent statement.

TalkTalk introduced the network-based content blocking feature it calls HomeSafe in May 2011 with Active Choice for new customers,  meaning that new customers are forced to make a positive choice whether or not to activate the feature, there is no default option.

TalkTalk is considering applying this Active choice rule to existing customers too, but ordinary customer churn gradually increases the number who have faced it, which TalkTalk estimates will reach 1 million households by March 2013.

 

4th May   

Extract: Total Recall...

From the Archives: BBFC recall their decision to rate Paul Verhoeven's action film 18 uncut
Link Here

Total Recall DVD Arnold Schwarzenegger The distributor had requested a 15 rating But the examiners' reports show that they had concerns about scenes of violence at this category. They also recommended against cuts to a film expertly and technically executed . Examiners considered the impact on the audience of the combination of action and violence as well as the likely appeal of the film to teenagers. But ultimately the Examiners concluded that the levels of punchy and upfront violence would best be represented by an 18 certificate.

...read the full article

 

4th May   

Updated: Chained to an NC-17...

MPAA uphold their NC-17 rating for Jennifer Lynch's Chained after appeal
Link Here  full story: Chained...Director Jennifer Lynch appeals against NC-17 rating

Chained Vincent DOnofrio The filmmaker and distributor behind Chained , a thriller about a serial killer have had their rating appeal rejected by the MPAA. The movie, which was directed by Jennifer Lynch ( Boxing Helena , and daughter of David Lynch) and distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment, was given an NC-17 for some explicit violence.

It marks a rare instance of an NC-17 rating being given because of violence alone; usually NC-17 is more associated with sexual content.

It is not yet clear whether the films connections will stick with the NC-17, or else cut the film for an R rating.

Update: Chained, Lynched and Cut

4th May 2012. See  article from  latimesblogs.latimes.com

Director Jennifer Lynch has told 24 Frames she will recut the offending scene, a graphic depiction of a woman having her throat slit open, that landed the movie the MPAA's NC-17 rating. But she didn't sound like a filmmaker who understood, or was happy about, the censors' decision. She said:

The one thing they [the appeals board] kept citing was context, that violence in a lot of other films doesn't feel as intense, she said. I have a lot of compassion for what [the MPAA] does. And they were all very nice and warm in the room. But it doesn't seem fair to me. I feel like we are being punished because the film was done the way it was set out to be done, which was authentically.

The film's distributor, Anchor Bay Entertainment, said it has yet to decide whether it will also release an unrated version to theaters (presumably after the rated version has finished its run, per MPAA rules) or, possibly, release the unrated version on DVD. The film has not yet been dated for release.

Lynch said she knew that the stigma of the NC-17 was too great to risk a commercial release with that rating. But she hopes film-goers check out her uncut version of Chained , if only for comparison's sake. Horror fans will see it and be stunned at the NC-17, she said: They've seen much worse.

 

4th May   

Update: Opting in to Nutter Pressure?...

Reports that Cameron is to meet with UK ISPs to discuss website censorship
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

David Cameron The Government is to consult on ISPs about new measures to censor family internet access.

Under plans being draw up by Downing Street, it would be up to customers to opt-in to receiving adult content online when they take out a broadband contract.

David Cameron is due to meet large ISPs to discuss the measures but he is understood to be against even tougher controls on internet porn..

So how come no-once is actually talking about what should be blocked?'

See  article from  pcpro.co.uk

Clair Perry PC Pro have been having fun trying to get Claire Perry to say what content she would actually like to see blocked.

Earlier this week, PC Pro contacted the MP for Devizes on Twitter, asking her to define exactly what type of content she would like to see blocked.

Our tweet read: Challenge to Claire Perry MP (@Claire4Devizes): we'll send you 10 website links, you tell us whether ISPs should block them or not, and why.

Last night, Perry replied: oh dear, I think you are missing the point. Sigh. What would a current device level filter block? Thats [sic] the test. Get a grip chaps.

...Read the full article

A sane voice from Francis Maude, minister responsible for cyber security

See  article from  telegraph.co.uk

francis maude The Telegraph reports from a press release as to what Francis Maude will say today:

And as we meet the challenges presented by cyber space, and shape its future, governments need to resist the temptation to over regulate and control.

The internet after all has flourished precisely because it has been shaped by its users, not by governments.

The Government's objective is to help shape an open, vibrant and stable cyberspace , the minister will say.

He will conclude that a multi-stakeholder approach is needed towards governance of the net -- resisting state intervention that would stifle growth and the free exchange of ideas at its heart .

...Read the full article

And a little about the practicalities of internet blocking

Big Brother Watch logo See  article from  bigbrotherwatch.org.uk

They are right. Network level blocking is not the silver bullet may have portrayed it to be. Easily avoided, it is a crude tool that carries serious risks, from blocking legitimate business content to introducing new security risks into the internet.

...Read the full article

 

4th May   

The Wicker Tree...

New UK DVD/Blu-ray from the director of the original The Wicker Man
Link Here

The Wicker Tree DVD Christopher The Wicker Tree is a 2010 UK horror drama by Robin Hardy. With Brittania Nicol, Henry Garrett and Graham McTavish. See IMDb

Passed 15 uncut for scenes of strong sex, nudity and violence for:

  • UK 2012 Anchor Bay RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 30th April 2012
  • UK 2012 Anchor Bay R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 30th April 2012

There are no censorship issues with this release.

Promotional Material:

From the makers of the cult classic THE WICKER MAN, and based on director Robin Hardy's own novel Cowboys for Christ , a Texas gospel singer and her boyfriend, both devout evangelical Christians, are sent to Scotland on a mission to spread the word of God. After a concert in Glasgow Cathedral the pair are invited by Sir Lachlan Morrison to preach in his remote border village. They assume their host simply wants to hear more about the Bible and are delighted when offered central roles in the fiefdom's May Day celebrations, especially their custom of the Riding of the Laddie.

But soon the horrifying reality dawns on the naive couple as they learn the true significance of the Celtic pagan rites. Reuniting Hardy with legendary actor Christopher Lee for a story in the style of the 1973 landmark fantasy comes the most eagerly anticipated horror movie of the year.

 

4th May   

A Chip on a PC Shoulder...

Online advert for Popchips causes a little easy offence
Link Here

popchips advert video An online crisps advert featuring Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher has been removed after viewer complaints that it was racist..

The Popchips advert showed the actor in brown makeup portraying a Bollywood film producer. It was removed from YouTube and Facebook after it was criticised.

The potato chip maker said the advert was created to provoke a few laughs and was never intended to stereotype or offend anyone .

The pictures and images featured Kutcher playing a Bollywood producer named Raj who is looking for love .

 

4th May   

Sexy Without Nudity...

YouTube censorship of Kate Upton video causes a little excitement
Link Here

kate ashton video The modern implementation of commercial censorship is that internet throughput is way too massive for any meaningful or well meaning attempt as decision making. Instead the first level of censorship is implemented as cheaply as possible presumably with absolutely minimal time available to look into each report.

Most of the duff decisions are presumably uncontested as they generally inconvenience people without the necessary clout or motivation to do anything about it. However, just occasionally, crap decisions get noticed. The internet company involved get real people involved and then apologise profusely about the crap decisions whilst trying to spin that these don't happen very often.

The latest example is a  one-minute clip of model and cover girl, Kate Upton, gyrating and bouncing in an itty bitty bikini, demonstrating how to do the Cat Daddy dance while on a magazine shoot.

The video was yanked by YouTube for violating its nudity policy, despite the fact she was not naked.

The ban got publicised and YouTube had an inevitable rethink. The video was reinstated,  but this time with an age restriction.

A Google rep explained to FOX411's Pop Tarts column:

With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call. When it's brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it.

Apparently the age restriction was a mistake as well, because that too soon got lifted.

 

4th May

 Offsite Article: Hoping for Free Speech in the UK...

Link Here  full story: Censorship by Libel...British libel law allows the rich to censor the truth
Index on censorship hopeful about including a bill for libel reform in the Queen's Speech. By Kirsty Hughes

See article from indexoncensorship.org

 

3rd May   

ASA Loves Condoms But Not Sex...

Advert censor dismisses whinges about condom posters
Link Here

love skyn advert Two poster ads, viewed in March 2012, advertising SKYN condoms:

a. One poster was headlined Love sex. Hate condoms. Love SKYN . Further text stated This changes everything. SKYN condoms are made from a revolutionary new material Polyisoprene, to revolutionise your sex life .

b. Another poster was headlined Roll on better sex . Further text stated This changes everything. SKYN condoms are made from a revolutionary new material Polyisoprene, to revolutionise your sex life . Issue

Twenty-four complaints challenged whether ad (a) was:

1. offensive; and

2. inappropriately placed where it could be seen by children.

Two complainants challenged whether ad (b) was:

3. offensive; and

4. inappropriately placed where it could be seen by children. CAP Code (Edition 12) 1.34.1 Response

Ansell Ltd stated that there was a higher possibility of public complaints being received because of the product being advertised and stated that there would always be people who would be offended by any mention of condoms and contraception. They believed, however, that this was significantly outweighed by the benefit to society in reducing teenage and unwanted pregnancy and in reducing sexually transmitted diseases. They believed it was important that such products were allowed to be mass-marketed to reach the maximum number of possible consumers and also that the product would encourage the use of condoms.

They additionally stated that there would inevitably be people, including parents of young children or those with certain religious beliefs, who would not want to see any advertising for sexual wellness products. They believed, however, that it was important that people had the opportunity to be informed about sexual wellness products. They also stated that they did not believe the ads were overtly sexual, degrading to women or likely to encourage promiscuity.

They stated that neither ad was placed within the 100 m of a school and that the ads were not placed near churches.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Not Upheld

1 & 3 Not upheld

The ASA noted both ads included the prominent use of the word sex alongside an image of the head and shoulders of a woman who appeared to be wearing only underwear. We acknowledged that the use of the word sex , the reference to condoms and the images of the women referred to sexual activity, but considered that the images were not sexually explicit and the overall tone of the ads was not provocative. We acknowledged that some consumers would find the posters distasteful because of the overt references to sex and sexual activity. However, we considered that, in the context of ads for condoms, the images and text in the ads were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

On this point we investigated ads (a) and (b) under CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find them in breach.

2 & 4 Not upheld

We noted both ads included the prominent use of the word sex alongside an image of the head and shoulders of a woman who appeared to be wearing only underwear. We also noted the use of the word sex , the reference to condoms and the images of the women referred to sexual activity. We considered that it was acceptable to use a reference to sex to promote condoms on a poster provided that it was not done in a way that was sexually provocative, but nevertheless considered that the direct reference to sexual activity meant that the posters were unsuitable to be placed in those locations where they were most likely to be seen by children. We noted Ansell had imposed a placement restriction on the ads meaning that they would not be positioned within 100 m of any school. We therefore considered that the ads were responsibly placed.

On this point we investigated ads (a) and (b) under CAP Code rule 1.3 (Social responsibility) but did not find them in breach.

 

3rd May   

Updated: Internet freedom under threat from hasty legislation in UK and US...

Reported with relish by the Voice of Russia
Link Here

osce logo A representative for freedom of the media at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said that governments across the world are posing a threat to internet freedom. The governments in the US and UK, known for their willingness to blame their political partners for violating human rights and freedoms, have turned out to be particular tough in suppressing internet freedom.

The OSCE says that one of major threats to internet freedom is inability of governments to adopt effective laws. Dunja Mijatovic, the representative for freedom of the media for the OSCE, thinks that governments are still trying to restrict or suppress internet freedom and censor online content.

Practically complete internet freedom is a matter of deep concerns for governments both in the developing countries, where opposition bloggers and journalists are often persecuted, and in the leading western democracies. All attempts to censor online content are usually described as measures taken as part of the war on cyberterrorism. The US and the UK have been particularly active in using this term to justify their tough online censorship.

Offsite Article

2nd May 2012.See  article from  guardian.co.uk

Head of global media observation group, OSCE, says many countries are trying to restrict internet freedom in name of security

...Read the full article

 

3rd May   

Bitter at Lemon...

ITV comedian generates a few complaints after offering up a puppy as a prize
Link Here

Celebrity Juice Too Juicy DVD Ofcom has received almost 200 complaints from animal lovers 'outraged' at Keith Lemon offering a puppy as a prize in a competition on ITV1's LemonAid last weekend.

The complainers believe that Lemon, the alter ego of comedian Leigh Francis, and ITV should not have offered up the animal as a prize in the show.

Ofcom is assessing the complaints to see if there is any reason to launch a full investigation into whether the competition is in breach of the broadcasting code.

 

3rd May   

Update: Religious Film Censors...

Egypt's Religious Affairs Committee is drawing up a new film censorship law
Link Here

Egypt flag Egypt's Islamist-dominated Religious Affairs Committee is considering a new film censorship law. It will be aimed at repressing local producers, distributors of film content deemed harmful to society .

According to committee head Sayed Askar, the law, if passed, would not differentiate between old and new films, and would be applied to any sexually-explicit content deemed harmful to society. The proposed legislation, he clarified, would penalise the producers and distributors of such content, and not actors.

When asked whether the law would only prohibit nudity or would also extend to hugs and kisses on film, Askar declined to provide details but stressed that the law would have the last word regarding censorship issues.

Article 1 of the bill reportedly calls for the establishment of an independent, 15-member Supreme Council for Audio and Visual Broadcasts. Council members would be appointed by the prime minister and include both Muslim and Christian representatives.

The law's second article, meanwhile, lays down the council's responsibilities and authorities. It also lists proscribed content, including scenes of a sexual nature, both verbal and visual; scenes depicting the use of drugs, alcohol or gambling; and scenes deemed insulting to particular professions, races, genders or religions.

 

3rd May   

Updated: Dracula Prince of Darkness...

Hammer classic now restored and released on Region B Blu-ray...Re-release with corrected audio synch
Link Here

Dracula Prince Of Darkness Blu ray Dracula: Prince of Darkness is a 1966 UK horror film by Terence Fisher. With Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley and Andrew Keir. See IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Hammer/Studio Canal Restored Version [with Corrected Audio Synch] R2 DVD/RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon just re-released on 30th April 2012

It is widely reported that the master used for March 2012 release exhibits audio sync errors of up to 1 second. this is apparent on both Blu-ray and DVD disks and seems to be most obvious during the first 15 minutes of the film. This is now corrected for a re-release on 30th April 2012.

Extras:

  • Commentary featuring Christopher Lee, Suzan Farmer, Francis Matthews & Barbara Shelley
  • World of Hammer episode Hammer Stars: Christopher Lee
  • Back to Black
  • Super 8mm Behind the Scenes footage
  • Restoration comparison
  • Trailer
  • Double bill Trailer
  • Original USA Titles
  • Original Print UK Theatrical Titles.

Previously Cut:

The cut cinema version was passed 15 without further BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1999 15 rated Warner VHS
  • UK 1993 15 rated Lumiere VHS
  • UK 1992 15 rated Warner VHS
  • UK 1966 X (16) rated cinema release

The BBFC cuts were:

  • A close-up of blood coming out of the stake in Barbara Shelley's chest has been removed - in the censored print loss of soundtrack has been bridged with an additional reaction shot of Francis Matthews against the wall which appears to be the taken from another shot of him in this position but at a slightly different speed
  • After Dracula cuts open his chest, about 5s-10s of footage of Susan Farmer gradually coming closer to him has been removed presumably on the grounds that this makes it clearer that she was going to drink the blood on Dracula's chest. The offscreen shout which ends Dracula's advances appears against a different on-screen image in the cut version (because the original footage is missing) after not before Farmer has fainted

Update: Statement from Hammer Films offering replacement disks re audio synch error

7th March 2012. See article from hammerfilms.com

Notice from StudioCanal UK regarding faulty Dracula Prince Of Darkness Blu-ray/DVD Double-Play discs:

We recently discovered a small audio synch issue within a couple of scenes of the Dracula Prince Of Darkness discs that were released on the 5th of March.

This problem occurred at the authoring stage where a fix was not implemented despite being supplied.

With this in mind we will be replacing any discs that have this issue present.

Please send your proof of payment and your address to enquiries@vdcgroup.com and we will endeavour to send a working replacement to you promptly.

Update: Further improvement to be added to replacement disks re audio synch error

21st March 2012. See  article from  blog.hammerfilms.com

The center sequence in the opening flashback scene of the film is from the 4-perf negative of DRACULA aka HORROR OF DRACULA. That film was shot on the full 35mm frame and intended to be screened at 1.66:1. To make it all fit together, the filmmakers reduced the size of the flashback scene from DRACULA and added a diamond-shaped smoke-effect mask. The result is that there's a real issue with the grain: it is very tight and crowded due to the shrinking of the 1.66:1 image. In addition, the overlay of the larger and more exaggerated grain of the 2-perf smoke effect creates all sorts of problems once the image is digitised and compressed.

We did some research and have found an alternate encoding software package that will enable us better to tweak the opening sequence and create an improved encode. We have already completed several tests, and although it's not perfect (it never could be, due to the workflow from 2-perf OCN to encoded Blu-ray) we feel that we have obtained a better result with less posterization. StudioCanal will replace this scene on the revised discs (with sound synch corrections) which will be available in April. We hope you like it!

...Read the full article

 

3rd May

 Offsite Article: Committee to Project Journalists Reports its 10 Most Censored Countries...

Link Here
Eritrea, North Korea, Syria, Iran, Equatorial Guinea, Uzbekistan, Burma, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and Belarus

See article from cpj.org

 

3rd May

 Offsite Article: Book Censorship in Iran...

Link Here  full story: Book Censors in Iran...Iranian literary censors
Tehran International Book Fair launches crackdown on harmful titles. Annual event that attracts 500,000 visitors a day has revoked licences of publishing houses and banned them from attending

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

2nd May   

Updated: Death Wish 4: The Crackdown...

Uncut for the first time in the UK with a new DVD release
Link Here
Death Wish DVD 2012 Death Wish 4: The Crackdown is a 1987 US vigilante drama by J Lee Thompson. With Charles Bronson, Kay Lenz and John P. Ryan. See IMDb

The DVD has just been passed 18 uncut for strong violence with previous BBFC cuts waived for:

  • UK 2012 Media Sales/Final Cut R2 DVD at UK Amazon Just released on 30th April 2012

The film was already passed uncut by the BBFC in 2006 for MGM, but a DVD was never released.

Previously cut by the BBFC

Passed 18 after 54s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1988 Cannon VHS
  • UK 1988 cinema release

The cuts were to the rape depicted in the early dream sequence:

  • Shots of the victim screaming whilst been dragged out of a car are missing
  • Shots of the girl being slapped and receiving a nasty punch have also been cut

Summary review: Bigger Fish

Architect/vigilante Paul Kersey takes on the members of a vicious Los Angeles drug cartel to stop the flow of drugs after his girlfriend's daughter dies from an overdose.

After briefly flirting with the usual Death Wish route of Kersey hitting the streets and blowing away some punks, the script takes a different direction and has Kersey functioning something like a mob hit-man instead. He has a mysterious benefactor feeding him with information on crime bigwigs instead of the usual hoodlums.

Death Wish 4 certainly isn't unpredictable. But that's not needed in a Death Wish film, anyway. The basic requirement is for Bronson to be able to kick butt in entertaining and suspenseful ways, and Thompson gives you as much or more bang for your buck on that end as any other film in the series.

 

2nd May   

Fillies Cause a Stir at the ASA...

Advert censor easily offended by lap dancing club poster
Link Here

fillies epsom advert A poster ad, for an adult entertainment venue, included a large image of a woman's torso. The woman was in a reclined position and her torso and the lower part of her breasts were exposed; she wore a top that covered the upper part of her breasts. The ad included the text Join the FILLIES girls at STIR and also showed a logo that included the silhouette of a woman.

 The ASA received six complaints from members of the public:

  1. The complainants challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, particularly in an untargeted medium, because they believed it was degrading and objectified women.

  2. Some of the complainants also challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, particularly in an untargeted medium, because they believed it was overtly sexual.

  3. Some of the complainants also challenged whether the ad was unsuitable to appear where it could be seen by children, in particular because it appeared in the proximity of a primary school.

1. & 2. Fillies Clubs Ltd (FC) said they had used the same logo for around three years and had not received any complaints during that time. They said the silhouette was clearly of a woman wearing a cat suit and heels and that it had been changed from its draft format so it no longer showed the outline of a nipple, thereby removing any suggestion that the nipple was exposed. They said the model used for the main image in the ad was gender neutral so it was decided not to include the face. They said the image could be male or female or, as in the current case, neither. FC said the ad did not include any derogatory images or text in relation to either gender and there was no innuendo. They said offence was a subjective matter. However, they disagreed that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

3. FC said the ad only appeared in one location, which was within the boundaries of a pub car park. They said the poster was not in close proximity to a school or residential area.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

1. Upheld

The ASA noted the ad was for an adult entertainment venue and, as such, the image was relevant to the nature of the club being advertised. We noted that FC said the model was gender neutral but given the prominence of the breasts in the image, particularly in conjunction with the text Join the FILLIES girls ... , we considered consumers were likely to view the torso as being that of a woman. We noted the model's head was not included in the image and considered consumers would understand from the ad that they were being invited to view the faceless model's naked torso and, in particular, the breasts. We considered the ad presented the model as a sexual object and considered that, particularly in conjunction with the references to FILLIES it was likely to be seen as objectifying women and demeaning them. We therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, particularly in an untargeted medium.

On this point, the ad breach CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).

2. Upheld

We noted the model's naked torso occupied almost the entirety of the ad and that the only visible clothing was a top that merely covered the upper part of the breasts, which were very prominent. We considered the model's pose and dress were sexually provocative and had the effect of making the model appear sexually available. We also noted the ad included a logo that showed the silhouette of a woman, also in a reclined position. Although we acknowledged the imagery in the ad was relevant to the nature of the venue being advertised, we considered it, in particular the main image of the model, was overtly sexual and was therefore likely to cause serious or widespread offence in an untargeted medium.

3. Upheld

We understood the ad was placed outside a station and approximately 0.2 miles from a primary school. Nevertheless, we noted it could be seen by children, given that it appeared in an untargeted medium. We considered the ad was overtly sexual and therefore unsuitable to appear where it could be seen by children. We concluded that the ad breached the Code and that it was irresponsible for such an overtly sexual image to appear in an untargeted medium.

On points 2 and 3, the ad breached CAP Code  rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.1 (Harm and offence). Action

The ad should not appear again in its current form. We told FC to ensure future marketing communications were prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and society and that, particularly in an untargeted medium, they did not contain anything that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

 

2nd May   

Sliding Down the Slippery Slope...

Tera censored for European release
Link Here

UBI Soft TERA PC DVD The publisher behind forthcoming fantasy video game Tera has responded to the angry fan response to news that the European version had been censored to secure a 12+ PEGI age rating.

Frogster's community manager has assured players that the publisher had been taking the complaints seriously. He said:

We sincerely ask you to understand that we take all these issues very seriously, he wrote.

As you have all noticed, the blood effect slider was removed from the OBT client. We want first of all to apologise to you for not communicating this change as it should have been. We understand the importance of being transparent with our community.

He then confirmed that Frogster has decided to reinstate the aforementioned slider, via a post-launch patch due in May. But then added that the game would still be censored:

The European release version of the game will still have to be slightly different from the North American and Korean build: the only threat to our 12+ classification was the blood splattered on your screen when you are slaying certain monsters. This effect is slightly modified in the European version..

Raven also clarified that changes had been made to the appearance of the game's Elin race.

[It was] not to comply with a demand from any official board, but because those characters in particular could have attracted to the game a population of unsavoury users, and it is part of our responsibility to protect our younger audiences from them, he explained.

All partners involved in the project decided to ask Bluehole Studios for a solution, so they created new textures and designs for Elin wear. We are sure you all agree that this effort for child protection was the right thing to do.

The main change is to change the lower body armor skin to give the appearance that the young looking female characters are wearing trousers as opposed to knickers. See article from terapvp.com .

The game will be released in Europe on 4th May 2012. with a PEGI 12 rating. The game is rated as Mature (M) in the US which is a '17' age rating.

 

2nd May   

Censor Rally...

Malaysian satellite TV censors BBC news report
Link Here

astro censorship of bbc news Malaysian satellite service, Astro, has admitted to censoring BBC news coverage of police action at an opposition rally.

Astro broadcast operations senior vice-president Rohaizad Mohamed explained to The Malaysian Insider that the 2:16-minute clip was cut in accordance with national censorship regulations. Rohaizad said that Astro reserved the right to edit content from international providers and channels as it sees fit.

In fact Astro broadcasts foreign channels with a two and a half minute delay so as to give TV censors time to cut content that they do not like.

And like a true natural born censor, Mohamed whinged that it was somehow the BBC's fault for broadcasting material that needs to be censored. He whinged:

We are surprised and somewhat disappointed that our long-standing partner, the BBC, when, issuing its statement, did not take cognisance of the duty of Astro to comply with local content regulations.

The disputed clip contained shots where Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim spoke to reporters. The rally, which saw local police fire tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters.

According to the YouTube link available in the statement, BBC's coverage of Bersih 3.0 had been shortened by several seconds to exclude clips of short interviews with two protesters. In the first censored interview, a man, believed to be Chinese, had told the BBC that the police took unprovoked action at protesters despite efforts to negotiate. In the next interview, an Indian man had explained his reason for joining the rally for free and fair elections, which had turned violent at nearly 3pm on Saturday.

 

2nd May   

Baby Apps...

Microsoft goes even more censorial about its Marketplace apps store
Link Here

marketplace logo Microsoft has announced further censorship of its phone-app store to remove software containing racy or sexual content.

The firm's Windows Phone Marketplace guidelines already ban content that a reasonable person would consider to be adult or borderline adult content .

However, the firm said that it had decided to enforce a more stringent interpretation of the rules. Microsoft's senior director for Windows Marketplace, Todd Brix said:

Specifically, we will be paying more attention to the icons, titles, and content of these apps and expect them to be more subtle and modest in the imagery and terms used.

This is about presenting the right content to the right customer and ensuring that apps meet our standards.

The firm suggested that developers could use silhouettes as a possible alternative to more risky images. It added that app writers who fell foul of its crackdown would be contacted over the next few days.

 

2nd May   

Bin Police Binned...

Government outlines restrictions on state snooping that will come into force shortly
Link Here
Home Offie logo State intrusion into private lives will be reduced after the Protection of Freedoms Bill becames law today.

It will curb local authority snooping, see the destruction of DNA samples and profiles given by innocent people and radically scale back the employment vetting process which would have routinely monitored 9.3m people.

Millions more people will be protected from state intrusion into their lives through a sweeping range of policies which will restore common sense to government.

The Protection of Freedoms Act will see:

  • the scrapping of the Vetting and Barring Scheme and creation of a new Vetting and Barring Service to oversee a scaled-back barring regime focused only on roles working most closely with vulnerable groups
  • millions of householders protected from some town hall snoopers eg checking their bins or school catchment area
  • the scrapping of section 44 powers, which have been used to stop and search 100,000s of innocent people
  • the reduction of the maximum period of pre-charge detention for terrorist suspects to 14 days
  • DNA samples and fingerprints of more than 1m innocent people deleted from police databases
  • thousands of gay men able to clear their name of out-of-date convictions for consensual acts
  • thousands of motorists protected from rogue wheel clamping firms

The Act follows the review of counter terrorism and security powers and the scrapping of ID cards as the coalition government delivers on its agreement to put traditional British freedoms at the heart of the Whitehall agenda.

Home Secretary Theresa May said: Snooping on the contents of families bins and security checking parents who want to help out in their children's classrooms were never needed for state security and we have brought them to an end: I have brought common sense back to public protection with this Act.

The Protection of Freedoms Act will also see:

  • an end to the fingerprinting of children in schools without parental consent
  • introduction of a code of practice for CCTV and Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems (overseen by a new Surveillance Camera Commissioner) to make them more proportionate and effective
  • restrictions on the powers of government departments, local authorities and other public bodies to enter private homes and other premises for investigations and a requirement for all to examine and slim down remaining powers
  • the repeal of powers to hold serious and complex fraud trials without a jury
  • the liberalisation of marriage laws to allow people to marry outside the hours of 8am-6pm
  • an extension of the scope of the Freedom of Information Act and strengthening the public's right to data
  • widening of the existing offence of trafficking for forced labour and ensuring that UK nationals who commit trafficking offences anywhere in the world can be prosecuted under UK law

Commencement orders enacting measures in the Act will begin from early July.

 

2nd May   

Worldwide Censorship...

ATVOD told to get their hands off BBC Worldwide service operating from Italian Mediaset platform
Link Here

ATVOD logo 2011 ATVOD responded to Ofcom's decision to overrule an ATVOD determination that a BBC Worldwide VOD service was subject to ATVOD censorship:

Decision turned on new evidence not made available to ATVOD

An appeal by BBC Worldwide against an ATVOD determination that it was providing an on demand programme service on the Italian Mediaset platform has been upheld by Ofcom.

In order to fall within the scope of the regulations overseen by ATVOD, a service must satisfy a number of statutory criteria, as set out in section 368A of the Communications Act 2003. In 2011, BBC Worldwide asked ATVOD to determine whether its involvement in the provision of programmes made available on demand on the Mediaset platform in Italy constituted provision of an on demand programme service.

The decision turned on whether BBC Worldwide or Mediaset exercised general control over the selection and organisation of the programmes comprising the relevant video on demand service. The ATVOD decision had been taken on the basis of contractual evidence provided by BBC Worldwide following a request by ATVOD for all relevant information.

Ofcom's decision to uphold the appeal takes into account new evidence from BBC Worldwide which was not made available to ATVOD at the time of its Determination.

Commenting on the decision, ATVOD Chief Executive Pete Johnson said:

This is a complex area and the appeal system is a vital part of the process, giving service providers, in particular, greater clarity over issues such as where regulatory responsibility lies when two or more parties are involved. In this case, it is unfortunate that ATVOD was not provided with all relevant information at the appropriate time - doing so ensures that unnecessary regulatory costs are avoided.

 

2nd May   

New Appeal...

BBFC updates its Video Appeals Committee provisions
Link Here

BBFC logo The BBFC has announced a change to their appeals process:

The BBFC has updated the structure of the independent Video Appeals Committee and the rules governing how it functions. The new rules will apply to any video work submitted to the BBFC for classification on or after 8 May 2012.

 

2nd May   

Update: Kuwaiti Twitter Twats...

Kuwait looks to new censorship law to control local use of social networking
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Kuwait...Baying for blood

Kuwait flag Kuwait plans to pass laws this year to censor the use of social networking sites such as Twitter, the information minister has said, in the wake of cases of alleged blasphemy and sectarianism that have prompted protests.

Kuwaiti lawmakers have already voted in favour of a legal amendment earlier this month which could make insulting religious characters punishable by death.

Information Minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Mubarak Al-Sabah said:

The government is now in the process of establishing laws that will allow government entities to regulate the use of the different new media outlets such as Twitter in order to safeguard the cohesiveness of the population and society.

Sheikh Mohammad said laws regulating social media needed to be passed as soon as possible: I have been asking the parliamentarians to give this priority, adding that he hoped the measures would be implemented this year.

 

2nd May   

The Air was Thick with Bleeps...

BBC America bleeps strong language when premiering The Thick of It Season 3
Link Here

The Thick Of It Series Viewers have complained after The Thick of It was highly bleeped during its Season 3 premiere on BBC America.

Series creator Armando Iannucci heard of the censorship on Twitter.

I gather the swearing was beeped on Thick of It? Anyone know if that's true, he tweeted. BBC America tells me nothing.

Writer Simon Blackwell wrote on Twitter:

Apparently BBC America bleeped The Thick Of It . Must have sounded like a lorry reversing into a heart monitor.

A BBC America spokesman later confirmed:

BBC America abides by basic cable television common practice in the US in using bleeps to cover profanity in its programmes.

Bleeps were used during The Thick of It season 3 premiere at midnight.

 

2nd May   

Update: Bible Banners...

Azerbaijan demands that religious book sellers are licensed and then drags its feet about granting licences
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Russia...Offending religious beliefs or desecration of holy objects or symbols

Azerbaijan flag An official of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organisations, which operates Azerbaijan's repressive religious censorship system, admitted in mid-April that about 100 shops wishing to sell religious books are still waiting for the necessary licences. Only 16 such licences have been issued since the system's introduction in 2009.

Forum 18 News Service notes that selling religious books without a licence risks a maximum punishment for a first offence of two years' imprisonment.

 

1st May   

Updated: Demons 2...

New region free DVD and Blu-ray releases of Lamberto Bava's Demons 2
Link Here
Demons 2 DVD Asia Argento Demons 2 is a 1986 Italy horror film by Lamberto Bava. With David Edwin Knight, Nancy Brilli and Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni. See IMDb

UK: The Director's Cut was passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Arrow Limited Edition Steelbook [Demons 1 + Demons 2] RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 30th April 2012
  • UK 2012 Arrow RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 14th May 2012
  • UK 2012 Arrow R0 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 30th April 2012
  • UK 2010 Arrow R0 DVD
Previously the Director's Cut was passed 18 uncut for:
  • UK 2000 Divid R2 DVD
  • UK 1993 GLS VHS
  • UK  Avatar VHS
  • UK 1987 cinema release

New Arrow Blu-ray & DVD Promotional Material:

Panic on the streets! The Demons are back!

The Demons are back! Unleashed through the TV and bringing Hell direct to your Living Room. Out of the dark Forbidden Zone, the world's ugliest zombies are causing carnage in an apartment block, eating the residents and spreading their deadly plague.

Watch as a teenage birthday girl ruins the party by eating her guests, see bodybuilders torn to shreds and tremble in terror as possessed children run amok. Will anyone survive or will the Demons rise once more and destroy us all?

Directed by Lamberto Bava (Demons, Macabre) and produced by Dario Argento (Sleepless, Inferno), this Italian splatter classic will leave you in fear of turning on the Television...

Features

  • Four option reversible sleeve with original poster and video artwork with additional fifth artwork panel featuring all-new Jeff Zornow artwork
  • Double-sided fold-out poster
  • Collector's Booklet featuring brand new writing on Demons by Calum Wadell
  • Collector's Comic: Demons 3 Part 2 of 2! Not The Ogre . Not The Church . Not even Black Demons ! For the first time ever, Arrow Video presents an original sequel to the cult classics.
  • Remastered from a brand new HD restoration of the film
  • Optional English and Italian audio
  • Optional English subtitles for Italian and English (SDH) audio
  • Original Aspect Ratio- 1.66:1 (16x9)
  • The audio recollections of director Lamberto Bava, Mechanical Creations & Transformation Artist Sergio Stivaletti and Journalist Loris Curci
  • Creating Creature Carnage: Extensive Interview with makeup man Sergio Stivaletti
  • Bava to Bava: Luigi Cozzi tracks the history of the Italian horror film; from Riccardo Freda and Mario Bava to the end of the golden age with Michele Soavi and Lamberto Bava as well as considering recent Italian horror films.
  • Original trailer

 

1st May   

Update: A Children's Alien or Not?...

Supporting the hype for Ridley Scott's Prometheus
Link Here  full story: Prometheus...Hype about PG-13 vs R
Prometheus Michael Fassbender Ridley Scott's highly anticipated Prometheus is set for cinema release in a month or so. The issue of whether it will be PG-13 or R has been providing some goo publicity for the film.

A year ago Ridley Scott said he would be shooting the sci-fi film both in PG-13 and R-rated versions. Then at the end of March, he said that the movie should be rated R.

Fox boss Tom Rothman says, either way it will be Ridley's vision:

I can assure the fans---I'm very aware of their concern---absolutely they can take it that the film will not be compromised either way. So if that means that the film is R, then it'll be an R. If it's PG-13, then it'll be a PG-13, but it will not be compromised.

heyuguys.co.uk asks:

The big question is, will Fox really gamble on an R rating for a genre that typically is a hard sell, with a cast led by a host of names that for most moviegoers are a complete mystery? Or, has Ridley Scott been able to deliver the movie he wants within the constricts of a PG-13 rating?

 

1st May   

Update: Torrents of Court Orders...

UK High Court orders UK ISPs to block Pirate Bay
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking File Sharing in UK...High court dictates website block

Old Bailey The UK High Court has ruled that several ISPs including Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media must censor The Pirate Bay file sharing website.

The blocking process was established in law by the media industry action against the Newzbin2 Usenet indexing site last year. A few weeks later a conglomerate of music labels filed a lawsuit against several Internet providers, demanding that they block subscriber access to The Pirate Bay.

Nine labels including EMI, Polydor, Sony, Virgin and Warner said that The Pirate Bay infringes their copyrights and that several ISPs including TalkTalk and Virgin Media should implement a blockade under Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.

In February the High Court agreed that The Pirate Bay and its users do indeed breach copyright on a major scale, and this decision has now been followed by a court order.

ISPs Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media must censor The Pirate Bay website in the weeks to come. A sixth ISP, BT, has asked for more time to consider its position.

The Open Rights Group says the court-ordered block represents the thin end of the wedge.

Blocking the Pirate Bay is pointless and dangerous. It will fuel calls for further, wider and even more drastic calls for Internet censorship of many kinds, from pornography to extremism, ORG Executive Director Jim Killock said: Internet censorship is growing in scope and becoming easier. Yet it never has the effect desired. It simply turns criminals into heroes.

 

1st May   

Update: In the Age of Facebook...

Government know better than parents when their kids are ready to use Facebook
Link Here  full story: Social Networking Censorship in the UK...Internet censorship set to solve Britain's broken society

tim loughtoni Tim Loughton, the Children's Minister, has accused mothers and fathers of aiding and abetting pre-teens to open accounts on Facebook.

His whinge was in response to Labour MP Ann Coffey who urged the Government and mobile phone companies to do more to combat sexting , where teenagers send sexual pictures of themselves to each other using camera phones.

Loughton said parents had a responsibility to monitor youngsters online, adding:

Having a Facebook page, you should be at least 13 to do that. That is not legally enforceable.

We know, and I know from personal experience, the temptations for younger children to set up a Facebook site and get involved with those social media.

And I also know that in too many cases they do that aided and abetted by parents. So it's not just a question of giving information to parents, it's making sure parents are acting responsibly on behalf of their children too.

A Facebook spokesman said:

Facebook is currently designed for two age groups (13-18 year olds and 18 and up), and we provide extensive safety and privacy controls based on the age provided.

If someone reports an underage account to use then we will remove it, and use back-end end technology to try and prevent them signing up again.

However, recent reports have highlighted just how difficult it is to implement age restrictions on the Internet and that there is no single solution to ensuring younger children don't circumvent a system or lie about their age.

However, we agree with safety experts that communication between parents/guardians and kids about their use of the Internet is vital.

Just as parents are always teaching and reminding kids how to cross the road safely, talking about internet safety should be just as important a lesson to learn.

 

1st May   

Beware of Ukraine's Promiscuous Women...

Ukraine wound up by Dutch advert for a beer dispenser
Link Here

dutch beer dispenser advert video A Dutch TV advert which warns women not to let their men travel to Ukraine for Euro 2012 because of the promiscuous women has triggered a diplomatic spat between the two countries.

The commercial for a beer dispense made by NLEnergie urges wives and girlfriends to keep your men at home during this summer's football tournament.

It shows how typing only the letters ukr into internet search engine immediately brings up the result Ukrainian women . The web page is then filled with scores of images of scantily clad Ukrainian models.

Ukraine's ambassador to Amsterdam Olexander Horin said he was shocked at the image the advert gave of his country. He said:

I am asking the company to withdraw this advert immediately.

It is offensive to both the Ukrainians and the Dutch, and sends out the wrong message to people in both in both countries.

NLEnergie boss Harald Swinkels said:

It is just a bit of fun that plays on the cliches and Ukraine's reaction is disproportionate.

I shouldn't for a moment think it will stop any Dutch men from travelling to Ukraine to support their national team, and I will be explaining this to the Ukrainian ambassador when I meet him.

 

1st May

 Offsite Article: Screw Obama...

Link Here  full story: Social Networking Censorship in the UK...Internet censorship set to solve Britain's broken society
A case that questions the Pentagon's limits on free speech for soldiers. Marine sacked after commenting on Facebook: 'Screw Obama and I will not follow all orders from him'.

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

1st May

 Offsite Article: Do we really need Big Sister watching over us?...

Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn
Why Claire Perry MP for Devizes has got it wrong on online child protection. By Kay Lacey

See article from marlboroughpeople.co.uk