Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch

2011: June

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30th June   

Mothers Against Violence Recommend...

Eminem's Space Bound
Link Here
In a new video Space Bound , Eminem fantasises about choking and killing porn star Sasha Grey. Then he shoots himself in a graphic scene which shows blood spurting out of the back of his head.

Unsurprisingly it has wound up a few campaigners. Mothers Against Violence branded Eminem as evil . A spokeswoman said:

People who do this are really quite evil. Children are influenced by the things they see. If we feed violence, it becomes strong. Like an addiction.

It's all about the money with these videos. Eminem isn't thinking about the families affected. It's selfish, it comes to a point when selfishness becomes evil.


30th June   

Dead Wrong...

Australia's censors award a 15 rating to Dead Island compared with a BBFC 18 rating
Link Here

The hotly anticipated open world zombie game Dead Island has received an MA15+ rating from the Australian Classification Board.

In a decision that has surprised many in the video games industry, Dead Island has passed through the Australian Classification Board unscathed, receiving an MA15+ rating for strong horror violence, blood and gore.

In the UK, the game was passed 18 uncut with the BBFC comment: Contains strong bloody violence and strong language.

The BBFC also explained their decision to award an 18 rather than a 15.:

At 15 the BBFC's Guidelines state Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. The strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable . During DEAD ISLAND zombie enemies are frequently encountered during normal gameplay, and must be defeated in order to progress. The player can pick up virtually anything on the island to use as a weapon, which means that rowing oars and baseball bats are often utilised at the start, with weapons only becoming available as the player progresses in experience. The list of weapons includes knives, knuckle dusters, pistols, machine guns, shotguns and Molotov cocktails. When attacking the undead, blood frequently sprays from their bodies and onto the screen, and blood is seen smeared on the melee weapons as they are used. It is also possible to blow off limbs and heads with more powerful weapons such as the shotgun, with blood also spurting from the severed body parts. This level of violence dwells on the infliction of both pain and injury, and as such was not permissible at the 15 category.

Dead Island will launch globally on September 9, 2011 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.


30th June   

Angry Whinges...

Complaints dismissed about late night Drive Angry TV advert
Link Here

Two TV ads for the release of the film, Drive Angry 3D , featuring the actor Nicholas Cage.

a. The first ad began with a car crashing into a group of people. Large on-screen text and a voice-over stated Get ready for a hell of a ride . Nicholas Cage was then shown pointing a large gun and saying You can't stop me . Various violent scenes ensued. In one scene, a man was shot through the chest at close range. In another scene a man was shown firing a gun and the bullet moving in slow motion towards the viewer. A subsequent scene showed a wrench fly through the air and sever a man's hand with large on-screen text stating 3D . Then an axe was thrown in slow motion towards the viewer. A further scene showed Nicholas Cage being shot through the eye socket at close range. Then a man was stabbed through the shoulder. Another scene featured a car hitting a man at high speed and a man's body falling onto a broken window pane. Nicholas Cage was then shown punching another man in the face. The voice-over continued It's the 3D movie event of the year . The voice-over and large on-screen text stated NICHOLAS CAGE, DRIVE ANGRY 3D. 18. IN CINEMAS FEB 25. In the final scene Nicholas Cage, with an open wound in his eye socket, shot at a man whose charred body was blown away.

b. A shorter version of ad (a) began with a young woman pointing a large gun and shouting Hey dickless!. The following scene featured a car chase between two cars travelling side-by-side and one driver firing a gun through the driver's window of the adjacent car. Another scene showed the young woman punching another woman in the face. The ad then featured some of the same violent scenes as ad (a), in particular, the severed hand, the car crashing into a group of people, the close-up of Nicholas Cage's eye socket wound, the man's charred body being blown away and the man being hit by a car at high speed. The ad featured a similar voice-over and similar on-screen text as ad (a) but also referred in voice-over to eye-popping 3D. Issue

Two viewers challenged whether the ads were offensive, because they featured scenes of graphic violence.

Clearcast said they had approved the ads after considerable discussion around whether or not the ads were acceptable to be broadcast at all. They said that they certainly felt that, because of the blood and gore featured in the ads, they should be transmitted with at least a post-9pm restriction and they ultimately decided on the heaviest restriction available, which was a post-11pm restriction. They felt that was an appropriate timing restriction, and that the ads were acceptable for broadcast after that time, because the violence featured in the ads was comic-book surreal and would be appreciated more by a late night audience than any other.

ASA Assessment: Not upheld

The ASA noted that the ads reflected the adult content of an 18-rated film and had been given a post-11pm scheduling restriction. We acknowledged that the ads contained scenes of blood and gore that might be considered distasteful by some viewers. We noted that the film was intended to be seen in 3D by cinema audiences and the large on-screen text stating 3D and voice-over in the ads made that clear. We considered that some of the scenes, including the severed hand in both ads, and the flying axe in ad (a), had a three-dimensional feel to them because they showed objects apparently flying out of the screen towards the viewer.

We noted that the premise of the film was that Nicholas Cage's character had come back from hell to avenge the death of his daughter. We noted that both ads referred to a hell of a ride and that, although only ad (a) showed Nicholas Cage being shot in the eye, both ads showed him with an eye socket wound and ad (b) referred to eye-popping 3D. We considered that, although it was not explicit that Nicholas Cage's character was from hell, the fact that he was able to continue with his campaign despite having been shot through the eye at close range, suggested that his character was not human. We also considered that the scene showing the man with the charred body in both ads, albeit brief, also indicated that he was probably not human.

We noted that neither ads encouraged or condoned violence and none of the characters were obvious victims or underdogs. We noted that ad (b) included the word Dickless, and although this may have been considered distasteful by some viewers, we considered it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence, especially to a post-11pm audience. Whilst we understood that the violent images in the ads might upset some viewers, we considered that most viewers would be aware that more adult material was likely to be broadcast after 11pm and that the majority of post-11pm viewers were unlikely to be offended by the scenes in the ads. For these reasons, we concluded that the post-11pm restriction was sufficient and that the ads were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to viewers when broadcast after 11pm.

We investigated the ads under BCAP Code rule 4.2 (Harm and offence) but did not find them in breach.


30th June   

Update: One Stop Complaints Shop...

Lords committee reports that the relationship between the BBC Trust and Ofcom is too convoluted
Link Here

The BBC's complaints process is convoluted and overly complicated , a group of peers has said. The Lords communications committee said it was hard for viewers, listeners and web users to know whom to contact. and proposed a complaints one-stop shop .

Part of the problem was that the roles of the BBC Trust and watchdog Ofcom overlapped, the report added. And despite Ofcom having the final say in all other areas, the BBC Trust has responsibility for matters of impartiality and accuracy.

Peers said the BBC should set out a clear explanation of its complaints process on its website, so that licence fee payers knew what they could expect. There should also be a single point of contact for all complaints, regardless of whether they applied to television, radio or online material..

This situation - in which the BBC was judge and jury in its own case - was undesirable and should not continue, the peers said.

The committee called for all complaints to be made to the BBC in the first instance, followed by a right of appeal to the BBC Trust and a subsequent final appeal to Ofcom if the complainant was not happy with the trust's decision.


30th June   

Campaigning Banned on Election Day...

Thailand bans internet electioneering around polling day
Link Here

Any political campaigning via Facebook, Twitter and other online social networks will be banned from 6pm on election eve, Saturday until midnight on election day, Sunday.

No alcohol will be on sale or served during these hours as well.

More than 900 websites will be monitored for signs of a breach of the electoral law during those hours.

The ban covers not only political parties and their candidates but also the general public.

Police said the use of online campaigning tools such as Facebook and Twitter is of serious concern and police are stepping up efforts in making the users aware of the restriction.


30th June   

Updated: Changing Appeal...

BBFC changes the Video Appeals Committee rules
Link Here

The following message has appeared on the main page of the BBFC website::

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 1 July 2011.

Update: Appealing for Details

30th June 2011.

Thanks to Shaun who has written to the BBFC asking for details of this change:

Could you please provide (for the readers of the Melon Farmer's web site) any more information on this please?

What does it mean? There seems to be no further explanation on the BBFC web site.

How can the V.A.C. be in any way independent of the BBC if you [the BBFC] are free to change the rules by which it operates or its structure ? That it is supposed to be independent doesn't make any sense whatsoever if you can do that.

Update: Ignored

9th August 2011. Thanks to Shaun

The BBFC did not respond to requests for details about new Video Appeals Committee


30th June   

Fees on Demand...

ATVOD set their year 2 fees
Link Here

ATVOD have wisely decided against their first year £2900 fixed fee approach and replaced it with a graduated fee dependent on company revenue and the number of services run by that company.

The year 2 annual fees in £ are:

  • non commercial: 100 + 100 for additional services
  • commercial, revenue < 50k: 150 + 150 for additional services
  • commercial, revenue < 100k: 200 + 200 for additional services
  • commercial, revenue < 6.5m: 800 + 400 for additional services, max 25k
  • commercial, revenue < 25.9m: 5175 + 800 for additional services, max 25k
  • commercial, revenue > 25.9m: 10350 + 800 for additional services, max 25k


30th June   

Updated: First Steps...

Australian ISPs to implement a minimal internet filter currently limited to URLs featuring child abuse
Link Here
Full story: Website Blocking in Australia...Stephen Conroy's attempt at internet censorship

Australian internet users will have their web access partially censored next month after the country's two largest internet providers agreed to voluntarily block more than 500 websites from view.

Telstra and Optus confirmed they would block access to a list of child abuse websites provided by the Australian Communications and Media Authority and more compiled by unnamed international organisations from mid-year.

But internet experts have warned that the scheme is merely a feel-good policy that will not stop criminals from accessing obscene material online and could block websites unfairly.

The voluntary scheme was originally proposed by the Federal Government last year as part of a wider, $9.8 million scheme to encourage internet service providers to block all Refused Classification material from users. The Government dropped its funding for the scheme last month due to limited interest from the industry, but a spokesman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said a basic voluntary filter was still on track to be introduced by Telstra, Optus and two small ISPs.

The ACMA will compile and manage a list of URLs of child abuse content that will include the appropriate subsection of the ACMA blacklist as well as child abuse URLs that are provided by reputable international organisations (to be blocked), the spokesman said.

Electronic Frontiers Association board member Colin Jacobs also expressed concern at the scheme, saying the Government and internet providers needed to be more upfront about websites being blocked and offer an appeals process for website owners who felt URLs had been blocked unfairly.

Update: Telstra hacked off by censorship

26th June 2011. From

At least one Australian ISP is wavering on plans to begin blocking illegal websites next month because of fear of reprisals from internet vigilantes.

It came to light yesterday that despite a climbdown by the Australian government, four of the country's internet providers, including the two largest, were planning to launch a voluntary internet filtering scheme in July. The plan has been criticized as lacking transparency, accountability and any sort of visible appeals process, but never mind all that, it's full steam ahead!

Now, Telstra, one of the two big players involved, is apparently having second thoughts about the whole thing. A rep said last night that while the company remains committed to working with the government to cut access to child pornography, it hasn't actually made a decision to fire up the filter.

What's the hangup? Word on the street is that Telstra is worried about putting itself in the crosshairs of Anonymous and other internet vigilantes.   Patrick Gray of the Risky Business security podcast said Telstra was right to be worried. If they think there's a laugh in something and it ties in with their politics, they might have a go, sure.

Update: Strict Interpol List, Not Australia's bloated block list

30th June 2011. From

Australia's internet industry body has sought to distance its fledgling child pornography filtering scheme from the Federal Government's mandatory filtering policy, stating its own more limited approach was more akin to ISPs cooperating with law enforcement authorities and would not constitute a form of censorship.

The scheme is expected to see most of Australia's major ISPs voluntarily block a list of sites containing child pornography compiled by international policing agency Interpol, with the assistance of the Australian Federal Police. The legal instrument for the scheme to go ahead is section 313 of Australia's Telecommunications Act, which allows law enforcement to make reasonable requests for assistance from ISPs.

The framework has already been agreed to by Telstra and Optus, and most of the rest of Australia's major ISPs are expected to fall in line and implement the Interpol blacklist over the next year.

In an interview this afternoon, Internet Industry Association chief executive Peter Coroneos denied the Interpol filter would see a form of censorship reach Australia's internet sector. This is not censorship; this is law enforcement cooperation around material which is illegal to possess, he said. We've been at pains to try and distance this initiative from the Government's mandatory filtering scheme.

Coroneos highlighted a number of key differences between the IIA's policy and Labor's filter policy. For starters, he said, no new technology would need to be implemented in ISPs' networks to block the Interpol list, although both policies would see a block page displayed when a user tried to access a banned site. Instead, ISPs' network routing tables would block access to the sites directly, with a list of the banned sites to be provided by Interpol through the AFP to the ISPs.

Secondly, the Interpol list will contain a much more limited set of sites to be blocked than the Federal Government's scheme would affect. The Interpol list only contains several hundred sites, representing the agency's worst of list of sites containing media depicting children younger than 13 years in sexually exploitative situations. And the images must be of real people --- sites which contain computer generated or other created images are not included.

The Federal Government's list is believed to contain several thousand sites in a range of categories of material that have been refused classification, not just child pornography, for example, but pro-rape sites, bestiality, sites which promote crime and so on.


30th June   

ASA Cures Religious Hallucination...

Church healing claims banned by the advert censor
Link Here

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint from Nottingham Secular Society president Dennis Penaluna.

The complaint concerned a leaflet produced by St Mark's, Woodthorpe, a Church of England church. It claimed that their god could cure anything: MS, Depression, Cancer, Fibromyalgia, Asthma, Paralysis, Phobias, Arthritis, or any other sickness.

The ASA has agreed that St Mark's was making unsubstantiated claims, and has instructed the church to remove references in its leaflet, to ... healing sickness and the list of medical conditions.


29th June   

Well, What Were You Expecting?...

Whinges about daytime trailers for Candy Bar Girls
Link Here

Channel 5 has aired vaguely provocative trailers for Candy Bar Girls , a reality show about lesbians in London, during daytime TV.

10 nutters complained about a series of  promos for the series.

Each of the on-air promos feature teasing close-up images that appear to be of two women engaged in sexual activity, intercut with lines such as Red... hot... lesbians and Pussy... loving... ladies .

Wider shots then reveal the women to be engaged in more innocent activities, such as a gym workout and a woman stroking a toy cat in another's lap, with the voiceover stating, Well, what were you expecting? , before a plug for Candy Bar Girls.

Ofcom is investigating the promos to see if they are in breach of broadcasting regulations about appropriate scheduling and harm and offence.


29th June   

Update: Supreme Scrutiny...

US supreme court will consider whether the FCC brand of TV censorship is constitutional
Link Here

The Supreme Court has announced that it will take up a case to determine whether the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) enforcement of broadcast decency rules is constitutional.

The court will begin to hear arguments this fall in what is expected to be a fierce battle between the TV censors and the broadcasters over First Amendment interpretations.

The FCC's role as an arbiter of what is and isn't prudent to air during hours when children may be watching has come under intense scrutiny. Nutter complaints about broadcast TV and radio have skyrocketed in recent years.

We are hopeful that the Court will affirm the Commission's exercise of its statutory responsibility to protect children and families from indecent broadcast programming, a spokesman from the FCC chairman's office said in a statement.

Last year, the Court of Appeals in New York sided with broadcasters, saying the FCC's authority as decency watchdog was vague and that its enforcement could have a chilling effect on the broadcast industry.


29th June   

New Tricks...

TV cast reveal that the BBC is terrified of causing offence
Link Here
The stars of BBC police drama New Tricks have criticised television censorship , saying that the broadcaster is terrified of causing offence.

Alun Armstrong, who plays oddball Brian Lane in the show, told the Radio Times: We tend to come up against the BBC mainly when there are edicts and memos and script changes, which we never get to discuss.

Dennis Waterman, who plays Gerry Standing in the show, added: We play the game of, 'was this written by the writer or a BBC executive?'


29th June   

Playing Jacks...

New Zealand censor calls for more censorship for computer games
Link Here

  Chief Censor
Andrew Jack

Andrew Jack writes:

Video games in New Zealand operate under a looser system of classification than the one used for films and videos, but one that can be complex, creating confusion for game sellers and the public alike.

The time may have come to treat games the same as films and DVDs and require them to carry a New Zealand classification label.

At present, games don't need to carry a classification label at all unless they have content that could be restricted under New Zealand classification law, such as depicting strong or explicit sexual or violent content. In other words, depicting such content in a way that might be injurious to the public good, or to younger people in particular.

To make things more complicated, games can carry another country's label - for example, a label from Australia - even though other countries do not always have the same sensitivities and standards for assessing and labelling content as we do in New Zealand.


In recent research by the Classification Office, most participants were unaware of the practice of cross- rating and the exemptions for games, and opinions on these practices varied. One participant said: I guess I always thought that everything got reviewed here, I never realised that we just automatically took other people's classifications.

Participants in this research felt it important that classification decisions for New Zealand were based on New Zealand society's values and law, and made by a group based within New Zealand because they've got more idea of what is acceptable in our culture . The research also showed that 71% of respondents would like to see the system change so that all games are required to have New Zealand labels.

A change to the classification legislation would be required to ensure that games are treated the same as films and DVDs - whether using another classification system, for example Australia's, or a New Zealand-based evaluation.

The research, which will be published shortly, indicates that such a change would be welcomed by consumers and enable members of the public to feel confident that games on the New Zealand market have been classified in accordance with New Zealand law and public expectations. However, the commercial implications for games distributors of such a move are unclear.


See  article from

Tampering with the perfectly adequate existing system of classifying video games could become problematic for the NZ market place. It could lead to a black market of illicitly-imported games over which there is no censorship, and games that fail to work with the parental control systems for consoles sold in NZ, says the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (iGEA).

iGEA chief executive, Ron Curry, said the current system, whereby New Zealand shares a perfectly adequate Australian labelling system, is working satisfactorily.

He is concerned that moves to introduce specific-to-New Zealand classification labelling for all games will make many games too costly to import into New Zealand.

One result is likely to be that global manufacturers, for whom New Zealand is a tiny market, will opt not to bother sending games to this country because of the greatly increased cost associated with classifying titles and providing New Zealand classification labels.

That opens the door to black market suppliers who will move quickly to fill the gap. They will bring in games regardless of content, and sell them to any and everyone, regardless of age. Without appropriate labelling the ability for parents to make informed decisions about their children's entertainment choices is compromised. We are already seeing that in Australia where they have a similar issue with an absence of R18 classifications.


28th June   

Bye Bob...

Bob Pisano steps down as president of the MPAA
Link Here

Bob Pisano is stepping down as president and chief operating officer of the Motion Picture Assn. of America after nearly six years on the job.

Pisano's departure was expected after the board of the MPAA, which acts as Hollywood's chief lobbying arm on Capitol Hill, tapped former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd as its chairman and chief executive earlier this year.

Pisano, who held the post since 2005, had been a candidate for the top job after Dan Glickman gave up the post last year. Pisano served as the organization's interim chief executive from January 2010 through March of this year, when, after an extensive search, Dodd was selected to be the group's new leader.


28th June   

Updated: Taken with a Pinch of Salt...

Bad reviews for Taiwan justice
Link Here

A court in Taiwan this week ruled against a female food-blogger who said a local restaurant's beef noodles were too salty, and that she'd seen cockroaches scurrying around in the restaurant.

She gets 30 days in detention, two years of probation, and must pay 200,000 Taiwanese dollars (about $7K US dollars) in compensation to the restaurant. The court didn't argue she was lying about the bugs, but ruled that Ms. Liu should not have criticized all the restaurant's food as too salty because she only had one dish on her single visit.

The Taipei Times carried advice from a lawyer. Huang Cheng-lee said that bloggers who post food reviews should remember to be truthful in their commentary and supplement their comments with photographs to protect themselves.

Update: Jail for a poor review

28th June 2011. From

The Taiwanese blogger was sentenced to 30 days in detention and ordered to pay NT$200,000 (about £ 11,000) for allegedly writing a defamatory review about a local restaurant. She blogged that the dish she had ordered was too salty and that there were cockroaches on the restaurant premises. The restaurant refuted these claims, sued, and won their claim. In Taiwan, defamation is a criminal act.


28th June   

Comment: Vastly Disproportionate Power...

French government looking to enact powers for general internet censorship
Link Here
Full story: Internet Censorship in France...Web blocking in the name of child protection

The French citizen rights group La Quadrature reported this week that its government is entertaining an executive draft that would give the French government the power to arbitrarily censor any content or service on the Net. According to the site, the law would grant government officials the power to cut off access to websites which harms or otherwise puts at risk public order and security, the protection of minors, of public health, national defence, or physical persons.

News site Tech Dirt compared the order to China's infamous internet censorship, the cleverly-titled Great Firewall. We'll leave it to our readers to come up with a funny French pun for the country's own efforts.

Jeremie Zimmermann, a spokesperson for La Quadrature, criticized the proposal.

This draft executive order aims to give the government a vastly disproportionate power to censor any website or content on the Internet, said Zimmermann. It is an obvious violation of the principle of separation of powers, and strongly harms freedom of communication online. This is an extremely disturbing drift, in direct continuity with the French government's repressive

He concluded that the order must absolutely be rejected.

Offsite Comment: France on its way to total Internet censorship?

28th June 2011. See  article from by Félix Tréguer

On 15 June, 2011, website PC INpact revealed the existence of a draft executive order which would give the French government the power to arbitrarily censor any content or service on the Net.

To implement article 18 of the law for the Digital Economy of June 21st, 2004, the French government is proposing to give to several of its ministries the power to order the censorship of online content that harms or otherwise puts at risk public order and security, the protection of minors, of public health, national defence, or physical persons*. Websites ranging from WikiLeaks to The Pirate Bay could fall under the broad scope of the decree.

...Read the full article


28th June   

Update: Thin News...

American Medical Association has a whinge at photoshopped models
Link Here
Full story: Photoshopped Models...Campaigners to ban photoshopped adverts

The American Medical Association has a whinge about the use of photo-edited fashion pictures due to the supposedly negative impact it can have on the self-esteem of children and teenagers that see them.

The organisation announced a policy against the practice today at its annual meeting. A statement released afterwards explained how a large body of literature links exposure to media-propagated images of unrealistic body image to eating disorders and other child and adolescent health problems.

It said that it wants to encourage advertising associations to work with public and private sector organizations concerned with child and adolescent health to develop guidelines for advertisements, especially those appearing in teen-oriented publications, that would discourage the altering of photographs in a manner that could promote unrealistic expectations of appropriate body image.

The AMA had particular criticism for Ralph Lauren, which has a history of using Photoshop to extremes. A member of the organisation was quoted referring to an incident in 2009, when the label edited a picture of model Filippa Hamilton to the extent that her head was bigger than her waist.

They said: In one image, a model's waist was slimmed so severely, her head appeared to be wider than her waist. We must stop exposing impressionable children and teenagers to advertisements portraying models with body types only attainable with the help of photo editing software.


27th June   

Update: Flawed Senators...

Australia's nutter senators call for censorship of art
Link Here
Full story: Australian Censorship Review... Reviewing censorship law for all media

The report, released last week by the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee, says the defence of artistic merit is not enough to allow some controversial works of art to be exhibited, particularly when it comes to those that depict children.

Chairman Tasmanian and nutter senator Guy Barnett said the current classification system was broken and flawed and the recommendation was striving for uniformity across all media platforms. Visual arts should not be exempt from our criminal laws and our anti-pornography laws, he said.

Art Gallery of SA director Nick Mitzevich responded saying a one size fits all approach to classification might be damaging to the industry. Most of the visual arts industry censors itself and understands the moral compass of the industry, he said. I think there's little evidence to support such a draconian approach - a one size fits all. It seems it's bureaucracy out of control.

National Association of Visual Arts executive director Tamara Winikoff hoped the Federal Government would wait until the Australian Law Reform Commission's concurrent inquiry into the classification was handed down in January before entertaining the idea of a ratings system. She warned against putting visual arts into the same category as other media. Between all sorts of cultural productions there are similarities, but the way the work is seen and understood is really very different, she said: You can't just lump apples and oranges together.


27th June   

Update: Minor Technicality...

US Supreme Court strikes down law banning retailers from selling violent games to minors
Link Here
Full story: Violent Games in the US...Attempts to restrict video games from minors

The US Supreme Court has struck down a Californian law banning the sale or rental of violent video games to those aged under 18.

The court voted 7-2 to uphold an appeals court ruling that declared the law contrary to free speech rights enshrined in the US Constitution.

Speaking at the Supreme Court, Justice Antonin Scalia said: Our cases hold that minors are entitled to a significant degree of First Amendment protection. Government has no free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which they may be exposed.

The 2005 California law prohibited the sale of violent video games to children where a reasonable person would find that the violent content appeals to a deviant or morbid interest of minors, is patently offensive to prevailing community standards as to what is suitable for minors, and causes the game as a whole to lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors . Under the law retailers caught selling the titles to minors could face a fine of up to $1,000 for each game.


27th June   

Update: Secretive Government...

Rights holders present secret paper to the government proposing website blocking
Link Here
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

The Open Rights Group has learnt that detailed website blocking proposals have been presented by rights holder groups to Ed Vaizey.

The paper was submitted by the Football Association Premier League; the Publishers Association; BPI (British Recorded Music Industry); the Motion Picture Association; and the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television.

The paper itself has not been published or circulated, despite requests to rights holder groups. The meeting on 15 June, where the paper was presented, was closed to ORG or any other rights group. Consumer Focus did attend, as the official consumer watchdog.

However, it is unclear if Consumer Focus or anyone else is able to show us the proposal. In essence, we have a secret website blocking proposal tabled by rights holders, that may become a self-regulatory , privatised, censorship platform for the UK.

It is unacceptable for trade groups and government to conduct policy in this way. Censorship proposals must be made and discussed in public. Many of us will oppose any censorship that impacts directly and widely on free expression.

UPDATE: Consumer Focus have published a response to the secret paper. This says the core of the proposal is that:

The trade associations are proposing that the Applications Court of the High Court issues permanent injunctions on the basis that a Council and expert body have come to the view that the evidence submitted by copyright owners is valid and the blocking access to the website is appropriate.

Update: Secretive Paper Leaked

27th June 2011. From
See  paper [pdf] from

The paper has now been leaked.

Under the plans copyright owners would identify websites they believe are infringing their copyright and an expert body would then decide whether to recommend that a court issues an injunction banning the site from hosting infringing material, according to the documents.

Internet service providers (ISPs) that sign-up to the code will then block access to the sites, the documents said.

Under the new code rights holders should inform websites that they are taking infringement action against them where possible and website owners should be able to appeal against ISPs blocking access to their sites, the document said.

Details of the proposals were first revealed by blogger James Firth who posted about the secret meeting on his website. Firth said a Government contact had told him Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, had commented on the proposals, saying if it's a voluntary scheme, go and do it . This implies that Government does not need to be involved, Firth said in his blog.


27th June   

Facebook Has No Balls...

Swedish gallery censors Robert Mapplethorpe art to highlight Facebook censorship
Link Here

Fotografiska, a contemporary photography museum in Stockholm, has elected to censor its own promotional material for an upcoming exhibition to draw attention to Facebook's ludicrous nudity ban.

We censored the photographs because Facebook removed our pictures, said Fotografiska spokesperson Jens Hollingby to The Local: Our purpose was to bring attention to the issue and to open a discussion

The photographs in question are by the controversial US photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and form part of a major new exhibition of his work which recently opened at the museum.

Hollingby told The Local that Facebook is an important channel for the museum to market

Beneath the photographs, which are censored with a large blue rectangle with the text facebook-friendly square , the museum has explained its position:

Facebook thinks that naked bodies cause offence. They remove our photos. For them, it does not matter if it is art or not. I you would like to see the photos in their full glory, we invite you to visit us.

The exhibition of Robert Mapplethorpe's work runs until October 2nd 2011.


27th June   

Update: Least Sex Yet...

Singapore film censor cuts 3D Sex and Zen for a 21 rating
Link Here
Full story: 3-D Sex and Zen...Hong Kong erotic movie in 3D reports that:

An international version of the Hong Kong film 3D Sex and Zen , touted as the world's first 3D porn film, has received a R21 (Restricted 21) rating from the Board of Film Censors (BFC), and will be screened uncut in Singapore, from July 21.

The international version of the film clocks in at 102 minutes, 27 minutes shorter than the 129-minute version shown in Hong Kong, which was again six minutes shorter than the 135-minute version its director Christopher Sun had originally put together.

The film carries a consumer advisory stating that it contains Nudity, Sexual Scenes and Graphic Violence .

However the very short running time suggests that the SIngapore release might not be se uncut as claimed. From Thailand's Nation newspaper:

The director's cut runs 129 minutes, Hong Kong's version is 118 minutes and the international cut for censorial challenged countries is 113 minutes. Thailand and Singapore have each snipped the film down to 110 minutes but Thailand's version still allows nude scenes while Singapore's cut has removed some sex scenes and all scenes showing the monk and the woman.


27th June   

On Balance...

Violent video games lead to decreases in violent crime
Link Here

Psychological studies invariably find a positive relationship between violent video game play and aggression. However, these studies cannot account for either aggressive effects of alternative activities video game playing substitutes for or the possible selection of relatively violent people into playing violent video games. That is, they lack external validity.

We investigate the relationship between the prevalence of violent video games and violent crimes.

Our results are consistent with two opposing effects. First, they support the behavioral effects as in the psychological studies. Second, they suggest a larger voluntary incapacitation effect in which playing either violent or non-violent games decrease crimes.

Overall, violent video games lead to decreases in violent crime.


26th June   

Morally Impaired Censors...

UK adult video websites to be stitched up by ludicrously onerous child protection requirements
Link Here

The Adult Industry Trade Association (AITA) recently organised an open meeting with Pete Johnson of ATVOD.

Pete Johnson (ex BBFC) has been charged to head ATVOD, an organisation sanctioned by OFCOM under an EU directive to collect fees from all websites that fit the video on demand criteria under law.

They provide no service to the website owner whatsoever, but imposed a charge of £ 2900 per site in 2010 (currently consulting about a variable charge related to turnover for 2011).

Practically every website with video gets caught up in the censorial rules, except for user content websites along the lines of YouTube. Perhaps only Google are big enough to have the political clout to avoid the censorship.

The EU law underpinning the censorship requirement is supposed to be 'light touch'. It only really bans hate material, has restrictions on sponsorship/product placement and requires child protection from material which might seriously impair the physical, mental or moral development of persons under the age of eighteen, such material must be made available in a manner which secures that such persons will not normally see or hear it.

But of course it is this last requirement that has been used to stitch up the UK adult trade.

In a very illuminating talk (available at the above link), Pete Johnson outlines some of the extremes of child protection to be enforced by ATVOD (although Johnson alludes to the overly strict interpretation of the law being down to the British Government, rather than ATVOD).

Onerous Age Verification requirements

In essence, the powers to be have decided that all hardcore content has be locked off in sections of websites where age verification is in place. Although over mechanisms may appear over the coming years, the only currently acceptable method seems to require a credit card payment before allowing access.

Even debit card payments are unacceptable, as such cards are sometimes held by under 18's.

No hardcore video may be made available on free preview areas of adult websites. Perhaps the only hope of convincing prospective customers that a website will deliver the goods, is that, hardcore photos are not covered by this law and are therefore allowed without age verification (assuming that they are not considered legally obscene).

And in a truely bizarre piece of reasoning, all 18 rated video, be it torture horror, or  softcore porn, can be shown without such mandatory age verification. So a graphic castration is acceptable whereas as a blow job isn't.

Surely its going to be very limiting to be able to sell only to credit card holders, and even more limiting to only be able to promote to people who are willing to type in the arduous details required for credit card transactions, just for a look-see. Surely the trust issue will also deter customers who would like to see an extensive and fully operational website as evidence of being trust worthy as opposed to a fly-by-night rip off.

Also the UK adult business suffers from a lot of softcore on satellite and cable (and historically from sex shops) pushed by companies desperately trying to suggest that their material is hardcore, when in fact, it is nothing of the kind. (I for one am still bitter from being ripped off by sex shops from 20 years ago). It must be very important for British companies to be able to convince prospective customers that they are selling pukka hardcore before they hand over their cash.

It hardly seems a very fair trading environment for Britain. Foreign competitors can incorporate free hardcore material for promotional purposes, and thereafter accept payments via any method. Suddenly the porn tubes suddenly got a whole lot more threatening.

Rules for UK Eyes Only?

Pete Johnson was very keen to present these new censorial rules as a fait accompli. He glossed over any debate or explanation as to whether hardcore porn can actually seriously impair the moral development of under 18s. Surely it is debatable that the sight of such a fundamentally normal activity of life can do so much damage. The same issue was debated in court at the time of the legalisation of R18 videos and DVDs and no such serious impairment was proven to the judge.

In fact there seems to have been a change of view amongst UK censors. The BBFC wrote about this same topic in 2010 (in their Annual Report of 2009 [pdf] ):

The duty to enforce the new rules lies with Ofcom who, in relation to 'editorial content', intend to delegate most of those powers to the Association for Television On Demand (ATVOD). Both Ofcom and ATVOD have made clear that, in their view, content which has been classified by the BBFC in any category, including 'R18', would not be considered likely to seriously impair those under 18, and therefore does not need to be placed behind access controls.

Perhaps ATVOD's newly censorial interpretation of the European directive may also rattle a few cages in the rest of Europe. Hardcore films are broadcast there on encrypted subscription TV as part of standard general film channels such as Canal Plus. Indeed Netherlands TV has shown hardcore films on unencrypted broadcast TV. It would be interesting to see if these countries would appreciate being told by Britain that they are seriously impairing the moral development of their youngsters.

Perhaps the British video on demand trade should debate some of these issues before kowtowing to the censorial interpretation being pedaled by ATVOD.


26th June   

Updated: The Beirut International Film Festival...

Forbidden Films
Link Here

The Beirut International Film Festival (BIFF) will feature previously censored films at a Forbidden Films Festival in late June.

The festival, scheduled to take place between June 22 and 26, will include Lebanese director Degaulle Eid's Chou Sar , banned by authorities from BIFF 2010. The documentary is about a Civil War era massacre in North Lebanon.

Iranian director Hana Makhmalbaf's Green Days will also be screened. The documentary follows the protests after the disputed 2009 Iranian presidential election, and Lebanese censorship authorities asked that its screening be postponed because a visit to Lebanon by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad corresponded with BIFF 2010.

The other films to be shown are the Italian director Paolo Benvenutti's Confortorio, Gostanza Da Libbiano , and Karin Albou's The Wedding Song.

Update: Banned

26th June 2011. From

The director of the Beirut International Film Festival announced that the censorship department of Lebanon's General Security had banned a film from screening.

Green Days documents opposition demonstrations that challenged Iran's 2009 presidential election results, which opposition supporters claimed Ahmadinejad had falsified.

Festival director Colette Naufal said: About 10 days ago General Security called me again and told me 'Send us again the DVD for Green Days Because we want to reconsider.' Then I got the okay. Then this morning I'm told the permit was withdrawn.

Naufal said General Security gave no reasons for the change of heart: They don't give reasons, she said. We have to get to the bottom of this. We have to find out who takes the decisions. Is it the decision of the minister? If so we have to meet with him to ask him why. If it's not him, we need to find out who is the power who takes these decisions? And we'd like to know why they have this power and what is the legality of all this?


25th June   

Update: Off the Record...

Ofcom fines babe channel operator over lack of recordings of Essex Babes, Northern Birds and Live XXX Babes
Link Here
Full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

Ofcom have fined Satellite Entertainment Limited (SEL) £ 90,000. SEL hold the licences for 3 babe channels that have 'offended' the TV censor.

The fines were for censorship breaches by Essex Babes, Northern Birds and Live XXX Babes

Ofcom found that on nine occasions the SEL had failed to provide recordings of programmes to Ofcom (in breach of licensing condition 11). report that during this period SEL had rented the channel to a 3rd party who then dealt directly with Ofcom.

When SEL became aware of compliance problems by the company it terminated its agreement with the company.

Ofcom's sanctions Committee were said to be very concerned that SEL had lost control of its services to a third party, but said that ultimately SEL as the licensee is still the party that has responsibility for compliance.


25th June   

Awakened from Rest...

Supporting the NC-17 hype for Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2
Link Here

The MPAA has handed down an NC-17 rating to Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2 .

DreadCentral reports the Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2 is riddled with some of the most insane bits of violence and kills we've ever seen .

Director Rob Hall said: I think it's great the MPAA had a problem with almost every kill in the film. If they didn't, we wouldn't have done our jobs correctly. They have a job to do, and so do I ... and luckily Image [Entertainment] has been super supportive and has committed to releasing the film UNRATED and on Blu-ray, which makes me happy. Just to clarify, there will be a rated R cut as well, but I think most outlets will prefer the hardcore unrated cut ... I know I do.


24th June   

Update: Lazy, Feckless and Flatulent Censors...

BBC upholds complaints of quips about Mexicans on Top Gear
Link Here
Full story: Top Gear and the Grand Tour...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers
The BBC has upheld complaints against Top Gear over Richard Hammond's comments that Mexicans are lazy, feckless [and] flatulent .

The Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU) investigated complaints (from 11 viewers and from the Mexican Section of the Latin American Studies Association) prompted by remarks about Mexicans by the presenters, made in the context of reviewing a Mexican car.

The comments about Mexicans were made when they were discussing Mexican sports cars. Reviewing the Mastretta, Richard Hammond said vehicles reflected national characteristics: Mexican cars are just going to be lazy, feckless, flatulent, overweight, leaning against a fence asleep looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat. The presenters, known for their edgy jibes, then described Mexican food as refried sick .

Jeremy Clarkson added that he was confident he would not receive any complaints about their comments because the Mexican ambassador would be asleep.


Although the remarks were humorously intended (the intention being to call attention to the absurdity of a certain stereotype of Mexicans), their tone and cumulative effect seemed to the ECU to give the impression of reinforcing, rather than ridiculing, the stereotype.

Complaints upheld.

Further action:

BBC Vision discussed the reasons for, and the issues arising from, the finding with the production team.


24th June   

Burning Issues...

Book burning protests against Lawrence Hill's The Book of Negroes
Link Here

The Dutch group Federation for Honour and Reparation of Slavery in Surinam has made a book burning protest against Toronto author Lawrence Hill's award-winning novel The Book of Negroes . However, instead of burning the entire book, the group has only burned its cover.

CBC News reported that the group chose to only burn the cover because their protest regards the title of the novel, and specifically its use of the word negro, which they deem offensive.

Greg Hollingshead, chair of The Writers' Union of Canada, said in a press release:

The burning of books represents censorship at its worst. While we recognize the sensitivity over the use of the word 'Negro' in the book's title, The Book of Negroes is a real document and Mr. Hill uses it deliberately to underscore the plight of African Americans being shipped from New York to Nova Scotia in 1783.

When the novel was published in the United States the title was changed to Somebody Knows My Name .


24th June   

Shuffling Censors...

Qatar reorganises its censorship departments
Link Here

Qatar is reorganising its government censors.

The Department of Press and Publications will have three sections- licensing, publications and artistic works:

  • Licensing Section is concerned with issuance licenses those in the journalism field, issuing licenses for publications, press and printing houses, publishers, libraries, and registering journalists, publishers and printing house workers.
  • The Department of Publications is concerned with censorship on publications which are presented to the state; prepare a register of publications, approval of the issuance and distribution of publications and the issuing of books and pamphlets.
  • The Department of artistic works controls works locally and externally produced; keep files on private works of art; control over the foreign movies and the censorship of personal works received by state for personal use.

The Department of Communications will have two sections:

  • Department of broadcast licenses, which is responsible for the procedures of granting licenses and operation of audio and video broadcasting facilities
  • broadcast control section which will follow-up established licensing requirements, supervise and inspect broadcasters and re-transmission, control audio and video materials and control the rates and time of broadcast advertising.


23rd June   

Update: Judges, Defence and Prosecution All in Agreement...

Geert Wilders cleared of inciting hatred of muslims
Link Here
Full story: Geert Wilders...Geert Wilders winds up the muslim world

The Dutch politician Geert Wilders has been acquitted of all charges of inciting hatred against Muslims.

Judges in a court in Amsterdam delivered their verdict in a broadcast that was carried live on Dutch TV. Both the defence and prosecution had called for an acquittal.

Wilders had described Islam as fascist , comparing the Koran to Hitler's Mein Kampf. He insisted his remarks were part of a legitimate political debate. Wilders had always insisted his statements were directed at Islam and not at Muslim believers, something which is legal under Dutch law.

But the unspecified members of minority groups, who had been seeking a symbolic one-euro fine, said they will consider taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights.


23rd June   

Update: End Game...

US Supreme Court due to decide if California's age restrictions on violent computer games are lawful
Link Here
Full story: Violent Games in the US...Attempts to restrict video games from minors

In November, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Schwarzenegger vs. Entertainment Merchants Association. Seven months later, the Justices have yet to decide whether or not California can regulate the sale of violent video games, but with the court now in the last two weeks of its term, a ruling is imminent. The case is now known as Brown vs. EMA.

In 2005, the California legislature passed AB 1179, a law that would punish retailers who sold or rented violent, mature-rated videogames to anyone under 18 years old. The lower court quickly struck down the law on free-speech grounds, as did lower courts in a dozen other states over the years that attempted to enact similar pieces of legislation.

The Supreme Court agreed to consider California's case in April 2010. During the hearing, California attorney Zackery Morazzini argued that states should be able to ban the sale of violent video games to anyone under 18 just as they can restrict the sale of pornography.

Due to the end of court session, the judgement is due in the next week. The court could also extend the current session into July if it is unable to make a decision on the matter, though such extensions are rare.


23rd June   

Updated: Naked Hype...

Nutters get wound up by Naked News in South Africa
Link Here

South Africa's Family Policy Institute has said it planned a national boycott of all businesses who advertised before, during and after the broadcasting of the Naked News programme on

The sexual exploitation of women and children fuelled by pornography contributes significantly to the rape and sexual abuse of women and children in South Africa, the institute's Errol Naidoo claimed in a statement: This campaign aims to send a clear message, not only to but the SABC, DStv and Top Tv that Christian viewers will not tolerate smut on national television.

Naked News is an international news programme screened after the late night movie at 10pm, featuring female presenters who are nude or strip during the bulletin.

Naidoo said he contacted over 2000 churches and their leaders to join the campaign given that the sexual content degraded and objectified women.

He advised them to block out the channel on DSTV and Top TV using the parental control function, or tune out the channel until they have a snowy picture if viewing directly. He hoped that if enough viewers boycotted the channel, would lose advertising revenue and be forced to comply with their demands.

Many churches had already signed up for the mass switch off , including the Evangelical Alliance of SA, the Apostolic Faith Mission of SA, the Methodist Church of SA and the Baptists Union. This would amount to over eight million members boycotting the channel, according to membership numbers of these churches provided by Naidoo, and assuming every member participated.

Church members and other concerned viewers had lodged complaints about the news bulletin with the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA. The commission however said the bulletin was not in contravention of broadcasting standards. It is within the watershed time for adult viewing and gives a verbal warning beforehand, as well as an age restriction of 18 with nudity that is shown throughout the show, spokeswoman Shouneez Martin said.

Update: Whingers told to switch off

23rd June 2011. See  article from

There is nothing degrading to women in's late night Naked News, the Broadcasting Complaints Commission (BCCSA) have said.

A complaint lodged with the commission could not be upheld because the nudity in the programme was not indecent or obscene, it said in a ruling.

The BCCSA tribunal had to decide whether the show, which airs on after midnight and features bare-chested women reading the news, contravened the Broadcasting Code. Nudity as such was not prohibited in publications or films, and age restrictions and classification strived to exclude children from seeing it.

The BCCSA said the nudity portrayed was unlikely to contribute to violence against women, or to rape and added: The mere fact that the nudity makes no contribution to a better society is irrelevant in law. It is part of the freedom of choice of adults whether they wish to watch the Naked News or not .

The BCCSA argued that if people found nudity offensive, they could switch channels or turn the television off.


23rd June

 Offsite: Nutters vs Censors...

Link Here
Why the Daily Mail has it in for Ofcom

See article from


23rd June   

Army of Valhalla...

BBFC cut horse trips
Link Here

Army of Valhalla is a 2003 Poland action fantasy by Jerzy Hoffman. See IMDb

Passed 15 after 19s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2011 Metrodome R2 DVD

The BBFC commented:

  • Cuts required to remove dangerous horse falls, specifically horses being tripped and caused to fall in a manner which could result in serious physical harm.


22nd June   

Talihina Sky...

BBFC cut music documentary for a 15 rating
Link Here

Talihina Sky: The Story Of Kings Of Leon is a 2011 US music documentary by Stephen C Mitchell. See IMDb

Passed 15 after BBFC cuts for category for:

  • UK 2011 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

  • Company chose to remove brief images of real sex (vaginal penetration by penis seen on a television screen) in order to achieve a 15 classification. An uncut 18 classification was available.


22nd June   

Updated: Politician Daring to Look Stupid...

We Dare up for a classification review in Australia
Link Here

Australia's Classification Board is to review the current PG rating for Ubisoft's We Dare , a cartoon charades game which came in for nutter criticism earlier this year mainly over its adult style promotional video.

The review will be heard on June 17 by the Classification Review Board following an application being lodged by Federal Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O'Connor. He said to GamesSpot

I asked the Classification Board to review We Dare following media reports that the game's PG rating may be inappropriate. I believe that this game is unsuitable for children and I look forward to the outcome of the Classification Board's review of its PG rating. I share the concern of many parents that children may be inadvertently playing games that are more suited to adult gamers.

The censors initally gave the Ubisoft-published party game We Dare a PG rating for mild sexual references. A number of the party games alluded to kissing, spanking, and stripping.

The censors ignored Ubisoft's initial advice during the application process to give the game an M rating. According to the board's initial report, classifiers did not feel that the game deserved an M rating because there is no sexual behaviour actually displayed in the game and the graphics it contains are highly stylised and cartoon-like:

The Board disagrees with the recommended classification of M, the report states. Given the reasons noted above, the Board is of the opinion the game warrants a PG classification with consumer advice of mild sexual references.

The game also caused controversy in the UK, where it was given a 12+ rating by the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) ratings board.

Update: PG Retained

22nd June 2011. See  article from

Kokatu are reporting that We Dare , the controversial game from Ubisoft has retained its PG rating. According to the Classification Board, the overall impact... does not exceed mild .

A statement from the Classification Board claimed that this decision was a unanimous one.

A three-member panel of the Classification Review Board (the Review Board) has by unanimous decision determined that the computer game We Dare is classified PG (Parental Guidance) with the consumer advice mild sexual references .

This game contains a series of mini games which provide a single player (or a multiple of players up to four) with a variety of tasks. These mini games, which are randomly available to players based on a choice of moods , include dance moves and activities, which may require interaction with other players. There are no sexual references in actual game play. Text boxes, which contain miscellaneous facts about gender differences and interactions, randomly appear whilst a mini game is loading. Some of those text boxes contain mild sexual references. The text boxes contain no interactive elements.


22nd June   

Updated: PC Games...

Rumour of Scandinavian ban on Dead or Alive Dimensions
Link Here

According to several sources, Nintendo of Europe will not be distributing Dead or Alive Dimensions in Sweden and possibly Norway and Denmark.

The rumour has is that the distributor is afraid the game may break a typically ludicrous Swedish child pornography law.

There is a mode in the game that allows players to take pictures of the characters in canned poses. According to a post on NeoGAF, the law says that if someone is picturing a girl under the age of eighteen, fictional or not, in a pornographic situation, that accounts for being child pornography.

Of course, none of the poses are pornographic, there's no sex, and aside from one character who, according to the ESRB, is briefly depicted topless, there's no nudity. But Kasumi's bio says she's 17 and the youngest character in the game is 16 and Swedish Kotaku reader Doneaux points out that the age of consent in his country is 15.

Update: PG in Australia

1st June 2011. See  article from

The Nintendo 3DS tactical fighter Dead or Alive: Dimensions has been banned in some ludicrously PC countries because it features sexualized depictions of children. The children are three teen characters named Ayane, Koroke and Kasumi who game makers describe as under 18 years of age.

Scandinavian laws say it is illegal to show young girls as animated characters in a sexualized way. The concern is mostly with the game's photography mode, which allows players to look up characters' dresses when they are in certain poses.

Controversy about the game in other parts of the world has not affected the game's rating in Australia: the country's rating Classification Board has given the game a rating of PG.

Update: Maybe Not PG in Australia

2nd June 2011. See  article from

A Nintendo game that allows players to look up the skirts of teenage characters is likely to lose its PG rating.

A spokesman for the Australian Classification Board told The Courier-Mail the authority had given Nintendo seven days to prove why Dead or Alive: Dimensions shouldn't have its rating revoked after media reports exposed the raunchy aspects of the game.

After concerns were raised in the media, the Classification Board requested preliminary information from (Nintendo) about whether the content described in media reports was contained in the Australian version of the game, said a spokesman for the Classification Board.

Update: PG Revoked

Perhaps Australian toy retailers should be worried that teenage dress-up dolls may be banned for the same reason.

10th June 2011. See  article from

A video game that has been ludicrously accused of child pornography is to be pulled from the shelves after having its classification revoked.

The Australian Classification Board originally gave the Nintendo 3DS fighting game Dead Or Alive: Dimensions a child-friendly PG rating.

But the board was forced to reconsider the rating after media reports brought some supposedly risque content to its attention - namely the ability to look up the skirts of scantily clad teenage characters.

The board asked Nintendo to advise it why the classification should not be revoked but apparently was not satisfied with the response. The game is now officially unclassified, meaning it cannot be sold in Australia unless Nintendo resubmits it for a new classification.

Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor welcomed the decision: The material in this game is clearly not appropriate to be played by children. I am pleased the Classification Board took swift action to address community concerns.

Update: The New Zealand Dimension

13th June 2011. See  article from

Meanwhile, the game remains on sale in New Zealand but chief censor Dr Andrew Jack has called the game in for classification.

Update: Uprated to M in Australia

22nd June 2011. See  article from

Dead or Alive Dimensions has been now been reclassified from PG to M in Australia.

M is an advisory rating that the game contains material is not recommended for persons under 15 years of age. (note that it is one step below an MA15+ which requires age verification for purchase).

The game is now described as containing violence and sexualised gameplay on its classification sticker, and will hopefully return to Australian retail shelves within days.


22nd June   

One Up on the BBFC...

India's film censor introduces a very detailed database of cuts and film ratings
Link Here

India's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has launched a facility allowing online access to the censor certificate and the list of cuts, of every new release. Simultaneously, a facility where producers can apply for the censor certificate online was also launched by the board.

Audiences can now access the service by logging on to the CBFC's website . Not only can film-goers familiarise themselves with the cuts that have been imposed on the film, they can also snitch on cinemas that illicitly show uncut prints.

The decision to make such a facility available was taken by the CBFC board after new chairperson Leela Samson took over on April 1, 2011.

The move means that prior to the release of the film, as soon as the producer is issued the censor certificate, along with the list of cuts, the same will be made accessible to the public online. The details of every visual or audio byte that has to be censored will be part of this information

The cuts information is very extensive. Eg for the UA (Parental Guidance) version of Slumdog Millionaire , the cuts are listed as:

1 Muted The word "MADARCHOD" said by Inspector to young boy Jamal.
2 Deleted the visuals of man burnt by another person and two young boys watching.
3 Deleted the visuals man burnt and running on the street.
4 Deleted the visuals of boy and girl in sexual position.
5 Deleted the visuals two persons entering the room where boy and girl in sexual position and driven out
6 Deleted the visuals of man slapping and saying "BJENCHOD".
7 Deleted the visuals of man pouring brunt oil in the boys eyes


22nd June   

Update: Claire Perry and the Blockheads...

Fiona Mactaggart joins those calling for a blocked internet by default
Link Here
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

Labour MP Fiona Mactaggert has added her name to the call for internet blocking to be turned on by default.

They are whingeing that TalkTalk's network-level porn filter doesn't go far enough because it is only enable for those that request it.

Last year, Tory MP Claire Perry called for ISPs to block porn at source. TalkTalk responded with the launch of HomeSafe, a filtering system that claims to block adult websites or P2P file-sharing on all devices on the home network. TalkTalk claims 50,000 customers have already signed up for the opt-in filtering system.

Mactaggart and Perry have now repeated calls for the system to be switched on by default.

Frankly, the way to make sure we have this protection while still having choice is to have a network-level filter built in, said Perry: I still think that's the simplest way to do it. I remain convinced of that.

That view was backed by Shelia Eaton, president of the National Council for Women, who said such a filter needed to be on by default as parents often don't know as much about technology as their children .

However, Perry was contradicted by her senior Government colleague and Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey, who said he wasn't fussed what sort of system the ISPs opted for, so long as he sees genuine action from ISPs to give parents easily accessible tools that [mean] that kind of content isn't seen by children .

The TalkTalk system was also welcomed by Justine Roberts, founder of Mumsnet, who said parents just want a simple way to control what their children can access online. It's about offering parents the ability to stop their kids stumbling across this content, she said.


22nd June   


Mayor of Boston gets wound up by Nike t-shirts
Link Here

A new line of Nike T-shirts feature slogans that are stirring up nutter controversy.

Some of the shirts read Get High, Dope and Get Wet.

They are all part of Nike's 6.0 Brand, which is made for athletes competing in the extreme sports of surfing, skiing, bmx biking, wakeboarding and motocross.

Boston's Mayor Tom Menino is hoping Nike will just do it when he asks them to remove a controversial T-shirt display. The mayor is upset over shirts at the Newbury Street store that feature pill bottles and say get high and dope. The mayor says the athletic company is sending the wrong message to youths.

One nutter commented: I think the one that says 'Dope' with the pills on it is very inappropriate. I don't think that's a message Nike would want to be sending to people, especially around Portland where a lot of people have drug problems.

Those pills are actually tiny surfboards coming out of the pill bottle.

In a statement, Nike says The T-shirts are part of an action sports campaign featuring marquee athletes using commonly used and accepted expressions for performance.

A staff member at the Nike employee store told FOX 12 that the Dope and Get High shirts are the most popular and they are purchased almost exclusively by teens. The shirts range between $20-24 and can be bought at Nike stores and at


22nd June   

A Bit of a Card...

Saucy seaside cards reprinted after 56 years on the banned list
Link Here

Saucy seaside postcards which were banned from resorts around the UK more than 50 years ago have gone on sale for the first time since they were censored.

Five of the obscene comic cards by prolific artist Donald McGill can now be bought, 56 years after the designs were destroyed because of their bawdy humour.

McGill designed saucy classics from 1904 until 1962. His images featured fat old ladies, drunken middle-aged men, honeymooning couples and prudish vicars. He produced 12,000 designs over his prolific career and more than 200million of his cards were sold.

But in 1954 he became the target of a morality campaign at seaside resorts across the UK,

An Isle of Wight vicar complained to his local paper and the police raided five seaside shops, confiscating more than 5,000 cards. Other raids took place across the UK and thousands of McGill's cards were ordered to be destroyed under the 1857 Obscene Publications Act.

The following year a show trial was held in Lincoln where the artist, then aged 79, was persuaded to plead guilty on four cards which were immediately banned. McGill and his publishers also agreed not to republish another 17 cards once existing stocks had been sold.

Now a museum in Ryde on the Isle of Wight, which houses the largest collection of McGill's work in the world, has re-printed five of the banned cards for the first time in nearly six decades. Although the ban on McGill's cards has never been revoked, the museum believes it is highly unlikely their publication would be challenged today.


21st June   

Update: Inciting a Final Warning...

Ofcom censures Takbeer TV for abusive comments about Ahmadis
Link Here

Tafheem Al Masyal
Takbeer TV, 17 October 2010 to 26 March 2011

Takbeer TV broadcasts religious and general entertainment content mainly in Urdu (as spoken by South Asian Muslims), and is available on cable and satellite platforms.

Tafheem al Masyal is a religious discussion programme, during which viewers are invited to call in and put their questions on Islamic religious matters, to a presenter and guest presenter in the studio.

Ofcom received 267 complaints about five editions of Tafheem Al Masyal. We noted that complainants were from the Ahmadiyya religious community. This is a comparatively small Islamic movement founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani that grew out of mainstream Islam in the nineteenth century, whose followers believe themselves to be true Muslims. Followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad are known as Ahmadis or Qadianis or Ahmadiyya. Complainants considered that the programmes variously: consisted of abusive content about Ahmadis and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad; or incited hatred and violence towards the Ahmadiyya community.

Ofcom highlighted many examples of abusive comments including:

A presenter: In our last programme, a Qadiani friend had asked some questions. Though these questions were not related to the nonsense spoken by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, his lies, his cunning and deceit, and his false claim to prophet hood, still I would like to answer these questions ;

A presenter: We have been telling about [Mirza Ghulam Ahmad?s] lies in the past but today we will focus specially on these. We will tell you about his lies .

A presenter: As to what is the punishment of apostasy in Ahmadis, we can discuss it with them only if we have a link with them. Among Muslims, the penalty for apostasy is death. An apostate deserves to be killed but the right to implement this penalty is the prerogative of an Islamic government. An individual or a party does not have this prerogative. An Islamic court, Islamic government, a Qazi 6 can implement this penalty or make a decision about it .

Ofcom considered rules of their programme code:

  • 3.1: Material likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder must not be included in television or radio services .
  • 4.2: The religious beliefs of those belonging to a particular religion or religious denomination must not be subject to abusive treatment .

Takbeer TV said that We deeply regret any offence caused to any of our viewers and unreservedly apologise for the same . It also outlined a number of steps it had taken in response to the complaints: relevant channel staff had been severely reprimanded and formally disciplined and given updated training on the Code; additional training was being given to all presenters and producers on the Code and their obligations under it; and the channel had appointed a bi-lingual Quality Controller…who will take responsibility to oversee programme quality and output to prevent any such incidences occurring again .

Takbeer TV added: Tafheem Al Masyal had been discontinued indefinitely since early April 2011 ; the lead presenter of the programme had been suspended and is no longer appearing on our Channel ; and We do not intend to deal with any of the specific issues raised [i.e. relating to the Ahmadiyya community] that have caused controversy in respect of these complaints in any future programmes and have advised our presenters to avoid the same. The broadcaster added that through the various steps it had taken, it was confident that we will not receive any future complaints of this nature .

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 4.2

In considering Rule 3.1 we are required to address the likelihood of the commission of a crime, in this case a hate crime, against an Ahmadi follower. We recognised that overarching tone of almost all of the various comments identified above were clearly critical of the Ahmadiyya community, its beliefs and its founder. However, Ofcom believed that these criticisms, in themselves would not, on a reasonable view, have been likely to: encourage or incite the commission of a crime against any existing or named group (e.g. harm or prejudice against members of the Ahmadiyya community) or an attempt to lead viewers to disorder; or clearly advocate any potentially criminal action.

Notwithstanding the above, we did consider whether the following statement by a presenter during the 29 January programme, could be construed as a form of incitement:

As to what is the punishment of apostasy in Ahmadis, we can discuss it with them only if we have a link with them. Among Muslims, the penalty for apostasy is death. An apostate deserves to be killed but the right to implement this penalty is the prerogative of an Islamic government. An individual or a party does not have this prerogative. An Islamic court, Islamic government, a Qazi can implement this penalty or make a decision about it.

We considered this statement to have been potentially offensive. However, we considered that the speaker in this case made clear his belief that only an Islamic court, Islamic Government or Islamic judge ( Qazi ) would have the ability to determine whether someone was an apostate, and not individuals. He also did not openly say that members of the Ahmadiyya community should be subject to the death penalty, but rather was setting out his view about the potential treatment of apostates by the appropriate Islamic authorities. Given this context, we considered that this particular individual was not advocating that, or inciting, private individuals to kill apostates, but rather was expressing his view that the death penalty could be an appropriate sanction for apostasy to be carried out by the appropriate governmental or judicial institutions.

Given the above, we considered the programmes were not in breach of Rule 3.1 of the Code.

When considering abusive treatment in religious programmes under Rule 4.2, we considered that during the programmes, there were a number of statements made by the presenters and by members of the audience that could be classed as being derogatory and abusive references specifically about the Ahmadiyya community and its founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Examples of these references are laid out in the Introduction.

In particular, Ofcom noted that during the programmes, members of the Ahmadiyya community were variously labelled as: stupid ; non-believers ; illiterate ; and accursed liars . We also noted that many statements were made that were highly critical and derogatory of the Ahmadi founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Given the above, it was Ofcom's view that the use of such terms and references when taken together amounted to abusive treatment of the religious views and beliefs of members of the Ahmadiyya community.

Ofcom considers that the broadcaster was clearly and seriously in breach of Rule 4.2.

Ofcom therefore assessed whether to consider the Licensee for a statutory sanction but we decided on balance not to do so. This decision had regard to all the relevant circumstances of this case, but principally the immediate acknowledgement that the complaints were justified and the various measures the Licensee took to further improve compliance. The Licensee is put on notice however that any further breaches of the Code in this area will lead to Ofcom considering a statutory sanction.


21st June   

Ratings Rated as 2nd Rate...

Study reveals that parents would prefer content ratings so that they can make up their own mind about age appropriateness
Link Here

New research indicates that many parents believe media ratings help them make decisions about what type of content they allow their children to be exposed to, but improvements in media rating systems are needed.

The research, involving the opinions of more than 2,300 adults, also indicates that there is sometimes disagreement on matters involving age appropriateness for various kinds of content. What some might deem appropriate for one specific childhood age group might be considered inappropriate by other adults. Many parents believe that current rating systems are inaccurate and need to be improved.

A majority of parents surveyed felt there should be a universal rating system for all media, including web sites, music CDs, and games played on handheld devices.

Current rating systems vary widely among movies, television, and video games and can be confusing, according to analysis of three surveys.

The researchers also mention ratings creep, meaning that ratings over time tend to become more lenient. They cite another previous study of 2,000 films and found that one that was rated PG-13 in 2003 included about the same amount of violence, nudity, and offensive language as one rated R a decade earlier.

Parents were asked views on the age appropriateness of allowing kids to see such things as romantic kissing, partial nudity, implied sexual situations, depictions of drug and alcohol use, and to hear offensive language or insults about body parts.

They also were asked about when kids of various ages should be allowed to be exposed to situations of sexual innuendo and suggestive sexual dialogue. Opinions varied widely. The largest percentage of parents indicated age 17 and older might be appropriate for media involving sexual situations, explicit sex, explicit dialogue, partial nudity, and commercials with sexual content.

Researchers reached a number of key conclusions. For example:

  • Parents want detailed content ratings along with age-based ratings.
  • Ratings only are effective if they can help parents make decisions, but current systems vary and can be confusing
  • Different demographics variables, such as church attendance and personal values, may be related to perceptions of age appropriateness for different kinds of content.
  •  It would be impossible to have age-based ratings that would be deemed suitable by all demographic groups; content-based ratings may be preferable to age-based ratings.

Clearly defined and available content descriptors provide the most information and they allow parents to make their own decisions about age appropriateness, the researchers write.

The research is published in the July issue of Pediatrics.


21st June   

Updated: The Lady Loves...

Cadbury's chocolate advert winds up Naomi Campbell
Link Here
Cadbury is facing the prospect of a black consumer boycott after it compared Naomi Campbell to a chocolate bar in a new advertising campaign.

The supermodel is 'incensed' that Cadbury used her name in the strap line to promote its new chocolate bar called Bliss, accusing the company of racism. The ad says: Move over Naomi -- there is a new diva in town.

Campbell revealed she is considering every option available after Cadbury, owned by the US giant Kraft, refused to pull the ad campaign, which ran in newspapers last week: I am shocked. It's upsetting to be described as chocolate, not just for me, but for all black women and black people. I do not find any humour in this. It is insulting and hurtful.

Disgust at the ad prompted members of the public to complain to the campaign group Operation Black Vote (OBV), which has called for Cadbury to apologise. OBV's Simon Woolley said that without an apology, the only recourse black people have is not to buy its chocolate . He has written to the American civil rights activists Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to ask them to mobilise the country's Afro-American population. I want them to know what their parent company is doing in Europe. I've asked them to support us.

Woolley said that, for black people, being likened to chocolate was as bad as being called a golliwog. Racism in the playground starts with black children being called 'chocolate bar'. At best, this is insensitive, and at worst it demonstrates Cadbury's utter disregard for causing offence. Its lack of apology just adds insult to injury. The Eurocentric joke is not funny to black people.

A spokesperson for Cadbury insisted that the campaign was a light-hearted take on the social pretensions of Cadbury Dairy Milk Bliss .

Update: Apologies

4th June 2011. See  article from

A spokesman for Cadbury has now apologised:

Cadbury understands that our latest advertising campaign for Cadbury Dairy Milk Bliss caused upset to Naomi Campbell and her family.

Cadbury takes its responsibility to consumers very seriously indeed and we would never deliberately produce any marketing material we felt might cause offence to any section of society.

It was not our intention that this campaign should offend Naomi, her family or anybody else and we are sincerely sorry that it has done so.

The firm has withdrawn the adverts and pledged not to use them again.

Naomi Campbell welcomed the apology and said:

The advertisement was in poor taste on a number of levels, not least in the way they likened me to their chocolate bar. It is also a shame that it took so long for Cadbury to offer this apology.

Update: ASA Unoffended

21st June 2011. See  article from

Complaints about the Cadbury's ad at the centre of a racism row with supermodel Naomi Campbell have been rejected by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ASA received four complaints, including one from Operation Black Vote and three from members of the public, who believed the ad was racially offensive, referencing Campbell as a bar of chocolate because of the colour of her skin.

The ad was reviewed by the ASA council, but it decided there were no grounds for an investigation. The council said the ad was likely to be understood to refer to Naomi Campbell's reputation for diva-style behaviour rather than her race. It decided the ad was unlikely to be seen as racist or to cause serious or widespread offence.


21st June   

Update: Chewing on Life's Gristle...

The BBC to dramatise the story of the Life of Brian
Link Here
Full story: Monty Python...Monty Python winds up the nutters

The BBC is to dramatise the unholy row over Monty Python's Life of Brian

The religious controversy that engulfed the Monty Python film on its 1979 release was no laughing matter, and is now to be the subject of a BBC drama.

Holy Flying Circus , written by Tony Roche will air this autumn on BBC4 and aims to use the Life of Brian controversy to explore the subject of free speech.

Monty Python's irreverent take on the story of Jesus Christ revolved around Brian Cohen, a reluctant fictional Messiah in first century Judea who is eventually crucified. Church leaders in the US and the UK protested, claiming it mocked Christ, and the film was banned in several countries including Ireland and Norway as well as by several UK local authorities.

The film was heavily criticised by the Roman Catholic journalist and satirist Malcolm Muggeridge and the Bishop of Southwark, Mervyn Stockwood. It was later claimed that Muggeridge and Stockwood had arrived late to a screening of the film and did not know that Brian and Jesus were different characters.

Terry Jones told the Guardian: How Muggeridge and the bishop had the gall to slate the film when they'd missed the first 15 minutes is quite extraordinary. It is a very good story.

None of the surviving Pythons are involved with the creation of Holy Flying Circus.


21st June   

Judging a Censor by its Complaints...

BBFC reports on its tiny post bag
Link Here

It seems to have become a tradition for the newspapers to summarise censor's annual reports via a top 10 of complaints. It seems a strange way to judge BBFC censorship, given that there are no more than handful, but perhaps the near total lack of complaints should be seen as a public show of support for a year of realistic decisions.

  • The Lovely Bones : 24 complaints

    Complaints about the 12A classification decision.

    Based on Alice Sebold's best-selling book, The Lovely Bones follows teenager Susie Salmon in the afterlife after she is murdered by a local serial killer. Many found the film to be a shocking and upsetting experience. The scene in which young Susie is entrapped by the killer, and the subsequent sequence in which the killer soaks in a bath after the murder, were compared by some complainants to scenes in 18 rated horror films.

    We recognised that the theme of the film is a distressing one and that some scenes would have a strong impact. It was felt that the film was right on the 12A'/'15 borderline. Our Guidelines for 12A state that mature themes are acceptable, but their treatment must be suitable for young teenagers . The Lovely Bones lacked any explicit detail of the murder and any sexual elements were downplayed. The audience's sympathies remain entirely with the family and the film had many positive messages about life. It was also recognised that many teenagers would be familiar with the book, and the film presented a valuable precautionary warning to the 12 – 14 age group. After very careful consideration the Board judged that The Lovely Bones could be accommodated at 12A .

  • Inferno : 23 views supporting no cuts for animal cruelty

    A campaign run by a couple of online forums led to the BBFC receiving 12 pleas for the film Inferno, by cult director Dario Argento, not to be cut on the grounds of illegal animal cruelty. When the BBFC determined that the scene in question did not breach the legal tests for animal cruelty and passed it uncut, we received 11 emails thanking us for our decision.

  • Kick Ass : 21 complaints

Complaints about the 15 rated violence and the one use of very strong language uttered by a child character in the superhero . Some believed the nature of the violence, despite its comic and hyper-real tone, was more appropriate at the adult rating and that it trivialised torture and knife crime. Some expressed the opinion that its comic treatment actually exacerbated its impact and would encourage teenagers to violence. The fact that it was often child characters who perpetrated the violence was an aggravating factor for some.

The Board's view was that the fantastical and tongue-in-cheek nature of the situations in Kick-Ass would be self-evident to most audiences; and the film did later demonstrate the brutal consequences of violence. Overall, there was a lack of focus on injuries and suffering, and an absence of any sadistic or sexualised element to the violence which allowed the film to be rated 15 .

  • The Hole : 19 complaints

Parents felt the marketing of The Hole (rated 12A') as a 'family adventure film did not prepare them sufficiently for what was actually a horror film for young teenagers.

Two brothers, with the girl next door, release a malignant power when they open a seemingly bottomless hole in their cellar. While the film contains some scary moments and occasional gory images, permitted at 12A , these were felt to be alleviated by the comic banter between the teenage characters and the fantasy element throughout. The film also contained messages about facing your fears, taking responsibility for your actions and valuing family and friendship which were considered important for young teenagers. The film's Consumer Advice clearly stated that it contained sustained moderate horror .

  • Toy Story 3 : 12 complaints

    Parent complained believed the film to be too dark and upsetting to be rated U , ie suitable for all.

    The one-eyed Baby Doll character was compared to the Chucky Doll character in the horror film series of the same name, while the scene in which the beloved toys head towards a landfill incinerator and bravely face their death before being rescued at the last minute were cited as distressing aspects in a film which lacked the sunnier aspect of the previous two Toy Story films. When classifying the film, the Board recognised that it contained some intense moments as the toys face a number of dangers on their journey. But these were counterbalanced by the comedy, the now familiar camaraderie of the toys and the overall happy ending which sees the toys reunited and passed on to their new, younger owner.


21st June   

Obscure Censorship...

Google Earth only shows Israel and Palestine in low resolution
Link Here

Since Google launched its Google Earth feature in 2005, the company has become a worldwide leader in providing high-resolution satellite imagery. There is one entire country, however, that Google Earth won't show you: Israel.

That's because, in 1997, US Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, one section of which is titled, Prohibition on collection and release of detailed satellite imagery relating to Israel. The amendment, known as the Kyl-Bingaman Amendment, calls for a federal agency, the NOAA's Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs, to regulate the dissemination of zoomed-in images of Israel.

When asked about the regulation, a Google spokeswoman said to Mother Jones, The images in Google Earth are sourced from a wide range of both commercial and public sources. We source our satellite imagery from US-based companies who are subject to US law, including the Kyl-Bingaman Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 1997, which limits the resolution of imagery of Israel that may be commercially distributed.

And it's not just Israel. The regulation also applies to the occupied territories. It's why Human Rights Watch can't provide detailed imagery of the Gaza Strip in its reports.


21st June   

Updated: Respectable...

Music producer Mike Stock has a whinge about pop and porn
Link Here

British pop's most successful songwriters, Mike Stock of the 1980s Stock Aitken Waterman team has had a whinge at sexy music videos. He ludicrously claims that pop music is descending into pornography.

Stock, who wrote such wholesome hits as Mel & Kim's Respectable , attacked the relentless torrent of sex-driven imagery that young people are being exposed to today because of increasingly raunchy music videos and performances by the likes of Rihanna and Christina Aguilera.

Pop music in this country is almost completely dominated by American acts who have taken sexualised imagery, dance moves and lyrical content way beyond the limits of decency, Stock wrote in an open letter calling for broadcasters and Ofcom to clamp down on explicit content. As far as music is concerned, it has been a slow but unmistakable descent into pornography.

He singled out Nicole Scherzinger's overtly sexual performance on Britain's Got Talent , which is supposed to be a family show, and called on broadcasters to refuse to play videos or songs they deem unfit . This would force record companies to think again and clean up their act .

And in a Last of the Summer Wine moment, Stock lamented the disappearance of good old-fashioned chart shows like Top of the Pops: Let's all get behind a weekly chart of the bestselling pop records. The promotion of which is something that the BBC and ITV should take the lead on. Everyone else will soon follow.

Offsite: Why this pop-porn will damage a generation of children

21st June 2011. See  article from by Mike Stock

  Typical Stock Aitken Waterman act.
Near naked men writhing at the feet of
lycra clad temptress who's singing:

Well, I'm your Venus
I'm your fire, at your desire

Now an entire generation of young girls, some as young as eight or nine, is growing up transfixed by the writhings and thrustings of performers such as Lady Gaga and Rihanna, singing along to lines such as Sex in the air, I don't care, I love the smell of it , and understandably convinced of one thing - that sex sells.

Just as worrying is the impact the same material must be having on young boys. What is happening now doesn't just undo all the good work done by the feminists of the 70s, it drags us almost back to the Stone Age. Women, as seen through the eyes of the music industry, have become little more than sex objects again.

...Read the full article


20th June   

Updated: More Savage...

BBFC cuts waived to an Arrow DVD re-release of Savage Streets
Link Here

Savage Streets is a 1984 US crime action film by Danny Steinmann. See IMDb

Passed 18 after previous BBFC cuts waived for:

Previously an abridged version was passed 18 after a further 1:04s of cuts for:

  • UK 1991 Channel 5 VHS
  • UK 1987 Lazer VHS

The BBFC cuts were:

  • Extensive cuts to a rape scene
  • The climatic crossbow fight. The BBFC were not keen on crossbows at the time
The abridged version was previously banned by the BBFC for:
  • UK 1986 Lazer VHS
And before that it was banned by the BBFC for:
  • UK 1984 cinema release

See Original Theatrical Trailer from

Summary Review: Gratuitous Nudity

This sleazy tale of high school revenge with Linda Blair is a must for bad film fans everywhere.

This sympathetic tale tells the story of Brenda (Blair), a tough high school gal who spends her nights drinking peach brandy on the streets of LA with her equally tough friends. One night, they make the mistake of puttering with a gang called the Scars, and before you know it, the Scars have raped and beaten Brenda's deaf, mute sister. Once Brenda learns the truth of what transpired, she vows revenge on those responsible.

This is the pre-eminent 80's high school movie - terrible music, awful acting, questionable violence and gratuitous nudity.


20th June   

Update: Geordie 'Fury'...

Nutter MP whinges about Geordie Shore
Link Here

Parliamentary questions will be asked about the use of alcohol by reality show contestants after an MP was 'outraged' by the drunken antics on Geordie Shore.

A parliamentary committee will debate whether shows like Big Brothera break Ofcom's rules over informed consent .

Newcastle MP Chi Onwurah has also asked for a debate about the guidance offered to broadcasters about giving booze to contestants. Onwurah's questions to the Culture, Media and Sport committee will be tabled after the summer recess.

Colin Shevills of alcohol charity Balance said: Programmes like Geordie Shore trivialise alcohol misuse, suggesting that drinking to the point of getting in a fight or becoming physically ill is amusing.


20th June   

Adverts Ripped Up...

Microsoft removes CD Ripping capability from UK adverts after action by the advert censor
Link Here

The UK advertising censor, the ASA has tackled Microsoft over CD ripping adverts.

Microsoft has been banned from promoting a potentially illegal feature in its Windows Media Player, CD ripping.

In March, the ASA took to task 3GA Ltd for its Brennan JB7, a CD player with a hard disk that stores up to 5,000 CDs . The ASA said the advertisement incited consumers to break the law , as format shifting breaks copyright laws in the UK - despite it being common practice.

A PC Pro reader noticed Microsoft was advertising the very same feature in its Windows Media Player software, and dutifully reported the ad to the watchdog to prevent anyone else from being incited into a life of crime.

In a letter seen by PC Pro, the ASA assured the complainant that Microsoft had agreed to change its ad and make clear that unauthorised use or duplication of copyrighted material is a violation of copyright law in the UK .

There was no formal investigation, as Microsoft agreed to change the advert immediately - and as that's the only punishment available to the watchdog, there was no point in pursuing the case further.

Microsoft continues to support CD Ripping in its Windows Media Player but notes:

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of copyrighted material may be a violation of copyright law in the United States and/or other countries/regions (for example, it is a violation in the UK). Copyrighted material includes, but is not limited to, software, documentation, graphics, lyrics, photographs, clipart, animations, movie and video clips, as well as sound and music (including when MP3 encoded). Violation of international copyright laws may subject you to significant civil and/or criminal penalties.


20th June   

Updated: Shared Attack...

Anonymous action against Malaysian internet censorship
Link Here
Full story: Internet Censorship in Malaysia...Malaysia looks to censor the internet

While the Malaysian government has continually ensured that there would be no censorship of the Internet in the country, an alleged leaked memo requesting Malaysian ISPs to block file-hosting sites suggests otherwise.

The memo in question appears to be issued by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) on May 30, and was leaked on Facebook, Malaysia-based Lowyat.Net forum, and blogs on June 9.

The MCMC, which is the country's internet censor, has yet to deny or confirm the memo's authenticity.

In the memo, the MCMC requested that Malaysian ISPs block access to ten file-hosting and sharing URLs, including Megaupload, Fileserve, and The Pirate Bay. It cited Section 268 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, which states that ISPs (licensees) must try their best to prevent its network from being used for activities that contravenes with Malaysian law.

See article from

International hacktivist group Anonymous has carried through on its threat to attack the Malaysian government's main website over the government's proposed censoring of several file sharing websites, including the Pirate Bay and Megaupload.

A few days ago, the group posted a YouTube video about its intentions to carry out the attacks at 3.30am (local time) on Thursday.

At least 50 other government websites were attacked, including the state of Sabah's tourism website, and the Tourism Malaysia website. The websites of the Royal Malaysian Police, the Malaysian Parliament, the Ministry of Finance as well as the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism, which were restored before 9 am (local time).

Update: Protests

20th June 2011. See  article from

Thousands of Malaysians took to the roads in protest of the decision made by the regulatory body Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to block 10 file-sharing websites in its effort to combat piracy.

The websites are mostly used to download pirated content including movies, TV shows and music.

The protest could be seen on Facebook as well, with over 6,500 people posting messages against the decision.


19th June   

Update: Pandering to Nutters...

Ofcom to produce more censorial rules for pre-watershed TV
Link Here
Full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report

Sexy performances on shows such as The X Factor will be outlawed by further restrictions to pre-watershed TV.

The TV censor Ofcom will issue new censorship rule to apply to autumn schedules.

The move follows a Government report on the sexualisation of children and nutter protests.

An Ofcom spokesman said: The guidelines will be there to make sure that broadcasters like ITV don't hover near the boundaries of harmful content to children. This is what happened with Rihanna's performance on the show last year, where the broadcasting code was almost breached.


19th June   

New Watch...

New CEO for the Internet Watch Foundation
Link Here

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has appointed Susie Hargreaves as its new Chief Executive. She will start in September.

Susie has worked in the Charity sector for more than 25 years, most recently as CEO of The Society of Dyers & Colourists and previously in a range of senior positions including running a number of membership organisations.


18th June   

Update: Half Hearted...

Euro Human Rights Commissioner doesn't believe in internet should be blocked
Link Here

Thomas Hammarberg, the commissioner for human rights for the Council of Europe has said that freedom on the internet is a matter for the United Nations (UN) to decide because it is an international concern.

He said the UN should look at the differences between privacy and freedom of expression on the internet and added that politicians need to become more involved in the discussion.

He criticised the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for not taking responsibility for this, as he felt this was the relevant body in charge of this area.

He said a balance needs to be struck between regulation, which would filter out pornography, incitement to war and hatred, and the right to freedom of expression. He said that some countries are imposing restrictions, while others are letting the web run wild.

He said the UN should appoint a special commission to work on this issue and that there has to be an international dimension to regulations since so many web sites are run by private companies, according to the Guardian.

Hammarberg also criticised the use of super injunctions in UK courts, like the recent one relating to footballer Ryan Giggs and Twitter. He said that it means people are not allowed to even mention that there is a court case, which is a violation of the right to free expression. ?


18th June   

Update: A Matter of Police Priorities...

Western Australia sex shops given the nod to sell X rated DVDs
Link Here
Full story: Sex Shop Raids in Australia...Police raid sex shops looking for porn

Perth sex shops can continue to sell X-rated DVDs illegally without fear of prosecution.

WA Police has admitted that enforcing the State's movie classification laws on adult pornography is a non-core police activity and a low priority .

The police will investigate the sale of X-rated DVDs only if there is evidence of tangible links to organised crime.

In October last year, Attorney-General Christian Porter confirmed that it was an offence to sell X-rated DVDs under Section 81 of WA's Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Enforcement Act 1996. Offenders faced a $10,000 fine.

A spokeswoman for Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan said police had to prioritise resources to areas of greatest demand and need:

WA Police maintains the view that the Classifications Branch of the Federal Attorney-General's Department is the most appropriate agency to investigate breaches of classification and copyright due to its considerable knowledge and experience, she said.

Referrals from the Classifications Branch are examined for organised crime involvement. Where there is no link identified, these matters are recorded on WAPol's database and filed for intelligence purposes only. The majority of other State jurisdictions adopt the same position and maintain that X-Rated adult pornography is essentially a non-core police activity and of low priority for police law enforcement.

Sex shops started selling X-rated DVDs early last year when they decided that the State's 14-year-old movie classification laws contravened their constitutional right to trade interstate. X-rated DVDs can be sold legally in Canberra and the Northern Territory and were previously available to WA customers by mail order.


18th June   

Hands Off BBFC...

Old cuts to Retribution
Link Here

Retribution is a 1987 US horror by Guy Magar. See IMDb

The cut R Rated Version was passed 18 after a further 1:24s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1991 Polygram VHS
  • UK 1988 Lazer VHS

From IMDb:

The BBFC cuts were to:

  • shots of Vito being shot, covered in petrol and set alight
  • shots of Sally stabbing herself in the stomach
  • Joe's death inside a pig carcass in a slaughterhouse
  • edits to a man's hand being severed with a blow torch

See pictorial cuts details from . The R Rated version is cut by about 7s:

  • Slighty toned down shot of Sally cutting her belly open and then 2 shots of Sally's intestines hanging out have been replaced by facial reaction shots
  • Slightly toned down scene of Johnny being sawn apart inside a pigs body
  • Scene of Joe severing his hand with a blow torch has been reduced
  • A shot of Joe's head being crush by a fork lift truck has been removed

The German EMS release is uncut for:

Review from IMDb: Rare Classic

It is a little known, rare classic. If you enjoy the horror genre, and have not yet seen this classic- try and get a copy. It is an absolute must see for ALL horror enthusiasts.


17th June   

Update: Libel Arbitration...

Government considers the Press Complaints Commission for a first stage arbitration step before libel cases can go to court
Link Here
Full story: Censorship by Libel...British libel law allows the rich to censor the truth

Ken Clarke's Justice Department is considering sending rich and famous claimants to the Press Complaints Commission for arbitration before they are allowed to take their case to court.

Ministers say the system would be cheaper and quicker, and hope it could deter foreigners from flocking to our courts in so-called libel tourism .

At a meeting of a Parliamentary Committee investigating changes to defamation laws, Justice Minister Lord McNally told MPs that he was tempted to make complainants go to the PCC first: I do think that a credible Press Complaints Commission -- one that had general respect and could deliver non-legal fast justice in areas where people complained of press abuse -- is preferable to the law. If complainants want a rapid correction then mediation does offer a cheap and speedy way of addressing that.

Clarke said that the PCC would have to beef itself up to be able to take on the role, and would have to do more to ensure it had the confidence of the public.


17th June   

Update: The People's Court Judgement...

High Court upholds Ofcom's censure of Jon Gaunt's health nazi jibe
Link Here
Full story: Jon Gaunt and Talksport Nazis...Talksport sack radio presenter over Nazi jibe

Jon Gaunt has lost his appeal against a high court ruling that media watchdog Ofcom was justified in upholding complaints about a TalkSport interview in which he called a local councillor a Nazi .

Gaunt appealed after last year losing a high court freedom of expression challenge against Ofcom's ruling that the interview breached its broadcasting code. However, three court of appeal judges have now rejected his appeal against the high court's July 2010 decision.

Lord Neuberger said it was important to observe that the broadcasting code recognised that offensive material or language will often be justifiable, but justifiability must be assessed by reference to the context .

In summary, when one combines the extremely aggressive tone of the interview, the constant interruptions, the insults, the ranting, the consequent lack of any substantive content, and the time which the interview was allowed to run on, it seems to me clear that Ofcom was right to conclude that there had been a breach of ... the code .

It had been suggested that Ofcom attached too much weight and too much offensiveness to the Nazi , health Nazi and ignorant pig insults levied at Stark. But Neuberger said: In my view, however, Ofcom quite correctly took those insults into account, but only as a factor among others which, when taken together, rendered the interview in breach of ... the code.

An Ofcom spokesman said: The court of appeal agreed that the interview had an extremely aggressive tone combined with constant interruptions, was full of insults, ranting, and lacked any substantive content and that it was a breach of generally accepted standards.


17th June

 Offsite: Not Too Keen on the BBFC?...

Link Here
Full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse
Interview with Alan Jones about Human centipede II and Frightfest

See article from


17th June   

Censorship by Fear...

Palestinian journalists banned from reporting human rights abuses
Link Here

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has banned Palestinian journalists from reporting about the findings of the Independent Commission for Human Rights concerning abuse of human rights by the PA and Hamas.

In its most recent annual report, the commission said that Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were subjected in 2010 to an almost systematic campaign of human rights abuses by the PA and Hamas, as well as by Israeli authorities.

According to the report, security forces belonging to the PA and Hamas were responsible for torture, arrests and arbitrary detentions.

Palestinian journalists complained that the PA leadership issued instructions to their editors forbidding them from reporting about the findings of the report.

Journalist Mustafa Ibrahim pointed out that the decision to ban PA-affiliated media outlets from covering the report came in the context of violations and assaults against freedom of media and journalists in the West Bank. He said: Assaults on journalists and censorship and restrictions on freedom of expression are still a dreadful nightmare for the journalists . Journalists avoid covering events out of fear of being targeted or arrested by [Palestinian] security forces in the West Bank.


17th June   

Cupid Stupid...

Old cuts to Pier Paolo Pasolini's Arabian Nights
Link Here

Arabian Nights is a 1974 Italy/France adventure by Pier Paolo Pasolini. See IMDb

Passed 18 uncut with previous BBFC cuts waived for:

Previously 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

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.


16th June   

Update: Politician Daring to Look Stupid...

We Dare up for a classification review in Australia
Link Here

Australia's Classification Board is to review the current PG rating for Ubisoft's We Dare , a cartoon charades game which came in for nutter criticism earlier this year mainly over its adult style promotional video.

The review will be heard on June 17 by the Classification Review Board following an application being lodged by Federal Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O'Connor. He said to GamesSpot

I asked the Classification Board to review We Dare following media reports that the game's PG rating may be inappropriate. I believe that this game is unsuitable for children and I look forward to the outcome of the Classification Board's review of its PG rating. I share the concern of many parents that children may be inadvertently playing games that are more suited to adult gamers.

The censors initally gave the Ubisoft-published party game We Dare a PG rating for mild sexual references. A number of the party games alluded to kissing, spanking, and stripping.

The censors ignored Ubisoft's initial advice during the application process to give the game an M rating. According to the board's initial report, classifiers did not feel that the game deserved an M rating because there is no sexual behaviour actually displayed in the game and the graphics it contains are highly stylised and cartoon-like:

The Board disagrees with the recommended classification of M, the report states. Given the reasons noted above, the Board is of the opinion the game warrants a PG classification with consumer advice of mild sexual references.

The game also caused controversy in the UK, where it was given a 12+ rating by the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) ratings board.


16th June   

Classifiers Certified as Censors...

New Indian film censor doesn't believe in censorship...BUT...will censor vulgar and violent regional films
Link Here

The new Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairperson Leela Samson plans to revamp the body. Not only will the board's logo undergo a change, it will sport a new name and will deal strictly with violent and vulgar content in regional films.

When I took over as chief, the first thing I noticed was the logo---it appeared like a sliced film to me. It denoted a certain aggressive intent that baffled me. This is not the credo of the organization, she claimed.

The CBFC's logo is being redesigned by National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and Samson wants the information and broadcasting ministry to rename the censor board as the Indian Board of Film Classification. The role of the board must move from certification to classification, she feels. Classification is about identifying, recognizing and catering to the needs of different audiences that will help the film industry to reach out to its target consumer, Samson claimed.

...BUT... Samson has decided to take censorship measures to reduce violence in regional cinema and vulgarity in Bhojpuri films: We are concerned about the growing trend of violent regional films. Also, it has been brought to my notice that some Bhojpuri film songs are objectionable. Corrective measures need to be taken.


16th June   

Updated: Even More Harm than Unimaginable Harm...

US nutters have a whinge at up 'n' coming TV show: The Playboy Club
Link Here
Nutters of the Coalition for the War on Illegal Pornography believe that NBC's new series The Playboy Club is promoting the cause they are fighting against. The group say that the show will contribute to the sexual exploitation of women and promote the acceptance of pornography all while making a profit.

Patrick A. Trueman, the President of Morality in Media said in a statement:

Since the 50s, sleazy Hugh Hefner and his Playboy Magazine has pushed a philosophy which dictated that, to the 'sophisticated man,' the female is a mere toy to be used, abused and discarded. That philosophy has inflicted unimaginable harm to our society, now documented by years of research.

Today -- with the cooperation of NBC and the network's use of the public airwaves -- Playboy is poised to cause even more harm, this time bringing its sleaze directly into America's living rooms. We don't need NBC to pour more fuel to that fire.

The Playboy Club is scheduled air on NBC in autumn 2011.

Update: Branded as Nutters

13th June 2011. See  article from

NBC's The Playboy Club will not be part of NBC affiliate KSL's autumn television lineup.

The Playboy Club promotes a brand that we just cannot support, said Mark Willes, president and chief executive officer of Deseret Media Companies (DMC), the parent company of KSL: We would be helping to build a brand that stands for pornography. For us, that's just untenable.

We would never accept an ad from The Playboy Club, just as we don't accept ads for alcohol or gambling, he said.

DMC this year launched an anti-pornography campaign called Out in the Light. Airing a show that carries the Playboy name is not something KSL cares to do, said Michelle Torsak, vice president of programming for KSL, who chairs the campaign: I'm fairly liberal and I believe the marketplace decides, most of the time ...BUT... this is a no-brainer for me. We cannot in good conscience air a brand we don't believe in. There's a lot of creative, clever, fun entertainment out there. Let's look for that.

It's a good decision, according to Pamela Atkinson, chair of the nutters of the Utah Coalition Against Pornography: We know for a fact that there are people who became addicted to pornography after they started off with Playboy . It's an appetite that grows and it also shows women in a demeaning light, portrayed as sex objects.

Update: Nutter Boycott

16th June 2011. See  article from

Anti-porn nutters are targeting advertisers of The Playboy Club , an NBC drama based the chain of nightclubs started by Hugh Hefner, in an effort to get the television network to cancel the controversial show before its fall debut.

Florida Family Association is joining the campaign against NBC over the show. The group said it will document all the advertisers of the show and publicize the names of those companies online and in emails to supporters.

David Caten, FFA executive director, said he plans to target Comcast and NBC to urge them to pull the show, according to Sunshine State News. The group also plans to pressure Playboy Club show advertisers to withdraw their sponsorship.


16th June   

Update: Running Out of Options...

Indonesian cinema goers are already denied Hollywood films and are now set to lose their 2nd choice of local sexy ghost films
Link Here
Full story: Hollywood Film Ban in Indonesia...Hollyood films taxed off Indonesian screens

An Indonesian tax has already put an end to Hollywood films being shown in Indonesian cinemas.

To fill the void the cinema trade turned to local films, most of which seem to be from the low budget ghost film genre.

Now the Indonesian censors are taking aim at this, already 2nd choice, cinema programming.

Muklis Paimi, head of the board, known as the LSF, appeared to suggest it would consider banning the popular genres for screening.

We want to use the upcoming Ramadan [Muslim fasting month] as the right moment to suggest that filmmakers stop making low-quality movies with a lot of sex scenes in them, Muklis told Metro TV:. We will not pass any movies exploiting those two things.

He advised filmmakers to make movies with educational values.

He added that the LSF also welcomed any filmmakers wishing to discuss the concepts of their upcoming movies: If they want to make such movies, they have to have a dialog with us first. The current practice is, [filmmakers] only come to us once their movies are finished .

He said the current situation posed a dilemma for the LSF: It's problematic. If we censor the movies too harshly, the movie producers will hold a rally against us, saying that they will suffer material damages if we do not recommend their movies. In the end, it will affect the national film industry. But when we are being lenient with our censorship, we will receive protests from the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) and the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) .


16th June   

Shield Lowered...

New Jersey journalist protection ruled not apply to comments on an internet forum
Link Here

A blogger sued for defamation over comments posted on an Internet message board is not entitled to the same protections as a journalist, the New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled.

The court said that blogger Shellee Hale's criticism of a software company on a porn industry bulletin board was not covered by the New Jersey press shield law, which protects members of the news media from revealing their confidential sources.

In an online reader forum, Hale had accused Too Much Media LLC, which provides software to adult entertainment sites, of profiting from a 2007 security breach that exposed customers' personal information.

After the company sued Hale for defamation.

(We) do not believe that the legislature intended to provide an absolute privilege in defamation cases to people who post comments on message boards, the court wrote. Otherwise anyone with a Facebook account could claim the journalist privilege, it said. Instead, the court concluded that online message boards are little more than unscreened reader comment pages or public forums for discussion.


16th June   

Update: Novel Repression...

Chinese book censors find 43 online novels to take down
Link Here
Full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship

China has banned 43 recently published online pornographic novels, according to a notice issued by the National Office against Pornographic and Illegal Publications.

The notice states that since October, the General Administration of Press and Publication has issued several orders to investigate a dozen online pornographic novels and the websites that host them.

Beijing Cultural Law Enforcement Agency has punished 24 websites and demanded the deletion of 209 links to illegal content. Eight of the sites were shut down for providing porn.

The notice also warns that it's getting more difficult to detect pornographic websites as they're becoming adept at concealing their content from regulators. Some move their servers to other provinces or abroad, while others find creative ways to disguise pornographic content.

Technological innovations have enabled publishers of erotic material to disseminate it through smart phones, tablet computers and e-books, according to the notice.


16th June

 Offsite: High Censorship Fees Put VOD Market at Risk...

Link Here
ATVOD - how will it impact the nascent VOD market?

See article from


15th June   

Waiting Game...

BBFC hand over of games to the VSC said to be delayed, possibly until Christmas
Link Here

  The ghost of Christmas yet to come

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has admitted that complex technical points are behind the ongoing delay to legal implementation of PEGI age-ratings for video games in the UK.

Negotiations between the Government, overseen personally by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, the Video Standards Council, and the BBFC, are understood to be at a delicate stage. But sources familiar with the matter said there was optimism that the system could still be passed into law by Christmas .

As revealed by in January, a complicated debate over packaging regulations had thrown a spanner in the works, with the BBFC's role in particular requiring definitive clarification. The main sticking point remains the issue of linear (i.e. trailer) content, which regulations require is rated by the BBFC.


15th June   

Choosing to Die...

900 complaints about a documentary showing an assisted suicide
Link Here

The BBC has received about 900 complaints for broadcasting the final moments of a man's assisted suicide in a BBC2 documentary.

Choosing To Die , made by author Sir Terry Pratchett, has sparked 'outrage' among a few viewers, charities and religious groups.

898 complaints have been filed with the BBC about the documentary, which aired on Monday night. A few more have been sent to the TV censor, Ofcom.

In the programme, watched by 1.64 million,  retired millionaire hotelier Peter Smedley, 71, from Guernsey, told Christine, his wife of 40 years, Be strong, my darling before passing away, apparently not under the most comfortable circumstances.

Sir Terry shook hands with Peter, who suffered from motor neurone disease, shortly before the hotelier gulped down a lethal cocktail of drugs at the controversial Dignitas clinic near Zurich in Switzerland.

Christine, 60, fought back tears as her husband started to choke before grabbing his arm.

He was heard gasping: Water. But doctor Erika Preisig replied: No more water, just sleep. Peter then closed his eyes and started to snore loudly, a sign of respiratory failure. The doctor told Christine: He's sleeping very, very deeply now. Soon the breathing will stop, then the heart.

Religious and anti-euthanasia groups said the programme idealised suicide and posed a risk to vulnerable people.

Dr Peter Saunders, campaign director of anti-euthanasia charity Care Not Killing, said: This was a grossly misleading and unbalanced piece of dangerous propaganda that could lead to an increase in suicides. There were no arguments on the benefits of end-of-life care and providing support.

The ex-Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, claimed the programme glorified suicide .

Many viewers have praised the programme, too.


15th June   

Update: Old Joke...

Parliamentary committee resurrect the very old debate about Frankie Boyle's Katie Price joke
Link Here
Full story: Frankie Boyle...Whinges about Frankie Boyle and Mock the Week

The boss of Channel 4 has refused to apologise for airing a joke about Katie Price's disabled son.

At a heated parliamentary hearing, David Abraham was condemned for the decision to show it. But although he was repeatedly asked to apologise, he did not. Abraham said we only ever had satirical intent .

The joke about the former glamour model Jordan's son was made by Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle on his Tramadol Nights series last year.

At a meeting of the Culture Media and Sport Committee, Tory MP Louise Bagshawe, repeated the joke and told Abraham: This is a disabled little boy we are talking about. I am bewildered you can sit here and say that it is challenging political correctness -- and that you will not apologise to the little boy for having put him on a television programme in this context. Surely no cultural remit could ever possibly justify such a joke?

Channel 4's chairman Lord Burns, also at the hearing, said: Personally, if it has caused distress to the son, then obviously I'm very sorry.


15th June   

Doctors on Trial...

Bahrain to sue the Independent over a powerful report by Robert Fisk
Link Here

The government of Bahrain claimed yesterday to have commissioned a UK-based law firm to file a case against The Independent for its reporting on the crackdown on protests in the country.

Nawaf al-Mawada, a representative of the Information Affairs Authority, told Bahrain's state news agency that the action was being taken because The Independent had deliberately published a series of unrealistic and provocative articles targeting Bahrain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia .

The supposedly offending article is an opinion piece by Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk, in which he criticises the Bahraini government for putting 48 surgeons on trial.


15th June   

Local Rag...

Brighton Argus threatens libel action after being called a local rag by Brighton Council
Link Here

A dispute between The Argus and Brighton and Hove City Council has taken a farcical turn with editor Michael Beard threatening legal action after the council's communications chief John Shewell described the paper as a local rag in a tweet.

It follows the publication of a story discussing the creation of a tourist tax in Brighton and Hove.

Brighton council objected to any inference that they were actually considering such a tax and made this clear ina press release and various tweets. One of the tweets from John Shewell said: Local rag runs ridiculous line that @brightonhovecc thinking of introducing tourist tax we're not!

A local rag is usually considered a colloquial term for a local newspaper rather than its official derogatory definition. However, in response Beard has emailed Shewell and said: As to your comment describing the Argus as a local rag , the advice from our company lawyer is that the tweet as a whole is defamatory in that it characterises The Argus (and therefore the Editor and individual members of staff) as a rag that carelessly or incompetently publishes false or misleading information and is not to be relied on.

Shewell has also written on Twitter about the email from the Argus' editor, which he has described as bullying tactics .


15th June   

Strings Attached...

ASA clears daytime advert referring to 'sex friends'
Link Here

A TV ad for the film No Strings Attached broadcast on More4 between 13.30 and 14.30 on 11 February 2011, during the programme Deal or No Deal . The female character said I need someone who's going to be in my bed, no strings attached and the male character replied I could do that . Two brief scenes showed the couple in bed together before on-screen text read CAN BEST FRIENDS ... BE SEX FRIENDS? .

One viewer challenged whether the ad had been inappropriately scheduled at a time when children might see it.

Clearcast said the only overtly sexual statement in the ad was text that read CAN BEST FRIENDS ... BE SEX FRIENDS? and that they had applied an ex-kids restriction which they considered appropriate to the content of the ad. They said they had no control over the final scheduling of the ad, but they understood it had been broadcast during the programme Deal or No Deal, which they did not consider to be a programme aimed at children.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Not upheld

The ASA considered that the ad reflected the premise of the film in which two adults, who initially attempted to maintain an exclusively sexual relationship, fell in love. We understood that some viewers would find the premise of the film and the reference to sex in the ad distasteful. However, we considered the ex-kids restriction was appropriate and concluded that the broadcaster had exercised its judgement in scheduling the ad correctly because it was unlikely to cause harm or distress to children under the age of 16 who saw it.

We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 32.1 (Scheduling of Television and Radio Advertisements) and 32.3 (Under-16s) but did not find it in breach.


15th June   

Free Speech Murdered in Florida...

New law curbs access to details about murders
Link Here

Reporters Without Borders has called on Florida Governor Rick Scott to urgently withdraw or amend a measure curbing access to details of murders which it said seriously undermined the media's ability to investigate and the public's right to know the truth about such crimes. It said it was a violation of the national constitution, which guarantees the right to inform and to be informed.

The organization said the new law, enacted on 2 June and banning release of photos, videos or recordings connected with a murder, had ruined recent efforts to improve tense relations between the media and the governor's office and provide greater media access.


15th June

 Offsite: The Ridiculous BBFC...

Link Here
Full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse
Interview with Tom Six about The Human Centipede II

See article from


14th June   

Unlevelling the Playing Field...

Updated guidelines for financial penalties imposed by UK's TV censor prudes
Link Here

Ofcom have published an update to their penalty guidelines to replace the previous guidelines that have been in place since December 2003.

The new guidelines read:

How Ofcom will determine the amount of a penalty

3. Ofcom will consider all the circumstances of the case in the round in order to determine the appropriate and proportionate amount of any penalty. The central objective of imposing a penalty is deterrence. The amount of any penalty must be sufficient to ensure that it will act as an effective incentive to compliance, having regard to the seriousness of the infringement.

4. The factors taken into account in each case will vary, depending on what is relevant. Some examples of potentially relevant factors are:

  • The degree of harm, whether actual or potential, caused by the contravention, including any increased cost incurred by consumers or other market participants
  •  The duration of the contravention
  • Any gain (financial or otherwise) made by the regulated body in breach (or any connected body) as a result of the contravention
  • Any steps taken for remedying the consequences of the contravention
  • Whether the regulated body in breach has a history of contraventions (repeated contraventions may lead to significantly increased penalties)
  • Whether in all the circumstances appropriate steps had been taken by the regulated body to prevent the contravention
  • The extent to which the contravention occurred intentionally or recklessly, including the extent to which senior management knew, or ought to have known, that a contravention was occurring or would occur
  • Whether the contravention in question continued, or timely and effective steps were taken to end it, once the regulated body became aware of it
  • The extent to which the level of penalty is proportionate, taking into account the size and turnover of the regulated body.

Strangely Ofcom does not seem to consider any mitigation that the offending company may have been forced into their action due to Ofcom's own repressive rules applying to them but not their competition. Eg Ofcom's near total prohibition on sexual content when both European channels and other competing mediums are allowed full hardcore content. Hardly surprising that UK adult broadcasters have to push the boundaries a bit.


14th June   

Fixing Red Tape...

Government proposes to simplify the range of age restrictions imposed on the retail trade
Link Here

On the roadmap towards our goal
of red tape reduction,
we are introducing a new 15 1/2 rating
as a transitionary step between
the current BBFC 15 rating and
the proposed  simplified 16 rating.

Some age restrictions of the sale of computer games, weapons and films could be lifted under Government plans to simplify regulations for retailers.

Vince Cable will tell a British Retail Consortium audience that reforms to age restricted products would be the first concrete measure to come out of the Government's Red Tape Challenge campaign.

The Business Secretary said that retailers and trading standards officers had complained about the confusing array of different age restrictions, from 12 and 15 for films and computer games to 17 for cross bows and air rifles on top of the more common 16 and 18 age restrictions.

The review could also consider whether restrictions on certain products remain appropriate. Retailers are banned from selling Christmas crackers, party poppers, liquor chocolates, aerosol paints and petrol to minors.

Local authority guidance can create confusion. Surrey County Council, for instance, says the Fireworks (Safety) regulations 1997 require retailers not to sell poppers, caps, cracker snaps, novelty matches, serpents and throw-downs to anyone who you feel or looks under the age of 16 years . However, shops must also display signs stating: It is illegal to sell adult fireworks to anyone under the age of 18 .

A Business Department spokesman said the plans were still being developed, but would tackle the wide range of different age restrictions. It makes compliance difficult and enforcement difficult too, he said. We are looking to simplify these. It is exactly what we had in mind when we launched the challenge. Something that offers consumers the same protections but reduces the compliance burden on business.

The spokesman said one option being considered was to have only two different age restrictions, 16 to 18 for example .


14th June   

Update: Uncomfortable Viewing...

Viewers complain about EastEnders scene with two gay men chatting in bed
Link Here
Full story: Eastenders...Eastenders TV programme complaints

An EastEnders episode that showed a gay couple apparently naked in bed has sparked an audience backlash.

At least 125 viewers complained that a scene featuring the characters Christian Clarke and Syed Masood was inappropriate for the show's pre-watershed slot.

The pair were lying in bed together, with no tops on, and bedclothes pulled up to their chests. The two characters, who are trying to adopt and are planning a civil ceremony, also shared a brief kiss.

They were seen joking about getting matching rings and not changing their names when they tie the knot. Syed was seen with his arm draped around his partner as they cuddled up in bed in the short scene.

Some viewers said the broadcast made for uncomfortable viewing and was guilty of confusing their kids .

In a statement, the BBC said it approached the portrayal of gay relationships in exactly the same way as it did heterosexual scenes and the scenes were suitable for pre-watershed viewing. It said it could not discriminate by treating gay characters differently to other people shown in the programme.


14th June   

Update: End of the So Called Fairness Doctrine...

Fox News no longer required to be fair and balanced
Link Here

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it is abandoning the so-called Fairness Doctrine, an FCC policy introduced in 1949 which requires the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was, in the Commission's view, honest, equitable and balanced.

Congress backed the policy in 1954, and by the 1970s the FCC called the doctrine the single most important requirement of operation in the public interest required for a renewal of license.

Much of the regulation was repealed in the 1980s under FCC Chairman Fowler, but the doctrine is still technically on the books. Representative Greg Walden, chairman of the subcommittee on communications, applauded the news that it would be eliminated: We are heartened by your continued opposition to the Fairness Doctrine because of its chilling effects on free speech and the free flow of ideas.

Just as opponents of the so-called Fairness Doctrine are applauding efforts by the FCC to fully eliminate the regulation that once mandated political diversity on the airwaves, some are warning that the doctrine's proponents could pursue the same goals without the measure.

Commissioner Robert McDowell, a Republican, is urged caution: I think what happened today at the FCC is positive, but folks shouldn't be popping any champagne corks just yet . McDowell warns that traces of the Fairness Doctrine are still on the books and it will take some time to truly eliminate them. He says his goal is to get that done by the end of the year.


14th June   

Updated: Witch Marks in High Definition...

Witchfinder General set for a UK Blu-ray release
Link Here

Witchfinder General is a 1968 UK horror by Michael Reeves. See IMDb

Odeon has announced a new Blu-ray release of Witchfinder General. The promotional material reads:

A fantastic newly restored HD version of this uncut classic with a new documentary on witchcraft and the persecution of woman by Witchfinder Generals such as Mathew Hopkins, as well as extras on the witchcraft during the English Civil War and an interview with Vincent Price.

The promotional materials says that the disk will also include the continental version featuring more female nudity (but less picture quality). But this looks like a cut and paste job from previous Amazon releases and may not be accurate.

The Director's Cut was passed 18 without BBFC cuts for:

But note that the US release features the Director's Cut with an additional axe blow to Price's body right at the end:

The Export Version/Continental Version was passed 18 without BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 2002 Metrodome R2 DVD
  • UK 2000 Cinema Club R2 DVD
  • UK 1995 Redemption VHS

See pictorial version details from :

  • The Continental Version has alternate takes of several tavern shots in which the various wenches are topless or have exposed breasts - in the Director's Cut they are are more conservatively dressed

Previously passed 18 after 1:26s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2007 15 rated Showbox R2 DVD
  • UK 1990 18 rated Castle VHS
  • UK 1987 18 rated Target VHS
  • UK 1968 X (16) rated cinema release

The cuts were:

  • The torture of Lowes (Rupert Davies) was reduced
  • The beating and half strangulation of a a woman in the cells was totally removed
  • The ducking of Lowes was reduced
  • The burning of Elizabeth (Maggie Kimberly) was reduced. Differences between versions for this cut
  • The torture of Sara (Hilary Dwyer) was reduced
  • The dismemberment of Hopkins (Vincent Price) was reduced


14th June   

Political Censorship...

Indian censors cut poster of political leader citing supposed law and order issues
Link Here

Apprehensive of Saffron party's possible ire, this scene showing a Bal Thackeray poster is cut from Anurag Kashyap's latest film, Shaitan

This image of a Bal Thackeray poster was the cause of all the drama. Anurag Kashyap, the producer was asked to edit out a scene containing a poster of the Sena supremo that was shot as part of a chase sequence.

The reason given by the Censor Board was that they did not want the political party to create law and order problems upon the film's release.


14th June   

Update: Healthy Skepticism...

Philippines film censor to consider a ban on smoking in films and on TV
Link Here
Full story: Adult Rating for Smoking...Anti-smoking lobby for 18 for smoking in films

Philippines Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chairperson Grace Poe Llamanzares said the Department of Health (DOH) has consulted the agency regarding the guidelines in the possible implementation of a no-smoking directive on TV shows and films.

Earlier, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chair Francis Tolentino appealed to showbiz industry stakeholders to shun depicting scenes of actors and actresses smoking in their entries in this year's Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).

But the majority of showbiz stakeholders frowned on Tolentino's appeal. They warned that Tolentino may be treading on dangerous and questionable legal grounds since filmmaking is covered by the constitutional right of free expression.


14th June   

Taliban Ban...

Pakistan apparently bans book about Al Qaeda and the Taliban
Link Here

Pakistan's government has imposed an unannounced ban on a book written by slain journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad.

The book, Inside Al-Qaida and the Taliban, Beyond Bin Laden and 9/11 , is unavailable at all leading book stores, with the shop owners saying its sales had been banned by the government.

Pakistan Today contacted the publishers, Pluto Press of London, to inquire about the ban. Pluto Press' Sales Director Simon Liebesny said via e-mail that they could not deliver any statement in the current situation as their shipment for Pakistan was under process with the UK Customs.

Pluto Press said the book was launched on May 20, 2011. It wrote in the description of the book that:

President Obama has delivered on his campaign promise to kill Osama bin Laden, but as an al Qaeda strategist, bin Laden has been dead for years. This book introduces the new generation of al Qaeda leaders who have been behind the most recent attacks. Shahzad, an investigative reporter, had a level of access to al Qaeda and the Taliban that Western journalists could only dream of. He had interviewed many top-level strategists and fighters in both movements on multiple occasions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Jordan. In Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban he uses first-hand accounts and his own local knowledge to build up a convincing and compelling picture of the aims and motivation of the leaders and fighters in radical movements. This is a version of the war on terror that has never been told. It will fascinate anyone concerned with the strategy and tactics of the most controversial Islamic movements.


14th June

 Offsite: Irreversible...

Link Here
The critical reception of a 'rape film'

See article from


13th June   

Update: Censorship Bounty...

Eureka Entertainment and Bounty Films issue press release about the BBFC ban on Human Centipede II
Link Here
Full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse

Press Release on behalf of Eureka Entertainment and Bounty Films: Re The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) :

Within the last week, the BBFC announced that it had rejected and was unable to classify for release on DVD, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence).

Bounty Films, and its UK distribution partner Eureka Entertainment Ltd., are disappointed by the decision of the BBFC to deny the film a classification certificate. While both companies respect the authority of the board, we strongly disagree with their decision.

In support of their decision, the BBFC issued a press release that gave an unprecedented level of detail regarding certain scenes contained within the film. Whilst it appears customary for the BBFC to issue press releases in support of its decision making, the level of detail provided therein does seem inconsistent with previous releases where the statements have been more concise. We are concerned this may be prejudicial to our forthcoming appeal.

The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) is adult entertainment for fans of horror films. If a film of this nature does not seek to push boundaries, to challenge people and their value systems or to shock, then it is not horror. The subject matter of this film is in line with not only the genre, but other challenging entertainment choices for adult consumers.

We respect those who have different opinions about both the film and the genre, and whose opinions may differ to our own, but we hope that the opinions of the adults for whom this product is intended will also be considered. The adult consumers who would watch this film fully understand that it is fictional entertainment and nothing more.

Classifying and rating product allows the public to make an informed choice about the art and media they wish to consume. Censoring or preventing the public from obtaining material that has not been proven to be harmful or obscene, is indefensible in principle and is often counterproductive in practice. Through their chosen course of action, the BBFC have ensured that the awareness of this film is now greater than it would otherwise have been.

Having taken advice on these matters, and in accordance with BBFC guidelines, we will be submitting our appeal to the Video Appeals Committee in due course.


13th June   

Updated: Uncut Crystal...

Dario Argento's Bird with the Crystal Plumage uncut for the first time on UK DVD and Blu-ray
Link Here

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is a 1969 Italian/West German thriller by Dario Argento. See IMDb

The Unrated Version was passed 15 uncut for:

Update: Blu-ray Special Features:

  • Brand new High Definition restoration of the film from the original negative presented in Director of Photography, Vittorio Storaro s original 2:1 Univisium aspect ratio
  • 4 Sleeve art options with original and newly commissioned artwork
  • Two-sided fold-out poster
  • Exclusive collector's booklet featuring brand new writing on the film by Alan Jones, author of Profondo Argento
  • Brand new HD restoration of the film presented in 1080p
  • A Crystal Classic: Luigi Cozzi Remembers Dario s Bloody Bird (1080p)
  • Sergio Martino: The Genesis of the Giallo (1080p)
  • The Italian Hitchcock: Dario Argento Remembers The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (1080p)

All previous releases have been cut. See pictorial cuts details from

  1. 24.5s removed of the killer cutting the slip and then ripping the panties off a victim.
  2. 1.5s of cuts to an elevator scene showing a woman having her face slashed with a razor.

Review from US Amazon : Engrossing Mystery

Even those who don't care for writer-director Dario Argento's later baroque extravaganzas may warm to his debut feature, a well-received thriller in which an American writer living in Rome (Tony Musante) witnesses an assault on a woman in an art gallery and is subsequently targeted by the would-be assassin, a crazed psychopath who's been terrorizing the city with a series of brutal murders.

Typical of an Argento thriller, the hapless hero's investigation unleashes a cycle of violence which culminates in a climactic unmasking that will take some viewers completely by surprise.

Argento's first film is a fairly straightforward thriller with horror asides, anchored by a strong narrative, an increasingly bizarre series of supporting characters, and a strong Everyman hero who slots the puzzle together piece by piece before realizing that the most important clue to the killer's identity was there in front of him all the time. Musante is given excellent support by English actress Suzy Kendall as his girlfriend (the scene in which she's besieged alone in her apartment as the killer hacks through the door with a knife is truly the stuff of nightmares) and Enrico Maria Salerno as the cop charged with finding the killer before he/she strikes again.

Producers were unconvinced of his directorial abilities and wanted to pull him off the picture during the first few weeks of shooting, but Argento persevered under an iron-clad contract and ultimately proved his critics wrong with the finished product, a genuinely engrossing mystery punctuated by scenes of explicit horror.

Update: Grainy

1st April 2011. From goatboy

I'd be slightly wary of the Bird with the Crystal Plumage Blu-ray by the way. The USA release has poor picture quality; it's grainy as fuck, and that's as good as they can get it unfortunately.


13th June   

Update: Betting on Trojan Horses...

Germany to set up internet censorship in the name of blocking gambling sites
Link Here
Full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering

An inter-state treaty that will overhaul Germany's gambling restrictions could prove a threat to the open net. Should a recent draft be adopted, ISPs would be obliged to prevent users from accessing unauthorized gambling websites, which critics fear will mean the establishment of a censorship infrastructure that would breach constitutional rights.

A draft of the treaty sent to the European Union for approval in April includes a paragraph which has been widely interpreted as a provision for the introduction of Internet filtering as a means of blocking out foreign and unlicensed gambling websites:

[Translated from German] The gambling superintendent can [...], after prior publication of unauthorized gambling services, interdict service providers in the sense of the tele-media act, in particular access providers and registrars, participation in providing access to unauthorized gambling services.

Commenting on an earlier draft of the same treaty, the Chaos Computer Club had warned that Internet service providers might be forced to implement deep packet inspection in order to prevent clients from accessing foreign gambling websites. In particular, mention of an impact on the constitutional right to telecommunications secrecy, meaning that content information would be accessed, makes an intention to introduce deep packet inspection plausible.

The new gambling treaty has to be signed by 13 of Germany's 16 federal states to become effective. So far, the issue has raised controversy in a range of states governed by coalitions of Greens (against the proposal) and Social Democrats (for the proposal.

The issue has become particularly controversial in Northrine-Westphalia when recently it was discovered that for more than a year, there are already two district-level blocking orders (in German) against gambling websites. These were based on the old gambling treaty, but have been disputed in court by the two ISPs in concern. As a Telekom speaker explained, the company perceives website blocking as requiring an unconstitutional breach of telecommunications secrecy.

The prime ministers of the federal states have now decided to delay a final decision on the gambling treaty to October.


13th June   

Update: Jose Luis Censored...

Campaign against US TV show Jose Luis Sin Censura gains traction
Link Here

A months-long campaign by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the National Hispanic Media Coalition to protest the Liberman Broadcasting talk show Jose Luis Sin Censura has picked up steam, with one major TV station agreeing to drop the program from its line-up.

The organizations said that two advertisers, AT&T and Time Warner Cable, had withdrawn advertising from the show, which is produced in Burbank and runs on Liberman's Spanish-language Estrella TV network.

In addition, Miami station WSVN-TV Channel 7, owned by Sunbeam Television, dropped the show from one of its digital channels.

One of the network's most popular daytime programs, Jose Luis Sin Censura has been described as an extreme version of a raunchy Spanish-language Jerry Springer, complete with flying fists and hair-pulling brawls between guests and an occasional audience member. The audience at times chants anti-gay slurs at show participants.

There are young people watching this program. It is this kind of content that gives teenagers, and even adults, the green light to use this language and act violently against gay and transgender people, GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said in an interview. It is our hope that other advertisers and fair-minded broadcasters who are worried about these depictions will not support or air this show.


12th June   

Ofcom PIN Pricks...

Government wisely decided not to act on Ofcom call for PIN number age verification for internet video on demand
Link Here

It has emerged that the government has not acted on a recommendation from the TV and internet  censor Ofcom, which said last year that the law should be changed so that sexually explicit content on video-on-demand websites could not be seen by children.

The government asked Ofcom last year to examine whether the law should be changed to protect children from pornographic material that was easily available on some adult sites, including, which allowed paying members to download a wide range of pornographic material.

Many of them also offer some sexual material as try before you buy content that can be easily viewed without a credit card or account number.

Ofcom recommended in a report passed to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) nine months ago that the government should pass legislation forcing those sites to protect their free trial content with a pin number. But the coalition has not published Ofcom's report or acted on its recommendations.

Predictably Labour has tried to claim a few morality votes from this technically infeasible Ofcom suggestion.

Ivan Lewis, the shadow culture secretary, said: David Cameron's commitment to act on Bailey's recommendations rings hollow now we know his government has suppressed this important report. It is either incompetence or a deliberate attempt to keep the public and parliament in the dark. Ofcom's report should be published without delay so we can consider its findings and take the necessary action.

The DCMS said the report was still being considered by ministers. It said: The government is committed to protecting children from accessing harmful material and DCMS has requested advice from Ofcom and others regarding regulation of video-on-demand services. There is a range of views on whether new measures are required and we are currently considering options.

The proposals would only affect UK websites that are monitored by ATVOD, the internet video on demand censor.


12th June   

Frightening and Intimidating...

Tennessee enacts new law to censor communications
Link Here

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed a new law last week that makes it a crime to post images to the Internet that frighten, intimidate, or cause emotional distress. Violators found guilty of doing so now face up to one year in jail and $2,500 in fines.

The new law updates existing legislation with the new material italicized:

(a) A person commits an offense who intentionally:

(4) Communicates with another person or transmits or displays an image in a manner in which there is a reasonable expectation that the image will be viewed by the victim by [by telephone, in writing or by electronic communication] without legitimate purpose:

(A)    (i) With the malicious intent to frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress; or

(ii) In a manner the defendant knows, or reasonably should know, would frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress to a similarly situated person of reasonable sensibilities; and

(B) As the result of the communication, the person is frightened, intimidated or emotionally distressed.

So the law now applies not just to one-to-one communication, but to people's posting images on their own Facebook pages, on their Web sites, and in other places if (1) they are acting without legitimate purpose, (2) they cause emotional distress, and (3) they intend to cause emotional distress or know or reasonably should know that their action will cause emotional distress to a similarly situated person of reasonable sensibilities.

Needless to say, the Internet is in an uproar over this, and it seems pretty likely that the law will be struck down for being unconstitutional very soon.


12th June

 Offsite: Mr Super Injunctionist...

Link Here
Full story: Super Injunctions...Granting super powers to rich gaggers
Mr Justice Eady on balancing acts

See article from


12th June

 Offsite: NOBODY Can Escape Britain's Thought Police...

Link Here
More bollox abuse of the public order act to persecute someone for minor insult

See article from


12th June   


Indian censors rightfully ignored as films are routinely screened uncut
Link Here

The managements of cinemas in Hyderabad are crying foul as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has put the blame squarely on them for screening films without the required censors cuts.

CBFC advisory panel members from the regional office in Hyderabad seized prints of the Ravi-Teja starrer film Veera . The prints showed additional uncensored footage that had not been approved for screening.

The CBFC then lodged a complaint with the police against the Odeon theatre management and the film producer.

Though the law places the onus of verifying the cuts on theatres, theatre managements blame the producers who try to outwit the censor board. Producers routinely send film prints without making appropriate cuts or modifications. In the eyes of the law, it is theatre managements who are held responsible if a movie is screened without censor cuts.

Producers, however, have their own line of defence. Sometimes by oversight we may send prints without making censor cuts. Producers do not send such prints intentionally. In such cases, a producer is usually warned and let off.


12th June   

Update: Smoking Iceland...

Parliamentary move to ban smoking in the movies
Link Here
Full story: Adult Rating for Smoking...Anti-smoking lobby for 18 for smoking in films

Nine Iceland MPs, led by Progressive Party MP Siv Fridleifsdottir, have suggested in a bill that the general sale of tobacco be banned and the visibility of smoking in Iceland be limited, reports.

This includes limiting smoking in movies and plays by preventing state funding for such productions.

The idea has been harshly criticized by actors and directors; Baltasar Kormakur told Frettabladid that this is the first step towards using state funding for censorship.


11th June   

Carmarthenshire Council Caught Hiding from Public Scrutiny...

Blogger arrested on bollox charges for filming at council meeting
Link Here

A blogger who filmed a meeting of a local council was arrested for supposedly breaching the peace despite insisting that she broke no laws.

Jacqui Thompson, author of the blog Carmarthenshire Planning Problems and More , was using her phone to record a meeting of Carmarthenshire County Council during an angry debate on the closure of a day club for local elderly people.

According to her blog, she was in the public gallery when the row over the day club broke out, and began filming proceedings. She was asked to leave by the council chairman who called the police when she refused. Ten minutes later, four police officers arrived.

Mrs Thompson said:

I tried to argue my point but was then arrested in the Public Gallery for 'breaching the peace'. I was taken outside the door, handcuffed, searched, my phone taken and marched out to the waiting police cars.

I was then taken 30 miles to Llanelli police station where I remained handcuffed for another hour before being 'processed', and put in a cell for another two hours.

Mrs Thompson also claimed that she was threatened with being kept overnight at the station unless she signed an undertaking not to film any more meetings. She said that the council chairman, Councillor Ivor Jackson, told her that filming was against the council's standing orders. However, according to the standing orders, members of the public and press may only be excluded if they are making a disturbance.

David Allen Green, lawyer and legal correspondent of New Statesman, said:

The circumstances of the arrest of Mrs Thompson are concerning. In general terms, it is important that police and local authorities do not use 'breach of the peace' as the basis of arresting at will, especially when there are free expression and public accountability issues at stake. I hope this was not what happened with Mrs Thompson. On what we know, it seems alarming, illiberal and misconceived.

Update: Ordered to pay £25,000 libel damages to council leader

16th March 2013. See  article from

The political blogger who sparked online uproar after being arrested for filming a council hearing has been ordered to pay £25,000 in libel damages to a council's chief executive over what the high court described as an unlawful campaign of harassment, defamation and intimidation .

Jacqui Thompson was ordered to pay the five-figure sum over a series of defamatory internet posts in which she falsely accused Carmarthenshire county council chief executive, Mark James, and other council officers of corruption.

Britain's most senior libel judge, Mr Justice Tugendhat, said in his ruling on Friday:

Mrs Thompson conducted her campaign of harassment as publicly as she could, at first copying her letters and emails to the press and numerous other people and, after she had started her blog, publishing her unfounded allegations to the world at large.


11th June   

Family First New Zealand Recommend...

Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach
Link Here
Nutter campaigners are up-in-arms over the imminent release of the supposedly offensive parody of a children's bedtime book.

The book, entitled Go the F*** to Sleep , looks and sounds like an ordinary kids' book, but has swear words on every page. It was written as a spoof, based on the author's experience as a Dad.

Author Adam Mansbach told the Today Show:

It started with some sleepless nights and a Facebook post where I jokingly said I was going to write, I said 'look out for my forthcoming children's book, go the F*** to sleep'. And a couple of weeks later actually sat down and wrote it

The book is due for release in the US next week, after being available online for months, and a leaked PDF has gone viral via websites like Facebook. Now, it is Amazon's bestseller on pre-orders alone, and turned the American author into an overnight sensation.

Family First director Bob McCoskrie told ONE News:

The book features a father trying to get his young child to sleep - a common experience of parents. It is littered with offensive language, but most disturbingly, looks and sounds just like a children's book, said

I think it sends all the wrong messages.

The family campaigners are supposedly worried about the effects it may have on dysfunctional parents, and are now calling on bookstores to ban its sale.

While in an adult context, the book may be harmless and even amusing, we have grave concerns about its effect on aggressive and dysfunctional parents, and also on children who are attracted to the book.

We'd rather parents spent their hard earned money on a book on quality parenting, or a book that they can enjoy reading to their child.

He said he is already written to two book distributors, Booksellers Association and Paper Plus New Zealand, urging them not to stock it. But book sellers say it will be on shelves in a month.

McCoskrie said Family First is now considering a complaint to the Censor's Office.


11th June   

Cruel Cuts...

Shaolin DVD cut by the BBFC
Link Here

Shaolin is a 2011 Hong Kong/China action film by Benny Chan. See IMDb

Passed 15 after 7s of BBFC cuts for:

  • 2011 UK Showbox/Cine-Asia R2 DVD

The BBFC commented:

  • Cuts were required to remove scenes of animal cruelty, in this case horses being tripped and made to fall dangerously.


11th June   

No Love Story...

Indian film winds up Gujarat muslims
Link Here

The recently-released Indian film Sarhad Ni Paar Mari Radha has prompted muslim protests. The film revolves around a love story in the backdrop of the India-Pakistan rhetoric.

The objection has come from the All India Minority Cell, Loktantrik Janata Front, New Delhi. The Muslim body has demanded that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi immediately ban the film from public screening in its present form to avoid tension between the communities.

The group has also raised questions of the CBFC: It is unbelievable to discover how blindly the Central Board of Film Certification gave its nod to screening of the film for public viewing without anticipating the possible threats. The film contains highly objectionable, inflammatory and provocative scenes and dialogues that go against the religious traditions and emotions of minorities, states the cell, in a press release.

The release says that if the screening is not banned, the group will petition the high court.


10th June   


ASA bans church advert claiming healing via prayer
Link Here

A circular for the Revival Fellowship was headlined YOUR INVITATION TO COME AND SEE . Text on the back of the circular included After prayer, Russell was healed from a severe food allergy and Autism. He now leads a healthy and completely normal life , In 1984, Granville suffered another brain haemorrhage and died 3 times. After prayer, he came alive. He still lives today , Trevor & Leila were told that their newborn girl was 'incompatible with life' and would not survive. Impossible is possible with God , After tragically losing her only brother through drug addiction, Rachael was born again and healed of a broken heart and A severe car accident had Dan in agony for four years. He was instantly healed of a broken vertebrae upon baptism in water . Issue

The complainant challenged whether the circular:

1. was irresponsible because it could discourage essential medical treatment for serious medical conditions; and

2. exploited the vulnerable because it invited people to attend the meetings in the hope of receiving physical healing.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA acknowledged that Medway Revival Fellowship sought to promote their faith and the hope for physical healing by God through the claims in their ad. However, we were concerned that the testimonials, which included references to healing through prayer and baptism from serious medical conditions or injury such as autism , brain haemorrhage and broken vertebrae would be understood by its target audience, and particularly those who were suffering from physical illness or injury, as an invitation to attend a meeting in the expectation of receiving healing from that condition or its symptoms. We acknowledged Medway Revival Fellowships offer to include text in the ad making clear that it was their belief that God healed and that this should not prevent readers from receiving medical treatment. However, we considered that it would not prevent readers from interpreting the testimonials making references to physical healing in the ad as claims that were likely to set up particular expectations about the outcome of attending a meeting. We understood that believers had faith that God healed. However, we concluded that the references to relief or cure from physical ailments as presented in the ad were likely to mislead about the nature of such religious healing and could discourage people, and particularly the vulnerable, from seeking essential medical treatment for serious medical conditions

On these points the ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility), 3.1, 3.7 (Misleading advertising), 12.1 and 12.2 (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).


10th June   

Hipster Hitler...

Australian online retailer removes t-shirts that 'offended' the jewish community
Link Here

An Australia-based online vendor has withdrawn T-shirts that satirized Hitler and the Holocaust following complaints by the Jewish community.

Red Bubble, a Melbourne-based company this week stopped selling the Hipster Hitler line of T-shirts that parody the Holocaust with slogans such as Eastside Westside Genocide, Back to the Fuhrer and Three Reichs and You're Out.

In a statement the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission praised the decision by Red Bubble: It's not a matter of free speech or censorship, said commission chairman Anton Block. It's a matter of sensitivity and decency.

Hipster Hitler, a New York-based art and clothing firm, still has the 'offending' T-shirts for sale on its own website.


10th June   

Dame Censors...

Patricia Hodgson moves from BBC censor to Ofcom censor
Link Here
Ofcom has announced the appointment of Dame Patricia Hodgson and Dame Lynne Brindley as Non-Executive Members of Ofcom's Board.

Dame Patricia Hodgson will join the Ofcom Board on 1 July 2011 and will become Deputy Chairman for a three year term, on the retirement of Philip Graf, on 1 January 2012.

Dame Lynne Brindley begins her three year term on 1 September 2011.

Millie Banerjee retires from the Ofcom Board on 30 June 2011.

Patricia Hodgson is Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, a Non-Executive Director of the Competition Commission and Member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England. She was Chief Executive of the Independent Television Commission. She is also currently a Member of the BBC Trust from which she will step down with immediate effect to take up her role at Ofcom.

Lynne Brindley has been Chief Executive Officer of The British Library since 2000. She is a Member of the Arts & Humanities Research Council and a Board Member of the Creative Industries Knowledge Transfer Network. She is also a Member of the Strategic Management Board for super-fast broadband for Cornwall & the Scilly Isles from which she will resign on her appointment to Ofcom. She was formerly Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, Director of Information Services at the London School of Economics and senior management consultant at KPMG.

The appointments were made by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.


10th June   

Update: Nutters Get under the Skin of MTV...

No 2nd season of Skins USA
Link Here
Full story: Skins...Nutters wound up by the idea of teenage sex
US nutters of the Parents Television Council hailed MTV's decision to cancel its teen drama Skins , noting that the series is an example of how controversy doesn't always deliver an audience.

It's not always true that controversy simply draws an audience, PTC director of corporate and government affairs Dan Isett told The Hollywood Reporter. MTV's decision to cancel Skins is not much of a surprise.

The series, adapted from the U.K. show of the same name, featured underage kids using drugs, drinking alcohol and having sex. Executives at MTV parent Viacom ordered producers of the TV-MA-rated series to tone it down the series' content in January ahead of its premiere as they worried about violating child pornography laws.

Isett noted that virtually every episode in the series, which the PTC in January called the most dangerous show for teens, had something that parents and families were going to be deeply concerned about: We're certainly hopeful that this will be a message for future producers that there are some lines that shouldn't be crossed.

Skins is a global television phenomenon that, unfortunately, didn't connect with a U.S. audience as much as we had hoped, MTV said in a statement: We admire the work that the series' creator Bryan Elsley did in adapting the show for MTV, and appreciate the core audience that embraced it.


10th June   

Obituary: India's Picasso...

Religion offending artist MF Husain dies aged 95
Link Here

MF Husain , who died in London yesterday aged 95, was a former billboard artist who rose to become India's most famous painter before going into self-imposed exile after receiving death threats from religious hardliners for his nude images of Hindu icons.

The artist, whose full name was Maqbool Fida Husain but who was popularly known as MF , began his career in the 1940s as a poster artist for the Bollywood film industry. He rose to prominence after Independence and was later hailed as India's Picasso .

Husain was a master of vibrant colour and dynamic movement, and his boldly-drawn, figurative compositions, often featuring horses or women, bore the clear influence of artists such as Chagall and Kandinsky, but combined western modernism with classical Indian folk art traditions. In India no fewer than four museums are dedicated to his work.


10th June

 Offsite: I don't want to watch Human Centipede II...

Link Here
Full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse
But I want the right to watch it

See article from


9th June   

Sexualised Violence, Sexualised Children and Fucking Speech Therapy...

BBFC Publishes its Annual Report for 2010
Link Here

Sexual violence, strong language and the sexualisation of children were the three dominant classification issues for the BBFC in 2010. At the same time the BBFC continued to work with the industry to develop voluntary content labelling strategies for online and Video On Demand (VOD) content outside the Board's traditional statutory regulatory role. Announcing the publication of the Annual Report for 2010, David Cooke, Director of the BBFC, said:

A number of the BBFC's classification decisions were the subject of public and media debate in 2010. The significant cuts to reduce sexual and sexualised violence in I Spit on Your Grave and A Serbian Film in order to obtain an '18' rating prompted some commentators to suggest that the BBFC had suddenly tightened its policies. In both instances, the decisions were firmly in line with our published classification Guidelines which result from extensive and regular consultation with the public. The '15' and '12A' classifications, given respectively, to two highly praised British films, Made in Dagenham and The King's Speech , also prompted lively debate in the media about the Board's language policies. It is clear that the public still expects us to be vigilant on language issues: the distinction between the two films was that The King's Speech involved an exceptional context, that of speech therapy, for which there was no equivalent in Made in Dagenham.

The third area of debate was the sexualisation of children. As a result of public concern, the Government launched a review into the commercialisation and sexualisation of children. The BBFC submitted evidence to the consultation covering how we deal with the sexualisation of children in works submitted for classification. One area where this is of concern is some music videos. Most music videos are exempt from classification, but some distributors do submit them to us on a voluntary best practice basis. The well recognised and trusted BBFC symbols and content information on these works mean that parents can make informed decisions about which material is appropriate for their children. We are working with the home entertainment industry on ways of better informing consumers about the content of such video works.

The fact that our symbols and content advice are well recognised and trusted is proving attractive to companies providing video content in the online and Video On Demand world. The voluntary service set up in partnership with the home entertainment and film industries in 2008, continues to expand and attract new members. In addition we have also launched a voluntary scheme we call Watch and Rate for works not covered by statutory regulation, to be distributed as VOD only. Watch and Rate offers robust child protection online and allows the industry to test the market for a particular product by trialling it online before going to the expense of pressing and distributing DVDs.

We have also begun providing compliance services to companies supplying VOD and other online services. We are able to perform this role because of the unrivalled expertise we have built up over many years fulfilling the statutory responsibilities accorded to us by Government.

Providing detailed information about the content of works we have classified is central to the role of the BBFC now and in the future. Our Consumer Advice and Extended Classification Information (ECI) are available on both our main website and our website specifically for parents. We are looking at ways of bringing that information to even more consumers. One way we are doing that is via the BBFC's free App for iPhones which enables access to ECI wherever you happen to be. This has been very well received and, by popular demand, we will be rolling out an Android version very shortly.

We are looking forward to our centenary year in 2012 which will see us working even closer with industry customers to make classification (whether statutory, voluntary, physical or digital) easier and quicker, while maintaining the same rigorous levels of child protection and provision of information and support to a standard and richness which we believe to be a world-leader.


9th June   

Petition: Chain Letter?...

Stand up against excessive British film censorship
Link Here
Full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse

It has just been announced that Human Centipede 2 has been banned outright by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) - who thirty years ago were called the more accurate-sounding British Board of Film Censorship. While it's true that fewer films are banned now than in the past, it's still too many that are cut or banned outright. The BBFC themselves claim that adults should be allowed to watch whatever they want unless it's dangerous or illegal - but they act as judge and jury in making those often subjective decisions.

The justification for banning Human Centipede 2 is that it MAY contravene the Obscene Publications Act. Yet the advice the BBFC receive about this law is suspect - until the end of the 1990s, they maintained a blanket ban on hardcore porn for the same reason and it took a court case to prove this to be a lie.

Their claims that Human Centipede dehumanises the victims and sympathises with the victimiser could also be said of a film like Salo, which is passed uncut.

And the BBFC's subjective viewpoint isn't just inconsistent, it's constantly changing. In 2002, the Board went to court to defend cuts made to Last House on the Left. In 2008, it was passed uncut. In 1999, A Cat in the Brain was banned outright, with the claim that the video was potentially harmful because of the influence it may have on the attitudes and behaviour of a significant proportion of its likely viewers, whatever classification it was given ; in 2003, it was released uncut. Did society really change that much in those few years to make these previously dangerous films now safe?

The BBFC may seem irrelevant in the age of the bit torrent, but that's not true -- their restrictions still stifle innovation in UK cinema by making it hard for filmmakers to release edgy or confrontational films, and by charging excessive, mandatory fees that make it hard for small, non-commercial films to make any money.

We believe that adults should be allowed to watch any work of fiction that features consenting adults, and that bans should only be enforced for films that clearly break existing laws (ie child and animal abuse). There has never been any independent evidence to show that watching films has ever directly influenced anyone to commit violent or sexual crimes, let alone that they can corrupt a whole nation. It's time that Nanny cut the apron strings and the BBFC finally move to their stated position of classifying, not censoring, and also that films should be allowed to be released unrated -- with all the distribution restrictions that such a category would invariably bring. People should have a right to choose, not to be told that other people have made that choice for them.

...Sign the petition


9th June   

Update: Assisted Propaganda...

Assisted suicide on Emmerdale gets few complaints but will be examined by Ofcom
Link Here

There wasn't a dry eye in the house last night when Emmerdale's Jackson Walsh ended his life, with the help of his mother and partner.

Had Emmerdale, as critics are now saying they should have, played sad music while Jackson drifted off , whilst Aaron and Hazel wiped away a little tear, the ITV soap would have been slammed for glorifying assisted suicide, for promoting it as the right thing to do even.

Yet when the scene that aired was of Jackson gagging whilst trying to gulp the cocktail of lethal drugs down, whilst his mother, face contorted in horror, sobbed hysterically and his partner kept losing his grip on the glass because he was shaking too much shaking, it was deemed too horrific.

In an interview released by bosses at ITV, Mark Silcock explained that the shows intention was never to promote assisted suicide, quite the contrary, so there had to be a distinct difference between the beauty and tenderness of the final goodbye of all three characters and the realisation of the actual death, which would never have been a beautiful moment.

In the interview, he commented: We ensured it wasn't beautiful -- it is horrific, because it's a horrific thing. Some people might have liked to have seen soft music in the background and for Jackson to slowly drift off to sleep. But that's not reality and not what happens. We didn't want to glorify it for one second. You see the love between the three of them in those scenes, which is beautiful, but what happens is not beautiful in any way .

Yet, despite only a handful of complaints, based mainly on the time that the episode was shown, Ofcom have decided to assess the criticisms.


9th June   

Minor Issue...

US Civil Liberties group asks for permanent injunction against Utah internet censorship law
Link Here

A group of booksellers, artists and Internet service providers have asked a federal judge to permanently stop enforcement of a 2005 Utah anti-pornography law.

The Harmful to Minors Act was supposedly intended to make Internet service providers, Web hosts and content providers limit the ability of minors to access pornography on the Internet.

The law seeks to regulate all Internet speech that some might consider harmful to minors, including works of visual art, photography, graphic novels, and information about sexual health and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, according to the ACLU of Utah.

A judge blocked enforcement of the statute in 2006 after the ACLU and others filed a lawsuit contending the law violates the U.S. Constitution. The ACLU is now asking for the order to be permanent.


9th June   

Update: Pensioners Only...

Thai film censor cuts 3D Sex and Zen for a 20+ rating
Link Here
Full story: 3-D Sex and Zen...Hong Kong erotic movie in 3D

Hong Kong's 3D Erotic comedy Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy has opened in Thailand after cuts from the Film Board's censorship committee, even with an age rating of 20+.

With this rating, filmgoers should have their ID cards ready to show in case they're asked. The Thai cut of Sex and Zen runs for 110 minutes, 3 minutes shorter than the original. Three scenes have been cut: a female seducing a monk and two sadistic rape scenes.

The director's cut runs 129 minutes, Hong Kong's version is 118 minutes and the international cut for censorial challenged countries is 113 minutes. Thailand and Singapore have each snipped the film down to 110 minutes but Thailand's version still allows nude scenes while Singapore's cut has removed some sex scenes and all scenes showing the monk and the woman.


9th June   

Update: Extreme Censorship...

Iran plans to replace the internet with an Iran only intranet
Link Here
Full story: Iranian Internet Censorship...Extensive internet blocking

Iran is moving towards introducing a new aggressive form of censorship, a national Internet that could, in effect, disconnect Iranian cyberspace from the rest of the world.

The initiative appears part of a broader effort to confront what the regime now considers a major threat: an online invasion of Western ideas, culture and influence.

Iran, already among the most sophisticated nations in online censoring, also promotes its national Internet as a cost-saving measure for consumers and as a way to uphold Islamic moral codes.

The Wall St Journal quoted Reza Bagheri Asl, director of the telecommunication ministry's research institute, as telling an Iranian news agency that soon 60% of the nation's homes and businesses would be on the new, internal network. Within two years it would extend to the entire country, he said.

Ali Aghamohammadi, Iran's head of economic affairs, said the new network would at first operate in parallel to the normal Internet-banks, government ministries and large companies would continue to have access to the regular Internet. Eventually, he said, the national network could replace the global Internet in Iran, as well as in other Muslim countries.


8th June   

Update: British Viewers at the End of the Food Chain...

Human Centipede II passed R18+ by the Australian film censor
Link Here
Full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse
The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) is a 2011 Netherlands/UK horror by Tom Six which has just been banned by the BBFC.

It is interesting to note that the film was passed R18+ for public exhibition in Australia. R18+ is equivalent to the UK 18 rating. The Australian censors do not mention cuts or modifications so presumably it is uncut


8th June   

Update: Eureka!...

BBFC ban on Human Centipede II to be appealed
Link Here
Full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse

There's a twitter message doing the rounds that says that Bounty Films and Eureka! film distributors will appeal against the BBFC ban on Human Centipede II (Full Sequence).


8th June   

Comment: Harmful Bollox...

Delving a little deeper into the BBFC ban on The Human Centipede II
Link Here
Full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse

An interesting piece by Jane Fae who analyses the BBFC's justification for banning The Human Centipede II alongside the Video recordings Act, Obscene Publications Act and Dangerous Pictures Act.

Was the decision to ban Human Centipede 2 correct in law?

See  article from by Jane Fae

Those boldly proclaiming on the internet that they'll be getting their own copies of this movie anyway should beware. Without a BBFC rating, a depiction of rape involving barbed wire wrapped round someone's penis sounds very much like a realistic depiction of an act likely to do serious harm in a sexual context.

In other words, extreme porn , possession of which is a criminal offence, liable to punishment by means of a fine, community service or prison. You have been warned!

...Read the full  article

Too obscene to be seen?

See  article from  by Jane Fae

So how do the BBFC know what is obscene - and therefore ought not to be released into the public domain: they ask the experts (aka police and CPS lawyers) what sort of material juries are likely to consider obscene. So, according to these experts, juries in many parts of the country would find the practice of urolagnia (aka golden showers ) obscene.

We asked the CPS if they had any stats as to when the last prosecution in respect of this practice happened. They don't. What we do know, however, is that prosecutions for obscenity are a dying breed. A report from the CPS themselves has just 82 charges under the Obscene Publications Act reaching the magistrates' courts in 2009-10. It is likely that not all of these succeeded or were continued.

Yet the BBFC steadfastly refuse to rate films containing this practice - even extending the ban out to anything that features what they consider to be female ejaculation which, again, with very little evidence, they maintain is no more than pee - and therefore quite unshowable.

...Read the full  article

Hopefully though Human Centipede II does not count under the Dangerous Pictures Act. The BBFC didn't note it as a 'sex work' so presumably they didn't see it as primarily intended to sexually arouse. And hopefully the barbed wire rape falls short of explicit or 'realistic'.

Film critic Kim Newman offered up a very plausible angle about the BBFC ban. See article on

He reminds us that one of the founding aims of the BBFC is for it to protect the film industry from prosecution. Given that the Crown Persecution Service have steadfastly held on to their own definitions of obscenity, then the concept of eating shit is still something that falls within their definition.

With this in mind, it seems that BBFC may be wise to ensure that film makers and retailers are protected from the risk of prosecution.

Surely this has got to be a lot more credible reason for a ban than bollox about harm to viewers. It is pretty near impossible to conceive examples of what 'harm', the BBFC is alluding to. Surely a surreal, unbelievable and uncopyable concept of a surgically created human chain is one of the least likely foundations for fears about taking inspiration for real world evil acts. Perhaps the BBFC are thinking more along the lines of people suffering heart attacks induced by extreme 'outrage'.

Judging by the amount of internet chatter on the subject, then this could be the first ban of a popular work since the ban on the game Manhunt . Presumably this will therefore be the first banned work that could result in mass censorship avoidance via internet download. It will be interesting to see if this will pose any challenge to the UK censorship system/

But maybe if Kim Newman's right and the major objective if for the British film industry to avoid prosecution then, all will have worked fine. The fact that anyone will be able to watch it anyway, no doubt doing no-one any actual harm, will quickly fade away into old news.


8th June   

Updated: No Flies on the BBFC...

Taxi Driver released uncut on US and UK Blu-ray
Link Here

Taxi Driver is a 1976 US drama by Martin Scorsese. See IMDb

Passed 18 uncut with previous BBFC cuts waived for:

  • UK 2011 Sony RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon now released
  • UK 2007 Sony R2 DVD
  • UK 2006 Sony R2 DVD at UK Amazon
  • UK 2006 cinema release
  • UK 1993 Columbia/TriStar VHS

The US release is uncut and MPAA R Rated for:

Update : Thanks to Gavin Salkeld:

To avoid an X rating back in the 70s, Scorcese toned down the reds in the final shootout during final processing of the film stock to make the blood less bright and obvious, and therefore make the scene less intense. These changes persist to this day. Apparently he thought the change worked for the better, anyway!

Previously passed 18 after 1s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1990 VCI VHS
  • UK 1986 RCA/Columbia VHS
  • UK 1976 cinema release

The BBFC cuts were.

  • 1s has been cut from the scene where the underage Jodie Foster unzips Robert De Nero's fly on the grounds it would otherwise contravene the Protection of Children Act.


8th June   

Update: Lads Mags Cover Up...

Retail trade body OKs modesty covers as long as they don't have to bear the costs
Link Here
Full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report
Among the recommendations contained in the Bailey review, looking at the sexualisation of children, was that publishers and distributors provide modesty sleeves for lads' mags or make modesty boards available to all outlets they supply.

John Lennon, the managing director of the Association of News Retailing, agreed with the report's recommendations but said the cost should not be met by the retailer: It's a good idea for retailers that are too small to put these magazines out of the eye-level of children, but I hope these [modesty sleeves] would be supplied by the publishers and not by the retailers, he said.

The Bailey report also criticised newspapers for the use of sexualised front covers , but Lennon said this was not a major issues for retailers.

Newspapers are not included in the industry-wide voluntary code of conduct and Lennon said he did not expect this to change, adding: It's never really been an issue. We've had or two complaints from church groups but that's really about it.


8th June   

Updated: Lebanon Goes GaGa...

Lady GaGa's latest album banned in Lebanon
Link Here
Full story: Lady GaGa...Winding up the nutters with sex and religion

Lady Gaga's latest album Born This Way may be topping the music charts in 21 countries, but it has been banned in Lebanon for being offensive to Christianity .

A shipment of the album was immediately impounded by authorities in the general security department on grounds of taste, reports

Update: Oh no it isn't!

8th June 2011.  See  article from

Lady Gaga's latest record Born This Way will be distributed to stores in Lebanon soon, General Security said following rumors that the album had been banned for being offensive to Christianity.

General Security had not released any statement banning the entry or distribution of this album, and [the CD] has received approval for entry and distribution in the Lebanese market, a statement by the General Security said.



8th June

 Offsite: Lack of Evidence and Misleading Stats...

Link Here
Full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report
Bailey Report on Sexualisation: A first look

See article from


7th June   

Update: Not Real...

Director Tom Six comments on the ban of The Human Centipede 2
Link Here
Full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse
The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) is a 2011 Netherlands/UK horror by Tom Six just banned by the BBFC.

Director Tom Six commented to :

Thank you BBFC for putting spoilers of my movie on your website and thank you for banning my film in this exceptional way. Apparently I made an horrific horror-film, but shouldn't a good horror film be horrific? My dear people it is a fucking MOVIE. It is all fictional. Not real. It is all make-belief. It is art. Give people their own choice to watch it or not. If people can't handle or like my movies they just don't watch them. If people like my movies they have to be able to see it any time, anywhere also in the UK.


7th June   

Update: Protecting the Rich and Adulterous...

Government threatens legal action against twitter users who break privacy injunctions
Link Here
Full story: Super Injunctions...Granting super powers to rich gaggers

People who use Twitter to breach privacy injunctions may face government legal action.

Attorney General Dominic Grieve said that individuals could be prosecuted for contempt of court for publishing sensitive material. Enforcement was normally a matter for whoever had taken out a privacy order. But Grieve told the BBC he would take action himself if he thought it necessary to uphold the rule of law.

In an interview with Radio 4's Law in Action programme, the attorney general said that individuals who used Twitter or other internet sites to undermine the rule of law could face the consequences of their actions. He was referring to court powers to fine or even imprison people who deliberately break court rulings.

Grieve explained that enforcement of orders made in civil cases was normally a matter for whoever had taken them out. A claimant could go to court and seek to have people punished if they had broken the terms of an injunction.  But when asked if he should bring contempt proceedings himself for breach of a privacy order, Grieve said he would take action if he thought it necessary.

Law in Action is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday 7 June at 1600 BST and Thursday 9 June at 2000 BST, Or via iPlayer or podcast.


7th June   

Update: Dangerous Photo Uploading...

Conviction of web programmer quashed in Iran
Link Here

Iran's supreme court has quashed the death sentence for Saeed Malekpour, a web programmer who was facing execution on charges of developing and promoting porn websites.

The 35-year-old was convicted of designing and moderating adult materials online although his family said he was a web programmer whose photo uploading software was used by a porn website without his knowledge.

Defence lawyers said the conviction was quashed after they provided the court with expert evidence. Malekpour, a Canadian resident who was arrested in October 2008 on arrival in Tehran, will remain in jail while a judicial review into his case is held.

Speaking from Toronto, his wife, Fatima Eftekhari, said that the campaign by human rights groups in support of her husband was crucial in saving Malekpour's life: Never underestimate the power of such campaigns when you can save the life of an innocent somewhere miles away from you by clicking a button or signing a letter .


7th June

 Offsite: Hard Decisions...

Link Here
Murray Perkins of the BBFC talks about the censorship of R18s

See article from


7th June

 Offsite: Voluntary for the Moment...

Link Here
Full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report
Media Industry relaxed about the Bailey report

See article from


6th June   

Update: BBFC Heads Planted Firmly up their Arses...

Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) banned
Link Here
Full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse
The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) is a 2011 Netherlands/UK horror by Tom Six. See IMDb

The BBFC has rejected the sexually violent, and potentially obscene DVD, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) This means that it cannot be legally supplied anywhere in the UK. The decision was taken by the Director, David Cooke and the Presidential Team of Sir Quentin Thomas, Alison Hastings and Gerard Lemos.

The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) is a sequel to the film The Human Centipede (First Sequence), which was classified 18 uncut for cinema and DVD release by the BBFC in 2010. The first film dealt with a mad doctor who sews together three kidnapped people in order to produce the human centipede'of the title. Although the concept of the film was undoubtedly tasteless and disgusting it was a relatively traditional and conventional horror film and the Board concluded that it was not in breach of our Guidelines at '18 . This new work, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence), tells the story of a man who becomes sexually obsessed with a DVD recording of the first film and who imagines putting the centipede idea into practice. Unlike the first film, the sequel presents graphic images of sexual violence, forced defecation, and mutilation, and the viewer is invited to witness events from the perspective of the protagonist. Whereas in the first film the centipede idea is presented as a revolting medical experiment, with the focus on whether the victims will be able to escape, this sequel presents the centipede idea as the object of the protagonist's depraved sexual fantasy.

The principal focus of The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) is the sexual arousal of the central character at both the idea and the spectacle of the total degradation, humiliation, mutilation, torture, and murder of his naked victims. Examples of this include a scene early in the film in which he masturbates whilst he watches a DVD of the original Human Centipede film, with sandpaper wrapped around his penis, and a sequence later in the film in which he becomes aroused at the sight of the members of the centipede being forced to defecate into one another's mouths, culminating in sight of the man wrapping barbed wire around his penis and raping the woman at the rear of the centipede . There is little attempt to portray any of the victims in the film as anything other than objects to be brutalised, degraded and mutilated for the amusement and arousal of the central character, as well as for the pleasure of the audience. There is a strong focus throughout on the link between sexual arousal and sexual violence and a clear association between pain, perversity and sexual pleasure. It is the Board's conclusion that the explicit presentation of the central character's obsessive sexually violent fantasies is in breach of its Classification Guidelines and poses a real, as opposed to a fanciful, risk that harm is likely to be caused to potential viewers.

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said:

It is the Board's carefully considered view that to issue a certificate to this work, even if confined to adults, would be inconsistent with the Board's Guidelines, would risk potential harm within the terms of the VRA, and would be unacceptable to the public.

The Board also seeks to avoid classifying material that may be in breach of the Obscene Publications Acts 1959 and 1964 (OPA) or any other relevant legislation. The OPA prohibits the publication of works that have a tendency to deprave or corrupt a significant proportion of those likely to see them. In order to avoid classifying potentially obscene material, the Board engages in regular discussions with the relevant enforcement agencies, including the CPS, the police, and the Ministry of Justice. It is the Board's view that there is a genuine risk that this video work, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence), may be considered obscene within the terms of the OPA, for the reasons given above.

The Board considered whether its concerns could be dealt with through cuts. However, given that the unacceptable content runs throughout the work, cuts are not a viable option in this case and the work is therefore refused a classification.


6th June   

Update: The World is a Nasty Place...

Reg Bailey publishes his whinge at modern society: Letting Children be Children
Link Here
Full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report
Rag Bailey has now published his hardly independent review on sexualisation and rather reveals his nutter stance by claiming that the world is a nasty place and that in an ideal world, adult entertainment would be shunned by society. He says:

  We believe that a truly family-friendly society would not need to erect barriers between age groups to shield the young: it would, instead, uphold and reinforce healthy norms for adults and children alike, so that excess is recognised for what it is and there is transparency about its consequences.

Bailey's summary reads:

The Review has encountered two very different approaches towards helping children deal with the pressures to grow up too quickly. The first approach seems to suggest that we can try to keep children wholly innocent and unknowing until they are adults. The world is a nasty place and children should be unsullied by it until they are mature enough to deal with it. This is a view that finds its expression in outrage, for example, that childrenswear departments stock clothes for young children that appear to be merely scaled-down versions of clothes with an adult sexuality, such as padded bras. It depends on an underlying assumption that children can be easily led astray, so that even glimpses of the adult world will hurry them into adulthood. Worse still, this approach argues, what children wear or do or say could make them vulnerable to predators or paedophiles.

The second approach is that we should accept the world for what it is and simply give children the tools to understand it and navigate their way through it better. Unlike the first approach, this is coupled with an assumption that children are not passive receivers of these messages or simple imitators of adults; rather they willingly interact with the commercial and sexualised world and consume what it has to offer. This is a view that says to do anything more than raise the ability of children to understand the commercial and sexual world around them, and especially their view of it through the various media, is to create a moral panic. The argument suggests that we would infantilise adults if we make the world more benign for children, so we should adultify children.

This Review concludes that neither approach, although each is understandable, can be effective on its own. We recognise that the issues raised by the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood are rooted in the character of our wider adult culture and that children need both protection from a range of harms, and knowledge of different kinds, appropriate to their age, understanding and experience. Parents have the primary role here but others have a responsibility to play an active part too, including businesses, the media and their regulators. Above all, however, we believe that a truly family-friendly society would not need to erect barriers between age groups to shield the young: it would, instead, uphold and reinforce healthy norms for adults and children alike, so that excess is recognised for what it is and there is transparency about its consequences. The creation of a truly family-friendly society is the aspiration: in the meantime, we need a different approach.

Reg Bailey's recommendations are:

  1. Ensuring that magazines and newspapers with sexualised images on their covers are not in easy sight of children. Retail associations in the news industry should do more to encourage observance of the voluntary code of practice on the display of magazines and newspapers with sexualised images on their covers. Publishers and distributors should provide such magazines in modesty sleeves, or make modesty boards available, to all outlets they supply and strongly encourage the appropriate display of their publications. Retailers should be open and transparent to show that they welcome and will act on customer feedback regarding magazine displays.
  2. Reducing the amount of on-street advertising containing sexualised imagery in locations where children are likely to see it. The advertising industry should take into account the social responsibility clause of the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) code when considering placement of advertisements with sexualised imagery near schools, in the same way as they already do for alcohol advertisements. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) should place stronger emphasis on the location of an advertisement, and the number of children likely to be exposed to it, when considering whether an on-street advertisement is compliant with the CAP code.
  3. Ensuring the content of pre-watershed television programming better meets parents' expectations. There are concerns among parents about the content of certain programmes shown before the watershed. The watershed was introduced to protect children, and pre-watershed programming should therefore be developed and regulated with a greater weight towards the attitudes and views of parents, rather than viewers as a whole. In addition, broadcasters should involve parents on an ongoing basis in testing the standards by which family viewing on television is assessed and the Office of Communications (Ofcom) should extend its existing research into the views of parents on the watershed. Broadcasters and Ofcom should report annually on how they have specifically engaged parents over the previous year, what they have learnt and what they are doing differently as a result.
  4. Introducing Age Rating for Music Videos. Government should consult as a matter of priority on whether music videos should continue to be treated differently from other genres, and whether the exemption from the Video Recordings Act 1984 and 2010, which allows them to be sold without a rating or certificate, should be removed. As well as ensuring hard copy sales are only made on an age-appropriate basis, removal of the exemption would assist broadcasters and internet companies in ensuring that the content is made available responsibly.
  5. Making it easier for parents to block adult and age-restricted material from the internet: To provide a consistent level of protection across all media, as a matter of urgency, the internet industry should ensure that customers must make an active choice over what sort of content they want to allow their children to access. To facilitate this, the internet industry must act decisively to develop and introduce effective parental controls, with Government regulation if voluntary action is not forthcoming within a reasonable timescale. In addition, those providing content which is age-restricted, whether by law or company policy, should seek robust means of age verification as well as making it easy for parents to block underage access.
  6. Developing a retail code of good practice on retailing to children. Retailers, alongside their trade associations, should develop and comply with a voluntary code of good practice for all aspects of retailing to children. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) should continue its work in this area as a matter of urgency and encourage non-BRC members to sign up to its code.
  7. Ensuring that the regulation of advertising reflects more closely parents' and children's views. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) should conduct research with parents and children on a regular basis in order to gauge their views on the ASA's approach to regulation and on the ASA's decisions, publishing the results and subsequent action taken in their annual report.
  8. Prohibiting the employment of children as brand ambassadors and in peer-to-peer marketing. The Committee of Advertising Practice and other advertising and marketing bodies should urgently explore whether, as many parents believe, the advertising self- regulatory codes should prohibit the employment of children under the age of 16 as brand ambassadors or in peer-to-peer marketing – where people are paid, or paid in kind, to promote products, brands or services.
  9. Defining a child as under the age of 16 in all types of advertising regulation. The ASA should conduct research with parents, children and young people to determine whether the ASA should always define a child as a person under the age of 16, in line with the Committee of Advertising Practice and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice codes.
  10. Raising parental awareness of marketing and advertising techniques. Industry and regulators should work together to improve parental awareness of marketing and advertising techniques and of advertising regulation and complaints processes and to promote industry best practice.
  11. Quality assurance for media and commercial literacy resources and education for children. These resources should always include education to help children develop their emotional resilience to the commercial and sexual pressures that today's world places on them. Providers should commission independent evaluation of their provision, not solely measuring take-up but, crucially, to assess its effectiveness. Those bodies with responsibilities for promoting media literacy, including Ofcom and the BBC, should encourage the development of minimum standards guidance for the content of media and commercial literacy education and resources to children.
  12. Ensuring greater transparency in the regulatory framework by creating a single website for regulators. There is a variety of co-, self- and statutory regulators across the media, communications and retail industries. Regulators should work together to create a single website to act as an interface between themselves and parents. This will set out simply and clearly what parents can do if they feel a programme, advertisement, product or service is inappropriate for their children; explain the legislation in simple terms; and provide links to quick and easy complaints forms on regulators' own individual websites. This single website could also provide a way for parents to provide informal feedback and comments, with an option to do so anonymously, which regulators can use as an extra gauge of parental views. Results of regulators' decisions, and their reactions to any informal feedback, should be published regularly on the single site.
  13. Making it easier for parents to express their views to businesses about goods and services. All businesses that market goods or services to children should have a one-click link to their complaints service from their home page, clearly labelled complaints . Information provided as part of the complaints and feedback process should state explicitly that the business welcomes comments and complaints from parents about issues affecting children. Businesses should also provide timely feedback to customers in reaction to customer comment. For retail businesses this should form part of their code of good practice (see Recommendation 6), and should also cover how to make it.
  14. Ensuring that businesses and others take action on these recommendations. Government should take stock of progress against the recommendations of this review in 18 months' time. This stocktake should report on the success or otherwise of businesses and others in adopting these recommendations. If it concludes that insufficient progress has been made, the Government should consider taking the most effective action available, including regulating through legislation if necessary, to achieve the recommended outcome.


6th June   

Update: Action Man...

David Cameron arranges October meeting to check on progress towards Reg Bailey's nutter world
Link Here
Full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report

David Cameron has backed demands to introduce wide-ranging changes to supposedly prevent the sexualisation of children.

Cameron said the Reg Bailey report represented a giant step forward for protecting childhood and making Britain more family-friendly .

In a letter to Bailey, the Prime Minister supported his proposals to ban raunchy billboard ads near schools and to forbid celebrities under 16 from marketing products aimed at children.

He also welcomed plans to make it easier for parents to block explicit material on laptops and mobile phones by ensuring such devices are issued with anti-pornography controls turned on by default.

And he revealed that he will grill companies and regulators at a Downing Street summit in October on the progress they have made to stamp out child access to adult material.In another victory today for the campaign, major retailers will sign a new code of conduct banning the sale of padded bras and other adult-themed clothes to young girls.

In his letter, Cameron said he was particularly keen to see rapid progress on a single website for parents to report inappropriate images, products and services. This not only seems entirely sensible, but also relatively easy and simple to introduce. I see no reason why the website cannot be up and running in good time to get feedback from parents for our October meeting.

Cameron said October's meeting will check what retailers, advertisers, broadcasters, magazine editors, video games manufacturers, music producers, internet and phone companies and regulators' have done to act on your specific recommendations .


6th June   

Culturally Unacceptable...

Ghana minister whinges about films and speaks of new censorship bill
Link Here
Deputy Information Minister, Baba Jamal, has criticized the quality and content of movies produced by filmmakers in Ghana.

Jamal expressed doubts about the genuineness of the lessons that were being imparted onto the society.

According to him, Ghanaian movies in recent times have degenerated into a variety of filthy and unchallenging teaching materials which eventually pollute the minds of the vulnerable.

Jamal condemned what he calls explicit sexual themes in such movies and said they were offensive to the viewing public. He also condemned the extreme emphasis on superstitious beliefs and spirituality which are often portrayed as the ultimate antidotes to people's problems.

Although the Information Ministry has a Cinematograph Exhibition Board of Control charged to censor pornographic, violent and culturally unacceptable films, it has not been effective in its work.

Jamal disclosed that a Film Bill has been approved by Cabinet and will soon be passed into law, to control and protect the activities of the Movie industry.


5th June   

Putting the E's into Easy Offence...

The News Quiz cleared of 6:30pm reference to 'cunts'
Link Here
BBC executives have offended the Daily mail by ruling that a clever reference to 'cunts' was cleared for a 6:30pm radio show.

In a scripted joke, radio presenter Sandi Toksvig said: It's the Tories who have put the "n" into cuts

The Corporation decided that the word has lost much of its shock value and is tolerable for radio and television.

An executive who cleared it for daytime transmission on flagship Radio 4 even said it would delight many of its audience, who would love it .

Sandi Toksvig made the joke on The News Quiz and BBC executives cleared it before broadcast

The BBC's ruling is outlined in the rejection of a complaint from a member of the public, who took 'offence' at the reference. He complained to the BBC and the BBC Trust. Both bodies rejected his complaint  A subsequent appeal to the Trust's Editorial Standards Committee was also rejected.

In a letter dated 20 January, 2011, Francesca O'Brien, head of Editorial Standards at the BBC Trust Unit, said:

The BBC guidelines include this word as one of the most offensive so I accept your comments regarding the potential offensiveness of the word.

However given the nature of the programme, service and time and the expectations of the likely audience, the fact that the word was not actually spoken but only referred to in word-play and with reference to the context of cuts which had been announced that week, I do not consider that there is a reasonable prospect of success for your appeal on the point.

John Whittingdale, chairman of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport select committee, said: The vast majority of people still regard this an offensive term and it should not have been broadcast at this time.

Vivienne Pattison, of the nutter campaign group Mediawatch-UK, said radio programmes, currently free of any controls, should now be given their own watershed. She said: This is still an offensive term and is in fact one of the only truly offensive terms we have left. It should not have been broadcast at this time.


5th June   

The Law's an Ass...

Airport workers sacked for circulating Taliban donkey sex joke, at least better than being jailed
Link Here
Virgin Atlantic has sacked four airport workers for emailing a video said to show a Taliban fighter having sex with a donkey.

They lost their jobs at Gatwick for circulating the footage which is believed to have been filmed by US special forces in Afghanistan.

The clip has become an internet hit and carries the caption: What the Taliban do when they are not making improvised explosive devices.

The four were sacked last April for gross misconduct and warned they may have been in breach of the Obscene Publications Act. Presumably not an offence against the Dangerous Pictures Act as the pictures weren't created to sexually arouse, but to humiliate the enemy.

But they are claiming they were unfairly dismissed. A panel chairman is due to view the alleged donkey sex film at an employment tribunal.


5th June   

Updated: Tattoo Taboo...

Thailand to check visitors for religious tattoos?
Link Here

Thailand has ordered a ban on foreign tourists having religious images tattooed on their bodies while visiting the kingdom, official media reported.    

Tattoos with images such as of the Buddha may offend Thai people, Culture Minister Nipit Intarasombat was quoted as telling reporters.

He said his ministry had asked regional governors, particularly in tourist hotspots, to inspect tattoo studios and ask them not to use religious patterns, according to the state-run National News Bureau. He said he would push for a law banning people from etching sacred images onto their skin.

Tattooed foot in mouth

At an interview with Pattaya Daily News reporter, Minister Nipit denied making any statements against tourists with religious tattoos. He clarified that tourists with religious tattoos will not be prohibited from entering Thailand. [Even though he earlier claimed that such images offended Thai people?]

The warning is directed at those tattoo shops that allow etching sacred images onto tourists' bodies especially on the lower body parts such as ankles, Minister Nipit said. He re-emphasised that it was a misunderstanding by foreign Media that Thailand would do a body check on tourists while visiting the kingdom.

Update: Censorial Image

3rd June 2011.  See  article from

Opposition is building to the Culture Ministry's plan to impose restrictions on the use of Buddha images and religious motifs for commercial purposes.

Culture Minister Niphit Intharasombat said this week he had instructed provincial governors, especially those in tourist destinations, to crack down on the improper use of Buddha images and religious motifs. Niphit said the ministry would publish guidelines on the acceptable use of Buddha images and religious items for business operators and tourists.

The guidelines will give advice on how to portray or treat Buddha images, teachings, pictures and photos. They will also urge respectful handling of monks' garb and items and temples' important features. People are discouraged from dressing like monks, or portraying monks in an unfavourable light.

Tattoo artists, business operators and movie makers are unhappy about the restrictions. Pawat Pawangkasiri, director of Nak Prok (In the Shadow of Naga) , a film about bandits who disguise themselves as monks, said the guidelines seem vague and could threaten freedom of expression.

Update: Below the belt

5th June 2011.  See  article from

The Culture Ministry is asking tattoo artists to stick to offering religious tattoos above the waist, as it believes such sacred imagery, even when displayed on the flesh, should be treated with respect.

The Bangkok Post asked tattoo artists what they think of the proposed ban.

Som, who works at Fine Art and Tattoo, a tattoo parlour off Patpong Road, said she agrees with the proposed ban. Many foreigners don't understand the symbols, and they want a Ganesh below the waist, like on the hip or ankle.

She said tattoo artists feel spirits inhabit them as they work, so at her shop they agreed not to tattoo designs with religious significance, which might skew the symbiosis they need to work. She said they worried about bad karma: The khru, the protector of your art, will be upset and punish you. Even for Buddhists, sacred images below the waist are really bad. It's the same as putting a Buddha statue in a nightclub or toilet. It's done without thinking.

Thon, a tattoo artist of 14 years whose Y2J parlour lies on Patpong 2 Road, believes a ban on religious imagery would be wrong. While he agrees that religious imagery shouldn't be tattooed below the waist, he doesn't think the government should have any say in what is ultimately a personal decision. I also worship my khru, and I've never drawn religious tattoos on lower body parts, he said.


5th June   

As the Sky Director Intended?...

Another nutter device censoring strong language on TV or DVD
Link Here
Focus on the Family is teaming up with TVGuardian to provide 'clean' entertainment choices for families through the TVGuardian filter, a device that eliminates objectionable language from television shows.

A small unit that connects to television sets, TVG is able to automatically mute all forms of profanity and inappropriate language from broadcast television, cable, satellite and DVDs.

It also offers a pop up profanity-free alternative to the muted phrase. For example, a phrase like Move your arse! would be muted and Move your tail! would pop up instead, so families could still follow along with the story.

TVGuardian reads the hidden closed-caption text in the background, which is required by law to have on television, checking each word against a dictionary of over 150 offensive words and phrases. (For DVDs that are not required by law to have closed-captions, only DVDs that have a CC logo on the back of the box will work.)

There are multiple filter settings ranging from strict to tolerant. More than 12 million TVGuardians are already in homes.

Britt Bennett, president of TVGuardian, explained that TVGuardian applies best to PG and PG-13 movies that would have been fine --almost completely free of objectionable content -- except for the language: Most movies with sex, nudity or violence are generally advertised and promoted as such. But with foul language, you never know when and where it's going to show up. That's why so many viewers find it so upsetting.


5th June   

Update: Museum of Censored Art...

Award for temporary exhibit of art banned by Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery
Link Here
Full story: Fire in my Belly...Banned art at the Smithsonian

Mike Blasenstein and Michael Dax Iacovone, creators of the one-month-only Museum of Censored Art, have received the John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award for intellectual freedom by the American Library Association, one of the most well-known anti-censorship organizations in the country.

The museum was responsible for showcasing the censored film, A Fire in My Belly , by gay artist David Wojnarowicz. The video was originally a part of the gay and lesbian art exhibition Hide/Seek at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, and contains an 11-second segment that shows ants running on a crucifix.

After the film was banned by Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough, Blasenstein and Iacovone set up a trailer in front of the institution's National Portrait Gallery, where the film was shown along with other exhibits concerning the controversy about the film. The exhibits included a timeline of the Smithsonian's censorship and one that contrasted Clough's words and actions.

Almost 6,500 patrons came to visit the trailer, which was open from Jan. 13 to Feb. 13, the last day of the Hide/Seek exhibit.

The award will be given June 25 to Blasenstein and Iacovone in New Orleans at the association's annual conference.


5th June   

New Brooms Sweep Clean...

India appoints new film censors
Link Here
India's I&B ministry has appointed new members to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) including theatre artist Amal Allana, scriptwriter Anjum Rajabali and filmmaker Shaji N Karun for a term of three years.

Besides Allana, the list has a few famous theatre artistes like Arundhati Nag and M K Raina. Poetess Mamang Dai, author Dipesh Mehta and Ira Bhaskar -- a professor of Cinema Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University -- have also made it to the panel. Noted filmmaker and actor Pankaj Sharma and Bengali film director Harnath Chakraborty are other members from the film fraternity who have been appointed as new members.

Earlier this year, noted Bharatanatyam dancer Leela Samson had been appointed chairperson of CBFC, while noted Delhi-based lawyer Lalit Bhasin was made chairperson of the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal.

Full list of the new CBFC members:

  • Amal Allana
  • Anees Jung
  • Dipesh Mehta
  • Pankaj Sharma
  • M.K. Raina
  • Rajeev Masand
  • Nikhil Alva
  • Shubhra Gupta
  • Shaji Karun
  • Mamang Dai
  • Anjum Rajabali
  • Arundhati Nag
  • Ira Bhasker
  • Pankaj Vohra
  • Harnath Chakraborty


4th June   

Update: British TV is a Conveyer Belt of Smut...

Daily Mail adds details about Reg Bailey's sexualisation report
Link Here
Full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report

  Reg Bailey
Still suffering from
 premature sexualisation

The Daily Mail adds a few more details (in its typically overwrought style) about Reg Bailey's report:

A report commissioned by the Prime Minister, to be published on Monday, demands an end to the sexualisation of young children.

It will order the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom to consult parents about their concerns and report back every year on how it has reinforced taste guidelines.

David Cameron will endorse the proposals of Reg Bailey, the chief executive of the Mothers' Union, who found parents are deeply concerned that sexual imagery in television, advertising and pop videos is making children grow up too fast.

Ministers will make clear that they expect changes and the Government is prepared to intervene directly unless the conveyor-belt of smut is toned down.

The report also calls for a hard-hitting crackdown on internet pornography, demanding tighter parental controls over access to explicit websites.

Under the plans, laptops will be sold with parental controls automatically activated and customers will have to request specifically to receive porn -- a reversal of the current position.

Bailey is also demanding a crackdown on lewd lads mags such as Nuts and Zoo, urging retailers to sell the magazines in plain wrappers or put them behind modesty boards which hide their lurid covers from young children.

Ministers will set up a single website which parents can use to report excessive sexual content on screen, in adverts and where high street stores sell inappropriate clothing to youngsters.

The Bailey Review demands a return to the days when parents could be confident that programmes broadcast before 9pm would be suitable for the whole family.

The report accuses broadcasters of actively working against parents by peddling sexual content. 'Some parents even questioned whether the watershed still exists.'

Bailey warns: The watershed was introduced to protect children and pre-watershed programming should therefore be developed and regulated with a greater weight towards the attitudes and views of parents, rather than viewers as a whole. Broadcasters and Ofcom should report annually on how they have specifically engaged parents over the previous year, what they have learnt and what they are doing differently as a result. The onus is on broadcasters to show acceptable content in the first place, not to react to audience complaints after the event.

The report says parents are most concerned by music performances in music and talent shows during family viewing hours which were heavily influenced by the sexualised and gender-steroetyped content of music videos , making them more raunchy than was appropriate for that type of viewing .

It concludes: The industry needs to act and, in the case of pre-watershed family viewing, take a slightly more cautious approach than is currently the case.


4th June   

Old School Thinking...

MP calls for sex education films to be rated by the BBFC before being shown in schools
Link Here

Sex education films shown in schools should be subject to the same age ratings as Hollywood movies, a Northampton MP has claimed.

In April this year, a group of about 40 parents met at the Guildhall in Northampton to express concern that sex education films shown to children in schools were sometimes too graphic. They raised particular objections to cartoons showing graphic depictions of people having sex and other sexual acts.

The Conservative MP for South Northamptonshire, Andrea Leadsom, raised the issue in the House of Commons at the time and has now called for educational films shown in schools to be classified by the BBFC. She said:

We can get back to the aim of sex and relationship education, to teach our children to look after themselves and form healthy relationships in a safe environment in the future when they are emotionally ready to do so.

I have an enormous sympathy with the desire to protect the young from inappropriate material and believe that most teachers and governors have the interests of their pupils at heart.

The question is where to draw the line. What is the right age to begin sex and relationship education and what is the right material to be showing our young people?

After the parents' meeting in Northampton, the group pledged to bombard the county's MPs and councillors with letters expressing their concerns about sex education videos.


4th June   

Sh! Don't Mention Twitter...

French TV banned from mentioning Twitter or Facebook
Link Here

Television and radio personalities in France can no longer say Twitter or Facebook on the air unless it's in a news story about those specific companies, according to a decree from the French broadcasting authority CSA.

French broadcasters who want to encourage viewer interaction via Facebook or Twitter accounts can no longer do so. The follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook refrains are no longer allowed on French channels. The networks can still say find us on social networks, but services cannot be mentioned by name.

The regulatory decree was issued on May 27. The rationale behind the decision? Apparently mentioning social networks like Twitter or Facebook by name goes against a 1992 decree prohibiting surreptitious advertising. Encouraging users to engage with the content creators or give their own feedback is clandestine advertising for the social networks themselves.


3rd June   

Update: Polluted Minds...

Reg Bailey report to call for age classification of music videos and a one stop complaints shop for sufferers of premature sexualisation
Link Here
Full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report

  Reg Bailey
Suffering from
 premature sexualisation

The government report into sexualisation of childhood is due to be published on Monday. The press seem to have been briefed with advance details as reported in the Guardian.

The report has been commissioned by David Cameron from the biased Reg Bailey, the chief executive of the Mothers' Union and long-term campaigner against 'premature sexualisation'.

Bailey is likely to give the retail, advertising and video industry 18 months to improve their act voluntarily or face tougher government regulation.

He is also expected to demand some regulatory bodies such as Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Authority do more to ensure they seek the views of parents on what is acceptable to show to children.

The report is also set to criticise the growth of peer to peer marketing, where companies hire teenagers to sell or promote products in school.

The review has already led bodies such as the ASA and the BPI, responsible for the music industry, to make pre-emptive efforts to show they are aware of the criticism of the way they currently operate. The ASA has promised to set up an advisory body, as well as regulate advertising on company websites.

The music industry is expected to be told to put some kind of advisory age rating such as films have on music videos. Critics are likely to argue that in practice these music videos go out on TV and parents will unable to stand over their children and prevent them watching them. Latest figures sent to the Bailey review suggest that half of children have access to TV via their computers in their own bedroom.

Senior figures associated with the review are to claim complacency from some industry bodies.

Bailey is likely to be asked by government to follow through his report to ensure his recommendations are implemented. Ministers are aware that the previous government published three reports into sexualisation of children in various aspects, but little happened. But Helen Goodman, the shadow justice minister, said: The voluntary approach has been tried and failed. We must have tougher regulations across the media, including social media. Pester power is the pollution of modern advertising and we should follow the polluter pays principle.

See  article from

The Daily Mail adds that at the moment advertising rules mean alcohol and fast food adverts are banned from billboards near schools. A source involved in drawing up the plans said that would be extended to cover adverts featuring sexual imagery.


3rd June   

Update: A Pain in the Backside...

Chris Evans is stifled by the compliancy culture at the BBC
Link Here
Full story: Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross...Winding up Andrew Sachs and Voluptua

The compliance culture at the BBC has become an unbelievable nightmare since Sachsgate, Chris Evans has said.

The Radio 2 presenter said the furore over the prank phone calls made to Andrew Sachs by Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand had changed the broadcasting landscape, with programming weighed down by extra rules and regulations.

Evans said the changes were needed because comedy on radio and television had become too coarse. What has happened since [Sachsgate] is very, very good but also a complete pain in the backside, he said.

It means comedy has become much more sophisticated but the compliance culture that has come in since, you wouldn't believe it. The compliance department of the BBC is so extensive it's an unbelievable nightmare.

Sometimes you come up with an idea and the compliance you have to go through is so great that you just say, 'Let's not bother'.


3rd June   

Update: Asking for a Spanking from 17 Judges...

Max Mosley to appeal to the European Court Grand Chamber to obtain prior notification of newspaper stories exposing someone's private life
Link Here
Full story: Max Mosley Privacy...Max Mosley, spanking and Nazi sex

Max Mosley has began an appeal against the European Court rejection of his attempt to extend privacy laws. He had demanded that newspapers about to expose details of someone's private life are forced to warn the individual before they do so. This would give the person time to seek an injunction to stop publication.

But last month the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg threw out the demand, saying it could have a chilling effect on journalism.

Now he has taken up his last option -- applying for a hearing before a 17-judge Grand Chamber of the same court.

A statement from Mosley's lawyers, Collyer Bristow said:

Despite the court's "severe criticisms" of the News of the World, this and other tabloid newspapers could use the same techniques tomorrow to obtain and publish intimate photographs and details of the sex lives of individuals, without notice and in the knowledge that it is wholly unlawful.

Privacy has been the subject of considerable public and media debate in the last month and a ruling from the Grand Chamber of the Court is needed upon this important issue to close a clear gap in UK law


3rd June   

More Kitty...

Extended Director's Cut of Salon Kitty released on UK Blu-ray
Link Here
Salon Kitty is a 1976 Italian/German/French erotic Nazi drama by Tinto Brass. See IMDb

Full Length version passed 18 uncut with all cuts waived for:

Previously an Abridged Version was passed 18 without BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1993 Redemption VHS
And before that it was passed X with BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1977 cinema release

Press information from The Associates :

Depraved, decadent, damned and uncut.

The most shocking and controversial of Italian director Tinto Brass' films presents a serious, unflinching depiction of moral decay within the Nazi Party at the time of World War II, and of how power ultimately leads to corruption.

The fully restored Director's Cut of this notorious film is now available on DVD, presented in its original widescreen format, completely uncensored and featuring 21 minutes of never-seen-before footage. Finally, the extremely disturbing, bordering-on-the-hardcore content can be seen as originally intended by the film's director, Tinto Brass.

SS Officer Helmut Wallenburg (Helmut Berger) is instructed by his superiors to set up an elite brothel, the eponymous Salon Kitty, especially designed to serve high-ranking Nazi officials and foreign diplomats. In order to cater to the clients' darkest perversions and desires sufficiently, Wallenburg is also charged with finding and rigorously training twenty beautiful and intelligent women, who are not only dedicated to the ideals of National Socialism but are also prepared to perform the most extreme acts of debauchery imaginable. What these prostitutes and their customers don't know is that the brothel is bugged and is being used to collect intelligence and to monitor the clients' loyalty to the Nazi Party.

As well as boasting superb performances by Helmut Berger  and Ingrid Thulin, Salon Kitty also features beautiful cinematography and sumptuous sets that provide a stunning showcase for the work of twice Oscar winning production designer Ken Adam.


3rd June   

Eff Off Hef...

Object and UK Feminista recommend the new Playboy Club
Link Here

Feminist campaigners are to stage protests at the opening of a new Playboy Casino Club in Old Park Lane, Mayfair, London on 4th June 2011.

The new club comes 30 years after its predecessor establishment, which was also based in Mayfair , closed after a police raid for suspected gambling irregularities.

Kat Banyard, Director of UK Feminista, said:

When it comes to today's pornography industry, all roads lead back to Playboy. It was Hugh Hefner who laid the political and cultural groundwork for the brutal, violently misogynistic pornography that now floods society. But sadly for Hefner, you can't trademark sexism, and Playboy's retro brand of 'gentleman's porn' can no longer compete with the extreme degradation of modern internet pornography. Hence we see this endless diversification into nightclubs, video games, clothing and even children's stationary.

Anna van Heeswijk, Campaigns Manager of OBJECT, said:

Far from a symbol of sophistication and class, the opening of a new Playboy club in London signifies a worrying step backwards in the quest for equality between the sexes. It entrenches the legitimacy of a porn empire which makes its fortune out of degrading women as fluffy animals who exist as sexual playthings for wealthy men. It opens the floodgates ever wider to the pornification of our popular culture. And it serves to embed further a porn emblem which insidiously grooms girls into accepting and embracing sex object culture by marketing its brand to children through playboy pencil cases and bed covers.

It is time to cut through the crap of the Playboy PR machine. Sexualising and objectifying women as bunny rabbits is not sexy and it is not empowering. It is sexist, and everyone knows it. This is why hundreds of women and men across the country are signing up to the OBJECT and UK Feminista campaign to object to the opening of the new Playboy club. Our message is clear - 'Eff off Hef and stop degrading women!'

The club will have gaming rooms, restaurants and the obligatory Cottontail Lounge with cocktail waitresses in bunny costumes. According to its website, it boasts gaming rooms dedicated to a an exciting contemporary casino , roulette machines, poker games and slot machines.


3rd June   

Parents TV Council Recommend...

Man Down by Rihanna
Link Here
The Parents Television Council joined with Industry Ears and the Enough Is Enough Campaign to condemn murder as depicted in Rihanna's latest music video, Man Down , and call on Viacom to stop airing it.

The video, which premiered on BET's 106 & Park on May 31, shows Rihanna in an implied rape scene with a man whom she later guns down in an act of premeditated murder.

Man Down is an inexcusable, shock-only, shoot-and-kill theme song. In my 30 years of viewing BET, I have never witnessed such a cold, calculated execution of murder in primetime. Viacom's standards and practices department has reached another new low, said Paul Porter, co-founder of Industry Ears and a former voice of BET.

Rihanna's personal story and status as a celebrity superstar provided a golden opportunity for the singer to send an important message to female victims of rape and domestic violence. Instead of telling victims they should seek help, Rihanna released a music video that gives retaliation in the form of premeditated murder the imprimatur of acceptability. The message of the disturbing video could not be more off base, said Melissa Henson, director of communications and public education for the Parents Television Council.

To make matters worse, Rihanna went to Twitter this week to tell her fans the video contains a 'very strong underlying message 4 girls like me.' A graphic portrayal of the singer getting back at an attacker by shooting him in cold blood in a crowded train station and then fleeing the scene is potentially the worst possible message that could be sent.


2nd June   

More Ninja...

Enter the Ninja with restored ninja fighting but missing cock fighting
Link Here
Revenge of the Ninja is a 1981 US action film by Menahem Golan. See IMDb

Passed 18 after 1:05s of BBFC cuts for:

The BBFC commented:

  • Cuts required to two scenes of real animal cruelty (cock fighting)
Previously passed 18 after Approx 4:00s of BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1993 MIA VHS
  • UK 1986 RCA/Columbia VHS
  • UK 1981 cinema release

The BBFC cuts were:

  • All shots of banned weapons (nunchakus, shurikens, darts, spikes etc) are cut.
  • Neck-breaks, limbs breaks are trimmed.
  • Throat-cutting, repeated punches, ear-claps also gone.
  • Two scenes missing that show illegal cockfighting.


2nd June   

Explicit Warnings...

UK online music services to carry parental advisory logos as per CDs
Link Here

Parental warning logos are set to be introduced before songs and music videos on services such as Spotify and YouTube that contain explicit material, following recent 'concern' about supposedly risque music content available to children online.

Music industry body BPI is to update its 15-year-old Parental Advisory Scheme. Updated guidelines will expand the scheme for the well known advisory logo to appear with songs and videos available to stream or download on UK digital music and music video services.

Most audio and video streaming services including Google-owned YouTube, Spotify, Napster and Vevo do not currently have a uniform parental guidance system, according to the BPI.

We think it is important for parents to get the same standards of guidance and information online as they get when buying CDs or DVDs on the high street, said Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI. We are updating our scheme for the digital age to ensure that explicit songs and videos are clearly labelled.


2nd June   

Censorship Sucks...

Supporting the hype for Suck It and See by the Arctic Monkeys
Link Here

The new album by Arctic Monkeys, Suck It And See , has been censored in America because the title is supposedly too rude . Some unspecified supermarket chains say they will only sell the album with a sticker covering the offending words.

Alex Turner from the band told Xfm: They think it is rude, disrespectful and they're putting a sticker over it in America in certain stores, big ones. The singer admitted the title had not travelled very well .

Suck It And See is released on 6 June.


2nd June   

Updated: Unsafe Pressure...

Australian Sex Party comment on gay themed safe sex adverts that were taken down under nutter pressure
Link Here
The Australian Sex Party has expressed dismay and disgust at the new low of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), who have forced the removal of a safe-sex public health campaign targeted at the gay community in Brisbane. The Party has asked the Advertising Standards Bureau to intervene and will also refer the issue to the House of Reps Committee on Outdoor Advertising.

The ACL complained that the ad depicted 'two men in the act of foreplay'. The ad actually depicts two men fully clothed, said Sex Party Queensland Coordinator, Rory Killen. Innumerable similar ads cover the city depicting heterosexual couples. Only unashamed homophobia could lead someone to single these ads out as offensive.

The Rip & Roll ads form part of a Queensland Association for Healthy Communities campaign to promote awareness about safe-sex in the gay community. 2010 was a record year for HIV diagnoses, with more persons diagnosed with the STI since records began. 65% of diagnoses were from the gay community.

The Christian Lobby's attack against QAHC and the ads is supposedly prompted by a concern for the welfare of children, continued Killen: I'm concerned about the welfare of young people growing up without adequate awareness of safe sexual practices, if ads like these can't be displayed.

The posters were displayed on bus shelters around Brisbane by the advertising company Adshel. Similar billboards are also displayed by Goa who is not removing the material.

I question why Adshel caved so quickly and pulled the ads. I think it's quite appropriate that the City Council and State Government clarify to Adshel that these ads are acceptable on bus shelters, that the ads be replaced, and that additional funding and priority is given to the QAHC campaign to repair the damage that has been done to public health and community safety.

Update: Unbanned

2nd June 2011.  See  article from

Safe sex advocates claimed a victory over Australia's Christian lobby when their HIV campaign posters featuring two men hugging were reinstated at bus stops after an intense online backlash.

The ads were withdrawn by billboard company Adshel after it received a string of complaints, but the company later reversed this decision, saying it had unwittingly been targeted by the Australian Christian Lobby. This has led us to review our decision to remove the campaign and we will therefore reinstate the campaign with immediate effect, Adshel chief executive Steve McCarthy said in a statement.

Healthy Communities executive director Paul Martin said that Australians were generally supportive of gay rights, and that he had been heartened by the public backlash against the decision to remove the posters.

By late Wednesday some 40,897 people had joined a Facebook page called Homophobia -- NOT HERE created by one of the men featured in the posters, and protesters had held an afternoon rally outside Adshel's Brisbane office.


2nd June   

Update: Censorship Beyond the Law...

Turkey blocks a million websites from access in internet cafes
Link Here
Full story: Internet Censorship in Turkey...Website blocking insults the Turkish people

Turkey's internet censor TIB has the authority to block all websites that relate to prostitution, child pornography, gambling, and promoting suicide. Furthermore, the TIB has also blocked access to more than one-million websites in internet cafes, without even any administrative (warnings) procedures.

It was discovered that many blocked websites have not even breached any of the crimes in the scope of the crime catalogue . For instance, a large number of associations, swimwear companies, shipping companies, model agencies, radio stations, automotive companies, websites of designers, and even some online dictionary/translation websites...

The list of banned websites does not end there. A list of websites that have previously been blocked and re-opened includes some of the world's most accessed websites such as Google, BBC News, Dailymotion, Facebook, eBay, Amazon, FHM, Superonline , Human Rights Association, Bilyoner gaming website etc.

Dr. Yaman Akdeniz said:

In expressing his views on the filtering in internet cafes, Akdeniz explains that TIB has the authority to bar any given website within the scope of the law (for instance displaying child-pornography and/or obscenity etc) without needing a court order; however, he identifies that TIB is abusing such authority. To filter many websites without them having broken the law is beyond the scope of Law 5651 and the TIB's authority. As such, it can only be recognised as arbitrary administrative measures and censorship .


See  article from

Marietje Schaake, a member of the European Parliament from the Liberal group, submitted questions to the European Commission regarding the proposed legal imposition of an online filtering system and structural domain-name blocking in Turkey.

In her question paper, Schaake asked the commission what concrete actions it would take regarding the Turkish government to address its concerns about the proposed censorship of the Internet ... and the overall increasing deterioration in freedom of the press in Turkey.

Saying that an uncensored, free Internet is essential for a free and open society, Schaake said she posed her questions to the commission because she believe[s] the latest censorship [in Turkey] may well be in conflict with the Copenhagen criteria for EU accession.

The proposed online filtering system violates the people's right to information, restricts freedom of expression and is a threat for democracy, Schaake said.


1st June   

The Mechanics of Censorship...

ASA bans advert for 15 rated The Mechanic from TV at anytime
Link Here

Two TV ads for the release of the film The Mechanic , featuring the actors Jason Statham and Ben Foster:

a. The first ad began with Jason Statham saying Do you know what a mechanic is? and showed him punching a man in the stomach, who was wearing a blood-stained T-shirt, and then running and shooting a gun at the camera. Ben Foster replied A hitman . Scenes from the film were then shown in quick succession including a man being hit over the head with a sheet of metal and a man being shot in the face through a window. Ben Foster then said I want to know what you know as the two men were shown jumping down the side of a building. Jason Statham replied Follow me . Further scenes showed Jason Statham firing a machine gun, a car being driven through the back of a bus and a bus exploding. Jason Statham was then seen talking on a mobile phone and saying I'm coming for you . More scenes showed Jason Statham disarming a man by breaking his hand, a man being speared through the calf, a man crawling across a road and being run over by a car, Jason Statham and a woman having sex and a metal bar being driven through a car window into a man's head. On-screen text and a voice-over both stated THE MECHANIC . More scenes from the film followed, including Jason Statham shooting a man off his feet and Ben Foster saying Nice , a man's head exploding when he was shot at close range, Jason Statham and Ben Foster firing automatic weapons into an upturned vehicle and a car exploding. On-screen text and the voice-over both stated IN CINEMAS JAN 28 .

b. The second ad was a shorter version of ad (a) and featured a man being speared through the calf, a man being shot in the face through a window, a man being run over, a man's hand being broken, a metal bar being driven through a car window into a man's head, a man's head exploding when he was shot at close range, Jason Statham and Ben Foster firing automatic weapons into an upturned vehicle and a car exploding.

1. Thirteen viewers challenged whether the ads were offensive and distressing, because they featured scenes of graphic violence.

2. Three viewers challenged whether ad (b) was inappropriate for broadcast during the programme Glee, when it might be seen by children.

Lions Gate UK Ltd (Lions Gate) said The Mechanic was a film about an elite assassin who formed a partnership with his apprentice. They said the film was rated 15 by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and said, because of the subject matter, it would be expected that marketing material would feature scenes of guns and violence.

Clearcast said the ads had been given a post-9 pm timing restriction for the level of violence portrayed. They said they viewed any number of similar ads every day and spent a lot of time ensuring that timing restrictions were consistent and appropriate. They agreed with Lions Gates belief that it was inevitable that some viewers would be offended, irrespective of the restriction applied, but said the 9 pm watershed was widely known to be just that by the vast majority of viewers. Clearcast said they stood by their timing restriction decision made for the ads.

ASA Assessment: 1.& 2. Upheld

The ASA understood that the ads were for a 15-rated film about an assassin which featured a series of clips from the film. We noted that the overwhelming majority of those scenes featured threats, explosions or extreme and graphic interpersonal violence in which Jason Stathams character seriously injured or killed other characters. Although we noted that ad (b) was shorter than ad (a) we considered that it contained a similar level of violence as ad (a).

We were concerned that the impact of the ads was heightened because the scenes were edited to feature mainly violence or jeopardy without any wider context and were presented in quick succession so that collectively they formed a sustained stream of violent imagery. We also noted that the violence carried out by Jason Statham was shown without any further consequences to him and that, in one of the final scenes, Ben Foster looked at Jason Statham and said Nice which we considered would be interpreted by viewers as condoning the serious violence that had been shown.

We acknowledged that the ads had been given a post-9pm restriction by Clearcast which would reduce the likelihood of offence being caused but considered that, for the reasons given above, they were still likely to offend or distress seriously some viewers after this time. We also noted that ad (b) had appeared during an episode of Glee and we noted from the audience index figures for that programme at that time that a significant proportion of the viewers were under 16. We considered that the ad was inappropriate for children and were therefore also concerned that a significant proportion of children had been exposed to the violent imagery.

We concluded that the complaints could not be resolved with a timing restriction and that both ads should therefore be withdrawn from transmission completely.


1st June   

Old Terrors...

Roger Corman's The Terror released on US Blu-ray
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The Terror is a 1963 US horror by Roger Corman. See IMDb

The US release is uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

In the UK the Original Version was passed 12 uncut for:

  • UK 2005 Classic Entertainment DVD
  • UK 2004 Waterfall/WHE R2 DVD at UK Amazon
  • UK 2003 Siren DVD
But previously the Original Version was passed X after BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1964 cinema release

From IMDb: Cut by the BBFC to remove:

  • close up shots of a bleeding face after the bird attack
  • a shot of a woman's rotting face during the climax.

Summary Review: Atmospheric

A creepy atmospheric offering from Roger Corman that edges towards classic cult status. Beware that this status has rather been negated by a string of poor quality public domain releases. The 2004 WHE DVD is the pick of the UK bunch, quality wise, but the US 2011 Classic Entertainment DVD/Blu-ray combo is the best so far.


1st June   

Dangerous Comments...

Egyptian military censors get heavy
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Even the mildest criticism of the Egyptian military was too much for Mahmoud Saad, a television host on the newly founded, independent Tahrir television network.

Any institution of the country that takes taxes from us should be open to question, Hossam el-Hamalawy, a blogger, said in a telephone interview with Saad. No, no, no, Saad interrupted. I will not allow you to say those things on this network.

The next day Hamalawy and two liberal television journalists, but not Saad, were summoned to a military headquarters for questioning about their remarks.

The Egyptian military is pressing the Egyptian media to censor criticism of it and protect its image. In recent weeks military authorities have sent letters warning news organizations to review any discussion of the military before publication or broadcast. A military court has also sentenced a blogger to three years in prison for what it called persistent attacks, and it has charged an outspoken liberal presidential candidate with libeling a general and insulting the military.

This week an unidentified military official speaking on CNN acknowledged and defended a military decision that night to force some women detainees to undergo virginity tests by doctors. Testing the women, the officer argued, was intended to ensure against subsequent charges of sexual abuse by soldiers.

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