Censor Watch
 2012: June
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30th June

 Update: Government Chooses Active Choice...

And the consultation is just to keep the Daily Mail nutters happy
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

uk government education logo Internet firms will be spared Government demands to impose default blocking of websites with content for adults.

A leaked email says internet firms have been assured they will not face stringent filtering systems. The revelation makes a farce of a consultation paper that was launched earlier this week asking for views on dealing with adult material.

The email says ministers wholeheartedly support active choice in which parents would have to say yes or no to adult material when setting up an internet connection.

Last month David Cameron said there was a clear case for looking at default blocks. But this has been ruled out according to the email sent on Thursday by Andrew Kernahan of the Internet Service Providers' Association to 200 members including BT, Virgin, Sky, AOL and Cable & Wireless. He wrote:

I spoke to the Department for Education this morning about the consultation and they made it clear that UKCCIS (the UK Council for Child Internet Safety), ministers and the relevant departments wholeheartedly support active choice and not default filtering or the so-called active choice plus solution.

The only reason they are consulting on this is because No 10 told the Daily Mail that they would consult and listen to all views. Proposals: The Government launched a consultation paper an on 'opt-in system, under which internet service providers would automatically block pornography unless an adult asked for it to be available

This is in line with what we've been told throughout -- that government supports active choice.

Helen Goodman, who is Labour's media spokesman, said:

This email is explosive. It is very important we have a proper consultation which gives parents and children's organisations the chance to say why they want to put children first. It is time ministers stood up for ordinary people rather than big business.

 

30th June

 Comment: Parental Internet Controls...

Government consultation on default website blocking of adult content
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

uk government education logo The government is to consider putting extra pressure on computer users to filter out pornography when setting up internet accounts. The latest system, called active choice-plus , is aimed at reaching a compromise. It would automatically block adult content, but would set users a loaded question, along the lines of whether they want to change this to gain access to sites promoting pornography, violence and other adult-only themes.

Ministers are suggesting that people should automatically be barred from accessing unsuitable adult material unless they actually choose to view it.  It is one of several suggestions being put out for an e-consultation on how to shield children from pornography.

Children's minister Tim Loughton said:

The internet is transforming every aspect of society and family life - and opens up enormous opportunities for us all. But with the benefits come risks. Growing numbers of parents do not feel in control of what their families are exposed to online.

Many want to take responsibility, but all too often they do not how know how because they find the technology too difficult to use or their children are more technically advanced then they are.

There is no silver bullet to solve this. No filter can ever be 100% foolproof. There is a cottage industry of people, mostly operating outside the UK, continually creating and proliferating 'proxy' websites that provide links to adult and harmful content.

Automatic filtering on its own risks lulling parents into a false sense of security and there can never be any substitute for parents taking responsibility for how, when and where their children use the internet. The answer lies in finding ways to combine technical solutions with better education, information and, if necessary regulation further down the line.

The discussion paper asks for views on three broad options for the best approach to keeping children safe online. It is an e-consultation where responses can be made online. The paper's introduction reads:

Tim Loughton, Minister for Children and Families, and Lynne Featherstone, Minister for Equalities and Criminal Information are joint chairs of the executive board of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS). They are writing to members of UKCCIS to seek their views and advice on parental controls. The request is to members of UKCCIS and other organisations and individuals, especially parents, who might want to respond.

See consultation details from education.gov.uk Closing Date: Thursday 6 September 2012.

Comment: What's underpinning this nonsense?

29th June 2012. From Alan

health and efficiency I wonder if anyone will have the bottle to question the assumption underpinning this nonsense: that kids should be prevented from viewing porn.

Producers, under pressure to appear responsible , are unlikely to do so.

Thinking back to my misspent youth half a century ago, I became aware that girls were getting to be a different shape when I was about thirteen, and soon managed to acquire from a willing newsagent (who evidently didn't recognise the distinctive uniform of the local grammar school) some of those useful little black and white magazines intended for the amateur and professional photographer . I have to admit that, since I had never used anything more sophisticated than a Kodak Brownie, all that stuff about 1/60 at F3.5 was Greek to me. Alternatively, I could purchase that serious magazine for naturists, Health and Efficiency. You could tell how innocent nudism was, since it ensured that among the people with nothing on who appeared in its pages were plenty of those most innocent of creatures, children. Mind you, I did wonder how the children were produced, since nobody in these magazines appeared to be equipped with genitalia.

Since my life has hardly been ruined by my teenage exposure to Kamera and H&E, I really wonder whether these clowns in Parliament are making such a bloody fuss about.

Update: Consultation Proves Too Revealing

30th June 2012. See  article from  telegraph.co.uk

uk government education logo The Government has been forced to close the public consultation on blocking online pornography after it emerged visitors were able to view others' supposedly confidential responses, and personal details including passwords.

The online consultation opened on Thursday and invited views from the public on what controls broadband providers should offer or impose to prevent children accessing pornography. It collected views on an array of sensitive subjects, such as explicit material online, parental responsibilities, cyberbullying and censorship.

Once they had completed the questionnaire, visitors were, however, able to view the names, email addresses, passwords and consultation responses of others, The Register first reported.

Department for Education technicians shut down the website after the privacy failure was reported to the Information Commissioner. A spokeswoman for the Department of Education said officials had been in contact with the regulator and an investigation was underway.

Nick Pickles, director of civil liberties and privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: At a time when the Home Office wants to monitor our emails and the websites we visit and the Department for Education is consulting on forcing internet providers to control people's internet access, this kind of fundamental security failure is nothing short of astounding.

 

30th June

  News of Closures...

Iraq orders 44 news organisations to close including the BBC
Link Here

BBC logo An Iraqi press freedom group has condemned the country's authorities for ordering the closure of 44 news organisations, including a US-funded radio station. The authorities have not yet enacted the closures but critics say the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, is sending a warning to the media.

Ziyad al-Aajely, the head of the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, called the move to shut down media offices:

A setback to the freedom of journalism in Iraq. It is a government message to the media outlets that if you are not with us, then you are against us.

Most of the 44 newspapers, radio and television stations targeted for shutdown are Iraqi, although foreign broadcasters including the BBC and Voice of America are on the list as well as the US-funded Radio Sawa. The BBC and Voice of America have closed most permanent news operations in Iraq.

While some of the news organisations are critical of the government, including Sarqiya and Baghdadia television stations, others are religious broadcasters and have no apparent political agenda.

 

29th June

 Update: Twitter De-Tweeted...

Chief Executive speaks of measures targeting the easy anonymity which is said to enable abusive tweeting
Link Here

Twitter logo Twitter is taking its first step towards censorship.

Chief Executive Dick Costolo who was speaking to the Financial Times, described his frustration in tackling the problem of horrifying abuse. Irresponsible twitter-users apparently find the site ideal for expressing all kinds of extremist, racist and sexist opinions.

To stop the hate speech anarchy, Twitter is considering starting off by blocking the very possibility of replies from so-called non-authoritative users, marked out by the absence of a profile picture, followers or bio information, as FT.com reports. This is the first step, but there might be more to come.

However, the company's management is concerned that by installing any kinds of selective measures, they may put an end to the unique Twitter-style freedom of tweets that has helped Arab revolutions.

The reason we want to allow pseudonyms is there are lots of places in the world where it's the only way you'd be able to speak freely, FT quotes Dick Costolo as saying. Twitter is basically the last harbor of anonymity, as it does not have to be linked with such powerful database platforms as Facebook and Google. Silencing trolls may hit those revolutionary users as well.

 

29th June

  Linked to Conspiracy...

Man found guilty of conspiracy to defraud over a website providing links to copyrighted TV material
Link Here

surfthechannel logo Anton Vickerman has been found guilty of conspiracy to defraud through surfthechannel.com in a case raising fears for internet freedom. 

Newcastle crown court heard Anton Vickerman's site had up to 400,000 users a day and made about £ 35,000 a month in revenue. While UK prosecutors did not pursue a case on copyright offences, Vickerman was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud and faces sentencing next month.

The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), a trade organisation of rights owners, was a driving force behind the prosecution of Vickerman, passing a dossier of evidence to police, who then arrested him in 2008.

Others, however, raised concerns about the nature of the conviction against Vickerman and the involvement of industry groups in obtaining it. UK Pirate party leader Loz Kaye said:

This was not a case brought using copyright law. The interest groups involved couldn't present a case of copyright infringement and instead decided to press for the use of the common law offence of 'conspiracy to defraud'. This is one of the most controversial crimes in English law -- it criminalises conduct by two or more people that would not be criminal when performed by an individual.

In addition to flying in the face of recent findings in similar cases, this prosecution was driven by private interests. It is well known that the very groups representing the victim helped with the investigation, were present at the arrest, given access to the evidence and were present at police interviews. This is deeply concerning.

 

29th June

 Update: Talk About Useless!...

Website filtering cannot cope with websites that are some good and some bad...such as Google. PC Pro are unimpressed by TalkTalk's much championed website blocking system
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn
pc pro recommended

  Not!

A PC Pro investigation has exposed basic flaws in the TalkTalk child internet safety filter being championed by MPs.

Our investigation has revealed fundamental flaws in the TalkTalk filtering system that would potentially give children easy access to hardcore pornography.

With Google's parental controls flipped off, we accessed pages of pornographic images using Google's Image Search. Although the sites hosting the images were blocked, we were still able to click on the thumbnail images in search results to see enlarged photos - which ironically appear over the warning that the page has been blocked.

...Read the full article

 

29th June

  Bullhead...

Noted Belgian drama released on US DVD and Blu-ray
Link Here
Bullhead Matthias Schoenaerts Bullhead is a 2011 Belgium crime drama by Michael R. Roskam.
With Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeroen Perceval and Jeanne Dandoy. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA R Rated for:

Promotional Material: Oscar Nominated for Best Foreign Film

In perhaps the year's most stunning international debut, Michael R. Roskam's BULLHEAD is a harrowing tale of revenge, redemption and fate.

Domineering cattle farmer Jacky Vanmarsenille (Mattias Schoenaerts in a ferocious breakout performance), constantly pumped on steroids and hormones following a childhood trauma, initiates a shady deal with a notorious mafioso meat trader. When an investigating federal agent is assassinated and a woman from his horrid past resurfaces, Jacky must confront far-reaching consequences and whether the real meaning of manhood is hormonal or emotional.

Acclaimed at festivals worldwide, the award-winning BULLHEAD is visceral saga bursting with rage that TwitchFilm calls one of the most original crime films in recent memory.

 

29th June

  Patchy Censorship...

Newspaper takes down cartoonist's video poking fun at oil company propaganda campaign
Link Here

enbridge oil video The Vancouver Province newspaper has pulled from its website an animation created by its editorial cartoonist, Dan Murphy, that satirizes Enbridge's massive propaganda campaign in support of its Northern Gateway pipeline.

In the original ad, Enbridge, one of Canada's largest energy companies, claims that the pipeline is a path to our future, while families and fish frolic in sylvan settings to placid music. In the parody (see below), a fictional official comments with increasing distress as the ad is repeatedly interrupted with giant oil splotches.

Wayne Moriarty, The Province's Editor-in-Chief, says the animation was removed at the request of Enbridge because it contains copyrighted material. He admits that use of the material might be protected under fair use laws, but says the newspaper chose not to pursue the matter.

He insisted that the decision to pull the satire had nothing to do with the $5 million campaign, which is running in his paper and The Vancouver Sun (both of which are owned by The Pacific Newspaper Group).

Moriarty denies a rumour that Murphy has been fired because of the cartoon.

The Enbridge ad, posted on its youtube channel, has drawn just 260 views. Murphy's take has received 5355 views so far.

 

29th June

 Update: We've Got No Evidence...BUT...

Another group of family campaigners pontificates about sexuality being the cause of all society's ills. But can find no actual evidence of anything they spout about
Link Here  full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report

family lives Campaigners from a group called Family Lives are claiming that parents and schools are failing to keep track with new trends in technology which are putting young people in danger not just from strangers but also their own peers.

An often-ignored culture of hypermasculinity among boys is increasingly encouraging the view that violence against girls is acceptable or that scantily clad women deserve to be raped, it spews. [what sort of bollox language is 'increasingly encouraging the view'? Their contention is patently not true and speaking vague bollox about rate of change of trends proves nothing beyond the fact that that the nutters have no evidence on which to base their opinions].

Only a fraction of parents have spoken to their children about the dangers of digital sexual abuse, the nutters add. The Family Lives report warns that the previous emphasis on girls 'could' be obscuring dangerous new 'trends' among boys, with an emphasis on violence against other children.

The report continues saying that, although it is extremely rare, and there no is actual evidence of it, sexual violence 'could' be a growing problem:

There is a great lack of accurate and up-to-date information on the prevalence of youth sexual violence, especially upon younger age groups; hence it is easy to simply dismiss the issue as extremely rare.

However, from our work ... we know that this is a growing problem and as more cases of early sexual violence appear and throw light on the problem of peer-on-peer abuse, it is important to highlight this seldom discussed problem and work towards measures to tackle it.

Claire Walker, head of policy at Family Lives, said of the lack of evidence of the group's contentions:

The scale of this is just not clear.

The Government needs to commission some pretty solid research that looks at what is the extent.

We know that hypermasculinity seems to be on the increase and one of the traits of it is peer-on-peer violence but all the evidence about hypermasculinity at the moment comes from America.

 

28th June

 Diary: Lifting the Curse of Censorship...

Hammer announce the premiere of The Curse of Frankenstein restored
Link Here

curse of frankenstein eyeball scene video Hammer has announced on its blog:

The world premiere of our restored THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN will take place at the CATH/DMU Hammer event in Leicester on Saturday 14th July

For the first time in many years, the film will be screened in its original aspect ratio of 1.37:1 aka Academy .

The film will also include the eyeball scene --- restored from a reel of a print housed at the BFI then integrated into the main restoration, which was scanned from a Warner Bros. I/P --- though not the head in acid bath scene, which despite our best efforts appears no longer to exist.

For those of you who can't make it, we hope to announce the UK Blu-ray release date at the event.

...See details

 

28th June

  Tales that Witness Madness...

A new US DVD and Blu-ray release of a horror anthology by Freddie Francis
Link Here

Tales That Witness Madness Hawkins Tales That Witness Madness is a 1973 UK comedy horror anthology by Freddie Francis.
With Jack Hawkins, Donald Pleasence and Kim Novak. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA R Rated for:

UK: Passed 18 uncut for;

  • UK 1997 Arlington VHS
  • UK 1990 Telstar VHS
  • UK 1982 cinema release
  • UK 1974 cinema release

 

28th June

 Update: Hoping for a Good Punch Line...

The Paul Chambers twitter joke trial reaches the High Court
Link Here

Making History ebook Paul Chambers who was convicted for tweeting a an obvious joke about blowing up an airport received celebrity backing as he challenged his fine in the High Court. Comedians Stephen Fry and Al Murray were on hand to lighten the mood.

The tweet in question read: Crap! Robin Hood Airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!

The accountant said he sent the tweet to his 600 followers in a moment of frustration after the airport in South Yorkshire was closed by snow in January 2010. He claimed it was sent in jest and he never thought anyone would take his silly joke seriously.

But he was ludicrously fined £985 at Doncaster Magistrates' Court in May 2010 after being convicted of sending a message of a menacing character , contrary to provisions of the 2003 Communications Act.

Opening a new bid to overturn his conviction and sentence, John Cooper QC told Lord Judge, Mr Justice Owen and Mr Justice Griffith Williams that the wrong legal tests had been applied. He said that the message was sent on a timeline on the Twitter facility to Chambers' followers and not as a randomly searched-for communication, and the relevant section of the Act was never intended by Parliament to deal with messages to the world at large .

To constitute a menace, he added, the threat must be of such a nature that the mind of an ordinary person of normal stability and courage might be influenced. Also, the person sending the message must intend to threaten the person to whom the message was sent - in other words, it was a crime of specific intent.

The case was heard and judgement was reserved until a later date.

 

28th June

 Update: Warped Views...

Scottish MPs queue up to claim that default porn blocking will cure all society's ills
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

Jo Swinson Scottish politicians have been queuing up to blame online porn for a 10% rise in reported sexual offences in Scotland.

East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson called for ISPs to use a system of default blocking for adult content on websites. She said:

It's very difficult to pin down exactly what is causing these attitudes by young people, but given that there's very easily available pornography online -- and not just the lads mag, page three images, but really explicit, hardcore pornography -- it's not hard to imagine that it helps to create a warped view of relationships.

Scottish Conservative MSP John Lamont added:

We need to investigate measures such as having filters switched on as the default option, or blocking all adult content unless you decide otherwise.

Glasgow MP John Robertson said more needs to be done to raise parental awareness of the security tools available to them.

 

28th June

  Expecting a Good Tanning...

An ITV news programme didn't notice the lyrics to The Sun has got his Hat On
Link Here

The Sun Has Got His TV censors at Ofcom is investigating ITV1's Calendar show over the use of the word 'nigger' in background song lyrics.

On the 22 May Calendar News, ITV1's regional news in the north and east broadcast a video clip celebrating sunny weather. The report featured a montage of pictures of people enjoying the sun and was set to the 1930s song The Sun has got his Hat On.

However the TV company didn't listen very closely to the lyrics:

The sun has got his hat on, hip-hip-hip-hooray
The sun has got his hat on and he's coming out today
Now we'll all be happy, hip-hip-hip-hooray
The sun has got his hat on and he's coming out today

He's been tanning niggers out in Timbuktu
Now he's coming back to do the same to you
So jump into your sunbath, hip-hip-hip-hooray
The sun has got his hat on and he's coming out today

Ofcom has launched an investigation into whether ITV broke UK broadcasting rules relating to harm and offence.

 

28th June

 Updated: Uncomfortable in Japan...

Nikon pull out of photography exhibition after threats from those preferring to keep the plight of Japanese 'comfort women' concealed
Link Here

ahn sehong Hundreds of photographers have accused Nikon of censorship after it pulled an exhibition in Japan about the lives of women who worked as wartime sex slaves .

The show, by South Korean photographer Ahn Sehong, was due to depict the lives of Comfort Women who were kidnapped and forced to work as sex slaves by Japanese soldiers during World War Two.

Sehong, who has been working on the project since 1996, said Nikon pulled the show amid political protests in Japan.

The photographer said he has since been bombarded by crank phone calls and threats to his family over the exhibition, due to be shown at the Nikon Salon in Tokyo. Sehong said:

Everything was prepared, printed and framed, ready for the opening on 26 June..

It was due to show the efforts of 15 years of work. Suddenly, it was cancelled by the sponsor Nikon who apologised to us but did not offer any reasonable explanation.

He added: Since then I have found my personal information being posted on the internet, and I and my family have been intimidated by some anonymous calls.

Nikon had reportedly received complaints about the exhibition, but has refused to give a reason for axing the show.

Update: Nikon Focus in on Censorship

28th June 2012. See  article from  bjp-online.com

A Japanese judge has found in favour of the photographer and has forced Nikon to honour its contract and reopen the exhibition. While Nikon can still appeal the court ruling, Ahn has been allowed to show his images.

However, Nikon is being accused of preventing journalists from visiting the exhibition. At first, Nikon told us it will provide the venue, but won't do anything else to help, says Ahn. However, Nikon is preventing the foreign press from entering the venue and blocking people from taking personal pictures.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, a Nikon spokesman said the company would not do things that would go against the court decision but would suspend the exhibit if it received a favourable ruling any time before the show's scheduled end on 09 July.

 

28th June

  Revealing Sources of Repression...

Kosovo passes repressive media law despite the wishes of the PM, Deputy PM and President
Link Here

Kosovo flag The Kosovo government should take urgent steps to address the threat to media freedom posed by provisions that, despite extensive protest, have survived in the new criminal code, Human Rights Watch said.

On June 22, 2012, the Kosovo National Assembly failed for a second time to remove provisions from the new criminal code that criminalize defamation and force journalists to reveal their sources, despite calls to remove them by the government, president, and journalists. The current criminal code has similar provisions.

The Assembly's failure to address these problematic provisions means that journalists reporting on public figures or corruption continue to risk being treated as criminals, said Lydia Gall, Balkans and Eastern Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch: The government should now step in to protect media freedom and independent journalism in Kosovo.

The Kosovo Assembly originally passed the disputed articles 37 and 38 of the Criminal Code on April 20. On May 8, after protests from journalists and media watchdogs, President Atifete Jahjaga sent the law back to Assembly for reconsideration.

Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, and the deputy prime minister and justice minister, Hajredin Kuqi, publicly supported removing the two provisions. But only 59 members voted to remove the contested articles, two short of a majority.

Immediately following the June 22 vote, Kuqi resigned in protest. According to a media report, Kuqi explained his decision by saying he did not want to be someone who undermines media freedom.

Media reports say that the president has said that the new code is unconstitutional. But the president has no authority to send the law back to the Assembly for a second time, and the government cannot make further amendments to the law until it comes into force on January 1, 2013.

 

28th June

 Updated: Nando's Diversity...

South African TV advert banned after pointing out that nearly the entire population is of foreign origin
Link Here

nandos immigartion advert video South African broadcasters e.tv and DStv have withdrawn a new Nando's commercial following refusal by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).  The SABC has refused to air the advertisement, citing xenophobic undertones .

The commercial opens with foreign nationals illegally crossing the South African border, followed by a voice-over that says: You know what's wrong with South Africa? It's all you foreigners.

It then shows foreign nationals including Chinese, Indians and even Afrikaners disappearing in puffs of smoke. Finally, the only person left is a traditional Khoisan man who says he's not going anywhere.

Fast food chain Nando's, which is known for its controversial marketing campaigns, said it was shocked at the decision and planned to ask the broadcasters to reconsider. It argued that the advertisement depicted South Africa's rich ethnic and cultural diversity and was meant to show the absurdity of xenophobia.

The commercial was initially aired both on e.tv and across DStv channels, and is still available on social network websites.

Thabang Ramogase, marketing manager at Nando's, said after being informed that e.tv and DStv had banned the ad:

We think it is short-sighted and we stand by the advertisement. The responses the ad has generated online have been overwhelmingly positive and show that South Africans get the message.

Chris Hitchings, media sales CEO at DStv, said the pay-TV broadcaster was concerned that the advertisement could be misunderstood:

While we understand that the commercial is a parody, we are not convinced that all our viewers will interpret it in the way intended, he said. We have a responsibility not to broadcast material that could be deemed offensive to our viewers and we have exercised our rights in this regard.

Leon Grobler, dispute resolutions manager at the ASA, South Africa's advert censor, said the organisation had received a handful of complaints about the advertisement. Its review will take about a month.

Update: South African ASA rejects whinges about the Nando's advert

28th June 2012. See  article from  mybroadband.co.za

Pay-TV broadcaster DStv has lifted its ban on fast-food chain Nando's new advertisement that broadcasters initially refused to air due to its xenophobic undertones.

The commercial had been banned by both DStv and e.tv after they initially aired it earlier this month, days after the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) rejected it on the grounds that it could be misinterpreted and perpetuate xenophobia and even violence.

Satellite television network TopTV, however, said that it would air the controversial advertisement. Its decision came after the Advertising Standards Authority of SA (ASA) dismissed complaints it received from viewers and ruled that the advertisement did not contravene any of its codes.

See article from asasa.org.za

advertising standards authority south africa logo The ASA Directorate is satisfied that this advert falls within the parameters of hyperbole and/or harmless parody as allowed for by a clause in the code. This clause states that Obvious untruths, harmless parody or exaggerations, intended to catch the eye or amuse, are permissible provided that they are clearly to be seen as humorous ... This is also in line with the respondent's reputation for poking fun at topical issues and current affairs.

What's more, the commercial is clearly contrasting the voice of xenophobia (who starts the commercial off with mention that ... all you foreigners should just ... go back to where you came from ), with the voice of reason , who explains that REAL South Africans (our emphasis) love diversity. This carries the implied message that the initial voice of xenophobia does not speak for Real South Africans.

In addition to this, if one views the entire commercial, it becomes apparent that the xenophobic voice and opinion is ridiculed and made to be irrational, because the point is made that all nationalities found here (save for the Khoisan) were once foreigners .

Put simply, the respondent juxtaposes the xenophobic view that what's wrong with South Africa is all you foreigners with the rational and reasonable view that what's wrong with South Africa is actually all you xenophobes . This is done in a tongue-in-cheek manner, and the ending voice-over explains that REAL South Africans love diversity .

For the above reasons, the Directorate is satisfied that the commercial does not contravene the provisions of the Code. The complaints are accordingly dismissed.

 

28th June

 Update: Extremist Texts...

Russia bans 65 islamic books
Link Here  full story: Religious Book Censorship in Russia...Russia prosecutes holy books over supposed extremism

Russia flag Russia's Council of Muslims has expressed 'outrage' over the banning in one court hearing in Orenburg of 65 Islamic texts as extremist .

The ban was imposed in a 20-minute hearing on 21 March and came into force on 27 April, but only became known when copies of the decision were handed to Islamic publishers at a book fair in Kazan in mid-June.

The Council condemned such religious book bans as an attempt to revive total ideological control . Damir Mukhetdinov, first deputy chair of the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of European Russia, told Forum 18 said: We are already deciding on our next steps and preparing documents for an appeal.

 

28th June

 Offsite Article: Same Old...

Link Here
Big Brother gets nearly 1,000 Ofcom complaints for Conor 'bullying'

See article from digitalspy.co.uk

 

27th June

  The Walerian Borowczyk Collection...

New uncut US DVD featuring Immoral Women, Private Collections and The Art of Love
Link Here

Walerian Borowczyk Collection Immoral Collections The Walerian Borowczyk Collection

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

  • US 2012 Severin Walerian Borowczyk Collection R1 DVD at US Amazon just released on 26th June 2012

Immoral Women (Three Immoral Women in the UK) is a 1979 France erotic drama by Walerian Borowczyk.
With Marina Pierro, Gaëlle Legrand and Pascale Christophe. See IMDb

A follow up to Walerian Borowczyk's earlier Immoral Tales. It features 3 episodes. First a tale of a woman bedding her way to success amongst Renaissance painters and church benefactors. The second features a girl and her white rabbit getting exploited in 19th century France. The third is about a woman being abducted in Paris. Dreamy soft focus stuff with enough of a story to raise it above the norm.

UK: Passed X (18) after BBFC cuts for the UK 1981 cinema release titled Three Immoral Women which was then released in 1983 on Walton pre-cert VHS

Private Collections is a 1979 France/Japan erotic drama by Walerian Borowczyk.
With Roland Blanche, Laura Gemser and Catherine Gandois. See IMDb

Three stories. A solitary sailor falls from his boat and washes ashore on a tropical island. While seeking rescue, he's found by a nearly naked woman who is playful and compliant. In the second, an adolescent searches for the words of a nursery rime he remembers bits of. His journey takes him into dreams, sexual awakening, and Oedipal fantasy. Third, a man of wealth in late-nineteenth century Paris hires a prostitute for the night.  He fears he's about to be robbed. What's her secret?

Not released in the UK

The Art of Love is a 1983 France/Italy erotic drama by Walerian Borowczyk.
With Marina Pierro, Michele Placido and Massimo Girotti. See IMDb

Walerian Borowczyk's entry in the cycle of erotica set in the decadence of ancient Rome. As usual an episodic approach based on schools students and their tales of love, usually involving local soldiers.

UK: Passed 18 after 7s of BBFC cuts for the UK 1995 Jezebel VHS

 

27th June

 Extract: Uncut Interview...

Click Magazine interviews William Friedkin about Killer Joe and his hassles with the US film censors
Link Here

Killer Joe poster CLICK: You opted to not fight the NC-17 rating, why?

William Friedkin : Because they're full of shit! No the rating's correct too. I don't target 13 year olds or 16 year olds to see this movie. I don't think the ratings incorrect. Its draconian, it limits you and limits your audience but it's not an incorrect rating.

This should be an 18 plus which it is over here and throughout Europe and in the rest of the world.

The ratings board is extremely problematical in that they don't have a rule book that's as thick as this [holds up a sheet of paper]. There's nothing that you can read that says: if you do this or that thing you will get an NC-17.

With the ratings board, we don't know how they got there. We know it was political. But their judgements have no legal standing, they're a self-governing body of the MPAA and they will not give an NC-17 to a member company of that group. There will be little concessions made to them -- a few frames here and there...

You might have asked -- did you ever think you'd get an NC-17 and did you have to change it? And I can answer you honestly no I didn't change a frame of it because I'm too old to bow down before this anonymous board of censors.

...Read the full interview

 

27th June

  GRA Shares its Plans...

More from Laurie Hall on games censorship under the GRA
Link Here

Games Rating Authority logo The Games Rating Authority, a part of the Video Standards Council, will take over video games censorship from the BBFC next month. The group will use PEGI ratings and symbols, as used across Europe, eg age restrictions will be set at 12, 16 and 18.

The PEGI ratings have been used for sometime on games not featuring realistic video but now they will be used for all games.

Laurie Hall is the director general of the Video Standards Council, the organisation that handles the PEGI rating process in the UK. For clarity sake the Video Standards Council will use the name Games Rating Authority for its new role.

The new mantra for the GRA will be: Games aren't just for kids. Be responsible . For Hall, the real problem is with parents not realising that games content can now be every bit as graphic as anything in a movie. A lot of parents wouldn't allow their 12-year-old to watch an '18'-rated film, Hall agrees: But play an '18'-rated game? They're more inclined to. We've got to get the message across.

PEGI is stricter than the BBFC, insists Hall somewhat censorially: We're not ashamed of that at all, because the methodology of rating films is not appropriate for rating games. Games and films are totally different

And with the enthusiasm of a new censor, he stresses: We will have the power to ban a game in the UK. And he outlines the process for banning games, that he considers transparent, fair and legally tight, and which required the Government's approval.

An Appeals Panel has been set-up, chaired by Baroness Kennedy, a barrister. And beyond that, there's an Expert Advisory Panel, comprising Tanya Byron, media violence specialist Dr Guy Cumberbatch, and Geoffrey Roberston QC.

Hall explains:

Why we set up the Expert Advisory Panel is the ability to ban a game under the law is very complex - it's an expert matter. We can only ban something if it is likely to cause harm to the viewer or society in general. You interpret that!

The Panel will not be making the decision - what they will do is advise the designated officers of the factors they must consider in reaching their decision. It was put in place to make sure if a banning decision ever was made it was as watertight as it possibly could be.

 

27th June

  Prophecy...

Advance warning of nutter outrage over a planned film by Paul Verhoeven
Link Here

Jesus Nazareth Paul Verhoeven Christians have reacted with 'fury' to the news that Dutch director Paul Veerhoeven is planning to make a film which depicts Jesus as the product of rape by a Roman soldier rather than a child of immaculate conception via God.

Paul Verhoeven has written a book, Jesus of Nazereth, that features his controversial take on the nativity and now plans are afoot to film the story.

According to RadarOnline, Dan Gainor, of the Culture and Media Institute whined:

Hollywood isn't anti-Christian, we are constantly told, yet the evidence keeps piling up that it is precisely that way.

This isn't accidental. Christians and Christian faith have been under decades of attack by hedonist Hollywood that is desperate to rationalize a culture of immorality.

In The Daily Mail, a representative for Verhoeven said it was too early for moral outrage as no script had been written, stating:

There is as yet no script on the subject, and until there is, there's nothing to discuss.

For some the whole concept may be a step too far, with many religious figures only too happy to step up to the call and criticise flippancy about their religious beliefs. Others will argue that the Christians angered by the film need not go and see it, and that any protests could actually backfire as they generate free publicity for Verhoeven.

 

27th June

 Update: Prophecy...

Advance warning of an Iranian video game actioning the fatwa against Salman Rushdie
Link Here

Assassins Creed Revelations Xbox 360 The Stressful Life of Salman Rushdie and Implementation of his Verdict is the title of the game being developed by the Islamic Association of Students, a government-sponsored organisation which announced this week it had completed initial phases of production.

News of the computer game came as Tehran played host to the country's second International Computer Games Expo. Press TV, Iran's English language propaganda channel said (maybe alluding to the Salman Rushdie fatwa game):

The organisers considered the event as an opportunity to introduce Iranian culture, value and Islamic identity to international computer games designers and producers.

Three years ago, the student association and Iran's national foundation of computer games asked students across the country to submit scripts for the game and the top three were handed over to video developers. But development of the game made slow progress.

Little has been revealed about the game but its title suggests players will be asked to implement Khomeini's call for the killing of Rushdie.

 

27th June

 Comment: Book Censors Have a Knock at Amazon...

Pity the poor censor that has to read all the self published books on Kindle
Link Here

amazon logo The Daily Mail has gathered together a few whinges about books being sold on Amazon without being pre-censored.

Amazon sells a vast number of ebooks, downloaded by readers from its website. Many of these are self published and hence haven't been subjected to massively expensive vetting by publishers.

The Daily Mail cites a few examples including anti-Semitic prose, instructions on growing marijuana, and glorifying dog fighting.

One ebook, Prophet Muhammad: Monster of History , includes images of a Koran being burned and a woman being hanged. The author, Jake Neuman, says of its content on his own website: The writings contained in this book are now illegal in most Western countries.

The ludicrously easily offended Muslim Council of Britain has inevitably called for Amazon to take proper responsibility for the content of the books on its site:

Freedom of expression should not be unlimited, and publications that cause anti-Muslim hatred, anti-Jewish hatred or homophobic hatred should not be allowed.

A Sunday Times investigation also revealed a few examples: an ebook entitled Reverend Rapist , which describes a priest sexually assaulting a young girl; TNT FAQ and How to Make Nitroglycerin ; other eBooks included personal attacks on members of the public - thought to be by disgruntled ex-spouses or partners.

The Sunday Times also extracted a few comments from Richard Mollet, chief executive of the Publishers Association, but as publishers are in direct competition with self publishing then surely these can dismissed as worthless.

Labour MP and sound byteist Paul Flynn said:

If Amazon is providing the platform for books that wouldn't be published otherwise, it is responsible. This is a cavalier attitude to inflammatory material.

Offsite Comment: Why should Amazon be our taste and decency police?

27th June 2012. See  article from  indexoncensorship.org by Jo Glanville

index logo Clearer guidelines are needed to protect free speech online and that should include material that causes offence. Expecting virtual booksellers, hosts and publishers to operate as taste and decency police would introduce unaccountable censorship based on subjective criteria. The best-selling erotica Fifty Shades of Grey , which began life on fan-fiction websites, and was first published as an ebook and print-on-demand paperback, might well have failed such a test and deprived the world of the delights of mummy porn.

...Read the full article

 

27th June

 Offsite Article: Florida Newspaper Gets a Good Hosing Down...

Link Here
Cartoon winds up firefighters by depicting them dousing black Americans as a consequence of the lack of press scrutiny caused by journalist layoffs.

See article from whnt.com

 

26th June

 Updated: The Knot...

New UK comedy romance gets cut for a BBFC 15 rating
Link Here

knot The Knot is a 2012 UK comedy romance by Jesse Lawrence. With Noel Clarke, Mena Suvari and Matthew McNulty. See IMDb

It was passed 15 for strong language, sex references and sexualised nudity after BBFC category cuts for:

  • UK 2012 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

  • Distributor chose to reduce a focus on sexualised female nudity in a strip club scene in order to achieve a 15 classification. Cuts made in accordance with BBFC Guidelines and policy. An uncut 18 classification was available.

Update: Re-knotted

26th June 2012. Thanks to Mark

In fact the BBFC had already passed The Knot with an uncut 18 certificate and consumer advice: Contains strong sexualised nudity.

It's only in the last few days that the certificate has been changed to 15 and the film cut but, strangely, all mention to the previous 18 certificate has been deleted from the BBFC database.

 

26th June

  Glastonbury: The Movie in Flashback...

New re-working of the 1996 music documentary
Link Here

Glastonbury The Movie Flashback DVD Glastonbury: The Movie is a music documentary by William Beaton, Lisa Lake, Robin Mahoney, Matthew Salkeld, and Michael Sarne.
With Richard Ashcroft, Phil Bell and Charlie Creed-Miles. See IMDb

UK: A reworked In Flashback Version was passed 12A for drug references and nudity without BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2012 Mensch/November Films R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 10th September
  • UK 2012 cinema release

From article on en.wikipedia.org :

Glastonbury The Movie In Flashback is re-worked as new with contemporary digital cinema technology. This version features some 45 minutes of previously unseen material, new performances including ones from Stereo MCs and The Orb and a roots-to-branch re-structuring.

Promotional Material

Iconic and unique, Glastonbury is the legendary forerunner of music festivals.

Beautifully filmed in epic CinemaScope and newly created from a wealth of previously unseen material, this revealing snapshot of British cultural history drops you head first into the best of the old-school Glastonburys. If you were there you're in it and if not you'll wish you had been as you are immersed in a no-holds-barred trip through music, magic and midsummer madness.

Hailed as a masterpiece by Mike Leigh in its initial incarnation, Glastonbury The Movie In Flashback is a must-see for all festival fans. The ultimate festival trip.

Previous Versions

UK: A longer version was passed 15 without BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1996 IMC VHS

UK: The Original Cinema Version was passed 15 without BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1996 cinema release

 

26th June

  The Innkeepers...

New Ti West horror released on UK DVD and Blu-ray
Link Here

The Innkeepers DVD Sara Paxton The Innkeepers is a 2011 US horror thriller by Ti West.
With Sara Paxton, Pat Healy and Kelly McGillis. See IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Metrodome RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 25th June 2012
  • UK 2012 Metrodome R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 25th June 2012

There are now censorship issues with this release.

Promotional Material:

One of the best, smartest and scariest indie horror films that I've seen in a long time - Eli Roth

After over one hundred years of service, The Yankee Pedlar Inn is shutting its doors for good. The last remaining employees - Claire (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy)- are determined to uncover proof of what many believe to be one of New England's most haunted hotels. As the Inn's final days draw near, odd guests check in as the pair of minimum wage ghost hunters begin to experience strange and alarming events that may ultimately cause them to be mere footnotes in the hotel's long unexplained history.

 

26th June

 Update: Unbanned in New Zealand...

New Zealand is set to benefit from Australia's introduction of an adult games rating
Link Here  full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games

New Zealand flag Australia has just passed a law allowing an R18 rating for its video games and according to Tom Pullar-Strecker's story on Stuff, the introduction of the new classification could mean games with strong violent or sexual content are likely to be more readily available in New Zealand from next year too.

While New Zealand has had an R18 rating for years, most of the disc-based games we get are distributed through Australia, and the Australian-based Interactive Games and Entertainment Association says often games with adult content bound for New Zealand have been censored so they can meet Australia's current MA15+ rating.

The article quotes IGEA's chief executive, Ron Curry saying:

What we have seen is New Zealand getting modified product that was going on sale in Australia as opposed to the full versions of games. The advantage for New Zealanders now is they will more than likely get products as they were released, he said.

 

26th June

 Update: A Free Debate...For the Moment...

World internet censorship to be discussed at the World Conference on International Telecommunications in December 2012
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship at the UN...United Nations debates worldwide internet censorship

wcit 2012 logo Dozens of countries have had closed-door meetings in preparation for an upcoming worldwide debate over internet censorship. The United Nations is looking at possible amendments to a telecommunications treaty that could amount to worldwide Internet censorship.

The World Conference on International Telecommunications is to be held in Dubai this December and more than 190 countries are expected to attend. One of the matters to be discussed at the conference is changes to a 24-year-old telecommunications treaty called the International Telecommunications Regulations, according to the Associated Press.

In a U.N. document with proposed amendments to the treaty that came out last month, Russia said the public should have unrestricted access to international telecommunication services, except in cases where international telecommunication services are used for the purpose of interfering in the internal affairs or undermining the sovereignty, national security, territorial integrity and public safety of other states, or to divulge information of a sensitive nature.

The ramifications of such changes to the International Telecommunications Regulations could be detrimental for citizens of countries that use the Internet to voice government opposition. For example, if Russia's suggested proposal goes through, events such as the Arab Spring could be silenced.

The U.S. delegation has promised to block any language that would allow for any censorship.

Hamadoun Toure, secretary general of the U.N. agency that oversees the treaty, told the Associated Press that all proposals must be agreed upon to by all member states or else they would not be included in the final document.

 

25th June

  King of New York...

Arrow have released UK DVD/Blu-ray combos including a Limited Edition Steelbook
Link Here

Limited Edition SteelBook Format Blu ray King of New York is a 1990 US crime drama by Abel Ferrara. With Christopher Walken, David Caruso and Laurence Fishburne. See IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence and hard drug use:

  • UK 2012 Arrow Limited Edition Steelbook R2 DVD/RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released today on 25th June 2012
  • UK 2012 Arrow R2 DVD/RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released today on 25th June 2012

There are no censorship issues with this release.

Promotional material:

Where Scarface Left Off... King Of New York Begins

Christopher Walken is out of prison and back on the dirty streets of New York as convicted drug lord Frank White in a pitch black 90s crime classic from the magnificently disreputable Abel Ferrara (Driller Killer, Ms.45).

White returns to his old patch to finds it in disarray as the parasites that moved in to capture his business don't share in the same Robin Hood spirit. Soon he's violently taking out the competition, stealing their stashes and turning a healthy profit on the gear, putting it towards building a new South Bronx hospital.

But you can't make an omelette without breaking some heads. As the street killings rise and the corrupt cops close in, White's crazed mix of criminal psychosis and heartfelt charity threatens to tear apart everything he's fought so hard to build...

Features:

  • Collector's booklet featuring writing on the film by Brad Stevens, author of Abel Ferrara: The Moral Vision
  • High Definition Blu-ray and Standard Definition DVD Presentation of the film
  • Optional 5.1 / 2.0 Stereo Audio TBC
  • Audio commentary with director Abel Ferrara
  • Audio commentary with composer Joe Delia, producer Mary Kane, casting director Randy Sabusawa and editor Anthony Redman
  • Brand new interview with director Abel Ferrara TBC
  • Interview with producer Augusto Caminito
  • Abel Ferrara: Not Guilty: Documentary on Abel Ferrara from the French TV show Cine'astes de Notre Temps
  • A Short Film about the Long Career of Abel Ferrara: This documentary looks at Abel Ferrara's career including interviews with his key collaborators
  • Dual Format Edition comes with reversible sleeve featuring original and newly designed artwork by The Dude Designs
  • Limited Edition SteelBook comes with newly designed artwork by The Dude Designs.

 

25th June

  Keyhole...

US DVD and Blu-ray releases of Canadian thriller
Link Here

Keyhole Jason Patric Keyhole is a 2011 Canada thriller by Guy Maddin. With Jason Patric, Isabella Rossellini and Udo Kier. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA R rated for:

There are no known censorship issues with this release

Promotional Material: A Mysterious Pick

In a house haunted with memories, gangster and father Ulysses Pick (Jason Patric) arrives home after a long absence towing the body of a teenaged girl and a bound and gagged young man. His gang waits inside his house, having shot their way past police. There is friction in the ranks. Ulysses, however, is focused on one thing: journeying through the house, room by room, and reaching his wife Hyacinth (Isabella Rossellini) in her bedroom upstairs. The equilibrium of the house has been disturbed and his odyssey eventually becomes an emotional tour, as the ghostly nooks and crannies of the house reveal more about the mysterious Pick family.

 

25th June

  Supporting Local Artists...

Guernsey sees a whole new world of gay kissing
Link Here

sian jones An artist who displayed in public drawings of same-sex kissing between Disney characters said she never intended to offend anyone.

Sian Jones has been criticised after she displayed the drawings at a Guernsey Arts Commission event on Sunday.

One of the drawings, A Whole New World , depicted Aladdin and Eric, from the Little Mermaid , kissing,

Miss Jones has defended her decision to show the images:

I remember learning at university that art should be about making people question their views and react, so in those terms it was a success.

Not that the whinges were overly stressing though. Miss Jones was approached by two young girls who said the pictures were disgusting. And a  Guernsey teacher criticised the public display of the pictures.

 

25th June

 Update: Smoking Out a Hypercrit...

India's film censor speaks out against censorship of smoking, but neglects to criticise the extreme censorship doled out by her own board
Link Here

Leela Samson Leela Samson, chairperson of the Indian Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), agrees that the Central government regulations on depiction of smoking scenes and use of performing animals curtailed the artistic freedom of film-makers.

She commented at a press conference was held to brief journalists about the Ministry of Health's requirement that the legend that smoking is injurious to health be scrolled on screen every time a smoking scene was shown.

Samson argued that films that depicted smoking scenes should display the statutory warning at the beginning and the end of the film. The requirement of scrolling the warning whenever a smoking scene occurred was unnecessary. Currently, films with a smoking scene were being classified as UV (for parental caution for those aged below 12).

However she didn't seem to mention the curtailment of artistic freedom caused by her own censor board, who routinely cut anything remotely sexy or that may offend even the most easily offended.

 

25th June

 Offsite Article: Richard O'Dwyer and the new internet war...

Link Here
Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia asks internet users to join his petition to defend TVShack entrepreneur Richard O'Dwyer's battle against extradition

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

24th June

 Update: Nutters and Losers...

Australian christians push for the new 18 rating to be restricted to those games suitable for 15 year olds
Link Here  full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games

Australian Christian Lobby Australia's christian lobby has ludicrously called on the government to ensure that the level of sex and violence allowed in the new R18+ category for computer games is no greater than that for the present MA15+ level.

The government announced last week that a R18+ category for video games would be introduced on January 1. However, the rules for the new category are still to be determined by the Australian Classification Board.

The managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby, Jim Wallace, spewed:

I expect the new [R18+] classification to be described no differently to MA15+.

If [R18+] is described in looser terms, or is less demanding than the existing MA15+ - which is already letting in things that shouldn't have been there - then it's not going to work.

We already know that some of the games that are sold in Australia are unacceptable and should never have slipped in under the old rating.

Wallace then said he wanted a new, stricter MA15+ category to complement the R18+ rating.

A spokesman for the Australian Classification Board, Simon Ferguson, said the details of the new R18+ rating were yet to be finalised. He added:

It is anticipated that the new MA15+ category will be more stringent than the old.

 

24th June

  The Disco Exorcist...

New US DVD release
Link Here
Disco Exorcist Nicklin Sullivan Michael The Disco Exorcist is a 2011 US horror by Richard Griffen. With Michael Reed, Sarah Nicklin and Ruth Sullivan. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

  • US 2012 Wild Eye R0 DVD at US Amazon released on 19th June 2012

Promotional Material: One of the most talked about horror movies of the year!

From the makers of the cult hit Nun of That comes this irreverent blood, boobs and bellbottom-soaked tribute to seventies exploitation sleaze featuring supernatural sex, disco dancing deaths, roller skating sinners -- and beautiful women possessed and perverted by evil.

Rex Romanski is a 1970s disco swinger who loves and leaves the wrong woman -- the wicked black magic priestess Rita Maria. And now it's up to Rex to undo the scorned Rita's rampage of revenge, murder and destruction before she claims more lives, and takes over the soul of the woman he loves in this decadent and devilish decent into sexploitation!

Features:

  • Director's Commentary
  • Deleted Scene
  • Original Teaser Trailer
  • Trailers.

 

24th June

  Supper's Off...

Chinese censors block Lu Chuan's The Last Supper
Link Here

last supper Chinese film censors have blocked the latest film by Lu Chuan, one of China's rising directors.

Lu was hoping to release The Last Supper , a costume drama about two warring generals starring Liu Ye, Daniel Wu and Taiwanese thesp Chang Chen, next month. He told a forum at the Shanghai Film Festival the project had been delayed by the Film Bureau:

We need a fair, relaxed and comfortable environment to be creative, like Hollywood. Their movies can have aliens attacking Los Angeles, even flooding the White House. Film should not just be a propaganda tool.

Other directors joined the compaint about how censorship was making it difficult to make movies. Producer Qin Hong said he hoped the forum would encourage the Film Bureau to change its mind.

 

24th June

 Update: A Network of Censors...

Facebook speaks of its censorship procedures
Link Here  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor

Facebook logo Facebook have revealed some of their procedures used for responding to complaints about user posted content.

Facebook employs 4 teams based in Menlo Park, Austin, Dublin and Hyderabad. Facebook explained:

Reports of inappropriate content, which users can submit with just a couple of clicks, are directed to one of four support teams.

An Abusive Content Team handles spam and sexually explicit content. Meanwhile, a Safety Team handles threats of vandalism, graphic violence, credible threats of violence and illegal drug use. A Hate and Harassment Team handles, well, reports of hate speech and harassment. The team that handles hacked and imposter accounts is called the Access Team.

If found to be in violation of Facebook's policies, Statement of Rights and Responsibilities or Community Standards, the content is removed and its publisher warned. Facebook's support teams may also block users who post inappropriate content or ban them from specific features. A separate team handles appeals.

Sometimes content on Facebook violates not just the company's policies, but the law. Facebook says it will share reports with law enforcement when:

we have a good faith belief it is necessary to prevent fraud or other illegal activity, to prevent imminent bodily harm, or to protect ourselves and you from people violating our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

 

24th June

  The Media Research Center Recommends...Girls...

HBO's comedy about twentysomethings having fun in New York
Link Here

Girls The Complete First Season The Media Research Center seems to a political group who point out what they perceive as liberal bias from US TV companies. They write:

Liberal Critics Still Consider Girls Irresistible

After ten awkward and unpleasant episodes, the first season of HBO's critically acclaimed show Girls has mercifully come to an end. Each week seemingly tried to up the ante with graphic sex, gutter language and inappropriate innuendo.

There were scenes that were obviously intended to make the viewer as uncomfortable as possible. How else to explain multiple allusions to (and one depiction of) masturbation, and even a golden shower? The season finale was no exception. There were frank discussions about STD's, abortion references, frequent drug use, and brutish behavior -- basically what audiences have come to expect from premium cable networks.

Critics, of course, love it.

...

Consistent-enough ratings have warranted a second season order from HBO. While many will be left wondering what the entertainment value of Girls is, numerous left-wing columnists will continue to praise the show for its brutal honesty and gritty realism.

 

24th June

 Offsite Article: Internet freedoms under increasing attack...

Link Here
While the internet and social media facilitate democratic instant global discourse, they are also tools of control, says Kirsty Hughes of Index on Censorship

See article from indexoncensorship.org

 

24th June

 Offsite Article: Creative Dissent in Syria...

Link Here
The Syrian regime has gone to great lengths to silence the satirical commentary of Ali Ferzat. But the celebrated cartoonist and Index award winner has no intention of letting the censors keep him down.

See article from indexoncensorship.org

 

23rd June

  Headspace...

Director wisely opts to shorten the film for a new US Blu-ray and DVD release
Link Here

Headspace Christopher Denham Headspace is a 2005 US horror by Andrew van den Houten. With Olivia Hussey, William Atherton and Sean Young. See IMDb

US: The Director's Cut is MPAA R Rated for:

From a press release about the release: More Satisfying

Headspace, originally released theatrically in February, 2006, has been updated by director Andrew van den Houten and will actually run five minutes shorter than the original theatrical version.

I'm thrilled that I'm finally able to make my intended vision of Headspace available to the public, said van den Houten. This director's cut serves the story better while emphasizing the amazing abilities of everyone involved. When I revisited my first feature, I realized that there was a better, more taut way to present this thriller for a more satisfying experience for the viewer.

Summary review: Too Clever

25-year-old Alex Borden is handsome, charming, and intelligent. In fact, he may be too smart for his own good as his life is swiftly becoming a living hell. Alex's nightmare begins when he meets Harry, a mysterious artist and chess-master. Alex becomes alarmed when his intellect mysteriously begins to grow, and so do the horrors that invade his nightmares

Very mixed reviews with the majority being negative

Other Versions:

  • There is also a US Theatrical Version running 85 Minutes in PAL
A longer European Version was passed 15 uncut for:

 

23rd June

  Religions are Fairy Stories for Adults...

Police tell pensioner that displaying such a sign may get him arrested under the much abused Public Order Act
Link Here
Giant Book Bedtime Stories Parables

   Giant Book of Bedtime Stories: Classic Fables, Bible Stories, Nursery Rhymes, Parables and Fairy Stories

A pensioner is planning to stand up for his beliefs by putting an atheist poster in his front window, even though police have advised him not to.

The sign simply states: Religions are fairy stories for adults .

John Richards was told by policemen that he may face arrest if he put up the sign at his Vauxhall Road home, as it could breach the Public Order Act by supposedly distressing passers by.

But Richards has decided to stand up for his beliefs, and stick the poster up, saying that such action implies a threat to free speech. He told The Boston Standard:

The police said I could be arrested if somebody complained and said they were insulted, but the sign was up two years ago and nobody responded or smashed the window.

I am an atheist and I feel people are being misled by religion. I wanted to show people that if they thought they were alone there was at least one other person who thought that.

Update: Police explain how the law works: The complainant is ALWAYS right

23rd June 2012. From National Secular Society

police lincolnshire logo After the story appeared, and the NSS took it up, the Lincolnshire Police issued a statement saying that there was no such police threat to John Richards.

But it did admit that if a complaint was received, an officer would attend and try to persuade Richards to take the poster down. If he refused - which he said he would -he would be arrested.

Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, said:

The police response more or less confirms what Mr Richards is saying - if he insists on exercising free speech in the face of objections from someone who claims to be insulted or offended, then he will be arrested and possibly charged.

This is another example of the dangerous catch all nature of Section 5 of the Public Order Act and a strong argument for it to be radically changed to remove this threat to free expression.

Update: Christians and atheists unite against the police

See  article from  christian.org.uk

Christian Institute Simon Calvert, of The Christian Institute, said:

It seems the police again reached for the notoriously over-broad Section 5 of the Public Order Act which outlaws 'insulting words or behaviour'.

Christians who have themselves been on the wrong-end of Section 5 would sympathise strongly with Mr Richards.

It is an intimidating experience for law-abiding people to be told by officers that their beliefs are against the law. Even where no arrest is ever made, it exerts a dangerous chilling effect on free speech.

 

23rd June

 Update: Bearing Down on Violent Threats...

11.5 years in jail for threatening the writers of South Park over the Mohammed Teddy Bear episode
Link Here  full story: South Park and Religion...South Park offends the easily offenced

South Park Season 14 DVD A Muslim from New York has been sentenced to 11 and a half years in prison after admitting threatening the writers of South Park over their depiction of the religious character Muhammad.

Jesse Curtis Morton alias Younus Abdullah Muhammed worked on website postings with Zachary Chesser, who was previously sentenced to 25 years in prison. In April 2010 the pair used their website to encourage extremists to attack the writers for an episode that depicted Muhammad in a bear suit. Morton and Chesser posted the writers' addresses and encouraged readers to pay them a visit, according to court documents.

In February he pleaded guilty to making threatening communications, using the internet to put others in fear and using his position as leader of the Revolution Muslim organisation's websites to conspire to commit murder.

The US attorney Neil MacBride said:

Jesse Morton sought to inspire Muslims to engage in terrorism by providing doctrinal justification for violence against civilians in the name of Islam. His crimes not only put people's lives forever in danger, but they also chilled free expression out of fear of retaliation by violent terrorists.

 

23rd June

  Polishing their Crown Jewels...

Bournemouth sex shop wins the town's best Diamond Jubilee window display
Link Here

easy tiger logo A sex shop has won a Diamond Jubilee contest prize for having Bournemouth's best window display.

The Easy Tiger store in The Triangle was crowned as winner for its red, white and blue display with slogans including polish your crown jewels and keep calm, keep it up .

The win was down to a public vote, and Easy Tiger's 87 votes were 40 higher than their closest rival. But some nutters were suitably 'shocked'. Richard Marshall said:

I am disgusted that a sex shop in Bournemouth's Triangle has been handed the prestigious best window display award. I don't understand how a picture of a man lifting his T-shirt up to show his pants can be described as tasteful or respectful to her majesty.

Easy Tiger was presented with the Best Independent Jubilee Window Display by the Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce at the Hotel Miramar. The chamber's vice-president Mandy Payne said it made everyone smile when the winner was announced.

Jonathan Spencer, owner of Easy Tiger, said:

We have shoppers from 18 to 80 odd and try to offer products to all generations. By making our windows cheeky and humorous, we hope to challenge the traditional perception of a blacked-out, seedy sex shop.

Kudos also to the Beep Studio in Bournemouth which worked with the shop on the window display.

 

23rd June

  Guardian Columnist Recommends Zoo Magazine...

From the comments: 'Using children as a thinly veiled excuse to attack references to sex and sexuality is what I expect from the mid market rags. Not the broadsheets'.
Link Here

zoo kim kardashian Helen Wright is truely gushing in her praise of creative talents of Zoo magazine:

It is not just the glamour of the photograph of Kim Kardashian on the cover of Zoo magazine's 26 May edition that draws the reader in: the expensive lacy red and black lingerie (colours woven into the rest of the cover), the artfully pseudo-natural hair and the heavy makeup. She presents herself in a sexually provocative way: breasts thrust forward, head pointing submissively downwards, thumbs resting inside her underwear, and legs stretched apart as she kneels on what is intended to look like bed sheets.

I'm afraid the rest of the piece is nonsense Daily Mail 'outrage' fodder though.

...Read the full article

 

22nd June

  The Squad...

New UK DVD released by Momentum
Link Here
The Squad Juan David Restrepo The Squad is a 2011 Colombia/Argentina/Spain horror thriller by Jaime Osorio Marquez. With Juan David Restrepo, Andrés Castañeda and Mauricio Navas. See IMDb

Passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Technicolor/Momentum R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 18th June

Promotional Material: Prisoners of Fear

When contact is lost with a military base set deep in the desolate plains of Colombia, a special high mountain command unit is sent to check things out.

On arrival they find only one person alive and gradually the isolation and inability to communicate with the outside world takes its toll on their sanity. Prisoners of fear, paranoia and a dark secret; they must challenge each other and be prepared to kill one another in order to survive, unless they can work out the true nature of their enemy and unite to defeat it.

Reviews

See good review from sexgoremutants.co.uk

 

22nd June

  Irresponsible Waste of Money 'Investigating' Such a Baseless Complaint...

ASA dismisses a ludicrous whinge about Daisy perfume advert
Link Here

marcjacobs daisy eausofresh advert A magazine ad for Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume was seen in ELLE magazine. The ad showed a female model sitting astride a horse. The model was leaning back slightly, wearing a short white dress and holding an outsized bottle of the product in her lap. Text stated THE NEW FRAGRACE FOR WOMEN and DAISY MARC JACOBS EAU SO FRESH . Issue

The complainant objected that the ad was offensive and irresponsible, because they believed it showed a young girl in a provocative pose.

Coty UK Ltd said the model was 19 at the time of the shoot. They also believed that her pose was not styled in a manner that suggested she was a child. The advertiser also said that the ad did not show private body parts or any sexual activity. The overall intention of the ad was to reflect the bubbly, playful nature of the fragrance.

They also highlighted that the target readership of the magazine was 18- to 25- year-old women and that they would be unlikely to find the ad offensive or irresponsible as it was in line with the consistently edgy style of the magazine.

ASA Assessment: Complaint not upheld

The ASA understood that the ad had appeared in a magazine whose target readership was women between 18 and 25 years and that the advertiser and publisher believed that it reflected the tone and style of the magazine. We noted that the model was wearing a short white dress that exposed most of her leg, she was leaning back slightly whilst seated astride a horse and held a large bottle of the fragrance over her groin area.

We understood that the model was 19 at the time of the shoot and considered that, although youthful, she did not look like a child. We also acknowledged that the overall styling of the ad was consistent with the editorial content of the magazine in general but that the placement of the product could be seen as sexually suggestive. However, we concluded that as the model's overall pose and expression was not sexually provocative and because she did not appear to be a child, the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence or be seen to be irresponsible.

On this point we investigated the ad under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.

 

22nd June

 Update: US TV Censors Can't Change their Rules on a Whim...

Fox and ABC win reprieve from fines for fleeting strong language and nudity, but TV censorship by the FCC will continue
Link Here

US Supreme Court Broadcasters have won the latest round in their long running battle with US TV censors over the limits of decency on the small screen.

In a Supreme Court judgment, the justices sided with Fox and ABC against the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) over the broadcasting of momentary expletives and nudity.

The ruling related to two separate incidents in which the FCC moved against broadcasters for indecency transmitted before the 10pm watershed. The first concerned a Fox broadcasting of the Billboard Music Awards in 2002 in which Cher said fuck on live TV, followed by a similar expletive by Nicole Richie at the same awards the following year. The second was a 2003 episode of NYPD Blue , in which the actress Charlotte Ross exposed her backside for seven seconds.

The FCC fined ABC $1.4m for indecency, but this seemed to be a sudden change in policy in response to pressure from moralist campaigns.

The supreme court found that in both cases the broadcasters had been given insufficient notice to be aware that they were in breach of the rules. Previous decisions by the FCC, the court noted, had taken no action against TV networks for isolated and brief moments of nudity. The judgement said:

Regulated parties should know what is required of them so they may act accordingly; and precision and guidance are necessary so that those enforcing the law do not act in an arbitrary or discriminatory way. When speech is involved, rigorous adherence to those requirements is necessary to ensure that ambiguity does not chill protected speech.

 

22nd June

 Update: Russia Justifies the Need for Protest...

Three members of Pussy Riot set for their 5 month of detention on remand
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Russia...Offending religious beliefs or desecration of holy objects or symbols

Russia flag A court has ruled that three members of Pussy Riot, the protest group who stormed the pulpit of Moscow's main Orthodox church and asked for Russia to be freed from Vladimir Putin will remain in prison until late July. This will add up to 5 months in prison so far.

Outside the court building, police detained at least five people as dozens of the band's supporters whistled in unison, chanted anti-Kremlin slogans and clashed with Orthodox activists who called on the band members to repent.

Update: No christian saviour for Pussy Riot

12th July 2012.See article from open.salon.com

A Russian court yesterday ruled that three members of the feminist punk rock collective known as Pussy Riot will remain in jail - a crushing end to a day of rumors, reportedly out of the Kremlin, that Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich be released on bail.

The three activists were arrested in March after allegedly staging a flash mob style protest at Moscow's distinctly unchristian Cathedral of Christ the Savior on February 21.

 

22nd June

  US TV Ratings...

Some confusing definitions with 'older children' being very young and adult content being suitable for children above 17 years old
Link Here

US TV Ratings TV ratings are provided by the TV companies themselves. The FCC is the ultimate TV censor but this group does not organise the TV ratings system. It just steps in when the nutters and moralists complain loudly enough.

Audience Labels:

  • TV-Y : All Children

    This program is designed to be appropriate for all children. Whether animated or live-action, the themes and elements in this program are specifically designed for a very young audience, including children from ages 2-6. This program is not expected to frighten younger children.
     
  • TV-Y7 Directed to Older Children

    This program is designed for children age 7 and above. It may be more appropriate for children who have acquired the developmental skills needed to distinguish between make-believe and reality. Themes and elements in this program may include mild fantasy violence or comedic violence, or may frighten children under the age of 7. Therefore, parents may wish to consider the suitability of this program for their very young children.
     
  • TV-Y7-FV Directed to Older Children

    Fantasy Violence For those programs where fantasy violence may be more intense or more combative than other programs in this category, such programs will be designated TV-Y7-FV.
     
  • TV-G General Audience

    Most parents would find this program suitable for all ages. Although this rating does not signify a program designed specifically for children, most parents may let younger children watch this program unattended. It contains little or no violence, no strong language and little or no sexual dialogue or situations.
     
  • TV-PG Parental Guidance Suggested

    This program contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children. Many parents may want to watch it with their younger children. The theme itself may call for parental guidance and/or the program may contain one or more of the following:

    - some suggestive dialogue (D),
    - infrequent coarse language (L),
    - some sexual situations (S), or
    - moderate violence (V).
     
  • TV-14 Parents Strongly Cautioned

    This program contains some material that many parents would find unsuitable for children under 14 years of age. Parents are strongly urged to exercise greater care in monitoring this program and are cautioned against letting children under the age of 14 watch unattended. This program may contain one or more of the following:

    - intensely suggestive dialogue (D),
    - strong coarse language (L),
    - intense sexual situations (S), or
    - intense violence (V).
     
  • TV-MA Mature Audience Only

    This program is specifically designed to be viewed by adults and therefore may be unsuitable for children under 17. This program may contain one or more of the following:

    - crude indecent language (L)
    - explicit sexual activity (S), or
    - graphic violence (V).

 

22nd June

 Offsite Article: Lynne Featherstone tries to Photoshop out the sexy bits of real life that she doesn't like...

Link Here
Government suggests that parents shouldn't tell their kids how pretty they look, and to tell their kids that film stars aren't as pretty as they look because their blemishes are Photoshopped out

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

21st June   

Updated: Revolution...

Hugh Hudson's US war drama has hopefully improved with age and a re-cut. The BBFC think so as the Blu-ray/DVD has been raised from PG to 12
Link Here
Revolution The Directors Cut Blu ray 1985 UK/Norway war drama by Hugh Hudson.
With Al Pacino, Donald Sutherland and Nastassja Kinski. See IMDb .

UK: The Director's Cut/Revisited Version was passed 12 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 BFI [Theatrical + Director's Cut] Dual Format RB Blu-ray/R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 18th June 2012

The Theatrical Version was a notable flop and has been 'revisited' by the director. Hugh Hudson excised 10 minutes of footage and added a voice over by Al Pacino.

Promotional Material: The Director's Cut

Al Pacino heads a stellar British/American cast (Nastassja Kinski, Donald Sutherland, Joan Plowright, and Annie Lennox) in Revolution: The Director's Cut. The definitive version of Hugh Hudson's (Chariots of Fire, Greystoke) powerfully unsentimental film set during the American War of Independence is a tour-de-force of epic filmmaking

Single father Tom Dobb (played with dogged resilience by Al Pacino) struggles hopelessly against the violent course of history to protect his only son, meeting many obstacles and hardships along the way.

Accompanied by John Corigliano's poignant score, Hudson's 1985 film is an uncompromising evocation of the chaos, squalor and upheaval of war which he has re-cut and updated with a new voice over by Al Pacino.

Features (not yet finalised):

  • Standard Definition and High Definition presentation of The Director's Cut (DVD & Blu-ray)
  • Optional High Definition presentation of original theatrical cut (Blu-ray only
  • Revisiting Revolution (2008, 23 minutes): Al Pacino and Hugh Hudson in conversation (DVD only)
  • Original theatrical trailer (DVD only)
  • Revisiting Revolution (2012, 13 minutes TBC): Hugh Hudson talks about the making of Revolution accompanied by production stills and celebrated photographers David Bailey and Don McCullum
  • Deleted scenes: Re-cutting Revolution (21 minutes TBC): a look at the difference between the different versions of the film
  • Fully illustrated booklet

The Theatrical Version

UK: The Theatrical Version was passed 12 uncut for:
  • UK 2012 BFI [Theatrical + Director's Cut] Dual Format RB Blu-ray/R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 18th June 2012

UK: The Theatrical Version was passed PG uncut for:

  • UK 1986 Warner VHS
  • UK 1985 cinema release

 

21st June

 Update: Sofa King Secretive...

ASA revises decision about 'Sofa King Low Prices' but seems secretive as to why
Link Here

hayden philips In February this year the ASA had a whinge about a long running Sofa King catchphrase:

The Sofa King -- Where the prices are Sofa King Low.

But Mark Kypta, who has run Sofa King and used the slogan for 10 years, argued the decision was not consistent with similar cases, including the ASA's rejection of 52 complaints against Burger King advertisements in 2010.

In 2010, 52 complaints were made against a Burger King advertising campaign that used phrases such as king tasty , king delicious and no king parking . The ASA allowed the advertisements, stating they were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence because they did not contain any explicit bad language.

And so Kypta said he had appealed against the ASA decision.

Then last week the ASA amended the wording to their Sofa King decision (without changing the overall decision that somehow the pun is likely to cause 'widespread offence').

The ASA noted that they had changed the wording but they seem secretive as to why. No mention of it being as a result of an appeal judgement, but surely it was.

It seems a very poor show that censorship imposed on the public should be subject to secretive judgments, but there you go. The system was set up for industry self censorship but has not been adapted when it was imposed on websites that have nothing to do with advertising industry.

Sofa King Low advert Anyway the appeal process adjudicated by Hayden Philips, the Independent Reviewer, ended up with the ASA wording for the Sofa King advert being changed as follows:

Original decision in February 2012:

The ASA noted that the phrase ... Sofa King Low! used the advertiser's company name but considered that it could be interpreted as a derivative of the swear word fuck , which consumer research had found to be a word so likely to offend that it should not be used in ads at all, even when it was relevant to the name of a product. Because of that, we concluded that the slogan was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and that the ad breached the CAP Code.

Revised decision in June 2012:

The ASA noted that the phrase ... Sofa King Low used the advertiser's company name but considered that, when spoken and heard, it sounded like a derivative of the swear word fuck . Because of that, we concluded that the slogan was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and that the ad breached the CAP Code.

The main change seems to be that the ASA removed their claims about 'consumer research'.

I wonder if the ASA themselves have been hypercritically hauled up for unsubstantiated claims?

 

21st June

  Political Correctness in Cycles...

ASA dismiss whinge about cycle clothes featuring models covering their breasts with their arms
Link Here

assos model The website, www.assos.com, featured a model wearing various women's waterproof cycling products. The model was wearing the products with no other clothing, appearing semi-naked. Her breasts were covered with her arms.

One complainant challenged whether the images were offensive and demeaning to women.

ASSOS of Switzerland responded and pointed out that the garment was shown next to the skin with no other clothing as this is how it was intended to be worn. They also said that the model was photographed purposefully covering her breasts.

ASA Assessment: Complaint not upheld

The ASA noted that the images on ASSOS of Switzerland's website [selling to the UK with prices in Sterling] showed a woman wearing only the cycling wear on the lower part of her body with no other clothing covering the upper half of her body. We acknowledged that the advertiser intended to show the model without additional clothing as this was how the products should be worn, that is, with no clothing underneath. However, we noted that the lack of clothing on her upper body could be seen as unnecessary to some consumers. Nevertheless, we concluded that the nature of the model's pose and her overall state of undress was unlikely to be seen as offensive and demeaning to women.

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

 

21st June

 Obituary: Susan Tyrrell and Richard Lynch...

Nasty and villainous, some fine contributions to the movies
Link Here

Nightmare Maker Actress Susan Tyrrell died on June 16, 2012). She was an American actress, known for her Supporting Actress Academy Award-nominated performance as Oma in Fat City , and for her role as Ramona Rickettes in the John Waters film Cry-Baby .

She played a starring role in one of the Video Nasties, Nightmare Maker . This was better known as Night Warning or Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker.

Susan Tyrrell also played Solly, a tough, foul-mouthed lesbian, in both 1980s cult-films Angel and Avenging Angel . In the first film she sparred with co-star Dick Shawn over a game of cribbage, and in the sequel, Solly acted as den-mother to a group of transvestite prostitutes and raised an abandoned baby.

See Richard Lynch from en.wikipedia.org

Cut Run Lisa Blount Richard Hugh Lynch was an American actor best known for portraying villains in films and television. He often appeared in science fiction productions, including Battlestar Galactica (as Wolfe), and its sequel series Galactica 1980 (as Commander Xaviar),. He also appeared in such shows as Starsky and Hutch, T. J. Hooker, The A-Team, Charmed and Star Trek: The Next Generation. He died on 19th June 2012.

Richard Lynch featured in many films listed on Melon Farmers. He always contributed a fine strong presence even to some of the lesser films on the list.

Filmography

Scarecrow (1973), The Seven-Ups (1973), The Happy Hooker (1975), God Told Me To (1976), Battlestar Galactica episode Gun on Ice Planet Zero (1978), Deathsport (1978), Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979), Charlie's Angels, Angels on the Street (1979), Vampire (1979), Galactica 1980 (1980), The Formula (1980), The Ninth Configuration (1980), The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982), Treasure: In Search of the Golden Horse (1984), Blue Thunder (TV series), (1984), Airwolf (TV series), Episode The Horn of Plenty (1985), Savage Dawn (1985), Invasion U.S.A. (1985), Nightforce (1987), The Barbarians (1987), Bad Dreams (1988), Little Nikita (1988), Hunter (U.S. TV series), Episode The Legion (1989), The Forbidden Dance (1990), Super Force (1991), Alligator II: The Mutation (1991), Trancers II (1991), Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge (1991), Maximum Force (1992), Inside Edge (1992), Merlin (1992), Double Threat (1993), Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Gambit (1993), Cyborg 3: The Recycler (1994), Scanner Cop (1994), Highlander: The Series (1995), Terminal Virus (1995), Werewolf (1996), Vendetta (1996), Total Force (1997), Ground Rules (1997), Breaking the Silence (1999), Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming (1999), Death Game (2001), Crime and Punishment (2002), Final Combat (2003), Curse of the Forty-Niner (2003), The Great Wall of Magellon (2005), Wedding Slashers (2006), Halloween (2007), Mil Mascaras vs. the Aztec Mummy (2007), Gun of the Black Sun (2011), The Lords of Salem (2012)

 

21st June

 Updated: Culture of Whingeing...

Thailand's culture minister easily offended by blurred out breasts on Thailand's Got Talent
Link Here

thailands got talent body painting Thailand's Culture Ministry will call a meeting with organisers of Thailand's Got Talent after the popular programme aired a female contestant painting on a canvas with her bare breasts blurred out on national television on Sunday.

Minister of Miserable Culture, Sukumol Khunploem, said that the programme had high ratings and people of all ages watched it. She said that he programme was televised when children were likely to be watching:

There must be limits on artistic expression. I was shocked when I saw the clip. The ministry will meet the organisers of Thailand's Got Talent to get an explanation.

However the show was a recording and not a live broadcast and the organisers edited out inappropriate content, she added.

Family values campaigner Rabiabrat Pongpanich said Thailand's Got Talent focused too much on business and the broadcaster should censor the act before the actual audition. She seems to have mixed up her tenses when she spouted:

The Thai society does not accept this. The police will consider whether this is obscene. This also shows that the Thai society is ailing and it's becoming a sex-consuming society.

One of the three judges claimed the act was inappropriate to the country's culture and expressed her disappointment with many of the audience who voiced their support for the 23-year-old contestant. But the other two judges said the woman passed the audition, saying the act was another type of artistic expression.

Update: A Talent for Publicity

20th June  2012. See article from news.asiaone.com

The art or obscenity scandal over the latest episode of Thailand's Got Talent television show now threatens to expose grave violations of media ethics as allegations came out that the contestant in question had been hired to go on stage.

Following strong criticism of the show's Sunday episode showing a female contestant paint on canvas with her bare breasts, Thai Rath newspaper reported yesterday that Duangjai Jansaunoi had been hired by the show's producers - Workpoint Entertainment.

The news report quoted a close friend of the contestant as saying that Duangjai had been paid Bt10,000 (S$403) to help boost the show's ratings, but she did not know what she had to do until just before the show was recorded. The friend went on to say that Duangjai was not an independent artist as claimed but a nude model in real life.

Meanwhile, Workpoint Entertainment CEO Panya Nirankul dismissed the allegations in an interview on the Reung Den Yenni TV show , saying that he had asked around and concluded that Thailand's Got Talent producers had nothing to do with it. He explained that agents hunted down many of the contestants, which might be the reason behind this controversy.

Update: A Cacophony of Miserable Moralists and Censors

21st June  2012. See  article from  nationmultimedia.com

thailand tv censors nbtc logo Channel 3 operator Bangkok Entertainment Company (BEC) has been fined Bt500,000 ( £ 10,000) by Thailand's TV censors of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) for allowing a female contestant to paint on canvas with blurred bare breasts on the prime-time show Thailand's Got Talent.

Perapong Manakij, chairman of NBTC's subcommittee on programming and content, said that the TV station had failed to cut inappropriate content in its prime-time programme, so a high fine had to be levied under the 2008 Broadcasting Act.

Pravit Maleenont, the boss at BEC, said that he was sincerely sorry for this mistake and promised it would not be repeated. The company was implementing all measures needed to prevent such problems in the future, he added.

The ever whingeing Culture Minister Sukumol Kunplome called on the show's producers and the television station to take responsibility for allowing the contestant to go bare breasted on television (albeit all blurred out).

The police are also investigating whether the incident falls under the frame of lewd acts. Police spokesman Piya Utayo said Metropolitan Police that if it is deemed a lewd act, the police would punish those who had supported the contestant to behave in this way.

Narathip Phumsab, member of the Moral Promotion Centre's board, said this was a major concern and it should not just be blamed on the media - organisers and everybody involved should take responsibility.

 

20th June

 Update: Moroccan blogger jailed...

Link Here  full story: Blogging in Morocco...Bloggers under duress in Morocco

maktoob blog logoReporters Without Borders strongly deplores the two-year jail sentence that a Marrakech court imposed on well-known blogger Mohamed Sokrate on trumped-up charges of drug possession and trafficking. He was also fined 5,000 dirhams (450 euros). Arrested on 29 May, Sokrate was tried and convicted with unusual speed.

The trumped-up charges brought against Sokrate seem to mark a new stage in the Moroccan government's campaign against freedom of expression, in which several bloggers have already been arrested and convicted, Reporters Without Borders said.We are very disturbed to see criminal charges being brought against bloggers again.

Sokrate is well known for his defence of secularism and civil liberties as well as his criticism of the government.

Sokrate has filed an appeal.

 

20th June

 Update: The Hunger Games...

The UK DVD will be cut, but the UK Blu-ray and all US releases will be uncut
Link Here  full story: The Hunger Games...UK version gets cut for a 12A

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

Uncut

UK: The International Version was passed 15 uncut for strong violence and threat for:

  • UK 2012 Lions Gate R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 3rd September 2012

US: Uncut and MPAA PG-13 rated for:

  • US 2012 VOD to rent/buy [US only] at US Amazon released on 18th August 2012
  • US 2012 Lions Gate RA Blu-ray at US Amazon released on 18th August 2012
  • US 2012 Lions Gate R1 DVD at US Amazon released on 18th August 2012

Cut

UK: The UK Version, the result of pre-cuts and a further 7s of cuts by the BBFC was passed 12A/12 for intense threat, moderate violence and occasional gory moments for:
  • UK 2012 Lions Gate R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 3rd September 2012
  • UK 2012 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

  • This work was originally seen for advice in an unfinished form. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive a 15 certificate but that their preferred 12A classification could be achieved by making a number of cuts and visual reductions.

    When the finished version of the film was submitted for formal classification, cuts had been made in four scenes of violence and in one scene showing details of injuries. These reductions were implemented by a mixture of visual cuts, visual darkenings and the digital removal of sight of blood.

    In addition to the reductions already made during the advice process, the Board required further reductions in one scene following formal submission of the finished feature. A number of cuts were made in one scene to reduce an emphasis on blood and injury. These cuts, which were implemented by digitally removing sight of blood splashes and sight of blood on wounds and weapons, were made in accordance with BBFC Guidelines and policy.

    An uncut 15 classification was available.

Promotional Material

Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen volunteers in her younger sister's place and must rely upon her sharp instincts when she's pitted against highly trained Tributes who have prepared their entire lives. If she's ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Features

  • Game Maker: Suzanne Collins and the Hunger Games Phenomenon.
  • The World is Watching: Making the Hunger Games.
  • Letters from the Rose Garden.
  • Controlling the Games.
  • A Conversation with Gary Ross and Elvis Mitchell.
  • Propaganda Film.
  • Marketing Archive

 

20th June

  The Plague of Zombies...

New UK restoration of Hammer classic released on Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Link Here
Plague The Zombies DOUBLE PLAY 1966 UK horror by John Gilling.
With André Morell, Diane Clare and Brook Williams. See IMDb

UK: Passed 12 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Studiocanal RB Blu-ray/R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 18th June 2012

Previous Releases

UK: Passed 12 uncut for:

  • UK 2006 Optimum R2 DVD
  • UK 2003 Warner R2 DVD

UK: Passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 1989 Warner VHS

UK: Passed X (16) uncut for:

  • UK 1966 cinema release

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

Summary Review: A decent offering

Young workers are dying because of a mysterious epidemic in a little village in Cornwall. Doctor Thompson is helpless and asks professor James Forbes for help.

This film is fine and has a strong and commanding lead role by Andre Morell. It's a good story, is well put together, and interestingly is set in 1860 in darkest Cornwall

Overall this is a decent offering from the Hammer team.

 

20th June

 Updated: Blockaded...

O2 and Be Broadband join the blockade of Pirate Bay
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking File Sharing in UK...High court dictates website block

O2 logo O2 is set to block its customers from accessing file-sharing site The Pirate Bay from today.

The move means customers of Be Broadband, a subsidiary of O2, will also be blocked from the site.

The ISP is the latest to fall in line following a High Court order in April. In a statement, O2 said: "The main UK internet providers were ordered by the high court to block access to specific IP addresses and URLs used by The Pirate Bay website.

We have no option but to comply with this order and will be doing so overnight.

Be Broadband posted a message about the blocking measures on its company blog. It said:

Our parent company was one of the named ISPs so we are obliged to comply.

We wouldn't chose to do this voluntarily but we need to comply with UK laws just like any UK business. We're aware of the concerns voiced by members about the broader issue.

Update: Talk Talk Block Block

12th June 2012. See  article from  torrentfreak.com

Talk Talk has now joined the blockade of the Pirate Bay leaving BT as the only major ISP allowing access.

Meanwhile the Finnish High Court has ordered local ISPs to block the Pirate Bay.

Update: BT complete the set of ISPs blocking the Pirate Bay

20th June 2012. See  article from  torrentfreak.com

BT logo BT has become the latest and last  major UK Internet provider to block subscriber access to The Pirate Bay. The ISP has gone further than other providers since it also restricts access to the new IP-addresses added by the deviant BitTorrent site in recent weeks. Nevertheless, even these additional efforts were quickly neutralized. Immediately after the block kicked in Pirate Bay added a set of new IP addresses to allow BT subscribers access again, for now at least.

BT subscribers who try to access Pirate Bay get an Error -- site blocked message.

A Pirate Bay insider told TorrentFreak that they can continue adding new addresses for years to come. For them, it's more a statement than anything else as there are already dozens of proxy sites that allow users to access The Pirate Bay just fine.

The most frequently visited proxy in the UK, operated by the local Pirate party, is already among the top 600 sites in the UK. With the new block by BT it is expected to attract even more visitors. In addition, the Pirate Party is picking up a few new members in the process.

Interestingly, the MPAA and other copyright holders have yet to demand similar measures from US Internet providers. But maybe that's coming up next.

 

20th June

  A Nutter Sums Up the World...

'Almost everything that is wrong with Western society today can be summed up in that one symbolic photo of Miss Kim Kardashian on the front of Zoo magazine'
Link Here

zoo kim kardashian In a speech to the Institute of Development Professionals in Education (IDPE) this week, Dr Helen Wright, headmistress of St Mary's Calne, a private girls boarding school in Wiltshire, will say:

It is not too strong a statement, I venture to suggest, to say that almost everything that is wrong with Western society today can be summed up in that one symbolic photo of Miss Kim Kardashian on the front of Zoo magazine.

The descent of Western civilisation can practically be read into every curve (of which, you will note, there are indeed many). Officially the hottest woman in the world? Really? Is this what we want our young people to aim for? Is this what success should mean to them?

...Read the full article

 

20th June

  Ben Dover Nominated as an Internet Villain...

ISP Association nominates its internet heroes and villains for the year. And some of the heroes are worse than the villains
Link Here

ben dover logo The Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) has announced the list of finalists for the title of Internet Hero and Internet Villain at the 2012 ISPA Awards.

Internet Hero Finalists

  • Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN) for bringing high speed internet into remote rural communities, setting an example for others to follow
  • Ofcom -- for its independent assessment of the website blocking measures in the DEA, which they found to be neither practical nor desirable and trivial to circumvent
  • Reg Bailey -- for his government review into childhood sexualisation which found that giving parents and carers an active choice over what content is suitable for children and young people is preferable to default content filtering
  • Foreign Secretary Rt Hon William Hague MP -- for recognising, at the London Cyber Conference, that the future internet must be without government control or censorship where innovation and competition flourish and investment and enterprise are rewarded
  • Court of Justice of the European Union -- for its verdict on the Scarlet-Sabam case, which found that an injunction requiring a complicated and costly filter for copyright infringing material would not strike a fair balance between the right to protect intellectual property and the right to conduct business

Internet Villain Finalists

  • The International Telecommunications Union -- for its internet governance land-grab which could lead to a less open and free internet, controlled by governments in a top-down manner
  • Karel De Gucht and Directorate-General Trade -- for pushing IPR enforcement standards through ACTA and disregarding the concerns from EU citizens and European Parliament in relation to the threats against fundamental rights
  • U.S. Representative Lamar S. Smith -- for introducing SOPA: an ill-thought out, draconian piece of legislation that would have stifled innovation and free speech online
  • Goldeneye International (Associated with Ben Dover) -- for following in the dubious footsteps of previous speculative invoicing, by demanding £ 700 in damages from account holders who had allegedly downloaded copyright infringing material, relying solely on IP matching and claiming that bill payers were liable for any infringement

 

20th June

  Treating Malaysians like Children...

Malaysian Borders bookstore manager is arrested for stocking banned book
Link Here

Allah Liberty Love Courage Reconcile A Borders bookstore manager in Malaysia has been charged with distributing a Canadian writer's book that was banned as being against Islam.

Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz could face a two-year prison sentence and fine if convicted of the charge. A hearing was set for 19th September.

Allah, Liberty and Love , written by Irshad Manji, was banned in late May. Manji's website says book is about how to reconcile faith and freedom in a world seething with repressive dogmas. She said of the ban:

[It] is an insult to a new generation of Malaysians. Censorship treats citizens like children. Censorship denies human beings their free will to think for themselves.

The irony is that this book makes the case for faith. It empowers readers to reconcile Allah and freedom, showing that Muslims can be independent thinkers and profound believers in a loving God.

 

20th June

  Parents TV Council Recommends...

Savage U. Sex education on US MTV
Link Here

savage u logo For weeks we've been warning you about the wretched content on MTV's Savage U , a sex advice program featuring columnist Dan Savage which is filmed on college campuses across America.

The season concluded last night, but MTV has not yet announced whether or not it will be returning for a second season. We need to act now to ensure sponsors and potential sponsors know exactly what they are getting when they buy ad time on Savage U.

Savage U isn't any ordinary sex and relationship advice program... This isn't like Dr. Ruth, or even MTV's previous effort at a sex advice show, Loveline. Typically programs of this sort feature a medical doctor, psychologist, or at the very least someone with a professional background that equips them to give sensible and serious answers to serious questions about the most intimate act two people can engage in.

By contrast, Dan Savage's background was writing a satirical advice column for an alternative weekly newspaper which was begun, by his own admission, with the express purpose of providing mocking advice to heterosexuals. Yet MTV has entrusted a man with no medical or psychological training to educate adolescents about sex. Every episode is deeply imbued with a if it feels good, go for it hedonism that is personally and socially destructive.

 

20th June

 Offsite Article: Why Does the UK's New Internet Surveillance Plan Cost Nearly $4 Billion...

Link Here
Even the cost of setting up China's Great Firewall is reported to have cost less than $1 billion. Might it be that the scale of the nationwide monitoring system is far greater the government has so far been willing to publicly acknowledge?

See article from slate.com

 

19th June

 Update: End Game...

Australian parliament finally passes an adult classification for video games
Link Here  full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games

R18+ The Australian Federal Parliament has approved a rating of R18+ for gaming, which will allow games that have long been banned in the country to be sold at retail. The new rating will come into effect at the start of 2013.

These are important reforms over 10 years in the making, said Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare to News.com.au:

The R18+ category will inform consumers, parents and retailers about which games are not suitable for minors to play and will prevent minors from purchasing unsuitable material. The reforms also mean that adults are able to choose what games they play within the bounds of the law.

The shadow attorney-general George Brandis got in on the act too:

The passage of this bill will no doubt be welcomed by adult gamers all across Australia. The industry has been waiting for this change for some time.

 

19th June   

The Reptile...

Hammer restoration of the 1966 horror by John Gilling released on UK Blu-Ray/DVD combo
Link Here

Reptitle DOUBLE PLAY DVD The Reptile is a 1966 UK horror by John Gilling. With Noel Willman, Jennifer Daniel and Ray Barrett. See IMDb

An unknown version was passed 15 without BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2012 Studio Canal R2 DVD / RB Blu-ray Combo at UK Amazon just released on 18th June 2012
  • UK 2006 Optimum R2 DVD
  • UK 1984 Lumiere VHS

This is a newly restored version so will surely be the best available. However Hammer have put out a call trying to locate lost or censored footage from the following scene:

  • An extended knife in neck/snake bite scene (this is thought to exist, but no known evidence).

This rather suggests that this is the footage censored from the 1966 cinema release and that it is still missing from home video releases.

Previously passed X (16) after BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1966 cinema release

 

19th June

  Blocking Tor and Skype...

Ethiopia introduces introduces several new censorship measures
Link Here

Ethiopia flag Ethiopia's only ISP, state-owned Ethio-Telecom, has just installed a system for blocking access to the Tor network, which lets users browse anonymously and access blocked websites.

This new law and the possibility that a Deep Packet Inspection system has been installed mark a turning point in the Ethiopian government's control of the Internet, Reporters Without Borders said. We fear that DPI will be misused for surveillance purposes by a government that already subjects the political opposition and privately-owned media to a great deal of harassment.

We urge the Ethiopian authorities not to install this filtering system and, as we already said when The Reporter news website was blocked, we share the view of the United Nations special rapporteur for freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, who recommended in a June 2011 report that restrictions to the flow of information online should be limited to 'few, exceptional, and limited circumstances prescribed by international human rights law'.

Use of VoIP hardware and software has also just been made a crime by the new Ethiopian Telecom Service legislation, which was ratified on 24 May. Anyone violating this provision could be sentenced to up 15 years in prison. The authorities claimed the ban was needed on national security grounds and because VoIP posed a threat to the state's monopoly of telephone communications.

At the same time, the state-owned printing presses are demanding the right to censor the newspapers they print. Reporters Without Borders is very worried by these attempts to reinforce government control of news and information.

In a proposed standard contract for printing recently circulated by state printers, they assume the right to vet and reject articles prior to printing.

This contract could drag Ethiopia back more than two decades as regards media freedom, to the time of Mengistu's brutal dictatorship in pre-1991 Ethiopia, Reporters Without Borders said. Allowing printers to control editorial content is tantamount to giving them court powers. On what basis do these state-owned companies assume the right and independence to interpret the law? Does this reflect a government desire to suppress all criticism before it is voiced?

If this standard contract is adopted, we fear it could lead to widespread self-censorship, which is already very common, and to media subservience towards the government. Criticism, independence and media diversity would all suffer, and the vitality of Ethiopian democracy would suffer as well.

It should be noted that, a few days after spotting that access to the Tor network was being blocked in Ethiopia, the Tor Project posted a message on its blog explaining how to circumvent the blocking.

 

19th June

 Offsite Article: The Communications Data Bill...

Link Here
An interesting first look from a legal perspective. By Francis Davey, a barrister in independent practice

See article from francisdavey.co.uk

 

18th June   

Update: Woman in Black...

Cut Version released on UK DVD and Blu-ray
Link Here  full story: The Woman in Black...Cut by the BBFC for a 12A

The Woman Black Daniel Radcliffe Woman in Black is a  2012 UK/Canada/Sweden ghost story by James Watkins. With Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer and Ciarán Hinds. See IMDb

UK: Passed 12A after 6s of BBFC category cuts for intense supernatural threat and horror for:

  • UK 2012 Technicolor/Momentum RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released today on 18th June 2012
  • UK 2012 Technicolor/Momentum R2 DVD at UK Amazon released today on 18th June 2012

The BBFC commented:

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

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

Uncut in the US

US: Uncut and MPAA PG-13 rated for:

Future uncut UK release

UK: The film has been passed 15 uncut in the UK so there will be an uncut UK release at some time in the future.

 

18th June

  Economic Censorship Takes Its Toll...

New Zealand chief censor wonders whether censorship fees are stifling the distribution of niche market films
Link Here

Andrew Jack New Zealand's chief censor says that number of DVDs and games being released in New Zealand has significantly declined. He is wondering if censorship fees are making it unprofitable for small market distribution.

In a document entitled Statement of intent for the Office of Film and Literature Classification, he says:

The market has become increasingly price sensitive, with a greater demand for the Office to exercise its limited discretionary power in applying the fees regulations. These powers are set in regulation, which establish what and how criteria are to be applied when considering waiving fees. As the profit margin for product diminishes, the risk increases that distributors will no longer import material for the New Zealand marketplace, potentially creating a situation of economic censorship. This suggests a fee structure more sensitive to the commercial value of publications submitted for classification would impact positively on submission volumes and voluntary compliance.

The current fee structure is unfair, inequitable and inconsistent with the state sector fee setting principles established by the Auditor- General and State Services Commission. Again this suggests that a fair, equitable and principled fee structure may positively impact on submission volumes.

But the censor is not solely concerned with New Zealanders missing out on films, he has other concerns too:

Staff numbers have been reduced in response to falling submission levels, and to process improvements introduced by the CDA. As a result of reduced staff numbers, the Office no longer needs the floor space currently leased.

Priority work is therefore required to determine what drives the volume of commercial submissions. Based on this work, changes to the Office's cost/revenue model can then be developed to ensure the Office's funding model is fair and principled, and a range of strategies can be developed to better manage submission volumes.

In recognition of the financial position of the Office, the PSA and the Office agreed a collective agreement in 2010 with no general increase in salaries between September 2009 and September 2011. Following discussions with the PSA and staff during September 2011, agreement was reached that there would again be no general increase in salaries. As a result, salaries for management positions have not increased since January 2009 and staff positions have not increased since September 2009. This is not a sustainable strategy if the Office is to retain quality, experienced staff.

The number of commercial items classified had dropped from 2276 in 2009/10 to the maximum estimate of 1822 in the 2011/12 year. The minimum estimate is just 1329. Note that films at the lower age ratings with Australian or UK censorship certificates do not need a review by the New Zealand censor, so the actual amount of releases is much higher than these figures indicate.

Jack has proposed changing the flat $1124 fee his office charged to classify material so that it was cheaper for products which were less likely to make a profit.

Perhaps an issue that the BBFC should consider too, given Third Window's withdrawal from UK cinema distribution last week citing similar concerns about BBFC censorship fees.

 

18th June

  Searching for Political Censorship...

Google reports alarming rise of censorship requests from governments including the western democracies
Link Here

Google logo In a blog post, Dorothy Chou, Google's senior policy analyst, wrote about the latest of the company's twice yearly transparency reports:

Unfortunately, what we've seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different. When we started releasing this data, in 2010, we noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services. We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it's not.

This is the fifth data set that we've released. Just like every other time, we've been asked to take down political speech. It's alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect -- western democracies not typically associated with censorship.

For example, in the second half of last year, Spanish regulators asked us to remove 270 search results that linked to blogs and articles in newspapers referencing individuals and public figures, including mayors and public prosecutors.

In Poland, we received a request from a public institution to remove links to a site that criticized it. We didn't comply with either of these requests.

Other examples include Google being asked by Canadian officials to remove a YouTube video of a citizen urinating on his passport and flushing it down the toilet. It refused.

Thai authorities asked Google to remove 149 YouTube videos for allegedly insulting the monarchy, a violation of Thailand's repressive lese-majeste law. The company complied with 70% of these requests.

Pakistan asked Google to remove six YouTube videos that satirised its army and senior politicians. Google refused.

UK police asked the company to remove five YouTube accounts for allegedly promoting terrorism. Google agreed.

In the US most requests related to alleged harassment of people on YouTube. The authorities asked for 187 pieces to be removed. Google complied with 42% of them.

Update: 49% increase in censorship requests by India

19th June  2012. See  article from  securitywatch.pcmag.com

India had the largest number of government takedown requests (that weren't court orders) during the reporting period. This is likely related to the ongoing legal wrangle between the search giant and India as part of that country's drive to clean up its cyberspace. Last year, the Indian government accused Google of failing to failing to block inappropriate content in the country.

The number of content removal requests we received increased by 49% compared to the previous reporting period, Google said, regarding India.

In response, Google decided to restrict users from viewing some videos in areas where local laws banned speech that could stir up enmity between communities, but left them viewable elsewhere in the world. It also rejected a request to remove online profiles that criticized a local politician.

 

18th June

  A Few Miserable Fannys on Twitter...

Irn Bru advert has fun with a baby named Fanny
Link Here

irn bru fanny advert An Irn-Bru ad featuring a baby called Fanny has provoked a few whingers from TV viewers.

The Advertising Standards Authority have received 24 complaints about the advert since it was first screened at half-time during the last England match at Euro 2012.

The ad features a proud dad visiting his partner and new baby daughter in hospital...only to be stunned when she tells him the baby will be called Fanny.

The new dad is shown relying on his can of Irn-Bru to get him through as he listens mother-in-law say: Aw, Fanny, you're just like yer daddy and Mum's a Fanny, Granny was a Fanny, she'll be joining a long line of Fannys .

It has had more than one million hits on YouTube and is the fourth in the series of new Irn-Bru Gets You Through' ads.

Nutters claim the allusion to the slang use of fanny is offensive but this miserable attitude seems limited to a few Twitter users.

A spokesman for AG Barr defended their advert, saying it had been approved for broadcast by Clearcast, who ensure that ads comply with the rules.

 

18th June

 Offsite Article: Don't let the state search my internet searches...

Link Here
Don't let the state search my internet searches The Communications Data Bill is an unnecessary government intrusion into personal privacy. By Jenny McCartney

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

17th June

  Rated Y7 for Older Younger Children...

US TV networks announce that TV ratings will be applied to their online content
Link Here

US TV ratings US TV networks have announced plans to provide access to the TV ratings system for online content. A statement explained:

Parents will now be able use the TV ratings system when children access broadcast television programs on the Internet. The networks are making the ratings information available for all full-length entertainment programs that stream on the websites that they control.

Participating networks include ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, TeleFutura, Telemundo, and Univision. These online ratings are set to be in place by 1st December 2012, and each company will develop their own systems.

Details about the show - like violence or sexual content - will appear at the beginning of full-length programs as well as in the programming descriptions, according to a statement. There will also be links to ratings information.

TV ratings are currently governed by the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board. The current ratings are TV-Y, TV-G, TV-PG, TV-14, or TV-MA. They are further broken down to warn parents about suggestive dialogue, crude language, sexual situations, violence, or fantasy violence.

The Parents TV Council don't sound too impressed though

17th June 2012. See  press release from  parentstv.org

PTC logo The Parents Television Council? today welcomed the decision by TV networks ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, Telefutura, Telemundo and Univision to expand their ratings to online content, a move PTC encouraged in a 2010 online video study. However, PTC cautioned that the decision rings hollow without reform to a system that lacks accuracy, consistency, transparency and accountability.

Unfortunately, if the online rating system is similar to the current television rating system, then this move is a distinction without difference. PTC has proven time and time again that the TV content ratings system is a facade, citing inaccurate and inconsistent ratings designated by the networks themselves with no accountability. In fact, in today's statement, it is made clear that each network will have its own system, which will no doubt promote even more inconsistency and inhibit reliance by the very parents who need the technology. Programmers and distributors can -- and must -- do better.

 

17th June

  Not Overtly Sexual...

ASA dismiss whinges about gay kiss poster
Link Here

manhunt advert A poster for manhunt.net, an online dating service, seen in February 2012 showed two topless men, one with his arm around the other, who were about to kiss.

The ASA received 20 complaints.

  1. All the complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive because they believed the image was overtly sexual.

  2. Fourteeen complainants challenged whether the ad was inappropriate for general display, where it could be seen by children.

Online Buddies said the ad was first displayed next to the oldest gay bar in London and was displayed at a second location several metres away from London's largest gay club. In selecting both locations, they took into account the proximity to gay clubs, where they believed the ads were most likely to be seen by their target audience and they ensured the ad was not within viewing distance of schools or businesses that provided children-based services.

Online Buddies said the image showed one of the men with his arm casually draped around the other's shoulder, that the men were about to kiss but also that their bodies were barely touching. Although they believed that the image was mildly sexually suggestive, they did not consider their body language was overtly sexual. They believed that the image used was the most appropriate way to convey their product, they were a company which served a gay male audience and therefore, the image was relevant. They did not believe that the ad was offensive.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. Not Upheld

The ASA noted Online Buddies had booked locations which were close to gay clubs but which were also away from schools or businesses that offered children-based services and that they believed both the locations and image were relevant to the advertised product. We understood the ad was a large billboard and that all the complainants had seen it in its first location before it had been moved. We acknowledged Online Buddies' attempts to restrict the ad, both before it was displayed and after they became aware of complaints made to the ASA.

We recognised that the image in the ad was relevant to the advertised product. However, we noted that the couple were shown bare-chested and from the chest up only and it was therefore unclear whether they were naked or not. We noted that the eyes of one man were closed whilst the eyes of the other appeared to be seductively looking at him and that their lips were parted as if they were about to kiss. Although we considered the image could be seen as sexual and the ad's size could draw attention to the sexual nature of their embrace, we considered the image of the embracing couple who were about to kiss was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

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

2. Not Upheld

We noted that both Online Buddies and Primesight had given the poster's location careful consideration so as to avoid schools and businesses that provided children-based services. We considered the ad was sexually suggestive, rather than overtly sexual. Because of that, we considered the ad was inappropriate for children to see and therefore, it warranted a placement restriction to prevent it from being displayed within 100 m of schools. We understood that such a restriction had already been applied and we therefore concluded that in this instance, the placement of the ad was not socially irresponsible.

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

 

17th June

 Updated: This Censorship Bollox Must Not Appear Again in its Current Form...

ASA looking beleaguered in trying to apply its vague and inadequate code to the internet
Link Here

healing on the streets bath Back in February 2012. The ASA censored a group called Healing on the Streets - Bath. They wrote:

A website and a leaflet, for Healing on the Streets - Bath, viewed on 10 May 2011:

a. The website home page stated Our vision is to :- Promote Christian Healing as a daily life style for every believer, through demonstration, training and equipping. We are working in unity, from numerous churches outside the four walls of the building, In order to :- - Heal the sick ... .

A page headed What people have told us afterwards ... included five testimonials in which people stated that after receiving prayer their conditions had been improved.

b. The leaflet was available for download on the website under the heading Download a healing flyer by clicking below . The leaflet stated NEED HEALING? GOD CAN HEAL TODAY! Do you suffer from Back Pain, Arthritis, MS, Addiction ... Ulcers, Depression, Allergies, Fibromyalgia, Asthma, Paralysis, Crippling Disease, Phobias, Sleeping disorders or any other sickness? We'd love to pray for your healing right now! We're Christian from churches in Bath and we pray in the name of Jesus. We believe that God loves you and can heal you from any sickness . Issue

A complainant challenged whether:

  1. the claim in ad (b) that the advertiser could heal the named conditions was misleading and could be substantiated;

  2. the testimonials in ad (a) misleadingly implied that the advertiser could heal the conditions referred to; and

  3. the ads were irresponsible, because they provided false hope to those suffering from the named conditions.

  4. The ASA challenged whether the ads could discourage essential treatment for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

...

The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told HOTS not to make claims which stated or implied that, by receiving prayer from their volunteers, people could be healed of medical conditions. We also told them not to refer in their ads to medical conditions for which medical supervision should be sought.

Now the ASA have just updated the decision acknowledging that it has no remit to censor the webpage. The ASA has limited its censure to just the group's flyer.

The ASA have updated the adjudication to delete the references to the website:

A leaflet stated NEED HEALING? GOD CAN HEAL TODAY! Do you suffer from Back Pain, Arthritis, MS, Addiction ... Ulcers, Depression, Allergies, Fibromyalgia, Asthma, Paralysis, Crippling Disease, Phobias, Sleeping disorders or any other sickness? We'd love to pray for your healing right now! We're Christians from churches in Bath and we pray in the name of Jesus. We believe that God loves you and can heal you from any sickness . The leaflet was viewed on 10 May 2011. Issue

The complainant challenged whether:

  1. the claim that the advertiser could heal the named conditions was misleading and could be substantiated; and

  2. the ad was irresponsible, because it provided false hope to those suffering from the named conditions.

  3. The ASA challenged whether the ads could discourage essential treatment for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought.

...

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told HOTS not to make claims which stated or implied that, by receiving prayer from their volunteers, people could be healed of medical conditions. We also told them not to refer in their ads to medical conditions for which medical supervision should be sought.

Update: Independent Review

17th June 2012. See article from hotsbath.org

Healing on the Streets (HOTS) have explained the background to the ASA change of heart:

We are grateful to the ASA's Independent Reviewer and the ASA Council for reviewing and amending this decision, and confirming that there was a fundamental flaw in the original assessment of the complaint about our website.

The ASA has now confirmed that our website is not within its remit because the statements made on it reflects our beliefs and relate to a cause or idea - the website explains our belief that God can heal and provides information about prayer offered by our volunteers and therefore the ASA has confirmed that nothing on the website is in breach of the advertising regulations.

The ASA still considered that leaflets handed out could be in breach of the advertising regulations, however we changed the leaflets several months ago to reflect the concerns which the ASA had previously expressed.

The ASA is due to re-publish the adjudication confirming its views on the leaflets, but the revised adjudication does not apply to what is on our website, meaning we can continue to express our beliefs that God can and does heal, as well as providing information and testimonies explaining all about Healing on the Streets.

HOTS Bath will continue to fulfill its commitment to demonstrate the love of God through healing of body, mind and spirit on the streets of Bath and elsewhere.

Comment: So how come ASA thought they could censor websites?

See  article from  godandpoliticsuk.org

By admitting that ruling against the website was outside their remit, the ASA has unfortunately demonstrated their own lack of judgement in regards to the original decision. Given that their role is to make sure that companies and organisation stick to advertising legislation, it is distinctly worrying that they have shown a lack of understanding of the very legislation they seek to uphold. Their conduct unfortunately undermines their reputation and vindicates the levels of frustration expressed by those supporting the work of HOTS which has included MPs and major Christian organisations.

 

17th June

 Offsite Article: This snooping bill is worthy of a surveillance state...

Link Here
Theresa May wants to monitor every personal communication we make. It's a step too far in a democratic society. By Henry Porter

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

17th June

 Updated: Clean Your Balls...

Lynx advert winds up the nutters of Collective Shout!
Link Here  full story: Lynx Adverts...Nutters wound up by a liitle innuendo from Lynx

lynx clean your balls advert video A new Lynx advert entitled Clean Your Balls has wound up the nutters in Australia.

The three-minute commercial, based on a US version that aired 18 months ago, features Australian pop singer and actress Sophie Monk taking on the appearance of a TV host selling the benefits of a new product, the Lynx buffer.

Balls... no one wants to play with them when they're dirty, she starts. That's why you have to keep your balls clean. Monk then proceeds to show how the new scrubber can do just that by cleaning a succession of sports balls, including small balls (golf), hairy balls (tennis) and a big ball sack (football).

But not everyone sees the funny side of the double entendre. Collective Shout, a nutter group that campaigns against the sexualisation of advertising, has put in a complaint to the Advertising Standards Bureau.

Melinda Tankard Reist, co-founder of Collective Shout said that objectifying women in these hyper-sexualised scenes is actually harmful, adding: They contribute to an ongoing second-class status of women.

Tankard  Reist called Lynx, the male grooming brand owned by Unilever, repeat corporate offenders over their sexualised advertising.

Update: Lynx hits the jackpot

17th June 2012. See  article from  smh.com.au

The feminist author and campaigner for lobby group Collective Shout Melinda Tankard Reist said the advertisement hit the jackpot: it's sexist, racist and ageist .

Ms Tankard Reist said she was aware it was designed to provoke outrage. We're not stupid, she told The Sun-Herald. We understand what their tactics are but the option of silence is unacceptable.

She said her lobby group had long campaigned against Lynx and its parent company Unilever because they are repeat corporate offenders .

 

16th June

  Bioshock...

BBFC seem to have let the cat out of the bag with a premature announcement of Bioshock Ultimate Rapture Edition
Link Here

Bioshock Double Pack Game PC The BBFC have leaked BioShock Ultimate Rapture Edition , a new bundle featuring the first two BioShock games and all the downloadable content that has been released.

The game was classified 18 uncut for strong bloody violence and very strong language.

The BBFC listing was later withdrawn from the public side of their database. But not before half the game playing world had seen it.

 

16th June

  Update on Censorship...

Jerry Barnett, chairman of the Adult Industry Trade Association, speaks of how censorship is having a negative effect on the adult economy
Link Here

aita logo Jerry Barnett speaks of three main areas of censorship affecting the adult industry:

1) ATVOD

Over recent years I have attempted to track regulations that may affect the UK adult industry. ATVOD's rule 11, which specifies that web sites are responsible for age-verifying users before any hardcore still or moving images can be displayed, is a source of major concern.

I have made representations to ATVOD that this regulation is punitive to UK businesses as it is not possible for a web site to implement such a mechanism without losing the bulk of its customers. Furthermore, since this only applies to businesses based in the UK, it has no effect on availability of adult content anyway -- this regulation seems to be designed solely to drive UK adult businesses either offshore, or out of business.

ATVOD's response to this has not been sympathetic -- they repeat the mantra that they are protecting children while ignoring the simple fact that these rules do nothing to reduce the availability of easily accessible adult content. My position is that the right approach to this is for the industry to use proper labeling technologies and ensure that parents are empowered and educated in how to block adult content if they so wish. Driving the UK adult industry out of existence would simply destroy the chance of any self-regulation.

I am currently taking legal advice on whether these regulations can be challenged and feel there are several grounds on which to challenge them.

2) Internet filtering

Claire Perry MP (backed by the Daily Mail) is pushing for the ISPs to filter out adult content at the connection level. I'm strongly opposed to this approach for several reasons -- as are a number of free speech organisations, not to mention Google. I have met with some anti-censorship organisations that are opposing the filter and will continue to meet with more. It appears an alliance against the plans is building.

There are several problems with network-level filtering:

Do we trust the government to decide what is adult ? The experience in other online censorship exercise shows that the list of blocked sites will grow over time. The filter in Australia was extended to cover all sorts of material that the religious right objected to. We know that many people who legally enjoy adult content would not switch off the filter (for a variety of reasons -- confidentiality, embarrassment, etc.) The filter would be easy to get around. It's likely that teenagers would find out how to avoid it while their parents are left with a false sense of security. It takes control out of the hands of parents and puts it into the hands of a nanny state that makes moral decisions about what adults and teenagers should choose to look at.

3) Obscenity

The Michael Peacock obscenity trial, in which he was found not guilty, seems to have undermined the case for obscenity prosecutions and for certain censorship decisions taken by the BBFC. However, the CPS and BBFC have stated that despite losing the prosecution the guidelines remain the same.

There is an opportunity to challenge the BBFC and CPS guidelines and it is likely that lawyers will take up this opportunity later this year. I believe this will be beneficial both for the industry and for free speech, and will be supporting this action.

 

16th June

  Sacrifice...

Chinese historical war drama cut by the BBFC for horse falls
Link Here

Sacrifice DVD You Ge Sacrifice is a 2012 China historical drama by Kaige Chen. With You Ge, Xueqi Wang and Xiaoming Huang. See IMDb

Passed 15 for strong battle violence after 32s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2012 High Fliers R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 24th September 2012

The BBFC commented:

Cuts required to remove sight of animal cruelty, in this case including horses being tripped and made to fall dangerously.

 

16th June

  Ofcom Murder Daytime TV...

Now even PG rated Agatha Christie murder mysteries are too violent for daytime TV
Link Here

Agatha Christie Death The Nile Death on the Nile
ITV1, 17 March 2012, 15:30

During the afternoon of Saturday 17 March 2012, ITV1 broadcast the cinematic adaptation of Agatha Christie's murder mystery novel Death on the Nile . In the scene where the murderer was revealed towards the end of the film, a female character shot her lover in the head off-camera before taking her own life in the same way. The female character was shown on screen putting the revolver to her head and shooting herself, causing blood to ooze from the wound.

Ofcom received one complaint from a viewer who considered the scene to be too violent in view of the possibility that a significant number of children could be watching at this time.

Ofcom considered Rule 1.11 of the Code. This states that:

Violence, its after-effects and descriptions of violence, whether verbal or physical, must be appropriately limited in programmes before the watershed…and must also be justified by the context.

ITV said that the film had been broadcast on ITV1 and ITV3 since 2004 on over twenty occasions in pre-watershed slots. It added that while children are clearly available to view on a Saturday afternoon, it argued that the Agatha Christie detective genre is not one with any particular interest to children, particularly younger children.

ITV argued that the scene in question was the climax of the film and its inclusion was essential to the plot. The Licensee highlighted that viewers saw the impact of the second gunshot only and that it did not consider to it to be naturalistic or particularly gory. Similarly, it said that the entire scene was highly formal and theatrical and that the deaths are presented in a manner akin to a stage play.

ITV therefore considered the violence in this scene appropriately limited and justified by the context. However, it added that in keeping with its periodic review of pre- watershed material in the light of viewer concerns, particularly those of parents, it undertook some additional editing of this scene for future daytime broadcasts.

Ofcom Decision: Resolved after ITV promised further cuts

Rule 1.11 requires that violence in programmes shown before the watershed must be appropriately limited and must be justified by the context.

In this case, the female character shot herself in the head in relative close up, causing blood to ooze from the wound. Her suicide was therefore shown in some detail and was not in Ofcom's opinion appropriately limited.

While recognising the importance of including such a pivotal scene, Ofcom was concerned that the impact of the second gunshot was not edited or removed. As a result Ofcom considered that on balance the likely expectations of the audience for this channel, and of parents in particular, would have been exceeded by broadcasting this particular sequence at the length and with the detail shown on a Saturday afternoon.

However, Ofcom noted the Licensee's review of the film and additional editing of the scene in order to ensure that the content is suitable for a daytime transmission in future. We therefore consider the matter resolved

 

16th June

  Unreal...

Swedish Supreme Court dismisses Japanese manga porn charges
Link Here

Sweden flag Japanese manga comics depicting children in sexual poses are not child pornography, Sweden's Supreme Court has ruled, overturning a high-profile conviction of a Swedish translator.

In a ruling issued on Friday, the court acquitted Simon Lundstrom, who had been found guilty of child pornography crimes by two lower courts before appealing his case to Sweden's highest court.

According to the Supreme Court's ruling, the drawings are pornographic and they do portray children. However, because the cartoons represent imaginary figures there is no way they could be mistaken for real children.

The criminalization of possession of the drawings would otherwise exceed what is necessary with regard to the purpose which has led to the restriction on freedom of expression and freedom of information, the court said in a statement.

 

16th June

  Censorship Leaves a Bad Taste...

Risible censors at Argyll and Bute Council banned photos of school diners
Link Here

never seconds Argyll and Bute Council are in the news for falling foul of the Streisand Effect, the act of trying to suppress information but simply making it more widespread as a result.

Martha Payne, from Argyll, was writing about her school dinners on her NeverSeconds blog, taking pictures of them and offering ratings for their nutritional value.

But Argyll and Bute Council banned her from taking photos of her school's food, saying press coverage of the blog had led catering staff to fear for their jobs.

However, they reckoned without the Streisand Effect, which saw the photo ban make headline news in some of the nation's biggest media organisations and the story spiral into a much bigger one that it ever was before.

The furore forced the local authority to reverse the ban, with the leader issuing a bollox propaganda statement claiming that there was no place for censorship on the council.

 

16th June

 Update: Culture of Whingeing...

Thailand's Culture Ministry has a nonsense whinge about Lady Gaga
Link Here  full story: Lady GaGa...Winding up the nutters with sex and religion

sl500 aa300 First she made a joke about buying a fake Rolex. Now Thailand's culture ministry has filed a complaint to police against Lady Gaga for misuse of the Thai flag during her show last month.

The ministry claimed the part of Lady Gaga's performance when she wore a traditional headdress and sat on a motorcycle in a skimpy outfit with a Thai flag trailing behind was inappropriate and hurt Thai people's sentiment .

We are not asking police to prosecute her but it's our normal procedure to file complaints to concerned agencies when we receive them, a senior ministry official, who declined to be named, said.

 

16th June

 Offsite Article: Lara Croft, Videogames and the Question of Rape...

Link Here
A trailer for the next Lara Croft video game causes much debate over a scene showing the heroine fighting off a rape threat

See article from blogs.wsj.com

 

16th June

 Offsite Article: How Long Before VPNs Become Illegal?...

Link Here
In the US file-sharers will soon be monitored on behalf of the MPAA and RIAA, and in the UK there are plans to monitor and store all Internet communications. To counter this people are turning to VPN services. How long before VPNs become illegal?

See article from torrentfreak.com

 

16th June

 Offsite Article: We'd win gold at the Olympics for enforcing bully-boy rules...

Link Here
Nothing can be allowed to interfere with the rich commercial backers of the Games. Heaven forbid another firm takes a sliver of the limelight intended for Visa or McDonald's.

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

15th June

 Update: Snooper's Charter...

Government publishes draft bill allowing snooping on all internet and mobile communications
Link Here

Big Brothers The government has published a draft version of a bill that, if signed into law in its current form, would force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and mobile phone network providers in Britain to install black boxes in order to collect and store information on everyone's internet and phone activity, and give the police the ability to self-authorise access to this information. However, the Home Office failed to explain whether or not companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter will be brought under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), and how they intend to deal with HTTPS encryption.

Faith in the integrity of HTTPS encryption is what makes online banking and the entire e-commerce industry possible, and Google uses it to secure its Gmail service, as do most webmail providers. The need for easy access to Gmail has been one of the Home Office's primary justifications for the Communications Bill, but technology experts are dubious as to whether it is possible to technically and lawfully break HTTPS on a nationwide scale. At this morning's Home Office briefing, Director of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism Charles Farr was asked about how the black box technology would handle HTTPS encryption. His only response was: It will.

The draft Bill includes controversial measures to require network operators to acquire communications data relating to third party services -- for example, requiring an ISP to discover and record when its customers post a message on a social networking site, and to which other user of the site that message was addressed. The Bill does not specify what data ISPs are to acquire, nor provide any limits; the requirements for ISPs are to be set out in Orders made by the Home Secretary at a later date.

Writing in The Sun, Home Secretary Theresa May said:

I just don't understand why some people criticise these proposals. People have a right to privacy. But unless you are a criminal, then you've nothing to worry about from this new law. This isn't a snoopers' charter, it's a criminals' nightmare.

At a press and MP briefing at Parliament today, Julian Huppert MP said that he couldn't believe the bill could even be put before the House in its current form. David Davis MP remarked that, given that the RIPA process is already a disgrace , the Home Office should be introducing a bill that introduces warrant requirements to RIPA rather than making it even easier for the police to access citizens' communications data. He also revealed that David Maclean, the most right-wing politician the Home Office ever saw , will be chairing the committee on the bill.

Dr Gus Hosein, Executive Director of Privacy International, said: In the UK, we've historically operated under the presumption that the government has no business peering into the lives of citizens unless there is good reason to - that people are innocent until proven guilty. This legislation would reverse that presumption and fundamentally change the relationship between citizen and state, and their relationship with their internet and mobile service providers. Yet there are still big question marks over whether Facebook and Google will be brought under RIPA, and how far the government is willing to go in undermining internet security in order to fulfil its insatiable desire for data.

 

15th June

 Update: Rated 18 for Nutter 'Concerns'...

Government consider asking the BBFC to rate sex education videos for children
Link Here

Ed Vaizey Culture minister Ed Vaizey has confirmed the Government was looking at introducing cinema-style age ratings for educational videos. He told MPs he shared 'concerns' about the content of some sex education films and he is meeting with the British Board of Film Classification to discuss whether they should have statutory age ratings.

Films are currently exempt from the classification system if used for educational purposes. But nutter pressure groups are campaigning against anything related to sex being seen by children and trying to suggest that supposed sexualisation is the root cause of all society's ills.

Ministers are in the process of lowering the threshold for video games and pop videos to be submitted to statutory age ratings. A spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport confirmed that the Government's new measure could also be applied to sex education films.

The issue came up in the House of Commons with Vaizey was responding to a question from Tory MP Andrea Leadsom, who has campaigned in favour of the move. Leadsom claimed some material in the videos was sexually explicit and completely inappropriate for young children. She said that some of the films, produced by Channel 4 and the BBC, were like porn . One BBC sex education video for nine-year-olds showed animated cartoon couples making love and contained information on wet dreams and masturbation.

A BBC spokesman said: All educational resources from BBC Active are produced in collaboration with education experts and are issued with clear guidance so teachers can use them appropriately in their classrooms.

Leadsom asked in Parliament:

There are many parents across the country who are very concerned about the content of sex and relationship education videos that are being shown to children as young as six and have no external rating whatsoever.

In fact, they are being sold for profit by organisations.

Can the minister tell me whether he would consider requiring them to be rated by the British Board of Film Classification?

Ed Vaizey said he would meet with the board of film classification to discuss the issue.

 

15th June

  Heads will Roll...

George W Bush appears as a decapitated head on a spike in Game of Thrones
Link Here

george bush head American politicians are calling for a boycott of HBO's fantasy series Game of Thrones after the creator's despicable decision to include former President George W. Bush's severed head in several scenes. In the tenth episode of the first season, Bush's decapitated head is seen impaled on a wooden spike, covered in filthy long hair.

HBO and the show's creators, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, have apologized for the incident. Benioff and Weiss, who noted the appearance in the series' DVD commentary, insist it wasn't a political statement - just a prop. They said:

We use a lot of prosthetic body parts on the show: heads, arms, etc. We can't afford to have these all made from scratch, especially in scenes where we need a lot of them, so we rent them in bulk

HBO said in a statement that the scene was:

unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste. We made this clear to the executive producers of the series who apologized immediately for this inadvertent careless mistake. We are sorry this happened and will have it removed from any future DVD production.

Craig Eaton, chairman of the Brooklyn Republican Party, was disgusted by the former president's appearance on the show. He told Mail Online:

I think that it's despicable. As a country, Democrats, Republicans, we have to have respect for the office and the individuals. Once we lose that respect, the United States looks weak. Think about what people outside the country think when they see how Americans are disparaging their own former presidents.

Americans of all political persuasions should stand up and demand that things like this should not continue. They should boycott watching this particular show.

 

15th June

  Too Much Cleavage for Ofcom...

Ofcom whinge at the daytime babe channel show Mastichat
Link Here

masti chat logo Masti Chat
Party, 18 March 2012, 06:45 to 07:00

Masti Chat is interactive daytime chat advertising content broadcast on the service called Party on Digital Terrestrial Television ( Freeview ) channel 97. The service is available freely without mandatory restricted access and is situated in the adult section of the Freeview electronic programme guide ( EPG ). This service is owned and operated by Square 1 Management Ltd.

Viewers are invited to contact on-screen female presenters via premium rate telephony services ( PRS ). The presenters generally dress and behave in a flirtatious manner while encouraging viewers to contact the PRS numbers.

Ofcom received a complaint that this material contained adult content that was too strong to be shown at this time of the morning.

Ofcom noted that the female presenter wore blue knee high socks, gold knickers and a blue bandeau top. She was lying down on her back, with the camera angle pointing down her cleavage. Her breasts were not adequately covered and we noted that at various points during the broadcast she: stroked her breasts and thighs; gyrated her hips; and occasionally had her legs wide open (albeit away from camera) throughout.

Ofcom considered BCAP Code Rule 32.3, which states:

Relevant timing restrictions must be applied to advertisements that, through their content, might harm or distress children of particular ages or that are otherwise unsuitable for them.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of rule 32.2

Ofcom noted that the presenter wore a top that did not adequately cover her breasts and for the duration of the broadcast the camera angle pointed down her cleavage. The presenter was also shown acting in a sexualised manner by adopting a sexually provocative position for a prolonged period of time: she lay on her back (albeit away from camera) with her legs occasionally parted, slowly gyrating and rocking her hips and arching her body. While in this position she repeatedly stroked and touched her body in a sexually provocative manner, particularly her breasts and thighs.

In Ofcom's view, the revealing clothing, the manner in which the presenter stroked and touched her body and the position she adopted, were intended to be sexually provocative in nature and the broadcast of such content was not suitable to advertise daytime chat. In light of this behaviour and imagery, Ofcom concluded that this material was clearly unsuitable for children.

Ofcom concluded that relevant timing and scheduling restrictions were not applied to the broadcast so as to offer adequate protection to children. This broadcast was therefore in breach of BCAP Code Rule 32.3.

 

15th June

  Back Off Mr Wiggles...

Advert censor fears that Pilgrim's Choice cheese advert may lead to kids shaving themselves with kitchen blades
Link Here

pilgrims choice video A TV ad, for Pilgrim's Choice cheese, showed a woman opening her fridge door. A male voice behind her said Easy there, pilgrim. The woman turned to see a miniature cowboy sitting on the kitchen counter, wiping an oversized cut throat razor on a tea-towel. He proceeded to shave himself with the large blade, wiping the razor across his face and neck, as he spoke to the woman in a low, gravelly voice. The cowboy then jumped off the counter and said, I'll let myself out before running from the room. The end shot showed the cowboy, on his way out through the cat flap, pointing an oversized gun at a cat. He said, Back off, Mr Wiggles.

The ASA received 35 complaints:

  1. 24 viewers challenged whether the ad was irresponsible and likely to cause harmful emulation among children, particularly because it was broadcast before 9pm;

  2. 17 viewers challenged whether the use of a gun in the final scene was offensive, irresponsible and trivialised gun crime; and

  3. 17 viewers challenged whether the ad was irresponsible, offensive and distressing, because it trivialised knife crime and violent behaviour.

Clearcast pointed out that the cowboy had used the razor correctly and had not done anything untoward with it or handled it in an irresponsible way. They confirmed that they had considered the ex-kids restriction appropriate given the cowboy's use of the barbershop razor. They believed the likelihood of child emulation was small with that restriction in place and they confirmed that they did not believe the ad required a greater restriction. They said over 16s would appreciate the humour of the miniature cowboy behaving normally and using normal-sized props and that they would not attempt to copy his use of the razor. They said barbershop razors were not items that were commonly found in households, which again reduced the likelihood of emulation.

Adams Foods said the gun scene was clearly intended to be humorous because the cat was almost double the size of the cowboy. They did not believe that the gun scene was irresponsible given that films, such as westerns , were shown at any time of day and frequently showed guns being fired and people being hurt or even killed by them. They said they did not believe the ad had trivialised gun crime or violent behaviour.

ASA Assessment

1. Upheld

The ASA considered that older children would understand that the scenario depicted in the ad was surreal, because of the disconnect between the cowboy and the modern domestic kitchen in which the ad was set, the size of the cowboy and the manner in which he jumped down from the counter and ran out of the kitchen, leaving the property through the cat flap. We judged that older children would understand the shaving scene and the dangers of handling sharp objects. We did not consider that they were at risk of emulation.

However, we were concerned that younger children might not understand the ad and might find the miniature cowboy character particularly intriguing. Although we appreciated that the cowboy was using the razor to shave, we noted that the razor appeared very large and we considered that young children would not distinguish between the blade of a barbershop razor and the blades of common household objects, such as kitchen knives. We were therefore concerned that young children might mimic the cowboy's actions using common household objects in a manner that could seriously endanger their health.

We noted the restriction Clearcast had applied. However, that did not prevent the ad from being broadcast around daytime programmes that were not specifically targeted at children and we noted that a number of the complainants had seen the ad when watching TV with their young children during the day. We accepted that the restriction in place meant that children who saw the ad were likely to be supervised by their parents or carer who could explain the potentially dangerous behaviour and emphasise that it should be avoided. However, such was the potential for serious harm that would result from emulation by young children, we considered that the scheduling restriction was insufficient to minimize the risk of young children seeing the ad. We judged that the ad should have been given a 9pm timing restriction to ensure that it was not broadcast at a time of day when younger children were likely to be watching.

Because we considered that the ad could encourage younger children to behave in a way that could endanger their health, and because we considered the scheduling restriction applied was insufficient to minimize the risk of younger children seeing the ad, we concluded that the ad had not been scheduled appropriately.

On this point, the ad breached BCAP Code rules 1.2 (Social responsibility), 4.1 and 4.4 (Harm and offence), 5.2 (Children) and 32.3 (Scheduling).

2. Not upheld

We acknowledged current concern about gun crime, which was reflected in some of the complaints we received. We considered that the size of the gun, both in relation to the cowboy and the cat at which it was pointed, and the fact that the cowboy was attempting to leave the house using the cat flap reinforced that the ad was surreal in nature. We considered that the cowboy's statement Back off Mr Wiggles dispelled any sense that this was a situation in which the cat was in danger, nor was the scene reminiscent of images that would commonly be associated with gun crime. We did not consider the overall tone of the ad likely to be seen to trivialise gun crime or violent behaviour. Because of that, we concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence and that it was not socially irresponsible.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 1.2 (Social responsibility) and 4.2, 4.4 and 4.9 (Harm and offence), but did not find it in breach.

3. Not upheld

We acknowledged current concern about knife crime, which was reflected in some of the complaints we received. We noted that the barbershop razor that the miniature cowboy ran across his face and neck appeared very large in relation to him, but we also noted that the razor was being used in the act of shaving and not in a threatening manner. It was not aimed at any other character or out towards the viewer and there was no depiction or suggestion of violence. We did not consider that the impression given by the shaving scene was reminiscent of images that would commonly be associated with knife crime and we did not consider that the overall tone of the ad was likely to trivialise knife crime or violent behaviour. Because of that, we concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence or undue fear or distress and that it was not socially irresponsible.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 1.2 (Social responsibility) and 4.2, 4.4 and 4.9 (Harm and offence), but did not find it in breach.

 

15th June

  Censorship be Damned...

Ezra Levant announces fight back against easily offended Canadian TV censor
Link Here

ezra levant Canadian TV censors are telling Sun News Network's Ezra Levant to shut his mouth, but The Source host is vowing to shut them down instead.

Here's my new goal: within one year, to have the broadcast standards council abolished or rendered so absolutely powerless that it's a laughing stock, to repeal the censorship provisions of the broadcasting regulations, Levant told his viewers after he got a lecturing letter from the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC).

Today marks the day we begin to de-normalize The Broadcast Censors Council, let's all do it, let's call for the abolition, let's mock their stupid rulings, like their attempt to ban the Dire Straits song. What a bunch of idiots.

The CBSC is a board of volunteers who police private broadcasters' work and respond to complaints from viewers.

They say they got 22 complaints after Levant told a Chiquita fruit company executive chinga tu madre [Latino insult, 'go fuck your mother'] after the banana sellers boycotted fuel from Canada's oilsands.

Veteran broadcaster and Conservative senator Mike Duffy is joining Levant in his mission to get rid of the CBSC.

 

15th June

 Update: Judges Incite Hated and Animosity...

An atheist page on Facebook gets an Indonesian 30 months in jail
Link Here

Indonesia flag An Indonesian man has been jailed for 30 months after writing God doesn't exist on his Facebook page. Alexander Aan was imprisoned for sharing atheist material about the religious character Mohammed online.

He started an atheist group on Facebook on which he shared comic strips of the prophet having sex with his servant, a court in western Sumatra heard.

He was found guilty of deliberately spreading information inciting religious hatred and animosity .

Aan was beaten by an angry mob and arrested by police in his hometown of Pulau Punjung in western Sumatra in January after posting the material online and declaring himself an atheist.

The court had earlier indicted Aan with two other charges, persuading others to embrace atheism and blasphemy. But the court convicted him of the most serious charge and dropped the other two.

Aan's arrest sparked outrage among Indonesians and international activists, who showed their support on his Facebook group and circulated petitions to have his charges dropped.

 

15th June

 Offsite Article: Climate of Censorship...

Link Here  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
Australian political cartoonist gets suspended from Facebook for his nude depiction of PM Julia Gillard wearing a strap-on

See article from lpickering.net

 

14th June

  Twats...

Advert censors ban Frosty Jack's anti-conventional YouTube adverts
Link Here

anti busybody advert Videos on the Frosty Jack's YouTube page promoted a cider drink.

a. An internet video ad, titled Anti-wasp , featured a man killing a wasp with an aerosol and lighter.

b. A second internet video ad, titled Anti-Gimmicky featured a man talking about the features of his car in a comically exaggerated fashion.

c. A third internet video ad, titled Anti Busybody. Anti-controversial , featured a man parking in a disabled space. When questioned by another man he said that he had Tourettes and shouted Twat .

A member of Alcohol Concern's Youth Alcohol Council challenged whether:

  1. ad (a) was likely to appeal particularly to people under 18, because it showed a person behaving in an adolescent or juvenile manner;

  2. ad (b) was likely to appeal particularly to people under 18; and

  3. ad (c) was likely to appeal particularly to people under 18

ASA Decision: Complaints Upheld

1. Upheld

We noted that the ad featured a young man killing a wasp with an aerosol and lighter, whilst smiling. We considered that the ad showed a person behaving in a juvenile and cruel manner. We noted that the ad did not portray the young man drinking or consuming the product, but considered that the action in the ad displayed irreverent and laddish behaviour. Although we did not consider that the ad would appeal to all, we considered that that action was likely to appeal particularly to young people.

Because we considered that the juvenile and irreverent behaviour in the ad would appeal particularly to young people, including those who were under 18 years of age, we concluded that the ad was irresponsible and in breach of the Code.

On that point, the ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 18.14 (Alcohol).

2. Upheld

We noted that the character's monologue described his car and lifestyle in an exaggerated and boastful way, which did not match the modest reality which viewers could see in the video. We considered that the character's immodest monologue about his car played on his apparent lack of self-awareness and relied on a stereotyped characterisation of a misguided young man. In light of that, we considered that the ad's content, and the type of humour it used, was likely to appeal particularly to young people.

In light of the type of humour and stereotyped characterisation that the ad used, we concluded that the ad was irresponsible and in breach of the Code.

On that point, the ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 18.14 (Alcohol).

3. Upheld

We considered that the action in the ad relied on mocking someone who had simply pointed out that the parking space should be reserved for the disabled, and that the protagonist subsequently pretended to have Tourettes to insult that person. We considered that that type of humour was irreverent and juvenile and, although we did not consider that that approach would appeal to all, we considered it was likely to appeal particularly to young people. We also considered that the ad trivialised a neurological condition which affected children and adults, and that the action in the ad could be seen to reinforce negative stereotypes in relation to Tourettes. We also considered that the ad suggested that it was acceptable for anyone to use a disabled parking space, rather than recognising that it was a space reserved for those with disabilities.

We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible and in breach of the Code.

On that point, the ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 18.14 (Alcohol). Action

The ads must not appear again in their current form.

 

14th June

  Fucking Vague Rules...

Ofcom whinge at E4 for strong language just after the start of the watershed
Link Here

playing it straight Playing It Straight
E4. 9, 16, 23, and 30 January 2012, 21:00

Playing it Straight is a reality game show that features a woman, Cara, and eleven men who must live together for eight weeks while they get to know each other and perform various tasks. The men are made up of a combination of heterosexual and homosexual participants and at the end of the series the woman must choose a partner she considers is heterosexual. If her decision about the man's sexual orientation is correct, the pair win a cash prize of £50,000 to share between them. However, if she chooses a homosexual man, he gets to keep the entire cash prize.

Two viewers alerted Ofcom to potentially inappropriate content during these programmes when broadcast at 21:00. These complaints concerned potentially homophobic content and language of a sexual nature used by the narrator, Alan Carr. After assessing the content, Ofcom decided these particular concerns raised by the complainants did not raise potential issues under the Code. However, when viewing the content, we noted that all four episodes contained three examples of very strong language within the first minute of each programme, which began at the 21:00 watershed.

Each of the four programmes began with the same pre-title sequence. The sequence contained three instances of the word fuck or fucking . Ofcom noted the first and second instances of offensive language occurred 30 seconds and 32 seconds respectively into the broadcast (i.e. within the first minute of the programme), when Cara found out the man to whom she was most attracted was homosexual and said:

(off-screen over a shot of a group of the men): You fucking lying little bastard

(on-screen): fuck off

The third use of offensive language occurred 12 seconds later (i.e. also within the first minute of the programme) when Cara was surprised by one of the male participants, who was naked. Cara said (on-screen): fucking hell .

Ofcom considered Rule 1.6 of the Code, which states:

The transition to more adult material must not be unduly abrupt at the watershed (in the case of television)…. For television the strongest material should appear later in the schedule.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of rule 1.6

Ofcom noted that the pre-title sequence used in all of the above four episodes each contained a total of three uses of the words of fuck and fucking . These occurred 30, 32 and 44 seconds into each of the four broadcasts. Ofcom?s research5 confirms that the word fuck and other variations of this word are regarded as examples of the most offensive language with the capacity to cause a considerable degree of offence, particularly when used repeatedly.

Rule 1.6 is not prescriptive. It does not stipulate a certain set time after the watershed when broadcasters may start to transmit the most offensive language. However bearing in mind that there is an absolute prohibition on the most offensive language immediately before 21:00 (Rule 1.14), a broadcaster would need very strong reasons to justify starting to broadcast the most offensive language – especially when used repeatedly – in the period immediately after the 21:00 watershed.

Ofcom considered that the context was insufficient to justify the use of three instances of the most offensive language in the pre-title sequence for this reality entertainment programme which was broadcast immediately after the watershed at the start of four separate programmes. The transition to more adult material was unduly abrupt at the watershed and Rule 1.6 was therefore breached.

 

14th June   

Updated: X-Rental...

A box set of 6 cult classics from Arrow
Link Here

X Rental 4 Video DVD X-Rental: 4 Video Classics released on the ArrowDrome label

Rather counter-intuitively includes 6 films:

Maniac Cop

When reports come in of a man in a police uniform committing gore drenched bloody murder on the city streets, officer Jack Forrest (Bruce Campbell) stands accused. Now, with few friends, powerful enemies and a psychopathic slayer still at large, it's up to Jack to prove he's not guilty and bring down the killer.

Cheerleaders & Revenge of the Cheerleaders

For the bold and brassy girls of the cheerleading squad, taking one for their football team comes naturally so when rivals need to be taken down, there's only one solution... seduce them into exhaustion. Now the game girls are on a sex-crazed mission to ride their rivals to victory in a politically incorrect comedy that shocked the world!

Penitentiary & Penitentiary 2

Too Sweet likes three things... Candy bars, makin' love and fighting. Arrested while defending a beautiful hooker in a roadside diner brawl, he finds himself unjustly incarcerated in a violent prison hellhole where life is cheap and punks get owned by predatory lifers. There's only one way out... Victory in the ring!

McBain

Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter, King of New York) is Robert McBain... An ordinary steel worker with an extraordinary past. A prisoner of war rescued by a future Columbian rebel, he's held to a sacred vow. 18 years later McBain must help to liberate Central America and decimate its evil drug trade by bringing together his old comrades from Nam.

 

14th June

  Stadiums of Hate...

Ukraine complains about BBC Panorama documentary about football racism in the host countries for Euro 2012
Link Here

bbc panorama logo Ukraine has launched a bitter attack on the BBC, with senior officials describing a controversial Panorama documentary that claimed racism was rife in the country as an unacceptable provocation.

The Panorama programme was a direct assault, Oleg Voloyshn, the foreign ministry spokesman in Kiev, said, accusing the BBC of lowering expectations and deliberately trying to sabotage the tournament. He added: It was a kind of provocation. Voloyshn acknowledged there was racism in Ukraine but added:

It's in every country. And it's a smaller problem than was shown in the film.

We don't have real racism en masse in Ukraine. We have nationalists. They are anti-Russian, anti-Polish and anti-European. But the biggest problem so far has been between Russians and Poles. And the Poles are already in the European Union.

The documentary, Euro 2012: Stadiums of Hate , was broadcast on May 28. It showed a group of Indian supporters being punched and kicked at a Ukraine league match, and showed Polish fans chanting anti-semitic slogans. The graphic footage prompted the former England defender Sol Campbell to urge England fans to stay away from Euro 2012 or risk coming home in a coffin .

The BBC has robustly defended the programme. It says it was made in accordance with strict editorial guidelines. Writing last week in a blog, Panorama's editor, Tom Giles, vehemently defended the documentary against Polish and Ukrainian criticism:

We feel strongly that our reporting was both legitimate and fair ... The programme made clear that we were investigating the behaviour of some football supporters and political hooligans -- not the peoples of the countries themselves.

 

14th June   

Updated: Coda with Censors Not Defeated After All...

Ridley Scott tells the BBC that he cut as much as he could from Prometheus
Link Here  full story: Prometheus...Hype about PG-13 vs R
Prometheus Michael Fassbender Prometheus has been released in the US as an R-rating. In the UK it is a 15 certificate.

The film is violent and tense but director Ridley Scott insists he cut as much he could to open the film to a wider audience.

It has to be be about the movie, so I've made concessions. There's a moment where you don't want to harm the movie.

But he acknowledges its a case of simple economics and getting an 18 certificate could be the difference of $80m or more.

...Read the full article

Follow up articles suggest that there is no hope of a future 'Unrated' version.

Extract: Director's Cut

12th June 2012. See article from collider.com by Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub

With Prometheus now playing, 20th Century Fox held a massive press junket in London last week where I was able to interview most of the cast and director Ridley Scott.

During my on-camera interview with Scott we talked about how much fun he had making Prometheus and his desire to do the sequel, the difficulty in tackling serious issues when a movie costs so much, what will be on the eventual Blu-ray/DVD, director's cuts, and more. In addition, Scott talks about a possible scene from the Blade Runner sequel and reveals the Prometheus Blu-ray might have 20 to 30 minutes of deleted scenes and describes one of them.

Scott says that his first cut of Prometheus was 2 hrs. 27 minutes. He was asked: Is the version in theaters his directors cut or will the home video release be the director's cut. He answers by alluding to how he regrets not releasing the longer version of Kingdom of Heaven as his directors cut.

...Read the full article

Offsite: Producers were seriously considering a child's version after all

14th June 2012. See article from herocomplex.latimes.com which contains serious spoilers

 

14th June

 Diary: Open Rights Group Workshops...

Learn about the government's Snooper's Charter and default blocking of websites for adults
Link Here

Open Rights Group logo We're running a series of free workshops over the next few weeks to help you learn about the Snooper's Charter and censorship and practice lobbying your MP.

Join us and become a digital rights champion! Here's where we'll be and when, with links to the Eventbrite pages where you can sign up:

What's happening?

Open Rights Group needs your help to defeat the latest attacks on internet freedom! We need to convince MPs that they should oppose new proposals for more surveillance and censorship.

These training sessions will help you learn about two of the biggest current digital rights issues. And we'll help you practice how to discuss them with your MP. The training will last for around four hours. First we will give you a good background briefing on the issues and an overview of the campaigns. Then we will do some practical training on how to speak to your MP, and cover other campaigning ideas too.

We'll be covering two big topics:

  • The Snoopers' Charter - aka the Communications Data Bill - was announced in the Queen's speech and is about to be published by the government. The bill will create new powers to intercept and collect information about who you talk to online. Your communications via Google, Facebook or Skype will now be open to what may be a large number of government officials. We want to see the powers to collect and access communications data tightened up, not extended ever further.

  • Internet censorship . The government is considering whether Internet Service Providers should have to block websites that contain adult content by default, with an opt out for uncensored access. That would mean an infrastructure of censorship that could, through mistakes, abuse or mission creep, lead to more and more content being blocked for people in the UK. Our research on mobile Internet censorship recently showed how often the wrong websites can be filtered, for example. We want to prevent this further move towards private policing of the internet and free speech, and recommend better ways to help parents manage their children's Internet access.

You can help stop these proposals. And we are here to help you! You don't need any previous knowledge of the issues or experience talking with your MP.

Please join us. And tell your friends!

 

14th June

 Update: Nutters Gathering...

Nutters have gathered a petition of 95,000 in support of default website blocking of adult content
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

premier christian media logo A petition calling upon the Government to force internet service providers to make accessing pornography an adult only opt-in service has gathered more than 95,000 signatures.

The petition's organisers, SaferMedia and Premier (Christian) Media Group, are aiming to reach 100,000 signatures before the petition is closed in a few weeks.

They claim that the filter would give parents greater control over what their children are viewing online and stop sexually explicit material coming into the home.

 

14th June

 Offsite Article: U.S. Appeals Court Affirms Parody Was Clear Fair Use...

Link Here
In an important ruling involving parody productions, a federal appeals court affirmed yesterday that a South Park episode called What What (In the Butt) did not infringe on the YouTube video of the same name.

See article from xbiz.com

 

13th June

 Update: ASA Exploited by Campaigners...

Archbishop Cranmer predictably cleared by the ASA over worthless whinges, probably politically motivated, that should have been dismissed at the first opportunity
Link Here  full story: Archbishop Cranmer vs ASA...ASA hassle blogger over innocuous advert supporting gay marrieage

gay marriage Four ads for the campaigning group Coalition for Marriage:

a. A press ad, seen in Country Life Magazine, featured photos of couples on their wedding day. The ad stated 'I do' 70% of people* say keep marriage as it is. We agree: politicians should not be meddling with one of our great national institutions. 190,000 people have signed our petition in favour of keeping the definition of marriage unchanged. Whilst fully recognising the rights and views of others, we're asking you to support us. If you want to keep the true meaning of marriage as it is, and has been for thousands of years, say 'I do' - by signing our petition at c4m.org.uk PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION visit c4m.org.uk today ... Coalition for Marriage . Small print stated (*Source: ComRes poll for Catholic Voices) .

b. The ad was the same as ad (a), and was seen in the Daily Telegraph.

c. An online ad, seen on the blog of Archbishop Cranmer , featured photos of couples on their wedding day on the first frame. The second frame stated I do . The third frame stated 70% of people* say keep marriage as it is ... (Source: ComRes poll for Catholic Voices) . The final frame stated Help us keep the true meaning of marriage. PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION Click here ... Coalition for Marriage .

d. The ad was the same as ad (c), and was seen on blog of Guido Fawkes .

1. Twenty-four complainants challenged whether the claim 70% of people say keep marriage as it is in ads (a), (b), (c) and (d) was misleading and could be substantiated.

2. Eleven complainants objected that ads (a) and (c) were offensive.

3. Three complainants objected that ad (a) was misleading, as they did not believe it made clear that the aim of the online petition was to oppose same sex marriage.

1. Coalition for Marriage said the poll on which the claim was based was carried out by ComRes, who were a well-known and reputable polling company used by many sources. They said the poll asked whether marriage should continue to be defined as a life-long exclusive commitment between a man and a woman . They provided a link to the full poll results, and said they did not believe it was misleading to base the claim 70% of people say keep marriage as it is on the answer to this question. They pointed out that the question referred to continue and defined and said these meant the question related to whether the definition of marriage should be kept as it is, and not widened. They said the existence of other polls on the issue of gay marriage were not relevant, and that readers were free to make up their own mind about the opinions behind the polling figures. They pointed out that the ads stated clearly the source for the polling figure and that the poll was commissioned by Catholic Voices.

2. Coalition for Marriage did not believe the ads contained anything that was likely to cause offence. They said that pictures of happy couples on their wedding day appeared regularly in the media, and that the rest of the ad merely contained further information about their campaign. They said the aim of the ad, and their campaign, was to defend the definition of marriage enshrined in UK law as it had existed for hundreds of years. They believed those complaining were intolerant of opposing views. They believed the ads were an upbeat, warm-hearted presentation that simply endorsed the longstanding, globally accepted legal definition of marriage.

Country Life said their magazine covered a diverse range of subjects and they were not afraid to put forward a point of view or encourage debate. They said they accepted ad (a) because, in their opinion, it was simply an organisation's point of view and in theory no different to any other campaigning ad, about which there would always be differing opinions. They said they had received a small number of complaints from people who felt the ad was offensive but did not believe all had been from people who were actually readers. They said it was not their intention to cause offence and they welcomed all readers, whatever their point of view.

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

3. Coalition for Marriage did not believe the ad was likely to mislead readers as to the purpose of the petition. They believed that asking people to sign to show their support for the current legal definition of marriage explicitly signalled objection to same sex marriage. They believed anyone signing the petition would be aware of the current political debate around marriage. They also pointed out that the ads directed people to their website to sign the petition, and that more information about their campaign and the current political debate about same sex marriage was available there.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not Upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted that Coalition for Marriage based the claim 70% of people say keep marriage as it is on a poll carried out by ComRes for Catholic Voices, and this was clearly stated in the ads. The question asked in the poll was whether respondents agreed with the statement Marriage should continue to be defined as a life-long exclusive commitment between a man and a woman and 70% said they did. The poll related to an online panel of 2004 people, and the data had been weighted to be representative of the general population. Although some complainants believed the claim made in the ads was misleading because it did not reflect the results of other polls on the issue of same sex marriage, we considered the claim accurately represented the responses received to the poll conducted by ComRes and that the source for the claim was sufficiently prominent to ensure that those viewing the ad would be aware that it referred to the results of that poll only. Most people would expect polls relating to matters of opinion to lead to differing results depending on the exact wording of the question and the context in which it was asked. Also, the ad stated on which poll the claim was based and who had commissioned it. Finally, the poll was publically available on the ComRes website. We concluded that the claim was not misleading,

On this point we investigated ads (a), (b), (c) and (d) under CAP Code rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation) but did not find them in breach.

2. Not upheld

We noted the complainants believed that ads (a) and (c) were offensive as they considered them to be homophobic. However, the ads focused on the current legal definition of marriage and its history. We considered that, although some people might disagree with the advertisers' opinions on the matter of same sex marriage, the ads in themselves did not contain anything that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

On this point we investigated ads (a) and (c) under CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find them in breach.

3. Not upheld

The ad appeared in the context of a high-profile public debate around the issue of same sex marriage. We considered that readers seeing the ad would infer from the references to keeping marriage as it is that Coalition for Marriage were opposed to same sex marriage and that this was the purpose of the petition. The petition was on Coalition for Marriage's own website, which contained further information about their campaign. Therefore, we concluded the ad was unlikely to mislead readers about the aim of the online petition.

On this point we investigated ad (a) under CAP Code rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising) but did not find it in breach.

 

13th June

 Update: The Rating Waiting Game...

Provisional date set for BBFC to hand over censorship duties for video games
Link Here  full story: Prometheus...Hype about PG-13 vs R

Games Rating Authority logo An update from games trade body UKIE says than pan-European PEGI games ratings will become law on July 23rd. This is still a provisional date though.

From that date retailers could face prosecution or a fine if selling video games with PEGI ratings 12, 16 and 18  to those under those ages.

The PEGI rating system will be administered by the Games Rating Authority, the name for a group operating as part of the Video Standards Council.

 

13th June

 Updated: Surf Nazis Must Die...

BBFC waive their cuts to the Director's Cut set for a DVD release from Arrow
Link Here

Surf Nazis Must Die DVD Surf Nazis Must Die is a 1987 US action comedy by Peter George. With Gail Neely, Robert Harden and Barry Brenner. See IMDb

Update : The Directors Cut was passed 18 uncut for strong violence and racist language with all previous cuts waived for:

  • UK 2012 Arrow R2 DVD at UK Amazon for release on 6th August 2012

Promotional material: At Hang Ten To Hell...

When the California coast is ravaged by a massive earthquake the beaches are left in a state of anarchy. In this lawless void a new power is rising. Adolf and his evil gang of fascist water rats are coming. They are the Surf Nazis and they must DIE!

Fighting with rival beach gangs and harassing the locals, the Surf Nazis soon take over the area but when they ice a local jogger it opens up a can of revenge as the murdered man's Mama breaks out her retirement home, tooled up and ready for harsh vigilante justice.

Blood, guts, gore, nudity and murder come thick and fast in this gnarly beach bum holocaust extravaganza from Troma, the sick, twisted shlock house that brought you Combat Shock and Class of Nuke Em High.

Features:

  • Director's Cut Feature Presentation
  • Interview with director Peter George
  • Interview with producer Robert Tinnell
  • Six lost Surf Scenes with introduction by Peter George
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible sleeve with original poster and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphries
  • Collector's Booklet by critic and author Calum Waddell

Summary Review: Outrageously Bad

I think it's safe to say you will either love this film or hate it.  It's one of those movies that's so completely without any redeeming value that it actually ends up being enjoyable. If I had to describe it, I'd call it a cross between Repo Man and Plan 9 From Outer Space ... with nazis and surfing thrown in for good measure.

If you can enjoy something lewd, crude, bizarre, and outrageously bad, you'll probably laugh yourself silly and enjoy this movie.

Previously Cut:

UK: The Director's Cut was passed 18 after 25s of BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1996 Allied Troma VHS

The BBFC cuts were

  • Cuts in three fight scenes to remove sight of chainsticks (nunchaku).

 

13th June

  Countess Perverse...

New US DVD release of one of Jess Franco's best films
Link Here

Countess Perverse Alice Arno Countess Perverse is a 1974 France erotic thriller by Jesus Franco. With Alice Arno, Howard Vernon and Lina Romay

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

Promotional Material:

The official director's cut of Jess Franco's outrageous and delirious Countess Perverse is newly restored from a rare camera negative.

A pair of decadent and debauched aristocrats turns their private island into a human hunting ground where they can stalk their naked prey. As each victim is murdered, their carcass is then cooked and fed to their guests; simply delicious! What the unsuspecting visitors don't realize is that they will soon become the next evening's meal, eventually fighting for their lives in a shocking and flesh-baring cat-and-mouse game. With suave actor Howard Vernon ( Seven Women for Satan ) and the stunningly sexy Alice Arno ( Justine de Sade ), the Countess Perverse delivers Jess Franco-sized, wicked entertainment packed with sex, sleaze and outrageous behavior.

Features:

  • Brand new transfer from original negative
  • Interview with actor Robert Woods
  • Extensive Production Notes and introduction by film critic Stephen Thrower

Summary Review: One of Franco's best

Two wealthy aristocrats lure a virginal girl to a Spanish island for a night of sex, death and cannibalism.

One of Franco's best with the beautiful Lina Romay naked throughout.

 

13th June

 Update: ATVOD...Doing Its Bit to Bankrupt Britain...

Strictly Broadband boss talks of move offshore to work round impossibly restrictive conditions imposed by ATVOD
Link Here

Strictly Broadband Jerry Barnett, Chairman of AITA, and MD of Strictly Broadband, was invited to speak at the ATVOD Industry Forum on the 23rd May. He had also been invited to speak at the board meeting that same day to present issues facing the adult industry. Without prior warning that invitation was postponed until July.

On 1st June he received notification from ATVOD that he was in breach of Rule 11 and given 10 working days to respond.

From ATVOD. Rule 11: Harmful Material: Protection of Under-18s

If an on-demand programme service contains material which might seriously impair the physical, mental or moral development of persons under the age of eighteen, the material must be made available in a manner which secures that such persons will not normally see or hear it.

ATVOD Guidance:

Technical tools which may be acceptable for age verification purposes include:

  • Confirmation of credit card (debit card not acceptable) ownership or other form of payment where mandato proof that the holder is 18 or over is required prior to issue.
  • A reputable personal digital identity management service which uses checks on independent and reliable database, such as the electoral roll.
  • Other comparable proof of account ownership which effectively verifies age.

This is Barnett's response to ATVOD which he has decided to make public for the benefit of the industry.

7 June 2012. To: Pete Johnson, ATVOD

I'm writing further to my letter (sent on behalf of AITA) of 30th March, and also in response to your letter dated 31st May, declaring my company in breach of Rule 11.

Following my March letter, which was an open letter to the ATVOD board, I was invited to present my concerns at the 23rd May Industry Forum meeting, and also attend the board meeting that afternoon to present issues facing the adult industry. I was also told that you would be sending a detailed response following the 23rd May meeting. I did indeed present my concerns at the industry forum, but was told that I was not in fact invited to attend that afternoon's board meeting (I'd received no notification that this invitation had been rescinded). I was told that I would be instead invited to the July board meeting (this hasn't yet been officially confirmed).

I have not yet received your promised response to my letter -- instead, last Friday, I received official notice that my services are considered in breach of Rule 11, and given ten working days to respond. This letter comprises my response to that notice. Please note and respond to the following points:

I made clear in my last letter and at the Industry Forum meeting that I would not be able to operate my VoD business within the UK if Rule 11 is imposed as you have designed and interpreted it. I consider Rule 11 to be punitive; it effectively makes it impossible to run a adult web site in the UK, even though it breaks no UK law. This raises legal implications, which will require further exploration (I'm informed that a measure similar to Rule 11 was struck down by the US Supreme Court on grounds of free speech). Given that the issues raised in my last letter are still (in theory) under discussion, and I've been (I'm told verbally) invited to present these issues to the July board meeting, this raises an issue of timing: how can my VoD business be forced offshore in June while this discussion is ongoing? I therefore request that you postpone enforcement of the notice until at least after the ATVOD board meeting in July. Please be notified that I intend to move the editorial side of the VoD business out of the UK, probably to another EU country, by the end of this month. As I've said previously, our VoD business is in decline, and the future focus of my operation will be on adult phone chat, webcam and other social-media services. My currently employed Content Manager is leaving my employment on 12th June. Although my company will no longer be an ATVOD-notified ODPS, I plan to continue representing the UK adult industry at ATVOD industry forum meetings on behalf of AITA.

I would like to further ask the following questions:

You have been informed by multiple businesses within the UK adult industry that Rule 11 is punitive, and cannot be implemented without seriously damaging or destroying existing, legal businesses. Have you sought an opinion on whether it is in fact legal to knowingly drive our industry out of business or offshore? If so, please share this with ourselves and the Industry Forum. The ATVOD definition of TV-like appears to be very different from the definition chosen by other EU member states, which have not included adult web sites within the remit. Are you aware of any other EU countries that have followed the same path as the UK regulator in this regard? You have come to the decision that legal adult content may seriously impair under-18s. I request that you publish all expert opinion and academic research that was utilised in reaching this decision.

J Barnett

Managing Director,

Strictly Broadband Ltd.

 

13th June

 Extract: An end to internet trolls?...

Lawyer doesn't quite see the government spin that the libel reform bill will somehow end internet trolling
Link Here  full story: Censorship by Libel...British libel law allows the rich to censor the truth

troll The spin doctors at 10 Downing Street have done well today. The media has bought - hook, line and sinker - the spin that the Defamation Bill will mean an end to the scourge of internet trolls.

The day after Louise Mensch's twisted cyber stalker escaped jail and in the week Nicola Brookes obtained a court order compelling Facebook to reveal the IP addresses of those who made her life a misery online, the government's spin doctors have revealed to a breathless media that weirdos who cower behind anonymity online will no longer be able to do so. All hail the Lord Chancellor, Kenneth Clarke!

All wonderful news - except that that is not what the Defamation Bill will provide for.

First of all, the Defamation Bill is - as the name suggests - only about defamatory statements. It will not cover comments that are offensive, unpleasant or constitute harassment, breach of confidence or an invasion of privacy - and the bulk of trolls' comments are in those categories as opposed to being defamatory as such.

Secondly, the Defamation Bill creates a higher hurdle for those who want to bring a claim in defamation in any event. Under the proposed new law (which receives its second reading in the House of Commons today - hence the media spin), a statement will not be defamatory unless its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant . What constitutes seriousness is not defined but the Bill is designed to ensure that there are fewer defamation claims in the future, not more.

Thirdly, the spin doctors have assured the media that the new law will mean victims will no longer need to go through costly legal battles to unmask their tormentors. If only that were true. It would still be a very brave (i.e. foolish) website operator who simply reveals the name or IP address of the author of a particular post without a court order compelling him to do so.

...Read the full article

 

13th June

  Blaming All the Cliches in the Book to Avoid Mentioning Religion...

Deputy children's commissioner says social networking, mobiles and hardcore porn contribute to child sexual exploitation
Link Here

home affairs committee Children are being encouraged to take part in sexual activity by exposure to hardcore pornography on their mobile phones, the deputy children's commissioner has claimed.

Sue Berelowitz was giving evidence to the home affairs select committee which is investigating the issue of street grooming and child sexual exploitation after nine British Asian men in Rochdale were convicted for grooming and abusing vulnerable young girls.

The case, along with several others in the north of England over the last three years, has provided some evidence that street grooming of young girls, often from children's homes, is disproportionately being carried out by Asian men who target white victims. The five victims were plied with food, alcohol, drugs and gifts so they could be passed around a group of men for sex.

Berelowitz told the committee the issue of ethnicity was complex. She said there was a particular pattern of Asian men and white girls as revealed by the Rochdale case and others, but she said it was a pattern among many other patterns of child sexual exploitation.

She said the issue of how social networking, BBM messaging and pornography was being used as part of the exploitation of children and young people, often by teenagers not much older than themselves, was of serious concern.

She said she was concerned about the viewing of pornography by young people, which contributed to the problem of child sexual exploitation.

They are watching it and then they are enacting it. Parents think they know what their child is watching ... the reality is children can get anything they like on their mobile phones and they are. This is affecting children's thresholds of what they think is normal behaviour.

Social networking sites can be a source of real problems in this area. They [the perpetrators] are sometimes filming their victims, girls are making themselves vulnerable by filming themselves ...

Extract: According to the Crown Prosecution

14th June 2012. See  article from  dailymail.co.uk

The sexual exploitation and grooming of young vulnerable white girls is a particular problem in Asian communities , one of Britain's top prosecutors admitted for the first time today.

In a year when several paedophile gangs were convicted of raping and prostituting victims in north west England, Nazir Afzal says it is impossible not to notice that the perpetrators were Asian and the victims were not.

The Chief Crown Prosecutor for the region added that cultural baggage and the status of women among some men in these communities contributes to their disrespect for the rights of women.

It came as the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee announced yesterday a day of evidence next week because its members and chairman Keith Vaz are very concerned by the recent cases of child exploitation. The Labour MP for Leicester East has previously said: I do not think it is a race issue.'

...Read the full article

Update: Shocked

26th June 2012. See  article from  policeoracle.com

Committee Chairman Keith Vaz said: The committee were shocked to hear that the number of victims of child sexual exploitation runs into the thousands. Child grooming is a national issue that requires thorough investigation.

 

13th June

  Saluting Ray Bradbury...

Internet engineer proposes web server error code 451 to indicate that a page is unavailable due to censorship
Link Here

Fahrenheit 451 Flamingo Modern Classics Back in the early days of the Web, we set up Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) status messages to let people know what was going on with a Web server. Today, we still use 401 error messages for pages you're not authorized to see, 403 pages for pages you can't see even with authentication, and the ever popular 404 for Web pages that can't be found. Now, with the rise of Internet censorship, Tim Bray is proposing a new HTTP code: 451, for Web servers and pages that are being censored,

Bray, a leading Google Android developer and co-creator of one of the first Web search engines, Open Text and XML, has proposed to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) that code 451 be used for

451 Unavailable For Legal Reasons

This status code indicates that the server is subject to legal restrictions which prevent it servicing the request.

Since such restrictions typically apply to all operators in a legal jurisdiction, the server in question may or may not be an origin server. The restrictions typically most directly affect the operations of ISPs and search engines.

Responses using this status code SHOULD include an explanation, in the response body, of the details of the legal restriction; which legal authority is imposing it, and what class of resources it applies to.

The name of this code, Bray notes in passing comes from the late Ray Bradbury's classic science-fiction novel, Fahrenheit 451 . In it, Firemen no longer fight fires, but start them to burn books.

 

12th June

 Diary: An Exhibition Celebrating 100 Years of Cinematic History...

BBFC artifacts on show at the University of Westminster
Link Here

university of westminster logo University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London
11 -29th June

The BBFC and the University of Westminster have announced a new exhibition to celebrate 100 years of British Cinematic history. Opening on 11 June at the historic headquarters of the University at Regent Street, the exhibition charts the birth of film censorship and classification, through to cutting edge rating and labelling of online content, and the cinematic heritage of the various incarnations of the Old Cinema at the University of Westminster.

The exhibition features early BBFC artefacts such as images of the first BBFC Presidents, T.P O'Connor's 43 Rules for Deletion as published in 1916, through to cuts books from the 1950s and original film examiner reports. The BBFC's history will be shown in parallel, and intersecting with, that of the University of Westminster, showing how film censorship impacted on early cinema-going in London. Items from the University's archive includes material related to the Lumiere brothers demonstrations of moving pictures in 1896 and illustrations of the cinema's prolific history as a venue for X-rated and avant-garde films.

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC says:

A lot has happened over the 100 years of British cinema and the exhibition reflects the changing nature of both UK cultural life and the BBFC. The BBFC made a fresh start in 2000, putting child protection, public consultation and transparency at the heart of our approach; but our concerns, practice and expertise have been evolving for much longer, and are a sort of tracking shot of a century of British history. We hope this exhibition will bring to life the links between social and cultural life, as well as the BBFC's academic and cinematic links to the University of Westminster and its Old Cinema.

Guy Osborn, Professor of Law at the University of Westminster says:

Inevitably public attitudes and values towards the censorship of British film have changed considerably over time as new concerns emerge and old ones become less significant.

The University of Westminster exhibition with the BBFC allows us to see how these sensitivities have influenced the making of cinema during the last 100 years. In addition, it gives us the unique opportunity to showcase a number of exciting artefacts from the depths of the University's archives and showcase the innovative work carried on at the University of Westminster School of Law.

Established as the British Board of Film Censors in 1912, the BBFC was designed by the film industry to ensure uniformity in film classification and was a reaction to the Cinematograph Act 1909 whereby all Local Authorities had the power to provide or withhold licenses for cinemas in their area. In addition to the Lumiere connection, and hosting a number of well known national and world premieres, the University of Westminster became famous for showing the first X rated film Life Begins Tomorrow (La Vie Commence Demain) in 1951 and went on to have connections with long-standing BBFC Director James Ferman, who wrote articles for the Poly Law Review in the 1970s, published by the School of Law. Today the school produces innovative work on both film and law, some of which will be highlighted in the exhibition.

 

12th June

  The Expendables...

New UK Blu-ray release of the Director's Cut
Link Here

The Expendables Extended Directors Blu ray The Expendables is a 2010 US action film by Sylvester Stallone. With Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Jet Li. See IMDb

UK: The Extended Director's Cut was passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence for:

  • UK 2012 Lions Gate RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 11th June 2012

The generally recommended Extended cut adds a little bit more characterisation to some of the tough guys neglected in the Theatrical Version. See pictorial version details from movie-censorship.com

Theatrical Version Uncut on Blu-ray

UK: The Theatrical Version was passed 18 uncut for:

  • UK 2010 Lions Gate RB Blu-ray

The BBFC explained their 18 rating:

The Expendables is a US action thriller about a group of mercenaries on a mission to overthrow a dictatorship in a fictional South American country. The film was originally classified 15 for cinema release after a single cut was made to remove a close shot of the hero sadistically twisting a knife into a villain's neck. This DVD version of the film reinstates the footage cut from the cinema version and was therefore classified 18 for strong bloody violence.

The strong bloody violence occurs throughout the film, with the mercenaries shooting and stabbing dozens of people in a manner that is strongly reminiscent of a video game. The BBFC's Guidelines at 15 state that Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury . The film contains many moments depicting the infliction of injury but most of these occur in the context of lengthy battle scenes where the general mayhem and chaos lessens the visual impact of the actual killings. However, the single moment cut from the cinema release (in which the hero sadistically twists a knife into a villain's neck) does dwell on the infliction of pain and injury and therefore exceeds the terms of the 15 Guidelines.

The film also contains multiple uses of strong language and frequent sight of knives being displayed and used.

Theatrical Version cut for cinema release and DVD

The Theatrical Version was passed 15 after 2s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2010 Lions Gate R2 DVD
  • UK 2010 cinema release.

The BBFC noted:

  • The company chose to remove one shot, showing a hero sadistically twisting a knife into a guard's neck, in order to obtain a 15 classification. An uncut 18 classification was available.

 

12th June

 Petition: Bring BBFC Costs Down...

Double charges for the same film on DVD and at the cinema
Link Here  full story: BBFC Fees...High censorship fees censor niche market releases

HM Government logo To Department for Culture, Media and Sport

This is the start of a revolution for independent film makers and distributors across the UK and Ireland - and even the world - in a bid to get as many signings as possible, to present to the money hungry BBFC to force them to bring their costs of ratings down.

With ridiculous rates and double charges for the same film to go to DVD and cinema, it is time to put a stop to this. The amazing people at the IFCO can do it - offering a safe 250 Euro for a limited release of 1000 copies in the first year. Why can't the BBFC offer the same?

Please support this fight and help us get as many names (and roles in the film world) as possible to help indie film makers deliver to you, works of passion, dedication and enjoyment... (more than the average Hollywood flick can do these days)

George Clarke CEO Yellow Fever Productions LTD

... Sign the petition

 

12th June

  Feverish Incitement...

Muslim radio station censured for inciting violence against gays
Link Here

asian fever logo Sister Ruby Ramadan Special 2011
Radio Asian Fever (Leeds), 17 August 2011, 12:00 and 18 August 2011, 11:00

Radio Asian Fever (Leeds) is a community radio station that serves the South Asian communities of Leeds.

Two listeners alerted Ofcom to the two programmes above, each approximately fifty minutes in duration and broadcast in Urdu, complaining that the programmes contained homophobic material. Having obtained an independent translation of the content, we noted that each of the two programmes consisted of a sermon delivered by a female presenter, Rubina Nasir ( Sister Ruby ).

In the broadcast on 17 August 2011, the presenter commenced with a Qur'anic verse (Sura Al-Nisa, verse 16) and gave her interpretation of that verse as being highly critical of homosexuality. The presenter also discussed various historical events portrayed in the Qur'an in the context of her main theme of homosexuality.

In the broadcast on 18 August 2011, the presenter focused her discussion on another Qur'anic verse (Sura Al-Baqra, verse 221) and gave her interpretation of that verse as being critical of mixed-faith marriages.

Ofcom obtained an independent translation of the two programmes from the original Urdu into English. We first noted the following two statements made by the presenter in the programme broadcast on 17 August 2011:

What should be done if they do it [practise homosexuality] If there are two such persons among you, that do this evil, the shameful act, what do you have to do? Torture them; punish them; beat them and give them mental torture.

Allah states, „If they do such a deed [i.e. homosexuality], punish them, both physically and mentally.? Mental punishment means rebuke them, beat them, humiliate them, admonish and curse them, and beat them up. This command was sent in the beginning because capital punishment had not yet been sent down.

In the programme broadcast on 18 August 2011 the sermon dealt with the issue of mixed-faith marriages, and we noted the presenter made the following statements: [Mushrak is taken to mean a follower of another religion and shirk is the sin of following another religion].

What happens when a Muslim man or woman get married to a Mushrak Listeners! Marriage of a Muslim man or woman with a Mushrak is the straight path to hellfire;

Have my sisters and brothers, who live with people of bad religions or alien religions, ever thought about what would become of the children they have had with them – and the coming generation?;

Where the filth of shirk is present, where the dirt of shirk is present, where the heart is impure, how can you remove apparent filth. How many arrangements will you make to remove the apparent filth?;

We are saying that Mushraks have no concept of cleanliness and un- cleanliness;

Ofcom considered

Rule 2.3: In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context. Such material may include... discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of... religion... and sexual orientation) ....

Rule 2.4: Programmes must not include material (whether in individual programmes or in programmes taken together) which, taking into account the context, condones or glamorises violent, dangerous or seriously antisocial behaviour and is likely to encourage others to copy such behaviour.

Rule 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.

Rule 4.1: Broadcasters must exercise the proper degree of responsibility with respect to the content of programmes which are religious programmes.

Ofcom unsurprisingly concluded that the broadcasts breached rules 2.3, 2.4, 3.1 and 4.1.

Ofcom regards the breaches in this case as serious breaches of the Code. In particular, in relation to Rule 3.1, Ofcom views any incident where a licensee has allowed content to be broadcast that is likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder as a significant contravention of the Code. Ofcom therefore puts the Licensee on notice that we will consider these breaches for the imposition of a statutory sanction.

 

12th June

 Update: EU Unimpressed...

Hungary still way out of line with its repressive media law
Link Here  full story: Media Censorship in Hungary...Repressive media censor established in 2011

Hungary flag The Hungarian press law is again drawing fire from the European Union; the amendments adopted by the Hungarian Parliament on May 24 have not placated Brussels.

In an interview published on June 7 in the Budapest weekly Figyelo, Neelie Kroes, EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda and vice-president of the European Commission, said the recent changes failed to address the concerns of the EU and of the Council of Europe. The Hungarian media law remains embarrassing, Kroes added. It only addresses 11 of 66 recommendations made by the Council of Europe without guaranteeing the independence of the Media Authority or clarifying all ambiguities.

The media law that came into force in January 2011 established a Media Council appointed by parliament, meaning it would be packed with close allies of the ruling Fidesz party, with members serving a renewable nine-year term.

On May 25 Dunja Mijatovic, the OSCE representative for freedom of the media, although acknowledging some improvements, criticized major provisions that legislators left in place. She mentioned in particular the ways of nomination and appointment of the president and members of the Media Authority and Media Council and their power over content in the broadcast media, as well as the prospect of very heavy fines that can lead to self-censorship among journalists.

Not only did the Hungarian government not follow most of the EU and the Council of Europe recommendations, but it also introduced new controversial clauses, like exempting the Media Council from concluding contracts for public tender in broadcasting.

 

12th June

  Nuttersville USA...

Massachusetts small town to introduce fines for strong language
Link Here

Massachusetts state seal Residents in Middleborough have voted to introduce fines for swearing in public.

At a town meeting, residents voted 183-50 to approve a police proposal to impose a $20 fine on public profanity.

Middleborough already has a bylaw against public profanity, but the level of criminality it invokes is set too high for practical use. The new measure sets the level as per traffic violations and will be more viable for police to fine strong talking victims.

 

12th June

 Offsite Article: BT Blocks Access to Black Triangle...

Link Here
Disability campaign website blocked by BT who won't explain why

See article from techweekeurope.co.uk

 

11th June

 Extract: Why Pay Twice?...

Third Window Films bows out of cinema exhibition quoting BBFC fees as one of the contributory reasons
Link Here  full story: BBFC Fees...High censorship fees censor niche market releases

Love Exposure 2 discs DVD This week Adam Torel, the managing director of Third Window Films, announced on Facebook that TWF would no longer distribute any of its films theatrically due to, quote: ...the resounding opening weekend failure of Himizu (and that of Villain before it)...

Torel, whose company specialises in Asian films spoke of BBFC fees as a a major contributory to the decision:

I don't think people most people realize how hard it is for independent theatrical distribution in the UK. Even my friends who run distribution companies in other countries are amazed when I tell them. In my opinion it comes down to 3 things which hurt us more than most:

  1. In the UK we MUST certify all films with the BBFC. In the US you can release a film unrated , but obviously other countries make it mandatory. The main problem with the UK is that the BBFC require you to certify your film both theatrically and for home video separately, each at a MASSIVE cost. Even though they're watching the exact same film and will give it exactly the same rating they still charge you twice! and the cost is astronomical! £ 8.40 per minute of film plus a handling fee of £ 120!! Imagine the costs for certifying Love Exposure for both theatrical and DVD = more than £ 4,000!!! Why the need to review the film twice? it's the same bloody film!! and get this: they actually watch DVD submissions AT HOME! I wish I got paid so much money to watch a film!

...Read the full article

 

11th June

 Updated: A Children's Alien After All...

Australia downgrades Prometheus from a mandatory 15 to an advisory 15
Link Here  full story: Prometheus...Hype about PG-13 vs R

australia classification review board logo A five-member panel of the Classification Review Board has unanimously determined that the films Prometheus (2D & 3D) are classified M (Mature) with the consumer advice moderate science fiction violence and a medical procedure .

The Classification Guidelines provide that the treatment of themes may have a moderate sense of threat or menace if justified by context and moderate violence is permitted if justified by context. In the Classification Review Board's opinion Prometheus (2D & 3D) warrants an M classification because the treatment of themes and the depictions of violence in the films are moderate in impact.

The overall impact of the classifiable elements in both versions of Prometheus was no higher than moderate.

The M classification is not recommended for persons under 15 years of age. Consumer advice is additional information about the main content of a film which is intended to help consumers decide if they want to view this type of material.

The Classification Review Board convened in response to an application from the original applicant, 20th Century Fox Film Distributors to review the decision made by the Classification Board on 24 May 2012 to classify Prometheus (2D & 3D) MA 15+ (Mature Accompanied).

Update: Sensitive Stomach

11th June 2012. See  article from  dailytelegraph.com.au

Surgery scenes in new sci-fi movie Prometheus resulted in a 15 year old boy being rushed to hospital after suffering a seizure yesterday. The boy's condition is now reported as stable.

The boy's collapse raised nutter questions about whether the film was given too low a rating.

The film was was given an M rating in Australia, an advisory 15 rating. The Australian Classification Board originally classified Prometheus as MA15+, meaning under 15s needed to be accompanied by a guardian. But that was dropped to M on appeal by distributor Fox to the Australian Classification Review Board so it could be seen by younger viewers without an accompanying adult.

Either way, the lad would have been allowed to see the film anyway.

 

11th June

  Turn Me On Dammit!...

As recommended by an Alabama pastor and a small town mayor
Link Here

Turn Dammit meg faen dammit An Alabama pastor has succeeded in his attempts to block the planned screening of a coming-of-age Norwegian drama film due to what he perceived as its inappropriate content.

Methodist pastor John Kearns contacted the Tuscaloosa Arts Council after seeing an advertisement for the movie Turn Me On, Dammit! , news site AL.com reports.

Affronted by the film's apparent focus on the sexual awakening of a 15-year-old girl in a small Norwegian town, he asked organizers not to show a film he complained was not in step with community standards .

In a statement the Arts Council said it had agreed to axe the screening of the film:

Due to the misunderstanding surrounding the theme and content of the film, the Arts Council and Bama Theatre have made the decision to cancel its screening, whether represented by the Council or outside entities. We hope this decision represents the wishes of all our constituents.

In what she described as a dangerous precedent , outgoing Arts Council board president Rebecca Rothman said Mayor Walt Maddox had personally contacted the council to ask it to rethink its plans to show the film. Rothman told AL.com:

The Arts Council receives city and county funding. We are in the midst of a big fund-raising effort for the new cultural arts center. We were put in a very difficult position.

Reacting to the decision not to show her film, Systad Jacobsen said it was sad that anyone would judge the film without actually having watched it:

Had they done so, they would presumably have expressed themselves differently after seeing that it actually has a Christian conservative message about waiting.

 

11th June

  Frankenhooker...

New UK DVD just released on the ArrowDrome label
Link Here

Frankenhooker DVD James Lorinz Frankenhooker is a 1990 US comedy horror by Frank Henenlotter. With James Lorinz and Joanne Ritchie. See IMDb

UK: The Unrated Version/Director's Cut was passed 15 uncut for strong language, sexualised nudity and drug use for:

  • UK 2012 ArrowDrome R2 DVD at UK Amazon released today on 11th June

Promotional Material

Finding a girl when you re a nerdy science geek can be hard. But what happens if that special someone dies in a bizarre gardening accident and it s all your fault?

Meet Jeffrey Franken. He s just killed the love of his life and now he s going to rebuild her... From the body parts of the dead streetwalkers who exploded when he introduced them to a lethal new drug Supercrack! Little does he know that a good recipe requires the correct ingredients. Jeffrey isn t putting his life back together; he s building... a FRANKENHOOKER!

From the twisted imagination of Frank Henenlotter (Basketcase) and starring James Lorinz (Street Trash), comes a movie that pays a loving tribute to the worst excesses of the American Grindhouse. Cust

Summary Review: Explosive Fun

Jeffery resurrects his fiancee named Elizabeth after a tragic accident. He goes out to New York City to look for some prostitutes and use a special experimental crack to make the hookers literally go out with a bang, he stitches all parts together along with Elizabeth's head then use lightning to resurrect her as a sleazy minded hooker who can literally kill men during sex.

Entertaining and over-the-top horror comedy from Frank Henenlotter (director of Basket Case and Brain Damage ) brings another winning combination of laughs, splatter and sleaze galore.

 

11th June

  Nutters Against Porn...

Jordanian government petitioned to block porn
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Jordan...Government push for blocking of internet porn

Jordan flag Nutters are pushing for internet porn to be blocked in Jordan. The Pink Cross Foundation, Girls Against Porn & Human Trafficking, & Cedars Cultural and Educational Foundation are lobbying the Jordanian government. In addition about 32,000 Facebook users have added their name to petition.

The Jordanian Ministry of Communications, Information & Technology has also voiced support for internet censorship.

 

10th June

 Update: A Serbian Film...

Belatedly banned by the New Zealand film censor
Link Here  full story: A Serbian Film...Hype for the most 'outrageous' horror yet

Serbian Film UNCUT Srdjan Todorovic It's taken a while but the New Zealand film censors at the OFLC have just banned the DVD release of A Serbian Film as 'objectionable'.

The submitted running time of 95:23s suggests that the New Zealand distributors had submitted the cut UK DVD version (95:20s) which had already lost 4:12s of footage.

The OFLC summarised its reasons for the ban:

The feature is an example of extreme cinema from Serbia. The film is about a retired porn star who accepts a role starring in an "art-porn" film. Once shooting begins he is tricked, manipulated and finally drugged into taking part in a catalogue of atrocities which include extreme and brutal acts of sexual violence and violence in association with sexual conduct. Other atrocities he witnesses or takes part in include cruelty, torture, sexual conduct with children and young persons, necrophilia and bestiality.

There is a high likelihood that viewers would be greatly shocked and disturbed by the extreme sexual violence and violence in association with sexual conduct, along with sexual conduct with children and young persons, regardless of age. The publication's sexual violence and violence in association with sexual conduct is concerning in a different way. Research has repeatedly shown that such depictions are likely to reinforce negative attitudes towards women in a number of ways. They have been shown to desensitise viewers to real-life violence, to reduce empathy with victims of sexual violence amongst both men and women, to increase rape myth acceptance, and to increase women's fear of sexual assault. In the current publication this material is so extensive and extreme that these injuries to the public good are likely to occur regardless of the age of the viewer. The publication is characterised by a significant level of dispute over its claims to merit, value and importance.

While the classification places a restriction on the freedom of expression as contained in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, it is a restriction consistent with Parliament's intention that publications containing such a high extent and degree of sexual violence and violence in association with sexual conduct, along with sexual conduct with children and young persons, be classified as "objectionable" to prevent the likelihood of injury to the public good.

 

10th June   

Red Nights...

Upcoming UK DVD release about an elixir of pain
Link Here

Red Nights DVD Frederique Bel Red Nights is a 2009 Hong Kong/France/Belgium thriller by Julien Carbon and Laurent Courtiaud. With Frédérique Bel, Carrie Ng and Carole Brana. See IMDb

Passed 18 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Sony/Goodfellas R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 23rd July 2012

Promotional Material

During the reign of the first emperor of China, an ingenious torturer concocted an elixir that paralyzed its victim's limbs, while increasing the sensitivity of their nerve endings tenfold. Kept in a jade skull, the elixir could provoke sensations in infinite variations everything from erotic caresses to appalling lacerations.

Haunted by the desire to experience the extreme sensations caused by the elixir, the executioner kills himself with his own poison, intensifying his death experience.

His pursuers never found the skull, which had been concealed within a large imperial seal. But the curse of the jade skull, responsible for its creator's death, will endure within the seal, bringing misfortune to all of those who possess it. Until today ...

 

10th June

 Update: Desecrating Russian Ideological Repression...

Russian artist fined for artwork on posters supporting the jailed Pussy Riot protest group
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Russia...Offending religious beliefs or desecration of holy objects or symbols

freedom to pussy riot Novosibirsk city court has fined the artist Artem Loskutov for painting two icon-like images of Pussy Riot members, which then were distributed as advertising posters all over the city.

 Loskutov was charged with supposed violation of public morality in the form of desecration of venerated public objects, signs and emblems of ideological symbols. The fine is 1000 rubles.

On March 11 2012, Icon-like posters depicting feminist band Pussy Riot members emerged in the city of Novosibirsk. The poster shows a woman wearing a red cloak and a purple mask. She holds her hands up and carries a baby on her chest. There are two words on the banner "FRDM PSRT" (a shortened version Freedom to Pussy Riot -- translated).

On February 21, five members of The Pussy Riot punk band performed on the altar of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow for a few minutes. They sang a song that contained unflattering characteristics of the clergy of the temple, as well as the Russian Patriarch, Kirill. The women, who were wearing colored masks, also sang Holy Mother, send Putin packing! Three members of the band are still detained under arrest awaiting trial.

 

10th June

 Update: Weak Minds...

Philippines health freaks call on film censors to ban smoking
Link Here  full story: Adult Rating for Smoking...Anti-smoking lobby for 18 for smoking in films

Philippines flag The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) has urged the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to ban cigarette-smoking scenes in television and in films.

Health Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag announced calls to prohibit showing images of actors smoking in TV and film. Citing health hazards caused by smoking, Tayag said the move will help in preventing Filipino audiences, especially the youth, from being encouraged to smoke, and from emulating the same act as they see it being done by popular celebrities.

Tayag also said he hopes the MTRCB will release a memorandum addressing the issue, such that portrayals of cigarette or tobacco-smoking will be regulated in television and in films.

 

10th June

 Offsite Article: Zombies at the Daily Mail...

Link Here
As popular culture overflows with vampires and zombies, are we forgetting to be scared of evil? Nonsense from the Daily Mail but it does at least mention George A Romero

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

9th June

  Malawi repeals law allowing government to censor news it didn't like...

Link Here

Malawi flagThe Committee to Protect Journalists has welcomed last week's vote in the Malawi parliament that repealed a sweeping amendment to the country's penal code which had allowed the government to ban any newsnot in the public interest.

The amendment to Article 46 of the penal code was first introduced in November 2010 under the late President Bingu Wa Mutharika, and passed last year, but was never implemented, according to news reports. The law would have allowed the information minister to ban any publication it deemed contrary to public interest for an unspecified period of time, news reports said. Its implementation was suspended pending constitutional review after it was challenged by local and international press freedom and civil society groups.

We applaud parliament's decision to repeal this draconian legislation, which would have institutionalized censorship, said CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes: We urge the government to build on this by ensuring the press can work freely and without fear of reprisal.

 

9th June

  Edmonton International Film Festival Recommends...

The Killing Games, banned as too violent
Link Here

killing gamesl The Killing Games is too violent for the Edmonton International Film Festival says Chairman Michael Hamm.

Director Barry J. Gillis invited reps from his own city to a Private Screening of his movie on May 18th at the historic Garneau Theatre in Edmonton. Hamm and another rep Kerrie Long showed up. Hamm and Long watched the entire movie from beginning to end on a big screen. However, on May 29th 2012, Gillis was informed in a telephone conversation by Festival Chairman Hamm that The Killing Games was too violent for the Edmonton International Film Festival.

The Killing Games is about a man who's wife is dying of a mysterious illness. He contemplates taking the law into his own hands, after his daughter witnesses a double homicide and narrowly escapes the grasp of two serial killers. The movie was shot in Wabuman, Lac St. Anne, Alberta Beach and Edmonton, Alberta. Gillis is against censorship, and believes that he is getting shafted by the Edmonton Film Festival. It was alright for them to watch the entire movie, but they don't want you to see the movie. He continues, I feel like David Cronenberg when he first started out in Toronto, it was the same kind of thing, a never ending struggle because of a little violence in a Canadian movie.

 

9th June

 Updated: One Lunatic...

Police investigate the possibility that murder suspect Luka Magnotta uploaded a video of the murder to a video sharing site
Link Here

best gore logo An online video believed to be linked to a Montreal murder and dismemberment case has stirred debate about web hosting, user-submitted content and legal responsibility.

Reports indicate police are weighing whether the owner of BestGore.com, an Edmonton-based website specializing in gruesome content, should face charges for hosting a video that purportedly depicts a naked man being stabbed with an ice pick and eventually dismembered.

Police believe the chilling video, titled 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick, may depict the death and dismemberment of a 33-year-old Chinese student at a Montreal university. Web surfers were able to access the video on BestGore.com until Montreal police identified Luka Rocco Magnotta as a suspect in the death of Jun Lin, said Marek.

Speculation has abounded about whether website owner Mark Marek can face obscenity charges for carrying what is thought to be real footage of a grisly murder. Multiple reports indicate charges are pending, but Marek says he hasn't heard from police. He wrote in an email to the Canadian Press:

Up to this point, the police have not made contact with me. I removed the video on my own terms, not on the request by the police,

Update: The Blame Game

9th June 2012. See  article from  dailymail.co.uk

ripper Canadian Cannibal killer suspect Luka Magnotta has been linked to a violent video game starring Christopher Walken as a futuristic serial killer called Vince Magnotta who is addicted to butchering his victims.

Hollywood actor Walken starred in the 1996 video game Ripper , a gruesome adventure which sees a brutal serial killer terrorising New York in the year 2040.

The game can have a number of different endings depending on the path the player follows and although the Vince Magnotta character is ostensibly a police officer investigating the murders, one outcome sees him as the Ripper .

The game begins with the serial killer sending an email to a newspaper saying he is addicted to butchering his victims. Luka Magnotta, who changed his name from Eric Clinton Newman in 2006, is understood to have sent an email to a British newspaper in which he wrote: I can't stop killing .

 

9th June

  Try to Contain Your Excitement...

Harvey Nichols advert prompts a few tweets
Link Here

harvey nichols contain your excitement advert Upmarket fashion store, Harvey Nichols has prompted a few tweets for a supposedly disgusting mailshot ad campaign that depicts a woman wetting herself.

Harvey Nichols said:

We developed the campaign to promote our summer sale and capture the excitement in a light-hearted, humorous way.

During the production of the campaign, we researched the use of this expression in popular culture and social media and were satisfied that is is both commonplace and invariably used in a playful, inoffensive manner, which was in-keeping with the tongue-in-cheek spirit in which we intended our campaign to be taken.

The flyers  show a woman with her clothes soaked around the groin area next to the slogan: The Harvey Nichols Sale.. Try To Contain Your Excitement.

A few people wrote a few uninteresting tweets to criticise the campaign, and it was enough for telegraph to report the 'outrage'.

 

9th June

 Offsite Article: Defamation Bill 2012...

Link Here  full story: Censorship by Libel...British libel law allows the rich to censor the truth
The Libel Reform Group set out their concerns about the government bill ahead of the 2nd Reading Commons debate on 12th June.

See article [pdf] from senseaboutscience.org

 

9th June

 Offsite Article: Daily Mail Loaded with Nutters...

Link Here
The lads' mag I edited turned a generation on to porn - and now I'm a father I bitterly regret it: A remarkable confession from the longest-serving editor of Loaded

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

8th June

 Updated: The Mirror Recommends Hitman Absolution...

Is this the sickest game ever?
Link Here

Square Enix Hitman Absolution Xbox The Mirror has kindly written an excellent publicity piece for an upcoming video game. The Mirror presents some excellent stills that have supposedly 'outraged' a few twitterers:

The Mirror writes:

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT - The new Hitman: Absolution trailer has been branded grotesque and misogynistic for showing gun-toting, PVC-clad nuns being killed in a bloody hail of bullets

A controversial new video game featuring gun-toting, PVC-clad nuns being killed in a hail of bullets has sparked outrage on Twitter.

The eagerly anticipated Hitman: Absolution -- Attack of the Saints has been slammed for its graphic violence and sexualisation of women.

...

The explicitly violent trailer has been attacked on social networks and blogs, with angry users branding the video game misogynistic and disturbing .

One feature on the IGN gaming news website condemned the trailer as grotesque and tacky and actually quite dangerous .

...Read the full article

Update: Apologies

8th June 2012. See  article from  huffingtonpost.co.uk
See also interview with Tore Blystad from ign.com

The director of Hitman: Absolution has apologised for any offence from the game's trailer.

The trailer for the game attracted a bit of stick from the tabloids. However the majority of HuffPost readers in a poll said they didn't take offence at the trailer, but now the game's director Tore Blystad has apologised anyway.

In an interview with IGN, Blystad said:

We're sorry that we offended people, that was truly not the intention of the trailer

Of course we understand, this has been a very big topic for us and we've been reading as much as we could of the articles and responses.

We were surprised that it turned into such a huge topic... We just wanted to make something cool, it wasn't the intention to stir up anything.

The Hitman games as a series has always been extreme in many ways. It tends more towards sixties exploitation movies -- these were a fascination [for us] because they were so extreme.

 

8th June

  The Outlaw Josey Wales...

New US region free Blu-ray release of the Clint Eastwood western
Link Here
Outlaw Josey Wales Blu ray Eastwood The Outlaw Josey Wales is a 1976 US Western by Clint Eastwood. With Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke and Chief Dan George. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA PG Rated for:

Previous Uncut Releases:

UK: Passed 18 uncut for:

US: Uncut and MPAA PG Rated for:

Previous Cut Releases:

UK: Passed AA (14) after 16s of BBFC cuts for category for:
  • UK 1976 cinema release

The cuts were to the rape scene featuring Sondra Locke

 

8th June   

Updated: David Lynch Box Set...

Released on UK Blu-ray and DVD
Link Here

David Lynch Box Set DVD David Lynch Box Set contains:

  • Eraserhead
  • Dune
  • Blue Velvet
  • Wild at Heart
  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
  • Lost Highway
UK: The David Lynch Box Set is 18 rated for:
  • UK 2012 Universal David Lynch Box Set RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 4th June 2012*
  • UK 2012 Universal David Lynch Box Set R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 4th June 2012

*Update: Blu-ray Withdrawn

Thanks to rg_engineer

Amazon.co.uk has suspended sales of the David Lynch Box Set Blu-ray. Amazon writes:

Item Under Review

This product is not currently offered by Amazon.co.uk because a customer recently told us that the item he or she received was not as described.

We are working to resolve this as quickly as possible. In the meantime, you may still find this product available from other sellers on this page.

Promotional Material:

Referred to as the most important filmmaker of the current era by The Guardian, David Lynch has carved out a stunning portfolio of work investigating the dark and seedy side of human nature with a delicious sense of black humour. Bringing together six of his most well-known films on DVD for the very first time, this boxset also includes several of Lynch's most famous short films, experimental films, rare interviews, documentaries, outtakes and more.

  • ERASERHEAD -- Newly remastered by David Lynch himself, ERASERHEAD is a dream of dark and troubling things. Special Features: LYNCH ONE documentary (81.42)
  • DUNE -- Based on Frank Herbert's 1965 novel, Lynch's filmic vision is a genuine science-fiction masterpiece. Special Features: Destination Dune (06:16); Impressions of Dune (38.02)
  • BLUE VELVET -- A voyage of discovery into the very heart of Lunberton's seedy and sinister underworld. Special Features: Interview with Dennis Hopper (45min)
  • WILD AT HEART -- A love story in hell; WILD AT HEART takes Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern on one of the most bizarre journeys of all time. Special Features: Dumbland (all eight animated episodes, 35:00)
  • TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME -- The last seven days of Laura Palmer. Starring Kyle Machlachlan, Sheryl Lee and Ray Wise.
  • LOST HIGHWAY -- Featuring an incredible cast, LOST HIGHWAY is a powerful, sensual and extraordinary experience. Special Features: Four Intervalometer Experiments: Steps (03.38) / Dining Room (02.55) / Groper (00.18) / Sunset (06.03)

Bonus Disc Content:

  • Mysteries of Love documentary (70 Mins)
  • Blue Velvet Outtakes
  • Siskel & Ebert At the Movies
  • Four Vignettes from Blue Velvet
  • Blue Velvet Theatrical trailer
  • Blue Velvet TV Spots
  • Interview with Golda Offenheim, production co-ordinator on Dune (25.00)
  • Dune Theatrical trailer
  • Plus twelve short films: The Darkened Room (08.16) / Boat (07.16) / Lamp (30.20) / Out Yonder -- Neighbour Boy (09.38) / Industrial Soundscape (10.20) / The Bug Crawls (04.12) Six Men Getting Sick (03.45) / The Alphabet (03.44) / The Amputee Take 1 (04.50) / The Amputee Take 2 (04.04) The Grandmother (33.36) / Lumiere and Company - 1995 (00.58)

 

8th June

  Recommended by the Vatican...

Sister Margaret A Farley's Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics
Link Here

Just Love Framework Christian Sexual After the Vatican's doctrinal book censor condemned an American nun for a book she wrote on human sexuality this week, the book shot up Amazon.com's bestseller list, becoming the #1 best selling religious studies book. Sister Margaret A. Farley's Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics, was the #16 best-selling book on Amazon overall.

Farley's book shot up from number 142,982 on Amazon on the day the Vatican revealed its censure of Sister Margaret A. Farley over her 2006 book, which the church said is out of step with official church teaching on human sexuality, including masturbation and homosexuality.

Masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action, the church said in a statement that went on to characterize homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity.

The censure came soon after the leadership that represents most American nuns concluded a meeting in Washington to devise a response to an April Vatican assessment that accused the nuns of promoting radical feminism. Taken together, the Vatican critiques signal an attempt to reign in America's nuns, a community that the Holy See believes has drifted away from church teaching.

 

8th June

  Wriggling Around the Rules...

Animal rights activist alleges that Indian film productions are evading animal welfare rules
Link Here

housefull 2 A letter from Indian animal activist Maneka Gandhi to the Minister Of Information & Broadcasting Ms Ambika Soni has set of a flurry of activity in official quarters of the government.

The letter alleges that Bollywood film producers are making a fool of the Animal Welfare Board Of India (AWBI) and the censor board.

In the letter Maneka Gandhi says:

They (the producers) send a script but will not mention animal activity in India or will give wrong activity.Then when the film is shot they send the CD for approval to the AWBI without the schemes involving animals in it. The AWBI gives the NOC (No Objection Certificate) on the basis of the CD.

The producer then reinstates the scenes and goes to the censor board with the NOC. These scenes are usually very violent. The censor board instead of questioning these scenes which are blatantly cruel, simply take it for granted that they have an NOC and pass the film.

The letter goes on to give the example of Sajid Nadiadwala's Housefull 2 where Akshay Kumar is seen wrestling crocodiles and a python .

Gandhi also accuses some regional officers of the CBFC of blatantly ignoring the rules. She cites the example of the Tamil film Adukulam where the rooster fights that were the film's mainstay had not been approved of by the AWBI.

The letter seems to have triggered a response from the censor board. A source from the censor board says there are radical changes coming regarding the censorship process with respect to animals in Hindi films.

 

8th June

 Offsite Article: Blood Money...

Link Here
Why the Public Loves Zombies

See article from huffingtonpost.co.uk

 

8th June

 Offsite Article: Advertising Nutter Views...

Link Here
An Australian advertising worker outlines how the country's advert censor is ineffective in imposing nutter views on society

See article from melindatankardreist.com

 

7th June

  Free Membership...

BBFC encourages online film labelling with cheaper online classifications
Link Here

BBFC logo The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is now automatically issuing all films classified for DVD or Blu-ray release with online classifications for use on licensed digital video platforms. The move aims to help the home entertainment industry streamline their physical and digital products and to provide consumers with the classification symbols they know and trust for their on-demand downloads.

Content classified for DVD or Blu-Ray was previously given an online classification in return for a small additional payment; this has now been abolished. Digital certificates for films classified on Blu-ray and DVD will be included in the charge for DVD and Blu-ray classification from 1 June, providing the same trusted symbols online as consumers recognise from DVD and Blu-ray packaging (U, PG, 12, 15, 18). The BBFC is also removing the membership fee previously required for online only classifications, making them more widely accessible and cost effective for content only available online.

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC, says The number of video-on-demand platforms continues to grow and we've been working with the industry for over four years to ensure the public's desire for clear content labelling is met. A key role for the BBFC is child protection and we want as much online content as possible to receive classifications so consumers can make informed decisions about what they and their families watch. 82% of parents say they prefer to download content with BBFC classification symbols and altering the way we provide online classifications will help content providers give consumers the information they need and trust when deciding what to watch.

Lavinia Carey, Director General of the British Video Association says, The development of the BBFC's voluntary online classification service took a great leap forward with the introduction of the speedy and cost effective "Watch & Rate" service for video content not released on disc, as it allows distributors to continue providing viewers the same level of trustworthy age ratings and consumer advice for digital video services as they get on physical discs. Now any content can be rated without having to pay for membership of the scheme, which should encourage more and more video distributors to use Watch & Rate even if they're not planning a DVD release.

The BBFC's service for streamed and downloaded content was launched in collaboration with the home entertainment industry in 2008. The service provides trusted classifications, category symbols and Consumer Advice to set-top box, video-on-demand and other online content providers. Key affiliates using the BBFC service include Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Europe, Warner Bros., Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Universal, BT Vision, Tesco/Blinkbox, TalkTalk, Picturebox and Netflix.

 

7th June

  Lost Highway...

New UK DVD and Blu-ray release of the David Lynch thriller
Link Here

Lost Highway DVD Bill Pullman Lost Highway is a 1997 France US mystery thriller by David Lynch. With Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette and John Roselius. See IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Universal David Lynch Box Set RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 4th June 2012
  • UK 2012 Universal David Lynch Box Set R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 4th June 2012
  • UK 2012 Universal RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 4th June 2012
  • UK 2012 Universal R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 4th June 2012

No censorship issues.

Promotional Material

Haunting sexuality, ricochet action and fleeting, murderous shadows await you on a journey that begins and ends on the Lost Highway. The successful jazz musician whose marriage is on the rocks... The man in black who threatens to expose him... The young mechanic with links to a powerful mobster... The mobster's moll who knows what she wants and the people who can get it for her. These are the riders on the Lost Highway, trapped in their worlds of desire, destiny and unknown destination.

Featuring a star-studded soundtrack and an incredible cast including Bill Pullman (Independence Day), Patricia Arquette, Balthazar Getty, Robert Blake and Robert Loggia, Lost Highway is a powerful, sensual and extraordinary movie experience from renowned director David Lynch.

Features:

  • Four Intervalometer Experiments: Steps (03.38) / Dining Room (02.55) Groper (00.18) / Sunset (06.03)

 

7th June

  Rape of the Vampire...

New US DVD and Blu-ray release of Jean Rollin's first film
Link Here
The Rape Vampire Remastered Edition Rape of the Vampire is a 1967 French horror by Jean Rollin With Solange Pradel, Bernard Letrou and Ariane Sapriel. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

Summary Review: Gothic Imagery

After a psychoanalyst unsuccessfully tries to convince four sisters that they are not 200 year old vampires, the Queen of the Vampires promulgates the cause of the Undead.

Jean Rollin, blends with audacity and talent romantic tradition and Gothic imaginary with avant-garde contents and visual experimentation.

This is Rollin's first film and starts straight away dividing viewers between those that love, and those that hate.

Cut in the UK

Passed 18 after 41s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1994 Redemption VHS titled Le Viol du Vampire

 

7th June

  One Lunatic...

Police investigate the possibility that murder suspect Luka Magnotta uploaded a video of the murder to a video sharing site
Link Here

best gore logo An online video believed to be linked to a Montreal murder and dismemberment case has stirred debate about web hosting, user-submitted content and legal responsibility.

Reports indicate police are weighing whether the owner of BestGore.com, an Edmonton-based website specializing in gruesome content, should face charges for hosting a video that purportedly depicts a naked man being stabbed with an ice pick and eventually dismembered.

Police believe the chilling video, titled 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick, may depict the death and dismemberment of a 33-year-old Chinese student at a Montreal university. Web surfers were able to access the video on BestGore.com until Montreal police identified Luka Rocco Magnotta as a suspect in the death of Jun Lin, said Marek.

Speculation has abounded about whether website owner Mark Marek can face obscenity charges for carrying what is thought to be real footage of a grisly murder. Multiple reports indicate charges are pending, but Marek says he hasn't heard from police. He wrote in an email to the Canadian Press:

Up to this point, the police have not made contact with me. I removed the video on my own terms, not on the request by the police,

 

7th June

  Dummies at Instagram...

Picture of shop window dummy all too much for Instagram
Link Here

dummy on instagram The photo shariing website Instagram is well acquainted with censorship as it has previously worked closely with Apple's iPhone and iPad. It recently made the news when acquired by Facebook.

But their response to a photo of a shop window dummy posted on Instagram is nothing short of unbelievable.

The Instagram censorship team wrote:

It has come to our attention that your account on Instagram has violated our Community Guidelines, which can be found here: http://j.mp/rswUWS

In short, we ask that you:

  • Don't share photos that aren't yours.

  • Don't share photos that show nudity or mature content.

  • Don't share photos of illegal content.

  • Don't share photos that attack an individual or group, or violate of our Terms of Use.

We strongly suggest deleting any additional content on your account that may not fall in line with the above guidelines.

We value these guidelines, and believe that they will help keep Instagram a safe & fun place for everyone. It is important to note that continuing to violate them may result in a disabled account, or discontinued access to Instagram, without warning.

Thanks, The Instagram Team

 

7th June

 Update: Extremely Wise...

Kuwait's ruler sends extreme blasphemy law back to parliament
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Kuwait...Baying for blood

Kuwait flag Kuwait's Ameer, Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad al Sabah, has refused to sign a bill passed by parliament stipulating the death penalty for major religious offences.

The government has sent the bill back to parliament indicating that it had been rejected by the Ameer.

The Ameer has the power to refuse bills passed by the elected parliament, but the assembly can override the rejection by passing the bill again with a two-thirds majority of the house membership of 49 MPs and 16 cabinet ministers.

The bill, passed by parliament last month, stipulates that Muslims who curse the Koran, or the religious characters, God, Mohammed, prophets or Mohammed's wives.

The bill introduced two new laws specifically to introduce extreme penalties for such offences. Non-Muslims who commit the same offence face extreme jail terms of not less than 10 years, according to the bill.

 

6th June   

Updated: Eraserhead...

Released on UK Blu-ray and DVD
Link Here

Eraserhead DVD Jack Nance Eraserhead is a 1977 US fantasy by David Lynch. With Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart and Allen Joseph. See IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Universal David Lynch Box Set RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 4th June 2012
  • UK 2012 Universal David Lynch Box Set R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 4th June 2012
  • UK 2012 Universal RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 4th June 2012
  • UK 2012 Universal R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 4th June 2012
  • UK 2008 Scanbox R2 DVD

UK: Passed 18/X uncut for:

  • UK 1993 Polygram VHS
  • UK 1986 Palace VHS
  • UK 1979 Cinema release

Promotional Material

Newly remastered by David Lynch himself for this 35th Anniversary release, his feature-film debut is a masterpiece of the macabre and grotesque.

Eraserhead follows a sensitive young man as he struggles to cope with impending parenthood. Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) lives in a hopeless industrial landscape, lusting after the beautiful woman who lives in the apartment across the hall.

Five years in the making, Eraserhead contains all of the trademark attributes of a Lynch film--haunting visuals, an ethereal score, unsettling sound design, and, most notably, a black sense of humour - creating a world onscreen that is exhilarating, terrifying, and truly unique.

Features:

  • LYNCH ONE documentary
  • Four short films:
    Six Men Getting Sick - 1966
    The Alphabet - 1968
    The Amputee Take 1 - 1974
    The Amputee Take 2 - 1974

Other Versions

From IMDb. The original print of the film ran 20m longer and featured a number of characters who are referenced in the credits but do not appear: The people digging in the alley show up in the second half of the movie. Henry comes across two kids excavating rows of dimes from the asphalt in the street. The landlady shows up in the second half, in a scene where Henry goes into the lobby of the apartment building and takes out his anger on a bench. You stop kicking my bench! the landlady shouts at him. That's good wood!

The longer original version was screened in public only once before being changed by David Lynch to its present format.

 

6th June

  Requiem for a Vampire...

New US DVD and Blu-ray of another in the series of Jean Rollin releases by Redemption
Link Here

Requiem Vampire Remastered Marie Pierre Castel Requiem for a Vampire is a 1971 French horror film by Jean Rollin. With Marie-Pierre Castel, Mireille Dargent and Philippe Gasté. See IMDb .

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

Summary Review: Highly recommended

No one would be expecting a meaningful social commentary from a film with this title, but please bear in mind when watching that this a Jean Rollin film, so don't expect a meaningful story either. This is mad, it has kinky lesbians and they're vampires. Happy days!

It's quite light hearted for a Rollin flick and is at the fast end of his snail like pacing, but that isn't saying much on either count. It's no Daughters of Darkness either, so don't try to make sense of it, you'll end up as bonkers as Rollin.

Instead laugh at crap vampires and revel in the kink fest in the dungeon. It's bloody great and is a bona fide Eurotrash classic. Highly recommended.

UK Censorship History:

UK: Passed 18 after 6:55s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2011 Redemption R2 DVD
  • UK 1993 Redemption VHS

See pictorial cuts details from movie-censorship.com :

  • Heavy cuts a dungeon scene showing two vampires groping and abusing 2 chained up women. Including a vampire bat supposedly going down on one of the women.
  • 21 of cuts to the scene with Michelle whipping Marie
UK: Banned by the BBFC for:
  • UK 1972 cinema release

 

6th June

 Updated: How to Cook Jesus Christ...

Spanish artist on trial for supposedly offending religious feelings
Link Here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update: Reflecting badly on Spanish 'justice'

6th June 2012. See article from spainreview.net . See also How to cook Jesus Christ on youtube.com

cooking christ video Veteran Spanish singer-songwriter, Javier Krahe, was in court on Monday charged with offending religious feelings with a film he made back in 1978.

The 68-year-old artist told members of the press waiting outside the Madrid courtroom that he was innocent and misunderstood and that if he were found guilty, he would go into exile in France.

Film director Alex de la Iglesia, a friend and neighbour of Krahe described the whole trial as regrettable, anachronistic and absurd adding that it reflects badly on Spanish justice.

 

6th June

 Update: Settling Scores...

Bangladesh issues arrest warrant for author accused of blasphemy
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Bangladesh...Penalising disbelief

The Grave Salam Azad An arrest warrant has been issued for author Salam Azad, whose 2003 novel contains supposedly insulting remarks about the religious character Mohammed.

A court in Dhaka issued the order in response to a petition from a Muslim activist accusing author Salam Azad of hurting religious sentiment in his banned book Bhanga Math (Broken Temple).

Azad told AFP the case was part of a smear campaign against him launched by a senior official from the ruling Awami League party: I became his target after I protested his grabbing of Hindu property. He has already filed a case against me .

Azad said the book, published in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata, was banned for blasphemy by the Bangladeshi government in 2004.

 

6th June

  Peace Banned...

Egyptian film banned for promoting peace with Israel
Link Here

Egypt flag Egypt's film censor has halted production of a film for allegedly promoting the normalisation of relations with Israel, Al-Ahram Arabic has reported.

Mohamed Kenawy who wrote the film, Regheef Aish (Loaf of Bread) , denied the accusation and said the film promotes peace and cooperation among all people regardless of sex, race and religion.

The story revolves around an Egyptian, a Palestinian and an Israeli, and examines life in the Arab region and the world.

The film had been under production for two months before filming was halted.

 

6th June

  Police TV Censors...

Ecuador closes down Lidervision TV station
Link Here  full story: TV Censorship in Ecuador...Radio and TV channels banned by the government

Ecuador flag On 24 May 2012, authorities of the Police and the Telecommunications Superintendence (SUPERTEL) seized equipment and closed down TV station Lidervision in the city of Tena and Radio Lider in the city of Archidona.

According to the radio and TV stations' owner, Edison Chavez, the stations were closed down because they owed six months of concession fees. However, he said the case had been appealed in the Contentious Administrative Court, so that according to Art.67 of the Broadcasting and Television Law, they should not have been closed down while the legal process was still going on.

The frequencies' owner believes the closures were politically motivated and that they (the authorities) aim to suspend all private media using any kind of argument .

In his case, Chavez asserted that his media outlets have criticized authorities and have given the public a space to express itself. For example, he pointed out that they questioned the sudden layoffs of public servants, as well as the gas crisis in the province that caused people to have to make long queues. It was the only outlet citizens could use to protest and express themselves because the rest are pro-government , he said.

 

5th June

  Nightbirds...

Link Here

Nightbirds DVD Blu ray Berwick Kaler Nightbirds is a 1970 US drama by Andy Mulligan. With Berwick Kaler, Julie Shaw and Susan Heard. See IMDb

Passed 15 uncut for strong sexualised nudity, sex, language and gore for:

  • UK 2012 BFI RB Blu-ray/R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 28th May 2012

There are no censorship issues with this release

Promotional material: Previously thought lost

While living rough on the streets of London's East End, a young man, Dink (Milligan regular Berwick Kaler - Coronation Street, Red Riding), encounters the beautiful and mysterious Dee (Julie Shaw - The Big Switch). Concerned for Dinks welfare, she invites him to stay with her and get off the streets. The two soon develop a curious relationship which oscillates, often without warning, between sexual intimacy and raging jealousy. As tenderness gives way to cruelty, they become consumed by darkness and their relationship spirals out of control.

Previously thought lost, this extraordinary film has been remastered to HD from the only surviving film materials, and is presented here with Milligan's British horror feature, The Body Beneath.

Extras:

  • Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition.
  • Audio commentary with Berwick Kaler (2001): the stalwart of British stage and screen in conversation with film expert Stephen Thrower
  • The Body Beneath (Andy Milligan, 1970, 77 minutes): Milligan's second British-shot feature is a ghoulish horror in which a young woman comes to visit her distant relative the Reverend Algernon Ford, only to discover that she is descended from a long line of vampires.
  • Optional dialogue-only tracks for Nightbirds and The Body Beneath
  • Original trailers for Nightbirds and The Body Beneath
  • Extensive booklet with contributions from filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn, Milligan biographer Jimmy McDonough, and film experts Stephen Thrower and Tim Lucas.

 

5th June

 Update: Extreme Overreaction...

Kuwait makes an example of a Twitter user convicted for blasphemy
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Kuwait...Baying for blood

Kuwait flag A Kuwaiti man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after he was convicted of supposedly endangering state security by insulting the religious character Mohammad and the Sunni Muslim rulers of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on social media.

Shi'ite Muslim Hamad al-Naqi pleaded not guilty at the start of the trial last month. The written verdict found Naqi guilty of all charges, a court secretary told Reuters.

The sentence was the maximum that Naqi could have received, his lawyer Khaled al-Shatti said. But an appeal could be possible.

The judge found him guilty of supposedly insulting Mohammed, his wife and companions, mocking Islam, provoking sectarian tensions, insulting the rulers of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and using his mobile phone to spread the comments.

The civil plaintiff arguing the case against Naqi, had called for Naqi to be executed reflecting the bloodlust of politicians and religious extremists. This verdict is a deterrent to those who insult the Prophet Mohammad, his companions and the mothers of the believers, civil plaintiff Dowaem al-Mowazry said in a text message. He had argued in court that Naqi must be made an example of.

 

5th June

  A Few Whingers...

FCC reports on TV complaints for the first quarter of 2012
Link Here

FCC logo The US TV censors of the FCC reported that there were 'only' 1,023 complaints about broadcast indecency or obscenity during the first quarter of 2012.

The quarterly totals were:

  • general criticism 726,
  • indecency/obscenity 1,023, and
  • other 1,854.

On the indecent/obscene front, 231 were received in January, 386 in February and 406 in March.

 

4th June   

Updated: The Return of the Living Dead...

New Second Sight UK Steelbook Blu-ray with the original soundtrack
Link Here

The Return Living Dead Steelbook The Return of the Living Dead is a 1985 US comedy horror by Dan O'Bannon. With Clu Gulager, James Karen and Don Calfa. See IMDb

UK: Version with the original soundtrack passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Second Sight [Original + Remixed soundtrack] Steelbook Blu-ray at UK Amazon released today on 4th June 2012

Fans of the film consider the original soundtrack to be the 'proper' version.

Promotional Material:

The dead have risen and they need BRAINS! Dan O'Bannon's cult splatterfest is one of the definitive zombie movies and one of the classic horrors of the 80's.

Blundering medical supplies warehouse workers Frank and his young trainee Freddy unwittingly unleash a mysterious U.S. military chemical that brings the dead back to life. And they've got a real hunger for human brains! Enlisting the help of the local crematorium they set off a chain of events that could lead to the end of civilisation. Can they defeat the growing army of ravenous zombies? How do you kill something that's already dead? It's not a bad question Burt!

Features:

  • More Brains! A Return To The Living Dead: The definitive 2 hour documentary featuring interviews with cast, writers, producers and many more, as well as previously unseen behind-the-scenes footage, storyboards, conceptual art, publicity materials and archival documents.
  • More Brains! 2 hours of Killer Bonus Features: A conversation with Dan O'Bannon: The Final Interview. They Won't Stay Dead: A look at Return Of The Living Dead Part II. Love
  • Beyond The Grave: A look at Return Of The Living Dead III.
  • Stacey Q Live: Exclusive Tonight music video.
  • Even More Brains: Deleted documentary interviews. Return of the Living Dead in 3 minutes. Resurrected Settings: The Filming Locations Today.
  • The Origins of Return Of The Living Dead with John A. Russo.
  • The FX Of The Living Dead with production designer William Stout and FX make-up artists William Munns and Tony Gardner.
  • Party Time with music consultant Steve Pross and 45 Grave singer Dinah Cancer
  • Original Soundtrack: PCM 2.0
  • Remixed Soundtrack PCM 2.0
  • Remixed Soundtrack: DTS 5.1 Digital Surround
  • Exclusive to Bluray Steelbook - Ernie's Notepad: a 20-page replica notebook by embalmer Ernie Kaltenbrunner, featuring production notes, casting information and exclusive artwork

Previous Releases with the Remixed Soundtrack

UK: Version with the re-mixed soundtrack passed 18 uncut for:

  • UK 2002 MGM R2 DVD
  • UK 1985 Vestron VHS

From IMDb. The soundtrack was re-mixed for US DVDs as follows:

  • The Damned song, Dead Beat Dance, which played to introduce the punk kids driving in Suicide's car, was removed for copyright reasons.
  • The Tar Man's voice has been re-recorded in a more guttural tone. However, the original Tar Man voice can be heard briefly during the closing credit sequence.
  • The send more cops zombie has been re-recorded with a lower voice.
  • The Tall Boys song Take a walk has been removed, now you only hear it for a few seconds with no vocals.
  • The song Burn the flames playing over Frank's suicide has also been shortened.

 

4th June

  The Black Panther...

UK release dual format Blu-ray/DVD from the BFI
Link Here
  The Black Panther DVD Blu ray The Black Panther is a 1977 UK crime thriller by Ian Merrick. With Donald Sumpter, Debbie Farrington and Marjorie Yates. See IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 BFI RB Blu-ray/R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 28th May

There are now censorship issues for this release.

Promotional Material: Controversial at the Time of Release

Directed by Ian Merrick, this intelligent crime drama charts the infamous killing spree which Donald Neilson, aka the Black Panther, perpetrated across England during the mid-70s, culminating in the kidnapping and death of a 17-year old girl. Told with uncommon accuracy and refraining from any measure of sensationalism, this fascinating and disturbing film fell foul of a media-driven campaign upon its original cinema release which resulted in an effective ban.

Now newly mastered from original film elements preserved at the BFI National Archive, this impressive and powerful film is at long last made available for new audiences. The Dual Format Edition also includes Bob Bentley's rarely seen 1981 short film, Recluse, which is based on reports of another real life crime, as an extra, as well as an extensive booklet contextualising essays, full credits and original promotional materials.

Features (subject to change)

  • Presented in Both High Definition and Standard Definition
  • Director approved transfer
  • Alternative French language soundtrack, with optional English subtitles
  • Recluse (1981, 30 minutes): Bob Bentley's arresting short film based on real events, starring Maurice Denham and edited by David Gladwell
  • Recluse: recce footage (1978, 10 minutes): newly-discovered 16mm location scouting footage
  • Comprehensive booklet with newly commissioned essays and contribution from James Oliver, Ian Merrick and Michael Armstrong; original promotional artwork; full credits

 

4th June

  Complaint Goes Down Like a Lead Balloon...

BBC Trust dismisses complaints about supposed mockery of a catholic funeral service
Link Here

Lead Balloon Series 1 4 Box Lead Balloon
BBC Two, 14 June 2011

The complainant contacted the BBC having seen a clip from the BBC Two comedy Lead Balloon played on the BBC Breakfast programme. The complainant said that the clip treated a funeral service in an irresponsible manner and ridiculed the Catholic Mass.

The complainant said that this was offensive to Christians and questioned whether other religions would have been treated similarly. The complainant also wondered whether consideration had been given to the feelings of those who had been recently bereaved and had sought consolation in their faith. The complainant was concerned that all religions should be treated equally and respect shown, particularly in relation to the Crucifixion and the Holy Sacraments.

BBC Audience Services responded saying that the BBC recognised that many people had strong religious sensibilities and some might argue that religion should be off limits for humorists. The response said that while the BBC would never seek to mock the essence of religion or to cause offence, it was difficult to impose a single set of standards on which everyone could agree. The only realistic and fair approach was to ensure a broad range of comedy so that all viewers felt they were catered for at least some of the time.

The complainant wrote again, saying that he had been given what was probably a standard reply to anyone who made a complaint about the portrayal of religion in a programme. He said that he had not suggested that religion should be off limits for humorists but objected to the mockery of those things which were at the heart of a particular religion, as the Sacrament of Holy Communion was for almost all Christians.

The Executive Editor, Comedy Commissioning, wrote to the complainant having discussed the complaint with the producers of the show. He explained the context of the scene, including details of the storyline and character development during successive series. He explained that the joke was firmly on Rick (the central character) whose vanity and sense of victimhood frequently led him to lie or dissemble in an attempt to manipulate his situation to his advantage, ending invariably in his own comic humiliation.

The episode in question had made it clear that Rick's behaviour was unacceptable, other characters had expressly stated that he was wrong and he was punished for his behaviour by the storyline.

ECU Decision: Complaint not upheld

The complainant escalated his complaint to the Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU) at Stage 2 of the BBC's complaints process, reiterating his view that it was inappropriate to ridicule a service of Holy Communion, the Mass, that this sacrament lay at the heart of Christian worship and that Christianity was not being treated equally with other religions.

The ECU's Head of Editorial Complaints said that although the Mass depicted in the programme was briefly disrupted by the behaviour of the central character, Rick, it was he – not the ceremony or what it represented to believers – who was the object of ridicule. The Head of Editorial Complaints looked in more detail at the story, setting out the ways in which Rick's hypocrisy was revealed during the episode, and concluded that there was nothing that ridiculed the Mass itself.

The Head of Editorial Complaints therefore did not uphold the complaint.

BBC Trust Decision: Appeal Not Pursued

The complainant wrote to the BBC Trust, observing that the previous stages of the complaints system all involved responses from BBC employees who, in the complainant's view, had a vested interest in taking sides with the editorial team and delaying complaints in the hope that complainants would give up.

The Head of Editorial Standards thought it could reasonably be argued that the audience would have known what to expect of the series and, in particular, of the lead character, Rick, played by Jack Dee. The Head of Editorial Standards accepted that this type of humour would not have been to everyone's taste, but suggested that there were plenty of signposts that would have allowed those likely to be offended to have selected alternative viewing ahead of the programme.

Turning to the Guidelines on Religion, the Head of Editorial Standards considered that the complainant had already received well-reasoned responses from both the Executive Editor, Comedy Commissioning, and the Head of Editorial Complaints. As they had both highlighted in some detail, it would be difficult to argue that the point of the episode was to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.

The Head of Editorial Standards regretted that the complainant was offended. However, she did not consider that the appeal had a reasonable prospect of success or that there was a case for the BBC Executive to answer.

The Committee agreed that the complainant had already received well-reasoned responses from the Executive Editor of Comedy Commissioning and the ECU's Head of Editorial Complaints. The Committee noted the complainant's view that the programme made a mockery of the act of taking the wafer during Mass; however, it agreed that it would be difficult to argue that the point of the episode was to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. The Committee did not agree that in portraying the main character choking on a wafer the Christian faith had been treated with contempt. The Committee concluded that an appeal on the grounds that the Editorial Guidelines on Religion had been breached did not have a reasonable prospect of success.

The Committee therefore decided this appeal did not qualify to proceed for consideration.

 

4th June

  Warning...

Following official North Carolina dietary advice has turned normally placid bureaucrats into rabid control freaks and censors
Link Here

ncbdn logo Steven Cooksey has created a website to help other diabetics get healthy, but a North Carolina agency tried to censor his online healthy food advice column, saying he was not a licensed dietitian.

Cooksey has filed a lawsuit in federal court, saying the state violated his free speech rights. Cooksey said in an interview with The Associated Press:

When did it become illegal to tell people to eat meats and vegetables? How is it illegal to tell people not to eat grains? We're talking about healthy eating. This is wrong.

The North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition claimed it was illegal for anyone without a government-issued dietician's license to offer diet advice.

The law suit names the Board of Dietetics/Nutrition and several board members are named as defendants. The lawsuit was filed on Cooksey's behalf by the Institute for Justice, a national civil liberties group. This content-based censorship of Cooksey's speech violates the First Amendment, the lawsuit said.

Cooksey says he never described himself as a doctor, dietician or nutritionist. His website has a disclaimer informing readers he has no special dietary qualifications.

In December, Cooksey says he started answering reader questions in a column. A month later, he received a notice from the state asking him to stop providing advice to readers, friends and family in private emails and conversations; and offering a paid life-coaching service.

 

4th June

 Update: Tools of Repression...

Malaysia enacts technical law that holds websites responsible for user posts
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Malaysia...Malaysia looks to censor the internet

Malaysia flag Malaysia's Evidence (Amendment) (No.2) Act 2012 came into operation on June 1. The impact of this hastily and stealthily rushed legislation could be devastating.

De facto law minister Nazri Abdul Aziz denies that amendments to the Evidence Act were a means for the government to curb online dissent by making Internet anonymity more difficult to maintain or ignorance to be used as an excuse.

However opposition leaders such as DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng are unconvinced. Lim said that the amendment which was passed during the last sitting of the Dewan Rakyat and the Dewan Negara will make it easier for the government to launch selective prosecutions of members of the opposition and civil society .

According to him, a person is traditionally presumed innocent until proven guilty but the Evidence Act 2012 reverses this truism. Lim illustrates with a personal example: In other words, I am responsible for anything posted on my website and the burden is on me to prove my innocence, not on the prosecution to prove my guilt .

Centre for Independent Journalism executive officer Masjaliza Hamzah has termed the amendments as a threat to freedom of expression and media freedom.

The amendments are clearly an indirect way to control online content as it makes online sites responsible for comments posted by readers; forget about disclaimers on the comment section.

This may force some sites to stop the comment feature because having to vet comments themselves may become untenable, and if this happens, it has a huge impact on the interactive nature of online media favoured by readers, she is reported to have said.

The bottom line is that any repressive piece of legislation which can be misused by the powers-that-be to prohibit or curtail legitimate freedom of expression by its opponents is, in essence, a bad law.

 

4th June

 Update: Uncensored...

Indian government whinges that TV channels are broadcasting films without the mandatory censorship certificate
Link Here  full story: TV Censorship in India...India considers the regulation of TV for adults

I&B logo About 382 movies were broadcast by 38 different channels without displaying the mandatory certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in the month of January 2012.

This has upset the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry which has now asked the Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF) to ensure that all channels display the censor certificates while telecasting films and ensure that rules are followed.

According to the official sources, the Electronic Media Monitoring Cell (EMMC) of the ministry had in a report pointed out the non-display of these mandatory certificates by TV channels on 382 occasions.

Officials said that the ministry had reasons to be annoyed that the practice of sidestepping censorship law  had become widespread. Sources said that not just the private players, but even the national broadcaster Doordarshan in January this year had telecast a movie without displaying the CBFC certificate.

 

4th June

  More Hurt Feelings...

Hindus go to court to try and get film banned in India
Link Here

katari veera surasundarangi The recently released Kannada film Katari Veera Surasundarangi featured in a High Court case trying to get the film banned.

The petitioners, Nagarajun Naidu and others, have contended that the film (released on May 10) has several objectionable scenes and dialogues against Hindu gods. The film has hurt the feelings of many Hindus in general, they added.

They claimed that many scenes depict the hero Upendra hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus and sought for a direction from the court to stop its screening across the state.

They petitioners pointed out that statewide protests were held against the screening of the movie. Several pro-Hindu organisations have condemned the censor board for allowing the screening of the film.

The case was adjourned for two weeks.

 

4th June

  Violent Censorship...

Russian radio host attacked after criticism of islam
Link Here

radio mayak logo A radio host has been hospitalized after being cut 15 times by an unidentified attacker. Two weeks ago the journalist ventured to criticize the religious character Mohammed on air.

According to the police report, an unknown man called to Sergey Aslanyan's flat over the building intercom and called him outside for a talk. When the journalist stepped out of the entranceway he was knocked over the head with a heavy object, after which the assailant brought the knife into play.

Aslanyan claimed that the attacker was shouting you are Allah's enemy! while slashing at the victim.

As of now the journalist is conscious and his condition is stable.

Still, Izvestia newspaper suggested the attack was linked to recent statements made by the journalist in a radio show. While discussing religion in general he made some remarks about Mohammed:

The Prophet Mohammed, as we know, was not a religious figure. He was a businessman, but after getting considerable financial support built plans as to how to get to the top.

According to Aslanyan, the idea of Islam was a business project from the very beginning, and turned out to be successful due to handsome financing.

iThere was a widespread angry reaction on the Islamic internet forums. Muslims from the Republic of Tatarstan, where Islam is the dominant religion, wrote a letter to the Prosecutor General's office saying Aslanyan's statements had insulted them. Imam Seijarfar Lutfullin said:

These insults wound our religious feelings and come into conflict with Russian legislature, because they unleash ethnic discord and interreligious hatred.

 

4th June

 Extract: New Statesman Recommends Hitman Absolution...

I love you videogames, so why do you keep doing this?
Link Here

Square Enix Hitman Absolution Xbox If I had a pound for every game I've seen where the female characters walks in, and the camera follows her gently wobbling buttocks into shot, rather than her face, I'd have at least 23 quid. Maybe 24.

...Read the full article

 

3rd June

  War of the Dead...

UK release on Momentum DVD
Link Here
War The Dead Andrew Tiernan War of the Dead is a 2011 US/Lithuania/Italy action horror by Marko Mäkilaakso. With Andrew Tiernan, Mikko Leppilampi and Samuel Vauramo. See IMDb

Passed 15 uncut for strong language and bloody violence:

  • UK 2012 Technicolor/Momentum R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 28th May

There are no censorship issues with this release.

Promotional Material

March 1942. Captain Martin Stone leads an American unit on a mission to join forces with an elite platoon of soldiers and destroy a Nazi bunker. But when the troops find themselves being attacked by the same enemy soldiers they had killed in an earlier ambush, they quickly begin to question who exactly the enemy is...an SS experiment gone wrong or the living dead?

 

3rd June

  Frubbish...

ASA throws out whinges about TV advert for Frubes yoghurts
Link Here

frubes advert A TV ad, for a children's yoghurt, Frubes, seen in March 2012 featured the inside of a fridge and cartoon Frubes characters lined up behind one another and marching in unison behind the leader, who was dressed as an army Sergeant Major. The Sergeant Major initiated the following singing exchange with the solders: We are Frubes and we are proud! , rip our heads off, sing it loud! , suck our guts out . The endframe featured the Sergeant Major standing beside a pack of Frubes saying Frubes. Rip their heads off and suck their guts out.

The ad was cleared by Clearcast with no timing restriction.

Nine viewers challenged whether the ad, and particularly the phrase Rip their heads off and suck their guts out , was inappropriate for children to see and therefore irresponsible.

Yoplait UK Ltd explained that the Frubes brand had been advertised on TV for several years with various creative content that included the strapline Rip their heads off and suck their guts out . They said they considered the strapline as referring to the Frubes characters only, and did not consider it offensive. They said the strapline had become an integral part of the Frubes advertising.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

The ASA understood that the ad had been cleared without any scheduling restrictions and had been broadcast on various children's TV channels, including Nickelodeon and Boomerang. We noted that the Frubes brand had been using the strapline Rip their heads off and suck their guts out for seven years. We also noted that the strapline was made in the context of animated cartoon Frubes characters and was not directed at anyone. We understood that the product was a fruit-flavoured yoghurt which came in slim plastic pouches and was consumed by tearing off the top of the pouch and sucking the contents out, and the strapline reflected this.

We noted that the ad did not feature the animated characters engaging in acts of violence towards each other and we considered that the language used was mild and relevant to how the product would be eaten. We noted two viewers reported that their young children had repeated the phrase. We considered that although some viewers might find the strapline distasteful and not want young children to hear or repeat the phrase, it was unlikely to cause harm or distress to children. For these reasons, we concluded that the ad, and particularly the phrase Rip their heads off and suck their guts out , was not inappropriate for children to see and was not irresponsible.

We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 1.2 (Social responsibility), 4.1 (Harm and offence) and 32.3 (Scheduling) but did not find it in breach.

 

3rd June

  Flatulant Whinges...

BBC Trust dismisses complaints about the whacky children's comedy, Sorry I've Got No Head
Link Here
sorry ive got no head video

  She's a witch!
An example sketch from the series

Sorry I've Got No Head and School of Silence
BBC One, 24 August 2011

The complainant wrote to the BBC regarding three sketches which he had watched the previous day on BBC One at about 3.10pm.

  • The first sketch portrayed a man joining the front of a queue at a bus stop and producing ice cream and sauce from his nose;

  • the second sketch featured a man putting food onto children's heads; and

  • the third sketch involved a man using a trump machine to simulate the sound of flatulence in order to make children laugh.

The complainant felt that these three sketches depicted unhealthy and depraved behaviour, unsuitable both for the children involved in the broadcast and for those watching at home.

In reply, BBC Audience Services said that the BBC believed it offered a wide range of imaginative children's programmes but accepted that not every programme would appeal to every child. The response explained that over the years there had been a substantial change in the style and presentation of children's programming. Such changes tended to be a reflection of changes in society and it was important that the BBC remained in touch with its audience.

In response, the complainant said that he was very disappointed that the BB's reply had not referred to the specific incidents he had raised.

After a delay of several months the complainant received a response from the Executive Producer of Sorry I've Got No Head. He said that he wanted to put the issues the complainant had raised into context. He explained that over three series he had endeavoured to create a comedy universe which suited and reflected the world of the audience and that the three sketches were intended to be viewed as heightened and ridiculous examples of human behaviour with comic consequences. He was confident that viewers would perceive these sketches as comedy rather than negative social comment.

The complainant then escalated the complaint to the Editorial Complaints Unit The complainant replied that he felt his concerns were of wider scope than the guidelines quoted, and included dishonesty, cheating, disgusting unnatural behaviour, obscenity and moral failure.

ECU Decision: Complaint not upheld

The ECU replied that they had watched the episode concerned and previous programmes in the series. The programme in question showed a man joining the front of a line of people at a bus stop, having asked if it was the back of the queue. A comet fell from the sky into his neighbour's hand. The man then produced ice cream and chocolate sauce from his nose.

The ECU noted that this was the eighth episode of the third series of Sorry I've Got No Head. In their view, regular viewers would have been very familiar with the anarchic tone of the programme and the ridiculous nature of the characters within it – for instance, a man with remote-controlled legs. Regular viewers would also have been aware that this was a returning sketch within the programme, and that the same man had at other times produced from his nose such unlikely items as tennis balls, a balloon animal and an elephant. The ECU accepted that, if taken literally, a new viewer might have understood the ice cream to be made of bodily fluids. However, despite its origin, the ice cream was clearly made up of single scoops of strawberry, chocolate and vanilla.

The ECU also explained that the guidelines on Harm and Offence did not require that the BBC never offended. They did require that the programme makers judge the suitability of content against the context of when it was broadcast and the likely expectations of the audience. The ECU believed that the sketch was entirely absurd in premise and expectation and very much in the tradition of surreal slapstick humour that audiences might expect from a comedy programme aimed at younger people.

Therefore the ECU did not uphold the complaint

BBC Trust Decision: Appeal Not Pursued

The complainant escalated his complaint to the BBC Trust

The Head of Editorial Standards believed that two of the complainant's points related to the same sketch in which a man knowingly went to the front of a queue at a bus stop and dispensed a stream of ice cream and then chocolate from his nose. She said that Sorry I?ve Got No Head had been variously billed as anarchic , surreal and Little Britain for children . She said that it was clearly labelled as a comedy sketch show for children and

some of the actors featured were amongst Britain?s best-known comedians. There were regular appearances from characters who found themselves in extraordinary situations: Tony who lived down the back of a sofa, headless Bill who took up tennis, and the helpful bees who found themselves in space. As the ECU had observed, the man who produced objects from his nose was one of these regular characters and previous objects produced included animals and tennis balls.

Given the fantastical context of the programme, and the unlikely possibility that children might use these surreal characters as literal role models, the Head of Editorial Standards did not believe that the appeal had a reasonable prospect of success in proving that this material might seriously impair the physical, mental or moral development of children and young people.

The Committee agreed with the Head of Editorial Standards that there was no evidence that the actions portrayed in either programme might seriously impair the physical, mental or moral development of children and young people. The Committee also agreed that the scenes complained of did not breach generally accepted standards .The Committee therefore agreed that there was no reasonable prospect of success for an appeal on the grounds that the programmes had breached the guidelines on Harm and Offence.

The Committee therefore decided this appeal did not qualify to proceed for consideration

 

3rd June

 Update: Pervy Lingerie Football...

Collective Shout! get their lingerie in a twist
Link Here  full story: Collective Shout...Nutter campaigners against sexualisation and the like

lingerie football league The Australian nutters of Collective Shout! are getting well wound up by Lingerie Football League.

This is an outlandish bit of American razzmatazz being brought to Australia. Exhibition matches feature two American teams of female footballers playing in bras and knickers.

Unsurprisingly the extremist feminists of Collective Shout are unimpressed  and are trying to get the matches banned from the netball venue that more usually hosts the Queensland Firebirds in Brisbane.

All-Star exhibition games between the LFL's Eastern and Western conferences - the second is scheduled for Sydney next Saturday - are virtual dress rehearsals, test events to gauge whether franchises should be set up in Australia's four main cities next year.

That scenario appals Collective Shout representative Melinda Liszewski, who is spearheading the drive to banish the LFL said:

We have female athletes and female sporting groups in this country working hard to promote the equality of women in sport and to see women valued for their athletic ability and their skill -- not how they look or how sexually appealing they are to men.

The Lingerie Football League undermines that message by saying sure we'll let you play football but get your gear off.

It sends a really nasty message to girls: if they want to be recognised in their sporting field then they need to be exposing their bodies, posing for Playboy, running around in their lingerie.

Federal Minister for Sport Kate Lundy was also not among the LFL's reputed 65 million fans worldwide, labelling it a cheap, degrading perv .

Lingerie Football isn't just a distraction; it's an assault on sport. We can do so much better than LFL. And most importantly, our daughters deserve more.

Founder and chairman Mitch Mortaza launched the LFL in 2009. Contracts stipulate players will be fined $500 if they wear anything under their lingerie; they must also accept accidental nudity was an occupational hazard. Mortaza explained:

The athletes do it of their own free will - thousands of them line up in the States every year, he said.

They are all former collegiate athletes, remarkable women that want to be given an opportunity to play a sport and have it receive the recognition of major men's sports.

 

3rd June

 Update: Blockaded...

Sky joins the blockade of Pirate Bay
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking File Sharing in UK...High court dictates website block

Sky TV Sky has become the latest ISP to implement the court order forcing it to block filesharing website The Pirate Bay.

Everything Everywhere (EE) and Virgin Media have already taken similar action, while the order has also been extended to BT, O2 and TalkTalk.

The latter two of these three major broadband providers are still working to introduce the ban, while BT has requested more time to make the required arrangements.

Explaining its approach to protecting copyright, the pay TV giant said it has invested billions of pounds in creating high-quality content for its customers and acknowledged the importance of protecting this material against piracy. Such protection makes sure that consumers continue to benefit from TV programmes, movies and music both now and in the future, Sky stated.

 

3rd June

 Extract: Three Thousand Links Removed Per Day is Not Enough...

RIAA Demands Unlimited DMCA Power From Google
Link Here

riaa logo After Google published their report last week on DMCA takedowns, the American music industry group, the RIAA, is determined to make out that Google is the problem, because almost 1.25 million removed links in one year wasn't enough, and it's all Google's fault, despite the search giant having absolutely no hand in putting any of them online.

The RIAA is claiming that Google  is not being proactive enough with alleged copyright infringements. Worse, it's claimed that Google are actively hindering the RIAA, because they're not allowing the industry group free reign to have each and every suspect link terminated perpetually.

When Google published their report on DMCA takedowns last week, the RIAA was unimpressed. In fact, they were so unimpressed by the average of ONLY 3,400+ links taken down each and every day, that they did what any well-connected lobby group would do -- it took to its blog and wrote a top-5 list of facts on why it's all Google's fault

...Read the full article

 

2nd June   

Updated: A Serbian Film...

Released uncut on US DVD
Link Here  full story: A Serbian Film...Hype for the most 'outrageous' horror yet

Serbian Film UNCUT Srdjan Todorovic It is reported that the US distributor,  Invincible Pictures, will be releasing an uncut Limited Edition DVD of A Serbian Film. This will be the first uncut release featuring an English language friendly version.

Some reports suggest that the release will be DVD only but the Invincible Pictures website also lists a Blu-ray version.

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

  • US 2012 Invincible Pictures R1 DVD at US Amazon released on 22nd May 2012 but only just in stock

 

2nd June

  Ludicrous Advert Censors Want Everybody to Live in a PG Rated World...

ASA get wound up by 12A rated YouTube trailer for Ghost Rider
Link Here

ghostrider trailer Two ads for the film Ghostrider: Spirit of Vengeance in 3D:

a. A digital outdoor ad seen in Glasgow Central Railway Station, on 14 and 15 February 2012 showed a trailer of the film, which was displayed without sound. The ad showed various scenes including a living skeleton character whose head was on fire and a man with a missing eye, screaming at the screen.

b. A YouTube banner ad, seen in February 2012, showed an image of Nicholas Cage which faded into a moving image of a skeleton whose head was on fire while text stated GET READY FOR THE WORLD'S DARKEST HERO . The film's title and a range of clickable options then appeared on the right of the banner ad and a static image of the skeleton character sat on a motorbike and wielding a flaming chain appeared on the left.

1. One complainant, whose children aged four and seven years had been frightened by the ad, challenged whether ad (a) was unsuitable to be seen in an untargeted medium where it could be seen by children.

2. One complainant challenged whether ad (b) was unsuitable to be seen by children.

1. & 2. Entertainment One (eOne) said that the film was certified by the BBFC as a 12A which meant that anyone aged 12 and over could go and see the film unaccompanied and children younger than 12 may see the film if accompanied by an adult.

They said that while the ads may have been considered unsuitable for general viewing, the media selected to display the ads was not intended to be viewed by unaccompanied children under the age of 12 where an adult would not be capable of shielding the child from such fear or distress.

eOne said that YouTube advised in their Terms of Service that anyone under 13 should not use the site and they therefore considered that YouTube was not a medium which would target children under the age of 12, without parental supervision. They said that it was a parent's responsibility to review YouTube's Terms of Service and recognise that it was not recommended for children under the age of 13.

In relation to ad (a), eOne said that Glasgow Railway Station was used widely by working commuters and as such, was not a location that would or should have been frequented generally by children under the age of 12 and in any event, they understood that it was highly unlikely that any children under 12 would be at the station unaccompanied.

YouTube, who displayed ad (b) on behalf of eOne said that they did not consider that the ad was unsuitable for untargeted display on the basis that the film was rated 12A and displayed obviously fictitious content. They considered that it was the responsibility of eOne to ensure that any ads submitted for display on YouTube were compliant with the CAP code.

ASA Decision Complaints Upheld

1. Upheld

The ASA noted that the imagery shown in ad (a) reflected the content of the film which was rated as a 12A by the BBFC. However, we also noted that most of the scenes included depicted violence or scenes of horror from the film, including footage of the film's main character, a living skeleton engulfed in flames attacking people with a metal chain. We considered these images could frighten some children and that the ad was likely to catch their attention, especially because it was shown on a large screen. We therefore concluded that it was unsuitable to be shown in an untargeted public medium

Ad (a) breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.2 (Harm and offence).

2. Upheld

We noted that ad (b) reflected the content of the film and that the skeleton figure was a fantasy character and was likely to be recognised as such. However, we considered that the moving image in the ad, which depicted the film's lead actor Nicholas Cage turning into the skeleton character after his face was consumed with flames had the potential to cause distress to some children. We noted that in order to create a YouTube account, users were required to confirm that they were at least 13 years old. We also noted, however that this ad could be viewed without logging in to the site and therefore it was not possible to prevent under 13-year-olds from viewing it. We also understood that a small proportion of visitors to YouTube were children despite their Terms of Service stating that under 13s should not use the service; seven per cent of YouTube users were aged between two years and 11 years and nine per cent were aged 12 to 17 years. Because ad (b) included imagery that could have caused distress to some children, and it could be viewed by all YouTube users including children, we concluded that it was inappropriately targeted and breached the Code.

Ad (b) breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.2 (Harm and offence).

 

2nd June

  The Call of Duty to Demonise Games...

Daily Mail runs with nonsense claim that Call of Duty was more to blame than religious extremism for terrorist murders
Link Here

Call Duty Modern Warfare DVD The Daily Mail writes:

The former wife of French terrorist Mohammed Merah says the couple played violent video games including Call of Duty together before he gunned down seven people in cold blood.

Merah, 23, caused terror across south west France in March when he shot dead three soldiers and four civilians, including a Rabbi and three children, at a Jewish school in Toulouse.

Hizia Miriam, 18, has thrown a new light on the self-styled Jihad, or Islamic warrior during her interview with French police.

Rather than a deeply religious extremist fighting enemies in the west Merah comes across as a delinquent who was psychologically disturbed by his favourite hobby.

 

2nd June

 Update: Perhaps We Need to Think About This...

Mobile phone company's only just start to think about handling complaints about their low quality website blocking systems
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

Open Rights Group logo Since we published our report Mobile Internet censorship: what's happening and what to do about it , jointly with LSE Media Policy project, a number of people have been in touch with us asking what to do if they discover their site is blocked incorrectly by mobile networks' child protection filters.

But if you are responsible for a site and have found it is blocked, you will also want to get in touch with the mobile networks concerned to check that it is blocked on their network and to get the site removed from the filters so everybody can access it again.

One of the points in our report was that it can be too difficult to do this - you can read about Coadec's problems trying to get their site removed from Orange's Safeguard on their blog.

The mobile networks have told us they are working on improving the way that these reports can be made, which is great. I wanted to do a quick update on progress so far. So I asked the networks what the best way to get in touch with them about this would be. If you are trying to contact the operators to get your site unblocked, here's what the networks offer at the moment:

Vodafone

For the moment, Vodafone have asked that these requests go to this email address: ukmediarelations@vodafone.com

They are planning to have a more specific address available soon. [The mediaRelations email address just about sys it all]

Orange and T-Mobile

The email address to use is safeguard@everythingeverywhere.com and can be used for reports relating to both Orange and T-Mobile.

O2

O2 have a useful URL checker , which also allows people to check sites' classification - which says whether and why a site is blocked - and to report if they consider the site to be classified incorrectly.

Three

Three told us their official position at the moment is: if a Three customer believes a website is being incorrectly blocked then they should call our Customer Services team. We are currently reviewing how best customers can contact us to report these concerns.

 

2nd June

  Streamlined Whingeing...

BBC refocuses its complaints reporting system
Link Here

BBC logo The BBC is just about to revitalise its complaints service to make the process faster, simpler and easier for all concerned.

The plans follow a report from the House of Lords last July that strongly suggested improvements are made to the convoluted and overly complicated complaints process at the BBC .

The BBC will remain handling their potential issues in-house, with the planned new system, which will go live on 26 June, designed to feature a central point to better organise what are defined as complaints, with messages coming in from several areas of their websites. Additional features will include the provision of a phone number and weblink alongside the complaints e-mail address, and plans to respond to same-subject complaints with a same response being sent to all matching queries, as opposed to answering one-by-one.

While the trivial complaints will be given the right of appeal, the main focus of the reform is the substansive issues raised towards them, as the BBC claim that as per standard, they will be responded to within 30 days, although this limit will not be applied to their online-only content, such as news stories.

The BBC Trust Complaints & Appeals Board chairman Richard Ayre states:

We have agreed improvements to the complaints system to speed it up, simplify it, and focus resources where they are genuinely needed. If the BBC gets something wrong, these changes should ensure complaints get more quickly to the people best placed to deal with them. And, if the BBC sometimes gets things badly wrong, it should deliver a remedy that's timely and unambiguous.

 

2nd June

 Offsite Article: BBFC Podcast Episode 5...

Link Here
On the subject of sexual violence

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

2nd June

 Update: Revisiting a Painful History of Repression...

South Africa's censors give The Spear a 16 age rating
Link Here

spear by brett murray South Africa's media censors at the Film and Publication Board have given The Spear painting a 16N rating.

FPB chairperson Thoko Mpumlwana said:

Any persons or entities wishing to publish and exhibit images and/or replicas of this specific artwork will in future have to put in place mechanisms to regulate access to this piece of art by members of the public below the age of 16.

FPB CEO Yoliswa Makhasi said the board understood the image of the painting had gone viral, but urged youths to delete copies of it.

When asked how this image differed from other nude artworks, FPB chief operations officer Mmapula Fisha said Murray's painting was not just a piece of nude art:

The artwork has forced society to revisit its painful history. The classification had to balance this and artistic merit

 

1st June

  Catch.44...

Noted US action drama gets a UK DVD release from Anchor Bay
Link Here
Catch 44 DVD Bruce Willis Catch.44 is a 2011 US action drama by Aaron Harvey. With Malin Akerman, Reila Aphrodite and Kevin Beard. See IMDb

Passed 15 uncut for strong language, once very strong, and gory violence for:

  • UK 2012 Anchor Bay R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 28th May

There are no censorship issues with this release

Promotional Material

Bruce Willis, Malin Akerman (Watchmen), Nikki Reed (The Twilight Saga), Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood) and Academy Award? winner Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) star in the tough, sexy story of three hit women sent to rural Louisiana to intercept a big money dope deal. But when they get to the near-empty roadside cafe', bullets blast apart what was supposed to be a simple transaction. It could be a huge, bloody misunderstanding but it might also be a deadly double-cross.

Shea Whigham (Boardwalk Empire) and Academy Award? nominee Brad Dourif (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) co-star in this intense crime thriller with a killer twist.

 

1st June

  China Casts China in a Bad Light...

Chinese film censors removed 13 minutes from Men in Black 3
Link Here

Men Black Two Disc Combo The makers of Men in Black 3 might not have realised that setting parts of the film in New York's Chinatown would cause offence in China

But the Chinese government apparently saw plenty of political resonance in one scene where Will Smith, playing a US secret agent, erases the memories of a group of Chinese bystanders.

This could have been a hint on the use of internet censorship to maintain social stability, commented China's Southern Daily newspaper.

Meanwhile two other scenes, where unsavoury aliens disguise themselves as Chinese restaurant workers, were also judged to have cast China in a bad light.

In all the Chinese film censors have removed 13 minutes of footage for the Chinese release.

 

1st June

  Record Breaking Whingeing...

The ASA reports that 2011 was a record year for the number of complaints
Link Here

ASA logo 2011 was a record-breaking year, mainly because of the extension of our remit to advertisers' own claims on their own websites and other social spaces.

In 2011 we received a record 31,458 complaints about 22,397 ads.  Our action led to 4,591 ad campaigns being changed or withdrawn [20%].

Some ads receive multiple complaints so we report on both the total number of complaints received and the number of ads (cases) to which these complaints relate.

  Complaints Cases
2009 28,978 13,956
2010 25,214 13,074
2011 31,458 22,397

ASA identified a breakdown of reasons for resolved complaints and case in 2011.

  Complaints Cases
Misleading Information 64% 78%
Easy Offence 26% 15%
Supposed Harm 10% 7%

 

1st June

  Stewart Jackson MP and Prude...

A shameful whinge at Peterborough's Ann Summers
Link Here

stewart jackson Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson has whinged about Ann Summers' Summer of Sex promotion which invited customers to dress up in bikinis to get free swimwear and to eat ice creams covered in different flavour lubricants.

The nationwide promotion prompted a complaint by one of Jackson's constituents. The MP wrote to the company got a reply from the firm's brand director Fiona Davis saying that, in light of his letter, the promotion was being totally withdrawn.

The prudish Jackson spewed:

I'm not a prude but... I feel that when one of my constituents complains to me that they found this inappropriate then I have a duty to act.

I don't wish to affect the company's business and I wish them well ...BUT.. .I personally found the promotion tacky and distasteful.

When you consider that this promotion was being advertised in store windows up and down the country, many impressionable young children were getting a wrong impression.

From a political point of view you can't going around spending thousands of pounds trying to prevent teen pregnancies and then turn a blind eye to a campaign promoting sex.