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 2011: July
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31st July   

Mediawatch Bullshit...

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Vivienne Pattison urges a watershed for radio
Link Here

Today programme The nutters of Mediawatch-UK have urged the BBC to introduced a TV style watershed for radio.

This was in response to Radio 4's Today programme repeatedly used the words bullshit and bastards during a recorded item. The words were spoken to illustrate a report about the abuse aimed at academics researching chronic fatigue syndrome or ME.

The item, introduced with no warning by regular presenter Sarah Montague, said researchers who suggested ME might be a mental illness had been subjected to a hate campaign. Actors used to read the e-mails from sufferers quoted: Those of you responsible for preventing us sick ME sufferers getting the help we need, wasting £ 5million on flawed bullshit, you will all pay.   Another said: How are you evil bastards going to explain away another piece of evidence? Sister station Five Live aired the same report but warned listeners beforehand.

As the BBC launched an investigation following complaints, Radio 4 insisted the words were essential and Today listeners could cope without a warning. The written version on BBC online did not mention the swearwords and neither did TV bulletins later in the day.

Mediawatch-UK said that was because television is banned from using swearwords before 9pm, while radio is freer to broadcast abuse at any time. Director Vivienne Pattison said that made no sense and the loophole should be closed. She said she frequently had to leap across the room to switch off her radio to prevent her children hearing words of adult content aired during the day.

Pattison said: The BBC is somewhat of a repeat offender on this issue. There isn't a watershed on radio and it's time we had one. Ofcom's research finds too much swearing is being broadcast. People don't like it.

Two Tory MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport select committee have backed the call for a radio watershed Therese Coffey was not even aware there was no watershed. She said: It strikes me as being inconsistent. There's no expectation of hearing that kind of language at that time and I'm sure people would have been shocked. Her colleague Philip Davies added: The lack of a watershed is an anomaly that needs to be addressed.

A spokesman for the Today programme said: E-mails including abusive language were included in the report to demonstrate the level of intimidation involved in the campaign. We felt this was editorially justified.

 

31st July   

Update: Bull Balls Bullshit...

Melon farming Fresh
A website
update service

See further details
Melon Farming Fresh

 

Victim of easily offended traffic cop shows that she has balls
Link Here

Bull balls Americans are wrestling with the question, whether the use of truck nuts constitutes obscenity or is a question of free expression.

The debate began when a South Carolina woman was ticketed for hanging a pair of gargantuan plastic testicles from the backup of her pickup truck. Virginia Tice was given the $445 ticket under the state's obscene bumper sticker law, according to the Associated Press.

However, Tice has opted to let a jury trial decide whether having a big red pair of balls swinging from the back of your trailer hitch is a threat to public morals or if it's constitutionally protected freedom of speech.

WCSC quoted local police chief Franco Fuda explaining, Genitalia is offensive. As a law enforcement officer, I'll advise that if it warrants a citation, I'll issue a citation.

Locals have rallied to Tice's defence, with one telling the local ABC station that People have the right to freedom of speech. Fellow truck-nut swinger John Caddedl agreed it was a matter of personal expression. My truck's got power.

The case is set to be heard next month,

 

31st July   

Updated: Sensitive Tweets...

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Twitter is preparing to censor links to 'sensitive' images and pages
Link Here

Twitter logo Twitter has added a way to flag links within tweets as possibly sensitive. The company has announced that there is a new field used whenever a tweet contains a link, giving Twitter users the option to be warned before they click links that might office or age friendly.

The new feature is not functional yet, but Twitter was informing developers that it was just added and is now in the testing phase.

According to Twitter representative Taylor Singletary:

In the future, we'll have a family of additional API methods & fields for handling end-user 'media settings' [linked pages and images etc] and possibly sensitive content. To us, this seems like a feature that's long overdue, giving users the ability to control the kind of content they or their children are exposed to, letting them use Twitter without fear of being unpleasantly surprised when they click on an inappropriate link.

According to Twitter's media policy document, the company will remove media that might be considered sensitive such as nudity, violence, or medical procedures.

 

31st July   

European Court of Censor Rights...

European court endorses Cypriot TV censor's fining of Sigma TV
Link Here

European court buildings Fines imposed by the Cypriot TV censors supposedly to protect children and consumers, and to punish the airing of discriminatory content, did not violate the right to free expression, Europe's highest human rights court ruled.

Sigma Radio Television challenged the imposition of fines for inappropriate content and practices by the broadcasting regulatory body, leveled 27 times from 2000 to 2002. Infractions included undisclosed product placement, lack of objectivity in news reports, disrespecting victims of crime, and the airing material unsuitable for children and youth. Sigma was also penalized for broadcasting statements offensive and disrespectful ... of Arabs, Russian women and women in general.

The Cyprus Supreme Court dismissed challenges to all but four of the fines.

The company appealed to the European Court of Human Rights in 2004 and 2005, alleging that the penalties violated its rights to a fair trial and to free expression.

A seven-justice panel of the human rights tribunal, based in Strasbourg, France, said first that the Cyprus Supreme Court's judgments had been independent and impartial, and thus protective of due process. On the free-speech claims, the court ruled that the regulator's interference was proportional, as it aimed to protect consumers and vulnerable groups such as children. The human rights court paid special attention to the charges of racist and discriminatory remarks, ruling that a fine of about $5,000 was appropriate to protect the rights of others.

The European Court of Human Rights determined that imposition of the penalties had violated no human rights.

 

31st July   

Update: First of Several...

Hrant Dink killer sentenced to 23 years in jail
Link Here  full story: Insulting Turkishness...Insulting Turkishness law used to repress

Hrant Dink A Turkish court has sentenced the trigger-man in the 2007 murder of International Press Institute (IPI) World Press Freedom Hero Hrant Dink to almost 23 years in prison.

A juvenile court in Istanbul imposed nearly the maximum sentence on ultranationalist Ogun Samast, who was 17 at the time of Dink's killing, after convicting him of premeditated murder and carrying an unlicensed gun Samast gunned down Dink, the editor-in-chief of Armenian-Turkish newspaper Agos, in broad daylight outside of Dink's office in Istanbul.

Dink had received numerous death threats from Turkish nationalists who viewed his journalism as treacherous. He had also faced legal problems for denigrating Turkishness under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code in his articles about the massacre of Armenians during the First World War.

IPI Director Alison Bethel McKenzie said: We welcome the conviction and sentence of Mr. Dink's murderer, and we hope it brings a measure of closure to his family. Nevertheless, we call on Turkish authorities to hold all those involved in this heinous crime accountable, from those who facilitated it to the masterminds who ordered it.

A hearing is currently scheduled this Friday in the trial of 18 other defendants charged with involvement in the murder. Their cases were separated from the case against Samast due to his age at the time of the slaying.

Update: Instigator jailed

21st January 2012. See  article from  bbc.co.uk

A court in Turkey has sentenced a man to life in prison for instigating the 2007 killing of prominent Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.

The judge sentenced Yasin Hayal to life but acquitted 19 others of a charge of being part of a terrorist group. His teenage killer, Ogun Samast, was jailed for 22 years last year.

After the verdict, a crowd of about 500 people including members of Dink's family marched to the spot where he was shot dead to protest at what they said was state collusion.

Dink's supporters say they have uncovered evidence that suggests involvement by state officials and police in his murder. But, they say, repeated requests to have those officials investigated have been ignored, and in some cases important evidence has been destroyed.

 

30th July   

Complaints Against the PCC Upheld...

Baroness Buscombe to quit Press Complaints Commission over mishandling of phone hacking scandal
Link Here

PCC logo The phone-hacking scandal claimed another high-profile name when Baroness Buscombe announced she is to quit as chairman of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC). The Conservative peer will step down from her role following widespread criticism of the watchdog for mishandling the scandal.

Lady Buscombe will relinquish her post once a replacement is found.

Lady Buscombe's tenure has been marred by criticism that she has failed to deal convincingly with the phone-hacking allegations at the News of the World, an impression that was backed up by a recent unconvincing performance when she was interviewed by Andrew Neil on the BBC's Daily Politics Show .

 

30th July   

Updated: Internet Censorship in the UK...

High Court orders BT to block Newzbin 2
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking File Sharing in UK...High court dictates website block

Old Bailey A High Court judge has ruled that BT must block access to a website which provides links to pirated movies.

Newzbin 2 is a members-only site which aggregates a large amount of copied material found on Usenet discussion forums.

The landmark case is the first time that a UK ISP has been ordered to block access to such a site.

It paves the way for other sites to be blocked.

In his ruling, Justice Arnold stated: In my judgment it follows that BT has actual knowledge of other persons using its service to infringe copyright: it knows that the users and operators of Newbin2 infringe copyright on a large scale, and in particular infringe the copyrights of the Studios in large numbers of their films and television programmes.

The Motion Picture Association, which represents the likes of Warner, Disney and Fox, launched the legal action to close down Newzbin 2. MPA signalled its intention to pursue other ISPs.

The judge ruled that BT must use its blocking technology CleanFeed - which is currently used to prevent access to websites featuring child sexual abuse - to block Newzbin.

The Internet Service Providers' Association has been a fierce critic of web blocking. It said that using blocking technology, designed to protect the public from images of child abuse, was inappropriate.

Currently CleanFeed is dealing with a small, rural road in Scotland, ISPA council member James Blessing told BBC Radio 4's PM programme. Trying to put Newzbin and other sites into the same blocking technology would be a bit like shutting down the M1. It is not designed to do that.

Update: Case by Case

30th July 2011. See  article from  theregister.co.uk

BT logo BT's head of retail Simon Milner has admitted that the company is not deliriously happy , but BT won't be appealing the decision.

He told the Register that: We believe in an open internet -- we won't do any other blocking . We will never stop our customers getting to any service they want to get to. Unless a court orders us to.

Although the case went against BT, Milner points out that a test case has finally made the law clear. And since web-blocking requires a court order, he says BT is satisfied with that. Each web-blocking request will have to go before a court -- where a judge must examine it on its merits.

There's no suggestion in this judgement that BT has done anything wrong as an innocent intermediary. We said it's questionable whether an intermediary can have these obligations put on it. Now we know.

Comment: Blocking Newzbin2 paves the way for internet censorship

30th July 2011.  See  article from  guardian.co.uk by Loz Kaye

The Guardian T he court decision to allow BT to block the pirate site means Hollywood is dictating our internet policy

...

There is no good reason to believe that this will end at copyright enforcement, for example those fond of libel action will no doubt be eyeing this result with interest. One of the most depressing aspects of the case is that is the blocking is to be enacted using the system set up to address the issue of child abuse images on the net. This system was simply not made for a hugely wider remit, and frankly the use of Cleanfeed seems shockingly cynical. Assurances given that it would only ever be used for dealing with this most appalling of crimes now seem hollow

...Readv the full article

 

30th July   

Update: Inciting Violence...

First conviction under law against inciting religious hatred
Link Here  full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim

Old Bailey Jailing Bilal Zaheer Ahmad for 12 years, Mr Justice Royce said he was sending out a loud and clear warning that Britain would not tolerate extremists preaching messages of hate and violence.

Ahmad who called on Muslims to murder MPs who supported the Iraq war, was the first person to be found guilty of inciting religious hatred under new laws banning the publication of inflammatory material.

The IT worker praised 21-year-old university student Roshonara Choudhry as a heroine for stabbing Stephen Timms in east London in May last year. Ahmad called on other Muslims to follow in her footsteps by attacking and killing politicians who had voted to support the war in Iraq. He posted a full list of MPs and provided an internet link to their personal contact details, suggesting constituency surgeries were a good place to encounter them in person .

The judge told Ahmad: You purport to be a British citizen, but what you stand for is totally alien to what we stand for in our country. You became a viper in our midst willing to go to as far as possible to strike at the heart of our system.

 

30th July   

Propaganda Train Comes off the Rails...

Chinese public grow tired of propaganda bollox
Link Here

burying crashed train video China's government has been the target of a barrage of public invective since the high-speed rail crash at the weekend.

Relatives of the victims and internet users have been angered by the government's apparent unwillingness to answer questions about the fatal collision.

Attempts by the authorities to muzzle the media and censor public reaction have only fuelled this animosity.

Propaganda directives leaked online showed reporters were warned not to run investigative reports or commentary, or to link the incident to the country's high-speed rail development.

Instead the focus should be on stories that are extremely moving, for example people donating blood and taxi drivers not accepting fares . From now on, the Wenzhou train accident should be reported along the theme of 'major love in the face of major disaster' .

This arrogance , as netizens described it, sparked a furious backlash and allegations of a cover-up. We have the right to know the truth. That's our basic right! wrote one microblogger. Another said: The ministry buried the locomotives because they wanted to bury the truth.

 

30th July   

Update: Sailing Close to the Wind...

Should PG-13 rated Pirates of the Caribbean by advertised on children's TV?
Link Here  full story: FTC Advert Censor...FTC considers ads for age restricted movies

Pirates Caribbean Stranger Tides DVD US film censors of the MPAA have said that ads for Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Fox's X-Men: First Class on kids TV shows were approved for the specific times and places they ran.

The New York Times had reported that the Children's Advertising Review Unit had suggested that Walt Disney Studios and 20th Century Fox may have gone against industry guidelines against the use of ads for PG-13 films during most TV shows targeting young children.

an MPAA spokesman said in a statement:

Generally, a few PG-13 rated motion pictures are considered by the Advertising Administration to be compatible with children's programs. In the noted instances, the Advertising Administration approved the advertisements for the specific time and placement in which they ran.

The Advertising Administration approves ads for rated films on a case-by-case basis, taking various factors into consideration, including not only the rating of the motion picture, but its content, the content of the programming with which it will be placed and the time of day in which the ad is run. The PG-13 rating is a strong caution to parents that they should investigate the motion picture before taking their young children; it does not necessarily mean that the motion picture is inappropriate for children under 13. Indeed, that determination is best left to parents who know and understand the sensitivities of their children.

 

30th July   

Update: Parents TV Council Recommend...

The Playboy Club
Link Here  full story: Playboy Club...Utah network TV refuses Playboy reality show
playboy club nbc logo US morality campaigners of the Parents TV Council have written to US TV stations asking them to boycott NBC's The Playboy Club .

They wrote in a letter:

About 200,000 Americans are porn addicts – meaning they spend 11 hours or more per week looking at pornography. Forty percent of sex addicts lose their spouses, 58% suffer financial losses, one third lose their jobs. Pornography use increases the risk of marital infidelity by more than 300%. Fifty-six percent of divorce cases involved one person having an obsessive interest in pornography. Severe clinical depression is reported twice as frequently among pornography users as among non-users.

[Various internet sources estimate about 50% of US marriages end in divorce. Perhaps 40% quotes above is actually better than the norm].

I call these statistics to your attention because I assume you must be unaware of how damaging the pornography industry is to our society, to our families, and to individuals. Otherwise, how on earth could you, in good conscience, agree to broadcast in your community a program that glorifies and glamorizes this insidious industry?

I am referring, of course, to NBC's plans to air The Playboy Club this fall and am writing to urge you, on behalf of the Parents Television Council's 1.3 million members, to preempt the program in your community.

The PTC has received from its members a number of canned responses from NBC affiliates across the country, praising the upcoming series as a sophisticated series about the transitional times of the early 1960s and the complex lives of a group of working-class women.

Putting a veneer of sophistication on an industry that exploits women and destroys families is not laudable, it is disgraceful. In what manner does such the airing of such material reconcile with your public interest obligations as a broadcast licensee? Whatever positive spin you may wish to put on the series, it is undeniably a betrayal of the trust you have built over the years with America s families – the owners of the broadcast airwaves that you will be using to force this content into the living rooms of every family in your community.

According to Shelley Lubben, founder of the Pink Cross Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping victims of the pornography industry, "What's shown in The Playboy Club is not real…The series looks like it's all cute, taking place back in the old days. It seems harmless, but then they show a quick clip of three people going at it in the bathroom. NBC is breaking the law with this show. They're not meeting FCC standards."

If you proceed with plans to air this series in your community, be assured that the Parents Television Council will be carefully reviewing every episode and will urge its members to file complaints with the Federal Communications Commission about any content that may be in violation of broadcast decency laws.

Please be mindful that it is the affiliate, not the network, that will ultimately bear the financial burden of an FCC fine should any of the content be found to violate broadcast decency laws.

In a recent declaratory ruling, the FCC affirmed affiliates ability to pre-empt any network programming that is unsatisfactory or unsuitable or contrary to the public interest. The record on this is clear: contracts between networks and their affiliates may not legally prevent preemption of programming that does not meet LOCAL COMMUNITY standards. As a station manager you not only have a right, but an obligation to preempt programs like The Playboy Club that fail to meet that standard.

Utah NBC affiliate KSL has already announced that it would not be showing The Playboy Club, stating that the station's values are completely inconsistent with the Playboy brand.

Is the Playboy brand consistent with your station's values? Broadcast stations are required by law to take into account the public interest. How does this program serve the public interest? Would members of your community agree?

 

30th July   

Unacceptable Values...

Christian Values Network loses Microsoft and Apple support over funding of anti gay campaigns
Link Here
christian values network logo Apple has removed its iTunes store from the Christan Values Network (CVN.org) after more than 22,000 people were angered by CVN's funding of anti-gay, anti-women organizations like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council and called on Apple to take action.

The action follows Microsoft's similar decision to leave CVN two weeks ago, prompted by another customer-driven campaign on Change.org. Several other companies have also removed their online stores since then, including REI, Macy's, Delta Airlines, BBC America, and Wells Fargo.

Started by Ben Crowther, the campaign picked up significant momentum after 13,000 signed another petition. Crowther said:

From the beginning, I knew that once this issue was brought to Apple's attention, they would not want to be a part of CVN because it funds anti-gay hate groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council. Apple is a fair-minded business. I'm glad this petition helped make Apple aware of this issue, and I am thrilled that they removed iTunes from CVN.

 

29th July   

Update: Fans Denied...

Brazilian film festival sponsor bans A Serbian Film
Link Here

a serbian film poster A Serbian Film has been banned from being screened at the RioFan film festival by the event's main sponsor, Brazilian national bank Caixa Economica Federal.

A statement on the festival's website says organisers were given no further information behind the decision to veto the film's screening.

Meanwhile, a statement from a spokesman of the bank's censor board claims not every creative product fits in an unrestrained way in any medium or place.

 

29th July   

Gangs of Censors...

BBFC cuts waived to South Central
Link Here

South Central DVD Glenn Plummer South Central is a 1992 US crime drama by Stephen Milburn Anderson. See IMDb

Passed 15 uncut with previous cuts waived for:

  • UK 2011 Second Sight R2 DVD at UK Amazon for release on 3rd October 2011

Previously passed 15 after 6s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1993 Warner VHS

Summary Review: Notable

An influential movie set amongst black LA gangs. It shows the human side of the culture and poignantly premiered just after the LA uprising of September 1992.

Generally reviewed as highly entertaining.

 

29th July   

US Laughs While UK Censors...

The Daily Show On More4 censored for using parliamentary TV coverage in a satire
Link Here

daily show gbal edition logo The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has a Global Edition that condenses 4 US episodes into one programme. But this week, even the Global Edition didn't make it on to British TV screens nor catch up TV.

Blogger Chris Spyrou noticed it and brought it to the attention of the TV writer Graham Linehan, who asked Channel 4 about it. A tweet from Channel 4 Insider, the broadcaster's official presence on Twitter, called it compliance problems .

The full reason, tweeted a short while later, was this: We are prevented by parliamentary rules from broadcasting parliamentary proceedings in a comedic or satrical context.

The user @fiatpanda later uncovered this response to a Freedom of Information request from Channel 4, which stated:

Guidelines specify that no extracts from parliamentary proceedings may be used in comedy shows or other light entertainment, such as political satire. But broadcasters are allowed to include parliamentary items in magazine programmes containing musical or humourous features, provided the reports are kept separate.

The scene in question was David Cameron facing tough parliamentary questions about phone hacking being compared to anaemic questioning that occurs in the US version of parliament.

 

28th July   

Offsite: Chris Tookey Recommends...

The Violent Kind
Link Here

Violent Kind DVD Taylor Cole Few weeks pass without some new brutalised shambles being offered to audiences. This week's effort is a low-budget biker movie, which starts out in a city with its thuggish, dope-smuggling heroes joyfully beating up some rivals for reasons that are never explained.

...

It doesn't even have the sick, defiantly primitive sense of humour that made last week's nastiest offering, Hobo With a Shotgun , just about bearable for the first five minutes.

...Read the full review

 

28th July   

Update: Fear and Honour...

Religious threat sees cinema owners opt out of showing movie about honour killing
Link Here

khap While the khap panchayats (Religious caste based councils) are getting louder in their protest against screening of new Bollywood movie Khap-a story of honour killing in Haryana, the cinema owners, in the stronghold of these bodies, seem to have preferred to play safe by not screening the movie on its release on July 29.

Though, the cinema owners maintained that they had not received any threat from the khap panchayats, sources pointed out that apprehension of violence is one of the reason behind disinterest of the cinema owners in screening the movie at this stage.

Prominent locals though have taken a serious view of some khap individual's threat to obstruct the screening of the film in Haryana. They jointly submitted a memorandum to Rohtak district administration asking for necessary steps like providing security at the cinema halls.

In a joint statement issued in Rohtak by a group of academics, social activists, intellectuals and artists, expressed concern over the culture of intolerance being spawned by some khap zealots saying: Fearing a possible threat by the khap elements, Rohtak theatre owners have reportedly decided not to screen the film due for all India release. This is highly unfortunate and a direct attack on the right to freedom of expression. If one does not agree with the film, one is free to express dissent or approach the court if there is anything illegal in the film as the movie has been cleared by the Censor Board.

 

27th July   

Blown Out of All Proportion...

ASA spout bollox about minor innuendo causing the 'widespread' offence of 1 complaint
Link Here

pump n ride advert A banner ad for Pump n Ride inner tubes, on a website for bicycle accessories on 15 March 2011, featured an image of a woman wearing a black leather cap and studded leather bra, holding a length of rubber tubing. Text stated She might go down on you ... , followed by an arrow pointing at the woman. Further text stated These won't! , followed by an arrow pointing at a box of Pump n Ride inner tubes.

A complainant challenged whether the ad was offensive, because she believed it was sexist and objectified women.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA considered that the image of the woman in the ad, and the text She might go down on you ... was clearly intended as a sexual innuendo, implying that the woman may be willing to engage in oral sex. We considered that the ad objectified women and we noted FatSpanner's comment that a large proportion of its business came from women. Although in itself not normally an issue, we also noted that the image bore no relation to the product being advertised. We considered the unrelated sexual imagery had the potential to exacerbate any offence caused. We therefore concluded that the ad, which objectified women through sexual imagery and innuendo in a manner unrelated to the product advertised, was likely to cause serious or widespread offence when published on a website which attracted a large proportion of female consumers.

The ad breached CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).

 

27th July   

But Try Telling that to the Governments of the World...

United Nations committee confirms that freedom of speech can only be limited in the most exceptional circumstances
Link Here

UN logo The United Nations Human Rights Committee confirmed the central role of freedom of expression in human rights, making it clear that it can only be limited in the most exceptional circumstances, and calling for the first time for unrestricted public access to official information.

After two years of debate, the Committee has produced a General Comment that outlines the admissible restrictions on freedom of expression.

Although the General Comment does not discuss specific cases, the interpretations adopted Jul. 21 would apply to incidents involving freedom of expression, such as the violent protests triggered by the 2005 publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad by a newspaper in Denmark, or more recently, the wiretapping scandal involving Australian media magnate Rupert Murdoch

Committee member Michael O'Flaherty said the strength of the General Comment is evidenced for example in the language that was adopted by the Committee around issues such as blasphemy and insult to religion, where the Committee made clear that limits on freedom of expression for these reasons can only be in the very exceptional situations laid out elsewhere in the ICCPR that deal with incitement to hatred and discrimination on religious or racial grounds and so forth.

Fabian Salvioli, another member of the Committee, said it did not linger on specific questions, like the Mohammad cartoons. That was not necessary, he said, because the paragraph on blasphemy is very clear. Statements and other forms of expression, even offensive ones, should not be penalised, unless they incite hatred, which is something different.

Article 19.3 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) establishes that freedom of expression may be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary: (a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others; (b) For the protection of national security or of public order or of public health or morals.

Article 20 of the ICCPR says: Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.

Campaign group Article 19 Senior Legal Officer Sejal Parmar noted that Paragraph 50 of the General Comment states that prohibitions of displays (of) a lack of respect for a religion or other belief system, including blasphemy laws, are incompatible with the ICCPR except in specific circumstances envisaged in Article 20 of the Covenant.

The senior legal officer added that it would be impermissible for such laws to discriminate against one or certain religions or belief systems or their adherents over another, or religious believers over non-believers or for such laws to prevent or punish criticism of religious leaders or commentary on religious doctrine and tenets of faith.

 

26th July   

BBFC Come to their Senses...

BBFC cuts waived to Nagisa Oshima's In the Realm of the Senses
Link Here

Realm Senses Criterion Collection In the Realm of the Senses is a 1976 French/Japanese erotic film by Nagisa Oshima. See IMDb

The Producers Cut has just been passed 18 uncut with all BBFC cuts waived for:

  • UK 2011 Optimum Online
  • UK 2011 Optimum video

The BBFC commented:

  • Contains strong real sex, bloody mutilation and sexual fetish theme

Previously the Producer's Cut was passed 18 after a 10s cut for:

  • UK 2009 BFI cinema release
  • UK 2007 Nouveaux Oshima Boxset R2 DVD at UK Amazon
  • UK 2000 Nouveaux R2 DVD

From article on sbbfc.co.uk :

In 2000, the BBFC was again asked to look at the film for DVD release. By this time sexual portrayals at the 18 level had become gradually more explicit and recent public surveys had shown that the public felt the BBFC could afford to be more relaxed about sex for adults. Therefore, following on from recent decisions on films like The Idiots and Romance, The Realm of the Senses was passed 18 uncut for video and DVD release, subject once again to the optical reframing of one scene.  The cut was to remove a scene in which an adult woman tugs a young boy's penis.

 

26th July   

Offsite: Borderline Sex...

David Cooke of the BBFC says: Let's talk about sex
Link Here

David Cooke At the 15/18 borderline, other considerations come into play. For instance, it is legal for people to have sex once they reach 16, so how can one justify withholding depictions of sexual activity from 16-17 year olds? This is not to ignore the valid concerns over issues such as teenage pregnancy. But is there any gap between what, for want of a better expression, one might call the real world, and parental and societal expectations?

In practice, the Board tends to base its distinctions and decisions here on a mixture of visual detail - sexualised nudity is acceptable, for example, but not sight of erections - and the intentions behind the scene - is it there to titillate and arouse, or does it add something to our understanding of the characters and the narrative? That's not to say that a sex scene at 15 can't be arousing, but rather that that shouldn't be its only or primary purpose.

...Read the full article

 

26th July   

Banning Games: A Panacea for All the Worlds Ills...

Nutters quick to exploit Norwegian killings to try and further their own morality cause
Link Here

Call Duty Modern Warfare Xbox Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian mass murderer described the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 as part of my training-simulation in his 1500-page manifesto published online just before the massacre.

The development has predictably led the Australian Christian Lobby to call for games to be banned if the violence is excessive or gratuitous.

The Australian federal government have said that Breivik committed the atrocities because there is something clearly intrinsically wrong with him , not because he played violent video games.

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge said Modern Warfare 2 , rated MA15+, is one of the games that should be reviewed to have a more restricted R18+ rating.

In his manifesto entitled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, Breivik described his addiction to the online multiplayer game World of Warcraft and claimed it was a good cover story to explain what he was doing while plotting the attacks.

Breivik described the game Call of Duty, Modern Warfare as the best military simulator out there , said he usually preferred fantasy role-playing games to shooters but I see MW2 more as a part of my training-simulation than anything else . I've still learned to love it though and especially the multiplayer part is amazing. You can more or less completely simulate actual operations, he wrote.

On World of Warcraft, Breivik said you will be amazed on how much you can do undetected while blaming this game . If your planning requires you to travel, say that you are visiting one of your WoW friends, or better yet, a girl from your 'guild' (who lives in another country). No further questions will be raised if you present these arguments.

Australia's Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O'Connor was asked on ABC's Insiders about the link between video games and the Oslo shooting. O'Connor said it would not change his support for the R18+ rating for video games, which he argued would prevent adult video games from slipping through as MA15+ or lower:

At the moment the most popular adult-themed games that are played only lawfully by adults around the world are played by 15 year olds here.

But look, because there is a madman who has done just such atrocities in Norway, I don't think that means that we are going to close down film or the engagement with games, he said.

I think it really points to, of course, a person who - clearly there is something wrong with this person to sort of cause such devastation in Norway. But I'm not sure that the argument goes that as a result of watching a game you turn into that type of person. I think there is something clearly intrinsically wrong with him.

The Australian Christian Lobby managing director Jim Wallace criticised O'Connor over his remarks and said that if even a few deranged minds could be taken over the edge by an obsession with violent games then the game should be banned.

The studied indifference of this killer to the suffering he was inflicting, his obvious dehumanising of his victims and the evil methodical nature of the killings have all the marks of games scenarios, said Wallace.

How can we allow the profits of the games industry and selfishness of games libertarians to place our increasingly dysfunctional society at further risk? Even if this prohibition were to save only one tragedy like this each twenty years it would be worth it.

 

26th July   

Updated: In the Name of Terrorism...

Saudi drafts repressive lese majeste law
Link Here

Saudi flag The Saudi authorities have drafted new censorship in the name of terrorism legislation that makes political dissent a criminal offence and would enable the government to jail anyone who questioned the integrity of the King or Crown Prince for a minimum of 10 years.

A draft copy smuggled from the kingdom and obtained by Amnesty International shows that the definition of terrorist crimes under the proposed new law is so broad as to enable the authorities to detain anybody for as long as they want on such wide-ranging charges as endangering... national unity or harming the reputation of the state or its position .

The Draconian draft legislation is a sign of the deep sense of threat felt by King Abdullah and the Saudi royal family because of the Arab Spring pro-democracy movement, the emergence of a Shia Iraq in the aftermath of the US invasion, and the collapse of the status quo across the Arab world.

This draft law poses a serious threat to freedom of expression in the kingdom in the name of preventing terrorism, says Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa deputy director Philip Luther: If passed it would pave the way for even the smallest acts of peaceful dissent to be branded terrorism.

Update: Critics Blocked

26th July 2011. See  article from  amnesty.org

amnesty international logo Access to Amnesty International's website has been blocked in Saudi Arabia today following the organization's criticism of a draft anti-terror law that would stifle peaceful protest in the kingdom.

Amnesty International published its analysis of a leaked copy of the draft law. The organization condemned the proposed law's treatment of peaceful dissent as terrorist crimes , as well as the wide-ranging powers the Minister of Interior would hold, free from judicial authorization or oversight.

Instead of attacking those raising concerns and attempting to block debate, the Saudi Arabian government should amend the draft law to ensure that it does not muzzle dissent and deny basic rights, said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Director.

 

26th July   

Diary: Kim Newman's Chamber of Horrors...

At the Empire Big Screen event at London's O2
Link Here

empire big screen logo Kim Newman's Chamber of Horrors
London O2 Arena
12-14th August 2011

12th August

  • Panel: The Eternal Appeal Of Dracula (2.00pm-2.45pm)
  • On Stage: Tom Six And The Human Centipede Censorship Crisis (3.15pm-4.00pm)
  • The Signal Screening (4.30pm-6.30pm)
  • Hardware Screening (7.00pm-9.00pm)
  • Red State Advance Preview (9.30pm-11.00pm)

13th August

  • Kill List Footage (1.00pm-1.30pm)
  • Rogue Screening (2.00pm-3.30pm)
  • Hammer Horror Special (4.00pm-4.45pm)

14th August

  • Tenebrae Screening (11.30am-1.30pm)
  • The House Of The Devil Screening (2.00pm-3.45pm)
  • Kim Newman's Horror Quiz (4.15pm-5.00pm)
  • Special Screening Don't Look Now (5.30pm-7.30pm)

 

26th July   

Update: First the Torrent Sites, Then the Proxy Sites, Then...

Web blocking censorship spreads in Italy
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Italy...Censorship affecting bloogers and the press in Italy

Italy flag Italian ISPs were forced to block a legal proxy-server website after the authorities found that proxyitalia.com could be used to access BtJunkie , The Pirate Bay , and other websites banned under Italy's copyright enforcement regime.

Italy's cybercrime police unit, the Guardia di Finanza (GdF), banned the general-purpose proxy service at the request of Cagliari deputy prosecutor, in a move which provoked widespread condemnation in the Internet community:

A UK ISPA Spokesperson said:

Blocking access to proxy servers and VPNs is not an effective means of tackling copyright infringement online and will prevent access for legitimate uses of this technology such as mobile working and securing public wireless networks.

 

25th July   

Women in Prison Triple Feature...

A US DVD release of Chained Heat, Red Heat and Jungle Warriors
Link Here

Women Prison Triple Feature Region Chained Heat is a 1983 US/West German prison drama by Paul Nicholas. See IMDb

This US release is cut, but the best available, and is MPAA R Rated for:

From article from 10kbullets.com , thanks to David:

This version includes extensions of most of the nude scenes and significantly ups the Mr. Skin rating, but nothing here really affects the dramatics of the story.

There are two brief cuts, one extraneous and unnecessary (the needle injection), but another that changes the dynamics of the entire movie. In the pre-credits sequence a female prisoner attempts escape and is shot to death. The fact that she was shot in the back, and more importantly who did so, affects the viewer's regard for that character and anyone closely associated with her, and that is what was cut.

See trailer from youtube.com

Summary Review: Suitably Over the Top

A fine example of women in prison films noted for the presence of Linda Blair (who reckoned she was duped into accepting the part). Otherwise it has over the top performances of warders mistreating inmates, plenty of catfights and enough nudity to pep up the action.

Red Heat is a 1985 US women in prison film by Robert Collector. See IMDb

This US release is cut and is MPAA R Rated for:

The scene between Linda Blair and Sylvia Kristel in the warden's office cut almost completely to remove the nudity & violence.

Jungle Warriors is a 1984 Mexican/German action film by Ernst R von Theumer. See IMDb

This US release is uncut and MPAA R Rated for:

See trailer from youtube.com

 

25th July   

Updated: Jacks Hit at the BBC...

Torchwood cut by the BBC but to be shown uncut on US Starz TV
Link Here

Torchwood Miracle Day Eve Myles The BBC has cut a sex scene from an upcoming episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day .

The moment featured Captain Jack (John Barrowman) sleeping with a barman and is expected to be shown in the US on cable network Starz, The Sun reports.

However, the scene will be cut from the UK broadcast. A BBC spokesperson explained:

It wasn't that it was a gay scene that worried people, but just the fact that it was such an explicit sex scene full stop, a source said. You can get away with scenes like that on American cable channels, but you can't on primetime BBC One.

Even though the show airs after the watershed, it has a lot of young fans who would have been shocked at the graphic nature of the sex.

The BBC spokesperson added that a violent moment will also be cut later in the series and said:

The UK and US versions of Torchwood are slightly different. However, these differences do not change the story in any way and the strong storylines are first and foremost to the series.

Update: BBC statement

25th July 2011. Based on article from bbc.co.uk

BBC logo Complaint to the BBC

We're received complaints from some viewers unhappy with reports that we have edited out a sex scene from the UK version of Torchwood: Miracle Day.

BBC response

It is not unusual for co-productions to have slightly different versions of a show to reflect its different audiences. For episode three of Torchwood, as part of the usual discussions between broadcasters and the production company, small potential edits in two intercutting scenes of gay and straight sex were discussed and made by production. This minimal edit makes little difference to the episode to be broadcast in the UK. Both scenes remain but run a few seconds shorter than the US version. In a later episode a sequence of gay sex is important to the story and therefore both the US and UK will show the same version.

Torchwood continues to be a series that will ask important questions of how we all live in today's society and the drama reflects life as we recognise it. The BBC and Starz have both been huge supporters of the writers' vision for the series.

 

25th July   

Overblocking...

US educators find that useful websites are being blocked by school filters
Link Here

Facebook logo Some US educators have said that website blocking is posing a threat to kids' education and intellectual freedom.

Filtering software and school rules designed to keep out violence and pornography are also blocking key educational and otherwise useful sites, teachers say, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google and National Geographic.

New York City's Department of Education blocked Google Images last month for what it called objectionable content but later left it up to schools whether to allow it.

The Pinellas County School Board in Florida voted unanimously to block teachers from communicating with students via Facebook or Twitter, even about school-related matters. The school board said it hopes to prevent the appearance of inappropriate contact between students and teachers via social media.

This fall, a handful of schools and libraries across the USA plan to celebrate Banned Sites Day to draw attention to the issue, according to New Canaan (Conn.) High School librarian Michelle Luhtala. The day was her idea. She says the same issues of censorship, fear and free speech that make banned books resonate also apply to social-networking sites that most public schools block: Teaching with social media shows students how to responsibly use those platforms . Blocking access in schools denies kids the chance to practice sharing their knowledge with the real world in a supervised setting.

 

25th July   

Update: Well Pissed...

Pernod fail in an attempt to censor French book describing a culture of drinking at the company
Link Here
Dealer legal Eric Coder A French court has rejected an attempt by the drinks company Pernod Ricard to censor a book that claimed potential sales staff were expected to prove they could hold their drink by knocking back glasses of pernod.

Some job applicants said they were subject to a crash test in which they had to drink up to 20 shots before they were given the job.

The allegations are contained in the book Dealer Legal by the French journalist Max Coder, who spoke to several company employees.

The court of appeal upheld an earlier judgment that declared Coder had acted in good faith when he described how potential employees were expected to show they could hold their drink. Pernod Ricard had claimed defamation and sought Euro 500,000 in damages.

In its defence, the company said it had published a memo to its sales staff stipulating that the excessive consumption of alcohol is not and should not be, here at Ricard, an attitude that leads to professional success .

The court of appeal said this advice did not go far enough in outlining the alcohol limits and said those sued in the complaint should be given the benefit of [having acted in] good faith .

Pernod Ricard was ordered to pay EUR2,000 legal costs to the author and co-author of Dealer Legal, the editor and a company salesperson quoted in the book.

 

25th July   

Update: Harmful Books...

Iran's supreme leader has a whinge at 'harmful' books
Link Here
Iran flag Iran's former culture minister, Ataollah Mohajerani, has criticised the country's supreme leader for restricting access to literature after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei publicly attacked harmful books and likened them to poisonous drugs.

In a meeting with librarians and officials from Iran's book industry, Khamenei spoke out against books with a cultural appearance but with specific political hidden motives. Not all books are necessarily good and not all of them are unharmful, some books are harmful.

Mohajerani who was culture minister until 2000 under the reformist president Mohammad Khatami, said the ayatollah was worried about literary, philosophical and social books that might raise questions about his legitimacy as the supreme leader. I think that he is very much concerned about books that can either implicitly or explicitly target his position as the supreme leader and also his legitimacy.

In his speech, Khamenei, whose pronouncements are often interpreted as official guidelines, refused to give more details on which books he deemed harmful . However, titles ranging from uncensored version of Plato's Symposium to Louis-Ferdinand Celine's Journey to the End of the Night and works by James Joyce, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Kurt Vonnegut and Paulo Coelho have been banned in recent years by Iran's ministry of culture and Islamic guidance which vets all books before publication:

Those responsible in the book industry should not let harmful books enter our book market on the basis that we let them [readers] choose [what they want to read].

Like poisonous, dangerous and addictive drugs which are not available for everyone without restrictions ... as a publisher, librarian or an official in the book industry, we don't have the right to make [such books] available to those without knowledge, he said. We should provide them with healthy and good books.

Mohajerani said:

His comments stem from a traditional clerical mentality that clerics guide people as shepherds guide their sheep, this is a viewpoint that doesn't have any place in today's life.

 

25th July   

Update: Gay Switch...

Lithuanian advertising law undergoes attitudinal change
Link Here
Lithuania Lithuania's Parliament has banned discrimination based on sexual orientation in advertising.

The move was a turnaround from earlier drafts of the same bill, which banned homosexual topics in advertising.

The new language says that advertising and audiovisual commercial communications must not publish information that humiliates human dignity, discriminating or encouraging discrimination based on ... sexual orientation.

The Lithuanian Gay League credited MP Valentinas Stundys and Deputy Speaker Algis Caplikas with engineering the about-face.

 

23rd July   

Update: Naturally Enough...

BBC Radio Suffolk debate causes a few campaigner sound bites
Link Here  full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

james hazell The BBC has apologised after a radio presenter compared breastfeeding in public to him having sex with his wife in a restaurant.

James Hazell made his comments while hosting a debate about whether women should nurse their babies in public when a guest described it as the most natural thing in the world . He said:

Next time you are out having a meal at a restaurant, on the basis that it [breastfeeding] is the most natural thing in the world, I will come in there with my wife and then make love right in front of you.

Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, and that is fine, but there are a lot of natural things we don't do in public.

Hazell has come under fire from breastfeeding campaigners for his comments. A spokesman for the Breastfeeding Network said:

Babies get hungry and need to be fed. Breastfeeding is an entirely normal way to feed a baby and we're sure that Mr Hazell wouldn't want to hear a baby screaming out in public for want of a meal.

A BBC spokesman said:

We apologise if James Hazell's comments caused offence.

The comment was intended to stimulate a debate and give listeners an opportunity to discuss the issue openly.

 

23rd July   

Updated: Unchained...

A US DVD release of Chained Heat
Link Here

Women Prison Triple Feature Region Chained Heat is a 1983 US/West German prison drama by Paul Nicholas. See IMDb

The US release is cut, but the best available, and MPAA R Rated for:

From article from 10kbullets.com , thanks to David:

This version includes extensions of most of the nude scenes and significantly ups the Mr. Skin rating, but nothing here really affects the dramatics of the story.

There are two brief cuts, one extraneous and unnecessary (the needle injection), but another that changes the dynamics of the entire movie. In the pre-credits sequence a female prisoner attempts escape and is shot to death. The fact that she was shot in the back, and more importantly who did so, affects the viewer's regard for that character and anyone closely associated with her, and that is what was cut.

In the UK, a re-edited TV version was passed without BBFC cuts for

  • UK 2006 Anchor Bay R2 DVD

Comments on the Anchor Bay Forum suggest that a softened TV version which was submitted

Before that it was passed 18 after 1:30s/1:38s of BBFC cuts:

  • UK 1998 MIA VHS
  • UK 1990 Warner VHS
  • UK 1986 Thorn VHS

From IMDb:

  • cut to remove the rape before the fight on the roof
  • cut to heavily edit fight scenes including groin kicks, face slaps and a woman's head being hit against a window.

See trailer from youtube.com

Summary Review: Suitably Over the Top

A fine example of women in prison films noted for the presence of Linda Blair (who reckoned she was duped into accepting the part). Otherwise it has over the top performances of warders mistreating inmates, plenty of catfights and enough nudity to pep up the action.

 

23rd July   

Updated: Extreme Reach...

Scottish extreme porn 'sex offenders' will have to continue notifications when living elsewhere in the UK
Link Here

House of Commons logo Draft Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 (Consequential Provisions and Modifications) Order 2011

House of Commons
Third Delegated Legislation Committee
12th July 2011

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (David Mundell): I beg to move,

...

I suggest that the draft order, which was laid before the House on 22 June, be approved. I propose to provide the Committee with an explanation of what the draft order seeks to achieve. It is made under section 104 of the Scotland Act 1998, which allows for necessary or expedient changes to UK legislation in consequence of an Act of the Scottish Parliament. It is made in consequence of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.

...

The 2010 Act also ensures that a person will be made subject to the sex offender notification requirements when they are convicted of the offence of possession of extreme pornography. The draft order will extend that provision as a matter of law in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, thus ensuring that a person made subject to the notification requirements as a result of conviction for possession of extreme pornography in Scotland cannot evade the requirement to register by moving elsewhere in the UK.

Question put and agreed to.

The order will commence on 1st August 2011.

Update: Explanation

23rd July 2011. Thanks to Harvey

The succinctly titled "Draft Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 (Consequential Provisions and Modifications) Order 2011" is really just a tidy-up.

The requirement to notify (commonly called The Sex Offenders Register) is a provision of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. That Act applies the whole of the UK. The SOA 2003 contains a schedule (3) which lists the specific offences which trigger the requirement to notify. The Scots are simply asking the UK Parliament to change the schedule to their 2003 Act so that the Scottish offence will be included and thus the notification requirements will be triggered and apply, UK wide, for a person convicted of that offence.

The SOA was similarly modified to include the DPA offence in Schedule 3. The DPA offence applied only to England, Wales and NI, but since it was made in the UK Parliament and the SOA applies to the whole of the UK, it was all accomplished with the text of the DPA, rather than requiring a separate tidying-up order so that a person convicted of the English offence would be required to notify even if they moved to Scotland.

Since the amendment simply includes a new Scottish offence to the schedule, it would not appear to change anything in the present law as it affects persons convicted of offences in England, Wales and N. Ireland.

Update: Passed in Lords Committee

12th September 2011. Based on article from publications.parliament.uk

The amendment has now been passed in Lords Committee with the comment:

The 2010 Act also ensures that a person will be made subject to the sex offender notification requirements when they are convicted of the offence of possession of extreme pornography. The order extends that as a matter of law in England and Wales and Northern Ireland. That ensures that a person made subject to the notification requirements as a result of a conviction for possession of extreme pornography in Scotland cannot evade the requirement to register by moving elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

 

22nd July   

Update: Australia Grows Up...

Law makers finally decide to introduce an adult rating for games
Link Here  full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games

r18 unbanned Australia's federal government has announced Australia will introduce the long-awaited R18+ classification for video games, saying the process will only take a couple of months.

Australia's federal, state, and territory ministers met at their Standing Committee of Attorneys-General meeting (SCAG) to discuss the fate of the adult rating. Despite NSW being the only state to abstain from the vote on R18+, all other eight jurisdictions agreed to its introduction once the proposed guidelines are approved by the respective cabinets.

Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor said that he would go ahead and introduce the R18+ classification for games at a federal level, and it would then be up to each state and territory to decide whether or not it adopts it.

O'Connor says it may now only be a matter of months before the adult rating is introduced. The proposed R18+ draft guidelines were once again amended at the meeting, changes that require some jurisdictions to seek approval from their respective cabinets. Once this is done, the federal government will begin drafting the legislation necessary to introduce the R18+ classification for games.

 

22nd July   

Legislating for Teenage Tantrums...

Australian law makers consider further age restrictions on Facebook
Link Here

Facebook logo Australian attorneys-generals are discussing ways to give parents access to their kids' Facebook profiles. They will also examine an 18+ Facebook age limit.

The idea was first proposed by a South Australian Family First MP, Dennis Hood, and is being championed by South Australian Attorney-General John Rau.

Rau argued that giving parents assistance to supervise their children on Facebook would help protect against online predators and limit access to unsuitable material.

But Susan McLean, who was Victoria Police's first cyber safety officer and is now an online safety consultant, said:

The proposal was ill-informed and it shows a total lack of understanding of what the internet is. It's not Facebook's fault that there are problems on Facebook. You can't legislate against stupidity or poor parenting or anything like that. It would be nice but it can't be done and it breaks down any level of trust that you should be trying to develop with your kids.

At their meeting today, the country's top lawmakers will consider requiring proof of age checks and even raising the age limit to 18, federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland confirmed.

Rau said:

Age verification is something that various platforms deal with and I can't see why it should be beyond the wit of Facebook to do the same thing, if that was the solution people wanted.

I think people need to understand that just because they are operating in the virtual world, that is on the internet, it does not mean that there should not be boundaries or rules or standards of behaviour.

 

22nd July   

Update: Given a Run for their Money...

PETA attempts to get a bull run scene banned in Bollywood movie
Link Here  full story: Peta...Animal activists challenging the media

peta bull run The campaigners of PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) have been wound up by a scene in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara , which features a Spanish bull run.

The activists are urging people to ask the Spanish Ambassador to ban the scene.

Did the Running of the Bulls scene in #znmd upset u? Urge the Spanish Ambassador to India to help ban it! reads Peta India's Twitter page: We will now be contacting the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Central Board of Film Certification to take action .

The film's producer Ritesh Sidhwani retorts, We had submitted all the papers to the Animal Welfare Board India that stated that none of the animals were injured or hurt in any way and only then, the censor board cleared the movie. We are only showing the culture of Spain.

 

22nd July   

Offsite: Censors in the Doldrums...

Classification system 'broken': Pirate Party Australia
Link Here  full story: Australian Censorship Review... Reviewing censorship law for all media

pirate party australia logo Pirate Party Australia (PPA) has called for a wholesale overhaul of Australia's fundamentally broken classification system.

In its submission to the Australian Law Reform Committee National Classification Scheme review, PPA called for the introduction of a European PEGI-style or American ESRB-style model of voluntary classification for media and the abolition of the Refused Classification category.

As media converges and changes in the digital paradigm of the 21st Century, systems, laws and frameworks must adapt to these changes of environment, the submission reads.

The sheer speed that media is being created and distributed makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to manage in a proper and timely manner.

The sheer size and architecture of the internet makes any classification scheme entirely unenforceable and would simply penalise Australian companies attempting to compete in the global digital environment and Australian consumers who are forced to look overseas for their entertainment services.

...Read the full article

 

21st July   

Good Reviews Or Else!...

China puts its censorship engine behind epic propaganda film
Link Here

Beginning Great Revival John Woo The creators of Beginning of the Great Revival , a new film about the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, have spared no expense to make it a popular success. Done in a popular Chinese soap opera style, the movie features more than 100 stars, along with leading directors and producers.

Then, the government enlisted information authorities to wipe out negative news coverage, according to international media reports. The Central Propaganda Department ordered media outlets not to publish negative reviews of the film, the U.S.-based China Digital Times reported.

The movie review site douban and theater ticketing site Mtime disabled online ratings and reviews for the film after the majority posted were negative, according to PC World.

International news reports said Chinese regulators had even delayed the release of Harry Potter and Transformers , in a bid to drive moviegoers to Revival .

 

21st July   

Update: Hazardous Politicians...

Russia implements internet censorship in the name of child protection
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media
Russia flag Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed a law supposedly protecting children from 'hazardous' information, the Kremlin reports.

The law sets a censorship level for information for children under 18 and classification of information products. This also bans schoolbooks with hazardous information.

Certain advertisements will be banned from education centers, sanatoriums and sports organizations for children within a radius of 100 meters.

Violation of the law will be punishable by 2,000-3,000 rubles for citizens, 5,000-10,000 for officials and businesses, 20,000-50,000 for legal bodies or a 90-day administrative suspension for business.

 

21st July   

Update: Capital!...

ACT will go it alone if necessary to provide an adult rating for computer games
Link Here  full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games

Australia ACT flag The ACT (Canberra) will lead a push for an adult rating for computer games at a meeting of state and territory Attorney Generals.

But ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell says the territory will go it alone on an R-18+ rating if a national agreement cannot be reached when the Attorneys gather in Adelaide.

Corbell said this morning that a number of states and territories have indicated support for the new classification but if agreement cannot be reached, he will begin work on territory-specific legislation: But that's not a desirable outcome, a sensible outcome is to get a uniform scheme covering all Australians and that's what the ACT will be supporting. We have been consistent for many years now in our support for an R 18 plus classification for computer games.

 

21st July   

Updated: Israel Boycotts Free Speech...

Law banning calls for boycotts being considered by Israel's lawmakers
Link Here

boycott israel The Israeli parliament is preparing to pass a law that would in effect ban citizens from calling for academic, consumer or cultural boycotts of Israel in a move that has been denounced by its opponents as anti-democratic.

The boycott bill is expected to win majority backing, despite strong opposition. Under its terms, any individual or organisation proposing a boycott could be sued for compensation by any individual or institution claiming that it could be damaged by such a call. Proof of actual damage would not be required.

As debate on the bill opened in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament's legal adviser presented an opinion that parts of the proposed law were borderline illegal . The broad definition of a boycott on the state of Israel is a violation of the core tenet of freedom of political expression and elements in the proposed bill are borderline illegal, Eyal Yinon said.

Among the bill's opponents are dozens of Israeli intellectuals, including the celebrated author Amos Oz, who described the proposed law as the worst of the anti-democratic bills in the Knesset. The bill will turn law-abiding citizens into criminals.

According to the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, the bill constitutes a direct violation of freedom of expression . Its executive director, Hagai El-Ad, said: The boycott bill represents the current unfortunate crest in a wave of anti-democratic legislation that is gradually drowning Israel's democratic foundations.

If the boycott bill becomes law, it is expected that it will be challenged in court.

Offsite Comment: A Grave Threat to Free Expression

21st July 2011. See  article from  indexoncensorship.org

Index on Censorship logo The Law for Prevention of Damage to the State of Israel through Boycott,  was approved on 11th July by a majority of 47 to 38 Members of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.

The law prohibits the public promotion of boycott by Israeli citizens and organisations, and, in some cases, agreement to participate in a boycott. It forbids not only a boycott of Israeli institutions but also of the illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

In private law, the law defines boycott as a new type of civil wrong or tort. It will enable settlers or other parties targeted by boycotts to sue anyone who calls for boycott, and the court may award compensation including punitive damages, even if no actual damage is caused to the boycotted parties. For example, if an Israeli actor publicly calls on others not to perform in a theatre in the Israeli settlement of Ariel, the theatre can sue that actor for a minimum sum of ?5,000 in damages, which can be awarded even if no such damage was caused.

In public law, the law will revoke tax exemptions and other legal rights and benefits from Israeli organisations and charities, as well as academic, cultural and scientific institutions which receive any state support, if they engage in boycott.

...Read the full article

 

21st July   

Mercenary...

US DVD release of Brute Corps
Link Here

Brute Corps DVD Region NTSC Brute Corps is a 1972 US action film by Jerry Jameson. See IMDb

The new US release is uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

The film hasn't been seen in the UK since it was banned by the BBFC for its 1972 cinema release

See trailer from youtube.com

Promotional Material: Brutal

A beautiful hitchhiker and a draft dodger travel to Mexico and encounter a pack of mercenaries awaiting their next mission in Central America. A terribly psychotic merc takes a liking to the girl which sets the couple on a brutal and violent course of torture and rape. Gritty and exciting, this one is not for the faint of heart.

 

21st July   

Update: Cultural censorship...

Malta announces review of censorship laws
Link Here
Malta flag Malta's controversial censorship of films, plays and literature is under review, Parliamentary Secretary Mario de Marco has announced.

The review comes as Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and Culture Parliamentary Secretary Mario de Marco launched the National Culture Policy, which sets out the government's vision for culture taken in a broad sense.

Dr de Marco said responsibility for classification and censorship would move from the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs to the ministry in charge of culture, that is, the Office of the Prime Minister. He announced that lawyer Jeanine Rizzo was assessing the relevant legislation to see what could be done.

Stakeholders are being consulted for their feedback and different scenarios are being considered.

 

21st July   

Open to .XXX...

Singapore government claims that it will not generally block .xxx websites
Link Here
Singapore flag The Singapore government has indicated it has no plans to block access to the .xxx top-level domain, the Straits Times has reported.

As a symbolic statement of our community's stand on harmful and undesirable content on the Internet, the Media Development Authority has mandated that ISPs block 100 sites. The list of banned sites is not limited to porn and will not be expanded to include .xxx sites. The article also quotes MDA deputy director for regulations. Yuvarani Thangavelu, as saying the MDA will go after locally hosted pornographic .xxx sites, to get these sites taken offline.

Regarding the legality of porn in the country, the Straits Times stated, It is illegal under the Films Act to possess pornographic material, and those found with it can be fined thousands of dollars. However, the Government has said previously it would not pro-actively hunt down those who download pornographic material.

 

20th July   

A Culture of Compliancy to Morality Campaigners...

BBC to cut back on excessive 'compliancy' rules
Link Here

governance and regulation of the bbc The BBC's governing body, the BBC Trust, said there had been debate about whether current programme-making rules, known as compliance, were too restrictive .

The BBC went a bit over the top in pandering to whingers after the press hoo-hah over prank calls made by Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand on Radio 2.

The BBC Trust is talking about simpler forms and fewer layers of checking .

In June, Radio 2 breakfast presenter Chris Evans criticised the corporation and its compliance procedure. The compliance department of the BBC is so extensive it's an unbelievable nightmare, he told an audience at the Hay Literary Festival in Powys. Sometimes you come up with an idea and the compliance is so great that you just say, 'Let's not bother'.

A report from the trust said it was now testing a revised process, which is supposed to make programme-making easier.

 

20th July   

Update: Playing a Waiting Game...

Christian nutters pounce on chance to delay an adult rating for games
Link Here  full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games

Australian Christian Lobby The Australian Christian Lobby has asked classification ministers meeting in Adelaide later this week that they should wait until the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) completes its review of the National Classification Scheme before voting on video game classification reform that would add a new R18+ rating.

ACL spokesman Rob Ward said:

You can't equate an R18+ game with an R18+ film because games are interactive and repetitively engage the gamer in acts of violence and sex, Ward said. Allow the Australian Law Reform Commission to complete its comprehensive review and detail how games should be classified and whether they should be introduced into the Australian market.

However ACL were not so impressed by South Australian Attorney-General John Rau's desire to reclassify existing MA15+ games as R18+:

Mr. Rau's suggestion wouldn't address or fix the problems inherent in the existing classification system, such as subjective and ill-defined guidelines. The system also requires proper enforcement mechanisms and consequences for publishers and retailers who breach the guidelines.

 

20th July   

Bum Decision...

ASA easily offended by bottom cleavage lorry advert
Link Here

dalton logo A poster for a metal recycling service, which was seen on the side of a lorry on 14 April 2011, featured an image of a woman who was kneeling on the floor with her back to the camera. She was wearing a pair of low-slung jeans that exposed the top of her bottom and her torso was covered only by a pair of braces.

Three complainants, who believed the ad was sexist and demeaning to women, challenged whether it was offensive.

Dalton Group Ltd considered that a small number of complainants had found the ad to be sexist and demeaning to women but they pointed out that the Code stated that ads might be distasteful without necessarily breaching the Code. They believed that other advertising, including underwear advertising, showed far more revealing images than had been shown in their ad. They did not believe that the complaints could be seen to demonstrate that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

ASA Assessment: Upheld

The ASA considered that the image was not sexually explicit but that it was sexually provocative. We noted that the ad was for a scrap metal recycling company and that the image bore no relevance to the advertised service.

We considered that the provocative image, and in particular the focus on the woman's bottom, was likely to be seen as gratuitous and demeaning to women. Because of that, and because the image appeared in an untargeted medium and bore no relevance to the advertised service, we concluded that it was likely to cause serious offence to some individuals.

The ad breached CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).

 

20th July   

Updated: Growing Up...

India's film censors moot the idea of an X rating for uncut adult fare
Link Here

CBFC website banner India's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has mooted the idea of granting X certificate to porn films so that the public will have the choice of watching what their want.

While the step may come as a boon to a section of the film industry, the ministry of information and broadcasting has reportedly frowned at the CBFC proposal.

With amendments to the Cinematograph Act, 1952, in the offing, the CBFC has also been gathering opinions of the film industry on the X certification.

The Telugu film industry informally said via a key producer: Please put it forward as our suggestion to the ministry that the 'X' rating should be allowed.

The Telugu film industry also advised the CBFC to do away with the A certification and simply call it as 18+ certificate. This is to do away with the stigma attached to A certificate films. 18/A films are still clipped by censors, but now such films with all their adult scenes and violence intact can be given an X rating.

The details about where X'-rated films can be screened will be sorted out by the film industry and the government, if the discussion on the matter goes forward.

 

19th July   

Massive Melons...

Drinks cans wind up New Zealand's National Council of Women
Link Here

massice melons drink can A call to ban energy drink cans featuring sexual innuendo has been made by the National Council of Women. The campaigners claim that the text has offended half the population.

The drinks, called Ms Svenson's Classroom Detention and Miss Helen's Massive Melons , have sexual references such as Miss Helen is never shy in getting her big plump ripe melons out for the lads .

National Council of Women president Elizabeth Bang said that the messages on the can were sexist and offensive to women: First, there's the portrayal of women as sex objects. Second, the sale of these drinks is unrestricted so anyone of any age, including young boys, can buy them.

 

19th July   

Update: Harassment in Yemen...

100 journalists protest against censorship
Link Here  full story: News Censorship in Yemen...Yemen news media and southern unrest

Yemen flag About 100 journalists have protested in the Yemen capital against harassment and censorship by authorities.

The protest was held outside the Sana'a residence of the vice-president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is acting head of state while the president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, is in Saudi Arabia recuperating from wounds he sustained in an attack on his compound.

The demonstration is part of wider anti-government protests that have been going on for more than four months, demanding an end to Saleh's rule.

One newspaper editor, Osama Ghaleb of al-Nass, said he was forced to distribute the daily to other provinces in banana boxes to ensure the copies would not be confiscated by security. But unfortunately this method has now been exposed, he said.

The Centre for Rehabilitation and Protection of Freedom of Press in Yemen has documented 465 cases of harassment of journalists in the past six months, which include threats, aggression, and detention. Calls by journalists to meet with the vice-president have gone unheeded, according to the head of Yemen's journalists' syndicate, Marwan Damaj.

 

19th July   

Alien Women at the BBFC...

Old cuts to Zeta One
Link Here

Zeta One Zeta One is a 1970 UK Sci-Fi sex comedy by Michael Cort. See IMDb

Passed 18 uncut for:

Previously passed X (18) after BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1970 cinema release

From IMDb:

  • suffered BBFC cuts which removed most of the nudity including Mark's assorted flings with naked women
  • toned down torture of Zara by Bourdon.

The US release is uncut and MPAA R Rated for:

Summary review: Cheesy

Cheesy Sci-Fi effects coupled with failed humour earns the comment of 'the most ridiculous films ever'.

Several viewers found it to be the fun sort of bad though.

 

19th July   

Update: Virtually Proscribed Networks...

Iran upgrades web blocking technology
Link Here  full story: Iranian Internet Censorship...Extensive internet blocking

Iran flag Iran has stepped up online censorship by upgrading the system that enables the Islamic regime to block access to millions of websites it deems inappropriate for Iranian users.

The move comes one month after the United States announced plans to launch new services facilitating internet access and mobile phone communications in countries with tight controls on freedom of speech, a decision that infuriated Tehran's regime and prompted harsh reactions from several Iranian officials.

Despite the blocking, many Iranians access banned addresses with help from proxy websites or virtual private network (VPN) services. The upgrade is aimed at stopping users bypassing censorship.

More than 5 million websites are filtered in Iran. Media organisations including the Guardian, BBC and CNN are blocked. On Google, the Farsi equivalents for words such as condom , sex , lesbian and anti-filtering are filtered out.

Iran is believed to be worried about the influence of the internet and especially social networking websites as pro-democracy activists across the Middle East use them to promote and publicise their movements.

In April, the Tehran government announced that it intended to launch halal internet , a country-wide intranet and a parallel network that conforms to Islamic values with the ultimate goal of substituting for the global internet.

Iran's opposition believe that Iran is buying its filtering technology from China.

 

19th July   

Update: Mountainous Firewall...

China shuts down 40% of its internet sites
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship

Great Firewall of China According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Chinese government shut down 1.3 million sites in 2010. That number accounted for 41% of all Chinese websites.

Following its policy of censorship, China began a massive crackdown on pornography in 2009, and there have been hundreds of thousands of porn-based sites shut down in the last two years.

Despite the huge drop, Academy researcher Liu Ruisheng said China that overall number of web pages increased to 60 billion in 2010, up 79% year-over-year.

 

18th July   

Updated: Nasty Fun...

Tobe Hooper's Funhouse now released on UK Blu-ray
Link Here

The Funhouse Blu ray Funhouse is a 1981 US horror by Tobe Hooper. See IMDb

Passed 15 uncut for:

Previously it was surprisingly labelled as a video nasty. It was added to the DPP list of video nasties in September 1984 but was dropped in June 1985. It is not a particularly violent film and it has been suggested that the video appears on the list due to a confusion with another film Last House on Dead End Street that is also known as The Fun House .

Summary Review: U nderrated slasher

This is an effectively underrated slasher entry. One of it's most impressive feats is that it gives us a nice carnival atmosphere with some interesting sights. The setting is the best thing about this, as great pains is taken to turn the early part into setup, and this does create a great atmosphere for later on in the film.

This little gem has minimum bloodletting but its good, its better than good. It has a genuine sense of dread and a fear and paradoxically, an understanding of human vulnerability and mutation.

 

18th July   

Update: Playing Silly Games...

Australian censorship ministers looking to derail gaming for adults
Link Here  full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games

R18+ banned Aussie adult gamers are looking upon this Friday's Standing Committee of Attorneys-General meeting (SCAG) as D-day for gaming classification in Australia, with all nine federal, state and territory censorship ministers voting on the introduction of an R18+ classification for games.

It now appears that the decision will be delayed again, with at least one attorney-general planning to abstain from taking part in the R18+ vote. The New South Wales Attorney-General's department is declaring that the NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith will not be voting on the R18+ for games issue: We're not going down a definitive route, a spokesperson for Smith told GameSpot AU. More work needs to be done on this issue. We want to wait to see the results of the ALRC [Australian Law Reform Commission] classification review.

If Smith takes this position at the SCAG meeting on Friday, it will mean the R18+ for games decision will once again be delayed. For an adult classification for games to be introduced, all of Australia's state, territory, and federal governments must unanimously agree on its implementation.

The ALRC review is currently underway, and is not set for completion until at least early 2012.

Meanwhile South Australia Attorney-General John Rau has said that the state will drop the country's MA15+ rating for videogames in favour of an R18 rating, irrespective of any rulings at the Australian commonwealth level.

In this inane scheme there will be no classification option between PG and 18.

Spokesperson for the opposition Liberal party, Stephen Wade, called the move bizarre and unfair to local retailers, reports newspaper The Australian: The Attorney-General has indicated that he appreciates that people will continue to access games, through downloading them and through mail order. So it would be clearly an unfair impost on South Australian retailers at a time we are very aware of the competition between the online retail marker and the shopfront retail market.

 

18th July   

Update: Passing the Final Buck...

In the absence of any official interest, UK ISPs are told to censor suicide websites
Link Here  full story: Suicide Censorship...UK government proposes to ban suicide information
paul burstow Websites that encourage people to commit suicide or make death pacts with strangers must be closed down, ministers will insist this week.

In the absence of any official organisation to monitor such websites, ISPs are to be told they have an obligation to shut down these chatrooms and forums, as part of the Government's suicide prevention strategy.

Promoting suicide is already outlawed under the 1961 Suicide Act, but this has never been used to prosecute a website operator. Officials say the law does not apply only to face-to-face meetings, and should be enforced more rigorously if companies fail to shut down offending websites.

Health Minister Paul Burstow said:

One of the nastier sides of social media is the emergence of websites which are almost coaching people into how to commit suicide and offering the possibility of pacts with other people to commit suicide -- really evil stuff.

Websites begin in a therapeutic way - I think because the people who run them think it's a place for people to share how they feel when they are very low and don't have much hope in life.

Then they move from being therapeutic to being supportive, a friend network. But the end result is it becomes a closed circle... nobody on those websites is going to confess to anybody outside.

It becomes a depressive circle of people talking about all types of things, which give them knowledge - because the sites give you various ways of taking life if that is the decision you chose - and friendship with people thinking the same way.

They use all kinds of words like 'Catching the bus or Making the journey - slang words - other people might not understand.'

 

18th July   

Diary: Call to Protest...

Consensual fisting becomes the subject of a Dangerous Pictures prosecution
Link Here  full story: Obscenity in the UK...Gay fisting, urolagnia and BDSM found not obscene by jury

protest fist t shirt Presumably the UK authorities have decided to prosecute someone for the possession of consensual gay anal fisting.

A website has been set up to highlight an upcoming case:

We know what is offensive and illegal, and images of consensual sex are neither! Don't be told what should and shouldn't be in your spank bank!

Currently there is a crime under the offensive publications act [Criminal Justice & Immigration Act 2008] which impacts us all.

It is about the act that came in force in 2009 The law makes it an offence punishable by up to three years in prison for someone to possess what it calls extreme images . An extreme image is defined as one which portrays in a realistic way any of: . An act which threatens a person's life . An act which results in or is likely to result in serious injury to a person's anus, breasts or genitals and the image... . Is grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character . Has been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal.

Unfortunately many of the terms used in the Act are vague and open to interpretation. So until some unfortunate people end up in court and a jury decides, it is difficult to give absolutely definitive advice on what the Act means and how it will be enforced.

Our friend Sleazy Michael is the unfortunate who is being the test case for this. This impacts any of us who partake of pornography that involves any images that could be interpreted as Offensive, disgusting or obscene by the definition above. This includes images of consensual fisting!

Trial starts on the 1st of August at Southwark Crown Court.

If you can come along and show that we queers, know what is offensive or illegal, and images of consensual sex are neither!

Please be respectful of the court (no need to piss off the judge) and come and show support. Please- no banners or chanting outside or inside court, we want to show our support without jeopardising the chances of a fair trial.

 

18th July   

Update: Extreme Promotion...

Sex and Zen 3D lined up for North America and the British Isles
Link Here  full story: 3-D Sex and Zen...Hong Kong erotic movie in 3D

3 D Sex Zen Extreme Ecstasy China Lion Film Distribution has announced that following on from their North American distribution deal they have now completed arrangements to take the Chinese erotic blockbuster Sex and Zen 3D: Extreme Ecstasy into the UK & Ireland. The film will release exclusively through leading UK cinema chain Odeon with a September 2 release date.

The film has created box office records since release in Australia, New Zealand & Hong Kong.

The film received an 18 rating in Australia, New Zealand and Canada with the censors ordering no cuts.

North America will begin a city by city roll out from August 12 with leading independent and art house cinemas in the US and exclusively with Cineplex in Canada.

 

18th July   

A Return to the Bad Old Ways...

Egypt's military government re-installs minister of censorship and propaganda
Link Here

CPJ logo The reinstatement of Egypt's Information Ministry that was abolished in February constitutes a substantial setback for media freedom in Egypt, the Committee to Protect Journalists has said.

The ministry and the post of information minister were scrapped in February, just days after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. Doing away with the ministry, viewed by many journalists and press freedom advocates as the propaganda arm of Mubarak's regime, was a key demand of members of the 18-day revolution that took place in January and February.

Reinstating the Ministry of Information is an unambiguous setback for media freedom in Egypt, said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Mohamed Abdel Dayem: A government body whose primary function was to enforce media orthodoxy and punish dissent during decades of authoritarian rule is not a suitable entity to reform the media sector.

 

17th July   

No Such Thing...

The Press Complaints Commission to review media ethics
Link Here

PCC logo The Press Complaints Commission has welcomed the announcement of the terms of the inquiry into media ethics.

Last week, the Commission issued a statement making clear its intention to review its own constitution and funding arrangements, the range of sanctions available to it, and its practical independence.

The PCC remains committed to the establishment of a more effective system, one that supports appropriate freedoms, but demands the highest ethical standards. The PCC, and its independent members (who are in the majority), has led the call for appropriate reform. We welcome the consensus of Parliament that the model of regulation for the press should continue to be a non-statutory one.

We look forward to contributing to the work of Lord Justice Leveson.

 

17th July   

Satellite Spring...

Egypt pulls the plug on Gaddafi's Libyan TV channels
Link Here

nilesat logo In response to months of protests by Libyans living in Egypt, the authorities in Cairo on 11 July ordered Egypt's state-owned operator Nilesat to pull the plug on Libyan state TV satellite broadcasts to the Middle East and North Africa.

An Egyptian court ruled that Nilesat should take 16 Libyan satellite channels off the air, the official MENA news agency reported. The barred channels carry sports and variety programming as well as news, current affairs and talk shows.

The ruling followed lawsuits filed by Libyan citizens and Egyptian lawyers who complained that Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi was using Libya's state TV channels to incite violence against rebels fighting to overthrow him. The complainants also accused the channels of false reporting.

 

17th July   

Offsite: Chris Tookey Recommends...

Hobo With a Shotgun
Link Here

Hobo Shotgun DVD Rutger Hauer Hobo with a Shotgun is a 2011 Canada action film by Jason Eisener. See IMDb

This noisy, bloody, aggressively decadent exploitation flick, in which a homeless alcoholic cleans up a preposterously corrupt American town, is based on a fake trailer attached to Grindhouse [the Double bill of Planet Terror and Deathproof].

The aim is to ingratiate itself with its fanboy audience by decapitating, eviscerating and mutilating as many people as viciously as possible.

There is, of course, an audience for this kind of depressing junk, and no shortage of idiots on the internet who will vilify any critic who dares to point out it is depressing junk.

...Read the full review

 

16th July   

Iron Filings...

Iron Lord cut for horse fall
Link Here

Iron Lord DVD Iron Lord is a 2010 Russia action film by Dmitri Korobkin. See IMDb

Passed 15 after 3s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2011 Revolver Online
  • UK 2011 Revolver R2 DVD for release on 1st August 2011

The BBFC commented:

  • A compulsory cut was required to a scene featuring animal cruelty (in this case, sight of a horse being made to fall in a dangerous manner).

 

16th July   

Updated: Nob...

Hotel sharing name with redlight area gets second opportunity to sue media for defamation
Link Here
Nob Nation Impressionist Oliver Callan told a court that he had never heard of Waterford's Maryland House when he wrote a sketch for RTE's Nob Nation which is at the centre of a libel action.

Callan said he believed Maryland was a district of Waterford that was well-known for prostitution but he had never heard it was a guesthouse or hotel in the city. Had he known of its existence he would not have made such a reference.

He also apologised for any offence he may have caused as he believed comedy should not set out to offend.

He was giving evidence in an action against RTE by Vincent O'Toole, owner of the Maryland House, who claims he was defamed in the Nob Nation sketch on 2FM's Gerry Ryan Show in August 2008.

The court has heard O'Toole previously successfully sued the Sunday World over a similar claim and was awarded EUR50,000 in damages.

A sketch in Nob Nation included the line: The Maryland is a byword in Waterford for prostitution although the original establishment from whence the term is derived has ceased business.

O'Toole alleges that the words suggested he was a brothel-keeper, that his home was the haunt of undesirables, and that he was or is involved in racketeering.

Update: Easy Money

16th July 2011. See  article from  thejournal.ie

A Waterford guesthouse owner has been awarded EUR70,000 by the High Court after being innocently defamed by a comedian in a radio sketch.

Vincent O'Toole, owner of the Maryland House, claimed he was defamed by comedian Oliver Callan in a Nob Nation sketch that was broadcast on 2FM's Gerry Ryan Show in 2008. In the sketch, Callan wrote: The Maryland is a byword in Waterford for prostitution although the original establishment from whence the terms is derived has ceased business.

Senior counsel for O'Toole, John Gordon, asked the jury to put themselves in his 84-year-old client's shoes; asking how they would feel if, in their declining years, their home and guesthouse was described as a brothel, reports Newstalk.

Callan told the court that when he wrote the sketch, he thought the Maryland was a district of Waterford, and had not known that it was, in fact, a guesthouse in the city. He said he was very sorry for the distress the incident had caused O'Toole, reports the Irish Times.

 

16th July   

Offsite: Turkey Bugged by Burroughs...

Obscenity trial starts for publisher of William Burroughs' The Soft Machine
Link Here

Soft Machine William Burroughs For aficionados of the Beat writers, an obscenity trial in Turkey is a throwback to half a century ago, when Naked Lunch was banned in Boston.

The Turkish publisher and translator of William S. Burroughs' The Soft Machine are facing prison terms of six months to three years for allegedly violating a Turkish law against the publication and writing of pornography. Their trial, which opened in Istanbul on July 6, is the first in Turkey to target the work of a Beat Generation writer.

First published in 1961, The Soft Machine is a classic Burroughs drug-addled narrative, relating the time-travel journey of a secret agent battling with Mayan priests using mind control to direct slaves to harvest maize. The work uses an anti-establishment broken literary form called the cut-up method. The book also details Burroughs' own struggle with drug addiction, which is presented as a form of mind control.

An official report from the Board for the Protection of Minors from Obscene Publications, a Turkish government body, found that The Soft Machine, translated as Yumus,ak Makine, was not compatible with the morals of society and the people's honor, was injurious to sexuality and seen to be generally repugnant. Similar rhetoric was used in the United States decades ago to thwart the American publication of Burroughs' most famous work, Naked Lunch, which was published in Paris in 1959, but did not make its debut on the other side of the Atlantic until 1962.

Under Turkey's Press Law, translators and publishers of books are considered as accountable as a writer for the content of published materials. Members of university Turkish literature departments have been enlisted by authorities to read The Soft Machine in order to help Istanbul's Second Penal Court determine if Burroughs' work qualifies as pornography or literature. The trial, expected to last a year, will reconvene on October 11.

...Read the full article

 

15th July   

Except for Filesharers?...

OSCE calls for a human right to internet access
Link Here
osce  logo A new report from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) says Internet access should be a fundamental human right, like freedom of expression.

The study also argues that Internet blocking and content filtering mandates and technologies are, in most cases, cannot be reconciled with the free flow of information and freedom of expression, both of which are basic commitments made by the 56 members of the OSCE.

Everyone should have a right to participate in the information society and states have a responsibility to ensure citizens access to the Internet is guaranteed,' the report reads.

The study, authored by Istabul Bilgi University's Yaman Akdeniz and commissions by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic' examines the level of Internet content regulation in the OSCE region and evaluations how member states' laws embody their OSCE commitments and international standards.

Legislation in many countries does not recognize that freedom of expression and freedom of the media equally apply to Internet as a modern means of exercising these rights, said Representative Mijatovic', in a statement. In some of our states, 'extremism , terrorist propaganda, harmful content, and hate speech are vaguely defined and may be widely interpreted to ban speech types that Internet users may not deem illegal.'

The report also noted that many countries permit the complete suspension of Internet access and services during a declared state of emergency, war, or in response to other security threats.

Foreign Office to discuss UK policy on freedom of expression on the internet

Based on article from computing.co.uk

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will host a multidisciplinary meeting next week exploring the UK's policy towards freedom of expression on the internet.

The first meeting, which will be led by Jeremy Browne, minister for state at the FCO, takes place on 20 July. It will include representatives from human rights campaigners.

No doubt the meeting will discuss how Britain's three strikes and your cut off from the internet stacks up with the call for a human right to internet access.

 

15th July   

Office of BBC Communications...

Lords committee reports on the governance and regulation of the BBC
Link Here

governance and regulation of the bbc The convoluted and overly complicated complaints process at the BBC must be improved, say the Lords Communications Committee in a report. The Committee has conducted an inquiry into the governance and regulation of the BBC, and have identified a number of areas of governance that the BBC needs to upgrade.

Concerns over the mechanisms for complaining are raised by the Committee, which learned of the many different processes for varying types of complaint, making it very difficult for viewers, listeners and users of BBC content to know where to go to complain. This must be resolved. The BBC needs to provide a clear overview of how the complaints process works and publish this in one place on its website and there needs to be a clearing house to direct people through the complaints process.

The confusion is in part because the BBC Trust and Ofcom have overlapping jurisdiction in several areas of content regulation, with the exception of issues of impartiality and accuracy and commercial references, which the BBC Trust regulates. In particular, because the BBC should not remain judge and jury in its own case, the Committee wants the BBC and Ofcom to consider granting Ofcom the right to regulate the BBC on matters of impartiality and accuracy.

In addition, the Committee say that:

  • Creativity must not be allowed to be stifled by overly bureaucratic compliance culture .
  • Best practice for programme making needs to be established to ease concerns that it isn't always clear to viewers what is reality, reconstructed and constructed footage.
  • Greater clarity is needed on the governance role of the Non-Executives on the on the BBC Executive Board, and the Non-Executive Directors at the BBC to be recruited from a wider range of backgrounds than they are presently.
  • The Government, the BBC and the National Audit Office (NAO) should work together to agree on terms of access for the NAO to the BBC, ensuring that the NAO does not comment on any matters of broadcast content or journalistic integrity which should be entirely off limits.

Commenting on the report, Chairman of the Communications Committee, Lord Inglewood said:

Ultimately the BBC needs to be accountable to those who use and pay for it, at the same time as having the independence of its journalism, broadcasting and creativity protected from outside political interference. There are a number of ways that its systems and processes need to be improved, some of which can be done relatively quickly. The new Chairman of the BBC, Lord Patten of Barnes, is set to review issues of BBC governance this summer and we urge him to consider our recommendations as part of his review.

 

15th July   

Update: TV Only Fit for 13 Year Olds...

Singapore film censor introduces a PG13 rating
Link Here  full story: Film Censorship in Singapore...Media Development Authority

singapore pg 13 A new PG13 rating covering films, television programmes and videos has just come into effect. It was one of the recommendations of the Censorship Review Committee that was accepted by the government last year.

The new PG13 rating indicates content that may not be suitable for children under 13, so parental discretion is advised. These shows have dark themes, some violence, realistic and intense horror, sexual humour and coarse language.

Some films previously rated PG (Parental Guidance) such as Dark Knight and IP Man 2 or NC16 such as Meet the Fockers will fall under the new category, but media regulator Media Development Authority said the numbers will likely be small.

PG13 will also be the maximum rating for films and dramas on free-to-air television channels, but such content will only be allowed after 10pm.

Broadcaster MediaCorp will screen the first PG13 programme on Channel 5 on July 23 on the making of the series The Walking Dead . The series, which has been edited to fit the PG13 rating.

Last year, the government agreed with the Censorship Review Committee to allow R21 films on the Video-on-Demand service on cable. The Media Development Authority said they will be introduced as soon as it has worked out implementation details, such as designing parental locks to prevent minors from sneaking a peek.

 

15th July   

Update: Dastardly Movie Banners Thwarted...

Indonesian cinema goers keenly awaiting Harry Potter 8
Link Here  full story: Hollywood Film Ban in Indonesia...Hollyood films taxed off Indonesian screens

Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part Indonesian officials have signaled that Hollywood blockbusters, including the latest Harry Potter film, could be back on screens within a fortnight.

Djonny Sjafruddin, head of the Indonesian Cinema Companies Union, told the Jakarta Globe that almost all film importation issues were now solved: Particularly the ones related to customs, royalties and income tax . We're now only dealing with technical issues.

This meant Hollywood films might arrive here in as little as 10 days, he said: It will still take time for the films to go through customs, censors and adding the subtitles, he explained.

A key priority is getting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 , which premiered in London last week and began showing in Asia this week, to the chagrin of Indonesian fans.

The turn of events on Thursday was made possible by the Customs and Excise Office clearing newly registered film importer Omega Film to bring in movies. Omega was given a film import license on May 3, but a freeze was imposed as officials sought to clarify its relationship with Indonesian film giant Cineplex 21. Cineplex 21 is affiliated with Camila and Satrya, two major film importers banned by the Finance Ministry pending payment of Rp 22 billion ($2.6 million) in back taxes and interest.

 

15th July   

Updated: Queer Times...

School pulls out of opera after demands to ungay the main character
Link Here
 
 

Billy Elliot Musical Elton John Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall has spent the past year working on an epic opera starring 300 schoolchildren.

Two weeks ago I received the worrying news that the main primary school involved was threatening to pull nearly 300 children from the production. They had problems with the libretto, and requested a list of changes. Pee-pee and the use of stupid as an insult were objected to. The composer and I worked with the school and Opera North to reach a version that would work for everyone.

But by last week, we had reached an impasse. The opera's main character is a gay, retired painter, and in one scene he is the victim of taunting. At the school's request, I agreed to tone down the violence of the language in this scene, but not the character's straightforward defence of his sexuality. Word came back from Opera North that, unless I removed the lines I'm queer and I prefer a lad to a lass , the whole project was in jeopardy. (It was by now far too late to replace 300 schoolchildren.)

...Read the full article

Update: Suitably Censored

15th July 2011. See  article from  bbc.co.uk

An opera by Billy Elliot creator Lee Hall, which was at the centre of a row over a gay character, is to go ahead after Hall removed the word queer . The writer agreed to change the word to gay after a primary school removed 300 children from the community show.

The cancellation sparked accusations of homophobia but Bay Primary school has now said it is happy with the language.

Beached , commissioned by Opera North, will take place, as planned, in Bridlington on 15 July.

The school had complained about the lines: Of course I'm queer/That's why I left here/So if you infer/That I prefer/A lad to a lass/And I'm working class/I'd have to concur.

Hall told BBC News: I agreed to change queer to gay as to me they are synonymous. I would have done this months ago if asked.

The contested lines have now been changed to: Of course I'm gay/That's why I went away/So if you infer/That I prefer/A lad to a lass/And him working class/I'd have to concur.

 

15th July   

Updated: Beyond Belief...

Multicultural arts censorship in Britain
Link Here

beyond belief How do we define a community? That question has been all too rarely asked in the debate about cultural diversity and community empowerment. In fact, much cultural policy as it has developed over the past two decades has come to embody a highly peculiar view of both diversity and community. There has been an unstated assumption that while Britain is a diverse society, that diversity ends at the edges of minority communities. The claim that The Satanic Verses is offensive to Muslims, or Behzti to Sikhs, or indeed that Jerry Springer: The Opera is offensive to Christians, suggests that there is a Muslim community, or a Sikh community or a Christian community, all of whose members are offended by the work in question and whose ostensible leaders are the most suitable judges of what is and is not suitable for that community.

...Read the full article

Update: Believable Self Censorship

15th July 2011. See  article from  thestage.co.uk

Munira Mirza, the Mayor of London's adviser on culture, has warned that the arts sector has become very nervous about offending ethnic and religious minority communities, resulting in an era of self-censorship.

Speaking at an event organised by Index on Censorship, Mirza said:

I think a different type of censorship has emerged over the last 20 to 30 years which is not explicitly controlled by the state, but is almost internalised within the arts sector and by thinkers, writers and intellectuals.

There is a culture now of people thinking twice about what they say about particular communities. I think, as it happens, that people from those communities are less inhibited. I think there is a greater fear on the part of the establishment and the people outside those communities.

The arts world, on some level, has become very nervous about saying things which are deemed to be offensive or controversial.

The Index on Censorship's event was scheduled around the launch of its pamphlet, Beyond Belief - Theatre, Freedom of Expression and Public Order.

 

15th July   

Be Aware Porn Harms...

US nutters organise a month of rants against porn
Link Here

be aware porn harms logo Morality in Media have announced the Be Aware: PORN HARMS National Awareness Campaign , a four-week nutter effort beginning on July 11, 2011.

Pornography is silently and secretly destroying men, women, and children. It is a pandemic ruining lives, marriages and families, claimed Patrick Trueman, President of Morality in Media, the leading member of the War On Illegal Pornography Coalition. Our now Pornified society has eroded the cultural norms in America. This harm must end and that is why we are launching the Be Aware: PORN HARMS campaign, he added.

The pandemic of harm from pornography demonstrates a critical need for enforcement of current federal laws against illegal hardcore pornography, said Trueman.

Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of Morality in Media said there will be over 25 events during the month, from local rallies to webinars to live online conferences. Participating groups will provide hundreds of free subscriptions to addiction recovery services and filtering software. Morality in Media will provide billboards, signs and web posters at no cost to all supporters. Those participating in live online events include: Candeo, Fight The New Drug, Content Watch, Bsecure, as well as law enforcement leaders and academic scholars.

 

14th July   

Censors Call Truce in their War Against Games...

Gears of War 3 surprisingly passes German censors unscathed
Link Here
Gears War 3 Xbox 360 In an ironically negative news item, Gears of War 3 has made the news for NOT being censored in Germany.

Gears of War 3 will become the first game in the series to see a German release, after the fun-loving chaps at the German Bundesprufstelle fur Jugendgefahrdende Medien (BPJM) ratings board approved the full version of the game for release.

Publisher Microsoft Game Studios opted not to release the first two Gears titles in Germany due to its strict laws concerning violence in games. Many games have to be severely cut in order to be approved for release in Germany, or risk being subject to the dreaded indexing process. This involves a marketing blackout, and forbids German stores to display copies on their shelves, or even promote the fact that an indexed game is available for sale.

This means that just like their neighbors in the rest of Europe, German gamers over the age of 18 will be free to buy Gears of War 3 when it's released this September.

In the UK, Gears of War 3 was passed 18 uncut with the BBFC comment: Contains strong bloody violence.

 

14th July   

Doubly Pre-cut...

Pre-cuts to Stephen Frears' Tamara Drewe
Link Here

Tamara Drewe DVD Gemma Arterton Tamara Drewe is a 2010 UK comedy by Stephen Frears. See IMDb

A pre-cut version was passed 15 after suggested cuts by the BBFC were implemented for a 15 rating for:
  • UK 2010 cinema release (not released)

The BBFC commented:

This film was originally shown to the BBFC in an unfinished version. The BBFC advised the company that the film was likely to receive an 18 classification but that the requested 15 certificate could be achieved by making cuts to remove two aggressive uses of very strong language. When the finished version of the film was submitted, these aggressive uses of very strong language had been removed and the film was classified '15 .

But this was still not cut enough for the distributors. The distributor Momentum further cut the film just to get a toned down customer advice:

This doubly pre-cut Version was then passed 15 for:

  • UK 2011 Technicolor/Momentum Online
  • UK 2011 Technicolor/Momentum RB Blu-ray
  • UK 2011 Technicolor/Momentum R2 DVD
  • UK 2010 cinema release.

The BBFC commented:

Tamara Drewe was originally classified 15 on 9 July 2010 with the consumer advice Contains very strong language, strong sex and sex references . Subsequent to this to company submitted a revised version with minor changes in two scenes. In one case, some explanatory captions had been removed and in the other case, a single use of very strong language had been removed. This amended version was classified 15 on 28 July with the revised consumer advice Contains strong language, sex and sex references .

The BBFC further explained the 15 rating:

TAMARA DREWE is a film about a young woman who returns to her home town and ruffles feathers within the community. It was classified 15 for strong language, sex and sex references.

At 15 the BBFC's Guidelines state that There may be frequent use of strong language (for example, 'fuck'). The strongest terms (for example, 'cunt') may be acceptable if justified by the context. Aggressive or repeated use of the strongest language is unlikely to be acceptable . During TAMARA DREWE there are over thirty uses of strong language and one mouthed but inaudible use of very strong language, which is drowned out by background noise.

The Guidelines at 15 also state that Sexual activity may be portrayed without strong detail. There may be strong verbal references to sexual behaviour, but the strongest references are unlikely to be acceptable unless justified by context . The strong sex in the film includes a scene in which a man thrusts into a woman during sex. In another sequence, a character takes off her knickers and lies on a counter as a man stands in front of her prior to offscreen sex. However neither of these scenes contain any strong visual detail. The verbal sex references include a teenage schoolgirl fantasising about a man licking her teapot lids , and elsewhere she makes a reference to her v-plates melting . She also fantasies about lying on a bed with a man entering the room before lifting her into his arms, but the scene ends before any sexual activity takes place.

Throughout the film there is occasional sight of nudity, such as when Tamara is seen lying naked on her bed with her buttocks visible. Other scenes also feature her naked, but without any strong detail. The film also contains a brief verbal reference to a character having grown marijuana in the past, while there is occasional sight of characters (including teenage girls) smoking cigarettes. In one scene, two characters fantasise that another may have tried to commit suicide and this is represented by a vision of the would-be victim lying on the floor beside a bottle of pills, with vomit on her clothing. However this is merely a fantasy, with the character in question not carrying out such an act.

 

14th July   

Dangerous Picture...

Tunisian cinema under attack for advertising atheist film
Link Here
ni allah ni maitre Last week several dozen men attacked a cinema in Tunis that had advertised a film publicly titled in French Ni Allah, Ni Maitre (No God, No Master) by Tunisian-French director Nadia El-Fani, an outspoken critic of political Islam.

Police later arrested 26 men, but Salafists gathered outside the justice ministry two days later to demand their release, leading to scuffles with lawyers. Security forces were heavily deployed in central Tunis to stop protests after Friday prayers last week.

Secular media and intellectuals have reacted with alarm, warning that freedoms in Tunisia are in danger of being lost if Islamists across the spectrum of Islamist politics are not stopped.

An avowed atheist, director Nadia El Fani is a lightning rod for Islamists who has campaigned for removing an article in Tunisia's constitution naming Islam is the religion of state. She says it precludes the rights of Jews, Christians, atheists and others. There is a battle now to make people understand better that if we are to safeguard the liberty gained in ousting the dictator, we must protect all liberties, she said, speaking from France. What is clear is that there are many who want to live religion as they want. In Tunisia today I do not have the right to say that I do not believe in God.

Fani said she had now changed the documentary's title to La Laicite Maintenant (Secularism Now) at the behest of French distributors after it showed at Cannes this year.

 

13th July   

Prim and Not So Proper...

Top Shop take down advert highlighting very slim model
Link Here

top shop prim and polished advert The Topshop clothes shop has succumbed to the pressure of campaigners , and have removed an image of 18-year-old model Codie Long from their website, after claims that the image could encourage anorexia. The image has now been replaced with another less pronounced picture of Ms Long.

Karen Easthall, who runs an anorexia support group in Norfolk, told the Daily Mail that Ms Long appeared to be a size zero, and that Topshop should know that publishing a disturbing picture of a stick-thin model can cause problems with young girls, who may try to copy them .

Andrew Leahy, Topshop's head of publicity, responded: Topshop is confident that Codie is a healthy young woman and we do not feel it necessary to remove her from our imagery... However, we do recognise regretfully that the angle this image has been shot at may accentuate Codie's proportions, making her head look bigger and neck longer in proportion to her body. Codie does not have the sunken eyes referred to in your piece, the sunglasses are featured because we retail them and they make up part of the look.

 

12th July   

Obituary: The Earl of Harewood...

Film censor passed 88 after extensive BBFC cuts
Link Here

bbfc card The Earl of Harewood, who died yesterday aged 88, was a first cousin of the Queen and in later years, after growing a beard, bore more than a passing resemblance to his grandfather King George V; but he did not like to be defined by his royal forebears and his family connections were of no use whatever to him in his chosen career in the media world.

In 1985, he was appointed President of the British Board of Film Classification. During the 1960s he had been very much to the fore in opposing the Lord Chamberlain's powers of censorship of plays on stage and was regarded as a liberal in such matters.. BUT... Harewood had no doubt that the situation had changed with the production of more explicitly violent films and videos which appeared in the 1970s and 1980s:

When you see concentration camp sex films where women inmates are subjected to gang rape and sadistic torture, it is so unbelievably ghastly that you have to accept there must be some limits to freedom.

Harewood believed there was a proven link between violent films and crime, pointing out that nearly half the favourite films listed by both offenders were in the 18 category, and under his leadership the Board's classification policy became appreciably stricter. Many videos were banned and large parts of violent mainstream films such as Arnold Schwarzenegger's True Lies were excised.

But Harewood came to feel that the Board was fighting a losing battle. In a report to the Conservative Home Secretary Michael Howard in 1996, the year before he retired from the post, he condemned Hollywood's cynical marketing of violence to the teenage market. He said:

Those who have loved films all their lives can only lament the current values of a highly successful industry which nowadays teaches violence, glorifies it, and celebrates the rewards it brings, he concluded. The real solution is for Hollywood to wake up with a conscience. But I have my doubts. There's too much money at stake.

Harewood left the BBFC in 1997.

 

12th July   

Updated: A Bellyful of Censorship...

Delhi Belly banned in Pakistan and raided in Nepal
Link Here

delhi belly Pakistan's film censors have decided not to clear Aamir Khan's Delhi Belly for public exhibition

A leading cineplex in Karachi, which was to screen the movie from 1 July, informed media that the Pakistan censor board has not cleared the film. Hence, for the time being, the screening has been put off. The film is unlikely to be released in Pakistan.

See  article from  dnaindia.com

Delhi Belly has also been targeted by Nepal's censors.

The ban came after Nepal's Film Censor Board complained to the authorities that the Abhinay Deo-directed film was full of obscene dialogue and the distributor of the film in Nepal had failed to heed the censors' directive that the objectionable bits be removed before screening it in Nepal's theatres.

Obeying orders from the Kathmandu district administration, police on Sunday evening raided the Gopirkishna multiplex in Kathmandu, seizing prints of the film and stopping all screenings till the recommended cuts were effected.

Update: Cut

6th July 2011. See  article from  myrepublica.com

The government has lifted the ban on the screening of Hindi movie Delhi Belly two days after the police seized the movie print from Gopikrishna Movies in Kathmandu, claiming that the movie was screened without removing obscene words as directed by the country's Film Censor Board.

According to a statement issued by the District Administration Office (DAO) in Kathmandu, the Board has received a clarification from the Triple Movies and Suppliers, the official distributor of the movie for Nepal, that it had already removed the supposedly obscene dialogues from the movie as directed by the Board and that it would be ready to face legal action if found guilty of screening it without removing the objectionable parts in the future.

Update: Belly Aching

12th July 2011. See  article from  hindustantimes.com

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) activists have protested outside two cinema halls here exhibiting the latest Aamir Khan production Delhi Belly due to its supposed vulgar and objectionable content, police said.

The cinemas were forced to cancel the afternoon shows.

Protestors shouted slogans, tore off the movie posters and banners and attempted to barge into the theatre premises, demanding cancellation of the show.

Their ire was also directed at the censor board, which they said had cleared objectionable dialogues, explicit erotic scenes and the song DK Bose .

The protesters demanded deletion of the song, offensive dialogues and explicit scenes on grounds that they corrupted the mind of the youth, especially college students, who have been queuing up to watch the movie.

Police said that around 20 NCP activists were detained and additional security has been provided at the two cinema halls.

Update: And in the Courts

12th July 2011. See  article from  dnaindia.com

The Madhya Pradesh high court in Jabalpur has issued notices to the Bollywood actor Aamir Khan and three others on a petition demanding the stay of screenings of Delhi Belly for its supposed obscenity and use of abusive language.

Besides Aamir, other respondents are the Censor Board and the Madhya Pradesh chief secretary.

The petitioner claimed that people, especially the youth, treat Aamir as God of the acting world and he has made a number of inspirational films. However, Delhi Belly, which he has produced, is obscene and has abusive language which is against the Indian culture , petition says. The petition also says that the Censor Board has cleared the picture despite some blue-film like scenes.

Update: And Again in the Courts

26th July 2011. See  article from  indiantelevision.com

The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court has also issued notices to Aamir Khan Productions, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Censor Board of Film Certification challenging the public exhibition certificate issued to the film.

The petitioners alleged that the film had indecent, immoral and abusive language. They submitted that it was clear violation of Section 5 B of the Cinematograph Act.

The notices were issued on a writ petition seeking direction to quash the certificate for public exhibition.

Update: And Again And Again in the Courts

28th July 2011. See  article from  gulfnews.com

The Allahabad High Court has issued notices to Bollywood actor-filmmaker Aamir Khan and two others in connection with the public exhibition of an objectionable song in his latest production venture, Delhi Belly, a lawyer said.

While hearing a public interest litigation, seeking a ban on showing the controversial song Bhag DK Bose, a division bench also issued notice to the censor board and Ram Sampat, the writer of the song.

It was stated that the public exhibition of the [objectionable] song stands in violation of the A-certificate given to the movie for its adult content, and therefore it should be screened only in the movie and not anywhere else, counsel Vinay Saran said.

 

12th July   

More Bureaucracy...

All UK adult sites to be questioned about registering for ATVOD censorship
Link Here

ATVOD logo 2011 An interesting comment from  lawdit.co.uk suggesting that ATVOD will trawl the website looking for contributors to its very hungry funding money pit:

I understand from a very good source that every adult website in the UK will be contacted over the next 12 months and asked to comment on whether or not it ought to be registered and if not why not. It is going to be difficult for many providers to argue that it ought not be registered and many adult websites will find themselves looking abroad as they ship their business affairs overseas.

It sounds a pretty tall order to try and track down all British adult websites though. It is not often obvious from the website who is behind it, nor their location.

 

12th July   

Dangerous Jackets...

Bangladesh film censors ban film claiming that a jacket could trigger violence
Link Here

mujib Bangladeshi film censors have banned a movie in which the main villain is shown wearing a jacket associated with the ruling Awami League party, claiming it could trigger violence.

The film Ridoy Bhanga Dhew (Heart Breaking Wave) was banned as it mocks ruling party officials, the vice-chairman of the Film Censor Board, Surat Kumar Sarker told AFP.

The main villain in the film is shown wearing a Mujib coat , a distinctive, black sleeveless jacket named after Bangladesh's founding leader, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who wore it when addressing political rallies. It is usually worn only by Awami League members keen to show their party allegiance.

There is no need for the character to wear this dress. It could spark violence, claimed Akanda Sanawar Morshed, a filmmaker and member of the censor board.

 

12th July   

Update: Monitored not Censored...

Malaysian agency spies on people's websites and blogs
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Malaysia...Malaysia looks to censor the internet

mcmc logo The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is monitoring various blog sites and news portals.

Information Communication and Culture Deputy Minister Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum said, this followed an influx of websites and blogs in the Internet, making it difficult for the authorities to monitor each site.

He said the commission also monitored Internet sites based on public complaints:

We encourage the public to lodge complaints with the MCMC Complaints Bureau (aduan.skmm.gov.my), Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Content Forum (CMCF-www.cmcf.my) and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Consumer Forum (CfM-www.cfm.org.my), should they know of any site or blog flouting our laws.

He claimed that this legal action could not be regarded as censorship as it was done to enforce the country's laws: The government will not censor any content on the internet unless it is against our laws . [or opposes the government's version of the truth].

 

11th July   

Updated: More Slaughter...

BBFC waive their cuts to Slaughter High
Link Here

Slaughter High DVD George Dugdale Slaughter High is a 1986 UK/US comedy horror by George Dugdale. See IMDb

Passed 18 uncut with the previous BBFC cuts waived for:

previously passed 18 after 32s of BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1987 Locus VHS

From cuts details on IMDb

  • Cut to remove shots of nudity and burnt breasts during the acid bath killings.
  • Cuts to the electrocution of the couple making love and to sights of the burnt girls body.

Summary review : Not to be taken seriously

It is a comedy slasher with an April Fools Day theme. It is a mixed bag of good and bad acting that seems to appeal to those on a nostalgia trip for early slashers.

Generally well received when not taken too seriously.

 

11th July   

An Unnatural Whinge...

New Zealand ASA dismisses complaint about negative gay comment advertising period drama
Link Here

Downton Abbey DVD Hugh Bonneville A complaint about an advertisement for popular period drama Downton Abbey that refers to homosexuality as unnatural, has not been upheld by the New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The magazine and newspaper advertisement for the programme showed a picture of a servant and a member of the family he worked for.

Underneath the picture of the two men were the words: Exclusive, servant seeks unnatural relationship .

A complainant claimed that the advert had a clear inference - that a male same sex relationship is unnatural . I believe it is seriously offensive to label the idea of a same sex relationship as unnatural.

The advertising agency DRAFTCB explained that the advertisement was designed to look like the front cover of a gossip magazine from the early 1900s. The headline was not a comment on today's values but a reflection of the attitudes of the period the programme was set in.

In a majority decision, the ASA said it accepted the argument the description of the relationship was a reflection of the time in which the television series was set, and did not uphold the complaint.

 

11th July   

Update: World Censors...

US claims censorship rights to .com domains
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in USA...Domain name seizures and SOPA

homeland security logo British website owners could face extradition to the US on piracy charges even if their operation has no connection to America and does something which is most probably legal in the UK, the official leading US web anti-piracy efforts has told the Guardian.

The US's Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) is targeting overseas websites it believes are breaking US copyrights whether or not their servers are based in America or whether there is another direct US link, said Erik Barnett, the agency's assistant deputy director.

As long as a website's address ends in .com or .net, if it is implicated in the spread of pirated US-made films, TV or other media it is a legitimate target to be closed down or targeted for prosecution, Barnett said. While these web addresses are traditionally seen as global, all their connections are routed through Verisign, an internet infrastructure company based in Virginia, which the agency believes is sufficient to seek a US prosecution.

As well as sites that directly host or stream pirated material, ICE is also focusing on those that simply provide links to it elsewhere. There remains considerable doubt as to whether this is even illegal in Britain, the only such case to be heard before a British court, involving a site called TV-Links, was dismissed by a judge in February last year.

Barnett, in an interview with the Guardian, explained the broader thinking behind it: By definition, almost all copyright infringement and trademark violation is transnational. There's very little purely domestic intellectual property theft, he said.

Civil rights and internet freedom organisations said they were alarmed at the apparent intention to enforce US copyright laws around the globe.

Isabella Sankey, director of policy for Liberty, said: Many countries, including the US, are increasingly asserting jurisdiction over alleged actions that take place in other parts of the world. The internet increases our risk of falling foul of the law, making it possible to commit an offence on the other side of the world without even leaving your bedroom.

She called on the government to amend the UK's extradition agreement with the US so a British judge could decide where an alleged crime should be best tried: It would allow UK courts to bar extradition in the interests of justice where conduct leading to an alleged offence has quite clearly taken place on British soil .

 

10th July   

Nutters with a Small 'i'...

Nutter organisation gets first candidate to sign their pledge against porn
Link Here

family leader logo Michele Bachmann is the first Republican candidate to sign a nutter pledge committing her to fighting pornography and arguing homosexuality is curable.

The pledge is the work of Bob Vander Plaats, an Iowa religious right kingmaker who runs an organization called The FAMiLY LEADER. (The lowercase i is meant to emphasize individual submission.) Though Vander Plaats has repeatedly failed in his attempts to become Iowa's governor, he nevertheless has a strong following among the state's hard-right evangelicals.

Vander Plaats has sworn not to endorse anyone who doesn't sign his pledge, titled The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence upon MARRIAGE and FAMiLY.

Signers promise to support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and to protect soldiers from intrusively intimate commingling among attracteds, a roundabout attack on gays in the military. There's a commitment to protect women and children from seduction into promiscuity as well as from porn, although it's unclear what such protection would entail. It also demands the rejection of Sharia Islam which it labels a form of totalitarian control.

The pledge obligates signers to commit to:

Humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy --- our next generation of American children --- from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence

 

8th July   

Encourages Adventurousness...

Turkish magazine shuts down after being deemed a threat to social norms
Link Here

harakiri 1 Another censorship controversy erupts in Turkey after a magazine is deemed a threat to social norms.

The magazine is off the news stands now, following a steep fine. [Ozgur Ogret]

Harakiri, a monthly comic, literature and caricature magazine in Turkey, shut itself down before releasing its third issue, stating that a government fine had made continued publication impossible.

The Prime Minister's Board for Protecting the Youth from Obscene Publications, a government organ for reviewing print press, ruled that the magazine's content -- going back to its first issue -- was harmful to minors. It fined the magazine about 65,000 euros and ordered it to be sold in a black bag.

The board accused the magazine of encouraging the youth to laziness, adventurousness and relations outside of wedlock .

The decision has set off another widespread debate over censorship in Turkey.

 

8th July   

Update: Upskirts Nonsense...

Dead or Alive Dimensions uprated from PG to M in New Zealand
Link Here

Dead Alive Dimensions Nintendo 3DS A video game containing violence and partial nudity has had its PG rating upgraded to an M classification by chief censor Andrew Jack.

Nintendo's 3DS game Dead or Alive: Dimensions bypassed New Zealand classification as it had already been classified PG overseas.

Dr Jack called the game in for re-classification last month after the Waikato Times alerted his office to its content. He subsequently issued an instruction that copies must carry an M label and a note indicating it contains violence and nudity.

The game temporarily banned in Australia before receiving a higher rating can be switched to figure mode , which allows players to dress or undress female characters and photograph them from any angle, including up their skirt.

The Office of Film and Literature Classification found a small number of partial glimpses of cleavage, buttocks, thighs or underpants but they were not in significant detail to warrant a rating above M. It concluded the game was designed for a mature audience at least 16 years old. An M rating, however, does not restrict its sale to minors as it is only an advisory.

 

8th July   

Offsite: Censorship record...

32 banned album covers
Link Here
Liebe Ist Fur Alle Rammstein A while back, we ran a story about 20 amazing album covers with boobies on them. It was good PG-13 fun and all, but we wanted to get a little heavier, a little darker. So we decided to seek out the badasses.

Here's 32 albums that have been either banned or censored after their initial release.

...Read the full article

 

7th July   

Violent Dream...

Appeal for a PG-13 rating for Dream House rejected
Link Here
dre house The MPAA Appeals Board have ruled against Morgan Creek Productions, deciding that Dream House , starring Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz, that the R rating stands.

The board decided that the movie merited the rating because of some violence.

Morgan Creek's executive VP of marketing, Greg Mielcarz, told TheWrap that he still believes the film will ultimately receive a PG-13 rating: They gave us a list of several things in the movie that they thought should be cut. We're going to ... work with them together to ensure that we receive a PG-13.

In order to have a rating changed, two-thirds of the members of the appeals board have to agree that the rating is clearly erroneous.

The Motion Picture Association of America says that the ratings board reviews between 800 and 900 films each year and that fewer than a dozen ratings are appealed each year.

 

7th July   

GLAAD to be Nutters...

WWE wrestlers to receive 'training' from gay group after CM Punk lambasts hecklers as 'homos'
Link Here

cm punk vs hecklers GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) is in discussions with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to 'train' commentators and wrestlers, following a minor reference to 'homos' at an event for the 4th of July weekend.

At a live WWE event in Australia, wrestler CM Punk was caught on camera directing a few insults, including 'homos', towards a heckler. The show was not broadcast on TV.

On his Twitter account, the wrestler thanked the TMZ website for airing the video and apologized for what he'd said.

WWE told TMZ:

WWE does not condone this type of language or bias and we reinforce that with our talent who are independent contractors.

As for how this fits in with our ongoing work with WWE, GLAAD provided training to members of WWE's editorial staff and writing team in May, but because this event was not intended to be televised, and it took place during an unscripted interaction with the audience, none of the people we had already trained were involved. As a result, we are now in discussions with WWE to provide trainings to its on-camera talent, including the wrestlers themselves.

WWE officials also told GLAAD that CM Punk's contract will expire in a few weeks, he will not be immediately renewed, and he will no longer be with WWE as of July 18.

 

7th July   

Offsite: Maybe It's Time to Tone Down the Tits...

Los Angeles Times recommends Game of Thrones
Link Here
ge of thrones HBO, you're busted. In the sport of female frontal nudity, no one can beat the pay-cable channel for copious breast scenes ( Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire , etc.) --- and that's not a good thing.

So maybe it's time to tone down the tits.

I write the word knowing it is going to render my editors and readers apoplectic --- why not use the less crude breasts? Because I don't mean breasts. Breasts are what you see on cable during a lovemaking scene or when a character is caught unawares or when, as in the season finale of Game of Thrones, the last of the Targaryens rises, naked and miraculous, from her husband's funeral pyre with three baby dragons clinging to her.

Tits are what you see in a strip club or a brothel, when conversations or action between men, which usually have nothing to do with said strip club or brothel, are surrounded by nameless and silent women lounging or gyrating about in various stages of undress.

In one episode of Game of Thrones, the upper frontals got so gratuitous --- two women teaching themselves the tricks of prostitution while a male character, fully clothed, muses about his personal history and definition of power --- that fans took to Twitter to complain. Even the fine finale included a young nude woman washing her particulars while her elderly john monologued about the nature of kings.

...Read the full article

Offsite: In defense of HBO's 'unnecessary' nudity

See  article from  salon.com by Matt Zoller Seitz

Why a newspaper editorial about the naked bodies on the pay cable channel is a remnant of the Puritan mentality

Maybe it's time to tone down the tits, writes Mary McNamara, TV critic of the Los Angeles Times.

She's talking to HBO, a cable channel that she says is once again in full stride...with Emmy-winning movies, a panoply of well-done documentaries, successful comedies and dramatic hits both popular --- ' True Blood ' --- and critical --- Boardwalk Empire , Treme . And now it has another hit, Game of Thrones -- a series based on George R.R. Martin's fantasy fiction that happens to include female nudity.

No operation that's producing this much good TV needs to be airing so much female nudity; that's the specious starting point of McNamara's column, the notion that nudity is not one ingredient in an R-rated stew of elements on HBO series -- Game of Thrones in particular -- but something that a cable channel shows because the programs themselves aren't interesting otherwise. Really, now, HBO, you're better than this, she's saying -- conveniently disregarding the fact that HBO has been showing sex and nudity, along with graphic violence and profanity, since its creation in 1975.

...Read the full article

 

6th July   

Video Clipped...

ATVOD decide that YouTube like video service requires their expensive censorship services
Link Here

ATVOD logo 2011 Newspaper and magazine publishers face paying thousands of pounds in fees if they continue using video content on their websites, industry groups have warned.

ATVOD has ruled that short video clips on publishers' websites provide a TV-like service.

This means publishers must register with ATVOD and pay an annual fee - a ruling strongly opposed by the Professional Publishers Association (PPA) and the Newspaper Society. While last year's annual fee was £ 2,900, the PPA claims that, depending on company turnover, that figure could rise to as much as £ 25,000.

PPA chief executive Barry McIlheney said: Essentially the disproportionate regulatory fees being charged by ATVOD are damaging innovative digital businesses and putting them at a disadvantage compared to their European counterparts.

A number of publications - including The Sun, News of the World, The Sunday Times and Elle magazine - are appealing the decision, after ATVOD ruled they were in breach of the Communications Act 2003 by failing to notify the watchdog they were operating video on demand services.

The Newspaper Society's political, editorial and regulatory affairs director Santha Rasaiah argues that under the EU's Audiovisual Media Services Directive, newspapers and magazines should be expressly excluded from the regulation.

 

6th July   

Only for the Benefit of Nutters...

Ed Vaizey suggests that Ofcom should consider industry interests when imposing their heavy handed censorship
Link Here

Ed Vaizey Ofcom, the TV censor, could be handed responsibility for looking after the best interests of businesses as well as the interests of [a few whingeing] consumers, under a radical shake-up of the quango.

Ed Vaizey believes the Communications Act does not adequately take account of the amount of regulation that controls both the telecoms and broadcasting industries Photo: John Taylor

Vaizey, the Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries, told MPs that his department is considering changing Ofcom's remit as part of a review of the Communications Act. He said: One of the issues that we will come up against is whether Ofcom should have a duty towards business as well as towards consumers. I am not saying I have a view on it but it is a legitimate question that we will consider.

 

6th July   

No Flies on Shameless...

Announcing the UK Blu-ray release of Dario Argento's Four Flies on Grey Velvet
Link Here

four flies on grey velvet Four Flies on Grey Velvet is a 1971 Italy/France giallo by Dario Argento. See IMDb

To mark the Fortieth Anniversary of its production, and twenty years after the film disappeared from the public eye, Shameless Screen Entertainment are aiming to release the first ever worldwide Blu-ray of Dario Argento's Four Flies on Grey Velvet – remastered in HD from the original negative by the original lab

It's all a-buzz at Shameless! After two years of behind the scene negotiations via their Italian connection , Shameless Screen Entrainment is proud to announce that they will soon release the missing Argento opus: Four Flies on Grey Velvet – or, fact fans, what more accurately should be called Four Flies of Grey Velvet – as per the literal translation of Quattro Mosche Di Velluto Grigio . It doesn't stop there, Shameless have put their investigative caps on and - pending the availability of the original filmmaking team - they intend to discover for their fans what really happened to Dario Argento's lost film...

Four Flies on Grey Velvet will be released on Blu-ray and DVD by Shameless Screen Entertainment on 5 December 2011.

The film was last seen in Britain on its 1973 cinema release, which was cut by the BBFC.

 

6th July   

Update: Playschool Statistics...

Floella Benjamin quotes bollox statistic in support of ISP internet blocking
Link Here  full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report

floella benjamin One in five eight-year-olds has seen nude images while surfing the internet, according to Baroness Floella Benjamin, the Liberal Democrat peer and former children's television presenter.

Lady Benjamin said children needed protection from exposure to harmful content. She called on Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator, to introduce new safeguards.

In a recent survey, 20 per cent of eight-year-olds said that they had seen nudity online, Lady Benjamin told peers during a House of Lords debate.

She asked Baroness Rawlings, the Tory spokeswoman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport:

Are you aware that on the most popular websites children are exposed to advertising of an adult nature and are invited to explore links to very explicit websites?

If so, will the Government consider encouraging Ofcom to take further measures to protect children and young people being targeted in this way by putting in place simple and practical steps so that online media owners can take action to prevent clear-cut examples of inappropriate content appearing in places where children are likely to see them?

 

6th July   

Update: Half-Baked...

New Australian website blocking is easy to circumvent
Link Here

optus logo Optus, Australia's second largest telco, has confirmed recent rumors that the voluntary filtering technology it is rolling out in the upcoming weeks can be easily circumvented by users.

In response to a question whether a work-around to the Uptus filer was possible by simply using a different DNS server than the default setting on the user's PC, a company spokesperson said: That's correct. It's a feature of the Interpol list.

The ease of circumvention led a critic of the plan, Electronic Frontiers Association spokesperson Stephen Collins, to wonder why the filter was being unveiled in the first place. With such a trivial circumvention, Optus' implementation of this block list is worse than ineffective, it's also misleading on a grand scale, he said, adding, Nobody will be protected from criminals by this, and worse, for those customers who believe they are protected, their kids or anyone else using their internet connection will bypass this with less than 30 seconds effort. Optus should be ashamed of themselves; first for implementing this list and trying to have their customers believe it would work and second for doing such a half-baked job.

 

6th July   

A Talent for Blogging...

Police caution blogger for malicious but convincing post about a fixed Britain's Got Talent TV show
Link Here

britains got talent 2011 logo A man has been cautioned by police after making internet allegations about the Britain's Got Talent TV show, it emerged today.

An anonymous blogger caused a stir last month after claiming that Ronan Parke, a 12-year-old who did well on the show, had been groomed for stardom by Simon Cowell for two years.

Cowell called in the police after the blogger alleged Parke already had a management deal and had been moulded to appeal to the audience.

Today a Scotland Yard spokesman said: We can confirm that a 52-year-old man has accepted a caution under the Malicious Communications Act. There is no further police action.

A spokeswoman for Sony Music said: A man has now admitted responsibility for the wholly untrue blogs relating to Ronan Parke and the false allegations against Britain's Got Talent, Sony Music and Syco. He has admitted he has absolutely no connection with Ronan Parke, Sony Music, Syco, or Britain's Got Talent. He has apologised both via the police and directly to those involved and the matter will not be taken further.

 

6th July   

Update: Playing a Weak Game So far...

Call for more gamers' contributions to Australia's censorship review
Link Here  full story: Australian Censorship Review... Reviewing censorship law for all media

australian law reform commission logo kotaku.com.au writes:

The closing date Submissions to the Issues Paper for the Australian Law Reform Commission is July 15 yet, despite being open since the middle of May, there are currently only 80 completed submissions. Time is running out.

Let's get motivated! These are important issues, and paramount to the way classification will be rebuilt post the Australian Law Reform Commission's report early next year.

For details and submissions see:

 

6th July   

Offsite: What's It Like to Ban a Film?...

Huffington Post opens strongly in the UK with an interesting article by David Cooke
Link Here  full story: Human Centipede...Hype spreads mouth to arse

David Cooke What's it like to ban a film? When I used to deal with asylum cases, the courts said we had to exercise most anxious scrutiny. It's a bit like that, however inexact the parallel. Freedom of expression is a strong human right, and it always needs a powerful balancing case to justify cuts or bans. The main instrument we use these days is the age classification system rather than censorship. And we've repeatedly found at the BBFC that the public overwhelmingly believes that, at the adult level, people should be free to choose whether or not to see a film, with only limited exceptions.

...BUT...

...Read the full  article

 

6th July   

Diplomatic Censorship...

Diplomats claim that Channel 4 is inaccurate in documentary about Sri Lanka's Killing Fields
Link Here

sri lanka killing fields The UK's TV censor Ofcom is to investigate the accuracy of Channel 4's recent documentary Sri Lanka's killing Fields following claims that it was misleading and misrepresentative.

British TV website TV Pixie disclosed that Ofcom would probe the program, presented by Jon Snow and produced by Callum Macrae: Ofcom will assess the complaints against the program under their Broadcasting Code to see if it needs further investigation and action.

Ofcom has received over 100 complaints since the film was aired on Channel 4 on June 14.

Sri Lankan diplomats and leading forensic video 'experts' had contested Channel 4's claims of accuracy. They are claiming that video footage used to support the killing fields story was faked or altered

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka High Commission in Australia and Sri Lankans living in Australia have complained to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation following its decision to telecast the Channel 4 documentary as part of its Four Corners programme.

 

6th July   

Wrong Type of Censor...

Pakistan film censor states in court that it is not his job to censor CDs and stage shows
Link Here

Lahore High Court The Lahore High Court (LHC) has adjourned the hearing of a petition until the first week of September, seeking a ban on sale of supposedly vulgar CDs and stage dramas and their telecast on cable network.

Central Film Censor Board Vice Chairman Ashraf Gondal informed the court that it is not the board's duty to monitor or ban sale of vulgar dance CDs and performances of stage dancers. He said that such activities fall under purview of the Motion Picture Ordinance while the board is only responsible to censor obscene dances from films.

The LHC is hearing a case against singers Naseebo Lal and Nooran Lal for singing supposedly vulgar songs in 2009 and cable TV channels, whom are accused of spreading obscenity in society through their stage dramas and dances.

Petitioner Asif Mehmood Khan submitted that the departments concerned, in connivance with some other elements, were violating the law and the constitution by spoiling the integrity, sanctity and morality of society. The petitioner requested the court to impose a complete ban on all audio/video songs of the two singers.

 

5th July   

Back-Up Cuts...

The Back-Up Plan cut for 12 rated versions and uncut for 15 rated Blu-ray
Link Here

Back Up Plan Blu ray Region Free The Back-Up Plan is a 2010 US comedy romance by Alan Poul. See IMDb

The International Version was passed 15 uncut for

The US release is uncut and MPAA PG-13 Rated for:

But previously the UK Version was passed 12 after cuts suggested by the BBFC for:
  • UK 2010 Sony R2 DVD
  • Uk 2010 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

  • The Back Up Plan was seen by a senior examiner in advance of its formal submission and a number of changes were suggested, including the removal of several strong sex references. The film was duly passed 12A.'

 

5th July   

Immoderate Censorship...

Drinks censor bans advert featuring a slowed down cover of Too Drunk to Fuck
Link Here

n681c8r4l. sl500 aa300 The UK's self appointed drinks censor has banned a Kronenbourg 1664 campaign featuring the Dead Kennedy's song, Too Drunk to Fuck.

Heineken's Kronenbourg 1664 campaign featured banner advertisements on the music site Spotify. The ads directed listeners to a special Kronenbourg slowed down playlist as part of a campaign by the beer brand called Slow the Pace . The playlist featured normally breakneck speed music uncharacteristically slowed down from the original track.

One of the tracks on the playlist was the Dead Kennedys' Too Drunk to Fuck, originally a thrashy ode to a misspent evening, as covered by the band Nouvelle Vague in an ironic easy-listening style.

Drinks industry trade organisation, the Portman Group, which operates a self-regulatory code of practice, received a complaint about the promotion and the use of the track.

The Portman Group's independent complaints panel said that while Kronenbourg had not set out to promote irresponsible drinking , nevertheless the track name and lyrics referenced drinking to excess, thereby associating the brand with immoderate consumption .

 

5th July   

Offsite: Money for Nothing...

Lord Clement-Jones lambasts the 'rising and disproportionate cost' of Video on Demand censorship
Link Here

lord clement-jones One year on, and the reality of the co-regulatory system is far from light-touch. Individual companies have been engaged in an ongoing succession of disputes with ATVOD about which services must notify, which services should fall under ATVOD's remit, what constitutes one service as separate from another, and who holds editorial control of the VOD content and must act as the notifying company.

Above all, the most significant problem is the level of fees per service that are required to be paid to ATVOD on an annual basis. Under the new fees structure announced last week, fees for this financial year will be based on the revenue of the holding company rather than the website involved, and so will place a disproportionate burden on these services.

Not only does it appear that the fees are disproportionate for the services, but they also appear disproportionate to the obligations that ATVOD is tasked with carrying out. Contrary to initial assurances -- and the AVMS Directive -- short video clips, typically on magazine and newspaper websites, are caught. How can they be considered TV-like when services such as YouTube are exempted?

Furthermore the UK's approach is disproportionate when compared to the way that other EU member states have implemented this part of the Directive. As a result, many UK-regulated VOD providers are refraining from launching new VOD services.

...Read the full article

 

5th July   

Transparency Report...

Reporting governments asking Google to take down internet content
Link Here

Google logo Google have created a report to keep the world informed about governments requesting Google to remove content fro various reasons.

Google explain:

Like other technology and communications companies, Google regularly receives requests from government agencies and federal courts around the world to remove content from our services and hand over user data. Our Government Requests tool discloses the number of requests we receive from each government in six-month periods with certain limitations.

Some content removals are requested due to allegations of defamation, while others are due to allegations that the content violates local laws prohibiting hate speech or pornography. Laws surrounding these issues vary by geographic region, and the requests reflect the legal context of a given jurisdiction. We hope this tool will be helpful in discussions about the appropriate scope and authority of government requests.

The latest report shows that the British government lead the world in requests to Google to take down internet content. The top 3 is:

  1. UK made 38 requests to Google to remove 93518 items of data
  2. South Korea made 139 requests to remove 32152 items of data
  3. Brazil made 263 request to remove 12363 items of data.

Brazil have been suffering a long courtroom battle as celebrities seem to think that they can get Google to hide links to embarrassing things that the celebs have done.

There are some internet reports suggesting that some of the UK's requests have been related to financial scams.

 

5th July   

Fair Comment...

France court finds that 'daughter of a dictator' was fair criticism of Uzbekistan's repressive regime
Link Here

France flag The decision by a French court on July 1, 2011, to dismiss a defamation suit brought by the daughter of Uzbekistan's president against an online French news agency highlighted Uzbekistan's repressive approach to criticism, Human Rights Watch said today.

The Press Court in Paris dismissed the lawsuit brought by Lola Karimova, daughter of President Islam Karimov, against Rue89. Karimova had sought moral damages against Rue89.com for a May 2010 article that called her the daughter of dictator Karimov, and alleged she was whitewashing Uzbekistan's image through charity events.

Uzbekistan is widely known for its atrocious human rights record, including repression of free speech, said Mihra Rittmann, Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. Political figures like Karimova should never be able to abuse defamation laws to silence open and critical debate about government actions.

Karimova filed the suit in August 2010, seeking EUR30,000 (US$43,000) in damages over an article with the headline, AIDS: Uzbekistan Cracks Down at Home but Puts on Show at Cannes. The article says that Karimova paid the actress Monica Bellucci EUR190,000 (US$272,000) to appear at a charity event.

President Karimov's government has a well-documented record of serious human rights violations, including severe political repression. Torture and ill-treatment are systematic in the criminal justice system. Opposition political parties cannot operate freely in Uzbekistan, and there has not been a single election since Uzbekistan's independence in 1991 that international observers found to be free or fair.

 

4th July   

Updated: Obscure Censorship...

Italy set to impose a mechanism for internet censorship in the name of copyright control
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Italy...Censorship affecting bloogers and the press in Italy

Italy flag The Italian government has launched a fresh attack on freedom to access information. In a few days, an obscure administrative body could get huge powers to censor the internet.

The party-nominated Communications Authority is about to agree on a mechanism that could even lead to the closure of any foreign website, from Wikileaks to Youtube to Avaaz!, if suspected of violating copyright laws.

Experts are already denouncing the unconstitutionality of this regulation, but it will take an avalanche of public opposition to stop this new assault.

The Avaaz website team write:

Next week the Authority will vote the law, and if we build a massive public outcry against internet censorship, we could tip the balance. Let's flood the members of the Authority with messages urging them to abstain from adopting the regulation and preserve our right to access information on the Internet. Act now and forward this email to everyone!

www.avaaz.org/en/it_internet_bavaglio/?vl

Over the years, Berlusconi has sought to control information on the Internet, but so far his attempts have failed. Now, away from the headlines, his government has a real chance to expand its tentacles into the Internet unless citizens speak up.

Update: Opposition

4th July 2011. See  article from  agi.it

IdV party's Di Pietro has announced moves to counter the AgCom broadcasting watchdog's issue of new rules for the net.

In a statement published via facebook, the opposition MP said: the net is the last remaining preserve of free information and must not be subject to censorship. We [the IdV party] have filed questions in Parliament concerning AgCom's latest provisions.

Update: New Powers

6th July 2011. See  article from  technorati.com

The Italian telecommunications agency AGCOM has given itself a new power: starting from July 6th the agency can shut down access to any website accused by copyright holders to break their rights. No judge will be consulted and the supposedly offending sites have no possibility to defend themselves.

 

4th July   

Update: Destroyed Childhood...

Denis MacShane joins the MPs calling for one size fits all internet blocking
Link Here  full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report

Denis MacShane Denis MacShane made a name for himself by spouting bollox about trafficking to the UK, quoting ludicrously overhyped estimates as to the extent of the problem.

Predictably he has now come out in favour of internet blocking and has urged Ministers to launch a 'crackdown' on children's access to hardcore internet porn which he said destroys childhood.

MacShane said that he wanted to see restrictions on how adult content can be accessed on computers and smartphones used by children. He has joined other MPs in calling on BT, Sky, Virgin, TalkTalk and Orange to make it impossible to access hard-core porn unless the user completes a screening process to confirm their age.

MacShane, always quick to believe any old bollox, said: At meetings with the communications minister Ed Vaizey, we heard reports that children in primary school were watching on average eight minutes of hard-core porn a week. This sexualisation of children destroys childhood and encourages a degrading image of girls and women as the sex objects of males.

Comment: Control Freaks

From Shaun:

When will people learn that it is for parents to prevent kids watching smut, if necessary by putting the computer in the living room.

Just a bunch of fucking liars and control freaks the lot of 'em. Labour and Conservative. I want none of the above putting on ballot forms, and the number of people voting for that on public record.

 

4th July   

Leafleting, A Liberty Lost...

Local councils ban leafleting
Link Here

leafletting report Over the past few years it has become almost impossible to hand out leaflets in many UK town and city centres.

Using powers contained in the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, local authorities have introduced leafleting zones within which people must buy a licence if they want to hand out flyers.

These rules have been catastrophic for village halls, circuses, political campaigners, comedy clubs and nightclubs.

Our new report Leafleting: A Liberty Lost? charts the rapid spread of these unnecessary rules, and finds that 27% of councils now restrict public leafleting.

The report calls for a review of local authorities' no-tolerance policies, and for a more liberal regime that recognises leafleting as part of a free and vibrant civic life.

 

4th July   

Update: A Picture of Repression...

Burma's press censor bans magazine cover picture of Aung San Suu Kyi
Link Here  full story: Press Censorship in Burma...World leaders in oppressive censorship

dha yeik A picture of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on the cover of the Rangoon-based Dharma Yeik Buddhist magazine has been banned, according to the editor of the magazine. The religious magazine carries news, poems, cartoons and articles on Buddhism.

In the photo, Suu Kyi is shown donating a robe to a young Buddhist novice. It was to be used as the cover of the magazine's July issue. The magazine has substituted a picture of a flower for Suu Kyi's photo on its front cover.

We submitted the manuscript with the cover featuring Suu Kyi's photo; the censor board told us to use another photo. Suu Kyi's photo was not allowed , the editor, Moe Tun, told Mizzima.

Under Burma's new censorship policy, religious publications still must pass their manuscripts and pictures through the censorship board and also the Directorate of Religious Affairs.

According to Rangoon-based editors, the censorship board has allowed some Suu Kyi photos and news about Suu Kyi, but her photo on a front cover and photographs larger than 3 x 5 inches may not be allowed.

 

3rd July   

Updated: Is This for Real?...

The Bunny Game looks set to challenge the BBFC
Link Here  full story: The Bunny Game...Banned by the BBFC

bunny ge Adam Rehmeier's The Bunny Game is one intense and disturbing film.

It features a fearless performance from Rodleen Getsic, who portrays a junkie Los Angeles prostitute who is abducted by a crazed trucker, dragged out to the desert and tortured for three days.

Here's the catch though, everything you see on screen is real. There are no stunts . No fake prosthetics. Rodleen underwent tremendous personal prep to take on this role, transforming her body, fasting for forty+ days prior to shooting. She takes a real brand, and some very real beatings. None of these people are actors.

The Bunny Game is minimalist, but extremely daring, cathartic, and a spiritual cleansing by fire.

At the moment the BBFC hasn't classified/certified the film, but it should go without saying that this will get a Cert 18. Not sure what cuts might be made to the film, if any. It does open on a very graphic and painful scene of fellatio, which makes this a prime target for British censors.

The Bunny Game will get an early 2012 release date

In the meantime, see the trailer from youtube.com

 

3rd July   

Update: Always First to Whinge...

New Zealand nutters wound up Lady Godiva advert
Link Here
42 below vodka godiva advert New Zealand nutters have been wound up by an advertising billboard.

The Ecoya skincare company is up before the advertising censors of the ASA for a billboard that critics claim as sexually provocative .

The billboard, one of three Ecoya erected last month in Auckland and Wellington to promote their natural skin care products, has elicited three formal complaints.

Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said the billboard was unacceptable as it could be seen by children:

There is a sexually provocative undertone to it, I think, that is what makes it cross the border and the boundary of public decency.

The fact of the matter is they [children] are being forced to be more open to it ... Should we be protecting their moral innocence, does it matter if we sexualise everything? What harm is that doing?

McCoskrie also called for a vetting system that would give his fellow nutters a stronger voice.

Ecoya marketing manager Donna Marris said the company was proud of the images, describing them as tasteful and effective:

We don't expect everyone to respond in the same way, but what it's about is delivering clear and beautiful skin and this image shows a nourished body in a tasteful way.

 

3rd July   

Marginalised Christians...

Radio station granted appeal against ban of 'politically motivated' advert
Link Here
RACC logo A Christian radio station has been allowed to go to court to challenge a ban on an advert which asked Christians to report experiences of workplace marginalisation.

The Radio Advertising Clearance Centre (RACC) banned the ad from being aired, ruling that it was politically motivated .

The banned ad said:

Surveys have shown that 60% of active Christians are being increasingly marginalised in the work place. We are concerned to get the most accurate data to inform the public debate. We will then use this data to help make a fairer society.

The station was initially denied leave to challenge the ban in court, but that decision has now been overturned.

Peter Kerridge, chief executive of Premier Christian Radio, said:

This is a victory for Christians across the UK who have time and again had their values and beliefs quashed by a liberal secularist agenda. In addition the English legal system has not protected the basic, fundamental human right of freedom of expression of religion and belief.

Update: Judicial Review

18th December 2011. See  article from  christiantoday.com

The High Court has granted a judicial review into the ban on an advertisement that asked Christians to report their experiences of marginalisation in the workplace.

The Radio Advertising Clearance Centre (RACC) refused to allow the advertisement, made by Premier Christian Radio and intended for broadcast in the run-up to the General Election last year.

The advert quoted surveys showing that 60% of active Christians are being increasingly marginalised in the work place. We are concerned to get the most accurate data to inform the public debate. We will then use this data to help make a fairer society, it said.

However the RACC refused to let the advert air, claiming that it had a political objective.

Premier was granted a judicial review in June but it was challenged by the RACC. Today's ruling means the station's legal challenge can go ahead. The judge indicated that he would like the case expedited as this is an issue of great importance that involves the freedom of expression.

 

3rd July   

Move It Out Back...

Stone sculpture censored after it 'offends' Aboriginal communities in Australia
Link Here

wanjina watchers The New South Wales Land and Environment Court has ordered the removal of a Katoomba sculpture deemed 'offensive' by Aboriginal communities in Western Australia and the Blue Mountains.

But ModroGorje Wellness and Art Centre owner Vesna Tenodi said the decision to have the Wanjina Watchers in the Whispering Stone sculpture removed from the front lawn of her gallery's grounds was akin to censorship.

The court upheld Blue Mountains City Council's decision that the work had caused 'offence' to Aboriginal cultural beliefs and could not be tolerated in its highly visible street location.

The sculpture's depiction of sacred Wanjina images has supposedly distressed the Ngarinyin, Worrorra and Wanumbal language groups in the north west Kimberley region.

Ngarinyin and Willinggin Aboriginal Corporations director Gordon Smith said nothing short of the sculpture's destruction would be satisfactory despite a summary of the court's ruling suggesting moving the work to a less visible location could mitigate the social impact.

 

2nd July   

Update: Chilling Effect...

Alaska fails in its attempt to make the internet only fit for children
Link Here  full story: Internet Minors...Criminalising internet comms harmful to minors
Alaska state seal A federal judge in Alaska has struck down as unconstitutional a state law criminalizing the electronic distribution of adult material to minors.

The judge said the broadly written law could have a chilling effect on free speech. He said people communicating online have no reasonable way to know the age of those accessing their communications.

Beistline said the state has a compelling interest in protecting minors but said the government may not reduce the adult population to only what is fit for children.

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by a group that included bookstores, a photographer, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression and ACLU of Alaska.

 

2nd July   

Tom Brown's Porn Days...

Malaysia to appoint school bullies as official porn vigilantes
Link Here
bully

  Give me your porn oik

School prefects and class monitors could soon be roped in to act as vigilantes for the Malaysian Home Ministry's Film Censorship Control and Enforcement Unit to curb the storing and possession of supposed smut among schoolchildren.

The unit is working out details of the programme under which student heads would be allowed to conduct random checks on phones and schoolbags to 'eliminate' the problem that is reportedly prevalent among teenagers.

Unit chief Nasruddin Abdullah said there was also a plan to widen the programme to cover primary schools.

Malacca will be the pioneer state to have such vigilante groups, he told reporters. He said that under the programme, the unit would promote awareness, and as such, it would not take punitive action against schoolchildren even if they were caught.

We want the students to realise that it's wrong to view or store pornographic material. For a start, we will encourage the school vigilantes to seize or delete pornographic material found during random checks in schools.

 

2nd July   

Update: The Ghost of Cinema Past...

Indonesian cinema goers set to get their Hollywood movies back
Link Here  full story: Hollywood Film Ban in Indonesia...Hollyood films taxed off Indonesian screens

hantu puncak datang bulan The Indonesian government has succeeded in decimating the local cinema industry by implementing protectionist tax measures against imported films. This resulted in a Hollywood boycott of Indonesia and a devastating halving of cinema takings.

The government has now said that it had asked the Motion Picture Association of America to resume sending films to Indonesia.

I met with US government representatives three days ago to discuss the import of films from MPAA, Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo said: We have clarified that Indonesia has nothing against the American government, exporters or producers.

The MPAA's international counterpart, the MPA, had said the decision to include royalties in its import-tax calculation had a detrimental impact on the cost of bringing a film into Indonesia.

Last month, the Finance Ministry announced a new scheme that would see importers pay only a specific tax on movies, rather than an ad valorem tax, which was based on each film's ticket sales. The measure was meant to resolve the dispute and head off the drastic slump in ticket sales since the Hollywood film boycott started.

 

2nd July   

Diary: Frightfest...

Horror film festival in London's West End
Link Here

frightfest 2011 logo Frightfest 2011
Empire Cinema, Leicester Square, London
Thursday 25 August to Monday 29 August

The full line-up of 40 films will be announced on 1st July, but the opening and closing movies have been announced.

Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark is set to open the festival. Starring Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce and directed by comic book artist Troy Nixey, this will be the film's UK premiere ahead of a planned nationwide release in September, courtesy of Optimum Releasing.

The festival will close with the European premiere of the harrowing and nerve-jangling British survival shocker A Lonely Place To Die , directed by Julian Gilbey and starring Melissa George. Set in the Scottish Highlands, a group of mountaineers discover a young Serbian girl buried alive in the wilderness. In their attempt to get the girl to safety they become caught up in a terrifying game of cat and mouse. A Lonely Place To Die will be released in UK cinemas from Sept 9.

Update: Film lineup announced:

Main screen

Thursday 25th August:

  • Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
  • Final Destination 5 3-D
  • The Theatre Bizzare

Friday 26th August:

  • Rogue River
  • The Holding
  • The Total Film Interview: Larry Fessenden in conversation with Jamie Graham
  • Urban Explorers
  • The Glass Man
  • Tucker and Dale vs Evil (
  • Vile

Saturday 27th August:

  • Troll Hunter
  • The Wicker Tree
  • Panic Button
  • Fright Night 3-D
  • The Woman
  • Chillerama

Sunday 28th August:

  • The Divide
  • The Horror Channel Presents the Short Film Showcase & Andy Nyman's Quiz From Hell 2
  • The Innkeepers
  • Saint
  • Kill List
  • Detention

Monday 29th August

  • Guinea Pigs
  • Deadheads
  • Sennentuntschi: Curse of the Alps
  • Inbred
  • A Lonely Place To Die

Discovery Screen

Friday 26th August:

  • The Man Who Saw Frankenstein Cry
  • A Horrible Way To Die
  • Midnight Son
  • Rabies
  • Blood Runs Cold
  • Kidnapped
  • Stormhouse

Saturday 27th August:

  • The Dead (Special Event)
  • Atrocious
  • My Sucky Teen Romance
  • The Caller
  • The Devil's Business

Sunday 28th August:

  • Kidnapped
  • Rabies
  • Blood Runs Cold
  • Midnight Son
  • The Man Who Saw Frankenstein Cry

Monday 29th August:

  • The Caller
  • The Devil's Business
  • Atrocious
  • My Sucky Teen Romance

 

2nd July   

The Only Thing Free in Burma is Free Publicity...

Burma hypes forthcoming film about Aung San Suu Kyi
Link Here

the lady The actress who plays the part of Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a forthcoming film has been barred from entering Burma.

Yeoh portrays Aung San Suu Kyi's life in the forthcoming film, The Lady. Directed by Luc Besson it will be released later this year.

Michelle Yeoh tried to enter the country but was refused entry. An official told reporters that Michelle Yeoh was now blacklisted and would not be able to enter Burma.

A BBC reporter wrote: Quite what is in the movie of her life remains a mystery - but blacklisting the actress portraying it seems clumsy - and an unlikely way to dim interest in its screening.

 

2nd July   

Kiss and Make Up...

Facebook censors classic gay kiss and then apologises
Link Here

sailor kiss Inspired by the classic V-J Day in Timesquare photograph taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt, a photograph was posted in celebration of New York's passing of the marriage equality bill.

The clever pic was liked by hundreds of Facebook users before being taken down by Facebook. Sharers of the photo received a message from Facebook stating the picture held:

content that is pornographic or contains nudity, or is inappropriately sexual.

After the backlash from their users, Facebook inevitably issued an apology stating:

Upon investigation, we concluded the photo does not violate our guidelines and was removed in error. We apologize for the inconvenience.

 

1st July   

Update: God Works in Mysterious Ways...

A CBS affiliate will air NBC's The Playboy Club
Link Here  full story: Playboy Club...Utah network TV refuses Playboy reality show
playboy club nbc logo A Mormon controlled Salt Lake City NBC affiliate TV station has previously announced that it will not air the new NBC series The Playboy Club .

Now, two weeks later, the city's CBS affiliate, MyNetworkTV, says it will run the series. The station that has snatched up the show is KMYU and it will air the new series in the Monday 9 p.m. timeslot NBC gave it on its own lineup, reported TV Guide.

Yes, the television business works in mysterious ways. Utah will get its Playboy series, and CBS will reap the rewards that NBC's own affiliate passed up to avoid being associated with the Playboy brand, as if airing a program means the station agrees with its content.

 

1st July   

Comment: A Disservice to Young People...

Experts criticise Reg Bailey's sexualisation review
Link Here  full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report
letting children be children The government's review of the premature sexualisation of young people could make matters worse, exacerbating the very problem it is supposed to tackle.

That was the unanimous view of a group of experts in this field, whose letter setting out their concerns was published yesterday in the Times Higher Education Supplement.

They criticise the review on three key grounds:

  • it will make it harder for young people to speak about sex, so increasing the risk of sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy and unwanted sex;
     
  • by making girls' sexuality -- and female modesty -- a key issue, the review is adding yet further to the pressures to conform on young girls: although if the report is to be believed, it is those pressures that are already causing significant harm to girls;
     
  • the review appears to have taken little account of existing research: it has ignored areas where real risks to young people has been previously identified (health, housing, poverty and education) and focuses instead on an area -- sexualisation -- which is poorly defined and for which it fails to provide any meaningful measures.

Above all, those critical of the report point out, many academics and researchers with a known track record in this area offered their services to the government in respect of the Bailey Review -- and were turned down. It is their hope that in future, government will be better prepared to listen.

See full text of the letter