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 2012: July
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31st July

  Researching Easy Offence...

ASA claims that the public is as easily offended as it is
Link Here

asa public perceptions The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has published the findings of research, conducted on its behalf by Ipsos MORI, into the public's views on what is harmful and offensive in UK advertising.

Specific rules in the Advertising Codes require the ASA to make judgements based on prevailing standards in society. The qualitative and quantitative research undertaken with the general public, parents, and children will help inform our decision making on matters relating to harm and offence.

Encouragingly, the findings indicate that the ASA is broadly getting it right when it comes to judging where the line should be drawn in terms of inappropriate or harmful ads. However, the research also reveals some unexpected findings, which indicate some public concern about hard-hitting charity and public services ads.

Specifically, most children in the qualitative research spontaneously mentioned charity and public service ads as those that had upset or bothered them or younger siblings recently. Some felt upset by the ads themselves, while others were worried because they wanted to help the cause but were unable to do so. Those ads were also a particular concern for parents.

When it came to harm and offence more generally, other areas of concern spontaneously mentioned by participants were: sexual content and nudity, body image, violent content and gender stereotypes.

In summary, the research reveals that:

  • Overall, participants' views of ads that had been the subject of complaints were broadly in line with the decisions taken by the ASA
  • 16% said they had been personally offended by an ad or ads in the last twelve months, slightly lower than the 19% who had been offended when similar ASA research was conducted in 2002
  • Participants felt that the wider media showed stronger harmful and offensive content than advertising
  • Protecting children from potential harm was a key priority for both parents and non-parents alike, rather than just a concern for parents
  • 30% of children aged 11-16 surveyed said they had been bothered by an ad in the last 12 months. Sexual, violent and scary content were their main reasons.

In more detail, the research reveals that:

  • Charity and public service ads. Some participants argued that those ads can go too far, using distressing content to make people feel upset or guilty in a way that they considered inappropriate. Some parents felt that some charity ads were targeting their children directly, which then put pressure on them to donate money. Others felt those ads should have more scope to shock because of their worthwhile aims
  • Portrayal of body image. Despite widespread spontaneous concerns about the portrayal of unrealistic body image - seen as both offensive and harmful by many participants, particularly women - only a minority felt that specific examples of those ads should be banned. Instead, advertising generally was seen as contributing to a broader culture where women -- and particularly girls -- can be made to feel bad about themselves
  • Sexual content and nudity. A few participants had concerns about sexual content and nudity in advertising, particularly where they could see no link between sex and the product being advertised. However, many were not worried by the current level of sexual content and nudity in advertising, describing it as relatively inoffensive compared to other types of media
  • Ads for sex shops and lap dancing clubs. Those were not a spontaneous concern for participants. Most did not find the examples they were shown personally offensive, but views were more divided about whether or not they were harmful to children
  • Ads that depict gender stereotypes. Those were also mentioned spontaneously, with concerns about women being objectified and men being portrayed as stupid or engaging in juvenile behaviour
  • Violent and scary content. Few adults reported having been offended by that in advertising recently. Concerns were more focused on ads for violent films and computer games and their potentially harmful impact on children and young men. Adult participants mentioned public service ads that featured violence or peril and whether they should be part of pre-watershed programming.

Chairman of the ASA, Lord Smith says:

This research is invaluable in giving us the opportunity to listen to what the public thinks on matters of harm and offence in ads. While it is reassuring that we generally seem to be getting things right, we cannot ignore the real concerns that have been raised, particularly around children. We will now reflect on the findings, for example making sure we consider the perspectives of children even more carefully in the future.

 

31st July

 Extract: The 1936 Berlin Olympics?...

International blocking of BBC radio as Olympic Rules Kick In
Link Here

Today programmeThe impact of the commercialisation of the Games, with lucrative sponsorship and rights deals, means another British virtue - freedom of speech - is rather less free than normal for the duration of London 2012. A particularly disturbing example of this is the BBC - which has said that due to rights restrictions various radio programmes, ranging from the prestigious Radio 4 Today news programme to the lighter Radio 2 Chris Evans' Breakfast Show and Radio 5 Live, whether live or on i-Player, may not be available to audiences abroad for the duration of the Games.

While the BBC World Service has a proud history of broadcasting into authoritarian regimes, faced with its lucrative rights deal for UK broadcasting of the Games, the BBC is blocking its own output from being available internationally. It has a helpfully succinct explanation:

The BBC's agreement with the International Olympic Committee means we are not allowed to broadcast anything online outside the UK from the Olympic Park or Olympic venues. As a result this programme may need to be blanked for International listeners due to rights issues surrounding Olympic content in programmes.

Perhaps conscious of quite how ludicrous this is, and damaging to the BBC's own image and values, by Sunday the BBC had apparently carried out some damage-limitation negotiations with the International Olympic Committee so at least the Today programme could be restored to international listeners:

After discussion, the IOC and the BBC have agreed that there is no need to block our international streams of Radio 4 programmes with a wide news agenda. Radio 5 Live (apart from the news programme Up All Night) and 5 Live Olympics Extra will remain available only in the UK.

...Read the full article

 

31st July

 Update: The 1936 Berlin Olympics?...

Insulting tweets get Swiss footballer sent home
Link Here

Twitter logoThe Swiss Olympic delegation have sent defender Michel Morganella, 23, home from the Games after he posted the message in the wake of the team's 2-1 defeat to South Korea on Sunday.

The star posted the message shortly after the game, saying that South Koreans can go burn and referred to them as a bunch of mongoloids.

Gian Gilli, chef de mission for the Swiss Olympic delegation at the Games, said: Michel Morganella gravely insulted and discriminated against the South Korean people and their football team with his highly offensive comments on Twitter.

We condemn his comments, which are in fundamental violation of the IOC's Olympic charter and Swiss Olympic's own ethics charter.

 

31st July

 Comment: Obscene Legal Manoeuvre...

Man pleads guilty to an obscene private online chat
Link Here  full story: Obscene Private Chat...Extending OPA to private internet chat

Old BaileyKent Police have set a legal precedent after successfully prosecuting a man for making lewd comments about children during a private online conversation.

Gavin Smith was charged in 2010 with nine offences of publishing an obscene article. Under the Obscene Publications Act, it is an offence to supply material ( interpreted as distribute, circulate, sell, hire, give, or lend) , that tends to deprave and corrupt those view it.

When the case first came before magistrates, it was discharged on arguments of no case to answer. However the CPS said they had received new evidence in this matter and, following a review, decided to re-charge Smith.

At his first trial at Maidstone Crown Court in November last year, the court heard that Smith had online conversations in which he spoke about molesting and spanking children. His counsel claimed Kent Police were on a moral crusade by prosecuting Smith under the Obscene Publications Act 1959. The jury in the trial was discharged by Judge Charles Macdonald QC after hearing legal arguments.

His barrister Roger Daniells-Smith told the court on that occasion: This is a test case. We say it is part of a political campaign by Kent Police. We say this is a moral crusade by Kent Police to extend the law, to try to get this material included as extreme pornography. But their arguments to have online conversations included fell on stony ground , he said: They therefore had nothing other than to try (to prosecute) under this act.

But the court decision was subsequently appealed by the Crown Prosecution Service, with the Court of Appeal ruling in their favour.

Smith was due to go on trial for a second time this week. But after being given a Goodyear direction , in which a judge indicates what the likely sentence would be if a defendant pleads guilty, Smith admitted all nine offences after being told that the sentence would likely be a suspended jail term or community order.

Adjourning sentence for reports, Judge Philip St.John-Stevens described the case as unusual .

The case could now open the doors for police forces across the country to charge suspected offenders for online conversations.

Comment: Private conversations considered publication

12th July 2012. Thanks to Angelus

Disclaimer: I am not a legal professional, but...

> Kent Police have set a legal precedent...

Kent Police have not set a legal precedent - to my understanding, only a judge in a Crown Court or higher can set a binding legal precedent.

>...after successfully prosecuting a man...

They did not successfully prosecute anyone in this case - the accused pleaded guilty, which is a very different thing.

This case mirrors very closely recent cases in the USA, where despite strong constitutional protection of freedom of speech, people are regularly threatened with ridiculous sentences unless they plead guilty.

A private conversation is just that - private - and should in no wise be considered publication . To say that such a conversation could constitute the giving of obscene materials is outrageous, and this approach should have been stamped on by any half-competent counsel.

Comment: A private telephone conversation may now also be regarded as a publication

29th July 2012. Thanks to Angelus

Well, it seems I have been completely wrong-footed by this latest judgement, which does set a legal precedent. The section of the OPA in question, 1(3)(b), For the purposes of this Act a person publishes an article who ... in the case of an article containing or embodying matter to be looked at or a record, shows, plays or projects it or, where the matter is data stored electronically, transmits that data is clearly and unambiguously intended to apply to audiovisual material ( record meaning a gramophone record), not text. In order to be able to apply this section to online chat, a chat session must effectively be treated as an audiovisual experience, which given its capability of exchanging audiovisual data (even something as simple as a smiley) is perhaps not too much of a stretch for a legal mind.

However, online chat did not exist when the OPA was first enacted. So, in cases like this, it is part of the duty of the higher courts to examine laws to determine Parliament's clear intention when the legislation was first enacted and reinterpret it for the current situation. Although the OPA's definition of publishing is drawn very widely, it was clearly and obviously never intended to apply to private, interpersonal behaviour, and in this respect the Court of Appeal has now committed a grave error. So grave that it now raises the possibility that, because telephone systems are now all digital and store audio data (albeit temporarily) at several points along the signal route, a private telephone conversation may now also be regarded as a publication .

Comment: Thinking about the consequences

31st July 2012. See video from youtube.com

The subject is the effect of a recent court verdict on England's odious Obscene Publications Act.

 

31st July

  The Night Porter...

New UK DVD and Blu-ray release from Anchor Bay
Link Here

The Night Porter Dirk Bogarde The Night Porter is a 1974 Italy drama by Liliana Cavani.
With Dirk Bogarde, Charlotte Rampling and Philippe Leroy. See IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Anchor Bay RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 30th July 2012
  • UK 2012 Anchor Bay R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 30th July 2012

There are no censorship issues with this release but the film is often mentioned in texts about the 1970s as it certainly pushed the censorship barriers of the time.

Promotional Material:

In Liliana Cavani s scintillating drama, a concentration camp survivor (Charlotte Rampling) discovers her ex-torturer/lover (Dirk Bogarde) working as a night porter at a hotel in post-war Vienna. When the couple attempt to re-create their sado-masochistic relationship, his former SS comrades begin to stalk them. Operatic and disturbing, The Night Porter deftly examines the cruelty and decadence of Nazi culture.

 

30th July

  Check Mate...

BBFC hand over games censorship to the VSC today
Link Here

Phoenix Checkmate 2 From 30 July and with a few limited exceptions, the responsibility for classifying video games falls to the Video Standards Council, applying the PEGI system.

The BBFC will continue to classify all games featuring strong pornographic (R18 level) content and ancillary games attached to a wider, primarily linear submission.

The BBFC will also examine and offer a determination on certain linear content in video games. This determination will help the Video Standards Council in reaching an overall classification for the video game. The BBFC will offer a determination for linear content which does not contribute to the narrative drive of the game, whether this footage is live action or computer generated; embedded in the game or simply contained on the game disc. Examples of such linear content include the TV material created for the GTA series; video rewards for completing certain tasks or levels within the game; or other video content which does not contribute to the narrative drive of the video game.

The BBFC will continue to classify all non-game linear content on a game disc, such as trailers and featurettes.

 

30th July

  BBFC Podcast 6...

Children's Films
Link Here

Percy Jackson Lightning Thief DVD This episode of the BBFC podcast discusses how the BBFC classify children's films, taking into account how imitable techniques, language and the context of a film can influence the classification.

This episode also asks BBFC Director David Cooke to talk about the main issues raised in the BBFC's latest Annual Report and there's the chance to win BBFC centenary prizes.

...Listen to the  podcast

 

30th July

  Barbarella...

New UK Blu-ray release of Roger Vadim's fantasy starring Jane Fonda
Link Here

Barbarella Blu ray Region Free Barbarella is a 1968 US fantasy adventure by by Roger Vadim.
With Jane Fonda, John Phillip Law and Anita Pallenberg. See IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK Paramount R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 30th July 2012

The film has never troubled the BBFC, although it often gets mentioned when talking about the loosening of British film censorship in the late 60s.

Promotional Material:

Barbarella is marked by the same audacity and originality, fantasy, humor, beauty and horror, cruelty and eroticism that make comic books such a favorite. The setting is the planet Lythion in the year 40,000, when Barbarella (Jane Fonda) makes a forced landing while traveling through space. She acts like a female James Bond, vanquishing evil in the forms of robots and monsters. She also rewards, in an uninhibited manner, the handsome men who assist her in the adventure. Whether she is wrestling with Black Guards, the evil Queen, or the Angel Pygar, she just can't seem to avoid losing at least a part of her skin-tight space suit!

Other Releases

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated:

UK: Passed 15 uncut for:

UK: Passed X (16) uncut for:

  • UK1968 cinema release

 

30th July

  Few Relevant Complaints But Plenty of Wrangling about the Rules...

ATVOD monthly complaints bulletin
Link Here

ATVOD logo 2011In July 2012 ATVOD received 41 new complaints. Of these:

  • 23 complaints were referred to the service provider in the first instance
  • 17 were deemed to be out of remit after an initial assessment
  • 1 concerns a service which is not notified to ATVOD and which is now the subject of a scope investigation.

Meanwhile ATVOD 'determined' that TV On Demand on the Hutchison 3G UK mobile platform was liable to ATVOD censorship, but the Country Channel on YouTube was let off the hook.

ATVOD also noted that MSN Video Player had opted out of ATVOD censorship after ending its supposedly TV-like service.

 

30th July

 Extract: Fear Factor...

Drinking donkey semen banned in the US but lapped up in New Zealand
Link Here

Fear Factor First Season Region Come mid-August New Zealand television audiences will have the rare privilege of seeing the shock horror episode of Fear Factor that has been banned in that home of the depraved - the United States of America.

What was it that could possibly offend audiences on a show that regularly challenges contestants to eat or drink repellent creepy crawlies and vile piles of gut-heaving substances that every normal instinct would have you recoiling from?

And the answer to that question is - dare I say it or even write it - donkey semen. Truly: donkey semen. Any semen would be controversial but donkey semen seems particularly wrong, and the idea of humans - dare I say it or even write it - swallowing it is the stuff of bad porn movies.

And these are not just shot or sherry glasses of the offending liquid. These are large Viking tankards of the stuff, and regurgitation is prohibited. If a contestant vomits it up, they cannot proceed to the next challenge, thus forfeiting the dosh.

...Read the full article

 

30th July

  Deservedly So...

Indian man arrested for insulting deities after they didn't answer prayers
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in India...Hurting religious sentiments

India flagTwo brothers were arrested for supposedly hurting religious sentiment by posting an 'inappropriate' picture of a deity on a social networking site.

The youth who had failed Class X examinations four times in a row was apparently angry with the deity for not answering his prayers and posted the picture of the deity as an act of revenge, police said.

According to senior PI N Mhetar of Shahu Nagar police station,

Mani Tirupati had prayed to the deity to help him clear his class 10 mathematics paper but he failed for the fourth time. With the help of his brother, he posted an inappropriate picture of the deity on a social networking site.

The picture started doing the rounds of the site earlier this week, and police tracked him down. They were arrested under Section 295 (A) (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and Section 66 (A) of the Information Technology Act. They have been remanded in police custody till July 30th.

 

29th July

 Update: Nearly Lost a Good Precedent...

CPS were considering conceding the twitter joke trial
Link Here

Crown Prosecution ServiceThe director of public prosecutions (DPP) stopped his staff dropping the case against Paul Chambers, author of the Twitter joke about blowing up Robin Hood airport in South Yorkshire, it has been claimed.

Crown Prosecution Service lawyers had been prepared to back away from one of the most controversial cases in years, telling Chambers that they no longer saw a public interest in opposing his appeal against conviction.

The CPS even sent Chambers and his solicitor, free-speech campaigner David Allen Green, papers stating that it now agreed that the case should end. However, at the last minute the DPP, former human rights lawyer Keir Starmer, overruled his subordinates, it is alleged.

Friends of Chambers said Starmer was trying to save face by refusing to admit he was in the wrong. Louise Mensch, Chambers's MP, has called on the Commons home affairs or justice committees to investigate the DPP's behaviour.

The CPS confirmed that it spent £ 18,000 fighting Chambers. Taxpayers will also have to pay Chambers's costs.

However now that the appeal has been won, Starmer's decision seems a good one. The Chief Justice's judgement now sets a strong precedent that the police and CPS should not attempt such nasty bollox again.

 

29th July

 Updated: Police Run Rings Around Protestors...

Muslim Olympics protest called off after police turn up in force
Link Here

Metropiltan Police badgeA group of British Islamists had gathered for a protest planned for outside the London Olympic Park on Friday. But they were greeted by a massive show of police force and organizers said police had told them not to go ahead.

The group had intended to denounce what they called the evil of the Games.

Organizer Mizanur Rahman said police had made it clear to him that the protest should not go ahead.

We would have been immediately arrested otherwise.

There's no way for Muslims to voice any of their concerns.

He vowed there would be more efforts to protest during the course of the Games.

Update: Critical Mass

29th July 2012. See  article from  bbc.co.uk

More than 130 cyclists were arrested by police close to the Olympic Stadium on the opening night of the Games.

People taking part in a monthly mass bike ride held in London said they were kettled near the stadium.

The police said cyclists ignored warnings and rode on Games Lanes ahead of the opening ceremony, but they did not respond to the kettling claim.

The Critical Mass ride is a pro-cycling event which takes place in London every month.

The Metropolitan Police said people were arrested under section 12 of the Public Order Act and for causing a public nuisance. The Met said up to 500 cyclists had gathered near Waterloo by 18:00 BST, five times the usual number that attended.

Police believed the demonstration had the potential to cause serious disruption and said officers used loud hailers and leaflets to explain the restrictions.

 

29th July   

House of Long Shadows...

First time on UK DVD for the Price, Lee and Cushing horror
Link Here

The House Long Shadows DVD House of Long Shadows is a 1983 UK comedy horror by Pete Walker.
With Vincent Price, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. See IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Final Cut R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 17th September 2012

Promotional Material: First time on DVD

The story takes place deep within the Welsh countryside where there stands a deserted mansion that seems to cast a long shadow over the land. Outside the rain comes down in violent torrents while inside, the musty air hangs undisturbed. Dust on the decrepit furniture is testament to decades of abandonment. Lightning filters through the boarded windows, illuminating the dark shroud that envelops everything, turning each room into an abyss.

Years of quiet vigil are broken by an intruder, a young writer spurred on by a wager, has come seeking solitude and the atmosphere in which he will compose a novel within 24 hours. The house seems a propitious setting for his needs---or is it?

He has arrived on the eve of a strange reunion that unites an ancient family with its cursed existence. He is forewarned of possible danger by a woman who mysteriously enters the strange surroundings. Soon they are both embroiled in the family's secret as one by one the members of the family are murdered and the mystery draws menacingly closer.

 

29th July

 Update: Facebook Sucks...

More nonsense Facebook censorship
Link Here  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor

facebook bannedAn American woman was banned from Facebook for posting an image of her five-year-old daughter pretending to breastfeed her two-year-old sister.

Lauren Ferrari said Facebook took down the image less than 24 hours after she posted and then banned her from the social network for a week, the KOMO reports.

The mother said Facebook told her she had violated community standards but the mother argued the images were not sexual and asked, What is sexual about breastfeeding?

Stefanie Thomas of Seattle Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children said while the photo was not child pornography it was an example of poor parenting. She said people should think carefully about what they put online and warned that one an image goes online it is beyond their control:

There's no real way of actually getting that image off the internet. So that's something that this family, that these girls, are going to have to ultimately deal with.

 

29th July

 Offsite Article: A Lesson in Control Freakery...

Link Here  full story: iPhone iCensor...Apple is censorial about apps for iPhone
An eBook providing lessons for writers included tips for self publishing eBooks on Amazon. Apple banned the iBook for mentioning their rival Amazon

See article from hollylisle.com

 

See article from indexoncensorship.org

29th July

 Update: Live Journal blocked in part of Russia...

Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media

Live Journal logoA court in Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia, has blocked the popular blogging platform LiveJournal after one page was accused of publishing extremist material.

The ban, which will affect an estimated 60,000 Livejournal account holders in the region, and their readers, has been opposed by internet service providers and Roskomnadzor, the federal telecommunications regulator.

28th July

 Update: The Only Menace is the CPS...

Twitter Joke conviction quashed on appeal as the tweet lacked 'menace'
Link Here

Old BaileyThe famous Twitter joke conviction of Paul Chambers has been overturned on appeal, bringing welcome clarity to what is and what is not an offence of this type.

On discovering a week before he was due to take a flight that the airport was closed due to adverse weather conditions, he tweeted:

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

There was no evidence that this tweet alarmed any of his followers. It was picked up several days later by an employee of the airport, and it was referred to another member of staff, who took did not consider it a credible threat, but as a matter of procedure it was referred to the airport police. They took no action, other than to refer it to South Yorkshire Police.

Chambers was arrested and charged, then later convicted of the offence of sending by a public electronic communication network a message of a menacing character contrary to the Communications Act 2003. He appealed from the Magistrates' Court to the Crown Court, and then to the Divisional Court (part of the High Court).

The Court noted that in order to be menacing, as a matter of fact the people who receive or read it, or may reasonably be expected to do so, feel apprehension or fear. So, if those people instead,

...brush it aside as a silly joke, or a joke in bad taste, or empty bombastic or ridiculous banter, then it would be a contradiction in terms to describe it as a message of a menacing character. In short, a message which does not create fear or apprehension in those to whom it is communicated, or who may reasonably be expected to see it, falls outside this provision, for the very simple reason that the message lacks menace.

A CPS spokesman said: We accept the court's reasoning and consider this to be the end of the matter.

Speaking to Index on Censorship, Paul Chambers said he felt relieved and vindicated by the decision, adding that the case should never have got this far .

Chambers's solicitor David Allen Green said: This shameful prosecution should never have been brought.

 

28th July

  The Cold Light of Day...

DVD and Blu-ray will be 15 uncut, not the cut 12A UK cinema version
Link Here
The Cold Light Day DVD The Cold Light of Day is a 2012 US action film by Mabrouk El Mechri.
With Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver. See IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut for for infrequent strong violence for:

  • UK 2012 Entertainment One RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 24th September 2012
  • UK 2012 Entertainment One R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 24th September 2012
  • UK 2012 Entertainment One Online

Cut UK Cinema Version

UK: Passed 12A for moderate action violence and infrequent strong language after BBFC suggested cuts for category were implemented for:
  • UK 2012 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

  • This film was originally seen for advice. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive a 15 classification but that their preferred 12A could be achieved by making cuts in two scenes:

    - to reduce a focus on injury in one scene and
    - to remove a large blood spurt in another.

    When the film was submitted for formal classification, these changes had been made and the film was classified 12A .

Promotional Material

When Will Shaw (Henry Cavill) arrives in Spain for a weeklong sailing vacation with his family, the stressed young businessman is not in a holiday mood. His startup company is in trouble and his tense relationship with his disciplinarian father Martin (Bruce Willis) only makes matters worse. But when the family is kidnapped by what turns out to be intelligence agents hell-bent on recovering a mysterious briefcase, Will suddenly finds himself on the run.

 

28th July

 Update: Olympic Opener Banned from YouTube...

Send James Bond to eliminate world domination seeking villains
Link Here

mr bean at olympics videoNBC and the International Olympic Committee have tried to make this one of the most connected, social and widely available Olympics ever. Or so it seems.

Why, for example, didn't NBC simply run the ceremonies live in the afternoon and then run it again in the evening instead of trying to pretend that the opening ceremony hadn't happened yet? NBC and the IOC's attempt to control the flow of content and information failed almost immediately as participants and audience members started tweeting and Instagramming.

As one memorable moment after another flickered before our eyes, we began to search for and share memorable moments. The Bond video, we found. It was cute watching the Queen play along as an equally dour-faced Daniel Craig gave his best stoic Bond performance as he led the aging monarch to a live appearance at the stadium in London. NBC made sure to squeeze dozens of advertisements into the rerun. Again, we were fine with this. At least the spectacle was good and performances like Atkinson's silly synth player, were viral gold.

Because it had been hours since the live performance, multiple versions of the Atkinson segment appeared on YouTube. None of them, though were official. This seemed odd, but Mashable, like other outlets selected the best one to share. Within minutes the video was gone and replaced by this message:

This video contains content from International Olympic Committee, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.

Other videos appeared, but soon succumbed to the same fate. It was a digital game of whack-a-mole.

 

28th July

  Strategically Placed Jugs...

Video shows examples of TV censorship in Iran
Link Here

iran tv censorship videoIranian journalist Reza Valizadeh, who worked for some four years as a reporter, presenter, and producer with Iran's radio and television, explained in a 2010 interview with Persian Letters how foreign movies and documentaries are altered on state TV to make them appropriate and Islamic in the eyes of Iranian decision makers.

Romantic dialogue is often changed. For example, it isn't proper for a woman to say to her partner, 'I love you.' It isn't considered decent. It's clear how dialogue about sexual proposals is dealt with -- they are changed to marriage proposals. Also, we see that beer becomes lemonade on state television and whiskey becomes orange juice. Also, dialogue about politics is often changed.

The Gooya website has reposted some images by an Iranian film publication, Cafecinema, depicting censorship on state television, which is tightly monitored by hard-liners.

Notice that in some cases the women's necklines have been covered through different methods and in other cases the woman has been excised completely, apparently because of her closeness to men in the shots. Alcohol has also been removed in one of the images.

 

28th July

 Update: Too Much To Handle...

Pakistan's internet censors reports that its website blocking has maxed out
Link Here

pta logoPakistan's Supreme Court has heard reports about supposedly growing vulgarity and obscenity in society due to the contents of internet websites and television shows, including Indian channels.

The 'human rights' division of the apex court sought the views of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on the matter.

PEMRA chairman Abdul Jabbar informed the court that the local market was flooded with smuggled and pirated CDs, DVDs, decoders, dishes and cards, which are proliferating obscenity through broadcast media and distribution service .

Jabbar further said PEMRA cannot fully eradicate this menace and it will only be possible with coordinated efforts of all other relevant agencies .

PEMRA has framed a code of conduct for programmes and advertisement whereby no content that is obscene, vulgar, indecent or against cultural values can be aired.

The PTA said in its response that Pakistan could not stop blasphemous and pornographic material as the current filtration system had limited capabilities and could block a maximum of 500,000 web links.

The PTA had received a list of 779,000 porn websites and had approached the Information Technology Ministry for assistance. It has currently blocked the most viewed pornographic websites.

 

27th July

 Extract: Counting F-Words...

BBFC reveal a century of rating, cutting and banning movies
Link Here

bbfc 100 years logoKira Cochrane of the Guardian has a worthwhile luncheon interview with the BBFC.

It was interesting to hear of an examiners training video that maybe prepares new employees for the worst:

David Austin, head of policy, says an image from some Thai boxing footage the board uses in training has stayed with him. The bone in this man's leg completely shatters into hundreds of pieces, he says, and you see him try to walk, and his leg just completely collapses.

Another example that upset examiners was documentary footage of a man facing a firing squad. Half his face was blown away, but he remained alive, gasping for air. This scene was included in Terrorists, Killers & Other Wackos, a compilation of material too strong for news programmes, set to a hard rock soundtrack. It was probably calculated to be viewed by young blokes when they were just about to go to the pub, says Cooke, and the board refused to classify it, making it illegal to supply the film.

The extensive explanation of the board's ruling includes the comment that the footage has the potential to desensitise viewers, and perhaps even to incite some to harm others . But that same scene was allowed on another video -- a serious documentary about capital punishment, which the board passed at 18, uncut. That just shows how the same image can be legitimate or not, depending on the context, says Austin.

...Read the full article

 

27th July

 Updated: The Curse of Frankenstein...

A restored version is set for a UK DVD/Blu-ray combo release
Link Here

The Curse Frankenstein Blu ray DVD The Curse of Frankenstein is a 1957 UK horror by Terence Fisher.
With Peter Cushing, Hazel Court and Robert Urquhart. See IMDb

UK: The Restored Version was passed 12 without BBFC cuts for moderate gore and horror for:

  • UK 2012 Lions Gate RB Blu-Ray/R2 DVD Combo at UK Amazon released on 15th October 2012

See  article from  blog.hammerfilms.com : Restored

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

Previous Censorship History

UK: The US Version was passed 12 without further BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2003 Warner R2 DVD

UK: The US Version was passed 15 without further BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1989 Warner VHS

From IMDb. Cuts and edits for the US Version were:

  • A man's head being dissolved in acid is reduced to a brief shot as per the UK cinema version
  • Missing a brief close up shot of a severed eyeball seen through the Baron's magnifying glass. See  cut scene on  youtube.com
UK: Passed X (16) with BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1957 cinema release

From IMDb. The BBFC cuts were:

  • Cuts to the scene where a man's head is severed by the Baron and dissolved in acid. The severing was reduced to a brief shot and no footage at all survives of the acid scene.

Promotional Material

The Curse of Frankenstein fully restored in high definition for the first time in its original Academy Ratio of 1.37:1. Available on 3 disc Double Play, it includes 1 Blu-ray and 2 DVDs full of brand new content. Featuring new documentaries and bonus extras and including the infamous 'eye ball scene' which was originally banned but has now been fully restored.

SINGLE Blu-ray 50 DISC:

  • HD Main Feature -- Never before released Academy ratio 1.37:1 83 mins -- DTS MA 2.0
  • HD The Curse of Frankenstein (1.66:1 version) Alternate Aspect Ratio 83mins -- DTS MA 2.0
  •  New audio commentary with Marcus Hearn & Jonathan Rigby
  • Frankenstein Reborn: The Making of a Hammer Classic (new & exclusive)
  • Life With Sir (new & exclusive Peter Cushing documentary)
  • Four Sided Triangle (Bonus feature film) 80 mins
  • Tales of Frankenstein (Bonus TV pilot) 25 mins
  • The Tale of Tales of Frankenstein (new & exclusive Ted Newsom documentary)
  • World Of Hammer: The Curse of Frankenstein 25 mins
  • Stills show
  • English HOH subtitles for main feature

DOUBLE DVD:

  • Main Feature -- Never seen before Academy ratio 1.37:1 83 mins - DD 2.0 -- English HOH subtitles
  • The Curse of Frankenstein (1.66:1 version) - Alternative Aspect Ratio 83mins - DD 2.0
  • New audio commentary with Marcus Hearn & Jonathan Rigby
  • Frankenstein Reborn: The Making of a Hammer Classic (new & exclusive)
  • Life With Sir (new & exclusive Peter Cushing documentary)
  • Four Sided Triangle (Bonus feature film) 80 mins
  • Tales of Frankenstein (Bonus TV pilot) 25 mins
  • The Tale of Tales of Frankenstein (new & exclusive Ted Newsom documentary)
  • World Of Hammer: The Curse of Frankenstein 25 mins
  • Stills show
  • PDF Original shooting script
  • All-new PDF booklet The Creator's Spark: Hammer's Frankenstein Begins with text by Hammer archivist Robert J. E. Simpson

 

27th July

 Offsite Article: Ludicrous Judgement...

Link Here
Court of Appeal's Judgment says private one to one text chat on the internet can be subject to the Obscene Publications Act. This means that anyone using the internet to discuss sexual fantasies may be at risk of committing a criminal offence.

See article from obscenitylawyer.blogspot.co.uk

 

27th July

  The Internet Association...

Major US internet companies get together to create lobby group
Link Here

US SenateGoogle, Facebook, Amazon and eBay are joining forces to create a powerful pro-internet lobbying group in the US.

The Internet Association, as the group will be known, will launch in September and operate out of Washington, handling political and regulatory issues.

The group would educate lawmakers about the internet, said new president Michael Beckerman.

 

27th July

 Updated: Free Speech Teddy Bears...

Website editor jailed in Belarus for publishing the photos
Link Here

Teddy Bear AirdropBelarusian security agents should immediately release a website editor who has been jailed for publishing photographs of teddy bears, the Committee to Protect Journalists said. The KGB, the nation's security service, is holding Anton Suryapin for alleged complicity in an illegal border crossing after the editor ran photos of the stuffed animals, which were reportedly dropped from the skies over Minsk as part of a publicity stunt.

Are Belarusian security agents worried that teddy bears are engaged in an illegal border crossing? It would be hard to keep a straight face about these absurd charges were it not for the fact that Anton Suryapin is sitting in jail, CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said: We call on authorities to immediately release Suryapin and drop these senseless criminal charges against him.

Agents detained Suryapin after raiding the editor's apartment, news reports said. Suryapin had published on his website, Belarusian News Photos, pictures of the teddy bears pinned with press freedom messages that had been airdropped on July 4 by members of Studio Total, a Swedish advertising agency, the reports said.

Update: Concerns for journalist seemingly charged with facilitating the illegal immigration of teddy bears

27th July 2012. See  article from  indexoncensorship.org

Belarus has finally admitted the flight of a small Swedish plane that parachuted teddy bears into the country (as reported by Index on Censorship) did happen. The authorities had previously denied the incident had taken place, in spite of video evidence. President Lukashenko promised today that the ones to blame will be punished . He did not mention, though, if Anton Suryapin, a journalist who has been detained as a result of the case, will be among those appointed to be to blame .

Suryapin, 20, is being held at the KGB detention centre in Minsk for posting pictures of the bears on his website. Around 1,000 plush paratroopers were parachuted over Belarus earlier in July from a plane flown from Lithuania by members of Swedish advertising agency Studio Total; each of the toys held a small poster with slogans in support of human rights and the freedom of expression in the country. The government has allegedly accused the journalist of assisting the breach of the state border.

...Read the full article

Offsite: Escalating into Diplomatic Incident

9th August 2012. See  article from  dailymail.co.uk

A diplomatic row between Belarus and Sweden over teddy bears escalated today when the eastern European country withdrew its embassy staff from Stockholm.

Belarus also told Sweden to take similar action with its diplomats in Minsk.

It all stems from a stunt by a Swedish PR which parachuted 800 teddy bears into Belarus last month.

...Read the full article

Update: Two Journalists Fined Over Teddy Bear Air Drop

10th August 2012. See  article from  rferl.org

Two Belarusian journalists have been fined the equivalent of $360 each for posing with a teddy bear in a photo session.

Iryna Kozlik and Yulia Darashkevich were arrested on August 8 in Minsk when posing and taking pictures of themselves with a teddy bear, expressing their solidarity with blogger Anton Surapin and businessman Syarhey Basharymau.

Surapin and Basharymau were arrested last month for their alleged involvement in the parachuting of teddy bears from a Swedish plane on the Minsk area accompanied by texts supporting Belarusian dissidents and the country's opposition.

Update: Belarus KGB orders Swedes to appear for questioning

10th August 2012. See  article from  abcnews.go.com

Belarus' security agency, the KGB, has summoned a Swedish advertising team for questioning after the group air-dropped hundreds of parachute-wearing teddy bears that carried pro-human rights messages onto the soil of the repressive ex-Soviet state. The agency threatens the Swedes with fines or even jail time if they don't show up in 10 days.

The summons posted on the KGB's website, says the agency is investigating the criminal case of the ad group's illegal crossing into Belarusian airspace. The KGB said it wants the Swedes to participate in its investigative actions so it can clarify the role each person played and help it decide how to deal with two Belarusian men accused of aiding the Swedes.

Studio Total co-founder Tomas Mazetti, who piloted the plane in the teddy bear drop, said he received the summons via email, and that it demands he and two colleagues, Hannah Frey and Per Cromwell, appear.

Mazetti told The Associated Press that the group wants legal advice before deciding what to do, and that the team members would likely demand guarantees that they would not be detained if they showed up. We have nothing against helping them in their investigation to clarify just how we did it, he said.

 

27th July

 Update: Take Down Orders Taken Down...

French court overturns copyright take down order on Google
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in France...Web blocking in the name of child protection

France flagThe Cour de cassation, France's highest court of appeal, has overturned two court orders which required Google to remove copyright infringing items and to block users from uploading these items again in future.

The court ruled that such take-down, stay-down orders contravene the e-Commerce Directive, which forbids EU Member States from imposing a general obligation on ISPs to monitor the content stored on or passing through their networks. The orders were also found to conflict with the French Law for Trust in the Digital Economy (2004).

 

27th July

 Update: Suppressing Dissent...

CPJ concerned at Ecuador closing down 11 broadcasters
Link Here  full story: TV Censorship in Ecuador...Radio and TV channels banned by the government

CPJ logoCPJ wrote a letter to Fabian Jaramillo Palacios, Director of Telecommunications, Ecuador

Dear Mr. Jaramillo:

The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by the closure of at least 11 Ecuadoran broadcasters since May. Our review of the closures found that in some instances government regulators did not follow the due process guarantees specified by law. CPJ's review also found that more than half of the stations that were closed had been critical of the government. While the government has the right to regulate the airwaves, it also has an obligation to do so in a transparent and unbiased manner.

...

CPJ is also concerned that some closures could have been motivated by the stations' criticism of authorities. Some station owners and managers told CPJ and local journalists that they were targeted after airing news reports that were critical of the government. They also claimed the government intended to turn over many of the vacated frequencies to newly formed community radio stations that support the government.

We are concerned these closures reflect an effort to control the flow of information, suppress dissent, and expand pro-government media. We call on you to allow the stations to resume broadcasting and ensure that all critical voices in the country are able to report freely without undue government interference.

Sincerely,

Joel Simon Executive Director

 

26th July

  Blood Car...

UK DVD release of comedy horror by Alex Orr.
Link Here

Blood Car DVD Mike Brune Blood Car is a 2007 US comedy horror by Alex Orr.
With Mike Brune, Anna Chlumsky and Katie Rowlett. See IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut for crude sex references, strong sex and bloody violence for:

  • UK 2012 Left Films R0 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 23rd July 2012.

There are no censorship issues with this release

Promotional material:

In the very near future, no-one can afford to drive any more. Fuel prices are at an astronomical high and parking lots are graveyards for abandoned cars.

Vegan schoolteacher Archie is trying to invent an alternative engine that runs on wheatgrass, but when he accidentally cut himself he discovers that all his engine needs to work is blood... human blood. With his blood-fuelled car, Archie soon draws the attention of sex-crazed hottie Denise, who will do anything for a ride. But Government agents are spying on Archie, as he is forced into ever more shocking and extreme behaviour to keep his blood car on the road, in this award-winning critically-acclaimed black comedy.

 

26th July

 Updated: Warners Pull Trailers Featuring Guns...

Who will take the heat? Guns, or movies featuring guns?
Link Here  full story: Colorado Massacre...Mass murder at a cinema showing Batman

gangster squad videoWarner Bros have pulled their Gangster Squad trailer after the Colorado cinema massacre and in addition, are cutting gun scenes out from Dark Knight Rises trailers.

It's a small, symbolic concession to show that the violence has shocked the studio to the core. It's something that we expected, but could more restrictions be placed on trailers? Is this also going to have an impact on gun laws in the future?

Next time you watch a trailer for an action movie, check out the gun references to see just how visible they are.

Update: Gangster Squad will be the Fall Guys

24th July 2012. See  article from  odt.co.nz . thanks to Nick

gangster squad movieWarner Bros is now rethinking its plans for the film Gangster Squad in light of a scene featuring a movie-theatre shooting, but beyond that Hollywood executives expect little fall-out from the mass killing at a Batman screening on Friday in Aurora, Colorado.

Officials at Time Warner Inc-owned Warner Bros are expected to discuss whether to remove or edit the Gangster Squad shooting scene, or to change the September 7 release date for the film. Warner Brothers have already pulled the trailer that included the scene in which men open fire with machineguns on an audience in a movie theatre.

Industry experts said moviegoers were likely to move on quickly from the shooting and studios would proceed mostly as planned. Theatres tightened security over the weekend to reassure customers and one chain imposed new rules on costumes.

The immediate reaction is to go to some dark place when something like this happens. By Monday that's forgotten and the business of releasing a movie takes over, said one person familiar with the studios' thinking. Especially for big-budget films, studios like to stick with planned openings as they spend tens of millions of dollars to raise awareness in advance. Filmgoers don't dwell on isolated incidents for long, said Peter Sealey, a former Columbia marketing chief who now heads the Sausalito Group consulting firm.

Ronn Torossian, chief executive of New York-based 5W Public Relations, agreed that the public has a very short-term memory of news events and said the Aurora shooting would not leave a long-term impact on film promotion.

Update: Warners Donate

25th July 2012. See article from variety.com . Thanks to Nick

Warner Bros. is making a substantial donation to victims of Friday's shooting rampage in Aurora, Colorado., during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises.

A spokeswoman for the studio said that execs have arranged for the donation following conversations with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.

Update: Reshoot Ordered

26th July 2012. See article from hollywoodreporter.com

Warner Bros. is moving the release of Gangster Squad to Jan. 11, postponing it from its scheduled Sept. 7 release date in order to accomodate reshoots because of a scene of a movie theater shoot-out in the completed film that became problematic in the wake of the Aurora, Colorado. massacre.

The film included a climactic gun that was filmed at Grauman's Chinese Theater. The scene could be glimpsed in a trailer for the movie that the studio pulled from circulation on July 20 after the shooting that claimed 12 lives.

 

26th July

  Expressing Concerns...

Newspaper owners proposal for press censorship does not get unanimous support
Link Here

Private Eyes Colemanballs No 15 A plan put forward by press owners for a new system of self regulation has been rejected by all the editors of the Express Newspapers titles as well as Private Eye editor Ian Hislop. Independent and Evening Standard editor in chief Chris Blackhurst has also flagged areas of concern that would stop his group committing to the new system.

Chairman of owners' body Pressbof put together the plan following consultation with industry trade bodies. The Leveson Inquiry published responses from editors and other industry figures signalling their thoughts about the plan.

Most national editors are broadly supportive of the plan for a new press regulator with more public representation, powers to fine and investigate and which locks publishers into membership for five-year contracts. Pressbof is proposing to make membership of the regulator obligatory by giving it control of press cards, access to Press Association copy and access to major advertisers.

Blackhurst said in his response:

Before we fully commit to the new system we believe that further work must be done in the area of incentives so that all publishers know with certainty what the impact of joining - or not joining the new system will be....

Daily Star Sunday editor Gareth Morgan condemned Pressbof's one size fits all approach and said:

The proposed contract and its associated penalties are too draconian. He added that they could damage the commercial prospects and the very future of many titles that are bound by it. For example there is no redress if a publisher believes the regulator is behaving in an inappropriate manner.

Private Eye editor Ian Hislop said he could see no advantages to signing up to the new system and attached to his submission an article from his magazine outlining why he thinks Lord Black is an inappropriate person to be drafting the new system of press regulation.

 

26th July

 Comment: The Loons Are Rising...

Washington Times carries particularly outraged rant against the Batman team
Link Here  full story: Colorado Massacre...Mass murder at a cinema showing Batman

dark knight risesIt is all so perfectly fitting that in the wake of a murderous rampage in which 70 people are shot ---12 fatally, including a 6-year-old girl --- and countless families are sacked with unspeakable grief, you would take the time to share with us your feelings.

Because, really, at this moment, all that matters to most of us is what a bunch of smutty purveyors of violent fantasy, half-rate actors and an industry of sick narcissism is feeling at this moment.

Director Christopher Nolan, speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, you told us how much you love going to the movies and how they are one of the great American art forms.

You are devastated that such an innocent and hopeful place --- here you are talking about the movie theaters that play your twisted movies --- would be violated in such an unbearably savage way. I mean, really, who could think up such monstrous hatred and nihilistic violence? Umm, have you watched any of your own movies lately?

And, in the selfless modesty that is the hallmark of an Academy Awards ceremony, you tell us that your feelings about the massacre are so deeply profound that the mere words of the English language built up over hundreds of years are simply not up to the task of describing them. Wow. You do have a gift for fantasy.

But the real clue that you remain shrouded in guilt-free delusion is when you mention the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community.

Senseless? Really? If by senseless you mean carried out almost precisely from the scripts of your own movies, then, sure, it was senseless.

As for you, Sean Penn, you paragon of endless moralizing, we would like to thank you, too, for underwriting last week's ultra-violence and real-life carnage at the movie theater. One of the last scenes that 6-year-old saw in her precious life was a trailer for your movie.

In the final clip of a trailer filled with orgiastic bloodshed, you have some classy actors with machine guns unload from behind a movie screen into a crowd seated in a theater, watching a film. Ring a bell, Sean? Sound familiar?

I realize how busy you are, so loudly and obnoxiously jet-setting around to save the world, but do you have time to think about what you have done here? What your life amounts to at this moment?

No, you did not pull the trigger in this case. You did not don the gas mask. But you were the inspiration, and you are the architects.

Your celebrations of diabolical mayhem and pornographic violence prey on the fantasies of sick, fragile minds. You insulated them from the painful reality of bloodshed. You have inspired mass murder. You are the Osama bin Laden of this travesty.

This, of course, is all legal and has made you a fabulous fortune. But, never forget, this is who you are. It is what you do. This is your legacy.

When you die, your gravestones should read: Here lie men who created such horrific, meaningless violence in such realistic scenes that a sicko carried it out for real and shot 70 people, killing 12, including a 6-year-old girl.

To be fair, you haven't only inspired murderous rampages. It is true that you have also entertained. But is the fleetingness of that entertainment nearly so profound as the terror you inspired here? Will it outlast the irreversible permanency of 12 deaths, including that of a 6-year-old girl?

Which brings us to Warner Brothers, those titans of decency. You bankrolled The Dark Knight Rises and so many other pointlessly violent movies that infect feeble minds and bring hatred upon America. You, it is reported, are feeling really sad about those poor saps who paid to see your wicked movies --- only to have the very scenes come alive and kill them in the dark, sticky rows between seats of a movie theater.

Out of your respect for these people, you declared you would not announce box-office receipts from this weekend's snuff film. Instead, you will count your $150 million in bloody money --- privately.

One day, you will meet the original Joker, the inventor of all evil who is diabolical and depraved so far beyond your furthest, sickest imaginations and there, in his lair, you will spend the rest of eternity wishing you had had a little decency back when you had the chance.

 

25th July

  I Am Bruce Lee...

Worthwhile Canadian TV documentary gets a UK DVD release
Link Here
I am Bruce Lee DVD I Am Bruce Lee is a 2012 Canada TV documentary by Pete McCormack.
With Daniele Bolelli, Paul Bowman and Richard Bustillo. See IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut for strong language and sporting violence for:

  • UK 2012 Freemantle Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 23rd July 2012
  • UK 2012 Freemantle R0 DVD at UK Amazon released on 23rd July 2012

The documentary has been passed 15 by the BBFC but seems to be marketed as 'Exempt'

Promotional Material

I Am Bruce Lee is the amazing story of one of the greatest icons ever to enter the public consciousness, the first film to truly tell BRUCE LEE's story in his own words and actions, as well as through the eyes of international stars from the worlds of film, television, music and sports.

Original interviews include UFC President DANA WHITE, NBA Superstar KOBE BRYANT, boxing champion MANNY PACQUIAO, Academy Award Nominated actor MICKEY ROURKE, Black Eyes Peas' TABOO, legendary martial artists' DAN INOSANTO, RICHARD BUSTILLO, BOB WALL and GENE LEBELL and unprecedented conversations with BRUCE LEE's daughter SHANNON LEE and his wife LINDA LEE CADWELL, plus the best of Bruce Lee's ground-breaking martial arts action films and previously unseen archive footage, this is the definitive story of a man whose legacy will endure forever.

Disk Features:

  • Backyard Training - Bruce Lee's personal films
  • Inspiration - Bruce Lee's Global Impact
  • Bruce Lee in Action
  • Theatrical Trailer

 

25th July

 Update: Jobsworths vs Art...

Street art takes collateral damage in the Olympic war against graffiti
Link Here

banksy javelin missileFor many, London is the number one place in the world for street art. But now as the Olympics approaches, many artists are complaining that artwork is being removed by council jobsworths.

According to street artists, walls which they say have not been touched in years are now being cleaned off ahead of the Olympics.

Authorities say that there has been no official remit for graffiti to be removed - rather, they just clean the walls if someone complains.

But Geoff Whitehouse from Very Nearly Almost , a magazine which documents street art, disagrees:

It's been going on for over a year or more with a general clean-up around Hackney. This is part of a wider issue where councils proclaim to a zero tolerance policy on graffiti as it is vandalism and deemed illegal, yet will also help protect work by Banksy.

Darren Cullen is a professional artist who was arrested last week on suspicion of incitement to commit criminal damage. He said he was questioned over his links to a graffiti website. The artist - who was approached to paint the Athletes' Village - was released by police but has been banned from going anywhere near Olympic venues.

One artist who has had a piece painted over is Mau Mau. His piece, a comment on the Games' alleged corporate and environmental impact, was painted on the side of a privately-owned warehouse which he had permission to paint in Ealing, west London, in July. It lasted six days before it was painted over by the council.

A spokeswoman for Ealing Council said the piece was removed following a complaint:

This is in line with our policy to remove all reported graffiti as soon as possible, unless we have been made aware in advance that it is there with the consent of the building owner and it is not offensive [to Locog or their beloved sponsors presumably]

 

25th July

 Update: Censor Duty...

ASA whinge at PG rated advert for Call of Duty game shown on daytime TV
Link Here  full story: Call of Duty...Nutters wound up by warfare video game series

Call Duty Modern Warfare Xbox A TV ad for the computer game Call of Duty: MW3 , opened with on-screen text stating AM3RICA , followed by computer-generated scenes of New York under military assault, with buildings exploding and catching fire, soldiers loading guns and a submarine firing rockets. On-screen text stated 3NGLAND , followed by scenes of warfare in London, including armed men firing at a lorry until it crashed and a helicopter firing rockets. On-screen text then stated FRANC3 , followed by scenes of Paris under attack, featuring soldiers and vehicles firing weapons. On-screen text then stated G3RMANY , followed by scenes of tanks driving down the streets, soldiers abseiling down the side of a building, planes firing overhead and a burnt-out building toppling over. A voice-over stated, The world as you knew it is gone. How far will you go to bring it back? The ad featured further scenes of armed warfare and destruction, including soldiers firing weapons, military vehicles firing rockets at buildings and explosions. An end-frame stated CALL OF DUTY. MW3. 08.11.11. Pre-Order Now For XBox 360 and featured the logo for certificate 18. A sound-track featured throughout the ad as well as sound effects for weapons being fired, explosions and soldiers shouting.

The ad was cleared by Clearcast with a timing restriction such that it should not be broadcast in or adjacent to programmes commissioned for, principally directed at or likely to appeal particularly to persons below the age of 16 years. Issue

Two viewers challenged whether the ad was inappropriate for broadcast during the day when children would be watching. One of the viewers reported that their children, aged between two and four, had been frightened by the ad.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

The ASA understood that the ad had been cleared with a scheduling restriction that meant it should not be broadcast in or adjacent to programmes commissioned for, principally directed at or likely to appeal particularly to persons below the age of 16 (an ex-kids restriction). We noted that the ad was broadcast at 2.30pm during a premier league football match and that audience index figures showed that a small proportion of viewers were children aged under 16. We also noted Activision's comment that the ad had been given a Parental Guidance (PG) certificate by the BBFC for in-store use, which meant that it had been rated as being suitable for general viewing, although some scenes may not be suitable for young children.

We noted the ad featured computer-generated scenes of warfare in various cities around the world. The ad contained scenes of extensive gunfire, explosions and destruction, and these scenes were accompanied by sound effects of weapons being fired, explosions and soldiers shouting. We also noted the ad featured music in the background which sounded like a low-pitched siren and which added to the dramatic nature of the scenes. We considered that the scenes of violence and destruction, together with the sound effects and music, could cause distress to some children who might see the ad. Although we noted that the ad was only shown during the football, we concluded that it was inappropriate for broadcast during the day when young children might be watching and the ex-kids restriction was insufficient. We considered a post 7.30pm restriction would have been more appropriate.

The ad breached BCAP Code rules 5.1 (Harm and offence) and 32.3 (Scheduling). Action

The ad must not be broadcast again before 7.30pm.

 

25th July

  Free Speech Goes Bankrupt...

Criticising Greek blasphemy prosecution of 3 actors in Corpus Christi
Link Here

Corpus Christi Terence McNally The European Humanist Federation (EHF) and its Greek member, the Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) have protested to the Greek Justice Minister about the arrest of three actors on charges of blasphemy.

The actors were taking part in a production of Terence McNally's 1997 play Corpus Christi , which portrays Jesus and his disciples as homosexuals living in Corpus Christi, Texas.

EHF and GHM have written to the Greek Justice Minister asking that not only that charges against the three actors be dropped but that the blasphemy law should be repealed. In a joint statement, Pierre Galand, President of the European Humanist Federation, and Panayote Dimitras, Spokesperson for Greek Helsinki Monitor, said:

With the secularisation of Europe, the offence of blasphemy tends to disappear from national criminal laws. While some countries have abolished it, others still have it in their domestic law but do not prosecute (e.g. Austria, Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands). In Greece, Ireland or Poland, blasphemy laws allowing fines and imprisonment may lead to prosecution or have a deterrent effect on journalists, academics, artists and other citizens which may amount to self-censorship.

Freedom of expression is protected by all major international human rights instruments. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has stressed on numerous occasions that freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of [a democratic] society, and that it is applicable not only to information or ideas that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb the State or any sector of the population.

The EHF strongly defends freedom of expression, which includes the right to be critical about religions in discussions or artistic expressions. There is no fundamental right not to be offended in one's religious feelings, churches and religious groups should accept criticism, just as every group in society.

 

25th July

  Chirpy Chirpy Censor Shite...

New app to send sound encoded messages to phones within earshot
Link Here

chirp logoAn app that transmits data via sound aims to simplify the way users share images and other files between smartphones.

Chirp plays a two-second long noise that sounds as if it was made by a robotic bird. When heard by other devices it triggers a download. Chirp has the advantage that it can quickly send data to multiple devices at once. If recipients are offline their devices will remember the chirp and download associated content later.

The software was developed by Animal Systems, a spin-off business from University College London (UCL). It is free to use, but companies will be charged a fee for add-on services.

The small team of computer scientists who've developed the app at UCL have big ambitions. They want the word to chirp to enter the vocabulary, they see a future where you pay for a can of drink with a chirp, where crowds at events receiving mass chirps over the tannoy or radio audiences hold their phones up to be sent chirped information.

However Animal Systems seem to a censorial streak and will prevent users from transmitting links to adult content. Animal Systems subscribes to a blacklist service to block known pornographic or illegal-content website links. However, the company says it does not plan to censor other material.

Chirp is currently available as an iPhone app. An Android version is promised soon

 

25th July

  Citizen Snitch...

Tajikistan set up volunteer body to monitor the internet for insults of president
Link Here

Tajikistan flagTajikistan plans to create a volunteer-run body to monitor Internet use and reprimand those who openly criticise President Imomali Rakhmon and his government, the head of the Central Asian country's state-run communications service said.

Beg Zukhurov said the organisation, while awaiting official registration, had already brought several Internet users to task for publishing insults against well-known personalities . Volunteers for this organisation will track down and identify the authors of such comments, Zukhurov told reporters.

Asked what would happen to anybody identified by the new organisation, he replied: I don't know. Probably, they will be shown the error of their ways.

 

24th July

  La Ceremonie...

UK re-release of Claude Chabrol's well regarded crime thriller
Link Here
La Ceremonie DVD Isabelle Huppert La Cérémonie is a 1995 France/Germany crime thriller by Claude Chabrol.
With Isabelle Huppert, Sandrine Bonnaire and Jacqueline Bisset. See IMDb .

UK: Passed 15 uncut for infrequent strong violence for:

  • UK 2012 Artificial Eye RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 23rd July 2012
  • UK 2012 Artificial Eye R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 23rd July 2012

There are no censorship issues with this release

Promotional Material

In La Ceremonie, Claude Chabrol, known as the French Hitchcock, creates one of his most shocking and unforgettable thrillers. Catherine (Jacqueline Bisset) hires the illiterate Sophie as her maid. But Sophie soon falls under the influence of the mysterious Jeanne (Isabelle Huppert, The Piano Player, Merci Pour Le Chocolate), and the stage is set for a tale of murder, violence, and betrayal. One of Chabrol's most acclaimed films, and winner of numerous international awards, La Ceremonie is a masterpiece of suspense.

 

24th July

  Britain's Got a Talent for Prudery...

Ofcom clears Beatrix Von Bourbon's Burlesque act
Link Here

Britain's Got TalentBritain's Got Talent
ITV1&2, 31 March 2012, 20:00 repeated at 13:00 and 19:00
Britain's Got Talent: Live Semi-final
ITV1&2, 9 May 2012, 19:30 repeated at 16:00

Britain's Got Talent is a talent series, broadcast on ITV1, which aims to find an unknown star from the general public to perform at the annual Royal Variety Performance.

The episode of Britain's Got Talent broadcast on 31 March 2012 was pre-recorded and showed an early audition stage that took place in Blackpool. One of the performances in this programme was a burlesque act performed by a woman named Beatrix Von Bourbon. This item was shown at around 20:25. A total of 75 complainants alerted Ofcom to her act. In summary the complainants considered the performance was inappropriate for broadcast during a family show because it contained images and themes unsuitable for a child audience.

Ofcom noted that the programme included: a brief introductory piece about Beatrix Von Bourbon in which she explained that she had a background in ballet and tap dance; her two minute burlesque act performed to the audio track Feeling Good by the band Muse, during which she removed her skirt, jacket and bra (underneath she wore nipple tassels and her breasts were masked with an on-screen graphic), leaving her wearing a corset, knickers, stockings and shoes.

The live semi-final broadcast on 9 May 2012 starting at 19:30 also included a performance by Beatrix Von Bourbon. Ofcom noted that approximately one hour into this programme a brief introductory piece about Beatrix Von Bourbon was broadcast and her performance followed. It lasted approximately one and half minutes. She began by wearing a long sleeveless gown and gloves, both of which she then removed to reveal a pair of gold satin camisole knickers, shoes and a top that comprised a bra and large beaded necklace. While her back was turned to the audience, Beatrix Von Bourbon then removed this top and she concluded her act in this position. This shot of her was partially obscured by two assistants who held large ostrich feather fans. Prior to receiving feedback from the judges, she was handed a large, knee-length fur wrap to wear, which covered her torso and thighs.

Ofcom considered Rule 1.3:

Children must ... be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.

Ofcom Decision: Not in breach of Ofcom rules

Ofcom is aware that some viewers may find the sexualised nature of burlesque performances potentially offensive. However we noted that the images of Ms Von Bourbon adopting mildly provocative positions and limited and partial nudity were fleeting, and the act itself was performed in the manner of a dance that required skill and training. As already pointed out Ofcom guidance states that: It is important to note that in pre-watershed content, Ofcom would not expect to see singers and dancers wearing clothing that does not adequately cover their bodies (in particular their breasts, genital area and buttocks) . The performance included a very brief image of the performer's partially obscured buttocks when she unzipped her skirt. We considered this image was on the margins of acceptability and remind the broadcaster to take particular note of Ofcom's guidance cited above in future.

The programme is part of a long running series on ITV1 and ITV2 that includes a variety of acts that appeal to wide range of viewers including children and adults. We noted that the programme was repeated after its original broadcast on both services at various times of the day before the 21:00 watershed during the following six day period. We also noted that the format and style of the series, including the types of acts included, were similar in nature to the previous series that have been broadcast over recent years. In our opinion this programme, and in particular this burlesque performance by Ms Von Bourbon, would therefore not have exceeded the likely expectations of the vast majority of the ITV1 and ITV2 audience – either when originally broadcast or when repeated.

The performance and partial nudity was in Ofcom's opinion appropriately limited and suitably brief in duration. We considered that while some forms of burlesque dancing would be considered inappropriate for a child audience, this performance was presented carefully by the broadcaster to take account of the pre- watershed audience and did not convey an overtly sexualised theme.

We therefore concluded, on balance, that this performance was appropriately scheduled and the broadcaster complied with Rule 1.3.

 

24th July

 Extract: Thanks Preach...

Great message to share with the grieving families of the Aurora Tragedy
Link Here  full story: Colorado Massacre...Mass murder at a cinema showing Batman

afa today logoWhat I find utterly revolting and indecent, however, is the rush by the Religious Right to exploit this tragedy to trash their enemies, judge the victims, and bully people into joining their religious and political movement.

On the American Family Association's radio program AFA Today, the hosts wasted no time lining up a far-right Evangelical minister, Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries, to tell the audience that among the dead in the theater only those who were true Christians have gone to heaven. The rest, he suggested, are already consigned to hell.

Thanks, Preach. Great message to share with the grieving families. Of course, AFA Today doesn't give a turd about their feelings; the lesson of the day was not of comfort or comprehension; it was yet another opportunity to scare their listeners into joining the flock. And not just any flock. The program went to great lengths to discredit any minister or church that deviates from the Old Time Religion view of God as a stern and wrathful judge. How, according to Rev. Newcombe, should we respond to the shooting?

...Read the full article

 

24th July

 Update: Women Get a Bad Deal...

Film poster de-womaned in Jerusalem
Link Here  full story: Invisible Women in israel...Women removed from the media lest men get offended

dealersTwo actresses have censored from advertisements for the Israeli movie The Dealers , displayed on billboards in Jerusalem.

Other ads for the film, a comedy about friends from Jerusalem looking for a way to make money, feature four men and two women.

As a result of the exclusion, some protesters have threatened to boycott the movie. Critical comments posted on the Facebook page of film distributor United King Films included:

The movie is boycotted until you fix the advertising in Jerusalem

If you continue to exclude women, we will exclude ourselves from your movies!

United King said the company that operates the billboards had asked for the actresses to be removed from the ad:

Unfortunately, the censorship of women's images from billboards is the result of a decision we consider unacceptable, and is not in our interest. In the past two years we have unsuccessfully struggled against this unacceptable directive.

Previously the Jerusalem International Film Festival, held earlier this month, had its posters defaced all around the city after choosing a woman on a bicycle as its symbol. Many in Israel's secular majority, in Jerusalem and elsewhere, have reacted indignantly. In a Haaretz article a PR person is quoted as saying:

It is not surprising that the middle class and young secular people are abandoning Jerusalem. What remains of this charming city that should have been a magnificent city is injustice and dreariness and the repression of women.

 

24th July

 Update: Literally a Shameful Censor...

Turkish PM astonishingly claims that censorship is unacceptable
Link Here  full story: Insulting Turkishness...Insulting Turkishness law used to repress

recep tayyip erdoganCensorship is unacceptable and obstructive, not only in literature, but also in the arts, media, politics and other fields, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spouted in an interview with The Istanbul Review magazine. He claimed:

Freedom of expression is a field we are very keen on, one the standards of which we raise with each passing day. We have defended and we will keep on defending the expression of opinions with utmost freedom [...BUT...] given that they do not interfere with others' area of freedom, not violating individual rights and freedoms by insulting.

Not only in our youth, also in our recent history [err... yesterday, last week, last month, last year, last decade and last century], we have experienced these pressures intimately. I am a politician who has been convicted because I cited a poem which is even in textbooks. I am a prime minister who knows very well what freedom of expression and freedom of opinion mean.

 

24th July

 Update: Censors and Bullies...

Facebook ban advert for scary anti-bullying campaigner
Link Here  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor

scary guyAn anti-bullying campaigner's ad was banned by Facebook after his heavily-tattooed face was deemed offensive . The ad has attracted more than 10,000 people to join his profile.

Scary Guy (his legal name) gives talks on tackling hate, prejudice and bullying, and not judging on appearances. His is currently touring  Manchester and London schools.

Censors at Facebook told him the ad received negative feedback because his face was provocative . Adding: We take reports of questionable content very seriously.

 

24th July

  Suck on That Gender Experts!...

Taking a stand against a PC extremist that banned a sausage advert
Link Here

sweden hotdog advertA Swedish Christian Democrat youth leader has protested the censorship of a sexually-suggestive food stand advertisement in southern Sweden by taking to the streets with red lips and painted nails to deliver her own sausages.

The supposedly offensive advert, with a close-up picture of a hotdog, two hands, and two red lips wrapped around the tip of the sausage, was taken down after a member of the local council responded to a complaint by the municipality's 'gender expert'.

This move prompted Felicia Lundqvist from Uppsala to protest against the local municipality in Simrishamn, which she claims is wasting tax money by employing a gender expert.

She stood in a busy square in the town with a sign over her chest which read: Felicia's hotdog stand. Suck on that gender experts! She said that she found nothing to be offensive about the original advert.

Britten Dehlin was the 'gender expert' who had taken issue with the street vendor's initial picture, causing its removal. She spouted:

This is a sexualized picture. A prime example of an poorly-thought through act and a traditional gender approach with the aim of drawing in customers.

Lundqvist, however, was shocked that politicians could remove an ad for reasons of gender equality without even reporting it first to the advertising ombudsman. Furthermore, Lundqvist says that she can't understand why gender experts are given such lofty platforms to speak, claiming that Simrishamn's gender expert's salary should be donated towards preschools in the area instead.

 

24th July

 Offsite Article: Judges deserve the red card...

Link Here  full story: A Riotous Blame Game...So what is to blame for the 2011 hoodie riots
Heavy-handed tactics such as asking sites to take down old stories show little understanding of today's web-savvy public. By Dan Sabbagh

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

23rd July

  Vengeance day...

UK thriller by Gareth Evens gets a DVD release
Link Here

Vengeance Day DVD Mads Koudal Vengeance Day is a 2006 UK thriller by Gareth Evans.
With Nicholas Bool, Mads Koudal and Jared Morgan. See IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence and sexual violence for:

  • UK 2012 Metrodome R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 23rd July 2012

There are no censorship issues with this release

Promotional Material:

The debut feature from the director of this year's action sensation, THE RAID.

When a young man encounters a dark and dangerous stranger who enjoys videoing beatings and murders in a dingy underpass his life is thrown on to a trajectory of violence and retribution. A white knuckle revenge thriller featuring stunning action sequences.

Review: Gareth Evans' debut feature is set against the backdrop of the gritty underbellies of several Welsh towns and cities, and it looks superb! This is one of the most professionally polished debut features I've ever seen. Gareth Evans has created an unrelenting powerhouse of a movie that grabs the viewer by the throat and doesn't let up until the final, climactic scene - www.horrortalk.com

 

23rd July

  Girls Gone Dead...

New US comedy slasher released on US R1 DVD
Link Here

Girls Gone Dead Unrated Exposed Girls Gone Dead is a 2012 US comedy slasher by Michael Hoffman Jr.and Aaron T. Wells.
With Krystyna Ahlers, David Ausem and Tony Batman. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

  • US 2012 Entertainment One R1 DVD at US Amazon just released on 17th July 2012

There is also an R Rated Theatrical Version.

 

23rd July

 Obituary: Simon Ward...

Starred in Hammer's Frankenstein Must be Destroyed
Link Here

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed DVD The British screen and stage actor Simon Ward has died after a long illness, his agent has confirmed.

Ward, who was 70, appeared in several films from the 1960's until the 1980s, including The Three Musketeers and Hammer's Frankenstein Must be Destroyed.

He also starred as Bishop Gardiner in The Tudors and as Sir Monty in the popular BBC television series Judge John Deed .

A statement released by his agent said he passed away peacefully with his wife Alexandra and daughters at his bedside.

 

23rd July

  Fluffed Rating...

Romcom Dorfman rated PG-13 after appealing R Rating for the word 'fluffer'
Link Here

dorfmanThe independent romantic comedy Dorfman has won a battle to have its R rating changed to a PG-13, the appeals board of the Motion Picture Assn. of America has said.

The movie had been assigned an R rating because of some sexual content , specifically the word fluffer, which refers to an employee on an adult film set who prepares male actors for performing sex scenes.

The appeals board heard statements from both the film's producer, Leonard Hill, and its writer, Wendy Kout, as well as MPAA chairwoman Joan Graves. After conferring briefly, the board unanimously overturned the rating, 12-0.

Hill commented:

We were basically told that unless we replaced the word in question with a term less noxious --- like 'hooker' or 'stripper' --- that we had to keep the R rating. It seems so bizarre and arbitrary. Still, we made a determination to appeal it, even though we had to waste two months and $300 for the right to appeal, which isn't nothing for a small production like we are.

 

23rd July

 Update: Hardly a Dramatic Improvement...

Malta to end theatre censorship but to retain film censorship
Link Here  full story: Censorship Law in Malta...Lawnmakers hide obscenity law behind child protection

Malta flagCulture Minister Mario de Marco has told the Maltese Parliament that there would be a shift from a preventive system of censorship to a system of self-classification.

Speaking during the debate in the second reading of the Bill amending various laws dealing with the classification of films and stage productions, he said theatrical companies in Malta would be able to classify their own works.

The Bill proposed to transfer the laws regulating classification from the ministry responsible for the police to that responsible for culture. Such regulations would be amalgamated with the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts Act.

Dr de Marco said the legislation would only serve as a framework and the arts sector would become completely self-regulatory. Nevertheless, the Bill did not affect other legislation and essential rules such as laws protecting minorities, minors and those guarding against libel. He said such laws would remain applicable to the theatrical and film sectors.

Turning to the film sector, Dr De Marco said that new age classification benchmarks were being introduced. The Bill would not change the requirement of obtaining a certificate before viewing, since it was only for theatrical performance that this requirement would no longer be needed.

 

23rd July

 Update: Rising Sensitivity...

Warner Bros cancels worldwide premieres for The Dark Knight Rises
Link Here  full story: Colorado Massacre...Mass murder at a cinema showing Batman

dark knight risesWarner Bros. has cancelled two more red carpet events for The Dark Knight Rises in the wake of an attack at a midnight screening of the film in the US.

It said cast members would not be making appearances in Japan and Mexico scheduled for Monday, due to the tragic events in Colorado. A Warner Bros spokeswoman also said that out of respect for the victims and their families, Warner Bros. Pictures will not be reporting box office numbers for The Dark Knight Rises throughout the weekend.

Warner Bros already cancelled the movie's Paris premiere, which was to include appearances by the cast and crew, including director Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale, who plays Batman.

Twelve people were killed and 58 hurt in the attack at a Century 16 cinema in Aurora, near Denver.

No Sensitivity

Thanks to MichaelG.

Meanwhile the Daily Mail seem to be taking great delight in trying to pin the killer's behaviour on something that can be readily demonised.

See  Dark Knight gunman 'lost touch with reality' after becoming obsessed with computer games as it emerges relationship break-up could be to blame for killing spree from  dailymail.co.uk

See The Joker thinks he's in a movie: 'Crazy' behaviour of Dark Knight massacre gunman in prison revealed from dailymail.co.uk

 

23rd July

  Wooden Toy Wind Up...

MP Jo Swinson launches attack on Liberty over rocket launcher toy
Link Here

pink rocket launcherThe London store Liberty has pulled a £ 23.50 toy from its shelves following complaints, with whingers describing it as vile and tasteless .

The toy was based on Katyusha rocket launchers which were first used in the Second World War by the Soviet Union.

Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson, who is also a parliamentary aide to Nick Clegg, told The Independent on Sunday:

Liberty can sell what they like, but I think it is bizarre. When small children in conflict zones around the world are being killed and maimed by rocket launchers, it seems rather tasteless to be marketing a sanitised pink version to young children in our country.

The Dutch design company Kids on Roof made the wooden rocket launcher and it is listed on the firm's website under the category uncensored toys .

A spokesman for Liberty said the rocket launcher had sold out on its website and in store. However, he admitted the toy was an oversight which should not have been ordered. He added:

We do not condone warfare and we apologise for any offence caused. We won't be selling anything like that again.'

 

23rd July

 Update: An Internet Fit for a Priest...

Claranet ISP appoints religious censors for website blocking
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

claranet logoAccording to Recombu, Claranet ISP wants to produce a website blocking system to address child protection concerns. But rather than just using common sense to define what should be blocked, it turned to religious groups to decide.

To make matters worse, Claranet wants to use volunteer guardians to decide on the blocking. This means that it will not even be recognised people from churches or religious groups, just those who want to have a go at censorship.

In religious groups, the sorts of people who volunteer for this kind of thing are a special breed who often think that their own religious leaders have got it wrong. These are the sort who think that Jesus tells them to censor all references to ankles, or that other religions are run by demons.

The company says it is recruiting volunteer guardians from a number of different organisations. A statement said that it had an Islamic advisor and that campaigner Sara Payne was on the team.

The Claranet guardians will be asked to choose whether they think 140 different categories of internet content are appropriate for the kids of today. The guardians can choose to add or remove individual websites from the blacklists. The blacklists are created by a third-party company that Claranet refused to name.

And as TechEye says:

Of course, most people who want a religious filter are the types who want to be told about sex or relationships by someone who has sworn not to have done either.

 

23rd July

 Offsite Article: Shoulder Surfing for Porn...

Link Here
Newspaper article on the supposed problem of internet browsing in public places

See article from smh.com.au

 

23rd July

 Offsite Article: The risks of using asterisks in place of swearwords...

Link Here
Omitting letters can confuse. How is the poor reader expected to differentiate between b******* and b*******? By David March of the Guardian.

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

23rd July

 Offsite Article: Banned from Advocating Geniocracy...

Link Here
European Court examines Swiss ban on posters for an association that seeks to make contact with aliens. The case centred on democracy, free speech issues and religion, but was rather muddied by issues of child sexuality

See article from ukhumanrightsblog.com

 

22nd July

  Mean Streets...

US region free Blu-ray release of Martin Scorsese crime drama
Link Here
Mean Streets Blu ray Robert Niro Mean Streets is a 1973 US crime drama by Martin Scorsese.
With Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel and David Proval. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA R Rated for:

There are no censorship issues with this  release

Promotional material:

A hard-hitting classic of streetwise realism: Martin Scorsese's searing study of a young hood and his friends in New York's Little Italy, starring Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel. Year: 1973 Director: Martin Scorsese Starring: Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel and David Proval.

 

22nd July

 Obituary: Angharad Rees...

Starred in Hands of the Ripper and was lovely in Poldark
Link Here

Hands Of The Ripper DVD Welsh actress Angharad Rees has died after a long battle with cancer, her family has said. Ms Rees, who starred in BBC drama series Poldark in the 1970s, was 63.

Ms Rees played Demelza in Poldark, a costume drama based on the novels written by Winston Graham and first broadcast in the UK between 1975 and 1977.

She also had a role in cult classic Jack the Ripper film Hands Of The Ripper and on stage she appeared in A Winter's Tale, Richard II and Romeo And Juliet.

Her family said she remained an active supporter of the arts and was an honorary fellow of Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.

 

22nd July

 Update: Christian Forgiveness Russian Style...

Pussy riot protestors jailed for another six months
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Russia...Offending religious beliefs or desecration of holy objects or symbols

Patriach kirillA Moscow judge has ordered three members of the feminist protest group, Pussy Riot, to spend the next six months in jail, prolonging a shameful case that has highlighted the vindictiveness of both the Russian church and the authorities.

The three women, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alekhina, were remanded in custody until January 2013. They have been in jail since their arrest in March after performing an anti-Putin punk prayer in Moscow's most important, but not very christian, 'church'.

Their supporters say the powerful Orthodox church, which has close links with Putin, is behind the drive to keep the women in jail. Top church officials have come out in favour of their incarceration.

However many less elevated, but more christian Russians, who initially took offence at Pussy Riot's church stunt, have since called for their release. A poll released on Friday by the Levada Centre, an independent pollster, showed that 50% of Muscovites surveyed were against pursuing the criminal case against the three women, while 36% supported it.

 

22nd July

 Update: Re-Pressed...

Banned Iranian propaganda channel claims a return to Sky
Link Here

Press TVIranian propaganda channel, Press TV, claims to have resumed broadcasting its programs in the UK on the Sky Platform since the beginning of July.

The Iranian news network is broadcast on channel 200 of the Sky Platform for four hours a day, two of which are recorded programs from a day earlier.

Channel 200 is home to Controversy TV which broadcasts from 6am until 10pm. It is unclear whether Press TV is supplying Controversy TV with progamming or else somehow using the unused night time hours.

The channel was banned nominally for licensing issues. But its troubles began when the channel aired news featuring comments from a detainee clearly under duress, but then used the statements as if they were freely given.

 

22nd July

 Offsite Article: Another journalist arrested. Worrying times and a repressive turn by the British state...

Link Here
Rhodri Phillips was the 21st journalist arrested in the Elveden bribes enquiry. If it had happened in Russia or Iran, Amnesty International would scream about the need for a free press. There'd be questions in Parliament and a Radio 4 documentary.

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

22nd July

 Offsite Article: Trifling Case of Repression...

Link Here
Police arrested actors for spilling custard, say Olympic protesters. Former Games commissioner says 25 officers took performers away in handcuffs at demonstration against sponsorship

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

22nd July

 Offsite Article: How I was busted by the Olympics Advertisement Enforcement Office...

Link Here
It was only an innocent double entendre about rings of fire. But even multi-award-winning comics can fall foul of Olympic censor. By Stewart Lee

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

21st July

  Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom...

Finally uncut for the UK Blu-ray Complete Collection
Link Here

Indiana Complete Adventures Blu ray Region Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a 1984 US action adventure by Steven Spielberg.
With Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw and Jonathan Ke Quan. See IMDb

UK: Set to be released uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Paramount Indiana Jones Complete Adventures R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 8th October 2012

Promotional Material

Supervised by director Steven Spielberg and renowned sound designer Ben Burtt, Raiders of the Lost Ark has been meticulously restored with careful attention to preserving the original look, sound and feel of the iconic film. The original negative was first scanned at 4K and then examined frame-by-frame so that any damage could be repaired.

The sound design was similarly preserved using Burtt's original master mix, which had been archived and unused since 1981. New stereo surrounds were created using the original music tracks and original effects recorded in stereo but used previously only in mono. In addition, the sub bass was redone entirely up to modern specifications and care was taken to improve dialogue and correct small technical flaws to create the most complete and highest quality version of the sound possible while retaining the director's vision. The result is an impeccable digital restoration that celebrates the film and its place in cinematic history.

Alongside this, for the first time ever on Blu-ray, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is presented in its uncut format, 28 years after it was first released in cinemas. The original release was cut in 1984 in the UK to obtain a PG rating, however fans can now witness all the gory cut extras in all their glory.

The installments in the franchise have won a combined seven Academy Awards?. Relive every heart-pounding thrill like never before as all four films arrive together, for the first time presented in 1080p high definition with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio accompanied by a collection of documentaries, interviews, featurettes and new bonus features.

Previously cut in the UK

Passed PG after 1:06s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2008 Paramount R2 DVD
  • UK 2003 Paramount Trilogy R2 DVD
  • UK 1992 CIC VHS
  • UK 1986 CIC VHS
  • UK 1984 cinema release

The BBFC cuts were:

  1. Cuts to a close-up of a heart being ripped from the chest and the subsequent self healing of the chest wound.
  2. The deletion of the line 'Leave him alone you bastards' when the Chinese kid is about to be whipped
  3. Deletion of the Chinese Kid burning a guard's stomach with a flaming torch (and hence discovering an ability to heal)
  4. The sequence in which a sacrifice victim is being lowered into the fiery pit has been shortened and set to different music.
  5. Cut to the first 1s or 2s from the shot of his fall in order to delete the image of his head hitting the side of the cliff.

 

21st July

  Quick to Gag...

Trial judge asks newspapers to censor prejudicial archive material
Link Here

Old BaileyOn the sidelines of the Simon Harwood trial, the judge, Mr Justice Fulford, has looked at how high-profile cases are reported in the internet age, making decisions with potentially far-reaching significance for the media. Fulford cited earlier newspaper reports giving some general details about Harwood's chequered disciplinary record, information which, he had already ruled, the jury should not hear.

The prosecution drew up an initially lengthy list of suspect newspaper articles, including some in the Guardian. In the end Fulford asked just the Telegraph and the Mail websites to remove stories voluntarily, which they did.

As a precedent this has the potential to fundamentally alter the way the media report trials in the digital era. In the gap between an alleged offence and arrest (and, in practice, sometimes between arrest and charging, and even between arrest and trial) it is common to report details that cannot be raised once a court case begins. That was particularly relevant in the case of Harwood, when it initially seemed there was going be no prosecution. If Fulford's reasoning becomes accepted, then before any jury trial each media group will need to comb their digital archives for stories containing potential contempt of court issues.

Jonathan Caplan QC, for the Mail's publishers, Associated Newspapers said it was simply not practical to ringfence jurors in the internet age and they had to be trusted to follow a judge's instructions to not carry out their own research on the internet.

It remains to be seen how far a single high court judge can reshape digital reporting. What is certain is that media organisations will study Fulford's ruling carefully and, most likely, challenge it.

 

21st July

 Updated: The Riots: In Their Own Words...

Rioters' words banned by court order
Link Here  full story: A Riotous Blame Game...So what is to blame for the 2011 hoodie riots

shadow 500-thumb-500x333-96369 A court has banned the BBC from broadcasting a film about last summer's riots. The film, about the experiences of rioters during the disturbances, was due to be broadcast on BBC2.

The two part series is a dramatisation based on the testimony of interviews conducted for the Guardian and London School of Economics research into the disorder. It features actors who play anonymous rioters speaking about their experiences of the riots last August.

In a blog posted before the film was pulled, a BBC producer on the project said that using the important and illuminating interviews in the drama would provide insight into why and how the riots had happened .

The BBC did not give details about the nature of the court order.

Update: Murder trial judge banned documentary over possible issues of sub judice

20th July 2012. See  article from  guardian.co.uk

A judge prevented the BBC from broadcasting two documentaries about last summer's riots without having watched the films -- and later prevented the media from reporting his injunction.

Mr Justice Flaux, who was presiding over the murder trial of eight men who were acquitted at Birmingham crown court on Thursday, made the injunction on the grounds that the film raised issues which echoed arguments put before his jury.

He used an unusual power under section 45 of the Senior Courts Act 1981, which in some circumstances grants crown court judges the same powers as those used by the high court, to prevent the film from being broadcast.

The BBC and Guardian had sought to challenge the ruling, on the grounds that the films made no reference to the case being considered by the jury and did not even mention rioting in Birmingham.

However, the judge rejected the appeal, saying the films touched on issues related to his case, and if he were to allow the films to be broadcast, jurors could potentially have social contact with others who watched the programmes.

The end of the trial rendered the orders redundant.

Update: Disquiet about censorship

21st July 2012. See article from guardian.co.uk . Thanks to Nick

BBC logoThe BBC has spoken about a court order that banned it from showing two drama-documentaries about last summer's riots, as legal experts questioned the excessive injunction. In a statement, the BBC said:

The BBC was of the firm view that as the programmes did not contain any reference to the incident which was the subject of the trial their broadcast could not have affected the trial's outcome.

As makers of current affairs programmes we felt this was a critical point regarding the freedom of the media to discuss matters that are of general public interest. We were disappointed by the judge's ruling which prevented the programmes from being broadcast until the jury returned its verdicts. Now that has happened, we are pleased to be able to show the programmes.

Legal experts have also said the injunction raises troubling questions about the freedom of the media to report on issues in the public interest. Media law expert David Banks said:

It is very worrying in that it effectively negates the section 5 'discussion of public affairs' defence in contempt of court which is at the heart of the 1981 act and which balances freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial. I think the judge was wrong in saying the right to a fair trial outweighed the interest in broadcasting the programme -- there is a balance to be struck and one right does not automatically outweigh another.

David Allen Green, the legal commentator and head of media at law firm Preiskel & Co, said there was a strong public interest in the documentary being shown:

For a court to order a national broadcaster not to show such a programme really should only be done if there was direct evidence of prejudicial content. As it was, the film was anonymised and we are told it did not refer to the Birmingham incident at all. If so, the court order was excessive and misconceived.

 

21st July

  Down by Law...

Criterion Region A Blu-ray release of Jim Jarmusch's cult classic
Link Here
Down Law Criterion Collection Blu ray Down by Law is a 1986 US comedy crime drama by Jim Jarmusch.
With Tom Waits, John Lurie and Roberto Benigni. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA R Rated for:

There are no censorship issues with this release.

Promotional Material

Director Jim Jarmusch followed up his brilliant breakout Stranger Than Paradise with another, equally beloved portrait of loners and misfits in America. When fate lands three hapless men---an unemployed disc jockey (Short Cuts' Tom Waits), a small-time pimp (Fishing with John's John Lurie), and a strong-willed Italian tourist (Life Is Beautiful's Roberto Benigni)---in a Louisiana prison, a singular adventure begins. Described by Jarmusch as a neo-Beat noir comedy, DOWN BY LAW is part nightmare and part fairy tale, featuring sterling performances and crisp black-and-white photography by esteemed cinematographer Robby Mu ller (Paris, Texas).

Features:

  • High-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Thoughts and reflections on the making of the film from director Jim Jarmusch
  • Interview with director of photography Robby Muller from 2002
  • Footage from the 1986 Cannes Film Festival, including a press conference
  • Sixteen outtakes Music video for Tom Waits's cover of Cole Porte's It's All Right with Me
  • Q&A with Jarmusch in which he responds to fans' questions
  • Recordings of phone conversations between Jarmusch and Waits, Benigni, and Lurie
  • Production Polaroids and location stills
  • Isolated music track
  • Optional French dub track, featuring Benigni
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Trailer

 

21st July

 Update: Black Swan...

BBFC Annual Report reveals the most viewer recommended film of 2011
Link Here

Black Swan DVD Digital Copy The BBFC wrote:

The 15-rated Black Swan received the most complaints from audiences in 2011. The film generated forty complaints and although this is a high number for the BBFC, compared to the 2.7 million people who saw the film in cinemas it is a proportionately very small indeed.

The standout issue for most was a sex scene in which one female character performs cunnilingus on another. While the scene is visually discreet, narratively justified and within the 15 Guidelines criteria, some correspondents felt it was pornographic in nature. That it was a sex scene between two women was an aggravating factor for some who argued that portrayals of homosexual activity should either be restricted to the 18 category , or not shown at all.

However, the BBFC in line with broad public opinion, applies the same standards to portrayals of sexual activity , regardless of sexual orientation.

The high number of complaints for Black Swan demonstrates the disconnect that sometimes occurs between a viewer's expectations of a film and its actual content. Some complainants had expected to see a film about ballet rather than the story of a young woman's mental disintegration.

The BBFC suggested that perhaps such whingers should read the label before deciding to view. The BBFC Consumer Advice clearly warned that Black Swan contains strong sex, strong language and bloody images.

 

21st July

  Bus Censors...

Internet petition gets violent movies banned from Thailand's buses
Link Here

thai government busThe Thai Inter-provincial bus operator Transport Co has responded to a petition calling for movies containing violent content to be banned as on-board entertainment.

The online petition was led by Sajin Prachason who started the campaign at Change.org on July 13, calling on the company to stop showing violent films on coaches. The petition noted:

Like many parents, Ms Sajin doesn't let her young children watch violent films. But when she took a trip on the Transport Co's special air-conditioned coach from the Northeast to Bangkok recently, she and other travellers had to endure over two hours of throat-slashing and grenade-exploding in Rambo 4.

About 300 people signed the petition. Under Change.org's system, every time a person signs their name to a petition, an email will be sent directly to the decision-maker on the particular issue. In this case, the petition was sent to Wuthichart Kalayanamit, president of the Transport Co, and three other executives.

Wuthichart has now sent an email to Sajin saying he had received all the petitions and he would instruct bus conductors and attendants to make sure no 'inappropriate' movies are shown on the buses.

 

20th July

 Extract: Distributed Queries...

Communications snooping facility will act like a central database
Link Here

home affairs committeeThe government's Communications Data Bill will effectively create a giant centralised database of everyone in the UK's web activities, MPs and peers have heard.

The bill would force telecoms companies to store details of internet use and communications for a year and also to implement a query interface so that the data can be used as if it were part of a massive centralised database.

Home Secretary Theresa May claimed that the data will not be held on a single government database. But security experts told the cross-party committee examining the bill it would operate in a similar way.

The communications bill was published in draft form earlier this year and is being examined in detail by a committee of MPs and peers before it begins its passage into law.

Civil liberties groups giving evidence to the committee suggested the query system could be used to mount fishing expeditions rather than targeted surveillance - something the Home Office has explicitly claimed will not happen.

Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, said:

The filtering provisions are so broadly worded and so poorly drafted that it could allow mining of all the data collected, without any requirement for personal information, which is the very definition of a fishing trip.

Internet freedom campaigner Jim Killock, of the Open Rights Group, said officials would be able to build up a complex map of individuals' communications by examining records of their mobile phone, their normal phone, their work email, their Facebook account and so on .

The campaigners called on the committee to recommend scrapping the data communications bill, rather than making suggestions to improve it as they have been tasked to do by the government. 'Lack of trust'

...Read the full article

 

20th July

  KFZ: Kentucky Fried Zombies...

UK DVD release of comedy horror by Patrick Horvath
Link Here
KFZ Kentuky Fried Zombie DVD KFZ: Kentucky Fried Zombies is a 2009 US comedy horror by Patrick Horvath.
With Joshua Grote, Parker Quinn and Liesel Kopp. See IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut for strong violence and gore for:

  • UK 2012 Lightning R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 16th July 2012

There are no censorship issues with this release

Promotional Material:

When an irreverent serial killer stops into a remote diner, the graveyard shift gets a meal to die for literally! Shortly after Ken makes the waitress and the cook his latest victims, the local sheriff and a bickering young couple stop in for a late snack, and to everyone s surprise, so do the un-dead neighbors, back for revenge!

 

19th July

 Extract: Holy Petrified Kids Batman!...

From the BBFC Archives: Batman, the first 12 rated film
Link Here

Batman DVD Michael Keaton BBFC examiners found that Tim Burton's 1989 film had a much darker tone than previous incarnations of the character and considered the Joker as being potentially scary for young children.

The film's tonal qualities with overtones of horror precluded a PG. But examiners made the case that a 15 classification would be too high and would prevent younger teenagers, who would be a natural audience for the film, from seeing it.

And so it became the first 12 rated film.

...Read the full article

 

19th July

  Caught in Slips...

Kate Perry winds up nutters in show for the Indian Premier League
Link Here

ipl kate perryThe opening show of the Indian Premier League in April is being threatened with court action against supposed indecency.

The show featured cricketer Doug Bollinger, singer Katy Perry and Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan. It seems that Kate Perry's performance is the target for the nutter action.

Madras High Court has ordered a hearing on the accusations on July 31, although the superstars will not be required to attend because they have not yet been formally charged.

The court was acting on a public interest complaint filed by a lawyer which alleged the opening show of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in April was obscene and lascivious, appealing to prurient interest . The complainant, K Jebakumar, ludicrously claimed that the show had distracted students who were writing exams at the time and pursued legal action under the Indian Penal Code.

Top Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra and IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla were also cited in the complaint, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

The court will rule whether the complaint is justified, and if so, whether formal charges can be laid against the accused.

 

19th July

 Updated: Curtains for the Russian Internet...

A Russian analogue to the Great Firewall of China
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media

wikipedia russia logoWikipedia shut down its Russian-language page on Tuesday to protest at a bill that would boost government control over the internet amid a crackdown on those opposed to the regime of President Vladimir Putin.

The page was replaces with a Wikipedia logo crossed out with a stark black rectangle, and the words imagine a world without free knowledge written in block letters underneath.

The bill, due to be considered by parliament on Wednesday, will lead to the creation of a Russian analogue to China's Great Firewall the website warned in a statement. The bill calls for the creation of a federal website banned list and would have to be signed into law by Putin before coming into effect. Internet providers and site owners would be forced to shut down websites put on the list.

The bill's backers, from Putin's United Russia party, claim that the amendments to the country's information legislation would target child pornography and sites that promote drug use and teen suicide. But critics, including Russian-language Wikipedia, warned that it could be used to boost government censorship over the internet.

Update: Duma passes censorship bill

12th July 2012. See  article from  bbc.com

Russian Duma logoRussia's parliament has voted to approve a law that would give the government the power to force certain internet sites offline without court intervention.

The bill still needs to be signed by President Vladimir Putin to become law. It must also be approved by Russia's upper house, the Federation Council of Russia.

The Moscow Times reported that deputies amended the law to removed a reference to harmful information , replacing it with a limited list of forbidden content. The blacklist is now restricted to sites offering details about how to commit suicide, material that might encourage users to take drugs, images featuring the sexual abuse of children, and pages that solicit children for pornography. If the websites themselves cannot be shut down, internet service providers and web hosting companies can be forced to block access to the offending material.

But critics have complained that once internet providers have been forced to start blocking certain sites, the government may seek court orders to expand the blacklist.

Update: Upper house passes censorship bill

19th July 2012. See  article from  theverge.com

Russian Duma logoDespite criticisms and Wikipedia protests, Russia's upper house of parliament passed a controversial draft law today that would give the government far-reaching power over the internet in the country.

The New York Times reports that the Federation Council of Russia passed the legislation 147 to 0, with three members abstaining, and matches the version that passed the lower house, the State Duma, earlier this month.

Strident objections from the Russian-language version of Wikipedia, the country's Yandex search engine, and the Russian social networking site Vkontakte may have been responsible for minor changes to the language used in the law, which saw the blanket term harmful information swapped for the more specific types of dangerous content it now specifies.

The bill will now be making its way to the desk of President Vladimir Putin, and once signed will become law.

 

19th July

  Dead Matter...

New UK DVD release of horror by Edward Douglas
Link Here
Dead Matter DVD Dead Matter is a 2010 US horror by Edward Douglas.
with Andrew Divoff, Jason Carter and Tom Savini. See IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut for strong gory violence for:

There are no censorship issues with this release

Promotional Material:

A guilt-ridden young woman, desperate to contact her deceased brother, discovers a powerful ancient relic that controls the dead. Her dark obsession drags her into the tangled world of two warring vampire lords each with his own sinister plans for the artefact, and a vampire hunter who will stop at nothing to destroy it

 

 

19th July

 Update: ASA Show Its Glamorous Side...

ASA dismiss whinges about Sunday Sport advert on daytime TV
Link Here

keep britain boring advertA TV ad, for the Sunday Sport and Midweek Sport newspapers, on 19 November 2011, started with a female voice-over stating, The following advertisement is sponsored by Keep Britain Boring and a Union Jack and the text KEEP BRITAIN BORING featured on-screen. A male voice-over continued, It has been brought to our attention that the all-colour Sunday Sport and the Midweek Sport are available at all good newsagents. Apparently they are packed full of stunning babes, shocking exclusives, the funniest stories and, of course, great football coverage. Outrageous! Gorgeous glamour girls jumping out from every page, jaw-dropping photos and staggering stories to make you laugh. How dare they! Keep Britain boring! I certainly won't be buying the Sunday Sport tomorrow or the Midweek Sport on Wednesday.

The ad featured images of front covers of the Sunday Sport and the Midweek Sport newspapers. One front cover featured the headline TV SOAP BABES' TOPLESS HOLIDAY SNAPS! . Another featured the headline GIRLS, GIRLS AND MORE GIRLS . Another front cover featured an image of a woman wearing underwear and stockings bending forward with her arms crossed under her chest and the headline IT'S AN ALL OUT PHWOAR ZONE! .

The ad also featured several brief images of women wearing only underwear or bikinis. The first image featured a woman in her underwear with her bra straps falling off her shoulders and her arms folded across her mid-riff. The second image featured a woman in black satin underwear and suspender belt posing with her arms behind her head. The third image featured three women, all wearing underwear; one standing sideways on, one kneeling down with one hand behind her head and the other sitting with her legs wide apart, one hand running through her hair and the other hand pulling down the top of her knickers. The fourth image featured a woman in a string bikini with wet hair standing sideways on. The fifth image featured a woman in lace underwear, standing with her legs apart and one hand placed at the top of her knickers. The sixth image featured a woman in her underwear kneeling on a bed with her legs apart and both hands hooked around the top of her knickers. The seventh image featured a woman in her underwear with one bra strap falling off her shoulder, her hand placed on her face with one finger in her open mouth.

The ad was cleared by Clearcast with a timing restriction such that it should not be broadcast in or adjacent to programmes commissioned for, principally directed at or likely to appeal particularly to persons below the age of 16 years. Issue

Three complainants challenged whether the ad:

  1. was offensive; and

  2. was inappropriate for broadcast during the day when children would be watching. BCAP Code 32.34.2 Response

1. & 2. Sunday Sport (2011) Ltd (Sunday Sport) said the ad was cleared by Clearcast with a restriction such that the ad could not be transmitted in the breaks immediately before, during or immediately after children's programmes. They said the media schedule adhered to the restriction. They confirmed that the ad appeared on Sky Sports News only on 19 November 2011. The media brief was to deliver to Men 16--34 (Primary Audience) and Men (Secondary Audience). Sunday Sport believed Sky Sports News was the ideal channel to deliver to this audience and provided a copy of the station's profile. Sunday Sport believed the ad reflected the content of the newspaper and was appropriate to the target audience. They did not believe the ad was offensive or was inappropriately scheduled.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA understood that the complainants had seen the ad on Sky Sports News during the programme Gillette Soccer Saturday on Saturday 19 November 2011 at around 3pm and we understood it had not been broadcast on any other channel. We understood that it had been targeted at a predominantly male audience and noted that the channel's audience profile indicated that 74% of its viewers were men and eight out of ten viewers were aged between 16 and 54. We noted Sunday Sport's comment that the ad reflected the content of its newspaper. We also noted that whilst some of the images shown featured women in sexualised poses, we considered that their impact was reduced due to the brief duration of the images and the fast cutting style of the ad. We therefore concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 4.2 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.

2. Not upheld

We considered that the ad was mildly sexual in content and that some parents would consider it inappropriate for broadcast at times when children might be watching TV unaccompanied. We noted that the ad had been given an ex-kids restriction by Clearcast which we considered appropriate. We understood from audience index figures that a small proportion of viewers watching Gillette Soccer Saturday on the day in question were children under 16 years of age and therefore the ad had been broadcast in accordance with the restriction. We noted that the seven images of women in their underwear or bikinis were fleeting and stayed on-screen for less than one second each and made up a small part of the ad. We therefore concluded that the scheduling restriction applied was sufficient and the ad was not inappropriate for broadcast during the day at other times when children might be watching TV in family viewing time.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 32.3 (Scheduling) but did not find it in breach.

 

19th July

 Update: Media Control...

Sri Lanka set to drag websites into its censorship system
Link Here

Sri LankaSri Lanka will amend its current media law in order to bring in all news websites and electronic media into its censorship net, the government said, a week after it raided and temporarily closed down two anti-government websites.

The amendments to the Press Council Law enacted in 1973 will allow the government to order websites and electronic media to follow media codes in addition to print media.

Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told Reuters:

We will bring amendments to the Press Council Law to include the electronic and web media to ensure accountability.

Manik de Silva, a director of Sri Lanka's Press Complaint Commission and a member of the country's Editor's Guild said:

This is obviously to control the media. Any strengthening of media laws will be used to further the interest of political parties in power rather than the national interest.

 

19th July

 Offsite Article: Choc Ice Jibes...

Link Here  full story: Twitter Twits...Police overreact to trivial insults via Twitter and Facebook
The lunacy of police trawling Twitter for so-called hate crime. By Steven Glover

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

18th July

  The Ghouls...

UK DVD release of a horror by Chad Ferrin
Link Here

Ghouls DVD Timothy Muskatell The Ghouls is a 2003 US horror by Chad Ferrin.
With Timothy Muskatell, Tina Birchfield and James Gunn. See IMDb

Passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence and sex for:

  • UK 2012 Cornerstone R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 16th July 2012

There are no censorship issues with this release.

DarkAngel from the Melon Farmers forum warns that the film is utter shite.

Promotional Material:

Eric Hayes is a stringer. One notch below the lowest rung of the journalistic ladder. A video vulture preying on police chases, ambulance runs, and random street violence, selling his footage to the highest bidder and living on a steady diet of cigarettes and bloodlust. For years, Eric has lived off of other people's pain and misery. But he's about to discover something beneath the streets of Los Angeles even hungrier for blood than he is. He's about to discover THE GHOULS

 

18th July

  No Tube Sites on the Tube...

Virgin Media to censor its WiFi service on London Underground
Link Here

Virgin MediaWhen Virgin Media first announced its London Underground wi-fi initiative, it probably had in mind people updating their Facebook pages and accessing work email.

However, to ensure that their service remains suitable bland, Virgin has appointed DNS firm Nominum to ban grown up content across the 120 train stations.

So presumably no reading MelonFarmers on the train then.

 

18th July

  A Sheep Shag Object...

Australian advert censor finds woman shearing advert offensive
Link Here

shearing kari traa advertThis is an ad for a Tasmanian livestock and sheep shearing services company, ShearEwe. In fact the woman being sheared is the Norwegian skier Kari Traa.

Perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly the Australian Advertising Standards Bureau received a complaint saying:

The objectification of women, the sexual positioning of the woman, the representation of a woman as an animal and the restraint used were offensive. I actually thought this was someone's idea of a sick joke.

ShearEwe span a shaggy story about their 'work of art':

The picture is in fact a work of art. It was used in a campaign to showcase her clothing brand during the Sponsership of the 2008 Golden Shears Competition held in Norway that year, and has gained some appreciation and fame. The lady in the picture is in fact the founder of the Norwegian clothing brand Kari Traa, (also her name) so I feel that this shows that shearers are trustworthy, gentle and accommodating. Someone you would trust to give you a hair cut, I realise that hobby farmers treat their pet sheep like family.

The picture also educates people where wool comes from, that it is a natural resource and harvesting of wool is beneficial

But the advert censors were not impressed by the flippancy.

The Board noted the image of the woman depicted as a sheep about to be shorn. The Board noted that the woman is dressed but that she is posed in a mildly sexualised manner with the suggestion that she will soon be naked (from the shearing). The Board considered that the image makes use of the woman's sexual appeal and attractiveness. The Board noted that advertiser's response that the image uses an artistic work which was used as part of promotional material during a shearing competition.

The Board considered that the image depicts the man in a position of power and the woman in a submissive position. The Board also considered that the image depicts the woman in a position in which she is compared to an animal, with a suggestion also of commodification (ie: that there is, as there is in shearing, many others to be shorn).

The Board considered that the representation of the woman as a sheep being shorn was irrelevant to the service advertised. The Board considered that the impact of the advertisement as a whole is exploitative of women and is also degrading.

The Board determined that the advertisement breached section 2.2 of the Code.

 

18th July

 Update: Negative Thinking...

Jordanian nutters campaign for website blocking
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Jordan...Government push for blocking of internet porn

Jordan flagA few people, (described as 'dozens') took to the streets in Jordan to urge the government to block pornographic websites in the country, the Jordan Times reported.

Internet in the country has mostly been uncensored by authorities, however nutters have launched campaigns on Facebook calling on authorities to block sites they claim inflict any negative physical or psychological impact on the younger generation, the newspaper reported.

The government should immediately instruct telecom companies and internet services providers to block these websites, spouted Ammar Al Saket, who launched a campaign on Facebook.

 

18th July

  A Good Take on the BBFC Logo...

Competition winner whose design will used for a film certificate
Link Here

bbfc black card competition winner The BBFC has announced the winner of their centenary competition for kids. 10 year old Jason Bangar from Birmingham will have his BBFC Black Card design shown ahead of every cinema screening of summer blockbuster Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (U), which opens on 3 August.

The competition is part of the BBFC's centenary celebrations, with all entries judged by BBFC Education Officer Lucy Brett and Demir Yavuz, Technical Manager at 20th Century Fox.

Lord Puttnam of Queensgate CBE, President of Film Distributors' Association, said: I offer my warmest congratulations to Jason, whose design brilliantly captures the uniquely special excitement of the cinema experience, and to everyone at the BBFC as it celebrates its centenary year in fine style.

Jason and his family are invited by 20th Century Fox to a special screening of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (U) at their local cinema in Birmingham next month. The competition, which launched in January this year, asked children under 18 to use their own cinema-going experiences as inspiration for a new BBFC Black Card design. Jason's design incorporates a traditional 35mm projector, popcorn and theatrical curtains. The design will be replicated by a professional designer and shown for the entire UK cinema release of the film Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (U).

 

18th July

 Updated: Bruce Springsteen Unplugged...

When did Britain become a Health and Safety Police State?
Link Here

Bruce Springsteen Concert Unplugged Elf and Safety extremists pulled the plug on a concert by Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band and Paul Mccartney citing ludicrous bollox that they had run 8 minutes past their allotted time.

Fans were left angered after the Hard Rock Calling event ended prematurely after Paul Mccartney joined Bruce Springsteen on stage to perform Twist and Shout and I Saw Her Standing There. 

As 80,000 rapturous fans yelled their delight under the pouring rain, the microphones were switched off after the health and safety curfew was breached by eight minutes, leaving the singers to leave the stage in silence.

While organisers defended the unfortunate decision last night, it provoked a storm of protest from fans and even members of Springsteen's entourage.

Steven Van Zandt, the guitarist with Springsteen's E Street band, said:

One of the great gigs ever in my opinion. But seriously, when did England become a police state?

Boris Johnson, the London Mayor, also wade into the row, criticising the excessively officious decision .

Last night, a spokesprat for Live Nation, the event's organisers, spewed:

The curfew is laid down by the authorities in the interest of the public health and safety.

A Westminster Council spokesman said it was concert organisers, not the council, who pulled the plug.

Update: Oops Wrong Jobsworths. It wasn't Elf & Safety after all. It was the department of Petty Bureaucracy and Clock Watching

18th July 2012. See  article from  telegraph.co.uk

Promoter Live Nation released a statement in the hours after the plug was pulled on Bruce Springsteen, claiming the curfew was in place as a result of safety issues.

However Kevin Myers, the deputy chief executive of the Health and Safety Executive, who was actually at the gig, said it was not true to blame the end of the show on those grounds. He said:

The fans deserve the truth. There's no health and safety issues involved here. While public events may have licensing conditions dictating when they should end, this is not health and safety.

 

18th July

 Offsite Article: Sky Coughs Up Now TV Censorship Fees to ATVOD...

Link Here
9999 quid for red tape, rubber stamps, Ofcom appeals, and fee policy deliberations, plus 1 quid so that ATVOD can respond to an occasional query about content

See article from theregister.co.uk

 

17th July

 Update: The Woman in Black...

More details of the BBFC category cuts to the Woman in Black
Link Here  full story: The Woman in Black...Cut by the BBFC for a 12A

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

UK: Passed 12A after 6s of BBFC category cuts for intense supernatural threat and horror for:
  • UK 2012 Technicolor/Momentum RB Blu-ray
  • UK 2012 Technicolor/Momentum R2 DVD
  • UK 2012 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

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

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

From  Interview with David Cooke and Craig Lapper from  telegraph.co.uk . Senior BBFC examiner Craig Lapper explained:

  • When we make cuts, people think in terms of 'snip-snip’, but these days, with digital, there are so many other ways you can make a film more acceptable. You can suggest soundtrack changes and things like colour darkening, putting shadows in to obscure the more gory elements of a scene.” So in The Woman in Black, we didn’t hear the crack of the woman’s neck as she hung from a noose – and, thanks to the cunning use of shadows, neither did we see her face.

See  pictorial cuts from  movie-censorship.com :

  • 4s of the hanging have been removed and details of the rest of the scene have been reduced via visual darkening, shadowing and muted sound
  • 3s of a young girl taking a step whilst engulfed in flames have been removed

Uncut Releases

UK: Passed 15 Uncut for strong supernatural threat and horror for:

  • UK 2012 Technicolor/Momentum video not yet released

US: Uncut and MPAA PG-13 rated for:

 

17th July

  God of Vampires...

New UK DVD of horror by Rob Fitz
Link Here
God Vampires DVD Ben Wang God of Vampires is a 2010 US horror by Rob Fitz.
With Jayson Argento, Lilith Astaroth and Kurt Bergeron. See IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence and gore for:

  • UK 2012 Safecracker R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 16th July

There are no censorship issues with this release.

Promotional Material: An unlikely team of vampire hunters

Professional Killer, Frank Ng, is contracted to murder a Chinese crime lord. But the routine hit goes awry when Frank discovers his mark is actually an horrific Chinese vampire. Suddenly, the tables have turned. The professional killer the hunter has become the hunted. This is no ordinary vampire of myths and legends, however. Frank has come face to face with the vengeful Kiang-Shi and it vows to inflict upon Frank such unbearable pain that death will be his only sanctuary.

Cursed, Frank is condemned to helplessly witness the horrific and merciless deaths of those he loves, everyone he knows, and anyone he merely brushes by. His anguish intensifies when he dooms his younger brother to this terrible fate. Enlisting the help of a Chinese herbalist, knowledgeable in the ways of ancient lore, and an unlikely team of vampire hunters, Frank strikes out in a final battle against the Kiang-Shi and his minions of the dark.

Frank will discover that to destroy the monster, one must become the monster

Extras:

  • Director's commentary,
  • making of Doc etc

 

17th July

  Spawn...

The Director's Cut of Spawn released on region free US Blu-ray
Link Here
Spawn Blu ray John Leguizamo Spawn is a 1997 US superhero film by Mark A.Z. Dippé.
With John Leguizamo, Michael Jai White and Martin Sheen. See IMDb

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

Previous Director's Cut Releases

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

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

The Cut Theatrical Version

UK: The cut Theatrical Version was passed 12 without BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1998 EIV VHS
  • UK 1997 cinema release

See pictorial cuts details from movie-censorship.com . The film was extensively cut in the US by 2:23s to achieve a PG-13 rating

 

17th July

  Smart Decision...

Best not buy smart TVs from Samsung, LG and Sony
Link Here

Philips Series 46PFL6606 46 inch 1080p Samsung, LG and Sony do not wish to work with the adult business, according to one provider of such entertainment.

Marc Dorcel launched the first adult smart TV app last summer with Panasonic. The company will now be working with Phillips and Toshiba from this August.

Meanwhile Philips has recently announced the arrival of adult apps from Hustler and Private.

There is also the issue of national laws. For instance, the two apps on the Philips smart TV sets will not become available in Germany and Turkey. But apparently, they will be accessible in the UK, opening the door for hardcore content on UK TVs.

Currently in the UK, the two major TV platforms, Virgin and Sky, only offer very softcore adult content.

By signing deals with CE manufacturers, hard porn channels could legally become available in the UK, both in linear and on-demand form.

 

17th July

 Update: Mulling New Blasphemy Law...

Saudi considers extreme punishment for religious insult via social media
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Saudi...Blasphemy laws used to settle private scores

Saudi flagSaudi Arabia is studying new laws to criminalise insulting Islam, including in social media, and the law could carry heavy penalties, a Saudi paper said on Sunday.

Within the next two months the Shura Council will reveal the outcome of study on the regulations to combat the criticism of the basic tenets of Islamic sharia, unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter told al-Watan, adding that there could be severe punishments for violators.

Criticism penalised under the law would include that of the religious character Mohammed, early Muslim figures and clerics, it said.

The (regulations) are important at the present time because violations over social networks on the Internet have been observed in the past months, the sources said. Refering to the case of thw  Saudi blogger and columnist Hamza Kashgari. He was was arrested for tweeting comments deemed as insulting to Mohammad. Kashgari said that there were things he liked and disliked about him.

 

17th July

 Update: Public Order Act Insults Freedom...

Peers wonder why the government is dragging its heels on reform
Link Here

House of Lords logoA couple of weeks ago, Lord Mawhinney tabled an amendment in the House of Lords to remove the word insulting from Section 5 of the Public Order Act. It's one of those catchall provisions with a very low prosecution threshold that tarnishes our reputation for freedom of expression. It has served to nobble those engaged in mischievous, but harmless, pranks, street preachers and those pouring scorn on religion.

Lord Mawhinney claimed in his speech to be something of an expert on insults,  but from the receiving end He said:

I am probably one of the very few in your Lordships' House who has been insulted and sworn at by people who are now Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly, the other place and, indeed, your Lordships' House, although I hasten to add that they were not Members of your Lordships' House when they were swearing at me and insulting me. It must also be remembered that I was chairman of the Conservative Party for two years. I know about being at the receiving end of insulting and swearing, and I am willing to join those police officers who do not much like it. However, that is not an excuse for curbing freedom of expression.

He noted that the Government consultation had closed six months ago, and Government responses are supposed to be made within three months. Just what was the problem, particularly as he had heard a well informed leak that the consultation responses had overwhelmingly been in favour of repeal? He added:

I say to the Minister that last year a poll of Members of Parliament showed that 62% were in favour of removing the word insulting from Section 5. The Christian Institute, the Peter Tatchell Foundation, the National Secular Society and ACPO are all in favour of it, and --- for goodness' sake --- it is even Liberal Democrat policy to take Section 5 without the word insulting in it.

Lord Henley, the Minister winding up, as expected, did not make any commitments but looked somewhat exposed, given not one peer had spoken in support of retaining insulting and the Government had been so late in responding to the consultation. He was pretty well reduced to pointing out that the wording originated in 1839.

 

17th July

 Offsite Article: Censorship Olympics Article Now Censored...

Link Here
It beggars belief, but it can now be a criminal offence to use words like Games, Gold and Summer, or even a picture of the London skyline. The reason? An outrageous abuse of our laws to protect the profits of Olympic sponsors...

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

16th July

  Total Recall...

New UK Blu-ray/DVD combo releases with the option of a Steelbook Edition
Link Here
Total Recall Triple Blu ray Digital Total Recall is a 1990 US action film by Paul Verhoeven
With Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone and Michael Ironside.
See IMDb

UK: The R Rated Version was passed 18 without BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2012 Studio Canal Steelbook Edition RB Blu-ray+R2 DVD at UK Amazon released today on 16th July 2012
  • UK 2012 Studio Canal Ultimate Rekall Edition RB Blu-ray+R2 DVD at UK Amazon released today on 16th July 2012

Promotional Material

Extras:

  • New interview with Paul Verhoeven HD\
  • The Special Effects of Total Recall HD
  • Making of SD Imagining Total Recall Featurette
  • Film scene restoration comparison HD
  • Photo Gallery
  • Trailer SD
  • Trailer Total Recall 2012

Censorship History

See  article from  bbfc.co.uk : Punchy Violence

The distributor had requested a 15 rating for the 1990 cinema release but the examiners' reports show that BBFC examiners had concerns about scenes of violence at this category. They also recommended against cuts to a film expertly and technically executed . Examiners considered the impact on the audience of the combination of action and violence as well as the likely appeal of the film to teenagers. But ultimately the examiners concluded that the levels of punchy and upfront violence would best be represented by an 18 certificate.

From cuts details on IMDb

The film was initially given an X-rating by the MPAA. The following are the scenes that were trimmed to receive a R-rating:

  • Benny's death is optically cropped to remove the exiting drill erupting from his stomach.
  • The innocent bystander used as a shield was bloodier before trimming.
  • The stabbing of Helm in the bar had the bowie knife slicing up his stomach. Stills of this were actually featured in Fangoria magazine at the time of the film's release.
  • Several shots of the scientists being killed by Quaid after he breaks free from the implant-machine were shortened.
  • The scene of Richter's arms being severed was shortened.

This R Rated Version seems to have become the definitive version

See  review from  blu-raydefinition.com

 

16th July

  Altered States...

A new US region free Blu-ray release
Link Here
Altered States Blu ray William Hurt Altered States is a 1980 US Fantasy by Ken Russell
With William Hurt, Blair Brown and Bob Balaban. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA R Rated for:

There are no censorship issues for this film

Promotional Material:

A scientist experiments unlock the horrors of his mind. Visual wizard Ken Russell directs William Hurt, Blair Brown and a mind-blowing array of special effects.

 

16th July

 Update: Clean Your Balls...

Australian advert censor recommends Lynx advert
Link Here  full story: Lynx Adverts...Nutters wound up by a liitle innuendo from Lynx

lynx clean your balls advert video Australia's advert censor has banned an ad for Unilever deodorant Lynx for demeaning older men, but it was cleared of degrading both sexes, racism and bad language.

The part of the ad deemed unacceptable came at end, when an old man produced two deflated medicine balls and asks, Can you help me with these saggy old balls? Nobody's played with them for years.

The ad received around 150 complaints from the public. One of the complaints to the Adverstising Standards Bureau (ASB) read:

It is smutty and filled with crude innuendo of a sexual nature. It is not clever advertising but rather immature banter akin to schoolyard talk. It has nothing to do with the advertising of the product and is totally unnecessary and demeaning to men. If the topic was woman's breasts there would be outrage. Not funny not clever just feral.

The ASB ruled that, with the exception of the depiction of the older man, the portrayals of the people in the ad were not offensive.

Update: Follow Up Press Conference

26th July 2012. See  article from  mumbrella.com.au
See video from youtube.com

Lynx responds to ad ban with fake press conference boosting the double entendre Lynx responds to ad ban with fake press conference boosting the double entendre.

In a move suggesting that a ban on Unilever's Lynx Clean Your Balls ad was a part of the company's advertising strategy from the outset, the brand has immediately launched a new video featuring an unapologetic mock press conference.

 

16th July

  Minor Minding Data Mining...

Facebook to use data mining techniques to seek out criminal activity
Link Here

Facebook logoFacebook has announced that it is snooping on postings on the site for signs of criminal activity.

The social network is using its data-mining techniques to scan chats and posts between users with a loose relationship for signs of suspicious behaviour. Content that has been flagged up is then reviewed to determine whether further steps, such as notifying police, are required.

The tool will pay particular interest to users who only recently became friends, have no mutual friends, and have a significant age gap between them. Other factors such as phraseology, geographic location and frequency of contact are also taken into account.

Facebook chief security officer Joe Sullivan told Reuters:

We've never wanted to set up an environment where we have employees looking at private communications, so it's really important that we use technology that has a very low false-positive rate,

 

16th July

  You're Only as Old as You Claim...

Twitter ensures users claim to be old enough to follow adult pages
Link Here

Twitter logoIn order to legally protect brands that advertise products meant for adults, Twitter has launched a new tool that checks the a new follower claims to be old enough to meet restrictions.

Mentioned by Techcrunch this week, Twitter and Buddy Media have partnered to develop an age verification tool that will allow brands to screen out users admit to being too young. For instance, the first time that a user under the age of twenty-one attempts to follow the Coors Light Twitter page, they will be send a direct message through Twitter with a link to an age checking page. Once the user enters the day, month and year of their birthday as well as agree to another privacy policy, they will be able to follow the brand if they claim to be over the age limit. Twitter will retain the claimed age for  future verifications so that the user won't be hassled with repeat requests.

According to Twitter's head of product marking Guy Yalif, he stated We are trusting users to input their valid birth date. We have no plans to self identify their valid birthdate or cross reference this with third-party data.

Buddy Media has been testing the new age verification tool with alcohol brands. In addition to alcohol companies, the pornography industry, gambling organizations and pharmaceutical companies could also start using the age verification tool to protect themselves legally while increasing their advertising budget on Twitter.

 

16th July

 Update: No Ifs And Butts...

Hong Kong debates changes to censorship and obscenity law
Link Here

hong kong consultation logoThe Hong Kong government is having its second round of consultation in the review of the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance and the deadline for opinion submission is July 15, 2012.

In a press conference representatives from 15 local NGOs pointed out that because of the vague definition of indecency (cannot be viewed by under 18) and obscenity (cannot be distributed) in the existing ordinance, the judgement of the committee members in the Obscene and Indecent Article Tribunal (OAT) has been highly inconsistent and subjective.

The current consultation is about splitting censorship off from the judiciary. Currently the same body acts both as censor and judge, so that any transgression of censorship rules leads to uncontestable prosecution.

Representatives from more than 15 organizations urged the government to loosen up the control of obscene and indecent articles in a press conference on 12 of July, 2012.

Joseph Cho from NutongXueshe (a LGBT group) pointed out the highly prejudicious judgement had put social and sexual minorities in a very vulnerable position. Cho said:

For example when the heterosexual committee members of OAT see two men kissing, they may find that disgusting and classify them as 'indecent', while the same article showing man and woman kissing can be viewed by all ages, .

He urged the government to loosen up the moral line for the sake of building a diverse, tolerate and open society in which people with different cultures can live together in peace.

Lam Oiwan, a writer at inmediahk.net whose article had been categorized at indecent back in 2007, pointed out that in order to prevent being prosecuted, both mainstream and online media have imposed very harsh self-censorship measures in the past few years. Lam explained:

Even though according to the ordinance there is exemption for articles that have artistic and scientific purpose, it is very difficult to implement as the judgement of OAT committee members is based on a single article (article-in-itself) without any additional and background information provided.

As a result, image such as Weiwei's artistic nude protest could easily be categorized as indecent if the committee members are ignorant of the artist and the political meaning of this artwork.

And as a final irony, the campaign poster by NuTongXueShe urging netizens to submit their opinions before the deadline was banned by Facebook citing the naked butt. Such images are usually categorize as Class I material in Hong Kong and can be viewed by all ages:

 

16th July

  An Insult to Freedom...

Iraqi Kurdistan draft blasphemy law targeted at criticism of all religions
Link Here

Iraqi Kurdistan flagParliamentarians in Iraq's Kurdish region are drafting a blasphemy law that, unlike those in other Muslim-majority nations, will target criticisms of other religions as well as islam.

Prompted by rioting after a controversial sermon by a Kurdish mullah in May, the bill would make acts of blasphemy, broadly defined as offending God or the prophets, or deliberately damaging holy books or religious buildings, against any religion punishable by up to 10 years in prison, according to Rudaw News.

Any media organization found guilty of publishing or broadcasting blasphemous content would be closed down for a minimum of six months.

Opponents insist the bill, if passed, will unlawfully censor media in the Kurdistan region.

Basher Hadad, head of the committee charged with drafting the bill, told Rudaw News that the law will protect Christians and other religious minorities in addition to Muslims:

The name of Islam is not mentioned in this law. What it does prohibit --- insulting God, the prophets, holy books --- is common to all religions. This law prohibits Muslims from insulting Christians, Yazidi or other religious minorities, too.

 

16th July

 Campaign: Hunger Strike...

Campaigning for Syrian bloggers under duress
Link Here  full story: Free Tariq...Syrian blogger jailed

hussein ghrer campaign logoAs a headline from Reporters Without Borders stated today, the number of citizen journalists killed or arrested in Syria rises daily. While some, such as Razan Ghazzawi, who won Frontline Defenders' award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk, have received ample international attention for their plight, many others have gone largely ignored by the media.

There is a new campaign centered on blogger Hussein Ghrer, who was arrested along with other bloggers and colleagues, including Ghazzawi, in a raid on the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) in February and is still in prison. The campaign, which is available in several languages, aims to draw attention to Ghrer's announcement of an indefinite hunger strike to demand his unconditional release. Ghrer's nearly five-month long detention exceeds the maximum legal limits for incarceration without referral to court, which under Syrian law is 60 days.

Though the campaign is focused on Ghrer, Syrian blogger Yazan Badran wrote recently: Make no mistake, #FreeRazan, #FreeBassel or #FreeHussein, all mean the same thing: We want them back, we want them all. The target of these campaigns is to raise awareness, as several bloggers who have been detained and then released from Syrian prisons have reported their belief that the media attention they received helped them to evade torture. Activists have created several campaign images and are encouraging users on Twitter and Facebook to use them as avatars. They are also utilizing the Twitter hashtag #FreeHussein.

 

15th July

  Vague Rules Cost Money...

ATVOD asked to think again about whether service providers or content providers should be responsible for the inflated VOD censorship fees
Link Here

Comedy Central logoAn appeal by BSkyB against an ATVOD determination that it was providing an on demand programme service which included content from three Viacom companies (MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central), has resulted in Ofcom referring the matter back to ATVOD for reconsideration.

Both BSkyB and the Viacom companies claimed that editorial responsibility lay with the other party. The ATVOD decision had been taken on the basis of contractual evidence provided by the parties.

Ofcom's decision to refer the matter back to ATVOD states that the reconsideration should follow the approach set out in Ofcom's Decision on the BBC Worldwide appeal in May 2012. That decision was made some months after the ATVOD Determination regarding Viacom content on Sky Anytime. The Ofcom decision makes clear that We therefore make no criticism of ATVOD in this regard, ...BUT... we nonetheless think it appropriate for ATVOD to re-consider the application of the Act to the Service now that Ofcom has set out our view of the appropriate approach.

Commenting on the decision, ATVOD Chief Executive Pete Johnson said:

Where two parties are involved in making video on demand content available to the public, the question of which party has 'general control' over the selection and organisation of the programmes that comprise the service can be finely balanced, especially where this is a dispute between the parties involved. We will now reconsider the issue of the Viacom content on the Sky Anytime platform, taking into account the appeal decision.

 

15th July

 Update: The Truth is Hard to Find in China...

Tweeting 'the truth' is banned
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship

Weibo logoChinese internet users were barred from searching the truth on its leading social media website. Attempts to search for the phrase were blocked on the Twitter-like site Weibo.com, which boasts 300million users.

Users noticed that if they typed in the Chinese characters for the truth , they received a message refusing to display any results. It read: According to relevant laws, regulations and policies, search results for 'the truth cannot be displayed.'

It is not known how long the phrase search was blocked and if China's controlling Communist government intervened. But under Chinese law, social media firms are also required to self-censor.

Qi Zhenyu, head of social media for iSun Affairs, a Hong Kong-based current affairs online magazine that is banned in China, said of Weibo:

It is not unusual but it is quite ironic this time -- you can't simply block the truth.

Whenever there is a word that upsets them, they just go ahead and block [but] most of the time you can't really explain why they censor a certain word.

 

15th July

  Cleethorpes Gets a Reputation for Miserable Shopkeepers...

Traders get wound up by saucy postcards
Link Here

cleethorpes cartoonMiserable traders in the town of Cleethorpes are calling for poster sized politically incorrect postcards to be taken down.

The posters had originally been put on display to welcome visitors to the annual Cleethorpes in Bloom floral show due to be held at the end of July.

However, shopkeepers ludicrously claim that the nostalgic cards are somehow lowering the reputation of the seaside town.

Phyllis O'Connell, who runs an equestrian shop, spouted:

How would you explain these sort of jokes to your five year old grandchild? They are so sexist and rude. They have really put people's backs up. They are bad for business and we should have been consulted before anything was put up there anyway.

Mark Treacher, who runs a gallery and picture framing business directly opposite the display, whinged:

The one with the dog is just obscene and the rest are sexist. They may be 1950s postcards but I do not think they have any place at all in a family resort.

And, following the complaints, it looks as though the giant postcards, designed by a local artist based on original images, will have to be removed.

The seaside postcard company Bamforth's Managing Director Ian Wallace hit back at the calls to take down the signs:

It seems the po-faced tradition continues to this day in Cleethorpes. It would be really said if the placards have to be taken down. There is enough gloom and doom about at the moment.

 

15th July

 Extract: Olympics Gets a Reputation for Miserable Control Freaks...

Hopefully they will be a bit too short staffed to enforce restrictions on linking to their website
Link Here

index logoOur attention has been drawn to the terms of use of the London Olympics 2012 website, which make it very clear under what circumstances you're allowed link to the site:

Links to the Site.

You may create your own link to the Site, provided that your link is in a text-only format. You may not use any link to the Site as a method of creating an unauthorised association between an organisation, business, goods or services and London 2012, and agree that no such link shall portray us or any other official London 2012 organisations (or our or their activities, products or services) in a false, misleading, derogatory or otherwise objectionable manner. The use of our logo or any other Olympic or London 2012 Mark(s) as a link to the Site is not permitted.

Got that? You're only allowed link to the official site of the Olympics if you're going to say nice things about the Olympics.

...Read the full article

 

15th July

  Banned Holy Books...

Kyrgyzstan is debating law to establish religious censors
Link Here

Kyrgyzstan flagCensorship on religious literature could soon be so restrictive in Kyrgyzstan that anyone wanting to import, publish or distribute religious literature will have to seek prior permission from the authorities, reports Forum 18 News Service.

In 2009, Kyrgyzstan created a Religion Law, but it did not impose censorship on all religious literature, notes Forum 18. Now, amendments to the law have been proposed to tighten censorship by September.

The new amendment technically reads like this: Control on the import, production, acquisition, storage and distribution of printed materials, film, photo, audio and video productions, as well as other materials with the purpose of unearthing religious extremism, separatism and fundamentalism is conducted by the plenipotentiary state organs for religious affairs, national security and internal affairs.

Many Kyrgyzstanis agree that would mean all-out censorship of all religious materials.

If the amendment passes, the Committee has suggested the establishment of another committee which will exist exclusively to oversee the censorship. Essentially, local authorities won't be the enforcers: a specific task force will be.

 

15th July

 Offsite Article: Libel Claims Dismissed in Court...

Link Here  full story: Censorship by Libel...British libel law allows the rich to censor the truth
Nature journal wins three-year case where Egyptian academic El Naschie claimed defamation after his articles were described as low quality and lacking peer review.

See article from pressgazette.co.uk

 

14th July

  Bond 50...

BBFC reduce rating for Tomorrow Never Dies from 15 to 12 for the upcoming Blu-ray Collection of all the Bond films
Link Here

James Bond Film Collection Blu ray The BBFC are currently reviewing the complete collection of official James Bond Films set to be released as 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray box set called Bond 50.

See UK 2012 MGM RB Blu-ray [Bond 50 Collection] at UK Amazon released on 24th September 2012.

Tomorrow Never Dies DVD One notable change to BBFC ratings is that Tomorrow Never Dies has been reduced from 15 to 12 with the consumer advice, Contains frequent moderate action violence.

Tomorrow Never Dies: Censorship History

1997

Passed 12 after BBFC suggested sound cuts at the rough cut stage were implemented for:
  • UK 1997 cinema release
1998

Passed 12 after a further 6s of BBFC cuts beyond the cinema cuts for:

  • UK 2001 MGM R2 DVD
  • UK 1998 MGM VHS
  • UK 1998 Warner VHS

The BBFC commented on their video cuts:

Tomorrow Never Dies followed the pattern of the recent Bonds of being slightly too violent for its intended audience. When it opened in the cinema, the Board considered that, on grounds of violence, the film had just scraped through as a 12, yet to our surprise, the British public, for all their reported concern about screen violence, lapped it up, content to treat James Bond as fantasy violence. The producers were alerted to the probability that, if 12 were to remain the target category on video, the film might need further cuts in violence, since the Video Recordings Act laid down the need to assess the likelihood of underage viewing, which in this case was a virtual certainty.

The additional BBFC video cuts were:

  • Cuts to scene where Michelle Yeoh dispatches one of the bad guys by means of a throwing star.
  • Removed scene of Michelle Yeoh taking throwing star from a hidden compartment in her shoe
  • Cuts to scene where Bond stamps on a man's face

See also pictorial cuts details from movie-censorship.com

2006

Passed 15 after all BBFC video cuts were waived for:

  • UK 2007 20th Century Fox Ultimate Edition R2 DVD at UK Amazon
  • UK 2006 Sony Ultimate Edition R2 DVD

2012

Passed 12 without BBFC cuts for frequent moderate action violence:

  • UK 2012 MGM RB Blu-ray [Bond 50 Collection] at UK Amazon released on 24th September 2012

 

14th July

 Update: Big Bother...

Ofcom receives 1,225 complaints about racist abuse and Parliament receives 1 from Keith Vaz
Link Here
House of Commons logoKeith Vaz has had a whinge about Big Brother via an Early Day Motion in Parliament. It has only attracted 5 signatures so far.

EDM 382: Racism in the Big Brother House

That this House:

  • strongly condemns recent abusive comments made in the Big Brother house in the Channel 5 television programme Big Brother, some of which have been perceived as racist;

  • notes, in particular, that a total of 1,225 complaints were made by members of the public following those comments, 1,108 of which followed one specific, particularly severe comment;

  • further notes that Big Brother has been warned in the past about racist comments made in the Big Brother house; and

  • calls on Ofcom to ensure that Big Brother enforces its rules more effectively.

 

14th July

 Update: Orthodox Homophobia...

Russian christians organise petition to ban Facebook over same sex marriage icons
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media

facebook same sex marriage logoAccording to Russia Today, nutters from the Orthodox Church are angry at the Facebook's decision to launch same-sex marriage icons, calling them gay propaganda .

The nutters apparently claim that the icons could make young people tempted to explore homosexuality. In fact, the church in the city of Saratov, southern Russia, asked issued an ultimatum requesting that the social network stop flirting with Sodomites .

The nutters have organised a petition to get Facebook banned in the country. Vladimir Roslyakovsky, leader of the Orthodox public organization, spewed:

We demand only one thing: Facebook should be blocked in the entire country because it openly popularizes homosexuality among minors.

The US goal is that Russians stop having children. [They want] the great nation to turn into likeness of Sodom and Gomorrah, Roslyakovsky said. But I am confident that Russian laws and reasonable citizens will be able to protect their children from a fierce attack of sodomites.

 

14th July

 Offsite Article: The Kremlin makes its Move on Facebook...

Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media
Russian parliament has passed a law establishing a central register of banned websites. The new laws are ostensibly designed for child protection, but the real aim is to take control over the country's burgeoning social networks

See article from indexoncensorship.org

 

14th July

 Updated: A Red Rag to the Portuguese...

Green Party proposes law to ban bullfighting from TV
Link Here

Portugal flagPortuguese MPs have slammed proposed law changes to end the showing of bullfights on Portugal's public television channels.

The proposal put forward by the Green (PEV) and Left Bloc (BE) parties includes removing all public support for shows that inflict physical and psychological suffering or lead to the death of animals involved in bullfights, that bullfighting should no longer be aired on public service channels and the activity should be classed as an illicit show.

The Green party said in a statement:

Society should be heading in a direction of abandoning practises that are not compatible with the increasing statute of protection given to animals.

The party also proposed for bullfighting to be classified for over 18s only when aired on television:

This is a measure that aims to defend TV audiences, but also to protect children and youngsters from shows that do not teach respect for animals.

MPs from nearly all opposing parties criticised the proposals during a debate on Wednesday, calling it cultural censorship .

Update: MPs shout Ol é and vote to retain bullfighting on TV

14th July 2012. See  article from  theportugalnews.com

Proposals by the Left Bloc (BE) and the Greens (PEV) to change the laws that regulate the showing of bullfights on television have been crushed by a majority in Parliament, meaning the controversial sport will continue to be shown unrestricted on national public channels.

PAN, the Party for Animals and for Nature, slammed the lively opposition to the bill, saying:

Anyone who witnessed the debate about these matters couldn't help but be surprised by the behaviour of the MPs on the CDS-PP, PSD (Social Democrats) and PS benches, who, among boos, jeers and shouts of ole, made the BE's and PEV's speeches about their law-projects practically inaudible.

PAN condemns the lamentable attitude of these MPs, recalling that they were elected to represent all Portuguese, not only those who are fans or part of the bullfighting industry.

The Portuguese Federation for Bull-related Associations, Protoiro, described the outcome as a resounding victory for Portuguese bullfighting and freedom. On its Facebook page Protoiro claims that the proposals were quashed by 85% of parliament saying:

This is the third defeat suffered by anti-bullfighters who, in just six months, have seen all of their initiatives completely trounced.

 

14th July

  Cinema Prohibition...

Indian MP seeks to introduce bill to ban liquor from cinema films and TV
Link Here

prohibition advertIn a move that has been described as an attempt to Talibanize the country's entertainment industry, a BJP MP from Gujarat has sought a ban on scenes involving alcohol consumption in films as well as on television. Mahendrasinh Chauhan has issued a notice to the secretary general of the Lok Sabha seeking the introduction of a bill in this regard.

Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, who has been fighting against attempts to ban smoking in films, said:

Censorship in any form is the enemy of creativity. Our elected representatives are now trying to hurl the film industry into the dark ages from which we thought we had emerged. The beast of censor has to be fought tooth and nail by those who love free speech.

Film writer Sanjay Chauhan described the MP's move as a fascist one:

It will strangulate freedom of expression. Politicians cannot dictate to us like Hitler (did). Alcohol is a part of the lifestyle and culture of our country. How can you keep it out of our cinema?

Commentators are tracing back the idea for the ban to study by Public Health Foundation of India that claimed that schoolchildren who watched Bollywood films were 2.78 times more likely to have tried alcohol as compared to those who were least exposed.

 

14th July

  An Inoffensive Puppy...

Keith Lemon's LemonAid cleared of causing 'offence' by offering a puppy as a prize
Link Here

Celebrity Juice Too Juicy DVD Keith Lemon's LemonAid
ITV1, 28 April 2012, 18:15

Keith Lemon's LemonAid is a weekly Saturday early evening entertainment programme broadcast on ITV1 presented by Keith Lemon.

During the programme, three children accompanied by their parents took part in a competition, A Right Dog's Dinner', for the chance to win a puppy as a prize.

A total of 237 viewers complained to Ofcom that awarding a puppy as a prize to a child in an entertainment show promoted an irresponsible attitude to animal welfare and pet ownership.

Ofcom's Code does not contain any rules dealing specifically with the treatment of animals or pets in broadcasts. Ofcom considered that the offer of a puppy as a prize in this programme raised potential issues warranting investigation under Rule 2.3 of the Code. This states:

In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context... Appropriate information should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence.

ITV said that it regretted that the programme had generated a number of complaints from viewers but did not accept that it had promoted an irresponsible attitude to animal welfare or pet ownership. ITV explained that the families that took part in the competition were all selected with care, and were considering buying a puppy prior to appearing on the programme. Appropriate checks were carried out before the families took part in the studio game, and again before the puppy shown in the programme was finally given into the care of its new owners.

The programme producers employed an independent qualified vet to make a home visit to each prospective family, and to report on their suitability. The families selected for the programme were all deemed to be capable of caring for a puppy well, and were fully equipped to meet all its needs.

Ofcom Decision: Not in Breach of Rule 2.3

Ofcom accepts that this material may have caused offence to some viewers who object in principle to a puppy being given away as a prize in an entertainment programme. However, Ofcom noted that at no time was the puppy shown during the broadcast to be in discomfort or distress. Further, and importantly, the broadcaster demonstrated that it took a number of very extensive measures to ensure the welfare of the puppy shown on screen and given as a prize, and of other puppies in the studios. Through these measures, in Ofcom?s view, the Licensee demonstrated its awareness of, and fulfilled, its obligations to ensure the welfare of all the puppies involved with this programme. The broadcaster therefore applied generally accepted standards to this content so as to ensure that any potential offence was justified by the context.

Ofcom notes that ITV took the editorial decision not to inform viewers of the measures it took to ensure the welfare of the puppies. This may have contributed to the concerns of some viewers about giving away a puppy as a prize. If viewers had been made aware of some of the steps taken by the Licensee, this would have provided assurance that careful consideration had been given to the puppies? welfare. Ofcom therefore advises broadcasters, where the welfare of animals featured in a programme may cause concern to viewers, to consider broadcasting appropriate information to help protect viewers from offence that may result from withholding that information.

Not in Breach of Rule 2.3

 

14th July

  Lynx Attracts Nutter Complaints...

ASA dismiss whinges about TV advert in style of a news report of the chaos caused by Lynx Attract
Link Here

lynx attract videoA TV ad, for Lynx Attract deodorant, began with large on-screen text that stated Breaking News while news bulletin style music played. The text remained on screen in the top left-hand corner of the screen throughout the ad. A newsreader, shown in a TV studio, said News reports just in of an epidemic spreading across the world. Earlier today in Barcelona a light aircraft made an emergency landing, where it is believed the pilot and passengers became entangled . Filmed showed the aircraft with the occupants removing their clothing. On-screen text stated LYNX EFFECT EPIDEMIC and FIRST LYNX FOR WOMEN CAUSES CHAOS . The newsreader continued In Berlin escaped animals bring the City to a standstill. Eyewitnesses at the zoo were claiming keepers were openly using the spray . Animals were shown running amok, including a gorilla holding a bra on top of a bus with 69 BERLIN on the front display. The newsreader said Scenes in New York show how quickly the epidemic is spreading. Emergency responders say the scale of the chaos may be beyond any sense of control . Scenes were shown of people dressed in gas masks and protective clothing pulling semi-naked couples apart on the streets, while sirens could be heard in the background. A couple were shown on a balcony removing their clothing as they rushed towards each other. The newsreader continued Felicity Jones is in New York and the reporter was shown trying to speak to the camera before being picked up by a topless man wearing a rabbit mask. The newsreader said The EU are warning men and women stay inside, lock your doors. Avoid all contact with the opposite sex and do not buy new Lynx Attract as an EU spokesman was seen kissing a female reporter.

The ad was cleared by Clearcast with a post 7.30pm restriction.

  1. Ten viewers challenged whether the ad, which gave the impression that it was a newsflash, was quickly recognisable as an ad.

  2. Nineteen viewers challenged whether the sexual content of the ad was offensive. Five of those viewers also challenged whether the ad was appropriate to be broadcast when children might be watching.

  3. Four viewers challenged whether the ad was offensive, because it made light of serious issues such as aeroplane accidents and epidemics.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted BCAP Code rule 2.2 stated that if an ad featured elements reminiscent of a news bulletin then the audience should be able to recognise quickly the message as an ad. In this case, although the ad was in the style of a news bulletin with text stating Breaking News remaining on-screen throughout, we considered that it was nonetheless quickly recognisable as an ad. The newsreader's tone lacked urgency and the scenes of the people undressing and kissing in the plane established early in the ad that it was clearly fantasy. Those scenes were followed by on-screen text stating LYNX EFFECT EPIDEMIC and FIRST LYNX FOR WOMEN CAUSES CHAOS with the product pictured at the top of the screen, emphasising that the material was an ad and not a news bulletin.

We considered that, because the comic nature of the ad was established early, it was unlikely to be understood by viewers to be part of a real news bulletin and concluded that the ad did not breach the Code.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 2.1 and 2.2 (Recognition of advertising), but did not find it in breach.

2. Not upheld

We understood that Unilever intended the ad for a more adult audience and had scheduled it post 9pm although Clearcast had applied a post 7.30pm restriction. In most cases the ad had been broadcast after 9pm except where, due to an error by one broadcaster, it was shown after 7.30pm.

Even though the people featured in the ad were either undressing or shown in their underwear, we noted that no actual nudity was featured, and considered the sexual content was relatively mild. Although some viewers found the sexual content offensive, we considered that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to most adults.

Regarding the scheduling, although the relatively mild sexual content would likely be considered inappropriate by most parents for children to see, we considered that the post 7.30pm restriction would minimise the risk of children, and particularly very young children, from seeing the ad. We concluded that the timing restriction applied was appropriate.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 4.2 (Harm and Offence) and 32.3 (Scheduling), but did not find it in breach.

3. Not upheld

We noted the ad did not show a plane accident, but referred to an emergency landing caused by passengers becoming amorous. We also noted the ad referred to an epidemic , but the scenarios were not rooted in reality and did not represent any real life incidents. We understood that the references to an emergency plane landing and an epidemic might not have been to all tastes, but considered that, given the way the material was presented, the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to viewers.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 4.2 (Harm and offence), but did not find it in breach.

 

14th July

 Update: Drowning in Sensitivity...

Coronation Street loses story detail of a body being found in a canal
Link Here  full story: Coronation Street...Complaints and whinges

Fifty Years Coronation Street Randall Coronation Street producers have changed a number of scenes from the soap as they were too similar to the recent death of Stone Roses fan Chris Brahney.

Brahey's body was found in a canal in Manchester after going missing following the band's gig at Heaton Park on 30 June.

The soap was to feature references to a body being pulled out of a canal as part of a plot involving Peter Barlow. Although the scenes did not feature a body being recovered, it included a policeman making multiple references to one being found in a canal.

The new replacement scene will now make no reference to where the body was found.

 

13th July

 Extract Forcibly Shaved by the BBFC...

Celebrating the 50th birthday of the Rolling Stones, the BBFC publish letters from the archive about cuts to Nic Roeg's Performance
Link Here

Performance DVD James Fox Performance was submitted to the BBFC in August 1970 and the cuts list published here shows the Examiners picked up on the brutality of two particular scenes.

They note potential for imitable behaviour -- forcible shaving is something that could be imitated by young people -- and also look to reduce the association between sexual and violent images.

...Read the full article

 

13th July

 Update: Mediawatch-UK Recommends...

Ticked pink by Big Brother's Bit on the Side
Link Here

big brothers bit on the side logoThe nutter campaigners of Mediawatch-UK have slammed Big Brother bosses for airing footage of Ashleigh Hughes pleasuring Luke Scrase.

A clip of the 21-year-old housemate putting her hand up the 24 year old's shorts in front of the rest of the group aired on Tuesday's (10.07.12) spin-off show Big Brother's Bit On The Side , much to the anger of Mediawatch-UK.

In the footage, Ashleigh giggled and said: tickle, tickle, tickle , while Luke writhed on the bed, telling his housemates he was aroused .

Mediawatch-UK Director Vivienne Pattison whinged:

This is just TV titillation. How low does the show need to get to get ratings? It's a sorry state of affairs if this is entertainment.

 

13th July

  Thou Shalt Build a Shopping Mall...

Mormons unimpressed by Bloomberg Businessweek magazine cover
Link Here

businessweek-cover-mormonThe new Bloomberg Businessweek magazine cover on finances of the 'Mormon Empire' has drawn nutter criticism.

A spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said:

The Businessweek cover is in such poor taste it is difficult to even find the words to comment on it, said Michael Purdy,  Sadly, the cover is a reflection of the bias and speculative nature of the article itself. It is narrow and incomplete, omitting, for instance, a good deal of information given on how church resources are used.

The article misses the mark and the cover is obviously meant to be offensive to many, including millions of Latter-day Saints.

The cover caricatures a classic LDS painting of what to Mormons is a sacred visitation by John the Baptist to early LDS leaders Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery The cover headline reads Inside the Mormon Empire. The accompanying illustration portrays John the Baptist telling Smith and Cowdery to build a shopping mall, own stock in Burger King, and open a Polynesian theme park in Hawaii that shall be largely exempt from the frustrations of tax, to which Joseph responds: Hallelujah.

Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst at the Poynter Institute, a school dedicated to excellence and integrity in journalism said:

As someone who has been watching the coverage of politics and faith and more specifically of 'the Mormon question' for the last year, I see this as a great step backward. I thought we were past ridiculing sacred images of other faiths, even radical Muslims, let alone our fellow Americans. I doubt the story is as out of whack as the cover, but on its own, the cover crosses way over the line between commentary and bigotry.

Richard Mouw, president of the Fuller Seminary, a graduate-level seminary for Evangelicals said:

This cover ridicules respected spiritual leaders and the Mormon faith by distorting a picture of sacred value and respect and turning it into a caricature.

John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary magazine, posted a comment about the cover on his Facebook page:

This is simply disgusting.

 

13th July

  The Devil in Me...

UK DVD release of Canadian horror
Link Here
The Devil In Me DVD The Devil in Me is a 2012 Canada horror by Greg A Sager.
With Vanessa Broze, Michelle Argyris and Shantelle Canzanese. See IMDb

UK:  Passed 18 uncut for very strong language and strong sex for:

  • UK 2012 Lions Gate R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 9th July 2012

Promotional Material:

This supernatural thriller is centred around an outgoing college student, Alexandra. After a night of drinking, Alex agrees to a psychic reading to learn about her future with her boyfriend, but during this a dramatic turn of events causes something to go drastically wrong. She begins to hear creepy noises, hallucinate, black out and receive unidentifiable scratch marks all over her body.

Afraid she's going crazy, she seeks help from her friends who are incapable of comprehending the scope of the darkness descending upon her. Instead, Alex receives help from a school professor and his father who have dealt with the supernatural before. But as Alex's condition worsens, it becomes apparent that it may already be too late to stop the entity from using Alex's body as a gateway into our world.

 

13th July

  Naked Censorship...

Bangladesh man arrested for Facebook post with photoshopped image of prime minister
Link Here

sheikh hasinaBangladesh police have arrested a businessman after he allegedly edited together a photograph of the country's female prime minister, Sheikh Hasina,with that of a half-naked woman on his Facebook page.

Police following up a tip-off visited Shariful Islam's home and found the doctored pictures of the premier on his computer, the local police chief Chowdhury Abul Kalam said.

Islam, an owner of an advertising firm, also doctored the pictures of the home minister and some other ministers , Kalam said, adding that the accused faced up to 10 years in jail if found guilty on defamation charges.

Bangladesh authorities have launched a series of prosecutions this year over material on

 

13th July

 Offsite Comment: Who the f-word does this protect?...

Link Here  full story: Twitter Twits...Police overreact to trivial insults via Twitter and Facebook
Re the John Terry case. The BBC reporting of what he is supposed to have said on the field is side-splittingly awful. It was 'an f-word, black, c-word'.

See article from timesonline.typepad.com

 

12th July

  Valued Censors?...

BBFC publish their Annual Report for 2011
Link Here

bbfc annual report 2011 BBFC Annual Report 2011: BBFC find out their value in the internet age, announce plans for new research into sexual violence & adopt a tougher line on exempt video content

Sexual violence in films and the availability of content potentially harmful to children in exempt videos were two key issues for the BBFC in 2011 and are carrying through into work undertaken by the BBFC in 2012.

In 2011 the BBFC considered The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) (in which a man achieves sexual gratification from the stapling together of victims to form a human centipede and which culminates in him raping a woman with barbed wire) and The Bunny Game (in which a truck driver abducts, strips and sexually abuses and tortures a prostitute).

The BBFC intervened with both of these works on account of their depictions of extreme violence against women. It made significant cuts to The Human Centipede 2 and refused to certify The Bunny Game because of the harm risk both works posed.

Partly as a result of these and other films, the BBFC is commissioning a major new piece of original research into depictions of sadistic, sexual and sexualised violence, mainly against women, to determine what the British public today believes is potentially harmful and therefore unacceptable for classification. The research will be completed in 2012 and the BBFC will publish it in the usual way, not least because it might be helpful to other regulators.

At the same time the BBFC responded to the promise of a DCMS consultation on exempt video works in 2012. The BBFC, British Video Association, British Phonographic Industry, the Video Standards Council and the Entertainment Retailers Association all support a technical adjustment to the Video Recordings Act whereby content in exempt videos which is potentially harmful to children should lose the video its exemption.

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said: In 2011 Reg Bailey highlighted concerns about the sexualisation of children through readily available audio-visual material that is exempt from classification. The BBFC hope that an adjustment to the Video Recordings Act will help prevent children from being exposed to strongly violent or sexual content, whether in music videos, instructional DVDs or documentaries.

The issue of sexual violence in films in 2011 will also be considered in more depth in 2012, with new research into the public's opinion around portrayals of sexual violence due to be published in the autumn.'

The 2011 annual report also reports findings of research into what value the British public place on the BBFC in the internet age. Independent research carried out in June 2011 demonstrated conclusively that the public values the BBFC's work to bring content advice online. That research showed that while the public considers the internet to bring greater choice, freedom and flexibility, the majority of viewers still consider it important to be able to check the suitability of audio-visual content they download. As more viewing takes place online, consumers expect that the same level of BBFC support will apply online as currently applies offline: 85% consider it important to have consistent BBFC classifications available for VOD content, rising to 90% of parents of children under 16.

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said: The BBFC has worked with the home entertainment industry since 2008 to develop voluntary content labelling strategies for online and Video On Demand (VOD) content and it's encouraging to know the public still want a trusted guide to online content. This is also recognised by on-demand content providers and in 2011 we welcomed several new subscribers to our online service, including BT Vision, Talk Talk, Netflix and British Airways.

The availability of BBFC film content advice was also expanded in 2011: Consumer Advice and Extended Classification Information (ECI) were made available to even more smartphone users with the introduction of an Android version of the free BBFC App, previously only available for iPhone. A podcast about film classification was also launched to further engage the public with the BBFC Guidelines and key classification themes, as well as high-profile classification decisions.

 

12th July

  Absentia...

Mike Flanagan's well regarded horror gets a UK DVD release
Link Here

Absentia DVD Doug Jones Absentia is a 2011 US horror mystery by Mike Flanagan.
With Katie Parker, Courtney Bell and Dave Levine. See IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut for strong language and horror for:

  • UK 2012 Second Sight R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 9th July 2012

There are no censorship issues for this release and there are plenty of good reviews

Promotional Material:

Absentia is one of the most talked about horror films of recent years with reviews hailing it as a genuinely frightening must-see .

Tricia's husband Daniel has been missing for seven years. Her younger sister Callie comes to live with her and helps her find the strength to finally declare him legally dead in absentia . As Tricia tries to move on with her life she is haunted by terrifying visions while her sister finds herself drawn to an ominous tunnel near the house which is linked to other unexplained disappearances. It becomes clear the tunnel holds a dark secret, something lies in the shadows and Daniel may be suffering a fate far worse than death.

 

12th July

 Extract: The Age of the Book Censor...

Ever wondered why characters in young adult fiction never swear like teenagers in real life?
Link Here  full story: Age Ratings for Books...Publishers propsose age ratings for books

Hollow Pike James Dawson James Dawson, author of teen read Hollow Pike , explains why he has to hold back on the cussing in order to get his books accepted by the gatekeepers , booksellers and librarians.

Any artist tries to reproduce reality on their terms. So, as an author, I aim to portray young adult characters in the most honest way possible. Logically, this involves them swearing. In Hollow Pike, I was allowed shit and any swear word less than this one ie bloody, Jesus Christ etc. Interestingly shit was only allowed as a curse, not as a bodily function (all bodily functions were removed at the edit, to make the characters more aspirational). It was only when editing my new, second novel that I asked if I could use even stronger swear words in an extreme situation of peril.

My editor was sympathetic and has no personal objections to stronger words than shit , but it was at this stage the gatekeepers were first mentioned. Booksellers, book groups, librarians and bookshop buyers form this steely line of defence. They are arguably the most powerful link in the publishing chain. These are the people who decide whether or not to sell your product. Without them, a book, especially a book by a debut author, is relegated to the internet and warehouse shelves thus limiting the potential contacts a reader can make with the book in the real world

...Read the full article

 

12th July

  Unliberalisation Policy...

Russian parliament passes first reading of a bill to return to criminal defamation
Link Here

Russian Duma logoThe Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned over Russia's moves to return defamation to the criminal code, and calls on the parliament to reject the restrictive bill on its second reading.

The ruling United Russia party introduced the bill to parliament on Friday and deputies approved it on a first reading today--drawing criticism from the opposition, who said the bill was rushed and did not undergo meaningful debate, local press reports said. The bill must past three readings in the parliament's lower house, the State Duma, before going to the upper house and finally to the president. Once the State Duma passes a bill, the role of the upper house, or Federation Council, is mostly symbolic.

The move to make defamation a criminal offense is a step backwards for Russia. In November, parliament voted to decriminalize libel and insult in a move widely perceived as part of then-President Dmitry Medvedev's liberalization policies. According to the independent news agency Regnum, the new bill allows for imprisonment of up to five years, and a fine for moral damages up to 500,000 rubles (US$15,300) for those found guilty of defamation.

The criminalization of speech would be a significant step backward for freedom in Russia, and we call on parliament and President Putin to reject this bill entirely, CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said: The recent rush to pass bills that restrict fundamental human rights is misguided and casts a shadow on the president's commitment to democratic values.

 

12th July

 Update: Chinese TV Has No Balls...

News programme pixellates Michelangelo's David
Link Here

michelangelo davidA Chinese television news programme censored footage showing Michelangelo's David by by covering the statue's genitals with a digital mosaic.

The statue was exhibited in Beijing as part of celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the National Museum of China.

The move stirred a debate on internet, with general mockery of CCTV's lack of respect toward the work.

CCTV later removed the mosaic when it rebroadcast the programme.

 

12th July

 Update: Pushing for Lifeless Entertainment...

China announces censorship requirements for online video
Link Here

SARFT logoSARFT, China's media censor has announced that online video will be required to be submitted for censorship prior to being published online.

A SARFT spokesman explainedthat original drama series and films on video websites like Youku and Tudou are mostly great, but that some need to be cut, citing violations such as repeated curse words, violence and sexuality. In the future, original productions destined for the internet will need to be approved by SARFT before they can be broadcast just like everything else.

SARFT claimed the move as a response to an outcry from internet users and industry needs.

techinasia.com said:

Presumably this SARFT announcement means we can look forward to online programming quickly becoming as dull and lifeless as most television programming, which SARFT has been doing its damnedest to suck the fun out of for quite some time now.

It is not yet clear how the measure will be implemented nor its scope, in particular whether this will apply to user generated content.

Meanwhile, news of further push for censorship

See  article from  xbiz.com

China is launching yet another new war on porn distribution. China Daily reported that the country's National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications said that the national campaign will last from mid-July to the end of November and will target vendors selling videos, books and magazines, as well as various forms of pornographic or vulgar online content. Also in the country's cross hairs are books that promote gang-related culture and songs that feature obscene content.

Update: User content to be pre-vetted by websites

12th July 2012. See  article from  zdnet.com

Video websites are being told they must pre-screen all content that is deemed inappropriate. The State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) revealed new censorship rules this week in a published series of answers to reporters' questions. Site administrators will apparently be given guidance on what is okay and what isn't. It remains to be seen how SARFT will enforce the new regulations, especially when it comes to user-generated content.

Many site owners will find it difficult to follow the new instructions since they suddenly have to find the resources to pre-screen everything that is uploaded. When it comes to doing business on the Internet in China, however, this is nothing new.

 

12th July

  Press Sanctions...

Iran's press warned not to report on the effects of western sanctions
Link Here

Iran flagIran has warned its media against the publication of reports concerning the impact of Western sanctions, local newspapers reported.

Mohammad Hosseini, the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, whose ministry oversees censorship and propaganda, said:

Our country is not in a position to allow the media to publish (any) news or analysis which is not compatible with the regime's and national interests.

The situation regarding sanctions and other pressures, especially in economy ... requires more cooperation by the media so the country is not hurt.

Soon we will hold a meeting with the nation's media and economic officials so they are more informed about the current conditions, especially the sanctions, and so that they function by taking into consideration the country's national interest.

This is the first time that the effects of sanctions have become reasons for official censorship.

 

11th July

 Offsite Article: Time to Scrap Obscenity Laws?...

Link Here
An interesting read. MR Hall notes that it it difficult to get juries to convict in obscenity cases, but rather misses the timely point that it easy to get successful prosecutions via a big stick and carrot approach to plea bargaining

See article from huffingtonpost.co.uk

 

11th July

  Game Over for the BBFC...

Game censors of the GRA to take over from the BBFC on the 30th July 2012
Link Here

Capcom Resident Evil 6 PS3 The much-delayed implementation of PEGI as the sole UK video game rating system is now expected to come into force on July 30.

Games will be more or less self rated using PEGI age classifications of 7,12,16 and 18, along with comments about the type of content. The Games Rating Authority (GRA), a division of the Video Standards Council (VSC), will oversee the ratings process, with powers to ban and censor where necessary.

Meanwhile Resident Evil 6 may be one of the last major games to obtain a BBFC certificate. (The cover is already sporting a PEGI rating on advance publicity pictures).

See article from bbfc.co.uk

Resident Evil 6 was passed 18 uncut for strong violence and gore. The game boasts 255:00s of video footage or cut scenes.

 

11th July

 Updated: The Writing's Scrubbed Off the Wall for ATVOD...

Jeremy Hunt seeks to dump the expensive and burdensome VOD censor, transferring the task to the up 'n' coming press censor
Link Here

jeremy huntThe government has asked the Leveson inquiry to consider giving the new press regulation body responsibility for web TV services ranging from Channel 4's catch-up service, 4oD, to adult content such as Playboy.

Jeremy Hunt, the culture secretary, has written to the inquiry into press ethics to suggest that the successor body to the Press Complaints Commission could become a one-stop shop for all news output by newspaper groups.

In his letter to Leveson, Hunt said he was keen that a regulatory framework be developed that would stand the test of time and avoid the risk of obsolescence .

He believes ATVOD should be folded into the new press regulatory body, arguing this would encourage newspapers to diversify into new types of audio-visual content because it would simplify regulatory requirements significantly .

He believes that the current situation acts as an inhibitor to newspapers which want to expand video production. A recent Ofcom test case involving Sun Video placed all newspaper content outside ATVOD regulation. Hunt claimed some newspapers have curtailed their video production in order to remain free of the TV-on-demand regulator.

Update: Not So Fast

11th July 2012. See  article from  guardian.co.uk . Thanks to edboal

The Guardian article was amended on 7 July 2012 to explain that the new press regulator's powers would only apply to web TV news rather than to all content, and to clarify that ATVOD would not be replaced by the new regulatory body.

 

11th July

  Twins of Evil...

New US combo DVD/Blu-ray release of Twins of Evil
Link Here
Twins Evil Blu ray DVD Combo Twins of Evil is a 1971 UK horror by John Hough
With Inigo Jackson, Judy Matheson and Peter Cushing. See IMDb

US: The cut cinema version is MPAA R Rated for:

See  review from  mcbastardsmausoleum.blogspot.com

Promotional Material:

Two beautiful orphaned identical twins, Maria and Frieda Gellhorn (Playboy centerfold models Mary and Madeleine Collinson), move to the village of Karnstein to live with their uncle Gustav Weil (played by Hammer horror favorite, Peter Cushing), a fanatical puritan and leader of the local witch-hunting Brotherhood. The village Count (Damien Thomas, Never Let Me Go), an evil man who secretly practices Satanism, uses black magic and transforms into a vampire. Unhappy with her new life, Frieda seeks escape and tragically falls under the spell of the Count. Now overcome with an insatiable hunger for human blood, Frieda has to hide her secret from her sister, and escape her uncle's killing grasp!

The wait is over! This Hammer horror classic is now available from Synapse Films in an all-new 1080p high-definition transfer and loaded with exciting exclusive special features. Also stars Kathleen Byron (Black Narcissus), David Warbeck (Lucio Fulci's The Beyond) and Dennis Price (Jess Franco's Vampyros Lesbos)!

Features

  • THE FLESH AND THE FURY: X-POSING TWINS OF EVIL (84 mins.) - An all-new, feature-length documentary exploring Hammer's infamous Karnstein trilogy from the origin of Carmilla, to the making of TWINS OF EVIL! Featuring exclusive interviews with director John Hough, star Damien Thomas, cult film director Joe Dante, Video Watchdog editor Tim Lucas, and more!
  • THE PROPS THAT HAMMER BUILT: THE KINSEY COLLECTION -- Featurette (Blu-ray Exclusive)
  • Motion Still Gallery (Blu-ray Exclusive)
  • Deleted Scene (Blu-ray Exclusive)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer & TV Spots (Blu-ray Exclusive)
  • Isolated Music & Effects Track (Blu-ray Exclusive)

Previous Releases

UK: The cut cinema version was passed 15 without further BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2002 Carlton R2 DVD

UK: The cut cinema version was passed 18 without further BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1995 VCI VHS
  • UK 1987 MIA VHS

UK: Passed X (18) after BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1981 cinema release

From the Anchor Bay Forum. According to a list of Hammer cuts  there were two cuts made to the film:

  • Reel 1 - Scene in shack. Remove shots of Count Kronstein (sic) registering extreme sexual pleasure and of Gerta entering frame from the left and lying on him
  • Reel 3 - In the episode in which a woman is prepared for human sacrifice, remove shots of hooded man dipping his fingers in blood, lifting the sheet and moving his hand up towards her middle. Reduce the shots of blood trickling on victim's neck

In addition the cropping for the Carlton DVD version has masked partial nudity in many shots. There are rumours of other cuts but these seem to be based on publicity stills showing scenes never actually shot.

 

11th July

  A Cluster of Complaints...

Campaigners object to Transport for London accepting advertising from Lockheed Martin
Link Here

photo poster F 16 Aggressor size Transport for London (TfL) have been criticised by campaigners for accepting advertisements for Lockheed Martin. In particular the massive defence company is targeted for the continued production of cluster bombs.

Director of Handicap International UK Aleema Shivji told The Scoop:

As long as cluster bombs continue to be produced, they will continue to kill and maim innocent people, with civilians representing a staggering 98% of recorded casualties. Handicap International teams witness the terrible impact of cluster bombs every day and meet victims unable to access the support they need to rebuild their lives. We are therefore saddened to see that TfL is earning advertising money from a company that makes cluster bombs, particularly when the UK banned these weapons in 2008 by signing the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon said:

This sends out the wrong message as to the type of business that London welcomes and the Mayor should instruct TfL to cancel Lockheed Martin's bookings of ad space on London's transport network.

Transport for London said:

Lockheed Martin is a legitimate company and as such is entitled to purchase advertising on public transport from TfL's advertising contractors.

 

11th July

 Update: One Hundred Cuts...

The Dirty Picture suffers in the name of a primetime TV broadcast
Link Here  full story: TV Censorship in India...India considers the regulation of TV for adults

The Dirty Picture Vidya Balan The Dirty Picture has been passed for daytime TV broadcast after nearly 100 cuts.

The controversial A (18) rated film had already suffered 59 cuts for a U/A certificate that would allow it to be shown on TV after 11pm.

Sources said the producers of the film approached the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) volunteering an additional 40 cuts for a U certificate. Certain words have been muted while 3-4 minutes of the film have been chopped off.

The Information and Broadcasting ministry had previously stepped in to stop screening of The Dirty Picture on prime time TV after an April 19 order of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had asked the ministry to ensure that the telecast of the movie did not violate guidelines.

The I&B ministry had then turned to CBFC for advice which had said the U/A certificate given to the film after several cuts meant that parental guidance was a must. CBFC had also asked the ministry to tell all channels, which are planning to telecast U/A rated movies in near future , to do so only after 11 pm.

 

11th July

 Update: Royal Pardon...

Joe Gordon jailed on lese majeste charges has been freed after a royal pardon
Link Here  full story: Lese Majeste in Thailand...Criticising the monarchy is a serious crime

Thailand flagAn American Thai sentenced to two and a half years in Thai prison for translating a banned biography about the country's king and posting the content online has been freed by a royal pardon, the U.S. Embassy has announced.

Joe Gordon was convicted in December for translating excerpts of the book into Thai. The punishment was a high-profile example of the severe sentences meted out for criticism of the monarchy.

No reason was given for the pardon, but U.S. officials have pressed Thai authorities to release the Thai-born American since he was first detained in May 2011. US Embassy spokesman Walter Braunohler said.

We are pleased that His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej granted Joe Gordon a royal pardon, which allowed him to be released from prison, Braunohler said. We urge Thai authorities on a regular basis, both privately and publically, in Bangkok and in Washington, to ensure that freedom of expression is protected in accordance with its international obligations.

 

11th July

 Offsite Article: Truth Will Out...

Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
Collapse of Great Firewall of China is inevitable, Google Chairman predicts

See article from computerworld.com

 

10th July

  Given the Cheeky Finger...

Ofcom find that Gavin and Stacey is not suitable for Saturday morning, even with edits
Link Here

Gavin And Stacey Complete Series Gavin and Stacey
GOLD, 25 February 2012, 10:00

Gavin and Stacey is a sitcom which features the long-distance relationship of two characters, Gavin from Essex and Stacey from Wales, and their friends, Smithy and Nessa, and their families. The first series was originally broadcast post-watershed on BBC 3 in 2007.

This particular programme broadcast at 10:00 on a Saturday, on the classic comedy channel GOLD, was an editted repeat of the first episode of the first series of this long running sitcom.

The licensee for the service GOLD is UK Gold Services (UKTV).

Ofcom was alerted by a complainant to this programme because it featured several examples of offensive language and content with adult themes and sexual references throughout the narrative. Ofcom reviewed the material and noted, for example:

  • an opening scene outside Stacey's house in Wales where she talks to her elderly neighbour, Doris, about Stacey's forthcoming trip to London for her first date with Gavin. Doris advises Stacey, don't go giving him nothing on the first night ... well not nothing ... a kiss, a cuddle, a cheeky finger – just don't go selling him the whole farm ;

  • a scene where Gavin and Smithy discuss going back with Nessa and Stacey to their hotel and Smithy asks Gavin, you got any johnnies? I ain't going in there bareback ; to which Nessa replied: don't worry I've got a stash – ribbed ;

  • a scene back at the hotel where Nessa makes clear the reasons for returning there are to have sex and says, why don't we cut to the chase and we'll all get some, and she reaches her hand towards Smithy's genital area. She then goes on to say, I hopes you hungry big boy, and slaps his backside;

  • a scene the next morning when Smithy wakes up after spending the night with Nessa and tells Gavin, I feel like I've been abused. The guilt...She did things. She put things in...did Stacey stick things in? He then gets out of bed wearing Nessa's red lacy thong which reveals his buttocks;

  • a scene where Nessa responds to a coach driver's offer of a meal by threatening to tell everyone on the coach about her trip to the doctors following a previous sexual liaison with the driver. She says he is riddled as she looks down at his genital area. In response the driver asks how everything is down there as he looks down and nods towards Nessa's genitals; and

  • various examples of offensive language, for example: bloody , shit , takes the piss , cacking myself , prick , and bugger .

Ofcom considered Rule 1.3 of the Code:

Children must ... be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.

UKTV stated that it believed the subject matter of Gavin and Stacey is suitable for broadcast pre watershed as it portrays the relationship and subsequent marriage of two people.

With regard to the sexual references, UKTV considered that those remaining in the episode were oblique enough for children not to fully understand the true meaning .

In addition, the broadcaster explained, edits were made to remove: the strongest language; milder language said in an aggressive manner; and, the stronger sexual content. Further, UKTV stated the audience of Gavin and Stacey would expect some milder language from characters such as Smithy and Nessa and the language used in the episodes had been broadcast in other programmes pre-watershed on GOLD. without complaint. Therefore, in UKTV's view, the language would not have exceeded the audience's expectation.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.3

In Ofcom's view, overall this episode clearly included themes and content aimed at an adult audience, as might be expected for a series originally produced for post-watershed transmission. These themes and content centred, in the first episode, on a narrative about two groups of friends meeting up for the first time, each couple having sex in a hotel room the first night after meeting, and the consequences for both couples afterwards.

The programme included a number of sexual references which were not necessarily sexually explicit but, in Ofcom's view, clearly exceeded comic innuendo and were aimed at a more adult audience. These references were made throughout this episode and the language used was central to the comedy and the characterisation, particularly of Nessa and Smithy. The sexual references were particularly integral to the comedy scenes revolving around the couples returning to the hotel to have sex

Ofcom considered that it was the overall tone and cumulative impact of the sexual language and references throughout the programme which resulted in this material being of a more adult nature and which made this episode unsuitable for scheduling on a Saturday morning, when it was reasonably likely that children would be in the audience. While Ofcom accepts that some of the audience of 10 to 14 year olds may have fully understood the sexual references and they and their parents may have considered this programme suitable viewing, Ofcom has a duty to protect all children under the age of 15 from potentially unsuitable content.

All broadcasters need to be aware of the need to take great care when considering the scheduling pre-watershed of programmes originally produced for post-watershed transmission.

Breach of Rule 1.3

 

10th July

 Updated: The Harry Novak Collection Volume 2...

New UK DVD collection released by Revelation Films
Link Here

The Harry Novak Collection Notorious The Harry Novak Collection: Volume 2

UK: Passed 18 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Freemantlemedia/Revelation Harry Novak Collection 2 R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 9th July 2012

The Notorious Cleopatra

1970 US erotic comedy by Peter Perry Jr. With Loray White, Johnny Rocco and Jay Edwards. See IMDb

It was last released in the UK when a short version was passed 18 without BBFC cuts for 1986 European Creative VHS.

Wilbur And The Baby Factory

1970 US erotic comedy by Tom McGowan. With Peter Ford, Keith McConnell and Larisa Schubert. See IMDb

It was last released in the UK  when passed X (18) after BBFC cuts for 1972 cinema release

The Toy Box

1971 erotic Sci-Fi horror by Ronald Víctor García. With Sean Kenney, Ann Perry and Neal Bishop. See IMDb

Last seen in the UK on pre-cert VHS.

Promotional Material:

The King of psychedelic swing(ing) is back! Legendary film maker Harry Novak returns with three more slices of outrageous smut, propelling us on a journey down the pits of bad taste and sleaze. Little is left to the imagination as Harry serves up a cocktail of orgy madness and grindhouse mayhem that will bring instant gratification to the most educated of perverse minds!

The Notorious Cleopatra - Historical accuracy is flushed down the aqueduct in Novak s bawdy parody of Shakespeare's early tragedy. Dispensing with the play's poetry for nudity and sexual frolics, Caesar is portrayed as a grotesque slob lamenting the lack of beauty amongst his daily orgies. The arrival of the stunning Cleopatra (played by Afro-American actress Sonora) adds a touch of exotica, however proves more than a handful for the infatuated Mark Anthony. Events take a sinister turn as jealousy overcomes both men in their passion for the Queen of the Nile, leading to a bloodbath of murder and mayhem. Cleopatra or not, you sure are a stacked bitch!

Wilbur And The Baby Factory - Just as activist stud Wilbur Steele (Peter Ford) is about to be drafted off to Vietnam, two strange men step in and persuade him to take part in a bizarre experiment involving impregnating 2000 women! Saved from the draft, Wilbur is happy to lend his services, only to soon realise he s a human guinea pig for birth control and part of a mad plot to sterilise the whole of the United States. Stuart Lancaster (Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!) plays the benefactor behind the experiment, a deranged billionaire whose manhood is the size of a peanut .

The Toy Box - Possibly cinema's first mix of sex, sci-fi, horror and drugs! Widely considered Novak s finest sexploitation movie, The Toy Box revolves around a swingers party, where the guests act out sexually perverse scenarios for a man called Uncle to obtain gifts from a mysterious toy box. Starring the lush, buxom goddess Uschi Digard, this is a hallucinatory, delirious and widely erotic spectacle that is a must-have for every fan of cult, horror or sleaze.

 

10th July

 Update: Addicted to Self Importance...

More health researchers call for an R Rating for movies with smoking
Link Here  full story: Adult Rating for Smoking...Anti-smoking lobby for 18 for smoking in films

Krew Coffin ash tray Another team of health campaigners feel that the US film censorship system should be used to further their pet cause.

Movies that show actors smoking tobacco should automatically earn an R rating in order to minimize copycat smoking among impressionable tweens and teenagers, the authors of a new study suggest. Lead author James D. Sargent, M.D., a cancer-prevention specialist and professor of pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical School, in Lebanon, N.H. said:

The movie industry [should] treat smoking like it treats profanity and sex and violence. If saying the 'F' word twice gets you an R rating, certainly something as important as smoking should get you an R rating.

He seems to be saying that because the censorship scheme is naff in one area, then they may as well make it even more naff in another area. There is no comment from team on how this will effect the all important credibility of film ratings.

The study, which appears in the August issue of the journal Pediatrics , was designed in part to refute the notion that it's difficult to untangle movie smoking from the many other situations, both on-screen and off, that may contribute to adolescent impulses.

PG-13 films account for nearly two-thirds of the smoking scenes adolescents see on the big screen, according to the two-year study, which surveyed roughly 5,000 children ages 10 to 14 about the movies they'd seen and whether they'd ever tried a cigarette.

Smoking in PG-13 films---including background shots and other passing instances---was just as strongly linked with real-world experimentation as the smoking in R-rated films. For every 500 smoking scenes a child saw in PG-13 movies, his or her likelihood of trying cigarettes increased by 49%. The comparable figure for R-rated movies was 33%, a statistically negligible difference.

Assigning an R rating to all movies portraying smoking would lower the proportion of kids who try cigarettes at this age by 18%, the authors estimate. (Children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult to buy a ticket for an R-rated movie.)

Sargent and his colleagues can't prove from this study alone that movies incite kids to smoke. But they did zero in on movies by controlling for a wide range of extenuating factors, including race, household income, school performance, parenting styles, smoking among friends and family members, and even personality traits such as rebelliousness.

Since 2007, the MPAA has included smoking among its key ratings criteria, along with language, sex, violence, and drug use. According to the association, film raters consider smoking in this broader context, and they also consider how frequent, glamorized, or historically relevant it is.

 

9th July   

Updated: Stormhouse...

Stormhouse released on UK DVD but cut by the BBFC for a 15 rating
Link Here

Stormhouse DVD Katherine Flynn Stormhouse is a 2011 UK horror thriller by Dan Turner.
With Grant Masters, Patrick Flynn and Grahame Fox. See IMDb

UK: Passed 15 for strong language and bloody violence after 1s of BBFC cuts for category for:
  • UK 2012 High Fliers R2 DVD for release on 9th July 2012

The BBFC commented:

  • The company chose to remove a crude and aggressive use of very strong language in order to obtain a 15 classification. An uncut 18 classification was available.

US: Uncut and MPAA R Rated for:

Promotional Material

In 2002, 11 months before the invasion of Iraq, the military captured and imprisoned a supernatural entity at Stormhouse, a secret underground base. This film documents the final four days of that experiment. Ghost whisperer Hayley Sands is brought to Stormhouse by the government to make contact with the captured entity. Her arrival triggers a series of events which lead to the entity's escape, plunging the base into a horrific nightmare.

Features:

  • Behind the Scenes
  • Interverviews
  • Featurette

 

9th July

 Obituary: Ernest Borgnine...

A long acting career, featuring many melon farming movies, comes to an end
Link Here

Wild Bunch Blu ray Region Free Hollywood screen star Ernest Borgnine has died aged 95.

The star died of renal failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles with his wife and children at his side, a spokesman said.

In the early 1950s, Borgnine gained notoriety for playing Fatso Judson, the villain who beat Frank Sinatra to death in From Here to Eternity . He later starred in 1950s action blockbusters Three Bad Men , Barabbas , The Dirty Dozen and The Wild Bunch. He also appeared in

  • 1981 Deadly Blessing as Isaiah Schmidt
  • 1981 Escape from New York as Cabbie
  • 1975 The Devil's Rain as Jonathan Corbis

In 1955, he won the best-actor Oscar for playing a lovesick butcher in Marty , a low-budget film starring Rod Steiger.

 

9th July

  Knowing Buddha Organisation Recommends...

Walt Disney's Buddies
Link Here

Buddies Pack Box Set DVD A new Bangkok-based group took to Khao San Road to voice their disapproval of Buddha the cartoon dog and local souvenirs they feel are offensive.

The Knowing Buddha Organization demands an end to all commercialization of Buddha, including retail statues, wall hangings, T-shirts, sex toys, furniture, tattoos and other decorations within Thailand and worldwide.

One particular example particularly rankles the organization. Buddies is a series of children's movies from Walt Disney. It features a big dog named Buddha, who avoids meat and stress, enjoys yoga and meditation, and eats out of a dish on the floor labeled with his name. The Buddies are named Budderball, RoseBud, B-Dawg, MudBud and Buddha.

Acharavadee Wongsakon says she created the Knowing Buddha protest movement after seeing Walt Disney's Buddha dog in a film rented by her daughter. She said:

If you [Disney] put this with Jesus's name, or Mohammad's, I don't think you'd have a place to stand in the world. Because those people, their religions, they're strong.

We would like to ask the Buddhists around the world to boycott the 'Buddies' movies.

We want Disney to stop using the name Buddha for a dog. No need to cancel the series, just remove that character, or change the name. The public should feel shocked.

We will ask Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to do what they can.

During the protest, Knowing Buddha Organization also unveiled a List of Disrespectful Businesses!! naming bars, hotels, shops, spas, restaurants and other venues in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere -- plus their websites.

In Thailand, they targeted Buddhi Belly, a frozen yogurt franchise with several cafe's in Bangkok.

But America is seen as the main offender. Acharavadee explained:

Our major problem cases are in the United States -- in Los Angeles and New York especially -- with the film industry giving the wrong impression of how to treat the Buddha image.

In L.A., it is considered hip if you have a Buddha statue in your place as a decorative item. In New York, there is a tattoo group which tattoos Buddha on peoples' legs. They have a statue of a person, where a dog's head replaces the Buddha head, she says.

We would ask the [Buddha] Bar in Chinatown, in San Francisco, to stop using his name and image, 

 

8th July

  Margaret...

The critically acclaimed film features the Director's Extended Version for its UK DVD release
Link Here

Margaret DVD Anna Paquin Margaret is a 2011 US drama by Kenneth Lonergan.
With Anna Paquin, Matt Damon and Mark Ruffalo. See IMDb

UK : The Extended Version was passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 20th Century Fox R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 2nd July 2012

The director was timed out by his producers and a Theatrical version was produced without further input from the Director.  However Lonergan seems to have approved the end result.

After a very good critical reception. the distributors resurrected the longer original for home video release.

The US release features both the Theatrical Version and an Director's extended version.

Promotional Material:

A young woman witnesses a bus accident, and is caught up in the aftermath, where the question of whether or not it was intentional affects many people's lives.

 

8th July

 Update: Facebook Acts as Judge, Jury and Executioner...

Facebook condemned by Article 19 for rubbish censorship procedures that were exploited to help hide allegations of torture in Syria
Link Here  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor

article 19 logoFacebook has apologised after it incompetently deleted a free speech group's post on human rights abuses in Syria. The website removed a status update by Article 19, which campaigns for freedom of speech, that linked to a Human Rights Watch report detailing alleged torture in the Arab country.

Dr Agnes Callamard, the executive director of Article 19, accused Facebook of acting like judge, jury and executioner in the way it removes material from the website.

Facebook told the Guardian that the post was mistakenly removed after being reported as containing offensive content. A spokesman said:

The link was reported to Facebook. We assess such reports manually and because of the high volume, occasionally content that shouldn't be taken down is removed by mistake. We're sorry about this. The organisation concerned should try posting the link again.

Dr Agnes Callamard, the executive director of Article 19, was somewhat underwhelmed by Facebook's censorship procedure. She said:

The deletion shows the looming threat of private censorship. We commend Facebook for creating tools to report abuse, but if your post was wrongly deleted for any reason, there is no way to appeal. Facebook don't notify you before deleting a comment and they don't tell you why after they have. Facebook act like judge, jury and executioner.

Facebook is now widely recognised as a quasi-public space and as such has responsibilities when it comes to respecting free speech. They can't just delete content without some kind of transparent and accountable system. International law says that censorship is only acceptable when it is clearly prescribed, is for a legitimate aim -- such as for public health -- and is necessary in a democracy.

 

8th July

  Advertising Dries Up...

Russia bans alcohol advertising
Link Here

eristoff speak russian advertRussia's lower house of parliament, the Duma, has approved a law that prohibits advertising alcohol drinks in the Russian locale of the internet and in print media.

The law will come into force from Jan 1, 2013.

Experts and market participants polled by the Prime news agency said it would be hard to enforce the ban and it might result in an outflow of advertisers to foreign websites.

 

7th July

 Offsite Article: From the BBFC Archive: The Exorcist...

Link Here
BBFC Director Stephen Murphy explained: 'The film is much less a problem of censorship than a social phenomenon' But James Ferman decided to ban it from home video anyway.

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

7th July

  White Collar Hooligan...

Good reviews for a British crime thriller just released on UK DVD
Link Here
Rise Fall White Collar Hooligan White Collar Hooligan is a 2012 UK crime drama by Paul Tanter.
With Nick Nevern, Simon Phillips and Rita Ramnani. See IMDb

Passed 18 uncut for very strong language for:

  • UK 2012 Technicolor/Momentum R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 2nd July 2012

There are no censorship issues with this release.

Promotional Material:

Football hooligan Mike Jacobs is going nowhere in life when he meets old friend Eddie Hill at a riot. Under Eddie's tutelage he soon finds himself inducted into the world of credit card fraud, where organised gangs withdraw hundreds of thousands of pounds from cash machines every night.

As Mike becomes seduced by the money and women that come with his new lifestyle, the dangers increase and he soon finds events spiralling beyond his control.

 

7th July

  UN Agrees that Internet Access is a Human Right...

And Hilary Clinton blasts countries like Britain for persecuting people over a few tweets
Link Here

UN logoThe United Nations Human Rights Council has unanimously agreed that access to the Internet is a basic human right, in a resolution stating that access to the Internet and online freedom of expression should be guaranteed.

US ambassador Eileen Donahoe told reporters:

It's the first ever U.N. resolution affirming that human rights in the digital realm must be protected and promoted to the same extent and with the same commitment as human rights in the physical world.

US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton commented, obviously having a knock at UK's persecution of Twitter users:

This resolution is a welcome addition in the fight for the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms online.

We are witnessing an alarming surge in the number of cases involving government censorship and persecution of individuals for their actions online - sometimes for just a single tweet or text message.

 

6th July

  After Ten Years of Watching Flange...

Quentin Thomas steps down as President of the BBFC
Link Here

Quentin ThomasAfter 10 years as President of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), Sir Quentin Thomas has decided to retire from the post. An advertisement for an open competition to choose his successor has been placed today and Sir Quentin Thomas will remain in post until a successor is selected.

Sir Quentin Thomas said:

It has been a great privilege and pleasure to serve as President. The Board has a great team under the effective leadership of its Director David Cooke. There is an enthusiastic staff with an unrivalled knowledge of film and of the regulatory issues; and I have been fortunate in my colleagues in the Presidential team and in the support of the Council of Management under Graham Lee and his predecessor Ewart Needham.

When I was appointed Ali G said it was the best job in the world as you got to watch porn all day . He was wrong about the porn but right that it is a great job, with ample opportunity to sample the range, depth and diversity of film.

I hope and believe the public and the industry appreciate the work the Board has done, now for some 100 years. It is important we retain their confidence as film continues to explore the full range of human experience, inevitably pushing at the boundaries as it does so.

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said:

I am very sorry that we have been unable to persuade Sir Quentin to stay on. His ten years as President have seen the BBFC's Classification Guidelines, based on wide public consultation, achieve high levels of public and industry trust. He has also overseen improved efficiency and speed of decisions, innovative new services for video-on-demand, and the provision of rich and helpful content information to the public. On behalf of all the staff at the BBFC I want to thank him and wish him well for the future.

 

6th July

  Zombie 108...

New UK DVD of a Taiwan horror by Joe Chein
Link Here

Zombie 108 DVD Yvonne Yao Zombie 108 is a 2012 Taiwan horror by Joe Chein.
With Morris Rong, Yvonne Yao and Sona Eyambe. See IMDb

Passed 18 uncut for strong sexualised violence, sexual images and gore for:

  • UK 2012 Showbox R1 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 2nd July 2012

There are no censorship issues with this release.

See  Fancy a Quick Bite to Eat? from  cinema-extreme.blogspot.com

Promotional Material

After a catastrophic accident at a top secret research lab, a deadly virus is released into the city and all hell breaks loose.

Controlled by a local crime lord, District 108 is the one place in the city the police don't want to go on a normal day. But today is not a normal day, and the crack SWAT team ordered to help evacuate the uninfected must do just that. Met with fierce resistance by the local gangs, both sides suffer heavy casualties before realising that the guys with the guns aren't the real enemy: the zombies are!

With ammunition running low, the two sides join forces to fight for the only thing worth fighting for: a chance to escape from the city and the zombies currently running loose in it!

Disk Features:

  • Trailer
  • Gallery
  • Making of
  • Zombie Photo Gallery

 

6th July

 Update: Calling for Evidence (Rather than Snooping Around for It)...

Parliamentary inquiry calls for evidence about the proposed 'Snooper's Charter'
Link Here

home affairs committeeThe public is being invited to submit evidence on the government's plans for a Snooper's Charter.

This comes as a parliamentary committee launches its inquiry on the draft Communications Data Bill. Conservative peer Lord Blencathra, David Maclean, chairs the joint committee of MPs and peers holding the inquiry and stressed a privacy-security balance. He said:

Each and every one of us will be affected by the bill.

This committee wants to ensure that the draft bill will ensure a sufficient balance between an individuals' privacy and national security.

We intend very thoroughly to examine the government's proposals and hope to hear from interested bodies and organisations about exactly how the changes in technology and the way we use it should be reflected in legislation about access to communication data.

Offsite: Snooped internet records will be made available to foreign police

10th July 2012. See  article from  dailymail.co.uk

Foreign police forces will be able to obtain details of the British public's internet use, emails and text messages.

In a controversial move, MPs were told that officials in Europe and the US will be able to take advantage of the Home Office's proposed snoopers charter.

The information could be used for pursuing UK citizens for crimes which allegedly took place while they were on holiday or over the internet.

In response to a parliamentary question, ministers said police and public authorities overseas would also be free to request access to the mountains of information which will be stored. British officials will then decide whether the data should be provided.

In theory, every nation is free to lodge a request, although Britain's long-standing partners in the EU, plus countries such as the US and Canada, are most likely to be successful.

 

6th July

 Update: Persecuting Internet Porn...

Keir Starmer of the CPS joins those baying for default porn blocking
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

Keir StarmerKeir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said he was worried about the exposure of young people to all sorts of material .

He claimed there could be a link between the easy access to internet pornography for children with emerging research about increasing violence among teenage boyfriends and girlfriends.

The news came after a schoolboy rapist had escaped a jail term because the judge said he had viewed internet pornography. The 14-year-old boy was freed and given a three year community order with supervision after he was found guilty of raping a four year old girl.

The judge in Cambridge justified the sentence on the grounds that the boy had been sexualised by the corruption of pornography , and blamed society for what happened.

Asked about the case on BBC Radio Five Starmer declined to comment on the case or the sentence. But he added: I myself have been concerned about the exposure of young people to all sorts of material, and the emerging research tends to suggest that there is a lot of abuse within teenage relationships.

Last year, in a speech, Starmer warned that the UK was clearly at risk of a whole new generation of domestic violence in teenage relationships. He published figures that suggested 13 year olds to 15 year olds were as likely to experience violence as youths aged over 16. The cited research was carried out by Bristol University and the NSPCC found those from poorer backgrounds are twice as likely to be abused as their better-off counterparts.

Update: More

8th July 2012. See  article from  dailymail.co.uk

Re the 14-year-old boy was freed and given a three year community order with supervision after he was found guilty of raping a four year old girl.

Since sentencing took place this week the victim's parents have been told by the police that while there was porn on the boy's laptop, it was mild and did not feature children.

 

5th July

 Update: Parental Internet Controls...

Government consultation re-opens after privacy failure
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

uk government education logoThe Department of Education has partly resumed its public consultation after recently being taken offline for privacy failures.

The online response form is still removed though. Data provided by users of this service was erroneously made available to other users of the service.

To recap:

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

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

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

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

The questionnaire consults on the merits of three proposed solutions .

Active Choice : customers are presented with an unavoidable choice or series of choices through which they consciously choose whether or not they want filters and blocks installed on their internet service or internet-enabled device.

Opt-in : where the internet service is provided with filters already in place to block access to certain websites (e.g. legal pornography), and the customer has to tell their ISP they wish to opt in to these sites if they want to access them.

Active choice plus : A system that combines features of both systems, where customers are presented with a list of online content that will be blocked automatically unless they choose to unblock them.

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

Meanwhile nutters claim 100,000 signatures to petition calling for default blocking of website content for adults

5th July 2012. See  article from  christian.org.uk

Safer Media100,000 people have signed a petition calling for more to be done to ensure that internet service providers (ISPs) block pornography.

SafetyNet's petition urges the Government to force Internet Service Providers to make accessing pornography an adult only opt-in service .

The campaign was started earlier this year, in a bid to protect children's innocence online, by Premier Christian Media and Safermedia. Miranda Suit, co-Chairman of Safermedia, said:

This figure demonstrates clearly that the British public share our conviction that internet pornography is playing a crucial role in the sexualisation of our children.

Since this petition was launched, there has been a constant stream of news backing up our case, that hardcore online porn is shaping the sexual culture of our young people and doing untold harm.

 

5th July

 Update: A Shared Vote...

One sided copyright measure rejected by the European Parliament
Link Here

European Parliament logoIn a 478 to 39 vote, the European Parliament decided to reject ACTA once and for all.

Six months ago, it was all but certain that ACTA would pass unnoticed in silence. The forces fighting for citizens' rights tried to have it referred to the European Court of Justice in order to test its legality and to buy some time. But then, something happened.

A monster by the name of SOPA appeared in the United States. Thousands of websites went dark on January 18 and millions of voices cried out, leaving Congress shell-shocked over the fact that citizens can get that level of pissed off at corporate special interests. SOPA was killed.

In theory, ACTA could still come into force between the United States and a number of smaller states. Ten states have been negotiating it, and six of those need to ratify it to have it come into force. In theory, this could become a treaty between the United States, Morocco, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, and Switzerland. (But wait, the Mexican Senate has already rejected ACTA. As has Australia and Switzerland in practice.

The European Commissioner responsible for the treaty, Karel de Gucht, has said that he will ignore any rejections and re-table it before the European Parliament until it passes. That's not going to happen. Parliament takes its dignity very seriously and does not tolerate that kind of contempt.

In the wake of the rejection vote, EuroISPA, An organisation of ISPs at the European level, said:

EuroISPA and its members welcome the European Parliament's decision to call for a more balanced approach in the protection of the fundamental rights at stake when the EU negotiates international treaties. The European Parliament found that the intended benefits of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) were far outweighed by the potential threats to civil liberties and the legal uncertainties about the role of Internet Service Providers in enforcing intellectual property rights.

Update: Next!

19th July 2012.  See  article from  independent.co.uk

The European Union has been accused of trying to push through a controversial deal, which would force internet service providers to hand over the personal details of anyone suspected of infringing copyright online, by the back door.

Leaked documents show that the most hotly contested sections of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which was overwhelmingly rejected by the European Parliament less than a week ago, also appear in a trade agreement between the EU and Canada called CETA, negotiations on which are in their final stages.

Experts say that the Agreement's supporters -- who include the European Commission - are trying to get its most controversial provisions past European lawmakers in the knowledge that they would not be able to object to the full Agreement on grounds they have already acceded to in another.

 

5th July

  Knights Templar...

New UK DVD released
Link Here
Knights Templar DVD Paul Sampson Knights Templar is a 2012 US action comedy by David Sampson.
With Paul Sampson, David Carradine and Udo Kier. See IMDb

Passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence and sex for:

  • UK 2012 Signature R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 2nd July 2012

There are no censorship issues with this release

Promotional Details: Dungeons and Dragons

A Medieval Knight resurrects to fulfill his vow and bestow a blood-thirst vengeance upon the kindred spirits of those who betrayed him long ago. In the course of one night, identities will be revealed, destinies met, and a poetic justice of the macabre maniacally served. The stage is set for retribution as an eclectic group is lured to a secluded EUROPEAN CASTLE under the guise of a promised fantasy getaway weekend.

And as they read from an obscure storybook, a nefarious tale of avarice is reenacted for their entertainment. However, they are unaware that they are the cursed and have been gathered for their own personal and befitting executions. Modern day vengeance steeped in a medieval tale of avarice, this one of a kind Indy film is an edgy whirlwind of gripping horror, drama, action, mystery and suspense...interlaced with just the right amount of (disturbing) dark humor.

 

5th July

  No Point Continuing...

Tunisian organisation charged with reducing media censorship disbands citing government censorship
Link Here

inric logoThe independent Tunisian authority charged with reforming the media has announced that it had shut down after failing to achieve its objective, accusing the Islamist-dominated government of censorship.

The body does not see the point in continuing its work and announces that it has terminated its work, said Kamel Labidi, who heads the National Body for the Reform of Information and Communication (INRIC). Labidi said:

The body warns of the gravity of the situation in the realm of information and accuses the government of reverting to forms of censorship and disinformation.

Since this government came to power, we have noticed the absence of concrete measures to reform the (media) sector.

INRIC was created after the revolution that overthrew president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January last year to reform the media sector, and particularly state media organs, to guarantee Tunisia's previously restricted press freedom.

 

5th July

 Offsite Article: Feel free to insult us!...

Link Here
Activists, MPs and faith groups are united against Section 5 of the Public Order Act. By Lord Dear of Willersey, a former Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

4th July

  Nooo...Women's Forums Would Never Say Anything Bad about Men...

But if they did... then one has to address the aggregation of posters, not the forum itself
Link Here

fathers4justice advertA national press ad for Fathers4Justice, seen on Friday 16 March 2012 was headlined Say it with hate this Mother's Day . The ad showed a picture of a toddler with various negative words written all over his body including pig, rioter, wife beater, etc. Text stated Fathers4Justice are writing to all advertisers this Mother's Day to inform them that the Mumsnet web site carries abusive and distressing anti-male content which promotes gender hatred against men and boys. We believe that the general sexist labelling of men and boys as 'rapists', 'paedophiles' and 'wife beaters' is as unacceptable and offensive as racism and homophobia. Fathers4Justice are asking advertisers to suspend their advertising on Mumsnet until founder Justine Roberts adopts a zero tolerance policy to gender hatred. Promote a message of love, not hate this Mother's Day. Join our boycott of Mumsnet at ... .

Ten people complained about the ad.

  1. Eight of the complainants challenged whether the claim Mumsnet web site carries abusive and distressing anti-male content which promotes gender hatred against men and boys was misleading and could be substantiated.

  2. Three of the complainants also challenged whether the claim that Mumsnet had unfairly generalised men and boys as rapists, paedophiles and wife beaters was misleading and could be substantiated.

  3. Five of the complainants also challenged whether the picture of the toddler with various derogatory remarks written over his body was offensive.

1. & 2. Fathers4Justice (F4J) said in their view the ad underplayed the seriousness and gravity of the content they had seen on Mumsnet and supplied the ASA with a number of screenshots of the Mumsnet website which they believed was evidence of highly offensive anti-male gender hatred. They said that they had complained about the content to Mumsnet and asked them to remove this content and commit to a zero tolerance policy on gender hatred but Mumsnet had refused and only some of the content was removed. As such, F4J believed that Mumsnet were responsible for such content.

F4J said that abusive, anti-male content continued to be posted on the site and considered that highlighting this was a matter of public interest and that the ad was an entirely legitimate way of raising this matter.

ASA Decision: Complaints 1. & 2. Upheld

The ASA noted the response from F4J who understood that Mumsnet were responsible for posts written by users on the website's forums. We also noted however that F4J had not sent us anything to suggest that Mumsnet endorsed any of the views expressed on its web forums or any editorial content from the Mumsnet website to suggest that the website owners themselves harboured or promoted gender hatred against men or boys. We also considered that the claim the general sexist labelling of men and boys as 'rapists', 'paedophiles' and 'wife beaters' is as unacceptable and offensive as racism and homophobia in the context of the ad implied that Mumsnet themselves had unfairly generalised men and boys in this way in their editorial content and yet we noted that F4J had also not provided us with any evidence to suggest that this was the case.

We considered that many online web forums and comments sections of websites were likely to feature a range of views from across society, with some views being more extreme than others. Mumsnet said that their forums regularly received over 25,000 posts per day and while it was not possible to monitor all of these posts, they relied on users of the forum to report any content that they considered to be offensive, which Mumsnet would then delete if it breached their terms of use. We contacted Mumsnet who reiterated that they did not tolerate any kind of prejudice on the site and this included any kind of gender bias but users did need to bring this to their attention if action was to be taken. We considered that whilst some users of the website had made negative comments about men in its forums, it was misleading of F4J to imply through this ad that Mumsnet themselves had made or endorsed those comments. We therefore concluded that the ad breached the code.

On points 1. & 2., the ad breached CAP Code rule 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation).

3. Not upheld

We noted the complainants' concerns about the image used in the ad. However, we considered that in the context of the ad it was clear what message F4J were trying to convey by using it, i.e. that the image was supposed to visually represent unfair and offensive labelling of men. While we understood that the image had caused some distress to the complainants, we concluded that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence

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

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We asked F4J not to imply that forum postings on Mumsnet's website indicated endorsement or support from the website itself.

 

4th July

  Keelhauled...

BBC Trust finds that Terry Wogan went overboard with jokes about the Costa Concordia
Link Here

Rock Boat Hues Corporation The BBC Trust has said that Terry Wogan's Radio 2 show breached BBC guidelines, after the presenter made light of the Costa Concordia tragedy.

Nine days after the cruise ship ran aground in January, Wogan made a joke after disco track Rock The Boat was played on his two-hour live Sunday morning show, Weekend Wogan.

As the song faded, he mused on whether it had been an appropriate song and joked about the ship's captain and wanting to be the first in the lifeboat if the BBC went down.

Frankly if I had my time over again, and given the boating tragedy in Italy, I mightn't have picked that as an opening song.

Rock The Boat, argh, Captain Coward.

Later, after the news bulletin he said to the announcer:

I don't know about you ... but I'll be the last to leave the BBC.

Not sinking is it? Me first, never mind the women and children, I'm not even Italian.

The comments were referred to the BBC Trust after the Editorial Complaints Unit ruled that they did not warrant a public apology.

The trust's Editorial Standards Committee, which acts as the final arbiter of appeals if complainants are unhappy with the way their initial complaints have been dealt with by BBC management, said it was surprised that there had not been an on-air apology. The trust said that Wogan's remarks were:

characteristically self-deprecating, joking about his own lack of bravery rather than the victims of the tragedy itself,

In this context the committee did not believe there had been any intention to cause offence. The committee, however, did conclude that there was a real risk of causing offence and in this context the guidelines had been breached. The committee expressed surprise that the BBC did not apologise on-air on the day.

However the BBC Trust ruled out the need for further sanction.

 

4th July

 Obituary: David Webb...

Campaigner noted for the National Campaign for the Reform of the Obscene Publications Acts (NCROPA)
Link Here

Tale Two Cities 2 DVD Set IDavid Webb, Director of the National Campaign for the Reform of the Obscene Publications Acts (NCROPA) died of cancer on 30th June 2012.

David Webb's organisation was particularly well known in the pre-internet era when the likes of Mary Whitehouse were banging on about obscenity in the media.

Fellow campaigner Sean Gabb writes:

It is partly thanks to David's tireless, and often thankless, campaigning over the years that we enjoy our present semi-relaxation of the laws against sexual expression.

I helped publicise his campaign against the Customs and Excise in the 1990s, when he challenged their use of the Customs Consolidation Act 1876 to seize a mass of pornographic videos that he had imported from Holland and declared on arrival here as for personal use! Though his challenge failed on a technicality in the Court of Appeal, the 1876 Act is nowadays used far less aggressively than in the 1980s and 1990s.

I also fondly remember joining him on the platform at the NCROPA fringe meeting at the 1992 Conservative Party conference in Brighton. Otherwise, David was a frequent speaker throughout the United Kingdom on issues of sexual liberation, and he stood for Parliament on more than one occasion.

Outside of campaigning David Webb was a well-known and much-loved actor on stage, screen and television.

 

4th July

  Django Kill...

New US region free Blu-ray release of violent spaghetti western
Link Here

Django Kill Live Shoot Blu ray Django Kill is a 1967 Italy/Spain western by Giulio Questi.
With Tomas Milian, Ray Lovelock and Piero Lulli. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

See  review from  mcbastardsmausoleum.blogspot.com

Summary Review: Sadistic

Mexican outlaw Django is part of a band of thieves that steal a cargo of gold from a stagecoach. However, the Americans in the band betray him, and shoot all the Mexicans. Django is not completely dead though, and crawls his way out of his shallow grave, continuing his pursuit of the gold, and exacting a bloody vengeance.

A strange film, with a lot of sadistic violence and some homo-eroticism. Tomas Milian, plays a anti-hero character with some similarities to Christ, and turns in one of his better performances.

Previous Uncut Releases:

UK: Passed 15 uncut for:

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

Previous Cut Releases:

UK: The shorter American Version was passed X after BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1969 cinema release

 

4th July

 Update: The Age of the Dirty Picture...

India settles on age classifications of 12 and 15 to replace the existing U/A certificate
Link Here

india uaIndia's information and broadcasting ministry and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) want to introduce two age categories, 12+ and 15+ instead of the current U/A category so that parents have some idea on whether a film should be watched by their children or not. A censor board spokesman said:

U/A does not mean the film is okay for children to watch. It means that parents should use their discretion. A clear indication of which age is suitable for a film is the best way to avoid any confusion.

For both 12-plus and 15-plus-certified films, children will have to be accompanied by adults to a theatre and may need to show age proof, if asked. Under current rules, a child of 12 years or older can watch U/A films with adults in a theatre.

Sources in the I&B ministry said it had become imperative for the censor board to ensure clarity on which films could be allowed for unrestricted viewing by children. Officials said the step to review the U/A certification became necessary after an uproar over a TV channel slotting The Dirty Picture in the afternoon, when children are likely to watch television.

The changes will be brought through an amendment to the Cinematograph Act, likely to be tabled in the monsoon session of Parliament.

 

4th July

 Update: Turkish Repression Inspires Dissent...

Musician jailed for quoting revolutionary leaders as inspiration
Link Here  full story: Music Censorship in Turkey...Musician under duress from Turkish authorities

Qurbana Caven Te Ferhat Tunc, one of Turkey's most popular and outspoken musicians, last week found himself on the wrong side of the law, when a court sentenced him to two years in prison.

In 2011, Tunc, an Index on Censorship Free Expression prize winner, stood an independent parliamentary candidate for Labour, Democracy and Freedom Bloc. During a speech in Tunceli, where he was standing for election, he referred to three political figures, Ibrahim Kaypakkaya, Mahir Cayan and Deniz Gezmis, whose revolutionary spirit he announced to have shared in his own political struggle.

These long-deceased political figures have become symbols for some of Turkey's socialists over the last four decades. Their images often appear on t-shirts, souvenirs and Istanbul's walls in the form of graffiti. All waged an armed war against Turkish state and were captured and executed as a result. But they have little following in society (radical left parties rarely get more than 0.1% of votes) and like Che Guevara, their names often stand for youthful romanticism, rather than hard politics.

But according to the Malatya court, the enunciation of their names is a direct reference to the outlawed Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP). Tunc, has now been convicted of propagandising for the group.

The singer has said he will appeal and his lawyer, Ercan Kanar announced they would bring the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

 

4th July

 Offsite Article: Should We Keep Religion Out of Games?...

Link Here
Well it depends how scary the religion is

See article from uk.ign.com

 

4th July

 Offsite Article: Lashings of Bullshit...

Link Here  full story: Fifty Shades of Grey...BDSM book scores an international hit
Hospitals are full of people injured after playing out fantasies inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey. Samantha Brick spews nonsense in a TV appearance on ITV's This Morning

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

3rd July

  Twitter Transparency Report...

Twitter joins Google and reports on pressure from governments and companies to censor tweets
Link Here

twitter transparency report Twitter writes on its blog:

Wednesday marks Independence Day here in the United States. Beyond the fireworks and barbecue, July 4th serves as an important reminder of the need to hold governments accountable, especially on behalf of those who may not have a chance to do so themselves.

With that in mind, today we're unveiling our first Twitter Transparency Report. Inspired by the great work done by our peers @Google, the primary goal of this report is to shed more light on:

government requests received for user information, government requests received to withhold content, and DMCA takedown notices received from copyright holders.

The report also provides insight into whether or not we take action on these requests.

One of our goals is to grow Twitter in a way that makes us proud. This ideal informs many of our policies and guides us in making difficult decisions. One example is our long-standing policy to proactively notify users of requests for their account information unless we're prohibited by law; another example is transmitting DMCA takedown notices and requests to withhold content to Chilling Effects. These policies help inform people, increase awareness and hold all involved parties----including ourselves----more accountable; the release of our first Transparency Report aims to further these ambitions.

We've received more government requests in the first half of 2012, as outlined in this initial dataset, than in the entirety of 2011. Moving forward, we'll be publishing an updated version of this information twice a year.

Twitter reports for the first half of 2012

  • 849 requests for information about 1181 users of which 63% were at least partially provided
  • 3379 copyright take down requests covering 5874 accounts. 38% of the requests were enacted removing 5275 tweets and 599 media items

 

3rd July

  Game On...

Rajan Zed smitten by a new online battle arena featuring hindu dieties
Link Here

smite logoThe perennial hindu whinger, Rajan Zed, has expressed his 'dismay' over Hi-Rez Studios decision not to remove Hindu deities such as the goddess Kali from the multiplayer online battle arena game, SMITE.

Zed called on Hi-Rez Studios to remove Hindu deities Kali, Agni and Vamana from SMITE. Zed added:

Moreover, portrayal of goddess Kali, who was highly revered by Hindus, appeared like a porno star in the SMITE version shown on the company website, which was quite distressing for the devotees.

Game makers should be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects and no faith, larger or smaller, should be plundered. As these games left lasting impact on the minds of highly impressionable children, teens and other young people; it would create more misunderstandings about Hinduism, which was already a highly misunderstood religion in the West.

Chief Operating Officer Todd Harris said that Hinduism was an inspiration for the deities in the game along with other mythologies from the Norse, Greek, Chinese and Egyptian cultures. He went on to say that the PC title would receive more deities, not fewer.

A Hi-Rez says the company has no plans to add jewish, christian and islamic figures because they are not that interesting in character design or gameplay. [And of course can be more threatening than a little whinge from Rajan Zed].

 

3rd July

 Update: Polarised Opinion...

BBC answer whinges about EastEnders story line featuring bi-polar disorder
Link Here  full story: Eastenders...Eastenders TV programme complaints

Eastenders The Slaters Detention DVD Complaint

We've received complaints from some viewers unhappy with certain aspects of the EastEnders storyline involving Michael Moon and Jean Slater.

BBC response

We acknowledge that some viewers have concerns about the Michael and Jean storyline, and that some feel the depiction of bi polar, as portrayed through Jean Slater, is unrealistic. It is important to note that Jean Slater is not intended to be representative of everybody with bi polar disorder. We treat all of our characters as individuals, with their own sets of behaviours and opinions, and there's no suggestion that all of Jean's characteristics are linked to her condition.

We work closely with a number of experts in the mental health field to ensure that we are as accurate as possible when it comes to Jean's bi polar, her medication, the impact it has on her and those around her, and attitudes and prejudices towards her.

Michael is a well-established villain, intent on destroying others for his own twisted motives, and the current storyline is completely in keeping with his character. The audience were aware from the start that it was Jean who was telling the truth even when other characters doubted her. In Friday's episode Alfie, Kat and Janine learned the truth, and Jean was completely exonerated.

 

3rd July

  Project X...

More partying in the new UK Extended Version but only available on Blu-ray
Link Here
Project Extended Cut Blu ray Digital Project X is a 2012 US comedy by Nima Nourizadeh.
With Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper and Jonathan Daniel Brown. See IMDb

UK: The Extended Version is released for drug use, strong sex references, and very strong language:

  • UK 2012 Warner [Theatrical + Extended] R0 Blu-ray/R2 DVD at UK Amazon   just released on 2nd July 2012

See pictorial cuts details from movie-censorship.com . The Unrated Version adds some extra partying with a few more breast being revealed along with a bit of gross behaviour. Nothing too controversial though.

UK: The Theatrical Version was passed 18 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Warner [Theatrical + Extended] R0 Blu-ray/R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 2nd July 2012
  • UK 2012 Warner R2 DVD  at UK Amazon just released on 2nd July 2012
  • UK 2012 cinema release

US: recently released on 19th June 2012

 

3rd July

 Campaign: Declaration of Internet Freedom...

A global petition to keep the internet free and open
Link Here

declaration of internet freedom logo Launched by a large coalition of privacy groups, Web sites, and individuals, the Declaration of Internet Freedom is the start of a process striving to keep the Internet free and open. The organizations and people who kicked off this process are looking for other Internet users to discuss the ideas, share their own thoughts, and sign the declaration.

The Declaration of Internet Freedom advocates five basic principles:

  • Expression : Don't censor the Internet.
     
  • Access : Promote universal access to fast and affordable networks.
     
  • Openness : Keep the Internet an open network where everyone is free to connect, communicate, write, read, watch, speak, listen, learn, create, and innovate.
     
  • Innovation : Protect the freedom to innovate and create without permission. Don't block new technologies, and don't punish innovators for their users' actions.
     
  • Privacy : Protect privacy and defend everyone's ability to control how their data and devices are used.

See signup for organisations from internetdeclaration.org
See signup for individuals from act.freepress.net

 

3rd July

 Update: Uneconomic...

The Government set to repeal unused internet site blocking sections of the Digital Economy Act
Link Here  full story: Digital Economy Act...Clause 11 grants government control of the internet

DCMS logoThe UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), said the government will seek to remove two crucial sections of the Digital Economy Act that would have allowed it to impose Web site blocking at the ISP level.

According to DCMS, the department in charge of the Digital Economy Act (2010), the government will seek to repeal sections 17 and 18 of the law.

The two sections are arguably the most controversial elements of the act. Section 17 allows the government to seek a court order against any location on the Internet deemed to facilitate or actively infringe copyright, while section 18 sets out the approvals process the government must go through to get such orders granted.

The decision to seek the repeal of the two sections follows a report in May 2011 by Ofcom, the U.K.'s communications regulator, which concluded that the measures would not work in practice. We do not think that sections 17 and 18 of the Act would meet the requirements of the copyright owners, the report said.

It said using the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 through the courts was a faster and more efficient way to get sites blocked. The government said a few months later that it would not bring forward the site-blocking provisions.

 

3rd July

 Offsite Article: Why the UK's porn filter plans are just an illusion...

Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn
Britain is, once again, looking at the possibility of applying pressure on internet users to filter out pornography, a policy loved by politicians and disliked by internet providers that, like a cat with a hairball, comes up every few months.

See article from gigaom.com

 

2nd July

  Extreme Concern...

Consenting Adult Action Network (CAAN) July 2012 Newsletter
Link Here

caan july 2012The excellent campaigners of Consenting Adult Action Network (CAAN) have just published their newsletter for July 2012.

This newsletter focuses on issues of extreme porn:

  • How is the legislation panning out?
  • Has their been any progress on firming up the meanings of the vague terms in the law?
  • How is the law impinging on BDSM?
  • How can the law be challenged?
  • How is it related to the continuing enforcement of UK obscenity law?
  • How is the Scottish variant of the law being implemented?

 

2nd July

  This Means War...

McG's comedy spy film released in the UK as an uncut Blu-ray and a cut DVD
Link Here

This Means Blu ray Digital copy This Means War is a US 2012 action comedy by McG.
With Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy. See IMDb

Extended Version

UK:   The Unrated/Extended Version was passed 15 uncut for strong language and crude sex references for:

  • UK 2012 20th Century Fox RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released today on 2nd July 2012.

See article from movie-censorship.com : Just a Bluff

The Unrated Version will feature an additional 7:22s minutes of material. A comparison of the two versions identifies the Director's Cut as a bluff package. The only sexual content is a harmless intro in a James Bond style. The most of the additional running time consists of an uncontroversial fake family scene . 'Fuck' can be heard twice in this scene. However, it is doubtful that this was the reason it was removed from the movie. More likely it was because the scenes slows down the movie, which is already losing speed at that point..

Theatrical Version

UK: The cut Theatrical Version was passed 12A without BBFC cuts for moderate violence & sex references & one use of strong language for:

  • UK 2012 20th Century Fox R2 DVD at UK Amazon released today on 2nd July 2012.
  • UK 2012 cinema release

In the US Fox cut out a few sex jokes from actress Chelsea Handler. The cuts were to avoid the R Rating handed down by the US film censors and obtain a PG-13 instead. Before making cuts Fox did in fact try to appeal against the R Rating but the appeal was turned down.

 

2nd July

 Update: Lifeline Recommends...

Princess Die, a new song by Lady GaGa
Link Here  full story: Lady GaGa...Winding up the nutters with sex and religion

lady gaga princess die videoLady Gaga has come under nutter fire for her new song about Princess Diana's death.

She premiered the new track, Princess Die , in Melbourne, Australia and 'outraged' royal fans with her lyrics, which appears to reference the Princess of Wales' tragic death in a Paris car accident in 1997. Gaga sings:

And wish that I would go
In my rich boyfriend's limo
Right after he proposed
With a 16-carat stone wrapped in rose gold
With the papparazzi all swarming around
So bob head your head for another dead blonde.

The lyrics have been blasted as distasteful when she says in the song:

I wish that I could cope but I took pills and left a note.

Suicide charities in Australia have slammed the singer's words and are worried about the message she is sending to impressionable fans. Chris Wagner, communications director for Lifeline, said:

We understand artistic license and we get artistic expression, but celebrities need to recognise that they're role models for young people in the community.

GaGa said during her performance that Princess Die may or may not be included on her next album.

 

2nd July

  Swearing Should be Seen and Not Heard...

Deaf community 'outraged' over signing for 'how much for a blowjob?'
Link Here

how much for blowjob videoThe book Super Smutty Sign Language by Kristin Henson has angered and caused protest amongst many members of the deaf community.

An online petition has received around 3,600 signatures asking that the book Super Smutty Sign Language not be printed because many claim that the book promotes disrespectful attitudes to Deaf culture and American Sign Language (ASL).

The book is written by Kristin Henson, a self-proclaimed ASL amateur from Philadelphia. The book comes after a series of YouTube videos where Henson teaches viewers how to sign vulgar phrases, such as, How much for a blow job? and I've got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one.

After word got out that St. Martin's Press would be publishing Henson's book, many in the deaf community spoke up online about their displeasure with Henson's lack of knowledge of ASL and insensitivity to deaf culture.

Deaf rights activist Tavian Robinson wrote a blog post about the book and started the online petition:

It isn't just about her signing skills. It is about a person exploiting a language and culture that does not belong to her for profit while demonstrating extreme cultural insensitivity.

The petition calls for the book to not be published because of Henson's poor ASL skills, where many of her signs are incorrect. It also claims that many of the phrases signed by Henson are sexist, racist, ableist and exploit the native language of deaf people for profit.

UT student Lisa Guerra, who is deaf, believes that it is not right for Henson to be profiting from teaching dirty signs and that Henson can be used as a teaching tool for those who are ignorant of Deaf culture and ASL:

American Sign Language deserves better recognition as a meaningful language than being used for poor humor that offends many, said Guerra. As a deaf person, I get asked to show dirty signs often, but making videos and making a profit from it?

Henson says that her book is currently in the writing stage so she plans to work with native signers to make sure her grammar is correct. She has also been taking ASL classes to improve her signing skills.

 

1st July

 Update: Revealed as Tits...

The Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction legal case comes to an end with the TV censor's massive fines being declared as invalid due to its unannounced policy change
Link Here  full story: FCC TV Censors...FCC wound up by nudity and fleeting expletives

US Supreme CourtThe long legal battle between CBS and the Federal Communications Commission over Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show is over.

The Supreme Court has refused to hear the FCC's request to reinstate a $550,000 indecency fine against CBS for the halftime performance featuring Jackson and Justin Timberlake, who at the end of a song tore a piece of Jackson's top, exposing her bare breast to an audience of about 90 million.

So the legal trail end at the last judgement in November when an appeal court in Philadelphia upheld its earlier ruling that the FCC's indecency fine against the network was invalid. The court didn't say whether the incident was indecent but said the FCC's fine represented an undisclosed change in the enforcement of its policy with regard to fleeting images and hence could not be enforced.

In a statement, CBS said it was gratified to finally put this episode behind us and noted that at every major turn of this process, the lower courts have sided with us. The network added that since the Super Bowl, it has added delays to all live programming to prevent similar incidents from happening.

 

1st July

 Diary: Frightfest 2012...

London horror film festival over the August bank holiday weekend
Link Here

film4 frightfest logo Film4 Frightfest
23-27 August 2012
Empire Cinema, Leicester Square, London

Thursday August 23rd:

  • Opener: The Seasoning House
     
  • Cockneys Vs Zombies
  • Grabbers

Friday August 24th

  • Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut
  • Total Icon: Dario Argento + Movie (to be announced)
  • Hidden In The Woods
  • V/H/S
  • [Rec] 3
  • Genesis
  • Stitche

Saturday August 25th

  • Eurocrime! The Italian Cop And Gangster Films That Ruled The 70s
  • Outpost II: Black Sun
  • Paura 3D
  • Under The Bed
  • Tulpa
  • Maniac

Sunday August 26th

  • The Thompsons
  • The Horror Channel Presents - The International Short Film Showcase + Andy Nyman's Quiz From Hell 3 (Special Event)
  • Sleep Tight
  • Berberian Sound Studio
  • Sinister
  • Dead Sushi

Monday August 27th

  • American Mary
  • After
  • Chained
  • The Possession
     
  • Closing Movie: Tower Block

 

1st July   

Class of Nuke Em High...

Upcoming UK release on Arrow Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD
Link Here

Class Nuke Format Editions Blu Ray Class of Nuke Em High is a 1986 US comedy horror by Richard W. Haines & Michael Herz. With Janelle Brady, Gil Brenton and Robert Prichard. See IMDb

UK: The Director's Cut/Unrated Version was passed 18 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Arrow RB Blu-ray/R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 6th August 2012

Promotional material:

It rotted their bodies. It corrupted their minds. And that's the good news

At Tromaville High School the kids are revolting. Literally. The irradiated marijuana they've been buying from The Cretins, a tough gang of ex-star pupils turned atomic punks, is turning them into freaks. Girls are giving birth to demon babies, the nerds are developing super strength and there's a monster in the school basement that eats honour roll students for breakfast.

Welcome to State education Troma-style, a place where the science lab is kitted out with lasers and nudity is often compulsory. The Class of Nuke Em High will have their work cut out surviving until the final bell, let alone graduation.

So join the Class of Nuke 'Em High in this low rent Troma classic, a straight-to-video masterclass in shlock and awe from the people who brought you Surf Nazi's Must Die.

Features:

  • High Definition Blu-ray and Standard Definition DVD transfer of the unrated Director's Cut of the film
  • Optional English SDH subtitles on the main feature
  • Audio commentary with Troma Studios founder and Class of Nuke 'em High co-director Lloyd Kaufman
  • Interview with stars Robert and Jennifer Prichard
  • Theo Pingarelli on the making of the nuclear power plant effect
  • Troma Studios tour with Llloyd Kaufman
  • Public Service Announcement by Lemmy from Moto"rhead featuring Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of South Park
  • Aroma du Troma
  • Troma Studios Trailer Reel
  • Reversible sleeve with original poster and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphries
  • Collector's Booklet by critic and author David Hayles

Previous Uncut Versions

UK: The Director's Cut/Unrated Version was passed 18 uncut for:

  • UK 2000 Troma R0 DVD via UK Amazon
  • UK 1986 Troma VHS
  • UK 1986 Virgin VHS
  • UK 1986 cinema release

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

Cut Versions

There is a cut US R Rated Version to avoid.