Censor Watch
 2015: September
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  Goosebumps...

Suffering category cuts as it was a bit too scary for PG


Link Here 30th September 2015
Poster Goosebumps 2015 Rob Letterman Goosebumps is a 2015 USA comedy horror adventure by Rob Letterman.
Starring Jack Black, Halston Sage and Odeya Rush. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

UK:  2D and 3D versions were passed PG for frequent scary scenes after BBFC advised pre-cuts for:

  • 2015 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • This film was originally seen for advice. The company was told it was likely to be classified 12A, but that their preferred PG could be achieved by making reductions to one scary scene. When the film was submitted for formal classification, this sequence had been acceptably reduced and the film was passed PG.
US: The film was also cut for an MPAA PG Rating

Producer Neal Moritz told the Collider :

We had some issues with the poodle which I thought wouldn't be an issue, but the poodle kind of scared people a little too far so we had to pull that back a little but not that much.

It is not clear if the UK censors came to the same conclusions as the US censors, or else the British censors further cuts to the version cut for the US censors.

 

 Commented: Studying Censorship...

Warwick University Students Union bans Atheist Society talk that includes criticism of islam


Link Here 30th September 2015
one law for all logo Maryam Namazie of the One Law For All campaign was meant to speak at a Warwick University Atheist Society event on October 28 but the student union there has declined the request to have her speak. The Society is appealing. Here is Maryam Namazie's statement on it:

I was invited to speak at Warwick University by the Warwick Atheists, Secularists and Humanists' Society on 28 October 2015. The University Student Union has declined the request for me to speak saying the following:

This is because after researching both her and her organisation, a number of flags have been raised. We have a duty of care to conduct a risk assessment for each speaker who wishes to come to campus.

There a number of articles written both by the speaker and by others about the speaker that indicate that she is highly inflammatory, and could incite hatred on campus. This is in contravention of our external speaker policy:

The President (or equivalent) of the group organising any event is responsible for the activities that take place within their events. All speakers will be made aware of their responsibility to abide by the law, the University and the Union's various policies, including that they:

must not incite hatred, violence or call for the breaking of the law are not permitted to encourage, glorify or promote any acts of terrorism including individuals, groups or organisations that support such acts must not spread hatred and intolerance in the community and thus aid in disrupting social and community harmony must seek to avoid insulting other faiths or groups, within a framework of positive debate and challenge are not permitted to raise or gather funds for any external organisation or cause without express permission of the trustees.

In addition to this, there are concerns that if we place conditions on her attendance (such as making it a member only event and having security in attendance, asking for a transcript of what she intends to say, recording the speech) she will refuse to abide by these terms as she did for Trinity College Dublin.

The Atheist group is of course appealing their decision, however, it's important for me to comment briefly on the Student Union's position. I will be writing a more detailed letter to the university to formally complain about the Student Union accusations against me after taking legal advice.

For now, though, suffice it to say that criticising religion and the religious-Right is not incitement of hatred against people. If anything, it's the religious-Right, namely Islamism in this case, which incites hatred against those of us who dare to leave Islam and criticise it.

The Student Union seems to lack an understanding of the difference between criticising religion, an idea, or a far-Right political movement on the one hand and attacking and inciting hate against people on the other. Inciting hatred is what the Islamists do; I and my organisation challenge them and defend the rights of ex-Muslims, Muslims and others to dissent.

The Student Union position is of course nothing new. It is the predominant post-modernist Left point of view that conflates Islam, Muslims and Islamists, homogenises the Muslim community , thinks believers are one and the same as the religious-Right and sides with the Islamist narrative against its many dissenters.

Update: Censorship reversed

28th September 2015. See  article from coventrytelegraph.net

A decision to ban a speaker from Warwick University , citing fears she may offend Muslim students, has been reversed.

A statement published on the Warwick University Student's Union website on Sunday evening offered an unequivocal apology to Ms Namazie. It read:

warwick students union logo In the last few days we have all seen much debate, and considerable concern, expressed about an application to Warwick Students' Union made by the Warwick Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society, that an SU society host the campaigner and blogger Maryam Namazie as an external speaker.

Warwick SU has a process for assessing any potential risks or legal issues associated with any external speaker, and it is now very clear to us that in this case that process has not been followed. Speaker invitations that may involve such issues are routinely considered by the SU President, who will also take advice from senior SU staff.

This did not happen on this occasion. Neither the SU President, nor senior SU staff, were consulted as they should have been. This is a significant error for which there can be no excuse.

We want to assure everyone of Warwick Students' Union's continued commitment to free speech.

We also want to take this opportunity to apologise to everyone who has expressed concern, or disappointment, or who has been hurt by this significant error and, as we said above, we will be issuing a full and unequivocal apology to Maryam Namazie.

Offsite Comment: If Islamists can speak on campus, why can't I?

Spiked logo 30th September 2015. See  article from spiked-online.com by Tom Slater

Maryam Namazie on how she took on the campus censors and won.

 

Offsite Comment: Guardian censorship

maryamnamazie logo 15th October 2015. See article from freethoughtblogs.com by Maryam Namazie

I emailed The Guardian on 2 October to ask for the right to reply to David Shariatmadari's apologetics for Islamism . My article, Why I Speak against Islamism , was finally published on 13 October at 5pm after much delay and back and forth over "edits."

On 8 October, the Acting Editor for Comment is Free wrote to say a "very light edit" had been done on my article including "a few tweaks for flow, house style, and to make the piece as accessible as possible for non-expert readers."

Shockingly, the "light edits" included substantial changes, including the removal of references to Ali Shariatmadari and CAGE prisoners as well as all the relevant links, which would have helped "non-expert readers."

...Read the original article from freethoughtblogs.com

 

 Offsite Article: Censorship by Police Security Fee...


Link Here 30th September 2015
no boundaries event logo Pre-emptive censorship by the police is a clear infringement of civil liberties. By Julia Farrington

See article from indexoncensorship.org

 

 Offsite Article: The Daily Mail recommends Sex Diaries: Webcam Couples...


Link Here 30th September 2015
sex diaries Is this nasty little peep show the seediest Channel 4 series ever?

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

  MICE-IS...

Artwork mocking ISIS is censored by police who refused to provide the additional security required


Link Here 29th September 2015
mimsy isis Satirical art  using children's toy characters from the Sylvanian Families to mock Islamic State (ISIS) has been banned from a freedom of speech exhibition over fears of muslim violence.

The work was censored from the schedule at the Passion for Freedom exhibition at London's Mall Galleries after police raised serious concerns about the possibility of a terrorist atrocity against visitors. Police feared crazed jihadis would take offence and launch a reprisal attack in response to the heavily mocking artwork.

Officers told exhibition organisers they would have to pay 36,000 to hire extra security if the piece was displayed, forcing the gallery to remove it from display.

The works mocked the Islamist fanatics by showing them lurking in the background of ordinary family scenes depicted as characters from the popular Sylvanian Families toy set. A description for the piece, called ISIS Threaten Sylvania, said:

Far away, in the land of Sylvania, rabbits, foxes, hedgehogs, mice and all woodland animals have overcome their differences to live in harmonious peace and tranquillity.

MICE-IS, a fundamentalist Islamic terror group, are threatening to dominate Sylvania, and annihilate every species that does not submit to their hard-line version of sharia law.

The decision provoked outrage from both the artist, Mimsy, and people online, who said the terrorist group should not be able to dictate what the British public can see. Mimsy said:

I love my freedom. I'm aware of the very real threat to that freedom from Islamic fascism and I'm not going to pander to them or justify it like many people on the left are doing.

Author Ben Goldacre tweeted:

Dear The British Police, I want you to protect free speech from violence, maybe spend less time on cannabis smokers?

Index on Censorship CEO Jodie Ginsberg said:

Concerns over terror are being inflated to such an extent that perfectly legitimate, non-criminal expression, is being shut down across Britain: from university campuses, to theatre stages, to art galleries. The upcoming extremism bill could worsen the situation further. In the case of the Sylvanian Families exhibit, we need to do more to ensure that police work with venues to promote freedom of expression, not stifle it.

 

  Balancing Act...

CPJ Report: Press freedom at risk as EU struggles to match action with values


Link Here 29th September 2015

cpj balancing act The European Union strives to be a global leader in press freedom but faces challenges from member states that have criminal defamation and blasphemy laws, and have introduced counterterrorism measures, including mass surveillance.

The EU has made press freedom imperative in negotiating with candidate countries, but has been accused of failing to take strong action when member states renege on their press freedom commitments. Journalists working in the region are also affected by EU laws and policies, such as the trade secrets directive and access to information regulations.

A special report by the Committee to Protect Journalists

 

  It should be preserved for posterity...

We don't hear much from Mediawatch-UK these days, and a minimalist sound byte was all we got about the new TV programme, Body Donors


Link Here 29th September 2015
body donors Channels Five's new series, Body Donors features two cancer victims who have agreed to donate their bodies to medical science after they die. They consented to be filmed both before and after their deaths.

One is former diver Mike Bowyer. Footage shows him being taken to the University of Liverpool in a body bag. His corpse is washed and shaved as he is prepared for medics and students. He is then pumped with embalming fluid to preserve his body for up to three years.

Vivienne Pattison, director of Mediawatch, said: It may cause some distress.

A show spokesman added: There is an appropriate warning at the beginning.

 

  You've just gotta Love perverse Australian censorship rules...

Australian Sex Party MP asks why is legal to sell arty hardcore but illegal to sell standard porn


Link Here 29th September 2015
Love DVD Aomi Muyock Love is a 2015 France / Belgium drama by Gaspar No.
Starring Gaspar No, Aomi Muyock and Klara Kristin. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

UK: 2D and 3D versions were passed 18 uncut by the BBFC for strong real sex, very strong language.

Australia: The film has just been passed R18+ uncut for scenes of actual sexual activity, graphic nudity and sexual themes. Australian R18+ is equivalent to the UK 18 rating.

Australia has an X18+ rating for hardcore porn but only Canberra and Northern Territories allow the sale in local sex shops. A silly situation that has just been highlighted by Victorian Sex Party MP, Fiona Patten. She said she was:

pleasantly surprised by the rating. Traditionally any form of explicit sex has been shunted to the X category. This is quite a grown-up decision for Australia.

Yet, she says, it doesn't take away from the fact that in Victoria:

it's still illegal to show or sell tickets to Debbie Does Dallas , an X-rated film. We still ban the sale, distribution of sexually-explicit films.

Did it help that Love premiered at Cannes? Patten answered:

I hate to say it, but there is an element of cultural snobbery in this.

There is a provision for taking artistic merit into consideration in censorship decisions, she says, but there are those who would argue that Debbie Does Dallas has artistic and historical merit .

 

 Offsite Article: Laws against extremism risk criminalising us all...


Link Here 29th September 2015  full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim
Telegraph logo Laws to ban free speech if it doesn't chime with with British values are dangerous to everyone, not just the hateful few. By Philip Johnston

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

  Stereotypically PC...

Student Unions are having a bad week, now making asses of themselves about sombreros


Link Here 28th September 2015
pedros norwich A Mexican restaurant has been banned from handing out free sombreros to students because the publicity stunt was branded racist by union officials spouting PC nonsense.

Pedro's Tex-Mex Cantina, a Norwich restaurant, gave the hats to University of East Anglia students at a freshers' fair in the city in a bid to drum up business from the student population.

But officials at the students' union took the sombreros from students and ordered the restaurant to stop giving them out because they thought it was offensive for non-Mexicans to wear them.

One first-year student told student newspaper The Tab:

It's ridiculous -- it's a comedy hat, not some sort of sacred religious dress. Who is going to get offended? Speedy Gonzales?

Campaigns and Democracy officer Chris Jarvis, not quite understanding how silly he sounded, tried to justify the action:

We know that when it comes to cultural appropriation the issues can sometimes be difficult to understand and many don't realise that they may be about to cause offence or break a policy.

The British Mexican Society backed the Tex-Mex eatery for giving away the free hats. Chairman Richard Maudslay said today:

I would applaud any business of any nationality for doing anything to try to drum up business in a legitimate way, which this seems.

 

 Update: Spiritual Censorship...

Bon Jovi added to the long list of performers banned from China


Link Here 28th September 2015  full story: Performers Censored in China...Quick to ban and censor star performers from the west
Live Madison Square Garden DVD Two concerts in China by rock group Bon Jovi have been cancelled after reports the government discovered they featured images of the Dalai Lama in previous shows.

The American band had been due to play dates in Beijing and Shanghai but the performances were suddenly called off and ticket sales abruptly halted.

According to sources, the Chinese regime had banned the concerts after discovering a picture of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, a man reviled by China, had featured in a video shown at a previous concerts.

Meanwhile they also allegedly found that Bon Jovi's 2009 We Weren't Born To Follow music video features brief images of the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations around Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

 

  Jumpers for Goalposts...

Ed Sheeran film suffers BBFC category cuts for a 12A cinema release


Link Here 27th September 2015
jumpers for goalposts Ed Sheeran Jumpers for Goalposts is a 2015 UK music film by Paul Dugdale.
Starring Win Butler, Rgine Chassagne and Arcade Fire. BBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 12A for infrequent strong language after 8:13s of BBFC category cuts for:

  • 2015 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • Distributor chose to reduce the number of uses of strong language ('fuck') to achieve a 12A rating. An uncut 15 rating was available.

 

  Fair Comment!...

ASA dismisses whinge about Paddy Power advert


Link Here 27th September 2015

paddy power on blatter advert A national press ad for Paddy Power, which appeared in the Sport section of the Guardian, featured odds on the candidates for the 2015 FIFA presidential election. An image showed Sepp Blatter revealing the winner by holding up a piece of paper which said ME . Text at the top of the ad stated, JUST F**K OFF ALREADY! Issue

The complainant challenged whether the use of the word F**K was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

ASA Assessment: Complaint not upheld

Not upheld

The ASA noted that the word F**K was partly obscured by asterisks, but acknowledged that the meaning of the word was still clear.

We noted that the ad appeared in the Sport section of the Guardian, which we understood had an adult readership and frequently contained swear words. We considered that readers of that section were likely to understand that the ad was intended to be a light hearted comment on the ongoing allegations of corruption within FIFA, and in particular the controversy surrounding Sepp Blatter's tenure as FIFA president. In that context, we considered the use of F**K was unlikely to cause offence to readers.

Because we did not consider the ad would be offensive to those who were likely to see it, we concluded that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

 

 Offsite Article: In the lap of the MPAA...


Link Here 27th September 2015
Showgirls Uncensored Blu Ray Elizabeth Berkley Paul Verhoeven speaks of the censorship pressures on Showgirls and Basic Instinct

See article from rollingstone.com

 

  Karma Police...

Snowden has revealed that GCHQ has been monitoring everybody's internet porn use to identify suspicious behaviour. Presumably moralists not viewing porn are those under suspicion


Link Here 26th September 2015
Karma Police DVD Region NTSC British spies have snooped on people's visits to online porn websites, according to documents leaked by CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden .

The files appear to detail a top secret programme - creepily codenamed Karma Police - which has been storing and analysing the browsing habits of every visible user on the internet for seven years.

They revelations were published by The Intercept, who say they obtained the information from Snowden.

The Karma Police system collected and stored records of visits to Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Reddit - as well as porn website YouPorn. GCHQ have been correlating logs of websites visited with associated cookie information to identify the viewers.

The Snowden files give some idea of how they mine this data on an unprecedented scale, with the aim of detecting suspicious behaviour by anyone in the world.

The system also allowed spooks to track people who had listened to particular online radio stations, which they say were used to spread radical islamic ideas.

A report included in the leak showed how they selected one listener, from Egypt, and revealed they had also looked at porn site Redtube, Facebook, Yahoo, Flickr, Google, and a website about Islam. The report does not say whether the user was suspected of a crime or had links to terrorism beyond listening to a radio station.

The Karma Police system shares its name with a Radiohead song, the chorus of which goes: This is what you'll get if you mess with us.

 

  Having a beef with social media...

Indian state shuts down the internet as locals use social media to criticise a religious ban on beef


Link Here 26th September 2015
jammu and kashmir flag The Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir has imposed a 3 day shutdown of the mobile internet because locals are using social media to criticise a state law banning beef on religious grounds. The state is predominantly muslim, and so residents are unimpressed by the imposition of a law grounded in hinduism..

Inspector General of Police of Kashmir as well as Jammu region wrote a letter to all ISPs to extend the termination of data services to 3 days. He said:

In view of the apprehension of misuse of data services (GPRS/2G/3G) by anti-national elements, which is likely to cause deterioration in law and order situation, you are requested to completely snap down the data services through GPRS/2G/3G and broadband till 2 PM of September 27.

The measure has been taken because of apprehension of communal tension in the backdrop of the High Court directive for implementation of an old law that bans slaughter and selling of beef. Some separatist groups have said they will defy the court order, and proceeded to make their case by posting comments and videos on social media.

 

 Offsite Article: Child Persecutors...


Link Here 26th September 2015
north carolina logo North Carolina authorities persecute child for a naked selfie

See article from theguardian.com

 

  Win-Win...

BBFC reports that its music video ratings are universally popular. Parents appreciate the insight, and viewers appreciate being told which are the sexy videos worth watching


Link Here 25th September 2015
bbfc on music video ratings Today the BBFC published research into public attitudes toward online age rating labels for music videos. The research evaluates a government-backed pilot, launched in October 2014 by the UK recorded music industry, the BBFC and digital service providers Vevo and YouTube, to test how age ratings can be applied to music videos released online in the UK, so that family audiences can make more informed viewing decisions. The research shows:
  • 70% of parents of under 12s are concerned about their children being exposed to inappropriate content in music videos
  • up to 60% of children say they have seen content in online music videos of which their parents would disapprove
  • 78% of parents value age ratings for online music videos
  • given the choice, 86% of parents would encourage/ensure their children watch online channels with clear age ratings
  • 75% of parents would like online channels to link music video age ratings to parental controls

The online music video age rating pilot saw the three major UK record companies (Sony Music UK, Universal Music UK and Warner Music UK) submit to the BBFC for age rating, any music videos for release online in the UK for which they would expect to be given at least a 12-rating (videos deemed not to contain content that would attract at least a 12 rating are not submitted*). On 18 August 2015, Government announced that the measures trialled will be made permanent for videos produced in the UK by artists who are represented by major labels. A new pilot for independent UK music labels to submit online music videos for classification is also underway.

David Austin, Assistant Director, BBFC said: "The research shows parents perceive age ratings for online music videos to be almost as important as ratings for film and DVD/Blu-rays. Parents want more nuanced guidance about the content of the music videos their children are accessing online, with BBFC age rating symbols alongside BBFCinsight content advice being the preferred form of labelling.

"Parents would like to calibrate parental controls to filter out inappropriate music video content for their children and we look forward to working with the Digital Service Providers to incorporate these findings into the way age ratings and BBFCinsight is presented on their platforms. Non-UK label artists wanting to submit music videos for an age rating and further digital service providers wishing to display them are also welcome to help broaden the coverage of age ratings for online music video content in the UK."

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI and BRIT Awards, said: "We understand the concerns that many parents have about children viewing age-inappropriate content, we have coordinated an industry response and good progress is being made. Record labels are working closely with the BBFC, YouTube and Vevo to ensure that music videos produced here in the UK display recommended age ratings when broadcast online so that families can make more informed viewing decisions. The next step will be for the digital platforms to look more closely at the introduction of parental control filters, so that parents can use the ratings to screen out content they consider unsuitable."

Nic Jones, EVP International at Vevo, said: "At Vevo we support artists and their creativity, however, we understand the importance and value that age ratings provide to parents and music fans to help inform their viewing. Clearly from the research published today, there is a desire from our audiences to see content rated which enables them to make choices about what music videos they watch. Vevo have been part of the scheme since inception, and will continue to work with the BBFC and label partners to ensure that our audiences get the best experience when on our platform. "

bbfc candate format for music video rating

  Just in passing, why is the BBFC so keen on the word 'moderate'?

It is a very loaded word that implies euphemism, eg 'moderate' muslim or saying 'moderate' when you really means censor. In horse racing terms, nags that are the slowest of the slow are politely described as 'moderate'.

The BBFC use comes across as some sort of jargonistic censor speak that is far removed from natual language

he research showed the preferred format for displaying age ratings for online music videos to be the age rating plus BBFCinsight:
 
54% of adults selected this format as the most likely to be noticed and most helpful to see online, while 53% selected it as the easiest label to understand.

The BBFC issues either a 12, 15 or 18 rating to online music videos, in line with BBFC Classification Guidelines. The BBFC also includes bespoke content advice, called BBFC insight, which explains in more detail why an age rating has been given: for example, that scenes include sexual imagery, violence or other content deemed inappropriate for younger viewers.@ Once given an age rating, the labels pass on the rating and guidance when releasing their videos to the two digital service providers -- Vevo and YouTube, who, in turn, display it when the videos are broadcast online.

* It is estimated that around 20% of music videos released within the pilot were subject to a rating -- the large majority of music videos are unlikely to contain content that would be rated 12 or greater. @This estimate is based on a previous video catalogue audit of one of the companies taking part in the pilot.

 

  Singaporeans use VPNs to work around local movie censorship...

British minister for intellectual property stands up for VPN users


Link Here 25th September 2015
lucy neville-rolfe Lucy Neville-Rolfe, the British minister for intellectual property, made an official visit and to sign a memorandum of understanding between Britain's Intellectual Property Office and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore. The document outlined joint efforts between the two offices to protect IP in each other's countries.

Neville-Rolfe told The Straits Times that it would be unwise to ban technology like VPNS, even if they are used to access geo-blocked content, a practice opposed by rights holders. You can't outlaw a key technology, she said.

Recently the Singaporean ISP ViewQwest released a new set top box with a built in VPN-like function so customers could use foreign streaming services. Netflix will, however, launch officially in Singapore next year but concerns remain over the quality of the catalog compared to the US version, particularly citing widespread local censorship. One Singapore user explained:

I'm paying about US$50 (S$71) a year for my VPN service, which is a small price to pay for full, uncensored content. I wouldn't want to miss out on any parts of the TV show, so I wouldn't switch to Netflix's Singapore service if it is going to censor that.

 

  Even being able to contest the case is a victory...

Chinese Filmmaker bravely contests contests censors taking down his gay themed movie


Link Here 25th September 2015
mama rainbow A Chinese film-maker is to sue state censors in a quest to discover how and why his gay-themed documentary was removed from local streaming sites, in a legal case that could have powerful ramifications for film censorship in the country.

Fan Popo says his documentary Mama Rainbow , which follows six Chinese mothers as they learn to love their gay or lesbian children, disappeared without explanation from video sites such as Youku, Tudou and 56.com in 2014.

The director had uploaded the documentary to keep it in the public eye after his film completed its short run at US and Asian film festivals in 2012. So he was disappointed when 56.com managers informed him that China's censor SARFT, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, had issued the company with instructions to remove the movie.

SARFT censors later officially denied having any involvement in censorship of Mama Rainbow, so Fan has decided to sue the censor in the Beijing court in an effort to find out what really happened.

Last week, state-backed newspaper Global Times confirmed the case would be heard -- a victory in itself in China's government-controlled courts.

Update: Not us!

30th December 2015. See  article from shanghaiist.com

China flag Beijing-based filmmaker Fan Popo, whose gay rights documentary was removed from Chinese video streaming websites, has claimed victory in a lawsuit over government censorship despite the courts ruling that regulators were not to blame.

In its verdict released last week, Beijing's No. 1 Intermediate People's Court found censors had not ordered his documentary Mama Rainbow to be taken down from prominent streaming websites Youku, Tudou and 56.com.

Prior to filing the lawsuit, Fan had been told by two of the major streaming platforms that they had received a document from SAPPRFT ordering the removal of the film. He filed a request in February for information from the regulator, but they denied ever releasing such a document. Fan told the Wall Street Journal:

I hope that my case can serve as catalyst to inspire more people to stand up against SAPPRFT for content we care about.

The verdict still poses the question as to who, if anyone, ordered his film to be taken offline. Fan said:

I still think the verdict is to my advantage, because now knowing the agency did not release any document, I can require the video sites to put my film back.

 

  How many refugees could be helped with the money wasted on persecuting Gough?...

The Naked Rambler is back behind bars for public nudity


Link Here 25th September 2015
Stephen Gough the Naked Rambler The Naked Rambler is back behind bars after falling victim to oppressive British authorities. Stephen Gough was said to have stripped off for a stroll a month after being released from prison.

Gough has been incarcerated for passive public nudity for the best part of ten years. He was only released last month after a ten month stint for breaching an ASBO forbidding him from being in public naked.

But he was arrested on Friday after whingers in Twyford, Hampshire, called police when he allegedly went for a naked stroll in the middle of the afternoon. And of course the police always side with the 'outraged' regardless of what the law the law actually says.

Gough has pleaded not guilty to breaching his order and was remanded in custody ahead of a trial next month at Winchester Crown Court.

A spokesthug for Hampshire Police confirmed the arrest.

 

 Updated: Psychologically Aware...

Vietnam set to introduce age ratings for movies


Link Here 24th September 2015
Vietnam flag Vietnam has tabled a draft bill to introduce age ratings for movies. The idea has been knocking round government circles since 2008 but now looks set to be implemented soon.

There would be four age ratings for movies screened in the country:

  • all ages (P),
  • 13+ years of age (C13),
  • 16+ years of age (C16), and
  • adults only (C18)

The classification of the movies permitted to be shown at local theaters is based on theme, content and the level of many elements like violence, nudity, sex, drug use, language, and horror.

At the highest level, the 'C18 label would be used for films about political, social, psychological, and criminal issues that are only suitable for the cognitive and psychological awareness of viewers aged 18 or older.

This level of censorship allows the films to contain full nudity but they would not be permitted to describe sensitive parts in detail. Nudity and sexual violence in the C18 films must be relevant to their content and should not be prolonged or repeated too much, according to the draft circular.

In addition, the C18 movies can show scenes of violence and bloodshed but they must match the context.  Vulgar language, swear words or slang that can be considered offensive can also appear in the films. However, the C18 films would not include scenes of unnatural sex acts, like those with children and in incestuous relationships, or images encouraging the use of drugs and other addictive substances.

Ngo Phuong Lan, head of the Vietnam Cinema Department, said the new film classification was modelled after that of Singapore

The provisional legislation is expected to take effect early next year.

Update: Filmmakers to be allowed just 15 seconds of free expression per movie

24th September 2015. See  article from hollywoodreporter.com

Fifty Shades Grey Unseen DVD Vietnam's film censors have proposed a five second rule for movie censorship, sex scenes are to be restricted to just five seconds of onscreen sexual passion, with no more than three such scenes per film.

Chief censor Ngo Phuong Lan announced the proposal at a meeting in Hanoi. The measures are in line with a long tradition of oppressive censorship. Earlier this year, Vietnamese censors cut the sex scenes from Fifty Shades of Grey , reducing the overall running time of the film by 20 minutes.

The draft rule has also been criticized for only mentioning female nudity in its language, leaving observers wondering whether male nudity would be fully permitted, or hadn't even been considered due to sexism.

 

 Updated: A miserable day in Ireland...

Irish government decides to proceed with nasty bill to criminalise men for buying sex


Link Here 24th September 2015  full story: Prostitution Law in Ireland...Government solicits public suggestions for changes to the law
ireland government logo The purchasing of sex will be outlawed under new criminal offences. Miserable ministers signed have agreed to a bill that will see those buying sex face fines of 500 or up to 5,000 if the person is trafficked.

'Justice' Minister Frances Fitzgerald is expected to publish the final legislation next week and make an announcement on when the new criminal offence will be enacted. It is unclear if it will or will not decriminalise sex workers in brothels or on the streets.

A group which calls itself the sex workers alliance of Ireland said it was a sad day for sex workers and that there are efforts in Sweden to decriminalise sex workers or soliciting by prostitutes.

Update: Discriminatory Law

24th September 2015. See  article from irishtimes.com

frances fitzgerald New legislation on sexual offences criminalises paying for sex with prostitutes, but ensures the person offering sexual services is not guilty of a crime. Presumably Ireland does not have laws against inciting people (their customers) to commit a crime.

Minister for Injustice Frances Fitzgerald published the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015 on Wednesday, claiming she was committed to addressing the very real and tragic crimes of trafficking and exploitation associated with prostitution. She said:

I am convinced that targeting the demand for such services is the way forward.

Ms Fitzgerald said her proposals mirrored the approach adopted in Northern Ireland and other jurisdictions which she said had seen a reduction in demand for the services provided by prostitutes.

 

 Updated: State Extortion Racket...

Alabama asks porn users to pay off the state's budget deficit


Link Here 24th September 2015  full story: Pole Tax...Discriminatory taxes on adult entertainment in USA
Alabama state seal Pornographic material and adult entertainment might be getting a lot more expensive in the state of Alabama.

The Alabama House Ways and Means Committee passed the proposed porn tax in a 10-4 vote for an extortionately high rate of tax to offset a massive budget shortfall .

In addition to any other applicable taxes, a 40% state excise tax will be levied on gross receipts from the sale, rental or admission charges of pornographic material. The tax will apply to any and all forms of pornographic or sexually explicit content purchased in the state of Alabama, including, but not limited to, pornographic magazines, adult videos, and online adult rentals.

The porn tax bill now heads to the Alabama House for a floor vote.

Update: Taxed Off

24th September 2015. See  article from watchdog.org

US Constitution document Thanks to the state Senate, Alabama was able to avoid an anticipated First Amendment lawsuit over its budget proposal, which included an extortionate tax on pornography.

In order to make up a $200 million shortfall , Alabama wanted to raise taxes with sin taxes. On Sept. 15, the porn tax failed to pass the Senate, during a budget vote in which the chamber approved two budget reform measures while also raising taxes by roughly $86 million annually .

As proposed, the tax on porn was clearly unconstitutional. The First Amendment protects artistic expression, even if pornographic. Alabama, by taxing the specific category of pornographic material, is directly engaging in content-based discrimination, something the Supreme Court does not allow. Indeed, in the 1972 case Police Department v. Mosely , the Court noted that above all else, the First Amendment means that the government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content. Thus, regulations that treat a category of content differently than other categories will be held unconstitutional unless it passes the exacting legal test of strict scrutiny.

Strict scrutiny requires a compelling governmental interest that is narrowly tailored to be the least restrictive means of accomplishing that interest. Absent those factors, a law will be deemed unconstitutional.

 

 Offsite Article: Don't weaken the UK's Freedom of Information Act...


Link Here 24th September 2015
index logo Index on Censorship joins media and campaign groups to oppose government's Freedom of Information scale down

See article from indexoncensorship.org

 

 Offsite Article: Monkeying around with copyright...


Link Here 24th September 2015
peta logo PETA monkey selfie lawsuit threatens wildlife photography, warns snapper at heart of row

See article from theregister.co.uk

 

  Widespread legs but not widespread offence...

ASA dismisses whinges about Miley Cyrus poster


Link Here 23rd September 2015

miley cyrus viva glam advert A billboard shown at a large shopping mall complex and two posters, in both small and large scale formats, on the London Underground marketing a cosmetics company, MAC:

  • a. The billboard featured Miley Cyrus wearing a low cut bodysuit lying on her back with her legs apart against a mirrored wall looking into the camera. Around her were mirrors with pink lighting, which showed various angles of her lower body. It featured text that stated MAC VIVA glam .

  • b. The small scale poster shown on the London Underground was almost identical to ad (a), but partially showed a reflection of Miley Cyrus' crotch in a mirror.

  • c. The large scale poster shown on the London Underground was almost identical to ad (a), but showed a mirrored reflection of Miley Cyrus' crotch.

The ASA received complaints from three members of the public:

  1. three complainants objected that the ads were offensive, because they believed that they were overtly sexual; and

  2. two complainants objected that the ads were unsuitable for display as posters in public areas, as they were likely to be seen by children.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA recognised that some might find the posters distasteful, particularly in the context of a make-up ad and we considered that the overall message of the posters was sexually suggestive. We noted that Miley Cyrus was shown wearing a one piece corset bodysuit that covered her buttocks and most of her breasts. She was lying down with her legs raised apart against a mirrored wall and was reflected in the background mirrors. Furthermore, we considered that her facial expression along with her hands placed behind her head was seductive in nature. In ad (b), her crotch was partially reflected in one of the mirrors while ad (c) showed a mirrored reflection of her entire crotch, although in both cases they were not heavily emphasised and were distorted by the lighting and overshadowed by Miley Cyrus' pose. We also acknowledged the large size of ad (a) shown at a shopping mall complex and that ads (b) and (c) were heavily displayed throughout a London Underground station, which consequently, would have made the images more prominent to passers-by.

Therefore, while we considered that the images in all three posters were sexually suggestive, we concluded however, that they were not overtly sexual and unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

2. Not upheld

While we did not consider the images to be overtly sexual, Miley Cyrus' pose however, was sexually suggestive. In all three ads, she was lying down with her legs raised apart against a mirrored wall and was reflected in the background mirrors. Furthermore, in ad (b) her crotch was partially reflected in one of the mirrors while ad (c) showed a mirrored reflection of her entire crotch. We also acknowledged the large size of ad (a) shown at a shopping mall complex and that ads (b) and (c) were heavily displayed throughout a London Underground station, which consequently, would have made the images more prominent to passers-by.

Because the posters were sexually suggestive they were therefore, inappropriate for general outdoor display and warranted a placement restriction of not appearing within 100 m of schools. However, we acknowledged that Exterion Media and the other media owners MAC had used did not display the posters at locations within 100 m of a school.

 

 Update: Skin Offence...

Rajan Zed takes easy offence at Selena Gomez tattoo


Link Here 23rd September 2015  full story: Rajan Zed...Taking easy offence at hindu imagery
sel;ena gomaz om Selena Gomez has upset a Hindu with her new tattoo. The singer unveiled her new Om skin art on her thigh on during a beach day in Miami, Florida, and the snaps that appeared online have upset a religious leader.

Perennial hindu whinger, Rajan Zed spouted:

Hindus usually start and end their prayers with 'Om', the mystical syllable containing the universe. Such trivialisation of 'Om' is upsetting to Hindus. It's highly inappropriate for Selena to place such a revered and sacred symbol of Hinduism, with high religious significance, on her thigh.

As a renowned performer, Selena should get acquainted with the basics of world religions... Hinduism concepts and symbols have well-defined meanings and purposes and these were not created just for Hollywood stars.

We welcome celebrities to immerse themselves in Hinduism... BUT ...to take it seriously and respectfully and not just for the indecorous showing of Hindu symbols and concepts to advance their selfish agenda. Casual flirting sometimes results in pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols, hurting the devotees.

 

 Update: Europe Implodes...

France set to take action requiring Google to operate the 'right to be forgotten' across the world


Link Here 22nd September 2015  full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
France flag The French internet censor has responded to a Google statement which explains why European internet censorship cannot be applied across the world.

This summer, France's Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL) sent Google an order to not merely delist links from European Google searches but search results around the world, too. Google responded:

This is a troubling development that risks serious chilling effects on the web.

CNIL's president did not find this persuasive, rejecting Google's appeal of the order. In a statement released today, CNIL claimed that:

Once delisting is accepted by the search engine, it must be implemented on all extensions, because if this right was limited to some extensions, it could be easily circumvented: in order to find the delisted result, it would be sufficient to search on another extension and this would equate stripping away the efficiency of this right.

CNIL pointed out that delisted info remains directly accessible on the source website or through a search using other terms than an individual's name and:

In addition, this right is not absolute: it has to be reconciled with the public's right to information, in particular when the data subject is a public person, under the double supervision of the CNIL and of the court.

Google must now comply with the formal notice or face CNIL's sanctions committee.

There's no further opportunity to appeal the decision at this stage under French law. But if Google refuses to comply, it could later appeal any sanctions levied by CNIL. Fines would likely start at around 300,000 but could increase to between 2-5% of Google's global operating costs. The search engine could then go to the Conseil d'Etat, the supreme court for administrative justice, to appeal the decision and fine.

 

  Kurdistan proposes to ban internet porn...

And if people don't like it, they can always move to Europe!


Link Here 22nd September 2015
Kurdistan flag Members of the Kurdistan Region parliament have put forward a draft law blocking pornographic websites in the Region.

MP Bahzad Darwesh from the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) revealed that 27 MPs signed a draft law on September 20th , proposing the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) block access to online porn.

Darwesh claimed that the draft law has been made to save customs, traditions and social values. He pointed out that along with MPs from Islamic parties, other members of parliament have signed the bill.

The Iraqi parliament recently voted to restrict access to internet pornography in the country, but the newly-ratified law is not enforceable until the Kurdistan Region parliament votes in favor of the bill.

 

 Offsite Article: Nightmares in a Damaged Brain...


Link Here 21st September 2015
Nightmares Damaged Brain Blu ray Stafford A recent UK release created a debate on cuts to a supposedly uncut release. Moviecensorship.com has now revealed that cuts to the baseline US version are just minor shortening of plot establishment

See article from movie-censorship.com

 

 Offsite Article: Censors on the Offensive...


Link Here 21st September 2015
jonathan dimbleby For freedom of speech, these are troubling times. By Jonathan Dimbleby

See article from theguardian.com

 

 Offsite Article: Why backdoor systems always fail...


Link Here 21st September 2015  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
mi5 security service logo As the head of MI5 launches a push for unparalleled powers, will he answer challenging questions on why banning encryption, or weakening it through compulsory backdoors, won't make us all less safe? By Julian Huppert

See article from opendemocracy.net

 

 Update: One Million Moms recommend...

The return of The Muppets, now supposedly for adults only


Link Here 19th September 2015  full story: One Million Moms...Moralist whingers against anything sexy
muppets 2015jpg One Million Moms, a christian morality group, spout:

ABC's New Adaptation of The Muppets is for Adults Only!

One Million Moms (IMM) suspects there are going to be a lot of shocked moms and dads when they discover that the family-friendly Muppets of the 1970s are no more. It appears that no subject is off limits. ABC's new Muppet Show, airing on Tuesday evenings at 8:00 pm ET/7:00 pm CT, is not what Jim Henson imagined and created. The new show is aimed at a mature, modern audience and addresses subjects not suitable for family viewing.

It's sort of an adult Muppet show, Kermit the Frog said during a promotional video for the show. One ad read, Finally, a network TV show with full frontal nudity. Technically, the advertisement is correct -- seeing how Kermit doesn't wear pants.

The mature version of The Muppets will cover a range of topics from sex to drugs. Miss Piggy came out as a pro-choice feminist during an MSNBC interview. The puppet characters loved by kids in the 1970s and 1980s and beyond are now weighing in on abortion and promiscuity.

ABC hopes children watch the show and predict they would enjoy some of the humor, but 1MM would disagree. It is not the show it once was. ABC has ruined The Muppets. How many parents want to explain the punchline of sexually charged jokes to young children?

Many parents unknowingly will let their children watch an episode only to find out its perverted nature too late, unless they are alerted ahead of time. 1MM and others need to get the word out to families to avoid this program at all costs.

 

 Commented: The Unintelligencia...

Ludicrous academics launch a campaign against sex robots


Link Here 19th September 2015
campaign agaisnt sex robots logo Although robots built for sex are not yet available to the public, the Campaign Against Sex Robots has already launched. The group believes that companies should cease developing sex robots with artificial intelligence on grounds of feminism. Presumably the group fears that sex robots will somehow challenge the social control structures related to sex. The group has published its aims on its website:
  • We believe the development of sex robots further objectifies women and children.
  • The vision for sex robots is underscored by reference to prostitute-john exchange which relies on recognizing only the needs and wants of the buyers of sex, the sellers of sex are not attributed subjectivity and reduced to a thing (just like the robot).
  • The development of sex robots and the ideas to support their production show the immense horrors still present in the world of prostitution which is built on the "perceived" inferiority of women and children and therefore justifies their uses as sex objects.
  • We propose that the development of sex robots will further reduce human empathy that can only be developed by an experience of mutual relationship.
  • We challenge the view that the development of adults and child sex robots will have a positive benefit to society, but instead further reinforce power relations of inequality and violence.
  • We take issue with those arguments that propose that sex robots could help reduce sexual exploitation and violence towards prostituted persons, pointing to all the evidence that shows how technology and the sex trade coexist and reinforce each other creating more demand for human bodies.

Engineers have long strove to make sex toys and dolls as life like as possible. Realistic looks and feels have been about as far as the manufactures have been able to come so far. In the last few years, however, the artificial intelligence technology has opened a brave new world for sex toy innovation.

Lead campaigner Kathleen Richardson, a robot anthropologist and [feminist] ethicist at De Montfort University in Leicester spouted:

When I first started looking into the subject I thought, 'oh sex robots, that's harmless and perhaps these robots would reduce demand for real women and children.

But then as I researched the subject more I found that the opposite was true, that rather than reduce the objectification of women, children and also men and transgender people, these robots would contribute and reinforce their position in society [as objects].

True Companion, a company which as been making sex dolls for years and claims to have introduced the first sex robot- the Roxxxy. The company explained on its website and in statements:

Roxxxy knows your likes and dislikes, carries on a discussion and expresses her love to you and [can] be your loving friend. She can talk to you, listen to you, and feel your touch. She can even have an orgasm.

Roxxxy provides physical and sexual pleasure but also provides social interaction and engagement It's customizing technology to provide a perfect partner,  she's not meant to replace a real partner but is meant as a supplement.

As long as we're not hurting anyone, there's no problem with it.

Comment: Robert the sex robot

19th September 2015. From Sergio and phantom on the Melon Farmers Forum

letter writing A question or two for the anti-sex-robot feministas:

a) is a dildo/vibrator a primitive form of sex robot?
b) if so, are you prepared to disavow the use of them?

In truth, men have no more interest in having sex with robots than they have in having sex with trees or a cup of tea. Meanwhile, women like the idea of pleasuring themselves with plastic objects. Men generally do not.

So, if the sale of sex aids is anything to go by, sex robots are more likely to be called `Big John` than `Melinda`.

So, dear feminists.
Women may like vibrators. Feminists may like vibrators.
It does therefore not follow that men like vibrating holes.
By publicly protesting against the latter you are merely broadcasting the former.

And as for academic Kathleen Richardson, being a  'robot anthropologist' and 'ethicist'. Well anthropology is the study of humanity, so robots are human, extreme feminists are ethical and 2 + 2 = 5!

 

 Update: From Russia With No Love...

Gasper Noe's Love banned in Russia


Link Here 18th September 2015
Love DVD Aomi Muyock Love is a 2015 France / Belgium drama by Gaspar No.
Starring Gaspar No, Aomi Muyock and Klara Kristin. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

A sexual melodrama about a boy and a girl and another girl. It's a love story, which celebrates sex in a joyous way.

Russia: Banned

Love has now been banned in Russia by state censors from Russia's culture ministry. A statement from the department chiefs reads:

The decision is based on the fact that the film contains numerous pornographic scenes.

Reports suggest the censors asked for a thorough edit, but were not satisfied with the softer version of the movie, even though it had less sexual content than the one screened at Cannes.

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong real sex, very strong language for:

  • 2016 Curzon / Artificial Eye RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 11th January 2016
  • 2016 Curzon / Artificial Eye R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 11th January 2016

France:

Originally 16 rated in France but moralist campaigners objected and a court raised the rating to 18, a classification previously reserved for pornography.

 

 Update: Snooping Extremists...

The government initiates its propaganda campaign to justify deeper mass snooping


Link Here 18th September 2015  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping

mi5 security service logo Andrew Parker, the Head of MI5, has called for more up-to-date surveillance laws in an interview with the BBC, where he also stated that communications companies have an ethical responsibility to alert the authorities to potential threats . Parker said:

MI5 and others need to be able to navigate the internet to find terrorist communication, we need to be able to use data sets to be able to join the dots to be able to find and stop the terrorists who mean us harm before they are able to bring plots to fruition.

We have been pretty successful at that in recent years but it is becoming more difficult to do it as technology changes faster and faster [and] encryption comes in.

The government is currently planning renewed attempts to pass the Communications Data Bill, also known as the Snoopers' Charter . They are expected to bring forward a new version of the Bill in October.

Commentator and encryption expert Bruce Schneier commented:

For most of human history, surveillance has been expensive. Over the last couple of decades, it has become incredibly cheap and almost ubiquitous. That a few bits and pieces are becoming expensive again isn't a cause for alarm.

The government has also been briefing the communication industry about the extended snooping plan.

Theresa May has already met with companies including BT, TalkTalk, EE, Vodaphone, and Virgin Media to discuss plans to bring forward a new draft of the Communications Data Bill in October. Non-ISP networks and civil liberties groups have reportedly been summoned to separate meetings.

 

  Psycho Babble...

ASA dismisses PC whinges about psycho clown costume


Link Here 18th September 2015

psycho clown costume advert An ad on www.joke.co.uk featured a costume called Psycho Clown Costume and featured an image of a man holding a bloody machete and was wearing clown make-up, a blood spattered stained torn T-shirt, baggy trousers with thick red braces and a hat with bright red curly hair attached to it. The ad also featured text that described the costume and stated, ... You'll give your friends colrophobia when they see you in this frightening clown costume[..] .

Two complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive, because it reinforced negative attitudes about serious mental health illnesses.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

The ASA noted that the product was featured on a website selling humorous fancy dress costumes, but was not otherwise targeted. Although advertisers were entitled to sell any product that was legal, the Code required marketers to ensure that ads did not contain anything that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

Although we acknowledged that some consumers would be likely to find the costume distasteful, we considered that it was unlikely that the image would cause offence. We noted that the word Psycho was used in naming the costume, which along with the image, the complainants considered misrepresented people with mental illness because it implied they were violent and murderous. They considered that the ad contributed to the stigma surrounding mental illness.

While we appreciated the complainants' concerns, we considered, however, that consumers would interpret the ad's reference to Psycho as a reflection of the themed costume resembling a villainous fictional character from a horror film rather than as a reference to a person suffering from chronic mental disorder leading to abnormal or violent antisocial behaviour. Therefore, we considered that the reference to Psycho in conjunction with the image of the costume was unlikely to reinforce negative stereotypes about mental illness, and concluded that the title of the costume Psycho Clown Costume was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

 

  Tongues at Dawn...

US Appeals Court blocks the use of copyright law to censor a critical blogger


Link Here 18th September 2015
raanan katz A US appeal court has stepped in to prevent a bully shopping mall magnate from censoring a critical blogger via copyright claims.

The court issued an opinion blocking the  use of copyright to censor unwanted online criticism. The decision, Katz v. Chevaldina , is important because although copyright law is frequently misused as a tool to censor speech, it rarely makes it into court to be challenged. And here, the court stopped the plaintiff in his tracks.

As we explained in an earlier blog post , the plaintiff, Raanan Katz --the owner of a number of shopping centers throughout Florida and a minority owner of the Miami Heat --didn't like how an online blogger was using an unflattering photograph of him in blog posts criticizing his business practices. So he acquired the copyright for the photograph and went after the blogger for copyright infringement. At the district court, the blogger, Irina Chevaldina, moved for summary judgment on the ground that her use of the photograph for the purpose of criticizing Katz was fair use and protected under federal copyright law. The district court agreed , ruling in favor of the blogger. But Katz appealed.

We filed an amicus brief with the Eleventh Circuit back in May, urging the court to see this behavior for what is was-- i.e ., a blatant attempt to abuse copyright law. The Eleventh Circuit agreed with us, seeing straight through Katz' behavior and characterizing the case as Katz's attempt to utilize copyright as an instrument of censorship against unwanted criticism. The court ultimately upheld the district court's holding that Chevaldina's use of the unflattering photograph was protected fair use.

In upholding the district court's fair use holding, the Eleventh Circuit rejected Katz attempts to argue that Chevaldina was using the photograph for commercial use--an argument that we had pointed out to be ridiculous. As the court recognized:

Chevaldina unabashedly criticized and commented on the dealings of Katz, his businesses, and his lawyers. Chevaldina's blog posts sought to warn and educate others about the alleged nefariousness of Katz, and she made no money from her use of the photo.

The court also found that Chevaldina's use of the photograph was transformative, because, in the context of the blog post's surrounding commentary, she used Katz's purportedly 'ugly' and 'compromising' appearance to ridicule and satirize his character.

The court further rejected the Katz's disingenuous argument that Chevaldina's use of the photograph would have a detrimental effect on the potential value of the photograph. As the court stated:

Katz took the highly unusual step of obtaining the copyright to the Photo and initiating this lawsuit specifically to prevent its publication. . . . Due to Katz's attempt to utilize copyright as an instrument of censorship against unwanted criticism, there is no potential market for his work.

In the meantime, back in May, the district court ordered Katz to pay Chevaldina $152,433.68 in attorneys' fees plus another $2,403.50 in costs. The court admonished Katz, During the more than two years that this litigation consumed, Plaintiff should have at all times known his claim would eventually fail when the truth of his motivations was eventually know. The court went on:

It is crystal clear that Plaintiff's motivations pursuing this lawsuit were improper. Instead of using the law for its intended purposes of fostering ideas and expression, Plaintiff obtained the photograph's copyright solely for the purpose of suppressing Defendant's free speech .

 

  No longer one of the lads...

Australian edition of Zoo magazine to close in October


Link Here 18th September 2015
zoo-weekly 220

The Australian edition of the lads' mag Zoo will publish its final edition on 12 October and close its website following continued fall in sales

The axing of the Australian edition of the title by Bauer Media is not unexpected as the company withdrew from the official magazine audit last year after sales plummeted 36% to 24,122 copies.

Another men's magazine, Penthouse, is also winding up its Australian-produced edition after 36 years due to dwindling sales.

The free availability of pornography on the internet has made these magazines filled with photographs of near naked women harder to sell.

 

 Commented: What has caused the most misery in the world, religion or porn?...

Theological debate at Melbourne University after internet porn is banned from student residence...


Link Here 18th September 2015
meloboure university logo Students have been banned from accessing pornography at the University of Melbourne's largest residential college, sparking a fiery campus debate on sexual freedoms and censorship.

Ormond College has blocked access to adult sites on its Wi-Fi network, claiming that pornography does not allow people at a formative stage of life to develop a healthy sexuality .

But some students have reacted angrily to the censorship, arguing they pay $200 a semester for college Wi-Fi, and in the privacy of their own rooms they should be allowed to access legal adult sites.

Inevitably the college master in charge is a theologian who seeks to impose his religious nonsense on other people. Dr Rufus Black claimed in a student newsletter that pornography was exploitative and presents women primarily as sex objects who are a means to the end of male pleasure . He preached  that allowing the college's 400 students to access porn on its network would be condoning the objectification of women. He spouted:

Pornographic material overwhelmingly presents women in ways that are profoundly incompatible with our understanding of what it is to treat people with respect and dignity.

He maintained that even same-sex pornography was treating another person as a means to an end , and that porn was addictive.

Rachel Withers, president of the Melbourne University Student Union, said as long as students were accessing legal sites what they viewed in the privacy of their own rooms should be their decision:

I would personally prefer to see colleges tackling issues around respect for women's bodies and consent through educational programs and ensuring students receive comprehensive information on consent as part of their college orientation.

Offsite Comment: Rufus Black preaches about imposing his religious morality on others

18th September 2015. See  sermon from abc.net.au

rufus-black In a free and plural society, our disposition is to prefer freedom with responsibility over restriction. ...However ... the priority we give to freedom does not relieve us of the task of deciding what we as a community are going to be about.

... Read the full sermon

 

  Censor Objects...

Advert censors whinge at poster for Larry Flynt's Hustler Club in Croydon


Link Here 17th September 2015

hustler croydon advert A poster for Larry Flynt's Hustler Club, which was displayed on the side of a van driven around South London, featured a photograph of a naked woman lying on her side with her back to the camera, and two fully clothed men standing in front of her and looking at her. Text stated THE BEST VIEW IN CROYDON . Issue

The ASA received three complaints.

  1. All of the complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive, sexist and degrading to women.

  2. Two of the complainants, who reported seeing the ad in Wimbledon Village on a Saturday and on Clapham High Street and Putney Bridge on consecutive Sundays, challenged whether the ad was unsuitable for public display where it could be seen by children.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

1. & 2. Upheld

The ASA considered that, while the ad only showed the back of the woman, it was clear that she was lying on her side, naked, facing the two men who stood in front of her. While we acknowledged that the ad did not include any explicit nudity and the woman's pose was not overtly sexual, it was clear from the men's lines of sight that one was staring at her breasts, while the other was staring at her crotch, and we considered that the overall impression of the image was that it was sexual in tone. When accompanied with the claim The best view in Croydon , we considered the image presented the woman merely as a sexual object to be enjoyed at the whim of the club's clientele. While we acknowledged that the image was relevant to the nature of the club being advertised, we considered that it was likely to be seen as objectifying, and therefore demeaning to, women. Because of that, we concluded that it was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, and was unsuitable for public display, particularly where it could be seen by children.

 

  Played Down...

Sony finds selling PlayStation difficult in China as nearly all the games are banned


Link Here 17th September 2015
Sony PlayStation 4 Console Black The head of Sony's gaming division said sales of PlayStation 4 in China were challenged by strict censorship rules. Andrew House, a chief executive, said:

We are still challenged somewhat with a censorship regime that we have to work with. This can be time-consuming. The challenge is to work with their censorship constraints.

Sony started selling PlayStation 4 consoles in China in March, hoping to capitalize on the end of the 14-year ban. But repressive censorship rules have limited the number of titles available.

 

 Offsite Article: Signing up for repression...


Link Here 17th September 2015  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
China flag China Tries to Extract Pledge of Compliance From U.S. Tech Firms

See article from nytimes.com

 

 Offsite Article: Drawing out the dark side...


Link Here 17th September 2015
index on censorship 2015 When it comes to depicting war, humour can be a critic's most dangerous weapon, says Martin Rowson as he trips through the history of cartoons

See article from indexoncensorship.org

 

 Offsite Article: Ghosts of Censorship...


Link Here 17th September 2015
ghosts Article about a gay stage performance touches on the subject of censorship in Ireland

See article from irishtimes.com

 

  Playing the Suffocation Game...

PEGI classification fees are proving extortionate for small games developers


Link Here 16th September 2015
PEGI logo Gamasutra cites small game developers speaking about the PEGI games classification group:

We have to work with them, and they have some crazy policies that are not cool for indies, he told me. You can't put your game on an Xbox or PlayStation without a PEGI rating, and they charge thousands of dollars.

By comparison, getting the game ESRB-rated so the game could be sold in the U.S. costs nothing; the ESRB rolled out a free, streamlined voluntary rating service to digital platforms years ago.

PEGI designed its licensing fee scheme for digital games based on how it's been rating physical video game releases since 2003: with the expectation that publishers would foot the bill. But the rise of self-publishing has created situations where the biggest line item on a small developer's budget may well be ratings board licensing fees. That in turn is putting pressure on indies not to release their games in Europe on platforms that require PEGI ratings, i.e. Xbox Games Store, Sony's PSN and Nintendo's eShop. Indies are paying roughly $300-$1,000 per platform for a PEGI rating

PEGI knows this. It's been taking fire on this front from members of the European game industry for some time (UK game industry trade body TIGA called on PEGI last year to reform what it called unreasonably high and repetitious fees ) and when I sat down with agency communications manager Dirk Bosmans at Gamescom last month, he tried to offer both an explanation and the promise of a near future where no indie will have to pay for a rating on a Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo platform ever again.

But first, he acknowledged PEGI's fees are an outdated relic of the way the video game industry used to operate. They're also the primary thing keeping PEGI in business. PEGI knows this is a problem, but it wants to maintain income

Our money comes from fees that publishers pay to get a ratings license...that's basically our only source of income. When we were at the height of the console cycle, there were lots of games. That's come down in the past few years, so obviously our income is shrinking.

A couple of years ago, if you'd asked me [whether PEGI fees have a chilling effect on European game releases], the answer probably would have been no, because in order to release a game in a box on a shelf you'd need a lot of funds. But because digital is so much more accessible, it's much easier to release a game, but we still charge the same.

 

  Arsenine Whinger...

Advert censor bans bad taste advertising tweet


Link Here 16th September 2015

fruity king logo A promoted tweet on Twitter for the gambling operator Fruity King was shown on 18 April and featured text that stated:

Arsene Whinger has suffered more abuse from Arsenal fans over the last 9 years than a Yemeni child slave in Saudi Arabia. FA-Cup.

A complainant, who objected to the use of an analogy relating to international child abuse with football, challenged whether the ad was offensive.

Total Odds Media Ltd t/a Fruity King stated that the promoted tweet was published by their advertising agency with whom they were no longer working. Fruity King apologised for any offence that the promoted tweet may have caused to the Yemeni community, but they did not believe that the tweet caused serious or widespread offence and that it was a tasteless joke with no malicious intent. They stated that the sponsored tweet was a one-off and that they had no plans to repeat it.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA understood that there were reports of children, who were particularly vulnerable to slavery, being trafficked into neighbouring states. We therefore considered that comparing the amount of abuse a football manager received to that of a Yemeni child trafficked into slavery was entirely inappropriate for an ad and concluded that the promoted tweet was likely to cause serious and widespread offence.

 

  Ludicrous 'Outrage' of the Day...

Presenter of ITV's Jackpot 24/7 makes a jokey reference to a 9/11 themed film


Link Here 16th September 2015
jackpot 24 7

A TV presenter has faced a ludicrous PC overreaction to a jokey reference to a film about 9/11.

The ITV gaming show Jackpot 24/7 was being presented by Emma Lee who opened with the line:

Thank you so much for coming in for an emergency landing with us tonight. Brace yourselves, it's going to be good. We hope you enjoyed the movie there on ITV. It's time for you to sit tight.

She was referencing the film United 93 which had been playing previously on the channel. The film depicts the 33 passengers and crew who overpowered terrorists who hijacked their plane during the September 11 attacks, sacrificing themselves but saving potential victims on the ground.

The Sun reported that she was told to 'back reference' a film about a plane which was playing before the show aired, however she was not told much about the film or its theme.

A few viewers took to social media to voice their 'outrage' at the reference via Twitter:

@ITV - Straight after #United93 aired on Sep 12th. How disgustingly insensitive can you get @Jackpot247 ?!

ITV -- the twit woman on #jackpot247 just made a terrible joke regarding the film #united93 -- was NOT funny! Those people lost their lives!

Jackpot 24/7 said they will be holding an investigation into the incident, and have apologised for the comments.

 

 Update: Censorship Hub...

Russia censors PornHub and cartoons of politicians


Link Here 16th September 2015  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media
pornhub logo Russia has blocked access to the world's biggest porn website. The government internet censor, Roskomnadzor, announced in a statement that a ban on PornHub and ten other pornographic websites has been enacted.

A court ruling from the city of Krasnodar that determined the adult sites violated federal laws concerning the protection of minors from harmful information has been cited as the reason.

A spokesman for the porn site in question released a statement saying the company:

Can confirm that Roskomnadzor has blacklisted Pornhub in Russia and [they] are currently investigating and considering available means to reinstate [the] website in Russia.

Additionally, Roskomnadzor announced last week via its VKontakte social network page that it was now also illegal to make Internet memes featuring exaggerated or fabricated caricatures of public figures. It cited a violation of Russian legislation on personal information in addition to besmirching the honor, dignity and business reputation of public figures.

 

  Babies vs Universal...

Dancing babies win against abusive takedown requests from big media companies


Link Here 16th September 2015
dancing babies A US federal appeals court sided with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on several of the major questions at issue in the long-running Lenz v. Universal copyright case. This is sometimes referred to as the Dancing Baby case because it centers on a 29-second home video of a toddler dancing with a song by the musician Prince in the background.

The big takeaway of decision is that copyright holders must consider fair use before sending a takedown notice. But just as important, is the basis of that conclusion that fair use is not just a carve-out of the copyright system but a right on the same level of those described in the rest of the statute.

For example, the court states explicitly that Fair use is not just excused by the law, it is wholly authorized by the law. However well attested that principle is in the statute and in case law, it is still sometimes considered controversial. Hopefully this decision puts that debate to rest: whether the copyright holder grants permission or not, a fair use is an authorized use.

The court goes on to specify an important consequence of that fact: since fair use is authorized by the law, people enjoying their right to fair use are not infringing copyright. That's important because Universal had argued that fair use has to be considered an affirmative defense of otherwise unlawful conduct. The panel of judges dismantled that idea:

Universal's interpretation is incorrect as it conflates two different concepts: an affirmative defense that is labeled as such due to the procedural posture of the case, and an affirmative defense that excuses impermissible conduct. Supreme Court precedent squarely supports the conclusion that fair use does not fall into the latter camp: [A]nyone who . . . makes a fair use of the work is not an infringer of the copyright with respect to such use. Sony Corp. of Am. v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417, 433 (1984).

Given that 17 U.S.C. § 107 expressly authorizes fair use, labeling it as an affirmative defense that excuses conduct is a misnomer.

One reason this affirmation of fair use is so crucial is that it comes at a time when fair users should be enjoying new opportunities from unprecedented media tools and distribution options, but instead face similarly groundbreaking challenges and pushback from copyright holders. An interview with the video remix artist Elisa Kriesinger published just yesterday brings some of those points into focus:

Every few weeks, you are constantly having to defend your work, You thought you were clear two weeks ago, and now you've got to defend it again because someone else is saying that they own a portion of your work.

For fair users, the decision has another heartening element, the court has appropriately defined the damages available to targets of takedown abuse as broader than actual monetary loss. In practical terms, many people who are using their fair use rights online can't easily demonstrate precise monetary costs of an improper takedown, but it can take a toll in terms of time and energy getting it restored and holding the senders accountable. It's good to see a court recognize that idea. Accepting that a broad range of harm can and should make it easier for service providers and the public to hold accountable those that would abuse the DMCA.

The decision is not all good news, unfortunately. Applying an older Ninth Circuit decision called Rossi v MPAA, the court suggested that, although copyright owners must consider fair use, they only need to form a subjective good faith belief that the work is not authorized by law, even if this belief is objectively unreasonable on either the law or facts at issue. Those that would use the law to silence online speech should, at the very least, be required to act reasonably. Otherwise the law perversely rewards those who fail to properly educate themselves about fair use before sending a takedown.

The EFF comments:

It took eight years of litigation to get to this point. That's right: it took eight years to establish that record labels like Universal must consider whether your speech is legal before they try to get it taken off the Internet. We are glad to finally have this result and we hope that this ruling will lead to less takedown abuse in the future.

 

  Sydney Underground Film Festival...

Organisers speak of those films with issues for censors, Love, Bunny the Killer Thing and Dolphin Love


Link Here 15th September 2015

sydney undergorund film festival 2015 logo The Sydney Underground Film Festival
17 -20th September 2015
The Factory Theatre in Marrickville, Sydney

After a recent change to Australian film censorship law, festival organisers have been speaking of an improved process making it a bit easier to schedule censor baiting material. Festival organisers are now allowed to self-assess as to whether yet to be censored movies are permissible.

Events such as the Sydney Underground Film Festival's co-director Stefan Popescu welcomed the new classification exemptions for festivals and special events:

I think it's far more intelligent to give festivals greater responsibility in assessing the suitability of content for their exhibition, he says. It is good to see that the [Classification Board] is moving towards a less controlling and fearful position in their policies concerning content for media.

The festival opens on Thursday with a screening of French film Love, which has been described as a 3D pornographic movie. Popescu says the film, which premiered at this year's Cannes film festival, challenges the way sexuality is addressed in Australia.

I think we should relax the censorship laws and generally relax our conservative attitudes towards sexuality, he says. I personally don't understand why people are so uptight about something that forms the basis of human existence, yet we celebrate and support violence and warmongering publicly.

This year's festival was programmed before the new censorship rules were enacted and Popescu speaks of films creating issues for the censors. The Australian censors were concerned in particular about two scenes from a Finnish comedy-horror movie, Bunny The Killer Thing. One of the scenes had a woman being bashed unconscious and then sexually assaulted, but the censors did not required cuts. Popescu commented:

I chose Bunny The Killer Thing , because I love ridiculous gore films, there is some sort of sick pleasure in it for me

But even Popescu said he was shocked by the documentary Dolphin Love:

I just find it one of the more confronting films, because this guy really believes he had a loving relationship with a dolphin, he says. I just don't know how I feel about that because firstly it's real and secondly there is no way to assess whether the dolphin consents.

The festival will close with Eli Roth's Knock Knock, an erotic horror film featuring Keanu Reeves.

 

  Seeking refuge in censorship...

Germany pushes Facebook to censor criticism of the country's refugee policy


Link Here 15th September 2015
Germany flag Facebook has announced that it is undertaking steps to counter racist postings by users in Germany after criticism by the Justice Ministry.

Facebook made the announcement just before a meeting with Justice Minister Heiko Maas to discuss the topic. Facebook  were 'invited' them to the meeting to discuss what he saw as a failure to act against violent and xenophobic comments which had proliferated due to the way the refugee crisis is being handled.

Facebook has unveiled several censorship measures including signing up with the 'Voluntary' Self-censorship Service Provider (FSM) a group Facebook describes as a leading organization in the realm of internet security,

Facebook is also setting up a task force to find solutions to the problem of racism on the internet. Thirdly Facebook are taking a few ideas from China with a campaign for counter speech , an Orwellian euphemism which means censoring criticism through propaganda postings on internet forums.

Facebook Germany's policy manager Eva-Maria Kirschsieper said in a statement.

We have seen how many groups have been organised on our platform aiming to help refugees. But a very small minority have been spreading opinions that cross the line of acceptable behaviour.

 

  No Free Speech Zone...

Malaysian Constitutional court rules that censorship trumps free speech of the screening of the documentary, No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka


Link Here 15th September 2015
no fire zone video No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka is a 2013 UK documentary by Callum Macrae.
Starring Rufus Sewell, Bashana Abeywardene and Vany Viji. IMDb

No Fire Zone: In the Killing Fields of Sri Lanka is an investigative documentary about the final weeks of the Sri Lankan Civil War.

Back in July 2013, Sri Lanka was smarting from criticisms in the documentary D Censorship was the response, and when Sri Lanka got wind of a private screening to be held in Malaysia, the Malaysian government was persuaded to ensure that the screening was banned.

The film was screened and programme coordinator, Lena Rasathi A. Hendry took the rap. However she challenged the Malaysian censorship in the country's constitutional court.

The Federal Court has just ruled on the case, and found that the political censorship enacted under the Film Censorship Act 2002 did not contravene constitutional protections for freedom of speech.

A provision under the Film Censorship Act 2002 was used in the prosecution of Hendry which makes it an offence for a person to screen a film prior to approval by the Film Censorship Board.

Justice Zulkefli ruled that the court's answer to the question of law posed was in the negative and that there was no merit in her application. The legal question was whether Section 6 (1)(b) of the Film Censorship Act 2002 read together with Section 6 (2)(a) of the same Act violated Article 10 (right to freedom of speech and expression) and Article 8 (1) of the Federal Constitution (equality before the law and entitle to equal protection of the law) and therefore should be struck down and void for unconstitutionality.

He also remitted the matter back to the High Court and gave a directive for the case to proceed for trial at the Magistrate's Court.

So Lena is now facing a charge at the Magistrate's Court in Kuala Lumpur for allegedly screening a documentary entitled No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka that had not been approved by the Film Censorship Board.

She was accused of committing the offence at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Chamber of Commerce Hall at Jalan Maharajalela in Kuala Lumpur at 9pm on July 3, 2013.

 

 Offsite Article: Better uninformed than incarcerated...


Link Here 15th September 2015
british library logo British library turns down a collected archive of material about the Taliban lest it transgresses UK law on possessing material that glorifies terrorism

See article from justsecurity.org

 

 Update: Moralists Uncaged...

Buoyed by success in getting book banned, New Zealand's Family First miserablists set their sight on lads' mag Zoo


Link Here 14th September 2015
zoo-weekly 220 New Zealand moralist campaign group, Family First, is calling for the lads' mag Zoo Weekly to be banned from supermarket shelves.

A petition that started in Australia, calling for supermarkets to stop stocking men's magazine Zoo, was picked up in New Zealand by Family First. The campaign group is calling for Countdown to follow the Australian example and ban men's magazine Zoo from its shelves.

But a spokesman for Countdown New Zealand said it has no plans to remove the publication from its shelves, and that it takes responsible steps when displaying the magazine. And many members of the public have agreed, saying they don't find the magazine offensive.

The petition to drop Zoo from Woolworths, which owns Countdown stores in New Zealand has about 40,000 people calling for the store's chief executives to bin Zoo magazine immediately .

Laura Pintur, who started the campaign, spouted:

When I heard Zoo was regularly promoting rape culture and sexism with phrases like 'you want to pick the loosest/skankiest one of the lot and fetch her a drink...separate her from the flock'. I couldn't stand by and watch it promoted to kids at supermarkets.

Family First National director Bob McCoskrie whinged that the magazine did not belong on supermarket shelves:

I think if I showed you it, you see it promotes a rape culture, it objectifies women, teaches boys to be predatory, it's the continued sexualisation of women. We want to encourage families to politely speak to managers and ask if it's appropriate to make a profit out of these messages.

But a Countdown spokesperson said it was just one of more than 1000 stockists selling the magazine around the country. The supermarket sells less than a quarter of Zoo magazines in New Zealand, and they were appropriately positioned in store, he said.

 

  No respect for freedom...

Alabama christians think they know their god's views on low slung pants


Link Here 14th September 2015
low slung pants A US town council has proposed a ban on mini-skirts in public to promote respect - three weeks after an official proposed a city decree prohibiting low trousers because their god supposedly wouldn't like it.

The initial proposal was made at a council meeting on 25 August to ban low trousers that reveal men's boxer shorts. Frank Goodman, a member of Dadeville city council spouted:

It is about respect. Who is going to respect you if you don't respect yourself? The reason I brought this up is I think people deserve respect when they are in public.

I think slacking is disrespectful. I think it gives our younger generation the wrong impression of what is cool.

I prayed about this. I know that God would not go around with pants down.

The proposal was questioned by another council member, Stephanie Kelley but only to add mini skirts into the list of prohibited clothing in the interest of equality. She whinged:

My concern is it should be for everybody. I think for the girls, with these shorts up so high looking like under garments and dresses so short, I don't want us to be showing favouritism.

The city attorney Robin Reynolds said he hopes to have the ordinance ready by the next meeting.

 

  Payment Censors...

France persuades payment companies to block services to a list of websites provided by the media industry


Link Here 12th September 2015

card Supported by the French Government, several key players in the online payment industry are teaming up with copyright holders to ban infringing websites. The proposed agreement is a key part of the follow the money approach through which stakeholders hope to decrease online piracy via censorship.

The entertainment industries are lobbying the public and private sector to  come to their aid. So far, this has resulted in Government supported voluntary agreements in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

It now appears that France intends to follow the same path. One of the key elements of the French approach is to strangle the revenues of pirate sites by making it harder to run ads and accept online payments.

Earlier this year Fleur Pellerin, France's Minister of Culture and Communication, presented a paper outlining the Government's plans. At the time, it was suggested that payments to and from pirate sites should be blocked where possible.

Yesterday several leading online payment processors including PayPal, Visa and MasterCard discussed a possible pirate blacklist agreement with copyright holders. Most services already prohibit copyright infringing services in their terms of use, but the new plan would go above and beyond current measures.

According to Minister Pellerin both parties are working on a voluntary agreement which would see copyright holders create and maintain a pirate site blacklist. The payment providers will then use this list to prevent sites from signing up or to terminate current accounts.

Some opponents fear that without proper oversight the blacklist may become too broad. This could potentially destroy businesses which are not deemed illegal by any court.

 

 Offsite Article: Extremist Cult of Censorship...


Link Here 12th September 2015
The Guardian Guardian High Priestess of PC thinks that the opinions of ordinary folks should be banned from newspaper comments

See article from theguardian.com

 

 Offsite Article: Don't let the spies grab your metadata...


Link Here 12th September 2015
digitaliberties logo Secrecy may have a grubbier motive, forcing state agencies to keep information from the public to prevent a backlash against their usage. By Jane Duncan.

See article from opendemocracy.net

 

 Updated: Envying a politician who actually fights for free expression...

France's culture minister notes the ascendancy of the far right and catholic extremists and so takes action to oppose an 18 rating for Gaspar Noe's Love


Link Here 11th September 2015
Love BR Blu ray Aomi Muyock July Love is a 2015 France / Belgium drama by Gaspar No.
Starring Gaspar No, Aomi Muyock and Klara Kristin. Youtube link IMDb

France's culture minister plans to reconsider a law requiring non-porn film images of real sex to be 18 rated since this restriction limits freedom of expression.

The move is linked Gaspar No's Love which features a scene with real sex.

The film was initially rated 16 as it came out in France this summer. However, as a result of a lawsuit filed by a far-right political group, the country's cinema classification office was obliged to change it to to an 18 rating, a certificate previously exclusively reserved for porn films.

The far-right group managed to win the case since under the French law any film that shows non-simulated sex scenes must be forbidden for under-18s.

Now France's culture minister Fleur Pellerin has commendably opposed the 18 rating noting that this is an indication of French right-wingers and hard-line Catholics gaining ground.

She has appealed to the Conseil d'Etat to review the decision. She also said

We are working with the people who classify films to see how we can make things evolve, while respecting the protection of minors.

18 cert Update: BBFC 18 rating

11th September 2015. See  article from bbfc.co.uk

The BBFC has now passed Love in 2D and 3D versions as 18 uncut for strong real sex, very strong language

 

  Never let go...

Australian film festivals can self censor films as long as they have a trained censor onboard


Link Here 11th September 2015
Australian Film Classification Board

New classification exemption arrangements for festivals and special events

On 11 September 2015, amendments to the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) (Modifications of Films) Act 1995 take effect that streamline and simplify the classification exemption arrangements for special events like film festivals and computer game expos and for cultural institutions such as art galleries and museums wishing to exhibit unclassified films, computer games and publications.

The Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) (Conditional Cultural Exemption Rules) Instrument 2015 , which provides further details on the exemptions, will also take effect on 11 September 2015.

Event organisers will no longer be required to apply to the Director of the Classification Board for an exemption from the usual classification requirements. Rather, they will be able to self-assess their eligibility for an exemption.

  • For an exemption to apply, events that wholly or mainly involve the showing of films, computer games or publications, such as a film festival or a computer games expo, must be registered on the online classification portal .

  • Approved cultural institutions are not required to register their events. However, event organisers must use persons trained by the Attorney-General's Department to assess the unclassified material for the exemption to apply.

More information about the new classification exemption arrangements is available on the Industry Guides and Fact Sheets pages.

 

  A culture of censorship...

Saudi bans the latest edition of National Geographic for cultural reasons


Link Here 11th September 2015
national geographic saudi Saudi Arabia has banned the Arabic edition of National Geographic, whose front showed the pope standing in the Sistine Chapel.

Regional editor-in-chief, Alsaad Omar Al Menhaly made explained on Twitter:

Dear readers in Saudi Arabia, we apologize for you not obtaining August's magazine. According to the publishing company, the magazine was denied entry for cultural reasons. Chief Editor.

The cover story addresses Pope Francis' silent revolution and hopes to create a church that is poor and for the poor .

Kacem El Ghazzali, a secular activist from Morocco said it was fairly common for scores of scientific, secular, and philosophical to be banned in Saudi. He added:

Thousands of blogs and websites are also banned in the country and contrary to most Arab countries, Saudi Arabia never tries to hide its intentions and recognition of censorship.

 

 Offsite Article: Good questions...


Link Here 11th September 2015
australian senate logo Drugs, pornography and bicycle helmets under Senate microscope as David Leyonhjelm's nanny state inquiry begins

See article from abc.net.au

 

  Cameron shown the back door...

European Parliament passes resolution supporting the use of strong encryption


Link Here 10th September 2015
European Parliament logo The European Parliament has voted to adopt the conclusions of a report that defends encryption, anonymity and digital freedom.

The report, which was narrowly approved by 371 votes in favour to 293 against, criticised EU governments for supporting mass snooping:

The active complicity of certain EU member states in the NSA's mass surveillance of citizens and spying on political leaders, as revealed by Edward Snowden, has caused serious damage to the credibility of the EU's human rights policy.

However, it's not just the US that has come in for a bashing in the resolution that was drafted by Dutch Liberal MEP Marietje Schaake. David Cameron's ideas about banning encryption or allowing backdoor exploits for spying are also roundly condemned. The European Parliament said the EU should:

Counter the criminalisation of the use of encryption, anti-censorship and privacy tools by refusing to limit the use of encryption within the EU, and by challenging third-country governments that criminalise such tools.

It also condemns the weakening and undermining of encryption protocols and products, particularly by intelligence services seeking to intercept encrypted communications.

Schaake wants end-to-end encryption standards as a matter of course for all communication services.

 

 Update: Too Much Fun...

David Cooke speaks about A Diary of a Teenage Girl and avoiding the temptation to stay forever as boss of the BBFC


Link Here 10th September 2015
david cooke 2015

 

  Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials...

The latest film suffering cuts for a 12A rated cinema release


Link Here 9th September 2015
Poster Maze Runner the Scorch Trials 2015 Wes Ball Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is a 2015 USA action Sci-Fi thriller by Wes Ball.
Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario and Thomas Brodie-Sangster. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

UK: [2D + 3D] passed 12A for frequent moderate threat, violence after BBFC advised category cuts were made for:

  • 2015 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

This work was originally seen for advice. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive a 15 certificate but that their preferred 12A classification could be achieved by making some changes. The company was advised:

  • to reduce moments of threat and horror involving zombie-like characters, and

  • to reduce the focus on injury in a scene in which a man is beaten for information.

When the film was formally submitted, changes had been made and, consequently, the film was passed 12A.

Summary Notes

In this next chapter of the epic "Maze Runner" saga, Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) and his fellow Gladers face their greatest challenge yet: searching for clues about the mysterious and powerful organization known as WCKD. Their journey takes them to the Scorch, a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles. Teaming up with resistance fighters, the Gladers take on WCKD's vastly superior forces and uncover its shocking plans for them all.

 

  Rescued...

Bangladesh unbans film showing desperate conditions for factory workers


Link Here 9th September 2015
rana plaza A garment worker's rescue from the rubble of a Bangladeshi factory collapse in 2013 offered a Hollywood ending to one of the world's worst industrial disasters.

But when a Bangladeshi filmmaker decided to make a movie based on the miraculous survival story, a court banned its release claiming that it could negatively affect the country's labor force.

More recently though, a panel of four judges had a change of heart and agreed to lift the ban,. The reversal came at the insistence of the movie's producer, Shamima Akhter, who reasoned that Rana Plaza --named after the now infamous factory--had already been approved by Bangladesh's Film Censor Board.

At the time, Akhter had agreed to delete several scenes that presumably showed uncomfortable truths about how workers are treated in the factories of Bangladesh.

The Rana Plaza collapse claimed more than 1,000 lives and injured 2,500 others, raising international outcry over workers' safety.

The initial six-month ban on Rana Plaza's release was prompted in part by a petition launched by labor union president Sirajul Islam Rony, who objected to the movie's "humiliating" portrayal of workers as a "cheap commodity," according to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle . Rony worried that the film might scare the millions of women who labor in Bangladesh's roughly $25 billion garment industry. Western retailers including H&M, Benetton, Zara, and Gap are among the country's biggest buyers.

 

 Offsite Article: Myles Jackman...


Link Here 9th September 2015
myles jackman One lawyer's crusade to defend extreme pornography

See article from theguardian.com

 

  Bang to Rights...

Petition calls for Amazon to ban books by 'pick-up artist' Roosh V


Link Here 8th September 2015
Bang More Lays 60 Days Pick-up artist Daryush Valizadeh, known as Roosh V, is at the centre of another internet storm as feminists get offended by his books and claim that they are pro rape in a change.org petition calling for the books to be banned on Amazon.

Amazon currently stocks 22 books written by the writer, from Washington, who identifies himself as a champion of neomasculinity .

About 200,000 people having signed the peitition.

The petition was launched three weeks by London-based activist Caroline Charles. Her starts with the warning line: This petition contains details about sexual assault. She cites a passage:

While walking to my place, I realized how drunk she was. In America, having sex with her would have been rape, since she legally couldn't give her consent. It didn't help matters that I was sober, but I can't say I cared or even hesitated. I won't rationalize my actions, but having sex is what I do.

Valizadeh has penned a series of books in his Bang series, which all detail similar subjects and stories from countries around the world including Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania and Poland.

Inevitably Charles ludicrously claims she does not believe in censorship:

To those who'll cry 'censorship - back off,'. He's entitled to write and think and say what he likes. He's not, however, protected from the backlash against his output, or removal of platform. This isn't about banning books ...[BUT]... it's about ensuring he, and Amazon, can't profit from rape.

 

  A storm is brewing...

A few miserable whinges help promote BrewDog's Equity for Punks campaign


Link Here 8th September 2015
bredog dontmakeusdothis video About 7,000 people have signed a petition calling on British craft beer company, BrewDog, to remove a humorous advert which the petitioners claims is transphobic.

The video named Don't Make Us Do This asks fans of the company to become investors while reiterating their mission statement - Equity For Punks .

The petition claims the advert is: Mocking trans women, sex workers and homeless people and that by doing so - is not punk or ethical.

During the three minute advertisement, co-founders James Watt and Martin Dickie ask viewers not to force them into any humiliating experiences. Watt and Dickie are then shown in a series of embarrassing scenarios, which includes begging for money on the streets and in a window dressed in women's clothes as sex workers.

In a statement, James Watt, Co-Founder of BrewDog told the Huffington Post UK:

The video we created was to launch the CrowdCube aspect of Equity for Punks and was made in the spirit of fun and sending ourselves up, it's a shame that some people have taken offence where none was intended. We have a history of supporting and championing the LGBT community, and will continue doing so. watch this space.

 

  The writing's on the vagina wall...

Major art installation vandalised at Versailles Palace


Link Here 8th September 2015
anish kapoor dirty corner versailles Anish Kapoor's installation titled Dirty Corner has been vandalised for the second time. It is currently on show at the Palais de Versailles just outside Paris.

The contemporary work nicknamed the Queen's Vagina was daubed with insulting slogans targeted at French jews eg: The second rape of the nation by deviant Jewish activism.

Fabrice Bousteau, editor-in-chief of Beaux Arts magazine and a commissioner of contemporary art exhibitions told the Guardian.

There is a minor faction of the French population that is fascist about culture and especially about what it considers to be degenerate art. Most French people are respectful of contemporary art, but these people see it as an expression of France's degeneration.

Anish Kapoor has said he will keep the inscriptions, and in the sense that his work is a sociological statement, he is right to do so.

Kapoor's giant steel and rock sculpture, on display in the Versailles gardens facing the palace and measuring 200 feet long and 33 feet high, is a huge funnel, which the 61-year-old artist has admitted is very sexual . Shortly after it was unveiled in June, it was splattered with yellow paint. This was subsequently cleaned off.

This week, French president Francois Hollande condemned the latest attack and the antisemitic slogans sprayed on the sculpture as hateful . Culture minister Fleur Pellerin said she was angry and shocked .

 

 Updated: Into the River of the Living Dead...

New Zealand moralist utters a mumbo jumbo incantation and zombie book censors are resurrected from the dead


Link Here 8th September 2015  full story: Book Censorship in New Zealand...Embarassing book bans
Into River Large Print 16pt New Zealand's book censorship review board has arisen from the dead and slapped an interim ban on a book for the first time since the current law was passed 22 years ago.

The president of the Film and Literature Board of Review, Don Mathieson has issued the Interim Restriction Order banning the sale or distribution of Auckland author Ted Dawe's award-winning novel for teenagers Into the River until the full board can consider whether the book should be restricted.

The moralist campaigner, Family First director Bob McCoskrie, who requested the review, said the interim order - the first affecting a book under the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993 - showed people could still use the censorship system. He spouted:

Hopefully we have set a precedent and people start bringing other books to the fore that they are concerned about.

Where a book is targeted at teenagers it needed to be language and theme appropriate.

The order is the latest twist in an extraordinary saga for Into the River , which won the top prize in the 2013 Children's Book Awards. The censor's office first classified it as unrestricted with a note about explicit sex, drugs and offensive language. The review board later imposed an R14 restriction, but this was overturned last month when deputy chief censor Nic McCully ruled that the book should be unrestricted.

Pro-censorship Mathieson, who argued a minority case for an R18 restriction in 2013, said in the new interim order it was debatable, and a matter of independent public interest, whether the chief censor acted lawfully in overturning the board's decision.

It is now illegal to supply the book to anyone until the full board made a final decision.

Update: More mumbo jumbo

8th September 2015.  See  article from odt.co.nz

Family First logo The head of the Christian morality campaign, Family First, said he never demanded the  book Into the River be banned.  Bob McCoskrie told Radio NZ Family First had wanted censors to reinstate the book's R14 rating, which had been removed last month, and require that the book carry a warning sticker. McCoskrie spouted:

We're not calling for it to be banned and we never have. We'd just like an age restriction in the same way that a movie has an R16 or R18. If you want to blame anyone for the book being banned, blame the censor's office because they went against due process.

It has sexually explicit material and it's a book that's got the c-word nine times, the f-word 17 times and s-h-i-t 16 times.

 

  An FBI iRant...

FBI attacks Apple and Google over encryption use and messages that can't be decrypted on court order


Link Here 8th September 2015
imessage logo Apple has refuse a US court order to hand over texts sent using iMessage between two iPhones because its encryption system leaves the company unable to comply.

The order was obtained by the US Department of Justice during an investigation over the summer and represents the first known direct face-off between the government and Apple over encryption.

The US government, led by the FBI, has been making increasingly strident calls for technology companies to stop providing ubiquitous encryption to customers. In September 2014, the director of the FBI, James Comey, specifically criticised Apple's decision to enable end-to-end encryption in its then-new mobile operating system, iOS8, which is what prevents the company from reading its users' messages. Comey said at the time:

I like and believe very much that we should have to obtain a warrant from an independent judge to be able to take the content of anyone's closet or their smart phone. The notion that someone would market a closet that could never be opened -- even if it involves a case involving a child kidnapper and a court order -- to me does not make any sense.

Google is marketing their Android the same way: 'Buy our phone and law-enforcement, even with legal process, can never get access to it.

 

 Update: Parental guidance becomes parental diktat...

India TV viewers are worried that censorship rules require that only U rated films suitable for children are to be allowed on TV


Link Here 7th September 2015  full story: TV Censorship in India...India considers the regulation of TV for adults
india government logo Recently, judges at Delhi High Court found that under the Cable Network Regulation Act, any movie with U/A (PG) or A (18) certification, which were not suitable for unrestricted exhibition, cannot be shown on television.

Most industry insiders fear that not allowing U/A films from being screened on television will mean a loss of 40% revenue for producers. Not just local producers and regional channels, even those screening foreign movies will face a huge issue if such a norm is put into effect.

Actress Rituparna Sengupta termed this as a detrimental step. It'll harm both actors and producers. Producer Srikant Mohta described this as the last nail on the industry's coffin . Describing this as an attack on freedom of expression, director Srijit Mukherji said this will mean asking film-makers to make movies for kids. Producer Rana Sarkar apprehended that such a move would result in a massacre . This is death of creativity, Sarkar said.

The recent development happened when on August 21, the Delhi High Court stayed the television premier of Indra Kumar's Grand Masti after a petition was filed by MediaWatch-India, a moralist group campaigning for 'decency' and accountability in the media. The adult Hindi film had earlier been re-certified by Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) after 33 minutes of cuts But the court stay order had said that the film was not certified for unrestricted public exhibition and cannot be televised under the Cable Network Regulation Act. In an interim order, the court had rejected the argument that parents could change the channel since a warning that it was not suitable for minors is shown before such a movie starts. The bench had observed that a child's TV viewing may not always be under parental supervision.

Manish Desai, CEO of India's films censors said:

The matter is still being examined, especially in the light of the petition on 'Grand Masti' which was converted from 'A' to 'U/A' with deletions.

A notice has been issued to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and CBFC seeking their replies by September 16 on a plea seeking quashing of the U/A certification given to the movie.

 

  A Parrot Object...

Stripping the Illusion asks if the extremist feminist campaign group Object has ceased to be


Link Here 7th September 2015
  object logo Object's website has ceased to be.  twitter and facebook postings seem to have stopped on the 7th July, and Object as a company have failed to file both their accounts (a 150 fine) and annual returns.

strippingtheillusion.blogspot.co.uk asks:

Does Object even have a future? I am sure that when this is read someone will try to make object look active but over the last couple of years they have had less and less impact and failed to deliver anything other than a jolly to Brazil for Roz Hardie, certainly hope that wasn't the last of the funds. And if I donated to Object in the past I would be stopping any standing orders.

...Read the full article

 

  Psychologically unconvincing...

American Psychological Association review scientific papers on computer games and violence


Link Here 6th September 2015
american psychological association logo Violent video game play is linked to increased aggression in players but insufficient evidence exists about whether the link extends to criminal violence or delinquency, according to a new American Psychological Association task force report.

Mark Appelbaum, the task force chair, commented in the review:

The research demonstrates a consistent relation between violent video game use and increases in aggressive behavior, aggressive cognitions and aggressive affect, and decreases in prosocial behavior, empathy and sensitivity to aggression

Scientists have investigated the use of violent video games for more than two decades but to date, there is very limited research addressing whether violent video games cause people to commit acts of criminal violence. However, the link between violence in video games and increased aggression in players is one of the most studied and best established in the field.

No single risk factor consistently leads a person to act aggressively or violently, the report states. Rather, it is the accumulation of risk factors that tends to lead to aggressive or violent behavior. The research reviewed here demonstrates that violent video game use is one such risk factor.

In light of the task force's conclusions, APA has called on the industry to design video games that include increased parental control over the amount of violence the games contain. APA's Council of Representatives adopted a resolution encouraging the Entertainment Software Rating Board to refine its video game rating system to reflect the levels and characteristics of violence in games, in addition to the current global ratings. In addition, the resolution urges developers to design games that are appropriate to users' age and psychological development, and voices APA's support for more research to address gaps in the knowledge about the effects of violent video game use.

The task force conducted a comprehensive review of the research literature published between 2005 and 2013 focused on violent video game use. This included four meta-analyses that reviewed more than 150 research reports published before 2009. Task force members then conducted both a systematic evidence review and a quantitative review of the literature published between 2009 and 2013. (A systematic evidence review synthesizes all empirical evidence that meets pre-specified criteria to answer specific research questions) This resulted in 170 articles, 31 of which met all of the most stringent screening criteria.

Update: ESRB responds

18th September 2015.See  article from gamepolitics.com

esrb logo In addition to the report described above, the APA released a declaration:

A Resolution on Violent Video Games - that strongly encourages the Entertainment Software Rating Board to refine the ESRB rating system specifically to reflect the levels and characteristics of violence in games in addition to the current global ratings .

While the ESRB said that it has had an open dialogue with the APA - and will continue to do so, it also said that it doesn't need to make changes to the ratings system. It cited an 8-year-old FTC report on the reliability of the ratings system (compared to other entertainment industry ratings systems) and a Hart Research poll that found parents were familiar with the ESRB.

 

  Rajan Zed recommends Doctor Who...

Hindu spokesman whinges at comicbook featuring creatures called the Kaliratha


Link Here 5th September 2015  full story: Rajan Zed...Taking easy offence at hindu imagery
Doctor Who Twelfth ebook Perennial Hindu whinger, Rajan Zed, has turned his attention to a Doctor Who comic book, The Twelfth Doctor: Volume 3.

Doctor Who fan site Kasterborous described the storyline of the episode:

The Kaliratha are like the demon Raktabija, an innumerable threat that seems to increase in size whenever one of its horde falls. Unlike Raktibija, however, the Kaliratha are the servants of Kali, Goddess of time and death. One would be hard pressed to find a more apt villain for a Doctor Who story taking place in India.

Zed took easy offence at a website description of the episode:

Kali, oldest and deadliest of these creatures, was thought defeated long, long ago; her body scattered throughout time to prevent her return.

Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in Nevada, called for Titan Comics to withdraw the comic, both from stores and online, and offer a public apology from all those responsible. He said that the goddess Kali was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be thrown around loosely in reimagined versions for dramatic effect in comics. And that calling her a creature was hurtful to her devotees.

Zed spouted that Hindus are in favor of free speech as much as anybody else, if not more so ....BUT... faith is something sacred, and any attempts at belittling faith hurts the devotees.

Titan comics apologised for any 'offence' caused by the representation of Kali in this comic and said:

This particular character is an alien that uses the iconography of Kali to infiltrate India in the 1800s. The story eventually reveals that this entity is not the goddess of the Hindu faith. Titan s Doctor Who comics draw inspiration from historical events and cultural traditions from all over the globe .

 

 Offsite Article: Filtering out Cameron's censorship...


Link Here 4th September 2015  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet
David Cameron Survey reveals that porn blocking shunned by Brits due to uncertainty around its effectiveness

See article from broadbandgenie.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: Sensitive emails revealed...


Link Here 4th September 2015  full story: Homegrown...Youth theatre production censored
nyt-homegrown logo Radicalisation play cancelled by theatre after concerns about 'extremist agenda'

See article from theguardian.com

 

 Update: Chinese McCartneyism...

Film censors approve first film with gay central characters


Link Here 3rd September 2015  full story: Film Censorship in China...All Chinese films censored to be suitable for kids
seek mccartney China has approved for cinema release the first film with gay principal characters. Film director Wanga nnounced on Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter, that censors had given Seek McCartney permission for a cinema release. He said:

This is a small step for the film department, and a big step for the members of the film industry.

The film, a Chinese-French co-production, centres on a secret relationship between two men, one Chinese and one French.

Fan Popo, an LGBT filmmaker and rights activist was note entirely convinced that this is a policy change. He told AFP:

The fact that this film can be released in theatres doesn't mean gay films in the future will be able to released in China. China's system for evaluating films is still very unstable, because the rules are very unclear. It depends heavily on the individual censor's whims.

 

  Unspeakable PC crimes...

ITV's Loose Women makes a gaff with a poll about rape


Link Here 3rd September 2015
loose women ITV has apologised after a poll on Loose Women about rape 'offended' political correct viewers. The show foolishly dared to ask whether rape was ever a woman's fault.

The poll followed on from comments The Pretenders' singer Chrissie Hynde had made in the Sunday Times.

The Loose Women poll drew criticism on Twitter, with one viewer Rebecca Gill calling it off the scale of acceptability .

Rape Crisis for England and Wales tweeted that it was

Not an appropriate opinion poll; legally and morally the answer is a resounding 'no'

Katie Russell the national spokesperson for Rape Crisis England & Wales added:

A programme like Loose Women could choose to use its high profile to raise awareness and understanding of rape, its impacts and prevalence, and to support and encourage survivors to seek services like those Rape Crisis offers; instead, they've reinforced myths and stereotypes with this ill-considered, insensitive and insulting poll.

In a statement issued to The Guardian an ITV spokesperson said:

We always want to know what our viewers think about topical issues, however, we accept that the wording of the online poll was misjudged and we apologise for any offence caused.

TV censor Ofcom said it had received 53 complaints about the poll. i

Update: Ofcom inevitably not interested

17th September 2015. See  article from imediaethics.org

Ofcom has announced that it will not be investigating 73 complaints relating to the PC gaff by the Loose Women programme makers. An OfCom spokesperson told iMediaEthics:

Ofcom logo We carefully considered a number of complaints that it was offensive for this programme to ask the audience 'are women ever to blame' in cases of rape.

We noted the panel did not say that rape victims were in any way responsible for the behaviour of their attackers; and the audience strongly concurred with the sentiment 'no means no' expressed by many on the panel.

We found the panel discussion and references to an online poll were in line with audience expectations for this live panel programme, which often covers difficult topics. Therefore, we are not taking the matter forward for investigation.

 

  Insulting free speech...

Bahrain introduces new blasphemy bill criminalising the criticism of religion


Link Here 2nd September 2015
Bahrain flag Bahrain has become the latest Gulf state to propose a legal ban on critical discussion of religion. In a report of a cabinet meeting, the government news agency says:

A draft law on criminalising contempt of religions, such as insulting divinity, defaming divine books, prophets, Allah's Messengers, as well as their wives or companions, and any hate and sectarian discourse that undermines national unity, differentiates between individuals or groups on the bases of religion, creed or sect and triggers conflict between individuals or groups, was also discussed.

The bill was presented in the memorandum submitted by the Interior Minister, and was referred to the Ministerial Committee for Legal Affairs for further study.

Both moves appear to be a response to an international conference in France, where a Saudi official from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs called for the worldwide introduction of blasphemy laws, as a matter of urgency.

 

  Discriminating against free speech...

Argentina introduces an internet censorship bill supposedly as a measure against discrimination


Link Here 2nd September 2015

Argentina flag In an effort to promote tolerance and equality in Argentina, online censorship could become a reality. Argentina's House of Representatives is currently debating a series of reforms to the National Anti-discrimination Act, a bill that was enacted in 1988 . The current proposal would require online platforms that allow user comments to monitor and remove any content considered discriminatory according to the vague and ambiguous provisions outlined in the proposed reforms. The amendments would also make it a criminal offense to publish discriminatory or insulting comments on Internet sites, punishable by fine or even prison time.

This draft proposal is problematic for four reasons. First, the proposal's definition of discriminatory contents is excessively broad and ambiguous, and even considers non-violent speech to be criminal. Second, it requires intermediaries to publish terms and conditions that say users should refrain from publishing any discriminatory comments before entering the site. Next, it urges intermediaries to take any measure deemed necessary for preventing discriminatory content from spreading. And lastly, the proposal sets a sentence of up to three years for those who assist or promote a person or organization in publishing discriminatory content.

If this proposal is enacted, it would most certainly stifle free expression and promote self-censorship. We may also see website administrators increasingly monitoring their users in fear of legal retaliation.

 

 Offsite Comment: Terrorist slippery slope...


Link Here 2nd September 2015  full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim
open democracy our kingdom logo The UK government should look to what is happening to free expression in Egypt and Turkey before broadening terrorist laws to include those who spread hate. By Jodie Ginsberg

See article from opendemocracy.net

 

 Offsite Article: Pay Per Snoop...


Link Here 2nd September 2015  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
UK Flag Snoopers' Charter will cause extreme rise in business costs, say UK IT professionals

See article from telecomreseller.com

 

 Update: Seeking Refuge in Censorship...

Germany seeks to keep a lid on Facebook comments about immigration


Link Here 1st September 2015  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor

germany justice ministry logo Germany has a wide range of opinions on the subject of immigration, and no doubt accepting one million Syrian refugees will be quite a challenge. The German government has been looking to keep the lid on internet comments on the subject. Unfortunately for the censors, not all of the unwelcome comments have triggered the level of offence/threat/hatred etc set by internet companies that results in comments being removed. So the German government are currently trying to convince Facebook to be more proactive in acting against comments that the government considers racist.

Germany's Justice Minister Heiko Maas has warned. In an interview with Reuters, Maas said:

If Facebook wants to do business in Germany, then it must abide by German laws. It doesn't matter that we, because of historical reasons, have a stricter interpretation of freedom of speech than the United States does.

He said that Holocaust denial and inciting racial hatred are crimes in Germany wherever they are found, and that he expects Facebook to be more vigilant in dealing with them on its service.

Maas has also made his views known in a letter to Facebook's public policy director in Dublin, Richard Allan. Maas said that he had received many complaints from German users of Facebook that their protests about racist posts on the service have been ignored. Maas 'suggested' meeting with Allan in Berlin on 14 September to discuss the matter.

Arstechinca commented:

Complying with these kind of local laws is hardly a new problem for US companies that do business in Europe.

One obvious solution--censoring the German-language service and preventing German Facebook users from accessing posts made on other parts of the system--is likely to be unacceptably extreme for users. On the other hand, solutions that only censor comments made on the German-language service, while leaving those posted elsewhere untouched, will make it easy for German users to circumvent the country's laws. Think global, act local, may be great as an Internet slogan, but it's really hard to put into practice when it comes to the law.

 

 Update: ASA Smitten by Hell Pizza Flyer...

New Zealand advert censor whinges at Certificate of Mutherfuckin Awesomeness


Link Here 1st September 2015
mutherfuckin awesomeness  New Zealand's Advertising Standards Authority has released its decision about a omplaint against fast-food chain Hell Pizza with its advertisement for the Flaming Dragon pizza. The ad stated in part:

Slay the dragon and receive...a certificate of mutherf**king awesomeness and Warning! It's even hotter and we're setting this b*%#@ on fire!

The complainants said they were offended by the language used in the colourful advertisement, which would be attractive to children:

I know I am sensitive about foul language compared to some folk, but surely this is going a bit far - this is a colourful flyer that I'm sure would be picked up by children in the household . I just didn't expect such content in a pizza advert.

I do realise that Hell do this sort of stuff to get a reaction - so they win either way don't they?

A Hell Pizza spokesperson said the pizza was strictly R18 as it contains the world's hottest chillies and as such the advertising is aimed at an adult audience .

The ASA ruled the advertisement breached social responsibility, decency and offensiveness in the Code of Ethics. The censor added that the flyer was not saved by the use of the symbols and asterisks in place of the letters in the expletives as they were still recognisable.

 

  Miserable Poland...

Polish court upholds censorship fine for erotica on TV


Link Here 1st September 2015
tvn poland logo A Polish court has upheld a fine of PLN200,000 (47,000) imposed by the TV censor KRRiT on TVN for broadcasting 'pornography'.

The fine was announced in March 2014 and related to Strength of Desire , a programme shown on TVN Style, a channel aimed at a female audience.

In the KRRiT's view, it infringed the Broadcast Law and TVN's explanation that it was modern, erotic cinema for women was inadmissible.

 

  Human rights all at sea...

Incredibly brave journalists in Thailand acquitted of criminal defamation over articles revealing trafficking in Thailand


Link Here 1st September 2015
phuket wan logo Two journalists, including an Australian editor, were found not guilty of criminal defamation by a Thai court on Tuesday, over a report implicating the kingdom's navy in human trafficking. Thankfully the story became an international issue probably leaving Thailand with little option but to acquit.

They were also acquitted of another charge of breaching the Computer Crimes Act in a high-profile trial that had sparked widespread condemnation from human rights groups and the United Nations.

Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian of the Phuketwan news website, were prosecuted over a July 2013 article quoting a Reuters news agency investigation which said some Thai navy members were involved in trafficking Rohingya Muslims fleeing Burma. Phuketwan had only presented Reuters' information that had already been published on their website.

The verdict comes after the region's grim people-smuggling trade was dramatically laid bare this year when migrants were abandoned at sea and in jungle death camps by traffickers following a Thai crackdown , a crisis that eventually forced Southeast Asian governments to respond. A crackdown in May led to the unravelling of vast people-smuggling networks and in July Thai prosecutors announced 72 people had been indicted, including local officials and a senior army general.

The navy has 30 days to appeal against the verdict.

 

  Isis are not the only religious vandals...

Russian group vandalises historic art in the name of religion


Link Here 1st September 2015
mephistopheles destroyed On Sunday over a thousand Russians protested in Saint Petersburg after a one hundred year old relief sculpture of a mythical demon was destroyed by a group calling themselves The Cossacks of Saint Petersburg highlighting the increased religious intolerance under President Vladimir Putin.

The figure of Mephistopheles, a bat-winged creature on Lakhtinskaya Street dated from 1910. It was said to depict the Russian opera singer Feodor Chaliapin, famed for his role of Mephistopheles.

The sculpture was torn off the facade of an Art Nouveau period building in Saint Petersburg, in a religiously-motivated act of cultural vandalism. Police have now launched an investigation.

More than a thousand people including architecture conservationists gathered in front of the building in the city centre to express their shock over what this brazen act of vandalism. Hands off art, read one placard, while another one said in English: Save our Saint Petersburg.

The Cossacks of Saint Petersburg group said in a statement:

Mephistopheles embodies evil in this world and this person decided to act, most likely, to kill Evil.

The figure encouraged "open worship of Satan" and was unacceptable because it was opposite a church.