Censor Watch

 2015: December



  Advert censor wishes you a Miserable Christmas and a PC New Year...

Scrooges at ASA whinge about a Christmas advert for the Breakfast Club Cafe in Brighton


Link Here 30th December 2015

breakfast club cafe snowman advertA regional press ad for The Breakfast Club cafe, advertising Christmas meals, seen in the Brighton & Hove Independent newspaper on 9 November 2015. The ad featured a cartoon snowman that held a carrot which pointed out from the groin area and two pixilated reindeer that appeared to be mating. Issue

The complainant, whose five-year-old child saw the ad, challenged whether:

  1. the ad was offensive; and

  2. was irresponsibly targeted.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The ASA welcomed Brighton & Hove Independent's assurance that they would not print similar ads in future. We noted that the image of the snowman was very prominent in the ad and it appeared the carrot was positioned in order to resemble an erect penis. We also considered that that image, together with the smaller image of the two reindeer, that appeared to be mating, conveyed a sexual tone to the ad.

We understood that the Brighton & Hove Independent newspaper was freely distributed and could therefore be picked-up by consumers within the distribution area. We therefore considered that it was likely to be seen by a wide audience range including children. Furthermore, we understood that the complainant had been browsing through the newspaper with their five-year-old child who was likely to have seen the ad.

We therefore concluded that the overtly sexualised tone of the ad, seen in an untargeted medium, was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and it was irresponsible because of its placement in a freely available newspaper.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Catsteps Cafes Ltd t/a The Breakfast Club to ensure their ads were not overtly sexual when published in an untargeted medium.

 

  Private Correspondence...

Historical papers reveal that British sex shop chain was prevented from opening in Ireland


Link Here 30th December 2015
charles haugheyA series of letters between the Irish prime minister Charles Haughey and the Irish Countrywoman's Association (ICA) in November 1982 detail the PM's displeasure at the prospect of sex-shop chain Conegate setting up stall in Ireland.

Conegate was (and still is) a company belonging to David Sullivan best known on the high street as the Private Shop chain. The business model of selling softcore, whilst misleadingly claiming that sealed packets were hardcore, was very successful at the time.

The ICA initially wrote to both Haughey and then Fine Gael leader FitzGerald expressing their unhappiness at the suggestion that Conegate was on its way to Ireland, and requesting a commitment that this would not happen.

Haughey's private secretary replied that the Taoiseach would be totally opposed to the opening of any such shops .

And indeed no sex shops opened in Ireland until 17 years later when Ann Summers opened in Dublin.

 

 Offsite Article: We, the general public, have become our own censors...


Link Here 30th December 2015
Telegraph logo Our society is shrinking in true Orwellian fashion, free speech has become muted and discussions guarded. It's a dangerous situation, writes Peter Tait

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: Artists oppose Erdogan's censorship...


Link Here 30th December 2015
Turkey flag Turkey welcomes private investors in the field of art and culture, but many artists feel oppressed by their government. An alternative art scene offers some hope

See article from dw.com

 

  No Complaints...

Irish film censor receives virtually no public complaints in 2015


Link Here 29th December 2015
No Escape DVD Owen Wilson Only eight complaints had been lodged with the Irish film censor IFCO up to December 15 compared with the 17 that were made last year.

Among the whinges:

  • A cinemagoer who was concerned that the G rated Minions cartoon was very scary.

  • The 15A rating for No Escape was challenged as there There was lots of bloodied bodies, a complainer argued that 18 would have been a better rating.

  • Black Mass , starring Johnny Depp as Irish-American gangster Whitey Bolger and rated 15A, was also complained about by one viewer referring to the brutality of the violence depicted: I was genuinely concerned to think that any 15-year-olds had been watching the same film as me.

 

 Offsite Article: GCHQ can hack your systems at will...


Link Here 29th December 2015  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
gchq logo Thanks to soft touch oversight. Privacy International battle exposes bulk warrants

See article from theregister.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: Never mind Rhodes...


Link Here 29th December 2015
cecil rhodes It's the cult of the victim that must fall. By Brendan O'Neill

See article from spiked-online.com

 

  Rajan Zed recommends...

A multitude of fashion products on Amazon.com decorated with hindu imagery


Link Here 28th December 2015
TropicaZona Womens Ganesh Cotton Dress The professionally

The Professionally easily offended hindu, Rajan Zed has had a whinge about a multitude of products sold by Amazon.com featuring decoration depicting hindu gods. Zed called for:

The immediate withdrawal of leggings, beds sheets, yoga mats, pants and shorts carrying images of various Hindu gods and goddesses and sold on its website.

He claimed such use of hindu symbology to be 'inappropriate' and added that Amazon.com should offer a formal apology. He cut and pasted his usual pro forma whinge to say that:

Hindu gods and goddesses were highly revered in Hinduism and were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be worn around one's legs, crotch and hips; or to be slept on; or put your feet on while doing yoga. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.

Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Rajan Zed pointed out.

Zed further said that such trivialization of Hindu gods and goddesses was disturbing to the Hindus world over. Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more ... BUT ... faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it hurt the followers, Zed added.

Products that Hindu devotees are finding objectionable include various women's leggings carrying images of Lord Ganesha (one even showing Ganesha idol from Belgaum Karnataka), goddess Lakshmi, wedding of Lord Rama with Sita, and multiple deities (apparently taken from a temple wall); bed sheets carrying images of Lord Ganesha, Lord Krishna with Radha, Lord Shiva; yoga mats with images of Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha; harem pants, shorts, elastic waist pants, drawstring pants, yoga capris and sweatpants displaying images of Lord Ganesha. These products seem to represent various brands and come with different price tags.

 

 Offsite Article: Top Gear's top controversies...


Link Here 27th December 2015  full story: Top Gear and the Grand Tour...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers
Top Gear Patagonia Special DVD The Radio Times charts some of the moments that saw Clarkson and co hit the headlines

See article from radiotimes.com

 

 Offsite Article: Is American film industry pandering to Chinese censors?...


Link Here 27th December 2015
Martian Ridley Scott By banning its best films, China foregrounds their political import, and increases their chances of becoming a cause celebre overseas

See article from thestar.com

 

 Update: Rated U for infantile...

UK Minister of Censorship Culture looks to extending BBFC music video ratings internationally


Link Here 26th December 2015  full story: BBFC Online Music Censors...Scheme for UK music publishers to get BBFC rating for videos
ed vaizeyEd Vaizey, the Tory culture minister, has pledged to try and convince international partners to adopt the British idea of providing age ratings for music videos on the likes of YouTube.

Currently videos from foreign, and in particular American companies, are unrated on Youtube.

Online music videos from the British arms of Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music are submitted for age BBFC ratings if they meet a long list of specifications under which they would qualify for a 12, 15 or 18 rating.

The current system means that while UK-made music videos which are only suitable for adults (of which there are hardly any) are captured by online parental filters, those produced in America are not.

Mr Vaizey revealed that the government will attempt to convince Britain's global allies to adopt the ratings system when challenged in a parliamentary written question. Vaizey said:

We were pleased therefore to announce recently that the industry and the BBFC were putting their online music videos ratings scheme on a permanent footing and extending it to include videos produced in the UK by independent labels, as well as by major UK labels.

We welcome this voluntary action by industry and will now be looking at how the lessons learned in the UK could help international partners adopt a similar approach.

Government is committed to working with labels and platforms towards seeing age rating on all online music videos.

In fact there are hardly any music video that have been rated 18. More typically videos are rated 12 or 15 for strong language. And of course such language is notably difficult to encode into international standards.

Definitely a policy more about politicking than practicality.

 

 Update: Any offence, no matter how small...

Theresa May states the internet snooping powers won't be restricted to serious crimes but will be used to target internet insults, trolling and bullying


Link Here 26th December 2015  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Theresa MayThe governments invasive mass snooping laws will be used to bring online bullies and trolls to justice, the Home Secretary says.

Theresa May reportedly says that surveillance powers, unveiled under the Investigatory Powers Bill last month, will be used by police and spooks to track down and identify anonymous cyberbullies. The Times reports that 'officials'  will be able to unmask users going by various aliases.

Previously the government has maintained that the far reaching Snooper's Charter would be restricted to tracking serious crimes such as terrorism and child abuse.

Offsite Article: Theresa May wants to see your internet history, so we thought it was only fair to ask for hers

26th December 2015. See  article from independent.co.uk

The Independent requested the Home Secretary's work browsing history for the last week of October under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Home Office has refused to make Theresa May's internet browsing history public under freedom of information rules, arguing that a request to do so is vexatious .

... Read the full article from independent.co.uk

 

  Bugged by Censors...

Thai court upholds ban on trans film with a brief gay sex scene


Link Here 26th December 2015  full story: Censored Films in Thailand...Thai censors hack away
insects in the backyardThe Thai Administrative Court has ruled that a LGBTI-themed film, Insects in the Backyard which has been banned since 2010, violates Section 287 of the Criminal Code.

The court says the short pornographic scene in the film violates Thai laws that prohibit the screening of pornographic films, in their entirety, or in part; and has impacts on morality and social decency.

The film by indie filmmaker Tanwarin Sukkhapisit reportedly contains an offending three-second scene where characters in the film are seen watching an X-rated gay movie which depicts graphic depiction of sexual organs and sexual intercourse, according to the Bangkok Post.

The court said the film can only be screened if the offending scene is cut to get a 20+ for audiences above the age of 20.

Following the film's ban by the Culture Ministry's National Film Board in 2010, the film's director filed a case with the Administrative Court to challenge the ban, making her the first filmmaker in Thailand to do so.

 

 Offsite Article: EFF review of 2015...


Link Here 26th December 2015
eff 2015 review A Ban on CD Ripping Marks This Year's Lowest Point in International Copyright

See article from eff.org

 

  Not Hanging Around...

Ofcom whinges at a hanging scene in The Simpsons broadcast at 6pm


Link Here 24th December 2015

homer simpson nooseThe Simpsons Channel 4
7 October 2015, 18:00

The Simpsons is an irreverent animated comedy produced in the USA, appealing to a mixed audience of children and adults, and broadcast by Channel 4

Ofcom was alerted by a viewer to a sequence in which Homer Simpson was shown hanging by a noose from a tree. The viewer felt this was inappropriate for an early evening broadcast when families would be watching.

Ofcom viewed the programme. We noted that the storyline in this episode centred on the relationship between Homer Simpson and his son, Bart, and prominently featured strangulation. In summary, the key segments included:

  • A therapist sought to build trust between father and son through a series of outdoor activities, which Bart used to ridicule Homer. This culminated in a sequence in which Homer was shown standing on the branch of a tree with rope in a noose around his neck. The therapist persuaded Homer to jump, assuring him that Bart will cut you down . As Homer jumped from the branch, kicking and struggling against the tightened noose, Bart turned away to write a text message on his phone. The action then moved to a different location.
     

  • When Bart was shown again, Homer's feet were visible in the background, still kicking in thin air. The therapist then strangled Bart in frustration at the boy's callousness, while Homer -- avoiding suffocation by holding the noose away from his neck with his hands -- remarked You see? You see how that boy pushes your buttons! The therapist continued to strangle Bart, stating We'll talk when he's dead. Just break already . Bart reached to cut Homer down. After Homer fell to the ground he removed the therapist's fingers from around Bart's neck.

Ofcom considered Rule 1.3:

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

Channel 4 apologised for any offence caused to viewers by this episode. Channel 4 said that it had reviewed and made edits to the instances of violence and potentially imitable behaviour in this episode before it was originally broadcast in December 2014, mainly to reduce the hanging scene. As a result of that broadcast, the Licensee said it had received two complaints about the content. In light of those complaints, Channel 4 said the episode was reviewed again with the result that the cumulative effect of the mock strangulation together with the hanging scene were deemed to be too strong for the scheduled time. Channel 4 said regrettably, due to human error, the edits which were considered necessary to correct this were not put into effect with the consequence that the episode was repeated without the further edits . Channel 4 said it would not repeat this episode before the watershed, and that it will be reviewing the specific compliance process for The Simpsons going forward .

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.3

Although we were mindful of the comedic nature of the material, this episode focused on strangulation and contained a prolonged sequence showing a repeated physical attack on Homer who did not resist, and who clearly appeared to suffer as the assault was taking place. We considered that a sequence in which a well-known character was first encouraged to hang himself and was then shown doing so was uncomfortable and unexpected. We acknowledged that the comedic tone helped to limit the potential unsuitability of the material for child viewers. However, we considered that this was insufficient to counteract the overall effect of the separate and lengthy instances of physical harm shown. We therefore considered that the cumulative effect of these sequences made the material unsuitable for children.

Ofcom acknowledges that the inclusion of potentially harmful acts in an animated programme can distance viewers from their portrayal and can mitigate their potential unsuitability for child viewers to some extent. However, this does not mean that the portrayal of such acts does not need to be suitably limited in this type of programming. In this case, we considered that the scenes of strangulation and hanging were likely to have exceeded audience expectations for a programme shown at 18:00 on a public service channel.

We noted the decision by Channel 4 not to show this episode again in a pre-watershed slot and its apology for the broadcast of this material. Nevertheless, we concluded that this episode of The Simpsons was not appropriately scheduled and was therefore in breach of Rule 1.3.

 

  Stromboli...

BBFC cuts to 1950 drama by Roberto Rossellini


Link Here 24th December 2015
Stromboli Land God Ingrid Bergman Stromboli is a 1950 Italy / USA drama by Roberto Rossellini.
Starring Ingrid Bergman, Mario Vitale and Renzo Cesana. BBFC link IMDb

Karen, a young woman from the Baltic countries, marries fisherman Antonio to escape from a prisoners camp. But the life in Antonio's village, Stromboli, threatened by the volcano, is a tough one and Karen can not get used to it.

1950 UK cinema release

Passed A (PG) after category BBFC cuts.

Passed with cuts in 1950 for an A certificate. No running time on the BBFC site, but this was the version of the film re-edited by RKO which runs 81 minutes, as per the review in the June 1950 Monthly Film Bulletin. No indication as to the extent of the cuts, but if the animal cruelty was included in this version it would no doubt have been cut.

 1998 UK VHS

The English language version was passed PG after 10s of BBFC category cuts for 1998 Second Sight Films VHS.

The BBFC cuts were:

  • To remove the rabbit and ferret scene as per the 2015 BFI release

2015 UK DVD

The Italian Version was passed PG for mild sex references, violence, threat after 12s of BBFC compulsory cuts for 2015 BFI Video [Full Frame] video titled Stromboli Terra Di Dio (stromboli: Land of God).

The BBFC commented:

  • Cuts were required to remove all sight of a ferret being set on a rabbit to kill it.

UK TV

The BBC have shown this film several times since 1963 (which Radio Times, via the BBC Genome site, billed as an English version of this Italian film). The film was shot without direct sound and the cast are clearly speaking their lines in different languages: Ingrid Bergman in English, the Italian actors in Italian. In 1990 the BBC showed a copy which the Radio Times billed its complete, original form . This print has English audio and has been shown several times since, most recently in 2013, and the scene with the rabbit and ferret is intact. See Gary Couzen's review from film.thedigitalfix.com

 

 Offsite Article: The PC Games...


Link Here 24th December 2015
Bayonetta 2 Nintendo Wii U Sex-Negative Beliefs Are Ruining Gaming, and Society at Large

See article from nichegamer.com

 

  Behold, a whinge is born...

ASA dismisses ludicrous blasphemy complaints about handbag advert referencing nativity


Link Here 23rd December 2015

mulberry nativity advert video Identical video ads on the website www.mulberry.com and on YouTube, seen in November 2015, promoted Mulberry handbags. Both ads showed a man giving a woman a Mulberry handbag as a gift in scenes reminiscent of the Christmas Nativity story. Issue

Forty-two complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive to Christians because it replaced the baby Jesus with a handbag. The complainants objected that it undermined central messages of their faith; that the important scene was being used for the purpose of consumerism; and that it was blasphemous.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

The ASA noted that the ad was based on the bible story of the birth of the baby Jesus in a stable, and the visits by the shepherds and the wise men bearing gifts. We noted that the ad had appeared in the month before Christmas and that the complainants had found the use of religious references for commercial aims offensive. We noted that the ad began with the man giving the woman a gift with the words, I know we weren't doing presents this year, but ... , which we considered suggested a modern-day, present-giving context for what followed. Later on, after the shepherds and wise men had admired the bag, the man said, Guys, it's only a bag , which we considered was likely to be interpreted by viewers as referring to the playful and ridiculous nature of the comparison with the Nativity story, and was more likely to be seen as a humorous reference to consumerism than ridiculing the story. We acknowledged that the ad might not be to everyone's taste, but considered most viewers would understand it as a light hearted take on the Nativity story, intended to poke fun at the effect of consumerism on Christmas rather than mocking or denigrating Christian belief. Because of that, we considered the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

 

 Updated: 15 years olds to be banned from using social media without parental consent...

Yet more Brexit inducing bollox legislation from EU lawmakers


Link Here 23rd December 2015
EU flagTeenagers under the age of 16 could be banned from Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and email if they don't have parental permission, under ludicrous last-minute changes to EU laws.

The European Union is on the verge of pushing through new censorship laws that would raise the age of consent for websites to use personal data from 13 to 16.

It would mean that millions of teenagers under 16 would be forced to seek permission from parents whenever signing up to a social media account, downloading an app or even using search engines. No doubt this will either lead to a ludicrously expensive rubber stamping exercise that won't get taken seriously or otherwise kids will be forced to lie about their age. Inevitable tantrums and family tensions will surely do more harm than good.

The law, due to be negotiated between member states on Tuesday, would cause a major headache for social media companies. Almost all major social media services, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Google, currently have a minimum age of 13, in compliance with European and American laws.

Once laws are agreed, they are due to be voted on by the European parliament's civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee on Thursday before being ratified by the parliament itself in the New Year. Countries would then have two years to implement the law. Failing to comply with the new legislation would mean fines of up to 4pc of a company's turnover - tens of millions of pounds for the biggest internet firms.

Update: Dropped

16th December 2015. See  article from dailymail.co.uk

The EU has dropped its ridiculous idea to require 15 year olds to get parental permission before being allowed to access social media.

The EU lawmakers were bombarded with criticism of the incompetent idea.

the diana award logoAnti-bullying charity The Diana Award last night criticised the move. In a letter to MEPs, the charity wrote:

Children aged 13 and above have long accessed online services; an artificial and sudden change to this threshold will likely result in many children between the ages of 13 and 15 lying about their ages in order to continue accessing online services -- rather than asking their parents to consent.

This development would make it far more difficult for online services to offer children age-appropriate guidance and tools to ensure a safe and privacy-protective experience online.

Update: Not quite dropped

23rd December 2015. See  article from phys.org

It seems that the ludicrous EU idea for 15 year olds to get parental permission to join Facebook etc was not quite dropped as previously reported.

In fact negotiations ultimately maintained the concept of  16 as a digital age of consent, but allows member states to opt-out from the requirement to raise the digital age of consent from 13 to 16. Of course this now has potential to cause confusion due to the way the internet functions across borders. Would a 15-year-old in one country find that his use of social media became illegal as he crossed the border into another?

 

  On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...8 ChurchAds a milking...

There's still plenty of room at the inn for those seeking a little publicity for their religious adverts


Link Here 23rd December 2015
prayer at cinema

Deliver us from religious propaganda,
For ever and ever,
Amen.
 

The British press is kindly going with a news item about another religious advert refused by cinemas.

Previously A church of England advert about the Lord's Prayer had been banned by Digital Cinema Media (DCM), which handles commercials for the Odeon, Vue and Cineworld chains.

Armed with the knowledge that the DCM refuses to accept religious adverts, and that the previous news story generated lots of free publicity plus lots of views on YouTube, a group called ChurchAds has decided to try its luck for a repeat. 

ChurchAds is an alliance of churches and Christian organisations funded and made the 45-second film as part of its annual Christmas Starts with Christ campaign .

The advert featuring a nativity scene, was inevitably rejected as too religious by DCM.

But will this next attempt generate as much hype, and more importantly will it receive so many views on YouTube.

 

  Women's Problem with Man Flu...

BBC dismisses ludicrous whinge about Jeremy Vine's man flu


Link Here 23rd December 2015
jeremy vine showFor some reason a ludicrous whinge about radio presenter Jeremy Vine saying he had man flu has made the news.

He was apparently reported for political incorrectnes under the BBC's equality and diversity rules.

He referred to his man flu while talking to Dr Sarah Jarvis about whooping cough and other illnesses common in the 1800s. Vine explained on Twitter:

Oh great, someone's reported me under the BBC Equality and Diversity Code because I told @DrSarahJarvis yesterday I had man flu.

The BBC confirmed that a complaint had been received, and a Radio 2 spokesman later said no further action will be taken. The broadcaster investigates possible breaches of standards, but does not investigate minor, misconceived, hypothetical, repetitious or otherwise vexatious complaints .

A Radio 2 spokeswoman said:

Jeremy was clearly making fun of himself, no BBC policies have been breached and the complaint has been dismissed.

 

 Offsite Article: Internet Snooping Providers...


Link Here 23rd December 2015  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
ispa logo How the Investigatory Powers Bill will affect ISPs

See article from openrightsgroup.org

 

  Like Isil's destruction of antiques...

The campaign to remove a Cecil Rhodes statue from Oriel College is like Isil's destruction of antiquities because it is showing no respect for history, a prominent Oxford emeritus fellow has said


Link Here 23rd December 2015  full story: Student Union Censorship...Students Vs Free Speech
cecil rhodes statue

 

  Perjorative Abuse...

Ofcom gives its verdict on Jimmy Swaggart's christian preaching. But only gay people are protected from such abuse. It seems perfectly OK to label heterosexual porn viewers as living in 'a quagmire of filth'


Link Here 22nd December 2015

Jimmy Swaggart Classic Crusades Jimmy Swaggart The Classics
SBN International, 7 July 2015, 17:00

Son Life Broadcasting Network International ( SBN International ) broadcasts on digital satellite platforms, primarily to a Christian audience. The channel's content consists of music and sermons by Christian televangelist Jimmy Swaggart and members of his ministry.

A complainant alerted Ofcom to homophobic comments made during a 1985 sermon delivered by Jimmy Swaggart to an audience in Texas, and included in this Jimmy Swaggart the Crusade Classics programme.

At about 17:52 Jimmy Swaggart moved to the centre of the stage and began his sermon. He said that the world, and more specifically the United States, was being inundated by a variety of sexual sins . He stated, Our nation staggers under a quagmire of filth . He then listed the following as filth : pornography ; homosexuality ; paedophilia ; sexual child abuse and incest, which runs rampant in the United States .

After referring to a Gay Pride event that had taken place in San Francisco, he stated that the Board of Deputies had issued a permit for this vile, degenerate event to be consummated , and went on to say that homosexuals were sex perverts, that is the correct terminology . To applause from the audience he added that homosexuals were not gay, not alternate lifestyle, but sex perverts . Describing scenes at the New Orleans Mardi Gras, he said that he saw repulsive looking transvestites , who had disgraced the floats with their obnoxious presence .

Ofcom considered its Rule 2.3:

In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context... Such material may include, but is not limited to...humiliation, distress, violation of human dignity, discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of age, disability, gender, race, religion, beliefs and sexual orientation).

Licensee Lancaster LLC stated that this programme was broadcast as a result of human error :

The fact that this programme aired in the UK on 7th July 2015 was a scheduling error which should not have occurred. Lancaster LLC acknowledged that some of the terminology used at the time this sermon was originally delivered might be considered offensive to members of the homosexual community in the present day, for which the channel sincerely apologizes.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 2.3

We first considered whether this content had the potential to cause offence. Ofcom noted that Jimmy Swaggart described a Gay Pride parade as a vile, degenerate event , homosexuals as sex perverts , and transvestites as disgracing floats at a carnival by their obnoxious presence . Specifically referring to the San Francisco Gay Pride event, Jimmy Swaggart described it as the most obscene demonstration in the history of modern day nations [which] took place uninterrupted in the city of San Francisco and a vile degenerate event to be consummated . Jimmy Swaggart did not specifically identify homosexual people as degenerate , but by referring to the Gay Parade event as a degenerate event , and an obscene demonstration , viewers would have been left in no doubt that the participants in the parade were themselves being viewed as degenerate and obscene . Further, although he did not describe homosexual people as filth , Jimmy Swaggart did include homosexuality in his list of sins which were filth . In our view this language was derogatory, homophobic and clearly capable of causing offence.

In Ofcom's view it would have been clear to viewers from factors like the on-screen graphic and style of dress of participants in the programme that the sermon dated from many years ago. We recognised that Jimmy Swaggart's remarks may have been likely to cause a lower level of offence to some when they were originally made in the 1980s. But we noted that when they were broadcast in this programme in 2015, they were much more likely to be understood by viewers as pejorative abuse, rather than remarks grounded in religious teaching. We noted that in his sermon Jimmy Swaggart did make some references to scripture seeking to support of his statements, but in our view none of his Biblical references (as summarised by the Licensee) clearly provided support from the Bible for describing homosexual people as sex perverts and homosexuality as filth . We concluded therefore that these comments were likely to have exceeded the expectations of the audience for this channel.

Breach of Rule 2.3

Shamefully Ofcom seem perfectly ok with heterosexual porn viewers being labelled as people staggering under a quagmire of filth.

 

 Update: Endangering British People...

Apple asks if the risk of your bank account being cleared out by hackers is a price worth paying for the government being able to snoop on your personal messages


Link Here 22nd December 2015  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Apple logoApple has called for changes to the UK government's investigatory powers bill, over fears it would weaken the security of personal data of millions of law-abiding citizens .

In a submission to the bill committee the company expressed major concerns and called for wholesale changes before the bill is passed. It siad:

We believe it would be wrong to weaken security for hundreds of millions of law-abiding customers so that it will also be weaker for the very few who pose a threat. In this rapidly evolving cyber-threat environment, companies should remain free to implement strong encryption to protect customers

Apple highlighted the main areas of the bill that it wants to see changed. It told the committee that passages in the bill could give the government the power to demand Apple alters the way its messaging service, iMessage, works. The company said this would weaken encryption and enable the security services to eavesdrop on iMessage for the first time. In its submission, Apple said:

The creation of backdoors and intercept capabilities would weaken the protections built into Apple products and endanger all our customers. A key left under the doormat would not just be there for the good guys. The bad guys would find it too.

Apple said it was worried about the scope of the bill as many of the provisions in the bill apply to companies regardless of where they are based, giving the bill international scope, despite being a purely domestic piece of legislation. It also runs the risk of placing companies in a damned if they do, damned if they don't position. The company said:

Those businesses affected will have to cope with a set of overlapping foreign and domestic laws. When these laws inevitably conflict, the businesses will be left having to arbitrate between them, knowing that in doing so they might risk sanctions. That is an unreasonable position to be placed in.

 

  Ulzana's Raid...

The Burt Lancaster Version, the Robert Aldrich Version, and a couple of BBFC Versions


Link Here 22nd December 2015
Ulzanas Raid Uncut Version Region Ulzana's Raid is a 1972 USA western adventure by Robert Aldrich.
Starring Burt Lancaster, Bruce Davison and Jorge Luke. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

Report reaches the US cavalry that the Apache leader Ulzana has left his reservation with a band of followers. A compassionate young officer, Lieutenant DeBuin, is given a small company to find him and bring him back; accompanying the troop is McIntosh, an experienced scout, and Ke-Ni-Tay, an Apache guide. Ulzana massacres, rapes and loots across the countryside; and as DeBuin encounters the remains of his victims, he is compelled to learn from McIntosh and to confront his own naiveté and hidden prejudice.

There is a Robert Aldrich Director's Cut which was shown in the US. Burt Lancaster re-edited the film for the first European releases. The BBFC cut the film for violence for an X rated 1973 cinema release. These cuts were restored for VHS but new cuts for horsefalls were then required. In 2003 the Director's Cut was submitted for DVD but again the animal cruelty cuts were required.

From IMDB: There are two versions of this film, Robert Aldrich's print (RA) and Burt Lancaster's (BL) print.  There are many subtle differences between the two although the overall running times are similar and most of the changes involve alterations of shots or lines of dialog within scenes. The major differences versions are:

  • The Aldrich version has an opening scene (before the credits) showing Ulzana leaving the reservation. This is missing from the Lancaster print.
  • The BL version deletes almost all shots of Burt Lancaster's Indian woman - played by Aimee Eccles
  • The BL version has a scene showing the two troopers pursuing the wounded Indian, The off-screen Indian kills one of them with rifle fire and the survivor rides away. This is missing from the RA print therefore creating more ambiguity as to what actually happened when the survivor returns.
  • The scene in which the rape victim plunges herself in the river is longer in the RA version and she refers to herself trying to wash it off . In the BL version, the scene is abridged to suggest only suicide.

See full details from tlweb.latrobe.edu.au

Censorship History

1973 UK cinema release

UK: The The Burt Lancaster Version was passed X (18) after BBFC cuts. There were cuts for violence including:

  • the shots of Willy Rukeyser's mutilated body
  • the scene where the Indians throw the trooper's severed heart to each other the

Note that a 16mm version distributed to cinema clubs does not have the BBFC cuts.

1985 UK VHS

The Burt Lancaster Version was passed 18 after 45s of BBFC cuts. The cuts for violence were restored but the video was cut of 45s of horse falls.

2003 UK DVD

The Robert Aldrich Version was passed 15 after 17s of BBFC cuts.

The BBFC commented:

  • Cuts required to sight of illegal horse falls
The UK DVD (and previous VHS) were cut by the BBFC to remove various horse falls. The cuts are very noticeable and render some scenes nonsensical. They are as follows:
  • when the Indians shoot the horse of the trooper rescuing the boy
  • two horse falls removed when Burt Lancaster uses a rifle to bring down two Indians, including Ulzana's son
  • The subsequent return of fire in which Lancaster's horse is brought down
  • At the end, when the Indians attack the wagon party, they direct two horses into a small canyon and bring them down with a rope stretched across the trail.

UK TV

The Aldrich version has been shown several times by the BBC since 1979, with the horsefalls intact but with cuts to violence made for the first showing, which was at 9.25pm on BBC1 on 24 September 1979.

The National Film Archive's copy is the BBC's print and unfortunately still has the BBC's cuts in it.

International

Only the UK has a thing about horsefalls so releases in Germany, US and Australia are uncut.

 

  Rappers take the rap...

US court case considers whether rap lyrics should be considered as constitutionally supported free speech


Link Here 22nd December 2015
Vicious Dangerous Rumors Deluxe Explicit

 

 Offsite Article: China's XXX factor...


Link Here 22nd December 2015  full story: Pornography in China...Always under the cosh
chinas xxx factor crackdown Crackdown in the world's leading porn consumer

See article from indexoncensorship.org

 

 Offsite Article: Supporting the hype...


Link Here 22nd December 2015
game of thrones season 6 The Daily Mail claims Game of Thrones is backing off from depicting sexual violence

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

  Mickey Mouse Justice...

Egyptian man jailed for 3 years over trivial insults, including a Mickey Mouse image of the president


Link Here 20th December 2015
mickey mouse presidentAn Egyptian man has been jailed for three years after posting a photo-shopped image of the country's president Abdel Fattah El Sisi with an inane grin and  Mickey Mouse ears on Facebook.

Amr Nohan, a law graduate, was serving as a military conscript when he was tried by a military court for sharing satirical posts on social media sites.

He was sentenced to three years behind bars for posting pictures and other anti-establishment messages which were considered inappropriate for a member of the armed forces. These included including trivial insults such as: Down with Sisi , Morsi and Mubarak , which was branded an insult to national figures .

The victim's brother told IBTimes:

We are truly in a Mickey Mouse state. Satire is a way for any people that have a mind of their own to express themselves, be that in a democratic country or not.

 

  Hardly promoting positive body image...

Police tell the insecure young girls of Denmark that they should be ashamed of their bodies as they are not fit to be seen in public


Link Here 20th December 2015
mathilde grafstrom nudeA photo exhibition of naked women aimed at promoting positive body image in Copenhagen has been shut down by police.

The police message seems to be that the insecure young girls of Denmark should be ashamed of their bodies as they are not fit to be seen in public

Danish nudist photographer and artist Mathilde Grafström had planned the display of her Female Beauty collection for Copenhagen's Nytorv square, but police have denied her permission claiming the photos are offensive . Speaking to Denmark's TV 2 she said:

I take my photos to show young women that they are more beautiful than they think. I show the woman that she is beautiful, and that way I can help her to accept herself.

 

  Bizarre Bazaar Ban...

Australian supermarket bans fashion magazine


Link Here 19th December 2015
harpers bazaar bannedThe Australian supermarket Cole's has banned the latest issue of fashion magazine, Harper's Bazaar .

Cole's cited easily offended customer and justified the censorship in a statement:

We didn't think the cover was appropriate for our stores so the decision was made.\

He added that customer feedback prompted the dumping.

Later a spokesman refused to comment on why the cover, shot by renowned fashion photographer Steven Chee and featuring Miranda Kerr standing in a pair of stilettos, covering her naked breasts with her arm,

Miranda Kerr's management has fired back at Coles questioning the motives of the supermarket's censorship. Kerr's manager Annie Kelly said:

There have been numerous examples of similar covers sold without restriction that celebrate and support women and this is no different. They seem to have used it to get publicity during the busiest trading time of the year.

 

 Offsite Article: EU Broadens Right To Be Forgotten In Dangerously Vague Ways...


Link Here 19th December 2015  full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
European Parliament logo Here's a conspiracy theory for you: Are anti-European MEPs behind this shamefully bad censorship legislation so as to encourage us to vote for Brexit?

See article from techdirt.com

 

 Offsite Article: Even museum curators should have got the message by now...


Link Here 19th December 2015  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
facebook censorship german museum Facebook Content Police Censors Image from a German Museum

See article from vrworld.com

 

 Offsite Article: I criticised the porn laws - and was targeted for censorship...


Link Here 18th December 2015  full story: ATVOD censors Pandora Blake...Dreams of Spanking websites falls foul of internet censor
dreams of spanking logo Pandora Blake eloquently describes the shameful British censorship of her award winning and ethical BDSM website

See article from pandorablake.com

 

 Update: ISP website blocking not widely used in the UK...

Ofcom report on the uptake of ISP website blocking suggests that about 10% of broadband users opt for the blocking to be turned on.


Link Here 18th December 2015  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

ofcom internet safety 2015 An Ofcom report on Internet Safety Measures provides an update on the steps taken by the UK's four largest fixed-line internet service providers (ISPs) - BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media - to offer an unavoidable choice, both to new and to existing customers, whether or not to activate a family-friendly network-level filtering service. This followed an agreement between the Government and the ISPs, under which the ISPs committed to present the unavoidable choice to all new and existing internet customers by the end of December 2014.

The Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) asked Ofcom to report on internet filters and online safety, including the measures put in place by the ISPs. This fourth report focuses on recent research, the progress made by the ISPs, and other developments during the past year.

Perhaps the most interesting stats in the report are the takeup of the ISP's web blocking systems. A decision on whether on not to turn on the blocking was made mandatory for all users in 2015.

  BT Sky TalkTalk Virgin
% Existing customers opting for blocking 5 62 5 11
% New customers opting for blocking 8 6 33 24
% All customers opting for blocking 6 30-40 14 12

The 62% of existing customers for Sky who have apparently accepted website blocking seems a little strange given that all ISPs have prompted all users to make a choice.

The subtle difference is that Sky went a little further and turned the blocking on for all subscribers who did not respond, whereas the others set their systems to require a selection whenever there was an attempt to use the system, but did not turn it on fro none responders. The inference is that the discrepancy is explained by a large amount of Sky subscribers that never use their broadband have been included in the 62% figure. Presumably the broadband is offered in packages with Sky TV when perhaps a significant number of customers don't use the service for browsing the internet.

Assuming that is the case then perhaps the 6% for new customers is a better estimate of Sky users who have turned on blocking. As a rough estimate, incorrectly assuming all ISPs are similar sized, the average uptake of network level website blocking is 10%.

 

 Offsite Article: Preston...


Link Here 18th December 2015  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
thames house The history of the establishment of UK communication snooping facilities

See article from theregister.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: Docking censors...


Link Here 18th December 2015
shimoneta Shimoneta, a fascinating sounding Japanese anime series set in the country after moralist censors have won the day

See article from kotaku.com.au

 

  Luke Warm 'Outrage'...

The Daily Mail and Mediawatch-UK try to stir up a bit of unconvincing 'outrage' about The Force Awakens being unsuitable for young children


Link Here 17th December 2015
Poster Star Wars the Force Awakens 2015 Jj Abrams The Daily Mail writes:

Ss the stars and their starry-eyed fans gathered for the premiere of the latest Star Wars movie , there were fears that the £2bn blockbuster may be too frightening for the young audience its 12A rating will target.

With villagers slaughtered, characters tortured and an entire planet obliterated in one shot, The Force Awakens paints a picture of a very violent universe. Experts say the film looks to be far more graphic than the original trilogy from the 1970s and 1980s which was billed as a fairy tale style adventure

As the on-screen body count mounts, parents have been urged to consider whether they should take young children to see it.

And by 'experts' the Daily Mail is referring to the likes of Vivienne Pattison, director of Mediawatch UK, who wailed:

Many parents will remember the original Star Wars films of the 1970s and 1980s, which were lower ratings. Of course, what made a PG then is very different to what makes a PG now and I think that's part of the problem actually.

They would have been under a lot of pressure actually to get a 12A because it means they will be able to sell more tickets. It means that as a parent you are expected to go a see a film first to decide whether it's suitable for your child.

 

  Copying your own CDs...

The government abandons one of its few attempts to look after the British people ahead of big business


Link Here 17th December 2015

ipo logoFollowing the European Court of Justice decision in the Reprobel case, it is perhaps not surprising that the UK Intellectual Property Office has announced that it is to abandon the UK's private-copying exception which was introduced in October 2014, and which was effectively declared illegal by the High Court in July of this year, and so had to be withdrawn.

It now seems clear that the IPO were never going to find a workable scheme which met the criterion of fair compensation for rights holders demanded by the EU InfoSoc Directive, while at the same time avoiding unpopular levies on consumables and hardware capable of being used to copy, in particular, music, computer games, ebooks and films, for personal use.

The Reprobel decision, although not specifically concerned with copying for private use, highlights just how complicated the levy system can become. Each EU member state has found its own way of tackling the issue, with no overall EU-wide harmonisation in prospect. It seems that the IPO and those representing rights owners could not find an existing model to achieve fair compensation .

So where does this leave ordinary users in the UK? Clearly some will have been unaware of the introduction of the exception last year, and possibly a larger minority will have been unaware of the rescinding of the exception, so they will no doubt continue to format shift their personally owned music and store tracks on the cloud in blissful ignorance that that is not legal in most cases. Then there is the grey area of the legality of copies made while the exception was in force. Those users who are aware of the changes face a difficult decision: whether to make copies for personal use in contravention of the law in the reasonably sure knowledge that they won't get caught, or abide by the law and deny themselves a degree of sensible flexibility in their viewing and listening choices. One thing they will not do is go out and buy a digital replacement such as a download, for a CD or DVD they already own.

The decision not go ahead with the private copying exception will also have implications for other parts of the music distribution industry. Operators of cloud services may face pressure to amend their terms of service to reflect the new status quo, and some streaming services may be forced to tighten up their procedures to prevent users from creating multiple copies of the same download. But what also seems clear is that the music industry has won a Pyrrhic victory since whether or not it is illegal, many users will continue to make private copies of their legally owned music etc, just as they used to do in the pre-digital age.

 

 Offsite Article: Happy Birthday Porn Protest!...


Link Here 17th December 2015  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet
written by jenny logo Report from the Westminster porn protest, one year after the original 'facesitting' event

See article from writtenbyjenny.wordpress.com

 

 Offsite Article: The White House Back Door...


Link Here 17th December 2015  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
Electronic Frontier Foundation The EFF debates encryption with the White House

See article from eff.org

 

 Updated: The Hateful Eight...

Passed 18 uncut for UK cinema release in 2 versions noted as the 'Multiplex Version' and the '70mm Version'


Link Here 16th December 2015
Poster Hateful Eight 2015 Quentin Tarantino The Hateful Eight is a 2015 USA western by Quentin Tarantino.
Starring Channing Tatum, Zoë Bell and Samuel L Jackson. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

UK:  The 167:35s Multiplex Version was passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence for:

  • 2015 cinema release

UK: The 187:14s 70mm Version was passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence for:

  • 2015 cinema release

Versions

Director Quentin Tarantino has confirmed in Variety that two versions exist:

The roadshow version has an overture and an intermission, and it will be three hours, two minutes. The multiplex version is about six minutes shorter, not counting the intermission time, which is about 12 minutes.

But I actually changed the cutting slightly for a couple of the multiplex scenes because it's not that. [...] The sequences in question play in "big, long, cool, unblinking takes" in the 70mm version [...] It was awesome in the bigness of 70, but sitting on your couch, maybe it's not so awesome. So I cut it up a little bit. It's a little less precious about itself.

Summary Notes

In post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunters try to find shelter during a blizzard but get involved in a plot of betrayal and deception. Will they survive?

 

 Update: Rajan Zed recommends...

X-Men Apocalypse


Link Here 16th December 2015  full story: Rajan Zed...Taking easy offence at hindu imagery
xmen apocalypse video YouTube Professional hindu whinger Rajan Zed has complained that the latest X-men adversary claims to have been known by the name Krishna, amongst others. Zed cuts and pastes form his stock complaints and comes up with the following press release:

Hindus are upset over comparison of blue-colored villain Apocalypse with their deity Lord Krishna in the recently released official trailer of X-Men: Apocalypse action-adventure Hollywood superhero movie releasing in May 2016.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that such trivialization of Lord Krishna, who was highly revered in Hinduism, was quite inappropriate and disturbing to the devotees.

Lord Krishna was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not for pushing movies for mercantile greed of filmmakers, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out.

This trailer indicated Apocalypse saying: I have been called many things over many lifetimes: Ra, Krishna, Yahweh.

Rajan Zed urged director Bryan Singer to delete all the references to Lord Krishna from the trailer and the final movie, unless those were true to the scriptures. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees and confused non-Hindus about Hinduism.

Rajan Zed further said that Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more ...BUT... faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it hurt the followers, Zed stated and added that insensitive handling of faith traditions sometimes resulted in pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols.

Rajan Zed suggested that Hollywood executives should be sent for training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they had an understanding of the feelings of audiences and communities when creating new products. If makers of X-Men: Apocalypse or other Hollywood executives needed any expertise on Hinduism related issues, he or other Hindu scholars would gladly provide the resources, Zed added.

 

  CensorCon...

China hosts World Internet Conference for the world's most censorial nations


Link Here 16th December 2015
world internet conferencejpg logoChina's World Internet Conference that began today was farcical. The world leaders attending were limited to Russia's prime minister Dmitry Medvedev , the president of Pakistan, the prime ministers of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan among a few others.

China hopes to use speech to sell its ideal of cyber sovereignty --an Internet walled off from the world through censorship and firewalls. Chinese president Xi Jinping explained:

As in the real world, freedom and order are both necessary in cyberspace: Freedom is what order is meant for, and order is the guarantee for freedom.

 

 Commented: Cheesy Censorship...

Rijksmuseum accused of censorship after removing 'offensive' words such as 'negro' and 'Mohammedan' from the titles of artworks


Link Here 16th December 2015
amsterdam rijkmuseum.by velvet An renown art gallery has been criticised after censoring words such as negro and Mohammedan from the descriptions of its artworks in case they cause offence.

Indian and dwarf are two other words that have been altered at the the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam -- leading to observation that it is pandering to political correctness. It has removed 'offensive' words from around 200 titles and descriptions of it works of art, replacing them PC friendly terminology.

Martine Gosselink, head of political correctness at the history department, who initiated the project, said:

The point is not to use names given by whites to others.

We Dutch are called kaas kops, or cheeseheads, sometimes, and we wouldn't like it if we went to a museum in another country and saw descriptions of images of us as "kaas kop woman with kaas kop child" and that's exactly the same as what's happening here.'

The term Mohammedan , an archaic word for Muslim, is also among those to be changed in a drive to get rid of the insulting descriptions .

Offsite Comment: Should we censor art and books to fit our times

16th December 2015. See  article from theguardian.com

The GuardianThere are many words and phrases which, while accepted in their day, are clearly insulting and derogatory in the modern context and distort or confuse our understanding of the art itself.

For example, when Huckleberry Finn was republished a few years ago its liberal use of the N-word was replaced with the word slave . In the white-supremacist era in which the book was written, just 20 years after the abolition of slavery, the N-word was clearly acceptable among its mainly white readership. The story's underlying liberal message, though, could be lost if the modern reader was distracted by language which, today, is only used by bigots. In fact, if the original story wasn't meant to be hate-filled, changing the words can actually bring it into line with the original intention rather than distorting it with words now out of context.

...Read the full article from theguardian.com

 

  Even Trump wouldn't dare doing that!...

Galsgow shops make the news for selling gollywogs


Link Here 16th December 2015
  cards and giftsA pair of shops in Glasgow have made the news for selling gollywogs. The controversial dolls have large oversized red lips, black frizzy hair, and are clothed in traditional minstrel clothing. They were spotted in the windows of Cards and Gifts, and Party, in Glasgow's Sauchiehall Street.

Nicola Hay, campaign manager at show Racism the Red Card Scotland, said:

We are extremely saddened to hear that a shop in Glasgow is selling Golliwog dolls.

The sale of these dolls perpetuate racism as they hark back to a time when the mockery and stereotyping of black people was considered a social norm rendering black people as submissive and lesser.

We urge the public to refrain from buying such overtly racist items and we hope the shop selling Golliwogs would consider taking them out of the store as one cannot profit on the oppression of an entire community.

The manager of Cards and Gifts confirmed that both shops had the same owner and that he was aware the dolls were considered offensive to some. He added that they had been a popular sale in the store and that it was not his decision to sell them.

 

 Update: Online Safety Bill clears committee stage in the House of Lords...

The Government stated that it will be consulting on its own proposals to require age verification for porn sites early in the new year


Link Here 15th December 2015  full story: Online Safety Bill...Elspeth Howe proposes onerous website age verification
house of lords red logoElspeth Howe's Online Safety Bill has passed its committee stage in the House of Lords.

The Bill to impose the ISP filtering on all UK ISPS, to require robust age verification for adult websites and to extended this to overseas sites, was widely praised by peers. However the government noted that it would be introducing its own bill to cover these areas next year and would not therefore be supporting Howe's bill.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Joanna Shields) summarised the government's position:

I thank all noble Lords for their contributions, and I state one more time that there is no ambiguity about the Government's commitment to launch the consultation shortly after the new year, and to provide for a robust age verification system to ensure that no one under the age of 18 can access pornographic material in the UK. It is a process that has been going on. We have been seeking advice from experts since the manifesto commitment was announced and we are consulting early in the new year. We are 100% committed to that.

I thank the noble Earl, Lord Erroll, for his contributions and for his extraordinary work in leading the development of solutions that will in fact achieve our goal. Many elements of the Bill are incredibly well thought-out and well intentioned, and they will be taken on board in the resulting legislative approach that we take in the new year. This is about timing. This clause requires that the Secretary of State must identify a licensing authority for non UK-based pornographic services, and the noble Baroness's amendment to the clause specifies that the Secretary of State needs a second independent body to conduct appeals. It is a very good suggestion, but it is a bit premature until we finish the consultation.

Regarding the Ofcom/ATVOD role, there is some confusion about the function of ATVOD continuing, but following an Ofcom review, it was publicly announced in October that from January next year Ofcom will take sole responsibility for regulating video on-demand programme services. As a result, it will not continue its co-regulatory arrangement with ATVOD. Let us be clear on this: it is continuing with the function and the obligation of ATVOD, but that is being brought into the Ofcom portfolio.

Earlier in the debate, The Earl of Erroll made an interesting contribution by that privacy implications mean that the age verification approach used by the gambling industry is not applicable to porn sites.

Lord Framlingham:

I am sorry to keep picking the noble Earl's brain, but for the purposes of today's debate, is there any intrinsic difference between the gambling industry and the pornography industry?

The Earl of Erroll:

Yes, there is, interestingly enough. It is to do with the law. Because of anti-money laundering, the gambling industry has to do client checks; it has to behave almost as if it were a bank. As a result, companies have to be able to prove the identity of the person. For various social reasons, it is felt that it is unfair for people to have to declare their identity publicly if they are looking at adult content which it is perfectly legal to watch, or buying alcohol and so on. For instance, if a Muslim buys alcohol and the mosque gets to know about it because their identity had to be declared and retained publicly, they might suffer greatly. Equally, if a Cabinet Minister happens to view some pornography or adult material, that is perfectly legal but, if certain newspapers were to find out, the Minister's career would be destroyed overnight. This is the challenge and the difference. We have to remember that this stuff is legal for the over-18s, but there are social pressures and public opinion, which we may or may not agree with, so I think that we have to protect people's privacy.

Lord Framlingham:

I am sorry to ask again. The example that has been given mentions embarrassment, but it is not technically illegal.

The Earl of Erroll:

The example I have given is one that is career-destroying. The knock-on effect of that could involve all sorts of family repercussions to do with children in school because Daddy or Mummy has just had their career destroyed. We sometimes forget the effect on a family as the result of something that, while it may be regarded by some as socially unacceptable, is perfectly legal. We need to think about that at the parliamentary level.

The bill now moves on to the House of Lords report stage which has not yet been scheduled.

 

 Offsite Article: Protect the Web and Save Hyperlinks...


Link Here 15th December 2015
megaphone A call to action against more Brexit inducing copyright bollox from EU lawmakers

See article from savethelink.org

 

  Hungry for outrage...

A cartoon in The Australian caused 'outrage' in India


Link Here 14th December 2015
bill leak solar panels A newspaper cartoon published in The Australian has offended a few people in India.

The cartoon, by Bill Leak, one of the nation's best-known cartoonists, depicted starving Indians attempting to eat solar panels with mango chutney has been criticised as racist and drawing on a stereotype from the 1950s .

Chris Kenny, a columnist at the newspaper, told IBTimes India that the cartoon was mocking the Paris deal for spending aid on climate instead of reducing poverty , adding that solar panels are not the greatest need in developing world .

But the cartoon prompted a few 'outraged' tweets. eg:

Get it - brown people are stupid and a waste of our (superior white people's) effort. Excellent racism Bill Leak.

David Pope, a cartoonist from the rival newspaper The Canberra Times , tweeted:

How backward is Aust #climate politics? Here, the absurd racist rubbish published by Murdoch's national newspaper.

A comment piece in The Hindustan Times attacked the cartoon for focusing on a stereotype of Indian poverty straight out of the 1950s .

 

 Offsite Article: Top 10 Australian adverts of 2015...


Link Here 14th December 2015
bikini line trimmer advert At least according to the easily 'outraged'

See article from news.com.au

 

  The PC Force Awakens...

Equality and Human Rights Commission announces an inquiry into the cinema ban on religious advertising


Link Here 13th December 2015
prayer at cinema

Deliver us from religious propaganda,
For ever and ever,
Amen.
 

Rebecca Hilsenrath, chief executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has urged Digital Cinema Media to overturn its decision not to show a Church of England advert in cinemas

The Church of England advert, in which the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and others recite the Lord's Prayer, was due to be shown before the new Star Wars film, which opens on Thursday.

But it has been blocked by the advertising agency owned by cinema chains Odeon and Cineworld who understandably have rules disallowing all religious advertising, and the inevitable hassle that goes with it.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has urged the cinemas to reverse their decision. It also announced a major inquiry into the ban and accused the chains of undermining a long tradition of free expression .

Chief executive Rebecca Hilsenrath said:

We strongly disagree with the decision not to show the adverts on the grounds that they might offend people. There is no right not to be offended in the UK. What is offensive is very subjective and this is a slippery slope towards increasing censorship.

She also claimed people would not understand why a commercial Christmas can be advertised but the central Christian prayer cannot .

[duh... that's because religion causes trouble where as a commercialised Christmas does not!].

 

  Why do the police and prosecutors always side with the complainants?...

Street preacher is cleared of public order offence after appeal court judge finds a lack of evidence to support the conviction


Link Here 12th December 2015  full story: Preachers in the UK...Preachers come under censorship duress
Old BaileyA Christian street preacher found guilty of delivering supposedly homophobic sermons has won an appeal against his conviction. Michael Overd, who preaches on the streets of Taunton, was found guilty of a public order offence in March.

The conviction was quashed by Judge David Ticehurst at Taunton Crown Court.

Following Friday's hearing, Overd said the Crown Prosecution Service had failed to provide sufficient evidence to justify his conviction. He said:

Today the court was faced with the farcical situation of a witness telling the judge that he couldn't even remember what I had said, but simply asserting that it was 'homophobic'.

Rather than prizing freedom of expression and protecting it, the police and the prosecutors risk undermining it, because they've become paranoid about anyone who might possibly feel offended. 'Motivated by love'

Judge Ticehurst also awarded costs in favour of Overd, who was supported by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC).

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the CLC, said it was the right decision but it should never have come to this :

Public debate is becoming more superficial and fragile. People feel that certain things can't be said. That is dangerous.

It prevents us from challenging ideas, beliefs and behaviour that need to be challenged. It may make some people feel more comfortable, but it doesn't make the country safer.

 

 Offsite Article: GCHQ could grab UK shopping data...


Link Here 12th December 2015  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
home affairs committee Proposed snooper's charter will enable GCHQ to snoop on all available data

See article from bbc.co.uk

 

  The Last Witch Hunter...

Set to be released 15 uncut on home video after being cut for a cinema 12A rating


Link Here 11th December 2015
Last Witch Hunter DVD The Last Witch Hunter is a 2015 USA action fantasy adventure by Breck Eisner.
Starring Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie and Elijah Wood. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut for strong violence, threat for:

UK Censorship History

BBFC advised the category cuts for a 12A rated cinema release in 2015. Uncut and BBFC 15 rated for home video.

The BBFC commented about the cinema cuts:

  • This film was originally seen for advice, at which stage the company was informed it was likely to be passed 15 but that their preferred 12A could be achieved by making a number of reductions to moments of violence and horror. When the film was submitted for formal classification, acceptable reductions had been made in these sequences and the film was classified 12A.
Summary Notes

The last witch hunter is all that stands between humanity and the combined forces of the most horrifying witches in history.

 

  Restored to Life...

9 minutes of lost footage to George A Romero's Night of the Living Dead has been discovered in a workprint


Link Here 10th December 2015
Poster Night of the Living Dead 1968 George a Romero Night of the Living Dead is a 1968 US horror film by George A Romero.
With Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea and Karl Hardman. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

Now, nearly 50 years after the original release, a never-before-seen sequence is about to be restored.

George Romero said at the Monster Mania horror convention that a once-lost 16mm work print has finally been found.

The work print, which turned up when elements were being gathered for a brand new restoration of the film contains roughly 9-minutes of footage that has never before been released. It was cut from the film not by Romero, but rather by the original distributor. An convention attendee said:

This was a scene that takes place at the jump cut in the basement, including the largest zombie scene in the film.

 

 Update: A Liar and a Censor...

China's chief internet censors claims that censorship is merely 'management'


Link Here 10th December 2015  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship

Great Firewall of ChinaChina's chief internet censor has ludicrously claimed that the country's oppressive censorship of th einternet is merely 'management' of the internet.

The comments by Lu Wei, head of the Cyberspace Administration of China, came ahead of next week's state-sponsored World Internet Conference in the town of Wuzhen.  Lu claimed that China does not censor but manages Internet content, the Hong Kong Free Press reports:

Lu said: It is a misuse of words if you say 'content censorship. But no censorship does not mean there is no management. The Chinese government learnt how to manage the internet from Western developed countries, we have not learnt enough yet.

During the briefing, Lu defended the blocking of some websites and censoring of online posts, according to Reuters . He said that if the Chinese government were being too restrictive with the Internet, China's online market would not be experiencing such rapid growth.

 

  A better European benefit than anything Cameron has managed to negotiate...

European Commission publishes proposals that internet services such as iPlayer and Netflix should allow users to access their accounts from anywhere within Europe


Link Here 10th December 2015

european commission logoThe European Commission has officially presented its plan to abolish geo-blocking and filtering restrictions across EU member states. The new proposal requires online services to allow users to access their accounts all across Europe, even in countries where it's officially not available yet.

The same is true for users of many other streaming services such as BBC iPlayer, Amazon Instant Video and HBO Go.

This means that paying customers are often unable to use their accounts, or with restrictions, when traveling to other European countries.

These geo-blocking practices have been a thorn in the side of the European Commission who today published a concrete proposal requiring streaming services to ban them.

The proposal, which is the first in EU's broader copyright reform , requires online services to remove geo-blocking in Europe. This means that Netflix users can access their local content library in any EU member state. Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market said:

We want to ensure the portability of content across borders. People who legally buy content -- films, books, football matches, TV series -- must be able to carry it with them anywhere they go in Europe.

While the plans are a positive development for users, copyright holders may be more skeptical. They will have to rewrite their licensing agreements to allow online access to content across borders. In addition, Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda points out that the proposal only fixes part of the problem . People who are in countries where Netflix and other services aren't available, will remain without access.

The plans proposed today still requires official approval from the European Parliament but the commission hopes that it will be implemented in 2017.

More concrete copyright reform proposals are expected to follow next year. This includes updated anti-piracy measures based on the follow the money approach as well as various exceptions to allow broader use of copyrighted material.

 

 Campaign: My Car My Data...

European Automobile federations get together to campaign about another Brexit inducing EU policy that will see snooping devices inflicted on drivers from 2018


Link Here 10th December 2015
my car my data logo

Thousands of Europe's drivers will be spied upon by their cars from 2018 when every vehicle sold could alert advertisers, insurers, councils, tax authorities, traffic wardens and police to their habits and locations, a European motoring organisation is warning.

The Federation International de l'Automobile (FIA), a Brussels-based consumer body representing 111 motoring and touring clubs and 38 million drivers, has launched a campaign urging greater safeguards for the use of information on drivers gathered by tracking devices that will soon become compulsory in all new cars. FIA spokeswoman Andrea Campbell said its:

My car, my data campaign reflected the fact that information gleaned from cars is not protected by European data legislation.

From 2018, every new car will have a wireless box for road safety, and there is talk of retro-fitting telematics boxes into older cars. It's only a small step to offering infotainment, traffic information and rest stop promotions.

Manufacturers can track you, and lock you in to their terms and conditions. So we are pushing for dedicated privacy legislation for consumer data protection, greater consumer awareness, and a fair after-market for services.

Britain's AA motoring organisation is to join the campaign. Its president, Edmund King, said:

Connected cars offer drivers a vast array of new and exciting services and they can also help with breakdowns and crashes. But drivers may be unaware of just what information is collected, how it is used, who owns it and how is it protected. We support the FIA's campaign aimed at ensuring greater transparency.

Data-connected cars gather information on driving styles, including the duration of journeys, speeds, acceleration and sudden braking, as well as details of where cars park, refuel or charge their batteries, and latest destinations entered into on-board navigation systems.  Smart systems can identify driving violations and mobile phone use, record the number of passengers and relay information about engine trouble to emergency services. Such data can be sold to third parties.

 

  Little. Minded. Often. ASA...

Advertising strapline 'Little. Often. Co-op.' banned when used in alcohol ads


Link Here 9th December 2015
co-op little often logoA radio ad for Co-op heard in August 2015 stated, Suns out, garden chair, drinks. In-laws, great, drinks. Cricket, wicket, drinks. At your local Co-op selected spirits are just £13 each. Little, often, Co-op. Participating stores, subject to availability. 70cl, ends 1st September. Please drink responsibly.
  1. One listener objected that inclusion of the slogan Little, often, Co-op in conjunction with an ad for alcohol products was irresponsible.
  2. The ASA challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because the repetition of the word drinks could condone or encourage immoderate drinking.

The Co-op said that as a convenience retailer they used the slogan Little. Often. Co-op to refer to the shopping habits of their customers. They used it across their brand communications to promote a variety of products but it was never used to refer to consumption of those products.

Radiocentre said that it would be clear to the majority of listeners that the use of the slogan related to how customers used Co-op for their shopping, rather than relating to the drinks referenced in the ad.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The ASA considered that many listeners, although not all, would be familiar with the slogan Little. Often. Co-op . We did not consider that it was inherently problematic to use the slogan in an ad for alcohol, but that it needed to be considered in the context of the particular ad. In this case the ad included reference to three brief scenarios followed by drinks , which we considered would be understood by listeners to refer to the consumption of alcohol. The scenarios were all spoken by the same person and, in combination with the use of the slogan and fact the ad was for spirits, we considered that the ad implied it was desirable to drink frequently. We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible.

The ad must not appear again in the form complained of. We told Co-operative Group Ltd to take care when using the slogan Little. Often. Co-op in ads for alcohol to ensure they did not condone or encourage immoderate drinking.

 

  Avoiding a slap in the face...

Confirmation that Street Fighter V was censored to avoid 'offence'


Link Here 9th December 2015
Capcom 5050013389390 Street Fighter PS4 Last month video game reviewers spotted that review copies of Capcom's Street Fighter V had been censored. The reported cuts were:

street fighter v buttslapIn the previous build for Street Fighter 5, R. Mika would hold her opponents legs in a split during a move, this is not longer the case. Now her opponents legs are much closer together. Maybe coincidently but comparison shots also show some cleavage being lost in reframing.

R. Mika's invaluable butt slap has been replaced with a very different camera angle -- one that shows her upper body, instead of her very robust lower body.

Now Capcom's Yoshinori Ono in a recent interview to Jogos has confirmed cuts to the game. He explained:

Our objective with 'Street Fighter V' is to start over from zero explains Ono. We want the professional players and the casual fans of the series to return, but we also want to reach those who have never even touched a fighting game. So we can't have something in the game that makes people think, 'This is not acceptable'

We didn't make any change because of external influences. Those changes came up internally. We decided to remove that because we want the biggest possible number of people to play, and we don't want to have something in the game that might make someone uncomfortable

Probably we won't be able to remove everything that could offend someone. But our goal is, at least, to reduce that number as much as possible so that they think 'Ok, there is this issue here, but it is within the limits'. We want that everyone can play and enjoy without worrying about anything else Ono said.

Street Fighter V will be released on 16th February 2016.

 

  Shell Shock!...

Complaint to Ofcom about a barbaric beheading shown on the CBBC channel


Link Here 9th December 2015
ooglies beheading video A mother has complained to Ofcom about a graphic beheading scene shown on children's TV. An animated toast soldiers was shown beheading an egg in an ISIS-style execution.

Angela Halliwell claimed the execution was inappropriate for young children. She ludicrously claimed::

Kids could think extreme violence like beheading is normal.

The scene appeared in an episode of OOglies on CBBC in 2012 but is still available on iPlayer. It also shows a toast soldier covered in strawberry jam after being shot, before the character throws back a grape 'grenade .

A BBC spokesperson told MailOnline:

OOglies is a popular slapstick comedy series that depicts all sorts of food getting into scrapes with each other. This clip involving a boiled egg and toast is no different and we would be surprised if our audiences read anything more into it.

 

 Offsite Article: Dodgy Claims...


Link Here 9th December 2015
secondhand book shop Second hand eBook sellers in the Netherlands receive threats of jail time

See article from torrentfreak.com

 

  No Solo Kids...

Star Wars: The Force Awakens rated 12A uncut by the BBFC


Link Here 8th December 2015
Poster Star Wars the Force Awakens 2015 Jj Abrams Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a 2015 USA action Sci-Fi fantasy by JJ Abrams.
Starring Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

The latest Star Wars film has just been passed 12A uncut by the BBFC for moderate violence, threat .

It is only the 2nd in the series to get a 12 rating after Revenge of the Sith . Previously Attack of the Clones was cut for its cinema release so as to obtain a PG rating.

For comparison in the US, the MPAA similarly rated the film PG-13 for sci-fi action violence.

The distributor has been very late to allow the rating to be published making one wonder how many parents of very young children will have made advance plans or bookings assuming the movie followed the previous general pattern of being PG rated. At least with a 12A they can still go along anyway (at least when accompanied by an adult), but there may be a few children seeing a movie perhaps not quite suitable for them.

The Irish film censor, IFCO, also rated the film 12A for sci-fi action violence consistent with the franchise.

In Australia the Classification Board opted for M (PG-15) for Science fiction themes and violence.

 

  Laudable aims but fearful consequences...

Eric Schmidt proposes artificial intelligence tools to recognise censorable 'hate' content on social networks and YouTube


Link Here 8th December 2015
eric schmidtGoogle's chairman Eric Schmidt has said that technology companies should work on tools to disrupt terrorism - such as creating a hate speech spell-checker . Writing in the New York Times, Schmidt said using technology to automatically filter-out extremist material would de-escalate tensions on social media and remove videos before they spread .

In the wake of the Paris attacks, companies and governments have clashed over how to handle the terrorism threat. Many tech firms, buoyed by the fallout from the Edward Snowden leaks, have stood firm on encryption - with the likes of Apple and others making it near-impossible to access a locked smartphone without the password, a move that has frustrated some politicians.

So Schmidt's editorial appears to be an attempt to ease these tensions and show a willingness from technology companies to help. Schmidt wrote:

As with all great advances in technology, expanded Web access has also brought with it some serious challenges, like threats to free speech, qualms about surveillance and fears of online terrorist activity.

For all the good people can do with new tools and new inventions, there are always some who will seek to do harm. Ever since there's been fire, there's been arson.

We should build tools to help de-escalate tensions on social media - sort of like spell-checkers, but for hate and harassment. We should target social accounts for terrorist groups like the Islamic State, and remove videos before they spread, or help those countering terrorist messages to find their voice.

Without this type of leadership from government, from citizens, from tech companies, the Internet could become a vehicle for further disaggregation of poorly built societies, and the empowerment of the wrong people, and the wrong voices.

And of course there will plenty of interest from many others seeking to censor, for many other reasons less laudable than trying to prevent terrorism.

 

  Don't censor Eccencia!...

Campaigners petition council not to censor remarkable street mural in Toronto


Link Here 8th December 2015
essencia  mural video A remarkable 300m street mural by the international group Essencia Arts Collective is under threat of council censorship in Toronto.

More than 600 people have signed a petition amid rumours a Toronto mural some have deemed scary could be a target for censorship.

In fact the artwork was approved by the City of Toronto's StreetARToronto program, and completed last month. But shortly after the mural was unveiled, the Essentia group was told that Councillor Grank Di Giorio had received calls complaining that the painting was scary.

The petition was created on change.org  by Paul Salvatori for those who believe the piece should not be censored by the City. It reads:

We the undersigned believe that forcing Essencia to change the mural, in whole or part, will at once compromise both the beauty and message of the artwork as a whole.

We petition that the City of Toronto, for this reason, leave the mural untouched and allowed to remain in its current and complete form.

The mural, in addition to its aesthetically remarkable character, is a challenging but important statement about the dangers of environmental degradation and a reminder of the natural splendour we stand to lose if the earth is left unprotected.

The mural features several brightly-coloured animals, including a tiger, elephant, owl and bear, as well as landscapes ranging from bricked pyramids to choppy waves. It also depicts polar bears walking past icy blue glaciers, flamingos passing elephants in a desert, and a man fishing in a swirling ocean. More ominous portions show vultures flying over oil rigs, a person in a gas mask and an apparently post-apocalyptic Toronto skyline.

 

 Offsite Article: Children's writer Lynne Reid Banks recommends...


Link Here 8th December 2015
Song Ella Grey David Almond David Almond's A Song for Ella Grey. 'In the first five pages there is lesbian love, swearing, drinking, and enough other indications that, once again, this is not a book for children'.

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

  Doesn't religion cause enough trouble already?...

Religious organisations call for widened representation in the House of Lords and a new UK religious censor to get all easily offended by the depiction of religion in the media


Link Here 7th December 2015
living with difference A major new report on the role of religion and belief in public life has been criticised by the National Secular Society for calling for a multi-faith approach completely at odds with the religious indifference that permeates British society.

The NSS said the Woolf Commission is wholly misguided in calling for religious representation in the House of Lords to be extended to representatives of other faiths and denominations rather than calling for the abolition of the bench of bishops.

The report was convened by the Woolf Institute, a religious group which studies relations between Christians, Muslims and Jews. Patrons include the former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Iqbal Sacranie, former general secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, and Lord Harry Woolf, the former chief justice. Its Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life was chaired by Baroness Ann Butler-Sloss.

Perhaps the most controversial and self-serving of the Report's recommendations however is for the House of Lords to include a wider range of worldviews and religious traditions, and of Christian denominations other than the Church of England. Such a move could see a reduction in the number of bishops and places given to imams, rabbis and other non-other non-Christian clerics as well as evangelical pastors.

Keith Porteous Wood of the National Secular Society commented:

We completely reject this recommendation. The United Kingdom is unique among Western democracies in giving religious representatives seats in its legislature by right. The vast majority have abandoned all links between religion and State, with no discernible adverse consequences.

The report also calls for the introduction of a statutory entitlement for pupils to learn about religions and non-religious worldviews. It also says attempts should be made to increase religion and belief literacy amongst all journalists and says every newsroom should retain at least one religion and belief specialist . Indeed it would seem a wise move to try to understand better why it is that so much of the world's troubles, wars, violence and killing is so closely associated with religion.

In fact the report speaks at great length of it's ideas to plant religious propaganda staff in news rooms. The report states:

Religion and belief literacy

Serious and ongoing attempts need to be made to increase religion and belief literacy among all journalists and reporters. Possible ways of achieving this include:

  • every newsroom retaining at least one religion and belief specialist, or subscribing to one specialist agency
  • short courses on political religion tailored to the needs of newsrooms
  • a core element in all media training courses to include world religions and the implications of the changing religious landscape
  • exposure to relevant resources on religious literacy in world affairs
  • the possibility of short placements in religious media outlets and organised exchanges of journalists in religious media with those in other outlets
  • a national commitment to funding such projects by relevant civil society bodies.

And alarming the report calls for a panels of religious censors to be created:

Advisory panel

Consideration should be given to establishing a panel of experts on religion and belief for the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) to use when there are complaints about the media. This may strengthen self-regulation of the media and help reassure the public about the quality of reporting on religion and belief. The panel would also be responsible for publishing an annual index of religion and belief literacy which would identify media outlets with best practice as well as those who need to improve the quality of their reporting on religion and belief. It should be noted that the Religion Media Centre is already working towards these proposals.

[Note the Religion Media Centre seems to be a research unit at Goldsmiths, University of London. The director is Abby Day, a former journalist and academic publisher. She is the author of Believing in Belonging: Belief and Social Identity in the Modern World] .

The next proposal is straight of the book of 1984 Propaganda Annual:

Awards scheme

It would be relevant and valuable to establish a prize (along the lines of existing prizes for religious broadcasting and for issues like mental health) which would recognise and reward the best in religion and belief coverage in the print and social media.

Butler-Sloss concludes saying that the 144-page report's recommendations amount to a new settlement for religion and belief in the UK.

Keith Porteous Wood responded:

Britain urgently needs a new settlement but, for the most part, this report doesn't represent a sensible way forward. Instead of a multiculturalist, multifaith framework, which has serves us so poorly until now, we need a secular framework where everyone is equal before the law and where citizens interact with the state as equals, not as members of religious communities through a group identity. In a society as irreligious as ours, where religious belief is declining and simultaneously diversifying, this is a vital principle. It offers our best hope of fostering a fair and open society in which people of all religions or none can live together harmoniously and as equal citizens.

Thankfully the government is not well impressed by the report, and even the Church of England is displeased. The Telegraph writes:

The report provoked a furious row last night as it was condemned by Cabinet ministers as seriously misguided and the Church of England said it appeared to have been hijacked by humanists.

A source close to Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, described the report's recommendations on faith schools as ridiculous . The source said:

Nicky is one of the biggest champions of faith schools and anyone who thinks she is going to pay attention to these ridiculous recommendations is sorely misguided.

The Church of England said the report was a sad waste and had fallen captive to liberal rationalism .

 

  Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite...2 out of 3 ain't bad...

France looks to ramping up state surveillance


Link Here 7th December 2015

dgse logoThe French government is looking towards some of the powers enabled by the current state of emergency and is proposing several ideas to increase state surveillance, including blocks on encrypted Internet connections and a ban on public Wi-Fi networks.

According to the newspaper, Le Monde, the extension of the state of emergency could also stretch to requiring all rental cars to carry GPS, expansion of public video surveillance, two-year telecommunications data retention, and approval for police to use IMSI-catchers (like the Stingray devices used in America to intercept mobile communications).

French news site Numerama.com adds that the matters under debate also include forced provision of messaging encryption keys. The proposals could be up for enacting in law as soon as January, Numerama says.

The proposals stretch beyond shutting off the Wi-Fi at Parisian cafes to banning shared connections with criminal sanctions as enforcement. It would seem that the French authorities want to be better able to correlate individuals with their internet communications by making sure that knowledge of an IP address ties down the communication to known and identified individual.

The proposals also indicate a desire to snoop on VoIP conversations, again with encryption keys to be given to the police.

 

  Cogs set in motion...

The Australian Senate will report by December next year on the harms to children from internet porn


Link Here 7th December 2015
australian senate logoAustralian Senators Bullock, Lindgren and Madigan have obtained agreement to a motion calling for the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee to report on Harm being done to Australian children through access to pornography on the Internet. The report is due in December 2016.

The motion submitted and passed reads:

(1) That the Senate notes that:

  • (a) in today's culture, children's use of smart phones, tablets and computers has increased markedly;
  • (b) online pornography is easily accessed, and a growing number of children are viewing it at an early age;
  • (c) recent studies have shown that exposure to pornography has measurable negative effects on brain development and behavioural outcomes;
  • (d) online pornography is increasingly violent in its content, particularly against women, and exposure correlates with children's acceptance of violent attitudes and beliefs;
  • (e) violence against women is often linked back to early and repeated exposure to pornography;
  • (f) violence towards, and abuse of, children is often linked to early and repeated exposure to pornography;
  • (g) children increasingly access the Internet outside their home environment; and
  • (h) previous inquiries in Australia have not adequately addressed the question of children's (those under 18 years-of-age) exposure to online pornography and the harm caused because of that access.

(2) That the following matter be referred to the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by the first sitting day in December 2016:

Harm being done to Australian children through access to pornography on the Internet, with particular reference to:

  • (a) trends of online consumption of pornography by children and their impact on the development of healthy and respectful relationships;
  • (b) current methods taken towards harm minimisation in other jurisdictions, and the effectiveness of those methods;
  • (c) the identification of any measures with the potential for implementation in Australia; and
  • (d) any other related matters.

 

  A word about the BBFC...

Ricky Gervais lets the BBFC knows what he thinks of their 18 rating for Derek: The Special


Link Here 6th December 2015
Derek Special DVD Ricky Gervais Derek [The Special] is a 2014 UK TV comedy drama by Dominic Brigstocke.
Starring Ricky Gervais, Kerry Godliman and David Earl. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

Ricky Gervais recently had the Christmas 2014 special episode of his series Derek passed by the BBFC -- with an 18 rating. Other episodes from both series were passed 15, some for uses of the word cunt. He was offered a 15 rating for the special if he bleeped some of the language but he declined, taking an uncut 18. He wittily explained the rating in a Facebook post:

They slapped an 18 Certificate on me because I refused to bleep the bad language... I just hope no 17 year olds get to see it and have their lives ruined. The certification board said the reason it got an 18 certificate was because of too many cunts. I couldn't agree more.

What's funny about this is that all of his four live stand-up DVDs are all 18 for multiple uses of cunt, but one, Fame , was passed 15 which similarly contained multiple uses of the word (it's three or four, I don't remember the exact number, but a number not far removed from the number in the Derek special).

Interesting to see a prominent celebrity posting about first-hand experience with the BBFC.

 

 Offsite Article: The Daily Mail has a way with words but maybe a grain of truth...


Link Here 6th December 2015
Daily Mail logo Britain's schools are force-feeding pupils politically correct dogma about sexuality, climate change and British history. The result will be a nation LESS tolerant than before

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

  Rated R for strong publicity...

US film censor reject appeal for a lower rating for Michael Moore's documentary, Where to Invade Next


Link Here 5th December 2015
where-to-invade-nextMichael Moore has lost his appeal to overturn the R rating for his documentary Where to Invade Next.

The appeals board of the Classification & Ratings Administration made its ruling following a hearing that was attended by Moore.

Where to Invade Next was assigned the R rating for language (more than one use of the F-word), some violent images, drug use and brief graphic nudity (topless women). The film, a travelogue, explores how other countries deal with social and economic issues in comparison with the U.S.

 

  Parents find US film ratings to be fucking useful...

Although the majority find that the one use of the word 'fuck' allowed in a PG-13 film is one too many


Link Here 5th December 2015
cara logo Joan Graves, Chairman of the Classification and Rating Administration (a department  of the MPAA) writes in a blog post:

As Chairman of the Classification and Rating Administration (CARA), which administers the rating system, I was heartened to learn from a new Nielsen survey, commissioned by CARA, that the overwhelming majority of American parents are familiar with the rating system and find it helpful.

In fact, 80% of parents agree that the rating system is accurate in its classification of movies. While they might not be as familiar with the rating descriptors that accompany the ratings, parents find them just as helpful, and even slightly more accurate in reflecting the content of a movie.

CARA commissioned this Nielsen survey of 1,488 parents of children between 7 and 16 as part of our ongoing efforts to ensure we are being consistent and credible in reflecting the concerns of parents across the country when we determine film ratings. The survey found that 99% of the parents were extremely, very or somewhat familiar with the rating system and 96% were in a similar overall range with regard to rating descriptors. Additionally, 93% said both the ratings and accompanying descriptors were helpful tools with 79% saying the ratings were accurate.

Specifically in relation to movies parents would allow their children to see, the survey found that sexual content was the top concern among parents (80%), followed by full male nudity (71%), use of hard drugs (70%), full female nudity (70%), graphic violence (64%) and use of the F-word (62%). The survey also showed that 53% of the parents believe the F-word appeared in PG-13 ratings too frequently, and only 26% felt that PG-13 would be an appropriate rating for a movie containing an F-word. While other words, which are commonly considered profane, were included in the survey, none reached the same level of concern among parents.

The results of the survey reinforce much of what we at CARA have known for a long time. Every year since the inception of the rating system, we have commissioned ORC International, a leading market research company, to conduct surveys to determine the awareness and perceived usefulness of the rating system to parents. These surveys consistently show that the majority of parents are not only aware of our rating system and our descriptors, but that most find them useful in deciding what movies are appropriate for their children. The most recent study found that 75% of those surveyed said the ratings are very or fairly useful. An even larger number, 85% found the descriptors that accompany the ratings to be very or fairly useful.

 

  Boo hiss!...

Miserable feminists whinge at Jack the Ripper: The Panto


Link Here 5th December 2015
jack the ripper norwichJack the Ripper: The Panto is an adult show due to run at the Norwich Playhouse next weekend and describes itself as a politically incorrect comedy that is not for children, or, for that matter, the easily offended, or basically anyone who doesn't think the idea of a pantomime about Jack the Ripper is big, clever or funny!

But about 500 easily offended people have signed the inevitable Change.org petition calling for the Spooky Kid Productions show to be banned. Sophie Elliott, who started the campaign, spouted:

We, the undersigned, are fed up with watching the very real risks and challenges that come with being a woman being turned into a joke.

As much as Spooky Kid Productions wishes to pride itself on alternative and adult entertainment, what they have actually done is created a show which makes a mockery of violence against sex workers, violence against women -- and vilifies those who perpetuate those things.

Just by laughing at a joke that is about rape or is derogatory towards women, the audience are participating in rape culture.

She told Telegraph Women:

I know the pantomime doesn't focus on the victims of Jack the Ripper but that's almost worse. It's making light of violence against women and we seem to be going through a bit of a Jack the Ripper obsession at the moment. It's important to take a feminist stand against it. The description of the play on the theatre's website The description of the play on the theatre's website

She called for the theatre to stop selling tickets and not allow the panto to be performed on its premises.

Caroline Richardson, Norwich Playhouse director, told the Eastern Daily Press:

We think very carefully about the shows we programme here, and the comedy in Jack the Ripper the Panto may be not to everyone's taste, but we would like to reassure the people who are worried that violence against women is not the butt of the joke, although obviously as it is a show about a murderer, murder will feature. Do not desecrate the memories of the real-life victims of Jack the Ripper by turning him into the good-guy protagonist of a sexist and misogynistic stage show.

A statement from production company Spooky Kid Productions said:

Jack The Ripper The Panto categorically does not make a mockery of violence against sex workers and women, or participate in rape culture.

We have performed the show in Norwich several times at two other theatres, to over 1,600 people from a broad range of backgrounds, and we have never had any complaints about the content of the panto.

 

  Sensitive Kisses...

Indian film censor sacked after commenting on the cut kisses in Spectre


Link Here 5th December 2015
Spectre DVD Daniel Craig An Indian film censor has been sacked for commenting on the ludicrous censorship of the Bond film, Spectre .

Regional Officer of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) Nagendra Swamy's 'vacated his post' on Friday and made way for Natasha D'Souza.

Reacting to CBFC's silly stand on the kissing scene in Spectre , which was given a U/A certificate after imposing two verbal and visual cuts, Swamy had said in an interview to a newspaper: A kiss is a kiss...when CBFC wanted to cut it, why did it allow 10 seconds of it? He argued that they should have either let it run or cut it out entirely. By doing this, we are violating our own guidelines, he had said, noting that CBFC guidelines do not ban showing of kissing in movies.

My statement on the decision of CBFC might be the reason for my transfer, Swamy told The Hindu newspaper.

 

  The North Korea Experience...

Kim Jong-un offers prisons and firing squads as a unique form of tourist attraction


Link Here 5th December 2015
make over mag kim jong North Korea is implementing a drive to attract more foreign visitors and has announced a scheme to offer tourists a unique North Korea Experoience.

North Korea has started checking the browser history of every visitor to the secretive nation .

According to US travel warning customs officials will inspect your devices, looking through Internet browsing histories and cookies on travelers' computers and other electronic devices.

Officials are on the lookout for banned content, including pornography or material critical of the DPRK government. Possession of any media, either printed or electronic, criticizing the DPRK government is a criminal act. Bringing pornography into the country is also a criminal act.

A recent report by The Associated Press reveals that pro-South Korea materials and Bibles are also banned. The State Department says that anyone caught committing a crime could face years of detention in hard labor camps or death.

Perhaps adrenalin junkies and thrill seekers will consider the destination to be a worthy challenge, perhaps spiced up by smuggling a copy of Hairstyle Makeover magazine through customs

 

  Disinvestment and personal service tax?...

Tax inspectors seek (national debt) relief from sex workers and strippers


Link Here 5th December 2015
HMRC logoStrippers, online escort agencies and adult club owners have been told to reveal all when it comes to their tax affairs.

The industry is being targeted in a UK-wide campaign by HMRC aimed at recouping unpaid tax.

Officials claim a big increase in online escort agencies has helped create an industry worth £5bn. The UK tax authority said many of these businesses were paying the tax they owed but others hid from payments.

Tax inspector will investigate both traders and entertainers who do not register for VAT, income tax and PAYE.

 

  Extremism, VoD Editorial Content and the Watershed on Encrypted TV...

Ofcom announces larger maximum fines and consults about several aspects of TV and internet censorship.


Link Here 4th December 2015
Ofcom logoLarger broadcasters and communications companies face bigger fines under new rules adopted by Ofcom . Ofcom will now take into account total turnover when deciding penalties to impose on firms which breach its rules. The seriousness of a breach will also be given more weight, while precedent set by historical cases will be less important in deciding on the level of fines.

The changes follow a consultation which took contributions from 14 interested organisations, half of which were from companies which Ofcom regulates. Four organisations supported the proposals while the rest did not.

Ofcom also announced that Stephen Hill has stepped down as a non-executive of Ofcom's Board to pursue other opportunities.

The annual consultation on Ofcom's work programme for 2016/17 has been published and there seems a few work packages related to TV and internet censorship:

Clarifying the rules prohibiting the broadcast of extremist content.

Ofcom takes the broadcasting of content that incites crime or disorder extremely seriously, in line with our statutory duty in this area. We will publish our decision, following a review of the Broadcasting Code, to ensure that our rules and guidance make explicit to broadcasters the full range of content that is prohibited in this area

Reviewing how we approach the regulation of editorial content for on-demand programme services.

Following our decision to act as a sole regulator in this area, alongside our linear broadcasting work, we will publish the findings of our review regarding how we approach the regulation of editorial content for on-demand programme services.

Reporting on audience attitudes towards broadcast media.

This annual research report looks at audiences' attitudes towards content on TV and radio. It includes levels of perceived harm and offence.

Considering the watershed and other tools designed to protect children from inappropriate content.

We will consider whether it is appropriate to update rules in the Broadcasting Code relating to the protection of children. Specifically, we will examine whether or not it is appropriate to allow broadcasters to show content more suitable for adults before the watershed, provided that robust access controls, such as PIN protection, are in place. As part of this we will examine the effectiveness of these tools and their interaction with the watershed, alongside any potential benefits to broadcasters and audiences.

 

  Hardly appreciating the tolerance to lampoonery expected of an EU leader...

Erdogan gets nasty with a social media user who spotted a resemblance to Gollum


Link Here 3rd December 2015  full story: Insulting Turkishness...Insulting Turkishness law used to repress
Erdogan and GollumTurkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been showing anything but an appreciation of the qualities of tolerance required of an EU state, but then again, he has Mrs Merkel where he wants her in a rather painful figure four leg lock.

Anyway Erdogan is threatening to jail one of his citizens for a bit of jocular lampooning on social media. The poor unfortunate victim merely posted a couple of images likening Erdogan to Gollum from the Lord of the Rings.

Turkish doctor Bilgin Çiftçi could face a two-year jail sentence if he is found guilty of insulting the state official on social media -- a court has been tasked with deeming whether or not the comparison to Gollum is indeed an insult.

 

  Scraping the 'outrage' barrel...

Underwhelming examples of wit and 'outrage' about a Tate and two Jenners


Link Here 3rd December 2015
Catherine Tate Show Christmas Carol The BBC has landed itself in hot water after reportedly including a rather feeble muslim joke in a Catherine Tate Christmas special.

Her character is a potty-mouthed elderly woman called Nan who asks a Muslim if he is an ISIS bomber. When she sees a Muslim man, recognised from anger management classes, she jokes that if he were to have anger troubles, we're all in trouble . Then, she expresses relief that he is a caretaker, and not an ISIS bomber.

cramium signage.Meanwhile an example from New Zealand where the joke was a bit flat. A New Zealand company has taken down a billboard featuring a photo of Caitlin Jenner after numerous complaints.

Alongside the photo of the reality TV star, the billboard featured the sentence, I hope your sack is fuller than mine this Christmas .

Cranium Signage agreed to remove the billboard after an LGBT support group emailed the company's director and argued that it was tasteless, crass, insulting and vile .

kylie jennerAnd with a different spin on 'outrage', many have apparently taken to social media in disgust at a photo shoot for Interview magazine showing 18-year-old Kylie Jenner posing in a wheelchair.

Kylie Jenner is the youngest of the Kardashian/Jenner family and is no stranger to controversy, but her latest photoshoot has been criticised for being ableist .

In the photoshoot for Interview Magazine shot by photographer Stephen Klein, Kylie is seen sitting in a gold wheelchair wearing a PVC bodysuit.

This has sparked 'outrage' on Twitter as many dislike the casual use of a wheelchair as a fashion prop.

 

  Sorted...

BBC drops the Radio 4 comedy show Lentil Sorters as the episode featured a suspect terrorist


Link Here 3rd December 2015
the lentil sortersThe BBC has pulled a comedy show from its schedules over fears because it involves a terrorist suspect.

The last episode of the Lentil Sorters , a sitcom set in the fictional Office of Local and National Statistics, had been due to air on Radio 4 yesterday, but BBC bosses dropped it from the schedules at the last minute amid fears the storyline was 'insensitive' on the day the Commons debates air strikes on ISIS.

Producer David Tyler from Pozzitive, tweeted:

We had to hold the last #LentilSorters at 11.30 today - it was a bit "terrorist-y".

The plot was about a terrorist suspect - Daniel wanted to bomb him, Audrey to preserve his human rights. So we and the Beeb decided not to play it; too fruity, today of all days. Sorry folks.

 

 Offsite Article: Scything Cuts...


Link Here 3rd December 2015
Hobbit Battle Five Armies Extended Movie Censorship website reveals the differences between the Theatrical Versions and Extended Versions of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

See article from movie-censorship.com

 

 Offsite Article: Unsafe Spaces for Free Speech...


Link Here 3rd December 2015  full story: Student Union Censorship...Students Vs Free Speech
goldsmiths university logo Goldsmiths University is the latest example of student intolerance as Maryam Namazie's talk is met by aggressive attempts at censorship

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

 Update: Publishing struggle nears end...

Mein Kampf set for a Germany edition next month after copyright control expires


Link Here 2nd December 2015
Mein Refugee Kamps by Angela Merkel

  Perhaps will prove equally controversial over the next 70 years.

Adolf Hitler's political manifesto Mein Kampf with critical notes by scholars is finally set to be published next month - for the first time in Germany since the end of WWII.

The Institute of Contemporary History (IfZ) in Munich says it will print up to 4,000 copies with some 3,500 notes. IfZ director Andreas Wirsching says the text with expert comments will shatter the myth surrounding the book.

Mein Kampf (My Struggle) was originally printed in 1925 - eight years before Hitler came to power.

After Nazi Germany was defeated in 1945, the Allied forces handed the copyright to the book to the state of Bavaria. The local authorities have refused to allow the book to be reprinted to prevent incitement of hatred. Under German law copyright lasts for 70 years, and so publishers will be able to have free access to the original text from January.

 

 Update: Bad sheriff meets his high noon...

US court finds that a sheriff's campaign against credit card companies used by backpage.com violates the First Amendment


Link Here 2nd December 2015  full story: Advertising for Adult Services...US censors advertising for adult sex services
doj logoin the legal case Backpage.com v. Dart a unanimous panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in a lively opinion ordered Thomas Dart, the sheriff of Cook County, Illinois, to end his campaign of suffocation against the small ads website and stop violating its First Amendment rights.

The court of appeals rejected Sheriff Dart's contention that he was merely expressing his personal distaste for Backpage and not using his position as a government official to coerce Visa and MasterCard into discontinuing business with the website. Rather, the court of appeals held that Sheriff Dart's actions amounted to an unconstitutional prior restraint on Backpage's speech.

EFF made a submission to the court arguing that government officials such as Sheriff Dart may not use their positions of authority to coerce companies with express or implied threats of legal liability into taking actions that censor speech--whether online or offline.

The Seventh Circuit agreed. Overruling the district court that had denied Backpage's request for a preliminary injunction, the court of appeals issued the following order:

Sheriff Dart, his office, and all employees, agents, or others who are acting or have acted for or on behalf of him, shall take no actions, formal or informal, to coerce or threaten credit card companies, processors, financial institutions, or other third parties with sanctions intended to ban credit card or other financial services from being provided to Backpage.com.

While Sheriff Dart is rightly concerned about sex trafficking, the court of appeals noted that no one is claiming that there is no constitutionally protected speech in the ads on Backpage's website. (emphasis in original) Yet Visa and MasterCard bowed to pressure from Sheriff Dart and others by refusing to process transactions in which their credit cards are used to purchase any ads on Backpage, even those that advertise indisputably legal activities. (emphasis in original)

Sheriff Dart had written letters intimating that the credit card companies could be prosecuted for processing payments made by purchasers of the ads on Backpage that promote unlawful sexual activity, such as prostitution. The court of appeals noted that It was within days of receiving the letter that the credit card companies broke with Backpage. The causality is obvious. Thus the court held that Sheriff Dart's actions constituted a prior restraint in violation of the First Amendment.

The Seventh Circuit equated Sheriff Dart's campaign of depriving the company of ad revenues by scaring off its payments-service providers rather than going after Backpage directly through litigation with killing a person by cutting off his oxygen supply rather than by shooting him.

The Seventh Circuit made clear that Sheriff Dart, in his official capacity, does have freedom of government speech. However, the court of appeals stressed that such freedom has limits. He or any other government official or entity is not permitted to employ threats to squelch the free speech of private citizens.

 

 Updated: Thy will won't be done...

Church of England a bit miffed to find that cinemas have banned religious advertising


Link Here 2nd December 2015
tube just pray The Church of England has said it is disappointed and bewildered by the refusal of leading UK cinemas to show an advert featuring the Lord's Prayer. The Church called the decision plain silly and warned it could have a chilling effect on free speech.

The advert features the Christian prayer being recited or sung by a variety of people. It had hoped the 60-second film would be screened UK-wide before Christmas ahead of the new Star Wars film.

The agency that handles adverts for the cinemas said it could offend those of differing faiths and no faith , presumably a politically correct euphemism for muslims.

The advert was passed uncut by the British Board of Film Classification and given a U certificate, as well as receiving clearance from the Cinema Advertising Authority. The Church of England says it is disappointed and bewildered by the refusal of leading UK cinemas to show an advert featuring the Lord's Prayer.

However, the Digital Cinema Media (DCM) agency, which handles British film advertising for the major cinema chains, Odeon, Cineworld and Vue, refused to show the advert because it believed it would risk upsetting or offending audiences. Presumably the group is understandably fearful of the trouble that religion causes. In a statement, DCM said it had a policy of not accepting political or religious advertising content in its cinemas. It said that:

Some advertisements - unintentionally or otherwise - could cause offence to those of differing political persuasions, as well as to those of differing faiths and indeed of no faith, and that in this regard, DCM treats all political or religious beliefs equally.

The Reverend Arun Arora, director of communications for the Church of England, said: We find that really astonishing, disappointing and rather bewildering.

Update: God moves in mysterious ways

24th November 2015. See  article from telegraph.co.uk

Pressure is mounting on a cinema advertising group to reverse a ban on an advert featuring the Lord's Prayer. Politicians and dignitaries have rallied to the War Cry.

David Cameron described the ban as ridiculous . Stephen Fry, a vocal critic of religion, said it was bizarre, unfair and misguided while Boris Johnson condemned it as outrageous and advised people to expect a u-turn :

 The Equality and Human Rights Commission also signalled its opposition to the ban claiming it undermined essential British values . The commission said in a statement:

ehrc logoFreedom to hold a religion and freedom to express ideas are essential British values. We are concerned by any blanket ban on adverts by all religious groups.

Digital Cinema Media have said an advert could cause offence to those of differing faiths. There is no right not to be offended in the UK; what is offensive is very subjective and lies in the eye of the beholder.

There is nothing in law that prevents Christian organisations promoting their faith through adverts.

Of course nobody has asked the cinema goers whether they would like to be bombarded by religious nonsense. Phantom notes on the melon farmer's forum:

Of course they were absolutely right to turn down this ad. But not because they allegedly bowed to a militant Muslim lobby, fearing the ad would cause offence. They simply knew that accepting this ad would unleash an avalanche of Ian Paisley style religious rants and images of aborted foetuses on an audience which simply just wanted to watch the latest Bond movie.

Update: Religion equals trouble

29th November 2015. See  article from dailymail.co.uk

C of E logoThe Church of England has now complained to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), warning that the decision by Odeon, Cineworld and Vue to refuse to show the one-minute film in the run-up to Christmas was discriminatory and an assault on religious freedom.

In a further escalation of the row, the Church also said it would use its shareholding in Cineworld to ratchet up pressure on the chain. The Church said that its financial arm would be writing to Cineworld.

A Church statement said it was taking its case to the EHRC because it had a duty to protect the free practise of all faiths in this country . It added:

We believe DCM's decision raises issues of freedom of religion that extend far beyond the circumstances of this proposed advertisement. We resist the idea that the refusal of services on the basis of religious belief is in any way acceptable.

Extract: There's no discrimination going on here...move on please

1st December 2015. See  article from ukhumanrightsblog.com

human rights blog logo The Human Rights Blog writes:

The Equality and Human Rights Commission weighed in with a statement indicating their concern about blanket bans on religious advertising. The Commission's opinion concluded that there is nothing in law that prevents Christian organisations promoting their faith through adverts. The statement did little, however, to answer the trickier question about whether there is anything that legally requires DCM to show the ad and whether the Church of England may have a cause of action.

The Equality Act 2010 outlaws discrimination on the basis of nine protected characteristics including religion or belief. It applies to any business that provides goods, facilities or services to members of the public, such as a cinema.

Section 13 provides that a person (A) discriminates against another (B) if, because of a protected characteristic, A treats B less favourably than A treats or would treat others.

...a challenge to DCM's decision is likely to be unsuccessful. DCM, by refusing to air adverts they reasonably regard as Political or Religious Advertising would be treating all religious organisations the same way and therefore not discriminating on the basis of religion or belief.

Update: National Secular Society gets to the bottom of the affair

2nd December 2015. See  article from secularism.org.uk

National Secular Society logo Time for the Church to come clean on the Just Pray controversy

With a considerable media firestorm the Church launched a crafty piece of marketing for their Just Pray campaign -- centred on the accusation that their Lord's Prayer advert had been banned because it was offensive . One week on, new facts raise significant questions about their claims.

...Read the full article from secularism.org.uk

 

 Offsite Article: UK porn laws a year on...


Link Here 2nd December 2015
censored-by atvod A porn actress and a dominatrix on destroyed businesses and censorship

See article from independent.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: GCHQ can hack your systems at will...


Link Here 2nd December 2015  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
privacy international logo Thanks to soft touch oversight. Privacy International battle exposes bulk warrants

See article from theregister.co.uk

 

  UK parents want the same age ratings for VOD films as cinema films...

Do the BBFC know something we don't about a vacancy for the job of internet censor?


Link Here 1st December 2015

BBFC logo Research shows 85% of parents consider it important to have consistent classification on and offline

Research conducted on behalf of the BBFC shows UK parents want to see the same classification information provided for films at the cinema and on DVD/Blu-ray, applied to film and video content available on VOD services. At present 55% of parents say the ease of checking age ratings on film or video downloads is variable.

The research involved parents, adults over 18, and children, from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and builds on similar research carried out in 2011 to measure attitudes toward the classification of streamed/downloaded videos.

Inconsistent age labelling methods across different online services, may explain why viewers do not always find it easy to check age ratings online. VOD content labelled with BBFC age rating symbols was noticed and correctly recalled by 7 out of 10 viewers, whereas only 9% noticed plain numeric or text age rating labels. The research also showed prominent display of identifiable and trusted age ratings next to film titles on VOD, and before the prompt to buy, stream or download content, is the most helpful form of labelling. David Austin, Assistant Director, BBFC said:

Parents with children who watch VOD content continue to expect to find BBFC age ratings online. 85% of parents say it is important to have consistent classification on and offline and this figure rises to 91% among parents whose youngest child is under 10 years old. Although improvements could be made to increase the number of platforms using BBFC age rating symbols it is encouraging to see 78% of adults find BBFCinsight information useful with our free BBFC app having greatest appeal as a source for classification information.

Online classification checking is now approaching the level of checking undertaken by parents for cinema films with 81% checking age ratings for VOD content. Further research into age ratings for music videos online published in September (2015) shows 78% of parents also value age ratings for online music videos.

 

  Duke of Free Speech...

CEO of the US adult trade group, the Free Speech Coalition steps down


Link Here 1st December 2015
Free Speech CoalitionDiane Duke announced she will leave her post as CEO of the Free Speech Coalition effective January 1, 2016, with Chairman of the Board Jeffrey Douglas acting as interim head until a replacement has been found. Duke issued the following statement:

After nine years at the Free Speech Coalition, it was time for me to move on. I am honored to have been able to represent this incredible industry and will always treasure the time I spent as CEO of the Free Speech Coalition. In the meantime, I will remain a resource for the industry until the transition is complete, and I have complete faith in our Board of Directors to continue the fight.

Diane Duke has also chipped to British anti-censorship campaigning in opposition to ATVOD censorship of the UK adult video industry.

 

  A Saggy Pants Economy...

Thai printers censor local version of the International New York Times over article on Thailand's miserable economy


Link Here 1st December 2015
censored international ny timesThe International New York Times has blamed its local Thai printer for censoring a front-page article on the country's miserable economy and leaving a blank space on the cover.

The article, headlined Thai economy and spirits are sagging , reported that Thai households are among the most indebted in Asia, robberies and property crimes have risen more than 60% this year, and the ruling generals are not eager to hand power back to politicians. It quoted a fruit and vegetable seller who said: No one feels like smiling anymore .

A white space on the front page and page six carried the message: The article in this space was removed by our printer in Thailand. The International New York Times and its editorial staff had no role in its removal.

 

  Pirelli calendar perishes...

Sexy nude models are dropped in favour of heavyweight celebrities


Link Here 1st December 2015
pirelli calendar 2016For years, it has been the last word in glamorous women, style and high fashion. But now the Pirelli calendar has swopped the sexy nude models for women of achievement .

Shot by Annie Liebovitz, it will star Yoko Ono, Patti Smith and Serena Williams. Most of the women will be fully-clothed, with only comedian Amy Schumer appearing in the flesh as part of a knowing in-joke that she didn't get this year's memo .

Fran Lebowitz, writer and calendar model, joked: Women with their clothes on are having a moment .

Annie Liebovitz told a press conference that the calendar represented a shift in the way women were viewed in here world, with an increasing focus on achievement over looks.

 

 Updated: Pushed Into the River...

New Zealand seems to have sacked its book censor who embarrassed the nation by banning an award winning book for older children


Link Here 1st December 2015  full story: Book Censorship in New Zealand...Embarassing book bans
OFLC New Zealand logoNew Zealand's Internal Affairs Minister, Peter Dunne, has issued a statement announcing seven new changes to the Film and Literature Board of Review.

One notable change is to replace current president Don Mathieson as of January 2016.

Mathieson made headlines in 2015, after Ted Dawe's novel Into The River was banned .The ban was later lifted by the board, however the decision was not welcomed by Mathieson .

In October 2015, Mathieson delivered a dissenting minority report but the remainder of the board voted to allow the book to be sold without restriction, saying a previous ban on under-14s was no longer justified.

Earlier in the week, Mathieson said he did not expect to be reappointed after two three-year terms, both as president, and did not put his name forward to continue in the job.

He refused to comment on the controversy around Into the River, however he said he was not particularly glad or sorry to be leaving the board, which he joined as a public service.

Update: Oh dear!... local moralist campaigners are not amused

1st December 2015. See  article from scoop.co.nz

Family First logoThe moralist campaign group Family First have written an open letter to the book censor given the push by the government:

Dear Dr Mathieson

We note with regret that you have not been reappointed as President of the Film and Literature Board of Review.

On behalf of many NZ families, we want to thank you for being a voice of reason and sanity in the censorship arena, and for being willing to stand strong despite personal attacks and rants from the media, including being a conservative Christian , for writing a book about faith at work, and for opposing the redefinition of marriage. How shocking. (Ironically, one of your replacements loves marriage -- including with other married people -- but apparently his private life does not affect his ability to be a moral authority .)

Dr Mathieson -- during the debate over censorship, community standards, and the book Into the River, you spoke for many many parents who are concerned with declining standards in our society, especially with material which our young people and children can so easily access, and a parent's desire to protect their children from age-inappropriate material that is disturbing and harmful.

Unlike the rest of the Board who flip-flopped on their decisions (and who along with the Chief Censor had no examination of their private life by the media), you did not kowtow to pressure from the book industry and remove any restriction on Into the River despite its highly offensive and gratuitous language, adult themes and graphic sexual content.

You remained consistent and principled.

...

Dr Mathieson, we salute you. We thank you.

Yours sincerely
Bob McCoskrie National Director Family First

 

 Offsite Article: Unwanted Friends...


Link Here 1st December 2015
Facebook logo Banks, insurers and even the taxman are trawling Facebook and other sites looking for information about you

See article from telegraph.co.uk