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20th October

  Someone needs to chill out...

PC bully whinges about Breaking Bad figures at Toys R Us
Link Here
Breaking Bad 6 inch Heisenberg Exclusive Breaking Bad may have been one of the most popular cable dramas of the last decade, but one Florida woman isn't thrilled that Toys R Us is selling the show's action figures. Susan Schrivjer was 'shocked':

The figure of main character Walter White, a former high school chemistry teacher who becomes one of the biggest meth dealers in the country, carries a duffle bag filled with cash, and comes with a toy bag of crystal meth. The figure for White's assistant/meth distributor, Jesse Pinkman, comes with a gas mask to protect against dangerous compounds during meth cooking.

Anything to do with drugs is not doing the right thing I just think that they need to look at their visions and values, as they call them.

So Schrivjer started a Change.org petition asking Toys 'R' Us to stop selling the dolls. The petition received about 1,000 signatures.

In a statement, Toys R Us told NBC News that:

The product packaging clearly notes that the items are intended for ages 15 and up and are located in the adult action figure area of our stores.

 

20th October

 Update: Gone Girl: Movies should entertain, not educate...

The reaction to Gone Girl has been anything but unpredictable, with Britain's professional offencerati leaping on the film for its allegedly murky assertions about rape, and, more specifically, rape victims.
Link Here
Poster Gone Girl 2014 David Fincher

 

19th October

  Friday the 13th A New Beginning...

BBFC cuts lists revealed for cinema and VHS
Link Here
Friday 13Th Part 5 DVD Friday the 13th A New Beginning aka i s a 1985 US slasher by Danny Steinmann.
With Melanie Kinnaman, John Shepherd and Shavar Ross.
YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

Cut cinema release

The cut R Rated Version was passed 18 after a further 56s of BBFC cuts for:

  • 1985 cinema release

The BBFC cuts were:

  • Reel 3 - Considerably reduce shots of bare-breasted girl lying on ground after sex as she is stalked and then killed with a pair of shears.
  • Reel 3 - Remove shot of same girl lying with her eyes stabbed out by shears.
  • Reel 3 - Reduce to establishing shots only tourniquet being tightened around both eyes.
  • Reel 4 - Reduce anticipatory shots of bare-breasted girl lying on bed before turning over to find bloody body of boy next to her.

Further cut VHS release

The cut R Rated Version was passed 18 after a further 1:22s of BBFC cuts for:
  • 1987 CIC VHS

The BBFC cuts were:

  • At 42 mins - Considerably reduce sight of bare-breasted girl [Tina] on ground after sex before she is killed with shears, in particular removing side angle of her lying back with knee raised foreground. Remove shot of same girl with gouged-out eyes, so that scene is played off boy's reactions to corpse as he turns her over. Reduce to establishing shots only tourniquet being tightened around boy's eyes [Eddie], only first and last shot to remain.
  • At 53 mins - Reduce terrorising of boy speared through tin lavatory shack by removing altogether the sight of spear wounding him in knee and some of terror which follows it.
  • At 64 mins - Reduce anticipatory shots of bare-breasted girl Robin lying on back in bed before turning and finding bloody body of boy next to her.
  • At 66 mins - Reduce stabbing of second girl in dormitory while she is dancing to gramophone by removing the delay after she is grabbed round throat and thrown against wall, cutting altogether the sight of her being lifted into the air.
  • At 67 mins - When boy looks into room and lightning flash reveals bodies on bed, remove two tighter shots featuring bare breasts and blood.

BBFC cuts waived for DVD Release

The cut R Rated Version was passed 18 with BBFC cuts waived for:

 

19th October

 Update: Resolving government popularity crisis by jailing more people...

Government proposed to increase the penalty for internet insult to 2 years in jail
Link Here  full story: Trivial Insults...Authorities persecuting insulting comments on Facebook and Twitter
Ministry of Justice logo Internet insults could lead to two years in jail under new laws, 'Justice' Secretary Chris Grayling has said. He proposes that magistrates should be able to pass serious cases on to crown courts under the new measures.

He told the Mail on Sunday quadrupling the current maximum six-month term showed his determination to take a stand against a baying cyber-mob

These internet trolls are cowards who are poisoning our national life. No-one would permit such venom in person, so there should be no place for it on social media. That is why we are determined to quadruple the current six-month sentence.

As the terrible case of Chloe Madeley showed last week, people are being abused online in the most crude and degrading fashion.

This is a law to combat cruelty - and marks our determination to take a stand against a baying cyber-mob. We must send out a clear message: if you troll you risk being behind bars for two years.

Those who subject others to sexually offensive, verbally abusive or threatening material online are currently prosecuted in magistrates' courts under the Malicious Communications Act, with a maximum prison sentence of six months. More serious cases could go to crown court under the proposals, where the maximum sentence would be extended.

The law change is to be made as an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill going through Parliament.

Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, responded to the proposed new penalties:

Big Brother Watch logo The Justice Secretary should be focusing his efforts on incidents where real harm may be caused, not casting the net wider for anything that could be deemed offensive.

The Crown Prosecution Service and the police have completely failed to properly use the existing harassment law, which itself would address the actions of anyone who poses a serious threat.

The victims of serious abuse online, or indeed offline, do not need headline grabbing policies. They need definitive action to ensure that the police know what the law is when a compliant is made. It is that action which will keep them safe, not attempts to legally blur the line between illegal behaviour and being generally offensive.

 

19th October

  Everybody's Offended...

Media-watch commission survey finding that everybody has been offended by something on pre-watershed TV
Link Here

mediawatch banner logo A moralist campaign set up by Catholic campaigner Mary Whitehouse has claims that the public believes TV producers have crossed the line by allowing increasingly inappropriate content to be aired.

Of the 2,009 people questioned in the survey by Atomik Research on behalf of Mediawatch-UK, 100% said they had viewed offensive content before the watershed.

The research received the highest percentage of complaints about sexual activity (47%) followed by bad language (38%), violence (36%) and inappropriate adult issues such as drug use and gambling (34%). However, despite each person confessing they had concerns about unsuitable content, only 26% had complained to the TV censor Ofcom.

Actually 26% of people complaining to Ofcom is a massive proportion of people. Ofcom only get handfuls of complaints, so the 26% of people rather suggests that the Mediawatch-UK survey was hardly a random sample.

Vivienne Pattison, Director of Mediawatch-UK, claimed:

OFCOM's failure to regulate adequately in the past has led to what the regulator itself described as being 'at the very margin of acceptability' to become mainstream.

Is it then any wonder that people are not making their views known about inappropriate broadcasts because they don't think anything will come of complaining.

The survey was commissioned to mark the 50th anniversary of Mediawatch-UK.

 

19th October

  Government Theatre Censor...

Turkish theatre director resigns over government demands for censorship of play
Link Here
gunes bartarken The resignation of the Turkish State Theater's (DT) Director Mustafa Kurt, following an alleged censorship debate concerning a play about Goethe, has sparked controversy over whether the Ministry of Culture and Tourism is forcing directors who are against a controversial bill on the proposed Turkey Arts Council (TUSAK) to quit their jobs.

Kurt resigned  just before the State Theater's premiere of the play Gunes Batarken Bile Buyuk (The Sun is Big Even at Sunset) .

A government committee had requested DT officials to remove certain lines featuring sexual or vulgar language. The ministry then ordered Kurt to postpone the premiere while it determined whether these parts had been removed. The DT's rejection of the administration's order allegedly led to Kurt's resignation.

If the proposed bill on TUSAK becomes law, the final word on all art-related projects in Turkey will lie with this council.

 

19th October

  Unplugged...

Giant inflatable butt plug vandalised in Paris
Link Here

paul mccarthy butt plu A giant inflatable butt plug has been destroyed by vandals in Paris.

The 80 foot art work was installed at  Place Vendome and was claimed to be a 'tree' by the artist Paul McCarthy. Past artwork by McCarthy seems to suggest that he has a somewhat erotic sense of humour and a tree is an an unlikely explanation.

Tragedy struck late on Friday night when the ambiguous structure was attacked and deflated.

A police spokesman said:

Individuals have severed the cables that hold the sculpture in place, taking advantage of a momentary lack of a security guard.

Farnce's Minister of Culture, Fleur Pellerin, called the vandalism a n attack on creative freedom as well as a physical attack on the artist himself.

 

19th October

 Offsite Article: Speaking volumes about your whereabouts...

Link Here
whisper logo Revealed how Whisper app tracks supposedly anonymous users

See article from theguardian.com

 

18th October

  Mary Whitehouse: Was she right?...

Celebrating 50 years of morality campaigning and sliding down the slippery slope. You'd think we would have hit the bottom by now. But no, life goes on pretty much as normal
Link Here
mary whiteouse was she right An image of the late Mary Whitehouse, scourge of TV's moral turpitude, was projected onto the side of BBC Broadcasting House in London earlier this week to mark the 50th anniversary of Mediawatch-UK (formerly the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association).

The Guardian's Media Monkey is not quite sure what Whitehouse would have made of the anniversary being marked with a PR stunt, but there you go.

 

18th October

  Chucky Reincarnate...

Annabelle pulled from French cinemas after troubles break out amongst the audience
Link Here
Annabelle plus bonus features Wallis Annabelle is a 2014 USA horror by John R Leonetti.
Starring Ward Horton, Annabelle Wallis and Alfre Woodard. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

John Form has found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia - a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. But Mia's delight with Annabelle doesn't last long. On one horrific night, their home is invaded by members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. The cultists have conjured an entity so malevolent that nothing they did will compare to the sinister conduit to the damned that is now... Annabelle.

BBFC: Passed 15 uncut for strong horror, bloody violence

MPAA: Rated R for intense sequences of disturbing violence and terror.

A string of French cinemas have cancelled showings of new American horror form Annabelle after violence has repeatedly broken in the audience. The managers of cinemas in Marseille, Strasbourg and Montpellier have ceased showing the film until further notice for security reasons.

General chaos and fights have broken out among audience members during the screenings of the film, which is a prequel of the film The Conjuring and tells the tale of the murderous puppet Annabelle terrorising an unsuspecting family.

The trouble seems to stem from teenagers getting rowdy during the screenings. BFMTV film critics Alain Grasset said:

It's a very young audience, for whom the screening is a time to let loose, they go to see it as a joke, but it's a pretext to go a little wild.

 

18th October

 Updated: The right for the rich and powerful to censor what they don't want to hear...

Author banned from writing about his experience of child abuse lest this hurts delicate ears
Link Here
english pen logo Stephen Fry, David Hare and Tom Stoppard among leading writers to voice concerns over court ruling that prevents publication of memoir. They write:

The Court of Appeal's injunction last week preventing publication of a memoir poses a significant threat to freedom of expression.

The Court has ruled that the book should not be published on the grounds that it may cause psychological harm to the author's child, who suffers from disabilities, including Asperger's and ADHD.

The book is not targeted at children and will not be published in the country in which the child lives. The memoir deals with the author's past experiences of sexual abuse and explores the redemptive power of artistic expression. It has been praised, even in court, as striking prose and an insightful work.

The author's earlier public discussions of sexual abuse have previously led to the arrest of one of his abusers.  Its publication is therefore clearly in the public interest and may encourage those who have suffered abuse to speak out.

As writers, and members of English PEN, we are gravely concerned about the impact of this judgment on the freedom to read and write in the UK. The public is being denied the opportunity of reading an enlightening memoir, while publishers, authors and journalists may face censorship on similar grounds in the future.

Jeffrey Archer, William Boyd, John Carey, Jim Crace, Jonathan Dimbleby, Cory Doctorow, Michael Frayn, Maureen Freely, President, English PEN, Stephen Fry, Daisy Goodwin, David Hare, Tom Holland, Hari Kunzru, Marina Lewycka, Blake Morrison, Katharine Norbury, Will Self, Tom Stoppard, Colin Thubron, Colm Tóibín

 

18th October

  Trademarked Blocking Systems...

ISP website blocking extended to websites accused of trademark infringement
Link Here
Old Bailey In a landmark ruling, the High Court has ordered several of the UK's leading ISPs to block websites dealing in counterfeit products. The decision follows legal action by Richemont, the owner of several luxury brands including Cartier and Montblanc.

Following successful action by the world's leading entertainment companies to have sites blocked at the ISP level on grounds of copyright infringement, it was perhaps inevitable that other companies with similar issues, such as trademark infringement would tread the same path.

Compagnie Financiere Richemont S.A. owns several well-known luxury brands including Cartier and Mont Blanc and for some time has tried to force sites selling counterfeit products to close down. Faced with poor results, in 2014 the company wrote to the UK's leading ISPs, Sky, TalkTalk, BT, Virgin Media, EE and Telefonica/O2, complaining that third party sites were infringing on Richemont trademarks.

Concerned that Richemont hadn't done enough to close the sites down on its own and that blocking could affect legitimate trade, the ISPs resisted and the matter found itself before the High Court.

The court decision means that the ISPs named in the legal action must now restrict access to websites selling physical counterfeits in the same way they already restrict file-sharing sites.

A Richemont spokesperson told TorrentFreak that the ruling represents a positive step in the fight to protect brands and customers from the sale of counterfeit goods online. T he company said:

We are pleased by this judgment and welcome the Court's recognition that there is a public interest in preventing trade mark infringement, particularly where counterfeit goods are involved. The Courts had already granted orders requiring ISPs to block sites for infringement of copyright in relation to pirated content. This decision is a logical extension of that principle to trade marks.

TorrentFreak reports that the decision is likely to be appealed.

 

18th October

  Forget the Children...

Championing the right for young people to have their childhood forgotten
Link Here
martha lane fox The government's former digital champion, Martha Lane Fox, has said teenagers should be given the right to erase their online past when they reach 18.

The lastminute.com founder said it seems a pretty good idea that people should be able to scratch everything you did online pre-18 :

We should be able to create these safe places for kids to be OK and for it not be okay for that to then come back to haunt you at a later date. That feels quite urgent and important and manageable.

But she said she had mixed feelings about the more general principle of the right to be forgotten. She added:

Someone at Google suggested to me you cold be able to annotate Google, not completely Wikipedia style but that you would be able to put up a note saying, yes this is this, but this is related to me and this is what I think about it. I thought that was quite an interesting idea.

 

18th October

 Update: A Sea of Troubles...

An Indian take on Hamlet set in Kashmir gets banned by Pakistan's film censor
Link Here  full story: Banned Films in Pakistan...Sensitive issues of image and religion
haider Haider is a 2014 India crime romance by Vishal Bhardwaj.
Starring Shahid Kapoor, Tabu and Shraddha Kapoor. IMDb

Vishal Bhardwaj's adaptation of William Shakespeare's 'Hamlet', Haider - a young man returns home to Kashmir on receiving news of his father's disappearance. Not only does he learn that security forces have detained his father for harboring militants, but that his mother is in a relationship with his very own uncle. Intense drama follows between mother and son as both struggle to come to terms with news of his father's death. Soon Haider learns that his uncle is responsible for the gruesome murder, what follows is his journey to avenge his father's death.

Citing the film's sensitive content , Pakistan's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) decided against the release of the film in Pakistan. A CBFC employee told The Express Tribune that Haider's controversial topic and propagandist nature are the reasons for this.

A senior official at the CBFC maintained that the film's ban:

Has nothing to do with the ongoing tension between Pakistan and India. Any film that is on a controversial topic, such as the Kashmir issue, will most likely not be released in the country.

The film is against the ideology of Pakistan. We have a professional panel of reviewers that assesses films while keeping in mind factors that a layman can't understand. He stated that certain Hindi words used in a film may seem harmless to an average audience member, but can have adverse effects on our culture.

Distributor Amjad Rasheed commented on not pursuing censor clearance via a local censor board:

We realise the [gravity of the] situation at the Line of Control and if one board has refused to certify the film, then the wise thing to do is not to offer the film at all.

The film has also caused controversy in India. A court in the state of Uttar Pradesh is hearing a petition calling for the film to be banned on the grounds that it was against national interest.

 

18th October

 Offsite Article: CAMRA, Corsets and Moral Hysteria...

Link Here
camra leaflet PC bullies lay into a flyer for a real ale campaign. By David Flint

See article from strangethingsarehappening.com

 

17th October

  Classified as a Bit Dull...

Australian Classification Board publishes its Annual Report for 2013-2014
Link Here
australian classification board 2013 2014 A few snippets from Director Lesley O'Brien's overview:

In this reporting year, the Board made 4156 decisions. This included 4066 commercial classification decisions, 30 classification decisions on internet content referred by the Australian Communications and Media Authority and 60 classification decisions for enforcement agencies.

During the reporting period, 38 publications were audited. One publication had its serial classification revoked as a result of the audit. This decision was subsequently overturned by the Review Board.

Nineteen of the Board's decisions were reviewed by the Classification Review Board in 2013â?�14. These were for the review of the classification for 13 computer games, five films and to review the decision to revoke a serial classification of a publication. Of the 13 computer games reviewed, the original classification remained unchanged. Of the five films reviewed, the original classification for one film remained unchanged. The Review Board decided not to revoke the serial classification for the publication upon review.

On 1 January 2013, an R 18+ category for computer games took effect in conjunction with new Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games which were agreed to by all state and territory ministers who have responsibility for classification matters.

 

17th October

 Update: Banned Books...

China adds to the long list without providing explanations
Link Here  full story: Book Censorship in China...Offical book censors and self censorship
Do not read novel class ebook Books by a few best-selling authors were removed from stores in China over the weekend.

Taiwanese author and director Jiubadao is widely known for his novels on romance and Chinese martial art while China-born US-based academic Yu Yingshi has published books on Chinese history and democratic theories.

No reasons for the removals have been revealed but sources say China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television had ordered the ban. Ding Qizhen, a social commentator speculated on the reason for the censorship:

Some speculate that it's related to the Fourth Plenary Session of China's Communist Party. Some say the related department is presenting a gift to the top leaders by eliminating dissenting voices.

Writer Jiubadao had earlier in the year expressed his support for the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan, where students had protested against a trade agreement with China.

Publishers have also been asked to stop printing books by six other prominent Chinese writers. This includes Liang Wendao, and economist Mao Yushi.

 

17th October

  Which is worse, bullying or unintended sleight?...

PC bullies get native American headdresses banned from sale at Glastonbury
Link Here
Indian headdress native american feathers After an online petition with just 65 signatures, Glastonbury has added Native American headdresses to the list of items traders cannot sell at the festival without prior authorisation . The petition called for the headdresses to be banned, claiming the wearing of them by non-Native Americans is disrespectful .

Glastonbury organisers commented on their pandering to political correctness saying that this instruction to their market traders is to ensure that sellers reflect the values of the festival .

The headdresses have become a regular feature at festivals. But the politically correct see them as offensive - using an ethnic minority's traditional culture as novelty clothing.

Dr. David Stirrup of the University of Kent explained that they are something you have to earn. It is normally earned through exploit. The eagle feathers in the headdress are revered and worn for specific ceremonial occasions. They are not everyday wear, he says.

In the US, the wearing of headdresses for fashion reasons has become controversial. Celebrities such as Pharrell Williams and Harry Styles caused controversy by wearing the headgear in photographs. Meanwhile football team the Washington Redskins are under pressure to change their name and logo, which many see as a racial slur. But until now the controversy has barely registered in the UK.

 

17th October

 Offsite Article: #GamerGate: an un-PC rebellion...

Link Here
Spiked logo There are good reasons for non-gamers to be paying attention to the video-games industry right now. it has become the site of a rebellion against moral crusaders and their relentless push to politicise every aspect of culture and society

See article from spiked-online.com

 

17th October

 Offsite Article: Judy Finnigan vs the offencerati...

Link Here
Loose Women Let Very Best PC bullies try to shut down debate about graduations in the severity of rape

See article from spiked-online.com

 

16th October

  Legs Akimbo...

Spirited music pub hits back against miserable ASA ban of beer pong advert
Link Here

also known as legs akimbo advert An ad on the Facebook page of a live music venue named Also Known As , promoting a beer pong night. Text in the ad stated ALSO KNOWN AS THURSDAY NIGHT BEER PONG IS BACK! . The ad featured an image of a naked woman reclining on a bed with her legs spread apart and her head pixelated. A star-shaped graphic with a hole in the centre and a small circular shape next to the hole were superimposed over the woman's genitalia. Issue

Two complainants, who considered the ad was overtly sexual and objectified women, challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

Also Known As stated that the ad was used to advertise the return of their beer pong nights and it was removed from their Facebook page within 48 hours of publication. They stated that they had not received any direct complaints from members of the public.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The ASA welcomed the fact that the ad was no longer appearing. We noted that, although the woman's breasts and genitalia were not visible, she appeared to be fully naked in the ad. We considered that the woman's reclining pose, with her legs spread apart and the crotch area being the focus of the ad, was sexually provocative and explicit in nature.

We further noted that the woman's head was pixelated and considered that the graphics super-imposed over the woman's genitalia was a reference to the game of beer pong. We considered the image of the woman bore no relevance to the event promoted by Also Known As. We considered that the anonymising effect of her pixelated head and the insinuation of the woman as an accessory in the game of beer pong presented an objectified view of women that would be regarded as being sexist by consumers. On this basis, we concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

The ad must not appear again in its current form.

Comment: Also Known As slams ASA for pointless investigation

16th October 2014. See  article from  morningadvertiser.co.uk

letter writing Marc Sylvester, owner and licensee of Also Known As in Banbury, Oxfordshire, said he had not received a single complaint about the promotion and insisted the matter was resolved months ago , yet the ASA insisted on investigating. He said:

The ASA seems to be an organisation that only exists to perpetuate its existence.

This was a post that was removed within less than 48 hours -- before the ASA even got in contact with us. It was designed to be provocative but not offensive. I was made aware that someone had put the picture on the Facebook page and was complaining about it. I decided that if it was going to cause offence then it wasn't worth it, so removed the post.

The ASA then contacted us and said they were going to investigate it and that could mean we would be forced to remove the post. I told them we had already done that so what was the point.

From then on we have had maybe ten letters from the ASA in which they kept asking for our side of the story. I've lost count of the times I've told them, there is no side to the story -- we put it up and then we took it down.

This was resolved months ago.

 

16th October

  It's History Now...

French feminist group wants to ban statue depicting iconic V-J Day celebrations
Link Here
seward johnson unconditional surrender Unconditional Surrender , a statue of a sailor kissing a nurse, is 25-foot sculpture, by US artist Seward Johnson that, is based on Alfred Eisenstaedt's famous photograph Kissing Sailor capturing celebrations after the end of the war with Japan.

Now the French feminist group Osez Le Feminisme (Dare to be Feminist) is campaigning to have the piece banned from public view.

Osez Le Feminisme have launched a petition asking for the statue be removed from its current location, a war memorial in Normandy. The group claim the statue, and the picture it was inspired by, both portray a sexual assault.

We cannot accept that the Caen Memorial erected a sexual assault as a symbol of peace. We therefore request the removal of this sculpture as soon as possible.

The sailor could have laughed with these women, hugged them, asked them if he could kiss them with joy. No, he chose to grab them with a firm hand to kiss them. It was an assault.

The identities of the nurse and the sailor in Eisenstaedt's photograph have never been officially confirmed, although a book, The Kissing Sailor, says that the girl is Greta Zimmer Friedman who later said in an interview:

It wasn't my choice to be kissed. The guy just came over and grabbed me! I felt that he was very strong. He was just holding me tight. It wasn't a romantic event.

 

16th October

 Offsite Article: Uptight Britain...

Link Here
qu est-ce qu on a fait au bon dieu Politically incorrect French comedy hit won't be shown in British cinemas

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

16th October

 Offsite Article: Adding PG-14, PG-15, and PG-16...

Link Here  full story: PG13ification...Hollywood cramming R rated movies into PG-13
us pg-13 A somewhat silly piece but the US does desperately need something around PG-15

See article from idigitaltimes.com

 

15th October

 Diary: Citizenfour...

17th October 2014: Preview screenings across Britain of Edward Snowden documentary
Link Here  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
citizenfour Citizenfour is a 2014 Germany / USA documentary by Laura Poitras.
Starring Edward Snowden, Jacob Appelbaum and Julian Assange. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

Next Friday, October 17th, there are preview screenings of the much talked about Snowden documentary, CITIZENFOUR, in over 50 cinemas across the UK. Visit citizenfourfilm.com for details of where it's being shown.

About the film

In January 2013, filmmaker Laura Poitras was several years into the making of a film about abuses of national security in post-9/11 America when she started receiving encrypted emails from someone identifying himself as "citizen four", who was ready to blow the whistle on the massive covert surveillance programs run by the NSA and other intelligence agencies.

In June 2013, she and reporter Glenn Greenwald flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with the man who turned out to be Edward Snowden. She brought her camera with her. This film resulted from their series of tense encounters. Have a look at citizenfourfilm.com  for details of where it's being shown.

 

15th October

  World Censor...

ASA bans revealing underwear adverts for Lightinthebox on a US games website
Link Here

lightinbox advert An internet display ad for a the Lightinthebox clothing company, which appeared on www.miniongames.net, a website hosting children's games, featured three images of women wearing revealing lingerie. Two images showed the bodies of two women wearing transparent underwear; one image revealed the woman's breasts and buttocks, and the other revealed her breasts and her hand was also placed over her crotch. The third image featured a woman in revealing red lingerie and stockings.

A complainant challenged whether the ad was inappropriately placed, because it would be seen by children.

Lightinthebox (UK) Ltd and Miniongames.net did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA was concerned by Lightinthebox's lack of substantive response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a substantive response to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.

We were also concerned that Miniongames.net had not provided a response.

We noted that two of the images did not feature the women's faces. We considered that the poses were sexually suggestive and provocative and the focus on the breasts, buttocks and groin areas rendered the content of the ad overtly sexual.

The ad had appeared on a website hosting games featuring Minions , who were the main characters in the children's film Despicable Me 2 . We considered that the games were targeted at children and the ad was likely to be seen by children. We considered that the placement of ads with sexual content on a children's website was harmful and irresponsible and concluded that the ad was in breach of the advertising Code.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told the advertisers to ensure ads placed on children's websites did not feature overtly sexual or sexually suggestive content. We referred the matter to CAP's Compliance team.

 

15th October

 Updated: Trigger Warnings or Spoilers?...

Impassioned film goer complains that BBFC trigger warnings end up being spoilers
Link Here
Two Days One Night DVD A blogger at theincrediblesuit.blogspot.co.uk has written an impassioned and eloquent plea against spoilers contained in BBFC consumer advice:

As a foreign language arthouse film, Two Days, One Night arguably attracts a certain type of audience: one who, at the very least, has gone to the trouble of finding out the thrust of the story in order to decide whether or not to see it. So it's fair to suggest that most people watching the film in a cinema know that it concerns Cotillard's character, Sandra, struggling to get her job back by pleading with her workmates to convince them to forego their bonus.

What, then, does that audience think when the words suicide attempt appear on screen as a warning about the film's content, alongside the BBFC's 15 certificate, mere seconds before it starts? I can't speak for everyone, but my own thoughts went something along the lines of: Oh right, so at some point things will get so bad that Sandra will try to kill herself. I'll just sit here with that information stored away, waiting for it to happen, shall I? THANKS A RUDDY BUNCH, THE BBFC.

...Read the full article

It's surely a bit tough on the BBFC. In the world of political correctness, suicide is one of the highest priorities for so called 'trigger warnings'. Surely you can't let people sensitive to suicide watch films like this without being warned.

The Guardian reports that the BBFC have seen the error in its ways:

Now the BBFC has said it will aim to stop giving too much away. The body began publishing the information on the card last year, and has tried to balance helping people make informed choices with not spoiling the storyline.

It said the problem rarely arose but it had sympathy with those who felt their enjoyment had been affected.

It believes it can tackle the issue in a pragmatic way without compromising the need to inform the public about a film's content .

The BBFC will trial a new policy examining whether a potential spoiler can be withheld from the information prior to the film, although it would still be available online. The policy will be reviewed after six months.

Update: MPAA trigger warnings for something unmentionable

14th October 2014.

MPAA logo The BBFC got in a little bother for spoilers in its onscreen consumer advice for the cinema film Two Days, One Night. The BBFC advice read:

Passed 15 for suicide attempt

Perhaps forewarned by the BBFC controversy, the MPAA ratings just released today seemingly avoided the spoiler with the consumer advice:

Rated PG-13 for some mature thematic elements

Of course the phrase is now so vague that it is totally useless. What is the point of telling parents that there is something mature in a film supposedly suitable for children without giving a hint about what the mature theme is?

Are the MPAA so politically correct that they have trigger warnings that can't mention the reason for the warning?

 

15th October

 Updated: Seeking Consent of Parliament...

Government publishes the details of its new law targeting revenge porn
Link Here  full story: Revenge porn in the UK...UK government considers legislation
House of Commons logo The government has published the details of a new law targeting revenge porn:

Publication of private sexual images

(1) It shall be an offence for a person to publish a private sexual image of another identifiable person without their consent where this disclosure  causes distress to the person who is the subject of the image.

(2) A person is not guilty of an offence under subsection (1) if he or she-—

(a) reasonably believed that the person who is the subject of the image had consented to its publication;

(b) reasonably believed that the publication of the image would not cause distress;

(c) reasonably believed that the image had previously been published; or

(d) did not intend to publish the image.

(3) For the purposes of this section it is immaterial who owns the copyright of the published image.

(4) An offence under this section is punishable by—

(a) on conviction on indictment, imprisonment for a term of not exceeding 2 years or a fine (or both);

(b) on summary conviction, imprisonment for a term of not exceeding 6 months or a fine (or both).

Update: Unintelligible law

14th October 2014. See article from publications.parliament.uk . Thanks to Therumbler

Seems to be a disgraceful government proposed amendment to turn the law into gobbledegook where people will be found guilty whatever the circumstances, whilst journalists seem to have been excused any responsibility whatever the circumstances.

Disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress

(1) It is an offence for a person to disclose a private sexual photograph or film if the disclosure is made---

  • (a) without the consent of an individual who appears in the photograph or film, and

  • (b) with the intention of causing that individual distress.

(2) But it is not an offence for the person to disclose the photograph or film to the individual mentioned in subsection (1)(a) and (b).

(3) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he or she reasonably believed that the disclosure was necessary for the purposes of preventing, detecting or investigating crime.

(4) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to show that---

  • (a) the disclosure was made in the course of, or with a view to, the publication of journalistic material, and

  • (b) he or she reasonably believed that, in the particular circumstances, the publication of the journalistic material was, or would be, in the public interest.

(5) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to show that---

  • (a) he or she reasonably believed that the photograph or film had previously been disclosed for reward, whether by the individual mentioned in subsection (1)(a) and (b) or another person, and

  • (b) he or she had no reason to believe that the previous disclosure for reward was made without the consent of the individual mentioned in subsection (1)(a) and (b).

(6) A person is taken to have shown the matters mentioned in subsection (4) or (5) if---

  • (a) sufficient evidence of the matters is adduced to raise an issue with respect to it, and

  • (b) the contrary is not proved beyond reasonable doubt.

(7) For the purposes of subsections (1) to (5)---

  • (a) consent to a disclosure includes general consent covering the disclosure, as well as consent to the particular disclosure, and

  • (b) publication of journalistic material means disclosure to the public.

(8) A person charged with an offence under this section is not to be taken to have disclosed a photograph or film with the intention of causing distress merely because that was a natural and probable consequence of the disclosure.

(9) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable---

  • (a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or a fine (or both), and

  • (b) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or a fine (or both).

(10) Schedule (Disclosing private sexual photographs or films: providers of information society services) makes special provision in connection with the operation of this section in relation to persons providing information society services.

(11) In relation to an offence committed before section 154(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 comes into force, the reference in subsection (9)(b) to 12 months is to be read as a reference to 6 months.

(12) In relation to an offence committed before section 85 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 comes into force, the reference in subsection (9)(b) to a fine is to be read as a reference to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum.

Meaning of disclose and photograph or film

(1) The following apply for the purposes of section (Disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress), this section and section (Meaning of private and sexual).

(2) A person discloses something to a person if, by any means, he or she gives or shows it to the person or makes it available to the person.

(3) Something that is given, shown or made available to a person is disclosed---

  • (a) whether or not it is given, shown or made available for reward, and

  • (b) whether or not it has previously been given, shown or made available to the person.

(4) Photograph or film means a still or moving image in any form that---

  • (a) appears to consist of or include one or more photographed or filmed images, and

  • (b) in fact consists of or includes one or more photographed or filmed images.

(5) The reference in subsection (4)(b) to photographed or filmed images includes photographed or filmed images that have been altered in any way.

(6) Photographed or filmed image means a still or moving image that---

  • (a) was originally captured by photography or filming, or

  • (b) is part of an image originally captured by photography or filming.

(7) Filming means making a recording, on any medium, from which a moving image may be produced by any means.

(8) References to a photograph or film include---

  • (a) a negative version of an image described in subsection (4), and

  • (b) data stored by any means which is capable of conversion into an image described in subsection (4).

Meaning of private and sexual

(1) The following apply for the purposes of section (Disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress).

(2) A photograph or film is private if it shows something that is not of a kind ordinarily seen in public.

(3) A photograph or film is sexual if---

  • (a) it shows all or part of an individual's exposed genitals or pubic area,

  • (b) it shows something that a reasonable person would consider to be sexual because of its nature, or

  • (c) its content, taken as a whole, is such that a reasonable person would consider it to be sexual.

(4) Subsection (5) applies in the case of ---

  • (a) a photograph or film that consists of or includes a photographed or filmed image that has been altered in any way,

  • (b) a photograph or film that combines two or more photographed or filmed images, and

  • (c) a photograph or film that combines a photographed or filmed image with something else.

(5) The photograph or film is not private and sexual if---

  • (a) it does not consist of or include a photographed or filmed image that is itself private and sexual,

  • (b) it is only private or sexual by virtue of the alteration or combination mentioned in subsection (4), or

  • (c) it is only by virtue of the alteration or combination mentioned in subsection (4) that the person mentioned in section (Disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress)(1)(a) and (b) is shown as part of, or with, whatever makes the photograph or film private and sexual.

 

15th October

 Offsite Article Guardian's high priestess of PC, Joan Smith, recommends...

Link Here
Poster Gone Girl 2014 David Fincher Ben Affleck's Gone Girl

See article from theguardian.com

 

15th October

 Offsite Article: What parents need to know about unrated DVDs...

Link Here
mpaa unrated large Nothing particularly new but it gives a little background how the system works in the US

See article from heraldtimesonline.com

 

15th October

 Offsite Article: Open Case...

Link Here
European Court of Justice European Court to consider who is responsible for copyright infringement via open WiFi

See article from techdirt.com

 

14th October

  Less Dead...

TV cuts to the Walking Dead and Frasier
Link Here
Walking Dead Season DVD The Walking Dead

Thanks to Andy

I noticed that Fox had censored a part of The Walking Dead which was shown last night at 9pm.

The first guy to get his throat cut at the beginning of the show (Episode 1 Season 5). This was fully shown in America but in UK only the beginning of the cut was shown. It then cut to a reaction shot.

I'm sure many Walking Dead fans will be shocked to hear that Fox are cutting the show in the UK.

Frasier Complete Seasons 1 11 DVD Frasier

Thanks to Sergio

Frasier on Channel 4 at about 9am Sunday 12th October 2014.

It was cut near this point as shown on YouTube at the line:

I try to figure out why a maniac'll kill a hooker and stuff her entire body into a bowling bag

This line was just so bluntly cut, the laughs seem to not relate to anything.

 

14th October

  The 9am Watershed...

John Cleese has fun with the watershed censorship rules on strong language
Link Here
this morning John Cleese had fun on daytime TV winding up Phillip Schofield about the watershed rules.

Cleese appeared on This Morning on Monday to promote his new memoir, and during the interview he jokingly referred to his former comic colleague Michael Palin as a bastard .

Presenter Phillip Schofield immediately apologised for the slip, prompting Cleese to query the incident and revealing he misunderstood the U.K.'s broadcasting rules about the 9pm watershed.

After Schofield grovelled to easily offended viewers, Cleese said: Why? It's nine o'clock isn't it? and Schofield replied, Yes. The wrong one. It's alright at the later nine o'clock.

Cleese then revealed he had genuinely misunderstood the rules, saying, What? You can't say 'bastard' before nine in the evening? Really? I didn't realise that.

In fact the rules are not so clear as implied by the authors of this piece. It is very clear that the words 'fuck' and 'cunt' are banned from daytime TV but the situation for lesser strong language is not clear cut and depend on context etc rather than being absolute prohibitions.

 

14th October

  Frump Object...

Object whinge at range of fashionable clothes at Debenhams that reference the young teenage daughters of the designers
Link Here
iris edie bra PC bullies claim that the colourful, lacy bras and knickers in the Iris & Edie line, named after Sadie Frost's 13-year-old daughter, may breach guidelines on age-appropriate clothing

Object, which campaigns against the supposed objectification of women in the media, claims that the line, available in Debenhams, is inappropriate because it is named after Frost's daughter, Iris, who is 13.

Iris & Edie is named after Iris Frost and the 16-year-old daughter of Jemima French, the friend with whom Frost runs her fashion label, FrostFrench. Both girls helped design the range, which also includes pyjamas and loungewear.

Roz Hardie, Chief Object at the campaign group said:

If Debenhams are proposing to sell see-through pants named after an under-16 year-old, then they're not working within the spirit of the Bailey Review recommendations and we'd call on them to review their proposals. Particularly to link them to the names of under-16 year-olds, whether deliberate or not, is inappropriate.

A Debenhams  spokesman said:

The ranges in question are aimed solely at adults, and are sold in our women's nightwear and lingerie departments. We have sold this brand for three years, and it has always been marketed entirely to the young adult market.

We stock a range of age-appropriate underwear and nightwear for younger teenage girls in line with all relevant guidance from the British Retail Consortium and Mumsnet, and these are sold in our childrenswear departments.

 

13th October

 Update: Crime Creation...

Minister for crime prevention dreams up the new crime of displaying lads' mags in shops
Link Here  full story: Lads Mags...Blaming lads mags for all the world's ills
norman baker According to a press release from the moral campaigners of Child Eyes:

Minister for Crime Creation, Norman Baker MP (a not so Liberal Democrat), has confirmed that supermarkets who display magazines and newspapers with sexualized front covers at child height are not observing current legislation in relation to the Indecent Displays Act 1981.

Baker said in a letter to Child Eyes founders:

Child Eyes' concerns about publications with inappropriate or indecent images or text are fully understood and I believe the problem lies with the retailers, not the publishers.

I am grateful to the work of Child Eyes and I am particularly struck by the difficulties and resistance parents have been experiencing when seeking the cooperation of supermarkets who are often not observing current legislation.

Minister Baker has written to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, on Child Eyes' behalf and received a positive reply. David Cameron referred Minister Baker to the Bailey Review into the sexualisation of children, Letting Children Be Children (commissioned in 2012), which made a series of recommendations that shops and supermarkets should ensure that magazines and newspapers with sexualised images on their covers are not in easy sight of children .

Minister Baker said that it is vital that a robust approach to promoting the self-regulation is in place and that the Indecent Displays Act is able to provide for sufficient protection on matters raised by Child Eyes.

 

13th October

 Updated: Police State...

MPs to investigate police misuse of Ripa powers to snoop on journalists
Link Here
Kent Police Parliament routinely grants massive powers to the police and demonstrates an awful lot of trust in the police not abusing these powers. So it is very alarming when it seems that the police are indeed found to be abusing their powers.

Every police force in the UK is to be asked by a parliamentary committee to reveal how many times they have secretly snooped on journalists by obtaining their telephone and email records without their consent.

Keith Vaz, chairman of the home affairs select committee, said he wanted a detailed breakdown of police use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) to force telecoms companies to hand over phone records without customers' knowledge.

His intervention comes after it emerged that police investigating the former MP Chris Huhne's speeding fraud secretly obtained a Mail on Sunday reporter's phone records without his consent , despite laws protecting journalistic confidential sources.

The newspaper said it had learned that officers from Kent police used laws designed for anti-terrorism to identify a source they had failed to secure through a court application.

It is the second time in a month that revelations have emerged of the police secretly ordering phone companies to hand over journalists' phone bills, fuelling fears that media organisations will not be able to protect sources, particularly police whistleblowers.

In September it emerged accidentally that the Metropolitan police had obtained the Sun's newsdesk telephone records and those of its political editor, Tom Newton Dunn, to try to identify who had leaked it the Plebgate story about the former Tory chief whip Andrew Mitchell's altercation with police at the gates of Downing Street.

Update: Simon Hughes will ask the police to consult a judge before snooping on journalists' sources

13th October 2014. See  article from  theguardian.com

Ministry of Justice logo The UK government will reform the law to prevent the police using surveillance powers to discover journalistic sources, the justice minister, Simon Hughes, has confirmed in the wake of growing outcry at the misuse of powers.

Hughes said the police's use of powers had been entirely inappropriate and in future it would require the authorisation of a judge for police forces to be given approval to access journalists' phone records in pursuit of a criminal investigation. He said the presumption would be that if a journalist was acting in the public interest, they would be protected.

Speaking on Sky News's Murnaghan programme, Hughes added that if the police made an application to a court he would assume a journalist would be informed that the authorities were seeking to access his phone records. He said:

The principle has to be a) freedom of expression, b) journalists have a job to do and there is a public interest defence available to all journalists so you would be able to argue that case.