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28th July

 Updated: Ofcom to look into it...

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200 viewer complaints about Sky News looking through suitcases of air crash victims
Link Here
sky undie sifting video OfCom, the UK TV censor, has received around 200 complaints over this past Sunday's on-air live segment where reporter Colin Brazier went through a Malaysian Airlines crash victim's suitcase.

OfCom's Elliott Ball told iMediaEthics:

There are 201 complaints, relating to coverage on Sky News on 20 July from 12pm and throughout the day. These are being assessed. A decision has not been made yet as to whether there will be an investigation.

Sky News apologized shortly after Brazier's segment. Brazier also penned a column this week apologizing for his actions.

Update: Meanwhile the BBC grovels to a few easily offended viewers

28th July 2014. See  article from  bbc.co.uk

bbc news logo N ews at Ten,
BBC One, 18 July 2014

Complaint

We received complaints from some viewers who felt the images and descriptions used in a report on flight MH17 were too graphic and upsetting.

Response from BBC News

We appreciate that Daniel Sanford's report from the site of the Malaysian Airlines crash contained images and language which would be distressing to some viewers. With this in mind, we included a warning prior to the report. We must stress that this piece was not intended to sensationalise the crash, but to give a powerful sense of the extent of the tragedy that resulted in the loss of so many lives.

The report on the News at Ten was one of the first reports by a British broadcast journalist from the crash site of the MH17. This was an extremely harrowing scene, which was reflected in the images and descriptions used within Daniel's report.

BBC News is always aware of the need to report with sensitivity, whilst also maintaining our principles of accurate, factual and impartial news coverage.

 

28th July

  Police Censor...

CD Universe - Buy Music CDs, TV on DVD, DVDs, Video Games for XBox, PlayStation 2 and Much More

UK games censor appoints a new chairman
Link Here
VSC logo The UK video games censor, the Video Standards Council (VSC) has appointed a new chair to take over from Gillian Shephard (Baroness Shephard of Northwold).

The new Chair will be Tony Lake, who has served as a vice-chair for the organization since December 2009. According to the VCS, Tony Lake has an extensive background in law enforcement, having served for 36 years in the Police Service and working for five different police forces during his career. He spent the first 20 years of his career in the Metropolitan Police before transferring to the West Yorkshire Police in 1992 In 2010 he became an Assistant Chief Constable in Sussex and Deputy Chief Constable of the British Transport Police in 2000. He retired in 2009.

The VSC was established in 1989 to develop and oversee a code of practice designed to promote standards within the video/DVD industry. Since 2003 the VSC has been responsible for administering the PEGI system which now covers the UK and over 30 countries.

 

28th July

 Updated: Work to Rule...

Bengal film distributors held up by a lack of censors willing to censor their films
Link Here
CBFC logo Filmmakers from Bengal, who have releases lined up in the coming months, are in a spot of bother.

The advisory committee of the regional censor board was dissolved at the beginning of July. Not only is there a colossal backlog, no film can be censored before another panel is set up. A source explained:

On July 1, the committee was dissolved as panel members were not available. Till further notification from the I&B ministry, the new committee cannot be formed.

A committee can only be formed after the I&B ministry sends a notification to the Central Board of Film Certification and from there, the message is communicated to regional offices. No regional office can enrol new members without informing the ministry.

The panel included 90 members and the least number required during a film's screening is just four. But the lack of available panelists may be down to a dispute with filmmakers.   Krishna Daga, vice-president Eastern India Motion Pictures Association said:

Many filmmakers are complaining against the regional censor board officials; most say their films are unnecessarily sent to the revising committee. I am planning to send the written complaints to Rakesh Kumar, CEO, CBFC.

Update: Crisis! Not enough censors in Kerala

28th July 2014. See article from newindianexpress.com

The filmmakers in Kerala have to walk a fine line to get their films certified by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), which has insufficient members. Since last month, the number of members has come down to 10, which was around 65 before.

As per the guidelines, a panel of five members should be present for every sitting (censoring). Of that, one member should be the examining officer and two members should be females. Now, there are only two members, Shahida Kamal and Bindu Balakrishnan, available to attend the censoring of every movie that comes before the Board.

The female members are supposed to assess the content of the movies, and object if there are any scenes that portray women in a derogatory manner. According to a source, currently, the censoring of movies is being done according to the availability of the two members:

If any of the two members is not able to attend the screening the whole procedure would be affected. It is mandatory that two female representatives should be present for every screening.

According to M Jacob Abraham, examining officer at CBFC, procedures for selecting new members have now started.

Nominations for 55 new members have been sent to the Ministry. They will be posted soon after the procedures are completed:

Update: Crisis! Not enough censors other states too

28th July 2014. See  article from  timesofindia.indiatimes.com

With the regional offices of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) lying virtually defunct in Kolkata, filmmakers from the whole of the eastern region are facing hurdles in getting censor certificates to facilitate release of their new films.

The advisory panels have been dissolved in Guwahati, Cuttack, Bangalore, Trivandrum and Chennai too with effect from July 1.

Only Mumbai and Hyderabad are functioning, said regional officer B Ganopadhyay. This was confirmed by CBFC chairperson Leela Samson who is amazed that filmmakers are not protesting about this grave issue .

 

28th July

 Offsite Article: The grumpy gits at the Portman group and the ASA's war on alcohol...

Link Here
strange things are happening banner logo Strange Things are Happening at the UK drinks censors

See article from strangethingsarehappening.com

 

27th July

  Stereoptypically PC...

The BBC Editorial Complaints Unit upholds PC whinge about the comedy Outnumbered
Link Here

outnumbered Outnumbered
BBC1, 29 January 2014

Outnumbered is a comedy about the daily rollercoaster of life with growing children, starring Hugh Dennis as the father and Claire Skinner as the mother

Complaint

A viewer complained that a character's reference to a frustrating and inflexible computer system as being on the autistic spectrum perpetuated a negative stereotype.

Outcome

The ECU agreed that, on this occasion, there was insufficient editorial justification for alluding to a disability in this way.

Upheld

Further action

The commissioning team have discussed the finding and the issues it raises in relation to the treatment of disability in comedy. The episode will be edited prior to any repeat.

 

27th July

 Update: One Million Moms Recommend...

Black Jesus on late night programming known as Adult Swim
Link Here  full story: One Million Moms...Moralist whingers against anything sexy
black jesus video One Million Moms is a christian morality campaign. The group writes in a 'call to action':

The late night programming on the Cartoon Network, known as Adult Swim, plans to air the non-animated show Black Jesus portraying Jesus as a black guy living in the hood. The show depicts him living in Compton Gardens and makes a mockery of our Lord. The foul language used in the trailer, including using the Lord's name in vain, is disgusting. In addition, there is violence, gunfire and other inappropriate gestures which completely misrepresent Jesus. This is blasphemy!

Black Jesus is set to premiere on August 7 at 11:00 pm ET/ 10:00 pm CT, unless we intervene. Adult Swim plans to blaspheme Jesus on a weekly basis. This mockery will be similar to South Park and Family Guy , but much worse since the entire program will be based on lies about Christianity.

1MM will defend our Savior because He is Holy! Adult Swim is obviously not a family network, and this program is set to air later in the evening when children should be asleep, but that is no excuse. Adult Swim has crossed the line by belittling the Christian religion with foul jokes.

We need to send a loud and clear message to Adult Swim, its owner Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (a Time Warner Company), and all potential advertisers of Black Jesus that this kind of programming is insulting and completely unacceptable. Adult Swim is not ridiculing any other religion currently and wouldn't dream of mocking Mohammed or Muslims.

If we speak with one voice now, we can keep this program from ever seeing the light of day. Christians must take a stand and not be silent. Networks like Adult Swim continue to mock Christianity, and we will not stand for it. Christians should no longer sit idly by and allow this blasphemy to continue without speaking up in protest. Black Jesus is another attempt to distort the truth about Christianity. There is power in numbers! Forward this to everyone you know in a fight to keep this show off the air.

 

27th July

  Watchdogs Watch Watch Dogs...

Australian advert censor dismisses whinge about poster for computer game Watch Dogs
Link Here
UBI Soft Watch Dogs PS4 Australia's Advertising Standards Board (ASB) has dismissed a complaint against an outdoor ad for controversial Ubisoft video game Watch Dogs which claimed it was intimidating and normalised guns.

The poster depicted the game's character Aiden Pierce standing in the street of Chicago wearing mask and holding a mobile phone in one hand and a gun in the other.

The complaint to the ASB said the ad was displayed on a bus shelter outside a high school, adding it prompted their own children to ask about guns:

Why is an R rated game advertised in bus shelters, particularly around schools? I can monitor and restrict where my children go in a store, what advertising they see on TV or what magazines they read, but public space advertising like this should always be suitable for all audiences that see it.

In its ruling, the board noted that while the man is pointing a gun he does not look menacing and there is a clear association being made with the television series being promoted (sic) .

It was the board's view that most members of the community would be unlikely to interpret the image as a real life situation and while it was a billboard and could potentially be seen by children, the board considered that the image does not portray explicit violence and was relevant to the advertised product.

The board ruled that the image is not so strong as to be inappropriate for general viewing , dismissing the complaint.

 

27th July

  Shakespeare's Saw VIII...

100 theatre goes reported to have fainted during performances of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus at the Globe Theatre
Link Here
titus andronicus globe Titus Andronicus is well known as William Shakespeare's most violent play, but this clue wasn't enough for theatregoers at London's Globe Theatre, 100 of whom fainted or walked out, overcome by the gore during the latest run of Titus Andronicus.

Even The Independent's theatre reviewer, Holly Williams, confessed to fainting:

I'm not alone. Audiences are dropping like flies at this revival of Lucy Bailey's infamously gory 2006 staging.

So I can't vouch for Act III, scene ii - but if it's anything like the rest of this vivaciously staged, blackly comic and dizzyingly unrestrained production, it was probably exceptional.

The London Telegraph critic Charles Spencer left the theatre both harrowed to the marrow and disconcertingly elated .

Lucy Bailey, the show's director, told The Independent that she enjoyed the physical effect the work had on audiences. Bailey said:

I used to get disappointed if only three people passed out,

 

26th July

 Extract: EU Censorship Will Not Be Forgotten...

EU internet censors get heavy with Google for informing websites that they have been censored
Link Here  full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
EU flag The EU's Article 29 Censorship Working Party has criticised Google for telling publishers about removed right to be forgotten links, and it wants links removed worldwide, not just on European variants of Google.

Representatives of Google, Yahoo and Bing were called back to address issues about the way that Google was handling right to be forgotten censorship requests. It turned into a sort of public dressing down of Google for not censoring links 'properly' .

Google was criticised for the fact that it was only removing links from the EU sites, and links could still be found on the US and other Google search pages. The EU censors feel that any EU citizen who doesn't like a particular post has the right to have all links to that story censored worldwide.

Google was also called out because they were informing the sources of the stories that they were pulling the links (causing websites to republish new articles, which added more new links, and so on). Irish data protection censor Billy Hawkes expressed concerns regarding Google warning sites about their links being removed.

The more they do so, it means the media organisation republishes the information and so much for the right to be forgotten. There is an issue there.

...Read the full article

Jimmy Wales criticises 'right to be forgotten' censorship

See  article from  theguardian.com

jimmy wales Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said it was dangerous to have companies decide what should be allowed to appear on the internet.

Internet search engines such as Google should not be left in charge of censoring history , the Wikipedia founder has said, after the US firm revealed it had approved half of more than 90,000 right to be forgotten requests.

Jimmy Wales said it was dangerous to have companies decide what should and should not be allowed to appear on the internet.

 

26th July

  How to Kill a Dead Parrot...

Putting the Monty Python O2 show on pre-watershed live TV
Link Here

penis song lyrics I attended one of the MONTY PYTHON O2 screenings at a local cinema, and in the case of GOLD censoring the 7:30pm broadcast, there were two issues at play here.

Firstly, no one at GOLD was intelligent enough to realise that there wasn't a cat-in-hell's-chance of this live show being PG-friendly, for a Sunday evening broadcast! If they did, then they were being extremely naive. As such, no channel could have broadcast the show live at that time of day, on any channel, unless there had been an enforced PIN-locked restriction.

The heavy cuts in the first half of the show, related to THE PENIS SONG (NOT THE NOEL COWARD SONG), and the following two additional, never-before-seen verses, that talk about owning a vagina and an arsehole. As per the Penis Song lyrics, the Pythons used every available term to describe such parts of the body, and on-screen lyrics were visible on the huge screen behind the singers/dancers, including the infamous c-word.

Isn't it awfully nice to own a penis
Isn't it frightfully good to have a dong
It's swell to have a stiffy
It's divine to own a dick
From the tiniest little tadger, to the world's biggest prick
So three-cheers for your willy or John Thomas
Hooray for your one-eyed trouser snake
Your piece-of-pork, your wife's-best-friend, your percy or your cock
You can wrap it up in ribbons
You can slip-it in your sock
But don't take it out in public, or they will stick you in the dock
And you won't a'come a'back!"

It's fun to own your own vagina
It's great to have your friendly thatch
Your minge, your twat, your kitty cat
Your nest, your nasty or your snatch
It's great to have a monkey furrow
Your finger pie, your lunchbox, or your catch
Your camel toe, your bearded clam
Your bottom at the front
Your monkey minge, your muffin or your old Sir Berkely Hunt
Your honeypot, your hairy friend
But never call it cunt
Or we won't be coming back

Isn't it awfully nice to own a bottom
Isn't it frightfully good to have an ass
It's swell to own a tuschy
It's diving to own a scut
From the skinniest little buttocks
To the world's largest butt
Three cheers for your posterior or anus
Hooray for your lovely sit-upon
Your fundament, your fanny, your cheeky little dear
Your rump, your haunch, your hams, your stern, your fanny or your rear
But be careful how you handle it, or you'll be caught, I fear
And you won't come back

So, to be fair to GOLD, they had no choice to censor it, but they should have been aware that none of this was ever going to be remotely suitable for family viewing, in the first place. Why they didn't just time-delay everything, and then air it, starting from 9pm onwards, I don't know? No one would have complained if they'd done that!

Secondly, in the second half, there was a potentially libellous set of jokes about Paul Dacre, the Daily Mail editor, and his paper's bad review of the MONTY PYTHON LIVE show. I'm not sure if the jokes were left in for the post-watershed repeats, but GOLD didn't want to risk his wrath on their little channel. Hence, more censorship and editing of that sequence was needed.

Ultimately, whilst the censorship was ridiculous, and ridiculously horrible (the screetchy bleep tone they used was horrific), GOLD really should have known better! They'd already had 9 previous performances to check on the suitability, but were determined to go for ratings, rather than time-delays, and thus opted to air it live, but heavily censor the show, based on a script they had - something that heavily backfired on them, going from the numerous complaints on their Facebook page.

Lastly, the other thing that annoyed people, was the fact that GOLD could have, and maybe should have, announced that their Live transmission wasn't going to be complete-and-uninterrupted - either because of censorship or because of over-runs. The show ran 15 minutes later than advertised, and I believe that GOLD ended their Live transmission early, during the PARROT SKETCH, just to stay on schedule! If fans had known beforehand, and had been primed that two uncut repeats were planned, then fans would probably have cut GOLD a lot more slack. But no one said anything. And as such, GOLD has been rightly pilloried.

Definitely one of TV's messiest "Live" showings ever produced, and one that will go down infamously in TV history of how NOT to air something live on TV!

P.S. For what it's worth, the uncut Live show itself was fab!

But the Pythons also opted for some PC self censorship

See article from dailymail.co.uk . Thanks to Alan

The I Like Chinese song was self censored and lost the verses

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
They only come up to your knees,
Yet they're always friendly,
and they're ready to please.

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
There's nine hundred million of them in the world today.
You'd better learn to like them;
that's what I say.

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
They come from a long way overseas,
But they're cute and they're cuddly,
and they're ready to please.

These were replaced by

I like Chinese,
I like Chinese.
They copy everything they sees.
But they're up on the boom
so they'll do as they please.'

I Like Chinese,
I Like Chinese.
They're still a little Communese,
But Americans don't need to fret now
China has bought all their debt.'

Python Terry Jones said:

Eric obviously knows why he changed the lyrics. I suppose it was dropped for reasons of political correctness. Why keep singing "they only come up to your knees"?

Jones said the changes had not been an issue for the rest of the team and added that they had been made silently .

 

26th July

  So can a drink with your mates relieve midweek boredom?...

Of course it can, but the ASA doesn't want you to know that
Link Here

captain morgan midweek boredom advert A picture posted by Captain Morgan on their Facebook page showed the pirate Captain Morgan raising a glass and cheering whilst surrounded by his crew. Text at top of the image stated WEDNESDAY. I'M DECLARING WAR ON MID-WEEK BOREDOM .

The Youth Alcohol Advertising Council (YAAC) challenged whether the ad was irresponsible, because it implied that alcohol could overcome boredom and was capable of changing mood.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA noted that the ad showed the Captain, who was cheering and leading a toast, surrounded by his crewmates, who were also raising their glasses. We understood that the ad had been published on a Wednesday, and that the text referred to putting an end to mid-week boredom . We considered that most consumers, viewing the image and text together, particularly in the context of the Captain Morgan Facebook page, would interpret the ad to mean that the Captain was alleviating his boredom by drinking Captain Morgan with friends. Whilst we acknowledged that the page included other posts related to meeting with friends or the mid-week milestone, as those posts did not appear regularly and were not directly linked to the ad, we considered that consumers were unlikely to view them as related or as part of a series. Therefore, we considered that their presence was unlikely to change a consumer's impression of the ad in question. Similarly, we considered that the presence of drink responsibly posts did not undermine the fact that the ad, although not expressly encouraging excessive drinking, implied that the Captain had sought alcohol to improve his mood. Because of that, we concluded that the ad implied that alcohol could overcome boredom and was capable of changing mood, and was therefore in breach of the Code.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Diageo Great Britain Ltd to ensure they did not state or imply that alcohol could overcome boredom or was capable of changing mood in future.

 

26th July

 Update: Miserablist Moralists Recommend...

Fifty Shades of Grey and its newly released trailer
Link Here  full story: Fifty Shades of Grey Movie...Kink for kids Hollywood style
fifty shades of grey trailer USA Today has reported that Morality in Media's executive director, Dawn Hawkins, has whinged at the newly released trailer for the movie, Fifty Shades of Grey . She claims the trailer:

Deceives the public with a visually appealing melodramatic love story that romanticizes and normalizes sexual violence.

A warning to the women lining up to see this film: There is nothing empowering about whips and chains or humiliation and torture. Women as a group will not gain power by collaborating with violent men. Women would be serving only as an agent to further their own sexual degradation, handing themselves on a silver platter to exactly the sort of men who want to use and abuse them, and take away their power.

And it seems that an awful lot of the public are enjoying being deceived as the trailer on YouTube has been viewed 11,200,000 times already.

Meanwhile Parents Television Council have been joining in the whinge. PTC director of grassroots education and advocacy Melissa Henson spouted:

We're talking about basically the equivalent of a dime-store trashy romance novel. Essentially, [The Today programme on NBC] is promoting what people refer to as 'mommy porn.'

[The movie is one] that's romanticizing violence in relationships ... sexual violence is basically what this movie is promoting.

And anti-porn campaigner Gail Dines somehow reads lethal violence into the trailer:

In the trailer there is a hint of some of the violence that is about to come Anastasia's way when he tells her I don't do romance and warns her that I am incapable of leaving you alone. Stalker talk, for sure! In his book on batterers, Lundy Bancroft provides a list of potentially dangerous signs to watch out for from boyfriends. Needless to say, Christian is the poster boy of the list, not only with his jealous, controlling, stalking, sexually sadistic behavior, but his hypersensitivity to what he perceives as any slight against him, his whirlwind romancing of a younger, less powerful woman, and his Jekyll-and-Hyde mood swings. Any one of these is potentially dangerous, but a man who exhibits them all is lethal.

...Read the full  article

 

26th July

 Update: Grump Grump...

Chinese news websites remove story about a giant inflatable toad after it was likened to a former president
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
toad beijing Chinese reports about a giant inflatable toad have been deleted from the Internet after social media users compared the puffed-up animal to former President Jiang Zemin.

A 22-metre-high toad, appeared in a Beijing park last weekend, but after much mockery, the website of China's official Xinhua news agency and popular web portal Sina had deleted their reports on the animal.

A spokesman for Yuyuantan park in Beijing said there were no immediate plans to remove the toad.

 

26th July

 Update: Robocop And The Problem With PG-13...

Cutting down previously R rated movies so that they are suitable for kids
Link Here  full story: PG13ification...Hollywood cramming R rated movies into PG-13
us pg-13

 

26th July

  Cannibal Holocaust...

Pooch reviews the new US Blu-ray release from Grindhouse
Link Here
Cannibal Holocaust Blu ray Robert Kerman

 

26th July

  UK definition of terrorism could catch political journalists and bloggers...

Terror law watchdog says police and prosecutors have exceptional powers that must be confined to their proper purpose
Link Here
david anderson

 

25th July

  The Department of Culture, Media and Censorship...

ATVOD provide a few clues to a cunning government plan to censor adult porn in the name of child protection
Link Here
DCMS logo ATVOD has published brief minutes from its May 2014 board meeting. This includes a short report on what the government is up to in its plans to censor adult porn on the internet in the name of child protection.

ATVOD board meeting minutes report:

Public policy on R18 and unclassified material

An updating report was tabled and the Board DISCUSSED the issue at length.

The Board NOTED the current position on the initiative to reduce children's access to pornography online, with:

  • the introduction of legislation for UK based services to keep adult material out of reach of children;

  • the EU Commission encouraged to tighten up the AVMS Directive to have age verification measures for European based adult services; and

  • consideration of legislation which would enable the payments industry to prevent payments to services outside Europe which allowed under 18s to view R18 equivalent material.

Recommendations for further actions had been presented to DCMS and ATVOD had had received undertakings from the Creative Industries Minister immediately prior to the publication of the ATVOD research report For Adults Only? . Since publication of ATVOD's research, DCMS had followed up on the undertakings given. In particular, the draft Statutory Instrument relating to UK based services had been developed and it was hoped that it would be in force by the end of 2014. It would put beyond doubt that R18 material can only be provided on an ODPS if persons under 18 will not usually see or access it.

As the Statutory Instrument would define material according to standards set by the BBFC, it was anticipated that Ofcom, BBFC and ATVOD would agree a Memorandum of Understanding. Any additional activity for ATVOD as a result of these changes will be reflected in revisions to ATVOD's Rules and Guidance, which will require consultation.

The position on overseas providers based outside the EU had been discussed at a meeting between ATVOD, DCMS, Home Office, Ministry Of Justice, Crown Prosecution Service and the payments industry. As a result of that meeting, DCMS had agreed to consider the feasibility of introducing a licensing regime for foreign pornographic websites (similar to that being introduced for foreign gambling websites). A timetable had not been provided.

The Board AGREED that ATVOD should offer assistance to DCMS in its efforts.

The Board NOTED that the proposal had been taken up by a number of high profile third parties and that the Opposition had tabled an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill which would establish a licensing regime for foreign porn services.

Note that the licensing provisions in Lords amendment of Criminal Justice and Courts Bill were in fact withdrawn but it is interesting to note the devious plan being hatched by the government.

It sounds ludicrous to expect foreign companies to submit to UK licensing when it would be very unlikely that the provisions could be enforced by prosecutions launched from Britain. However this is clearly not the point of the licensing. It is so that unlicensed foreign companies can deemed to be nominally breaking UK law (even if this can't be enforced) so as to give the banks and payment services a legal excuse to deny payment services for at least the UK portion of the website's trade.

 

25th July

  Boiled Brains at the BBFC...

BBFC cuts revealed to Rick Rosenthal's Halloween II
Link Here
Halloween II DVD Donald Pleasence Halloween II is a 1981 US horror film by Rick Rosenthal.
With Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence and Charles Cyphers. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb
It is rare that horror sequels (or any film sequels) manage to capture the tone and feel of their predecessor. However Halloween 2, made 3 years after John Carpenter's original, is a successful exercise in terror.

However, expect more violence than the almost entirely blood-free first outing. A very worthwhile film for lovers of the horror genre.

Uncut for cinema and DVD but was cut by the BBFC on VHS

The 1990 Castle VHS release was passed 18 after 17s of BBFC cuts. The BBFC cuts were to the scene where Michael dunks a nurse into a boiling Jacuzzi:

  • At 49 mins - Reduce scalding to death of nurse in overheated jacuzzi by removing 3rd and 5th times her head is lowered into water, cutting away after 1st shot of temperature gauge which follows 2nd dunk, and resuming after 2nd shot of gauge to see her head raised for what was originally 3rd time and then lowered and raised again.

    Also reduce sight of bare-breasted body before she falls to floor, cutting away after she is raised again to remove last immersion and resuming on long shot of her upright body just before it falls to floor.

 

25th July

 Update: India Recommends...

Hollywood comedy Sex Tape banned by the CBFC
Link Here  full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
Sex Tape Blu ray Sex Tape is a 2014 USA comedy by Jake Kasdan.
Starring Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz and Rob Corddry. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

Summary Notes

A married couple wake up to discover that the sex tape they made the evening before has gone missing, leading to a frantic search for its whereabouts.

UK: rated 15 uncut for strong sex references, sex, very strong language, drug use

US: Rated R (17) for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use.

India: The film was banned by the CBFC in July 2014

A source from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) says, Owing to excess vulgarity in the film, we have decided to not certify the film.

A former member of the board says:

Hollywood films are usually viewed as 'more corruptible' than Hindi films and they get rejected for their overt sexual content and brutal violence. But in the case of Hindi films, producers get away with a lot more.

Also, Hollywood films that have sexually provocative themes or titles tend to bear the brunt. It is a knee-jerk reaction and is not the right way to certify films. Why shouldn't an adult film be cleared with an A certificate? Aren't 18-year-olds mature enough to watch films with sexual or violent content?

 

24th July

  Anti-BDSM lords get spanked...

Proposals to massive expand the definition of 'extreme porn' to cover all BDSM turned down
Link Here
house of lords red logo This Xmas tree bill is currently getting the attention of the Lords and a number of amendments have been moved in the past few days.

The amendments to the "rape porn" clause 28 seek to broaden the DPA still further and if enacted would seem to criminalize just about every BDSM image which includes a real looking individual. They would move the offence way beyond the limited kind of real (highly unlikely) or (overwhelmingly) staged rape images covered by the current bill's wording.

Another brand new clause, 42B, is megalomaniac stuff about "licensing" foreign beamed in hard porn ( presumably leading to attempts to extradite foreign citizens who breach such a UK law?).

The movers of these amendments are:

  • Baroness Thornton (Labour. LSE Fabianite)
  • Lord Beecham - formerly Jeremy Beecham of Newcastle city council ( a Labour Justice shadow).
  • Baroness Howe of Idlicote (Mrs Geoffrey Howe. Crossbench) - renowned censorship enthusiast (42B only)

Baroness Thornton, Glenys Thornton, is a Labour member of the House of Lords and is married to John Carr - one of the most outspoken advocates of limiting internet porn to ‘protect the children’.

Beecham's part in all this is of some significant concern. Being part of Labour's justice team it could be here we are seeing the kind of broad brush criminalization using the DPA which would come out of a future Labour government - the possibility of which is not very distant.

The debate on the clauses -

See Clause 28 amendments and new 42B (42A in the Hansard extracts)-

Thornton and Beecham were seeking to remove the "disgusting/obscene" etc part of the DPA. This leaves a far wider amount of material liable to prosecution as 'Extreme Porn' such that softcore and perhaps even sexy horror films could be then be included. 

Thornton's words about "cultural harm" (that is some nebulous subjective concept of the sort which figures so importantly in the sloganizing propaganda of the obsessive agitators - a quite different thing to careful, well researched real world solid evidence of harm, which should be the basis of all legislation in a rational democracy) illustrates the nasty totalitarian concepts being used bit by bit to create criminal laws.

For the moment Lord Faulks (Conservative. Justice) for the govt politely bins the amendments, which are withdrawn by their sponsors.

On clause 28 he says:

Amendment 36B would replace the Government’s amendments to the extreme pornography offence, including the relevant defence, with a broad provision that would criminalise the portrayal of any sexual activity that involves real or apparent lack of consent or any form of physical restraint which prevents participants indicating a withdrawal of consent. This is very broad. It could have the effect of bringing into the terms of this targeted offence the possession of pornographic images that depict any form of non-consensual sexual activity.

In the light of the balance that this Government have sought to strike with this offence, we believe that such an extension to the offence would be going too far. It would, I believe, widen inappropriately its scope and could make too wide a range of sexual activity subject to serious criminal sanction.

Thornton seems to regard not criminalizing all material she and her cronies regard as causes of "cultural harm" as "loopholes", rather than representing limits and balances to counter totalitarian statism.

On new amendment 42B (42A in Hansard)-

Lord Faulks points to the ISP filter system as the government's way of addressing access to adult material, including that coming from outside UK jurisdiction.

Thornton asserts it's not working. Has she told Ms Perry yet? Apparently Thornton has "clear evidence" of the harm being done to children by this material. Has she really? So, Thornton and her pals want to supplant/supplement one unworkable failed system with another.

But for the moment the plans are thwarted and the amendment was withdrawn.

 

24th July

 Update: Forgotten Free Speech...

Society of Editors calls on David Cameron to end censorship based on the right to be forgotten
Link Here  full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
The Society of Editors, which has the backing of senior figures at the BBC, Sky News and ITN as well as major newspaper groups, as joined with Index on Censorship and the Media Lawyers Association to call on David Cameron and key EU data protection chiefs to resist censorship in the guise of the right to be forgotten. The Society of Editors has wriiten to David Cameron:

Dear Prime Minister,

society of editors logo The issues about the so-called right to be forgotten raised by the recent European Court judgement involving Google, with its implications for other search engines and accessibility to other journalistic information give us serious cause for concern.

We appreciate that no general right to be forgotten exists, as Ministers and the Information Commissioner have confirmed. The Court ruling is only about restricting access to links generated by search engines in response to name searches. But there is a vital principle at stake which we trust that the Information Commissioner - responsible for adjudicating both data protection and freedom of information in the UK - and the government will defend with vigour.

The judgement makes clear that Europeans now have the right to demand that certain online material is obscured in search results and its dissemination via search engines is stopped. For media organisations and journalists, this is akin to being asked - on the basis of the subjective opinions of individuals, rather than any specific Court order - to remove items from an index in newspaper archives. This is something we would only do after careful consideration based on a sound legal and factual basis and hope never to be asked to do more.

We feel sure that neither the Information Commissioner nor the government would wish to see this happen but we seek assurances that any such moves will be firmly resisted and will not be applied in any new data protection legislation coming out of Europe in the future.

We are concerned that the European Court's judgment goes against Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights and certainly the intentions of the UK Parliament when it introduced the Human Rights Act.

With regard to data protection legislation, journalistic work has always received special consideration. We are glad to see that the Court's ruling continues this, and does not require news publishers to remove articles when asked to do so by individuals. This principle must be strongly defended or even enhanced. But the Court's ruling is deeply problematic for journalism in general, as it has the effect of limiting the accessibility and dissemination of journalistic work via search engines, where the media company wishes this to be done. This reduces the visibility of the vital work done by journalists to ensure accountability throughout society, which in itself is contrary to the spirit behind Article 10.

For this reason, we believe that there should be greater transparency about the actions of search engines to comply with the European Court's ruling. Specifically, we believe there should be no restrictions on the ability of Google or other operators to inform the originator of material when links to that material are removed. Any restrictions would prevent publishers having the opportunity to make their case on freedom of expression grounds thus making the process one-sided.

The Society of Editors has more than 400 members in national, regional and local newspapers, magazines, broadcasting and digital media, journalism education and media law. It campaigns for media freedom, self regulation, the public's right to know and the maintenance of standards in journalism. This letter has the full support of the Society's board of directors which includes senior editors from Sky News and the BBC and and key regional newspapers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It also has the support of editors of major UK newspapers, including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun, The Guardian, The Independent, the Financial Times, the Daily Express, the Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror, The Daily Telegraph, and Associated Newspapers as well as ITN.

We would be grateful for your comments about this and your assurances that these principles will be defended.

 

24th July

 Update: Launching a Missile at the US internet giants...

Putin signs law requiring US social network giants to keep their data about Russian users in local databases
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media
vladimir putin Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a new law to strengthen the country's ability to censor the internet.

Starting in 2016, the new law will require Internet operators to store Russian user data in centres within the country. Once data is stored on Russian servers, it will be subjected to Russian laws, putting it at risk for censorship. Companies that don't comply will be blocked from the web.

The move seems particularly targeted at US social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, that are based in the US and have previously proved elusive of Russian internet censors.

The new law came as part of a flurry of new legislation , including a law prohibiting protests. Some of the Internet operators targeted have warned that two years is not enough time to comply with the law, according to a Agence France-Presse report.

Internet expert and blogger Anton Nossik told the Moscow Times of the data storage law:

The ultimate goal is to shut mouths, enforce censorship in the country and shape a situation where Internet business would not be able to exist and function properly.

 

24th July

 Update: Blocking Inquiry...

Australia forms group to investigate a secretive avenue of state internet censorship
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Australia...Wide ranging state internet censorship
australian government logo The Australian federal government has founded a committee to inquire into law enforcement's use of the Telecommunications Act. The inquiry will specifically look into the Australian Securities and and Investments Commission (ASIC) alongside the Australian Federal Police (AFS). The groups had initiated website blocking that was revealed in 2013 after a clumsy implementation blocked 250,000 other websites in the process.

Australian tech news site IT News first suggested federal agencies may be taking advantage of Section 313 after a third unnamed agency was found making similar website blocking demands. The federal government refers to the third organization only as a national security agency and has repeatedly declined to disclose any further information regarding the identity or motives behind its behavior.

Australian Greens senator Scott Ludlam issued a public statement on his website accusing the government of a secret Internet filter, referring to an unpopular government proposal earlier that year to establish a mandatory Internet filter. Ludlam asserted that ASIC and AFP activities amounted to a filter by stealth whereby law enforcement agencies disrupted access to online content without transparency or public statements of explanation.

After more than a year of public statements from corporations and politicians, the federal government is opening a parliamentary committee to undertake an inquiry into ASIC and AFP behavior.

The investigation will address whether these agencies' uses of Section 313 have been appropriate or abusive. The current law does not explicitly require transparency, but the inquiry will review whether legal adjustments are necessary, with the committee calling it an important public policy question. Other questions will include the authority of who can use Section 313 to block websites, circumstances in which it is appropriate, and accountability procedures.

 

24th July

 Update: One Million Moms Recommend...

PayDay candy bars
Link Here  full story: One Million Moms...Moralist whingers against anything sexy
payday candy bar advert video The christian morality campaign group, One Million Moms, spouts:

Payday candy bars (owned by the Hershey Company) has launched a new marketing campaign symbolizing nudity and encouraging exposing oneself. This distasteful advertisement portrays the candy bar undressing as the wrapper is peeled away to expose a pixilated midsection.

The commercial voiceover includes:

It's the candy bar that is too hot for TV - in all its naked glory - stripped of chocolate with nothing but salty, roasted peanuts on soft, sweet caramel. A Payday bar will get you through your day - Expose Yourself to Payday.

Now parents cannot purchase Payday or any Hershey products with a clean conscience. This inappropriate advertisement is morally wrong and promotes illegal behavior.

 

24th July

  Unnatural Outrage...

Utah protest against breast enlargement flyer
Link Here
wade laser clinic advert A flyer advertising natural breast augmentation and liposuction for a Wade Laser Clinic has caused 'outrage' in the town of Bountiful, Utah. 75 or so residents who found these flyers in their mailboxes recently attended a rally outside the clinic to protest what they ludicrously claimed to be pornography.

Pamela Atkinson of the Utah Coalition Against Pornography spouted:

We have to stand up and say this is wrong! We don't like it when a business in Bountiful mails out a flyer that's semi-pornographic and children in our homes see that flyer.

She was one of a handful of speakers who rallied the crowd who gathered in the parking lot of Wade Laser Clinic. Davis County prosecutor Troy Rawlings told the crowd there was nothing illegal with the mailer, but claimed it could be harmful to young people who see it as the ideal:

What you're doing here today matters. It's not just an issue of what's moral or what's right in a decency standpoint - it's what it's doing physiologically and the impact it will have on them the rest of their life.

 

24th July

 Offsite Article: The Department of Dirty...

Link Here
department of dirty video Amusing video from the Open Rights Group

See article from departmentofdirty.co.uk

 

23rd July

 Update: Oh dear! Parents appreciate the choice to make up their own minds...

Just 12% of new subscribers opt for network level website blocking designed for child protection
Link Here  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet
website blocking take up Ofcom has published a report outlining the uptake and implementation of optional network blocking offerings from the four main broadband ISPs in the UK.

The most interesting point was the low take up of the website blocking option from 3 of the 4 ISPs

table from report

Note 9 is that 4.5% of BT opted for network level blocking but another 4.5 opted for the more tailorable device level blocking in the form of software to run on each device.

Note 10 is that 33% of subscribers opted for virus blocking but on 4% for child protection blocking.

TalkTalk made a big thing of offering network level child protection website blocking a year before the other ISPs. So presumably many of the new subscribers that particularly wanted the blocking opted for TalkTalk.

Using an 2013 estimate of subscriber base of 7.3 million for BT, 5.2 for Sky, 4.5 for Virgin and 4.2 reveals an estimate that 11.7% of new subscribers opted for network level website blocking designed for child protection.

Interesting Ofcom neglected to mention this very important low take up in its press release accompanying the report which is reproduced in full below.

Ofcom Report on Internet safety measures - Internet Service Providers: Network level filtering measures

Ofcom has today published a for Government outlining measures the UK's largest internet service providers have put in place to help parents protect children from harmful content online.

This follows an agreement between the Government and BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media, the four largest fixed line internet service providers (ISPs), announced in . Each ISP committed to offer new customers family-friendly network-level filtering by the end of December 2013.

This is the second of three reports the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has asked Ofcom to produce on internet safety measures to protect children. The DCMS asked Ofcom to look at the approach taken by each ISP to implement family-friendly filtering services which block content that may be inappropriate or harmful for children, rather than assess the effectiveness of the filters.

The report also describes measures taken by ISPs to present a pre-ticked unavoidable choice to new customers on whether or not to activate the filter, and includes initial take-up data among new customers offered filters.

The filters apply to all web based internet content, on any device that is connected to the fixed broadband network in the home.

Report findings

The report finds that the four ISPs now have a network level family friendly filtering service, which is offered to new customers. New subscribers receive a prompt from their ISP during the broadband set-up process, describing the filtering service and offering the consumer a pre-ticked option to use the filtering service.

The filters allow a user to manage access in their home to a range of internet services, helping parents to prevent their children accessing content that is not appropriate for them.

There are a number of filtering categories common to all four ISPs. Suicide and self-harm, pornography, file sharing, crime, drugs, violence and hate are covered by each provider's classification systems.

By the Government's target of December 2013, BT, Sky, and TalkTalk each offered a filtering service allowing parents to restrict categories of online content, and presented new users with the unavoidable choice of whether to activate the filters.

Virgin Media launched its network level filter in February 2014. When it launched, it was not able to implement an unavoidable choice for all new customers, and estimated this was offered to about a third (35%) of new customers. To help address this shortfall, Virgin Media implemented additional ways for the customer to choose filtering, after the initial set-up.

Next steps

The ISPs are currently working towards meeting their commitment to Government to contact all their existing customers and present them with an unavoidable choice about whether or not to install the family friendly content filters by the end of 2014.

Ofcom is due to produce the third in this series of reports in December 2014. This will review Ofcom's Media Literacy research from 2014 on parental strategies for protecting children online.

Specifically, it will look at how take-up, awareness of and confidence of parents in relation to parental controls has changed since its first report published in . It will assess the broader strategies parents may adopt to improve children's online safety and will provide a more complete set of data on which to draw clearer conclusions.

 

23rd July

  Oh dear! Parents appreciate the choice to make up their own minds...

Mediawatch-UK and Safer Media whinge at the popularity and consequential profitability of cinema films with a 12A rating
Link Here
12a large The BBFC Annual Report for 2013 highlighted that a record 321 cinema films were given a 12A rating last year, up a third from 234 the previous year. The rating means children aged 12 and over can see a film at the cinema unaccompanied, and those under this age can also view the film with an adult.

Of course the clear popularity of this rating with parents does not sit well with moralist campaigners who ludicrously try spin popularity and profitability as something sinful and wrong.

Miranda Suit, co-founder of Safer Media, a christian campaign group, said she always suspected that when the 12A category was introduced it would benefit the film industry far more than parents or children, and the record numbers of 12As in 2013 appears to confirm this. She spewed:

12As are a gift to the industry -- allowing a whole extra group of children, the under 12s, to provide a new revenue stream, as long as they are with an adult.

Meanwhile the BBFC are happy to allow surprisingly explicit violence and sadism in 12As, as evidenced by the complaints made about 12A Jack Reacher.

Explicit sex is also an issue, and the BBFC have actually relaxed controls on bad language in this category.

The BBFC need to provide much better protection -- our children are far too precious to justify weighting regulation in favour of the industry rather than young people's wellbeing.

Vivienne Pattison, of moralist campaign group Mediawatch UK, said the findings and changes only highlight how children are being used to turn films into lucrative business ventures. She spewed:

The increase would appear to underline the fact that producers want to get that crucial 12A rating because it means children can go and leads to a substantial increase in the potential audience.

You can sell a lot more lunchboxes and duvet covers linked to the film if under 12s have been allowed to see it.

The problem arises at the top end of the classification, when producers make a snip here and a cut there to a film so they can get the 12A rating. It does not always mean the film is suitable for children.

 

23rd July

 Extract: Does Ofcom come under the Ministry of Silly Walks?...

Monty Python Live at the 02 marred by obtrusive and clumsy censorship
Link Here

silly walk

UK TV Censor

It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the chance to see the Monty Python troupe live in their final show at London s O2 arena.

But just minutes into the show, which started at 7.30pm, an hour-and-a-half before the television watershed, chunks of dialogue were rendered inaudible by a beep. Not just any beep, either, but the shrillest, whiniest, most grating beep you'll ever hear in your life. The picture clumsily cut away to a long shot of the venue, presumably lest lip readers could see the colourful, but ludicrously banned, strong language

One routine was obliterated entirely when the broadcast cut away to a pre-recorded item featuring Michael Palin in drag, explaining why the television audience weren't allowed to see it.

Ofcom (or "effing Ofcom" as it was briefly renamed in our house) decided some of the show's content breached its pre-watershed guidelines. If Gold had refused to kowtow to its demands, it would have been heftily fined. The post-watershed second half of the show was broadcast without interference. While the censoring didn't completely ruin the whole evening, it certainly marred our enjoyment.

Gold repeated the show last night, with the missing content reinstated, but that's hardly a substitute for the thrill of of being part of a live communal TV event.

...Read the full article

 

23rd July

  Symbols of Repression...

German state bans websites from displaying Hells Angels and Bandidos logos
Link Here
hells angels patch logo Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia state has banned websites from displaying the insignia of the Hells Angels and Bandidos motorcycle clubs.

The bright red Hells Angels lettering and the iconic winged skull or the so-called Fat Mexican of the Bandidos gang will now be liable to prosecution according to the state interior minister, Ralf Jager:

The biker symbols must be deleted from websites or the site will be taken down. Offenders will be tracked down based on the website and punished.

We do not want to tolerate any legal loopholes. We're applying a zero tolerance strategy. We'll use all of our available legal options in the fight against biker crime.

A judge first banned the Hells Angels' charter in Hamburg in 1983. When a former member of the gang tried to appeal the decision in April this year, a judge ruled that public displays of the logo were forbidden throughout the entire country.

 

23rd July

 Update: Stock market crash on demand...

Chinese TV censors announce ban on foreign produced content for Video on Demand services
Link Here
sarft logo China's TV censor, SARFT (The State Administration of Radio Film and Television) is preparing to stifle Chinese Video on Demand services.

According to 21st Century Business Herald, SARFT has held talks with related agencies on the and revealed some of its new censorship policies including that all video content must go through SARFT's uniform platform ; display of branding information of content suppliers will be prohibited; no overseas produced content or Internet user self-made content will be allowed; all apps and hardware must be submitted to SARFT for review and approval before they reach the market.

These new ominous sounding rules have not impressed investors have precipitated a strong selloff. The price of Shenzhen-listed Internet TV company LeTV has tumbled nearly 20% as a result and preorders for its Internet video streaming boxes have been suspended.

 

23rd July

 Update: Edward Snowden urges professionals to encrypt client communications...

Whistleblower says NSA revelations mean those with duty to protect confidentiality must urgently upgrade security
Link Here  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
edward snowden

 

22nd July

 Update: Arse Liquor spews forth from the bowels of the UK drinks censor...

Portman Groups whinges at the edgy brand names used by Direct Beers
Link Here

arse liquor advert Ten products produced by independent brewer Direct Beers Ltd have been found to breach the Portman Group's Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks.

The Independent Complaints Panel ruled that Cat Piss, Dog Piss, Bullshit, Dandelion & Birdshit, Big Cock, Arse Liquor, Puke, Shitfaced, Yellow Snow and Knobhead , all beers, breached the provisions of the Code.

All of the products were found to contravene Paragraph 3.2(h) of the Code, which states that drinks, packaging or promotional material should not have particular appeal to under-18s.

In addition, Puke, Shiitfaced and Knobhead were deemed to encourage illegal, irresponsible, or immoderate consumption (contrary to Paragraph 3.2f). Big Cock and Knobhead were found in breach for suggesting an association with sexual activity (contrary to Paragraph 3.2d); whilst Shitfaced and Yellow Snow were found in breach for suggesting an association with bravado, violence, aggression, or anti-social behaviour (contrary to Paragraph 3.2b).

Complaints to the Panel regarding Direct Beers' Grumpy Git and Lazy Sod products, however, were not upheld.

All of the complaints about Direct Beers were submitted by the Public Health Team at Newcastle City Council.

Direct Beers asserted that none of its products were intended to appeal to under-18s, and explained that the vast majority of its drinks were sold in person at retail events, where it operated a Challenge 25 policy.

The Panel was concerned, however, that frequent references to scatological humour, defecation, urination, genitalia, vomiting and other bodily functions could prove particularly attractive to under-18s. It also noted that this appeal was exacerbated by the cartoon illustrations shown on a number of the products.

Henry Ashworth, Secretary to the Independent Complaints Panel, said:

It is vitally important that alcohol producers ensure that their drinks do not in any way appeal to children, encourage violence, anti-social behaviour or immoderate drinking, or make references to sexual activity. There is a place for humour in alcohol marketing, as the Panel's decisions on Grumpy Git and Lazy Sod show -- but it is important to know where to draw the line."

Direct Beers has not yet confirmed whether it will make any amendments to its products.

 

22nd July

  BBFC Podcast 22...

Tone
Link Here
Woman Black DVD Daniel Radcliffe In this episode of the podcast the BBFC discusses what it means by the term tone in the Classification Guidelines, and how the overall tone of a work may affect its final classification.

Listen to  podcast

 

22nd July

  Dangerous Tweets...

ISIS takes aim at the creator of the islamic comic heroes, The 99
Link Here
the 99 Last week the self proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the militant group better known as ISIS, called for the death of Kuwaiti-American comic creator Naif Al-Mutawa.

The militant group currently engaged in battles in Kuwait claimed on Twitter that Al-Mutawa's series The 99 is slanderous to Islam and that there is no good [for] us if he remains alive for over three days.

The series is about a group of 99 metahumans, each of whom has one of the Virtues of Allah listed in the Koran, including generosity, mercy, wisdom, strength, and courage.

According to the Kuwait Times, Al-Mutawa said on Twitter that he will take legal action for the death threats but I really do not believe in ISIL and Qaeda... I don't care about them.

 

22nd July

 Updated: Japan Develops Technology to Print Police Officers...

Artist jailed over 3D printer map of her vagina
Link Here
megumi igarashi, A Japanese artist who made figures of Lady Gaga and a kayak modelled on her vagina said she was outraged by her arrest and vowed a court fight against obscenity charges.

Speaking from jail, Megumi Igarashi, said she was challenging a culture of discrimination against discussion of the vagina in Japanese society.

Igarashi, who worked under the alias Rokudenashiko, which means good-for-nothing girl , built a yellow kayak with a top shaped like her vagina after raising about $10,000 through crowdfunding. Igarashi sent 3D printer data of her scanned vagina, the digital basis for her kayak project, as a thanks to a number of donors.

On Saturday, she was arrested for distributing indecent material and faces up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Igarashi said about 10 police officers arrived at her house and that initially she thought they were only interested in confiscating work she has said is meant as a pop-art exploration of the manko, vulgar Japanese slang for vagina:

I did not expect to get arrested at all. Even as they were confiscating my works, I thought to myself, 'This will be a good story.' Then they handcuffed and arrested me. Now, I just feel outraged.

More than 17,000 people have signed an online petition for Igarashi's immediate release on Change.org.

Update: Released from police custody

22nd July 2014. See article from japantimes.co.jp

An artist arrested for distributing 3-D data of her vagina online urged the public to outgrow the perception that female genitalia are taboo or shameful, after being released from police custody on Friday. Megumi Igarashi said:

I believe this arrest was completely unjust and unreasonable. I have always stuck to my artistic principles, which she said are aimed at toppling the entrenched idea that female genitalia are obscene. The perception verges on sexism.

Igarashi's release Friday means the court acknowledged it was unjust in the first place, said her lead lawyer, Takashi Yamaguchi.

Authorities will likely continue the investigation and try to press charges, but Igarashi said she will stick to her convictions and fight till the end if indicted

 

22nd July

 Offsite Article: Changing Values and Internet Versus TV Watershed...

Link Here
Safer Media Moralist TV campaigner, Pippa Smith, has a whinge about taste, decency and internet watersheds

See article from huffingtonpost.co.uk

 

21st July

  Few Complaints...

A few snippets from BBFC Annual Report for 2013
Link Here

bbfc annual report 2013 The BBC made a few comments on the BBFC Annual Report.

The BBFC rated 974 cinema films in 2013 - up from 850 last year, and its highest figure since the 1960s. However the latest figure includes the new idea of cinema relays of theatre and opera stage events.

Interestingly the most common cinema certificate is now a 12A where previously it was 15. 321 films were 12A in 2013 compared with 234 in 2012.

The BBFC must be doing something right as the number of complaints received is trivially small. These may indicate a few of the films closest to the borderline with a higher category. The BBFC wrote:

The 12A theatrical classification of Jack Reacher generated the most feedback in 2013, with a total of 26 complaints. Despite a number of reductions made to scenes of violence to achieve a 12A certificate, those who contacted us considered the film too violent, dark and sadistic for twelve-year-olds, and inappropriately presented the hero as a vigilante figure.

The film is occasionally gritty and realistic, but the overall tone and treatment of the violence is similar to recent 12A action films such as the Bourne series and does not exceed the Guidelines at 12A. The film is relatively restrained in showing injury or blood, with no undue focus on the suffering of the victims and the Jack Reacher character is quickly established as an 'anti-hero'.

Other films noted were:

  • The Paperboy (15). 12 complaints for strong sex scenes
  • The Wolverine (12A). 12 complaints for strong language.
  • The Life of Pi (12A), 10 complaints for scenes showing animals attacking each other being too distressing for children.
  • The Impossible (12A), 10 complaints for graphic injury detail
  • About Time (12A), 6 complaints about language and sex references

 

21st July

  Deadly Women...

Discovery Channel fined 100,000 over violent daytime crime show
Link Here

deadly women saeson 6 Deadly Women
Investigation Discovery, 16, 18 & 20 August 2013 at various times during the day

Deadly Women is a true-life crime series about female killers. Each episode, which had a scheduled duration of 60 minutes, relayed the crimes of three different murderers through dramatic reconstructions of specific crimes and interviews with experts in criminal behaviour, including forensic pathologists. It is TV-14 rated for US TV.

A complainant alerted Ofcom to graphic depictions of violence contained within an episode broadcast at 09:00 on 20 August 2013. Ofcom assessed this episode, along with another seven episodes shown between 06:00 and 17:00 on 16 and 18 August 2013. We noted that each episode was preceded by variations of the following warnings:

  • The following programme contains scenes of a violent nature which some viewers may find disturbing ; or

  • The following programme contains scenes of murder or violent crimes that have been re-enacted.

We had concerns about a large number of the dramatic reconstructions included within the series.

Ofcom considered rules:

  • Rule 1.3: Children must...be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them .

  • Rule 1.11: Violence, its after-effects and descriptions of violence, whether verbal or physical, must be appropriately limited in programmes broadcast before the watershed (in the case of television)...and must also be justified by the context .

  • Rule 2.3: In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context... .

Discovery apologised for the broadcast of this content. The Licensee stated that: We accept that some of the content in these episodes was beyond the expectations of a daytime audience, even on a specialised crime channel such as [Investigation Discovery]. The Licensee also said that upon being alerted to the original complaint in this case, the content was reviewed and then immediately taken out of the daytime schedule.

It said that all the programmes in this case had been from series six of Deadly Women and none of these programmes were intended for transmission in daytime . While all the other series of Deadly Women had been correctly certified as post watershed , Discovery said that this had not happened in the case of series six. The Licensee stated that this deeply unfortunate incident had occurred as a result of an error of judgement by a less experienced member of the re-versioning team during the certification process for series 6 [which] meant that it was accidentally certified as suitable for audiences with a low child index .

Initial Ofcom Decision: Breach of rules 1.3, 1.11 and 2.3

Ofcom considered that these programmes were unsuitable for children, and that a number of the episodes would have been likely to have greatly troubled younger viewers in particular.

Ofcom reminds all broadcasters to ensure they are adequately resourced to ensure all their programming complies with the Code. Further they must have sufficient resources and appropriate arrangements in place to monitor as necessary output as it is broadcast to ensure that if, as here, a compliance mistake is made the licensee has a reasonable opportunity to spot the error and correct it before broadcast. In this case, the Licensee was seemingly unaware that it had broadcast wholly unsuitable material before the watershed until it was alerted by Ofcom.

We considered that the repeated broadcast during the daytime of very violent material in the form of prolonged and disturbing dramatic reconstructions of torture, mutilation and murder resulted in serious contraventions of the Code. Ofcom therefore put the Licensee on notice that it would consider these breaches of the Code for the imposition of a statutory sanction.

The Sanction Decision

First, Ofcom found the breaches of the Code by the Broadcasts were serious principally because of the graphic and extended depictions of extreme violence which they contained and which were transmitted at various times before the watershed in the school holidays. The Broadcasts were unsuitable for children and highly likely to have caused distress to any children in the audience.

Second, the breaches were repeated in that this unsuitable content was spread across 8 episodes of the series Deadly Women, shown on 16, 18 and 20 August 2013. 12.

Last, the pre-watershed broadcasts were made in error and, by the Licensee's own admission, in an entirely inappropriate time-slot . The errors were blatant and repeated over a period of 5 days. Ofcom considered that the breaches in this case demonstrated that the Licensee failed to ensure that it had robust compliance procedures in place.

In arriving at its Decision of the appropriate type and level of sanction, Ofcom also took account of the Licensee's recent compliance record. Prior to the Broadcasts, the Licensee did not have a history of contraventions on the Investigation Discovery service. However, it operates a centralised compliance unit for all 73 of its licensed broadcasting services. Ofcom has found the Licensee in breach of the Code in relation to broadcasts on other licensed services, most recently, in relation to the programme Embarrassing Bodies (TLC Poland6, 25 July 2013, 14:00). This was found in breach of Rule 1.3 as the programme, which contained full screen images of an invasive vaginal examination, was unsuitable for children and had not been appropriately scheduled.

Ofcom's Decision is that the appropriate sanction should be a financial penalty of £100,000. Ofcom also considers that the Licensee should be directed to broadcast a statement of Ofcom's findings, on a date and in a form to be determined by Ofcom.

 

21st July

  Unjust...

French politician jailed for insulting the country's justice minister
Link Here
France flag A politician in France has been sentenced to nine months in prison for comparing the country's justice minister, who is black, to an ape.

Anne-Sophie Leclere of the far right Front National party provoked a PC storm last year when she compared Christiane Taubira to an ape on French television and posted a photomontage on Facebook that showed the justice minister, who is from French Guiana, alongside a baby chimpanzee. The caption under the baby ape said At 18 months , and the one below Taubira's photograph read Now .

A court in Cayenne, French Guiana (part of France), sentenced her to nine months in jail, banned her from standing for election for five years, and imposed a 50,000 fine.

 

21st July

  French Justice Earns Bad Review...

Restaurant reviewer ordered to pay damages for bad review that was highly ranked in Google
Link Here
France flag A French judge has ludicrously ruled against a blogger because her scathing restaurant review was too prominent in Google search results. The judge ordered that the post's title be amended and told the blogger Caroline Doudet to pay damages.

The restaurant owners claimed the article's prominence was unfairly hurting their business. Doudet was sued by the owner of Il Giardino restaurant in the Aquitaine region of southwestern France after she wrote a blogpost entitled the place to avoid in Cap-Ferret: Il Giardino .

In her article, which has now been deleted, she complained of poor service and what she said was a poor attitude on the part of the owner during a visit in August 2013. According to court documents, the review appeared fourth in the results of a Google search for the restaurant. The judge decided that the blog's title should be changed, so that the phrase: the place to avoid was less prominent in the results.

Doudet said the decision made it a crime to be highly ranked on search engines:

This decision creates a new crime of 'being too highly ranked [on a search engine]', or of having too great an influence'.

What is perverse, is that we look for bloggers who are influential, but only if they are nice about people.

The judge ordered Doudet to amend the title of the blog and to pay 1,500 to the restaurant.

 

21st July

 Update: Poison Pens...

Burmese journalists jailed for 10 years for reporting on the building of a chemical weapons factory
Link Here  full story: Press Censorship in Burma...World leaders in oppressive censorship
Burma flag 2010 Five journalists in Burma have been sentenced to 10 years in prison for disclosing state secrets after their newspaper reported on the building of an alleged chemical weapons factory.

Their trial began in February following the article's publication the month before . Their paper, the Unity Journal, has been forced to close due to the costs needed to organise the defence of the five men.

They were convicted under the 1923 Burma State Secrets Act. Tin San's lawyer, Kyaw Lin, said the verdict was totally unfair , adding: These people are not spies ... They were just reporting.

 

21st July

  Encore...

Georgia Tech researchers develop tool to automate the monitoring of website blocking
Link Here
encore georgia tech logo Georgia Tech researchers have created a tool to monitor the accessibility of Web pages around the world that can be installed by adding a single line of code to a web page. The tool, Encore, runs when a user visits a website where the code is installed and then discreetly collects data from potentially censored sites.

The researchers hope the data they collect will allow them to determine the wheres, whens and hows of what's blocked, as well as identify ways to get around restricted access. Sam Burnett, the Georgia Tech Ph.D. candidate who leads the project said:

Web censorship is a growing problem affecting users in an increasing number of countries. Collecting accurate data about what sites and services are censored will help educate users about its effects and shape future Internet policy discussions surrounding Internet regulation and control.

The measurement tool that Burnett and his adviser Nick Feamster, professor at the Georgia Tech School of Computer Science, developed -- known as Encore -- works by collecting information about a users' Web access and censorship of various sites across other countries.

These measurements happen automatically in the background after a page has loaded and do not affect a site's performance or a user's experience. Most users won't ever notice them or realize they are helping to measure Web accessibility, although the tool provides ways to inform users that their browsers are conducting the measurements. Burnett said:

Encore doesn't track users' browsing behaviors or the content they visit, only whether or not a potentially censored website is reachable from where they are

Feamster said:

People who work on Internet freedom --- ranging from policymakers to the developers of tools for improving access to information --- need accurate information about what information is inaccessible and when it becomes blocked. Encore is the first tool that makes it possible to provide this kind of information continuously, on a global scale.

 

21st July

 Offsite Article: When Eyes Wide Shut Failed To Save The NC-17...

Link Here
Eyes Wide Shut DVD Cruise Forbes marks the 15th anniversary of the film with a piece about the failed MPAA NC-17 rating

See article from forbes.com