Censor Watch
 2013: July
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  Call an Ambulance...

TV censorship campaigners get dangerously worked up over a BBC Trust decision to allow the word 'shagging' in pre-watershed Holby City


Link Here 31st July 2013

holby city logoThe BBC Trust has reported on a complaint about Holby City:

Holby City,
BBC One, 18 September 2012, 8pm

The complainant objected to the use of the word shagging and the phrase cut his balls off during an episode of Holby City, broadcast before the 9pm watershed.

The complainant said that this language was sexually explicit and inappropriate when children might be watching. The Committee concluded:

  • that some viewers might find the use of this particular language offensive, but Holby City is a well-established drama dealing with contemporary life and covering challenging themes of hospital life, both on the ward and in the staff's personal lives.
  • that regular viewers of this drama serial would not have found the use of the word shagging or the phrase cut his balls off unacceptable in this particular context.
  • that Holby City starts an hour before the watershed, when viewers are aware that not all programming is suitable for younger children.
  • that parents and carers share responsibility with the broadcaster to decide what is suitable for their children to view.

The complaint was not upheld.

The Daily Mail and its board of sound bite censors have picked up that "not all [pre-watershed] programming is suitable for younger children":

But the corporation's governing body has now confessed, for what appears to be the first time, that not all programming shown an hour before the watershed is suitable for younger children - prompting experts to warn that this could signal the end of the 9pm threshold.

With predictable Daily Mail bollox, the 'experts' turn out to be the perennial nutters, Vivienne Pattison of MediaWatch-UK and Miranda Suit of the christian moralisers, Safermedia.

Pattison spouted that the BBC Trust's decision not to uphold the complaint meant parents could no longer trust that their children are safe from explicit material:

I'm really shocked that they have done this. According to their own broadcasting code the 9pm watershed signals the beginning of the transition towards more adult material so by this reckoning, what is it?

Eight o'clock? Half past seven? Is that the beginning of the transition?

Suit added:

There are so many tens of thousands of parents who actually consider that the watershed is really helping them protect their children. But if we're going to see broadcasters themselves undermining that protection then I think we'll have a real outcry.

 

  Acceptable Behavioural Standards...

Parliamentary committee calls for wide internet censorship


Link Here 31st July 2013

ecrime The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee has published a report covering a wide range of internet crime issues. This includes a couple of paragraphs calling for broad brush internet censorship:

We are deeply concerned that it is still too easy for people to access inappropriate online content, particularly indecent images of children, terrorism incitement and sites informing people how to commit online crime. There is no excuse for complacency. We urge those responsible to take stronger action to remove such content. We reiterate our recommendation that the Government should draw up a mandatory code of conduct with internet companies to remove material which breaches acceptable behavioural standards.

We note those companies that donate to the Internet Watch Foundation, and encourage them to increase their contributions. Additionally, we recommend that the Government should look at setting up a similar organisation focused on reporting and removing online terrorist content.

We are concerned to note the Minister's assertion that off the shelf hacking software is increasingly available to untrained criminals and recommend the Government funds a law enforcement team which is focused on disrupting supply.

 

 Update: Mass Arrests...

Clamouring to criminalise internet insults


Link Here 31st July 2013  full story: Trivial Insults...Authorities persecuting insulting comments on Facebook and Twitter

Twitter logoMore than 1,700 cases involving supposedly abusive messages sent online or via text message reached Britain's courts in 2012, the BBC has learned following a Freedom of Information request.

This is a 10% increase on the figures for 2011, according to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Nearly 600 charges were brought between January and May 2013..

The revelations come as police say they are investigating abusive tweets sent to MP Stella Creasy. This has resulted in pressure 'to do something' about abusive messages sent via Twitter.

Del Harvey, Twitter's senior director of trust and safety, blogged that the micro-messaging platform would extend the report tweet function, already available on its iPhone app, to Android phones and desktops.

Andy Trotter, chairman of the Association of Chief Police Officers' communications advisory group told BBC Radio 4's The World At One:

They need to take responsibility as do the other platforms to deal with this at source and make sure these things do not carry on. They need to make it easier for victims to report these matters and, from a police perspective, they need to know that they can report these things to us.

A Change.org petition calling for Twitter to add a report abuse button to its service has attracted more than 71,000 supporters.

The question for Twitter is how, having made it easier for people to report abusive tweets, it will cope with the expected flood of reports.

 

 Update: Plugging Leaks with a Large Mallet...

Bradley Manning found guilty of most charges related to revelations published on Wikileaks


Link Here 31st July 2013  full story: US vs Wikileaks...US aggressively attacks Wikileaks over leaked cables

doj logoBradley Manning , the source of the massive WikiLeaks trove of secret disclosures, has been convicted of most charges on which he stood trial.

Colonel Denise Lind, the military judge presiding over the court martial of the US soldier, delivered her verdict in curt and pointed language. Guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, she repeated over and over, as the reality of a prolonged prison sentence for Manning dawned.

The one ray of light in an otherwise bleak outcome for Manning was that he was found not guilty of the single most serious charge against him, that he knowingly aided the enemy . the soldier was found guilty in their entirety of 17 out of the 22 counts against him, and of an amended version of four others.

WikiLeaks and Julian Assange were mentioned repeatedly during the trial by the US government which tried to prove that the anti-secrecy organisation had directly steered Manning in his leaking activities, an allegation strongly denied by the accused. Prosecutors drew heavily on still classified web conversations between Manning and an individual going by the name of Press Association , whom the government alleges was Assange.

Update: 35 years

22nd August 2013. See  article from  en.rsf.org

Reporters Without Borders condemned the 35-year prison sentence meted out today to U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning on charges including 10 counts of espionage and theft .

Reporters Without Borders expressed the hope that the sentence will be reversed on appeal. The press freedom organization said:

Following the targeting of Edward Snowden , the disproportionate sentence for Manning hits hard at whistleblowers and shows how vulnerable they are. The Army is sending a clear message to them and to all journalists who dare to report whistleblowers' disclosures: the United States will strike back severely at anyone who uncovers information of public interest concerning the exercise of official powers.

The sentence strikes a blow against American democracy, in which the press must be free to report government abuses.

 

 Update: Deputies Sworn In...

Russian parliamentary proposal to block web pages with strong language


Link Here 31st July 2013  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media

Russian Duma logoRussian Duma Deputy Yelena Mizulina intends to make further amendments to the censorship Law on the supposed Protection of Children.

The chairwoman of the Committee on Family, Women and Children put forward a proposal to punish people for using 'dirty language' in social networks.

According to politician, posts and messages containing swear words, will have to be blocked within 24 hours, if 'harmful' information is not deleted. This should apply to pages on social networks, websites, and various forums.

Mizulina claims that children can begin to see profanity as a norm. The proposal was up for discussion on July 30th.

 

 Petition: David Cameron: Stop Sleepwalking the UK into Censorship...

David Cameron wants to push you into switching on adult web filters. These proposals are incredibly dangerous. Cameron should drop them immediately


Link Here 30th July 2013  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet

Open Rights Group logo Dear David Cameron,

Everyone agrees that we should try to protect children from harmful content. But asking everyone to sleepwalk into censorship does more harm than good.

Filters won't stop children seeing adult content and risks giving parents a false sense of security. It will stop people finding advice on sexual health, sexuality and relationships. This isn't just about pornography. Filters will block any site deemed unsuitable for under 18s.

Please drop these plans immediately.

...Sign the petition

What are the problems with switching on adult filtering by default?
  1. "Set it and forget it" is the wrong message to send to parents. Filters will not stop children seeing adult content.
  2. Adult filters will not just block pornography. They also restrict access to sites deemed unsuitable for under 18s including information on alcohol and other drugs, forums, YouTube and controversial political views.
  3. When adults filters are in place, mistakes are made. Adult filtering can stop people accessing crucial advice on sexual health, sexuality and relationships.
  4. Adult filtering amounts to censoring legal content. The UK would be the only modern democratic society to do this. This sets a terrible example to other countries with interests in suppressing information.

 

 Update: Hands off our Nuts!...

Magazine has a few words about gender extremists calling for a ban


Link Here 30th July 2013  full story: Lads Mags...Blaming lads mags for all the world's ills

hands off our nuts logo Nuts magazine writes:

I am tweeting this message because I strongly disagree with UK Feminista's campaign to ban Nuts - and other popular men's magazines - from being on sale in supermarkets.

These magazines are entirely legal and bring entertainment and enjoyment to many thousands of men - and women - across the UK, and I see no reason why they should be banned to appease the views of a minority protest group.

This proposed move is a blatant act of censorship with UK Feminista seeking to ban something just because it doesn't happen to like it.

Magazines like Nuts feature a broad range of content, are stocked out of the reach of children, and are enjoyed by a large number of supermarket customers whose voices also deserve to be heard.

Therefore I am politely asking the members of UK Feminists to...

Keep your hands off our nuts!

The magazine has also started the #KeepTheLadsMags hashtag.

 

 Update: Still Treating Gamers Like Kids...

Australia's Censorship Review Board upholds the ban on Saints Row IV


Link Here 30th July 2013  full story: Banned Games in Australia...Adult games ban

Saints Row IV Commander Chief The Australia's Censorship Board banned the video Game Saints Row IV citing issues with drug use related to incentives and rewards.

The distributors then appealed the ban to the Censorship Review Board who have turned down that appeal.

A three-member panel of the Censorship Review Board unanimously confirmed the ban. In the Board's opinion, Saints Row IV could not be accommodated within the R 18+ classification as drug use related to incentives and rewards is not permitted. The detailed reasons for the decision will follow.

It is expected that the game distributors will now submit a cut version.

 

  The Village Censor...

Malaysian government bows to newspaper criticism and looks set ban the movie, The New Village


Link Here 30th July 2013

new village The New Village is a 2013 Malaysia drama by Kew Lit.
With Valentine Cawley, Jeff Chin and Sam Chong. YouTube icon IMDb

Following a wave of criticism in the country's conservative press, director Kew Lit's historical drama, The New Village, has been sent back to the censorship board for a second review, and a possible ban.

The film, a period feature told in Mandarin Chinese, tells a love story set in Malaysia's tumultuous "Malayan Emergency" period of the 1940s and 50s, when a communist uprising, lead largely by the country's ethnic Chinese population, fought for independence from British colonial rule.

According to the film makers, it was approved for commercial exhibition by the Malaysian Film Censorship Board (LPF) on Sept. 4 of 2012 and given a P13 classification (PG-13).  But when a trailer was released on Youtube in June, a series of conservative editorials in local dailies attacked the film, suggesting that it portrays the communist uprising as heroic.

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told reporters that:

We do not want sensitive issues to be raised, especially when the film is scheduled for release ahead of the country's National Day on 31st of August.

The Home Ministry has sent the movie back to the Malaysian Film Censorship Board for further review. A process that previously led to the ban of the similarly themed, The Last Communist by Amir Muhammad.

 

  Mini Outrage...

Tabloid nonsense trying to raise a little 'outrage' over a top Gear gag about caravaners and dogging


Link Here 30th July 2013  full story: Top Gear and the Grand Tour...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers

Top Gear The Challenges DVD A few outraged tweeters have whinged at a Top Gear sketch in which Jeremy Clarkson and James may alluded to caravaners being dogging fans.

A segment on mini 4x4s used to tow caravans included a scene where the Top Gear presenters were seen in a darkened car park filled with doggers driving 4x4s.

Clarkson was seen flashing his interior lights while May was seen vigorously polishing his steering wheel.

Viewer Matthew Urquhart tweeted: The feature about caravaning was disgusting and offensive. Ian Gritt posted a non-complaint: My 11yr old son is watching #TopGear. I'm pleased to say the dogging scene left him looking baffled.

An Ofcom spokesman said they had received a small number of complaints . Presumably this means two, which will be promptly ignored.

 

 Offsite Article: Labour MP Stella Creasy receives Twitter rape threats...


Link Here 30th July 2013
Twitter logo MP uses Twitter to inform police of abuse in wake of arrest of man for threats made to banknote campaigner

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

  More Evil...

An Extended Version of Evil Dead 2 is being released in Germany


Link Here 29th July 2013

evil dead 2 extendedmovie-censorship.com is reporting that there is an upcoming 25th Anniversary Edition of Evil Dead 2 featuring 2.5 minutes of footage not yet seen in an official release.

It is a limited edition and includes the English language soundtrack. It is set for release on 24th September 2013.

See distributor details at movie-censorship.com

 

 Offsite Article: Should we ban banning things?...


Link Here 29th July 2013  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet
newstatesman logo The political addiction to mere prohibitions (without even bothering to think through the consequences) by David Allen Green

See article from newstatesman.com

 

 Update: Running Scared...

Jordan blocks 300 news websites


Link Here 29th July 2013

Jordan flagReporters Without Borders has written to King Abdullah of Jordan voicing deep concern about the 2 June administrative decision to block access to some 300 news websites from within Jordan.

The letter urges the Jordanian authorities to end this blocking without delay. It also calls for the repeal of certain repressive provisions in the new press law, which was promulgated by royal decree in September 2012.

 

 Updated: Singing for Joy...

Lost material turns up to allow Robin Hardy to make a Final Cut of the Wicker Man


Link Here 28th July 2013

Wicker Man Anniversary Editon Blu ray The Wicker Man is a 1973 UK mystery drama by Robin Hardy.
With Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee and Diane Cilento. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

Prior to the theatrical release in 1973 director Robin Hardy create a 102 minute cut. However his vision was overruled by the producers and he was forced to create a shortened version of 88 minutes.

Later in 2002 Hardy produced a Director's Cut from available material, but this was still lacking some footage wanted by the Director.

Hardy and Studiocanal took up the search for the missing material, and now it has turned up in a print in the Harvard Archive.

Update: Release Details

28th July 2013.

UK: BBFC details to be confirmed for:
  • 2013 StudioCanal [UK Theatrical + Director's Cut + Final Cut] RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 13th October 2013
  • 2013 StudioCanal [UK Theatrical + Director's Cut + Final Cut] R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 13th October 2013

Promotional Material

The Director of The Wicker Man, Robin Hardy has approved The Final Cut as the finest and most complete version of the film. This 40th anniversary edition is every Wicker Man fan's perfect ending to a much mythicised search for the most complete version of The Wicker Man. Having left no stone unturned for the opportunity of uncovering any of the original film materials, the ghosts have now been laid to rest, as we can finally and happily confirm, that this is the Final Cut.

  • The Final cut
  • The UK theatrical Cut
  • The Director's Cut
  • audio commentary for Director's Cut
  • extras
  • The soundtrack

 

 Updated: Censors on Report...

Durban Film Festival opener banned for under age sex featuring a 23 year old


Link Here 28th July 2013

of-good-report Of Good Report is a 2013 South Africa thriller by Jahmil XT Qubeka.
With Stevel Marc, Petronella Tshuma and Mothusi Magano. IMDb

Censorship marred the opening of the 34th Durban International Film Festival (Diff) when the Film and Publication Board banned the opening film, Of Good Report.

Instead of the opening sequence to Jahmil XT Qubeka's drama about a teacher who embarks on a sexual relationship with a pupil, the film-makers and invited guests read the following on the Suncoast Cinema screen:

This film has been refused classification by the Film and Publications Act 1996.

Unfortunately we may not legally screen the film Of Good Report, as to do so would constitute a criminal offence.

According to the censor board's classification committee they stopped watching the film at 28 minutes and 16 seconds because the film contained child pornography. At this point in the film 16-year-old Nolitha (played by 23-year-old Petronella Tshuma) is depicted in her Grade 9 school uniform. Since she had engaged in a sexual act with an adult in a preceding scene, this is depiction of child pornography, according to the board.

In an e-mailed letter to the Diff manager, Peter Machen, the board refused to classify the film and ordered the festival to either destroy or surrender copies of the film to the police.

The film makers will now appeal the ban.

Of Good Report producer Mike Auret, of Spier Films, said the film had been picked up for screening at the next Berlin, Rotterdam, Toronto and Dubai film festivals.

Update: Unbanned

28th July 2013. See  article from  foxnews.com

south africa film publications board logo A South African censorship appeals tribunal has lifted a ban on a film that was barred as child pornography over a sex scene between a schoolteacher and a pupil depicted as 16, but played by a 23 year old actress.

The film is now passed as suitable for viewers aged 16 and above with warnings of sex, nudity, violence and strong language.

The local film Of Good Report was cleared after a challenge by the organisers of the Durban International Film Festival where it was meant to be the opening feature last week. The film will now be screened on Sunday, the final day of the festival.

The country's censorship authority said it was very disappointed and saddened by the move to set aside its decision by its appeals tribunal.

 

 Update: Just Like China...

But Perry, Cameron and the Daily Mail will be happy


Link Here 28th July 2013  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet

stupid warning Microsoft has introduced a pop-up warning on its Bing search engine that tells UK users that they are searching for illegal child abuse images. Yahoo will also introduce them in the coming weeks, but Google has no plans to.

Microsoft announced that anyone using its search engine to look for material that shows the sexual abuse of children will trigger the Bing Notification Platform message warning that tells them the content they are looking for is against the law. The notification will provide a link to a counselling service.

A Microsoft spokesman said:

If someone in the UK tries to use search terms on Bing which can only indicate they are looking for illegal child abuse content, they will activate the Bing Notification Platform which will produce an on-screen notification telling them that child abuse content is illegal. The notification will also contain a link to Stopitnow.org who will be able to provide them with counselling.

The Bing Notification Platform is triggered by search terms on a list provided by the The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).

 

 Update: Ethical Bullying...

Claire Perry seems to think that the Church of England should follow her pet morality concerns and disinvest from Google


Link Here 28th July 2013  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet

Clair PerryChristian campaigner and Conservative MP Claire Perry has told the Church of England to pull its money out of Google in a bid to force the company to take a stronger line over pornographic and child abuse images she claims are widely available through its search engine.

She told The Daily Telegraph:

It is quite clear that many companies, in particular British ISPs, are finally now taking a really responsible approach to this. They are seeing that we want a level of social responsibility. There are others out there who have not got that attitude.

They (the Church of England and other investors) have a role to play, they have questions to ask themselves. They are moral leaders.

Her demands follow the Archbishop of Canterbury's pledge to to review the Church's investment strategy, after very embarrassing revelations that it has holdings in firms that profit from payday lending.

In the name of pressurising organisations to do more about child abuse, then perhaps the church should also pull its investment from religious organisations too. And it's not as if political organisations are a paragon of virtue either. In fact it makes one wonder if there is anything that passes muster as totally ethically correct.

 

 Update: Murder in the Water Shed...

A few complaints about a murder in the soap, Emmerdale


Link Here 28th July 2013  full story: Emmerdale...Viewer whinges about ITV soap

Best Emmerdale DVD Lucy Pargeter TV censor Ofcom has confirmed receiving 'tens of' [sounds like outrage speak for 20] complaints about a murder scene in the ITV soap Emmerdale .

The scene depicted the death of Gennie Sharma, at the hand of evil Cameron Murray before the 9pm watershed and some viewers complained that their children were watching as Gennie's head was seen hitting a window as her car rolled downhill.

The new mum had been run off the road by her nemesis after she found out his secrets and after her car crashed, he then smothered her with his bare hands until she died.

 

  Vulgar Protest...

Indian hindu nationalists pull down movie posters for Nasha


Link Here 28th July 2013

nashaActivists from the Shiv Sena hindu nationalist party have been pulling down posters of Poonam Pandey's soon-to-be released debut film Nasha.  The campaigners claim that the posters are vulgar and objectionable.

The party has forced the film's producer to pull down publicity posters in Mumbai's Lower Parel and Borivali. In an angry protest, sainkis burned posters of the movie at Mahim, claiming that they were offensive.

Akshay Bardapurkar, the general secretary of Shiv Sena Chitrapat Sena maintains that the party finds the poster highly vulgar and derogatory and won't allow such hoardings to be displayed across the city.

Aditya Bhatia, producer of Nasha, claims that he was threatened by party activists:

My outdoor publicist called up to say that Shiv Sainiks had made him pull down the hoarding. They found Poonam's posture objectionable. But my publicity stills have been approved by the Western India Film Producers' Association. So I am not going to pull the other hoardings down. I am even thinking of filing a complaint.

 

 Updated: The Daily Mail and Guardian are as one in being aghast at the opposition...

Why DO the left sneer at David Cameron's (our) bid to block porn?


Link Here 27th July 2013  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet
Paul Dacre's puppet, David Cameron

Please give a big hand (up the arse, naturally) for Dave,  the Gutter Press Glove Puppet.

It's astounding! All Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre has to do is wiggle his fingers and Dave obeys his every command!
 

The Daily Mail writer, Jan Moir, asks:

David Cameron has been mocked for his proposals that all households will have to opt out of automatic porn filters. From next year, the filters would come as standard with internet broadband and cover all devices in a home.

Those who want porn will have to tick the box marked naughty, very naughty and ouch, that's gotta hurt.

No doubt the family-friendly porn sifter will lead to some awkward discussions between husbands and wives making a joint decision. Shall we, shan't we, darling? You mean you didn't even realise that I did?

Possession of the most extreme forms of adult pornography will become an offence, while online content will have the same restrictions as DVDs sold in sex shops.

Something to cheer? A step in the right direction? You would think so.

Yet some, particularly on the Left, dismiss Cameron's plans as an example of the nanny state running wild, spoiling all the fun, taking away our porny freedoms. Others huff that the Prime Minister is a philistine and that his imbecilic plans will censor great art.

...See  the full Daily Mail whinge

Comment: Why such outrage over porn filters? The idea seems perfectly reasonable to me

The angry arguments against David Cameron's opt-in filter proposals seem to imply that it's normal to want access to porn, and abnormal not to want access to porn

27th July 2013. See  article from  guardian.co.uk by Deborah Orr

The GuardianThe Guardian is continuing its quest to become the new Daily Mail. Deborah Orr takes inspiration from the Daily Mail's Jan Moir:

A roar of libertarian outrage greeted David Cameron's announcement this week that the government was going to talk to internet service providers about installing opt-in rather than opt-out filters for pornography , as if computer access to hot and cold running arousal aids was some kind of basic human right. Is this really such a big deal?

Comment: Jan Moir's scaremongering about children and pornography makes things worse, not better

27th July 2013. See  article from  blogs.telegraph.co.uk by Mic Wright

Telegraph logoMeanwhile the Telegraph does a little fact checking on some of the 'evidence' offered by Jan Moir:.

I was shocked. No, scratch that... I was shocked and appalled to discover that 11-year-olds are addicted to internet porn and that an academic study has confirmed the epidemic. I was also grateful to Jan Moir for highlighting the issue in a column that castigates those on the Left and Right who have criticised the Government's plans for internet filters. She writes: A study conducted last year by Plymouth University warned that 11-year-old boys were becoming addicted to internet porn. And after regularly viewing hard-core pornography at an early age, children go on to develop unrealistic or warped expectations of sex... As impertinent as it may be for me to question such a respected expert in the field of public indignation, I decided to seek out the study.

Reading the executive summary, I was shocked for a second time to discover that it said the exact opposite of what Moir had suggested.

 

 Updated: Objectionable Censorship...

Franck Khalfoun's Maniac banned in New Zealand


Link Here 27th July 2013

Maniac Blu ray Elijah Wood A serial killer horror film starring Elijah Wood has been banned from cinema and DVD release in New Zealand.

The Office of Film and Literature censorship (OFLC) has classified Maniac as restricted to festival-only screenings and banning it from further release.

It is the first film to receive the special Festival-only classification since The Bridge in 2007 and means that the film cannot be released on DVD at a later date.

The remake of Maniac has been classified as supposedly 'objectionable' for the unwashed masses, but is OK for 'clever' people for the purpose of study in a tertiary media or film studies course or screened as part of a film festival.

The full restricted classification note is: R18 graphic violence, sex scenes, content that may disturb.

The film has been programmed for the NZIFF Incredibly Strange section by Ant Timpson, with screenings scheduled for Auckland and Wellington. Timpson said:

The OFLC decision says that the film may be 'injurious to the public good' if it goes out on a wider release. It's saying that the POV nature of the film mixed with the psychopathic behaviour of actor Elijah Wood is more than disturbing, that it's potentially dangerous in the hands of the wrong person (that is, a non-festival goer).

The film's distributors said:

The ban is an insult to the intelligence of the adult population of New Zealand and does little more than to serve as an open invitation to illegally pirate the film. We are flabbergasted.

New Zealand is the only western country to have banned Maniac

Update: New Zealand film censor compliments the director

26th July 2013.  See  article from  buzzfeed.com

OFLC New Zealand logoThe New Zealand censor has now added a note of explanation for the ban:

While the feature does not actively promote or support this material, the tacit invitation to enjoy cruel and violent behavior through its first-person portrayal and packaging as entertainment is likely to lead to an erosion of empathy for some viewers,

The news that his slasher movie Maniac had been banned from theaters in New Zealand took director Franck Khalfoun completely by surprise, and like the movie itself, the French filmmaker was juggling a sense of outrage and perverse glee. He told Buzzfeed:

I suppose they have to control people and not let them see things; I think censorship is completely bogus. I don't know how to take it. I guess as a genre filmmaker, it's a compliment.

Update: New Zealand film censor recommends Maniac

26th July 2013.  See  article from  torrentfreak.com

torrentfreak logoManiac's distributor says that the banning is an invitation to piracy and the signs are that's exactly what's happening.

And here lies the problem. While the MPAA, BBFC and OFLC in New Zealand might like to think they have the final say over what people can see, file-sharing networks simply don't listen. With this in mind TorrentFreak decided to take a snapshot of activity of those sharing Maniac on BitTorrent networks. It's unlikely that Monster Pictures (or the OFLC) will be happy with our findings.

1 United States 18.4%
2 United kingdom 8.6%
3 New Zealand 6.7%
4 Brazil 6.7%
5 Philippines 5.9%
6 Australia 4.2%
7 Canada 4.0%
8 The Netherlands 3.6%
9 Israel 3.3%
10 Argentina 2.3%

As expected the United States with its huge 314m population is well ahead in first place with 18.4% of the downloaders. In second with its 62.7m population comes the United Kingdom with 8.6%. But in third, punching well beyond its population of just 4.4 million, is New Zealand clocking up 6.7% of downloaders. By comparison, Brazil -- also on 6.7% of downloaders -- has a population of 197 million.

When previously assessing other TV show and movie releases it's been very rare for New Zealand to make a showing in the top ten, let alone the top three downloading nations. In percentage terms of overall downloaders, the turnout for Maniac surpasses that previously achieved by Kiwis for The Hobbit.

Update: New Zealand film censor reveals full details about the ban

27th July 2013.  See article [pdf] from monsterpictures.com.au

OFLC New Zealand logoThe censor explains:

The film's lurid opening, gratuitously over-blown murders and cliched profile of a serial killer clearly site it as a work of homage to a bygone era of filmmaking. Those viewers with knowledge of the original film, notorious for its gruesome and creative visual effects work, may also appreciate or be curious about how it has been remade, in particular given the involvement of Elijah Wood, an actor instantly recognisable for his work in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

The widespread use of first-person perspective is problematic however for portraying events so entirely from Frank's point-of-view, in effect allying the viewer with his view of the women he kills, and encouraging vicarious participation. The film itself does nothing to counter Frank's own warped view of women as sexy, promiscuous, and unobtainable, and somehow deserving of their deaths. The measured way in which Frank is able to track, subdue, and butcher all these women, without the interference of police or members of the public, creates a sadistic fantasy that revels in depicting women's helplessness and cruel murder.

The publication contains highly offensive language, in particular use of the word fuck. Emulation of this language such as by impressionable young viewers would result in serious harms that could include alienation or intimidation.

The dominant effect of the publication as a whole is of a technically-proficient remake of a 1980s cult horror film that depicts sadistic acts of violence aimed mostly at women. Given the preponderance of scenes shot from the killer's point-of-view the murders could be read as a discourse about violence in film, our responses to it, our complicity and awareness of taking enjoyment from a killer's twisted fantasy, however a likelier reading is that the film merely presents the fantasy itself.

The unrestricted availability of the publication is likely to be injurious to the public good. The feature is an unsubtle portrait of a serial killer who targets women in cruel ways; the murders are depicted in first-person perspective, inviting a viewer's vicarious participation. This material would be highly disturbing and shocking to children and teenagers, and indeed most adults. While the feature does not actively promote or support this material, the tacit invitation to enjoy cruel and violent behaviour through its first-person portrayal and packaging as entertainment is likely to lead to an erosion of empathy for some viewers. The misogynistic representation of women adds to this likely injury.

Given the characteristics of this film in particular the POV stalking of women and their graphic murders, the Office has a concern around the availability of this film in other mediums or on general theatrical release. The Classification Office is of the opinion that its availability is likely to be injurious to the public good unless restricted to adults in settings of bona fide film festival screenings or tertiary film studies.

If the exaggeration of harm caused by the commonly used 'fuck' is anything to go by I think the views of New Zealand censor can be safely dismissed as hysterical nonsense:

The publication contains highly offensive language, in particular use of the word fuck. Emulation of this language such as by impressionable young viewers would result in serious harms that could include alienation or intimidation.

Update: The distributor replies

27th July 2013.  See article [pdf] from monsterpictures.com.au

monster pictures logoIt would appear that the NZ OFLC take particular offense at the use of a devise within the film that shows the murders from the killers POV, suggesting that this device invites the viewers vicarious participation in the murders and could cause an erosion of empathy to those exposed to the film.

Monster Pictures reject this claim outright. Horror is a cinematic genre enjoyed by millions of healthy, well-adjusted people around the world, these people demand films that challenge and disturb them, it is the most basic tenet of the genre. To suggest, that exposure to a film such as MANIAC lessens the impact of real violence to these viewers or could somehow lead to incidence of real violence is preposterous and as far as we are concerned, is supported by no genuine evidence.

The NZ OFLC also suggest in their report that MANIAC would be highly disturbing and shocking to children and teenagers, and indeed most adults. , Monster Pictures agree, so why then does the OFLC turn its back on its own rating system? which, in our opinion, very effectively rates motion pictures and also provides very adequate consumer advice to would-be-buyers. Our experience suggests that banning the film does little to deter viewers in fact it works to the contrary, adding to the notoriety of the film and encouraging illegal access to the film to people of all ages, without the benefit of rating or consumer advice.

The decision to restrict legal exhibition of MANIAC to film festivals and institutions of tertiary film studies would seem to infer that rank-and-file members of the public would be ill-equipped to deal with the horror depicted within the film. Again we reject this notion and believe it to be little more than a pompous slur on the intelligence of the adult cinema going population of New Zealand.

 

  Testing Positive for Performance Enhancing Prayers...

Irish radio station told to be more sensitive when mocking religion


Link Here 27th July 2013

countdown concert rte advertNew Year's Eve Countdown Concert
RTE‰ Radio 1, 31 December 2012

This magazine programme included a satirical review of the year's events with impressionist and comedian Oliver Callan who at one point impersonated the boxer Katie Taylor. His impersonation of Katie Taylor went as follows:

I wouldn't be who I am today if it wasn't for Jesus Christ and God and Marty Morrissey, they've been my inspiration, and you know I came over a lot of adversity, there was a lot of talk about how I tested positive for performance-enhancing prayers, then there was the whole business about the wine being found in me urine sample but thank God, with the help o' God it turned out to be the blood of Christ so, em, I'll be fine and I encourage all people in 2013 if you want your dreams to come true, you know, you can always, em, put faith in the Good Book. My Olympic Dream is out now in all good book stores and Easons, €12.99. I'll sign it for an extra two quid.

A priest objected to what he describes as the blasphemous reference in this programme to the Blood of Jesus being found in Katie Taylor's urine.

The Decision of Compliance Committee found:

  • The Committee noted that the trans-substantiation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus is considered a central tenet of religious belief for Irish Catholics. Therefore, particular care is required where it is referred to in a programming other than in a religious context. For this reason, it was the view of the Committee that some listeners may have found the item offensive and a greater sensitivity to this source of offence than that shown in this item would have been desirable.
     
  • However, having had regard to the programme about which the complaint was made, it was the Committee's view that it had been used in a humorous and playful manner in a comedy section of a New Year's Eve radio programme. The Committee noted that the target of the comedy was Katie Taylor rather the religious symbols of Christianity and while this part of the comedy feature could be considered as being in poor taste and potentially offensive to some listeners on religious grounds, it was its view that the item would not cause undue offence, contrary to the Code of Programme Standards.

 

 Comment: Unattractive Bullying...

Government attempts to censor the BBC over heinous crimes against political correctness, a misjudged comment about a sportswoman's looks


Link Here 27th July 2013

maria millerThe BBC has dismissed a call by the culture secretary to take further action over Wimbledon commentator John Inverdale's sexist comments, with the corporation saying it considers the matter closed .

Director general Tony Hall has fired off a response to Maria Miller , who said in a letter published on Thursday that Inverdale's remarks about Marion Bartoli undermined her efforts to promote women in sport, admitting that the incident was totally unacceptable and fell well beneath the standards we expect of our presenters .

Despite Inverdale issuing an on-air apology and sending a letter to Bartoli, Miller called for an explanation about further action to be taken by the BBC.

The BBC considers the incident, which attracted more than 700 complaints , to have been dealt with -- a spokesman said The BBC considers this matter closed now.

Offsite Comment: How do you solve a problem like Maria Miller?

27th July 2013. See  article from  spiked-online.com by Patrick Hayes

Spiked logoAttempts to influence the media by the head of what was known as the ministry of fun are no laughing matter.

 

  Let Us Know How You Get On...

Government does not seem particularly interested in ATVOD's bizarre idea to ban card payments for online porn


Link Here 27th July 2013

House of Lords logoATVOD has the bizarre idea that online porn is likely to 'deprave and corrupt' children. Hence the Video on Demand Censor claims that the banks could ban card payments on the grounds that the porn contravenes the Obscene Publications Act.

However online porn has been available for some time and there's not much evidence of masses of depraved children. Most campaigners against online porn are more realistically concerned that it provides a bad education for children, and that boys may be learning to treat girls less respectfully than they should.

Floella Benjamin, a member of the House of Lords asked the Government this week:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the action taken by the Authority for Television on Demand (ATVOD) to ensure that United Kingdom websites providing explicit pornography keep such material out of reach of those aged under 18; and whether they will take steps to assist ATVOD in acting in relation to websites operating from outside the United Kingdom.

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the suggestion by the Authority for Television on Demand that United Kingdom financial institutions should consider whether it is possible to decline to process payments from the United Kingdom to the operations of non-United Kingdom websites which appear to be breaking the Obscene Publications Act 1959 by allowing children to access explicit hardcore pornography.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble answered:

I welcome the work that the Authority for Television on Demand (ATVOD) has undertaken in this area to explore with UK financial institutions and card companies the possibility of declining to process payments to websites operating from outside the EU which allow under 18s in the UK to view explicit pornographic content. The protection of children online is of the utmost importance and we will watch this work with interest. ATVOD provided a report on this area to the UKCCIS executive board on July, 8th, 2013 and we look forward to receiving further reports on their progress in due course.

The reply doesn't seem to imply much pro-active support from the government, just a a vague interest to see how ATVOD gets on.

 

 Update: Dictatorial Threats...

Turkish PM threatens to sue the London Times for printing open letter critical of his heavy handed handling of Gezi park protests


Link Here 27th July 2013  full story: Press Freedom in Turkey...Not so free press

recep tayyip erdoganTurkey's prime minister has threatened legal action against the Times newspaper for publishing an open letter criticising his handling of recent protests.

Hollywood celebrities and academics were among those who signed the letter this week accusing Turkey's government of dictatorial rule .

Erdogan claimed in comments broadcast on Turkey's NTV channel:

The Times is renting out its own pages for money. This is the Times' failing. We will pursue legal channels regarding the Times.

Erdogan said those who signed the letter, taken out as an full-page advertisement:

If they truly believed in democracy, they couldn't have displayed such a lack of character to call the leader of a party that won 50% of the vote a dictator.

The open letter was signed by 30 people including Turkish pianist Fazil Say, US film stars Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon, film director David Lynch and British historian David Starkey.

 

 Update: OK to tell the President to get lost...

France repeals law insulting the French people


Link Here 27th July 2013  full story: Insulting the French President...French president takes voodoo doll makers to court

french senateFrance has changed a law in response to a controversial conviction of man who held up a sign telling then-president Nicolas Sarkozy to get lost.

Being rude to the French president is now no longer an offence after parliament amended legislation dating back to 1881 in favour of freedom of speech. Previously any rude remark risked a fine and criminal conviction for "offending the head of state". But the change was pushed through after criticism from the European court of human rights. It is not a carte blanche to bad mouth the president though, laws of libel and defamation still apply.

Hervé Eon was arrested after holding up a sign as Sarkozy's motorcade drove past in 2008. The small A4-sized cardboard sign did not feature Sarkozy's name but said simply: Casse-toi pov'con", translated as : get lost you prat. The phrase had been uttered by Sarkozy months earlier when a man refused to shake his hand at an agricultural fair, causing media outrage at his non-presidential language and demeanour. It later became a widely used political slogan against the president used by the left on stickers and posters.

The French state prosecutor brought a case against Eon for offence against a head of state, and he was ordered to pay a symbolic fine of ?30 Euro and given a criminal conviction. But European human rights court judges found the sign was of a satirical nature and ruled it did not warrant a criminal conviction.

 

 Offsite Article: BBFC Podcast 13...


Link Here 27th July 2013
bbfc archive James Blatch interviews Senior Archivist Jen Evans, about the BBFC archive of film files.

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

 Update: Guess Who is Censoring the British Internet?...

So how come Britain is allowing China to suffocate British internet businesses by letting Chinese censors take the decisions to err on the side of overblocking


Link Here 26th July 2013  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet

Great Firewall of ChinaThe adult content blocking system championed by David Cameron is controlled by the controversial Chinese company Huawei, the BBC has learned.

UK-based employees at the firm are able to decide which sites TalkTalk's service blocks.

Politicians in both the UK and US have raised concerns about alleged close ties between Huawei and the Chinese government.

Even customers who do not want filtering still have their traffic routed through the system, but matches to Huawei's database are dismissed rather than acted upon.

One expert insisted that private companies should not hold power over blacklists, and that the responsibility should lie with an independent group.  Dr Martyn Thomas, chair of the IT policy panel at the Institution of Engineering and Technology, told the BBC:

It needs to be run by an organisation accountable to a minister so it can be challenged in Parliament,

There's certainly a concern about the process of how a web address gets added to a blacklist - who knows about it, and who has an opportunity to appeal against it.

You could easily imagine a commercial organisation finding itself on that blacklist wrongly, and where they actually lost a lot of web traffic completely silently and suffered commercial damage. The issue is who gets to choose who's on that blocking list, and what accountability do they have? 'Policing themselves'

Huawei's position was recently the subject of an Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) report. It criticised the lack of ministerial oversight over the firm's rapid expansion in the UK. The committee said:

The alleged links between Huawei and the Chinese State are concerning, as they generate suspicion as to whether Huawei's intentions are strictly commercial or are more political.

In the US, intelligence committees have gone further, branding Huawei a threat to national security.

Initially, TalkTalk told the BBC that it was US security firm Symantec that was responsible for maintaining its blacklist, and that Huawei only provided the hardware, as previously reported. However, Symantec said that while it had been in a joint venture with Huawei to run Homesafe in its early stages, it had not been involved for over a year.

TalkTalk later confirmed it is Huawei that monitors activity, checking requests against its blacklist of over 65 million web addresses, and denying access if there is a match.

The contents of this list are largely determined by an automated process, but both Huawei and TalkTalk employees are able to add or remove sites independently.

 

 Update: Sleepwalking into Censorship...

Open Rights Group explain how blocking choices will be presented


Link Here 26th July 2013  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet

Open Rights Group logo After brief conversations with some of the ISPs that will be implementing the UK's "pornwall" we've established a little bit about what it will be doing.

The essential detail is that they will assume you want filters enabled across a wide range of content, and unless you un-tick the option, network filters will be enabled. As we've said repeatedly, it's not just about hardcore pornography.

You'll encounter something like this:

(1) Screen one

"Parental controls"

Do you want to install / enable parental controls

[ticked box] yes
[unticked box] no

[next]

(2) Screen two [if you have left the box on screen 1 ticked]

"Parental controls"

Do you want to block

[ticked box] pornography
[ticked box] violent material
[ticked box] extremist and terrorist related content
[ticked box] anorexia and eating disorder websites
[ticked box] suicide related websites
[ticked box] alcohol
[ticked box] smoking
[ticked box] web forums
[ticked box] esoteric material
[ticked box] web blocking circumvention tools

You can opt back in at any time

The precise pre-ticked options may vary from service to service.

What's clear here is that David Cameron wants people to sleepwalk into censorship. We know that people stick with defaults: this is part of the idea behind 'nudge theory' and 'choice architecture' that is popular with Cameron.

The implication is that filtering is good, or at least harmless, for anyone, whether adult or child. Of course, this is not true; there's not just the question of false positives for web users, but the affect on a network economy of excluding a proportion of a legitimate website's audience.

There comes a point that it is simply better to place your sales through Amazon and ebay, and circulate your news and promotions exclusively through Facebook and Twitter, as you know none of these will ever be filtered.

Meanwhile ISPs face the unenviable customer relations threat of increased complaints as customers who hadn't paid much attention find websites unexpectedly blocked.

Just as bad, filters installed with no thought cannot be expected to set appropriately for children of different ages.

 

 Updated: Advert Censor Crazy for Power and World Domination...

ASA bans brewery website from using the word motherfu*ker


Link Here 26th July 2013

BrewDog website Claims on the home page of www.brewdog.com, a brewery website, stated BrewDog is a post Punk apocalyptic mother fu*ker of a craft brewery. Say goodbye to the corporate beer whores crazy for power and world domination ... Ride toward anarchy and caramel craziness. Let the sharp bitter finish rip you straight to the tits. Save up for a Luger, and drill the bastards .

An internet user challenged whether the language used in the ad was likely to cause serious offence.

BrewDog said they had removed the claims from their website, but did not provide a substantive response to our enquiries.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA noted the asterisk used in mother fu*ker , but considered its inclusion did not obscure the intended meaning and it was still clear that it represented a swear word, one generally regarded as highly offensive and unlikely to be acceptable in marketing communications. We considered that the other language used on the page, such as corporate beer whores , rip you straight to the tits and Save up for a Luger and drill the bastards , was also likely to cause serious offence to some people.

Given the general tone of the page, and in particular the use of mother fu*ker , we considered the language used was gratuitous and concluded that the page was likely to cause serious offence to some visitors to the website page.

The claims breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and offence).

We told BrewDog to take care to avoid causing serious offence in the future. We referred the matter to CAP's Compliance team.

Update: Motherfu*king brewery shows bottle

26th July 2013. See  article from  heraldscotland.com

brewdog bottle advert

  BrewDog bottle!

An independent brewery is set to ignore a ban for strong language ludicrously deemed likely to cause serious offence by the advert censor.

The brewery has announced that it will ignore the ASA ruling and will put the statement back on the website. BrewDog co-founder James Watt said:

We actually just took down the statement on our website to make room for the equity for punks stuff. Soon, we will be putting the statement back on our website.

We believe in freedom of speech and artistic expression. We don't believe in mindless censorship.

As for the ASA - those mother f*ckers don't have any jurisdiction over us anyway.

The ASA has said it is monitoring the situation but a spokesman said it would be disappointing if BrewDog was considering putting the statement back online.

 

  Pesky Kids...

How are the advert censors meant to do their jobs if the kids don't own up to their age?


Link Here 26th July 2013

Facebook logoA new ASA survey commissioned to find out what ads young people see and engage with online, and whether those ads stick to the UK advertising rules, suggests that the majority of young people are registering on sites using false ages.

Our research set out to help us understand better what ads children see when they use social media. It shows that advertisers are acting in good faith by taking account of the registered age of social media account holders when delivering their ads. However, as a result of registering under a false age, many of the children in our survey were presented with ads for age-restricted products including for gambling, alcohol, slimming aids and overtly sexual dating services.

In summary, our survey reveals that:

  • All but four of the 24 children aged between 11 and 15 who participated registered on a social media site using a false age.
  • 10 participants (42% of children) were falsely registered as aged 18 or over
  • Of the 218 ads served to those registered as over 18, 24 (11%) were for products that must not be directed at people under 18 through the selection of media or the context in which they appear
  • Nine participants were aged below the permitted age of registration on at least one social media site
  • Of the 427 ads the children saw in total, 420, or 98.4%, stuck to the rules
  • None of the age-restricted ads contained content that set out to appeal particularly to children.

We'll be presenting these findings to our Council with a view to exploring whether we need to take a tighter line on age-restricted ads in social media or if further research in this area would be helpful. We're also drawing this to the attention of the Advertising Code writing body, the Committee of Advertising Practice, and asking whether new guidance for advertisers on targeting ads online is needed.

Our report clearly asks questions of social media owners around the effectiveness of age-verification and whether enough is being done to prevent children from accessing age-restricted content on social media sites. We will be raising these issues with social media companies.

 

  Despicable Censorship...

World War Z and Despicable Me 2 banned in China


Link Here 25th July 2013

World War Z Brad Pitt This week, Chinese film censors gave the green light to Sony Pictures s 3D comedy The Smurfs 2 for domestic distribution, while previously rejecting the Brad Pitt zombie thriller World War Z and the children's cartoon Despicable Me 2.

No reasons for the decisions were given, but it could be for a wider set of reasons than excessive sex or violence or whatever. Chinese film censors have previously banned films for such diverse reasons as being too upbeat, or being too competitive compared with local films.

 

 Update: Moralist with No Morals...

Claire Perry threatens to use her influence to get journalist sacked after making technically illiterate claims about the hacking of her website


Link Here 25th July 2013  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet

Clair PerryClaire Perry acts as David Cameron's Mary Whitehouse, pushing for internet censorship in the name of 'protecting the children'.

Well her website was recently hacked and defaced with links to pornographic images.

When Guido Fawkes, a reporter and blogger, wrote about it on his website, Perry took to Twitter to ludicrously accuse him of sponsoring the hack, and publicly announced that she would be speaking to his editor at the Sun (Fawkes has a column with the tabloid) to punish him for writing about her embarrassment.

She was way out of her depth in speaking about technical details of the hack that it makes her appointment as internet censorship adviser seem very dodgy.

The accusations that Guido Fawkes had something to do with the hacking has led the blogger to consider taking her to court.

Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing noted of her conduct:

When a powerful politician threatens to get journalists fired for reporting inconvenient news, she abuses her office and acts as a public bully. Perry is perfectly awful in every single way, and has committed a major ethical breach, as well as likely violating Britain's (ridiculous) libel laws.

 

 Offsite Article: The Porn Minister...


Link Here 25th July 2013
dan bull think-of the children video Letter to David Cameron, a YouTube rap by Dan Bull

See video from YouTube

 

  Flattering the BBFC...

Malta introduces new film censorship ratings remarkably similar to those of the BBFC


Link Here 24th July 2013

Malta flagStarting 24 July 2013, a new law with regards to film age-classification will come into force in Malta.

The new age-classification categories are as follows:

  • U - Universal (suitable for all);
  • PG - Parental Guidance (General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children);
  • 12A - suitable for persons of 12 years and over: Provided that persons younger than 12 years may attend only when accompanied by an adult;
  • 12 - suitable only for persons of 12 years and over;
  • 15 - suitable for persons of 15 years and over; and
  • 18 - suitable only for persons aged 18 years and over.

As a result of the new classification structure, 14 and 16 are removed. The PG certificate will have a new definition..

Malta will also set up a Classification Review Board. A person who has applied for the examination of the film may, if he feels aggrieved by the decision of the Film Age-Classification Board, within five days of receiving said decision, apply in writing to the Classification Review Board for a review of such decision. The Review Board may confirm or reverse the decision of the Film Age-Classification Board.  Previously appeals were handled by the same censors that made the original contended decision.

Film classification is now no longer under the Police Laws but under the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts Act. The new Board  is chaired by Mario A. Azzopardi.

 

  Playing a Discreet Game...

Video Standards Council get quietly on with the job of classifying games without attracting undue nutter attention


Link Here 24th July 2013

vsc annual report 2012 The Video Standards Council has published its first annual report since it was designated as the UK regulatory authority for classifying video games supplied in the UK on the 30th July 2012.

The report technically covers only the last 5 months of 2012. However, it also contains a brief history of the VSC, a description of what it does and how it does it and an overall view of VSC activities from a UK perspective. Beyond that it paints a broader picture of PEGI in the global world of video games where the VSC has an international role as a PEGI administrator.

And just a couple of extracts from the report:

The Classification Criteria

For violent video games there are degrees of violence. Gross violence and such things as torture, sadism, horrific depictions of death or injury, motiveless killing and violence towards vulnerable people will attract a PEGI 18 classification.

For video games attracting PEGI 16 violence is permitted at levels which fall short of the violence attracting the 18 classification such as realistic violence and sustained depictions of death or injury to human characters

For video games attracting a PEGI 12 the level of violence falls even lower and includes such things as violence to fantasy characters and unrealistic looking violence.

A similar approach is adopted when dealing with the other main rating issues such as drugs, sex and nudity, crime, and bad language.

If the use of illegal drugs is shown in a game it will attract a PEGI 16 and if the game in any way glamorises the use of illegal drugs the rating will be raised to PEGI 18.

Sexual innuendo, images and descriptions as well as sexual posturing will attract a PEGI 12. If the sex act is shown in a non-explicit manner or there is erotic or sexual nudity the classification will rise to PEGI 16. If it does become explicit then it will go to the PEGI 18 level.

7 If a game in any way glamorises crime it will attract a PEGI 16. A game containing mild swearing will be given a PEGI 12 and the use of any sexual expletives will raise this to PEGI 16.

It is useful to point out that once a single depiction of violence attracts say a PEGI 18 classification the video game concerned can never be classified at a lower level. The PEGI system does not take context into account because the single depiction of violence may be seen many times over as the player may make many attempts play through the level of the game where the single depiction is.

Dealing with public complaints, queries and requests for information

It is probably a reflection of the times to say that almost no letters or phone calls are received by the VSC from the public. Virtually all complaints, queries and requests for information are made directly online to the PEGI public website

In fact PEGI received only 71 complaints about ratings from the whole of European region covered by PEGI ratings.

 

  Who's a Silly Bunny?...

ASA dismisses ludicrous whinge about bunny girl advert for a shopping centre


Link Here 24th July 2013

junction one easter video A poster for Junction One shopping centre in Belfast, seen on the side of a bus, featured a photograph of a woman wearing underwear and bunny ears, holding some shopping bags. The headline stated Get more than you bargained for this Easter . Text underneath stated With up to 60% OFF! Fashion Show 2pm Tue 2nd & Wed 3rd April. Wedding Fair 5th - 7th .

A complainant challenged whether the ad:

  1. was offensive and demeaning to women; and

  2. was irresponsible and unsuitable for public display where it could be seen by children.

ASA Assessment: Complaint not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted that the poster featured an image of a woman wearing underwear and bunny ears and that she was standing with a hand on one hip and shopping bags in the other hand. We noted that the image was unrelated to the product being advertised, although we understood the poster was part of a wider campaign including a TV ad which featured models dressed as Bunny girls . We considered that the image, in the context of the claim Get more than you bargained for this Easter , was sexually suggestive although we noted it was not gratuitous or explicit. We considered that although some consumers might have found the image distasteful, it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence on the basis that it was demeaning to women.

On that point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.

2. Not upheld

We noted that the poster was untargeted and had wide reach, since it featured on the sides of 25 buses within Greater Belfast and would therefore be seen by children. We considered that children, especially young children, were unlikely to understand the sexual connotations posed by the text Get more than you bargained for this Easter when viewed in conjunction with the image. We also considered that because the image alone was only mildly sexual and was not gratuitous or explicit, the ad was not irresponsible or unsuitable for public display where it could be seen by children.

On that point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 1.3 (Social responsibility) but did not find it in breach.

 

 Update: Blocking Thoughts...

Commentators on Daily Mail Dave's internet porn ban


Link Here 24th July 2013  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet

daily mail daveOffsite Comment: Would the Daily Mail website fall foul of the online porn filters it has championed?

Ban this sick filth. No, not THIS sick filth, obviously.

See  article from  newstatesman.com by Alex Hern

Offsite Comment: I'm Sorry to Have to Say This, But It Should Not Be a Crime to Fantasise About Raping a Woman

In a civilised society, we recognise that a distinction must be made between what people think and what people do. We insist that while it is very often legitimate to punish people for their actions - particularly their violent actions - it is unacceptable to punish them for their thoughts and their fantasies, however perverse they might be.

See article from huffingtonpost.co.uk by Brendan O'Neill

Offsite Comment: Please, Prime Minister, do your porn research

David Cameron is using a legitimate crusade against child abuse images to infiltrate policy on adult content per se, while demonstrating that he doesn't understand either what porn is, or how the internet works.

On the Jeremy Vine show this lunchtime, the PM demonstrated just how ignorant he is. Vine quite simply asked Cameron to define pornography. He couldn't -- or wouldn't -- and told Vine that that was up to the internet service providers to decide . So the Prime Minister wants to block access to something he can't even relay in layman's terms, and expects global businesses and millions of adults up and down the country to agree to this undemocratic, miasmic proposal. (Did we really democratically elect this man? Well, I didn't -- but someone must have).

See  article from  nichihodgson.com

 

  Anne Widdecombe Recommends...

Sexcereal


Link Here 24th July 2013

sexcerealA new muesli called Sexcereal is about to be unleashed on Britain. The maker claims that Just three tablespoonfuls will increase your libido.

Ann Widdecome writes:

It is almost certainly nonsense as in the words of one nutritionist: There is no scientific evidence that any food or nutritional substance can have an impact on your sex drive. But that is not the issue. It is yet another example of the sexualisation of even the most innocent aspect of our lives

Whether this cereal lives up to its claims or not, it is yet another example of the sexualisation of even the most innocent aspect of our lives, of the use of sex in advertising even the most basic products and of the underlying assumption that sex is everybody's preoccupation every minute of the day even when flying out of the door to catch the bus for work or dropping the children off at the school gates.

Let it languish on the shelves. It is reported to have been a big hit in the United States so let Brits smile incredulously and pityingly and reach for the Weetabix.

 

 Update: Laughable Censorship of Search Terms...

David Cameron admits that he has not thought his internet censorship policy through


Link Here 23rd July 2013  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet

daily mail daveDaily Mail Dave is facing criticisms and serious questions over how his plan for automatic internet porn filters in every British home would work.

The former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (CEOP), Jim Gamble, said Cameron's plan to tackle child abuse images by removing results from search engines like Google would be laughed at by paedophiles:

There are 50,000 predators...downloading abusive images on peer-to-peer, not from Google. Yet from CEOP intelligence only 192 were arrested last year. That's simply not good enough.

We've got to attack the root cause, invest with new money, real investment in child protection teams, victim support and policing on the ground. Let's create a real deterrent. Not a pop-up that paedophiles will laugh at.

In interviews after his speech, Cameron seemed unclear of exactly which legal sites should be banned by the new filters - and accepted that the technology still had weaknesses. Speaking on the BBC's Jeremy Vine programme, Cameron said what would be included in the filters would evolve over time:

The companies themselves are going to design what is automatically blocked, but the assumption is they will start with blocking pornographic sites and also perhaps self-harming sites

It will depend on how the companies choose how to do it. It doesn't mean, for instance, it will block access to a newspaper like The Sun, it wouldn't block that - but it would block pornography.

Cameron said he did not believe written pornography, such as erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey, would be blocked under the plans. But he added: It will depend on how the filters work.

He also admitted it could lead to some interesting conversations in families. Asked if the opt in system meant a husband would have to fess up to his partner if he wanted to look at porn, he finally said: Yes, it does. He then added:

I'm not saying we've thought of everything and there will be many problems down the line as we deal with this, but we're trying to crunch through these problems and work out what you can do and can't do.

Cameron was even attacked by one of his former female MPs, Louise Mensch, for attempting to ban video containing rape simulation. She suggested such fantasies were common in more than half of all women. She wrote on Twitter:

It is not for our government to police consensual simulation, between adults, of one of women's most common fantasies,

Padraig Reidy, of the Index on Censorship, said people should not have to opt out of the filters:

If we have, as the Prime Minister is suggesting, an opt-out filter we have a kind of default censorship in place.

Families should be able to choose if they want to opt in to censorship. If a filter is set up as a default then it can really restrict what people can see legitimately. Sites about sexual health, about sexuality and so on, will get caught up in the same filters as pornography. It will really restrict people's experience on the web, including children's.

Dr Paul Bernal, from the University of East Anglia's law school, suggested Cameron's crackdown on child abuse images was also inadequate:

Plans like these, worthy though they may appear, do not, to me, seem likely to be in any way effective. The real 'bad guys' will find ways around them, the material will still exist, will keep being created, and we'll pretend to have solved the problem -- and at the same time put in a structure to allow censorship, create a deeply vulnerable database of 'untrustworthy people', and potentially alienate many of the most important companies on the internet. I'm not convinced it's a good idea.

 

 Update: Banning Everything Except Page 3...

David Cameron draws the censorship line at banning Page 3


Link Here 23rd July 2013  full story: Page 3 Girls...Miserable campaigners whinge about page 3 fun

daily mail daveDaily Mail Dave delivered a speech promising to censor more or less anything on the internet but has drawn the line at banning sexy pictures in newspapers.

Cameron said he would never support a ban on topless images on page 3 of the Sun newspaper. Pressed to explain the distinction between his censorial position on online pornographic images and his laissez-faire stance on topless images in newspapers, he said that it was up to consumers whether or not they wanted to buy the Sun [or Daily Mail].

Asked by Woman's Hour presenter Jane Garvey whether he was worried that his daughters could be confronted by Page 3, he said:

This is an area where we should leave it to consumers to decide, rather than to regulators ... As politicians we have to decide where is the right place for regulation, where is the right place for legislation, where is the right place for consumers to decide.

The founder of the No More Page 3 campaign, Lucy Holmes, said she thought Cameron's willingness to acknowledge the dangers of online pornography while ignoring the parallel dangers of topless images on page 3 of Britain's best-read newspaper was peculiar :

David Cameron must see that these pictures are damaging for women. Is he afraid of upsetting the Sun?

 

  Less Slashed...

Director James Mangold reveals the possibility of an Unrated cut of the Wolverine


Link Here 23rd July 2013

Wolverine Blu ray Hugh Jackman The Wolverine is a 2013 USA action Sci-Fi fantasy by James Mangold.
With Hugh Jackman, Rila Fukushima and Will Yun Lee. IMDb

Digital Spy has interviewed director James Mangold and revealed that a longer Unrated cut may appear on Blu-ray.

Digital Spy: How long is your first cut of the movie and are there any scenes you had to lose that'll make it to the DVD?

James Mangold : I'm very happy with the cut, and the studio was very generous in terms of letting me finish the movie as I wanted, but I do think we will have a slightly more violent version... let's say an unrated, a bloodier version. There's about ten or 12 minutes of scenes that I'd love people to see, that we'll produce some kind of longer version of the movie at some point on Blu-ray or whatever. There's another great scene with Hiro Sanada and a much more elaborate battle with ninjas from the third act that is a pretty huge battle sequence that you'll see.

 

  Villains...

Complaints about cleft lip makeup for baddie in the Lone Ranger


Link Here 23rd July 2013

Lone Ranger Blu ray Digital Copy Cleft palate support groups have hit out at Disney's new summer film The Lone Ranger , amid accusations that the villain was given a birth defect to make him look more evil .

Disney's promotional material for the film said of William Fichtner's character Butch Cavendish: Cavendish is a ruthless outlaw whose terribly scarred face is a perfect reflection of the bottomless pit that passes for his soul. Fichtner told entertainment reporters that his broken nose and cleft lip made it easier to slip into his role, and meant he didn't need to act any more evil because it was obvious from his face.

The Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA) issued a statement saying Disney was cashing in on prejudice , and urged its members to lodge complaints with the film's producers.

Even the official set of The Lone Ranger Lego toys features a small Butch Cavendish with a very prominent cleft lip. In an open letter to executives at Lego, a member of the US community website babycenter wrote: You make toys for children and these toys (often wonderfully) impact how they perceive or create the world.

CLAPA said Disney was sending out:

A deeply harmful message that will impact the 90,000 people that were born with a cleft in the UK as well as others worldwide. What message does this send to movie-goers about people with a cleft or anyone with a visible difference? What message does it send to those who have a cleft themselves about how they are seen by society?

Across the Atlantic, the Toronto Star reported Rachel Mancuso, who runs the website cleftsmile.org, as saying she had received around 1,000 emails a day from people complaining about the film. She told the Star: As a parent and educator, I'm having a hard time understanding why they had to create a bad guy and slap on the number one birth defect.

 

 Update: Can't Live With It, Can't Live Without It...

Pakistan's internet censors come to blows over the continued blocking of YouTube


Link Here 23rd July 2013  full story: Internet Censorship in Pakistan...internet website blocking

Pakistan flagA meeting to discuss supposedly blasphemous material and the ban on YouTube turned into an exchange of abuse as the Pakistan Telecom Authority lobbed the issue in the court of parliament, asking legislators to pass a new law and create a new set-up to decide what is blasphemous.

After witnessing nasty scenes in the official meeting, the PTA proposed to the government to enact new laws through parliament for establishing an independent department having the mandate as well as the authority to block access of such links on the internet.

The PTA feel pressure from all sides as the Government pushes for an end to the ban even though supposed blasphemy continues to be available. They clearly do not like being asked to make the decisions about the impasse and would rather someone else did it. Official sources explained:

No one is ready to take responsibility for opening up of YouTube as the PTA is just executing the orders of the Inter-Ministerial Committee and orders of other top officials. We have proposed to the government to table a bill in parliament and establish an independent forum having the authority to define the blasphemy material and then impose ban on it.

There is nothing in the PTA act authorising a ban on YouTube and it has been done so far on the directives of the inter-ministerial committee or the court orders. Without introducing a dedicated censor, the issue of blasphemous material on the internet cannot be resolved, they added.

Official sources who attended the meeting told The News that representatives of an NGO, Bytes for All, accused the top officials of the PTA in the presence of several stakeholders saying you are a liar and threatened to fix them. I have never seen such a disgusting attitude during an official meeting in my whole life, a participant of the meeting said.

Update: Referred to the Lahore High Court

26th September 2013.  See  article from  techcrunch.com

The year-long saga of the Pakistan government's YouTube ban has just taken another twist, as a case to unblock the website has been referred to a panel of Lahore High Court justices who will now decide whether the country's haphazard internet censorship regime is unconstitutional. It's another reprieve for the government's IT minister Anusha Rehman , who has overseen an increasingly oppressive online censorship regime in Pakistan.

 

 Update: Cameron to Attempt to Ban Everything on the Internet...

We're being governed by someone who believes what he reads in the Daily Mail


Link Here 22nd July 2013  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet

daily mail cameronBack on May, following up the conviction of Stuart Hazell for the murder of 12 year old Tia Sharp, Amanda Platell of the Daily Mail wrote a piece claiming that child porn could be readily found using Google search terms that were noted in the trial.

Of course it was all bollox and the 'child porn' noted by Platell was found to be a commercial adult video. The supposed 'child' was either 18 or 19 depending on which month her birthday fell. Her age was properly recorded and is available for checking as required by US law.

But the damage was already done and Daily Mail readers and campaigners were easily convinced by Platell's bollox piece. And so a new evil was born, easy to find child porn just waiting to be revealed by a few search terms in Google.

And now it appears that David Cameron was one of those who believes everything he reads in the Daily Mail.

In a press release David Cameron announced a series of censorship measures to placate the Daily Mail and its readers.

  • All internet users will be contacted by their service providers and given an unavoidable choice on whether to use website blocking. The changes will be introduced by the end of next year. As a first step, the system will be mandated for new customers by the end of 2013. The subscriber making the choices will be subject to age verification and further updates to the blocking options may only be made by the account holder.
     
  • Website blocking to be applied to all new mobile phones
     
  • Prohibited possession of extreme pornography will be extended to scenes of simulated rape.
     
  • The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) is to draw up a blacklist of 'abhorrent' internet search terms to supposedly prevent paedophiles searching for illegal material.
     
  • All police forces will work with a single secure database of illegal images of children.
     
  • Videos streamed online are to be subject to the same R18 censorship rules as those sold in shops.
     
  • There will be stronger powers for watchdogs to investigate the hidden internet -- heavily encrypted forums and pages that allow abusers to cover their tracks
     
  • Adult content will be banned on public WiFi
     
  • Ofcom to oversee this implementation of these measures.

In a separate move, Twitter is to use Microsoft's PhotoDNA system to check all uploaded pictures against a database of known child abuse images.

Cameron will say:

There are certain types of pornography that can only be described as 'extreme' ... that is violent, and that depicts simulated rape. These images normalise sexual violence against women -- and they are quite simply poisonous to the young people who see them.

The government today has made a significant step forward in preventing rapists using rape pornography to legitimise and strategise their crimes and, more broadly, in challenging the eroticisation of violence against women and girls.

I have a very clear message for Google, Bing, Yahoo and the rest. You have a duty to act on this -- and it is a moral duty. If there are technical obstacles to acting on [search engines], don't just stand by and say nothing can be done; use your great brains to help overcome them.

You're the people who have worked out how to map almost every inch of the Earth from space; who have developed algorithms that make sense of vast quantities of information. Set your greatest brains to work on this. You are not separate from our society, you are part of our society, and you must play a responsible role in it.

We are already looking at the legislative options we have. This is quite simply about obliterating this disgusting material from the net -- and we will do whatever it takes.'

Offsite Comment: Cameron becomes a bit of an embarrassment on the world stage

22nd July 2013. See  article from  forbes.com

forbes logoCameron's Bizarre Warning To Google, Bing and Yahoo Over Child Pornography

There are times when I'm not sure that the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, actually understands this technology stuff. An example is this threat in a TV interview in England today. He's huffing and puffing that if the search engine companies don't do what they're told then they'll be forced to by law.

 

  Telling Good Fortunes...

Egyptian artists relieved by the ousting of President Morsi


Link Here 22nd July 2013

akhbar al adabStatements issued by a number of Egyptian artists following the military council's decision to depose former President Mohammed Morsi indicate a true state of revival. Morsi's ousting has been interpreted as a real opportunity for Egyptian arts and culture to return to the Arab arena, after they experienced a significant recession starting in 2011.

Egyptian actor Adel Imam was one of those who benefited most from the Brotherhood's fall from power, despite the fact that he was very reserved when it came to voicing his position against the Brotherhood during Morsi's reign. He went so far as to praise the president during a television appearance.

Producers affiliated with the television series Al-Araaf [The Fortune Teller] --- starring Imam and written by Yousef Muati --- described the fall of the Brotherhood regime as a victory for the cinema industry. The first episodes of this series was broadcast on various satellite channels, attracted viewers from throughout the Arab world. The Brotherhood regime had already decided to ban the series, a decision that would have gone into effect had Morsi remained in power. This could have led to a repeat of Imam's previous trial, when he was charged with insulting religion.

The satisfaction and delight of the Egyptian cultural arena is evident in many statements that were issued and columns that appeared on the pages of Egyptian cultural magazines. An example of this is the magazine Akhbar al-Adab , which sparked a wave of protests that nearly led to its closure. Gamal al-Gheitani wrote about the bloodthirsty nature of the Brotherhood. accusing its members of seeking revenge against the Egyptian people who opposed their rule.

The optimism is also evident in the writings of Salah Issa, who said, Egyptians realized that they were deceived, that they had bet on the wrong side of history, and that they had fallen prey to a trick in the name of religion.

The first signs of victory for the Egyptian art scene emerged quickly, after the decision was taken to broadcast the television series The Preacher. This series, starring Hani Salama, had been banned by the Brotherhood under the pretext that insulted preachers, according to officials at the time.

 

 Update: Advertising a Selfish Government...

Norway is preparing a law to ban internet advertising for sexual services


Link Here 22nd July 2013

Norway flagThe Norwegian 'Justice' Ministry is preparing to ban all forms of advertising of sexual services on websites. The ministry is working on the censorship law with the aim to promote a bill to the Parliament in the autumn.

 Police inspector Vegard Munthe Ommdal claimed on TV2:

We primarily want to prevent human trafficking and pimping. And online advertising is a very important part of the business,

Ommdal thinks advertising on the internet must be seen as promoting someone else's prostitution.

 

 Update: Reinventing the Sun as a Women's Magazine...

Sun said to be re-inventing page 3 with less nipples


Link Here 21st July 2013  full story: Page 3 Girls...Miserable campaigners whinge about page 3 fun

The Sun Page 2010 Calendar Apparently responding to PC protest, The Sun's new editor, David Dinsmore, has asked a group of female executives to reinvent Page 3 to supposedly make it more relevant to the 21st century.

Jules Stenson, the ex-features editor of the News of the World, tweeted: I am told The Sun is planning to 'reinvent' Page 3. No love for it among bosses, but it is a sales fix they cannot live without.

The changes will mean, says one former News International executive, more celeb pictures, more up-market shoots and less nipples . It is thought the changes are the idea of Dinsmore, who took over as editor last month, rather than an instruction from Rupert Murdoch.

Lisa Clarke of No More Page 3 said the changes were proof that they were being listened to. She said Dinsmore had been engaging with the group, which by last night had secured more than 108,000 signatures:

We have some fantastic ideas ... about putting female athletes, artists, people who represent women as we actually are, rather than just standing there in our pants for the entertainment of men. There is a huge moral shift in the zeitgeist and we are very happy to talk to these executives about making Page 3 a more female-positive space.

 

  Heroes and Villains of the Internet...

The Internet Service Provider's Association Awards


Link Here 21st July 2013

ispa logoDr Julian Huppert MP saw off his party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP to win the Internet Hero Award at the 15th ISPA Awards.

The winner was decided by ISPA Council, who wanted to commend Dr Huppert for his tireless campaigning against the Communications Data Bill and for being one of the few MPs who truly understands the internet. As well as the Deputy Prime Minister, he beat PRISM whistle-blower Edward Snowden and cyber-security experts Spamhaus to claim the prize.

This year's Internet Villain is Recep Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister . In recent unrest he called social media a menace to society and has an extensive record of censorship, online surveillance and blocking. ISPA Council recognised many states do this, however Turkey should set an example in the region.

Both the Hero and Villain shortlists were dominated by state surveillance, a huge issue for the internet industry and society over the last year. The Home Secretary Rt Hon Theresa May MP was nominated for the overly broad draft Communications Data Bill, also known as the snooper's charter and the American PRISM programme also featuring. Bluecoat who have been selling surveillance software to unfavourable regimes were also nominated.

ISPA Secretary General Nicholas Lansman said:

The Hero & Villain Awards have been part of the ISPAs since the first awards in 1999, and Julian Huppert is a worthy Hero, being sometimes a lone voice advocating the importance of the internet in parliament.  Recep Erdogan also deserves his award for the way he has prevented his citizens expressing themselves online he continued.

 

  More Innocent People to be Jailed...

Cameron looks set to extend Dangerous Pictures Act to the depiction of rape and other serious sexual offences


Link Here 20th July 2013  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet

David CameronDaily Mail spokesman David Cameron is set to announce that the Dangerous Pictures Act will be extended to cover the glorified depiction of rape and other serious sexual offences.

In a speech on Monday, David Cameron will also laud agreements between the Government and internet firms to restrict access to pornography online to those opting to see certain sites and to introduce new censorship requirement for public Wi-Fi connections.

The Government hopes that such actions will convince Daily Mail readers that it is taking action.

Internet firms have also called for tougher legal safeguards on pornography if ministers want to police the web, as the companies do not believe they should be held responsible for deciding what content should be restricted.

The Telegraph has obtained a letter to campaign organisation Rape Crisis South London from Damian Green, the Policing Minister, in which he said the Coalition is actively considering amending legislation on so-called rape pornography .

In his letter Green said: The Government is now actively considering the serious matters [raised by campaigners] including amending the existing criminal law.

 

 Update: Something's Got to be Done But Cameron Doesn't Care What...

Open Rights Group are the first to ask serious questions about how ISP website blocking will be implemented, and who will be responsible for getting it right, and who will publish the rules?


Link Here 20th July 2013  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

Open Rights Group logo Over the past few weeks the Government has held meetings with Internet companies about child protection online. These are designed to prompt more more action to protect children, on the assumption that these companies could and should be doing more.

Sadly the Government has seemed keen to appear as if they are taking tough action, and not so keen on thinking carefully about what their action should be.

Policy makers who are pushing for more Internet filtering for child protection do not take the related practical and technical questions seriously. They tend to throw about ideas for technical interventions such as internet filtering without considering how these would work, or what unintended consequences they might have.

They simply want more done. What that more is, or what it will achieve, seems to be an irrelevant detail. This is despite the Government having run a consultation last year, after which they settled on a fairly reasonable policy of helping parents make the right choices about filtering. They seem determined to edge towards a stricter default on regime.

We have seen no evidence that during the meetings with internet companies the Government has taken account of any of the broader public policy questions related to the implementation of Internet filtering systems. Along with Index on Censorship, English PEN and Big Brother Watch, we wrote to the Culture Secretary Maria Miller asking her to invite us to the discussions so these issues could be raised. The Department has subsequently set up a meeting between us and the Minister Ed Vaizey MP.

The details are very important. Internet filtering can easily block more content than it is designed to -- for example, if people do not understand what is being blocked and why, or if sites are incorrectly categorised. People may also easily get around blocking. It can give people a false sense of security. Making Internet filtering fit multiple devices, ages or beliefs within a household or other setting is almost impossible. And there are other consequences, such as the speed of access or an impact on privacy where traffic or blocking events are logged.

That's why we are putting these questions to ISPs. We will be sending the questions and replies to the relevant policy makers, and will hope to explain to them why we think these are important questions.

Twenty questions for ISPs on Internet filtering systems

A. On how the technology works

Under the Internet filtering system set up following discussions with the Government about online safety and child protection:

1. Is any traffic of users who are not opted in to filtering inspected and / or logged? If so, is it logged in a way that links the traffic to a subscriber? What logging will there be of blocking events? How does this work?

2. Is filtering applied to all forms of connection offered by the ISP (dialup, ADSL, cable, fast fibre connections etc)?

3. Have you estimated the impact of the through-put of filtering technology on the speed of users' internet access (both for those who are opted in and opted out)?

4. We are concerned about the impact on Internet applications in general as well as web traffic. Does filtering take place only of HTTP traffic on port 80, or will other traffic be affected? What steps will be taken to avoid interfering with non-HTTP traffic on port 80, for example non-HTTP applications that use this port in order to bypass firewall restrictions?

5. What impact does the filtering have on end-to-end security measures such as SSL or DNSSEC?

6. Can you guarantee that your networks will not be susceptible to mistaken blocking as a result of using specific IP addresses for forwarding filtered traffic, for example as seemed to happen in a case involving Wikipedia ?

7. Have you made any estimates on the impact of filtering systems on infrastructure upgrades?

B. On setting up the filtering

8. Are users faced with pre-ticked boxes when choosing to activate filtering? What is the impact on customers who do not have access to or who do not use a web browsers on a network such as a home broadband connection that is only used for Smart TV video on demand applications? (ie who will not be presented with a web-based set up screen?)

9. How granular are the available choices? Will a household be able to cater for:

a. Multiple ages or a variety of beliefs? b. Can specific sites be unblocked by a user?

10. Have you done user-testing for your opt-in systems?

11. What information about the filtering is available at the point of sign up? Does it include:

a. Detailed information about what types of content are blocked, with examples? b. The providers of their filtering tools, if a third party is involved? c. Information about the possible problems with and limitations of blocking, with information about how to report problems?

12. What age-verification processes will be in place? How will this work?

13. Is a customer's decision not to activate filtering a one-off decision, or will it have to be periodically repeated?

C. On managing problems and mistakes

14. When a site is blocked, what information is supplied to the end-user about why and how it has been blocked?

15. Are there easy ways to report mistaken blocks, either over-blocking or under-blocking? Are these clear when users encounter a block?

16. Are there easy ways for people to check if URLs are blocked, and will this include a reporting tool for requesting corrections and reclassifications?

17. How will complaints, from both your subscribers and from owners of sites that are blocked, be dealt with?

a. Are there plans in place to train customer service staff for dealing with these reports? b. Are there targets for dealing with mistakes in a timely manner, or estimates of how long responding to and correcting mistakes will take? c. Will you share error reports and corrections with other ISPs?

18. Have you specified acceptable error rates to suppliers of filtering services? If so, what are they?

19. Have you sought legal opinions relating to liability for incorrect blocks, including both false positives and false negatives? Do you have plans to offer compensation for businesses harmed by blocking errors, for example when potential customers are unable to access the site?

20. Are there or will there be systematic reviews of the effectiveness and quality of filtering, including reporting on problems and complaints? Is there a process for review and improvement? Is there or will there be an ombudsman or other oversight body to handle disputes and review performance?

 

 Update: Secret Censorship...

UK's blocking of file sharing websites descends into a dark secretive world


Link Here 20th July 2013  full story: Internet Blocking File Sharing in UK...High court dictates website block

Old BaileyThe UK High Court has been handing out website blocking injunctions regularly in recent months but despite the supposed transparency of the legal system, obtaining copies of the injunctions has proved impossible.

Now the Open Rights Group is putting pressure on the Court in the hope of being able to publish the content of injunctions for open analysis.

Although controversial, the reasons why sites such as The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents and Movie2K are being blocked are now clear. Once ISPs have actual knowledge that their services are being used by their subscribers to infringe copyright, they are put on notice by the High Court to block the sites in question.

However, it has become somewhat tiresome to learn that when injunctions are handed down by the High Court to ISPs, they appear to fall into some kind of informational black hole -- fitting perhaps for a document authorizing censorship.

To try and find out what these injunctions contain TorrentFreak previously spoke with one of the leading ISPs who assured us that the documents aren't actually secret. However, when we requested a copy we were told that they couldn't send us one and we would have to go to the Court instead. No luck there -- and the BPI weren't exactly forthcoming either.

Now the Open Rights Group is reporting that it too has been trying to get to the bottom of the website injunction blackout. ORG's Jim Killock says everyone could benefit from their publication. Accountability, fewer errors and less confusion about what is happening should be the result, he says.

Killock reveals that ORG has also asked ISPs to cooperate but they too have been met with reluctance. Possibly [the ISPs] feel that copyright owners asking for the orders may find publication by an ISP provocative. This means we are obliged to ask the courts for the documents, in order that we can publish and analyse their contents, he explains.

But ORG found that the courts didn't want to help either, turning down the group's requests to view the injunctions. They have done this because, they say, 'judgement has not been entered' or 'service has not been acknowledged'. At present the rules governing access to court documents only permit access to these orders as of right once the litigation has finished, Killock explains. The courts seem to be treating blocking injunctions as if they were like temporary injunctions made while proceedings are still going on. In fact the injunctions are the end of the section 97A process. Nothing more is intended to happen.

With this in mind, ORG have applied to have a procedural judge review the group's requests in order to gain access, at least in the first instance, to the injunctions issued to the ISPs against Fenopy, H33t and KickassTorrents.

 

 Updated: Not Suitable for Searching...

Tumblr introduces site ratings and will hide adult sites from searches


Link Here 20th July 2013

tumblr 2012 logoIs adult-oriented content allowed on Tumblr?

Yes, but there are a few things we need you to consider. Tumblr welcomes and encourages all forms of expression. However, we have to be sensitive to the millions of readers and bloggers from different locations, cultures, and backgrounds with different points of view concerning mature or adult-oriented content. There are a lot of people in our community who would rather not see this stuff and could even get in trouble if they did!

What should I do if my blog contains adult-oriented content?

Please respect the choices of people in our community and flag your blog as NSFW or Adult from your blog Settings page.

  • NSFW blogs contain  occasional nudity or mature/adult-oriented content.

  • Adult blogs contain  substantial  nudity or mature/adult-oriented content.

If you're not sure how you should flag your blog you can leave it unflagged, but keep in mind that it may be flagged automatically.

Adult sites will be hidden from Tumblr search and 3rd party searches

Update: Disastrous censorship and PR

20th July 2013. See article from staff.tumblr.com , thanks to David

Well the idea of totally ejecting adult sites from searches, both internal to Tumblir and on Google, is a disaster for bloggers and they soon let Tumblr know.

Tumblr, seemingly admitting to woeful foresight of their announcement have rapidly backtracked. The answer seems to be to scrap the 'adult' option (except for spammy sites designated by Tumblr). So all adult sites can now be designated as NSFW. Searches are then blocked only to those using 'safe' search.

Of course given two rapid policy changes already, then nothing can be taken for sure.

 

 Comment: ASA Open Your World...

Pedantic advert censor whinges at Heineken advert featuring a bottle of beer in Wembley


Link Here 20th July 2013

heineken wembley video A TV ad for Heineken beer featured a man on a remote island who received tickets for the Champions League Final at Wembley. The man grabbed two bottles of Heineken and put them in his bag before making his way off the island and beginning his journey back to London in time for the match. In one of the following scenes, he was seen at border control with two policemen. One removed the bottles of Heineken from his bag and placed them on the table. The man took a plum from a fruit bowl on the table and dribbled it with his fingers along the table before scoring a goal between the two Heineken bottles. The policemen cheered and stamped the man's passport. In another scene, he was seen driving through the streets of Rio past a group of young men playing football. Another scene showed the man on a plane followed by a visual of a map showing the plane leave Rio and arrive in London. The final scene showed the man arriving at Wembley Stadium in a Chinook helicopter, running into the stadium past a poster on the wall which stated UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE and taking his seat next to a woman. After embracing, they were seen clinking the two bottles of Heineken together in a celebratory fashion. On-screen text stated Heineken open your world .

Seventeen viewers complained about the ad:

  1. fifteen viewers challenged whether the ad was irresponsible, because it condoned or encouraged the consumption of alcohol in a football stadium within sight of the pitch, which was an illegal activity; and

  2. six viewers challenged whether the ad was irresponsible, because it condoned or encouraged people to take glass bottles into a football stadium, which was not permitted.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

1. & 2. Upheld

The ASA understood that it was illegal in the UK to consume alcohol in a football stadium within sight of the pitch and that fans were not permitted to take glass bottles into a football stadium. We noted that the final scene of the ad showed the main character arriving at his seat in the ground, taking out two bottles of Heineken and clinking them in celebration with his female companion. We acknowledged that neither the main character nor his female companion was shown drinking the beer, but we considered that the implication was that they were going to consume the beer during the football match.

We noted that some of the scenes were fantastical in nature; for example, after receiving the tickets, the main character was seen jumping into the sea fully-clothed and swimming off the island, sliding down a waterfall in the jungle and joking with the border officials. However, we considered it was clear throughout that his journey was to the Champions League Final at Wembley, and we noted that it was an actual event at a real stadium. For example, we noted that the writing on his ticket seen early in the ad stated clearly FINAL WEMBLEY 2013 and contained branding for the Champions League, the visual of the map made clear his destination was London, the stadium was recognisable as being Wembley and on the way into the stadium he passed a poster which stated UEFA Champions League . We considered therefore that the ad was not obviously fantastical throughout since it depicted a real event at a well-known and recognisable stadium.

We noted that the main character did not encourage other spectators to take glass bottles into the stadium or drink beer within sight of the pitch. However, we considered that the ad could give the impression to viewers that such behaviour, which was either illegal (in the case of consuming alcohol) or not permitted (in the case of bringing glass bottles into the stadium), was acceptable when that was not the case, and there was a risk that viewers would attempt to copy that behaviour. We therefore concluded that the ad was socially irresponsible, because it condoned or encouraged behaviour that was either illegal or not permitted.

The ad breached BCAP Code rules 1.2 (Social responsibility), 1.3 (Legality) and 4.9 (Harm and offence).

Comment: Taking a pop at Heineken

20th July 2013. Thanks to Alan

letter writingAs a member of CAMRA, I'm delighted that someone has complained about Heineken advertising. Passing off this weak, pee-coloured liquid as beer must breach some standard....

Whoops! Nothing to do with the pseodo-continental lagerade, it's all to do with someone drinking within sight of a football pitch.

The other day, you cited Amanda Palmer's splendid open letter to the Daily Mail, in which she helpfully advised the rag: There's a thing called a search engine; use it! The same advice should be directed at the absurd quango, the ASA. A quick Google search shows that football clubs are trying to get the prohibition revoked. It also reveals a nasty pong of snobbery about the legislation. It only applies to Association Football matches (in certain leagues and competitions). At multi-purpose stadiums (e.g. Wembley; Madejski Stadium, Reading) the same fan could sit in the same seat at a soccer match dying of thirst and at a rugby match getting pissed as a newt. Furthermore, it does NOT apply to corporate hospitality boxes. So, a season ticket holder at Walsall's thrillling match with Peterborough can't have a drink, but the suit from Megacorp PLC, necking champagne in a box at Old Trafford and occasionally glancing towards the field of play, can happily get legless.

Just how po-faced do you have to be to work for the ASA?

 

 Offsite Article: Internet Censorship...Why is this so important to you at Mediawatch-UK?...


Link Here 20th July 2013
Vivienne Pattison Vivienne Pattison is interviewed by christian website

See article from crossrhythms.co.uk

 

  So Are Your Kids Depraved and Corrupt?...

Annual Report 2012/13: ATVOD banging on that UK children are being depraved and corrupted by hardcore porn


Link Here 19th July 2013

atvod annual report 2013 The Authority for Television On Demand, censor for UK Video on Demand services -- has published its annual report detailing steps taken by ATVOD in the year to 31 March 2013.

This included action against two services run by Playboy TV which resulted in fines totalling £ 100,000. The porn video sites operated by Playboy TV had failed to ensure that under 18s could not access hardcore porn content on the UK operated websites.

The Playboy TV services were among 16 services -- operating across 26 websites - found to be in breach of the statutory rules in 2012-13 because they featured hardcore porn material which could be accessed by under 18's.

However, ATVOD counsels against complacency as most websites which allow UK children to access hardcore pornography operate from outside the UK and therefore fall outside ATVOD's remit.

The annual report points out that Crown Prosecution Service guidance on the Obscene Publications Act makes clear that non-UK websites which offer unrestricted access to hardcore pornography and which can be accessed from the UK are likely to be considered to be operating in breach of UK law. Such websites offer free content as a shop window to attract subscriptions mainly paid by credit and debit card. ATVOD has therefore questioned whether it can be right for businesses which are likely to be operating illegally to draw revenues from UK bank and credit card accounts.

ATVOD has raised this issue directly with those involved in facilitating such payments and hopes to see real progress during the coming year.

ATVOD has also provided government with a detailed briefing on policy options which could be considered if children are to be better protected from hardcore pornography online.

Interestingly ATVOD has not reported that the CPS, nor the banks, nor the government are actually agreeing with ATVOD's ludicrous legal contention that hardcore porn is criminally obscene when likely viewers are under 18.

Most commentators on the subject have more realistic concerns that porn is not a good educator for kids and that it is creating false expectations from sex. In particular it seems to be feared that boys are picking up bad pointers about girls being readily available for sex. Few seem to be worrying that kids are being 'depraved' and 'corrupted' as required by the cited Obscene Publications Act. I wonder how many parents support the notion that their porn viewing children are depraved and corrupt?

The 2013 Annual Report also highlights:

  • A rise in the number of regulated VOD services: from 184 at the end of 2011-12 to 206 at the end of 2012-13
  • A 15% rise in the number of complaints to ATVOD about VOD services
  • A survey showing the importance British adults attach to ensuring that hardcore porn online is kept out of reach of children, with 88% saying such action is important
  • Action taken to encourage service providers to make their services more accessible to people with disabilities relating to sight or hearing
  • Work undertaken with industry to reduce administrative costs in regulation

ATVOD also notes that the most of the complaints were out of remit and that very few resulted in breaches of the code, maybe only the general complaint that hardcore porn is readily available to under 18s.

ATVOD received an income of £ 534,000 to deal with this single general complaint. One wonders if all the companies contributing thousands of pounds feel that their money is being well spent.

 

  Seeking the Marketing Prize of a PG-13...

MPAA turns down appeal against the R rating for Nebraska


Link Here 19th July 2013

nebraska Nebraska is a 2013 USA drama by Alexander Payne.
With Bruce Dern, Will Forte and June Squibb. IMDb

An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.

Director Alexander Payne and Paramount Pictures have failed to win an appeal to the MPAA's rating board to have the R rating given to their film Nebraska overturned.

The MPAA said that its Classification and Rating Appeals Board has upheld the R rating given to the movie for some language.

The MPAA have always been reluctant to allow more than the one use of strong language into PG-13 films.

 

  Not a Priority...

Ireland will not follow Britain's lead in imposing cheapo automated website blocking


Link Here 19th July 2013

IrelandIreland's overnment will not ask local ISPs to block pornography on home broadband connections, Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte has said. This is despite support for the British position from some child-welfare campaigners in Ireland. Rabbitte said:

This isn't something that's being prioritised by the Government here.

Illegality is different and if we see an effective strategy against that on our neighbouring island then we might look at that. But as it is, it's not something we're focusing on as a priority.

His view has been welcomed by Irish Internet Service Provider (ISP) firms and their representatives.

 

  Cheapo Book Censorship...

Paypal appears to ban sales of products with 'Iranian' in the name


Link Here 18th July 2013

iranian living room PayPal has apologized for blocking sales of a photojournalism book because it had the word Iranian in the title, saying its sanctions compliance mechanisms aren't supposed to pick up on written materials.

The book, entitled Iranian Living Room , is a product of the Benetton Group's Italian Fabrica facility. A project there saw 15 young Iranian photographers document domestic life at the time of the recent Iranian elections, in order to provide a counterpoint to the street imagery used by most international media organizations.

Fabrica's Dan Hill posted an irate account of Fabrica's abortive efforts to sell the book online. Orders appeared blocked, and it turned out that this was a result of PayPal's internal blacklist -- the word Iranian is on that list, due to the U.S. economic embargo against Iran, so sales couldn't go through. The book has now been whitelisted  so that it is not picked up by a somewhat less than sophisticated censorship system based on banned product names.

The Fabrica episode is, it must be said, a fairly minor incident as these things go, and quickly rectified at that. However, it does serve as a reminder of of the various choke points that can be activated in everyday online activity, whether deliberately or not, in the name of automated compliance.

 

 Update: Script Dictators...

Chinese film censors to end script censorship of uncontroversial movies


Link Here 18th July 2013

sarft logoChinese censors have announced they would relax some restrictions on film, TV and radio productions.

Chinese filmmakers will now be allowed to shoot ordinary content movies after only submitting a synopsis to censors rather than a full script, according to an announcement from the State Council, China's cabinet. But the finished products will still have to be screened for censors before they are approved to be played in theaters.

Exactly what ordinary content movies are was not clearly defined, though local reports suggested films dealing with topics such as religion, ethnic minorities, key historical episodes and crime stories would fall outside the category.

 

 Update: Cuts Now a Dead Issue...

Fede Alvarez declares the cut theatrical version of Evil Dead to be his Director's Cut


Link Here 17th July 2013  full story: Evil Dead...Remake re-awakens the franchise

Evil Dead Blu ray Jane Levy Director Fede Alvarez was interviewed about work on the sequel. During the Interview Alvarez explained that the cut Theatrical Version of his Evil Dead remake is now considered to be his 'Director's Cut'.

Alvarez : It's easy to come up with crazy, violent scenes, the hard part is to get an R rating and not an NC17. It's a crazy game of standing right on the line, on top of the line, juggling the ideas, and not falling on the NC17 line. Because nobody puts an NC17 movie in wide release these days. So basically that's the real challenge, how we managed to be violent, and crazy, and outrageous and keep it inside the R-rating, which is basically timing it right.

Collider: Did you end up having to cut a lot to make that rating?

Alvarez : I think all we did to get the R-rating was basically just cut down the frames, the amount of time we exposed the audience to certain images. Like when Mia was cutting her tongue or Natalie was cutting her arm. There's a lot of graphic violence that instead of showing it for two seconds we have to just show it for one second on the screen. So that's what we lost on the editing floor when we cut it down to an R-rating. That was it basically. There were no scenes that were cut out just for that reason.

Alvarez : Do you have any intention of ever putting those seconds back on the film and releasing a director's cut?

Alvarez : Eventually if they do that. I don't know it's really not up to me. Usually you always see first cut is an extended version, because it's basically everything you shot, and you have that version and then you start cutting stuff out. Just to pick up the pace or sometimes stuff didn't work out the way you wanted it to so you cut it out. Definitely my favorite cut is the one that got put out. That's my favorite version of the film, the one that I put in theaters. That's my directors cut, there's no question about it. The producers that could have come in and said, We're going to cut this a different way . That never happened. Sam saw my cut and said That the version that it's supposed to be. The cut I showed him was the cut I put out there. So what everybody saw in the theaters is the director's cut, and this first DVD is the director's cut.

 

  Miserable Gits at ASA Show Why Britain Needs a Va Va Voom Button...

Advert censor whinges at sexy fun in a Renault Clio advert


Link Here 17th July 2013

va va voom video A YouTube ad for a car, entitled Two Unsuspecting Guys Take the Renault Clio for a Test Drive featured hidden camera footage of two men taking a car for a test drive around London. They reached a junction and pressed a button on the dashboard which read Va Va Voom . A screen, which featured a Parisian scene, was moved into position in front of the car and a number of actors and props appeared, including a man on a scooter, a couple at a cafe' table and a market stall. A group of women then walked in front of the car, wearing burlesque style lingerie and danced in a line in front of the car before walking towards it and gyrating and dancing around it. One woman blew a kiss to the driver. The women then walked away in unison and the screen was moved away to reveal a billboard poster which read Reignite your Va Va Voom . Issue

The complainant challenged whether the ad was offensive, because she felt it objectified women.

Renault UK Ltd (Renault) said the video had only been made available on YouTube and was generally intended to be viewed by a younger adult audience than mainstream TV channels. They said the video was a humorous parody with a theme of French culture and it therefore featured various iconic scenes that were associated with Paris, including the Eiffel Tower and a pavement cafe. They said the women who danced around the vehicle were a reference to the Moulin Rouge and that they were intended to be taken as seriously as the other iconic images in the ad. They felt they were dressed in typical Parisian style and that the choreography was a rhythmical send up of the burlesque style, rather than overtly sexual. They advised that the video had been viewed over three million times and they were unaware of any other complaints.

YouTube said the ad did not violate their Community Guidelines or Advertising Policies, but that it was the advertiser's responsibility to ensure that any ad complied with the CAP Code and was targeted appropriately.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA noted that Renault felt the female dancers were just one of the iconic Parisian scenes featured in the ad, which was intended to be a light-hearted parody. However, we considered that the length of the scene in question, along with the change in the music and the use of slow motion shots, meant it had a different tone to the rest of the ad. We accepted that the Moulin Rouge was associated with Paris and that a scene that referenced it could therefore have some relevance to the theme of the ad, if not to the product itself. However, we were concerned that the ad featured a number of shots of the women's breasts and bottoms, in which their heads were obscured, and which we considered invited viewers to view the women as sexual objects. We further considered that the choreography, dress and facial expressions of the dancers were sexually provocative and that the overall impression given was not necessarily that of a parody of a cabaret show such as the Moulin Rouge, particularly as the women were seen to approach the car and gyrate around it, rather than merely performing in front of it. We considered that the ad objectified the dancers by portraying them as sexual objects and that it was therefore likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

The ad breached CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).

 

 Update: The Latest Sexualisation Nonsense from the Daily Mail...

Oops! my mistake, it's from the Guardian. It's hard to tell the difference these days


Link Here 17th July 2013  full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report

ban this seck-filthThe Guardian introduces an article from Zoe Williams:

The pornification of Britain's high streets: why enough is enough

Magazines with naked women on the cover sit next to kids' comics in newsagents. Scantily clad models are draped across the nation's billboards. We asked readers to send photos showing how sexual images have invaded the high street

Of course the reality is that the advert censor has been banning anything remotely sexy on billboards and the Guardian gender extremists have scoured the country for probably one example that has escaped the clutches of the censors is in a shop window rather than a billboard anyway.

And then of course there is the fundamental issue that society seems to be surviving pretty well with crime generally on the decrease. Definitely infinitely better than any society that lets bullies and moralists censor the very existence of sexuality from society.

Comment: When Right-Wing Conservatives Approve Of Something In The Guardian You Know There's Something Wrong

See comment from mediasnoops2.wordpress.com

This is yet more evidence of how The Guardian is turning into the Daily Mail when it comes to sexual imagery. This type of moral panic about porn being everywhere on our high street is the type of thing regularly seen in the Mail yet it's in a liberal newspaper.

...read the full comment

 

  The Wrong Type of Balance...

Ofcom to investigate UK TV news programmes giving airtime to religious extremist


Link Here 17th July 2013

channel 4 news logoBBC, ITV and Channel 4 are to be investigated by the TV censor Ofcom over their decision to give airtime to the extremist muslim Anjem Choudary in the wake of the Woolwich attack.

Ofcom has launched an investigation into interviews with Choudary aired on Channel 4 News , BBC2's Newsnight and ITV's Daybreak in the days following Lee Rigby's murder on 22 May, after viewers complained that his comments were offensive.

Ofcom received more than 20 complaints about the interviews across the three broadcasters, and has decided there are grounds to look at whether the broadcasting code has been breached.

Lady Warsi, the Conservative peer and minister for religion, and Labour's shadow defence secretary, Jim Murphy, both criticised the media for giving too much airtime to Choudary's extremist views

 

 Extract: Getting it Off Their Chest...

The BBFC reveals the cuts to Carry on Camping


Link Here 16th July 2013

Carry Camping DVD Kenneth Williams Carry on Camping is a 1969 UK comedy by Gerald Thomas.
With Sid James, Charles Hawtrey and Joan Sims. YouTube icon BBFC link   IMDb

Carry On Camping is the seventeenth film in the Carry On series, and was the highest grossing film in the UK in 1969. The BBFC received the film for classification in December 1968. The examiners highlighted several lines of dialogue as problematic.

...Read the full article

 

 Update: Governed by the Daily Mail...

Government tries to push ISPs to spin their internet censorship options as default blocking


Link Here 16th July 2013  full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

David CameronA letter sent to the UK's four leading ISPs from the government has made them very cross indeed. So cross that someone in the industry has passed it to the Rory Cellan-Jones of the BBC.

The letter comes from the Department for Education but it sets out a list of demands from Downing Street, with the stated aim of allowing the prime minister to make an announcement shortly. The companies are asked, among other things, for a commitment to fund an awareness campaign for parents. They're not particularly happy about promising cash for what the letter concedes is an unknown campaign

But it also asks them to change the language they are using to describe the website censoring options they will be offering to internet users. Instead of talking of active choice + , they are urged to use the term default-on.

A person at one ISP told Cellan-Jones the request was staggering - asking us to market active choice as default-on is both misleading and potentially harmful .

The letter reads:

Dear All,

I am emailing to ask for some specific action which the prime minister plans to announce shortly. This follows a meeting yesterday at No 10 yesterday to discuss a range of child internet safety issues including parental controls and filters. The prime minister would like to make some further specific requests of industry and his office have asked us to ask you when you could deliver the following actions.

1. Implementing browser intercept

I understand that Talk Talk will be trialling a browser intercept to force existing customers to choose either to proceed with parental controls (pre-ticked), choose their own settings or turn them off completely. The prime minister wants to announce that by the end of the year, every household with a broadband internet connection will have had to make a decision to opt-out of installing filters. Will the other three ISPs consider making a commitment to adopting this approach - even before it has been trialled?

2. Age-verification systems/closed-loop

The prime minister expects customers to be required to prove their age/identity before any changes to the filters are made. I understand that you will all be implementing closed-loop systems which will notify account holders of any changes that are made to the filters and that you have robust systems in place but please could you all confirm the precise information that is required to enable customer to access, set-up and change their filters?

3. Awareness campaign for parents

I understand that it was agreed at Claire Perry's meeting a few weeks ago that Talk Talk, BT and others would undertake some further research to establish what the focus of the campaign should be. The prime minister would like to be able to announce a collective financial commitment from industry to fund this campaign. I know that it will be challenging for you to commit to an unknown campaign but please can you indicate what sum you will pledge to this work that the PM can announce.

4. Using the phrase default-on instead of active-choice +

The prime minister believes that there is much more that we can all do to improve how we communicate the current position on parental internet controls and that there is a need for a simplified message to reassure parents and the public more generally. Without changing what you will be offering (ie active-choice +), the prime minister would like to be able to refer to your solutions are default-on as people will have to make a choice not to have the filters (by unticking the box). Can you consider how to include this language (or similar) in the screens that begin the set-up process? For example, this connection includes family-friendly filters as default [or as standard] - if you do not want to install this protection please un-tick the box (obviously not intended to be drafting). Would you be able to commit to including default-on or similar language both in the set-up screen and public messaging?

We are all aware of the really excellent work that you are doing and but there are a number of specific areas that the prime minister thinks need further immediate action. You are likely to receive a further message from colleagues in DCMS and the Home Office regarding tackling illegal images but given the short deadline for this work we thought it better to give you some time to work on these issues in the meantime. I need to report back to No 10 by the end of the week on these points so I would be grateful if you could consider this request as a matter of urgency and respond by midday Friday.

Apologies for the very tight deadline and grateful for your help with this work.

 

 Offsite Article: How to Deal with Internet Trolls...


Link Here 16th July 2013
basil fawlty with gnome The scourge of the web?

See article from edition.cnn.com

 

  The White Queen...

BBC TV drama heavily censored for Britain yet uncensored for the US


Link Here 15th July 2013

White Queen DVD Rebecca Ferguson It must be a bit confusing for the BBC to deal with amusingly inconsistent Daily Mail. If they include a little nudity they get lambasted for 'gratuitous sex' yet if they don't they get lambasted for censorship.

The White Queen is a co production by the BBC and the US Starz cable channel. It is based on Philippa Gregory's The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Kingmaker's Daughter and is set against the backdrop of the turbulent War of the Roses

The Daily Mail explains:

Few countries can compete with the UK when it comes to television costume dramas . . . but American audiences, it seems, prefer our dramas without the costumes.

A raunchy alternative version of the ten-part BBC1 series The White Queen has been created for screening in the US -- including graphic sex and nude scenes which don't appear here.

Bedroom scenes in which actors appear in the BBC version partly clothed are sexed-up for the American market -- and the actors complete the scenes naked.

As lead actor Max Irons put it: There's the BBC cut and the Starz cut. You get a lot more arse in the Starz version -- the cameras kept rolling after the BBC stopped the scene.

Eg, in episode two Queen Elizabeth, played by Rebecca Fergusson, was seen wearing a nightdress for her love scene with Edward IV, played by Max Irons. But when the clinch is broadcast on American television later this summer, the same actress will be shown first topless and then completely naked in the marital bed.

Episodes one, two and three of the American version all contain nudity and the first programme includes at least four shots of the Queen's breasts and a scene showing her younger sister topless in a bath. By contrast, the BBC version doesn't include any nudity until episode three, and even then only fleetingly.

 

  Flying Fish...

Movie banned in Sri Lanka after film festival showing offends the military


Link Here 15th July 2013

flying fish Igillena maluwo (Flying Fish) is a 2011 Sri Lanka drama by Sanjeewa Pushpakumara.
With Chaminda Sampath Jayaweera, Rathnayaka Marasinghe and Siththi Mariyam. YouTube icon IMDb

In light of the controversy arisen over a the screening of the Sinhala film Igilena Malu (Flying Fish) at a French Film Festival last week, the Public Performance Board (PPB) has said they are seeking Attorney General's advice regarding the course of action that should be followed in the future, when being notified or providing approval for foreign film festivals held in Sri Lanka.

PPB Chairman Gamini Sumanasekara speaking to Daily Mirror said they decided to seek legal advice concerning the specifications of the legal provisions granted to the PPB since at present, they are not equipped with the legal provisions to take action against screenings of any films that might contain material that might not agree with local audiences, at foreign film festivals held in Sri Lanka.

The French Film festival organized by the Embassy of France, was scheduled for June 18 to July 14 was suspended immediately it was subjected to criticism and controversy following the screening of the Sinhala movie Flying Fish on July 11.

The controversy arose due to its content that supposedly features degrading and offensive content regarding the armed forces of Sri Lanka.

Concurrently, the Defense Ministry too has launched an investigation into the film and its contents. Director General of the Media Center for National Security, Lakshman Hulugalle commenting on the investigation that has been initiated:

This film's contents , we have been told, depicts an offensive and derogatory image of the Sri Lankan armed forces. Therefore, we have decided to launch an investigation into its contents.

Meanwhile, the Embassy of France pointed out that it had obtained censor approval for the showing:

The Embassy received from the Public Performances Board the certifications authorizing the screening of all these movies. The conditions put to the screening of Flying Fish, such as its one time only presentation to a selected invited audience without children have been respected.

 

 Offsite Article: Punish criminals for their actions, not their thoughts...


Link Here 13th July 2013
Spiked logo Hate crime laws have made the punishment of thoughtcrime a reality. By Jin Holbrook Law

See article from spiked-online.com

 

  Keeping Everyone on Track (Including the Railway Children)...

Highlights from the BBFC Annual Report covering 2012


Link Here 12th July 2013

 As ever the BBFC Annual Report makes for an interesting read.

The BBFC has clearly being doing well in online world where competing commercial censorship regimes are generally arbitrary, cheap and shoddy. Whether it be website blocking algorithms as implemented by ISPs or the censorship of user content by Facebook, YouTube and the likes, they are characterised by arbitrary decisions based on vague, non-transparent, and unchallengeable rules.

In the commercial world censorship is enforced to keep people off internet company's backs as cheaply as possible rather than for ethical reasons. So the BBFC with its background of transparency, accountability and consideration for both consumers and content providers have a lot to offer. Except of course, that careful consideration by real people costs big money.

President's Report

patrick swafferAnyway the BBFC is going very aggressively for a slice of the internet censorship market. There's lots of self congratulation of current successes, and a massive corporate sell that the BBFC is aligned with the future.

President Patrick Swaffer writes:

What I found was an organisation with 100 years of experience and expertise. But what I did not ? nd was an organisation hidebound by the past. The BBFC I found was forward looking, considering issues such as how it can best protect children and empower consumers in the digital age when access to all forms of audio visual content is easier than ever. The BBFC's activities in its centenary year perfectly encapsulate this mix of expertise and looking to the future.

With ever greater amounts of audio visual content being consumed online both the public and home entertainment industries continued to make it clear that they valued BBFC age ratings and content advice.

As evidence of this, during 2012, we welcomed eleven new platforms to join the growing band of VOD platforms licensed to use BBFC ratings and insight on films and videos they supply online. These new members include Netflix, Microsoft Xbox, Sony Networks, Sainsburys, BA and Dixons KnowHow Movies. This voluntary, best practice, self regulation of online content applies trusted BBFC symbols and content advice to content being distributed online and 90% of parents say they value it.

Swaffer speaks also of the interesting BBFC podcasts that give an insight into BBFC work; the development of apps which present users with a database of BBFC classifications and InSight advice; and of course the comprehensive set of BBFC websites. He also notes that 2012 saw the initiation of a large scale public consultation about BBFC guidelines.

The subject of sexual violence usually gets a mention in these reports and this year Swaffer reports on the rather naff 'research' commissioned by the BBFC involving a very small number of people being asked leading questions about banned and censored movies that they were asked to watch. The BBFC concluded from the 'research', that more factors should be taken into account when classifying controversially violent movies. Nothing new, but it looks better summarised in a couple of paragraphs in the annual report, than it does if you read the full research document.

Director's Report

david cookeDavid Cooke spoke of the BBFC exhibition and rather good season of banned films that celebrated the BBFC's 100 years of film censorship. There was also the interesting book that followed the progress of the film censors through those 100 years.

Cooke also recalls the special award from the film industry via the British Video Association. It is always worth remembering that the BBFC also serve the industry who pay for their services. They are not just a one sided body who only care about the kids, and couldn't give a shit about the businesses making the films (unlike some other British censors).

In fact the BBFC outlined several improvements in the technical side of making things quick and easy for film distributors. (But cheap will have to wait).

And on the state of the economy Cooke reports that the number of cinema films classified is the highest since 1965 and that the decline of DVDs has slowed. Of course if the BBFC and the government really cared about the economy then they would scrap the massive economic and creative burden of mandatory film censorship altogether.

Cooke wraps up by noting that 2012 saw the end of most BBFC involvement in computer game classification.

And of course a little more upbeat congratulation:

2012's centenary was a perfect time draw breath and look critically at how we have changed over the last century to become what film critic Mark Kermode described as the most open and accountable film regulation body anywhere in the world . We intend to build on this accolade as we work with our industry partners and international colleagues -- and most importantly with the British public -- to ensure the best possible child protection and consumer empowerment when it comes to consuming film and video, whether in cinemas or at home; and whether on a physical disc or online.

Top Complaints

Of course the BBFC will not be judged by efficiency, transparency, fairness, nor by the thoughts of film viewers or the film industry. No they will be judged by the handful of complaints from a tiny amount of moaning minnies and their supposed 'outrage' and easy offence. And so the complaints list will inevitably make up the bulk of newspaper reports of 2012 at the BBFC.

Something that the BBFC PR department obviously know well, so the complaints section of the Annual Report has been boosted by the usual jokes to ensure that newspaper coverage is fun and upbeat.

Woman Black Blu ray US Import The film generating the majority of public feedback in 2012 was The Woman in Black starring Daniel Radcliffe. The film generated £21m in UK cinemas in 2012, making it the second most popular British film of 2012 after Skyfall. 134 of these cinema-goers complained that the film was too dark and unsettling for a 12A certificate. Some said the sense of threat, coupled with the theme of supernatural deaths of children in the film, was too disturbing for young audiences.

The Hunger Games is an adaptation of the first book in a fantasy trilogy in which children and teenagers are forced to fight to the death in televised gladiatorial contests in a dystopian future. The books are very popular with young people. The BBFC classified the film 12A following edits to remove some violent detail.The film generated 43 complaints about its violence and theme. The violence in The Hunger Games is generally restrained and undetailed. It is a moral film, critiquing violence rather than glorifying it. The lead characters do not relish killing and survive and defeat the unfair and evil adult system through bravery, teamwork and resourcefulness. There were a small number of complaints criticising the decision to cut the film for 12A.

Men in Black 3 , the second sequel in the popular comedy Sci-Fi action series, received 50 complaints for its language, violence, horror and sexual innuendo. The film was classified PG, as were the earlier two films in the franchise, and contained similar comic misadventures of Agents K and J. However, some parents found the figure of the villain, Boris the Animal, to be too frightening and the opening prison break sequence too violent for young audiences. The scene in which Boris and his girlfriend French kiss with sight of his unfeasibly long alien tongue was also criticised; parents felt this gross out moment was too overtly sexual for a PG audience. The language used in the film also attracted complaints. Parents felt terms such as bullshit and arsehole , although permitted at PG under the BBFC's Classification Guidelines, were not appropriate for eight year olds to hear.

The much-loved children's film The Railway Children , first classified U in 1970, received its first complaint 42 years later. The correspondent was concerned that children may be encouraged to play on railway tracks as a result of seeing the film. While aware of the real dangers of such behaviour, the BBFC judged that it was very unlikely that The Railway Children would promote such dangerous activity. The Railway Children is set in the Edwardian period and trains and access to railway property are very different today. The film also demonstrates the potential harm to children if proper care is not taken.

Thanks to Alan who lamented: Shit! When I heard there'd been a complaint, I was hoping somebody had discovered hardcore scenes of the fragrant Misses Agutter and Thomsett! (Or Dinah Sheridan as a MILF!)

ParentPort

Parent Port Logo One final observation. The BBFC spoke of complaints received via ParentPort. This was a single point of contact to UK censors inspired by the Reg Bailey anti-sexualisation report. He claimed that parents were to dim to know which censor to complain to when they had a beef, so they needed a single point of contact. The BBFC wrote:

The BBFC was involved in setting up ParentPort. This website makes it easier for parents to raise concerns about media content. The BBFC is one of seven UK regulators involved in the website since it launched in 2011. As a result of our involvement with this project we received emails from parents covering a range of films and issues, including language and sex in films, the display of certain DVDs in shops and the nature of some cinema trailers, during 2012.

The number of complaints is notably missing from the BBFC spiel, presumably as the figure is embarrassingly low. So perhaps we can infer that the BBFC listed all the complaints that it received via ParentPort, a grand total of 3 or 4.

 

  Centenary Report...

The BBFC introduces its Annual Report covering 2012


Link Here 12th July 2013

bbfc annual report 2012 In its centenary year the BBFC worked to achieve greater protection for children from harmful content both online and in videos exempt from classification under the Video Recordings Act.

In 2012 the BBFC responded to a DCMS consultation on exempt video. The BBFC, British Video Association, British Phonographic Industry, the Video Standards Council and the Entertainment Retailers Association all supported a technical adjustment to the Video Recordings Act whereby content in exempt videos which is potentially harmful to children should lose the video its exemption. In May 2013 the Government announced that a change would be made to the Video Recordings Act to ensure that content which is potentially harmful to children will in future be scrutinised by the BBFC to keep it from impressionable and vulnerable children.

Online was an area where the BBFC saw the greatest changes in 2012. The number of online only classifications rose by 40%. The number of companies using the BBFC's Watch & Rate service for online only content more than doubled, with 11 new platforms licensed to use BBFC ratings online, including Netflix, Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox and Sainsbury's, BA and Virgin Atlantic.

On the back of a number of films submitted to the BBFC in 2011 which contained extreme violence, generally against women, we carried out a major piece of research into depictions of sexual and sadistic violence in film in 2012. The BBFC has consistently maintained a strict policy in relation to classifying depictions of such violence and will continue to intervene in relation to any depiction of sexual or sadistic violence which is likely to pose a non trivial harm risk through, for example: making sexual or sadistic violence look appealing; reinforcing the suggestion that victims enjoy rape; or inviting viewer complicity in rape or other harmful violent activities.

BBFC Director David Cooke said:

In 2012 the BBFC worked with both Government and the home entertainment industry to maximise the impact of our expertise in tracking public opinion and protecting children from potentially harmful content through both digital age ratings and informing the DCMS consultation on exempt videos.

At the adult 18 level we took extra steps to ensure our policy on depictions of sexual and sadistic violence are in line with public opinion. Research carried out in 2012 reaffirmed views that adults should be able to choose what they see, but highlighted a public concern about certain depictions of sexual and sadistic violence. This concern was particularly acute in relation to young men without much life experience, and other vulnerable viewers, accessing sadistic and sexually violent content, which could serve to normalise rape and other forms of violence, and offer a distorted view of women. The decision as to whether and how to intervene in scenes of sexual and sadistic violence is complex, but by carrying out detailed research and highlighting aggravating and mitigating factors, the BBFC is better equipped to arrive at a decision which balances freedom of expression against public protection.

2012 was also a historic year for the BBFC as the organisation reached its 100th year. A series of retro BBFC black cards were designed and shown before all new UK cinema releases, and a season of controversial films, panel events and an exhibition was held at BFI Southbank, London. The BFI published a book, Behind the Scenes at the BBFC: Film Classification from the Silver Screen to the Digital Age, with contributions from, leading film critics, historians, cultural commentators and even BBFC staff. There were further collaborations to mark the BBFC's Centenary, including an exhibition in partnership with University of Westminster, celebrating 100 years of British Cinematic history, and events at the Hippodrome in Falkirk and Soundtrack Festival in Cardiff.

BBFC Director David Cooke said:

In 2012 we looked back at our first 100 years, often in partnership with numerous organisations and individuals, all of whom added richness and expertise to our celebrations. But in examining the past, we also looked towards the future, where the BBFC will continue working with current and new partners to classify and label online content, better protect children and empower consumers.

The information the BBFC provides for the public was refreshed during 2012 through the creation of a new website bring together the main BBFC website, the BBFC website for parents (PBBFC) and the BBFC education website for students (SBBFC). The new BBFC website allows users to watch trailers for new films classified U-15 and sign up to receive regular BBFC newsletters.

There was also a revision of BBFC Consumer Advice and Extended Consumer Information (ECI) to create BBFCinsight. BBFCinsight captures both Consumer Advice and ECI, bringing both of them under a more memorable name. BBFCinsight includes both a summary sentence (like Consumer Advice) and a longer explanation about why the film received the classification it did. It also provides other details parents have told us they like to be aware of, such as examples of mild bad language, or themes such as divorce or bereavement that might not impact on the age rating but which might upset some children. Parents can find a short summary of BBFCinsight on DVD boxes and cinema posters and more detailed BBFCinsight on the website and the BBFC iPhone and Android Apps. BBFCinsight is available for every film and video game classified by the BBFC since Autumn 2007.

 

 Update: Censorship Supplement...

Cut version of State of Decay passed R18+ by the Australian Censorship Board


Link Here 12th July 2013  full story: Banned Games in Australia...Adult games ban

state of decayA cut version of State of Decay computer game has been passed R18+ by the Australian Censorship Board. All references to drugs have been removed.

Undead Labs explained on their Facebook page that the game has been edited to comply with the censorship guidelines of the Board:

Stimulants out! 'Supplements' in! Who could possibly not like vitamins? They're good for you.

The nominal change meant that the Drug Use category went down from being higher-than-high impact violence to Mild Impact thanks to the name changes.

 

 Update: Pressing Problems...

Press TV banned from Intelsat satellites


Link Here 12th July 2013  full story: Press TV...Political censoship merges with TV censorship

intelstat logoThe Iranian propaganda channel Press TV has been dropped from the Intelsat satellite.

Other channels such as Hispan TV, Al-Alam, IRIB 1 and 2 and Sahar TV were all removed at the same time, with the Luxembourg based Intelsat stating that it will no longer provide services to Iranian channels as of July 1st.

The reason given for the decision was that Intelset had to abide by US sanctions imposed on Iran's state-run radio and TV company, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), and its president, Ezzatollah Zarghami.

But protests from the Iranian government have thus far fallen on deaf ears, in no small part due to the regime's own hypocrisy in this area. The Iranian government continues to jam signals from European satellites into Iran, a policy dating back to 2009. Among the affected broadcasters are BBC Persian, France24, the US-funded Voice of America and Germany's Deutsche Welle.

Press TV has already been banned from UK TV and from Eutelsat's Hotbird satellite.

 

  Ill Conceived Whinges...

Australian advert censor dismisses whinges about pro gay marriage billboard


Link Here 12th July 2013

whatruhaving advertAustralian billboards showing a pregnant woman having a lesbian has been cleared by the advertising censor after complaints that it had somehow sexualised children .

The Advertising Standards Bureau has thrown out both complaints against the ad promoting gay marriage. The reasons for the decision have yet to be published.

The billboards, now on display in Brisbane, show a pregnant woman with the slogan, Congratulations, you're having a lesbian .

One complainant claimed the ad is illegal as it involves the sexualisation of children . Another complained that the billboard could make pregnant woman uneasy . If science can prove one is having a lesbian/homosexual should one abort?

The campaign's organiser, Shelley Argent, said the real child abuse was to reject a child on the grounds of sexuality. The campaign's theme is that any child can be born gay.

 

 Update: Bollox Whinges...

ASA dismisses complaints about Lynx "Clean You Balls' advert


Link Here 11th July 2013  full story: Lynx Adverts...Nutters wound up by a liitle innuendo from Lynx

lynx ball cleaning video A video ad, for the Lynx Manwasher Shower Tool , was shown on Gym TV and on YouTube:

The ad, which was in the style of a product presentation filmed with a live audience, featured two female characters: Stephanie De Mornay and Amber James . Stephanie introduced Amber and asked, What have you got for us today, Amber? Amber responded, Balls. Nobody wants to play with them when they're dirty. That's why you have to keep your balls clean. The problem is soap just isn't enough. She was shown unsuccessfully cleaning a football. Stephanie asked, Well, how can guys clean their balls properly so they're more enjoyable to play with? Amber replied, Well finally there's a tool that can really get the job done. The Lynx Manwasher. Cleans your balls. She held up a bottle of Lynx shower gel and a Manwasher . The audience, including a couple of men who held rugby balls, were shown clapping and cheering...

  1. Two complainants challenged whether the ad was irresponsible and unsuitable for display where it might be viewed by children.

  2. One complainant challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, because they believed the implication that the black character had bigger balls than the white characters played on racial stereotypes.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA acknowledged that very young children would be unlikely to be aware of the slang meaning of the term balls , but we considered that older children would be likely to know and understand that slang meaning, particularly in the context of an ad which discussed the use of a Manwasher . Nonetheless, we noted the actions Unilever had taken to specifically target the ad to their target demographic of men aged between 16 and 34, and noted we had not received any complaints that the ad had been seen by children. We concluded the ad had been appropriately targeted and was not, therefore, irresponsible.

On this point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 1.3 (Responsible advertising), but did not find it in breach.

2. Not upheld

We noted Unilever's view that the ad did not create the impression that the size of the sports balls was representative of the size of the testicles of the men in the audience, or that the skin colour of the men was relevant. However, we considered that because the premise of the ad was based on the double entendre of the word balls , viewers would draw connections between characteristics of the men and the balls they were holding for comedic effect. For example, at the beginning of the ad, when Amber referred to one man's golf balls as small balls , his reaction was to look concerned and uncertain.

We noted the audience included only one black man, and we considered that by having him present the large net of footballs for cleaning in contrast to the smaller balls presented by the other men, the ad played on racial stereotypes. We considered it was therefore likely that some viewers would find the ad distasteful on that basis. However, we noted the ad had been targeted at men aged between 16 and 34 and we concluded that, on balance, it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence amongst that audience.

On this point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and Offence), but did not find it in breach.

 

 Update: Labour 'no brainers' have a good whinge...

The Sun's Page 3 is debated in the Welsh Assembly


Link Here 11th July 2013  full story: Page 3 Girls...Miserable campaigners whinge about page 3 fun

welsh assembly logoThe issue of the Sun's Page 3 has been debated in the Welsh Assembly.

Labour member Rebecca Evans bizarrely claimed during the debate that The Sun is one of the only places left where soft pornography is accepted. She said that she supports the anti Page 3 campaign and called upon the Sun newspaper to drop the feature and emphasised that half naked women just aren't news.

Labour member Joyce Watson said that being opposed to page three is a no-brainer . She added that women are seen as desirable or maternal and still judged by appearances instead of achievements.

Plaid Cymru member Lindsay Whittle asked menacingly : is page three suitable for families to see in their own homes?

However Janet Finch-Saunders of the Conservative party said that there must be a demand for page three as it still exists and some women feel proud to show their bodies.

 

 Update: Exploiting Sexualisation...

Parents TV Council claims that teenage girls are being exploited on US TV


Link Here 11th July 2013  full story: Parents TV Council...US moralists whinge at TV sex and violence

Glee Season Four Lea Michele New 'research' from morality campaigners of the Parents Television Council's 4 Every Girl Campaign claims that teenage female characters on primetime broadcast television are more likely to be presented in sexually exploitative scenes than adult women, and the appearance of underage female characters in a supposedly sexually exploitative scene increased the probability that the scene would be presented as humorous.

Study results revealed that out of 238 scripted episodes which aired during the study period, 150 episodes (63%) contained sexual content in scenes that were associated with females and 33% of the episodes contained sexual content that rose to the level of what the PTC see as sexual exploitation.

Topics that targeted teenage girls and were presented as humorous included: sexual violence, sex trafficking, sexual harassment, pornography, and stripping.

PTC President Tim Winter claimed:

The frequency with which viewers are able to watch and laugh at these sexually exploitative situations supports the notion that entertainment media is creating an environment that encourages and even facilitates the sexualization of women. When we laugh about dead hookers, it becomes increasingly difficult to see the mistreatment of sex workers as a national civil and human rights issue. The same can be said for child molestation or sex trafficking.

The prevalence of images that trivialize sexual exploitation can be interpreted as sanctioning the sexualization of women. When these messages, images and ideologies are delivered via mass media, the definition of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors are communicated both implicitly and explicitly to viewers. Similarly, when the media associates humor with sexual exploitation they are sending a strong message that these issues are harmless and require neither urgency nor a strong response.

We hope that these disturbing findings will spur concern, increased dialogue, and a collective responsibility to find answers that will result in a qualitative difference in the lives of young girls and women everywhere.

 

  Localisation...

Indians 'outraged' by a statue of Mary and Jesus in local dress


Link Here 11th July 2013

indian maryA church in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand installed a statue of the religious characters Mary and Baby Jesus depicted as tribals, the indigenous people of the state. With dark brown complexions and sporting traditional Indian tribal clothing (white sari with red border, etc.), the statue in a church in the village of Singhpur has sparked 'outrage' from local Hindus and other non-Christians who have called for its immediate removal.

According to a report in BBC last week, local hindus conducted a march in the nearby city of Ranchi to protest the statue.

Bandhan Tigga, the chief priest of the Sarna Society said:

Showing Mother Mary as a tribal is a part of the larger design to make the tribal population believe that she was from their community and confuse them. One hundred years from now, people here would start believing that Mother Mary was actually our tribal goddess. It's an attempt to convert Sarna tribals to Christianity. If they do not remove it, a nationwide protest will be organized.

In response, Father Augustine Kerketta, a senior church official in Ranchi said:

What's wrong in this? It's just like the Chinese, Japanese, Irish, German or even the African version of Mother Mary and Baby Jesus.

 

 Offsite Article: The classification divide between games and films...


Link Here 11th July 2013  full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games
The Witcher Wild Hunt PS4 Why does the Australian Censorship Board use different rules for games and movies?

See article from smh.com.au

 

  Censorship Scheme...

Film censorship continuing in Burma


Link Here 10th July 2013

mar yar myar tae alin karA tame love scene in local director Thiha Tin Than's latest film set off  complaints among audiences and local press, causing the movie to be sent back to the government censorship board for cutting.

Mar Yar Myar Tae Alin Kar (Scheme) was briefly screened in the country before 'uproar' among audiences over a bedroom scene.

Scheme is a domestic drama about a man who kidnaps his own wife, and the scene in question is tame by most international standards. The couple chat on a satin-sheeted bed, they kiss, they remain fully clothed and then, with a soundtrack of dramatic music, oral sex is suggested off-camera through shots of intertwined hands and clenched toes with gold sparkling nail polish. The implication was apparently too much for audiences.

It was simply a bed scene, not even sexual, says Lu Min, an actor and chairman of the Myanmar Motion Picture Association, who stared in an earlier film version of the same story without the bedroom scene ten years ago. But the less educated audience still cannot accept that, he adds.

 

 Update: Group Hug for ASA...

Advert censor dismisses whinges about Irn Bru advert featuring a very mammary mum


Link Here 10th July 2013  full story: Irn Bru Adverts...Humourosuly offending the easily offended

irn bru bra video Ads promoted the soft drink IRN-BRU.

a. A TV ad featured a mother cleaning the kitchen as her son and two friends walked in. They greeted each other and the son looked shocked. The mum looked at her cleavage and said New push up bra. Amazing eh? The son's friends stared at her breasts as her son looked on with a shocked expression. The son then took a loud sip of IRN-BRU, smiled and said, Looking good mum . His friends continued to watch her as she leaned forward to clean the table. The son appeared disconcerted, then took another sip and smiled at his mum. The mother then embraced her son against her chest. He looked uncomfortable, then drank more IRN-BRU and then smiled. The mother asked Group hug? and the friends jumped from their chairs enthusiastically, pushing each other. The final scene showed the drink in front of two balloons with text stating IRN-BRU and GETS YOU THROUGH.

b. The same ad appeared on the IRN-BRU YouTube channel, the AOL website before a news bulletin and on a Video on Demand (VOD) service (STV).

176 complaints were received. Most complaints related to ad (a) and four related to ad (b).

  1. Most complainants challenged whether the ads were offensive and irresponsible, because they considered that the scenario between the mother and young men was sexual and inappropriate.

  2. Some complainants challenged whether the ads were sexist and demeaning to women.

  3. Some viewers challenged whether ad (a) was inappropriately scheduled at a time when children could have been viewing.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

Investigated ad (a) under BCAP Code rules 1.2  & 1.3 (Responsible advertising), 4.1 and 4.2 (Harm and offence).

1. Not upheld

The ASA noted that the characters in the ads were all adults who were over the age of consent. We considered that the action in the ads did not rely on the mum actively or overtly flirting with her son's friends in a manner designed to actively sexually attract them or form a sexual relationship with them, but was focused on the son's embarrassment that his friends were showing an attraction to his mother, whilst she behaved as if she was unaware of the effect her manner of dress and actions were having on those around her. Although we acknowledged that some behaviour, such as the mum's offer of a group hug , might suggest that she was conscious of the effect her manner of dress was having on the group, we considered that the purpose of her actions was to form the basis of the humour in the ads, which was driven by the surreal notion that the son's embarrassment could be countered by drinking IRN-BRU. We therefore considered that most viewers would interpret the situation as surreal and using tongue in cheek humour, rather than as depicting realistic and sexually inappropriate behaviour on the part of the mum.

Although we noted that some complainants had interpreted the action in the ads as portraying an inappropriate relationship between the mum and the son's friends, we did not consider that their interaction was a portrayal of irresponsible behaviour. Therefore, although we acknowledged that some viewers had found the ads' humour distasteful, we did not consider that the ads portrayed irresponsible behaviour, nor that they were likely to cause serious or widespread offence. We therefore concluded that the ads were not in breach of the Code.

2. Not upheld

We noted that the ads featured a woman with large breasts who was wearing a low cut top and push-up bra and involved her son's friends displaying an attraction to her appearance. We also noted that the basis of the humour and action drew particular attention to her appearance and her breasts. However, we considered that the action relied on the mum being confident and attractive, but not consciously or overtly behaving in a sexualised or flirtatious way. We also considered that the focus of the ads was the son's embarrassment at the effect his mum's appearance was having on his friends. The humour was based on the surreal notion of using IRN-BRU to counter that embarrassment. Therefore, and particularly in the context of ads intended to portray a surreal and light-hearted comedic approach, we did not consider that the action or depiction of the female protagonist was sexist or demeaning and concluded that the ads were not in breach of the Code.

3. Not upheld

We noted that ad (a) was subject to an ex kids restriction which prevented the ads from being broadcast in or around programmes directed at or likely to appeal particularly to children. Although we considered that younger children would be unlikely to understand the basis of the humour and innuendo used in the ad, we did not consider that the content was overtly sexualised or was inappropriate to be seen by children, particularly when watching with adults. We therefore concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

 

 Updated: The Twitter Championship of Easy Offence...

Competing for the best 'outrage' over BBC commentator who noted that tennis player was no looker


Link Here 10th July 2013

marion bartoli The BBC has apologised after one of its senior presenters suggested the women's Wimbledon champion was never going to be a looker .

John Inverdale made the remark on the broadcaster's Radio 5 live programme shortly after French player Marion Bartoli won the competition. Inverdale sparked a Twitter todo when he told listeners:

Do you think Bartoli's dad told her when she was little, 'you're never going to be a looker, you'll never be a Sharapova, so you have to be scrappy and fight?

The comments sparked 'outrage' on Twitter where one user branded the presenter a sexist dinosaur and another called for Inverdale to be stripped of his job.

The BBC later apologised for the comments. A spokesman said:

We accept that this remark was insensitive and for that we apologise.

Update: Tally

9th July 2013. See review from  independent.co.uk

The BBC has received 674 complaints over John Inverdale's comments about Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli's appearance.

In response to Inverdale's comments, Bartoli said:

I am not blonde, yes. That is a fact. Have I dreamt about having a model contract? No. I'm sorry. But have I dreamed about winning Wimbledon? Absolutely, yes.

Update: BBC Response

10th July 2013. See  article from  bbc.co.uk

BBC logoComplaint

We received complaints from listeners who were offended by comments made by John Inverdale about Marion Bartoli's appearance.

The BBC's response

John Inverdale is one of our most experienced presenters, however we do accept that in the run-up to Saturday's Wimbledon Ladies' Final John made an insensitive comment regarding Marion Bartoli. John has apologised for this remark and acknowledges that it was clumsy . Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live subsequently, John went on to explain that, The point I was trying to make, in a rather ham-fisted kind of way, was that in a world where the public perception of tennis players is that they are all six feet Amazonian athletes, Marion, who is the Wimbledon Champion, bucks that trend and she is a fantastic example to all young people that it's attitude and will and determination, together obviously with talent, that does in the end get you to the top . John has also written a personal apology to Marion Bartoli to express his regret if any offence was caused.

 

  Cutting Strings...

Israel bans puppet festival claiming that it was critical of the state


Link Here 10th July 2013

international puppet festival advertIsraeli authorities have shut down  two theaters, one Palestinian-run, and one Israeli, for performing cultural theater performances that Israel considers to be critical of its political agenda and policies.

The affected theaters are the El-Hakawati Puppet Theater in East Jerusalem, and the Khan Theater in West Jerusalem.

The Puppet Theater was scheduled to begin this summer with a festival (the 19th annual El-Hakawati Puppet Festival), but the Israeli minister of internal security, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, shut down the festival by claiming that the El-Hakawati Puppet Theater was somehow connected with the Palestinian Authority. The theater owners vehemently deny that any of their funding came from the Palestinian Authority, and have opened their account books publicly to verify this fact.

The puppet festival was supposed to open on June 22nd, featuring Palestinian, Nordic, French and Turkish puppeteers. But the ruling by Aharonovitch prevented the festival from taking place as planned.

Over 1300 Israelis, including many actors, directors and artists, signed a petition condemning the shutdown of El-Hakawati Puppet Festival and Theater.

 

  Censorship Reigns...

LA bans poster for TV series, Project Runway


Link Here 10th July 2013

project runway advertThe billboard for season 12 of Heidi Klum's ever-popular Project Runway has been banned in LA.

The ad for the TV show's Fashion Reigns campaign shows Klum and Tim Gunn in royal attire, lording over a group of naked, toned models.

The photo was set to run on billboards, posters, websites, bus shelters and in magazines, but LA has required that a version with underwear run in its place.

New York City, on the other hand, is comfortable running the advert unspoilt by underwear.

 

 Shopping: Crossroads to Crime...

Gerry Anderson film once cut by the BBFC


Link Here 9th July 2013

Edgar Wallace Presents Crossroads Crime Crossroads To Crime is a 1960 UK crime drama by Gerry Anderson.
With Anthony Oliver, Patricia Heneghan and Miriam Karlin. BBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed PG uncut for moderate violence for:

Previously passed U after BBFC category cuts for 1960 cinema release. There are no details yet on the cuts or on what version has been submitted this time

Promotional Material

This crime thriller for Anglo-Amalgamated was Gerry Anderson's directorial film debut, and the only feature-length film to be made by AP Films, co-founded by the legendary puppet pioneer in 1957.

Released in 1960 between the making of Four Feather Falls and Supercar, Crossroads to Crime features the talents of several of Anderson's later Supermarionation collaborators, including voice artists George Murcell and David Graham, Anderson's future wife Sylvia Thamm (an uncredited continuity supervisor), and Barry Gray, whose iconic themes famously complemented the Supermarionation series of the 1960s. Released here for the first time, the film is presented in a brand-new transfer from the original film elements.

PC Don Ross suspects that a gang of lorry hijackers, operating from a transport cafe', is behind a series of vehicle thefts. When his suspicions are dismissed by his superiors, Ross decides to conduct his own undercover investigation, and sets out to collect vital evidence that could convict the gang...

 

  The Golden Age of Censorship...

Russia starts work on a morality code for film makers


Link Here 9th July 2013

vladimir putinVeteran Russian directors Karen Shakhnazarov and Marlen Khutsiyev have been included in a working group charged with developing a morality code for the Russian film industry, an idea originally suggested by President Vladimir Putin. The working group was formed under the auspices of the Russian Union of Filmmakers.

Putin suggested that it could improve the quality of local films and curb violence on Russian screens. More recently, he gave the example of the US Hays code, the restrictive censorship rules used by the U.S. film industry from 1930 to 1968. Rinat Davletyarov, head of the Russian guild of producers, supported his president claiming that the Hays Code coincided with Hollywood's Golden Age.

Meanwhile director Andrei Proshkin, who heads KinoSoyuz, an alternative union of filmmakers, ridiculed the idea, adding that the existing legislation is sufficient to deal with ethical issues.

The deadline set by Putin for developing the morality code is Oct. 1, 2013.

 

 Extract: Paradoxocracy...

A Thai director outlines the difficulties of making a film about democracy


Link Here 9th July 2013

paradoxocracy logoPen-ek Ratanaruang, one of Thailand's most celebrated working directors, has often represented his country abroad at international festivals. But with his latest project, the 51-year-old director has trained his attention inward, exploring the fraught and complicated modern political history of his homeland.

Paradoxocracy begins with the 1932 Siamese Revolution, which transformed Thailand from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional one, and works its way up to the present day, chronicling the country's major political revolutions, movements, and countless coups along the way.

The starting Point: Thai's are taught that democracy is a gift from a king

Pen-ek: We always went to vote, but like a lot of people, we didn't really know anything. While researching we went back to look at standard Thai textbooks and we found that very little is written about this in the education system-- just two lines in official school books about the birth of democracy in Thailand. Not only that but the textbooks suggest that King Rama 7 is actually the father of democracy -- that he gave us democracy. But, in reality, that's not the case. There was a huge revolution and fights and a struggle to win power for the people -- but we were never told that in school. We were all told that this king was so generous that he gave us democracy.

Muted by the Censor Board

Interviewer: So the film displays the ways the government required you to censor it quite boldly. The Thai dialog goes silent in several segments -- for as long as 30 seconds -- and the English subtitles are blacked out in an intentionally garish way.

Cinema tries to prevent people viewing the film it is showing

Interviewer : There have been reports that Major Cineplex, where it was shown, intentionally made it hard for people to buy tickets for the film. What was going on there?

Pen-ek: It was the first time in the history of the world, where a cinema put a film in their theaters, but tried to not sell any tickets. They lied to us and lied to people trying to attend the film. But they couldn't stop showing it, because all the media had their eyes on them. They didn't list the film on their website, they took it down from the signs. When people called to ask when it was playing they would say it wasn't showing there. Then people would call us and we'd say, no, they're lying, just go and buy a ticket at the booth. Thankfully, they would still sell you a ticket if you showed up and directly asked to buy one. They were just paranoid and afraid of political repercussions. This is the climate we live in. They panic. But it's very baseless. There were also two other cinema chains that were early allies with us, but they pulled out once they saw the rough cut.

...Read the full interview

 

 Update: Independent Press Standards Organisation...

Newspapers announce their plans for a self censorship body with very real teeth


Link Here 9th July 2013  full story: UK News Censor...UK proposes state controlled news censor

fright night A news censor for the press with very real teeth could be established within three or four months to break the political impasse over royal charters, according to a Trinity Mirror executive involved with the project.

Paul Vickers, the legal director of the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror, said the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) was being fast-tracked in an attempt to kill off accusations that big newspaper groups are conspiring to delay the introduction of a new censor backed by royal charter.  Vickers told BBC Radio 4's The World at One:

What were doing today is setting up a mechanism for creating a self-regulatory system. It's not dependent on a royal charter.

It will take some months to set up because we are following proper public appointment processes. It will be three or four months at the shortest before it's set up.

Draft proposals for setting up Ipso were announced in a joint statement by companies including Rupert Murdoch's News UK, the Daily Mail publisher, Associated Newspapers, and Telegraph Media Group. They said Ipso would be a complete break with the past and would deliver all the key Leveson recommendations for reform of press regulation.

Vickers said Ipso would have an investigative arm and would impose tough sanctions on errant publishers, including fines of up to £ 1m for systemic wrongdoing, giving it absolute teeth, very real teeth . Ipso will also offer a whistleblowers' hotline to allow journalists to object to editors who ask them to do anything they believe is unethical.

 

  Fighting the Good Fight Against PC Extremism...

Business man takes on the NZ advert censor and hopefully will receive the heavenly reward of 72 slightly used virgins


Link Here 9th July 2013

independent forklifts advertA New Zealand forklift company's supposedly offensive ads on some of its vans will not be pulled, despite a second complaint about them being upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The advertisement for used forklifts featuring a scantily clad woman, with the catchline

You know you're not the first ... But does that really matter?

In February, it was asked to remove a similar advertisement after a complaint was upheld by the ASA.

The latest complainants claimed the ads were shockingly denigrating of women, objectifying them as sex objects . The ASA complaints board found the advert was a gratuitous objectification of the woman, which was likely to cause serious and widespread offence on the grounds of gender.

However ASA decisions are not legally enforceable. The self-governing agency can only ask that advertisements be withdrawn.

Independent Forklifts general manager Merv Dore said that the signs on the backs of the three vans would stay until it was time to replace them.

They can uphold them (ASA decisions) forever, we have got an advertising campaign and will change the ads when we change them. The ASA don't have any authority. After the first complaint we received calls of support from all over the country.

 

  Dogged by Whingers...

The Sun have fun with a Confused.com advert that jokingly alludes to a blowjob


Link Here 9th July 2013

confused dogging advert A few easily offended TV viewers are 'outraged' over the ad for Confused.com, which first aired on July 1.

The company's mascot BRIAN the Robot is shown interrupting a man parked in a car in a remote beauty spot.

As he knocks on the window, a woman's head pops up as if from his lap and the couple turn to the camera looking flustered.

'Shocked' fans took to the inevitable twitter adn whinged:

Why have Confused.com made an advert where two people are clearly dogging?

Why bring dogging or oral sex into an insurance advert?

The UK advert censor said it has received 20 complaints about the ad. ASA spokesman Matt Wilson said:

The general nature of the complaints is that the ad is offensive and distasteful because it is suggestive of sexual activity, is degrading to women and inappropriate for children to see.

A spokesman for Confused.com light heartedly told The Sun:

The woman is startled as she had been tying her shoelace and didn't see BRIAN approach the car.

 

 Update: Every Little Ban Helps Gender Extremists...

Mediasnoops writes an open letter to Tesco on the occasion of a meeting with the Lose The Lads' Mags campaign


Link Here 8th July 2013  full story: Lads Mags...Blaming lads mags for all the world's ills

lose the lads magsDear Tesco,

Tomorrow you are going to sit down and meet with Lose The Lads Mags who want you to stop selling lads magazines because they find them sexist, degrading and offensive.

The arguments they put forward as to why you should stop selling these magazines is that they objectify women and cause sexual harassment to female customers and to your staff who do not wish to see magazines which show women as sex objects .

They deny they are calling for lads mags to be banned but if you stop selling these magazines based on their objections you will be banning them.

The justifications for you banning these magazines is based on the argument that there are people who do not wish to see these magazines whilst they are doing their shopping and that your female staff members do not wish to have to handle these magazines or sell them to customers.

Essentially what Lose The Lads Mags are saying is that because some customers do not like lads mags and do not wish to see them in your store other customers should be stopped from buying them.

And these magazines can be covered up and put on the top shelf so those customers who are offended by them do not have to see them. But what Lose The Lads Mags are calling for is for them to withdrawn from sale completely.

As for the arguments over staff not wishing to handle or sell lads mags to customers the question should be asked as to since when supermarket employees have ever had the right to veto what the customers of the store they work in should and should not be allowed to purchase.

And if we are going to ban lads mags from supermarkets because some members of staff object to them what's to stop other staff members objecting to the sale of other products they find objectionable such as meat, alcohol, cigarettes or lottery ticket. Maybe we should ban those things too?

The arguments that these magazines are harmful because they make men see women as nothing more than sex objects and therefore cause men to act sexually violently towards women are spurious at best. It suggests that men are brainless drones who mindlessly lap up whatever they see and will be turned into crazed violent sex beasts by seeing pictures of women with little or no clothing on.

Lose The Lads Mags, Object and UK Feminista believe that the very sight of a woman's naked body on the front of a magazine causes men to turn into salivating sex monsters who will defile the first woman they come into contact with.

I urge you to seriously ask yourself whether the objections of a minority of self appointed moral puritans who masquerade as feminists should dictate what you sell and what your customers can and cannot purchase in your stores.

You seriously need to consider whether you are going to stand up for consumer choice or whether you are going to remove the choice of consumers based on the protests and objections of a group of puritans who represent very few people.

Update: Not much reported about the meeting

14th July 2013. From feminista at facebook.com

Feminista just reported that they spoke to Tesco about their campaign and that a decision would be made about Lads' Mags in Tesco in a few weeks.

 

  A Wee Poofy Whinge...

BBC respond to easy offence taken at Off the Ball on BBC Radio Scotland


Link Here 7th July 2013

off the ball logoOff the Ball
Radio Scotland, 20 April 2013

Complaint

A listener complained that one of the presenters had described a football fan as carrying a wee, poofy banner .

Outcome

Although it was used without derogatory intent, the word poofy , in this context, suggested something feeble or ineffectual, and thus tended to perpetuate an offensive stereotype.

Complaint upheld

Further action

Editor Sport (Scotland) discussed the finding with the producer of the programme and the presenter concerned, with reference to portrayal and the potential for certain terms to cause offence. Though there had been no intent to offend, they recognised that offence had in fact been caused on this occasion, and offered their apologies.

 

 Offsite Article: Censorship and the Sydney Film Festival...


Link Here 7th July 2013
sff logo An interesting interview with David Stratton, long standing festival director

See article from wearethemovies.com

 

 Comment: Ofcom fines muslim channel 105K for inciting murder...

A little less than Playboy was fined for slightly too sexy babe channels


Link Here 7th July 2013  full story: Ofcom on Religion...ofcom keep religious extremism in check

DM Digital logoOfcom has fined the muslim channel DM Digital £105,000 for 2 transgressions of Ofcom's programme code.

DM Digital is a television channel primarily aimed at an Asian audience in the UK, which features broadcasts in a number of languages including English, Punjabi, Urdu, Sindhi, Kashmiri and Hindi. The service is also received in the Middle East and parts of Asia. The licence for this channel is held by DM Digital Television Limited.

The first fine was £85,000 over the programme Rehmatul Lil Alameen broadcast on 9th October 2011 at 18:30.

The programme was in Urdu and was approximately one hour in duration, featured a presenter who introduced an Islamic Pir (a religious 'scholar') who delivered a live televised lecture about points of Islamic theology with reference to the shooting dead in early 2011 of the Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer by his bodyguard Malik Mumtaz Qadri. Salmaan Taseer had been a vocal critic of Pakistan's blasphemy law.

Ofcom noted in particular the following remarks from Abdul Qadir Jilani's lecture:

Under the guidance from Islamic texts it is evident that if a Muslim apostatises, then it is not right to wait for the authorised courts; anyone may kill him . An apostate deserves to be killed and any man may kill him. For this, you do not need to contact the authorised courts. Because the prophet did not question Omar's act.

...if someone denies the existence of God, you may have a defensive war with them but if someone insults the Prophet, you should not be defensive but you should aggressively attack them. You should go to their homes and fight them there .

The man who has killed [Salmaan Taseer] has done an act of great love and proved his loyalty. It was his duty to do so. Some people say that he was supposed to guard [Salmaan Taseer] but a man's first duty is to protect his father and Abu Ubaydah killed his own father because the latter denied the apostolate of Prophet Mohammed….When Abu Ubaydah killed his father, Allah praised him because he had killed in the love of the Prophet Muhammed. Such an act does not fall into the category of terrorism .

I hail those who made this law [i.e. Pakistan's blasphemy law] which states that one who insults the Prophet deserves to be killed – such a person should be eliminated .

The programme was found to have breeched Rule 3.1: Material likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder must not be included in television or radio services .

Having regard to the serious nature of the Code breach, the Licensee's representations and the Ofcom Penalty Guidelines, Ofcom decided it was appropriate and proportionate in the circumstances to impose a financial penalty of £85,000 on the Licensee in respect of the breach of Rule 3.1.

The second transgression was by  the programme POAF Conference on DM Digital, 25th November 2011 at 19:00 and 4th December 2011 at 21:00. Ofcom found this programme fsimilarly in breach of their rules and imposed a financial penalty of £20,000

Comment: So why have there been no criminal charges?

A question reflecting other comments to Melon Farmers too.

7th July 2013.  See  article from  secularism.org.uk

National Secular Society logo Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, said:

Inciting murder is against the law. Why aren't the police knocking on Mr Jilani's door? Why is he not under arrest? Surely he cannot be allowed to get away with such blatant call to kill innocent people? Other people have been sent to prison for far less than this.

 

  The Art of Censorship...

Texas authorities claim that an artwork is an advertisement for Playboy and so can be banned


Link Here 6th July 2013

roadside art Texas art censors have given Playboy 45 days to take down a neon-lit 40-foot high sculpture of the magazine's iconic bunny logo from a West Texas road.

The Texas Department of Transportation ordered the removal of the sign, called Playboy Marfa , claiming the artwork to be an advertisement, and that Playboy does not have a license for outdoor advertisement in Texas.

The sign is part of a roadside art display designed by New York contemporary artist Richard Phillips and Playboy's creative director of special projects Neville Wakefield. The installation features the offending sign perched atop a post and a concrete platform displaying a stylized version of 1972 Dodge Charger, a classic American muscle car.

PR Consulting, a firm that represents Playboy said that they do not consider that the art installation by Richard Phillips violates any laws, rules or regulations. Our legal counsel is currently looking into this matter and we hope to resolve this issue satisfactorily and as quickly as possible.

 

  Seeing Red...

Socialists stereotypically whinge at double entendres in cherry growers advert


Link Here 6th July 2013

spannish cherries video A video advert for a special variety of Spanish cherries has been pulled after whinges it was sexist and vulgar .

The video was released to coincide with the seventh international cherry symposium in the town of Plasencia.

In the video for the smaller, crunchier, sweeter Picota del Jerte variety of cherries, advertisers played on some light hearted double entendre. Talking about cherries, they say that size does matter , before going on to say the smaller the better! With a backdrop of silly music, the cherry commercial then claims the older, the tastier before showing a picture of women's breasts. This is followed up by the claim that the sweetest, smoothest and meatiest are the fresh ones .

But unions and socialist PSOE politicians from the Extremadura region got all easily offended.

The Secretary for 'Equality' for the PSOE in Extremadura Nelida Martin whinged:

We are not going to consent to women's bodies being using as advertising and as objects of desire in a commercial lacking in creativity.

The socialists noted that Spain's [blatantly unequal] advertising laws prohibit any commercial which injure the dignity of women, or which put in danger the rights of the constitution, especially when it comes to infancy, childhood and women .

Major Spanish union the CCOO whined that the commercial was denigrating to women and used sexist and vulgar stereotypes .

In response, the cherry growers withdrew the advertisement from its website saying they had never intended to offend and aggravate anyone and that they were deeply sorry for any hurt they had caused.

 

  Bowing Out...

TV censor Colette Bowe quits as chairman of Ofcom


Link Here 5th July 2013

Ofcom logoOfcom Chairman Colette Bowe has announced that she will step down from the Board in March 2014, when her terms ends.

Colette was appointed as Ofcom Chairman in March 2009 for a five-year period. Prior to this, Colette was the first Chairman of Ofcom's Consumer Panel and joined the main Board in 2008. She said:

I am extremely proud of the fact that Ofcom has served citizens and consumers, and achieved so much while also reducing its cost base. It has been a privilege to chair such a strong board which is absolutely focused on delivering on Ofcom's priorities.

She neglected to point out that she was a bit selective in the citizens and consumers who were served by Ofcom. Ofcom has done absolutely nothing to serve citizens and consumers that enjoy adult entertainment.

 

 Update: Shameful Policing...

Nobody should be locked up on uncorroborated accusations by angry people who claim to be 'offended'. Even street preachers who spout that homosexuality is a sin


Link Here 5th July 2013  full story: Preachers in the UK...Preachers come under censorship duress

Metropiltan Police badgeTony Miano is a street evangelist from America who was preaching at Wimbledon. He is also a retired veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

On Monday, his theme was sexual immorality - all forms He talked about sin - heterosexual and homosexual - without discrimination. As he was preaching, a lady heard him say that homosexuality was a sin, and promptly summoned the police, who duly arrived.

Miano was then arrested for violating Section 5 of the Public Order Act: he was accused of using homophobic speech likely to cause anxiety, distress, alarm or insult.

He was escorted to Wimbledon police station, where he was photographed, finger-printed and had a DNA sample taken. He was then incarcerated in a cell for seven hours.

Tony Miano explains his side of the story in a video from YouTube

See also transcript of police interview from  archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.com

He was released after being told that the police would take no further action.

Why is it that the police arrest people on the behest of easily offended people in the street? It causes a major trauma to people's life and should not be inflicted on people without at least considering the merits of the claim. This was not an emergency situation. This is not justice. Don't  interpret the Public Order Act as if it were Pakistan's blasphemy act. Don't let the police become the weapons of the easily offended.

 

  Too Taboo...

Pakistan film censors ban Raanjhanaa for its theme of mixed religion romance


Link Here 4th July 2013  full story: Banned Films in Pakistan...Sensitive issues of image and religion

raanjhanaaThe Pakistan Film Censor Board has banned the exhibition of the film Raanjhanaa because of its supposedly controversial theme .

Amjad Rasheed, the importer of Raanjhanaa , told The Express Tribune that he received a letter from CBFC with directives to shelve the film's release. The letter from CBFC states that the film portrays an inapt image of a Muslim girl falling in love with a Hindu man and having an affair with him.

The Bollywood film's plot portrays Muslim girl Zoya falling in love with Kundan and later Jasjeet Singh. Kundan falls for Zoya at first sight. He follows her to school. After getting slapped 16 times by Zoya, she agrees to meet him behind a temple, but the meeting does not turn out well as Zoya finds out that he's Hindu. As the story unfolds, Zoya also develops feelings for Kundan, however, her parents find out about it and send her off to Delhi in order to protect the family's honour. Later in Delhi, Zoya falls in love with Jasjeet Singh, a student leader.

 

  Cowboy Censors...

Strong language bleeped out, asterisked in the subtitles but still not suitable for 8pm TV


Link Here 4th July 2013

cowboy buildersCowboy Builders Channel 5,
26 March 2013, 19:00

Cowboy Builders is a documentary series in which presenters Dominic Littlewood and Melinda Messenger pursue rogue operators in the domestic building trade. The programme often features altercations between the presenters and the cowboy builders .

Ofcom was alerted by a complainant to the broadcast of a heated telephone conversation between Dominic Littlewood and the representative of a building company in this particular episode. The conversation lasted 70 seconds and was broadcast at around 19:50. It was accompanied by subtitles because of the poor sound quality. The subtitles contained nine instances in total of f*** or f****** to reflect fully bleeped uses of the word fuck or a derivative, and one c*** to reflect one fully bleeped instance of the word cunt . For example:

Dominic: You've got all your facts wrong .

Builder: I haven't got the facts wrong you f****** stupid c*** .

The complainant believed that although bleeped, the builder's language was made clear by the accompanying subtitles.

Ofcom considered Rule 1.3 of the Code, which states:

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

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.3

Ofcom noted that this 70 second scene contained nine bleeped uses of the word fuck or a derivative and one bleeped use of the word cunt . Although not audible, the accompanying subtitles f****** , f*** and c*** , left viewers in no doubt of what the builder had actually said.

 In Ofcom's view, the combination of the repeated bleeped use of these offensive words in a relatively short space of time, and the subtitles which made clear exactly what most offensive language the builder was using, made the material unsuitable for children.

Ofcom did not consider the programme was appropriately scheduled, and was in breach of Rule 1.3

Ofcom acknowledged Channel 5's explanation of how the incident occurred and its acknowledgement that the material was not suitable for broadcast at this time.

Breach of Rule 1.3

 

  File sharing and evading US snooping may get tougher...

Visa and Mastercard deny payment facilities to VPN and anonymising services


Link Here 4th July 2013

payson logoFollowing the introduction of restrictions against file-sharing services, Mastercard and Visa have now started to take action against VPN providers.

This week, Swedish payment provider Payson cut access to anonymizing services after being ordered to do so by the credit card companies.

VPN provider iPredator is one of the affected customers and founder Peter Sunde says that they are considering legal action to get the service unblocked.

Payment providers are increasingly taking action against sites and services that are linked to copyright infringement. There's an unwritten rule that Mastercard and Visa don't accept file-hosting sites that have an affiliate program and PayPal has thrown out nearly all cyberlockers in recent months. It now turns out that these policies have carried over to VPN providers and other anonymizing services.

Before the weekend customers of the popular Swedish payment service provider Payson received an email stating that VPN services are no longer allowed to accept Visa and Mastercard payments due to a recent policy change:

Payson has restrictions against anonymization (including VPN services). As a result Payson can unfortunately no longer give your customers the option to finance payments via their cards (VISA or MasterCard).

The new policy went into effect on Monday, leaving customers with a two-day window to find a solution.

 

 Offsite Article: Extremely Inane BBC News...


Link Here 4th July 2013
BBC logo A review into impartiality in BBC news reporting has suggested the broadcaster should find ways to report more extreme opinions.

See article from bbc.co.uk

 

  Seeking a PG-13 Marketing Prize...

Paramount appeal the MPAA R rating for Nebraska


Link Here 3rd July 2013

poster Nebraska is a 2013 USA drama by Alexander Payne.
With Bruce Dern, Will Forte and June Squibb. IMDb

The publicity material reads:

An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.

The film was MPAA rated R For some language.

There is a pending appeal to the MPAA against the rating of the film. There are reported to be just a couple of 'fucks' in the dialogue that tip the film into an R rating. Paramount are keen to get a PG-13.

 

 Update: Censorship Supplement...

Cut versions of banned computer games being prepared to appease Australian censors


Link Here 3rd July 2013  full story: Banned Games in Australia...Adult games ban

state of decayA cut version of State of Decay has been resubmitted to the Australian Censorship Board. All references to drugs have been removed.

Undead Labs explained on their Facebook page that the game has been edited to comply with the censorship guidelines of the Board:

Stimulants out! 'Supplements' in! Who could possibly not like vitamins? They're good for you.

Meanwhile there are reports that a cut version is also being prepared for the other game banned by the Australian censors, Saints Row IV . A 'low violence' version is now listed on Steam, a download centre for computer games.

 

 Update: A Smart New Suit...

Iran's president elect signals a softer line on web censorship and Islamic dress code


Link Here 3rd July 2013  full story: Iranian Internet Censorship...Extensive internet blocking

Iran flagIran's president-elect Hassan Rouhani has expressed relatively progressive views about civil liberties, freedom of expression and the internet .

In an interview in the Iranian media, Rouhani told youth magazine Chelcheragh that he is opposed to segregation of sexes in society, would work to minimise censorship and believes internet filtering is futile.

In the age of digital revolution, one cannot live or govern in a quarantine, he said as he made clear he is opposed to the authorities' harsh crackdown on Iranians owning satellite dishes.

Of internet filtering, Rouhani said some of the measures taken by the authorities to restrict users' access online was not done in good faith and was instead politically motivated:

There are political reasons. They have fears of the freedom people have in online atmosphere, this is why they seek to restrict information. But filtering is incapable of producing any [useful] results.

Supporters of internet filtering should explain whether they've successfully restricted access to information? Which important piece of news has filtering been able to black out in recent years?

Filtering has not even stopped people from accessing unethical [a reference to pornographic] websites. Widespread online filtering will only increase distrust between people and the state.

Rouhani also pledged to minimise censorship of artistic and cultural works. In his interview, Rouhani said he opposed segregation of men and women, including at universities, and criticised the politicians who are against allowing women to enter stadiums to watch football matches along with men. He also explained that he opposed the religious police acting as fashion police by enforcing islamic dress codes. He also said that a women without a hijab is not necessarily without virtue.

 

  Time for Censorship...

Sri Lanka bans Time magazine lest the people see evidence that religion is flawed


Link Here 3rd July 2013

time buddhist terrorSri Lanka has banned the latest issue of Time magazine over its cover story on Myanmar's Buddhist-Muslim clashes, which it claimed could hurt religious sentiment on the island. Presumably Sri Lanka is trying to conceal that religion has a dark side.

Customs department spokesman Leslie Gamini said they held the July 1 issue because it carried a photo of a prominent Myanmar monk under the headline: The Face of Buddhist Terror:

We did not allow this issue to be distributed in Sri Lanka because we felt it could hurt the religious sentiments of the people.

Myanmar also banned the same issue.

 

 Update: Licensed to Censor...

Jordan blocks 254 news websites


Link Here 3rd July 2013  full story: Internet News censorship in Jordan...News websites required to register for censorship

Jordan flagThe Jordanian government has said that it had now blocked 254 unlicensed news websites.

Fayez Shawabkeh, head of the Press and Publication Department said:

16 local news websites were blocked in the past two days after carefully examining their situation. This brings the total number of sites the PPD blocked recently to 254, while 111 sites have obtained licenses.

On June 3, authorities said they would block nearly 300 out of 400 local news websites for failing to obtain the necessary licensing, under last year's repressive legislation. The law not only requires licensing but requires that editors of news websites must be members of the Jordan Press Association, giving the government the right to censor content and hold journalists liable for comments posted on webpages.

One of the sites blocked in the past two days is 7iber, Arabic for ink. Its editor, Lina Ejeilat, told AFP 7iber was an interactive website that published reports and features from contributors, and said it should not be covered by the legislation. We are a blog and definitely not a news website, she said. Shawabkeh disagreed, saying that 7iber is registered at the trade and industry ministry as a news website and posts news and political analyses about Jordan, which means that the law applies to it.

 

 Offsite Article: Why Is the UK the Most Censored Nation in Europe?...


Link Here 3rd July 2013
pirate party uk logo From video nasties to sexualisation. By Jerry Barnett

See article from pirateparty.org.uk

 

  The British Board of Internet Censors...

The BBFC gets appointed to write the censorship guidelines for website blocking on mobile phones


Link Here 2nd July 2013

imcb logo The Mobile Broadband Group is appointing the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to take over from the Independent Mobile Classification Board (IMCB) in providing the independent framework that underpins the Mobile Operators' code of practice, established in 2004, for the self regulation of new forms of content on mobile.

The Classification Framework enables mobile operators to restrict access to their commercial content that is unsuitable for customers under the age of 18. The Framework is applied to commercial content such as: video and audio/video material; or mobile games. The framework is also used by the mobile operators to calibrate the internet filters that parents can use to restrict content accessible by children via a mobile operator's internet access service.

Hamish MacLeod, chair of the Mobile Broadband Group, commented:

We are very grateful for the excellent work that the IMCB has done over the last 8 years to support our code. However, with customers increasingly consuming content via mobile networks, we feel that the BBFC's unparalleled expertise will be best suited to provide us with the independent framework and guidance for the future.

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said:

We are pleased to be able to use our experience and expertise, including the insight we have into public opinion about what kind of content is suitable for under 18s to help Mobile Operators to restrict access to content accessed via mobile networks by those under 18. Parents are concerned about the content children access via mobile devices and the BBFC Framework takes into account the same issues the BBFC considers when age rating a film or DVD, such as strong language, violence, drug use, discrimination, sex and nudity.

The BBFC works to published Classification Guidelines based on large scale public consultation exercises involving around 10,000 people. The Classification Guidelines are formally revised every 4-5 years.

The BBFC Classification Framework is a living document which will be updated regularly to reflect evolving public attitudes and societal concerns.

Premium rate voice services or premium rate SMS (text only) services are not covered by the BBFC Classification Framework and continue to operate under the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice.

Over the coming weeks, the parties involved will put in place the necessary transition arrangements and the BBFC Classification Framework will come into use on 2 September 2013.

 

 Obituary: Jim Kelly...

Actor and karate expert from Enter the Dragon dies aged 67


Link Here 2nd July 2013

Black Belt Jones 2 DVD US actor and karate expert Jim Kelly, who starred with Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon , has died at the age of 67. He died on Saturday of cancer at his home in California.

Kelly became famed for his cool one-liners and fight scenes as the charismatic Williams in the 1973 martial arts classic. His other films included Black Belt Jones, Three the Hard Way, Golden Needles and the Black Samurai .

In an interview with the LA Times in 2010, Kelly said:

I broke down the colour barrier - I was the first black martial artist to become a movie star. It's amazing to see how many people still remember that, because I haven't really done much, in terms of movies, in a long time.

Here is Jim Kelly's filmography from his prime.

  • 1978 Black Belt Jones 2
  • 1977 Black Samurai
  • 1976 Hot Potato
  • 1976 One Down, Two to Go
  • 1975 Take a Hard Ride
  • 1974 Golden Needles
  • 1974 Three the Hard Way
  • 1974 Black Belt Jones
  • 1973 Enter the Dragon

 

 Update: Holding ISPs Liable for What They Can't Possibly Check...

Judge Issues Temporary Restraining Order Blocking Enforcement of Dangerous New Jersey Law


Link Here 2nd July 2013  full story: Internet Minors...Criminalising internet comms harmful to minors

New Jersey state sealA judge has issued a temporary restraining order blocking a dangerous a provision of a recently-passed New Jersey statute that would have left online service providers legally on the hook for user-generated content. The restraining order blocks enforcement of the new law until the court hears additional arguments in support of a permanent injunction in early August.

EFF represents the Internet Archive in this legal challenge to the law, which aims to make online service providers criminally liable for publishing or disseminating certain third party materials. Backpage.com separately filed suit against the law.

The New Jersey law is the latest in well-intentioned but shortsighted attempts to combat online ads for child prostitution with overbroad and vague laws that could seriously constrict the free flow of information online. This statue of the Human Trafficking Prevention, Protection, and Treatment Act ) could impose stiff penalties, up to 20 years in prison and steep fines, on ISPs, Internet cafes, and libraries that indirectly cause the publication, dissemination, or display of content that contains even an implicit offer of a commercial sex act if the content includes an image of a minor.

One consequence of such vague language is that service providers would feel enormous pressure to block access to broad swaths of otherwise protected material in order to minimize the risk of such harsh penalties. The Internet Archive, which currently maintains an archive of over 300 billion documents in support of its mission is to archive the World Wide Web and other digital materials, has particular reason to be concerned if online providers could be pressured in this way.

 

 Update: Ofcom Doesn't Arse About...

The TV censor dismisses whinges about Rowan Atkinson's Archbishop sketch without a detailed investigation


Link Here 2nd July 2013  full story: Rowan Atkinson...Offending the easily offended

archbishop rowan atkinson video TV censors at Ofcom have cleared the BBC for airing a Comic Relief sketch in which Rowan Atkinson parodied the Archbishop of Canterbury. The skit attracted almost 500 complaints to regulator Ofcom, as well as more than 2,200 to the BBC itself.

In the three minute pre-watershed broadcast, Rowan Atkinson dressed up as a generic Archbishop mentioned shagging your neighbour , arsing about , and that prayer doesn't work .

Ofcom clearly dismissed the whinges out of hand and didn't pursue a detailed investigation.

 

  Inappropriate Council Moralism...

Hebden Bridge council bans burlesque festival


Link Here 2nd July 2013

hebden bridge burlesque festival logo Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival was recently refused the right to stage events at Hebden Bridge Picture House by the Town Council's Sub Committee with the following explanation:

The Picture House Committee does not feel that it is appropriate for Hebden Royd Town Council to be associated with the Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival. Burlesque arouses strong feelings, and many people feel it is demeaning to women, and raises issues of gender equality. It is also inevitable if held in the Hebden Bridge Picture House that it would be seen to be associated with Hebden Royd Town Council, so the committee declines the approach to host a part of the Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival.

Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival organisers commented:

We believe that when a request is made to use a public building, that request should be considered fully and without prejudice and that if such an event is legal, permission to stage such an event should not be refused, regardless of the personal opinions of Councillors. The show we proposed to stage at The Picture House would have been covered by the Public Entertainment License already in place for the venue. Burlesque is a legal and legitimate artform. We object to being told that the people of Hebden Bridge are not capable of deciding for themselves whether they wish to purchase a ticket for a Burlesque show, that our show is not appropriate use of a public building.

Mary Whitehouse clone, councillor Susan Press, explained how the ban came about:

Because I knew thus was a contentious issue I consulted all Labour Town Councillors and the leader of the Lib Dems Tony Hodgins. He agreed with the consensus view the Festival was inappropriate .

I am no Mary Whitehouse. I recognise opinion is divided and some women see Burlesque as empowering. Our councillors also recognise that for many others, particularly women, burlesque also represents the sexual objectification of women and it raised difficult issues for us. Our Friends of The Picture House rep confirmed opinion re the Festival was sharply divided as far as they were concerned

We recognised we were in a difficult situation whichever decision we made but decided on balance that offending a significant portion of Hebden Royd was not acceptable . There are other more appropriate venues in Calderdale where the Burlesque Festival can happen.

But at least some Lib-Dems recognised the censorship for what it was. Councillor James Baker said:

A contentious issue like this should have been referred back to full council. I've spoken to Cllr Hodgins today and he says it was a bad decision and he felt he was given an accurate picture of what this festival was. At our next group meeting I hope the Lib Dems will decide to oppose this as a group.

It is my intention to bring a motion to Council opposing cultural censorship and allowing equal access to community facilities like the Picture House. Sadly this motion may not be able to reverse this ban now it has been made as I believe the committee has devolved powers to determine issues relating o the Picture House. However I hope the committee will reverse the decision based on the views of many people who would like it to go ahead.

For those who don't enjoy this sort of thing then I suggest you don't go to the event. I personally don't like some films or shows and I just stay away and let other people get on with living their lives. If we all sought to ban what we found offensive it wouldn't be a very free society to live in.

I hope the festival supporters appreciate many people and liberal councillors are opposed to this ban.

Update: Outrage and Prudery in Keighley

20th July 2013. See  article from  keighleynews.co.uk

Coun Wright, who chairs the town council's events committee, confirmed he suggested online that the performance could instead be hosted in Keighley. But his idea has been attacked by resident Elizabeth Mitchell, who said it amounted to inviting an all female, full nudity striptease festival .

Mitchell, a member of the Cavetown Council group that has been fiercely critical of Keighley Town Council, ranted:

Should Coun Wright not be asking for the opinions of the electorate on such an emotive issue?

And should he not be seeking guidance from his fellow councillors by raising this at full council?

She also asked what venue in Keighley could possibly be thought of as suitable by Coun Wright for an event like this.

Coun Wright responded:

Anyone who knows anything about British burlesque would understand it is an art form.

Obviously, Mrs Mitchell is ignorant in what she understands burlesque to be. For her to attribute a suggestion that I want to see an 'all female, full nudity, striptease festival' is at the very best deluded, and shows her poor grasp of British tradition and humour.