Censor Watch

 2014: July

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 Update: More expensive red tape...

Previously exempt music, sport and documentary DVDs will require a BBFC certificate from 1st October 2014


Link Here 31st July 2014  full story: VRA Exempt...Video Recordings (Exemption from Classification) Bill
Miley Cyrus Reinvention DVD

   currently exempt

Music videos released on DVD and Blu-ray that might contain content unsuitable for children will soon be required to be submitted to the BBFC for certification.

The new measures will be introduced from October 1 to cover Blu-ray, DVD and CD formats - but will not apply to online digital works.

If it is judged that content in a video would typically attract an age rating of 12, 15, 18 or R18, the BBFC will issue a certification. The turnaround for certification currently stands at up to seven days. Of course the DVD producer has to foot the expensive bills. There are also labelling requirements around the display of the rating on packaging and products.

 

  Satirical Format Shift Legalised...

Parliament legalises private copies of copyright material and for the limited use of copyright material for parody


Link Here 31st July 2014
house of lords red logo The House of Lords has cleared the last hurdle for parody and private copies to be legal under copyright law in the UK. Several new limitations to update copyright were agreed in June, but private copying, often called format shifting, and parody were held back, creating fears that they might be dropped.

Reform of outdated copyright laws has been a major campaign focus for the Open Rights Group (ORG) from day one. We asked for these changes when the then Labour government launched a major health check up of copyright law in 2006, the Gowers review. Pressure from industry lobby groups stalled the reforms proposed at the time.

It has taken nine years, and another comprehensive review of copyright by Professor Ian Hargreaves, to get these proposals agreed. We engaged in many rounds of detailed consultation, argued for the changes in round tables and meetings, and got people to sign our petitions and create infringing parodies at righttoparody.org.uk.

For most people copyright is an arcane subject. Our friends and family aren't even aware that by copying their own legally purchased CDs to their iPod or that by making spoofs such as Downfall parodies, they have been breaking the law.

The proposed reforms are quite modest. Despite protestations from industry about the potential impacts of the new parody exception, the law has very strong constraints. It is framed as a fair dealing exception, meaning that by definition it will only be acceptable if it has no negative impact on the revenues generated by the original. In addition, the exception does not affect any moral rights the author may claim, for example around derogatory treatment.

We will have to make sure the new parody right can be used and isn't inappropriately challenged in the courts. But it has to be said that getting parody onto the statute book is a major achievement for the government and those who supported the proposal, including campaign groups, and comedians and YouTube parodists who joined us in our campaign. It was striking in the debate how many of our arguments were put forward by Baroness Neville-Rolfe for the government:

The new private copying exception is also relatively modest, although again a very significant step forward for the UK. The exception is limited to personal use of lawfully obtained originals, and does not allow any sharing of the works, including with close family members. It also does not allow for the removal of any anti-copy technical protection measures, including those found on most DVDs and Blu-Ray discs. Given most media consumption is moving to a pure digital environment constrained by such measures, it remains to be seen how effective the new right will be in practice. How many people will be ripping CDs in ten years time?

 

 Update: Chief newspaper censor...

Independent Press Standards Organisation appoints CEO


Link Here 31st July 2014  full story: UK News Censor...UK proposes state controlled news censor
IPSO The new press censor IPSO - the Independent Press Standards Organisation - has appointed Matt Tee as its first chief executive. Tee said:

I am excited to be appointed to be Chief Executive of IPSO.

A free press is a cornerstone of our democracy. To be effective and credible, IPSO must be independent and free from the control of the press or the state.

It will understand the press but be tough when there is wrongdoing.

Tee is currently chief operating officer of the NHS Confederation, before that, he was Permanent Secretary Government Communication.

IPSO is due to start work in the autumn, replacing the Press Complaints Commission. It says that more than 90 per cent of the UK's national press and the majority of regional press and major magazine publishers have already elected to be subject to its regulation.

 

 Update: Christains told to get over it!...

High Court supports Boris Johnson's ban of anti-gay bus advert


Link Here 31st July 2014  full story: Boris Johnson Bans Anti-gay Adverts...Christians take legal action against ban of bus advert
not gay Christian campaigners have lost a High Court bid for a ruling that London Mayor Boris Johnson was personally responsible for an improper and politically-motivated ban of an anti-gay advert on buses.

Campaign group Core Issues Trust (CIT) had accused him of an abuse of power and imposing the ban for the nakedly political purpose of currying favour with gay lobby groups and boosting his re-election campaign in 2012.

The Trust advert that never made it to the sides of buses in the capital read: Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it! It was meant to be a response to posters promoted by lesbian and gay campaigners Stonewall that said: Some people are gay. Get over it! . Those did appear on buses.

But CIT's judicial review action, brought over Transport for London's April 2012 decision not to allow the group's advertisement to appear on the outside of its buses, was dismissed by a judge in London. Announcing her conclusions, Mrs Justice Lang declared: Mr Johnson was not motivated by an improper purpose, namely, to advance his Mayoral election campaign.

The advert was banned on April 12 2012 , a day before the Mayor addressed an election rally organised by Stonewall. At a hearing in March last year, Mrs Justice Lang declared the banning order on the CIT poster lawful. She also ruled that the Mayor, in his capacity as chair of TfL, was entitled to be involved in the decision-making process leading up to the order, though it would have been improper for him to use the situation to advance his re-election campaign.

 

 Offsite Article: When did we give up our backbone?...


Link Here 31st July 2014
1984 So completely controlled and owned are we that it has become apparent we will tolerate practically anything our governments impose on us providing they either tell us it's keeping us safe or telling us which group needs demonising.

See article from strangethingsarehappening.com

 

  Parental Guidance...

BBFC launch cinema advert about the meaning of the 12A rating


Link Here 29th July 2014

. 12a large The BBFC has released a new advert to help increase awareness of what the 12A cinema rating means. In 2013 the BBFC found that 75% of the British public understand that a film rated 12A is generally suitable for children aged 12 and over, but a younger child may see the film if accompanied by an adult. The advert reminds parents to check the BBFCinsight for every 12A film before they take a child to see it. BBFCinsight explains the key classification issues in a film and is particularly useful for parents.

The BBFC saw a rise in the number of 12A films released during 2013, with 87 more films classified 12A in 2013 compared to 2012. The BBFC also carried out their latest large scale public consultation in 2013, which showed 92% of recent film viewers agreed with BBFC age ratings for films and videos they had seen recently.

BBFC Director David Cooke said:

The 12A certificate is twelve years old this year and is still our newest age rating. We want to remind parents that the certificate was designed to help them decide if a film at the 12 level is suitable for their child. Children develop at different rates and while one child may understand the issues in a particular 12A film, another child may find the film distressing. Parents can use the detailed BBFCinsight we provide for every film we classify to see if a 12A film is suitable for their child.

Education for parents and children is an area where the BBFC is expanding on its existing outreach programme. In September 2013 the CBBFC website for children and their parents, www.cbbfc.co.uk was relaunched, featuring straight forward information about age ratings and BBFCinsight; interactive content for children and articles for parents, including tips for safer online viewing; and a page dedicated to understanding 12A.

Lucy Brett, BBFC Head of Education, said:

So far this year we've visited over 4700 students, primary school children, cinemagoers and adult learners through our outreach programme. In general we find that children and teenagers are more confident about the meaning of 12A than our adult audiences. We hope our new 12A advert will allow many more to be confident in making informed choices about the 12A films they and their families watch. No two 12A films are the same and no two children are the same, which is why BBFCinsight is designed to help parents find a good film fit for their child.

The BBFC 12A advert will be in cinemas over the summer and is available on the BBFC website. The BBFC would like to thank Pearl & Dean and DCM for their support in screening the advert in cinemas. Further 12A education materials for schools and families will be released later this year. Parents can find a guide to 12A on the CBBFC website.

 

  Spring Surprise...

India makes 4 minutes of censor cuts to The Grand Budapest Hotel


Link Here 29th July 2014
Grand Budapest Hotel DVD The Grand Budapest Hotel is a 2014 USA / Germany / UK comedy by Wes Anderson.
Starring Ralph Fiennes, F Murray Abraham and Mathieu Amalric. IMDb

GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune -- all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent.

The guardian of Indian innocence and sensibility, the Censor Board, has edited a little more than four minutes off Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel even though the film was awarded an adults only 'A' rating.

One of the montages that has been cut establishes that the film's flamboyant hero and the hotel's head concierge Gustave H as a womaniser. The deleted shot shows Gustave delicately eating grapes while getting a blow job.

The lengthiest cut in the Indian version of Anderson's film has absolutely no reference to anything even vaguely sexual. It involves four convicts, one concierge, some dessert, hatching a cunning plan for a jail break.

The plotting is cut along with a scene in which the convicts stay up past the official bedtime to dig through the cement floor of their cell with smuggled in tools .

Presumably the escape plan is a good one as the Indian authorities presumably fear that is could be using in Indian prisons.

 

  Running Onion Rings Around the Authorities...

Russia offers bounty for cracking the internet encryption tool Tor


Link Here 29th July 2014
tor logo The Russian government is offering almost 4 million rubles (about USD $100,000) to anyone who can devise a reliable way to decrypt data sent over the Tor anonymity network . A mounting campaign by the Kremlin against the open Internet, not to mention revelations in the United States about government spying, have made Tor increasingly attractive to Russian Internet users seeking to circumvent state censorship.

Developed as a project of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory more than a decade ago, Tor anonymizes Internet traffic by sending it through a unique configuration of nodes known as an onion routing system . Now in the hands of a nonprofit group, the project continues to receive federal funding but boasts approximately 4 million users worldwide , among them many tech-savvy digital activists in countries where technical censorship and surveillance are prevalent. Even the U.S. State Department supports programs that train foreign political activists to use Tor to protect themselves from the watchful eyes of authoritarian governments.

Of course, Tor is a dual-use technology . By providing people with the means to escape censorship and spying, the network is also used by people engaged in organized crime, drug trafficking, and the exchange and sale of child pornography. Documents leaked by Edward Snowden prove that the U.S. National Security Agency has devoted significant resources to hacking Tor , in order to grab personal data about the people who use it.

The U.S. government cites precisely these worrying uses of Tor when justifying its own efforts to decrypt users' data. But the anonymous nature of the network makes it difficult to know precisely who uses it, and for what, at a global scale.

Although unlikely, should Russia's decryption project succeed, it could endanger millions of Internet users whose interest in online anonymity is far from nefarious.

 

 Updated: Ofcom to look into it...

200 viewer complaints about Sky News looking through suitcases of air crash victims


Link Here 28th July 2014
sky undie sifting video OfCom, the UK TV censor, has received around 200 complaints over this past Sunday's on-air live segment where reporter Colin Brazier went through a Malaysian Airlines crash victim's suitcase.

OfCom's Elliott Ball told iMediaEthics:

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

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

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

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

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

Complaint

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

Response from BBC News

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

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

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

 

  Police Censor...

UK games censor appoints a new chairman


Link Here 28th July 2014
VSC logo The UK video games censor, the Video Standards Council (VSC) has appointed a new chair to take over from Gillian Shephard (Baroness Shephard of Northwold).

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

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

 

 Updated: Work to Rule...

Bengal film distributors held up by a lack of censors willing to censor their films


Link Here 28th July 2014
CBFC logo Filmmakers from Bengal, who have releases lined up in the coming months, are in a spot of bother.

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

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

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

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

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

Update: Crisis! Not enough censors in Kerala

28th July 2014. See article from newindianexpress.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update: Crisis! Not enough censors other states too

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

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

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

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

 

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


Link Here 28th July 2014  full story: UK Drinks Censor...Portman Group play PC censor for drinks
strange things are happening banner logo Strange Things are Happening at the UK drinks censors

See article from strangethingsarehappening.com

 

  Stereoptypically PC...

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


Link Here 27th July 2014

outnumbered Outnumbered
BBC1, 29 January 2014

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

Complaint

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

Outcome

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

Upheld

Further action

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

 

 Update: One Million Moms Recommend...

Black Jesus on late night programming known as Adult Swim


Link Here 27th July 2014  full story: One Million Moms...Moralist whingers against anything sexy
black jesus video One Million Moms is a christian morality campaign. The group writes in a 'call to action':

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

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

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

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

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

Update: Even worse than feared

12th August 2014. See  article from  onemillionmoms.com

Black Jesus was even worse than its promotions portrayed in the trailer leading up to the broadcast. In the 30-minute premiere, Jesus is recruited by his friend's mother to buy a block of "weed" for a party.  This first episode was entitled Smokin', Drinkin', and Chillin' and included:

  • 88 profanities are used, including God's name in vain (MA-L rating).
  • Jesus uses the f-word multiple times, uses God's name in vain.
  • Jesus smokes marijuana and complains about having to share it.
  • Jesus is arrested when a drug deal he is leading goes bad.

The Jesus character irreverently refers to God as "Pops," himself as "lord and savior," and is continually obsessed with alcohol and drugs.

 

  Watchdogs Watch Watch Dogs...

Australian advert censor dismisses whinge about poster for computer game Watch Dogs


Link Here 27th July 2014
UBI Soft Watch Dogs PS4 Australia's Advertising Standards Board (ASB) has dismissed a complaint against an outdoor ad for controversial Ubisoft video game Watch Dogs which claimed it was intimidating and normalised guns.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

  Shakespeare's Saw VIII...

100 theatre goes reported to have fainted during performances of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus at the Globe Theatre


Link Here 27th July 2014
titus andronicus globe Titus Andronicus is well known as William Shakespeare's most violent play, but this clue wasn't enough for theatregoers at London's Globe Theatre, 100 of whom fainted or walked out, overcome by the gore during the latest run of Titus Andronicus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 Extract: EU Censorship Will Not Be Forgotten...

EU internet censors get heavy with Google for informing websites that they have been censored


Link Here 26th July 2014  full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
EU flag The EU's Article 29 Censorship Working Party has criticised Google for telling publishers about removed right to be forgotten links, and it wants links removed worldwide, not just on European variants of Google.

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

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

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

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

...Read the full article

Jimmy Wales criticises 'right to be forgotten' censorship

See  article from  theguardian.com

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

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

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

 

  How to Kill a Dead Parrot...

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


Link Here 26th July 2014  full story: Monty Python Live (Mostly)...Show causes censorship problems when shown on TV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But the Pythons also opted for some PC self censorship

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

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

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

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

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

These were replaced by

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

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

Python Terry Jones said:

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

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

 

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

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


Link Here 26th July 2014

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

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

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

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

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

 

 Update: Miserablist Moralists Recommend...

Fifty Shades of Grey and its newly released trailer


Link Here 26th July 2014  full story: Fifty Shades of Grey Movies...Kink for kids Hollywood style
fifty shades of grey trailer USA Today has reported that Morality in Media's executive director, Dawn Hawkins, has whinged at the newly released trailer for the movie, Fifty Shades of Grey . She claims the trailer:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...Read the full  article

 

 Update: Grump Grump...

Chinese news websites remove story about a giant inflatable toad after it was likened to a former president


Link Here 26th July 2014  full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
toad beijing Chinese reports about a giant inflatable toad have been deleted from the Internet after social media users compared the puffed-up animal to former President Jiang Zemin.

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

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

 

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

Cutting down previously R rated movies so that they are suitable for kids


Link Here 26th July 2014  full story: PG13ification...Hollywood cramming R rated movies into PG-13
us pg-13

 

  Cannibal Holocaust...

Pooch reviews the new US Blu-ray release from Grindhouse


Link Here 26th July 2014
Cannibal Holocaust Blu ray Robert Kerman

 

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

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


Link Here 26th July 2014
david anderson

 

  The Department of Culture, Media and Censorship...

ATVOD provide a few clues to a cunning government plan to censor adult porn in the name of child protection


Link Here 25th July 2014
DCMS logo ATVOD has published brief minutes from its May 2014 board meeting. This includes a short report on what the government is up to in its plans to censor adult porn on the internet in the name of child protection.

ATVOD board meeting minutes report:

Public policy on R18 and unclassified material

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

  Boiled Brains at the BBFC...

BBFC cuts revealed to Rick Rosenthal's Halloween II


Link Here 25th July 2014
Halloween II DVD Donald Pleasence Halloween II is a 1981 US horror film by Rick Rosenthal.
With Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence and Charles Cyphers. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb
It is rare that horror sequels (or any film sequels) manage to capture the tone and feel of their predecessor. However Halloween 2, made 3 years after John Carpenter's original, is a successful exercise in terror.

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

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

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

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

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

 

 Update: India Recommends...

Hollywood comedy Sex Tape banned by the CBFC


Link Here 25th July 2014  full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
Sex Tape Blu ray Sex Tape is a 2014 USA comedy by Jake Kasdan.
Starring Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz and Rob Corddry. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

Summary Notes

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

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

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

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

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

A former member of the board says:

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

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

 

  Anti-BDSM lords get spanked...

Proposals to massive expand the definition of 'extreme porn' to cover all BDSM turned down


Link Here 24th July 2014
house of lords red logo This Xmas tree bill is currently getting the attention of the Lords and a number of amendments have been moved in the past few days.

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

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

The movers of these amendments are:

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

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

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

The debate on the clauses -

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

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

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

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

On clause 28 he says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 Update: Forgotten Free Speech...

Society of Editors calls on David Cameron to end censorship based on the right to be forgotten


Link Here 24th July 2014  full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
The Society of Editors, which has the backing of senior figures at the BBC, Sky News and ITN as well as major newspaper groups, as joined with Index on Censorship and the Media Lawyers Association to call on David Cameron and key EU data protection chiefs to resist censorship in the guise of the right to be forgotten. The Society of Editors has wriiten to David Cameron:

Dear Prime Minister,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Putin signs law requiring US social network giants to keep their data about Russian users in local databases


Link Here 24th July 2014  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media
vladimir putin Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a new law to strengthen the country's ability to censor the internet.

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

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

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

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

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

Update: New law comes into force

5th August 2014. See  article from  bbc.co.uk

A new law imposing restrictions on users of social media has come into effect in Russia.

It means bloggers with more than 3,000 daily readers must register with the mass media regulator, Roskomnadzor, and conform to the regulations that govern the country's larger media outlets.

It includes measures to ensure that bloggers cannot remain anonymous, and states that social networks must maintain six months of data on its users. The information must be stored on servers based in Russian territory, so that government authorities can gain access.

 

 Update: Blocking Inquiry...

Australia forms group to investigate a secretive avenue of state internet censorship


Link Here 24th July 2014  full story: Website Blocking in Australia...Stephen Conroy's attempt at internet censorship
australian government logo The Australian federal government has founded a committee to inquire into law enforcement's use of the Telecommunications Act. The inquiry will specifically look into the Australian Securities and and Investments Commission (ASIC) alongside the Australian Federal Police (AFS). The groups had initiated website blocking that was revealed in 2013 after a clumsy implementation blocked 250,000 other websites in the process.

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

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

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

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

 

 Update: One Million Moms Recommend...

PayDay candy bars


Link Here 24th July 2014  full story: One Million Moms...Moralist whingers against anything sexy
payday candy bar advert video The christian morality campaign group, One Million Moms, spouts:

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

The commercial voiceover includes:

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

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

 

  Unnatural Outrage...

Utah protest against breast enlargement flyer


Link Here 24th July 2014
wade laser clinic advert A flyer advertising natural breast augmentation and liposuction for a Wade Laser Clinic has caused 'outrage' in the town of Bountiful, Utah. 75 or so residents who found these flyers in their mailboxes recently attended a rally outside the clinic to protest what they ludicrously claimed to be pornography.

Pamela Atkinson of the Utah Coalition Against Pornography spouted:

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

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

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

 

 Offsite Article: The Department of Dirty...


Link Here 24th July 2014
department of dirty video Amusing video from the Open Rights Group

See article from departmentofdirty.co.uk

 

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

Just 12% of new subscribers opt for network level website blocking designed for child protection


Link Here 23rd July 2014  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet
website blocking take up Ofcom has published a report outlining the uptake and implementation of optional network blocking offerings from the four main broadband ISPs in the UK.

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

table from report

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Report findings

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

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

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

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

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

Next steps

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

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

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

 

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

Mediawatch-UK and Safer Media whinge at the popularity and consequential profitability of cinema films with a 12A rating


Link Here 23rd July 2014
12a large The BBFC Annual Report for 2013 highlighted that a record 321 cinema films were given a 12A rating last year, up a third from 234 the previous year. The rating means children aged 12 and over can see a film at the cinema unaccompanied, and those under this age can also view the film with an adult.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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


Link Here 23rd July 2014

silly walk

UK TV Censor

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

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

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

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

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

...Read the full article

 

  Symbols of Repression...

German state bans websites from displaying Hells Angels and Bandidos logos


Link Here 23rd July 2014
hells angels patch logo Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia state has banned websites from displaying the insignia of the Hells Angels and Bandidos motorcycle clubs.

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

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

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

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

 

 Update: Stock market crash on demand...

Chinese TV censors announce ban on foreign produced content for Video on Demand services


Link Here 23rd July 2014  full story: Internet TV Censorship in China...Draconian censorship
sarft logo China's TV censor, SARFT (The State Administration of Radio Film and Television) is preparing to stifle Chinese Video on Demand services.

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

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

 

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

Whistleblower says NSA revelations mean those with duty to protect confidentiality must urgently upgrade security


Link Here 23rd July 2014  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
edward snowden

 

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

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


Link Here 22nd July 2014  full story: UK Drinks Censor...Portman Group play PC censor for drinks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

  BBFC Podcast 22...

Tone


Link Here 22nd July 2014
Woman Black DVD Daniel Radcliffe In this episode of the podcast the BBFC discusses what it means by the term tone in the Classification Guidelines, and how the overall tone of a work may affect its final classification.

Listen to  podcast

 

  Dangerous Tweets...

ISIS takes aim at the creator of the islamic comic heroes, The 99


Link Here 22nd July 2014
the 99 Last week the self proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the militant group better known as ISIS, called for the death of Kuwaiti-American comic creator Naif Al-Mutawa.

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

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

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

 

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

Artist jailed over 3D printer map of her vagina


Link Here 22nd July 2014
megumi igarashi, A Japanese artist who made figures of Lady Gaga and a kayak modelled on her vagina said she was outraged by her arrest and vowed a court fight against obscenity charges.

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

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

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

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

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

Update: Released from police custody

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

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

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

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

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

 

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


Link Here 22nd July 2014
Safer Media Moralist TV campaigner, Pippa Smith, has a whinge about taste, decency and internet watersheds

See article from huffingtonpost.co.uk

 

  Few Complaints...

A few snippets from BBFC Annual Report for 2013


Link Here 21st July 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other films noted were:

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

 

  Deadly Women...

Discovery Channel fined 100,000 over violent daytime crime show


Link Here 21st July 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ofcom considered rules:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Sanction Decision

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

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

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

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

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

 

  Unjust...

French politician jailed for insulting the country's justice minister


Link Here 21st July 2014
France flag A politician in France has been sentenced to nine months in prison for comparing the country's justice minister, who is black, to an ape.

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

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

 

  French Justice Earns Bad Review...

Restaurant reviewer ordered to pay damages for bad review that was highly ranked in Google


Link Here 21st July 2014
France flag A French judge has ludicrously ruled against a blogger because her scathing restaurant review was too prominent in Google search results. The judge ordered that the post's title be amended and told the blogger Caroline Doudet to pay damages.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 Update: Poison Pens...

Burmese journalists jailed for 10 years for reporting on the building of a chemical weapons factory


Link Here 21st July 2014  full story: Press Censorship in Burma...World leaders in oppressive censorship
Burma flag 2010 Five journalists in Burma have been sentenced to 10 years in prison for disclosing state secrets after their newspaper reported on the building of an alleged chemical weapons factory.

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

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

 

  Encore...

Georgia Tech researchers develop tool to automate the monitoring of website blocking


Link Here 21st July 2014
encore georgia tech logo Georgia Tech researchers have created a tool to monitor the accessibility of Web pages around the world that can be installed by adding a single line of code to a web page. The tool, Encore, runs when a user visits a website where the code is installed and then discreetly collects data from potentially censored sites.

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

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

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

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

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

Feamster said:

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

 

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


Link Here 21st July 2014
Eyes Wide Shut DVD Cruise Forbes marks the 15th anniversary of the film with a piece about the failed MPAA NC-17 rating

See article from forbes.com

 

  BBFC Know their limitations...

BBFC cinema cuts revealed to the 1973 cinema release of Magnum Force


Link Here 20th July 2014
Magnum Force Special Clint Eastwood Magnum Force is a 1973 USA action mystery thriller by Ted Post.
With Clint Eastwood, Hal Holbrook and Mitch Ryan. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

San Francisco Police Inspector 'Dirty' Harry Callahan and his new partner, Early Smith have been temporarily reassigned from Homicide to Stakeout Duty. Meanwhile, those of the city's criminals who manage to avoid punishment by the courts are nevertheless being killed by unknown assassins. Callahan begins to investigate the murders despite the orders of his superior officer, Lieutenant Briggs. A man has to know his limitations...

Cut by the BBFC for 1973 cinema release but the cuts were waived for home video

UK: Passed X (18) after BBFC cuts for:

  • 1973 cinema release

Thanks to Vincenzo. The BBFC cuts were:

  • Reel 1 - Sight of Ricca and attorney twitching in rear seat of car after they have been shot was reduced to a flash shot.
  • Reel 3 - The struggle in a taxi when pimp kills prostitute was reduced. Sight of pimp's hand hanging over car door and twitching after he has been shot was reduced to a flash shot.
  • Reel 7 - The killing of a policeman by Harry where he punches and then chops him in the throat was reduced. Blows to the throat were reduced.
UK: Passed 18 uncut with previous cuts waived for:

 

  MPAA needs to grow up...

IFC cinemas set to override the harsh R rating for the movie Boyhood


Link Here 20th July 2014
Boyhood DVD Patricia Arquette Boyhood is a 2014 USA drama by Richard Linklater.
Starring Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke. YouTube icon IMDb

US : Rated R (17A) for language including sexual references, and For teen drug and alcohol use.

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

The USA lacks a rating for mid teens. There is a PG-13 rating for young teens but the next step is an R rating which is in UK terms a 17A rating. So movies that are 15 rated in the UK have to be overrated with a 17 rating in the US. It is often cited as a criticism of the US system that something as trivial as a couple of 'fucks' tips a movie from a 13 rating to a 17 rating. One such example is Richard Linklater's Boyhood.

Richard Linklater's Boyhood was given an R-rating, despite the fact that it quite realistically charts the growth of a contemporary suburban child up until his college years. Naturally, the MPAA wants to protect any kid who might actually watch something that, critics say, accurately depicts their own lives. But distributor IFC Films isn't having it.

In response to the R-rating, IFC tweeted about Boyhood , which is playing at the IFC Center in New York, as well as five other locations:

Though the MPAA has rated BOYHOOD R, we feel the film is appropriate for mature adolescents & will be admitting teenagers at our discretion. --- IFC Center (@IFCCenter) July 11, 2014

The indie film from director Richard Linklater follows a young boy named Mason, who makes it through a rocky childhood with an alcoholic father (Ethan Hawke) and, eventually, a single mother (Patricia Arquette) as he attempts to define his identity over the course of twelve years. Boyhood carries an R-rating attached to crude language, including sexual references, and teen drug and alcohol usage. There are several implications of spousal abuse as well as domestic unrest, which are no doubt intense for the viewer. Which is sort of the point: it's almost as if the MPAA is penalizing Linklater's movie for being honest.

 

  Banned Criticism...

Banned documentary fails to get a screening in West Bengal


Link Here 20th July 2014
en dino muzaffarnagar The director of an Indian investigative documentary that tracks the events leading to the Muzaffarnagar riots last year and is anti-BJP in tone, said the West Bengal government's decision to cancel the film's screening at a state-run cultural centre reflects its refusal to take on the BJP .

The Muzzafarnagar riots in Uttar Pradesh last year left nearly 40 people dead according to some estimates, and over 50,000 homeless.

The documentary En Dino Muzaffarnagar by filmmaker Shubhradeep Chakravorty and Meera Chaudhury explores how the BJP swung the caste differences between the Jats and Muslims, in their favour to garner maximum votes in alliance with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), right before the crucial Lok Sabha elections in May this ye ar .

The documentary which was rejected by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), but screened at Mumbai's Prithvi Theatre in April, was scheduled for a showing at Kolkata's Charukala Bhavan in July.

 

 Offsite Article: The Ban Man...


Link Here 20th July 2014
Hindus Alternative History Wendy Doniger Indian on a censorial crusade against literary criticism of a religion beyond reproach

See article from theguardian.com

 

  Courtesy of the RDI and BBFC...

More details on the level of website blocking to implemented for public WiFi


Link Here 19th July 2014
rdi logo The Registered Digital Institute is a trade group which promotes digital installation and digital service providers directly to the consumer. The institutes explains its role in setting up a standard for internet website blocking for public WiFi:

During his 2013 NSPCC speech on online safety, David Cameron announced that an agreement was in place with the UK's main Wi-Fi providers to commit to applying a level of filtering across all of their standard public Wi-Fi services, which are easily accessed by children and young people. Mr Cameron also highlighted the need to develop an industry-recognised and trusted symbol, which businesses could display to show customers that their public Wi-Fi is properly filtered. Discussions around the development of such a scheme and symbol began 12 months ago, when the RDI were asked to work in collaboration with The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS), the Government and the UK's main Wi-Fi Providers, to design, develop and launch the UK-wide Friendly WiFi scheme that we see today.

RDI have also outlined the level of blocking that has been implemented and how the BBFC have been involved in the censorship process:

BBFC logo During meetings with DCMS and the UK's main Wi-Fi providers who we worked collaboratively with to design the online safety initiative, it was suggested that we contact the BBFC. We were introduced to the BBFC's Assistant Director, David Austin who kindly offered to assist us in the build of our specification for online content filtering. David hosted an initial meeting at the BBFC's London offices and provided what can only be described as an eye-opening view of how the BBFC operates and independently scrutinises films and video to ensure the highest possible level of protection and empowerment.

We learned how the BBFC had been appointed by the Mobile Broadband Group to provide an independent framework to underpin the Mobile Operators' code of practice that was set up in 2004 for the self-regulation of content on mobiles. The Classification Framework defines content that is unsuitable for customers under the age of 18 and is based on the BBFC's Classification Guidelines for film and video. The Classification Framework is also used to calibrate the filters used by the Operators to restrict access to internet content via mobile networks by those under 18. This was a major step forward to restrict content accessed via mobile networks and protect children from viewing inappropriate material whilst operating their mobile devices.

Although the specified level of content filtering within the Friendly WiFi scheme is below that which underpins the Mobile Operators code of practice, it is important that we were guided by the same technical expertise of the BBFC to support our development and advise us on future updates. The BBFC has contributed specific definitions and guided us in the use of correct and appropriate terms relating to the filtering of pornography. This is to make sure we are able to communicate the terms correctly and have the confidence that our specification is in line with what our Customers, Industry and Public expects.

The level of content filtering agreed by the main WiFi providers for their standard public WiFi offerings is the same level which has been included within the Friendly WiFi scheme. The level of filtering as follows:

  1. The standard public Wi-Fi offering will automatically filter the IWF list and participate in the IWF Self Certification process.

  2. The standard public Wi-Fi offering will also include filters to block pornography and will use generally recognised list providers to filter pornography.

No doubt the use of 'generally recognised list providers' means that the block on actual pornography will include a block on news and information websites that happen to include a few porny words in their text.

Any UK business wishing to join the Friendly WiFi scheme must meet the level of filtering standards described above. Once approved they will be authorised to display the scheme Friendly WiFi logo at their venues. At RDI, we will be working on a number of initiatives to support our Friendly WiFi customers and the Industry. As part of our service to Licensees of our scheme, we will manage consumer enquiries and deal with issues in relation to content viewed over public WiFi services. These may include reports of over blocking and under blocking. We are delighted that the BBFC have agreed to work with us by offering their support to handle enquiries of this nature. Their independent and technical expertise is essential and we look forward to a strong relationship and us working together to evolve the scheme.

 

  A Strange World...

14 minutes of BBFC cuts revealed to the 1963 cinema release of the iconic Mondo Cane


Link Here 19th July 2014
Mondo Cane DVD Mondo Cane is a 1962 Italy documentary by Paolo Cavara & Gualtiero Jacopetti.
With Rossano Brazzi and Stefano Sibaldi. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

The film consists of a series of travelogue-vignettes providing glimpses into cultural practices throughout the world intended to shock or surprise the mostly Western film audience, including an insect banquet and a memorable look at a practising South Pacific cargo cult. Mondo Cane's shock-exploitation-documentary style was the inspiration for numerous imitations, including Shocking Asia and the Faces of Death series of movies.

It was nominated for the Palme d'Or, the highest prize given to a competing film at the Cannes Film Festival.

The film was banned by the BBFC for 1962 cinema release but was resubmitted in 1963 and passed X after about 14 minutes of cuts. Thanks to Vincenzo. The BBFC cuts were:

  • Reel 1 - Remove shots of pigs being beaten to death.
  • Reel 1 - Remove shots of dead dogs in cooking-pots and live dogs in cages in Formosa Roast-Dog Restaurant.
  • Reel 1 - Shorten the incident of the Easter Egg chickens which are put alive into hot ovens, together with commentary relating to this.
  • Reel 2 - Remove shots of a snake being skinned alive in Singapore.
  • Reel 2 - Considerably shorten the episodes of sharks having poisonous and prickly plant pushed into their mouths, and shorten also shots of the sharks' struggles in the water.
  • Reel 3 - Reduce the shots of the drunkards and drug-addicts in Hamburg.
  • Reel 4 - Reduce the shots of buffaloes being decapitated by Gurkhas to no more than one shot, which should not be a close up.
  • Reel 4 - Remove the shot of the man being killed by a bull in the street, and being dragged away. Also remove the sound of his groans.
  • Reel 4 - Reduce to a minimum the shots of a man being tossed in the bull-ring

The film has not been released since in the UK but is uncut in the US on DVD:

 

 Update: Details shared of the Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme...

Official announcement of scheme to write informational letters to ISP subscribers spotted sharing pirated material


Link Here 19th July 2014  full story: Digital Economy Act...Clause 11 grants government control of the internet

bittorrent logo Earlier this year news broke that UK ISPs are set to team up with copyright holders to notify subscribers found sharing pirated material. Today the initiative has been announced officially, receiving praise from all parties involved.

Despite the optimism it may take well over a year before the first warnings are sent out.

As we previously revealed, the Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme (VCAP) will only apply to P2P file-sharing and will mainly focus on repeat infringers. The monitoring will be carried out by a third-party company and unlike other warning systems there won't be any punishments. The main purpose of the warnings is to alert and educate copyright infringers, in the hope they will move over to legal alternatives.

Thus far BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media have agreed to send warnings to customers whose connections are being used for unauthorized file-sharing. Commenting on the collaboration, all four ISPs praised the educational nature of the VCAP program.

However the Prime Minister's IP advisor Mike Weatherly has already said that it's already time to think about VCAP's potential failure. He suggested that the program needs to be followed by something more enforceable, including disconnections, fines and jail sentences.

 

 Comment: ATVOD Recommends that British porn sites relocate to the Netherlands...

Annual Report published for 2013-14


Link Here 19th July 2014
atvod annual report 2014 ATVOD's press release reads

The Authority for Television On Demand, co-regulator of editorial content in UK video on demand services, has published its annual report detailing steps taken by ATVOD in the year to 31 March 2014 to protect children from hardcore porn on regulated video on demand ( VOD ) services.

This included action against a service run by JP Media which resulted in the first ever use of powers to suspend the right to provide a VOD service. The porn video site operated by JP Media had failed to ensure that under 18s could not access hardcore porn content on the UK operated websites. The JP Media service was among 16 services, operating across 20 websites - found to be in breach of the statutory rules in 2013-14 because they featured hardcore porn material which could be accessed by under 18's.

Of the 16 services, 14 acted to make changes to bring the service into compliance or closed. The remaining two were transferred to the control of a company based in The Netherlands. Although regulated under the same EU Directive, the Dutch regulatory authority does not share ATVOD's view that hardcore pornography might seriously impair under 18s and so on-demand services provided from that jurisdiction are not required to have in place the sort of age verification and access control systems required by ATVOD in the UK.

ATVOD Chief Executive Pete Johnson said :

We have made good progress in ensuring that UK operators of regulated VOD services comply with rules designed to protect children from harmful content, but we are not complacent and will continue to monitor relevant services and act as required.

Our enforcement activity has sent a clear message that UK providers of hardcore pornography on demand must take effective steps to ensure that such material is not accessible to under-18's. Asking visitors to a website to click an 'I am 18' button or enter a date of birth or use a debit card is not sufficient, if they are going to offer explicit sex material they must know that their customers are 18, just as they would in the 'offline' world.

[However the ATVOD mandated child protection measures as so onerous that it is almost impossible for businesses to survive after implementing them. An interesting statistic in the report rather illustrates this. In a survey of internet access ATVOD found that only 1 of 1266 adult sites visited by members of a 45,000 strong survey was a British site working within ATVOD censorship rules].

ATVOD Chair Ruth Evans said:

ATVOD will continue to discuss with policy makers further options for reducing the exposure of children to pornography and other potentially harmful VOD material on websites based outside the UK . We strongly support initiatives designed to improve the take up of parental control software and have worked with the Department for Culture Media and Sport on the drafting of legislation which will prohibit on UK based VOD services any material which would not be classified for sale on a DVD.

In addition to the 16 breaches relating to the provision of hardcore pornography, the authority also details in its Annual Report a further 56 breaches of the statutory rules, giving a total of 72 breaches during 2013-14, an increase of 200% on the previous year.

Another interesting statistic that ATVOD failed to mention was that ATVOD spent £510,900 in the report period so each of the 72 breaches of the code cost on average, £7095 to process.

Surely this money would be better spent commissioning a practical national ID scheme administered by trusted parties rather than handing over highly personal ID date to dodgy porn sites with easy potential for identity theft. This would then allow British websites to compete whilst children would be better protected by a scheme that was acceptable and practical for everybody.

letter writing Comment: ATVOD latest idiocy

19th July 2014. Thanks to Alan

The mind boggles!

Where do they find fuckwits like Pete Johnson? How much do they pay him?

I haven't the foggiest idea where they get evidence for this crackpot notion that porn is somehow harmful to people aged less than 18. Bloody hell, more than half a century ago I was able to enjoy a quiet J Arthur over Pamela Green and June Palmer, in mags readily obtained by the lads at my boys' grammar school. It doesn't seem to have wrecked my life. I picked up a few degrees and spent my working life in adequately paid white-collar jobs. Strength to the elbow (and wrist) of today's teenage lads if they defy this clown and get their fix of porn.

Melon Farmers: The Annual Report reveals that ATVOD paid £105,060 to Pete Johnson in salary, and a further £18,911 in pension contributions.

 

  Surfism...

Australian beach town mayor panders to PC extremist and then says he wishes he hadn't


Link Here 19th July 2014
banned surf girl Banners sporting a female surfer have been pulled down in Evans Head on the New South Wales north coast, after claims from one resident that they're inappropriate.

Promotional material boasting golden beach sunsets and green barrel waves hang in Evans Head's main street, reminding visitors about the beach lifestyle that the Richmond Valley has to offer. But soon after being erected, the council removed that surfer girl image following a complaint from one resident who claimed it was sexist.

Richmond Valley Mayor Ernie Bennett says it has been taken down in the short-term, but he would like to see the poster returned.

Personally I see it as a normal shot of someone you would see on the beach at Evans Head. There's been quite a bit of communication with the community down at Evans... and people want the poster back up.

Petria Powell from the local milk bar has gathered 160 signatures calling for the poster to be put back up. She says the majority of her customers didn't agree with its removal. .

Not only is the girl one of our local surfers but it was just a beautiful photo of a girl walking down to the beach with a surf board under her arm. It's so innocent.

 

 Extracts: Intelligence services creating vast databases of intercepted emails...

Government told internet surveillance tribunal that gathering material may be permissible, say human rights groups


Link Here 19th July 2014  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping

gchq logo The intelligence services are constructing vast databases out of accumulated interceptions of emails, a tribunal investigating mass surveillance of the internet has been told.

The claim emerged during a ground-breaking case against the monitoring agency GCHQ, MI5, MI6 and the government at the investigatory powers tribunal (IPT).

Matthew Ryder QC, for Liberty and other human rights groups, told a hearing the government had not disputed that databases gathering material that may be useful for the future is something that may be permissible under Ripa [the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000] .

If they are deemed under the legislation to be necessary , he said, that may mean their use can stretch far into the future .

Ryder added: The government is now conceding it can gather such databases.

Hacking Online Polls and Other Ways British Spies Seek to Control the Internet

21st July 2014. See article from firstlook.org by Glenn Greenwald

The secretive British spy agency GCHQ has developed covert tools to seed the internet with false information, including the ability to manipulate the results of online polls, artificially inflate pageview counts on web sites, amplif[y] sanctioned messages on YouTube, and censor video content judged to be extremist. The capabilities, detailed in documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, even include an old standby for pre-adolescent prank callers everywhere: A way to connect two unsuspecting phone users together in a call.

The tools were created by GCHQ's Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), and constitute some of the most startling methods of propaganda and internet deception contained within the Snowden archive. Previously disclosed documents have detailed JTRIG's use of fake victim blog posts, false flag operations, honey traps and psychological manipulation to target online activists, monitor visitors to WikiLeaks, and spy on YouTube and Facebook users.

Censored whilst claiming to be uncensored

21st July 2014. See  article from  dailymail.co.uk

Intelligence agency GCHQ is able to spy on Facebook and Youtube users and can manipulate online polls, according to the latest documents allegedly leaked by fugitive CIA worker Edward Snowden.

Documents thought to have been provided by the whistleblower allegedly show that the Cheltenham-based agency has developed a set of software programmes designed to breach users' computers and manipulate the internet.

Among the listed tools are ones capable of searching for private Facebook photographs, sending fake text messages, changing the outcome of online polls, censoring extremist material, and collating comments on Youtube and Twitter.

Some of the software enables the psychological manipulation of internet users, not unlike the controversial secret study recently undertaken with the approval of Facebook, in which the social network altered people's newsfeeds to see if it had an effect on their emotions.

The list of programmes was revealed in a Wikipedia-style document allegedly compiled by GCHQ's Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), which was first published by The Intercept.

 

 Offsite Article: Net Threats...


Link Here 19th July 2014
pew internet logo Experts say liberty online is challenged by nation-state crackdowns, surveillance, and pressures of commercialization of the Internet

See article from pewinternet.org

 

 Update: Unfriendly WiFi...

Highly censored public WiFi sources are now kindly identifying themselves as such, so you can look elsewhere


Link Here 18th July 2014
friendly wifi logo The Registered Digital Institute (RDI), has launched what if misleadingly calls Friendly WiFi , which aims to indicate that WiFi source is highly censored and is suitable for kids. The highly censored internet feed inevitably going way beyond porn sites will be denoted with the logo shown right.

The official blurb reads:

Friendly Wifi - Public WiFi Licensing Scheme

Last summer the Prime Minister; David Cameron announced that a commitment had been made with the UK's main WiFi Providers that their standard public WiFi offering will automatically filter the IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) list and block pornography, by the end of August 2013.

These filters mean that whoever accesses public WiFi is blocked from getting on certain websites, these websites will always remain blocked and filtering will also include a number of pornographic and child abuse sites.Filtering work is now compete and the idea of a Friendly WiFi logo and scheme were developed to promote the good work that has already been carried out to protect public WiFi users online.

Retailers, restaurants, hoteliers, transport companies and any other businesses offering public WiFi can now sign up to the new scheme and can display the Friendly WiFi logo to show their customers that the WiFi provided by them is filtered and safe for children and young people to use. 'Friendly WiFi Logo'

The Friendly WiFi logo is available to any UK business providing public WiFi, who are committed to supporting the need for safeguarding online content. The Friendly WiFi logo will be displayed by each business signed up to the Friendly WiFi scheme and will appear on their landing page as you sign into WiFi.

Wherever this logo is displayed on site or online, parents and young people can be assured that, the company displaying the logo has the correct filters in place and their business broadband service meets the commitment made by the WiFi providers.

 

  Vulnerable to Interpretation...

Ofcom publish research findings about soaps and pre and post watershed violence on TV


Link Here 18th July 2014
Ofcom logo Ofcom writes in a press release:

Ofcom has published research on consumer attitudes and trends in violence shown on UK TV programmes.

The research supports Ofcom in its role in protecting TV viewers, especially children. It looks at how violence on TV has changed since Ofcom issued guidelines to broadcasters in 2011 to avoid programmes being shown before 9pm that might be unsuitable for children.

The research comprises two separate reports. The first study focused on public attitudes towards violence on TV among people from a range of ages and socio-economic groups.

The second was an analysis of four popular UK soap operas, which looked at instances of violence, or threats of violence, and people's views on them. Research findings

The first report, on the views of audiences, found that different demographic groups showed subtle differences in their views about violent content. However, all agreed that children should not be exposed to any sexual violence on TV before and straight after the watershed.

People considered the time of broadcast to be the single most important factor in determining the acceptability of violent content on TV. Viewers were prepared to tolerate moderately violent scenes before the watershed; however, all agreed that strong scenes with a vulnerable victim were unacceptable before 9pm.

The research also found that viewers have a sophisticated ability to analyse contextual factors when assessing whether violent scenes were acceptable. Many people said they watched violent content for a number of reasons. Some said it made genres, such as action or drama, seem realistic and provided tension, therefore contributing to their TV viewing experience.

The study of soap operas not only looked at violent scenes, but also measured those with menacing or threatening behaviour, and violence that was implied off-screen.

It found that violence in soaps was usually clearly indicated in advance, so viewers were unlikely to be surprised when it took place. The research showed 79% of violent scenes were judged credible and rarely surprised viewers. Broadcasters have also used violence in soap operas to help raise awareness and generate public debate around social issues such as domestic abuse.

Instances of strong scenes, portraying violence that might make the viewer uncomfortable, were very infrequent, at 6% overall. Depictions of terror during violent scenes, such as the imbalance of power in a fight, near fatal violence and post-traumatic stress flashbacks, varied between 3% and 5% in the soaps covered.

The report also found that the amount of violence, or threats of violence, has varied over the years. EastEnders has shown a decline from 6.1 violent scenes per hour in 2001/2002 to 2.1 in 2013.

The level of violence in Coronation Street has remained fairly steady, at around three scenes per hour over the same period. There was an increase in Emmerdale, from 2.5 to over 4 scenes per hour, while Hollyoaks has also shown a rise, from 2.1 scenes per hour between 2001 and 2002 to 11.5 scenes per hour in 2013.

 

 Update: Dear Theresa, see you in court...

Open Rights Group looks to legal action against mass snooping


Link Here 18th July 2014  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
Open Rights Group logo Open Rights Group rights:

Parliament has a done a terrible thing. They've ignored a court judgment and shoved complex law through a legislative mincer in just three days.

But in doing so they won't have had the final word. You've already shown them the growing public opposition to mass surveillance. There was incredible action from supporters: 4458 of you wrote to your MPs with even more phoning up on the day of the vote. Together we helped 49 MPs rebel against the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill. It may have passed, but thanks to you they know that we do not agree.

Whilst Parliament swallowed Theresa May's tired arguments that terrorist plots will go undetected and these are powers and capabilities that exist today , she failed to make a compelling argument that holding everyone's data is necessary and proportionate. Frankly, the Government was evasive and duplicitous, and they were in a hurry to cover their tracks.

Tom Watson MP described the process as democratic banditry, resonant of a rogue state. The people who put this shady deal together should be ashamed.

And the European Court's decision was very clear: blanket data retention is unlawful and violates the right to privacy.  The courts will have the final say on whether DRIP breaches human rights. And no matter what David Cameron believes, the UK has international obligations. The European Convention on Human Rights, the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and our own Human Rights Act -- all exist to defend our rights and are where we will be able to challenge DRIP.

We're already meeting with lawyers and taking Counsel's advice to work out the best way to take the Government to court. We will work with every other group who is willing to help. But a major legal battle like this is going to be tough. The more resources we have, the more we'll be able to do to stand up to DRIP.

ORG ask people to join their campaign against mass snooping.

Offsite Article: Peers criticise government over emergency data laws

21st July 2014. See  article from  bbc.co.uk

 

  Utopia...

Channel 4 fictional drama recommended by the family and friends of Airey Neave


Link Here 18th July 2014

Utopia 2 DVD Fiona OShaughnessy Utopia, Channel 4's controversial new drama, aired as planned amidst a 'furore' over its interpretation of the death of Airey Neave. The second series of Dennis Kelly's controversial programme earned solid reviews for its conspiratorial look at IRA releated events of 1979.

The depiction of Neave's death ruffled feathers, with friends, family and former colleagues of the Tory MP slamming the broadcaster for suggesting that he was an alcoholic who was assassinated by his own government rather than the IRA.

Neave's youngest son, William, 60, has spoken out against the drama, saying:

I don't know why Channel 4 would want to make such sensationalist claims when they are just not true. The suggestion that my father was a drinker is particularly upsetting and utterly dishonest. After his heart attack in 1959, he gave up drinking altogether. We may well have to take action over this.

Former Conservative Party chairman Norman Tebbit, who was a friend and colleague of Neave, described the programme as a new low point in British broadcasting. To attack a man like that who is dead and cannot defend himself is despicable, he told the Mail.

A spokesperson for Channel 4 defended the drama:

A conspiracy thriller about a fictional organization called The Network, Utopia occasionally blends real moments in history with fictional storylines, and therefore some events and characters have been adapted for dramatic licence.

It was not our intention to cause offence and Utopia does not suggest that any other real organisation was responsible for the death of Airey Neave. That period in history has been both widely reported and dramatized over the last 35 years and is the subject of many conspiracy theories.

 

  Singapore Recommends...

Children's book, And Tango Makes Three. Sentenced to burning but later reprieved


Link Here 18th July 2014
Hardcover Richardson Justin Author Jun 01 2005 Two children's books have been reprieved from burning in Singapore. The Minster of Communications and Book Burning was severely embarrassed on the international stage for targeting books reflecting gay lifestyles. Two of three books he banned a few days ago will now be restored to national libraries. Unfortunately all copies of a 3rd book have already been destroyed.

Minister Yaacob Ibrahim said in a statement:

I understand these reactions, which reflect a deep-seated respect in our culture for the written word

He stood by the decision to remove the books from the children's section of the libraries, but said he instructed libraries to place the books in their adult sections.

The National Library Board (NLB) originally took three titles off the shelves in its children's section following complaints from a few members of the public.

The NLB ban led to two online petitions with thousands of signatures pleading with the library authority to reinstate the books.

Ibrahim then defended the NLB censorship saying that he considered that the books do not promote the notion of conventional families .:

The prevailing norms, which the overwhelming majority of Singaporeans accept, support teaching children about conventional families, but not about alternative, non-traditional families, which is what the books in question are about.

Like in other societies, there is considerable effort by some in Singapore to shift these norms, and equally strong pushback by those who don't wish to see change.

Societies are never static, and will change over time. But NLB's approach is to reflect existing social norms, and not to challenge or seek to change them.

The three banned books are:

  • And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson ,  a 2005 illustrated book about the true story of two male penguins which raise a chick together.
     
  • The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption is a 2002 book that details the journey of a lesbian couple, a single mother and two married couples which travel to China to meet their adoptive daughters for the first time.
     
  • Who's In My Family: All About Our Families . This is the title whose copies have already been burnt and so won't get restored to libraries.

 

 Update: The ISPA Awards...

For internet heroes and villains


Link Here 18th July 2014  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping

ispas logo The Internet Services Providers' Association (ISPA UK) announced the winners of the 2014 ISPAs, the UK's longest running internet industry awards, now in their 16th year. Almost fifty organisations were nominated across sixteen categories, and the evening ended with the Internet Hero and Villain Awards, given to those who have helped or hindered the industry in the last year.

Surveillance and broadband dominated the Internet Hero and Villain shortlists, sponsored by NetLynk Direct, with The Guardian named Hero for their work covering the PRISM revelations..

Conversely, GHCQ/NSA won the Internet Villain Award for their role in the surveillance state, a particularly important issue for industry given yesterday's new Bill on data retention. The Guardian collected their award on the evening whilst digital rights campaigners, Big Brother Watch , picked up the award on behalf of GCHQ.

Internet Hero sponsored by NetLynk winner: The Guardian

For their excellent reporting of mass surveillance programmes.

Internet Villain sponsored by NetLynk winner: GCHQ/NSA

For running the widest covert electronic surveillance programme in the world.

The other Internet Villain finalists were:

  • Charles Farr, Director of the Office of Security, Home Office  For continued attempts to collect communications data in spite of the growing consensus to balance retention of data with fundamental rights.
  • Norfolk County Council  For failing to rollout superfast broadband to 80% of residents as promised.
  • Russian Government  For passing one of the most restrictive internet freedom laws in the world.

 

  Parents TV Council Recommends...

Reckless on CBS


Link Here 18th July 2014
Pilot The moralist campaign group writes:

The Parents Television Council is calling on its members and other concerned citizens to file indecency complaints to the FCC over a recent episode of CBS' Reckless that contained explicit sexual content.

The TV-14 (SLV)-rated episode aired on June 29, 2014, at 9 pm ET/PT and 8 pm CT/MT and included these scenes: The episode opened with a woman being pulled over by a police officer and handcuffed to a fence while the officer and the woman had sex. Another scene showed a male attorney watching a video of a woman who was purportedly drugged and then undressed and sexually assaulted by four men on the hood of a police car. In another scene, the same attorney and a female attorney watch the same video of the sexual assault together and subsequently talked about how it turned them on.

PTC President Tim Winter said:

We believe these sexually explicit scenes on CBS' 'Reckless' constitute a violation of the broadcast indecency law due to the patently offensive sexual content airing when children are likely to be in the audience. It is even more troubling that CBS chose to rate the episode as appropriate for 14-year-old children. This is just the latest example of the strained credibility of the TV content rating system.

CBS must be held accountable for using the publicly owned airwaves to beam to every home in the nation repeated graphic depictions of a woman ostensibly being sexually assaulted. As such, we are asking members and others concerned about how TV impacts children to file FCC indecency complaints over this episode.

 

  Digitally Excited...

BBFC publishes Annual Report covering 2013


Link Here 17th July 2014

bbfc annual report 2013 British Board of Film Classification see digital growth, measure public trust and launch new education resources in 2013

The BBFC's voluntary regulation services grew significantly in 2013. In September the BBFC became the regulator of internet content delivered via mobile networks. Meanwhile, content classified for video-on-demand under the BBFC's Watch & Rate service increased by 200% in 2013, with 34 new companies submitting content for classification. BBFC ratings can be found on iTunes, BT Vision, Talk Talk, BlinkBox, FilmFlex, Sainsbury's, PlayStation and XBox. They are available for customers building Ultraviolet collections and can be seen on the seatback entertainment systems on Virgin and British Airways flights.

Education for younger children was an area where the BBFC expanded on its existing outreach programme by launching a new website for children and their parents, www.cbbfc.co.uk , in September. The website features child friendly interactive content, including classification information for the latest film releases rated U to12A; timelines explaining the history of film classification; the popular rate a trailer activity; and a page dedicated to understanding 12A. The website launched with a competition for children, which challenged them to draw pictures representing the correct audiences for each age rating. The winning illustrations, selected from over 130 entries, feature on a poster resource and leaflet which is available as a free resource for schools.

The BBFC's research effort in 2013 was dominated by the large scale public consultation into the BBFC's Classification Guidelines. Involving more than 10,000 adults and teenagers, the results of the consultation fed directly into the BBFC's latest Classification Guidelines, published in January 2014. The research showed strong public trust in the classification system. 89% of film viewers rated classification as important and 92% of recent film viewers agreed with BBFC age ratings for films and videos they had seen recently.

BBFC Director David Cooke said:

2013 was a year of key firsts for the BBFC. We began working to provide a classification framework for mobile operators, trailblazing new ways in which the BBFC's research and expertise in content classification can be applied. We also spoke to teenagers for the first time as part of our Guidelines Consultation exercise, finding that 76% consider classification to be important. Meanwhile our new website for younger children aims to ensure they too learn how to navigate age ratings and, alongside their parents, make informed choices about what they watch at the cinema, on DVD and on VoD platforms.

Mobile Operators in the UK began to use the Mobile Classification Framework designed by the BBFC to filter video and website content available via mobile networks on 2 September 2013. The framework is used to filter internet content available via mobile networks and is a key component of the Mobile Operators' code of practice, established in 2004, and was previously devised by the Independent Mobile Classification Board (IMCB).

Another area of growth for the BBFC involved international partnerships. Working with the Dutch media regulator, NICAM, the BBFC designed a user generated content rating tool that can be used to provide ratings for content uploaded to video sharing websites. The tool allows viewers to rate content themselves with the ratings adapted to suit the requirements and expectations of the country in which they are viewing the video. The tool is currently being trailed by the Italian media company Mediaset on their video sharing platform 16mm.

 

  Unhinged in the Woods...

88 Films to release video nasties, Unhinged and Don't Go in the Woods


Link Here 17th July 2014
unhinged Unhinged is a 1982 US horror by Don Gronquist.
With Laurel Munson, Janet Penner and Sara Ansley. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

Uncut by the BBFC for an 18 rated 1983 cinema release. Banned as a video nasty in 1983. Uncut for DVD in 2004.

From the 88 Films blog:

At 88 Films we wanted to release Unhinged on BluRay but, sadly, the elements are not there. However, the forthcoming DVD of Unhinged will mark the launch of 88's new dedication to slasher cinema -- from the golden era of the 1980s. This will be the best looking print of the film ever, and it will also come with a brand new commentary from Gronquist himself, who will doubtlessly speak a little about the UK controversy. This is going to be the finest the film has ever looked with a transfer approved by Gronquist himself.

Don't Go in the Woods is a 1981 USA horror by James Bryan.
Starring Jack McClelland, Mary Gail Artz and James P Hayden. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

Banned as a video nasty in 1983. Passed 15 uncut for 2007 DVD

From the 88 Films blog:

Don't go in the Woods was filmed in 35mm and, as such, the opportunity has arisen for 88 to release this puppy on BluRay. The elements remain and we are thrilled to announce that, getting its UK debut soon, will be this outrageous example of eighties horror hokum.

 

 Update: Closed Curtain...

Banned Iranian director to release latest film online for viewers in Iran


Link Here 17th July 2014  full story: Jafar Panahi...Iran jails film director for propaganda against the regime
closed curtain Jafar Panahi's Closed Curtain will be released digitally online and will be free for viewers in Iran using VHX, the direct-to-consumer platform, beginning Monday, July 14th.

One of Iran's most celebrated filmmakers, Panahi has been under house arrest since 2011, and the Iranian government has banned him from making any films for 20 years. Closed Curtain marks Panahi's second time defying the ban placed upon him by the government. The first was his 2011 documentary This is Not a Film.

Closed Curtain won the Silver Bear for Best Script at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year and recently opened at the Film Forum in New York City. It will screen across the U.S. and Canada throughout the rest of the summer.

VHX has led the charge on a social media campaign to support Panahi. Using the hashtag #Celebratenotcensor, VHX is asking people to tweet using that hashtag and to:

Show your support as well by sharing a personal message of support for Jafar and for other artists around the world who are being denied the freedom of expression.

 

 Offsite Article: Hey, O2 Wifi Your filters are leaky...


Link Here 17th July 2014  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet
https everywhere logo Using HTTPS confounds website blocking by O2 on public wifi

See article from bawdybloke.com

 

 Offsite Article: Facebook's online shaming mobs...


Link Here 17th July 2014
index logo Shutting down comments by unfriending those with disputed opinions

See article from indexoncensorship.org

 

  Hercules...

BBFC advised category cuts for a 12A rated cinema release


Link Here 16th July 2014
Poster Hercules 2014 Brett Ratner Hercules is a 2014 USA action adventure by Brett Ratner.
Starring Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt and Ian McShane. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 12A for moderate violence, bloody images, moderate sex references, strong language after pre-cut for:

  • 2014 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • This film was originally seen for advice in an incomplete form. The company was informed that it was likely to be classified 15, but that their preferred 12A could be achieved by reducing some bloody detail in three scenes. When the finished version was submitted for formal classification, those moments had been addressed.

For comparison, the US version, presumably uncut was rated PG-13 for epic battle sequences, violence, suggestive comments, brief strong language and partial nudity.

Summary Notes

Fourteen hundred years BCE, a tormented soul walked the earth that was neither man nor god. Hercules was the powerful son of the god king Zeus, for this he received nothing but suffering his entire life. After twelve arduous labours and the loss of his family, this dark, world-weary soul turned his back on the gods finding his only solace in bloody battle. Over the years he warmed to the company of six similar souls, their only bond being their love of fighting and presence of death. These men and women never question where they go to fight or why or whom, just how much they will be paid. Now the King of Thrace has hired these mercenaries to train his men to become the greatest army of all time. It is time for this bunch of lost souls to finally have their eyes opened to how far they have fallen when they must train an army to become as ruthless and blood thirsty as their reputation has become.

 

  Encouraging Irresponsible Censoring...

Advert censor bans YouTube video promoting the Jaguar F-Type for fast driving


Link Here 16th July 2014

f-type jaguary advert video A video ad, on Jaguar Land Rover Ltd's YouTube channel, titled The Art of Villainy was presented as part of Jaguar's GoodToBeBad ad campaign. The ad featured actor Tom Hiddleston playing a suave villain and his character talked about the factors that made a good villain. The ad featured the character driving a Jaguar F-Type in an underground car park and on a public road.

The complainant, who believed the ad featured and encouraged unsafe driving, challenged whether the ad was socially irresponsible.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA considered the ad focused on the appearance of the car and how its style mirrored that of the character being played by Tom Hiddleston who was clearly presented as a sophisticated and cultured villain who was matched by the sophistication of the car in both its appearance and performance. We therefore considered that although the ad featured direct and implied references to speed, it was not the primary focus.

However, acceleration and speed did feature in the ad when the car was shown driving up the ramp to exit the underground car park and when it was shown being driven on a public road at night. The noise of acceleration and the speed with which the car went up the ramp in the car park appeared to suggest significant speed within an enclosed environment. We also considered significant speed was suggested when the car accelerated on the public road after the character said Now brace yourselves and again when the car exited a tunnel and sped away from other cars on the road. Whilst on-screen text stated Professional driver. Closed course. Always obey speed limits , we considered the overall impression consumers would take from those scenes was of a car being driven on a public road (with other cars present) at speed and that the on-screen text would not negate that impression. Whilst we acknowledged the sequences were brief, we considered that the second part of the ad suggested that the car was being driven at excessive speeds and that the ad therefore encouraged irresponsible driving.

The ad breached CAP Code rules 4.4 (Harm and offence), 19.2 and 19.3 (Motoring).

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Jaguar Land Rover Ltd not to portray speed or driving behaviour that might encourage motorists to drive irresponsibly in future.

 

 Updated: Data Retention and Investigatory Powers...

Analysing the emergency bill to enable further mass snooping


Link Here 16th July 2014

Big Brothers Clegg and Cameron Dissecting DRIP - the emergency Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill


14th July 2014. See  article from  cyberleagle.blogspot.co.uk

What does DRIP do? With so much material appearing at such short notice, considered analysis is difficult. Here are some first impressions. DRIP, now with its accompanying provisional draft regulations which appeared on the Home Office website yesterday afternoon, has to square a circle.  Ideally it should make a plausible attempt to address the 15 or so fundamental rights grounds on which the ECJ held that the Data Retention Directive was invalid.

In reality DRIP cannot square the circle. Indeed the newly published Impact Assessment recognises that the legislation does not overcome all the ECJ stumbling blocks, claiming only to address the ECJ judgment "where possible" and "to the extent practicable".  It also acknowledges the "Risk of being perceived as ignoring the ECJ judgment".

We should recognise that DRIP does far more than replace the 2009 Data Retention Regulations.  It makes substantive changes to the interception warrants, interception capability and communications data access provisions of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA).  The Home Secretary has justified these amendments on a different basis from the data retention legislation: an urgent need to clarify, in particular, the territorial scope of RIPA's interception and communications data acquisition provisions. These are the non-data retention aspects of DRIP.

  • Clause 4 addresses the government's concern that it should be able to apply RIPA to non-UK companies that provide communications services to the UK public.

  • Clause 5 broadens the RIPA definition of telecommunications services. The Explanatory Note says this is so that webmail providers are clearly caught.  The change will also have implications for data retention because of crossover into DRIP.

  • Clause 3 places a further restriction on the general purposes for which interception warrants and communications data acquisition notices can be issued.  This will bring RIPA into line with the existing codes of practice.

Whatever the merits of the non-data retention amendments (more on that below), it is debatable why any of them requires emergency legislation to be fast-tracked through Parliament at such breakneck speed.

...Read the full article

Liberty, Privacy International, Open Rights Group, Big Brother Watch, Article 19 and English PEN briefing on the fast-track Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill

See  Briefiing Paper [pdf] from  bigbrotherwatch.org.uk

Update: Bill passed in the House of Commons

16th July 2014. See  article from  telegraph.co.uk

House of Commons logo Controversial emergency legislation enabling continued mass snooping has cleared the Commons after an extended sitting and angry exchanges alleging an abuse of Parliament.

56 heroic MPs stood against the massed ranks of three main parties after the front benches agreed on the supposed urgent need for new laws.

The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill was agreed at third reading by an overwhelming majority of 416, after MPs voted 449 to 33 in favour.

Earlier, Labour MP Tom Watson's cross-party bid to force the legislation to expire by the end of the year was defeated 454 vote to 56, majority 398. Watson said:

Parliament has been insulted... (This is) democratic banditry resonant of a rogue state.

Former Tory leadership contender David Davis said:

My understanding is there was an argument inside Government between the two halves of the Coalition and that argument has gone on for three months so what the Coalition cannot decide in three months this House has to decide in one day.

The House of Lords will look at the Bill on Wednesday and Thursday as ministers aim to have it sent for Royal Assent before the end of the week.

 

 Updated: Things are much more fun when they've been banned...

Wicked Campervans wind up the easily offended with distinctly unPC advertising


Link Here 16th July 2014

wicked campervan hire Wicked Campervans have continued to have continued to have fun with their slogans and 'outrageous' artwork, after being pulled up by miserablists in Australia.

The company came into the limelight earlier this week when a Sydney woman Paula Orbea launched an online petition with change.org, asking the founder John Webb to eliminate misogynistic and degrading slogans and imagery from their vehicles. She was particularly wound up by a Wicked Campervan decorated with the phrase:

In every princess, there's a little slut who wants to try it just once.

And another fine example:

A wife: An attachment you screw on the bed to get the housework done.

In an interview with SBS , Leanne Webb from Wicked Campers, formerly known as Liam, feigned surprise when asked about the company's slogans.

Controversial? Really? I mean, I don't know - we don't try to be controversial. We never try to be controversial, it's not our goal. We just do what we love and we try to have fun. We poke fun at everything more broadly, it's never specifically targeted at anyone in particular at all.

The budget hire company, which has depots around the world, said they were not phased at the bad publicity, despite the online petition currently having over 100,000 signatures.

A litany of complaints have been lodged with the Advertising Standards Bureau against Wicked Campervans for its use of advertising slogans. But the advert censor has already had several whinges against the company but has few powers to try and enforce repeated bans.

A litany of complaints have been leveled with the Advertising Standards Bureau against Wicked Campervans for its use of advertising slogans

Update: Forced to Self Censor

16th July 2014. See article from melindatankardreist.com

The Greens The Australian Senate has unanimously passed a Greens' motion condemning the supposedly sexist, misogynistic and racist slogans that Wicked Campervans have on their hire vans. Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens spokesperson for women, said:

The Senate is sending a strong message that promoting violence against women is completely unacceptable in Australian society.

I'm pleased to hear that Wicked Campers have said they will remove the specific slogan that sparked on online petition signed by more than 120 000 people, and have committed to remove more of what they describe as insensitive slogans in coming months.

I wholeheartedly congratulate and thank Paula Orbea, who started the petition after her 11-year-old daughter read the slogan which incited sexual violence against women and girls.

wicked campervans logo Earlier in the day Wicked Campervans issued an apology and committed to reviewing and the slogans that caused a fracas from all vans in the next six months.

Paula Orbea, the Sydney school teacher who started the 110,000-strong change.org petition against Wicked Campers claims it's a stunning people-power victory against sexism, with the result coming just four days after starting the petition.

In an email from Wicked Campervans received by Paula, she says they've offered a personal apology, have now removed the sexist slogan Paula's daughter saw, committed to reviewing and removing insensitive slogans from all vans in the next six months. The statement reads:

Wicked Campers Owner, John Webb wishes to acknowledge the prevailing community opinion by REMOVING the slogan in question and making a commitment over the coming six months to changing slogans of an insensitive nature.

 

  Married to Censorship...

Singapore bans Archie: The Married Life Book 3


Link Here 16th July 2014
Archie The Married Life Book An Archie comic book was banned in Singapore for its depiction of a gay character. Archie: The Married Life Volume Three , part of a five-book series, features a gay character who gets married.

The volume was banned by Singapore's Media Development Authority (MDA), according to the Independent Singapore, a news website.

A spokesperson for Kinokuniya, a major bookseller in Singapore, told the Independent:

We regret that Archie: The Married Life is deemed to breach the content guidelines for imported publications, and removed from sale by notice of MDA. We are not able to sell this title.

 

  Oh My!...

Album covers get caught up in Google's recent move to ban adverts associated with porn


Link Here 15th July 2014
lambchop oh ohio A leading music website has censored album covers by artists including Sigur Rós and Lambchop after they fell foul of a Google advertising ban on supposedly sexually explicit content.

Drowned in Sound (DiS) was told that the covers, which include scenes of uncontroversial nudity, could no longer be shown on web pages which sit alongside Google's Adsense advertising network.

The website relies upon income from Google's advertising system and so has had to cover up the offending artworks. DiS was told that it would be blocked from accessing Google's advertising network within days if it failed to comply.

Sean Adams, who founded DiS in 2000, said that it seems crazy that they feel they can police our editorial and questioned whether Google might one day seek the removal of material which could seriously compromise freedom of expression.

The cover of Sigur Rós' 2008 album, Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust , which features naked buttocks, incorporates an image by the acclaimed American photographer, Ryan McGinley.

Another offending cover, OH (Ohio) by Lambchop, features a painting called New Orleans Police Beating by Michael Peed. Its image of naked lovers is designed to contrast scenes of intimacy with violence outside.

Google is seeking to distance itself from the porn industry. The warning to DiS seems to have been caught up in a recent Google move to ban adverts that promote graphic depictions of sexual acts.

 

 Offsite Article: Journalists face fundamental threat to freedom of expression...


Link Here 15th July 2014
ICO logo New 'data protection' guidelines will threaten investigative journalism

See article from theguardian.com

 

  Carry On At Your Convenience...

BBFC Cuts revealed


Link Here 14th July 2014
Carry Your Convenience Special DVD Carry on at Your Convenience is a 1971 UK comedy by Gerald Thomas.
Starring Kenneth Williams, Sidney James and Charles Hawtrey. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

BBFC category cuts for 1971 cinema release. The cuts persisted onto all home video releases.

Summary Notes

This is the tale of industrial strife at WC Boggs' Lavatory factory. Vic Spanner is the union representative who calls a strike at the drop of a hat; eventually everyone has to get fed up with him. This is also the ideal opportunity for lots of lavatorial jokes...

Thanks to Vincenzo. The BBFC cuts were:

  • Reel 3 - Remove All the time it's prick, prick, prick and the reaction line So the girls say.

  • Reel 5 - Remove I hope the other arm is doing as well.

  • Reel 9 - Remove Something important has come up  followed by Won't it keep?

 

  Expendable Violence...

The Expendables 3 has been cut for an MPAA PG-13 rating


Link Here 14th July 2014
expendables 3 The Expendables 3 is a 2014 USA action adventure thriller by Patrick Hughes.
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Jet Li. YouTube icon IMDb

Barney and his team, known as "The Expendables", come into conflict with ruthless arms dealer Conrad Stonebanks, the Expendables' co-founder, who is determined to destroy the team.

US: Cut for an MPAA PG-13 for violence including intense sustained gun battles and fight scenes, and for language.

Collider reports:

Collider.com learned from sources that the film just squeaked by the MPAA with a PG-13 rating, and they had to make trims to get there after the first pass was given an R.

Knowing the first cut was rated R, probably means  an unrated version of The Expendables 3 will be released on Blu-ray.

 

  The Secret of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty...

BBFC advised category cuts seem to apply worldwide


Link Here 14th July 2014
Secret Life Walter Mitty Blu ray The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a 2013 USA comedy fantasy adventure by Ben Stiller.
With Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig and Adam Scott. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

A day-dreamer escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, he takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.

The BBFC advised cuts for a PG rated cinema release in 2013. Now movie-censorship.com is reporting that this version cut on advice of the BBFC has now been released in Germany and the US (and probably worldwide)

UK: Passed PG for infrequent moderate violence, mild language and sex references after BBFC advised cuts for category for:

The BBFC commented:

This work was originally seen for advice. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive a 12A rating but that their preferred PG rating could be achieved by making limited changes, including:

  • to remove sight of naked female pin-up pictures and

  • to reduce violent threat in a fight scene.

When an edited version of the film was submitted for formal classification, these scenes had been addressed and the film was consequently rated PG.

 

  Fair Comment...

Ofcom forgives policing minister for a reference to Theresa May as a 'fuckwit'


Link Here 14th July 2014

daily politics logo Daily Politics
BBC 2, 22 May 2014, 12:00

Daily Politics is a live political discussion programme that broadcasts on weekdays at lunchtime.

Two of the guests featured in the episode shown on 22 May 2014 were Conservative MP Nick Herbert, the former Minister of State for Police and Criminal Justice, and Peter Kirkham, a former Detective Chief Inspector. During a discussion about the tense relations between some in the police force and the Government, Mr Herbert said:

I'm afraid there have been a minority who have been outspoken and they are very active on Twitter and so on. Peter [Kirkham] himself, just a day ago, described the Home Secretary as 'a fuckwit' on his own Twitter line .

Ofcom noted that the presenter, Jo Coburn, immediately said to Mr Herbert:

we won't have any more of that .

In addition, Ms Coburn apologised at the end of the programme by saying:

I have to apologise for the earlier expletive used and expressed by the former Policing Minister Nick Herbert. Unacceptable, won't be repeated .

Ofcom received five complaints from viewers who objected to Mr Herbert's use of the word fuckwit and considered it unsuitable given that the programme was broadcast during the day.

Ofcom considered Rule 1.14:

The most offensive language must not be broadcast before the watershed

The BBC told Ofcom that no briefing of Mr Herbert had taken place before the broadcast. It said it is not usual practice to give such briefings to MPs and former Government ministers as it is reasonably assumed that figures in political life are aware of the need to avoid using offensive language .

Ofcom Decision: Resolved

While this was clearly a case of the most offensive language being broadcast before the watershed, Ofcom recognised that the programme was broadcast live and Mr Herbert used the word when directly quoting the online comment of another guest to illustrate the tense relations between some in the police force and the Government. Ofcom also recognised that the likelihood of a significant number of children watching was very small, given that Daily Politics is a programme of limited appeal to younger viewers and this episode was shown at lunchtime during school term time. These factors reduced the potential for offence caused by the use of fuckwit .

Further, Ofcom noted that the programme's presenter, Jo Coburn, made it immediately clear to Mr Herbert that the use of offensive language should not be repeated, before apologising to viewers at the end of the programme.

Given the above, Ofcom considers the matter resolved.

Ofcom reminds all broadcasters that they should consider carefully their processes for briefing guests appearing on live programmes.

 

  The Evil Within in Japan...

Computer game set to be cut for a 17 rating in Japan


Link Here 14th July 2014
Bethesda The Evil Within PS4 The Evil Within is a 2014 horror action game from Bethesda

Shinji Mikami, the father of survival horror, is back to direct The Evil Within -- a game embodying the meaning of pure survival horror. Highly-crafted environments, horrifying anxiety, and an intricate story weave together to create an immersive world that will bring players to the height of tension.

Bethesida Softworks have delayed Shinji Mikami's upcoming survival-horror game, The Evil Within . ZeniMax Asia general manger Tetsu Takahashi explained how the game will now be cut for a CERO D (17) rating in japan:

If we were to make it the same way as the foreign version, it'd be rated CERO Z [18 and up] and we felt that it'd be best to release it the way the creators make it. However, that would limit the sales and advertising, so we'd lose the opportunity to reach out to as many customers possible.

However there will be a downloadable upgrade to an uncut CERO Z (18) version. Takahashi  said:

The Evil Within will have two types of CERO D and CERO Z, with both of them having passed the CERO inspections, but the retail version will only be done using the CERO D versioni. Those who preorder the game can also get the CERO Z version's representation through the Gore Mode DLC.

The Evil Within will be released on October 23, 2014 in Japan for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One

 

 Updated: The Little Red Schoolbook Unbanned...

Controversial sex education book was banned in 1969


Link Here 14th July 2014
Little Red Schoolbook Soren Hansen A sex manual for teenagers that was banned in 1969 has just been republished. The Little Red School Book by Soren Hansen, has hit shelves for the first time since its 1969 ban.

According to The Guardian, when the book was published first time round:

Margaret Thatcher was said to have been very worried by it, The Pope denounced it as sacrilegious, and morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse successfully campaigned to have it prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act.

The Little Red School Book gives straight-talking sex advice that's largely still relevant to teenagers today:

If anybody tells you it's harmful to masturbate, they're lying. If anybody tells you you mustn't do it too much, they're lying too, because you can't do it too much. Ask them how often you ought to do it. They'll usually shut up then.

The new version of the book contains only one change from the original, the 2014 update no longer encourages teens to stave off boredom at school by reading pornographic magazines under your desk .

Offsite Comment: Censored whilst claiming to be uncensored

14th July 2014. See  article from  strangethingsarehappening.com

 

  Bad Reputation...

Singapore passes legislation to block copyright infringing websites


Link Here 14th July 2014
Singapore flag Singapore has become the latest in a line of countries to crack down on copyright infringement via web blocking.

The newly-passed legislation will allow copyright holders to obtain High Court orders to force local service providers to block access to websites that flagrantly infringe copyright. How that will be determined is not yet clear.

In a statement, Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah said the new amendments will help reduce piracy and boost legal alternatives:

The prevalence of online piracy in Singapore turns customers away from legitimate content and adversely affects Singapore's creative sector. It can also undermine our reputation as a society that respects the protection of intellectual property.

Unsurprisingly The Pirate Bay is first on the list of sites set to be targeted by copyright holders, with KickassTorrents reportedly a close second. The law could come into force by the end of August.

 

  Immoral Charges...

Maltese court acquits table dancing operators from the charge of running a brothel


Link Here 14th July 2014
Malta flag A court in Malta has acquitted 3 table dancing clubs where topless dancing somehow led to charges of running a brothel. The court ruled that a topless dance cannot be deemed immoral in today's society.

Owner Paul Attard, Andra Iaona Togoi and Gary Camilleri, the operators of Club Paradiso in Sliema, were found not guilty of running a brothel and of using their premises for prostitution.

Inspector Melvyn Camilleri told the court that during a routine check on 9 February 2013, he found a woman dancing topless during a private dance. The dancer told the police that her male client had removed her bra and hat since he had not acted aggressively , she continued dancing.

In her decree, Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit noted that there was no definition as to what constitutes an immoral act, claiming that what was once immoral is acceptable in today's society:

Whereas the term prostitution can easily be defined, the term immoral acts cannot. What was immoral a few years ago may be considered perfectly acceptable by modern society.

Can a dancer dancing topless in a private room in front of one customer be interpreted to constitute an immoral act? The courts find more obscene and immoral material in more of the television programmes and films readily available and viewable, even to younger generations, that portray the female body in a more obscene way than the case under examination.

The fact that a dancer was caught topless in a private room dancing for a customer is not, in the court's opinion, immoral.

The court said that the prosecution failed to prove that the club was used either solely or partly for the purposes of prostitution and consequently acquitted the accused of all charges.

 

  Worthy and Diverse...

BFI demands political correctness from British films seeking funding


Link Here 12th July 2014
bfi logo UK film productions that receive money from the BFI Film Fund must adhere to new political correctness quotas from September, the BFI has announced.

The BFI's new three ticks assessment - designed to mandate diversity of ethnicity, disability, gender, sexual orientation and socio-economic background in the industry - requires applicants to demonstrate political correctness compliance across three areas of their production: on screen, off-screen and employment opportunities.

At least one tick will be needed in two of the three areas for a project to be eligible for funding

Projects will be independently assessed by the BFI's Orwellian sounding, Certification Unit with qualifying films receiving a BFI logo certifying the production's political correctness.

To further incentivise compliance each year one qualifying producer will be given a Lottery award to fund a diversity opportunity or work placement within their company for 12 months.

The BFI is also recruiting a political correctness 'expert' to support the implementation of the new guidelines and provide guidance to BFI-backed productions.

Examples of recent Film Fund films that would get a tick for politically correct subject matter include Belle, Pride, Suffragette, The Selfish Giant, Philomena, Catch Me Daddy and Calvary.

 

 Offsite Article: The Art of Oppression...


Link Here 12th July 2014
rainbow swaash US authorities track down photographer for snapping public art

See article from aclu.org

 

 Offsite Article: Echoes of China...


Link Here 12th July 2014
darmstadt echo logo Free speech fails in Germany where authorities get heavy and demand ID for newspaper commenters claimed to have insulted local officials

See article from indexoncensorship.org

 

  Step Up: Not Quite All In...

BBFC advised category cuts for a PG rated cinema release


Link Here 11th July 2014
Poster Step Up All in 2014 Trish Sie Step Up: All In is a 2014 USA romance by Trish Sie.
Starring Alyson Stoner, Briana Evigan and Adam G Sevani. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

All-stars from the previous Step Up installments come together in glittering Las Vegas, battling for a victory that could define their dreams and their careers.

UK: Passed PG for mild bad language, rude gestures, sex references after pre-cut for:

  • 2014 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • This film was originally seen for advice. The BBFC advised the company that it was likely to be classified 12A, but that their preferred PG could be achieved by removing two uses of strong language. When the film was submitted for formal classification, both uses of strong language had been removed.

 

 Update: Everything You Need to Know About Russia's Internet Crackdown...

Putin's routemap to trashing the internet


Link Here 11th July 2014  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media
putin trashing internet The number of restrictions placed on the Internet in Russia since Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin in 2012 is daunting. What's been outlawed and what's still legal on the RuNet? To help people keep track of what's what in Russian cyberspace, RuNet Echo has compiled a chronological list of the most important laws to hit the Russian Internet in the past two years. For each law, readers can find links to the legislation's full text in Russian, as well as RuNet Echo articles in English describing the details and significance of each initiative.

The law that launched a thousand ships: creating the RuNet Blacklist

[The full text in Russian. RuNet Echo's commentary in English.]

Signed by Putin on July 28, 2012. This is law that launched the crackdown on Internet freedom in Russia. The law created a government registry for websites found to contain materials deemed harmful to children. Illegal content under this law includes child pornography, drug paraphernalia, and instructions about self-harm. Without a court order, Russia's federal communications agency is able to add to the registry any website hosting such material. Later laws have allowed police to blacklist other kinds of websites, too, using the infrastructure created here.

The 'Russian SOPA'

[The full text of the original law in Russian. The text of the updated draft legislation. RuNet Echo's commentary in English .]

Signed on July 2, 2013. Often referred to as the "Russian SOPA," this is an anti-piracy law that allows courts to block websites accused of hosting stolen intellectual property. What ultimately reached Putin's desk in July 2013 was a somewhat watered-down version of the initial legislation, which called for applying the law to a wide variety of content. (The law's final text addressed only stolen films.) The Russian Parliament is poised , however, to pass a new bill later this year that will expand the law's application to music, e-books, and software.

Blacklisting the news

[The full text in Russian. RuNet Echo's commentary in English.]

Signed on December 28, 2013. This law gives Russia's Attorney General the extrajudicial power to add to the RuNet Blacklist any websites containing "calls to riots, extremist activities, the incitement of ethnic and (or) sectarian hatred, terrorist activity, or participation in public events held in breach of appropriate procedures." In March 2014, police used this law to block four major opposition websites, including three news portals and the blog of Russia's most prominent anti-corruption activist. Since the law passed last year, the Attorney General as blacklisted 191 different Web addresses .

The law that got away: policing news-aggregators

In April 2014, Putin revealed at a public forum that the government was investigating the legal status of online news-aggregation services like Yandex News. In May, a Duma deputy asked the Russian Attorney General to issue a ruling about the status of Yandex News, to determine if the state should regulate such websites as mass media outlets. In early June, Yandex's CEO joined Putin onstage at a forum on Internet entrepreneurship, where the two chatted amicably about the RuNet's economic potential. On July 1, Russian newspapers reported that the Attorney General does not consider news-aggregation to qualify as mass media, aborting the Duma's effort to impose new regulations on Yandex News and similar websites.

The anti-terrorism package, aka "the Bloggers Law"

[The full text in Russian. RuNet Echo's commentary in English.]

Signed on May 5, 2014. This package consisted of three separate laws, hurried through the Duma after terrorist attacks in the city of Volgograd in December 2013. Two of the laws added new Internet regulations, creating restrictions on electronic money transfers (banning all foreign financial transactions involving anonymous parties) and extensive requirements for governing the activity of "popular bloggers" and the data retention of certain websites and online networks. The "law on bloggers" takes effect on August 1, 2014, creating a new registry especially for citizen-media outlets with daily audiences bigger than three thousand people. Bloggers added to this registry face a series of new regulations (against obscene language, libel, and so on), increasing their vulnerability to criminal prosecution.

Hard time for retweets

[The full text in Russian. RuNet Echo's commentary in English.]

Signed on June 28, 2014. This law allows the government to hand down five-year prison sentences to people who re-disseminate extremist materials online. The "law against retweets" codifies an existing police practice, but making the policy official could increase the number of such prosecutions in the future.

A digital Gulag

[The full text in Russian. RuNet Echo's commentary in English .]

Passed by the Duma on July 4, 2014. This legislation still awaits the Senate's approval and Putin's signature. The law, if passed, will require all websites that store user data about Russian citizens to house that data on servers located inside Russia. According to the legislation's logic, websites will be barred from storing Russian users' personal data anywhere outside of Russia (though the law's actual text is somewhat vague on this point, perhaps because of jurisdictional limitations on what Russia can mandate outside its borders). The law applies to a wide variety of websites, ranging from e-booking services to Facebook, affecting any website or online service operating on the concept of "users."

 

 Offsite Article: Fair Debate...


Link Here 11th July 2014
House of Commons logo Copyright fair use discussed in parliamentary committee with generally positive outcomes

See article from torrentfreak.com

 

  Not Quite a Whole Sun...

Half of a Yellow Sun unbanned after cuts for release in Nigeria


Link Here 10th July 2014
Half Yellow Sun Chiwetel Ejiofor Various Nigerian press outlets are reporting that Biyi Bandele's Half Of A Yellow Sun has finally been cleared by the Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board, for local release.

The film is set for release in August. According to the Board's Corporate Affairs representative, Caesar Kagho, the film has been approved with an 18 rating. (Compared with an R rating in the US and a 15 rating in the UK). It is reported that censor cuts had to made to obtain the Nigerian 18 rating.

It was to open in Nigeria, where the film is set, on April 25, but that didn't happen, as its release date was postponed, and has since been delayed, due to delays in getting certification from Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board.

Government censors said that they delayed the release of the film because it might incite violence in the country given its subject matter - specifically, a scene that details a massacre at a northern Nigerian airport - in light of current political turmoil within the country.

 

 Update: Blocked But Not Forgotten...

Google blocks searches for Max Mosley images on Melon Farmers news stories


Link Here 10th July 2014

Google logo Google has written to MelonFarmers saying that searches have been blocked for pages related to Max Mosley and his brush with the News World of the World:

We regret to inform you that we are no longer able to show the following pages from your website in response to certain searches on European versions of Google

Google then note that press pictures from the News of the World are the specific item being blocked.

Google have a FAQ explaining a little more about the blocking from search :

How are you implementing the recent Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) decision on the right to be forgotten?

The recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union has profound consequences for search engines in Europe. The court found that certain users have the right to ask search engines like Google to remove results for queries that include the person's name. To qualify, the results shown would need to be inadequate, irrelevant, no longer relevant or excessive.

Since this ruling was published on 13 May 2014, we've been working around the clock to comply. This is a complicated process because we need to assess each individual request and balance the rights of the individual to control his or her personal data with the public's right to know and distribute information.

We look forward to working closely with data protection authorities and others over the coming months as we refine our approach. The CJEU's ruling constitutes a significant change for search engines. While we are concerned about its impact, we also believe that it's important to respect the Court's judgement and we are working hard to devise a process that complies with the law.

When you search for a name, you may see a notice that says that results may have been modified in accordance with data protection law in Europe. We're showing this notice in Europe when a user searches for most names, not just pages that have been affected by a removal.

Offsite Article: Fighting Back

21st July 2014. See  article from  theguardian.com

The Bolton News reprints old stories that Google has censored.

Update: Mosley takes legal action against Google

3rd August 2014. See  article from  telegraph.co.uk

Max Mosley has launched a new legal claim against Google, the search engine giant, for reproducing sexual images related to an expose in the News of the World.

Proceedings have been issued against Google's British arm and its California-based parent company, claiming that continuing to link to the images is a misuse of private information and a breach of data protection laws.

A spokesman for Google said: We have worked with Mr Mosley to address his concerns and taken down hundreds of URLs [internet links] about which he has notified us.

Sources in the company said they would fight the new High Court claim.

 

 Update: Big Brothers want to Continue Listening...

Government moves to enable continued mass snooping after threat from European Court


Link Here 10th July 2014  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
Big Brothers Clegg and Cameron Emergency legislation will be brought in next week to force phone and internet companies to continuing logging customer calls, texts and internet use.

Ministers claim it is necessary so police and security services can access the data they need after a legal ruling which declared existing powers invalid. The proposed law has the backing of Labour and the coalition parties.

A recent ruling of the European Court of Justice has removed the obligation on telecoms companies to retain records of when and who their customers have called, texted and emailed, and which websites they visit.

 

 Offsite Article: Now that everyone's a journalist, anyone can be sued...


Link Here 10th July 2014
the spectator logo The plight of Dominic Prince shows why legal costs are a free-speech issue. By Nick Cohen

See article from spectator.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: When is the right to be forgotten not a right to be forgotten?...


Link Here 10th July 2014  full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
simon hughes When government minister Simon Hughes tries to spin that it's not

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: Conspiracy to erase the truth...


Link Here 10th July 2014  full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
European Court of Justice For centuries, the wicked have dreamt of wiping their crimes from history. Now - thanks to an idiotic ruling by European judges and Google's connivance - they're doing it in their thousands

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

  Buggered by the BBFC...

BBFC category cuts for Pudsey the Dog: The Movie


Link Here 9th July 2014
pudsey the movie Pudsey the Dog: The Movie is a 2014 UK comedy by Nick Moore.
Starring Olivia Colman, David Walliams and Izzy Meikle-Small. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

A heartwarming, quintessentially British adventure for all the family, PUDSEY THE DOG: THE MOVIE follows cheeky London stray dog, Pudsey, who is quite happy being a lone ranger, looking out for number one, until he meets siblings Molly (Izzy Meikle-Small), George (Spike White) and Tommy (Malachy Knights). After losing their father, their mother Gail (Jessica Hynes) is moving the family to the sleepy village of Chuffington and Pudsey tags along, to the dismay of their landlord, Mr. Thorne (John Sessions), and his cat Faustus. As Pudsey starts to settle in with the family and realize what he was missing when he was alone, he stumbles across Thorne's evil plan and he determines to save them and the whole village.

UK: Passed U for mild comic slapstick, very mild bad language after 10s of BBFC category cuts for:

  • 2014 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • Company chose to remove a single use of mild bad language ('bugger') in order to obtain a U classification. Cut made in accordance with BBFC Guidelines and policy. An uncut PG classification was available.

The film was originally passed PG uncut but the distributor preferred a cut version and so resubmitted the film with view to accepting cuts for a U

 

  Fly Air New Zealand...

Sexy aircraft safety video dropped after complaints from miserablists


Link Here 9th July 2014
air nz bikini safety advert video Air New Zealand's sexy safety video featuring bikini-clad models is off the air -- but the national carrier says it was nothing to do with public pressure.

The Sports Illustrated 50th anniversary in-flight safety demonstration, set in the Cook Islands, was released in February.

It inevitably met with a miserable response from PC extremists. An online petition demanding the safety video be removed was started by a Melbourne woman recently and has attracted more than 5600 signatures. The petitioner claimed the video made women uncomfortable, including staff members.

An Air New Zealand spokesperson said the safety videos are scheduled, the Sport Illustrated video had reached the end of its run and was gradually being phased out of the aircrafts it was used on. It was not prompted by public pressure, she said.

 

  Carry On Again Doctor...

BBFC Cuts revealed


Link Here 8th July 2014
Carry Again Doctor Kenneth Williams Carry on Again Doctor is a 1969 UK comedy by Gerald Thomas.
Starring Kenneth Williams, Sidney James and Charles Hawtrey. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

BBFC category cuts for 1969 cinema release. The cuts persisted onto all home video releases.

Summary Notes

Dr Nookey is disgraced and sent to a remote island hospital. He is given a secret slimming potion by a member of staff, Gladstone Screwer, and he flies back to England to fame and fortune. But others want to cash in on his good fortunes, and some just want him brought down a peg or two.

Thanks to Vincenzo. The BBFC cuts were:

  • Reel 2 - Reduce to a minimum the backview shots of Goldie [Barbara Windsor] on the bed.
  • Reel 10 - Remove line "Take your hand away."

 

  Arses at the MPAA...

US film censor bans poster for Terry Gilliam's The Zero Theorem


Link Here 8th July 2014
banned zero theorem poster The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has banned the latest teaser poster for Terry Gilliam's The Zero Theorem .

The reason for the censorship is a fully exposed backside, although it's not exactly prominently highlighted in the design.

Gilliam took to his Facebook page to comment on the ban:

Zero Theorem off to a good start in the US thanks to the Motion Picture Association of America's censors. They have banned our teaser poster because of a bare butt. Your thoughts, please.

 

  Limp Response...

BBC respond to complaints about a football commentary


Link Here 8th July 2014
world cup-2014 logo The BBC responded to a few complaints about a football commentary but were too PC and whimpy to explain what was being complained about:

Complaint

We received complaints from some viewers unhappy with a comment made during coverage of the Argentina v Switzerland match.

Response

We acknowledge that the remark by commentator Mark Lawrenson about Switzerland's Josip Drmic' was inappropriate and we apologise for any offence caused by it.

In fact Lawrenson came under fire for a comment about Switzerland striker Josip Drmic's weak shot at goal. Lawrenson commented that Drmic should have put a skirt on .

This resulted in triggered 172 complaints to the BBC claiming it was offensive and sexist .

 

 Offsite Article: Struggling with censorship...


Link Here 8th July 2014
Germany flag Censoring Mein Kampf, or anything, simply makes its ugly ideas more attractive. By Kate Malby

See article from blogs.telegraph.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: Exploiting Trafficking to Target Sex Work...


Link Here 8th July 2014  full story: Trafficking Hype...Trafficking figures hopelessly over exaggerated
newstatesman logo Power Trip: Margaret Corvid on desire, change and culture

See article from newstatesman.com

 

 Offsite Article: : So why is the government encouraging use of Tor to work around crappy website blocking?...

US internet surveillance targeted at web surfers showing a keen interest in the Tor browser


Link Here 8th July 2014  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
tor logo

 

 Update: No and No...

Russian film banned under new legislation banning strong language


Link Here 7th July 2014  full story: Film Censorship in Russia...Censorship in the guise of banning strong language
da-i-da Yes and Yes (Da i Da) is a 2014 Russia drama by Valeriya Gay Germanika.
Starring Vladimir Dubosarsky, Aleksandr Gorchilin and Agniya Kuznetsova. IMDb

Actress Agniya Kuznetsova plays an inquisitive girl from the outskirts of Moscow, embarking on a coming-of-age adventure in the city's bohemian art community.

Russia's new anti-obscenity law, that came into force on 1st July, has forced Vologda's VOICES Film Festival  to pull its screening of Valeria Gai Germanika's Yes and Yes (Da i Da) .

However, the extensive use of strong language means that the film's producers have not been able to obtain a distribution certificate to release the film in Russian cinemas. Under the new legislation, films containing foul language will be banned from general release.

The film, which had its European premiere at last week's Moscow International Film Festival and won four awards including best director and the FIPRESCI Prize. In a last minute decision, a limited release was organised in five Moscow cinemas in the three days leading up to the law coming into effect which resulted in good box office.

Kremlin propaganda claims that the new law is meant to ensure the protection and development of linguistic culture , but critics say it is reminiscent of Soviet-era censorship.

 

  Old Amsterdam...

A Dutch court bans a traditional, but stereotypical character, involved in pre-Christmas festivities


Link Here 7th July 2014
Zwarte Piet Mieke Bal Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) is a the traditional sidekick to the Dutch St Nicholas (a Santa Claus/Father Christmas like character). But now a Dutch court has decided that political correctness should override tradition.

Amsterdam's regional court said that the image of Black Pete with his thick red lips, being a stupid servant, gives rise to a negative stereotyping of black people . The court added that Amsterdam must review the character's involvement in the annual festivities in November-December.

The Dutch version of the St Nicholas legend has him and armies of Black Petes arriving by steamboat from Spain. Previous calls to ban Black Petes - with their blackened faces, red lips and Afro wigs - have caused outrage.

Supporters of the ban say Black Pete (or Zwarte Piet) is a racist throwback to the times when black people were enslaved by the Dutch in the country's overseas colonies. Last year, hundreds of people staged a protest in Amsterdam. The issue has even sparked an investigation at the United Nations.

But many ordinary people argue that Black Pete is a just a harmless prankster and a key figure on annual celebrations on 5 December, when the festivities conclude with a night of gift giving across the country.

 

 Update: Which ISP?...

Blocking report for MelonFarmers.co.uk


Link Here 6th July 2014  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet
org blocked logo ORG have set up an internet service to check which ISPs block websites that the user is interested in. Here are the results for www.melonfarmers.co.uk .

The results presented below may be different to your experience depending on the level of filtering configured on your network.

ISP Result Last check on Last blocked on
AAISP ok 2014-07-02 17:34:56 No record of prior block
BT ok 2014-07-02 17:34:56 No record of prior block
EE blocked 2014-06-30 22:10:20 2014-06-30 22:10:20
O2 blocked 2014-07-02 17:34:56 2014-07-02 17:34:56
Sky blocked 2014-07-02 17:34:56 2014-07-02 17:34:56
TalkTalk ok 2014-07-02 17:34:56 No record of prior block
Three blocked 2014-05-27 22:21:23 2014-05-27 22:21:23
VirginMedia ok 2014-07-02 17:34:56 No record of prior block
Vodafone blocked 2014-07-02 17:34:56 2014-07-02 17:34:56

 

ORG explains the level of blocking that the website tests against:

We're testing using the default "adult content" filter levels for each network. Where an ISP provided their service with a level of filtering active by default we chose not to change these settings. For lines that came with no filtering active by default we activated the "medium" filtering level where a choice of filters was offered. If the choice was just filtering: yes or no, we chose yes. Some networks do not offer controls to activate filtering or change filter settings on their services. This means the active level of filtering varies across our test lines

Try the service at blocked.org.uk

 

 Update: It's a Trap...

Thailand attempts to lure those visiting censored websites into revealing their ID


Link Here 6th July 2014  full story: Thai Coup 2014...Media censorship prominent in Thai Coup

thai facebook lure Thailand's censorship regime has grown ever more pervasive since the military took over last month, with punishments aimed at both speakers and consumers of prohibited media.

According to the regime's own reports, hundreds of new websites have been added to the Thai government's official blacklist including politics and news sites covering the coup. Now the authorities are deceiving Internet users into disclosing their personal details, including email addresses and Facebook profile information, when they try to visit these prohibited sites.

Under Thailand's national web blocking infrastructure, Net users attempting to visit blocked sites in Thailand are redirected to a government web landing page, managed by the country's Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD).

After the coup, the Thai Netizen Network, a local digital rights group, noticed that the TCSD block page had sprouted two new graphics: a blue close button, and a Login with Facebook icon. Both lead to what appears to be a Facebook Login page, where users are asked for permission to hand over personal information stored in their Facebook profile --- without any indication, in Thai or English, of where that data was being sent, or for what purpose. In fact, the Login app was being run by TCSD itself, which used Facebook's application platform to collect the details of Facebook users visiting to the landing page.

Thai authorities have long claimed that foreign companies should comply with all their demands for removing content and handing over personal data. Facebook has consistently refused such requests. By misleading users to click through the permissions-granting first page of its Facebook application, Thai authorities have been gathering the type of user information that Facebook's legal department has long refused to hand over.

A deceptive Facebook app without a clear privacy policy or embedded explanation is a violation of Facebook's own platform policies, and the Crime Suppression Division's app has now been suspended by Facebook at least twice. The first Login app was removed shortly after the Thai Netizen Network published details of its deceptive appearance. An identical app which subsequently replaced it on the page was suspended by Facebook after less than a week of operation.

Facebook's own public app statistics pages show that these two apps managed to scoop up hundreds of Thai email addresses before being shut down. Did these Internet users understand that they were handing over their names and email addresses as potential witnesses to future prosecutions?

 

 Offsite Article: Crap and Illegal...


Link Here 6th July 2014  full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
Google logo The Register asks if recent examples of right to be forgotten censorship by Google were a ploy

See article from theregister.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: Court Hearing...


Link Here 6th July 2014  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
gchq logo ISPs launch legal challenge against mass snooping by government and GCHQ

See article from theguardian.com

 

  Even the oldies are enjoying Game of Thrones...

Ofcom report on continued public support for the TV watershed and note a significant decline in complaints about sex and violence


Link Here 5th July 2014
Ofcom logo Ofcom writes:

The watershed is 50 years old this month. In July 1964, Parliament passed the law that led to measures to protect children from seeing harmful or offensive material on TV in the evenings.

Fifty years on, new Ofcom research shows that most adult TV viewers are aware of the 9pm watershed as a valued way of indicating what is suitable for young viewers.

Ofcom's research shows that 98% of adults in the UK watch TV. Among TV viewers, 94% are aware that the watershed requires broadcasters only to show programmes unsuitable for children after a certain time (compared to 91% in 2008).

Today, more TV viewers believe the watershed is at about the right time (78% in 2013 compared to 70% in 2008), Ofcom's report on UK audience attitudes to broadcast media shows.

In the past five years, there have been falls in the number of viewers saying there is too much violence (35% of adult viewers in 2013, down from 55% in 2008), sex (26% in 2013 versus 35% in 2008) and swearing (35% in 2013 versus 53% in 2008) on TV.

One reason for this is a change in attitude among older viewers. The number of viewers over 65 who believe there is too much swearing (78% in 2008 compared to 55% in 2013) and violence (75% in 2008 compared to 52% in 2013) has fallen over the past five years.

Among those adults who had been offended by something on TV in the last 12 months (18% of adult viewers), nearly four times more people are likely to continue watching the programme than in 2008 (5% in 2008 versus 19% in 2013) and less likely to turn off the TV altogether (32% in 2008 compared to 19% in 2013). Protecting viewers in the future

While on-demand TV is estimated to account for only 2.5% of TV viewing, Ofcom recognises this poses new challenges.

Ofcom is working with Government, other regulators and industry to ensure that children remain protected if they choose on-demand TV over traditional broadcast TV, where Ofcom's strict watershed rules apply.

This would mean that consumers have a clear understanding of the protections that apply on different platforms and devices, and know which regulatory body to turn to if they have any concerns.

Of course the moralist campaigners are not impressed by the decline in whinges.

Pippa Smith of Safermedia said the report showed x-rated content has become normalised and viewers are desensitised to it.

 

 Update: One Million Moms Recommends...

Mystery Girls on the ABC Family Channel


Link Here 5th July 2014  full story: One Million Moms...Moralist whingers against anything sexy
mystery girls Christian moralist group writes:

ABC Family Channel's new program Mystery Girls does not involve innocent detectives fighting crime as parents might hope, but instead is just another show primarily about sexual encounters.

The show airs during primetime when children are likely watching. The season premiere aired Wednesday evening at 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT, and with a 14 DL rating it is not suitable for young viewers.

The majority of the content in this nonfamily channel program is adult oriented and includes sexual references and innuendos. The first episode centered on the search for a lost sex tape, which involves forgotten identity of the partner in the tape, not remembering all past sexual partners and a fake funeral.

Mystery Girls is not the Nancy Drew type detective program one might expect on a family network. This show is inappropriate for any network but especially for a family channel. This program is vulgar and vile and needs to be removed from the air immediately.

 

  Flirting with Outrage...

Radio Times advert causes widespread offence of one person


Link Here 4th July 2014
russianbridescom advert An ad seen on the TV listings website www.radiotimes.com for the Russian Bride website, www.russianbrides.com. The ad featured a woman, visible from the chest up, wearing a low-cut bra, looking up at the camera with pouted lips. Text alongside the image stated Sexy Russian Sensations @ FLIRT NOW! Issue

The complainant challenged whether:

  1. the ad was offensive, because it was overtly sexual; and
  2. the ad was irresponsible, because it was inappropriately placed on a website that might be seen by children.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

1. & 2. Upheld

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

We welcomed the publisher's assurance that additional checks had been put in place to ensure this and similar ads would not appear again on their website.

We noted that the ad featured a woman in a provocative pose that focused on her cleavage, and her pursed lips appeared seductive in nature. We considered the text alongside the image heightened the overtly sexual nature of the ad. We also noted that the ad appeared on a general TV listings website. We therefore considered that the placement of the ad was inappropriate.

Because the ad was overtly sexual and appeared on untargeted medium, which could also be seen by children, we concluded that it was irresponsible and likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

 

 Update: Serious Discussion...

Ministry of Justice consider legislation against revenge porn


Link Here 4th July 2014  full story: Rowan Atkinson...Offending the easily offended
Ministry of Justice logo The law could be changed to protect people from ex-partners who put explicit revenge pornography pictures of them on the internet, a minister has said.

Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, said that that there will be a serious discussion in Government about the practice,.

Maria Miller, the former Cabinet minister, has called for a change in the law to tackle the appalling practice.

Victims often find that the images are impossible to remove once they are posted online as they are reproduced on a host of other sites within minutes.

Grayling told the Commons:

What I'd say to you today is the Government is very open to having a serious discussion about this with a view to taking appropriate action in the autumn if we can identify the best way of doing so.

The Ministry of Justice is expected to now look at how existing sexual offences laws could be amended to outlaw the distribution of sexual images without the person's consent.

Comment: Acquitted

4th July  2014. See article from bigbrotherwatch.org.uk

Big Brother Watch logo A debate has erupted around revenge pornography and whether new legislation is required to tackle the problem of jilted lovers posting sexually explicit photographs online. Whilst there is no doubt that these occurrences are deeply damaging and upsetting for the individuals involved, the Government must ensure that any new laws created to police what is posted on the internet is done so with a clear head and not in the heat of the moment.

...Read the full article

 

 Update: Stuffed...

Loaded and Stuff drop cover girls and sexy content


Link Here 4th July 2014  full story: Lads Mags...Blaming lads mags for all the world's ills
loaded oasis july 2014 The relaunched cover of Loaded reveals a distinct lack of cover girls. A spokesman at Simian Publishing, which took over Loaded late last year said:

Yes --- we're going to be far more discerning and sophisticated from now on,

There's one woman in the issue, actress Olympia Valance. The spokesman explained:

She's beautiful but she's fully clothed and it's a Q&A. We're going for substance. We've hired the feminist writer Julie Burchill as a columnist. We're thinking of having a gay column too.

Loaded changed hands after sales figures declined. In 2011 its circulation was less than a 10th of the 350,000 a decade earlier. The spokesman continued:

When the magazine launched in 1994 it was very much of its time but it had got to the point where it was just lowering the tone. We're not going to have any more lewd content. Mostly the change in content has come from our readers saying we'd lost touch with them.

Stuff magazine will also be moving away from traditional cover girl exteriors.

Stuff's editor-in-chief Will Findlater said:

Stuff was launched in 1996 at the peak of the lad mag era. The covers used to help our position on the newsstand but our research tells us this is no longer the case.

 

 Offsite Article: The Most Dangerous Book...


Link Here 4th July 2014
Most Dangerous Book Battle Ulysses The Battle for James Joyce's Ulysses. Kevin Birmingham tells the story of those for and against a notorious novel

See article from theguardian.com

 

  South Korea Recommends...

The movie Mizo


Link Here 3rd July 2014
mizo Mizo , a film by Nam Ki-woong made headlines last month when it was banned by the Korea Media Rating Board's (KMRB). The film censors claimed:

The premise of the film damages and distorts our sense of human dignity and value, and has the potential danger of disrupting social order and public sentiment.

Nominally the censors gave it a restricted rating, which means that such films can only be shown in specialty theaters, of which none actually exist in the country.

However the film may finally hit local theaters next week, as filmmakers have censored parts deemed problematic. Filmmakers hope blur effects will help overturn the Korea Media Rating Board's (KMRB) de facto ban. The KMRB is now in the process of reviewing the censored version of the film.

The incenstuous drama is about a young woman who, after having long been sexually abused by her adoptive parents, sets out to find her biological father. She seeks to make him fall in love with her only to eventually kill herself, thereby breaking his heart and avenging her pain.

The uncensored original version is set to open in Japanese theaters in October.

 

  Recommended by Guardianistas...

Nudie golf tees


Link Here 3rd July 2014
Dunlop Humorour Novelty Design Quarter An article on the Guardian's Women's Blog whinges:

The Nudie Tee: the new embodiment of sexism in sport.

Many thought sporting chauvinism could sink no lower. Then came the golf accessory manufactured to resemble naked, armless and decapitated female bodies

Was it the play on words that made all those marketing folk agree that this Nudie Tee was the perfect gift for golfers? How they must have congratulated themself that a tee was not just a tiny piece of plastic driven into the ground to support your balls but, you know, the last syllable of the word nudi-ty .

Few products underline the fact that golf is still largely considered a man's game than a tee designed to look like a naked female torso. Such a small, insignificant thing that you can knock the head off it with just one swing of your big manly arms.

Joanna Sharpen, a campaigner for the violence against women group AVA went into overdrive to explain her visceral response to a novelty gift , she points out that she saw it just after having read a list of the names of women recently killed by their partners:

The product resonated with me because of the fact that the bodies are headless and two women this year were decapitated. They have no arms, as if women are purely sexual objects and have no need of a head or arms. People see them as a gimmick, a novelty. But they do so much damage.

Sharpen has launched an online petition against the tees.

 

 Update: Get Over It!...

The continuing case against Boris Johnson's banning of an anti-gay bus advert


Link Here 3rd July 2014  full story: Boris Johnson Bans Anti-gay Adverts...Christians take legal action against ban of bus advert
Old Bailey A High Court judge is considering whether fresh evidence from the Mayor of London's office shows that Boris Johnson personally ordered Transport for London to ban a Christian anti-gay bus advertisement, and whether he did so for an improper purpose during his re-election campaign in 2012.

The advert by Core Issue Trust (CIT), which claimed that people can change unwanted homosexual feelings, was in response to Stonewall's campaign, Some people are gay. Get over it! which had been running on London buses for several months.

The ban on the Christian bus adverts took place during Boris Johnson's campaign for re-election as Mayor of London, just a day before he addressed an election rally organised by Stonewall, the gay pressure group.

Previously Mrs Justice Lang upheld the ban on the CIT slogan, Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it! , at the original High Court hearing. Following the decision, CIT submitted a Freedom of Information request which revealed emails suggesting the Mayor had personally instructed TFL to ban the adverts. One email from the Mayor's Director of Communications at the time, Guto Harri, states that the Mayor personally ordered the Christian advertisement to be pulled. CIT took the case to the Court of Appeal which sent it back to Mrs Justice Lang to consider the new email evidence which she had not seen at the first hearing.

Mrs Justice Lang stated she was not satisfied that the Mayor had told the full story about the ban and made an order for disclosure by Boris Johnson and TfL of all relevant documents.

CIT is not satisfied that the Order has been fully complied with and believes that documents which could be crucial to the case are still being withheld.

Core Issues Trust is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre, whose CEO, Andrea Williams, said:

This is suppression of free speech and expression by the political class. Boris and his high-level team are using their power to suppress a small Christian charity.

The fact that the Court of Appeal ordered this case to be reconsidered by Mrs Justice Lang is an important vindication of the rule of law. TfL has made it hard for us to get to this point; it has been hostile and obstructive and has certainly not been a model of transparency. TfL has continued to promote Stonewall campaigns on its transport system -- a highly provocative action which shows disregard for the Court's original judgment, which held that neither Stonewall's or Core Issues Trusts's adverts should have been allowed. If one point of view is championed on London's transport network, there must be room to display an opposing view. We hope the Judge will recognise that this freedom was violated when the Mayor banned Core Issues Trust's adverts.

 

 Update: Dreaming of Easy Offence...

Urban Outfitters 'outrage' the easily offended with religious imagery on a duvet


Link Here 3rd July 2014
ganesh duvet cover A Hindu sound bite specialist has expressed his disbelief at Urban Outfitters for selling a duvet cover featuring the religious character, Ganesh.

The perennial whinger, Rajan Zed, the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism said in a statement:

[Lord Ganesh is] highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be slept (or sexed) upon. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotee.

Ganesh is considered by Hindus to be the remover of obstacles, as well as the patron saint of arts and sciences and the deity of intellect and wisdom.

 

  Sharing International Concerns...

Switzerland consults on copyright restrictions on file sharers


Link Here 3rd July 2014
Switzerland flag A draft bill for the modernization of Swiss copyright law will be presented for public consultation in the coming months. While downloading for personal use will remain legal, uploading infringing content via BitTorrent will not. In addition to infringement warnings for Internet subscribers, the blocking of obviously illegal sites is also on the table.

The Federal Council says its aim is to improve the situation for creators without impairing the position of consumers, so there is an element of give-and-take in the proposals for file-sharing, with a focus on balance and careful consideration given to data protection issues.

Current download-and-share-with-impunity will be replaced with an acceptance of downloading for personal use, but with uploading specifically outlawed. This means that while downloading a pirated album from a cyberlocker would be legal, doing so using BitTorrent would be illegal due to inherent uploading.

While commercial level infringers can already be dealt with under Swiss law, the proposals seek to lower the bar so that those who flout an upload ban on a smaller but persistent scale can be dealt with. It has been recommended that this should be achieved by sending warning notices to infringers via their ISPs. Only when a user fails to get the message should his or her details be handed over to rightsholders for use in civil proceedings.

Other recommendations are that Internet providers will not only be required to remove infringing content from their platforms, but also prevent that same content from reappearing, a standard that U.S. rightsholders are currently pressuring Google to adopt.

Additionally, in serious cases authorities should be able to order the blocking of obviously illegal content or sources . Any new obligations on service providers would be balanced by granting them with exemption from liability.

 

 Offsite Article: Why has Google cast me into oblivion?...


Link Here 3rd July 2014  full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
BBC logo The BBC reveals how its news archives have been censored by Google in the name of the right to be forgotten

See article from bbc.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: Guardian articles have been hidden by Google...


Link Here 3rd July 2014  full story: The Right to be Forgotten...Bureaucratic censorship in the EU
The Guardian The Guardian reveals how its news archives have been censored by Google in the name of the right to be forgotten

See article from theguardian.com

 

 Offsite Article: Dangerous Apps...


Link Here 3rd July 2014  full story: Internet Snooping in the US...Prism and secret internet snooping
Sony Xperia Sim Free Smartphone Black How governments devise custom implants to bug smartphones. Post provides rare glimpse inside Android-based lawful intercept app.

See article from arstechnica.com

 

 Update: Blocked...

ORG's Blocked project finds almost 1 in 5 sites are blocked by UK ISPs' filters


Link Here 2nd July 2014  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet

org blocked logo Today, Open Rights Group relaunched www.blocked.org.uk

A Porsche broker, a political blogger and a mum hoping to read an article about post pregnancy care are among those that have been affected by Internet filters, designed to protect young people from adult content.

In 2012 we published the Mobile Filtering Report , investigating the way default blocking on mobile phones was denying people access to important information. We reported on what has seemed like rather arbitrary censorship, such as the New Wine church block. ORG analysed and drew examples from our site at blocked.org.uk which originally allowed people to submit when they found that a site had been blocked.

Now the full extent of Internet blocking can be revealed by our relaunched Blocked project .

Any web users can use the free checking tool on www.blocked.org.uk where they can instantly check to see if a website has been blocked by filters. Our tool checks the submitted url for blocks across the main Internet networks on both broadband and phone. We have test lines from 3, Andrews & Arnold, BT, Everything Everywhere, O2, Plusnet, Sky Broadband, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Vodafone.

Through the Blocked project we wanted to find out about the impact of web filters. So far Open Rights Group has tested over 100,000 sites and found that over 19,000 - almost one in five - are blocked by one ISP or another. The problem of overblocking is not going away. Different ISPs are blocking different sites and the result is that many people, from businesses to bloggers, are being affected because people can't access their websites.

We've found that there is a lack of information about how to get sites unblocked. Mother-of-one Marielle, said she was 'humiliated' when she visited the Three store to find out how she could order to access an article about post-partum care on her phone: "The manager told me that I couldn't access filtered articles without entering a 4 digit pin every time I wanted to read a filtered article because I had a PAYG plan." Marielle submitted a report to Three saying that the article had been incorrectly blocked but didn't get a response.

There are more personal stories on the Blocked site and we'd like to hear from you if you've been affected by filters.

We'd like to thank our supporters who committed to make this project happen. ORG's team of technical volunteers worked with us to build the systems and software for this project and we're very grateful for their time. We couldn't have done this without the support of our community, so thank you.

How you can help Blocked?

Test your url: https://www.blocked.org.uk

Spread the word: @We want as many people as possible to talk about how filtering effects them. It's only through being vocal that we'll be able to change the Government's attitude to Internet censorship.

Join ORG: By joining ORG you can help us continue to provide Blocked for free and support our on-going development of the tool.

 

  A New Breed...

Shout! Factory announce the release of the Director's Cut of Nightbreed


Link Here 2nd July 2014
nightbreed directors cut On October 28, 2014, the horror label SCREAM FACTORY, in collaboration with Morgan Creek Productions and Clive Barker's Seraphim, Inc., will finally unleash the highly sought-after Director's Cut of Clive Barker's classic tale of terror NIGHTBREED!

Perfectly timed for Halloween, NIGHTBREED will be available in two retail versions: a 5,000-unit Limited Edition 3-Disc Blu-ray set and a Special Edition DVD and Blu-ray Combo. Written and directed by visionary filmmaker Clive Barker (creator of Hellraiser) and based on his popular novel Cabal, the cult-classic film stars Craig Sheffer (Hellraiser: Inferno), Anne Bobby (Born on the Fourth of July), David Cronenberg (Director, Eastern Promises), and Charles Haid ("Hill Street Blues") and features a soundtrack by award-winning composer Danny Elfman.

In 1990 the film was released theatrically nationwide; however, the movie studio edited the film extensively, and several scenes were excised or rearranged -- much to Clive Barker's disappointment. Since then a fan-driven movement was created ( OccupyMidian.com ) to see the full version of the film restored and re-released. Now, after 25 years, fans and horror enthusiasts can finally experience NIGHTBREED like never before! Scream Factory, in conjunction with Warner Bros., was able to find the long-thought-missing original film elements and combed through over 600 boxes to locate not only the lost scenes but a treasure trove of never-before-seen footage as well. With nearly an hour of lost footage meticulously restored, the result is not only a more faithful adaptation of Clive Barker's book Cabal but also what he originally intended NIGHTBREED to be.

Official statement from Director Clive Barker:

"This is film history and beyond my wildest dreams of realization. When Scream Factory told me that they found the NIGHTBREED film footage, I was gob-smacked! This is the ultimate validation of choices made by myself and Mark Miller [of Seraphim Films] all the way back in 2008. As we embarked down the road of attempting to track down the lost footage, we looked at each other and said, 'Maybe one day they'll find it.' It's my pleasure to announce that the day has come. Speaking personally, I didn't allow myself to believe that it would. Even if we did find some footage (which we did in 2009 in the form of heavily degraded VHS tapes) and even if we did find a company willing to release the film (which we did in 2013 with Scream Factory, God bless them), the prospect of finding the actual lost film materials was remoter than I'd wanted to admit out loud. If the footage could not be found by those who had worked closest on it the same year it had been released, then what were the odds we'd be able to find anything 20 years on? But Scream Factory, in their commendable determination, kept up the search, and thanks to them total reconstruction has been made a possibility. There's never been a reconstruction that's had as little chance of succeeding and yet has succeeded on as many fronts as this film has. It's unprecedented. To now have a movie that we can put together in the way that I fully intended it to be seen when I first set out to make this film in 1989 is extraordinary. The project has moved inexorably to this conclusion. Fate and the hard work of individuals such as Mark Miller, Russell Cherrington, Phil and Sarah Stokes, Occupy Midian, Morgan Creek, and ultimately, Scream Factory have made this a possibility; and I could not be happier."

Those who order the Limited Edition set directly from ScreamfactoryDVD.com will also receive an exclusive 18"x24" poster of the newly designed artwork (available while supplies last)! The Scream Factory site will also receive the first 1,000 numbered copies.

Limited Edition Set. $79.97. Only 5,000 numbered sets produced:

  • Disc 1: Unrated Director's Cut of the film on Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: The 1990 R-rated theatrical version of the film on Blu-ray (through a special licensing agreement with Warner Bros.)
  • Disc 3: EXCLUSIVE-TO-THIS-SET Bonus Blu-ray disc packed with extras (details forthcoming)
  • Includes Collector's Book with an essay and rare photos
  • Slipcase includes newly designed artwork approved by Clive Barker

    Special Edition Set. $29.93:
     

  • Disc 1: Unrated Director's Cut of the film on Blu-ray plus bonus features (details forthcoming)
  • Disc 2: Unrated Director's Cut of the film on DVD (details forthcoming)
  • Slipcase includes artwork approved by Clive Barker
  •  

     Offsite Article: Yellow fever fetish...


    Link Here 2nd July 2014
    China flag Why do so many white men want to date a Chinese woman? Chinese writer Yuan Ren lifts the lid on so-called yellow fever: a well-peddled myth that Asian women make better sexual lovers than other women.

    See article from telegraph.co.uk

     

     Update: Rated as all self praise but no substance...

    BBFC wins award for its You Rate It classification scheme for user generated content, but neglects to provide any details beyond hyping it as simple, fast, flexible etc.


    Link Here 1st July 2014  full story: Internet crowd sourced classification...BBFC propose a traffic lights scheme

    commenius edumedia logo The BBFC and the Dutch regulator NICAM have received a Comenius EduMedia Seal of Approval for You Rate It , an international tool for the classification of User Generated Content (UGC). The tool has been developed by the BBFC and NICAM at the request of the Brussels-based CEO Coalition for making the internet a safer place for children.

    The tool is a simple questionnaire, designed to be completed by those uploading videos onto a site, or by the crowd, or both. It generates an immediate age rating which varies from country to country according to different national standards and societal concerns. It may also be customised to meet the requirements of individual platforms.

    The Italian media regulator Mediaset has signed up to take part in the trial of the tool through its 16mm User Generated Content service, and the pilot is now in its first testing phase.

    The Comenius EduMedia Awards are given by the Society for Pedagogy and Information (GPI), a non-profit organisation which is a scientific society for multimedia, educational technology and media didactics. The awards recognise outstanding products among ICT-supported educational media across Europe. The contest is supported by the European Commission's Programme for Life Long Learning.

     

     Update: Jury Delivers Damning Verdict...

    Government abandon's its ideas to censor newspaper archives for information pertinent to court trials


    Link Here 1st July 2014  full story: Googling for Sub-Judicy...Sub-Judicy and associated censorship
    dominic grieve The government has abandoned plans to give itself powers to order media organisations to remove articles from their online archives. A clause in the criminal justice and courts bill would have enabled the attorney general, currently Dominic Grieve QC, to order newspapers and other publishers to take down past articles on the grounds that their continued presence would create a danger of contempt if jurors in a court case searched for information on the internet.

    Media organisations, including the Guardian, had opposed the move. In written evidence to MPs last year, they said:

    We fear that the introduction of statutory powers could lead to the use of notices becoming standard practice leading to the courts and media becoming inundated with requests to take down material.

    This has serious practical implications for the resourcing and maintenance of and public access to the archives of both national and regional media.

    The plan originated in a proposal from the Law Commission two years ago which argued that courts should be armed with powers compelling media organisations to take down old stories from electronic archives in order to remove potentially prejudicial material.

    A statement from the attorney general's office confirmed the decision to abandon the proposal. It said:

    The governmen recognises the disquiet surrounding the proposal. Given that this measure was designed to assist the media, it is significant that representatives of the media consider that this provision does not do so.

    Whilst the government considers that the notice provision would be an improvement for the media, courts and attorneys general alike, it is satisfied that the existing law will continue to provide satisfactory protection to the integrity of legal proceedings.

     

     Update: One Million Moms Recommend...

    Young and Hungry on the ABC Family Channel


    Link Here 1st July 2014  full story: One Million Moms...Moralist whingers against anything sexy
    young and hungry The christian moralist campaign group whinges:

    Warning to parents! ABC Family Channel has introduced yet another sex laden adult sitcom. The Young & Hungry premiere aired Wednesday evening at 8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. CT and, with a 14 DLS rating, is not suitable for young viewers. The show is airing at a time when children are likely watching. Not only is the program broadcast during primetime, but it will attract a young audience with the title and with the main character being played by the same actress who played the best friend of Disney's Hannah Montana .

    The show includes sexual references, innuendos, foul language, homosexual attraction, one night stands and excessive alcohol consumption. Specific examples of content aired during the new thirty-minute family channel sitcom are below.

    • Main character, a young personal chef, gets drunk and sleeps with her new boss after the boss's girlfriend breaks up with him
    • Discussions about sex preferences and experiences during majority of the episode
    • Boss and girlfriend both admit to sleeping with someone else the night before
    • Boss and girlfriend make up and sleep together
    • Girlfriend is mentally unstable and extremely selfish, with bizarre behavior and unhealthy relationships
    • Crude humor about utensils used during an OBGYN visit

    This program is obscene for any network but especially for a family channel. This show is indecent and offensive and needs to be removed from television immediately. Young & Hungry is a kiddy version of the lewd show Two and a Half Men .

     

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