Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch

2012: September

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Book Censors Told to Shave Down JK Rowling Novel...

Indian Sikhs take ludicrous easy offence at a character with excess body hair

Link Here30th September 2012

A female Sikh student character, derided by her friends for excess body hair in JK Rowling's latest novel The Casual Vacancy, has earned the author a rebuke from Sikh's highest authority at Akal Takht. Its representative body, the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), has sought removal of the text and an apology from Rowling.

Rowling, whose latest novel has been written with a Sikh family at the heart of its plot, has a character describing his classmate Sukhvinder as mustachioed, yet large-mammaried, scientists remain baffled by the contradictions of the hairy man-woman .

While describing Rowling's choice of words as a slur on the Sikh community and provocative , SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar threatened that the author must either apologize or remove the text from her book in India or face action:

Even if the author had chosen to describe the female Sikh character's physical traits, there was no need for her to use provocative language, questioning her gender. This is condemnable.

Makkar refused to say what action the body was planning.



Update: Nutters and Philistines...

Russian christians whinge at a production of Jesus Christ Superstar

Link Here30th September 2012
Full story: Blasphemy in Russia...Offending religious beliefs or desecration of holy objects or symbols

A theatre in the Russian city of Rostov has dropped a production of Jesus Christ Superstar after protests by Orthodox Christians.

Protesters had complained the rock opera projected the wrong image of Christ. Local Russian Orthodox protesters lodged their complaint with prosecutors and also wrote a letter to the management of the producers at Rostov Philharmonic.

Citing a new law protecting the rights of believers , they described the musical as a profanation and said any such production should be submitted to the Russian Orthodox Church for approval.

It is unclear to which law the protesters were referring. The lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, is currently considering a bill which would make it a crime to offend the religious feelings of citizens .

Popular Russian blogger Rustem Adagamov said in a tweet that Orthodox philistines had cancelled the musical.



Kyrgyzstan Recommends...

I am Gay and a Muslim, a documentary by Chris Belloni

Link Here30th September 2012

I Am Gay and Muslim is a 2012 Netherlands/Morocco documentary biography by Chris Belloni.
With Rayan Rayan. See IMDb .

A Kyrgyzstan court has banned a documentary on gay Muslims from being shown in the country.

The film, I am Gay and a Muslim, was submitted as part of the One World International Documentary Film Festival currently underway in the capital city of Bishkek.

It reportedly tells the story of gay rights in the Islamic world through the lens of ordinary Moroccans.

Before the court ban, the Kyrgyz State Committee for National Security appealed to chief Mufti Rakhmatulla Egemberdiev, who believes the film presents Islam in bad form, using people who have nothing to do with religion in general as examples .

A Bishkek court also ruled the film Innocence of Muslims was extremist and banned its screening.



ATVOD September Progress Report...

2 VOD services killed, 7 suffocated and 4 referred to Ofcom for sanction

Link Here29th September 2012

ATVOD reported that an Amended Designation came into force on 14 September. This followed the Ofcom's statement on the review of ATVOD's designation published on 15 August and Ofcom's publication on the same day of its procedures for dealing with appeals and sanctions in relation to on demand programme services. It allows ATVOD to make more decisions without referring back to Ofcom

And the latest September newsletter reveals viewer 56 complaints for August 2012.

  • 26 were referred to the VOD service provider
  • 28 were considered by ATVOD but were ruled out of remit after an initial assessment.
  • 2 concerned services not notified to ATVOD and which are now the subject of a scope investigation

Following Determinations in July that 13 services had been in breach of its repressive Rule 11 (which bans debit card holders from accessing VOD porn):

  • 4 services were referred to Ofcom for consideration of a sanction in light of their failure to comply with an enforcement notice.
  • 2 services were closed
  • 7 services complied with the credit (not debit) card requirement before letting surfers access any hardcore material



Oh My God...

Indian film banned by UAE over religious content about suing God

Link Here29th September 2012

OMG Oh My God! is a 2012 India comedy by Umesh Shukla.
With Mithun Chakraborty, Prabhu Deva and Poonam Jhawer. See IMDb

It is a film about a shopkeeper who takes the religious character God to court after his store is destroyed by a tornado.

It was passed PG by the BBFC for infrequent mild language and slapstick violence.

OMG has now been banned in the UAE due, presumably due to its religious content. Makers of the film learned about the UAE censor board decision just short of the film's release.

Vikram Malhotra of Viacom18 Motion Pictures, the co-producers of the film, said:

We have lost at least Rs 4 crore. It's terrible.

Update: Banned in Malaysia

29th September 2012. From

Bollywood film Oh My God has been officially banned by the Malaysian Censorship Board citing sensitive religious elements as the cause.

Based on a 2001 Australian comedy The Man Who Sued God , Oh My God tells the story of a shopkeeper named Kanjibhai who blames God for causing his shop to be destroyed by a tornado. The man then shows his wrath by fighting all the priests in the town, just to take Him down.



Update: Easily Offended Manchester Police...

Getting heavy over another football insult on Twitter

Link Here29th September 2012
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media

A football fan who sent a Twitter insult about Premier League referee and cancer survivor Mark Halsey following last weekend's Liverpool v Manchester United game has been cautioned by police.

Liverpool supporter John Wareing tweeted: I hope Mark Halsey gets cancer again and dies , after the official sent off Reds midfielder Jonjo Shevley and handed United a late penalty that gave Sir Alex Ferguson's side a 2-1 win.

Commenting on the incident, easily offended DS Tony Lunt of Greater Manchester Police spouted:

Clearly the victim and his family were very distressed by the extremely offensive comments posted on Twitter. We take all reports of abuse on social networking sites very seriously as these remarks can and do have a devastating impact on people's lives.

As a result of our investigation, we have cautioned a man who has admitted responsibility for some of the messages. This individual was very apologetic and realises that in a moment of stupidity he posted deeply derogatory remarks about the victim and completely regrets his actions.

Our inquiries are ongoing to identify anyone else who posted these offensive messages.



Update: TinTin in PC Land...

Stereotypically PC book censors temporarily ban TinTin in Sweden

Link Here29th September 2012
Full story: TinTin Book Censorship...TinTin au Congo and the overly sensitive

Following justifiable media criticism, politically correct officials at the Kulturhuset library in Stockholm have reversed their decision to ban Tintin comic books from library shelves.

The reversal comes after a report in Dagens Nyheter newspaper in which artistic director, Behrang Miri said the library planned to remove Tintin comics from its shelves:

The image the Tintin books give of Africans is Afro-phobic, for example. Africans are a bit dumb, while Arabs sit on flying carpets and Turks smoke water pipes.

But after criticism of the censorship erupted in Swedish media, Miri changed his stance. He said in a statement:

I wanted to highlight an opinion piece about issues of discrimination, but realize now that it's wrong to ban books,

Among those who slammed Kulturhuset's Tintin ban was Fredrik Stromberg, chair of the Swedish Comics Association:

I think it's wrong. I don't think people should censure in this way, children are smarter than that. It's better to talk about the stupid things we have done than to hide them away, that would be the mistake.



Update: The Bottom Line...

The PCC confirm that it will not be investigating Harry's bottom but the Danish public are taking a closer look at Kate's

Link Here29th September 2012

Kate Middleton's naked bum has hit the internet. Just a week after topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge were published. The Danish version of Se Og Hor Magazine has chosen to publish some new pictures, showing Kate without a top or bottom. On September 28, Showbiz Spy was just one outlet that chose to post the photos (without censorship) and now there aren't too many people in the world who haven't seen Kate's lady bits.

Meanwhile Prince Harry will not pursue a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) over the publication of photographs of him naked in Las Vegas, St James's Palace has said.

The Sun printed the photos, taken in a hotel room, despite warnings from the Royal Family's lawyers that it would be an invasion of his privacy.

The palace have now said:

It would not be prudent to pursue the matter further. Having considered the matter now for a number of weeks, we have decided not to pursue a complaint.

We remain of the opinion that a hotel room is a private space where its occupants would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Because the prince was focused entirely on his deployment in Afghanistan, pursuing a complaint relating to his private life would not be appropriate at this time and would prove to be a distraction.

Previously the PCC had said that it would not be appropriate to open an investigation into this matter in the absence of a formal complaint to the commission from Prince Harry .



Obituary Herbert Lom...

A long and memorable film career comes to a close

Link Here28th September 2012

Herbert Lom, the actor, who has died aged 95, brought to the screen a remarkable gallery of monarchs and gangsters, witchfinders, psychiatrists and spies, dictators and assassins, cops and robbers. A ladykiller and several times Napoleon, he will, above all, be remembered as the French police chief driven gradually mad by the antics of Peter Sellers's Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the long-running Pink Panther series of films.

Herbert Lom's long filmography includes many appearances in notable films in Melon Farming genres:

  • Hammer's Phantom of the Opera (1962)
  • Jess Franco's 99 Women , a  Women in Prison film (1969)
  • Mark of the Devil , a massively controversial witch finder film which is still cut in the UK
  • Jess Franco's Count Dracula . Herbert Lom played Van Helsing (1970)
  • Massimo Dallamano's Dorian Gray (1970)
  • Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)



Getting the General Picture...

Examining the extent of Dangerous Pictures prosecutions in Scotland

Link Here28th September 2012

The Consenting Adult Action Network (CAAN) have been researching the extent of Dangerous Picture prosecutions in Scotland.

The Scottish variant of the law against extreme porn was enacted in March 2011 and the period under analysis in this report is August 2011 to August 2012.

Via a Freedom of Information request found that 41 cases of Dangerous Pictures had been investigated. 27 cases are still in progress, and the outcome of the 14 case resolved so far is:

  • 8 cases dropped
  • 1 not convicted
  • 5 convicted.

It is not yet clear as to the pattern behind the prosecutions. South of the border, nearly all prosecutions are linked to investigations for other offences (most frequently linked to various forms of child abuse). Extreme porn prosecutions are then either used to top up the original charges or else used for vindictive prosecutions should the main charges fall through as in the notable case of Simon Walsh.



Carry On Advert Censors...

ASA easily offended by innuendo in Rustlers adverts

Link Here27th September 2012
Four ads, for Rustlers convenience food, appeared on a range of different platforms.
  • a. The VOD ad was shown on 4oD and ITV Player. The ad featured a woman, wearing a short butcher's apron, stockings, suspenders and high heels, in a butcher's shop. A sign on the wall behind her stated FIT AS A BUTCHER'S DAUGHTER . The woman said in a sultry voice, Hi there. I've something really satisfying to show you, so join me in my butcher's shop. Dad's left me in charge, which means we've got the place to ourselves. Just you, me and plenty of well-hung meat. The woman then pointed at on-screen text which stated Click for more and said, You know you want to. Clicking on the text took viewers to the advertiser's website,
  • b. The ad appeared in an iPad game app.
  • c. The ad appeared on YouTube
  • d. The ad appeared  on the MailOnline website
  • e. The ad on the MailOnline and the local news website,, appeared next to an article. Text, written on a blackboard, stated Rustlers BOYS ARE ALWAYS COMPLIMENTING ME ON MY NICE RACK . The last two words were much larger than the preceding text. The woman from ad (a) danced into view with her back to the viewer, wiggling her bottom. She was wearing black knickers with the butcher's apron, stockings and suspenders. She stopped, glanced suggestively over her shoulder towards the viewer, and winked. The text on the board changed to state FIT AS A BUTCHER'S DAUGHTER CLICK FOR MORE . The woman bent her knees and pointed at the viewer, kicked her leg back and walked off camera.
  • f. The first ad on featured the same woman in the butcher's shop, again speaking in a sultry voice, and emphasising certain words which could be taken as innuendo. She said, Oh yes, you know how the script goes, don't you boys? Your starving mates keep coming over, so here's some ideas for mouth watering, tasty treats to give them. Rustlers subs, Rustlers burgers on my lovely baps, or Rustlers wraps are sure to go down a storm and tackle their hunger. Containing no hydrogenated fat, we can trace your meat back to its farm of origin. She was shown stroking a large salami sausage. She continued, It's flame-grilled and coated in my creamy mayo salsa or barbeque sauce, guaranteed to satisfy your drooling mouth. They're quick and easy to cook and if you offer a touch of liquid refreshment too, the shout from your mates will be 'I want some more'. A sign was shown which stated FIT AS A BUTCHER'S DAUGHTER Rustlers . The ad also included an interactive element; when website users hit numbers on their keyboard, the ad skipped to certain points throughout the ad.
  • g. The second ad on also featured the same woman in the same setting, speaking in the same way and again emphasising certain words. She said, I want your full attention boys, because I'm going to tell you about what goes in to the great Rustlers range. We began in Ireland as a family butchers with a deep passion for making quality meat products for those who want good food, fast. We take pride in all that we do, because before I put something in my mouth I want to know where it's been. The woman was shown stroking a sausage. She continued, So we always know where your meat has been farmed and reared, and from the barbeque sauce we put over succulent ribs to our creamy mayonnaise, everything we touch is handled with care. Our baps are fluffy and delicious. I pop my buns in the toaster so they don't go too soft in the microwave. Maybe you should try that too. A sign was shown which stated FIT AS A BUTCHER'S DAUGHTER Rustlers . The ad included the same interactive element as ad (f).

The ASA received 18 complaints.

  1. All the complainants challenged whether the ads were offensive, because they were sexist to women and presented them as merely sex objects.
  2. Four complainants challenged whether ads (a) and (b) were appropriate to be seen by children.

ASA Assessment

1. Not upheld in relation to ads (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e)

The ASA noted the woman in the ads was wearing revealing clothing, that in ads (a) to (d) she used mild innuendo to encourage viewers to follow the link to the advertiser's website, and that in ad (e) mild innuendo appeared on the blackboard beside her. We acknowledged that some viewers might find the ads distasteful, in part because there was only a tentative link between the product and the use of a woman wearing revealing clothing and using innuendo. However, we considered that the woman's clothing, the language used, and the dance in ad (e), were not sexually provocative or explicit, and the ads did not present women merely as sex objects. We concluded ads (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

Upheld in relation to ads (f) and (g)

We acknowledged the ads were similar in theme and appearance to ads (a) to (e). However, we considered that some of the innuendo in ads (f) and (g) was significantly stronger, particularly because it was emphasised by some of the woman's actions, it was sexually provocative, and it was the focus of the ad rather than the information she gave about the product. We considered the overall effect of the ads was that the woman was presented as a sex object. We concluded the ads were likely to cause widespread offence as a result.

Notwithstanding that, we noted the interactive element of the ads could be used by website users to jump to certain words or phrases in the woman's speech which, although likely to be considered as innuendo when the ad was viewed in full, became sexually explicit when combined in different orders by the user. We considered the interactivity therefore accentuated the presentation of the woman as merely a sex object. We concluded the interactive element to the ads was likely to cause both serious and widespread offence.

On this point, we investigated ads (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) under CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 4.1 (Harm and offence), but did not find them in breach.

On this point, ads (f) and (g) breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).

2. Not upheld in relation to ad (a)

We understood the complainants' concerns and agreed that the ad was not appropriate to be seen by children, because it contained sexual innuendo and the woman was wearing sexually suggestive clothing. However, we noted that none of the complainants had stated that they were aware of children who had seen the ad on VOD, and we considered that both Channel 4 and ITV had taken appropriate steps to prevent the ad from being viewed by children. We concluded that the VOD ad was not socially irresponsible.

Upheld in relation to ad (b)

For the reasons stated above, we considered the ad was not appropriate to be seen by children. We noted the audience to whom the ad had been targeted but were concerned it was likely that the ad had been served to consumers outside the target audience; for example, we understood that the complainants who had seen the ad during the iPad game and on news websites, which were media targeted by Kepak's network advertising partner, were all female. We also understood that where targeting was based on online behaviour or even demographic data provided by an internet user, ads could only be targeted to individual devices or logins on those devices, rather than to specific consumers. We considered it was therefore likely that children, who often used devices owned by their parents, such as iPads, to play games or access the Internet, could have viewed the ad. We considered the advertiser should have taken greater care to ensure the ad could not be viewed by children, and concluded the targeting of the ad during the iPad game was not responsible advertising.

On this point, we investigated ad (a) under CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.3 (Responsible advertising), but did not find it in breach.

On this point, ad (b) breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.3 (Responsible advertising).



Evolving Censorship...

Hollywood films shown in Egypt are censored of references to Jesus and evolution

Link Here27th September 2012

America. Jesus. Freedom. Those are the opening words in the comedy The Campaign. In Egypt, however, the translation of these words, along with other references to Jesus or anything related to religion, was removed.

Those viewing the film in Egypt who do not speak English, are told the opening line of the film is simply America. Freedom. Jesus is somehow left out.

Again, later in the film, when Will Ferrell's character attempts to tell the Lord's Prayer at a debate and butchers it completely, the translation is gone, absent and not found.

In X-Men , when there is a discussion of evolution to mutants, the screen was void again of any translation.

This is normal, said one Coptic Christian filmmaker in Cairo. He told

They censor all of this regularly because they believe it will offend and is an attack on religion, no matter what the context.

This is not necessarily the government. It could be the translation company censoring themselves ahead of time.



The Daily Star Recommends...

A Twitter trickle of complaints about MTV's reality show, The Valleys

Link Here27th September 2012

The Daily Star is hyping up MTV's new reality show, The Valleys. According to the tabloid, the programme has been branded the filthiest series ever on British TV.

It follows nine young people from the Welsh Valleys as they move to a swanky pad in Cardiff to try to make it in the big city .

But their boozed-up, X-rated antics were deemed so debauched and jaw dropping that they sparked a flood of complaints to TV censor Ofcom. If not a flood at least a Twitter trickle. The launch show on Tuesday night featured orgies, flesh flashing and binge drinking.

'Shocked viewers', including a couple of celebrities, took to Twitter to brand the stars of the show a disgrace .

Radio 1 producer Aled Jones said: I am watching The Valleys on MTV -- slightly speechless.

And Swansea City footballer James Loveridge tweeted: What am I seeing and hearing on The Valleys? Who are these people, why are they embarrassing themselves? Shocking.They are like animals.

Viewers were apparently left speechless after watching Nicole Morris urinate on her hunky new housemate Aron Williams in the bathroom. The pair jumped in the tub with Leeroy Reed, and Lateysha Grace for an orgy. But Leeroy and Lateysha quickly jumped out when they realised what the lass was doing to her fella.



Update: Glamourous Assassin Nuns Don't Glamourise Violence...

ASA rejects whinges about assassin nuns trailer for Hitman Absolution

Link Here26th September 2012
Full story: Video Game Censorship in the UK...Playing the censorship game

An ad for the computer game Hitman: Absolution , viewed on the YouTube channel and Facebook pages for the Hitman game series:

a. The ad on YouTube was titled Hitman Absolution - Attack of the Saints Trailer [North America] . Text at the beginning of the ad stated MAY CONTAIN CONTENT INAPPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN Visit for rating information . The CGI animated ad began in a motel room, where a man was seen removing his shirt, washing blood from his hands, cleaning a wound on his shoulder and getting dressed again. That was intercut with scenes of a group of nuns walking, a close-up of their high-heeled boots, and footage of them producing weapons. They removed their robes to reveal they were wearing skin-tight PVC outfits. Some were wearing stockings and suspenders or ripped tights. The man was seen looking towards the spy-hole on the motel room door. The women stopped in front of the motel and one of them fired a missile at the building. That was followed by several seconds of close-ups of firearms, intercut with the women pointing their weapons in different directions. The man appeared behind two of the women in succession and attacked them, garrotting one and punching the other in the head whilst holding his other hand over her mouth. This was followed by close-ups of him grabbing a third woman over her mouth and nose, and pointing a gun out towards the viewer. He then shot two women in the chest; blood was shown flying from their wounds. Another woman engaged him in a fistfight and knocked him to the ground. A shot, from the man's perspective, showed a woman standing over him pointing a machine gun at him. He knocked her over and punched her in the head. A woman appeared behind him and attempted to garrotte him with her rosary beads. He headbutted her in the nose, breaking it, and they continued to fight. He then grabbed the woman with the broken nose and used her as a shield as one of the other women, who was lying on the ground, shot at the man. He picked up a gun from the floor and fired twice. A close-up of the woman's face showed she was lying on the ground; she appeared to be dead. The man knelt down and closed her eyes. He stood up, against the background of the motel on fire. Text appeared which stated HITMAN ABSOLUTION , followed by a shot of the man putting weapons in the boot of a car and driving away. Further text stated THE ORIGINAL ASSASSIN PREORDER NOW AND PLAY THE SNIPER CHALLENGE TODAY ... .

b. The same ad was posted on the Hitman Facebook page, titled Attack Of The Saints Trailer The Saints have arrived! Watch the Hitman: Absolution trailer now!.

The ASA received two complaints claiming that theads glamourised and condoned violence, particularly towards women, through the themes of graphic violence and the sexually provocative clothing worn by the female characters.

  1. Both complainants challenged whether ad (a) was offensive;

  2. one complainant challenged whether ad (a) was distressing; and

  3. one complainant challenged whether ad (b) was offensive,

  4. One complainant also challenged whether ad (a) was socially irresponsible, because it glamourised and condoned violence, particularly towards women, when it was for a product which would appeal to teenage boys.

Square Enix (SE) said there was also a European version of the trailer, which was the same except that it gave the PEGI rating of the game at the start rather than the North American ESRB rating. The game was rated 18 in both jurisdictions, and both trailers included those ratings prominently at the start. They said the trailers reflected the content of the game, which would have been banned or cut if it had any content which was considered offensive or harmful. They said the trailer was only intended to be viewed by adults of 18 or over; it was not aimed or targeted at teenage boys. They said they had taken steps to ensure that it would not be viewed by those under 18.

SE said the trailer was released on their YouTube channel, which had an 18-rated age gate. Users could therefore only access the trailer by creating an account with YouTube and inputting their date of birth and other personal details.

With regard to the ad appearing on Facebook, SE said that, on the release date of the European trailer, it had only been accessible to Facebook users who followed links to YouTube, and therefore the YouTube age gate applied. They had subsequently discovered, however, that the North American trailer had then been posted on their Facebook page without an age restriction on users in Europe. They explained that was a technical error which had now been rectified; the trailer on Facebook could now only be accessed by adults who were 18 or over.

ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld

1., 2. & 3. Not upheld

The ASA acknowledged the ad included scenes of graphic violence in which a man fought a group of women wearing sexually provocative clothing. We acknowledged some viewers might find the women's clothing gratuitous and offensive, and the idea of a man fighting women distressing and offensive. However, we noted the ad was age-restricted, and accessed via a Facebook page and YouTube channel which were specifically about the Hitman game. We considered it was likely that internet users who viewed the ads would therefore have specifically sought out material relating to the game and would be familiar with its premise and the types of characters and imagery which featured in the ad. We also considered that, in addition to the age-restrictions, the 18 rating at the beginning of the ad clearly signposted to viewers that the content would be of a particular type. Furthermore, we considered that, because the 'Saints' were armed and initiated the violence, it was clear, even to viewers unfamiliar with the game, that they were professional assassins who had been sent to kill Agent 47, and that the violence on his part was neither random nor sexually motivated. We also noted that the act of closing the eyes of one of the dead women would generally be viewed as a respectful gesture. Whilst we acknowledged that some viewers might find the ad distressing and offensive, we concluded that, because it was age-restricted and unlikely to be viewed by those unfamiliar with the game, it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence or distress to viewers of the Hitman Facebook page and YouTube channel. We also considered the ad did not glamorise violence generally, or violence towards women in particular, and we concluded it was not likely to condone or encourage violence or anti-social behaviour.

On points (1) and (2), we investigated ad (a) under CAP Code rules 4.1, 4.2 and 4.4 (Harm and offence), but did not find it in breach.

On point (3), we investigated ad (b) under CAP Code rules 4.1 and 4.4 (Harm and offence), but did not find it in breach.

4. Not upheld

We agreed with the complainant that the product was likely to appeal to teenage boys under 18 years of age. However, we noted the ad was accessed via the advertiser's YouTube channel and Facebook page, and that both avenues of access were age-restricted to website users who were 18 or over. We were concerned that a technical error had meant that European Facebook users had, for a time, been able to access the ad without an age-restriction, but we noted the advertiser had taken swift action to correct the error when they became aware of it and they had not targeted the ad at those under 18 at any time. We concluded that, because we considered the ad did not glamorise or condone violence, and the advertiser had taken steps to prevent those who were under 18 from viewing it, it was not socially irresponsible.

On point (4), we investigated ad (a) under CAP rule 1.3 (Social responsibility), but did not find it in breach.



The Miserable BBC...

Comedian reveals that the BBC banned comedy for the duration of the Olympics

Link Here26th September 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control

TV comic Russell Howard has criticised the BBC for censorship of comedy during the London 2012 Olympics.

The stand-up comedian explained to Digital Spy:

I was quite upset really. There was no comedy on during the Olympics at all. None whatsoever.

There's too much money in it. The powers that be didn't want people making jokes about the Olympics, it's too important apparently.

We'd have made jokes about the Olympics in the same way as we always do. It would have been a light touch and we'd have only touched on things that were genuinely funny like Boris on the zip wire, the Queen during the Opening Ceremony with the most bored face ever.

But nobody ever commented on these things because of a weird censorship. No, no comedy allowed during the Olympics.



Update: Fifty Shades of Outdatedness...

New Zealand book censor passes Fifty Shades of Grey for unrestricted sale

Link Here26th September 2012
Full story: Fifty Shades of Grey...BDSM book scores an international hit

Shades of Grey fans in New Zealand will continue to have unrestricted access to the controversial trilogy following a decision by the chief censor.

The Chief Censor Office of Film and Literature classification has ruled to keep the sale of the book available without an age restriction.

Random House New Zealand managing director Karen Ferns said the decision was a victory for common sense and freedom of expression:

To have restricted publication would have put New Zealand out of step with comparable democratic countries such as the UK, Australia, Canada and the United States.

Books with similar levels of explicit sexual content have been available for years.

The book was given an M certificate which is an advisory 16 rating.



Update: Negative Stereotyped Religion...

OIC re-opens calls for international blasphemy law

Link Here26th September 2012
Full story: Defamation of Religion...OIC pushes for global blasphemy laws at UN

The world's largest Islamic body has called for expressions of Islamophobia to be curbed by law, just as some countries restrict anti-Semitic speech or Holocaust denial.

Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the 56 countries that form the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), condemned a video made in the United States that supposedly defamed Islam and the religious character Mohammad.

Pakistan's ambassador Zamir Akram said in a speech to the UN Human Rights Council:

Incidents like this clearly demonstrate the urgent need on the part of states to introduce adequate protection against acts of hate crimes, hate speech, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation and negative stereotyping of religions, and incitement to religious hatred, as well as denigration of venerated personalities,

The Obama administration has condemned the film entitled Innocence of Muslims as disgusting . But Western countries remain determined to resist restrictions on freedom of speech and have already voiced disquiet about the repressive effect of blasphemy laws in Muslim countries such as Pakistan.

The OIC signalled last week that it would revive long-standing attempts to make insults against religions an international criminal offence.

A resolution submitted by African countries and backed by the OIC calls on states to introduce into domestic criminal law a provision ensuring that those responsible for crimes with racist or xenophobic motivation are prosecuted. The text, which deplores the targeting of religious symbols and venerated persons is one of the most contentious of the 32 resolutions to be voted on by the 47-member forum this week.

Update: Christians grab a few muslim coat tails

26th September 2012. From

Anglican leaders across the Communion have spoken out about The Innocence of Muslims .

Both Anglican and Catholic Archbishops in New Zealand have condemned the film. In the Middle East, the Most Rev. Mouneer Anis, President Bishop in Egypt (one of the countries directly affected by protest and violence) has said: We here made it clear that we Christians reject this kind of provocative film .

As an attempt to avoid future hostility, Anis united with fellow bishops and has written a letter to Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, asking for a declaration that outlaws intentional and deliberate insulting or defamation of persons (such as prophets), symbols, texts and constructs of belief deemed holy by people of faith .

European Anglicans have also responded to the video. The Bishop in charge of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, Rt. Rev. Pierre Whalon, denounced the film. According to Whalon, those who planned and created the film would have much to answer for when they came before the judgment seat of God. He went on to say that Christians and Muslims alike should continue to work to defeat attempts of extremists of every religion to create fear, hatred and violence. Only love can cast out fear , said Whalon.



Clean IT...

Leak shows plans for large-scale, undemocratic surveillance of all communications

Link Here25th September 2012

A leaked document from the CleanIT project shows just how far internal discussions in that initiative have drifted away from its publicly stated aims, as well as the most fundamental legal rules that underpin European democracy and the rule of law.

The European Commission-funded CleanIT project claims that it wants to fight terrorism through voluntary self-regulatory measures that defends the rule of law.

The initial meetings of the initiative, with their directionless and ill-informed discussions about doing something to solve unidentified online terrorist problems were mainly attended by filtering companies, who saw an interesting business opportunity. Their work has paid off, with numerous proposals for filtering by companies and governments, proposals for liability in case sufficiently intrusive filtering is not used, and calls for increased funding by governments of new filtering technologies.

The leaked document contradicts a letter sent from CleanIT Coordinator But Klaasen to Dutch NGO Bits of Freedom in April of this year, which explained that the project would first identify problems before making policy proposals. The promise to defend the rule of law has been abandoned. There appears never to have been a plan to identify a specific problem to be solved – instead the initiative has become little more than a protection racket (use filtering or be held liable for terrorist offences) for the online security industry.

CleanIT wants binding engagements from internet companies to carry out surveillance, to block and to filter (albeit only at end user - meaning local network - level). It wants a network of trusted online informants and, contrary to everything that they have ever said, they also want new, stricter legislation from Member States.

CleanIT (terrorism), financed by DG Home Affairs of the European Commission is duplicating much of the work of the CEO Coalition (child protection), which is financed by DG Communications Networks of the European Commission. Both are, independently and without coordination, developing policies on issues such as reporting buttons and flagging of possibly illegal material. Both CleanIT and the CEO Coalition are duplicating each other's work on creating voluntary rules for notification and removal of possibly illegal content and are jointly duplicating the evidence-based policy work being done by DG Internal Market of the European Commission, which recently completed a consultation on this subject. Both have also been discussing upload filtering, to monitor all content being put online by European citizens.

Key measures being proposed:

  • Removal of any legislation preventing filtering/surveillance of employees' Internet connections
  • Law enforcement authorities should be able to have content removed without following the more labour-intensive and formal procedures for 'notice and action'
  • Knowingly providing links to terrorist content (the draft does not refer to content which has been ruled to be illegal by a court, but undefined terrorist content in general) will be an offence just like the terrorist
  • Legal underpinning of real name rules to prevent anonymous use of online services
  • ISPs to be held liable for not making reasonable efforts to use technological surveillance to identify (undefined) terrorist use of the Internet
  • Companies providing end-user filtering systems and their customers should be liable for failing to report illegal activity identified by the filter
  • Customers should also be held liable for knowingly sending a report of content which is not illegal
  • Governments should use the helpfulness of ISPs as a criterion for awarding public contracts
  • The proposal on blocking lists contradict each other, on the one hand providing comprehensive details for each piece of illegal content and judicial references, but then saying that the owner can appeal (although if there was already a judicial ruling, the legal process would already have been at an end) and that filtering such be based on the output of the proposed content regulation body, the European Advisory Foundation
  • Blocking or warning systems should be implemented by social media platforms -- somehow it will be both illegal to provide (undefined) Internet services to terrorist persons and legal to knowingly provide access to illegal content, while warning the end-user that they are accessing illegal content
  • The anonymity of individuals reporting (possibly) illegal content must be preserved... yet their IP address must be logged to permit them to be prosecuted if it is suspected that they are reporting legal content deliberately and to permit reliable informants' reports to be processed more quickly
  • Companies should implement upload filters to monitor uploaded content to make sure that content that is removed -- or content that is similar to what is removed -- is not re-uploaded
  • It proposes that content should not be removed in all cases but blocked (i.e. make inaccessible by the hosting provider -- not blocked in the access provider sense) and, in other cases, left available online but with the domain name removed.



Hordes of Easily Offended Tartars...

Tartars set to get all offended about the Russian film, The Horde

Link Here25th September 2012

The Horde is a big budget Russian movie which opened on September 20. It depicts life under the Golden Horde, the Mongol khanate that controlled large portions of Eurasia during the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries.

The movie hasn't apparently pleased Russia's nearly 6 million Tatars, who are considered the country's modern-day descendants of nomads who joined Genghis Khan's army and eventually helped to create the Golden Horde.

They say the film falsely depicts the Golden Horde as an empire dominated by random violence, greed, and ignorance.

The film's director, Andrei Proshkin, has defended the film as a work of historic fiction, saying it was never intended as a true-to-life depiction of the Golden Horde. Still, he has acknowledged that the movie is likely to displease many viewers in Tatarstan, Russia's prosperous and predominantly Muslim republic that is home to the majority of the country's Tatars:

It's difficult to predict what kind of reaction there's going to be [in Tatarstan]. Probably, people are going to be offended. But what can you do?

Among those 'offended' so far are the very researchers who were hired to help Proshkin and his screenwriter re-create the sights and sounds of life under the Mongol Empire. Vadim Rudakov, a researcher specializing in the Golden Horde said he came away from the first meeting feeling enthusiastic that Russia would finally have an accurate depiction of life under its Mongol forbearers, who are widely credited with establishing regional government, a postal system, census-taking, and military organization.

But once the script was developed, Rudakov was crestfallen. Most of his suggestions about historical accuracy had been ignored, he told RFE/RL. And the depiction of the Mongols, he said, was deeply degrading:

Some of them were given human qualities, but the overall impression is of brutal, bloodthirsty, evil-minded, greedy people. Even the jokes they told were flat and stupid. It was all of the worst traditions of the old Soviet films about Tatar Mongols and nomads.



Congress Censorship App...

Miserable US members of Congress pressure Google into dropping sex work app

Link Here25th September 2012

Google has removed a sex trade app from its Google Play marketplace after pressure from members of the US Congress.

The Udoopi app bills itself as the first Escorts 2.0 app and promises All the paid sex of your city geolocated and always available on your mobile, iPad and computer. JOIN THE SEX CLUB.

Representative Carolyn Maloney raised the issue in a letter to Google's CEO Larry Page:

  1. Apart from Google's donations to large human rights organizations, what is your company doing internally to ensure that sexually exploitative advertisements do not appear?
  2. What is Google's stated internal policy regarding exploitative advertising? What evidence do you have that those policies are being complied with by both Google's internal and external advertising sales teams?
  3. What steps does Google take to instruct its advertising sales managers, consultants, and other employees regarding the evaluation of advertisers of such exploitative marketing?
  4. If Google were to determine that it profits from such advertising, what steps would you take to ensure those profits were publicly disclosed and then disgorged? Would that process require restating Google's earnings for past securities filings?

Google says it prohibits sex work advertising from its Adwords network and co-operates with law enforcement agencies. ?



Update: A Church Background...

Indian catholics wound up a dancing priest in a movie

Link Here24th September 2012
Full story: Blasphemy in India...Hurting religious sentiments

The movie Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal has ruffled nutter feathers even before its release.

A delegation of Catholics met with the Censor Board authorities to register their protest against the disrespectful portrayal of a Catholic priest and the community in the promos and advertisements . They also demanded that their requests for a permanent representative on the Censor Board in Mumbai be immediately fulfilled.

The secretary ofAssociation of Concerned Catholics (AOCC), Judith Monteiro told DNA that they've mailed the minister for Information & Broadcasting, Ambika Soni and the Censor Board chief Leela Samson conveying the community's displeasure.

Gen Secretary of Mumbai Youth Congress Agnelo Fernandes announced that the screening of the movie will not be allowed till the supposedly objectionable scenes were deleted.

The supposedly objectionable scenes include:

  • a priest dancing in a party with a person lying in a coffin with the crucifix beside him
  • the portrayal of a Catholic priest dancing with a lottery garland around his neck, with the church in the background.

Just because we don't protest like other communities, this has extended to ridiculing clergy. Do authorities react only to aggressive and violent protests? Are they pushing us towards it? asked Joe Dias, Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) general secretary.



Update: Mean Minded...

Lynne Featherstone speaks out against Page 3

Link Here23rd September 2012
Full story: Page 3 Girls...Miserable campaigners whinge about page 3 fun

Lynne Featherstone, the international development minister, said she would sign a petition to ban Page 3 because it had a deleterious effect on women.

The petition, set up by Lucy Holmes and entitled Take the bare boobs out of The Sun , had more than 30,000 signatures last night.

Admitting she would be called mean and sour-faced by some people, Featherstone said:

There is a real argument about what is OK in the public space. If you are on the Tube you may find Page 3 is facing you and your young daughter and you may not want that to be a role model for her.

There is an army on the other side hurtling abuse. It's not simply about equal pay. It's about the constant drip, drip of women being sexualised in the public space [which] has a great bearing on attitudes and domestic violence.

When you know that one in four women experience domestic violence in their life, two women are killed each week by their partner or husband, there is a very long way to go. While a lot of blokes say 'You are mean, sour-faced, whatever -- it's harmless', actually it's not harmless at all.



Pandering to Nutters...

Eastbourne police waste time and money following up complaints about saucy postcards

Link Here23rd September 2012

Just a friendly warning miss.
We've had reports of nutters in the area.
You may want to cover up your double entendres

A seller of saucy seaside postcards was shocked when police officers turned up on Eastbourne Pier to investigate ludicrous claims he had been flogging obscene images.

Ian Donald has been selling the cheeky postcards for more than 20 years without complaint. He told the Herald:

I thought they were joking. And when they saw them one of the policeman was laughing at how ridiculous it was.

Apparently someone had telephoned the council and been told to call Trading Standards and was then told if the images were obscene then it was a matter for the police.

Postcards like this are part of the English seaside. They are not obscene, they are just cheeky humour. I don't see how anyone could be offended by them.

Earlier this week the Herald was contacted by Ashley Steinschauer, an assistant minister at the Elim Family Church in Hartfield Road. He said he had been shocked to see displays of nudity in local gift shops and had reported the matter to the authorities. He said the fact that children could see the postcards was unacceptable and had particular scorn for Donald's shop.



Stabbed in the Back...

Campaigners fail to convince France's Constitutional Court that bullfighting should be banned

Link Here22nd September 2012

Bullfighting is to continue in France, a decision that has infuriated animal rights campaigners across Europe.

It follows calls from high-profile showbusiness campaigners including Brigitte Bardot and Jean-Paul Belmondo to see the bloodsport made illegal.

The Paris Constitutional Council, which adjudicates on contentious state issues, ruled that there was no need for corrida to be banned. The judges said an uninterrupted and long tradition of bull-fighting should not be ignored simply because of animal rights protests in certain regions where bullfighting is still practiced. These are mainly southern areas, where bullfighting events are well attended and attract some of the best matadors.

Protestors stressed that strict animal protection laws should apply equally across France, and should not be ignored in regions where bull-fighting takes place.

Former culture minister Frederic Mitterand had actually placed the bloodsport on a heritage list ,  leading to furious protests from animal rights groups.  And Manuel Valls, the current Interior Minister who was born in Spain and moved to France as a child, this week made a passionate call for the corrida to be allowed, saying: We have to preserve our culture -- we need these roots, we should not pull them out.' The Roman arena at Nimes where bullfights are still held



Update: Hopefully the CPS to Become Less Prone to Easy Offence...

CPS set to reconsider the definitions of insults before they end up prosecuting everyone in the country

Link Here 21st September 2012
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media

Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecution has made a statement after deciding to pursue a case involving insulting tweets. Starmer said:

On 30 July 2012 Daniel Thomas, a semi-professional footballer, posted a homophobic message on the social networking site, Twitter. This related to the Olympic divers Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield. This became available to his followers. Someone else distributed it more widely and it made its way into some media outlets. Mr Thomas was arrested and interviewed. The matter was then referred to CPS Wales to consider whether Mr Thomas should be charged with a criminal offence.

The Communications Act 2003 makes it an offence to send a communication using a public electronic communications network if that communication is grossly offensive. It is now established that posting comments via Twitter constitutes sending a message by means of a public electronic communications network. It is also clear that the offence is committed once the message is sent, irrespective of whether it is received by any intended recipient or anyone else. The question in this case is therefore whether the message posted by Mr Thomas is so grossly offensive as to be criminal and, if so, whether a prosecution is required in the public interest.

There is no doubt that the message posted by Mr Thomas was offensive and would be regarded as such by reasonable members of society. But the question for the CPS is not whether it was offensive, but whether it was so grossly offensive that criminal charges should be brought. The distinction is an important one and not easily made. Context and circumstances are highly relevant and as the European Court of Human Rights observed in the case of Handyside v UK (1976), the right to freedom of expression includes the right to say things or express opinions ...that offend, shock or disturb the state or any sector of the population.

The context and circumstances in this case include the following facts and matters:

  • (a) However misguided, Mr Thomas intended the message to be humorous.

  • (b) However naive, Mr Thomas did not intend the message to go beyond his followers, who were mainly friends and family.

  • (c) Mr Thomas took reasonably swift action to remove the message.

  • (d) Mr Thomas has expressed remorse and was, for a period, suspended by his football club.

  • (e) Neither Mr Daley nor Mr Waterfield were the intended recipients of the message and neither knew of its existence until it was brought to their attention following reports in the media.

This was, in essence, a one-off offensive Twitter message, intended for family and friends, which made its way into the public domain. It was not intended to reach Mr Daley or Mr Waterfield, it was not part of a campaign, it was not intended to incite others and Mr Thomas removed it reasonably swiftly and has expressed remorse. Against that background, the Chief Crown Prosecutor for Wales, Jim Brisbane, has concluded that on a full analysis of the context and circumstances in which this single message was sent, it was not so grossly offensive that criminal charges need to be brought.

Before reaching a final decision in this case, Mr Daley and Mr Waterfield were consulted by the CPS and both indicated that they did not think this case needed a prosecution.

This case is one of a growing number involving the use of social media that the CPS has had to consider. There are likely to be many more. The recent increase in the use of social media has been profound. It is estimated that on Twitter alone there are 340 million messages sent daily. And the context in which this interactive social media dialogue takes place is quite different to the context in which other communications take place. Access to social media is ubiquitous and instantaneous. Banter, jokes and offensive comment are commonplace and often spontaneous. Communications intended for a few may reach millions.

Against that background, the CPS has the task of balancing the fundamental right of free speech and the need to prosecute serious wrongdoing on a case by case basis. That often involves very difficult judgment calls and, in the largely unchartered territory of social media, the CPS is proceeding on a case by case basis. In some cases it is clear that a criminal prosecution is the appropriate response to conduct which is complained about, for example where there is a sustained campaign of harassment of an individual, where court orders are flouted or where grossly offensive or threatening remarks are made and maintained. But in many other cases a criminal prosecution will not be the appropriate response. If the fundamental right to free speech is to be respected, the threshold for criminal prosecution has to be a high one and a prosecution has to be required in the public interest.

To ensure that CPS decision-making in these difficult cases is clear and consistent, I intend to issue guidelines on social media cases for prosecutors. These will assist them in deciding whether criminal charges should be brought in the cases that arise for their consideration. In the first instance, the CPS will draft interim guidelines. There will then be a wide public consultation before final guidelines are published. As part of that process, I intend to hold a series of roundtable meetings with campaigners, media lawyers, academics, social media experts and law enforcement bodies to ensure that the guidelines are as fully informed as possible.

But this is not just a matter for prosecutors. Social media is a new and emerging phenomenon raising difficult issues of principle, which have to be confronted not only by prosecutors but also by others including the police, the courts and service providers. The fact that offensive remarks may not warrant a full criminal prosecution does not necessarily mean that no action should be taken. In my view, the time has come for an informed debate about the boundaries of free speech in an age of social media.



Hardcore Yarnography...

Cuddly art in New York's SoHo winds up a few nutters

Link Here21st September 2012

A new United Colors of Benetton pop-up store in New York's SoHo neighborhood has lead to a social media outburst from a few 'offended' parents

The temporary store, titled Art of Knit, is a fall pop-up shop featuring yarn art created by sculptor Erik Ravelo, however the pieces, amidst the racks of brightly colored sweaters, depict graphic sex positions and some parents are reported to be less than thrilled.

One mother claimed: This corrupt society we live in does not value nor respect the innocence of children.

The installations, were called hardcore yarnography by one parent, are also seen as amusing by others.

The wooly installations will change every few weeks, according to a statement released by Benetton, with up and comers including more family friendly knit covered dolphins.



Updated: Avengers Assemble...

BBFC errors and Disney bollox disassembled

Link Here20th September 2012
Full story: The Avengers Assemble...Released in cut and uncut versions

Avengers Assemble is a 2012 USA action sci-fi by Joss Whedon.
With Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson. See IMDb

There are 2 versions available worldwide, one omits the sight of the spear protruding from a man's chest as he is stabbed through his back. The cut version has the same running time but sees the man fall without the sight of the bloody protrusion.

The cut version has appeared in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and in UK video releases, while uncut versions have been reported in Italy, Australia, USA, and in UK cinemas.

The Uncut version was passed 12A for cinema release by the BBFC. The BBFC confirmed that this was the uncut version of the stabbing. The BBFC wrote:

A slightly stronger moment occurs when a man is stabbed through the back by the chief villain's spear. The detail of the impact is not shown, only the tip of the spear protruding from the man's chest with a small amount of blood on it. The image is not dwelt upon and serves an important narrative purpose. The BBFC's Guidelines at 12A'/'12 state Moderate violence is allowed but should not dwell on detail. There should be no emphasis on injuries or blood, but occasional gory moments may be permitted if justified by the context .

Initially the BBFC suggested that UK DVD and Blu-ray releases would be uncut, but have now explained the error in a media release:

The DVD/Blu-ray version of MARVEL AVENGERS ASSEMBLE is classified 12. It differs from the theatrical version submitted to the BBFC which is classified 12A.

In publishing the Extended Classification Information (ECI) for the DVD/Blu-ray MARVEL AVENGERS ASSEMBLE, a technical error occurred and the theatrical ECI was published on the BBFC website instead of the DVD/Blu-ray ECI.

The theatrical ECI highlights a scene in the film where the tip of a spear is seen protruding from a man's chest. This scene was absent from the DVD/Blu-ray MARVEL AVENGERS ASSEMBLE and does not appear in the DVD/Blu-ray ECI. The website error has now been rectified and the correct ECI for the DVD/Blu-ray is now available.

Meawhile Disney have been spouting bollox on the topic. Addressing the controversy with Home Cinema Choice, Disney UK's Home Entertainment spokesperson Lydia Rodrigues claimed:

There's been no censorship, no foul play. The version of Marvel's Avengers Assemble on Blu-ray disc in the U.K. is the same as the version shown theatrically. It really is. The simple fact is for a 12 certificate film in the U.K., that scene was deemed inappropriate. So Marvel Studios chose to remove the spear tip digitally.

Rodrigues also noted that some of the special features available on other versions of The Avengers, like Joss Whedon's Director's Commentary, weren't included in the U.K. release. She attributes it to the Digital Linear Tape required to replicate the disc not being delivered in time. She adds that there are no plans to include it on future versions.

Uncut Version

US: Uncut and MPAA PG-13 rated for:

  • US 2012 Walt Disney [2D + 3D] R0 Blu-ray/R1 DVD Combo at US Amazon released on 25th September 2012
  • US 2012 Walt Disney [2D] R0 Blu-ray/R1 DVD Combo at US Amazon released on 25th September 2012
  • US 2012 Walt Disney VOD to rent/buy [US only] at US Amazon released on 25th September 2012

Update: Disney Come Clean

20th September 2012. From

After some confusion, Disney have now clarified just what's going on and sent the following statement to :

Thanks to those of you who have let us know about an issue on the Marvel Avengers Assemble UK Blu-ray and DVD release, which has a less graphic depiction of Agent Coulson's confrontation with Loki. Each country has its own compliance issues relative to depictions of violence. Unfortunately, another region's elements were inadvertently used to create the UK in home release which minimally altered this scene in the film. We thank our fans for their vigilance in recognizing this and apologize for the mix up

Disney has even taken the unusual step of suggesting that fans purchase the US Blu-Ray of the film, which should work on UK players. We know that hardcore fans with Blu-ray players are probably going to end up buying the US release, which has the commentary, Rodrigues told Home Cinema Choice. The American Blu-Ray is region-free.

Update: The story makes the Guardian

21st September 2012.  See  article from

Update: Screen caps

23rd September 2012.  Thanks to Auiki

Avengers: Uncut
US: Uncut with spear protruding from chest
Avengers: Uncut
US: Uncut with spear protruding from chest
Avnegers: Cut
UK: Cut with spear not protruding from chest



South Korea Recommends...

The 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade

Link Here20th September 2012

South Korea has banned The 120 Days of Sodom by the 18th-century French nobleman and writer, the Marquis de Sade. It was written in 1785 but remained unpublished until 1905.

The book was banned for extreme obscenity, a Seoul official said. The Korea Publication Ethics Commission, a state review board, told the local publisher of The 120 Days of Sodom to recall and destroy all copies currently at stores, senior board official Jang Tag-Hwan told AFP. He explained:

A large portion of the book was extremely obscene and cruel, involving acts of sadism, incest, bestiality and necrophilia.

The book's extensive portrayal of sexual acts involving minors played a part in designating it a harmful publication, jang added.

The translated version of the book, which details the sexual orgies of four wealthy French libertines who rape, torture and finally murder their mostly teenage victims, hit stores in the South last month. It is the first novel to be banned since 2008.

The publisher has vowed to appeal against what it labelled as a death sentence on the book and to take the case to court if the appeal is rejected. The book will still be available while the ban is under appeal.



Blood Suckers...

ASA tackle the issue of a DVD being inaccurately described as uncut

Link Here19th September 2012

Claims on, for a DVD of a horror film, stated Blood of the Vampire (uncut) .

The complainant, who had purchased the DVD and found that certain scenes were missing, challenged whether the claim that the advertised product was the uncut version was misleading and could be substantiated. (Uncut) said the DVD offered was exactly as described and shown and was verifiably the uncut version of the film. They said they were already aware of the complainant who would have been aware of the running time when they purchased the film from Uncut. They provided links to other websites selling the same film.

Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA understood that the advertised film had been released in 1958 and had, at that time, been submitted to the BBFC who had made cuts to nine scenes for cinema release. We also understood that the film had been resubmitted to the BBFC in 2005 for DVD release and no cuts had been made. However, we understood that the BBFC's records did not allow them to tell whether the film submitted in 2005 was the full length theatrical version or the BBFC cut version.

We considered that to substantiate the claim that the advertised version was uncut, the advertiser needed to demonstrate that it was the full length theatrical version, i.e. the same as that which was originally submitted to the BBFC. We considered that they might demonstrate that by, for example, showing that their DVD version had been transferred from the original uncut print of the film, or by showing that it contained shots and scenes that had been cut by the BBFC.

However, because they had not done so, we concluded that the claim was unsubstantiated and therefore misleading.

The claim breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation).

The claim must not appear again in its current form. We told Uncut-DVDs to ensure they held evidence to show that their DVDs were uncut versions.



Update: Registered as Repressive...

New Jordan law requires all local news websites to register for government censorship

Link Here19th September 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship in Jordan...Government push for blocking of internet porn

Jordan's King Abdullah has endorsed a new repressive media law.

The legislation requires electronic publications in Jordan to get a licence from the government.

It also gives the authorities the power to block and censor websites, whose owners will be held responsible for comments posted on them.

Human Rights Watch accused the government of using such legislation to go after opponents and critics . The organisation said the dangers of the amendments to the Press and Publications Law arose from its vague definition of the electronic publications which would be affected, the new executive power to block websites, and the unreasonable restrictions on online content, including comments posted by website users.

The legislation's definition of electronic publication is an electronic site on the internet with a fixed address that offers publication services . Any that publish news, investigations, articles, or comments, which have to do with the internal or external affairs of the kingdom must register with the commerce ministry and get a licence from the culture ministry.

The culture ministry will have the authority to block websites that are either unlicensed or deemed to be in violation of any law, and to close the website's offices without providing a reason or obtaining a court order.

The owner, editor and director of an electronic publication will share the responsibility for comments posted on their website, and be obliged not to publish any containing information or facts unrelated to the news item or if the truth has not been checked , or if they violate laws .



Update: Avengers Assemble...

Disney releases the cut version in the UK despite BBFC info suggesting otherwise

Link Here18th September 2012
Full story: The Avengers Assemble...Released in cut and uncut versions

Avengers Assemble is a 2012 USA action sci-fi by Joss Whedon.
With Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson. See IMDb

UK: The cut version was released apparently without BBFC approval for:

  • UK 2012 Walt Disney [6 movie collection] R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 17th September 2012
  • UK 2012 Walt Disney [3D + 2D] R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 17th September 2012
  • UK 2012 Walt Disney R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 17th September 2012
  • UK 2012 Walt Disney R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 17th September 2012

The UK release is the cut version

There are 2 versions available worldwide, one omits the sight of the spear protruding from a man's chest as he is stabbed through his back. The cut version has the same running time but sees the man fall without the sight of the bloody protrusion.

The cut version has appeared in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the UK, while uncut versions are reported in Italy, Australia and the US.

The Uncut version was passed 12 by the BBFC. However this uncut version wasn't released and the cut version was substituted for the actual UK release, seemingly without BBFC approval. The BBFC confirmed that it had passed the uncut version of the stabbing at 12A/12. The BBFC wrote:

A slightly stronger moment occurs when a man is stabbed through the back by the chief villain's spear. The detail of the impact is not shown, only the tip of the spear protruding from the man's chest with a small amount of blood on it. The image is not dwelt upon and serves an important narrative purpose. The BBFC's Guidelines at 12A'/'12 state Moderate violence is allowed but should not dwell on detail. There should be no emphasis on injuries or blood, but occasional gory moments may be permitted if justified by the context .

Uncut Version

US: Uncut and MPAA PG-13 rated for:

  • US 2012 Walt Disney [2D + 3D] R0 Blu-ray/R1 DVD Combo at US Amazon released on 25th September 2012
  • US 2012 Walt Disney [2D] R0 Blu-ray/R1 DVD Combo at US Amazon released on 25th September 2012
  • US 2012 Walt Disney VOD to rent/buy [US only] at US Amazon released on 25th September 2012



Update: The Hunger Games...

Pictorial BBFC cuts published

Link Here18th September 2012
Full story: The Hunger Games...UK version gets cut for a 12A

The Hunger Games is a 2012 US Sci-Fi action film by Gary Ross.
With Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. See IMDb

The good people of have identified the BBFC cuts for the 12 rated version of The Hunger Games:

  • Blood has been digitally removed from a brick, which had presumably being used as a weapon
  • 2 instances of bloody knives being de-bloodied
  • 4 instances of wounds that no longer spurt blood
  • 2 shots of blood were cleared up from a wall and a suitcase
  • 2 shots of a bloody corpse have been de-bloodied
  • 2 Scenes showing Katniss' wound featured less wound and more tending
  • A scene showing Katniss threatened with a small knife featured less of the knife and more close ups of the aggressor's face

...See pictorial details

Note that the current 12 UK DVD features this cut version whilst the 15 rated UK Blu-ray features the uncut version.



The Funhouse...

Tobe Hooper's video nasty set for a new US DVD and Blu-ray release

Link Here18th September 2012

Funhouse is a 1981 US horror by Tobe Hooper
With Elizabeth Berridge, Shawn Carson and Jeanne Austin. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA R Rated for

  • US 2012 Shout! Factor Blu-ray at US Amazon released on 16th October 2012
  • US 2012 Shout! Factor R1 DVD at US Amazon released on 16th October 2012

UK: Video Nasty

A shortened version was released without censorship cuts by CIC in June 1983. It was shortened by deleting some uncontentious plot. Added to the DPP list of video nasties in September 1984 and was dropped in June 1985

A shortened version was passed 18 without BBFC cuts for the 1987 CIC VHS

The complete version was p assed 15 uncut in 2007

Summary Review: U nderrated slasher

Four teenage friends spent the night in a carnival funhouse and are stalked by a deformed man in a Frankenstein mask.

This is an effectively underrated slasher entry. One of it's most impressive feats is that it gives us a nice carnival atmosphere with some interesting sights. The setting is the best thing about this, as great pains is taken to turn the early part into setup, and this does create a great atmosphere for later on in the film.

This little gem has minimum bloodletting but its good, its better than good. It has a genuine sense of dread and a fear and paradoxically, an understanding of human vulnerability and mutation.



Update: A Culture of Inappropriateness...

Afghanistan TV channels in trouble for supposedly inappropriate music videos

Link Here18th September 2012
Full story: TV Censorship in Afghanistan...Afghanistan TV, an unsuprising target for censors

The Afghan Ministry of Culture and Information has brought legal proceedings against two popular entertainment television channels.

The ministry said Setara TV and Saba TV had broadcast inappropriate content, including revealing foreign music videos.

The ministry said the content violated a new media law, which bans programs that are deemed an affront to Afghan culture.



Update: Parental Guidance on Smoking...

India censors will give a U/A (PG) rating to all films including smoking

Link Here17th September 2012
Full story: Smoking and Drinking in Films...India wound up by smoking in the movies and TV

All films shown in India that show a protagonist smoking will automatically be granted a UA [PG] certificate by the Censor Board of Film Certification, no matter what the rest of their content may be, a source from the CBFC told Times of India.

So even if a film like, say, Haathi Mere Saathi or Andaaz Apna Apna that children love, had featured a character blowing smoke rings, the censors would have had to grant it a UA certificate, according to the source.

In addition, the disclaimer regarding cigarette smoking has to have a voiceover from the person who smokes on screen. Hence in Heroine, audiences will hear Kareena Kapoor warning them against cigarette smoking at the beginning of the film and after the interval, said the source and pointed out that there'll be no exceptions.

Update: First Heroic Failure

17th September 2012. See  article from

Anti-smoking campaigners welcomed the Central Board of Film Certification's decision to give an A certificate to the upcoming movie Heroine , claiming the move will protect young children from getting exposed to tobacco use in the film.

In a letter addressed to CBFC chairperson, HRIDAY said that CBFC has taken the decision considering that almost 30% of the scenes in the film depict tobacco use.

As per the new directions of CBFC, the film will now have to show a statutory warning during every scene depicting tobacco use.


See article from

The Delhi High Court has allowed the release of Bollywood movie Heroine without display of static anti-smoking message in its smoking scenes.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher allowed the release of the movie, saying it is not appropriate for the government to disturb the state of affairs in interregnum.

The film is set to be released on September 21.



Update: New Internet Censors...

Tunisia claims an end to repressive internet censorship policies known as Ammar 404

Link Here17th September 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship in Tunisia...Blogs and websites banned in Tunisia

Government representatives in Tunisia have confirmed that the country has officially brought its repressive Internet censorship policies, known as Ammar 404, to an end.

According to Information and Communication Minister Mongi Marzoug this has been brought on by the recent revolution in Tunisia and the interim government will now try to promote access to information and freedom of expression. The launching of the country's National Forum of Internet governance will be the end of Ammar 404, he said.

Tunisia will also try to prove to the world that they have truly ended censorship as he presented the main objectives of the upcoming ICT4All conference to be held in Tunisia.



Offsite Article: Playing Games with Classification...

Link Here17th September 2012
Full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games
Australian gamers unimpressed by recently published R18+ guidelines that suggest that games should face more censorship restrictions than other media. By Mark Serrels, editor of Kokatu, Australia

See article from



Update: Selectively Banned...

Google said to be more powerful than Egypt or Libya in deciding whether to ban The Innocence of Muslims

Link Here16th September 2012
Full story: The Innocence of Muslims...Muslim world gets wound up by silly movie

Google lists eight reasons on its YouTube Community Guidelines page for why it might take down a video. Being cited as the cause of riots is not among them. But after the White House warned that a crude anti-Muslim movie trailer had sparked murderous violence in the Middle East, Google acted.

Access to  a 14-minute clip from The Innocence of Muslims was blocked in Egypt, Libya, India, Indonesia and Afghanistan.

Legal experts and civil libertarians, meanwhile, said the controversy highlighted how Internet companies, most based in the United States, have become global arbiters of free speech, weighing complex issues that traditionally are the province of courts, judges, and occasionally, international treaty.

Tim Wu, a Columbia University law professor said:

Notice that Google has more power over this than either the Egyptian or the U.S. government. Most free speech today has nothing to do with governments and everything to do with companies.

...Read the full article



Extract: Nothing, however vile, justifies censorship...

Even in the hardest of cases such as this anti-Islamic film, the old arguments against censorship remain the best

Link Here16th September 2012
Full story: The Innocence of Muslims...Muslim world gets wound up by silly movie

The friends of freedom should not make exceptions because freedom's enemies never do. Admittedly, the trailer for Innocence of Muslims (one of its many titles) makes the temptation to allow just one exception close to overwhelming. It advertises an amateur and adolescent piece of religious propaganda that depicts Muhammad as a violent and lascivious fool. Copts probably made it. As there is no great difference between Christian and Islamist extremists, why not intervene in this clash of fundamentalisms and stop one sect inciting another sect to violence?

...Read the full article



Update: The Master...

Filmmaker speaks of Scientology pressure against a film partly about L Ron Hubbard

Link Here15th September 2012
Full story: Scientology Censors...Scientogists quick to litigate against critics

Scientologists in Hollywood tried to derail a movie inspired by the religion's founder, its studio claims. The Master was partly based on L Ron Hubbard, who founded Scientology in the 1950s.

Unnamed Scientologists applied lots of pressure to stop The Master being made and have it changed once filming began, studio head Harvey Weinstein said

We've had pressure and we've resisted pressure. Originally people said to me 'don't make it'. Lots of pressure.

And then, as we were making it, we had pressure to change it. Paul's not doing that and I didn't think he chose me [to work with] because I was going to acquiesce either.

The movie tells the story of a cult leader known as The Master, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, and a troubled World War II veteran, played by Joaquin Phoenix, who is drawn into his world. It won awards for acting and directing after its premiere at the Venice Film Festival and is seen as an early contender for The Oscars.

Asked about the reaction from Scientologists in Hollywood, Weinstein said:

I'm not going to get into names, but they feel strongly that they think it's a religion and as such they think the subject matter shouldn't be explored.

The Church of Scientology has denied trying to block the film.



BBFC Podcast 7...

Rating Films 15

Link Here15th September 2012

This episode of the BBFC podcast discusses the 15 age rating and how content awarded a 15 differs from that at 12A and 18.

We also speak to the Industry Trust for IP Awareness, the UK film, TV and video industry?s pro-copyright consumer education body, established to tackle the growing issue of copyright infringement in the UK. Their website is one of the UK's leading websites for film fans looking to watch, buy, download, stream or rent legitimate film, TV and video.

...Listen to BBFC Podcast 7



Update: A Costly Rant...

Man found guilty of grossly offensive communication after a Facebook rant about dead soldiers

Link Here15th September 2012
Full story: Twitter Twits...Police overreact to trivial insults via Twitter and Facebook

A teenager has been found guilty of posting an offensive Facebook message following the deaths of six British soldiers in Afghanistan.

Azhar Ahmed, 19, was charged with sending a grossly offensive communication.

He told Huddersfield Magistrates Court he accepted the message had been unacceptable but had denied it was grossly offensive .

The judge said his comments were derogatory, disrespectful and inflammatory .

The six soldiers were killed by an improvised explosive device in March. The offending message, which said all soldiers should die and go to hell , was posted by Ahmed two days later on 8 March.

Ahmed told the court he was only trying to make his point that many other deaths in Afghanistan were being ignored and added he had no idea it would cause so much upset.

He will be sentenced later.

Do western democracies protect free speech?

See  article from

In the age of social media, the European Union needs to defend free expression. But it often falls far short, says Padraig Reidy.

Update: Sentenced

10th October 2012. See  article from

Azhar Ahmed has been given a community order after being found guilty of sending a grossly offensive communication . Ahmed, 19, from West Yorkshire wrote on Facebook that All soldiers should DIE & go to HELL! This morning at Huddersfield Magistrates' Court he was fined £ 300 and ordered to complete 240 hours of community service over a two-year period.



Update: Rises More...

Reports of a Director's Cut for The Dark Knight Rises turn out to be bollox

Link Here14th September 2012

Sources have informed Nuke the Fridge that not only is a Director's Cut being developed by Warner Bros. for The Dark Knight Rises, but it's going to include Bane's origin plus a bit more screentime for Ra's Al Ghul (Liam Neeson) which were omitted from the current theatrical cut of the movie.

The new Director's Cut is said to make the film about thirty minutes longer.

...Read the full article

Update: Bollox

14th September 2012. See article from

Now, rumors of one particular director's cut made the blogosphere light up recently, with Nuke The Fridge reporting that an Extended Director's Cut of Christopher Nolan's megahit The Dark Knight Rises was heading to DVD & Blu-ray, featuring an extra 30 minutes of footage (for a film that already ran 165 minutes or so) including Bane's origin story, and that the new version was set for release next June, just ahead of the release of the Nolan-produced Superman flick Man Of Steel.

But insiders close to the director confirmed to us yesterday that no such plans exist, and reports of an extended cut of the film are completely false.

...Read the full article



Comment: Making it Up...

Complaints about TV documentary questioning the early history of islam

Link Here14th September 2012

Islam: The Untold Story has triggered nearly 550 complaints to both the television regulator Ofcom and Channel 4 itself.

Since it was screened last week, presenter and historian Tom Holland, has been subjected to a torrent of abusive tweets, some of which have included physical threats. He is accused of distorting the history of Islam by claiming the Koran makes little or no reference to the religious city of Mecca.

The Islamic Education and Research Academy has published a lengthy paper denouncing the programme. The Academy claims the programme's assertion that there are no historical records detailing the life and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad is flawed: Holland appears to have turned a blind eye to rich Islamic historical tradition.

But historians have rallied to Holland's defence. Dan Snow, who has presented history shows for the BBC with his father Peter, described the programme as a triumph , tweeting: Dear angry, mad people -- it is conceivable that you know more than the world's leading scholars, but very unlikely.

Holland said:

The origins of Islam are a legitimate subject of historical inquiry and this film is wholly in keeping with other series and programmes on Channel 4. We were of course aware that we were touching deeply-held sensitivities and went to every effort to ensure that the moral and civilisational power of Islam was acknowledged.'

Update: 1200 complaints

4th September 2012. See  article from

The number of complaints about historian Tom Holland's Channel 4 documentary questioning the origins of Islam has now reached 1,200.

Channel 4 has now received about 1,000 complaints about the documentary, broadcast on Tuesday, with another 200 complaining to media regulator Ofcom.

Tom Holland has also written a detailed blog post responding to the main criticisms of his documentary

Update: Screening Cancelled

12th September 2012. See  article from

A screening of a controversial documentary on the history of Islam has been cancelled on security advice after its presenter was threatened. Holland was threatened online with a torrent of abusive messages on Twitter.

Historian Tom Holland's Channel 4 film Islam: The Untold Story sparked more than 1,000 complaints when it was broadcast.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: Having taken security advice, we have reluctantly cancelled a planned screening of the programme Islam: The Untold Story. We remain extremely proud of the film which is still available to view on 4oD.

The private screening was due to take place at the broadcaster's London headquarters on Thursday before an audience of historians and opinion formers .

The documentary is due to be repeated late on Thursday night TV and can be viewed online.

There appears to be no mention of the police following up the violent threats, perhaps they are too busy with following up trivial un-PC insults to worry about a violent attack on free expression.

Opinion: The Chilling Effect of Censorship by Violent Threat

14th September 2012. See

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain would like to make public its support for Tom Holland's Channel 4 documentary Islam: The Untold Story . We are indignant to learn that due to threats made on Holland, Channel 4 has cancelled a repeat screening of the historical inquiry into the origins of Islam similar to the kind of inquiry that has been applied to other religions and histories in Britain for many years.

The threats and concerted attempt to stigmatise the documentary and its producers by attacking its credibility and even legitimacy as a field of inquiry is nothing less than an attempt to impose a blasphemy taboo by stealth and coercion against programming that scrutinises Islam.

Caving in to the coercive pressure of Islamists will have catastrophic effects on free inquiry and expression where it pertains to Islam. It would not only further silence academic, historical and theological scrutiny of Islam but would also have the chilling effect of exerting added pressure on Muslims and ex-Muslims who wish to dissent from and question Islam.

CEMB spokesperson Maryam Namazie says:

Here's my question to Channel 4: what about the threats on our lives for being apostates, ex-Muslims, atheists, freethinkers, secularists, 21st century human beings?

What part of our thoughts, lives, and bodies do you recommend we cancel to appease the Islamists?

If only there was such an 'easy' 'solution' for those who are languishing under Islam's rules.

You may accept censorship and cowardly silence in the face of Islamist threats and intimidation but we cannot afford to do so. And we never will.

The CEMB urges you to view the documentary [UK only] and write to Channel 4 and Ofcom (contact information below) calling for a repeat screening.

Update: Ofcom rules that the complaints are groundless

21st October 2012. See  article from

Ofcom has decided not to investigate Tom Holland's documentary questioning the origins of Islam, despite Channel 4 receiving more than 1,000 complaints from angry members of the public.

The documentary, Islam: The Untold Story , was presented by Holland and claimed there was little contemporary evidence about the origin of the religion.

Holland, who came in for criticism and abuse on Twitter following the broadcast of the documentary in August, questioned when the Qur'an was written and suggested that Mecca may not have been the real birthplace of the prophet.

Ofcom assessed the complaints but ruled on Monday that it would not be investigating the documentary further to see if it is in breach of the UK broadcasting code.



Rivers of Prejudice...

Uganda charges British producer over gay stage play

Link Here14th September 2012

The authorities in Uganda have charged a British theatre producer, David Cecil, for staging a play about the condition of gay people in the country.

He appeared in court accused of disobeying lawful orders , because the play The River and the Mountain by Beau Hopkins was performed without authorisation. Cecil was denied bail.

The play, with the main character being a gay businessman killed by his own employees,  was performed at two theatres in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, last month.

Update: Hearing

5th December 2012. See  article from

Only days before the play was set to open in August, Cecil received a letter from the country's Media Council, the body tasked with regulation of media. It stated the play was to be suspended pending an official content review. Cecil and his company, under legal advice, interpreted this as a request rather than an order. Initially, the play was to run at the National Theatre, open to the general public but Cecil decided to move the production to private venues and eight performances were seen by an invited audience. Cecil was arrested after the short run, and branded a gay rights activist by an angry media.

Cecil's second hearing is taking place tomorrow. There, it will be decided if the prosecution have enough evidence to take the case to court. Cecil's legal team will argue that there were no references to any parts of the constitution or penal code in the letter from the Media Council. It did not refer to any legal consequences if they should choose to perform the play. Furthermore, Cecil says the Media Council is supposed to be an advisory body, it holds no executive authority over individuals' rights to express themselves.

A petition calling for the charges against Cecil to be dropped has been signed by more than 2,500 people, including Mike Leigh, Stephen Fry, Sandi Toksvig and Simon Callow. The petition was organised by Index on Censorship and David Lan, the artistic director of the Young Vic.



A Run on the Rial...

Iran blocks SMS messages with the word dollar during on run on the local currcency

Link Here14th September 2012

Iran's currency, the Rial, plunged nearly 8% to a new record low against the dollar recently, but the dramatic drop was being suppressed within the country on mobile phone text services and some exchange websites. Middle East Online reports.

Text messages that included the word dollar in English or in Farsi were censored, with the message not being received.

The censorship was easy to workaround though, text messages containing the words USD , euro or the $ symbol were all transmitted and received normally.



Obituary: Stanley Long's Last Adventure...

Director of some of the best known British sex comedies dies aged 78

Link Here13th September 2012

Prolific British exploitation filmmaker Stanley Long has died, aged 78. Long died of natural causes on Monday in Buckinghamshire.

Dubbed the King of Sexploitation , Long produced and/or directed a series of successful X certificate movies between 1958 and 1983. His director's credits featured:

  • Naughty!
  • Bread
  • Sex and the Other Woman
  • Sex Through the Ages
  • Adventures of a Taxi Driver
  • Adventures of a Private Eye
  • It Could Happen to You
  • Adventures of a Plumber's Mate

Long was also hired by other filmmakers to work on their features, such as Roman Polanksi who approached Long to complete camera-work on his movie Repulsion . Recently, Long worked with his company Salon and made it one of the most popular post-production facilities in Europe, working on blockbusters such as V for Vendetta and Batman Begins .



Cut Cut...

BBFC cuts the pilot episode of American Horror Story

Link Here13th September 2012

American Horror Story (Pilot Episode) is a USA drama horror mystery by Ryan Murphy.
With Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott and Evan Peters. See IMDb

UK: Passed 18 for strong horror and self-harm images after 5s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2012 20th Century Fox Season 1 RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 15th October 2012
  • UK 2012 20th Century Fox Season 1 R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 15th October 2012

The BBFC commented:

Cut required to remove potentially harmful dialogue describing a particular suicide technique.

The horse may have already bolted though, the episode has been broadcast numerous times on TV in its uncut form.

There is also an uncut US release



Update: Arbitrary Impact...

Australia releases censorship rules for R18+ games

Link Here13th September 2012
Full story: R18+ for Games in Australia...Pondering an adult R18+ rating for video games

Australia's Classification Board has released censorship rules that will be applied to the new adult R18+ category for computer games.

As Kotaku points out, the document disappointingly makes reference to the interactive nature of computer games necessitating tighter controls than other passive media formats, a notion that has been diluted by plenty of studies over the years, and never supported by any conclusive findings. The Censor Board document says:

Interactivity is an important consideration that the Board must take into account when classifying computer games. This is because there are differences in what some sections of the community condone in relation to passive viewing or the effects passive viewing may have on the viewer (as may occur in a film) compared to actively controlling outcomes by making choices to take or not take action.

Due to the interactive nature of computer games and the active repetitive involvement of the participant, as a general rule computer games may have a higher impact than similarly themed depictions of the classifiable elements in film, and therefore greater potential for harm or detriment, particularly to minors.

Interactivity may increase the impact of some content: for example, impact may be higher where interactivity enables action such as inflicting realistically depicted injuries or death or post-mortem damage, attacking civilians or engaging in sexual activity. Greater degrees of interactivity (such as first-person gameplay compared to third-person gameplay) may also increase the impact of some content.

The word 'impact' seems to be a fudge factor that means that its up to them. 'Impact' is an arbitrary scale with an arbitrary value of 'high impact' that will get games banned. The censors then justify the ban by a meaningless justification that the violence is 'high impact'. So Australian gamers will just have to wait and see how the censors arbitrarily interpret the arbitrary rules.




Kathmandu Police close art exhibition after blasphemy complaint

Link Here13th September 2012

Kathmandu Police have said that a painting exhibition by artist Manish Harijan in Babar Mahal-based Siddhartha Art Gallery has been closed.

The policeman in charge explained that the closure decision was taken to investigate the complaint of blasphemy resulting from the paintings of Hindu deities put on display.

Tension arose in the gallery after World Hindu Federation activists allegedly warned the artist against displaying images of Hindu deities combined with Western superheroes.

Meanwhile, UNESCO has expressed serious concern about a death threat against the artist. Axel Plathe, Head of the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu said:

The right to freedom of expression must also apply to artistic expression. Tension that may arise between artistic creation and religious and ethical values should be openly discussed instead of becoming a subject of intimidation or even death threat to the artist.



Avengers Assemble...

Cut in Germany but uncut in the UK

Link Here12th September 2012
Full story: The Avengers Assemble...Released in cut and uncut versions

Avengers Assemble is a 2012 USA action sci-fi by Joss Whedon.
With Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson. See IMDb

UK: Passed 12 without BBFC cuts for moderate fantasy violence for:

  • UK 2012 Walt Disney [6 movie collection] R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 17th September 2012
  • UK 2012 Walt Disney [3D + 2D] R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 17th September 2012
  • UK 2012 Walt Disney R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 17th September 2012
  • UK 2012 Walt Disney R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 17th September 2012
  • UK 2012 Online
  • UK 2012 cinema release

Uncut in the UK but cut in Germany

The BBFC confirm that the UK release features the uncut version of the stabbing. The BBFC writes:

A slightly stronger moment occurs when a man is stabbed through the back by the chief villain's spear. The detail of the impact is not shown, only the tip of the spear protruding from the man's chest with a small amount of blood on it. The image is not dwelt upon and serves an important narrative purpose. The BBFC's Guidelines at 12A'/'12 state Moderate violence is allowed but should not dwell on detail. There should be no emphasis on injuries or blood, but occasional gory moments may be permitted if justified by the context .

However there are 2 versions available worldwide, one omits the sight of the spear protruding from a man's chest as he is stabbed through his back. The cut version has the same running time but sees the man fall without the sight of the bloody protrusion.

The cut version has been spotted in the German release and applies to Swiss and Austrian releases too.



Update: Censored by Default...

YouGov survey notes about a quarter of parents in favour of a default block on adult related content

Link Here12th September 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

Less than a quarter of parents are in favour of default online content blocking, a new survey has found.

Only one-fifth of UK parents believe default filtering of harmful content is the best system for protecting youngsters online, according to TalkTalk. YouGov, working on behalf of the ISP, found 78% of adults with children in their household are opposed to this solution, which would automatically block adult related material.

Instead, 37% of respondents favour giving broadband customers an active choice, in which they are asked when they sign up for an account whether or not they want content to be blocked. A further 30% insisted that websites should only be blocked if they ask for it.

In March, TalkTalk introduced an active choice system for broadband subscribers. Known as HomeSafe, the network-level parental controls allow customers to choose the type of content their kids can view while browsing the web. So far, the system has been activated by about one in three new customers - roughly equivalent to the number of households with dependent children.

Dido Harding, chief executive of TalkTalk, said: We believe that giving customers an active choice about using controls like HomeSafe is the most effective way to engage them in internet safety.



Update: Miming Easy Offence...

Ofcom whinge at Storm TV immediately post-watershed

Link Here12th September 2012
Full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

Storm Night
Storm (Channel 966), 18 June 2012, 21:00 to 21:30

Storm Night is a segment of interactive adult chat advertising content broadcast on the licensed service known as Storm (Sky Channel 966). The licence for Storm is owned and operated by Live Television Ltd.

Ofcom received a complaint that content on this service, broadcast shortly after the watershed, contained sexual images that were too strong to be shown at this time

Ofcom noted a female presenter on screen wearing a translucent leopard skin print one piece outfit, which clearly showed the presenter's breasts. The outfit was cut away at the sides and back and featured a thong style back. In addition, she wore a black thong, under the one piece outfit, and fishnet stockings. From around 21:15, and until at least 21:30, the presenter adopted various sexual positions: she lay on her side with her legs apart (albeit away from camera) while thrusting her body up and down, stroking her breasts and inner thighs and pulling down her top to reveal her cleavage; she moved onto all fours and thrust her bare buttocks (albeit at an angle slightly away from camera) to mime sexual intercourse; and, she knelt upright on her legs and moved her body up and down to mime sexual intercourse. While adopting these positions her outer genital area was briefly visible.

Ofcom considered BCAP Rule 32.3:

Relevant timing restrictions must be applied to advertisements that, through their content, might harm or distress children of particular ages or that are otherwise unsuitable for them.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 32.3

On 27 July 2011 Ofcom published revised guidance on the advertising of telecommunications-based sexual entertainment services and PRS daytime chat services. This clearly sets out what Ofcom considers to be acceptable to broadcast on these services post-watershed. In particular, the Chat Service Guidance states that with regard to material broadcast after 21:00 adult chat broadcasters should ensure that:

After 9pm any move towards stronger – but still very restrained – material containing sexual imagery should be gradual and progressive. There should not for example be any miming of sexual acts between 9 and 10pm.

Ofcom noted that between 21:00 and 21:30, the female presenter wore a cut away one piece outfit that, at times and depending on her position, revealed her outer genital area. In addition, from approximately 21:15 she adopted various sexual positions such as lying on her side with her legs open thrusting up and down with her hips while pulling down her top and stroking her body; moving onto all fours and thrusting her bare buttocks up and down; kneeling upright and moving up and down. In these positions she repeatedly mimed sexual intercourse. In Ofcom's view, the translucent clothing which revealed her breasts, the sexual positions and the miming of sexual intercourse were intended to be sexually provocative in nature. In light of this behaviour and imagery, Ofcom concluded that this material was clearly unsuitable for children.

The broadcast of such sexualised content was inappropriate to advertise adult sex chat so soon after the 21:00 watershed. This broadcast was therefore in breach of BCAP Code Rule 32.3



Drunk on the Video Nasties...

New podcast discusses the video nasties and mentions the Melon Farmers

Link Here12th September 2012

Is there anything more fun than watching a man have his guts ripped out and shoved down his own throat for the amusement of the home viewing audience! NOPE!

This week we talk Censorship with my guest Mark Smith, Mark had the pleasure of living through the video nasties hysteria of the 80's in the country it took place in.

...Listen to the Podcast



Offsite Article: The Daily Mail's fight to get online porn blocked is a bit rich...

Link Here 12th September 2012
The hypocrisy of the Mail fighting for porn blocks while filling its site with images of scantily-clad women is getting hard to bear.

See article from



Update: Only Drizzle from Sky...

The Cloud Public WiFi service will be censored for children

Link Here11th September 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

Sky has announced that its public Wi-Fi service, The Cloud, will begin blocking adult related content as standard from October.

The move means shops, venues and other commercial buildings covered by The Cloud's network that want a children's internet service will have their wireless broadband filtered automatically.

Lyssa McGowan, Sky's brand director for communications products said:

We believe this will give parents the peace of mind that when their children access content over Sky networks outside the home, where we can't offer individual parental controls, they will be similarly protected as when in the home.

The Cloud will be the first Wi-Fi operator in the UK to take this step.



The Diplomacy of Censorship...

Ofcom consider complaint about Russian propaganda channel

Link Here11th September 2012

Russia Today, 21 August 2011, 13:01 and 14:06
The Diplomacy of Defence|
Russia Today, 5 February 2012, 17:30

Russia Today is a global news and current affairs channel produced in Russia, and funded by the Russia Government. In the UK, the channel broadcasts on the Sky satellite platform. The licence for Russia Today is held by TV Novosti.

A complainant alerted Ofcom to two separate news items, featuring the reporter Lizzie Phelan, which the complainant considered were not duly accurate or duly impartial. In summary, the complainant said that Lizzie Phelan made claims that...the [Libyan] rebels obviously lack any popular support and her report was not a factual news report .

Ofcom provided several examples. Eg in the news item broadcast on 21 August 2011 at 12:01, Lizzie Phelan said the following about the NATO air attacks:

This is all part of the strategy to create mass panic and mass confusion here, because NATO has obviously failed in its military strategy to create a military solution here and so instead what we are seeing is a massive psychological operation going on to try and weaken the Libyan Government in that way .

Ofcom considered the material raised issues warranting investigation under Rule 5.1 of the Code, which states:

Rule 5.1: News, in whatever form, must be reported with due accuracy and presented with due impartiality .

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 5.1

After a long report Ofcom concluded:

In this case, it is clear that viewers were presented only with viewpoints supportive of the Russian Government's policy on this particular matter of political controversy and matter relating to current public policy (NATO missile deployment in Eastern Europe), thus denying viewers some knowledge of crucial alternative viewpoints on this issue. Therefore, in our view, to record a breach of Rule 5.5 would not be a disproportionate infringement of the Licensee's right to freedom of expression. Ofcom therefore considered The Diplomacy of Defence breached Rule 5.5 of the Code.



A Slice of Nutter Life...

American Family Association nutters whinge at park statue

Link Here11th September 2012

In Kansas, another legal battle is being waged over art. The nutter community is in 'uproar' over a bare-breasted sculpture in an Overland Park arboretum. It has triggered a grand jury investigation into whether the city is somehow promoting obscenity to minors.

The artwork, titled Accept or Reject was donated by Chinese artist Yu Chang. It depicts a headless woman with exposed pert breasts, snapping a self-portrait.

Nutters ludicrously contend that it promotes sexting to children. A petition begun by local mother Joanne Hughes to remove the statue picked up steam when she teamed up with Phillip Cosby, the state director of the nutter organisation, the American Family Association. It is a religious-based group focused on strengthening the moral foundations of American culture.

Hughes and Cosby delivered 4,700 signatures to the county clerk, enough names to summon a grand jury investigation.

Cosby spouted to The Huffington Post:

The arboretum is a place for school trips and minors, and it's advertised that way. Then boom, here's this sexting statue. Is sexting something you want to put in front of children and say this is okay? It's illegal.

But so far, the city has no plans to remove the offending sculpture. The statue does exactly what art is supposed to do, said Overland Park spokesman Sean Reilly: It's evoked a lot of emotion.

Update: Not Obscene

28th October 2012. See  article from

The bare-breasted sculpture at a northeast Kansas arboretum has been judged as not obscene.

The Kansas City Star reports a Johnson County grand jury chose not to issue on indictment over the life-size bronze sculpture.

Nutters had collected enough signatures through a petition drive to summon the 15-member jury. Johnson County District Judge Gerald Elliott told the jurors their job was to determine if the sculpture violated the Kansas obscenity law.

If they found probable cause of a crime, they were to issue an indictment known as a true bill. But instead they issued a no true bill ruling.



Update: Getting Dangerously Stressed...

Government threaten ISPs over suicide websites

Link Here11th September 2012
Full story: Suicide Censorship...UK government proposes to ban suicide information

Telcos face being regulated by the government if they fail to block websites offering advice on suicide, the health minister Norman Lamb has warned. He said that one of the areas of concern was the lack of awareness about websites offering guidance on suicide.

This week, the government has launched a campaign in England to help prevent people from committing suicide, especially those considered to be in at-risk groups. The Department of Health said that it wanted to work:

with the media, and with the internet industry through members of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) to help parents ensure their children are not accessing harmful suicide-related websites, and to increase the availability and take-up of effective parental controls to reduce access to harmful websites.

The Sunday Times reported that Lamb had bluntly noted ahead of today's strategy that regulation would follow if internet service providers did not step in to offer protection. He said:

These horrific suicide websites are just one example of the dangerous and disturbing online content which, without proper controls, our children can access almost at any time.

The Register contacted broadband industry lobby group ISPA, which said:

A previous government review found that the law on encouraging suicide was fit for purpose for the digital age. ISPs will remove content they host that is illegal once notified, but are not always best placed to judge on whether content is illegal or not.



Update: Brawlers Out of their League...

Ofcom to consider whinge about EastEnders bar brawl

Link Here11th September 2012
Full story: Eastenders...Eastenders TV programme complaints

Ofcom is to investigate a recent EastEnders scene on the grounds that it may have been too violent .

The scene, which took place in an August 31 edition of the soap, saw a fight erupt amongst the Queen Vic football team after they were told they had been kicked out of the local pub league.

The scene lasted for nearly two minutes and featured furniture being thrown, glasses being smashed and the pub being left in total disarray.

Broadcast reports that Ofcom received a single complaint about the episode, with a viewer saying it was too violent for the timeslot.



Update: Judged UnPC...

Whinges about Lorna Bliss on X Factor

Link Here11th September 2012
Full story: UK TV Talent Shows...A talent for whingeing

Lorna Bliss who got noticed for tame stripper antics on Britain's Got Talent returned for an audition on the X Factor.

A few TV viewers have apparently complained to Ofcom about her costume consisting of a bra, g-string and a fishnet body stocking.

Ofcom spokesman Rhys Hurd said the regulator had received a number of complaints, adding: A decision will be taken whether we hold an investigation into the act.

Lorna, who was rejected by judges, at one stage wiggled her bottom at the audience. She gyrated in judge Louis Walsh's face and chased Gary Barlow through the audience.

The show was screened between 8pm and 9pm on Sunday evening.



Update: Nipplegate...

Facebook take down New Yorker cartoon over a couple of nipple dots in an Adam and Eve cartoon

Link Here11th September 2012
Full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
The New Yorker has a Facebook page for cartoons.

It got temporarily banned from Facebook for supposedly violating their community standards on Nudity and Sex, by posting this Mick Stevens cartoon.

The artist redrew the cartoon with a clothed Adam and Eve, but somehow it didn't quite work. Still, at least it kept the nutters of Facebook happy.



Untouchable Censors...

Indian director slams the censors who banned his film, Papilio Buddha

Link Here11th September 2012

Irate over India's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) ban of his maiden film Papilio Buddha, Indian-American film-maker Jayan K. Cherian has denounced film certification by the government as an archaic practice and a blot on a mature democracy. He said:

It is pathetic to treat films, a fine art, as a mere industry. Worse, there's a draconian government body to censor it. Pity, it calls the shots at a time India is striving to be the champion of human rights, and is mobilising support for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. The rationale for the survival of such a framework is colonial hangover.

The Censor Board listed a number of reasons for taking its present stand against Papilio Buddha, including:

  • anti-Gandhi comments
  • visuals denigrating Buddha and Dalit leader Ayyankali
  • violence against women
  • use of expletives.

Taking strong exception to the CBFC's contentions for denying certification to the film, Cherian said it was a simple, realistic portrayal of a displaced community's trials and tribulations, and its subsequent uprising depicted metaphorically.

The fictional film is set in a Dalit settlement called Meppara. It is filmed from the perspective of a youth Sankaran, a university dropout, whose insecurity and reticence are in stark contrast to the deep-rooted faith and conviction of his father Kandal Kariyan. The film is visual-driven and deftly skims through a host of groups mirroring real life political movements, a pan-Dalit movement, a Gandhian bent on pacifying a group of violent Harijans that resembles some belligerent eco-spiritual movements. Cherian explained:

My cinema is grounded, on-screen characters are essayed by actual Dalits, and their language is real, reflecting Dalit argot. Some expressions, borrowed from the prevalent lingo of Theyyam performers, seem to have been mistaken by the CBFC for cuss words. I've also made it a point to cast mainstream artistes to bring about a contrast.

Caste has stamped a deep scar across our society. It has a polymorphic nature, preventing permanent eradication as it mutates and takes on various forms.

Update: Censor's Tribunal

24th September 2012. See  article from

Makers of the Malayalam film Papilio Buddha , on the plight of displaced Dalits, have moved the Censor tribunal for certification after the Board's review committee suggested certain cuts and mutes which were not acceptable to them.

The Central Board of Film Certification's regional panel here had rejected the film outright on the ground that it contained denigrating remarks about iconic leaders, including Mahatma Gandhi, E M S Namboodiripad and Ayyankali.

However, on an appeal by the film's producers and New York-based director Jayan K Cheriyan, the CBFC's review panel watched the movie and suggested certain cuts and mutes before it could be publicly screened.

We rejected the suggestions as it will curtail the film's political space and affect its central narrative. We have now moved the Board's tribunal, Cheriyan told reporters.



No Voice No Choice...

Zimbabwe lawyers fight to overturn censor's ban on stage play

Link Here11th September 2012

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human rights (ZLHR) have petitioned the country's High Court seeking to overturn a ban imposed by the Board of Censors on a theatre play aimed at national healing and peace building.

The Board of Censors chairman only identified as Malaba last week banned the play No Voice No Choice written by prominent theatre practitioner Tafadzwa Muzondo, alleging that it was inciteful and against the spirit of national healing and reconciliation .

The ban will prevent the play's participation in the annual Intwasa Arts Festival which runs from 12 to 22 September in Bulawayo.

In the court application, the ZLHR lawyers, Tawanda Zhuwarara and Bellinda Chinowawa, want the high court to issue an order interdicting the Board of Censors of Zimbabwe and its functionaries from preventing the staging of the performance at any venue in Zimbabwe and permit Muzondo and his Edzai Isu Theatre Arts Project to perform the play at the Intwasa Arts Festival.



Righting Wrongs...

Home Office to expunge consensual gay sex from criminal records currently used to unjustifiably ban gays from working with children

Link Here11th September 2012

The Home Office will, from 1 October, begin the process of correcting an anomaly in the criminal records system which has for decades seen gay men unfairly stigmatised.

Anyone with a historic conviction, caution, warning or reprimand for consensual gay sex, that meets the conditions laid down in the new Protection of Freedoms Act, will be encouraged to come forward and apply to have these records deleted or disregarded.

Until now, people wishing to volunteer or work in roles that require criminal records checks have been discouraged from doing so, for fear of having to disclose offences which have long since been decriminalised.

These changes mean that, after a successful application, this information no longer needs to be disclosed on a criminal records certificate and those individuals who may have been inhibited from volunteering or seeking new work will now find that inhibition removed.

The change was made under the Protection of Freedoms Act, which received royal assent on 1 May 2012. The Home Office is working closely with the Courts and Tribunals Service, and the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Ministry of Defence to run the application process. A dedicated team of caseworkers will consider each case and make recommendations to the Home Secretary who will have the final decision.

Successful applicants will have their records updated so the offence will no longer appear on a criminal records certificate or be referred to in any future court proceedings.

Update: Now in force

2nd October 2012. See  article from

From 1st October anyone with a historic conviction for certain decriminalised consensual sex offences can apply to have these records deleted.

Until now, people wishing to work in roles that require background checks have been discouraged from doing so for fear of having to disclose offences which have long since been decriminalised.

The change was made in the Protection of Freedoms Act, which received royal assent on 1 May 2012.

The process

You can apply on the Home Website by filling out the following online form.

The Home Office will then work with the Courts, Tribunals Service and Association of Chief Police Officers. A dedicated team of caseworkers will consider each case and make recommendations to the Home Secretary who will have the final decision.

Successful applicants will have their records updated so the offence will no longer appear on a criminal records certificate or be referred to in any future court proceedings.



Offsite Article: Index opposes ITU authority over the internet...

Link Here11th September 2012
Index on Censorship joins civil society groups in voicing concerns about proposals made by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) that would threaten the openness of the internet

See article from



Offsite Article: Bare Boobs and Bare Faced Prudery...

Link Here11th September 2012
The next batch of nutters get wound up by Page 3

See article from



The Cold Light of Day...

UK DVD and Blu-ray release is 15 uncut, previously cut for a cinema 12A

Link Here10th September 2012
The Cold Light of Day is a 2012 US action film by Mabrouk El Mechri.
With Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver. See IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut for for infrequent strong violence for:

  • UK 2012 Entertainment One RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released today on 10th September 2012
  • UK 2012 Entertainment One R2 DVD at UK Amazon released today on 10th September 2012
  • UK 2012 Entertainment One Online

Cut UK Cinema Version

UK: Passed 12A for moderate action violence and infrequent strong language after BBFC suggested cuts for category were implemented for:
  • UK 2012 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

  • This film was originally seen for advice. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive a 15 classification but that their preferred 12A could be achieved by making cuts in two scenes:

    - to reduce a focus on injury in one scene and
    - to remove a large blood spurt in another.

    When the film was submitted for formal classification, these changes had been made and the film was classified 12A .

Promotional Material

When Will Shaw (Henry Cavill) arrives in Spain for a weeklong sailing vacation with his family, the stressed young businessman is not in a holiday mood. His startup company is in trouble and his tense relationship with his disciplinarian father Martin (Bruce Willis) only makes matters worse. But when the family is kidnapped by what turns out to be intelligence agents hell-bent on recovering a mysterious briefcase, Will suddenly finds himself on the run.




An Advisory Approach...

Maria Miller seems to be unimpressed by the Daily Mail's default website blocking idea

Link Here10th September 2012

Parents should take responsibility for stopping their children seeing internet pornography, the new Culture Secretary has said.

Maria Miller said the Government was considering calls to make internet companies block access to online pornography. But the Conservative MP insisted that parents had the first and foremost responsibility for monitoring their children's use of the internet.

Miller added that the Government could play a role in advising parents on how to block damaging material on home computers. In an interview Maria Miller, a mother of three, said:

I think responsibility is very strongly with parents to make sure that they really understand how their children are using the internet . . . to make sure they are safe.

I think probably the awareness of those sorts of pieces of software you can buy or indeed what you can do is not as high as it needs to be



Update: Thrown to the Wolves...

Indian cartoonist against corruption jailed on sedition charges

Link Here10th September 2012

Popular Mumbai cartoonist Aseem Trivedi has been sent to judicial custody till 16 September on charges of sedition, which is a non-bailable offence.

Trivedi was arrested on charges of displaying supposedly ugly and obscene content . Trivedi has charges framed against him under the IT Act, as well as the 1971 National Emblem act.

He had also exhibited similar cartoons at an India Against Corruption rally in December 2011 at the MMRDA grounds, following which his website was immediately banned.

The police are also bringing charges relating to his displaying cartoons at the 2011 rally in Bandra.

The cartoons which are grouped under the title, cartoons against corruption often feature derogatory depictions of politicians such as Digvijaya Singh and the Prime Minister. One of the cartoons also depicts the national Ashoka emblem as three wolves dripping blood from their jaws, with the title, wolves with the signs of danger .

Update: Bail

12th September 2012.  See  article from

A court in India has granted bail to an anti-corruption cartoonist arrested on sedition charges, after an application from a member of the public.

The Bombay High Court said that Aseem Trivedi could be released on bail if he paid 5,000 rupees ($90; £ 67).

But it is unclear if Trivedi will accept the bail. He has said he will not hire a lawyer or apply for bail himself until the charges are dropped.



Extract: Midnight's Children...

The film of Salman Rushdie's novel has failed to find a distributor in India

Link Here10th September 2012

It is an epic portrayal of the country's modern history and one of its best-known books of recent decades. But a film adaptation of Salman Rushdie's novel about India after independence, Midnight's Children, has plunged the author into new controversy in his native land.

Speaking at the film's premiere in Toronto at the weekend, director Deepa Mehta revealed that no Indian film distributor has so far bought rights to the film.

Salman has often said that the book was his love letter to India. I think the film reflects that love. What a pity if insecure politicians deprive the people of India to make up their own minds about what the film means, or does not mean, to them, the Hindustan Times, a leading Indian newspaper, has quoted the Indian-Canadian director as saying.

The film follows the narrative of the original novel and includes unflattering portrayals of top Indian political figures. Cinema experts in the subcontinent said the failure to find a distributor revealed a weakness in Indian democracy.

...Read the full article

Update: Distributor Found

21st October 2012. See  article from

Deepa Mehta need no longer be worried about the release of her film Midnight's Children in the subcontinent. She has finally found herself a distributor in PVR Pictures and her film based on Salman Rushdie's controversial novel of the same name will hit theatres in India before the end of the year. What's more, Rushdie's voiceover will remain intact in the movie, unlike what was being said earlier.

While Midnight's Children will now definitely see the light of day in India, there's still some cause for concern. In some time, the film will be shown to the CBFC (Censor Board of Film Certification). Of course, Gianchandani is confident the movie will not meet with any more resistance. There are unnecessary speculations, but I am sure there is no controversy associated with the film. I am not expecting any trouble with its release, he said.

Update: Playing Safe

30th December 2012. See  article from

Director Deepa Mehta rebuffed rumours that her latest film Midnight's Children, an adaptation of Salman Rushdie's acclaimed novel of the same name, is being banned in India. Mehta was in a Q&A session at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) where the film premiered on Monday.

However according to Mehta, PVR Pictures, the distributors of the film have asked not to screen the film for a second time before its theatrical release in the country in February 2013 in over 400 screens. Presumably so that any such screenings do not spark unnecessary controversy before the full release.

The film has now been passed A (adults only) after 1 line of dialogue was cut



Son of Sardaar...

Portraying sikhs in a poor light as whingers

Link Here10th September 2012

Film actor and producer Ajay Devgn has agreed to remove supposedly objectionable dialogue and scenes from his film Son of Sardar before releasing it.

The actor made the promise in a meeting with Sikh religious leaders.

The film was involved in a controversy after the All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) and other Sikh groups objected to certain dialogues and said that these were portraying Sikhs in poor light. The AISSF had pointed out some dialogues that had poked fun at Sikh community.

A statement released by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), proclaimed to be a mini-parliament of Sikh religious affairs, said that Devgn had agreed to remove the 'objectionable' dialogue and get approval from the SGPC before releasing the film.



Raaz 3...

The first Indian film to get an R Rating in the US

Link Here9th September 2012

The first Indian film to receive an R rating (17A) from the MPAA, this third installment in the RAAZ (Secret) series offers up relatively tame sexual content and campy violence.

The film was rated R for some violent content.

Meanwhile at the BBFC

See article from

The BBFC rated the film as 15 uncut for strong horror and gory images.

The BBFC further explained:

RAAZ 3 is a Hindi language horror thriller about a fading film star who places a black magic curse on another actress who has stolen her limelight. It is rated 15 for strong horror and gory images.

There are a number of scenes in which the victim of the curse is terrorised by the supernatural. In one scene, a hand bursts out of a TV screen and grabs her by the throat and in another scene she is pursued by a scary clown character inside an empty film studio. The sense of tension and threat is increased by a loud, jarring music score. In a further scene, the woman is attacked by swarms of flying cockroaches inside the bathroom of a party mansion. She screams in terror and is forced to rip off her clothes and run outside. None of the threat is sadistic or sexualised in nature.

There are also some gory images, including a witch doctor being decapitated when he is thrown backwards by a demon, a man being stabbed in the throat, and acid being poured over a woman's body, which causes her flesh to burn. There is also sight of demonic hands, covered in deformed flesh and maggots.

RAAZ 3 also contains three uses of strong language and two scenes of implied sexual activity.

Meanwhile in the UAE

See  article from

The Censor Board of the group of seven UAE emirates has banned the film from being released there. Sources say that sexually explicit scenes and the portrayal of the spiritual world in the film apparently didn't go down very well with the officials of the Censor Board.

Vijay Singh, CEO of Fox Star, producer and distributors of the film confirms the news and states:

 The board has an issue with the film over its adult content. But we are in talks with them right now.



Extract: Persecution Under a Liberal Government...

Simon Walsh relates his experiences to the LibDems

Link Here9th September 2012

We may have a coalition Government, but as it goes about fixing the economy the CPS are prosecuting individuals based on authoritarian legislation passed by the Labour Government. The most recent of which was Simon Walsh, an Independent Councillor in the City of London, Mayoral appointee to the London Fire Authority and a Barrister had a life-changing 18 months waiting for his trial for possession of pornography. There are many aspects of this case that are so wrong, not least the length of time it has taken and the damage that inflicts on an individual mentally, reputationally and financially. Here Simon shares his very personal experience at the hands of Labour's laws.

...Read the full article



Offsite Article: This spying bill is against privacy and democracy. And it won't work...

Link Here 9th September 2012
Full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Should the Communications Data Bill become law, it will be an intervention too far from the surveillance state. By Henry Porter

See article from



The Last Frontier of Freedom Taken Off Air...

Ukrainians protest against TV censorship

Link Here9th September 2012

Hundreds of people protested in Kiev in support of an independent cable TV channel that was censored via several operators suspending its broadcasts.

Protesters in the Ukrainian capital held banners with slogans such as Stop censorship and TVi is the last frontier of freedom .

Similar demonstrations were held in other cities.

The action comes after TVi was taken off air in 11 regions across the country, in a move that it says was prompted by pressure from the authorities.

TVi has been critical of President Viktor Yanukovych and his government.

A number of high-profile opposition figures, including Arseniy Yatsenyuk, leader of the Front for Change party, joined the protest in Kiev.



Afeworki's Eritrea...

Eritrea's only independent radio returns after 3 weeks of downtime due to government jamming

Link Here9th September 2012

Radio Erena (Our Eritrea), a Paris-based radio station that broadcasts to Eritrea, one of the world's most closed countries, and to the Eritrean diaspora, has been the victim of sabotage that prevented it from being carried by the Arabsat radio and TV satellite service for three weeks.

The sabotage took the form of a pirate transmission from within Eritrea that jammed Radio Erena's signal.

Launched by Reporters Without Borders in 2009, Radio Erena is the only source of independent news in the local language for Eritreans inside Eritrea and, as such, has been the target of the government's constant hostility. Reporters Without Borders said:

The fact that Radio Erena was off the air for more than three weeks is no trivial matter. The station plays a key role by offering impartial and responsible news coverage to an entire people that is otherwise deprived of this. Open to all participants in Eritrean life, whether from the opposition, civil society or the government, Radio Erena is now paying a high price for its independence.

Arabsat, the owner of the BADR-6 satellite that normally carries Radio Erena's signal, suspended the station on 14 August because of the pirate transmission that had just begun to interfere with its signal.

The interference began a day after Arabsat received an Eritrean government complaint claiming that, during an interview with Ethiopian information minister Bereket Simon, Radio Erena had incited its listeners to acts of violence against Eritrean government representatives.

This was a complete lie, as Reporters Without Borders explained when it provided Arabsat with a transcript of the interview. Let it be noted in passing that Eritrea's President Issaias Afeworki is one of the world's worst Predators of Press Freedom.



Dinosaurs Rule Mexico...

Magazine banned by media giant

Link Here9th September 2012

A magazine wholesaler owned by media giant Televisa suspended August delivery of the monthly Zocalo magazine following critical coverage of Televisa's key role in the July 1 presidential election.

Distribution company Intermex failed to supply copies of issue 150 to more than 160 branches of the Sanborn's chain of stores, a major magazine retailer. The apparent ban by the distribution company affected sales of an edition whose cover story focused on the political power of Televisa.

Reporters Without Borders demanded that the undistributed copies be returned to Zocalo, and that the magazine be compensated for lost sales.

Zocalo editor Carlos Padilla said he had no doubt that the blocked distribution episodes were a response to critical coverage of the country's television duopoly of Televisa and TV Azteca. Specifically, he tied the non-distribution move to the magazine's August cover story, Does television elect presidents? The cover image was a version of the Televisa logo in the form of a dinosaur egg, with the emerging silhouette of winning candidate Pena Nieto.



Maria Miller...

New government chief censor reveals her favourite brands of PC extremism

Link Here8th September 2012

In this week's government reshuffle Maria Miller took over the job of Culture Secretary from Jeremy Hunt. Her role in charge of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport more or less makes her the government's chief censor, (Except where police state censors dictate via the Home Office and Dept of Justice).

Maria Miller seems to have brought with her a whole load of attitude problems and gay rights groups have been first to criticise.

Making her first public appearance in her new Cabinet role, Ms Miller defended her record, which has included voting in favour of lowering the abortion time limit and the notion that a child needs parents of both sexes. She explained:

I have worked for many years in the area of disability and also of women's equality and I am absolutely committed to making Britain a more equal society,

Perhaps looking at voting records isn't the best way to assess what people think about in this world and perhaps actually talking to them is a better way of doing it.



Nutters and Sinners...

Next t-shirt winds up the easily offended

Link Here8th September 2012

Fashion chain Next has been slammed by Christian nutters over a Sinners T-shirt which depicts a woman in underwear coupled with Bible references.

The T-shirt carries the headline Sinners and strap line The Night Before above the seductive image of a woman in black underwear lying on a bed. Below the image is the slogan Live for the Day. Finally, there is a long smallprint passage which carries a number of definitions of sin including one from the Bible from epistle to the Romans, chapter seven.

Gareth Davies, of Christian Action Research and Education, contacted Next via its official Facebook page to complain about the T-shirt. He asked:

Why are you marketing graphic T-Shirts with misogynistic poses of women in underwear and promoting such images using The Bible?

The image itself is very unhelpful. It gives a message about availability and vulnerability of women. They are then using the word sin and words from the Bible to suggest this is both naughty but nice.

The whole concept is wrong-headed and demeaning to women. Human dignity should be cherished and women should not be reduced to the level of an object.

A female blogger ludicrously complained the image was effectively soft core pornography that was more the remit of a top shelf magazine than a family store. She said the woman was presented as simply being available for a man's sexual pleasure. She described the lines Live for the Day. Seize the night and all it may hold as a rape fantasy slogan.

Director of the Family Education Trust, Norman Wells, criticised Next for stocking the T-shirt. He said:

It beggars belief that a company that has a well-established reputation as a respectable family store should be marketing such a cheap and tawdry product that demeans women and encourages a casual attitude to sex.

We hope that Next will think again and take the socially responsible step of withdrawing this product rather than risk having its good name dragged through the gutter.

A Next spokesman said:

Next has received some customer complaints regarding a man's T shirt and sweatshirt. On reflection we agree it was a mistake for us to sell these garments and we are therefore removing them from sale.



Update: Safety First Self Censorship...

Russian websites under duress from detailed self labelling law

Link Here8th September 2012
Full story: Mary Doherty...Irish nutter models herself on Mary Whitehouse

Reporters Without Borders reiterates its condemnation of the confusion resulting from a new Russian law intended to protect minors from harmful content. Approved by the Duma in July, it allows the authorities to compile a website blacklist. Reporters Without Borders said:

The law's vagueness and inconsistencies render its repressive provisions even more threatening and are encouraging journalists to censor themselves. The vague definition of 'harmful content' leaves too much room for interpretation and increases the probability of overblocking. How are the media to cover natural disasters, wars and sex crimes with these constraints?

As defined, the requirement to put age ban labels on content is absurd and dangerous. On the grounds of protecting minors, this law is likely to place serious obstacles on the media's ability to provide the public with general news coverage. We urge parliament to clarify this law and to strike out those provisions that violate the constitution and international agreements that Russia has ratified.

Under the final version of the law, the media are supposed to prevent children from seeing content that contains violence, sex or rude words and content that encourages them to smoke or drink alcohol. To this end, every offending story, video or photo will have to be labelled banned for minors under the age of 6, 12, 16 or 18.

Vladimir Pikov, the spokesman of Roskomnadzor (the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications) explained that all online media except news agencies were required to put age ban labels on their content but print media that cover politics and current affairs were not. Each individual article or item was supposed to be labelled, but if that proves too complicated, the entire website must be labelled.

To avoid any risk, many online media representatives have decided they may have to label their entire site as banned to those under the age of 18 even if this could have a big impact on their readership and could result in their site being blocked by some Internet Service Providers, public WiFi networks and public institutions such as schools.

The independent newspaper Kommersant's lawyers say its entire website will be labelled banned to those under the age of 16 from today onwards. Although news agencies are supposed to be exempt, Interfax has already decided to label its website only for adults.



Comment: Playing Daily Mail Games...

In a tragic case of child suicide

Link Here8th September 2012

MichaelG was somewhat unimpressed by the Daily Mail rant about computer games caught up in a tragic case of child suicide:

So, a 14 year-old with relationship and family problems, who also happened to be a Call of Duty fan, kills himself and that`s the fault of Call of Duty? WTF?!

Therumbler adds:

The Mail then concludes the article with a trailer for the next CoD game.

It contains the warning:

VIDEO: Watch the latest Call of Duty trailer: WARNING not suitable for children

Now something doesn't match up with the Daily Mail's stance. They've put something up on the internet that they admit is unsuitable for children - where is the age verification?

Meanwhile the Melon Farmers are not the only commentators who have picked up on this Daily Mail rant

How The Daily Mail Uses Tragedy To Spread Gaming Fear

See article from

The Daily Mail has again tried to prove that playing games is deadly. The tragic story of a 14 year old who killed himself has been twisted by the national newspaper, in a attempt to profit from his death by propagandising the cause of his suicide. This is too sad.

...Read the full  article

Comment: It Was All The Daily Mail's Fault!

8th September 2012. See  article from by Pooch

Comment: Website Blocking

9th September 2012. From Therumbler

In regards to the Daily Mail, if the new website blocking law gets through, does anyone fancy trying to get the Mail blocked? The irony would be hilarious.

Sexual imagery unsuitable for children or objectifying women (which ever works):

Dead body from fatal accident

Dead Gadaffi

Sex toy article including demonstration video

Sex toy article including demonstration video



ATVOD Suffocate Strictly Broadband...

Major British adult VOD business forced to sell out to the US

Link Here7th September 2012

 After more than seven years of trading, VOD specialists Strictly Broadband and sister site have closed their affiliate programmes as the company as an on-going business is shut down prior to being sold to the US.

Earlier this year Strictly Broadband MD Jerry Barnett warned that it would be impossible to run a UK-based VOD business and comply with regulations introduced by the UK VOD censor, ATVOD [the Authority for Television on Demand]

Following the closure, Barnett told ETO's Paul Smith:

The real story isn't what's happened to us, it's ATVOD, which has made difficult trading conditions unmanageable. It's a shame the wider industry and media has essentially ignored this. Basically there's an on-going, all-out attack on the adult industry which, since it was launched by ATVOD, has forced several websites to close and driven others out of the UK. Strictly Broadband -- with -- is just the latest in a series of firms to have to take this radical step.

To move forward, and continue a service for our content providers and paying customers, the business has been sold to a US start-up firm called Velvet Rose which is a real shame, not just for the me, but for the staff who've I've had to let go, and for the UK treasury as the PAYE and VAT I was paying them now goes elsewhere.




UK release on Blu-ray including a steelbook edition

Link Here7th September 2012
Jaws is a 1975 US thriller by Steven Spielberg.
With Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss. See IMDb

UK: Last passed 12A uncut but no recent video cert. Released for:

  • UK 2012 Universal Limited Edition Steelbook R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 3rd September 2012
  • UK 2012 Universal R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 3rd September 2012

US: Also released in the US


  • Digitally remastered and fully restored from high resolution 35mm original film elements
  • The Shark is Still Working: The Impact & Legacy of Jaws - All-new feature-length documentary featuring never-before-seen footage and interviews with cast and crew including Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider
  • The Making of Jaws: A feature-length documentary featuring interviews with key cast and crew
  • Jaws: The Restoration - An all-new in-depth look at the intricate process of restoring the movie
  • Deleted Scenes and Outtakes
  • From the Set: An insider's look at life on the set of Jaws, featuring an interview with Steven Spielberg
  • Storyboards
  • Production Photos
  • Marketing Jaws
  • Jaws Phenomenon
  • Original Theatrical Trailer



Update: Petitioning Against Choice...

Government 'consultation' on blocking porn closes

Link Here7th September 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

The one sided consultation into whether UK internet users should have to opt-in in order to access adult content has now closed. The response forms provided by the government were only relevant to parents and ISPs. Presumably the government didn't want to hear any negative comments from anyone else caught up censorship scheme.

Over 2,000 responses had been submitted by the eve of the deadline, the Department for Education told the BBC.

Proposals for an opt-in system are supported by several MPs, but fiercely opposed by internet rights campaigners. Internet service providers (ISPs) have also voiced concerns, favouring instead an active choice system. This method, already in place at several ISPs, prompts a new customer to choose if they want anything vaguely adult to be blocked out by their provider.

The findings of the consultation are due to be published later in the year.

A nutter petition signed by about 110,000 people demanding internet companies block access to hardcore pornography as a default setting to protect children is being handed to the Government. Strangely such a system has never been on the table. The current ISP systems block a much wider range of material: hardcore, softcore, and even just textual information about adult topics.

Peers, MPs and church figures are among those who have signed the Safetynet petition demanding ISPs be made to compulsorily block access to pornography on computers, mobile phones and tablets, organiser Premier Christian Media (PCM) said.

The petition, written as a letter to Jeremy Hunt, the previous Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, claims one in three 10-year-olds has "stumbled upon pornography online" and that youths aged 12 to 17 are the largest consumers of internet porn.

MP Claire Perry told the BBC:

We quite happily accept watersheds on TV and we are happy to accept adult films sitting behind PIN systems on satellite channels.

Somehow when it comes to the internet, all bets are off and the onus is entirely on the consumer. Continue reading the main story Porn plans

However, the petition has been criticised by some campaigners for citing surveys with small sample sizes. In particular, a statistic claiming that one in three under-10s had been exposed to pornography online was taken from an issue of Psychologies Magazine in 2010. The magazine had surveyed a group of 14-16 year olds at one North London school, asking them if they had seen porn before the age of 10.

Any organisation that quotes statistics based on a once in a life time occurrence and then presents them as if this was regular usage is certainly telling porkies.

Ms Perry distanced herself from the bollox statistics presented with the petition. That is their number, she told the BBC, referring to campaign organisers Safermedia, which was a small scale anecdotal study.



Update: Open Letter to David Cameron...

Re parental internet controls

Link Here7th September 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

Dear Prime Minister,

Re: Department for Education consultation on parental internet controls

We write to you as the consultation on parental controls closes. In recent years there have been two comprehensive reviews into the issue of child safety online, the Byron Review and the Bailey Review. They considered a wealth of academic expertise, parental concerns and technical input and both arrived at the same conclusion -- parents are the best people to decide what their children can see.

To ignore these in-depth and comprehensive reviews and instead adopt a system of default blocking would be a short sighted and dangerous step, while doing little to empower parents or children. As Ofcom recognised, blocking is trivial to circumvent and it is likely a default blocking system would lull parents into a false sense of security. A more complex, connected world needs parents to engage more with their children on issues of safety, privacy and personal development -- default blocking undermines this dialogue.

Government agreed that industry would have until October 2012 to implement the Active Choice model, one that puts parents in control of whether filters are applied to their home Internet connection or the devices their children use to go online and allows them to choose which solution best suits them. Last year the Foreign Secretary said It is important to distinguish between government encouraging people to make more use of existing protections as a matter of choice, and the government deciding what people can and cannot do online. We hope that the Government stands firm to this and continues to support the Active Choice system as the best option for children, parents, the economy and civil liberties.

Recent research by the Open Rights Group and the LSE Media Policy Project into default adult content filters used by UK mobile broadband providers has highlighted significant issues, such as the mistaken blocking of perfectly innocent websites that had nothing to do with adult content. The over-blocking of legitimate sites undermines the UK's attractiveness as a place for digital businesses to grow and erodes all citizens' choice while doing little to empower parents or ensure that children stay safe online.

We do not believe that default filtering across the UK, mandated by Government, should be the way forward. Instead the emphasis should now be on improving parental control filters, so that parents have the right tools to protect their children from harm and can teach them how to be safe as they start to explore the world for themselves.


Nick Pickles, Director, Big Brother Watch
Agnes Callamard, Executive Director, ARTICLE 19
Mike O'Connor CBE, Chief Executive, Consumer Focus
Jeff Lynn, Chairman, The Coalition For A Digital Economy
Jim Killock, Executive Director, Open Rights Group
Kirsty Hughes, Chief Executive, Index on Censorship
Dominique Lazanski. Head of Digital Policy, Taxpayers Alliance
Professor Ross Anderson, Chair, Foundation for Information Policy Research



The Buffy Effect...

The 'right' sort of media violence

Link Here7th September 2012

Positive Female Role-Models Eliminate Negative Effects of Sexually Violent Media , By Christopher J. Ferguson; Journal of Communication

Men and women are less likely to experience negative effects to sexual violent media when watching a positive portrayal of a strong female character, even when that character is a victim of sexual violence.

Christopher Ferguson, Assistant Professor at Texas A&M International University, surveyed 150 university students in a controlled environment in a recent study published in the Journal of Communication. Each participant screened a variety of TV shows that portrayed women in different lights when it came to sexual violence. The results showed that men and women had less anxiety and negative reactions when viewing television shows that depicted a strong female character rather than a submissive one.

Past research has been inconsistent regarding the effects of sexually violent media on viewer's hostile attitudes toward women. Much of the previous literature has conflated possible variables such as sexually violent content with depictions of women as subservient

The submissive characters often reflect a negative gender bias that women and men find distasteful. This outweighed the sexual violence itself, giving credence to what Ferguson calls the Buffy Effect ---named after the popular television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its strong lead female character.

Although sexual and violent content tends to get a lot of attention, I was surprised by how little impact such content had on attitudes toward women. Instead it seems to be portrayals of women themselves, positive or negative that have the most impact, irrespective of objectionable content. In focusing so much on violence and sex, we may have been focusing on the wrong things, Ferguson said.

While it is commonly assumed that viewing sexually violent TV involving women causes men to think negatively of women, the results of this carefully designed study demonstrate that they do so only when women are portrayed as weak or submissive, added Journal of Communication editor and University of Washington Professor Malcolm Parks. Positive depictions of women challenge negative stereotypes even when the content includes sexuality and violence. In this way Ferguson reminds us that viewers often process popular media portrayals in more subtle ways than critics of all political stripes give them credit for.



Offsite Article: Dangerous Cinema...

Link Here7th September 2012
Chinese filmmakers risk it all to defy government censorship

See article from



Mother's Day...

US release of the original comedy horror once banned in the UK

Link Here6th September 2012

Mother's Day is a1980 US comedy horror by Charles Kaufman.
With Tiana Pierce, Nancy Hendrickson and Deborah Luce.
See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

Censorship History

Banned by the BBFC for:
  • UK 1980 cinema release

See  review from

Summary Review: Camp Horror Classic

This is a true 80's horror classic, with a little bit of camp thrown in for fun! I can't say enough about this under seen little gem! For it's time and genre, the gore and killings are just fantastic. I really dig the script as well. I say that in my opinion, the acting is absolutely fantastic (contrary to other reviews).

The three actresses (Nancy Hendrickson, Deborah Luce, Tiana Pierce) that star in this movie seem to have a great chemistry amongst themselves. Their laughing and playing comes off smoothly and they are quite convincing as old college pals. Their scenes together flow naturally throughout the film and do not come off as contrived in the slightest bit.

The brothers Ike (Holden McGuire) and Addley (Michael McCleery) are SUPERB in their roles!! They truly give off the creepiest vibe with such ease that it's hard to tell that they are acting. Lastly, Rose Ross is fantastic in her role as Momma. She can be sweet, demanding, scary, demented, and creepy without batting an eyelash.

People have criticized this film for years but it is a film that really entertains the serious horror fan.



Heaven's Gate...

Michael Cimino's new Director's Cut set for a US Criterion release

Link Here6th September 2012

Heaven's Gate was the most reviled film of its era, blamed for the financial collapse of United Artists and the unravelling of the once glorious career of its Oscar-winning director, Michael Cimino. A spectacular box-office failure in the US that marked the end of the auteur-driven Hollywood film movement of the 1970s. The film's star Kris Kristofferson, then among Hollywood's most coveted leading men, found himself shunned overnight.

Now, at the Venice Film Festival, it seems that Cimino's folie de grandeur Heaven's Gate (1980) may finally have been rehabilitated.

...Read the full article



Bearly Credible...

ASA dismiss a single whinge about a poster for the film Ted

Link Here6th September 2012

A website ad for the film Ted , on, showed an adult male and a large teddy bear standing in front of urinals, with their backs to the viewer. The teddy bear held a glass beer bottle in one hand. Text at the top of the image stated the first motion picture from the creator of family guy ... ted In Cinemas August 1, 2012 . Issue

A complainant challenged whether the ad was irresponsible, believing that the association of a children's toy with alcohol was likely to appeal to children.

Universal Pictures International UK & Eire Ltd (Universal) said the film had been given a 15 classification and was aimed at a predominantly adult audience. They said that, because teddy bears were associated with childhood, they had taken steps to ensure the image would not appeal to children or mislead or confuse viewers into understanding that the film was directed at children. They said the ad did not use a colour scheme or images (other than the teddy bear) which might appeal to children, and they believed that, by putting the teddy bear into an otherwise adult context, it was clear the poster was not for a children's film. All advertising materials had also stated the film's classification.

Universal said they accepted that teddy bears were inherently appealing to infants and very young children, but because such children would be unaware of the concept of alcohol, the ad would not encourage them to drink it. They said the bottle did not have a label which identified it as containing alcohol, and whilst adults or teenagers might associate such a bottle with alcohol, other drinks, including soft drinks, were available in bottles of a similar shape and colour. Young children would therefore be unlikely to recognise it as containing alcohol.

Universal considered the ad would not appeal to older children or teenagers because they were typically dismissive of toys, such as teddy bears, which they associated with younger children. They said the ad also did not include anything which might be associated with youth culture, did not show anyone behaving in an adolescent or juvenile way, and the scene was not glamorous or attractive. They said that even if young people understood that the bottle contained alcohol, the ad did not include anything which reflected an unwise style of drinking or drinking to excess. They considered the ad would not encourage under 18-year-olds to drink alcohol at all.

Universal said that, following receipt of the complaint, they had added an age-gate to the website; visitors must enter a date of birth which showed they were over 15 to gain access. They said the age-gate alerted visitors that the website contained content which was not suitable for children under the age of 15.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Not Upheld

The ASA acknowledged that Universal had added an age-gate to the website following receipt of the complaint. Notwithstanding that, we noted the complainant's concerns but considered the ad was unlikely to appeal particularly to people under the age of 18 in a way that might encourage them to drink. Whilst we acknowledged the image of a teddy bear might appeal to younger children, we considered that even if they were aware of alcohol and recognised the bottle as a beer bottle, the overall content of the ad was unlikely to encourage them to drink. We also considered that although teenagers would be more likely to recognise the bottle as a beer bottle, the ad would also not have a particular appeal to them or encourage them to drink. We concluded the ad did not breach the Code.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.3 (Social responsibility), 18.1 and 18.14 (Alcohol), but did not find it in breach.



Update: Some Will See Red...

Bullfighting returns to prime time TV is Spain

Link Here6th September 2012
Full story: Bull Fighting...Entertainment vs animal rights

Spain's public TV has broadcast a live bullfight for the first time in six years after conservative PM Mariano Rajoy lifted a ban on the tradition. The fight was screened on Television Espanola (TVE).

Pro-bullfighting supporters, who include Rajoy, say the tradition is an art form deep rooted in Spanish history.

The previous socialist government cut live transmissions as they were costly and aired in children's viewing time, traditionally at 6pm.

Rajoy's election last December, and the subsequent change of management at Spain's public broadcaster paved the way for the return of bullfighting to TVE.

TVE will now air a short series of fights in the coming months.

Opponents argue that the sport is barbaric, with the odds heavily stacked against the animals, which suffer unnecessary torment.



Update: The UK is the New Iran...

Wikipedia founder criticises the government's Snooper's Charter

Link Here6th September 2012

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, has sharply criticised the government's snooper's charter , designed to track internet, text and email use of all British citizens, as technologically incompetent .

He said Wikipedia would move to encrypt all its connections with Britain if UK ISPs were mandated by the government to keep track of every single page accessed by UK citizens.

The entrepreneur said he was confident there would be a general move to encryption across the internet if British-based communication service providers were required to collect and store data for 12 months from overseas companies, such as Google and Facebook, for possible access by the police and security services.

He said the British government would have to resort to the black arts of hacking to break encryptions: It is not the sort of thing I'd expect from a western democracy. It is the kind of thing I would expect from the Iranians or the Chinese and it would be detected immediately by the internet industry, he told MPs and peers.



Extract: Report of the Media Violence Commission...

By the International Society for Research on Aggression (ISRA)

Link Here6th September 2012

One conclusion appears clear-extreme conclusions are to be avoided. Not every viewer or player will be affected noticeably, but from understanding the psychological processes involved, we know that every viewer or player is affected in some way.

Some commentators have argued that violent media, especially violent video games, are the primary cause of school shootings. Other commentators have argued that there is no good evidence of any harmful effects of violent media, usually based on the results of one or two studies. Neither extreme is supported by the vast body of research in this domain.

What is clear is that exposure to media violence is one risk factor for increased aggression in both the short run and the long run.

...See the full report [pdf]



Night of the Demon...

Video nasty gets a re-release as part of US Horror Collection DVD

Link Here5th September 2012

US: Horror Collection Extravaganza: 6 Terrifying Movies is uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

  • US 2012 Image R1 DVD at US Amazon just released on 4th September 2012

The collection contains:

  • Created to Kill
  • Shadow Play
  • Intimate Stranger
  • Night of the Demon
  • The Hooker Cult Murders
  • Sister,Sister

Video Nasty: Night of the Demon

Night of the Demon is a 1980 US horror by James C Wasson.
With Michael Cutt, Joy Allen and Bob Collins. See IMDb

UK: Released on pre-cert video for:
  • UK 1982 Vipco VHS

Released by Vipco in June 1982. The video was banned as a video nasty in October 1983. It stayed on the list throughout the panic and so became one of the collectable DPP39's

UK: Passed 18 after 1:42s of BBFC cuts for:

  • 2004 Vipco R1 DVD
  • 1984 Vipco VHS

From cuts details on IMDb :

1:41s cut to remove nearly all scenes of graphic violence including:

  • the arm removal of a camper
  • the castration of the cyclist and his bloody run back to his motorcycle
  • shot of the creature ripping into a camper's neck
  • shots of bloody wounds after an axe attack
  • several shots of knife cuts and stabs as two knife wielding women are knocked together
  • the creature disemboweling a young man
  • shots of a young woman with a pitchfork in her back
  • a man's face being burnt on a stove.

Summary Review: Cheap

Another film that is something like an urban legend: being banned in countries like Germany or Norway and also very hard to find. The reputation of Night of the Demon is much more interesting than the movie itself!

The story is simple: a professor and some students travel to the dark forests to investigate some cruel murders which were caused by a Bigfoot-like monster that looks like Chewbacca from Star Wars . A feeble minded woman who lives in a lonely hut plays an important role in the solution of the mystery.

Well, the acting is bad, the F/X are pretty cheesy and only the many murders featured in this flick will keep you away from falling asleep! These deaths however are pretty are gory and violent, so fans of splatter movies won't be disappointed!

Still cut in the UK: Intimate Stranger

Intimate Stranger is a 1991 US TV thriller by Alan Holzman.
With Deborah Harry, James Russo and Paige French. See IMDb

UK: Passed 18 after 2:23s of BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1992 Lazer VHS

Summary Review: For Debbie Harry fans

A struggling bar singer takes a job as a phone-sex operator in order to make ends meet. One night she gets a call from a man who tricks her into listening while he murders a prostitute. Then he tells her that he's going to kill her next.

The film is a must for Debbie fans. It's a rare lead role for her and she gets the chance to play a warm and sympathetic character.

It's just an average or maybe slightly above average cable slasher thriller. However Debbie is good in this and the scenes where she sings in the bar are worthwhile. Tim Thomerson is also notable for being quite disturbing.



Love Handball...

ASA whinge at jokey advert for bookies

Link Here5th September 2012

A banner ad for a betting website on featured the text LIFE IS A GAME! alongside three consecutive changing images. The first image showed a woman's naked midriff. The second image showed a man's arms reaching around the woman and cupping her breasts. The third image showed the man's hands holding and partially covering the woman's breasts. The final image was replaced with text stating LOVE HANDBALL? followed by EUR50 SPORT BONUS! .

The complainant challenged whether the ad was offensive. Internet Ltd (Bet-at-home) did not respond to the ASA's enquiries. believed the ad did not breach the Code. They said it was an adult-targeted ad for a bookmaker so the content was entirely appropriate. They said they had received no complaints about the ad.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA was concerned by bet-at-home's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of the CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and we told them to do so in future.

We understood that the ad was for a betting website and was published on an unofficial fan website for Charlton Athletic. We noted the publisher's comments that the ad was targeted at an adult audience. However, we also noted that the complainant considered the ad was offensive as he believed it portrayed women as sexual objects. We considered that the ad made a crude comparison between the game of handball and a woman's breasts and that the images were sexually explicit. We also noted that the images bore no relation to the service being advertised. We therefore considered that the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some consumers.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We referred the matter to the CAP Compliance team.



Censor Bullshit...

Google initially censor political TV advert over bleeped 'bullshit'

Link Here5th September 2012

The Green Party have won a public-relations battle with Google in the US, forcing the company's television advertising division to book time for a commercial in which its presidential candidate uses the (partly bleeped) word 'bullshit' to describe the policies of the major-party candidates.

Google TV Ads, which fills advertising slots for television stations, initially rejected the commercial in an e-mail to the party's ad agency, citing the use of inappropriate language by Jill Stein, the Green nominee. No doubt trying to avoid violating the Federal Communications Commission's vague standards for what constitutes indecency on television, Google TV Ads instructs clients to avoid bleeped-out expletives where curse words are still identifiable from the audio.

The Green Party then called on its supporters to:

Tell Google TV Ads Not to Censor Our Ads! Never mind that these ads already comply with F.C.C. regulations regarding appropriate content, what Google does not seem to understand is that federal law prohibits broadcasters from censoring ads submitted by candidates for public office.

Google TV Ads relented and agreed to pass the ad on to broadcasters.



A Stones Throw from Repression...

Tunisian sculptors charged over challenging exhibits

Link Here5th September 2012

Tunisia's authorities have arrested and charged two sculptors for creating works of art that are supposedly harmful to the public.

The two sculptors, Nadia Jelassi and Mohamed Ben Slama, could be imprisoned for up to five years for their works that were publicly displayed in the coastal town of La Marsa in June, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.

Jelassi's work is of a veiled woman surrounded by stones evoking the scene of a stoning.

Ben Slama's work is of a child with ants streaming from its schoolbag that spells out the word Allah.

Their works drew public 'outcry'. Toward the end of the exhibition, two people and a court official told the owner of the hall where the exhibition was held to remove two pieces of art. There was also a campaign started on Facebook to remove the pieces, the organization said.

The night the exhibition ended, several works of art that had been exhibited in La Marsa were damaged by protesters before police sent them away. What followed were riots across the country over the art show, with protesters setting police stations, courts, and other buildings on fire, leaving one person dead.



Extract: Simon Walsh: The CPS makes a fist of it!...

CAAN Newsletter

Link Here5th September 2012

If you do not know about the case brought by CPS against Simon Walsh you need to read about his trial for possession of extreme pornography.

Very many people who know about the case and have commented upon it suggest that there were political or other reasons for his prosecution, but the facts are that he was prosecuted for possession of material similar to that which resulted in the acquittal of Michael Peacock in January of this year, that the likely to cause serious injury provision of CJIA 2008 S63(7b) was unlikely to succeed and yet, despite Simon's acquittal his life plans have been utterly destroyed.

This case proves all too painfully that one does not have to be guilty or found guilty to be ruined and that anyone whose private life could be linked to porn (by personal design or otherwise), is a potential target and has good reason to be afraid.

...Read the CAAN Newsletter [pdf]




Ukraine journalists heckle president who claimed to support freedom of speech

Link Here5th September 2012
Full story: Press Freedom in Ukraine...Journalists protest censorship

As the president of Ukraine inaugurated the global conference of the newspaper editors and publishers on Monday, he was heckled by the leading Ukrainian journalists who stood up to protest against the official censorship.

The presidential security guards interrupted and the protesting journalists in front of the international delegates, taking away placards from some journalists that read Stop Censorship .

Despite protest by the journalists, President Viktor Yanukovych continued his speech stressing entirely the opposite of his ongoing practice of crackdown on the media that is stopped from covering the activities of opposition parties, social and economic problems, and criticism from the foreign politicians of the situation in Ukraine.

I can ensure you that the development of the freedom of speech and independent media will stay one of our main priorities in going forward as it is very important for our future. And we want to become a partner with you in ensuring this , he spouted.



Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D...

Reports of censorship problems to get an MPAA R rating

Link Here4th September 2012

Lionsgate's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D has just been rated R (17A) by the MPAA for strong, grisly violence and language throughout.

Bloody-Disgusting reports that the film had previously received the uncommercial NC-17 (18) rating, and that it had taken the producers several attempts to cut the movie for an R Rating.

This had substantially delayed the release date, which is now set for January 2013.

The film slots into the TCM series as an immediate sequel to Tobe Hooper's original and is set in the same 70's era.



Rec Genesis...

UK DVD and Blu-ray release of the latest in the Spanish series

Link Here4th September 2012

[Rec] Genesis is a 2012 Spain horror by Paco Plaza.
With Leticia Dolera, Diego Martín and Javier Botet. See IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence for:

  • UK 2012 Entertainment One RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon just released on 3rd September 2012
  • UK 2012 Entertainment One R2 DVD at UK Amazon just released on 3rd September 2012

There are no censorship issues with this release.

See  review from




US Criterion DVD and Blu-ray release of The Who's rock opera

Link Here4th September 2012

Quadrophenia is a 1979 UK rock musical by Franc Roddam.
With Phil Daniels, Leslie Ash and Philip Davis. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA R Rated for:

There are no censorship issues with this release

See  review from

Promotional Material:

The Who's classic rock opera Quadrophenia was the basis for this invigorating coming-of-age movie and depiction of the defiant, drug-fueled London of the early 1960s. Our antihero, Jimmy (Meantime's Phil Daniels), is a teenager dissatisfied with family, work, and love, who identifies with the fashionable, pill-popping, scooter-driving mods, a group whose opposition to the motorcycle-riding rockers leads to a climactic riot in Brighton. Director Franc Roddam's rough-edged film is a quintessential chronicle of youthful rebellion and turmoil, with Pete Townshend's brilliant songs (including I've Had Enough, 5:15, and Love, Reign O'er Me ) providing emotional support, and featuring Sting (Dune) and Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast) in early roles.

Special Features:

  • New high-definition digital restoration of the uncut version
  • New audio commentary featuring director Franc Roddam and Tufano
  • Interview with Bill Curbishley, the film's coproducer and the Who's comanager
  • New interview with the Who's sound engineer, Bob Pridden
  • On-set and archival footage
  • Behind-the-scenes photographs
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • A booklet featuring an essay by critic Nick James



Update: Shades of Truth...

Shades of Grey sequels banned in UAE

Link Here4th September 2012
Full story: Fifty Shades of Grey...BDSM book scores an international hit

Fans of a best-selling erotic novel face a premature end to their reading pleasure because the second and third instalments of the trilogy have been withdrawn from the UAE bookshops.

Employees at some of the country's biggest bookstores say all three books of the Fifty Shades trilogy, by the British author EL James, were available until about a month ago, when there was a sudden withdrawal of the final two books in the series - Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.

However, the first book in the series, Fifty Shades of Grey , remains on sale.

A saleswoman at Magrudy's in Abu Dhabi's Al Wadha Mall said they were still waiting for books two and three. They're banned. We don't know when we will get them, she said.

At Book World by Kinokuniya, in Dubai Mall, a saleswoman said the store was not allowed to sell the final instalments.

Virgin Megastore, which has a large display of the first book in Abu Dhabi Mall, said the second and third books have not been granted approval in the UAE at the moment . Iain Paul Martin, Virgin's regional senior books buyer, said all the store's books required an approval certificate from the department of media content at the NMC. In this case, books 2 and 3 of the Grey trilogy have not been granted the certificate, he said.

But strangely the National Media Council (NMC), the government authority overseeing censorship, has rigorously denied imposing any such ban, claiming that stores deciding not to sell the book have decided to do so of their own accord. Ibrahim Al Abed, the director general of the NMC, said the council had nothing to do with these things . We do not censor books. It's up to the bookshops who can decide to ban the books, he said.



Update: Freedom of Information Blocked...

Pakistan's governments orders ISPs to block all porn and supposed blasphemy

Link Here4th September 2012

Pakistan's government has issued a key policy directive to block all blasphemous and pornographic material on the internet by installing an effective modern blocking system.

Following the personal interest shown by the incumbent Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and after consulting President Asif Ali Zardari, the Ministry of Information Technology has already issued directions to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to update the system for effective monitoring and control of supposedly blasphemous and pornographic material.

Pervaiz Ashraf had initiated the move a few months back as minister for information technology and after having been shown supposedly blasphemous material that is freely available to internet users in Pakistan because of non-availability of blocking systems.

The policy directive has been drafted cautiously to ensure that the move does neither affect the freedom of information in any manner nor allows the authorities to misuse the facility beyond the mandated goal of blocking only blasphemous and pornographic material. Just like Pakistan doesn't allow the misuse of its blasphemy laws.

The dictate requires:

PTA to establish at the earliest a dedicated unit while allocating appropriate funds/budget and human resources, supported by the state of the art technical solutions and upgraded call centre, with the mandate to take requisite measures for proactively and independently blocking the websites displaying the blasphemous and pornographic content.

Update: Monitoring team

15th September 2012. See  article from

Pakistan will set up a monitoring team focusing on supposedly detrimental material to Islam and obscene material being released on the internet and being replicated in Pakistan. All anti Islamic sites would be fully monitored round the clock and remedial actions would be taken.

The decision was taken at a high level meeting chaired by Federal Minister for Interior, Senator Rehman Malik and attended by Federal Secretary Interior, Secretary Information Technology, Chairman PTA, Additional Secretary Ministry of Interior, Director FIA and other senior officers of the two ministries.



Update: Banning Professional Models Fails...

Achieves nothing for German fashion magazine nor its readers

Link Here4th September 2012
Full story: Photoshopped Models...Campaigners to ban photoshopped adverts

Germany's top-selling women's magazine is considering abandoning its use of amateur models barely two years after deciding to banish professional ones.

The fortnightly Brigitte hit the headlines in 2009 when it said it would feature only real women in its pages, part of a backlash against the use of ultra-thin professional models in fashion.

The new direction proved more difficult than anticipated. For one thing, the magazine says, its stylists and photographers have found it is harder and takes longer to work with inexperienced non-professional models. At the same time the models are being paid at a level comparable to professionals, the Su ddeutsche Zeitung reports.

At the same time, the radical move has not had the desired impact on readers. They have complained that the women that now appear in Brigitte's pages are just as skinny and pretty as the models previously used.

Furthermore, the publicity gained by abandoning models appears to have done little for the bottom line. Sales have continued to slide.

Now, with Stephan Schafer taking over at the helm as co-editor-in-chief alongside Brigitte Huber, the magazine is reconsidering the policy.



Offsite Article: Rounding Up the Usual Nutters...

Link Here4th September 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn
The Daily Mail rounds up the Archbishop of York to spout the usual bollox about internet porn

See article from



The Hunger Games...

UK release features a cut DVD but an uncut Blu-ray

Link Here3rd September 2012
The Hunger Games is a 2012 US Sci-Fi action film by Gary Ross.
With Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. See IMDb

UK: The International Version was passed 15 uncut for strong violence and threat for:

  • UK 2012 Lions Gate R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 3rd September 2012

For DVD buyers who prefer an uncut version there is also a US release.

US: Uncut and MPAA PG-13 rated for:

Censorship History

UK: The UK Version, the result of pre-cuts and a further 7s of cuts by the BBFC was passed 12A/12 for intense threat, moderate violence and occasional gory moments for:
  • UK 2012 Lions Gate R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 3rd September 2012
  • UK 2012 cinema release
  • UK 2012 cinema release [IMAX]

The BBFC commented:

  • This work was originally seen for advice in an unfinished form. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive a 15 certificate but that their preferred 12A classification could be achieved by making a number of cuts and visual reductions.

    When the finished version of the film was submitted for formal classification, cuts had been made in four scenes of violence and in one scene showing details of injuries. These reductions were implemented by a mixture of visual cuts, visual darkenings and the digital removal of sight of blood.

    In addition to the reductions already made during the advice process, the Board required further reductions in one scene following formal submission of the finished feature. A number of cuts were made in one scene to reduce an emphasis on blood and injury. These cuts, which were implemented by digitally removing sight of blood splashes and sight of blood on wounds and weapons, were made in accordance with BBFC Guidelines and policy.

    An uncut 15 classification was available.

Promotional Material

Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen volunteers in her younger sister's place and must rely upon her sharp instincts when she's pitted against highly trained Tributes who have prepared their entire lives. If she's ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.


  • Game Maker: Suzanne Collins and the Hunger Games Phenomenon.
  • The World is Watching: Making the Hunger Games.
  • Letters from the Rose Garden.
  • Controlling the Games.
  • A Conversation with Gary Ross and Elvis Mitchell.
  • Propaganda Film.
  • Marketing Archive



Truth or Dare...

New UK horror thriller released on DVD and Blu-ray

Link Here3rd September 2012

Truth or Dare is a 2012 UK horror thriller by Robert Heath.
With Liam Boyle, Jack Gordon and Florence Hall. See IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut for strong language, violence, sex and drug use for:

  • UK 2012 Showbox/Cine-Britannia Blu-ray at UK Amazon released 27th August 2012
  • UK 2012 Showbox/Cine-Britannia R2 DVD at UK Amazon released 27th August 2012

There are no censorship issues with this release

See  review from

Promotional Material

JTRUTH: A group of university friends celebrate the end of term with the party to end all parties. Drink, drugs and sex flow in equal measure as everyone lets loose. As the party winds down, the focus shifts to a seemingly innocuous game of Truth or Dare. The party's socially awkward geek - Felix - has a crush on one of the most popular girls there, and this truth is brutally exposed to everyone, and he leaves the party humiliated.

DARE: A year later the five friends are reunited when they are invited to Felix's birthday party at a grand stately home. They soon realise that they are the only people attending, and that this is going to be a very different party from their last one. In a bid for vengeance all are forced to play a sickening and gruesome game of Truth or Dare, where a Dare may well equal death. Sex, lies and murder are all unravelled as the game hurls the group toward the final, fatal twist.

Special Features:

  • Trailer

  • Cast and Crew Featurette



Update: Ending a State Monopoly...

Burma set to allow the private sector to publish daily newspapers

Link Here3rd September 2012
Full story: Press Censorship in Burma...World leaders in oppressive censorship

Myanmar's new information minister has predicted newspapers would be able to publish daily from early 2013, heralding fresh reform for a sector recently freed from decades of draconian censorship.

Aung Kyi told the Myanmar Times that state-owned newspapers, currently the only news publications able to be printed daily, would also be revamped with private sector involvement in the coming months.

It is my sincere belief that daily [private sector] newspapers are essential for a democratic country, said Aung Kyi, who replaced a prominent hardliner last week when he was appointed as part of a cabinet reshuffle seen as promoting reformists in Myanmar's government.

He declined to give a firm date for the issuing of daily publication licenses to private sector news groups but estimated it could be early next year.



Titanic Level of Easy Offence...

Cruiser paid off after supposed offence from comedian's Irish jokes

Link Here3rd September 2012

Cruise lines may have to start censoring on-board comedy routines. The Guardian reports that an Irish man who brought a civil claim against P&O owners Carnival in a UK court has won an out-of-court settlement

John Wolfe a retired builder from Dublin, complained to P&O after he and his wife Joan sailed on a worldwide cruise on the Oriana five years ago when, he claimed, two comedians entertained passengers by telling a series of Irish jokes in their routines. The Guardian says he claimed that he found the jokes deeply offensive and left him feeling humiliated.

After allegedly receiving reassurances that such jokes would be banned and they were given £ 1,000 of vouchers, the Wolfes were surprised and upset to hear similar jokes when they took another P&O cruise in 2008 to the Caribbean on board the Artemis, reports the Guardian.

Wolfe brought a civil claim against Carnival Plc - the owners of P&O - under race relations legislation as well as the European Union's race directive. The case was settled out of court, reportedly for a five-figure sum.



Miss Conceptions...

Indian students and teachers wound up by movie

Link Here3rd September 2012

An Indian film based on illicit sexual affair between a lady teacher and her boy student has incurred the wrath of the teaching community as well as women's organisations in Andhra Pradesh.

The release of the film, Sorry Teacher, has been deferred following the intervention of the state human rights commission as well as the high court.

In fact, the film has been facing troubles from social activists and teachers organisations right from the days of its shooting, when the producers announced its title: I Love You Teacher and released its promo poster.

Controversy flared up again when stills were posted on the Internet. Representatives of All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) and United Teachers Federation (UTF) staged protest demonstrations before the office of Censor Board for Film Certification, which has apparently given a U/A certificate (children allowed only with parental accompaniment).

 AIDWA state president T. Jyothy spouted:

The film is a disgrace on the teaching community. The relationship between a teacher and a student is very sacred. But going by the pictures of the film, it is evident that the film-makers have sought to project illicit affair between the teacher and the student. The movie is clearly obscene.

The Progressive Democratic Students Union rallied in Hyderabad demanding that the government completely ban the film. Leader . Sandhya said:

It is a blot in the teaching community and as an affront on the society and human values.



Update: Who Pays the Censor?...

BBFC calls for censorship of currently exempt music and sport videos

Link Here2nd September 2012
Full story: VRA Exempt...Video Recordings (Exemption from Classification) Bill

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will this week close a three-month consultation that most observers believe will end a loophole which means DVDs with titles like The Bitch of Buchenwald and Britain's Bloodiest Serial Killers can claim exemption from BBFC censorship.

As things stand, most sport, documentary and music videos can claim an exemption from classification. The BBFC's head of policy, David Austin said:

The great majority of exempt video works are fine. They are not going to harm anyone, but there are a significant number of titles that are potentially harmful to children.

We know from our postbag that parents are concerned about exempt videos. Usually they write and say, 'Why did you give this video an E classification?' The answer is we didn't as it never came to us -- it would not have gone to anyone.

The BBFC estimates that around 200 videos might be caught by a change in the law.

Austin showed the Guardian examples of videos that have claimed exemption but would have been classified. One of the more shocking is a documentary about the American heavy metal band Slipknot . It shows one fan who has carved the word Slipknot in to her forearm and another who has done the same in her belly, to which someone is seen pointing in admiration.

A music video by the Norwegian black metal band Gorgoroth, which was rated X in Germany but is unrated in the UK, shows topless women being crucified with blood running down their breasts. A Robbie Williams video for the song Come Undone, contained on an exempt compilation, In and Out of Consciousness, shows drug taking and Williams cavorting in bed with two naked women.

Other potentially problematic DVDs include wildly violent cage fighting DVDs and ones that instruct in krav maga, the combat techniques developed by the Israeli army.

All the signs are that the government will change a law that was made in 1984, when no one could have foreseen a problem with music or instructional videos. The BBFC, together with other regulatory bodies, is calling for exceptions to the exemptions that would cover material that is violent, sexual, discriminatory, has repeated strong language or contains imitable behaviour such as drug use.

A DCMS spokesperson said: DCMS launched a consultation in May on the exemptions from age rating that currently apply to music, sports, religious and educational videos. The government will publish its response in the autumn.



Complaint Bounced...

BBC Trust rejects whinges about comedy song Christians in Love

Link Here2nd September 2012

Edinburgh Comedy Fest Live,
BBC Three, 22 January 2012

A complainant wrote to the BBC about the performance of a song in the above programme. The song was Christians in Love by Dead Cat Bounce.

It's pretty clear, they've no idea what they're doing
But it's their wedding night, and they're determined to get through it
Christians in love
Rolling around like a couple if pigs in a barrel
Christians in love
Flapping about like a couple of trout in a Puddle
Like a chimpanzee at a buffet car,
They're just grabbing at things before they know what they are
And seeing if they can fit them in their mouths
Like a pony trapped in a broken lift,
They've no idea what buttons they've pressed
They're just enjoying going up and down
And they're making neighing sounds
And as the daybreak looms, their crazy passion knows no limit
Cause neither one of them, know how they're meant to know they're finished
Christians in Love

Compliant to BBC Audience Services

The complainant quoted some of the lyrics stating that they were offensive to Christians and questioned whether any other religion would be treated the same way.

In reply, BBC Audience Services explained that the BBC provided programmes for a whole range of viewers with different tastes in humour. Some programmes would occasionally strike some viewers as distasteful. The BBC did not believe that religion should be off- limits for humorists. Such depictions were often exaggerated and far from the truth and there was no intention to mock the essence of religion.

The complainant wrote again on two further occasions asking for the content to be removed from the programme on the grounds that it was offensive to Christians.

BBC Audience Services replied saying that the complaint had been discussed with the BBC's Executive Producer. They explained that Dead Cat Bounce was a comedy rock group who covered a diverse range of subjects and their brand of musical comedy fell into the silly fun category, rather than cruel or degrading . The song Christians in Love portrayed a newlywed Christian couple who were somewhat naive about sexual mores. The song was not meant maliciously and was rather benign in its portrayal of a well established stereotype. The BBC went on to explain that this show had been broadcast around a dozen times and they had only received six complaints about this particular performance which indicated that the majority of viewers took it in the spirit intended

Compliant to the Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU)

The complainant then wrote to the Editorial Complaints Unit saying that he found the song offensive and asking for it not to be broadcast in future. He said the song portrayed Christians as dopey and animalistic, comparing them to pigs . The complainant was also concerned that the BBC was practising double-standards, and he asked whether this song would be broadcast if the word Muslim was substituted for Christian .

An ECU Complaints Director considered the complaint in relation to the BBC Editorial Guidelines on Harm and Offence, specifically Portrayal. However, the Complaints Director said the questions raised about alleged double-standards at the BBC did not fall under the Guidelines and consequently were not part of the ECU's remit.

The Complaints Director explained that the Guidelines did not prohibit the broadcasting of offensive material, but did require editorial justification which in this case the comedic context provided. He said that Christianity itself was not being mocked, but a perceived stereotype about Christian attitudes to sex. The metaphors used in the song were designed to provoke laughter through absurd images and not provide any serious comparison with Christians having sex. On this basis, the ECU did not believe that these absurd observations would have caused any serious offence and any residual offence was more than offset by comic effect. This kind of humour fell well within the established audience expectations for a comedy programme like this.

Appeal to the BBC Trust'

The complainant escalated his complaint to the BBC Trust, quoting the lyrics from the Dead Cat Bounce's performance which he said, as a Christian, he found offensive. He said that:

  • The lyrics were dehumanising, describing Christians as animals sexually and were aimed directly at Christians, not their beliefs and attitudes. The song was snide and mocked Christians portraying them as wet and incompetent.
  • The editorial justification used by the ECU was unjust and hypocritical as this material would not be allowed by the BBC if it had been aimed at other groups.

The complainant reiterated that he wanted this performance removed from broadcast.

The Head of Editorial Standards noted that the group Dead Cat Bounce had established a reputation on the comedy circuit, performing at many festivals and winning awards. They were known for their outlandish lyrics which set out to poke fun at stereotypes and banal situations. Recent examples had included driving lessons and orthopaedic shoes. She said that whilst some viewers may not be aware of this background, the majority of viewers would not be surprised at this group appearing in a programme covering the Edinburgh Comedy Festival, featuring alternative comedy.

The Head of Editorial Standards said that, whilst the lyrics of the particular song which the complainant had highlighted may not be to every viewer's taste, they did not appear to be attacking the faith and belief of Christianity, but used simile and metaphor to create an absurd picture of naive love-making. Given this context, the Head of Editorial Standards believed it was unlikely that the majority of viewers would have found the song offensive.

Editorial Standards Committee Decision

The Committee noted that the ECU and the Head of Editorial Standards had noted the audience expectations for BBC Three and the group who performed the song and argued that there was editorial justification for the broadcast of such material. The Committee agreed that the BBC had demonstrated the editorial justification for including the group and this song in the programme. The Committee considered that the song was not attacking the faith and belief of Christianity, or Christians in general, but could be seen as using similes to play on the familiar comic construct of incompetent lovers on their wedding night. The Committee did not agree that the use of such comic similes as trout flapping in a puddle and pigs in a barrel was necessarily dehumanising to Christians, intentionally or otherwise. The Committee was mindful that in the second half of the song the object of the comedy was clearly the absurd image of a four-piece band, which had been playing at the wedding, somehow ending up singing unnoticed in the en-suite bathroom of the newlyweds. The Committee agreed that there was no reasonable prospect of success for an appeal on the basis that there had been a breach of the Guidelines on Harm and Offence or Portrayal.

The Committee therefore decided this appeal did not qualify to proceed for consideration.




New US DVD release of Argentinean thriller

Link Here2nd September 2012

Penumbra is a 2011 Argentina horror thriller by Adrián García Bogliano and Ramiro García Bogliano.
with Cristina Brondo, Camila Bordonaba and Berta Muñiz. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

  • US 2012 MPI R1 DVD at US Amazon just released on 28th August 2012

There are no censorship issues with this release



Update: An Insult to Free Speech...

Free speech protest calls on Cameron to reform insults law

Link Here2nd September 2012
Full story: Public Order Act...Enabling police censorship

Protesters gathered outside Parliament on Thursday to demand greater protection for free speech by reforming Section 5 of the Public Order Act.

Section 5 of the Act outlaws insulting words or behaviour , but what exactly constitutes insulting is unclear and has resulted in many controversial police arrests. In 2008 a sixteen-year old boy was arrested for peacefully holding a placard that read Scientology is a dangerous cult .

Earlier this year human rights campaigners, MPs, faith groups and secularists joined forces to launch the Reform Section 5 campaign. The campaign has since won cross-party support in Parliament, and Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights has also called for change.

The Government is considering amending the Act, and set up a consultation on whether Section 5 should be amended or not. It closed in January, and seven months later the Government has yet to publish the results.

Campaigners have accused the Government of dragging its feet and say Thursday's protest outside Parliament shows that the issue hasn't gone away.

Speaking outside Parliament, Human Rights Campaigner Peter Tatchell said:

Most MPs back reform, as does the former Director of Public Prosecutions, Lord Macdonald QC. The government's delay and hesitation is unjustified. The criminalisation of mere insults under Section 5 is a threat to free speech. There are other laws to deal adequately with harassment, threats and serious abuse.

Peter Tatchell was joined outside the Houses of Parliament this morning by The Christian Institute's Simon Calvert and Keith Porteous Wood of the National Secular Society.




US DVD release of Fernando Di Leo's crime thriller

Link Here1st September 2012

Madness is a 1980 Italy crime thriller by Fernando Di Leo.
With Joe Dallesandro, Lorraine De Selle and Patrizia Behn. See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

There are no censorship issues with this release

See  review from

Promotional Material

After brutally killing two farmers with a pitchfork, an escaped murderer Joe Brezy (Joe Dallesandro: Andy Warhol's superstar) makes a bee-line for the holiday cottage where five years earlier he stashed a substantial amount of ill-gotten loot. But before he can retrieve his stash a vehicle pulls up with the womanising Sergio who has travelled up to his weekend retreat with his trusting wife Liliana and her flirty sister Paola. Joe proceeds to torment this already dysfunctional trio with rape and violence.


  • New HD Transfer
  • Director biography and filmography
  • New and improved English subtitles
  • Newly digitally restored
  • A fully illustrated booklet containing critical analysis of the film by Eric Cotenas



Rosemary's Baby...

Set for a US Criterion release on DVD and Blu-ray

Link Here1st September 2012

Rosemary's Baby is a 1968 US horror film by Roman Polanski
With Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes and Ruth Gordon. See IMDb

US: Uncut and R Rated for:

  • US 2012 Criterion RA Blu-ray at US Amazon released on 30th October 2012
  • US 2012 Criterion R1 DVD at US Amazon released on 30th October 2012

Censorship History

UK: Passed X (16) after BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1969 cinema release

From IMDb:

  • The film originally proved problematic for the UK censors and the rape scene was toned down by the BBFC for the cinema release with edits made to remove dialogue and shots of Rosemary's legs being bound.

All UK video and DVD release are uncut

Promotional Material

Terrifying and darkly comic, Rosemary's Baby marked the Hollywood debut of Roman Polanski. This wildly entertaining nightmare, faithfully adapted from Ira Levin's best seller, stars a revelatory Mia Farrow as a young mother-to-be who grows increasingly suspicious that her overfriendly elderly neighbors, played by Sidney Blackmer and an Oscar-winning Ruth Gordon, and self-involved husband (John Cassavetes) are hatching a satanic plot against her and her baby. In the decades of occult cinema Polanski's ungodly masterpiece has spawned, it's never been outdone for sheer psychological terror.


  • New high-definition digital restoration, approved by director Roman Polanski, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition.
  • New interviews with Polanski, actor Mia Farrow, and producer Robert Evans
  • Komeda, Komeda, a feature-length documentary on the life and work of jazz musician and composer Krzysztof Komeda, who wrote the score for Rosemary's Baby
  • 1997 radio interview with author Ira Levin from Leonard Lopate's WNYC program New York and Company on the 1967 novel, the sequel, and the film
  • A booklet featuring an essay by critic Ed Park and Levin's afterword for the 2003 New American Library edition of his novel, in which he discusses its and the film's origins



Update: Porn Filtering...

Stop the Daily Mail Nanny State

Link Here1st September 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

With less than a week to go before the close of the adult content filtering consultation, Open Rights Group is urging people to let the Department for Education know that default blocking would be disastrous.

Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group said:

We know filters always block the wrong sites. Casual mentions of sex get sites blocked. Health education sites are blocked. Even chat sites, bars and clubs are considered reasonable to block for children.

So you don't want to induce adults to live with this sort of filtering. But that is what the Daily Mail and Premier Christian Media have convinced the Department of Education to do.

We need an outbreak of common sense to stop this, before we find the Daily Mail's Nanny State becomes a reality.

The consultation closes next Thursday.



Update: Real Problems...

South Korean law requiring verified real names for website comments is struck down

Link Here1st September 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship in South Korea...Repressive new internet censorship law

A law requiring South Korea's internet users to use their real names on websites has been struck down by a panel of judges.

The country's Constitutional Court said the rule restricted freedom of speech and undermined democracy.

The requirement was introduced in 2007 supposedly to tackle cyber-bullying. But the judges said users had switched to overseas sites where they continued to conceal their identity, putting local services at a disadvantage. There had also been complaints that the system had made it easier for cybercriminals to commit identity theft.

The internet real-name system stipulated that news media sites with more than 100,000 visitors a day had to record the real identities of visitors who had posted comments.

The idea behind the law was that users' details could be disclosed if the victims of malicious reports wanted to sue for libel or infringement of privacy. But the eight judges unanimously voted against the law saying the public gains achieved had not been substantial enough to justify restrictions on individuals' rights to free speech. They said that the policy discouraged people from criticising influential people and groups because of fears they would be punished.



Update: Miserable Jordan...

200 Websites in blackout protest against impending government censorship

Link Here1st September 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship in Jordan...Government push for blocking of internet porn

Over two hundred Jordanian websites went dark on Wednesday, in a SOPA-like protest of draft legislation that would allow the government to block and censor Internet content. The action was coordinated by a grassroots organization of tech savvy Jordanians and the editors of various Jordanian websites, with blackout screens on dozens of widely read digital news sites and blogs.

The Internet blackout protest was originally planned for September, in response to the demand of a conservative grassroots group, Ensaf, that the government filter pornography sites. The government's tepidly supportive attitude to Ensaf, combined with the many followers it had garnered for its Facebook page, gave rise to concerns that a wide consensus in favor of banning online porn would provide the government with an opportunity to give itself more power to control the Internet.

When the details of the draft legislation was released last week, the activists' fears were confirmed. The proposed amendment to the existing Press and Publication Law, if passed and enforced, would indeed grant the government sweeping powers to censor and block online content, stifling debate and the free expression of opinion. And so the protest was coordinated and carried out within four days.

The draft legislation includes articles that would hold online media accountable for any comments left by their readers, and would prohibit them from publishing any comments deemed irrelevant to the published article. Moreover, online media organizations would also be required to archive all comments left on their sites for at least six months. However, the most troublesome amendment essentially requires online media to register with and obtain a license from the Press and Publications Department, paying a fee of roughly $1,400 (lowered from an initially proposed $14,000), and giving the government the ability to block sites failing to comply. Bringing online news sites in to the folds of the Press and Publications law would therefore require them to be mandatory members of the Jordan Press Association, and undergo the same regulations governing print publications, including appointing an editor-in-chief who has been a member of the association for a minimum of four years.

Parliament's decision on the proposed new law is pending.



Miserable Gaza...

Gaza set to block internet porn

Link Here1st September 2012

The ministry of communications of the Hamas government in Gaza has announced that it will block access to pornographic websites starting in September, the Ma'an news agency reported.

Gaza communications minister Osama al-Issawi explained that the move was meant to protect Palestinian society and preserve the fabric of society in the Gaza Strip.

Ministry licensing head Kamal al-Masr said they the authorities had asked the 10 main Internet providers operating in Gaza to block the sites from Sept. 1, after a government decision a week earlier.



Update: Pending Further Discussion...

India orders film censors to do their job and certify films for TV

Link Here1st September 2012
Full story: TV Censorship in India...India considers the regulation of TV for adults

The Indian film industry, which has been battling to overturn a unilateral censor board decision to ban A-rated films from television, can heave a sigh of relief, at least for now.

This newspaper has learnt that the Information & Broadcasting Ministry has stepped in to resolve the deadlock by asking censors to continue cutting films for the small screen until suitable amendments are made in the Cable Television Act.

Once these changes are in place, however, the censors may get their wish that a majority of the re-certified movies can be shown on TV only after 11 pm. The censors contend that some of these films, no matter how extensive the cuts, deal with themes that are unsuitable for younger audiences.

The idea of an 11pm watershed for adult A rated films was demanded by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). When the TV companies refused to play along with the idea, the CBFC protested by working to rule and refusing to certify any adult films for TV. A CBFC certificate is a legal requirement for films shown on TV.

Update: A Gathering of TV Censors

21st September 2012. See  article from

To put an end to controversies on the lines of the TV telecast of the Vidya Balan starrer Dirty Picture , an umbrella body is being mulled that will pre-censor films to be telecast on television.

The self-regulatory body comprising representatives from the film industry, Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), information and broadcasting ministry and the Broadcast Content Complaints Council (BCCC) will decide whether the film in question is suitable for TV telecast on the basis of content and also fix a particular time slot.

This proposal which is at an initial stage has come from the CBFC and is being positively considered by the BCCC and the I&B ministry, said an official on condition of anonymity.

Update: A more representative committee

18th October 2012. See  article from

We've learnt Censor Board Chief Leela Samson flew down to Mumbai and met up with filmmakers Yash Chopra, Mukesh Bhatt, Ramesh Sippy, Siddharth Roy Kapoor, Ashutosh Gowariker, Harry Baweja and top producers from the South at Hotel Sahara Star in Andheri East. CBFC CEO Pankaja Thakur was also present.

Most importantly, a decision was taken at the meeting to form a separate committee to review films that are rejected by the censor board for TV viewing.

The committee will comprise members from different walks of life and will include directors, actors, judges, social activists, teachers as well as CBFC representatives.

Once the CBFC identifies the objectionable movies, the committee will then take a call as to what time they should be slotted, whether prime time or post 11pm. The committee will reserve the right to reject a film that they find totally unfit for small screen viewing.

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