Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch

2012: October

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CanCan BanBan...

PC Extremists at ASA offended by CanCan advert

Link Here31st October 2012

A website, two outdoor ads, a banner ad on Spotify and an audio ad on Spotify:

  • a. The website,, featured an image of a woman wearing a can-can costume lifting her skirt and kicking one leg in the air. A red box, positioned over her crotch stated SEE WHAT YOU'RE MISSING IN EUROPE . Next to the image, it stated London to Brussels, Amsterdam or Paris FROM £ 9* ONE-WAY .
  • b. An outdoor ad, displayed on trains, showed the top half of a woman wearing a can-can costume lifting her skirt and kicking one leg in the air. Text next to the image stated SEE WHAT YOU'RE MISSING IN EUROPE. From just £ 9* one-way . Text underneath the image stated Your number 1 coach operator for Europe... .
  • c. An outdoor ad, displayed in the toilets of a family-friendly pub, showed an image of a woman wearing a can-can costume, lifting her skirt and kicking one leg in the air. A box containing a mobile phone quick response code (QR Code) was positioned over her crotch. Text underneath the image stated SEE WHAT YOU'RE MISSING IN EUROPE. London to Paris, Amsterdam or Brussels from just £ 8 one way .
  • d. A banner ad on Spotify showed the same image as in ad (a).
  • e. The audio ad featured a male character recounting a trip to Amsterdam, with a number of words censored by bleeps. The character said, So anyway, me and the boys got a Eurolines coach to Amsterdam for just ?9.00, and went straight to the [bleep] district. My girlfriend wasn't there, so I could buy a [bleep] without her knowing. After hours of window shopping, I finally went with a cute pair of Dutch [bleep]. They were a bit pricey, but well worth it. A male voice-over then stated, To hear the ad in full and see what you're missing in Europe, click the banner and discover low cost coach travel to hundreds of destinations, when you book online at least four days in advance. Eurolines - see what you're missing in Europe. Issue

Thirteen complainants objected to the ads:

  1. five complainants objected that ad (a) made implied references to sex and prostitution and that it was offensive and degrading to women;
  2. seven complainants objected that ad (b) made implied references to sex and prostitution and that it was offensive and degrading to women;
  3. two complainants challenged whether ad (b) was irresponsibly placed, because they believed it was unsuitable for an untargeted medium where it could be seen by children;
  4. one complainant challenged whether ad (c) was offensive and degrading to women;
  5. one complainant challenged whether ad (c) and was irresponsibly placed because they believed it was unsuitable for an untargeted medium where it could be seen by children;
  6. one complainant objected that ad (d) was offensive and degrading to women; and
  7. one complainant objected that ad (e) was overtly sexual and that the reference to visiting a prostitute was offensive.

ASA Assessment

1. & 6. Upheld

Whilst we considered that the image of a French can-can dancer featured in ads (a) and (d) was likely to be a well-known cultural reference, the use of the box of text which stated SEE WHAT YOU'RE MISSING IN EUROPE and which was placed over the woman's crotch, implied that she was naked underneath. We considered the images of the woman were unlikely to be seen as an implied reference to prostitution, but the use of the visual and verbal pun in the ads about the potential seeing her genital area nevertheless was likely to be understood to present the woman as a sexual object. We concluded that, in the context of marketing for European travel, the image was likely to cause offence.

On these points ads (a) and (d) breached CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).

4. & 5. Upheld

We considered that the use of the QR Code placed directly over the can-can dancer's crotch, alongside the text underneath which stated See what you're missing in Europe would be likely to be understood to be about the potential for seeing her genital area. We considered that this was exacerbated by the fact that users were encouraged to scan her genital area with a smart phone which had a QR Code app. We concluded that, in the context of marketing for European travel, the image was likely to cause offence and was not suitable for public display.

On these points ad (c) breached CAP Code rules 3.1 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and offence).

2. & 3. Not upheld

Whilst ad (b) featured the same text and a similar image of the can-can dancer to ad (a), it did not use the visual pun of the box of text being placed over her crotch and did not draw any attention to the genital area. We considered that it was only mildly sexual and, as a well-known cultural reference, was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence and was acceptable for an untargeted medium.

7. Not upheld

We noted audio ad (e) contained a script about visiting Amsterdam and that certain key words had been bleeped out in such a way that some consumers would understand the ad to be making implied sexual references because of the association with Amsterdam's red light district. Although we acknowledged that some consumers might find that implied sexual content distasteful, we considered that most would view it as light-hearted and that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.



AITA Call ATVOD's Bluff...

ATVOD asked to justify their 'just in case there's serious harm' interpretation of European law requiring protection against 'serious harm'

Link Here31st October 2012

AITA is seeking deeper levels of clarity on the position of ATVOD. Whilst we fully support the issue of protecting minors from viewing inappropriate content, the stance taken by ATVOD is, in our opinion, a short term solution that penalizes UK business and individuals who trade on a global stage. ATVOD continue to exercise what appears to be a broader jurisdiction than was intended and as a result, lack clarity and competence when dealing with specific matters relating to Rule 11 in particular.

Adult Entertainment and content is mostly promoted and provided by utilizing the global internet. ATVOD remain of the view that a local solution, by forcing Age Verified Services for any UK based or managed business, will be sufficient and we have proven on many occasions, with the proliferation of content available outside the UK, that their current remit fails to achieve anything, other than unfairly bias and harm UK individuals and businesses who have always conformed to rules and regulation.

AITA will continue perusing a considered legal option of ATVOD's alleged outreach and unfair tactics, whilst collaborating with our colleague's world wide to provide a more fulfilling solution, which allows all companies in this market sector to be treated equally.



So What Will Ofcom Pinheads Say?...

Cable and Satellite broadcasters propose PIN protected daytime TV that would currently be banned until the watershed

Link Here30th October 2012

Broadcasters including Sky are seeking a rule change so that more adult TV could be shown pre-watershed if protected by a PIN.

The proposals being put forward by the Commercial Broadcasters' Association, a lobbying group for cable and satellite broadcasters including BSkyB.

Currently peak-time dramas and comedies are not allowed to be shown before the watershed, unless they are cut to remove swearing, violence and sex. However, pay-per-view programmes and content on premium film subscription channels are allowed before the watershed because viewers have to key in a pin code before they can watch them. Such a system is already in place for online catchup TV services.

The group representing broadcasters including Sky, UKTV and MTV, has asked the Department for Culture, Media and Sport for regulations to be changed to extend this pin protection system to cover all other shows on cable and satellite channels.

It is understood that audiences would have to enter the pin every time they wanted to watch a peak-time show before the watershed.

The Coba executive director, Adam Minns, said:

The system of pin protection is well established in the UK. It has proven to be effective technically and is something with which audiences are familiar -- it is now used on a range of services. At the same time, it provides consumer protection that is arguably more effective than the watershed regime. Extending such a regime to other services could potentially encourage innovative new forms of content delivery.

It is expected that such a move would need a consultation by Ofcom as it would require changes to the TV censor's broadcasting rules



Playing an Easy Offensive Game...

Arabic patterns supposedly offensive in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 game

Link Here30th October 2012

The producer of the video game Tekken Tag Tournament 2 has said it will alter a design feature in one of the game's levels that has offended some Muslim players.

Joystiq reports that eagle-eyed gamers have spotted the Arabic script for the word Allah in the floor texture of the Saudi Arabian level.

Speaking on Twitter the game's lead producer Katsuhiro Harada stated:

We didn't know that. We will change stage design data as soon as possible. We couldn't read that.



Update: Support Your Local Newsagent that Stocks Adult Mags...

Birmingham nutters are rating newsagent's porn sections

Link Here30th October 2012
Full story: Lads Mags...Blaming lads mags for all the world's ills

The Women's Networking Hub's Shelve It! scheme calls on newsagents, supermarkets and petrol stations to keep saucy magazines out of the view of children -- and asks the public to help complete an online porn rating map of Birmingham.

Shelve It! gives retailers ratings from five stars, which means no magazines are on view, to XXX, meaning they can be seen and reached by kids.

It covers not just lads' mags like FHM or Zoo, but also hardcore pornography.

Campaign co-ordinator Shahida Choudhry claims the magazines have a harmful effect.



Surely Not as Industry Suffocating as ATVOD Though...

Poland adopts European censorship laws applying to VOD

Link Here30th October 2012

The Polish parliament has adopted an amendment to the country's Law on Radio and Television Broadcasting related to VOD services. It has now been passed to the Senate.

According to the Ministry of Administration and Digitisation (MAC), it implements the principle of minimal regulation conforming to the requirements of the EU Audiovisual Directive.

In practice, the amendment envisages VOD services being in part covered by the same rules previously applicable only to TV broadcasting. However, they will also be widened to include bans on tobacco and alcohol advertising, as well as product placement.

There will also be protection of minors and a requirement for 20% of the content of VOD services to be of European origin.



Dangerous Publicity...

National Geographic Channel receives extremists threats over the broadcast of the film, Seal Team Six

Link Here29th October 2012

The National Geographic Channel's Washington, DC headquarters has increased security after being inundated with terror threats over the upcoming release of the film Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden , according to a source.

The full-length feature film is the first dramatization of the U.S. special forces operation that killed the mastermind of the September 11 attacks in Pakistan last May.

According to a New York Post source, the channel has been bombarded with phone calls and blogs posts from Muslim extremist groups warning that anyone airing a film like this is asking for trouble.

A spokesperson for National Geographic told the Post that the channel will air the film no matter what, adding, we are big believers in the First Amendment.

Update: Political Religious Censorship and Propaganda

29th October 2012. See article from

A documentary on the Navy Seal raid on Osama Bin Laden is going through extensive editing, and some critics claim that the edits, which now feature more of President Obama, are purely to bolster the Obama campaign before the general election on November 6th.

The documentary, entitled SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden is set to air on November 4th, just two days before the general election. The film rights are owned by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, an avid Obama supporter.

The edits to the film were made to strengthen the image of the role of Obama in the raid that ultimately led to the death of Osama bin Laden, according to a New York Times report. Filmmaker John Stockwell defended the edits, saying that Weinstein wanted revisions that gave the movie context and helped root it in reality.

National Geographic had already removed a scene from the film that implied that Mitt Romney opposed any attempt to capture or kill bin Laden.



Update: Indecently Repressive...

India set to extend a repressive print ban on supposedly indecent representations of women to the internet

Link Here29th October 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn

India's cabinet has approved the introduction of an amendment to the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act of 1986 in the forthcoming winter session of Parliament. This increases the penalties for making supposedly indecent exposure of women and extends the scope of the law to cover audio-visual media including SMS, Internet, etc. The original law was limited to the print media.

The key amendments include raising the penalty to a maximum of three years of jail and fine of Rs 50,000-Rs 1 lakh. The second conviction will entail imprisonment of two to seven years and a fine of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.

The law was enacted in 1986 to prohibit supposedly indecent depiction of women through advertisements, publication, writing and painting. Officials claim the proposed amendments were finalised after extensive consultations with the stakeholders, including lawyers and civil society representatives.



Extract: From 50 Years of James Bond Archives...

BBFC publish a letter detailing 30 issues with the Thunderball shooting script

Link Here28th October 2012

In April 1965 Eon Productions sent a shooting script of Thunderball to the BBFC for advice on how the finished film might be considered for classification. The letter published here [pdf] details the BBFC’s lengthy response to the script. Mindful that an X certificate would not be consistent with the previous three Bond films, the letter specifies over thirty aspects of the script that could be problematic for an A certificate.

John Trevelyan sums up the general concern of the BBFC when he explains:

I get the impression that this screenplay has been deliberately hotted up with a view to its including more sex, sadism and violence than the previous Bond pictures, and… it seems less light-hearted in tone.

In the end only one cut was required – the sight of Bond stroking the back of a partially nude girl with a mink glove.



Update: Insulting to Free Speech...

Police get involved in 4000 petty squabbles on Facebook

Link Here28th October 2012
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media

Police have gotten involved in 4,000 petty squabbles on Facebook and Twitter. Statistics from 22 out of the 43 police forces in England and Wales show arrests for insulting messages are averaging three a day.

The police say they are wasting valuable time and resources tackling internet users directing abuse at each other. In most cases, police simply tell victims to delete their tormentors from their networks, but the Crown Prosecution Service says a few dozen   incidents have led to court, with the figure growing rapidly in recent months.

An policeman from North Wales said:

You will always have one or two serious incidents of harassment and bullying on Facebook and the like but for the most part it's petty stuff. It takes up a lot of time and the normal result is advice from us to all parties to grow up.

Simon Reed, vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said:

We have concerns that we don't have the resources to police everything that's said on the internet. We can't have people getting upset in a one-off situation and involving the police. I do think this could be the thin end of the wedge. If we show too much willingness and get involved in every squabble, we're setting ourselves up to keep doing this because it will be expected.

Statistics from 22 out of the 43 police forces in England and Wales show there were at least 4,098 arrests under the relevant laws between the start of 2009 and the middle of 2012, averaging three a day. More than 2,000 people were either charged or given an out-of-court fine or caution.



Updated: Waste of Market Space...

Microsoft decides not to sell 18 rated games in its Windows 8 marketplace

Link Here27th October 2012

Computer commentators have suggested that Microsoft is introducing children only age restrictions on its Windows 8 marketplace for apps. And games commentators asked whether this would affect video games too.

A Microsoft representative then confirmed to Kotaku that, yes, section 6.2 of the Windows App guidelines applies to video games as well. That section reads:

...apps with a rating over or PEGI 16, ESRB MATURE, or a corresponding rating under other ratings systems ...are not allowed.

For the United States, that's not exactly an issue. Not many major video games ever receive a rating beyond Mature. But for other markets, it's a bit of a disaster. Europe especially. PEGI 18 games that would be banned are:

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim The Witcher II Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Max Payne 3 The Walking Dead Sleeping Dogs Dishonored Mass Effect 2 Mass Effect 3 LA Noire Spec Ops: The Line Fallout: New Vegas Deus Ex Assassin's Creed: Revelations

So nearly all of the biggest and best games released in the past three years then.

Note that Microsoft are not preventing these games from running on Windows 8, it is just that they themselves will not be selling them.

Update: Call of Duty (to Shareholders)

27th October  2012. See  article from

Assassin's Creed , Mass Effect , Skyrim and other adult games will no longer be banned from the European Windows 8 Store.

Microsoft has relaxed its restrictions so the titles will be tested to work on PCs and tablets running Windows 8.

In the US games such as Call of Duty , Skyrim and Mass Effect typically win a mature rating under its ESRB system. This means anyone aged 17 and over can play them. This '17' certificate deliberately ia designed to work around  informal US censorship whereby shop owners and malls etc implement a nominal adults only ban to somehow maintain that they are 'family friendly'. Of course a 17 certificate can get mighty close to a more intuitive 18 certificate used by the rest of the world. In practice US 17 certificates generally outlaw 18 rated sex but allow 18 rated violence.

Before now Microsoft operated a blanket ban on adult-only content on its Windows 8 Store.

It basically ends up disqualifying games that would be ESRB Mature, Antoine Leblond, Microsoft corporate vice president of web services told tech news site Gizmodo.

The Windows 8 testing and certification system has won criticism from many games makers. Markus Persson, creator of Minecraft, said it risked turning the PC into a closed platform. Gabe Newell, head of game maker Valve, said Windows 8 could be a catastrophe for it and other developers.

However, the ban could have caused bigger problems with the very restrictive Windows RT. This is the version of Windows 8 meant for tablets and the only way to get software for it is via the store. This is to supposedly ensure the programs work well with touchscreen interfaces typically found on tablets, but in reality it allows the platform makers to extract massive fees of up to 30% of the customer price.

The change is due to come into force by the end of 2012, Leblond told Gizmodo.



Update: President Zuma's Uncensored Spear...

South African classification appeal tribunal revokes 16 age restriction on satirical artwork

Link Here26th October 2012

Earlier this year the burning political issue in South Africa was a painting of President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed. Hs supporters mobilised a furious campaign to ban Brett Murray's painting The Spear .

At first the censors agreed, and classified The Spear as unsuitable for those under 16. But now they have reversed their decision, rejecting the argument that the artwork is offensive to African culture.

Prince Mlimandlela Ndamase, spokesman for South Africa's Film and Publication Board, said its appeal tribunal has set aside the classification decision .

The tribunal found that the classification board had been heavily influenced... by the need to affirm the dignity of African males and to protect sensitive persons and children . But there had been no evidence before the board that the painting would be harmful to children on the grounds that it seriously undermines and is insensitive to African culture .

The tribunal also upheld the classification board's finding that The Spear was not pornographic.



Sharing Ratings...

US games rating groups adds symbols for personal data sharing characteristics of online games

Link Here25th October 2012

The US games rating group, Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) has announced three new badges describing online play.

The three new symbols show whether a game shares games location, other information and whether gamers interact.

The official explanations are:

  • Shares Info - Indicates that personal information provided by the user (e.g., e-mail address, phone number, credit card info, etc.) is shared with third parties
  • Shares Location - Includes the ability to display the user's location to other users of the app
  • Users Interact - Indicates possible exposure to unfiltered/uncensored user-generated content, including user-to-user communications and media sharing via social media and networks

The ESRB has also added 'Unrated' statements:

  • Online Interactions Not Rated by the ESRB - Warns those who intend to play the game online about possible exposure to chat (text, audio, video) or other types of user-generated content (e.g., maps, skins) that have not been considered in the ESRB rating assignment
  • Music Downloads Not Rated by the ESRB - Warns that songs downloaded as add-ons for music-based games have not been rated and that their content has not been considered in the ESRB rating assignment



Qatar Recommends...

The Boys by Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson and Russ Braun

Link Here25th October 2012

Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson and Russ Braun's The Boys is a comic book series that makes a point out of mining the darker underbelly of the superhero genre, in the process exposing more violent and sexual elements than many are comfortable with... including, it seems, one Middle Eastern country which has apparently banned the series after a reader tried to have copies shipped to her.

The Qatar Ministry of Culture have confiscated a shipment of the books, labeling it sexual material and, as such, too offensive to be allowed into the country.

The recipient went to the Ministry of Culture and found The Boys now live in a box labeled BANNED. The authorities pointed out the pages that they found offensive (all of them).



Update: Silly Postcards...

Mother's Union to campaign for further TV censorship before the watershed

Link Here24th October 2012
Full story: Reg Bailey Report...Mothers Union boss pens governement report

The Welsh branch of the Mother's Union is set to launch a campaign for further TV censorship targeting supposedly unsuitable pre-watershed programmes.

Parents are being asked to lobby TV censor Ofcom by sending bilingual postcards complaining about the sexualised content and swearing on television and radio programmes that young children watch or listen to.

The campaign, being launched at the Senedd, is part of the Mothers' Union's UK-wide campaign called Bye Buy Childhood . Sheila Jones, a social policy officer for the charity said:

Having gone around Wales talking to people about the Bye Buy Childhood campaign, we met lots of people who were appalled at the amount of material on television before 9pm which they felt was inappropriate for children.

They were unhappy with suggestive moves and songs in staged dances, for example, the dress code of some young presenters and the amount of bad language. Many of them were people who would not naturally go online to voice their concerns so we thought that a bilingual postcard they could fill in would be the most effective way for them to protest.

Vivienne Pattison, director of campaign group Mediawatch-UK, commended the campaign and said many of the sexualised messages sent to our children were very subtle:

I recently complained to Ofcom about the latest series of X Factor, which my primary school-aged daughter watches before the 9pm watershed. It had a stripper on there with a lime green thong and a fishnet bodystocking on top.

She did a very provocative dance and a lap-dance on Louis Walsh. This didn't need to be broadcast. I feel there is a really subtle effect teaching our children that trying to make it to be successful or famous is to take your clothes off.

There were similar issues with half naked performances by Rihanna and Christina Aguilera on the same show a few years ago. Ofcom didn't regulate and said it was 'right at the margins of acceptability.'

By failing to regulate that margin has become quite mainstream and the boundaries keep being pushed.

More than 10,000 postcards will be distributed to members of the Mothers' Union in Wales to start the campaign.



Kinda Disrespectful...

A few angry tweets about a supposedly blasphemous album cover

Link Here24th October 2012

US rapperGame has caused Twitter controversy with his upcoming album whose cover appears to depict Jesus as a blood gang member.

The artwork for Jesus Piece has been branded as blasphemy by upset Christians and fans, because it shows a black Christ-like figure wearing a bandana over his mouth, a gold chain around his neck and a tear drop tattoo under his eye.

The Game's new album cover is kinda disrespectful [sic], one said on Twitter.

Game, who claims to be a devote Christian, also took to the social networking site  to defuse the situation, writing:

My album cover is art & represents small pieces of things that I have embodied, embraced, struggled, grown with [sic].



Aden Not So Live TV...

Ofcom warn of licence revocation for Aden Live TV

Link Here23rd October 2012

Dama (Liverpool) Ltd holds the licence for Aden Live, a general entertainment service broadcast in Arabic.

On 8 May 2012, Ofcom imposed statutory sanctions on Dama for serious breaches of the Code . In the Sanction Decision, Ofcom stated that: the absence of representations relating to the Preliminary View, Ofcom is directing the Licensee to provide information to Ofcom (details of which will be determined by Ofcom), including about the Licensee's compliance procedures and arrangements in order to satisfy Ofcom that they are appropriate, and is asking the Licensee to attend a meeting with Ofcom to explain and discuss the same.

Dama has failed to comply with a direction to provide specified information to Ofcom by no later than Friday 10 August 2012. Dama is therefore in breach of Condition 17(1) of the Licence.

This is a serious breach of Licence Condition 17(1) because, without the information, Ofcom cannot carry out its statutory duties to assess whether Dama is providing the Aden Live service, whether it falls under UK jurisdiction for the purposes of directive 2010/13/EU (the Audiovisual Media Services Directive) and whether it is complying with its obligations as a licensee.

The Licensee is put on notice that Ofcom is considering the imposition of a statutory sanction in this case which may include revocation of the Licence.



Update: Boyle's Law...

Frankie Boyle sues the Daily Mirror objecting to accusations of racism

Link Here23rd October 2012
Full story: Frankie Boyle...Whinges about Frankie Boyle and Mock the Week

Comedian Frankie Boyle's jokes are vile and offensive but not racist , his lawyer told a High Court jury as he began legal proceedings against the publisher of the Daily Mirror newspaper.

Boyle is suing Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) for what he described as a very serious libel over an article published in July last year.

The Daily Mirror had claimed that an offensive joke about the Olympic medal-winning swimmer Rebecca Adlington had led to his departure from the BBC Two panel show in an article that bore the subheading New show for vile comic , and began: Racist comedian Frankie Boyle could soon be returning to TV despite upsetting thousands of viewers with his sick jokes, which was published by the newspaper in July last year.

Boyle's barrister David Sherborne said that to call someone racist was obviously defamatory , and contended the comedian did not object to being criticised but would not stand to be described as racist.

It is believed lawyers acting for the Mirror Group will defend the article by stating they believe that the accusation of racism is true. The court heard that the publisher intends to use 12 examples of Boyle's jokes, mostly from his former Channel 4 show Tramadol Nights , to show that the racism allegation is true.

Update: Libel Boil Lanced

23rd October  2012. From

Frankie Boyle has won more than £ 54,000 damages after a High Court jury concluded that he had been libelled by the Daily Mirror who defamed him by describing him as racist and saying he had been forced to quit the BBC panel show, Mock The Week.

Jurors ruled in favour of Boyle yesterday, after a week-long trial in London. They awarded him a total of £ 54,650 damages.

Boyle onfirmed that he would donate the money to charity and said on Twitter:

I'm very happy with the jury's unanimous rejection of the Mirror's allegation that I am a racist. Racism is still a very serious problem in society, which is why I've made a point of being anti-racist in my life and work and that's why I brought this action.




Well rated Dick Maas serial killer film gets a UK DVD release on the Shameless label

Link Here22nd October 2012
Amsterdamned is a 1988 Dutch action film by Dick Maas.
With Huub Stapel, Monique van de Ven and Serge-Henri Valcke. IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut for strong language and violence after previous BBFC cuts waived for:

  • UK 2012 Shameless R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 22nd October 2012

Censorship History

UK: Passed 18 after 6s of  BBFC cuts for
  • UK 1989 Locus VHS
  • UK 1989 cinema release

Thanks to Bleach:

  • At 52 mins -When knife protrudes through rubber dinghy on which woman is sunbathing, a zoom in to close up of knife between woman's parted legs, pantied crotch to camera, was removed.

UK: Passed 15 uncut for strong language and violence after previous BBFC cuts waived for:

  • UK 2009 Nouveaux R2 DVD

Promotional Material

There is a serial killer at bay in Amsterdam's canal network and the race is on to stop him before mass hysteria grips the nation. Dick Maas cult slasher movie starts as it means to go on when the predator leaves the protective habitat of the dark canal to claim his first victim before dragging her back into a watery grave.

Rarely seen, heart-stopping, horror action-thriller finally gets the release it deserves: re-mastered and featuring an in-depth making-of by Director Dick Maas.


  • English audio & Dutch Audio with English Subtitles

  • Exclusive Interview with Director Dick Maas

  • Dutch and English Theatrical Trailer

  • Shameless Trailer park

Summary Review: Aquatic serial killer

A mysterious diver hiding in Amsterdam's canal system embarks on a rampage of gruesome murders, terrifying city officials and leaving few clues for the city's best detective.

Dutch director Dick Maas clearly has a flair for entertainment. This serial killer film is lifted above the norm by a series of fantastic sequences; from creepy murder scenes to a hilariously over the top speed boat chase through the canals of Amsterdam, Amsterdamned is a delight to watch from start to finish.

Dick Maas bombards the audience with stunning location shots, deliriously entertaining sequences and some very sinister moments of horror to ensure that Amsterdamned never becomes trite or dull - and besides, every time there's a danger of the film going downhill, our competent director is on hand with another grisly murder sequence! The atmosphere is always foreboding as it is made clear that the murderer could strike at any time.



The Doors: Live at the Bowl...

New re-mastered and extended version released on UK DVD

Link Here22nd October 2012
The Doors: Live at the Hollywood Bowl is a USA music documentary by Ray Manzarek.
With Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek. IMDb

UK: An Extended Version is BBFC Exempt for:

  • UK 2012 Eagle R0 DVD at UK Amazon released on 22nd October 2012.

This is a re-mastered and re-mixed version of the original, extended by 2 previously unreleased tracks: Hello, I Love You & THE WASP (Texas Radio And The Big Beat). The Original Version clocked in at 62:31s.

The same version was passed 12A for cinema

There is also a US Blu-ray release

Promotional Material

On 5 July 1968 The Doors took to the stage of the Hollywood Bowl for a concert that has since passed into legend. The Doors were performing on the back of their 3rd album release Waiting For The Sun and the US No.1 single Hello, I Love You . They had been honing their live performances over the previous 2 years and were on absolute peak form. Now for the first time the original film footage from the Hollywood Bowl has been digitally scanned and restored to present the show better and more complete than it s ever been seen before, with 2 previously cut tracks returned to the running order and with sound newly remixed and mastered from the original multitrack tapes by The Doors engineer and co-producer Bruce Botnick. This is now the definitive edition of this famous performance.

Tracks:  1) Show Start / Intro 2) When The Music s Over 3) Alabama Song / Whiskey Bar 4) Back Door Man 5) Five To One 6) Back Door Man (reprise) 7) The WASP (Texas Radio And The Big Beat) 8) Hello, I Love You 9) Moonlight Drive 10) Horse Lattitudes 11) A Little Game 12) The Hill Dwellers 13) Spanish Caravan 14) Hey, What Would You Guys Like To Hear? 15) Wake Up! 16) Light My Fire 17) Light My Fire (segue) 18) The Unknown Soldier 19) The End (segue) 20) The End



Offsite Article: Internet anti-censorship tools are being overwhelmed by demand...

Link Here 22nd October 2012
US-funded programs to beat back online censorship are finding an increased demand in repressive countries. More than 1 million people a day use online tools to get past extensive blocking programs and government surveillance

See article from



ATVOD Extremism...

ATVOD suggests that hardcore websites should be prosecuted under the Obscene Publication Act

Link Here21st October 2012

ATVOD has published its submission to the recent consultation by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety on parental controls its submission to the call for evidence from the House of Lords Select Committee on Communicatons on media convergence and its public policy impact

Together the documents begin to articulate ATVOD emerging public policy positions, setting out:

  • ATVOD role and activities, especially in relation to protecting children
  • The limitations of the current regulatory scheme, especially in relation to non-UK services
  • ATVOD's view that it would be premature to attempt to put in place a rigid new regulatory structure
  • ATVOD's view that public policy should focus on clearly identified areas of public concern, including the ease with which children can access hardcore porn online
  • ATVOD's view that parental controls and media education are part of the solution, but their efficacy should not be overstated
  • ATVOD's view that further consideration should be given to more active enforcement existing legislation, including the Obscene Publications Act



Female Vampire...

New US DVD/Blu-ray release features 2 (out of many) versions of Jess Franco's horror

Link Here21st October 2012

Female vampire is a 1973 French/Belgian film by Jess Franco.
With Lina Romay, Jack Taylor and Alice Arno.

This release features 2 versions:

US: The Softcore Version is MPAA Unrated for:

  • US 2012 Redemption [softcore + Erotikill] RA Blu-ray via UK Amazon and at US Amazon released on 16th October 2012
  • US 2012 Redemption [softcore + Erotikill] R1 DVD at US Amazon released on 16th October 2012

US: The Erotikill horror version is MPAA Unrated for:

  • US 2012 Redemption [softcore + Erotikill] RA Blu-ray via UK Amazon and at US Amazon released on 16th October 2012
  • US 2012 Redemption [softcore + Erotikill] R1 DVD at US Amazon released on 16th October 2012

This 74 minute version is missing the erotic elements

Note that there are variances between softcore versions. An article from reports on a longer German version with an additional hardcore scene.

There is also a German release of a hardcore version running for ~105:00s which would be ~109:00s in NTSC.

UK Censorship

UK: The Softcore Version was passed 18 after 6:12s of BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1994 Redemption VHS

The softcore version has been well hacked by the BBFC but the film is notable because they missed a bit. One of the sex scenes retains about 1s of unsnipped fellatio.

  • Cut to heavily edit the lesbian/bondage scene
  • cut to remove shots of female masturbation
  • cuts to sexual close ups.

UK: The softcore version was passed 18 after 1:51s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2002 Arrow R2 DVD

The BBFC commented:

  • Cut required to remove sight of non-consenting woman being stripped and forced to engage in sex with two other women




Director says that Chainsaw Massacre 3D has been cut to avoid its original NC-17 rating

Link Here21st October 2012

Texas Chainsaw 3D is a 2013 USA horror mystery thriller by John Luessenhop.
With Alexandra Daddario, Tania Raymonde and Scott Eastwood. IMDb

Director John Luessenhop spoke about the film's MPAA rating:

It initially had an NC-17 rating so we recut the movie and it got an R rating. There are certainly some gory elements but I also think there is quite some suspense in the movie. I think in America it's very easy to get an R rating for violence and blood scenes. There are plenty of those but there are also moments where it is just scary with a suspense build up so I hope some of those scenes are going to stand out, not just the gory scenes.



Update: Growing Up...Slowly...

Singapore allows R21 rated films such as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo to air on Video On Demand

Link Here21st October 2012

Movies rated R21 in Singapore have been made available on pay-TV in private homes for the first time.

The Media Development Authority (MDA) has given the green light for StarHub and SingTel to offer R21 content on their video-on-demand platforms.

SingTel's mio TV will be now be offering R21 movies such as the crime thriller The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011), the gay-themed drama A Single Man (2009), superhero flick Watchmen (2009) and horror flick The Hills Have Eyes (2006).

Material that is rated by MDA as R21 is deemed suitable for adults aged 21 and older. Previously the highest rating for pay-TV content now was M18.

The Censorship Review Committee had recommended in its report that year that R21 content be allowed on subscription TV and video-on-demand with a strong caveat that a simple-to-use parental lock mechanism is available . It added that if R21 content is made available, the operators should lock it by default.

The Government accepted the proposal.

As to whether R21 content might be made available for sale on DVD and video, Amy Chua, MDA's director of content and standards for broadcast, Internet and publications, said:

We would like to assess how consumers view this service on video-on-demand before we think of introducing it on other platforms.



Offsite Article: Yes, I'm a blasphemer. Get over it...

Link Here21st October 2012
The Egyptian General Prosecutor has decided to start an official investigation accusing me of blasphemy, or, as they call it, insulting Islam. My crime was expressing my atheist beliefs on my Twitter account. By Maikel Nabil Sanad

See article from



The Funhouse...

Tobe Hooper's video nasty gets a US region A Blu-ray release

Link Here20th October 2012
The Funhouse is a 1981 US horror by Tobe Hooper
With Elizabeth Berridge, Shawn Carson and Jeanne Austin. YouTube icon IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA R Rated for

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

See  review from

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: Un derrated 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.



Lebanon Recommends...

US TV series, Homeland

Link Here20th October 2012

A Lebanese minister has threatened to sue the makers of hit US TV series Homeland for misrepresenting Beirut in a recent episode of the show.

Back to Beirut , the second episode in the new series of Homeland showed a terrorist meeting on Hamra Street, a Hezbollah stronghold. The episode was actually shot in Israel.

Lebanese Tourism Minister Faddy Abboud claimed filming did not depict reality :

It was not filmed in Beirut and does not portray the real image of Beirut. It showed Hamra Street with militia roaming in it.

He added that the real Hamra Street was actually a popular neighbourhood of shops and cafes.

Abboud claims that the depiction of the city could have a negative impact on tourism:

This kind of film damages the image of Lebanon - it is not fair to us and it is not true.

We want to take action, we want to write to the filmmakers and producers and demand an apology. And we are planning to raise a lawsuit against the director and the producer.

Abboud was also offended that filming for the episode took place in Israel rather than Beirut itself. But filming in Beirut would have been difficult since Homeland's co-creator, Gideon Raff, is Israeli and Israel's citizens are barred from visiting the city.



Update: Muffled Tweets...

Twitter implements blocks Germany from receiving tweets from banned right wing group

Link Here20th October 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering

Twitter has blocked access to a neo-Nazi account at the request of the German government.

The tweets will no longer be visible to users in Germany although the rest of the world will be able to view them.

It is the first time the social networking site has implemented its local censorship policy, which came into force in January. That policy allows it to block content in specific countries.

Announcing the decision, Twitter's general counsel Alex Macgillivray published links to the letter sent by German police, requesting the account be closed.

The letter outlined how the government had banned the organisation Besseres Hannover, (Better Hannover), a right-wing extremist group from Lower Saxony. It is disbanded, its assets are seized and all its accounts in social networks have to be closed immediately, the letter read.

Update: The easily offended queue up to get insults blocked by Twitter

20th October 2012. See  article from

The Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF) is attempting to get a legal judgment against Twitter to block and reveal the identities of users who sent anti-Semitic tweets under the hashtag #UnBonJuif - A Good Jew.

Spurred on by Twitter's decision to ban a neo-Nazi account in Germany, the group has sought a legal order for the tweets and their writers to be blocked. The UEJF's lawyer, Stephane Lilti, has criticized Twitter's reaction to their complaints, and claims their demands were not listened to:

There is a fire and we have to put it out. We want to put an end to this torrent of hatred, which could become all so real. Like all hosts, Twitter has to react promptly when someone tells them about racism on their site.

Twitter has reacted as an American service provider: they're obsessed with American law. But, for tweets in French, destined for French people, Twitter must follow French law.

However saying that, the tweets are now being removed. The decision to remove the tweets emerged from a meeting between Twitter's senior management, the UEJF president Jonathan Hayoun and the group's legal representatives. During the meeting the UEJF handed over a list of the posts it wants removed.



No News is Bad News...

BBC World News jammed in Syria

Link Here20th October 2012

BBC World News and other international broadcasters are being deliberately jammed by forces inside Syrian, according to the corporation's foreign editor.

Jon Williams said that the BBC's international TV network was being blocked:

BBC World News [is] being deliberately jammed from within Syria. Unclear who responsible, but blatant violation of international TV regulations.

A statement frm the BBC said:

The BBC, together with a number of other broadcasters, is experiencing deliberate, intermittent interference to its transmissions to audiences in Europe and the Middle East. Impacted services include the BBC World News and BBC Arabic television channels and BBC World Service radio services in English and Arabic.

Deliberate interference such as the jamming of transmissions is a blatant violation of international regulations concerning the use of satellites and we strongly condemn any practice designed to disrupt audiences' free access to news and information.



A Puzzling Lack of Taste...

Amazon pulls jigsaw puzzle made from picture of Holocaust ovens

Link Here20th October 2012

A jigsaw puzzle showing the ovens that burned Dachau's corpses has been pulled from sale on Amazon.

It was titled KZ Puzzle where KZ stands for concentration camp in Germany. It first appeared on Amazon two weeks ago. It was advertised as suitable for children from the age of eight and cost about £ 16.

Bavarian parliamentary politician Gerda Hasselfeldt wrote to Amazon boss Jeff Bezos to complain. She said:

This is a real slap in the face for concentration camp survivors and relatives of victims. The Dachau memorial is a place of remembrance for the suffering of countless victims. It cannot be in Amazon's interest to sell such a game.

She claimed she had received scores of complaints, many from survivors of the Nazis and their families.



Obituary: Goodbye Emmanuelle...

Sylvia Kristel dies aged 60

Link Here19th October 2012

Sylvia Kristel (28 September 1952 -- 17 October 2012) was a Dutch actress, model and singer. Her most famous role is in the French film Emmanuelle . She died of cancer.

Kristel began modeling when she was 17. She entered the Miss TV Europe contest in 1973 and won. She spoke Dutch, English, French, German and Italian. She gained international attention in 1974 for playing the title character in the softcore film Emmanuelle which remains one of the most successful French films ever produced.

Kristel found herself typecast as Emmanuelle and often played roles that capitalised upon that image, most notably starring in an adaptation of Lady Chatterley's Lover (1981) and a nudity-filled biopic of the World War I spy in Mata Hari . Her Emmanuelle image followed her to the United States where she played Nicole Mallow, a maid who seduces a teenage boy, in the controversial 1981 sex comedy Private Lessons .

Although Private Lessons was one of the highest grossing independent films of 1981, Kristel saw none of the profits. She continued to appear in movies and last played Emmanuelle in the early 1990s.

Sylvia's Kristel's filmography included many reprises of the role over the following period

  • Emmanuelle au 7ème ciel (1993)
  • Le secret d'Emmanuelle (1993) (TV)
  • Beauty School (1993)
  • Le parfum d'Emmanuelle (1993) (TV)
  • Magique Emmanuelle (1993) (TV)
  • L'amour d'Emmanuelle (1993) (TV)
  • Emmanuelle à Venise (1993) (TV)
  • La revanche d'Emmanuelle (1993) (TV)
  • Éternelle Emmanuelle (1993) (TV)
  • Seong-ae-ui chimmuk (1992)
  • Hot Blood (1990)
  • In the Shadow of the Sandcastle (1990)
  • Dracula's Widow (1988)
  • The Arrogant (1988)
  • Casanova (1987) (TV)
  • Red Heat (1985)
  • Mata Hari (1985)
  • The Big Bet (1985)
  • Emmanuelle IV (1984)
  • Private School (1983)
  • Private Lessons (1981)
  • Lady Chatterley's Lover (1981)
  • The Million Dollar Face (1981) (TV)
  • Un amore in prima classe (1980)
  • The Nude Bomb (1980)
  • The Concorde
  • Airport 79 (1979)
  • The Fifth Musketeer (1979)
  • Letti selvaggi (1979)
  • Mysteries (1978)
  • Pastorale 1943 (1978)
  • Goodbye Emmanuelle (1977)
  • René la canne (1977)
  • Alice ou la dernière fugue (1977)
  • La marge (1976)
  • Une femme fidèle (1976)
  • Emmanuelle: L'antivierge (1975)
  • Le jeu avec le feu (1975)
  • Un linceul n'a pas de poches (1974)
  • Der Liebesschüler (1974)
  • Emmanuelle (1974)



Conservative Provocation...

Filmmakers surprised that long standing MPAA rules apply to them too

Link Here19th October 2012

Hating Breitbart, about the media reaction to the late conservative provocateur Andrew Breitbart, was given an R for strong language. Director Andrew Marcus submitted an cut version to the MPAA but again was denied a PG-13.

The release of a documentary has now been delayed one week because of the rift between the filmmakers and the MPAA.

The movie originally contained several uses of the word 'fuck', which was routinely hurled at Breitbart when he'd show up at liberal gatherings. Breitbart also uses the word a few times in the film.

Under current and long standing MPAA rules, if a film uses one of the harsher sexually derived words , such as 'fuck', more than a certain number of times, usually one, it receives an R rating.

Director Andrew Marcus and distributors Rocky Mountain Pictures, who were hoping for a PG-13 rating, cut 9 uses of the word but left in some that were deemed important to the integrity of the film.

So the MPAA, consistent with its rules used all other films, still rated the film R.

Marcus has been briefed about a rare previous exception to the MPPA Rule. He argued:

I first thought the MPAA was just doing its job and I can respect that, but then I started researching. I found that The Social Network received a PG-13 and it uses the F-word twice, plus it has cocaine use, and it's all scripted.

Update: Less 'fucks' is still a few 'fucks' too many

19th October 2012. See  article from

The producers of a documentary about deceased conservative rebel Andrew Breitbart have lost a battle with the MPAA to get their film rated PG-13, so it will open in limited release with an R rating because of a few uses of the word 'fuck'.

The movie, Hating Breitbart , was to open a week earlier, but writer-director Andrew Marcus was unpleased with the R rating it received because of several utterances of the F word. He delayed the opening for seven days, took out most of the offending words -- leaving in the ones spoken by Breitbart -- and resubmitted the movie to the MPAA hoping for a PG-13 rating. The MPAA, though, didn't budge and Marcus refuses to cut further. So an R Rating it is.



Update: Propaganda Censored...

Hotbird satellite kicks off Iranian channels including Press TV

Link Here19th October 2012
Full story: Press TV...Political censoship merges with TV censorship

Arqiva and Eutelsat have jointly agreed to terminate broadcasts via Eutelsat's Hot Bird satellites of channels belonging to Iran. Ten TV channels in total were switched off on Monday, October 15.

The move includes Iran's international English langauge news channel Press TV, as well as the Arabic news channel Al-Alam.

The Paris based satellite operator said in a statement:

This decision was based on reinforced EU Council sanctions and a confirmation by France's broadcasting authority that the Sahar 1 TV channel that broadcast in IRIB's multiplex of television and radio services should be permanently switched off. IRIB has been informed of the termination of its contract. Transmissions consequently ceased this morning through the Hot Bird transponder.

The removal of the channels affect viewers in Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East but not Iran.

Update: Censors Complain when their Propaganda is Censored

19th October 2012. See  article from

Denouncing the hypocritical Western suppression of free speech, hypocritical Iranian media officials expressed 'outrage' over a decision by Europe's largest satellite providers to cease transmission of Iran's 19 state-operated satellite television and radio channels that broadcast to Europe and parts of the Middle East.

The decision came as the European Union expanded its list of sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear program. The satellite blackout has deprived the Iranian channels of an audience abroad that represents 200 million households.

Without mentioning Iran's censorship of many Western media outlets, the official Iranian reaction was that Europe had attacked its own values of freedom of speech. Ezzatollah Zarghami, the head of Iran's state-run radio and television organization, said:

They must understand the time of censorship is over. They want to prevent our views from being heard, but they will fail.



Update: Nutter Dischord...

Famed Turkish pianist on trial for a Twitter insult

Link Here19th October 2012
Full story: Blasphemy in Turkey...Blasphemy repressing Turkish people

World-famous Turkish pianist Fazil Say has appeared in court in Istanbul charged with inciting hatred and insulting the values of Muslims.

The indictment against him cites some of his tweets from April, including one where he says:

I am not sure if you have also realised it, but if there's a louse, a non-entity, a lowlife, a thief or a fool, it's always an Islamist.

Dozens of the pianist's supporters gathered outside the courthouse with banners, one of which called on the ruling Islamist-based AK Party to leave the artists alone .Say has played with the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra and others, and has served as a cultural ambassador for the EU.

Egemen Bagis, Turkey's minister in charge of relations with the EU, suggested the case against him should be dismissed, saying the court should regard his tweets as being within his right to babble ...BUT... Bagis also criticised the pianist for insulting people's faith and values .

Update: Court Report

23rd November  2012. See  article from

Fasil Say appeared in an Istanbul court on October 18 and was charged with hate speech and insulting religion for Twitter messages mocking the conduct and beliefs of Islamic fundamentalists.

In one tweet, he commented on a muezzin, who calls Muslims to prayer, for his hurried style. Apparently reflecting his distaste for the spread of fundamentalism in Turkey, Say tweeted a complaint about a call to prayer that lasted only 22 seconds, and added, Why such haste? Do you have a mistress or a glass of raki [Turkish liquor] waiting?

In another message, he quoted the classical Persian poet Omar Khayyam, who asked if heaven should be considered a tavern or whorehouse, since it is described in the Koran as a place where wine is served by virgins.

A third tweet by Say remarked, I am not sure if you have also realized it, but if there's a louse, a non-entity, a lowlife, a thief or a fool, it is always an Islamist.

The Turkish prosecutors in the case argued that Say's tweets threatened public order. Say's case was adjourned until next February.

About 100 people demonstrated against his indictment in front of the court in Istanbul, and members of the German Bundestag from across the political spectrum expressed their concern at the repressive attitude of the Erdogan regime. Many prominent Turkish personalities, including Egemen Bagis, Erdogan's cabinet minister for relations with the European Union, have also called for the case to be dismissed.



Updated: Wolves Back Off...

Charges dropped against anti-corruption Indian cartoonist

Link Here19th October 2012

The government in the western Indian state of Maharashtra has dropped sedition charges against anti-corruption cartoonist Aseem Trivedi.

In one of a series of cartoons, he replaced the customary three lions in India's national emblem with three wolves, their teeth dripping blood, with the message Long live corruption written underneath. Another cartoon depicted the Indian parliament as a giant toilet bowl.

The police arrested him and accused him of insulting national symbols. We was freed from prison on bail after an outcry.

Many Indians criticised his arrest saying it was an attack on freedom of expression.

Update: Not so Fast. Cartoonist still facing charges

19th October 2012.  See  article from

After intense public pressure, the Maharashtra state government last week dropped the charge of sedition against Indian cartoonist Aseem Trivedi. However, Trivedi still faces other charges as his case resumes at the Bombay High court.

The cartoonist could have been sentenced to life imprisonment if convicted of sedition. However he still faces up to three years in prison for other charges including violation of the Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act and Information Technology Act, his lawyer Vijay Hiremath told CPJ by e-mail.

Alok Dixit, Trivedi's friend and founder of Internet freedom campaign Save Your Voice, told CPJ by phone:

We are pleased that the sedition charge has been removed as [the Home Ministry] promised. But we are prepared to fight the remaining charges.

Update: The Indian political cartoonist the government doesn't want you to know about

21st November 2016. See  article from

After his 2012 arrest Trivedi spent most of the next three years in court, dividing his time between his own case and a legal challenge against the IT Act's controversial section 66A, which imposes up to three years imprisonment for sharing offensive messages online.

The sedition charges were finally thrown out by the Bombay High Court in March 2015. Two weeks later, the Supreme Court ruled that section 66A - under which a number of people had been arrested over the past couple of years, including a Mumbai school girl - was unconstitutional. The law was being used quite frequently to arrest people, and it had created an atmosphere of fear, Trivedi says. So when the Supreme Court struck it down, it sent out the message that free speech is something worth protecting.



Offsite Article: Overturn this curb on free speech...

Link Here19th October 2012
Rowan Atkinson speaks out against the insulting Public Order Act

See article from



The BBFC Downloads a New President...

Patrick Swaffer is appointed as President of the BBFC

Link Here18th October 2012

The BBFC is pleased to announce the appointment of Patrick Swaffer as President. The appointment takes effect immediately. He succeeds Sir Quentin Thomas CB who stepped down after ten years.

Patrick Swaffer is a former Senior and Managing Partner of Goodman Derrick solicitors. He currently is a Consultant to that firm, sits as a Recorder in the Crown Court and is a partner in Media Compliance Services LLP. He knows the BBFC well having been its legal adviser for many years, a role which he will now relinquish. He said:

I am delighted to have been appointed President of the BBFC in their centenary year -- a remarkable achievement of longevity reflecting the continuing public desire for the prior classification of films and DVDs.

The BBFC is an independent and self-financing body acting solely in the public interest. The classification of films and DVDs and the provision of additional consumer advice allow members of the public, particularly parents, to make informed viewing choices. Where necessary the BBFC steps in to protect the public, particularly children, from content that might cause them harm.

The classification guidelines published by the BBFC, and its consistent and clear approach to classification issues, have ensured that it continues to enjoy the trust of the public, the local authorities and the film industry. The BBFC's well known and widely recognised classification symbols are now not only seen at the cinema and on DVDs but also on many websites where films may be viewed or downloaded. The BBFC encourages this responsible approach and is working with online content providers to offer a range of services to meet the public demand for classification and full information. Some 90% of parents wish to see the BBFC's symbols on film downloads.

The Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, Rt Hon Maria Miller MP, will lay an order before both Houses of Parliament proposing to designate Patrick under the Video Recordings Act 1984 as the authority responsible for making arrangements for the classification of videos.



Stately Censorship...

Greek state TV censored gay kiss from Downton Abbey

Link Here18th October 2012

  Greek state television cut out a gay kiss from the British drama Downton Abbey . The scene involved a kiss between a visiting duke and Downton's footman Thomas Barrow.

Viewers complained about the edit on social networking sites and the country's main opposition party called it an obvious case of censorship . In a statement, the Syriza party described the omission as:

an extreme act of homophobia and discrimination which... we cannot characterize as unprecedented.

The episode in question started late at night at 22:05 local time.

Costas Spyropoulos, managing director of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation squirmed about the censorship:

The love affair between the two men... was not censored ...[BUT]...

The kiss was not shown because of the time the programme was broadcast and the corresponding parental guidance warnings.



Updated: In the PC Mood...

The film Sex.Violence.FamilyValues banned in Singapore

Link Here18th October 2012

The current mood as well as the general atmosphere online over racial issues were among the reasons why local comedy Sex.Violence.FamilyValues was banned in Singapore three days before its scheduled release.

The 46-minute film, which was originally given an M18 rating but was referred to the Films Consultative Panel (FCP) for review following public feedback. Singapore's film censors at the Media Development Authority said that the film had now been given a Not Allowed For All Ratings classification.

The panel's Vice-Chairperson Cheryl Ng cited a scene in the film's trailer, which had been circulating online for several weeks, where a Chinese director was seen to be trading racial insults with an Indian porn actor. She said the panel was

not only just looking at national stereotypes but racial stereotypes, and the comments are flung around by members of different races at one another.

Generally in the past few months where you see people commenting, like the bus is so smelly ... something like this that touches so close to our home and so close to our hearts can actually cause unhappy situations to escalate.

Executive Chairman Tay Eu-Yen of The Butter Factory, which had backed the film, said on Facebook that the film is a satire that discourages racism by portraying and attacking stereotypes .

Update: Appeal

18th October 2012. See  article from

Ken Kwek, the director of Sex.Violence.FamilyValues said he will lodge a formal appeal against the decision. Kwek said he would appeal against the decision before the one-month appeal window expires on November 6 and was not very keen on deleting any portion of the film if asked.

Singapore's film censors at the Media Development Authority (MDA) said the panel found some dialogue portions in Porn Masala , one of three short stories in the 47-minute compendium, offensive to the Indian community.

Actor Adrian Pang, who plays the role of an ethnic Chinese pornographic director hurling insults at an ethnic Indian actor in comic scenes, said the authorities should respect the intelligence of Singaporean moviegoers:

There are the powers that be who are watching over us and are obviously treating us with so little regard as a people that they figure we do not have the maturity, the intelligence... to see a piece of entertainment with a healthy perspective and judge this as a piece of satire.



Update: Damaged Russians...

Anti-gay campaigners intend to sue Madonna for $10 million

Link Here18th October 2012
Full story: Madonna Crucified...Madonna winds up the nutters

Madonna has been sent a summons to appear in a Russian court for breaking St Petersburg's homophobic censorship law, during her concert in the city.

Russia Today reported that nine anti-gay plaintiffs intend to make Madonna pay for their supposed  moral suffering following her performance in August.

The pro-Kremlin group Trade Union of Russian Citizens wants the star in court to answer claims of blasphemy and for damaging the anti-gay cultural foundations of St Petersburg.

They are seeking 333 million rubles ($10 million) from Madonna and from the company that organised her show.

The pop star gave out pink wrists bands during the performance to show solidarity with Russia's LGBT community. The complaint also includes a video taken of the concert that allegedly depicts Madonna allegedly stomping on an Orthodox cross.



American Horror Story...

UK Blu-ray and DVD is released with cuts for suicide information

Link Here17th October 2012

American Horror Story: Pilot is a USA drama horror mystery by Ryan Murphy.
With Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott and Evan Peters. 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 just released on 15th October 2012
  • UK 2012 20th Century Fox Season 1 R2 DVD at UK Amazon just 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

See  review from
See  review from



Extract: The Raid...

Cuts revealed

Link Here17th October 2012

The Raid is a 2011 Indonesia/US crime thriller by Gareth Evans.
With Iko Uwais, Ananda George and Ray Sahetapy. YouTube icon IMDb

The always excellent has revealed the Theatrical Version cuts to The Raid.

The US and UK Theatrical version was cut by 10s:

  • A close up of a gangster being shot in the head was deleted
  • A gangster being lingeringly stabbed in the neck has been deleted

The UK Blu-ray release includes the uncut Original Version, but the DVD buyers only get to see the cut version. In the US the uncut version is included on both DVD and Blu-ray.

...See  the pictorial cuts at



Offsite Article: The Book of the Hype...

Link Here17th October 2012
Evil Dead Remake Is Going To Be Worse Than R 'We're going to have rating problems out the butt,' producer Bruce Campbell tells MTV News about the horror film's gore level.

See article from



Night of the Bloody Apes...

First uncut UK DVD release of an enjoyably bad Video Nasty

Link Here16th October 2012
Night of the Bloody Apes is a 1969 Mexican horror by Rene Cordona Jr.
With José Elías Moreno, Carlos López Moctezuma and Armando Silvestre. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong gore, violence, nudity and sexual violence, with previous BBFC cuts waived and distributor cuts restored for:

  • UK 2012 Nucleus R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 8th October 2012

See review from

Censorship History: Video Nasty

The film was released in cinemas with around a minute of BBFC cuts in October 1974.

It was released uncut in January 1983 by Iver Film Services. By November 1983 it had been listed as a video nasty and suffered a successful prosecution. It remained on the list throughout the panic and so became one of the collectable DPP 39s.

In 1993 there was a mysterious uncut Vipco version. It was nominally slated as pre-cut but somehow got a limited unsanctioned uncut release. It was withdrawn within days.

In 1999 the video was released on the Satanica label, in a version that was obviously taken from Vipco's planned cut version (Vipco's logo remains). This time the distributor removed every single violent scene before submitting it to the censors.

The same heavily pre-cut version was released on 2002 DVD by Film 2000.

Passed 18 uncut with previous BBFC cuts waived and distributor cuts restored for the UK 2012 Nucleus DVD

Promotional Material

Featured on the Director of Public Prosecution s original 39-title video nasties list, at last you can see what all the fuss is about in this gore-geous new 16:9 transfer.

Rene Cardona Sr - patriarch of Mexico s number one genre film-making dynasty - delivers this wonderfully silly tale of a dying young man given the heart of a gorilla to keep him alive. Unfortunately the man transforms into a murderous ape-like monster and goes on a girly hunt. Not one to be put-off, the surgeon (his father) tries again - this time with the heart of a female wrestler.

This medical-horror-sci-fi masterpiece was written by Rene and his son Rene (who, incidentally, had a son called Rene), neither of whom had even a cursory knowledge of either medicine or science. This makes it w-a-a-y-yy more enjoyable.... No surprise then that this was filmed in just three weeks (in May 1968), largely in Mexico City s Chapultepec Park. While already chock full of gratuitous nudity and femmes-in-peril, US film-maker Jerald Intrator ( Orgy at Lil s Place , Satan in High Heels ) decided to improve on things by adding close-up, super-gory footage of open-heart surgery. He even filmed some new material to spice up the monster s attacks with sanguinary make-up effects and even more nudity.



Update: Insulted by the Lack of Support...

The OIC seems to have given up on its campaign for an international blasphemy law

Link Here16th October 2012
Full story: Defamation of Religion...OIC pushes for global blasphemy laws at UN

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said the body would not try again for United Nations support to ban insults to religion.

We could not convince them, said the Turkish head of the 57-member organisation which had tried from 1998 until 2011 to get a United Nations-backed ban on blasphemy:

The European countries don't vote with us, the United States doesn't vote with us.

Ihsanoglu told a conference in Istanbul at the weekend that the OIC had failed to win a ban at the United Nations and would not revive its long diplomatic campaign for one. Asked about recent media reports that the OIC wanted to resume the campaign for a blasphemy ban, he said:

I never said this and I know this will never happen.



Censors Take a Beating...

South Korea unbans de Sade's 120 Days of Sodom

Link Here16th October 2012

South Korea has lifted a month long ban on the Marqais de Sade's novel 120 Days of Sodom after a national censorship board gave the book another read.

The 1785 book features extreme sadism and torture. It hit South Korean bookshelves in August after a Korean translation was published. Some protestors then started a petition against its obscene and sexual content.

The novel was banned Sept. 6 by the country's Publication Ethics Commission accusing it of triggering ... violent excitement.

But following an outcry from the publisher over freedom of expression, the commission reread the book. In a meeting with Korean academics and novelists, they recognized its literary value and lifted the ban on Oct. 11.

Commission official Jang Tag-Hwan said Monday the group decided that the work also explored hard truths about mankind and attempted to delve into the inner side of human greed.



Offscreen Violence...

Cinemas in Nepal ban Bollywood movies in fear of violence from censorial political group

Link Here16th October 2012

Cinemas in Nepal have stopped screening Bollywood movies because they fear violence after a breakaway Communist Party group claimed that the films are vulgar and unsuitable for the Nepalese society.

The Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist is demanding the government give priority to locally made movies and strictly censor Hindi films. Party spokesperson Pumpha Bhusal said it was giving the government until next week to comply.

The party is a breakaway group of the main Communist Party in Nepal and has a history of past violence against its opponents.



Update: Singapore Doesn't Believe in Censorship But...

It asks Google to censor YouTube anyway

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

Singapore's government claimed that it was necessary to take a firm stand against the viewing of the Innocence of Muslims film in Singapore as a matter of principle.

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean was responding to a question by an MP who wanted to know what are the reasons for the government's pre-emptive measure of requesting Google to block online access in Singapore to the trailer for the film.

This, especially when Singaporeans of all faiths had responded calmly and there was no disharmony or feelings of ill-will among Singaporeans of different groups.

Teo assured the House that the move was not a censorship of internet content...[BUT]... he explained that the Home Affairs Ministry assessed both the content of the film and its possible impact in determining the request to block the trailer.

Teo explained that such decisive actions assure the public that the government will act whenever the line is crossed, and there is no need for affected groups to respond in inappropriate ways.

Teo noted the protests came very close to Singapore, with incidents reported in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand.



Offsite Article: Tintin racism row puts spotlight on children's literature...

Link Here 16th October 2012
Full story: TinTin Book Censorship...TinTin au Congo and the overly sensitive
The decision to reshelve Herges books because of their perceived colonial and racist tint has generated heated debate in Sweden

See article from



The Thompsons...

New UK DVD release seems to be a cut version

Link Here15th October 2012

The Thompsons is a 2012 drama horror thriller by The Butcher Brothers
With Mackenzie Firgens, Elizabeth Henstridge and Cory Knauf. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: The Edited Version (77:27s) (unconfirmed, see below) was passed 18 without BBFC cuts for strong horror, bloody violence, and sex for:

Censorship Issues

UK: The Original Version (78:33s) was passed 18 uncut for strong horror, bloody violence, sex and sexualised violence for:

  • UK 2012 Lions Gate Video

The first submission to the BBFC running 78:33s was passed 18 uncut with the consumer  advice: contains strong horror, bloody violence, sex and sexualised violence. Lions Gate then submitted a shorter re-edited version running at 77:27s. This was also passed 18 without BBFC cuts, but this time the consumer advice was missing the sexual violence: contains strong horror, bloody violence, and sex

So presumably the this has been pre-cut by about a minute to remove sexualised violence.

It is unconfirmed which version has been released on the UK DVD, but the following review reports the shorter 77 minute running time. See review from . However retailers are reporting the longer 78:33s running time as ~79mins.

Promotional Material

In The Butcher Brothers' award-winning original film, The Hamiltons were a dysfunctional, orphaned family struggling in sunny suburbia. On the outside, they appeared normal enough but they harbored a very dark secret...the need to drink blood in order to survive.

In this action-packed sequel, a bloodbath at a gas station in the desert puts the family on the run, eventually seeing them resurface in the U.K. with a new identity as The Thompsons. Desperate for protection in this unfamiliar country, the Thompsons seek out the help of a shadowy underground rumored to be sympathetic to vampires.



Update: Nutter Pests...

WH Smith place new age restrictions on hunting and shooting magazines

Link Here15th October 2012

Back in August The Drum revealed that animal rights activists were calling for country life magazines such as Shooting Times and The Field to be relegated to the top shelf of magazine racks.

Britain's largest newsagent, WH Smith, has now decided to introduce an over-14s age limit on magazines including the Shooting Times . A W H Smith spokesman said:

As part of our commitment to operate our business responsibly, we have a till prompt on shooting titles. It asks our store teams to check that the customer is 14 years old or over, based on this being the legal age at which someone can possess a firearms certificate.

Some sports enthusiasts have questioned the line of logic behind the decision as there is in fact no minimum age for holding a shotgun licence in Britain, although children below 18 cannot buy or own a gun themselves and under-14s must be supervised by an adult.



4 Movie Collection...

Hostel and Hostel II get a US DVD re-release

Link Here14th October 2012

4 Movie Collection

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

  • US 2012 Mill Creek 4 Movie Collection R1 DVD at US Amazon released on 9th October 2012

Hostel is a 2005 US torture thriller by Eli Roth.
With Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson and Eythor Gudjonsson. See IMDb

Theatrical versions were cut for an MPAA R Rating:

  • Deleted close-up of the German Surgeon's severed leg after it's cut off by the chainsaw.
  • A slightly reduced take of Kana's eye being cut out and the subsequent puss.
  • Deleted close-up of the train crushing Kana's head during her suicide.

These cuts were restored for the Unrated/Unseen versions.

The Director's Cut restores an alternative ending originally rejected after a test screening

Hostel: Part II is a 2007 US horror by Eli Roth.
With Lauren German, Heather Matarazzo and Bijou Phillips. See IMDb

Theatrical versions were cut for an MPAA R Rating:

The cuts were restored for the Unrated Director's Cut

The Tattooist is a 2007 Netherlands/New Zealand/Singapore horror thriller by Peter Burger.
With Jason Behr, Mia Blake and David Fane. See IMDb

There are no censorship issues with this release

The Hunt for the BTK Killer is a USA TV crime thriller by Stephen Kay.
With Robert Forster, Michael Michele and Maury Chaykin. See IMDb

There are no censorship issues with this release



Update: Internet Champions vs Government's Joke Police...

Major internet companies set to oppose the Government's Snooper's Charter

Link Here14th October 2012
Full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping

Google, Facebook and Twitter are set to torpedo reprehensible Home Office plans to spy on every citizen's emails and website visits.

The companies have threatened to block the snoopers charter, which requires them to store all data for a year so that security agencies, police and councils can request its disclosure should they need to investigate internet insults.

Civil liberty groups point out that the powers would create a surveillance state, but Britain's security and intelligence agencies claim they are vital to investigate insulting messages and crimes against political correctness.

Parliamentary testimonies of internet bosses have been released by a cross-party committee of MPs and peers that is scrutinising the draft Communications Data Bill. They reveal directors from Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Microsoft and Twitter believe the Bill would breach users' privacy and allow repressive regimes to spy on Britons.

Facebook said it might go to court to resist the new law, while Google and Twitter executives said they could refuse to unlock encrypted data if the Government were to seek the information via third-party providers such as BT. Facebook said it might go to court to resist the new law, while Google and Twitter said they could refuse to unlock encrypted data



Immature Democracy...

Kuwaiti TV presenter on trial for an 'affront to decency' over a sex related current affairs programme

Link Here14th October 2012

Yusra Muhammad had no idea she would be put on trial for her program Fi al-Sameem (Straight to the Heart), shown on the Kuwaiti Al-Yawm channel. The program tackles many issues, including physical and sexual violence against women in Arab societies, sex tourism and prostitution.

All of a sudden, the media ministry in Kuwait began legal proceedings against the presenter, accusing the program of being an affront to decency. The controversy seems to have arisen about an episode, in which Yusra dealt with underage prostitution, which was aired last February. The media ministry seems to have just woken up to it.

A twitter stream has been set up by journalists and intellectuals to champion the Kuwaiti presenter, a supporter wrote:

Your and your program's misfortune is that it came at a time dominated by politics and religion. It is not a cultural or intellectual period. Politics is the AIDS of thought and culture.

Another supporter pointed out that:

the [political] current behind the case is famous for sanctioning marriage to underage girls.

It seems that words such as virgin, underage girls, sex tourism and legal prostitution have upset the Kuwaiti censor. In a phone conversation with Al-Akhbar, Yusra Muhammad said: 

Before the lawsuit, a discussion of my program in parliament was led by the Islamic parties. This persuaded the media ministry to accuse me of 'affronting decency.' Now the case has come to trial.

The Arab Network for Human Rights Information issued a statement maintaining that the lawsuit is:

a clear violation of the freedom of the media and a continuation of the moves witnessed lately in Kuwait to curtail freedoms. These include the pursuit of bloggers on social networking sites, the suppression of peaceful demonstrations and the shutting down of satellite channels. This is against the essence of democracy and the modern state, elements of which Kuwait enjoyed until recently.

Yusra will appear before a Kuwaiti court on November 6.



The Beeb'll Fix It...

Jimmy Savile jokes banned on Mock the Week

Link Here13th October 2012

The BBC fixed it to ban comics from making Jimmy Savile jokes on Mock The Week, host Dara O Briain has claimed.

O Briain told The Sun that Savile was off-limits, saying: The BBC were very cautious about that. I don't think they wanted anything about that on Mock The Week.

A BBC spokeswoman claimed there was no such ban, but added that productions are asked to be sensitive given the nature of the allegations.

But Andy Parsons slipped one comment in which made the final edit. When asked what question might have the answer 10 billion, he said: What are the chances against a joke about Jim'll Fix It on the BBC?



Update: Another victim of the Azhar Ahmed rant...

A woman is convicted of 'grossly offensive' messages in response to the anti-soldier rant

Link Here13th October 2012
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media

A Judge has sentenced a woman for supposedly vile messages in response to Azhar Ahmed's anti-soldier rant on Facebook.

Judge Mallon told Wilby that she had considered the fact that Ahmed had set this whole train running and he had received a community-based punishment. She said that her case should act as a caution to others airing their views online.

Judge Mallon sentenced Wilby to a 12 month community order, including 15 days of activity and 100 hours of unpaid work she will also have to pay £ 85 court costs.

Wilby, who had no previous convictions, also lost her job as a result of the proceedings against her.

Simon Lindley, mitigating,  said:

She didn't set up the site, it was something she saw and she was upset.

She's got drawn into it. She's seen all these other people making comments and has unfortunately done the same.

She didn't step back and think of what she was doing -- she's deeply remorseful.

Of course the newspaper would not print or even give an indication of what was actually said but in the absence of facts then  one must assume that it was just a few mindless expletives and a couple of religious terms.



Update: Limey, There's a Liberal Bone in His Body After All...

Nick Clegg declines to support the campaign to ban Page 3

Link Here13th October 2012
Full story: Page 3 Girls...Miserable campaigners whinge about page 3 fun

Nick Clegg has declined to back the campaign to ban page 3 girls from the Sun, on the grounds that the state should not dictate the content of newspapers.

In an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live, the deputy prime minister said it would be deeply illiberal for the state to dictate what appears in newspapers.



Rock of Ages...

An uncontroversial extended version is included on the UK Blu-ray but not the DVD

Link Here13th October 2012

Rock of Ages is a 2012 USA comedy drama musical romance by Adam Shankman.
With Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta and Tom Cruise. See IMDb

UK: The Extended Version was passed 12 uncut for one use of strong language and moderate sex references for:

  • UK 2012 Warner [Theatrical + Extended] R0 Blu-ray/ R2 DVD Combo at UK Amazon released on 8th October 2012.

The Extended Version features mostly uncontroversial material including a longer version of the interview between Jaxx and the Rolling Stone reporter which is now way too long. There's also a new sexy dance scene between Cruise and Hough. A strong scene that was in danger of stealing the show.

See  review from

Promotional Material

Rock of Ages tells the story of small town girl Sherrie and city boy Drew, who meet on the Sunset Strip while pursuing their Hollywood dreams. Their rock n roll romance is told through the heart-pounding hits of Def Leppard, Joan Jett, Journey, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Night Ranger, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, Whitesnake, and more.

Theatrical Version

UK: The Theatrical Version was passed 12 uncut for one use of strong language and moderate sex references for:

  • UK 2012 Warner [Theatrical + Extended] R0 Blu-ray/ R2 DVD Combo at UK Amazon
  • UK 2012 Warner R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 8th October 2012.



A New Age of Censorship...

Philippines adds a 16 rating to its line up of age classifications

Link Here13th October 2012

Philippine's Movie Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) has announced that its classification system now includes R-16 . This adds to the existing ratings General (G), Parental Guidance (PG), R-13 and R-18.

Outgoing MTCB Chairman Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares said that R-16 is an intermediary rating that the board arrived at following discussions with film makers and psychologists about its necessity.

Poe hopes that aside from being a more specific advisory, the R-16 would encourage filmmakers to release work that caters to people ages 14 and 15 now that such a product has better chance of penetrating theaters that don't screen R-18 films.

MTRCB Vice Chairman Emmanuel Borlaza has also signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) which allows it to screen at designated venues the films that need not be rated by the classification board. He said that the agreement will especially benefit film festivals organized by the FDCP in that they can now tell even filmmakers from abroad that their work can be screened in the Philippines without undergoing classification.

Borlaza has been recommended by Poe to take her place in MTRCB now that she is running for senator. He said that he intends to carry out the plans that she has made for the board.



Offsite Article: Tolerance is the basis of all our freedoms...

Link Here13th October 2012
In a free society, everyone, even those we consider repugnant, must have the liberty to express themselves and their ideas.

See article from



Poles Apart...

Advert Censors whinge at trivial innuendo in a fishing magazine

Link Here12th October 2012

An ad in Match Fishing magazine, headed BROKEN YOUR POLE? , included an image of a woman, seen from behind, wearing only a bra and thong. Her hands were placed on her buttocks, and half of a broken pole was superimposed into each hand. Text underneath the image stated DON'T DESPAIR WE CAN REPAIR! Crushed or broken sections, split or worn joints, full pole refurbishment. All repairs using high-grade carbon cloth and fully guaranteed .

A complainant challenged whether:

  1. the ad was offensive, because it was overtly sexual and demeaning to women, particularly those who were interested in angling, and because it bore no relationship to the service advertised; and

  2. the ad was irresponsible, because it was inappropriately placed in a magazine that might be read by children.

Esselle Pole Repairs (Esselle) said they had been placing the ad in four different magazines since 2006 without objection from the magazines or members of the public.

The publisher of the magazine, David Hall Publishing (DHP), said the ad had been appearing in two of their angling magazines since 2006.

ASA Assessment Complaint Upheld

1. Upheld

The ASA noted the ad featured an image of an almost-naked woman, and that, although the image was not sexually explicit, it had sexual connotations. We noted the image bore no real relevance to the advertised services, and considered it was likely to be seen to degrade and demean women by linking pole-dancing to fishing-pole repairs. We concluded the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some people.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).

2. Upheld

We noted the complainant had purchased the magazine for her young daughter, who was involved in a junior angling club. We considered it likely that children would represent only a small proportion of the readership of the magazine but nonetheless considered that the ad was not suitable to be published in a magazine where it could be viewed by children. We concluded the ad was irresponsible.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code rule 1.3 (Responsible advertising).



Comment: Not PC Enough?...

BBC initiates a formal review about impartiality of the news about religion, immigration and Europe

Link Here12th October 2012

The BBC's coverage of religion, immigration and Europe is to be scrutinised in an independent review led by former ITV chief executive Stuart Prebble.

Lord Patten, the BBC Trust chairman, said that the review was prompted by complaints that the corporation's coverage of world and religious events is not always impartial. Patten said:

We've been criticised in those areas and we think it's very important to listen to that criticism, not necessarily because it's right but because it reflects real and interesting concerns.

Prebble's review will examine whether the BBC gives due weight to a range of opinions on controversial topics, including immigration, Islamophobia, and the EU.

The inquiry will examine whether editorial decisions to include or omit certain perspectives from news coverage have been carefully reached and with consistent judgment across the corporation.

Comment: Toadying to the Powerful

12th October 2012. From Alan

Yet another example of a right-wing elite group claiming to be victims, methinks.

The BBC is certainly biased, but it ain't to the left. It's worth looking at another anti-censorshup web site, Media Lens , which robustly identifies an acceptance by liberal media of elite discourses. For more evidence, presented in a more scholarly way with footnotes and bibliography, look at the work by Professor Greg Philo and his colleages at Glasgow University.

Looks like the Mail is pushing the Beeb to toady to the powerful even more than it does at the moment.



Update: Must Do Better...

Government agrees to improve its underwhelming protections against libel bullies

Link Here12th October 2012

Scientists and academics are to be given extra protection from bullying corporations that use Britain's libel laws to suppress legitimate criticism and debate, the Government has indicated.

Ministers are to look at amending the Defamation Bill, which is currently being debated in the House of Lords, after strident criticism that their plans do not go far enough.

Scientists have warned that under current proposals there nothing to stop companies and the rich and powerful silencing criticism even if it is in the public interest.

The Government had said it would change the law to introduce a new simple public interest defence as part of its Defamation Bill. But when the Bill was published critics pointed out that far from protecting scientists and academics the new bill made defending an action on ground of public interest so complicated that it would have a chilling effect on public debate.

Now the Government minister in charge of the legislation has indicated that he is prepared to rethink his plans. Speaking in the House of Lords Lord McNally said he understood concerns that its public interest defence was too restrictive .

I have heard enough hearsay evidence about the willingness (of businesses) to fire off lawyers' letters and rack up costs or implied costs.

It is admitted that the clause (on public interest) that we have put forward will need further work. I hope that this work will avoid the kind of back-street bullies that he described.



Anti PC...

Man jailed for t-shirt gloating about the deaths of Manchester police women

Link Here12th October 2012

A man who walked around a town centre wearing an anti-police T-shirt on the same day two female officers lost their lives in a gun and grenade attack has been jailed.

Barry Thew, of Radcliffe, Greater Manchester admitted to a Section 4A Public Order Offence for wearing the T-shirt, on which he had written messages including One less pig; perfect justice?

Thew, who has a lengthy criminal record, was jailed for four months. He was ordered to serve a further four months, consecutively, after he admitted breaching a suspended sentence order imposed for an earlier offence of cannabis production.

Judge Peter Lakin said the deaths of PCs Bone and Hughes had left their families distraught and caused upset to every level of Greater Manchester Police and to the public as a whole:

This, on any view, is a shocking case. Your response to the shocking events was to parade around in a T-shirt in the centre of Radcliffe which had on it the most disgusting of slogans.



Light Censorship...

Art banned in Toulouse in outrage at people walking across an outdoor projection of Koranic text

Link Here11th October 2012

Last week, Technologia , a outdoor light projection by Moroccan artist Mounir Fatmi shown at a contemporary art festival in Toulouse, was the victim, first, of a near-riot, as Muslim youth took to the streets to in 'outrage' against the work, and then, of censorship, when the city decided to remove it from the festival.

Now, in a preemptive move, Paris's Arab World Institute has decided to ban a different work by the artist.

Technologia projects images of Koran verses inside spoked circles. It was projected onto Toulouse's city hall and the surface of the Pont-Neuf bridge. Stewards were present to explain the work to the public and prevent pedestrians from walking on it. However it was later shown without stewards present, and people were able to walk across the images. A group of young Muslims became irate, and a young woman was slapped in the face when she walked over the Arabic letters. Police appeared and an imam quietened the aggressive crowd.

The next day, representatives of the Muslim community met with local authorities. The outcome was that the piece will be banned for the remainder of the festival.

In an odd twist, Paris's Arab World Institute, which had already planned on showing Technologia as part of the show Twenty-five Years of Arab Creativity opening next week, will still present the work as scheduled, but has decided to censor a different work by Fatmi. This is a six-hour video installation Sleep , which simply depicts Salman Rushdie sleeping.

According to Le Figaro, Fatmi feels that the fearful mood at the Arab World Institute is due to ongoing fallout from the film The Innocence of Muslims. What really bothers me, the artist told the newspaper: is that this is happening in France, not in the Maghreb or Saudi Arabia.



Offsite Article: A Tasteless Facebook Update...

Link Here11th October 2012
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media
More evidence of Britain's terrifying new censorship. Have we got such a debased and demoralised view of freedom that we're now willing to lock up people for posting angry comments on social media

See article from



Extract: Ripping the Heart Out of Temple of Doom...

BBFC publish archive material showing the Indiana Jones film (unsurprisingly) had no chance of getting a PG without extensive cuts

Link Here10th October 2012

The BFI Uncut film season opens on Thursday 1 November at the BFI Southbank, London. The films featuring throughout the month long season reflect significant aspects of film classification from our 100-year history, and includes an 80s classic which is to be screened uncut for the first time -- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Steven Spielberg's film was submitted to the BBFC for classification in April 1984. The reports published here detail the concerns Examiners had about a number of moments in the film. The sequence in the Temple of Doom of a sacrificial victim having his heart ripped out, plus various attacks upon the lead characters, were violent or horrific enough to exceed the limits of the PG certificate United International Pictures (UIP) wanted. In a letter to UIP (also published) James Ferman, BBFC Director at the time, described the temple scenes as showing a very real world of terror, ritual violence, black magic and nightmare imagery .

...Read the full article



Little Shop of Horrors...

Director's Cut rampages onto US DVD and Blu-ray

Link Here10th October 2012

Little Shop of Horrors is a 1986 US comedy musical by Frank Oz.
With Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene and Vincent Gardenia. YouTube icon IMDb

US: The Director's Cut is MPAA PG-13 rated for:

  • US 2012 Warner [Directors + Theatrical] RA Blu-ray via UK Amazon and at US Amazon just released on 9th October 2012
  • US 2012 Warner [Directors + Theatrical] R1 DVD at US Amazon just released on 9th October 2012

The Director's Cut adds an alternative 20 minute ending with Audrey going on a Godzilla style rampage. Warner said:

The footage of the original ending was previously available only in black & white in the extra content of a limited number of copies of a DVD edition released in 1998. Now, with the help of production notes from Frank Oz and others on the film's creative team, WHV has meticulously restored and digitally remastered the ending, in full color, with the elaborate special effects in tact. Sound has also been rebuilt and mixed in Dolby 5.1. The theatrical version has also been re-mastered.


  • Theatrical version of the film with optional commentary
  • The Director's Cut featuring the newly restored 20-minute alternate ending
  • Digitally re-mastered picture and 5.1 sound on both versions
  • Frank Oz and Little Shop of Horrors: The Director's Cut, an introduction by Frank Oz with Richard Conway
  • A Story of Little Shop of Horrors (behind-the-scenes documentary)
  • Outtakes and deleted scenes with optional commentary
  • Two theatrical trailers

The Blu-ray will also include a 40-page Digibook with production notes, stills and rare insights.



What Ever Happened to Baby Jane...

50th Anniversary release on US DVD and Blu-ray

Link Here10th October 2012
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is a 1962 US thriller by Robert Aldrich.
With Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Victor Buono. YouTube icon IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

Censorship History

UK: Passed X after BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 1962 cinema release

See article from :

Two cuts were made by the BBFC:

  • the sight of Jane kicking Blanche reduced to one kick

  • removed Elvira witnessing Blanche tied up in bed and writhing

A third cut was originally requested, deleting a shot of a dead rat being served to Blanche. But this was allowed to remain following a request from Warner Brothers to BBFC Director, John Trevelyan. They felt it was essential to the plot, and anything hidden from view might lead people to imagine something far worse than a rat.



Whingers Told to Piss Off...

ASA rejects complaint about Harvey Nichols sale advert

Link Here10th October 2012

A Harvey Nichols sale advert raised a few eyebrows in June 2012 over its concept that people are wetting themselves with excitement over anticipation of the sale.

A few people wrote a few uninteresting tweets to criticise the campaign, and it was enough for telegraph to report the 'outrage'.

The ASA have now considered whinges probably generated after the press coverage:

A direct mailing, an e-mail, three national and regional press ads, a magazine ad and a page on website featured different well-dressed women and a man each with a wet stain on their clothing in their groin area. Text stated THE HARVEY NICHOLS SALE. TRY TO CONTAIN YOUR EXCITEMENT .

The ASA received 105 complaints.

  1. Ninety-four complainants believed the ads were offensive, because they implied that the people featured in the ads had wet themselves with excitement.

  2. Twenty-nine complainants believed the ads would cause distress and serious offence to people with bladder problems.

1. Harvey Nichols said it had not been their intention to cause offence. They believed the Harvey Nichols sale was an exciting time for many people and they had attempted to capture that excitement in a light-hearted and humorous way by a visual representation of the well-known phrase I was so excited, I nearly wet myself! . They researched the use of the phrase in popular culture and were satisfied that it was commonplace and invariably used in a playful, inoffensive manner and was therefore in keeping with the tongue-in-check spirit in which the campaign was intended to be taken.

The Scotsman newspaper said, although they took the view that the ad was distasteful, they did not believe it was offensive. They explained that when they saw that other newspapers were using a cropped version of the ad without the wet stain they used that version instead. They said they received six complaints from their readers.

The London Evening Standard said, although they considered the ad was reasonably light-hearted, before publication they sought a second opinion from the newspaper's editor who gave them permission to run the ad. They received one complaint from a reader and contacted Harvey Nichols, who provided the newspaper with a cropped version of the ad.

Assessment: Complaints not upheld

The ASA acknowledged that the concept of wetting oneself with excitement was well known and often used in the media and in speech in a light-hearted manner, but noted that images of someone wetting themselves with excitement were nonetheless unusual. We acknowledged that some people were likely to find the ads, and images in particular, in poor taste and welcomed the actions taken by The Scotsman and London Evening Standard to amend the ads after they received reader complaints.

We noted the language used, TRY TO CONTAIN YOUR EXCITEMENT , was not offensive and whilst the images made clear what was intended by this choice of language, we nevertheless considered the images and the ads, although likely to be seen as unsubtle and tasteless by many members of the general public, were unlikely to cause them serious or widespread offence.

We noted Harvey Nichols' argument that some of the complainants were assuming offence on behalf of others, but also noted that some of them were people who themselves had bladder conditions. We understood that around 14 million people in the UK had bladder problems and involuntary urination was likely to be a particularly sensitive issue for many. Nonetheless, we considered the ads would not be seen as making light of people with urinary problems and therefore, even to those who suffered from such problems, were likely to be seen as unsubtle and tasteless but were unlikely to cause them serious offence.

We investigated the ads under CAP Code rules 4.1 and 4.2 (Harm and offence), but did not find them in breach of the Code.



Update: Britain's Joke Police Worry about Workload in Policing Jokes and Insults...

And don't give a shit about the devastation that they are causing to people's lives

Link Here 10th October 2012
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media

The director of public prosecutions is exploring whether Facebook and Twitter should take more responsibility for censoring their networks for supposed abuse and harassment in an attempt to reduce the number of cases of people being persecuted for jokes or insults.

Keir Starmer is this week consulting with lawyers, journalists and police in a series of seminars on the subject. He seems keen to ask if social media companies can censor their sites because police are concerned about the volume of offensive posts and tweets they may be called to investigate.

Those attending the panels said Starmer frequently returned to the subject, and he is preparing to draw up guidelines against an almost daily backdrop of arrests, prosecutions and controversy. But there is no immediate consensus on what greater self-regulation for social media would look like.

The growing number of arrests often invoke the repressive section 127 of the 2003 Communications Act, which makes it an offence to send or post grossly offensive material online.

Meanwhile, police are worried about the time spent examining cases and that it will only be practicable to investigate a handful of cases where emotions are running high. Andy Trotter, who speaks for the Association of Chief Police Officers on media issues, said: Many offensive comments are made every day on social media and guidance will assist the police to focus on the most serious matters.

Police would like Facebook and Twitter to act faster in deleting offensive comments to avoid arrests being necessary and to see if it is possible to explore ways of blocking particular individuals from using their networks.



Comments: PC Sheep at UK Court...

Man shamefully jailed for 12 weeks for bad taste jokes

Link Here10th October 2012
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media

A teenager who posted bad taste jokes about April Jones on his Facebook page has been jailed for 12 weeks.

Matthew Woods made comments about April and Madeleine McCann. Woods was arrested for his own safety after about 50 people descended on his home.

He pleaded guilty at Chorley magistrates court to sending by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is 'grossly offensive'.

The chairman of the bench, Bill Hudson, said Woods's comments were so abhorrent he deserved the longest sentence the court could hand down. Hudson added: The reason for the sentence is the seriousness of the offence, the public outrage that has been caused and we felt there was no other sentence this court could have passed which conveys to you the abhorrence that many in society feel this crime should receive.

The court was told Woods's Facebook page was available to a large number of people but there's no mention of how many people actually saw it.

Martina Jay, persecuting, said: He saw a joke on Sickipedia [an online database devoted to sick jokes] and changed it slightly.

Among Woods's comments were: Who in their right mind would abduct a ginger kid? In another he said: I woke up this morning in the back of a transit van with two beautiful little girls, I found April in a hopeless place. He also wrote: Could have just started the greatest Facebook argument EVER. April fools, who wants Maddie? I love April Jones. Also posted were comments of a more sexually explicit nature.

The CPS has confirmed that it reviewed the case and was content with the prosecution going ahead.

Offsite Comment: No one should be put in prison for making a joke that other people don’t like.

9th October 2012. See  article from by Padraig Reidy

Offsite Comment: Twelve weeks in prison for sick jokes on Facebook? Really?

10th October 2012. See  article from

Offsite Comment: Don't make me laugh

10th October 2012. See  article from

Offsite Editorial: In the end the solution will have to be rewriting or even repealing this law.

10th October 2012. See  article from

Update: An insulting reduction of sentence on appeal

15th November 2012. See  article from

A man jailed for posting insults on his Facebook page about missing schoolgirl April Jones has had his twelve weeks sentence cut to eight weeks.

Matthew Woods successfully appealed against his sentence at Preston Crown Court having claimed the twelve week term was excessive and that magistrates should have given him credit for his guilty plea.

Update: Another victim gets a suspended prison sentence

19th November 2012. See  article from

A sales adviser who made a series of bad taste comments about five-year-old April Jones on Facebook has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Magistrates in Worcester chose not to jail Sam Busby despite being told that another Facebook user was sentenced to three months in prison for an almost identical offence last month.

Busby admitted he was responsible for the comments and told officers he thought they could only be seen by his friends on Facebook.

Passing a six-week jail term suspended for 18 months, magistrates said they had taken into account Busby's early guilty plea and remorse.

The chairman of the bench, Gill Porter, told the teenager:

You will realise by the time we have taken to discuss this matter how seriously we view it. You have caused an immense amount of distress, not only to the recipient of this but potentially to April Jones's family and friends.

It happened at a very sensitive time for everybody concerned. You were warned by your friends when they first saw your so-called joke, but you took no notice and you continued to make further even more offensive comments.

Busby was also ordered to pay an £ 80 victim surcharge and keep to a 7pm-7am curfew for eight weeks.

Update: Insulting Sentence

8th October 2013.  See  article from

A man who sent insulting messages on Facebook mocking the search for murdered five-year-old April Jones claimed his freedom of expression was breached, a court heard.

Liam Young posted supposedly shocking and offensive remarks online two days after April Jones went missing last year.

He avoided a jail sentence but angered a sheriff after claiming social network messaging should be unrestricted in a democratic society . Young was given 120 hours unpaid work after admitting disorderly conduct by sending indecent and offensive comments.

Sheriff Murphy highlighted Young's remarks to social workers, saying: It concerns me that someone believes they can say what they like on Facebook because they live in a democratic society.



Update: Child Snatcher on EastEnders...

Social workers 'outraged' at being being portrayed in a negative light

Link Here10th October 2012
Full story: Eastenders...Eastenders TV programme complaints

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) is engaged in a battle with the BBC over a storyline in EastEnders .

The TV soap featured a social worker removing a baby from a teenage mother, Lola, apparently without sufficient grounds to do so.

Many social workers took to Twitter and Facebook to say the episode made a mockery of their profession.

Bridget Robb, acting chief of the BASW, called the storyline shabby and said it had provoked real anger among a profession well used to a less than accurate public and media perception of their jobs .

The BBC responded to complaints:

It is not our intention to portray social workers in a negative light. Whilst the audience has seen how much Lola loves Lexi, and seen her behaving responsibly in caring for her baby, her social worker has not. Each time the social worker visited, she regularly saw worrying behaviour that concerned her. The social worker also witnessed a series of other incidents and, under these circumstances; we believe the audience will have understood why she had to act quickly to remove Lexi when Lola was arrested for assault. There was no suggestion that the social worker's actions arose from anything other than a genuine desire to protect Lexi, or that her concerns about Lola were unreasonable given the picture she and the previous social worker had formed over a substantial period of time. Although EastEnders tackles many social issues and always carefully researches the details, it is a drama and Lola's story and that of the social worker are not intended to be representative of everyone in the same situation.



Update: Webcam Girls Reprieved...

Repressive cybercrime law suspended by top court pending legal challenges

Link Here10th October 2012

The Philippines' top court has suspended a repressive new law supposedly targeting cybercrime, following protests by critics who say it stifles free speech.

The new law, called the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, came into effect earlier this month. The law predictably cited child pornography, identity theft and spamming but also made libel a cybercrime punishable by up to 12 years in jail.

The act is also adopted a heavy hand to prevent cybersex, defined as sexually explicit chat over the internet, often involving cam girls performing sexual acts in front of webcams for internet customers. Government officials would also have had new powers to search and seize data from people's online accounts.

The Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order preventing the act from being enforced after 15 petitions questioning its legality were filed.

But protesters say the legislation would be used to target government critics and crack down on freedom of speech.



Offsite Article: It shouldn't be a crime to hate the Old Bill...

Link Here10th October 2012
Convicting a man for wearing an anti-cop t-shirt shows how skewed the balance between state and citizen has become.

See article from



Offsite Article: Libel reform: politicians must deliver on promises...

Link Here10th October 2012
Full story: Censorship by Libel...British libel law allows the rich to censor the truth
As the UK government's Defamation Bill goes to the House of Lords for its second reading debate, Michael Harris explains why it's vital that the government acts to protect free speech

See article from



PC Sheep at ASA...

ASA easily offended by a BBFC 12A rated cinema advert and find it unsuitable for under 15s

Link Here9th October 2012

A cinema ad, for Britvic Club Orange drink, opened with a woman walking across an orange grove carrying a bottle of orange drink. Her cleavage was exposed and she said Do you like my bits? Of course you do. Come, let me show them to you . She pushed open a door labelled Club Orange and said Welcome to Club Orange . She walked through a laboratory-style room, where many women wearing short, white, open-fronted dresses, or bikini-type outfits, worked. She spoke to one: Mmm, nice bits , who replied Thanks, I squeezed them myself this morning . A row of women held a pair of oranges in front of their bodies as the main character said We love bits, all bits, as long as they're juicy and natural ... We are not only interested in the size of the bits, don't be shallow ... what is important is what's inside too - like juice. At this point, she dipped her finger into an orange half and licked it. A scene outside in the orange grove featured two women carrying wooden crates containing oranges, again with their cleavage exposed. The main character said And now we say goodbye. We know you boys can't wait to get your hands on our bits .

1. One complainant, who saw the ad before a 9.30pm screening of Prometheus (rated 15), challenged whether it was offensive and irresponsible, because it was sexist, objectified women and reinforced chauvinistic stereotypes to impressionable young people of how women should portray themselves.

2. A second complainant, who saw the ad before a screening of a Batman film (rated 12A), challenged whether the ad was irresponsible and inappropriate for children.

Britvic Ireland Ltd (Britvic) responded that this ad was part of a broader marketing campaign designed to make the Club Orange soft drink more appealing to its core target audience of 18- to 30-year-old men. Britvic acknowledged that the ad might not have been to everyone's taste but stressed that they had targeted it carefully and did not believe it was either socially irresponsible or likely to cause widespread harm or offence.

The Cinema Advertising Association (CAA) responded that they had considered the ad in view of the CAP Code and approved it for screening before films carrying a 15 or 18 rating in the UK. The CAA acknowledged the apparent sexism of the ad, but considered that this was exaggerated to such an extent that it would not be taken seriously.

The CAA also noted that the advert had been awarded a 12A certificate by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). They explained that the normal course of action when the restrictions imposed on an ad by the CAA and BBFC differed was to adhere to the stricter judgement. They said in this case the screening of the ad had been affected by a systems change whereby the CAA restriction had not been carried over.

ASA Assessment

1. Not upheld

The ASA acknowledged that the ad featured a lot of women in bikinis or short dresses inviting men to contemplate their bits and that therefore in some respects the ad did reflect sexist attitudes. However, we considered that it was clear the scenario was fantastical in nature, because of the setting and context, and that it would not encourage young women to conform to the stereotype it portrayed. Whilst we accepted that some people might interpret it as objectifying women and that it would not appeal to all tastes, we considered that the average viewer would recognise the ad as an over-the-top satirical spoof and that therefore it was not likely to cause serious or widespread offence to audiences aged 15 or over.

On that point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and Offence) but did not find it in breach.

2. Upheld

We understood that due to a systems failure the ad had been screened before the 12A-rated film The Dark Knight Rises. We considered that the ad was not suitable for younger audiences who might be less able to identify its satirical intent. Because the ad contained imagery and dialogue of an adult nature but had been shown before a film carrying a 12A rating, we concluded that it was irresponsible and inappropriate for children.

On that point, the ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 5.1 (Children).



PC Sheep at Ofcom...

Ofcom easily offended by a few nasty words on a TV text chat service

Link Here9th October 2012

Chat Box, 6 July 2012, 21:23

Chat Box is an interactive chat messaging service that broadcasts on the Sky digital satellite television platform. Viewers are invited to send messages via premium rate text message to participate in either a private exchange with another user or the text-based conversation shown on screen. The on screen conversation is moderated and hosted by a text jockey

The licence for this service is held by 4D Interactive.

Interactive chat services predicated on premium rate telephony are classified as teleshopping services and so are regulated under the BCAP Code.

Ofcom received a complaint about offensive references to cancer made by one of Chat Box's text jockeys. The text jockey made various comments to one of the users of Chat Box about another user he had encountered on another interactive chat messaging service (who had been purporting to be the text jockey and with whom the text jockey had had various arguments via on-screen texts).

Text Jockey: lol it shows what a ghastly racist he is, i hope he gets cancer !, seriously i do :) cancer!

Text Jockey: lol banger 88 i hope he gets cancer .

Text Jockey: It's an evil disease and he needs a lil touch of it, In more enlightened times he would have been stoned to death haha, I have to say that I cannot defend the jaw dropping racism he sends me daily, but its a reflection on him no one else, having the most ghastly disease on earth might be a leveller for people like him, showing him what a waste his life has been .

Ofcom considered the material raised issues warranting investigation under Rule 4.2 of the BCAP Code, which states:

Advertisements must not cause serious or widespread offence against generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards.

Ofcom Decision Breach of Rule 4.2

Ofcom noted the Licensee's acknowledgement that the material was unsuitable for broadcast. We also took account of 4D Interactive's good compliance history and the measures it took to address the issues raised by this case in the form of an on air apology and extra compliance training for its staff. However, it was clear to Ofcom that the text jockey's repeated remarks in text wishing that the customer gets cancer had the potential to cause serious or widespread offence against generally accepted standards. Ofcom considered that it was unacceptable for the text jockey, representing the Licensee, to make comments of this nature. The material therefore breached Rule 4.2 of the BCAP Code.

Ofcom was concerned that the text jockey considered these comments acceptable for broadcast despite previous compliance training and his previous and extensive experience as a moderator.

Breach of BCAP Rule 4.2



PC Sheep at Mediawatch-UK...

Taking hyper easy offence at ENO condom poster

Link Here9th October 2012

English National Opera is under fire from Mediawatch-UK and a few tweeters after using a double entendre to promote its new production of Don Giovanni . The poster depicts a used condom packet and the words: Don Giovanni. Coming soon.

A spokeswoman for ENO said:

Given the subject of the piece, the marketing campaign for Rufus Norris's production reflects the opera itself.

We wanted an eye-catching ad to promote the opera. We came up with this idea which we think is brilliant, funny and captures the idea of Don G in a witty way.

Vivienne Pattison, director of Mediawatch-UK, said the ad was clever in itself but contributed to the hyper-sexualisation of society.



Offsite Article: Facebook Copyright Takedown: Justice or Injustice?...

Link Here9th October 2012
Full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
An alleged copyright infringer has his fan page removed by Facebook. But the story highlights the lack of transparency in Facebook's policy regarding its handling of infringement claims.

See article from



Indian Jones Complete Adventures...

Blu-ray box set released with Temple of Doom uncut for the first time in the UK

Link Here8th October 2012

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a 1984 US action adventure by Steven Spielberg.
With Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw and Jonathan Ke Quan. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: Passed 12 uncut for moderate violence and fantasy horror with previous BBFC cuts waived for:

  • UK 2012 Paramount Indiana Jones Complete Adventures R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released today on 8th October 2012

Previously cut in the UK

Passed PG after 1:06s of BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2008 Paramount R2 DVD
  • UK 2003 Paramount Trilogy R2 DVD
  • UK 1992 CIC VHS
  • UK 1986 CIC VHS
  • UK 1984 cinema release

The BBFC cuts were:

  1. Cuts to a close-up of a heart being ripped from the chest and the subsequent self healing of the chest wound.
  2. The deletion of the line 'Leave him alone you bastards' when the Chinese kid is about to be whipped
  3. Deletion of the Chinese Kid burning a guard's stomach with a flaming torch (and hence discovering an ability to heal)
  4. The sequence in which a sacrifice victim is being lowered into the fiery pit has been shortened and set to different music.
  5. Cut to the first 1s or 2s from the shot of his fall in order to delete the image of his head hitting the side of the cliff.

Promotional Material

Supervised by director Steven Spielberg and renowned sound designer Ben Burtt, Raiders of the Lost Ark has been meticulously restored with careful attention to preserving the original look, sound and feel of the iconic film. The original negative was first scanned at 4K and then examined frame-by-frame so that any damage could be repaired.

The sound design was similarly preserved using Burtt's original master mix, which had been archived and unused since 1981. New stereo surrounds were created using the original music tracks and original effects recorded in stereo but used previously only in mono. In addition, the sub bass was redone entirely up to modern specifications and care was taken to improve dialogue and correct small technical flaws to create the most complete and highest quality version of the sound possible while retaining the director's vision. The result is an impeccable digital restoration that celebrates the film and its place in cinematic history.

Alongside this, for the first time ever on Blu-ray, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is presented in its uncut format, 28 years after it was first released in cinemas. The original release was cut in 1984 in the UK to obtain a PG rating, however fans can now witness all the gory cut extras in all their glory.

The installments in the franchise have won a combined seven Academy Awards?. Relive every heart-pounding thrill like never before as all four films arrive together, for the first time presented in 1080p high definition with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio accompanied by a collection of documentaries, interviews, featurettes and new bonus features.



Snow White and the Huntsman...

The UK Blu-ray features an uncontroversial extended version, the DVD does not

Link Here8th October 2012
Snow White and the Huntsman is a 2012 US adventure by Rupert Sanders.
With Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron. See IMDb

UK: The Extended Version was passed 12 uncut for moderate violence and threat for:

  • UK 2012 Universal [Theatrical + Extended] Limited Steelbook Edition R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon recently released on 1st October 2012
  • UK 2012 Universal [Theatrical + Extended] R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon recently released on 1st October 2012
  • UK 2012 Universal Online

The extra 4 minutes of footage is uncontroversial plot. It is a nice goodie but does not make a big difference. See  pictorial version details from .

UK: The Theatrical Version was passed 12A without BBFC cuts for moderate violence and threat for:
  • UK 2012 Universal [Theatrical + Extended] Limited Steelbook Edition R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 1st October 2012
  • UK 2012 Universal [Theatrical + Extended] R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 1st October 2012
  • UK 2012 Universal R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 1st October 2012
  • UK 2012 Universal Online
  • UK 2012 cinema release

Promotional Material

In the epic action-adventure Snow White and the Huntsman, Kristen Stewart (Twilight) plays the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen (Oscar winner Charlize Theron) who is out to destroy her. But what the wicked ruler never imagined is that the young woman threatening her reign has been training in the art of war with a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth, Thor) who was dispatched to kill her. Sam Claflin (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) joins the cast as the prince long enchanted by Snow White's beauty and power.

The breathtaking new vision of the legendary tale is from Joe Roth, the producer of Alice in Wonderland, producer Sam Mercer (The Sixth Sense) and acclaimed commercial director and state-of-the-art visualist Rupert Sanders.



Update: Grossly Excessive Policing...

More police actions against 'grossly offensive' internet messages

Link Here8th October 2012
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media

A man from Lancashire has been charged with making an offensive post on Facebook about missing five-year-old April Jones.

Matthew Wood is accused of sending a public electronic communication which is grossly offensive.

He is in custody and will appear before Chorley Magistrates' Court on Monday. Wood, who was arrested on Saturday, has been charged under section 127 of the Communications Act.



Update: Bad and Badr...

Egyptian filmmakers fear the imposition of religious censorship

Link Here8th October 2012
Full story: Blasphemy in Egypt...Unswaying belief in injustice

A Debate over artistic freedom of expression in Egypt has involved Egyptian movie star Elhaam Shaheen.

Known to take on roles that push cultural taboos, Shaheen fears that she and other artists are in for worsening trouble from the country's new Islamic government. She said in a recent interview:

I feel this is a big war between all the artists and writers and Islamists. This is not just against women, it is against all artists.

Last month, conservative Salafi TV personality Sheikh Abdullah Badr, who has blasted actors before over what he describes as blasphemous behavior, called the actress's film performances as on-air adultery and recommended the arts be subjected to religious censorship. Badr ludicrously claimed that Shaheen's type of acting was sinful and would bar her entry to heaven in the afterlife.

Muslim preachers have also been excoriating the pop love songs of legendary Egyptian musicians Om Kalthoum and Abdel Halim Imam. Islamist lawyers with ties to political parties also charged comedian Adel Iman and several other filmmakers and screenwriters with blasphemy against Islam earlier this year for roles in films that are at least 10 years old. Comedian Iman was eventually handed down a sentence of three months of jail time plus a fine before his appeal was granted in September. Similar court cases were thrown out by judges in April.

Shaheen is now fighting back against religious oppression. As an open critic of the Muslim Brotherhood, Shaheen says she is being subjected to politicized attacks. She plans to take Badr and conservative television station El-Hafez to court over the derogatory comments against Egypt's entertainment sector.

During the Sept. 17-22 Luxor Egyptian and European Film Festival she led an impassioned panel of her peers on censorship and freedom of expression. Shaheen was joined by famous Egyptian writer Baha Taher, as well as director and screenwriter Daoud Abdel Sayed and actors Amr Waked, Khaled Abounaga and Laila Elwi.

Shaheen described attacks on Egyptian artists including herself as barbaric and a signal that Egypt is moving backward culturally. She said she was glad she could push back with the support of the Egyptian film community and fans from around the Arab region.

Hany Fawzy, the well-known screenwriter, has also attracted religious censure over his script for Baheb Es-Sinema (I Love the Movies) about a Coptic Christian family. Fawzy added that he has about five scripts ready for production, but he hasn't been able to find producers willing to take a chance. There is a risk. We are fearful about the future, the rules and the Islamic direction [the country is taking]. But we have to continue. It's our career and our work, he said.

President Mohammed Morsy, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate who took office in June, has sought to allay fears. In September, he met with a group of film industry members at the Presidential Palace to show his concern for protecting the arts. He has also condemned Badr's verbal attacks on Shaheen.



Parent's Television Council Recommends...

Seth MacFarlane's American Dad.

Link Here7th October 2012

T he Parents Television Council has issued an alert to their members asking them to file a formal complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the use of a graphic verbal and visual reference to oral sex and ejaculation that occurred on a recent episode of Seth MacFarlane's American Dad . The program aired at 9:30 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Times and at 8:30 Central/Mountain Times.

The episode included a reference to a vehicle that runs on carbon, oxygen, and potassium, dubbed the Hummie C.O.K. Guzzler. One character says ...wouldn't it run cleaner if they added another carbon molecule before the potassium? Then it would guzzle C.O.C.K.

The episode also included a depiction of ejaculation, with a character noting that he splooged on the wall. All of this material aired on the very same day that Seth MacFarlane was announced to be the host of next year's Academy Awards.

PTC president Tim Winter spouted:

This past summer the United States Supreme Court unanimously upheld the congressionally mandated authority of the Federal Communications Commission to enforce the broadcast decency law, which prohibits the airing of indecent material on the publicly-owned airwaves during times when children are likely to be in the audience. We believe this broadcast has broken the law, and we are calling on the FCC to hold Fox and its affiliates accountable.

This kind of content is nothing new from Fox or Seth MacFarlane. In the past, 'American Dad' and MacFarlane's other programs have included scenes mocking people with Down syndrome, implying father-daughter incest, a man masturbating a horse, a baby eating horse sperm, and a character eating vomit and excrement out of a baby's diaper. Some of those broadcasts are under review at the FCC for violating the broadcast decency law.

This is the man that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has selected to host next year's Oscars telecast, following in the footsteps of such Hollywood legends as Bob Hope and Johnny Carson?



Update: De-addicted to Personal Freedom...

Indian state plans to ban smoking in films by withholding grants to film makers

Link Here7th October 2012
Full story: Smoking and Drinking in Films...India wound up by smoking in the movies and TV

The state government of Maharashtra has said that it wanted a ban on alcohol and smoking scenes in movies and would request the Centre to amend laws.

Minister of state for social justice and de-addiction activities Sachin Ahir told reporters:

Several rounds of discussions have taken place in committees headed by the Chief Minister and the social justice and de-addiction activities minister on the need to prevent depiction of smoking and drinking in films.

It has been decided to write to the Centre to amend censorship laws to ban such scenes. If a film's plot requires such scenes, cigarette and alcohol should be blurred or edited .

Ahir said that the censor board is subject to national law and may not be able to impose such a ban. However Ahir noted that 80% of Marathi films received grants from the state government:

We are asking the culture affairs ministry, which provides the grants, to make it mandatory for filmmakers seeking finance to ensure they do not have smoking and drinking scenes in their movies.



Update: Socially Adept...

Facebook and Twitter are widely used in China despite being blocked by the Great Firewall

Link Here7th October 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship

Despite the fact that Twitter and Facebook are technically blocked in China, the two services are still widely used, according to data from market researcher GlobalWebIndex (see graph, bottom).

When asked which services they had contributed to in the last month, 25% of surveyed Chinese users said they had used Google+, 15% used Facebook, and 8% accessed Twitter. Local equivalents are Qzone (66%), followed by Sina Weibo (61%), and Tencent Weibo (56%).

GlobalWebIndex has been tracking the growth of social media use in China since 2009. At that point, there were 11.8 million Twitter users there, a number that grew to 35 million in the second quarter of 2012. Facebook use, meanwhile, jumped from 7.9 million to 65.2 million during the same time period, said GlobalWebIndex founder Tom Smith.

So how do Chinese users access Facebook and Twitter? According to Smith, people are using virtual private networks (VPNs), virtual cloud networks (VCNs), or internationally routed connections, meaning users won't be picked up by analytics and won't actually register as being in a Chinese location.

In short, Smith said, the 'Great Firewall' is not as solid as many people think.



Don't Look in the Basement...

New US region free DVD release of SF Brownrigg's Video Nasty

Link Here6th October 2012

Don't Look in the Basement is a 1973 US horror video by SF Brownrigg.
With Bill McGhee, Jessie Lee Fulton and Robert Dracup.
See IMDb

US: Uncut and MPAA R Rated for:

  • US 2012 VCI Scream Theater 3 Double Feature R0 DVD at US Amazon just released on 11th September 2012

Censorship History

The BBFC cut the 1977 cinema release

Derann released an even shorter version of the film on its Crystal video label in February 1983. It is thought that this may have been a TV version.

It was listed as a video nasty in August 1984 but was dropped from the list in December 1985

The BBFC waived its film cut for the 2005 Stax DVD which it passed 15 uncut

Release History

UK: Passed 15 uncut with previous BBFC cuts waived for:

  • UK 2007 Boulevard R2 DVD
  • UK 2005 Pickwick/Elstree R2 DVD
  • UK 2005 Stax R2 DVD at UK Amazon
  • UK 2005 HHO DVD

US: Uncut and MPAA R Rated for:

  • US 2012 VCI Scream Theater 3 Double Feature R0 DVD at US Amazon
  • US 2003 TGG R1 DVD

Summary Review: A must-see for B horror fans

A young psychiatric nurse goes to work at a lonesome asylum following a murder. There, she experiences varying degrees of torment from the patients.

Take an ensemble cast of good B grade actors, give them a good script, a somewhat original premise, and unobtrusive directing, and you may end up with a film that over-achieves as much as Don't Look in the Basement did.

The film takes place in a large house which is home to several psychotic individuals. The film starts with the head of the hospital being chopped up with an axe. The rest of the film builds tension and successfully develops the individual psychoses of the in-mates. After a while it becomes very unclear who is a patient and who is a doctor.

In the end, Don't Look in the Basement is a cleverly plotted film which benefits from generally good acting and directing and not-overly-ambitious camera work.



Fun in the Sun Trumps Miserable Concern...

ASA turns down Alcohol Concern whinge about a TV advert for Estrella beer

Link Here6th October 2012

A TV ad for Estrella beer told the story of a young male traveller meeting two young women and the three of them exploring a Spanish island. The ad opened with the man disembarking a ferry. This was followed by a close-up of the profile of one of the women and a bottle of Estrella beer on a table. The man then approached the two women who were sitting outside a bar drinking Estrella and he showed them a map of the island. The following scenes featured the three characters driving around the island, swimming, sunbathing, on a boat and at a beach party together. In one scene, the male traveller was shown carrying two bottles of Estrella on the beach. In another scene, the main character and the dark-haired woman were seen trying hats on in the market and the woman kissed the man briefly on the lips. In another scene, bottles of Estrella were distributed to a group of friends at a lunch gathering. A further scene showed the male character at a beach party being greeted affectionately by a male party-goer who was holding a bottle of Estrella. The ad ended with the male character being dropped off at the ferry terminal by the two women. He kissed his finger and planted this affectionately on the dark-haired woman's lips. He walked up the gang plank and took a swig from his bottle of Estrella beer. As he lowered the bottle the story began again.

A soundtrack which played throughout the ad included the lyrics Tonight, I want to be with you .

Alcohol Concern challenged whether the ad breached the Code, because they considered it:

  1. linked alcohol with sexual activity, sexual success or seduction;
  2. implied that alcohol contributed to the male character's popularity; and
  3. implied that the success of the holiday depended on the presence of alcohol. BCAP Code 19.319.419.6 Response

ASA Assessment: Not Upheld

1. Not Upheld

The ASA noted that only two scenes featured physical affection between the main male character and one of the female characters. The first was a scene where the two were trying on hats in the market and she gave him a brief kiss on the lips. The second was in the final scene when he said goodbye to her by kissing his index finger and planting it on her lips. We considered the theme music, played throughout the ad, with the lyrics Tonight, I want to be with you alluded to a sexual attraction between the two characters. However, we considered that these interactions between the couple did not constitute sexual activity, sexual success or seduction. We considered they were mildly flirtatious behaviours and noted that the Code did not preclude linking alcohol to flirtation or romance. We therefore concluded that the ad did not link alcohol with sexual activity, sexual success or seduction.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 19.6 (Alcohol) but did not find it in breach.

2. Not Upheld

We considered that the male character appeared confident and popular from the outset. At the start of the ad, he was shown approaching the two women in a nearby bar to ask them for directions with his map of the island. During the exchange, the women were shown laughing. The three characters were then shown driving around the island in a jeep, dancing and having a good time together at a beach party and then running along the beach and swimming together. The male character was not shown with alcohol until 20 seconds into the ad, at which point he was seen holding two bottles of beer on the beach. Although he did not drink from them, we considered this scene established him as an Estrella beer drinker. We noted another scene briefly showed him clinking a bottle of Estrella with friends in celebratory fashion before enjoying a meal. He was, however, not seen drinking any alcohol until the final scene when he took a swig from his bottle of Estrella beer whilst at the ferry terminal having said goodbye to his female companions. We considered that it was established early on in the ad that the male character was a confident independent traveller who was open to and adept at making new friendships and that his confidence and popularity was not due to him having consumed alcohol. We therefore concluded that the ad did not imply that alcohol contributed to the male character's popularity.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 19.3 (Alcohol) but did not find it in breach.

3. Not Upheld

We agreed with Wells & Youngs' comment that the ad depicted an entire summer on the island of Formentera and that this was clear from the fact that the events shown were separated in time and space and the main character was seen in different locations, wearing different clothes and with different friends. We also agreed with Clearcast's comment that alcohol featured in a realistic, incidental and minimal way. Although bottles of Estrella featured briefly throughout the ad, they were incidental to the activities and fun the characters were having. None of the characters were seen drinking alcohol apart from the main male character who was seen drinking Estrella in the final scene at the end of his holiday. In most of the scenes, such as the beach party scene, on the boat, and in the local market, alcohol did not feature at all. There was no suggestion that the characters were having a good time because of consuming alcohol; their exchanges were playful, natural and spontaneous throughout the ad, regardless of whether or not alcohol was present. We therefore considered that the ad did not imply that the success of the holiday depended on the presence of alcohol.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 19.4 (Alcohol) but did not find it in breach.



Offsite Article: Iran steps up its campaign against the press...

Link Here6th October 2012
Full story: Press Freedom in Iran...As if there were any
In a flurry of anti-press actions in Iran, a jury has voted to convict a Reuters bureau chief on anti-state charges while authorities have jailed the head of the official news agency, blocked Google services, and shut one reformist newspaper.

See article from



Updated: Taken 2...

Cinema release further cut for a 12A

Link Here5th October 2012

Taken 2 is a 2012 France action thriller by Olivier Megaton.
With Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace. See IMDb

UK: Passed 12A after BBFC category cuts were implemented for:

  • UK 2012 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

This work was originally seen for advice. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive a 15 rating but that their preferred 12A rating could be achieved by making changes to three scenes. These were to reduce elements of violence and threat. When an edited version of the film was submitted for formal classification, the scenes had been reduced and the film was consequently rated 12A.

Offsite Comment: Review: A blunted, bland sequel

4th October 2012. See  review from

No real bite or brawn thanks to a muzzling 12A rating.

Where the 15-rated original had moments of real, visceral brutality - including one scene intriguingly dubbed crunchy by the BBFC - there's a weird effort made here to pull off the same trick with much blunter tools.

...Read the full review

Offsite Interview: The DVD/Blu-ray release will feature an un Unrated version

5th October 2012. See article from

Collider interviewed the Director of Taken 2 , Olivier Megaton and revealed that his was somewhat perplexed at the censorship process to cut the movie down to a US PG-13. He called for a PG-15 where he feels that the movie would b better placed.

He said that the movie would be released MPAA Unrated on DVD and Blu-ray and that this would restore about 10 minutes of footage that was removed from the fight scenes.



Fucking Easily Offended...

Ludicrous ASA think that older teenagers are offended by the humourous use of the word 'fucking'

Link Here5th October 2012

A press ad in Dirt Mountainbike , a specialist mountain and dirt biking magazine, featured a man crouching next to a mountain bike, making a devil horns sign with his left hand. Text in the bottom right corner of the ad read: YT-INDUSTRIES.COM FUCKING GOOD BIKES!

A complainant challenged whether the use of the slogan FUCKING GOOD BIKES! was offensive and inappropriate, particularly in a publication likely to be read by children.

YT Industries said they developed and produced high-end mountain bikes for the extreme sport market. They said their customer target group was 16- to 30-year-olds and they targeted young people with a tolerant, open mind, who were focused on fun sports. They said the man featured in the ad was team rider Andreu Lacondeguy, who was one of the top mountain bikers in the world and was a hero for many mountain bikers. They said he was well known for performing the biggest tricks on his bike, as well as partying and listening to heavy metal. They said the slogan fucking good bikes was intended to convey that they offered outstanding bikes and the slogan was used because they considered it would fit with and appeal to the target group. They said it was not their intention to provoke or insult any readers or to negatively affect children.

Assessment Upheld

The ASA acknowledged that the magazine was targeted at young adult males, but noted the readership also included older teenagers. Because the ad was placed in a specialist mountain and dirt biking magazine, which was an activity which would appeal to children as well as adults, we considered that the ad was likely to be seen by some children. We therefore concluded that the use of the phrase FUCKING GOOD BIKES! in that context was likely to cause serious or widespread offence to readers.

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



Hobbits, Wizards, Exorcists and Dragons...

Warner Brothers celebrate their 90th Anniversary

Link Here5th October 2012

Warner Bros. celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2013 and has announced a few notable releases that may be of interest.

There will be a 75th Anniversary Blu-ray release of the Wizard of Oz . This will feature a new 3D conversion.

Warner Bros have also announced an Extended Edition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

There are lots of box sets lined up including collections from James Dean, Clint Eastwood and Mad Max.

There will be a special 40th Anniversary releases of The Exorcist and Enter the Dragon.




Cut US R rated release of of Jennifer Lunch's horror, but cut scene is included in the extras

Link Here5th October 2012
Chained is a 2012 US US horror thriller by Jennifer Chambers Lynch.
With Vincent D'Onofrio, Eamon Farren and Julia Ormond. See IMDb

US: The Theatrical Version is cut and R Rated for:

See  review from

Censorship History

The film was originally rated NC-17 (18) by the MPAA.

The distributors appealed for an R Rating but lost their case.

Cut were made to a nasty throat slitting and the resulting cut version was given an R Rating for its theatrical release.

The October 2012 DVD/Blu-ray releases contain this cut Theatrical Version but includes the cut scene as an unrated extra.

Promotional Material

Coming home from a routine trip to the movies, eight-year-old Tim (Bird) and his mother, Sarah (Ormond) are picked up by a psychopathic cab driver named Bob (D'Onofrio). It ends up being their last ride together. Bob murders the young boy's mother and keeps Tim as his unwilling prote'ge'e, making him clean up the mess following each murder he commits. After a couple of aborted escape attempts, Bob chains Tim -- now renamed Rabbit -- allowing just enough length to move freely within the house. As the years pass, Bob starts instructing Rabbit, teaching him anatomy and human behavior. Now a teenager, Rabbit (Eamon Farren, X: Night of Vengeance) is slowly being pressed by Bob to start his own homicidal spree. Slowly but surely, he must soon choose whether to follow in Bob's serial killer footsteps or make one final, desperate attempt to break free...

Bonus features include:

  • feature-length audio commentary by writer/director Jennifer Lynch and actor Vincent D'Onofrio;

  • the alternate unrated version of Mary's Murder; and

  • the original theatrical trailer.




Offsite Article: The ASA: still insulting our intelligence...

Link Here5th October 2012
Full story: Big Fat Gypsy Wedding...TV winds up the easily offended
The Advertising Standards Authority is back, and this time it is bigger, fatter and even more condescending. By Tim Black

See article from



Updated: Seeing a Blank Future...

Ukrainian journalists protest against censorship bill

Link Here4th October 2012
Full story: Press Freedom in Ukraine...Journalists protest censorship

Ukrainian journalists have protested outside the country's parliament against a bill which will will be used to muzzle the media. More than 100 journalists held up empty posters to highlight their concerns about censorship.

The bill, backed by the party led by President Viktor Yanukovych, calls for more severe punishment for defamation, including prison terms of up to five years. International watchdogs have criticized the measure as a government attempt to silence independent journalism.

Several leading Ukrainian newspapers and magazines have protested in recent days by publishing editions with blank covers.

The legislature is set to consider the bill in the final reading next week.

Update: Bill Shelved

4th October 2012. See  article from

Ukraine's parliament has scrapped a defamation bill that could have seen journalists fined, banned from working or even jailed. The country's media had launched a vocal campaign to stop it becoming law.

Mustafa Nayem, a member of the Stop Censorship Movement, told euronews:

It wasn't to the government's advantage to press ahead because the image of the country would be tarnished and it could overshadow the election results.

Opposition MPs believe the draft law was ditched because it had become too much of a political hot potato leading up to the parliamentary poll on October 28th.



Additional Censorship Information...

UK Games censors working on an online database providing additional classification information for games

Link Here3rd October 2012

Taking an idea from the BBFC, the Game Rating Authority, the UK's new game censor, writes on its website:

Additional Consumer Information (ACI) supplements the pictorial descriptor information visible on game packaging by offering consumers rather more in the way of written, descriptive details concerning the game content.

This brief, easily digestible information allows consumers to see at a glance the key issue(s) that resulted in the rating given and, more importantly, also shows the strength and frequency of a particular rating's issue (sex, bad language, etc.).

The ACI also gives a brief outline of the game in question and whether it is also playable online with other gamers. This additional information should ensure that consumers, and parents in particular, can make informed purchasing decisions on behalf of their children.

However the games search doesn't seem to be working at the moment.



Update: Bigger, Fatter, Wordier...

ASA writes reams on appeal and changes its mind about adverts for Big Fat Gypsy Weddings

Link Here3rd October 2012
Full story: Big Fat Gypsy Wedding...TV winds up the easily offended

Four posters for the Channel Four documentary, Big Fat Gypsy Weddings:

  • a. The first poster featured a close-up of a young boy looking directly at the camera. Large text across the ad stated BIGGER. FATTER. GYPSIER .
  • b. The second poster showed a man leading a horse across a field. Caravans were visible behind a fence in the background. Large text across the ad stated BIGGER. FATTER. GYPSIER .
  • c. The third poster showed two young women wearing low-cut bra tops. Large text across the ad stated BIGGER. FATTER. GYPSIER .
  • d. The fourth poster showed three young girls dressed for their first Holy Communion standing in front of a caravan. Large text across the ad stated BIGGER. FATTER. GYPSIER .

These ads were previously considered by the ASA Council in February 2012, at which time the ASA had received 372 complaints about the campaign. The ASA Executive assessed the ads and recommended to the Council that the complaints did not warrant investigation. The Council agreed that recommendation. The Irish Traveller Movement in Britain and eight co-complainants sought Independent Review of Council's decision and, as a result, the case was re-opened and investigated.

The Irish Traveller Movement in Britain (ITMB) and eight other complainants challenged whether:

  1. the ads were offensive because they believed they were racist, denigratory and portrayed Gypsies and Travellers in a negatively stereotypical way;
  2. the ads were irresponsible because they believed they depicted negative stereotypes of Gypsies and Travellers and endorsed prejudice against them; and
  3. ads (a), (c) and (d) were likely to cause physical, mental or moral harm to children from Gypsy and Traveller communities, including those featured in the ads, because the ITMB believed they portrayed them in a negatively stereotypical way.
  4. The ITMB, who understood that one of the young women featured in ad (c) was under 16 years of age, challenged whether the ad was irresponsible and harmful because they believed it depicted a child in a sexualised way.
  5. The ITMB, who believed that the children featured in ad (d) had been unfairly portrayed in an adverse and offensive way, challenged whether the ad breached the Code because they believed that the advertiser did not have written permission to portray them in that manner.

ASA Decision

The ASA took advice from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) who had undertaken specific work into the issues affecting Gypsy and Traveller communities.

The EHRC said research had shown that Gypsies and Travellers (which was the appropriate term when referring to those groups) were often subject to suspicion and disapproval because of negative public perceptions which in turn led to members of the community experiencing prejudice and harassment. They said, although racism from members of the public towards most ethnic minority groups was now widely viewed as unacceptable, it remained persistent and common towards Gypsies and Travellers and was generally seen as justified and the last respectable form of racism. The EHRC said they continued to receive complaints about No Travellers signs.

1. & 2. Upheld in relation to ads (a) and (c)

In relation to ad (a) we noted that the boy in the image was shown in close-up and had his lips pursed in a manner that we considered was likely to be seen as aggressive. We considered that negative image, when combined with the strap-line which suggested that such behaviour was GYPSIER , would be interpreted by many members of the Gypsy and Traveller communities and some of the wider public to mean that aggressive behaviour was typical of the younger members of the Gypsy and Traveller community. We considered that implication was likely to cause serious offence to some members of those communities while endorsing the prejudicial view that young Gypsies and Travellers were aggressive. We therefore concluded that ad (a) was offensive and irresponsible.

We understood that the photo in ad (c) was an accurate depiction of how the young women had chosen to dress for the occasion at which they had been photographed and we considered that it was clear that they were dressed for a night out. However, we noted that they were heavily made-up and wearing low cut tops and we considered that, when combined with the strap-line and in particular the word GYPSIER , the ad implied that appearance was highly representative of the Gypsy and Traveller community in a way that irresponsibly endorsed that prejudicial view and was likely to cause serious offence to the Gypsy and Traveller community.

3. Upheld in relation to ad (a) only

We considered, for the reasons given in points 1 and 2 above, that the boy in ad (a) was depicted in a way that was offensive and endorsed negative stereotypes about him and his community. We considered that the ad reaffirmed commonly held prejudices about Gypsy and Traveller children in a way that was likely to cause distress and mental harm to children from those communities, including to the boy featured in the ad, by suggesting that was an acceptable way to portray him.

4. Upheld

We noted that the ad accurately depicted the girl as she had dressed for the party at which the photograph had been taken. However, we noted that she was heavily made up, her bra was visible and that she was wearing a low cut top that revealed much of her cleavage and raised her breasts. Although we understood that the girl was depicted in her own choice of dress we considered that, in choosing that image for use in a poster, Channel 4 had acted irresponsibly by depicting a child in a sexualised way. For that reason we also considered that, irrespective of any consent Channel 4 may have held, the ad was also likely to be harmful to the girl featured.

5. Not upheld



Update: Pub Music Delicensed...

A very rare instance of censorship law being reduced in Britain

Link Here2nd October 2012
Full story: Licensed Music Censors...Licensing sets up authorities as music censors

Venues in England and Wales with a capacity of under 200 people no longer need a licence for live music, as long as it is not late at night. The change in law is part of a government move to free businesses from a little of the mass of red tape. Live unamplified music can also now be played in any location, regardless of the audience size, under the act.

However, the government has made it clear there would be no changes on the rules controlling gatherings of more than 5,000 people, boxing and wrestling, and events such as lap-dancing clubs classed as sexual entertainment.

Musicians and business owners have welcomed the change, which will allow live music to be played between the hours of 08:00 and 23:00. Jazz musician Buster Birch described the change as a huge thing , adding that live music is very important for our society and our culture .

UK Music, which represents the music industry, estimates that the Live Music Act could enable 13,000 more venues to start holding live music events.

Business Minister Michael Fallon said:

From today businesses are freed from the red tape that holds them back.

He described the previous rules that affected pub gigs and small live performances as over-the-top bureaucracy that stifles community groups and pubs.

We've set ourselves the challenging target of scrapping or reducing a total of 3,000 regulations. I'm determined to slim down regulation and make Britain an easier place to start and run a business.

The change was introduced through a private member's bill, introduced by Liberal Democrat Don Foster. The success is a relatively rare example of a House of Lords private member's bill making it into law.



Update: Jeremy Clarkson vs Elephantine Political Correctness...

BBC's Editorial Standards Committee upholds complaint about Top Gear making references to Elephant Man

Link Here2nd October 2012
Full story: Top Gear and the Grand Tour...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers

Top Gear
BBC One, 5 February 2012, 8pm

An appeal to the Editorial Standards Committee concerns an episode of Top Gear which included comments about people with growths on their faces in an item about a new campervan.

The complainant said that the item was offensive, prejudicial and unacceptable . The complainant also expressed the view that the BBC's Editorial Guidelines should be updated to include specific consideration for under-represented groups of people in British society, including those with facial disfigurements.

The Committee concluded:

  • that the audience would have understood the connection which the presenters drew between the character played by John Hurt in The Elephant Man and the design of the Prius campervan, and that the joke at this point was about the vehicle's design.

  • that the slurred speech used by Jeremy Clarkson was also part of this reference to The Elephant Man, but that this mimicry was on the margins of acceptability.

  • that, while most of the comments made about the campervan would have not exceeded the expectations of the audience, a remark about talking to a car at a party and not being able to look at a person with a facial disfigurement, taken with the reference to …one of those really ugly things … I'm talking about a growth… , strayed into an offensive stereotypical assumption not confined to The Elephant Man.

  • that the programme was in breach of the Guidelines on Harm and Offence as the exchanges about facial disfigurement noted above were not editorially justified and did not meet generally accepted standards in the context of their portrayal of a disability.

  • that the Editorial Guidelines and corresponding Guidance together give sufficient and appropriate guidance to programme-makers on the issue of the portrayal of minorities and vulnerable social groups and it was not necessary to change the Guidelines in the way that the complainant had suggested.

The complaint was upheld



Update: Maintaining Innocence...

India blocks YouTube and Facebook in Kashmir citing unrest over Innocence of Muslims

Link Here2nd October 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn

Internet users in Kashmir were unable to access Facebook and YouTube after the Indian government had issued orders to ISPs to block access to the websites, IBNLive reported.

The move is believed to be in response to the protests against the anti-Islam video on YouTube but it now seems that access to the entire websites have been restricted , IBNLive reported.

In late September, reports indicated that the Jammu & Kashmir state government had told service providers to ensure that the controversial YouTube video was not accessible by users in the troubled state. Mass protests broke out in Kashmir in September over the anti-Islam film posted on YouTube.

Responding to the blocking of YouTube and Facebook, Hameeda Nayeem, chairperson of the Kashmir Centre of Social and Development Studies (KCSDS), told Al Jazeera:

Surveillance of social media websites in Kashmir was not new. In 2010 (during the protests), Facebook was monitored and many boys were arrested because of their activities on Facebook.

There has always been surveillance ... the latest move is based on that blasphemous film, but it is just another excuse to monitor and block communication services. For instance, SMS services have often been turned off in the state.



Update: Dancing for Joy...

Indian catholics pleased as dancing priest is censored from movie

Link Here2nd October 2012
Full story: Blasphemy in India...Hurting religious sentiments

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

Christians complained of supposedly objectionable scenes:

  • 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.

However the scenes supposedly objectionable to the sentiments of Catholics have now been deleted from the film following the information & broadcasting ministry's intervention, a rights group said.

Accordingly, Catholic groups in Maharashta have withdrawn their protest and boycott of the movie. Judith Monteiro, secretary of the Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC), said that representatives of various front-ranking groups watched the movie on opening day:

This is a victory of sorts for maintaining sensitivity while dealing with religion in the film industry. We have always been taken for granted just because we do no resort to violence. Hopefully, this will serve as a deterrent for future movie-makers.

Bishop Agnelo Gracias of the Archdoicese of Mumbai said:

I'm happy that the objectionable scenes have been deleted. Every religion should be treated with the respect it deserves. I hope the Censor Board will maintain caution in future while granting certification to movies.

However, Catholic groups are still firm on their other two demands: removal of Censor Board chief executive officer Prajakta Thakur; and nomination of a permanent Christian representative for film certification.



Freedom on the Net...

Freedom House report details worldwide diverse threats to internet freedom

Link Here2nd October 2012

Brutal attacks against bloggers, politically motivated surveillance, proactive manipulation of web content, and restrictive laws regulating speech online are among the diverse threats to internet freedom emerging over the past two years, according to a new study released by Freedom House.

Despite these threats, Freedom on the Net 2012: A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media found that increased pushback by civil society, technology companies, and independent courts resulted in several notable victories.

Sanja Kelly, project director for Freedom on the Net at Freedom House said:

The findings clearly show that threats to internet freedom are becoming more diverse. As authoritarian rulers see that blocked websites and high-profile arrests draw local and international condemnation, they are turning to murkier---but no less dangerous---methods for controlling online conversations.

Freedom on the Net 2012, which identifies key trends in internet freedom in 47 countries, evaluates each country based on barriers to access, limits on content, and violations of user rights.

The study found that Estonia had the greatest degree of internet freedom among the countries examined, while the United States ranked second. Iran, Cuba, and China received the lowest scores in the analysis. Eleven other countries received a ranking of Not Free, including Belarus, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and Thailand. A total of 20 of the 47 countries examined experienced a negative trajectory in internet freedom since January 2011, with Bahrain, Pakistan, and Ethiopia registering the greatest declines.

Several downgrades, particularly in the Middle East, reflected intensified censorship, arrests, and violence against bloggers as the authorities sought to quell public calls for reform. In Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, and China, authorities imposed new restrictions after observing the key role that social media played in the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.

At the same time, 14 countries registered a positive trajectory, with Tunisia and Burma experiencing the largest improvements following dramatic political openings. The remaining gains occurred almost exclusively in democracies, highlighting the crucial importance of broader institutions of democratic governance in upholding internet freedom.

Countries at Risk: As part of its analysis, Freedom House identified a number of important countries that are seen as particularly vulnerable to deterioration in the coming 12 months: Azerbaijan, Libya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Rwanda, and Sri Lanka.

Key Trends

  • New laws restrict free speech: In 19 of the 47 countries examined, new laws or directives have been passed since January 2011 that either restrict online speech, violate user privacy, or punish individuals who post content deemed objectionable or undesirable.
  • Bloggers and ordinary users increasingly face arrest for political speech on the web: In 26 of the 47 countries, including several democratic states, at least one blogger or ICT user was arrested for content posted online or sent via text message.
  • Physical attacks against government critics are intensifying: In 19 of the 47 countries assessed, a blogger or internet user was tortured, disappeared, beaten, or brutally assaulted as a result of their online posts. In five countries, an activist or citizen journalist was killed in retribution for posting information that exposed human rights abuses.
  • Paid commentators, hijacking attacks are proliferating: The phenomenon of paid pro-government commentators has spread over the past two years from a small set of countries to 14 of the 47 countries examined. Meanwhile, government critics faced politically motivated cyberattacks in 19 of the countries covered.
  • Surveillance is increasing, with few checks on abuse: In 12 of the 47 countries examined, a new law or directive disproportionately enhanced surveillance or restricted user anonymity. In authoritarian countries, surveillance often targets government critics, while in middle-performing countries, safeguards for user rights and oversight procedures are lagging far behind governments' technical capacities and legal powers, leading to abuse.
  • Citizen pushback is yielding results: A significant uptick in civic activism related to internet freedom, alongside important court decisions, has produced notable victories in a wide set of countries. Advocacy campaigns, mass demonstrations, website blackouts, and constitutional court decisions have resulted in censorship plans being shelved, harmful legislation being overturned, and jailed activists being released. In 23 of the 47 countries assessed, at least one such victory occurred.

Other Significant Country Findings:

  • China: China is home to the world's largest population of internet users, but also the most advanced system of controls---one that has become even more restrictive. In 2011, the authorities abducted dozens of activists and bloggers, holding them incommunicado for weeks and sentencing several to prison. The government also tightened controls over popular domestic microblogging platforms, pressuring key firms to more stringently censor political content and to register their users' real names. Meanwhile, China's influence as an incubator for sophisticated restrictions was felt across the globe, with governments such as Belarus, Uzbekistan, and Iran using China as a model for their own new internet controls.
  • Iran: The Iranian authorities used more nuanced tactics in a continued campaign against internet freedom that began after disputed elections in 2009. These tactics included: upgrading content filtering technology, hacking digital certificates to undermine user privacy, and moving closer to establishing a National Internet. Iranian judicial authorities also meted out some of the harshest sentences in the world for online activities, including imposing the death penalty on three bloggers and IT professionals.
  • Russia: The internet is the last relatively uncensored platform for public debate in Russia. However, since January 2011, massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and smear campaigns to discredit online activists have intensified. After online tools played a critical role in galvanizing massive anti-government protests that began in December 2011, the Kremlin signaled its intention to further tighten control over internet communications.
  • Pakistan: Disconcerting recent developments in Pakistan include a ban on encryption and virtual private networks (VPNs), a death sentence imposed for transmitting allegedly blasphemous content via text message, and a one-day block on all mobile phone networks in Balochistan province. Several other initiatives to increase censorship---including a plan to filter text messages by keyword and a proposal to develop a nationwide internet firewall---were officially shelved in response to civil society advocacy campaigns, although some suspect that the government is still working on them behind closed doors.
  • Egypt: The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) maintained many of its predecessor's tactics of internet control, while intensifying others. Mobile phones, the internet, and social media remained under vigorous surveillance, bandwidth speeds were throttled during specific events, and SCAF-affiliated commentators manipulated online discussions. Several activists and bloggers were intimidated, beaten, shot at, or tried in military courts for insulting the military power or disturbing social peace. Despite recent elections, the future trajectory of internet freedom in Egypt remains precarious and uncertain.
  • United States: Internet access in the United States remains open and fairly free compared with the rest of the world. Courts have consistently held that prohibitions against government regulation of speech apply to material published on the internet, but the government's surveillance powers are cause for some concern. In early 2012, campaigns by civil society and technology companies helped to halt passage of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), which were criticized for their potentially negative effects on free speech.
  • Azerbaijan: As the host of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in November 2012, the government of Azerbaijan has been eager to promote itself as a leader of ICT innovation, but has also slightly increased restrictions on internet freedom. Rather than significantly censoring online content, the government has employed tactics such as raiding cybercafes to gather information on user identities, arresting politically active netizens on trumped-up charges, and harassing activists and their family members. In a worrisome development, the authorities ramped up their surveillance capabilities of mobile phones in early 2012.



A Petition to Recommend...

It's Guy Code website

Link Here1st October 2012

The following petition was doing the rounds via the nutters of Collective Shout! It has 347 signatures so far.

Stop Violence Against Women!! Shut down the website!!

It encourages men to commit acts of violence against women, and even provides instruction on how to do so. Extremely hateful, degrading and demeaning. Describes women in numerous negative ways, and refers to them as property. It is harmful to women and the movement to end violence against women.



Offsite Article: Open to Abuse...

Link Here1st October 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn
Open Rights Group response to Dept for Education consultation on internet website blocking

See article from

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