Censor Watch
 2014: October
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  Never Happy...

Miserable gits at ASA whinge about happy car advert


Link Here 31st October 2014

toyota yaris advert video A TV ad, a VOD ad and a video seen on the Toyota UK YouTube channel promoted the Toyota Yaris Hybrid.

The ad showed a number of different drivers and passengers singing and dancing along to Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars whilst driving around urban, and often narrow, roads. The ad included shots of the drivers gesturing with their arms, and at one point a female driver appeared to have her eyes closed as she sang along. Half way through the ad on-screen text stated THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DRIVING AND DRIVING HAPPY and near the end a voice-over stated, Fall in love with driving again with the New Yaris Hybrid ... .

75 viewers challenged whether ad was irresponsible as it encouraged dangerous driving.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The ASA considered that while other road users and pedestrians were at a minimum, viewers would believe that the ad was set on real urban roads and reflected real-life driving conditions. We noted that a number of the scenes showed both drivers and passengers listening and singing along to music, while moving and dancing in their seats, and that in a few scenes the driver was shown gesticulating with one arm off the wheel or briefly looking away from the road to interact with a passenger. While we did not consider that to show drivers and passengers enjoying and moving around to music in a car was necessarily irresponsible, we had concerns that some of the drivers were not shown paying due attention to the road, and instead appeared to be easily distracted by their passengers and the music. In particular, we were concerned that most viewers would believe that the woman in the final scene of the ad had her eyes briefly closed while singing along, and therefore was not concentrating on the road, or any obstacles that could appear at a moment's notice.

Because we considered that some of the featured drivers were not shown paying due attention to the road, we concluded that the ad condoned and encouraged dangerous driving and was therefore irresponsible.

The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Toyota (GB) plc to ensure their ads did not depict dangerous driving in future.

 

 Update: State Censors...

Australian government defends its wide-ranging ability to block websites without accountability


Link Here 31st October 2014
australian government logo Australia's law-enforcement agency has defended its use of a law that requires ISPs to block websites government agencies deem illegal, without judicial oversight.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) claimed they need section 313 of the Telecommunications Act, which requires telcos to enforce criminal laws, protect public revenue and anything deemed to be a matter of national security.

The AFP, financial regulator ASIC and an unidentified national security agency have interpreted the law to mean they have the power to order telcos to block websites hosting illegal material.

But ISPs have called for restrictions. They argue there is not enough oversight and that some providers had even received blocking requests from animal protection agency the RSPCA.

Between 2011 and 2013 the Department of Communications estimated 32 requests to block websites had been made. As far as it was aware, only three government agencies had used the power.

 

 Updated: Government creating new laws to suffocate British businesses selling to adults...

When will politicians ever do anything useful, like funding a convenient and free age verification system that businesses will then be keen to use?


Link Here 31st October 2014

DCMS logo Porn websites will be forced to check users are over 18 under a new crackdown to stop children accessing explicit material.

Mobile phone companies and credit card firms will have to ensure that someone proves they are aged 18 or over before being given access to adult websites.

Now it has emerged that plans are being drawn up to force adult websites to carry out checks on the age of users. It would cover pornography sites, as well as those selling guns and other age-restricted material, the Sunday Times reported.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is working on the plans with Treasury minister Andrea Leadsom, who oversees regulation of the banking system.

However, the new rules would only cover UK-based websites to begin with.  It is already nearly impossible to run a British adult website due to onerous age verification rules and critics have noted that only one of the 1,266 adult websites visited from the UK in December 2013 was a service that is regulated in this country.

It seems very unlikely that these new rules will have any impact on the availability of porn to children. Even if new downloads were stopped tomorrow there's probably already enough knocking around and hard drives and memory sticks to last several lifetimes of playground swopsies. The only effect it will have is to add to the mountain of red tape, administrative costs and restrictive regulations that is impoverishing the west.

 

Offsite Comment: Why age checks on porn sites will do more harm than good

Telegraph logo 28th October 2014. See  article from  telegraph.co.uk by Martin Daubney

The Government's plan to introduce age verification checks only shows that politicians remain too scared to approach the porn problem in a meaningful manner.

...Read the full article

Update: Will the payment providers provide age verification?

31st October 2014. See  article from  business.avn.com

That tidbit of information, along with other reports indicating that PayPal and Visa will be taking part in the new scheme in addition to other approved methods of verification, suggests that one way the government ostensibly means to gain control of the internet is by pressuring processors to age-verify while simultaneously holding out the (dubious) promise of increased and officially sanctioned business.

 

 Offsite Article: The awful truth about free speech...


Link Here 31st October 2014
Spiked logo Time to stop paying lip service to the principle and take a stand in practice. By Mick Hume

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 Commented: No Natural Rights for the Naked Rambler...

Even the European Court doesn't see the injustice in jailing someone for 10 years for passively being nude in public


Link Here 30th October 2014
European court buildings The Naked Rambler, Stephen Gough, has lost his case at the European Court of Human Rights where he claimed he had a right to be naked in public. He had argued that his repeated arrest, prosecution, conviction and imprisonment for being naked in public and his treatment in detention violated his rights.

The court unanimously found there had been no violation of Articles 8 and 10 of the Convention. Naked Rambler Stephen Gough has lost his challenge in the European Court of Human Rights of the sentence was one year, nine months and 18 days. The ECHR ruled:

The applicant's imprisonment is the consequence of his repeated violation of the criminal law in full knowledge of the consequences, through conduct which he knew full well not only goes against the standards of accepted public behaviour in any modern democratic society but also is liable to be alarming and morally and otherwise offensive to other, unwarned members of the public going about their ordinary business.

The court described Gough's case as troubling but ruled that relevant and sufficient measures had been taken against him by the police and legal authorities which saw him arrested in 2011. They were meeting a pressing social need in response to repeated anti-social conduct by Gough. The ECHR stated:

Even though, cumulatively, the penalties imposed on the applicant undoubtedly did entail serious consequences for him, the court cannot find in the circumstances of his case, having regard in particular to his own responsibility for his plight, that the public authorities in Scotland unjustifiably interfered with his exercise of freedom of expression. Accordingly, no violation of Article 10 of the Convention has been established.

Offsite Comment: Stephen Gough and the European Court

30th October 2014. See  article from  bn.org.uk

british naturism logo British Naturism very much welcomes the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that nudity is a means of expression and that Article 10 of the European Convention of Human rights applies to nudity. This is a preliminary analysis of the court's ruling regarding Stephen Gough. The judgement only considers some aspects of the case, and there are no surprises, but it does establish some points of law that are important for Naturism and the fight against prudery and body-shame.

...Read the full article

 

 Offsite Article: I'm the Welsh Bus Driver Who Had His Life Ruined by Tiger Porn...


Link Here 30th October 2014
tiger angry You could tell straight away it wasn't a real tiger, says Andrew Holland, describing a video sent to him of a man in a tiger suit having sex with a woman. Right from the word go, the tiger was talking.

See article from vice.com

 

 Offsite Article: When does making fun of religion cross the line?...


Link Here 30th October 2014
Dieter Nuhr Ich bin nuhr A comedian might say it's his job to make fun of everything and everybody under the sun - the more wicked, the better. In Germany, a debate has broken out after a Muslim citizen filed suit over a comedian's jokes.

See article from dw.de

 

  Rwanda Recommends...

BBC's This World: Rwanda's Untold Story


Link Here 29th October 2014
rwandas untold story The BBC described its programme, This World: Rwanda's Untold Story:

Twenty years on from the Rwandan genocide, This World reveals evidence that challenges the accepted story of one of the most horrifying events of the late 20th century. The current president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, has long been portrayed as the man who brought an end to the killing and rescued his country from oblivion. Now there are increasing questions about the role of Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front forces in the dark days of 1994 and in the 20 years since.

The film investigates evidence of Kagame's role in the shooting down of the presidential plane that sparked the killings in 1994 and questions his claims to have ended the genocide. It also examines claims of war crimes committed by Kagame's forces and their allies in the wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo and allegations of human rights abuses in today's Rwanda.

Former close associates from within Kagame's inner circle and government speak out from hiding abroad. They present a very different portrait of a man who is often hailed as presiding over a model African state. Rwanda's economic miracle and apparent ethnic harmony has led to the country being one of the biggest recipients of aid from the UK. Former prime minister Tony Blair is an unpaid adviser to Kagame, but some now question the closeness of Mr Blair and other western leaders to Rwanda's president.

But it was all a bit too much for Rwanda. The government has suspended all BBC radio broadcasts in Rwanda's most common language to protest against the news organisation's recent documentary about the 1994 genocide in the country.

The Rwandan TV censor announced the suspension of the BBC's broadcasts in the local language, Kinyarwanda. The board said it took the action because it has received complaints of incitement, hatred, divisionism, genocide denial and revision from the public.

President Paul Kagame's government, members of parliament and genocide survivors have expressed their anger at the BBC over the recent documentary that suggested the country's president may have had a hand shooting down his predecessor's plane, a crash that triggered the mass killings.

Its hour-long documentary, Rwanda, The Untold Story, also quoted US researchers who suggested that many of the more than 800,000 Rwandans who died in the 1994 genocide may have been ethnic Hutus, and not ethnic Tutsis as the Rwandan government maintains.

 

 Extracts: So Orwell was just 30 years out...

How the police and GCHQ work round legal requirements so as to enable secretive mass snooping


Link Here 29th October 2014

gchq logo British intelligence services can access raw material collected in bulk by the NSA and other foreign spy agencies without a warrant, the government has confirmed for the first time.

GCHQ's secret arrangements for accessing bulk material are revealed in documents submitted to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, the UK surveillance watchdog, in response to a joint legal challenge by Privacy International, Liberty and Amnesty International. The legal action was launched in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations published by the Guardian and other news organisations last year.

The government's submission discloses that the UK can obtain unselected -- meaning unanalysed, or raw intelligence -- information from overseas partners without a warrant if it was not technically feasible to obtain the communications under a warrant and if it is necessary and proportionate for the intelligence agencies to obtain that information.

The rules essentially permit bulk collection of material, which can include communications of UK citizens, provided the request does not amount to deliberate circumvention of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa), which governs much of the UK's surveillance activities.

And the Police...

See  article from  bigbrotherwatch.org.uk
See  Spying on phone calls and emails has doubled under the coalition from  telegraph.co.uk

Metropiltan Police badge Big Brother Watch has published a report highlighting the true scale of police forces' use of surveillance powers.

The report comes at a time when the powers have faced serious criticism, following revelations that police have used them to access journalists' phone records.

The research focuses on the use of 'directed surveillance' contained in the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) by police forces; a form of covert surveillance conducted in places other than residential premises or private vehicles which is deemed to be non-intrusive, but is still likely to result in personal information about the individual being obtained.

Although the report details how directed surveillance powers were authorised more than 27,000 times over a three year period, police forces are not compelled to record any other statistics; therefore we cannot know the exact number of individuals that these authorisations relate to.

 

  Linked Judgements...

European Court of Justice decides that embedding pre-existing video without permission is not liable to claims of copyright infringement


Link Here 29th October 2014
European Court of Justice The Court of Justice of the European Union has handed down a landmark verdict. The Court ruled that embedding copyrighted videos is not copyright infringement, even if the source video was uploaded without permission.

The case in question was referred to EU's Court of Justice by a German court. It deals with a dispute between the water filtering company BestWater International and two men who work as independent commercial agents for a competitor. Bestwater accused the men of embedding one of their promotional videos, which was available on YouTube without the company's permission. The video was embedded on the personal website of the two through a frame, as is usual with YouTube videos.

While EU law is clear on most piracy issues, the copyright directive says very little about embedding copyrighted works. The Court of Justice, however, now argues that embedding is not copyright infringement.

The Court argues that embedding a file or video is not a breach of creator's copyrights under European law, as long as it's not altered or communicated to a new public. In the current case, the video was already available on YouTube so embedding it is not seen as a new communication. T he Court's verdict reads:

The embedding in a website of a protected work which is publicly accessible on another website by means of a link using the framing technology ... does not by itself constitute communication to the public within the meaning of [the EU Copyright directive] to the extent that the relevant work is neither communicated to a new public nor by using a specific technical means different from that used for the original communication.

The Court based its verdict on an earlier decision in the Svensson case , where it found that hyperlinking to a previously published work is not copyright infringement. Together, both cases will have a major impact on future copyright cases in the EU. For Internet users it means that they are protected from liability if they embed copyrighted videos or images from other websites, for example.

 

 Offsite Article: 'Tiger porn' case: Can you do better than the CPS?...


Link Here 29th October 2014
tony the tiger Andrew Holland suffered ridicule and harassment after prosecutors failed to notice that a lusty tiger in a video found on his phone was actually just a man in a tiger suit. See if you can do better than his prosecutors

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: Dangerous Kink...


Link Here 29th October 2014
cbc logo The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has sparked a national sex debate when it dismissed popular radio host Jian Ghomeshi. Ghomeshi claimed he was fired because his participation in consensual BDSM had come to light.

See article from slate.com

 

 Offsite Article: Power Trip...


Link Here 28th October 2014
newstatesman logo Politicians clamoured for a law that sees the life of an innocent man trashed over a couple of bad taste jokey video clips on his phone. An excellent write up of the Tiger Porn persecution.

See article from newstatesman.com

 

 Update: Miserable in India...

Film censors now require invasive warning whenever alcohol appears on screen


Link Here 28th October 2014
bachelor party

  Warning: May contain depictions of
people enjoying life

The Indian Censor Board has introduced anti-drinking warnings in scenes where actors are depicted consuming alcohol. The first Hindi film falling victim will be Happy New Year starring Shah Rukh Khan.

The Mumbai Mirror has learned the decision was taken by Rahul Vaidya, the new Regional Officer who took over after former CEO Rakesh Kumar was jailed on corruption charges. Sources said all future releases will have to follow the guidelines.

While such warnings are already mandatory in some states, the Kerala government, which used to run such warnings in Malayalam movies till recently, did away with the practice in August after a committee headed by the legendary Adoor Gopalakrishnan recommended that the warnings be shown before the movie and during the interval.

A CBFC official close to Vaidya on request of anonymity, defended the move. Vaidya and his team is simply following the guidelines. They are not doing anything arbitrarily. We warn people that smoking is injurious to health. Now we will do the same for drinking.

 

  Well Versed in Repression...

Kazakhstan hands out massive fine for advert depicting well known poets kissing


Link Here 28th October 2014
havas worldwide advert An advertising agency in Kazakhstan has been handed a large fine for a poster of revered bard Kurmangazy locked in a passionate kiss with Alexander Pushkin, Russia's national poet.

Havas Worldwide Kazakhstan says it can't pay the 34 million tenge ($186,000) fine, and plans to appeal. The agency's general director Dariya Khamitzhanova said the ruling is:

nonsense. Not one of the 34 plaintiffs appeared in court. The whole hearing was marred by procedural violations,

The poster appeared in social media in August, enraging anti-gay activists who complained to the police that it insulted Kazakhs and Russians. Thirty-four staff and students of Kurmangazy Conservatory, in the southern city of Almaty, filed a suit last month demanding a million tenge each in moral damages.

 

 Extract: Persecuting ordinary people who have got no chance of knowing what's banned...

Tiger porn victim requests human rights review of extreme pornography law by Crown Prosecution Service


Link Here 27th October 2014

Old Bailey The law penalising possession of extreme pornography faces judicial review by a defendant previously charged with having a video of woman having sex with a tiger.

It was revealed in Court that the tiger was actually a man in a tiger-skin costume.

Yet the former defendant, Andrew Holland, of Wrexham, North Wales, suffered significant disruption to his life and widespread public ridicule.

Solicitor Myles Jackman at Hodge Jones & Allen LLP acting on behalf of Mr Holland, said:

Mr Holland does not want others to go through the ordeal that he has faced. Mr Holland wants to ensure that others are not prosecuted unnecessarily in the manner that he was. He remains subject to the risk of further criminal charges in the event that he is in possession of similar joke images in the future.

Consequently Backlash have written to the Prime Minister, and HJA have written to Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions asking her to review the implementation of this law: Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008.

Something has gone badly wrong when Parliament were told there would be thirty cases a year yet there have been thousands of costly prosecutions emphasised Backlash Chair Hazel Eraclaeous.

If this review is not forthcoming, the law will be challenged by way of judicial review in the Administrative Court of the High Court.

Jon Fuller, spokesperson for Backlash, said:

This law threatens anyone with a sex life they want to keep private. It threatens ordinary members of the public who exchange dirty jokes by phone and over the internet. Potentially criminalizing millions of people is a disproportionate consequence of a law not based on harm and with no clear benefit.

Letter to the Prime Minister from Backlash

backlash logo Dear Prime Minister

S63(7) of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 Prospective Judicial Review in the Administrative Court of the High Court: Pre-Action Protocol Letter

In the years since S63(7) of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 was enacted there have been over 5,500 prosecutions for possession offences. Prior to the introduction of the legislation Ministers said there would merely be a handful of cases each year, and the Regulatory Impact Assessment predicted just 30 per annum.

Of great concern is that over the five years since enactment of the legislation the public, law enforcement agencies and the judiciary remain either oblivious or uncertain as to the precise meaning of at least two, and possibly all four, categories of the legislation. The Simon Walsh trial showed that CPS had sought to widen the meaning of Section 63(7)(b), seeking to prosecute for possession of images that depicted unconventional but not dangerous behaviour. The Andrew Holland ( Tiger porn ) case (Section 63(7)(d)) showed that harmless but crude jokes could also result in prosecution.

While both of these cases and others resulted in acquittal, it is unacceptable that the legal profession remains uncertain as to what types of material may get members of the public into trouble. There is emphatic evidence that many lawyers have advised people to plead guilty to possession offences to avoid the cost involved in trial, despite subsequent examination of the facts revealing that no offence had been committed.

The brutal reality is that lives are being turned upside down, careers destroyed and worse. In the light of the extreme nature of the penalties upon conviction, inclusion on the sex offenders register, lengthy period of incarceration and a heavy fine, it is wholly unacceptable that the public is denied an unequivocal, precise and detailed statement of that which is legal and that illegal to possess. If it really is impossible for the executive to provide clarity, then legislators must repeal the sections that cause the greatest difficulty (S63(7)(a) and(b).

Today, Hodge Jones & Allen LLP, acting on behalf of Andrew Holland, has written to The Director of Public Prosecutions explaining that the case against Mr Holland breached his human rights for three reasons.

1. That the term extreme pornography is insufficiently clearly defined in S63 CJIA 2008. It is not clear from the wording and accompanying case law how a potential defendant would be able to understand its scope and foresee the consequence of his/her actions;

2. There is insufficient guidance from the DPP as to when offences under S63 will be prosecuted; and

3. The offence is a disproportionate means of achieving the legislation's intended aims.

Hodge Jones & Allen LLP have asked that the Secretary of State for the Home Department carries out a Human Rights Impact Assessment in relation to S63 CJIA 2008. In the event that the section fails the Human Rights Impact Assessment it is requested that this be confirmed in writing so that proceedings can be issued by way of judicial review by the Claimant who can then seek a Declaration of Incompatibility by way of a Consent Order. This will allow the Secretary of State for the Home Department to repeal Section 63 of the Criminal Justice & Immigration Act 2008 by use of the fast-track procedure under Section 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

I appeal to you to intervene to ensure that common sense and justice prevail. The harm being caused by S63(7) CJIA 2008 now greatly exceeds any perceived benefits.

Yours faithfully

Hazel Eracleous Chair, Backlash

 

Are vague laws allowing police to ride roughshod over legal standards?

See  article from  politics.co.uk by Jane Fae

The extreme porn law has been the government's preferred means of dealing with online smut for ten years. It was always an accident waiting to happen. For five years, government appears to have gotten away with it, but today's threat, by solicitors Hodge Allen & Jones to take the law to judicial review if the director of public prosecutions does not explain once and for all what is and is not an offence could be the final straw.

...Read the full article

 

 Updated: Where will it all end?...

Generating a little 'outrage' for a new video game named Hatred


Link Here 27th October 2014

hatred logo Video games have received all manner of attention over the last week, much of it negative. Now the release of the first trailer for Hatred , a game where the only objective appears to be the mass murder of as many innocent civilians as possible, is bringing the industry to a new low.

The trailer for the video game, which is designed by Polish developer Destructive Creations, begins with the appearance of an obscure, long-haired figure dressed in black and brandishing a host of weaponry including machine guns, knives and grenades. After a brief monologue about this character's hatred for the world and the human worms that reside within it, the character then proceeds to embark on a genocide crusade which showcases several brutal executions of men, women and police officers with no apparent purpose.

In Hatred , not only violence, but violence against innocent civilians seems to be the whole purpose of the game. Since the trailer's release a fierce debate has sprung up about the morality of such violent and destructive game-play, adding fuel to the massive fire currently surrounding moral game-play, the sexualization of women in video games and the threats directed against outspoken women in the industry.

Update: Interview with the makers

27th October 2014. See  interview from  thelinc.co.uk

TheLinc: Your game, Hatred, is ultra-violence without any kind of subtext or wrapper around it, do you not find that a little grim to work on?

Jaroslaw Zielinski, CEO of Destructive Creations: Well, when you see that game every day and you're creating from scratch all horrible scenes, you don't see the whole big picture of it. You're just noticing every, goddamn little issue that needs to be fixed. And actually working on this crazy title is pretty fun.

TheLinc: You make mention of it just being entertainment, or it just being a game . In the current environment of games, do you not see that as something that's problematic to pass off any blame of disgust or offence people have felt?

Jaroslaw: But there is this other side -- people who love the concept, support us as hell, write us such quantity of supportive e-mails that I would never expect. And we are making this game for them, not for all those disgusted or offended (by the way, I don't get how anyone can get offended by our title). We live in free society -- we can do this kind of game and we won't force anybody to play it.

TheLinc: Is the team literally aiming for shock factor? Or do you think the game itself will be fun?

Jaroslaw: Both. Shock factor, as you can guess, made all the world to know our game. We are small team from Poland and we would never achieve such renown if we would be making something with common theme. Even if it would be a great game. We never expected such big fame and all our thanks are going to our haters. But yes, this game is fun, it's some kind of sinful pleasure . It has quite a unique atmosphere and for us, the most important thing to do now is to make it better and better.

...Read the full interview

 

  Dogged Censorship...

Ofcom bitches at the World's Crazy Fools


Link Here 26th October 2014

worlds craziest fools World's Craziest Fools
BBC3, 30 June 2014, 19:00

World's Craziest Fools is a series of programmes presented by actor and professional wrestler Mr T. Video clips of people acting foolishly are shown accompanied by humorous voiceovers from the presenter.

A complainant alerted Ofcom to the use of offensive language during an episode shown on 30 June 2014 at 19:00. About five minutes into the programme the song Move Bitch by the rapper Ludacris was used as background music to accompany a montage of clips showing car drivers behaving in various stupid or dangerous ways.

Ofcom noted 25 instances of bitch which were clearly audible while the song was played. The duration of the montage using the music was about two minutes.

Ofcom consider Rule 1.16:

Offensive language must not be broadcast before the watershed unless it is justified by the context. In any event, frequent use of such language must be avoided before the watershed .

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.16

Ofcom's guidance on Rule 1.16 makes clear that:

Milder language in the early part of the evening may be acceptable, for example, if mitigated by a humorous context. However, in general, viewers and listeners do not wish to hear frequent or regular use of such language, including profanity, before 2100 .

Our research on offensive language noted that the word bitch is considered by audiences to be offensive language of medium acceptability which they group with other words considered to be stronger swear words. This research said that, although some thought there were contexts where it was acceptable to use this word pre-watershed, audiences considered that care needed to be taken , particularly where children were likely to be listening or watching and where programmes were intended to be family viewing.

Ofcom noted that there were 25 audible uses of the word bitch in this one item in the programme over a period of two minutes. In our view it was therefore clear that in this pre-watershed programme there was frequent use of offensive language.

We took account of the various points made by the BBC which it suggested helped to mitigate the offence caused by this repeated use of offensive language. These included that the use of this song in conjunction with a montage of traffic and parking clips made clear that in this context the song was intended to be comedic, rather than offensive towards women. Nonetheless we noted that the programme was pre-recorded, and there was therefore an opportunity for the producers to research and reflect on this choice of music for a pre-watershed programme.

The BBC also argued that any potential offence was mitigated by the humorous nature of the programme in general, and blunted, rather than intensified by its repetition. However, Rule 1.16 requires that the frequent use of offensive language must be avoided before the watershed. Ofcom's research on offensive language2 indicates that some audiences feel that the frequent use of a word can increase its offensiveness. In Ofcom's view, therefore, the repeated use of the word bitch in this song did not blunt the potential offence caused.

Breach of Rule 1.16

 

  Comparably Strict...

The New Zealand film censor compares ratings from 6 countries and finds itself most similar to UK


Link Here 26th October 2014
comparing classifications New Zealand film censors at the Office Of Film & Literature Classification have been censor ratings for the major films and games from 2012-13.

Ratings from Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Ontario, New Zealand and Singapore were compared using a scale of age and restrictiveness. The report examined 260 feature films and 112 video games..

According to the report the comparisons for games show that;

  • Overall, game classifications in New Zealand are less restrictive than those of the United Kingdom and Ontario, and more restrictive than those of Singapore, Australia, and the United States. 

  • The average strength of game classifications in different jurisdictions (for 2012/13) is similar to our last report (for 2010/11).

  • There have been changes since our last analysis however: the United Kingdom is included in the games comparison as it began enforcing the European PEGI system in 2012, and Australia began using an R18+ classification for games in 2013.

  • Having adopted the European PEGI system and legally enforced its age ratings, the United Kingdom now has the most restrictive classification system for games of any jurisdiction in our study. Game classifications in the United Kingdom are most consistent with New Zealand's: 89% of titles in our sample received a relatively consistent classification in both jurisdictions. 

  • Game classifications in the United States are the least consistent with New Zealand's, with just 18% of the sample receiving a relatively consistent classification.

  • For games classified in Australia in 2012, only 14% of titles were relatively consistent with New Zealand's, but this rose to 49% in 2013 after the introduction of an Australian R18+ classification for games. The overall impact 

  • of the introduction of R18+ is that games were more restrictively classified in Australia in 2013 than in New Zealand.

  • The ESRB system in the United States is the least restrictive system for game classification because it is not legally enforced. However, when fully enforced in Ontario, the system is more restrictive than New Zealand's.

  • Singapore's game classification system is considerably less restrictive than its system for films, and is one of the least consistent in this regard when compared with other jurisdiction.

Overall the NZOFLC stated that the Restrictiveness of NZ classifications is closest to UK's .

 

  Big Offence Taken...

Office space advert taken down after advert censor gets involved


Link Here 26th October 2014
matford size is important advert A billboard advertising office space in Exeter that offended Exeter Feminists is set to be censored.

The advert, promoting space for rent at Matford Business Centre in Exeter, featured a large chested woman in a bikini next to the slogan Size IS important .

After consideration by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), Matford Business Centre has now agreed to take down the advertising without the need for a formal investigation:

ASA advised 12 whingers that the billboard objectified women and used sexually provocative imagery to sell an unrelated product/ service and broke the censorship rules:

  • 1.3 - Marketing communications must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society.
  • 4.1 - Marketing communications must not contain anything that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Particular care must be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age.

 

 Updated: A word about ASA...

Advert censor confirms ban of product picture of a widely available and very popular joke mug


Link Here 26th October 2014

unt mug An ad on the home page of www.firebox.com, featured a product entitled the UNT Mug and showed a picture of the mug, which had a C-shaped handle and the letters UNT printed after it.

A complaint challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious offence.

Firebox.com Ltd said the image referred to a product being sold on their ecommerce website and the C-shaped handle was the same shape as for regular mugs in the UK. They said the mug was a best-selling product and, therefore, regularly featured on their home page and product feeds. They said the product was fun, humorous and cheeky and did not cause offence. If consumers were offended by the product, they could choose not to visit their website in future. They said that they had not marketed the product in e-mail communications or advertised it more widely than the website, but over 325,000 people had viewed the product page directly, 19,000 people had shared the product through social media likes and 8 million people had viewed their home page since it's launch. They explained that the product could only be found via search engines if the specific name was searched for and they did not advertise it in any generic way.

ASA Assessment

THIS ADJUDICATION REPLACES THAT PUBLISHED ON 16 JULY. THE WORDING OF THE ASSESSMENT HAS CHANGED BUT THE DECISION TO UPHOLD THE COMPLAINT REMAINS.

Complaint Upheld

The ASA considered that the product listing was an ad which fell within the remit of the CAP Code. We understood that the product in question could be purchased directly from the website and therefore considered the product listing to be directly connected with the supply or transfer of goods and that the content therefore fell within the remit of the Code.

The full expletive had not been spelt out and, instead, used the handle of the mug to create the impression of the C . However, the handle was painted black and matched the UNT letters on the mug, contrasting the white background. We considered consumers would therefore understand that the intended meaning of the UNT letters placed next to the C shaped handle was to spell CUNT ; especially as the product was entitled the UNT Mug . While, in the context of an online shop, it was likely that the ad would be mostly viewed by adults rather than by children, we considered that a clear allusion to the word cunt was likely to offend and, therefore, marketing communications should only market products that contain expletives or words, or allusions to expletives or words that were likely to cause serious or widespread offence if they had given a clear and prominent warning on their website to potential viewers. We concluded the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

The ad must not appear in its current form. We told Firebox.com Ltd to ensure that future marketing communications that market products containing expletives or words, or allusions to expletives or words, that were likely to cause serious or widespread offence, were given a clear and prominent warning on their website to potential viewers.

Update: Amazon likes to have fun too

26th October 2014.

This morning Amazon sent me an email showing that the company's marketing computer has a sense of humour. (And if anyone from ASA is reading this, no I was not offended, on the contrary, it brightened up my day)

Hello David

Customers who have shown an interest in Unt Coffee/tea Mug might also like to know about these products similar to Unt Coffee/tea Mug

funny email

 

 Offsite Article: Silencing extreme views, even if they are those of internet trolls, is wrong...


Link Here 26th October 2014
edinburgh university feminist society logo Internet trolls are among the worst specimens the human race can offer. But they are not a reason to nod through another restriction on personal freedom

See article from theguardian.com

 

  Ofcom whinges at 'fucks' in a live daytime Lily Allen concert...

I bet half the kids being 'protected' would have sworn at the radio if the gig had been cancelled


Link Here 25th October 2014

radio 1s big weekend   Radio 1's Big Weekend
BBC Radio 1, 24 May 2014, 17:15 to 18:45

BBC Radio 1 hosted an annual live music event in Glasgow called Radio 1's Big Weekend , with segments of the event broadcast across the weekend.

Three complainants alerted Ofcom to the use of offensive language during the event's live broadcasts. Two of the complaints related specifically to Lily Allen's set aired between 17:30 and 18:15 on 24 May 2014 and one complaint was made about offensive language across the whole weekend. Ofcom noted that there were six instances of fuck during Lily Allen's 45 minute performance.

At 17:27, immediately prior to Lily Allen going on stage, the on-air presenter, Scott Mills, broadcast the following warning:

Now don't forget this set may contain some strong language, it is live on Radio 1's Big Weekend. We're about to see Lily Allen. If you're easily offended please go to the website and check out some other performance.

Lily Allen's set contained 11 songs in total, three of which included fuck . Following the first instance of fuck in each song the broadcast was immediately interrupted with an apology from the on-air presenter, with these apologies repeated at the end of the tracks.

Ofcom Rule 1.14:

The most offensive language must not be broadcastâ?¦when children are particularly likely to be listening.

The BBC pointed to the warning for strong language before Lily Allen's set began, and the multiple apologies broadcast during and after songs which included fuck .

The BBC said that at two points during Lily Allen's performance it considered whether to cut away from her set because of the repeated use of the word fuck . However the senior producer decided on balance to continue for various reasons. These included the producer's view that few children would be listening, the very clear signposting and apologies already given. However the BBC stated that in retrospect it believed Radio 1 should have stopped broadcasting live Lily Allen's set after the second song when she used offensive language, and only broadcast the remainder of her performance once it had been edited.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of rule 1.14

In this case the BBC clearly had prior experience with this live event from 2011. It is also important to note that in this case BBC Radio 1 was both the event promoter and broadcaster. It therefore had greater control over this event, and for example the order and content of the performances, than if it was one for which it had negotiated the rights to broadcast. Also as Lily Allen's material was well known, and her use of strong language in performance well established, it was reasonably predictable that her set could contain the most offensive language during a live broadcast of Radio 1's Big Weekend.

In light of Ofcom's decision in 2011, we considered that the BBC should have been more aware of this risk when broadcasting the same event in 2014. We are concerned that it did not take more measures both before and during the broadcast to ensure compliance with Section One of the Code taking into account that the event was to be broadcast at a time when children were particularly likely to be listening. Ofcom noted, for example, that in addition to consideration of the scheduling of the acts, the BBC also had the option of cutting away from Lily Allen's set after the first occasion when she used the most offensive language but failed to do so.

Therefore, in light of all the above factors, Rule 1.14 of the Code was breached.

Update: The BBC Trust also investigates

29th October 2014. See  article [pdf] from  downloads.bbc.co.uk

In a similar investigation to Ofcom, the BBC Trust concluded:

BBC Trust Trustees were particularly concerned that this breach had come after several similar incidents in which the BBC had broadcast high profile music events which had included offensive language. They noted previous occasions when this had taken place: July 2005's broadcast of Live 8; July 2007's broadcast of Live Earth and Radio 1's Big Weekend of 2011. They considered that the BBC had an even greater degree of responsibility in regard to Radio 1's Big Weekend because it had editorial control in advance that it would not necessarily have over other events. They considered that, while artists were not paid for their performances, it was not the case that they did not benefit from taking part. They were able to reach a very wide audience, had the benefit of wide TV, radio and online coverage and had the advantage of widespread publicity that came with the coverage.

Trustees found that in relation to the output broadcast live on Radio 1 and online there had been a serious breach of the Editorial Guidelines for Harm and Offence; in particular, Guideline 5.4.22 which states: We must not include the strongest language before the watershed, or on radio when children are particularly likely to be in our audience, or in online content likely to appeal to a significant proportion of children.

 

  Cartoon despot...

Cartoonists encouraged to draw caricatures of Turkish president who has a nasty habit of locking up cartoonists


Link Here 25th October 2014
ben jennings stop this The cartoonist and author Martin Rowson has encouraged people around the world to draw caricatures of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an attempt to raise awareness of a perceived clampdown on Turkish cartoonists wishing to lampoon him .

Over a series of messages on Twitter, Rowson, a regular Guardian contributor, wrote:

President Erdogan of Turkey is seeking 10 year stretch for a Turkish cartoonist. Recently another Turkish cartoonist was heavily fined for drawing Erdogan as a cat.

Maybe, if it's safe, a whole pile of cartoonists round the world should tweet their cartoons of Erdogan to teach him some humility before God and us cartoonists. Otherwise he might give the very strong impression that he's a chippy narcissistic despot. The very idea! I'll file my # ErdoganCaricature tomorrow morning. Start scribbling, comrades!

True to his word, Rowson posted his own caricature of the Turkish president on Thursday morning, and encouraged others to do likewise - if safe to do so.

 

  Dangerous Criticism...

Afghanistan newspaper sparks street protests for daring to criticise Islamic State terrorists


Link Here 25th October 2014
afghanistan express logo A newspaper columnist condemning Islamic State and the Taliban triggered demonstrations in several Afghan cities on Friday, with protesters denouncing the article as blasphemous and calling on the government to punish the publication.

In Kabul, a crowd of approximately 500 people, including clerics and several members of parliament, gathered in front of the Eid Gah Mosque, the city's second largest house of worship. Religious leader Fazl Hadi Wazin said:

The government must stop the people who insulted the prophet, the Qur'an and Islam, and prevent them from leaving the country

In an opinion piece published last week in the English-language daily the Afghanistan Express, a journalist named AJ Ahwar admonished Muslims for remaining silent in the face of Islamic State and the Taliban. He also criticised Islam for not accepting other religions and minorities such as homosexuals and Hazaras, a Shia minority in Afghanistan.

The article ended by concluding that human beings are more important than God, which seemed to particularly incense protesters.

 

 Update: Set up by the authorities...

Rules designed to repress US adult entertainment may end up endangering strippers


Link Here 25th October 2014
Washington state seal Dancers at a Washington strip club are suing to prevent officials from releasing their names and addresses due to a public records request. Because most strippers are required to have an entertainer's license , their identities are on the record.

Two unnamed dancers filed the complaint against Pierce County, on behalf of about 70 dancers and managers at Dreamgirls at Fox's, as well as any former dancers. They are asking county officials not to release copies of their business licenses, and thus real identities, to a man who has filed a public records request for that information.

Gilbert H. Levy, an attorney for the dancers, acknowledged that the information can legally be released under the state's Public Records Act, but that the entertainers have free-speech, privacy and safety interests in keeping the licenses and their true identities confidential.

The request from for copies of all adult entertainment licenses on file for Dreamgirls at Fox's did not list a reason for the filing. Elizabeth Nolan Brown at Reason.com speculated that it's entirely likely the person who wants this information is a crazy stalker or an anti-sex nutjob. Maybe both. Maybe merely a blackmailer or a 4chan-er. At any rate, it's hard to imagine many non-nefarious reasons for requesting personal information on a wide swath of individuals in a sensitive job.

 

  Movies should be rated by people who haven't watched many movies...

Ludicrous academics claim that the more we experience, the less our opinions are worth. In every other aspect of life, the more we experience, the better we are able to judge.


Link Here 24th October 2014

annenberg public policy center logo Parents can become less sensitive to violence and sex in movies after watching only a few scenes with disturbing content, according to a study published in Pediatrics that was conducted by researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

Parents viewed three brief pairs of movie scenes featuring either violent or sexual content. After seeing the first movie clip, the parents thought the minimum age on average to see a movie with that content should be 16.9 years old for violence or 17.2 years old for sex. After watching the sixth and final scene, the parents were more willing to let younger teens see the movies, 13.9 years for violence and 14 years for sex -- lowering the minimum age by three years or more.

Dan Romer, associate director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) and the study's lead author said:

We know these scenes are somewhat disturbing to parents. When they first see them, they say you shouldn't let someone younger than 17 see them -- which is comparable to an R rating. But they get more and more accepting of that content as they're watching it.

The study Parental Desensitization to Violence and Sex in Movie s, will be published in the November 2014 issue of Pediatrics. The findings were based on an online survey of 1,000 parents who have children from ages 6 to 17. The movie scenes came from popular films targeted at youth (PG-13), rated R (under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian) or unrated in DVD versions.

The study comes as scenes of sex and violence become more prevalent in movies aimed at youth. A 2013 study in Pediatrics from APPC researchers showed that the amount of violence in PG-13 movies tripled in the most popular movies since 1985. That study also found that the amount of gun violence in popular PG-13 movies in 2012 actually exceeded that in popular R-rated movies. Another APPC study in Pediatrics in 2013 found that movie violence was associated with sex and alcohol use as often in PG-13 as R-rated movies.

The possible effect on movie raters

The authors noted that people who rate movies for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), who are themselves parents, could be subject to the same desensitization and thus more likely to be lenient when it comes to evaluating the appropriateness of such content for children. The study said this effect could help to explain the ratings creep that has allowed more violence into films aimed at youth.

Parents in the study viewed scenes from six of these eight movies: 8 Mile (2002, rated R); Casino Royale (2006, PG-13); Collateral (2004, R); Taken 2 (2012, PG-13); Die Hard (1988, R); Live Free or Die Hard (2007, unrated DVD); The Terminator (1984, R); and Terminator Salvation (2009, PG-13).

 

 

 Update: Reading a bit too much into 'following' someone on Twitter...

Social media told to counter terrorist propaganda with government propaganda


Link Here 24th October 2014

Twitter logo Senior British executives from Twitter, Google and Facebook were summoned to Downing Street on Thursday and told to do more to take action to curb the online activities of extremists. The Home Office and Crown Prosecution Service are in talks about using court orders to ensure that ISPs immediately remove extremist propaganda.

The warning came as it transpired that Britain's most high-profile radical Islamist preacher, Anjem Choudary, had influenced the man involved in the Ottawa attack. Canadian terrorist Martin Ahmad Rouleau's Twitter account showed that he followed several radical preachers, including Choudary, who tweeted that he hoped that the Canadian attacker would be admitted to heaven.

However, Choudary said: The fact that someone follows you on Twitter does not mean you necessarily influenced him to do anything.

As part of the plans, the Government also wants to encourage social media sites to use so-called counter-speech tactics, which involves positive messages about Islam online to prevent extremists monopolising websites.

 

 Update: Endangering sex workers' lives and livelihoods...

The prostitutes Collective argues that pushing prostitution further underground will not abolish it nor help sex workers,


Link Here 24th October 2014
prostitutes collective logo Consenting sex is not a crime. Criminalising clients will not stop prostitution; it will push it further underground, making it more dangerous and stigmatising for sex workers.

Most sex workers are mothers, mostly single mothers driven into the sex industry by lack of economic alternatives to prostitution: unemployment, poverty, low and unequal wages. Many are young women trying to pay extortionate rents, university fees, debts . . .

Where is End Demand's outrage at UK benefit cuts and sanctions which are hitting mothers and children hardest, at mothers skipping meals to feed their children or having to resort to food banks?

What they say about the Swedish model is misleading and hides the truth: 25% of Swedish single mothers now live in poverty compared to 10% seven years ago; sex workers who are mothers face losing their children; sex workers facing violence are now too afraid to go to the police for protection as the stigma of prostitution has increased.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on prostitution which last year recommended the criminalisation of clients, refused to look at any of that. They have also refused to disclose how many of those who submitted evidence to them actually agreed with the criminalisation of clients. John McDonnell MP has asked to see the submissions but the APPG has been unforthcoming so far. They also refused to look at how decriminalisation was working in New Zealand, and its positive impact of sex workers' health and safety.

End Demand quotes Alan Caton, Suffolk's former Chief Superintendent. But the murders of five women in Ipswich in 2006 were preceded by a police crackdown. So were the murders of three women in Bradford in 2009-2010. Sex workers were hounded and forced out of their established red light areas into bleak industrialised areas, away from the concerned eye of the community.

We are not the only ones to have noticed that crackdowns endanger women's lives. Mariana Popa, a young immigrant mother, was murdered on the streets of Ilford, London, last October, in the wake of a police crackdown against clients. Following her death, senior police officers raised concerns that operations to tackle prostitution are "counterproductive" and likely to put the lives of women at risk .

Chris Armitt, the national police lead on prostitution in England and Wales, also called for a review of enforcement tactics aimed at prosecuting prostitutes:

We are not going to enforce our way out of this problem. It simply won't work. I feel it would be good to allow a small group of women to work together, otherwise it creates a situation where they are working away from other human support. I think the disadvantages of working alone outweigh the advantages.

While more and more time and resources are being diverted into policing prostitution, rape and child abuse continue on a mass scale despite thousands of victims coming forward. Where were the police when children were being abused in Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford, and in children homes all over the country? Where were they when women and their children were killed by violent partners and ex-partners? Where are they now when the same perpetrators continue to avoid prosecution? What is their connection to the perpetrators whose crimes they have aided and abetted?

Increasing the powers of police to deal with prostitution has already resulted in more arrests, raids, stealing and seizing the earnings of sex workers, and other abuses of power and corruption. No one who is calling for the criminalisation of clients has shown any interest in this.

The North of Ireland Assembly has just voted to criminalise clients. But Scotland has refused and so has France. It is time to look at decriminalisation and that's what we are campaigning for.

 

  Torrential Falls...

Google significantly demotes major torrent sites from searches


Link Here 24th October 2014
Google logo Google's previously announced anti-piracy measures have now kicked in and as a result popular pirate sites are noticing a massive drop in search traffic.

While Google already began changing the ranking of sites based on DMCA complaints in 2012, it announced more far-reaching demotion measures last week. According to Google the new alghorithm changes would visibly lower the search rankings of the most notorious pirate sites, and they were right.

TorrentFreak has spoken with various torrent site owners who confirm that traffic from Google has been severely impacted by the recent algorithm changes. Earlier this week all search traffic dropped in half, the Isohunt.to team told us.

To get an idea of how the search results have changed we monitored a few search phrases that were likely to be affected. The before and after comparisons, which are only three days apart, show that popular pirate sites have indeed disappeared.

A search for Breaking Bad torrent previously featured Kickass.to, Torrentz.eu and Isohunt.com on top, but these have all disappeared. Interestingly, in some cases their place has been taken by other less popular torrent sites.

The traffic data and search comparisons clearly show that Google's latest downranking changes can have a severe impact on popular pirate sites. Ironically, the changes will also drive a lot of traffic to smaller unauthorized sources for the time being, but these will also be demoted as their takedown notice count increases.

 

  Belief in Repression...

Burma to re-introduce video censorship as sexy films are offensive to religious beliefs


Link Here 23rd October 2014
Burma flag 2010 A censor from Burma's Motion Picture and Video Censor Board, said that video censorship is to be re-introduced in Burma. He claimed that many recent movies have portrayed behaviour that supposedly runs counter to Burmese culture.

The movie censorship board announced earlier this year that, beginning on 1 December, such films will be subject to the old censorship system, whereby they are required to be evaluated and approved by the censor board prior to distribution.

Tin Nyein, a board member, further explained that this was a response to the large number of sexually-explicit films released in recent years that are offensive to certain religious beliefs.

 

  Toeing the Censorship Line...

Citizen Lab reveals a little about keyword censorship used in China to block Line app messages


Link Here 23rd October 2014
line logo Messaging app Line started has increased censorship in China by adding more keywords to its region-based block list.

However researchers have revealed an increased sophistication to the system making it less noticeable to users, as edgecastcdn.net reported. The censorship software now allows users to use these words separately but not in phrases. Similar techniques have also been implemented in social media sites such as Weibo.

Censorship becomes more meticulous and does not block everything completely, said Wu Qianhua, researcher at the university. He said he thinks the new tactic is helping the regime. For example, under the new system, users could send messages that include Xinjiang or independence , but not two at the same time:

If you only hide a small part, instead of everything that is relative to a certain topic, then fewer people would be affected by censorship and more will be interested to talk about topics such as Xinjiang in a 'legal' way, Wu said. But when you hide everything, people will be more curious about how the censorship works and why it exists.

The researchers found out that if users set China as their country, the app's censorship functionality will be triggered and automatically download a bad words list from a website named Naver . However, users could also learn from a post on the lab's website on how to change their location settings and bypass the region-focused system that applies to China.

 

  Opera Censorship...

Jewish community protests against the New York staging of The Death of Klinghoffer


Link Here 23rd October 2014
Death Klinghoffer DVD Sanford Sylvan Composer John Adams' controversial The Death of Klinghoffer opened Monday night at New York's Metropolitan Opera to the sound of protest.

The opera was inspired by the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro ship and the killing of disabled Jewish American Leon Klinghoffer by members of the Palestinian Liberation Front,

The protesters attempted to disrupt the production by calling out slogans during the performance, but loud applause from the audience drowned out the voices, as it did scattered boos at the end of the first act.

The Met released a statement Monday that said the opera:

Deals with a difficult subject: the horrific murder of an innocent man during an act of terrorism committed in 1985. However, the fact that 'Klinghoffer' grapples with the complexities of an unconscionable real-life act of violence does not mean it should not be performed.

Unofficial estimates put the crowd outside at 500 to 1,500 people. Scores of police officers were deployed and barricades ringed the pavilion, but unrest was largely limited to verbal volleys between patrons and a few breakaway protesters closer to the opera house.

Many of the speakers at the protest, organized by Jewish groups such as the Zionist Association. of America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, wore yellow stars, an appropriation of the mark Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Germany, and called for future boycotts of the Met. Dozens of volunteers also sat in wheelchairs referencing Leon Klinghoffe.

 

 Offsite Article: Envious of Miserable Britain...


Link Here 23rd October 2014
lee jeans australia Australia's advert regulator allows a little sexy fun in advertising, and the moralists are not happy about it

See article from melindatankardreist.com

 

  The right to free expression forgotten...

BBC News to maintain a list of URLs censored by Google under the 'right to be forgotten'


Link Here 22nd October 2014
BBC logo The BBC is to publish a continually updated list of its articles censored from Google search under the disgraceful right to be forgotten rule.

Editorial policy head David Jordan told a public meeting, hosted by Google, that the BBC felt some of its articles had been wrongly hidden. He said greater care should be given to the public's right to remember .

The BBC will begin - in the next few weeks - publishing the list of removed URLs it has been notified about by Google. Jordan said the BBC had so far been notified of 46 links to articles that had been removed.

The list will not republish the story, or any identifying information. It will instead be a resource for those interested in the debate .

Jordan criticised the lack of a formal appeal process after links have been taken down, noting one case where news of the trial involving members of the Real IRA was removed from search results.

 

 Updated: Facebook's real names policy is problematic for free speech...

From trans people to activists, there are some good reasons for some Facebook users to use a pseudonym. And yet, Facebook is unrelenting


Link Here 22nd October 2014

Facebook again made headlines this month for its refusal to allow users to represent themselves with their chosen identities. A number of users of the site, mainly drag performers, reported that their accounts had been taken down in violation of the company's real names policy that requires individuals to use their legal name for personal accounts.

...Read the full article


Update: Facebook apologises to drag queens for deleting their accounts due to fake names'

3rd October 2014. See article from itv.com . Thanks to Nick

Facebook logo As per standard procedure at the Facebook censor's office, when enough negative publicity is created, the PR department springs into life. Facebook then makes profuse apologies, claims it was all some sort of ghastly mistake, then makes an exception to the rules for the publicised case, makes no real changes, and then carries on as normal in censoring all the vast majority of people who are not quite so adept at generating publicity.

In this case Facebook has now appealed for attempting to out drag queens, Mentioning two drag queens while clarifying their policy Facebook's Chris Cox said:

Our policy has never been to require everyone on Facebook to use their legal name. The spirit of our policy is that everyone on Facebook uses the authentic name they use in real life. For Sister Roma, that's Sister Roma. For Lil Miss Hot Mess, that's Lil Miss Hot Mess. Part of what's been so difficult about this conversation is that we support both of these individuals, and so many others affected by this, completely and utterly in how they use Facebook.

Facebook has said that a single user highlighted the accounts as possibly using fake names and the reports were lost in the several hundred thousand fake name reports they process a week.

Offsite Comment: Dear Facebook: Sorry is a Start. Now Let's See Solutions

5th October 2014. See  article from  eff.org

Electronic Frontier Foundation When it comes to Facebook's real names policy, it's really clear---something needs to change. Over the last few weeks, we've joined dozens of advocates in saying so. And in a meeting with LGBTQ and digital rights advocates, Facebook agreed. Of course, admitting there's a problem is always the first step towards a solution. But what's not clear is what that solution will be.

EFF continues to believe that the best solution is simply to get rid of the real names policy entirely. But barring that, Facebook needs to find a solution that takes into account the myriad groups of people affected by Facebook's faulty policy, from undocumented immigrants, to activists in oppressive regimes, to survivors of domestic violence.

...Read the full article

Update: Facebook Bollox

22nd October 2014. See  article from  theguardian.com

Weeks after Facebook apologised for the way its real-name policy had led to the suspension of numerous drag queens' accounts, user accounts are still being suspended or deactivated for not using people's legal names.

Sister Roma, a veteran of San Francisco's Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence , is one of the leaders of the campaign to get Facebook to restore these accounts and has become a key liaison between the social media giant and people whose accounts continue to be suspended or deactivated. Sister Roma told the Guardian:

Every time one or two get fixed, a handful get suspended So we really feel like we're swimming upstream, and while I'm hopeful that Facebook is doing the right thing, it's discouraging.

Sister Roma said she has fielded 300 to 400 emails from people whose accounts have been suspended or deactivated.

 

  PC Zombies...

Tabloid newspapers try to whip up a storm about Asda Halloween costumes


Link Here 22nd October 2014
asda halloween cheerleader Britain's tabloid press have been trying to whip up a little outrage about Halloween costumes sold at Asda

The costumes are called Halloween Cheerleader and Halloween American Footballer . They are designed to look like they are blood stained, with an obvious bullet-style pattern on the costumes sold in store and online.

One customer, Sheila Pinney started an online petition platform Change.org to have the outfits banned and also wrote to Asda's CEO Andy Clarke asking for the costumes to be withdrawn from stores immediately. She whinged:

Regardless of this detail, bloodstained American Cheerleader and American Footballer costumes are of incredibly bad-taste, even for Halloween.

I was actually left speechless when I saw the costumes, while seeking a suitable fancy dress costume for my 4-year old son, Evan. He asked me what the costumes were, as he is familiar with ghosts, skeletons and the usual Halloween imagery, and I actually couldn't form the words to explain what they were, as how can you tell a 4-year old that he is looking at costumes depicting 'shot teenagers'?

A spokesman for Asda responded to the whinges.

We appreciate that it isn't for everyone but the majority of our customers love dressing up at Halloween, especially in spooky or gory costumes which inevitably can include fake blood.

And just a measure of the failure of the Telegraph and Daily Mail to generate any interest the petition stands at just 174 signatures, 4 days after the publication of the newspaper stories.

 

 Commented: Is it all politicians can do, dream up new ways to imprison ordinary people?...

Government proposed to increase the penalty for internet insult to 2 years in jail


Link Here 22nd October 2014
Ministry of Justice logo Internet insults could lead to two years in jail under new laws, 'Justice' Secretary Chris Grayling has said. He proposes that magistrates should be able to pass serious cases on to crown courts under the new measures.

He told the Mail on Sunday quadrupling the current maximum six-month term showed his determination to take a stand against a baying cyber-mob

These internet trolls are cowards who are poisoning our national life. No-one would permit such venom in person, so there should be no place for it on social media. That is why we are determined to quadruple the current six-month sentence.

As the terrible case of Chloe Madeley showed last week, people are being abused online in the most crude and degrading fashion.

This is a law to combat cruelty - and marks our determination to take a stand against a baying cyber-mob. We must send out a clear message: if you troll you risk being behind bars for two years.

Those who subject others to sexually offensive, verbally abusive or threatening material online are currently prosecuted in magistrates' courts under the Malicious Communications Act, with a maximum prison sentence of six months. More serious cases could go to crown court under the proposals, where the maximum sentence would be extended.

The law change is to be made as an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill going through Parliament.

Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, responded to the proposed new penalties:

Big Brother Watch logo The Justice Secretary should be focusing his efforts on incidents where real harm may be caused, not casting the net wider for anything that could be deemed offensive.

The Crown Prosecution Service and the police have completely failed to properly use the existing harassment law, which itself would address the actions of anyone who poses a serious threat.

The victims of serious abuse online, or indeed offline, do not need headline grabbing policies. They need definitive action to ensure that the police know what the law is when a compliant is made. It is that action which will keep them safe, not attempts to legally blur the line between illegal behaviour and being generally offensive.

Offsite Comment: Trolling 'is' a free-speech issue, and always has been

22nd October 2014. See  article from  spiked-online.com by Tom Slater

Spiked logo The UK justice secretary's announcement on Sunday that the jail sentence for abusive online trolling is set to be quadrupled, from a maximum of six months to two years, should send a chill down the spine of all freedom-loving individuals. The fact that a panic over the phlegm-spitting, misspelled missives of a few keyboard warriors has laid the path for heavy-handed state intervention into our communications sets a dangerous precedent for the future of free expression online.

...Read the full article .

Note that the increase in sentences for internet insult is not actually a new addition to the bill, the repressive measure has been included from the beginning.

 

 Offsite Article: Backpage in spotlight after murder link as sex website face court test...


Link Here 22nd October 2014
backpage logo Should a public forum about hook ups for sex be banned because a few bad people use it?

See article from theguardian.com

 

 Update: And politicians don't take criticism well...

Singapore film makers appeal against government ban on To Singapore with Live


Link Here 21st October 2014
to singapore with love On 2 October 2014, filmmaker Tan Pin Pin re-submitted her film, To Singapore, With Love , for classification with the film censors at the Media Development Authority (MDA).

The MDA had originally rated her film NAR : Not Allowed for All Rating . This means the film is not allowed to be screened in public or be distributed. The MDA later said the film is allowed to be screened in private and to college students.

Since Ms Tan re-submitted the film for rating, however, several ministers and government departments have castigated the film, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. He said the accounts given in the film by the former members of the Communist Party of Malaya were self-serving and were conveniently inaccurate in places, glossing over facts in others.

The Minister for Communications and Information, Yaacob Ibrahim, also criticised the film. He told Parliament on 7 October that the film's one-sided portrayals are designed to evoke feelings of sympathy and support for individuals who in reality chose to leave Singapore and remain in self-exile.

And the Government's latest response, the press secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister said allowing the film to be screened in public would be like allowing jihadi terrorist groups today to produce and publicly screen films that glorify their jihadist cause.

It certainly doesn't look good for film makers hoping to overturn the ban!

 

 Offsite Article: The End...


Link Here 21st October 2014
Assassination Margaret Thatcher Hilary Mantel Padraig Reidy: Collective outrage and imagined slights. Controversy about a short story about assassinating Thatcher

See article from indexoncensorship.org

 

 Update: Gone Girl: Movies should entertain, not educate...

The reaction to Gone Girl has been anything but unpredictable, with Britain's professional offencerati leaping on the film for its allegedly murky assertions about rape, and, more specifically, rape victims.


Link Here 20th October 2014
Poster Gone Girl 2014 David Fincher

 

  Friday the 13th A New Beginning...

BBFC cuts lists revealed for cinema and VHS


Link Here 19th October 2014
Friday 13Th Part 5 DVD Friday the 13th A New Beginning aka i s a 1985 US slasher by Danny Steinmann.
With Melanie Kinnaman, John Shepherd and Shavar Ross.
YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

Cut cinema release

The cut R Rated Version was passed 18 after a further 56s of BBFC cuts for:

  • 1985 cinema release

The BBFC cuts were:

  • Reel 3 - Considerably reduce shots of bare-breasted girl lying on ground after sex as she is stalked and then killed with a pair of shears.
  • Reel 3 - Remove shot of same girl lying with her eyes stabbed out by shears.
  • Reel 3 - Reduce to establishing shots only tourniquet being tightened around both eyes.
  • Reel 4 - Reduce anticipatory shots of bare-breasted girl lying on bed before turning over to find bloody body of boy next to her.

Further cut VHS release

The cut R Rated Version was passed 18 after a further 1:22s of BBFC cuts for:
  • 1987 CIC VHS

The BBFC cuts were:

  • At 42 mins - Considerably reduce sight of bare-breasted girl [Tina] on ground after sex before she is killed with shears, in particular removing side angle of her lying back with knee raised foreground. Remove shot of same girl with gouged-out eyes, so that scene is played off boy's reactions to corpse as he turns her over. Reduce to establishing shots only tourniquet being tightened around boy's eyes [Eddie], only first and last shot to remain.
  • At 53 mins - Reduce terrorising of boy speared through tin lavatory shack by removing altogether the sight of spear wounding him in knee and some of terror which follows it.
  • At 64 mins - Reduce anticipatory shots of bare-breasted girl Robin lying on back in bed before turning and finding bloody body of boy next to her.
  • At 66 mins - Reduce stabbing of second girl in dormitory while she is dancing to gramophone by removing the delay after she is grabbed round throat and thrown against wall, cutting altogether the sight of her being lifted into the air.
  • At 67 mins - When boy looks into room and lightning flash reveals bodies on bed, remove two tighter shots featuring bare breasts and blood.

BBFC cuts waived for DVD Release

The cut R Rated Version was passed 18 with BBFC cuts waived for:

 

  Everybody's Offended...

Media-watch commission survey finding that everybody has been offended by something on pre-watershed TV


Link Here 19th October 2014

mediawatch banner logo A moralist campaign set up by Catholic campaigner Mary Whitehouse has claims that the public believes TV producers have crossed the line by allowing increasingly inappropriate content to be aired.

Of the 2,009 people questioned in the survey by Atomik Research on behalf of Mediawatch-UK, 100% said they had viewed offensive content before the watershed.

The research received the highest percentage of complaints about sexual activity (47%) followed by bad language (38%), violence (36%) and inappropriate adult issues such as drug use and gambling (34%). However, despite each person confessing they had concerns about unsuitable content, only 26% had complained to the TV censor Ofcom.

Actually 26% of people complaining to Ofcom is a massive proportion of people. Ofcom only get handfuls of complaints, so the 26% of people rather suggests that the Mediawatch-UK survey was hardly a random sample.

Vivienne Pattison, Director of Mediawatch-UK, claimed:

OFCOM's failure to regulate adequately in the past has led to what the regulator itself described as being 'at the very margin of acceptability' to become mainstream.

Is it then any wonder that people are not making their views known about inappropriate broadcasts because they don't think anything will come of complaining.

The survey was commissioned to mark the 50th anniversary of Mediawatch-UK.

 

  Government Theatre Censor...

Turkish theatre director resigns over government demands for censorship of play


Link Here 19th October 2014
gunes bartarken The resignation of the Turkish State Theater's (DT) Director Mustafa Kurt, following an alleged censorship debate concerning a play about Goethe, has sparked controversy over whether the Ministry of Culture and Tourism is forcing directors who are against a controversial bill on the proposed Turkey Arts Council (TUSAK) to quit their jobs.

Kurt resigned  just before the State Theater's premiere of the play Gunes Batarken Bile Buyuk (The Sun is Big Even at Sunset) .

A government committee had requested DT officials to remove certain lines featuring sexual or vulgar language. The ministry then ordered Kurt to postpone the premiere while it determined whether these parts had been removed. The DT's rejection of the administration's order allegedly led to Kurt's resignation.

If the proposed bill on TUSAK becomes law, the final word on all art-related projects in Turkey will lie with this council.

 

  Unplugged...

Giant inflatable butt plug vandalised in Paris


Link Here 19th October 2014

paul mccarthy butt plu A giant inflatable butt plug has been destroyed by vandals in Paris.

The 80 foot art work was installed at  Place Vendome and was claimed to be a 'tree' by the artist Paul McCarthy. Past artwork by McCarthy seems to suggest that he has a somewhat erotic sense of humour and a tree is an an unlikely explanation.

Tragedy struck late on Friday night when the ambiguous structure was attacked and deflated.

A police spokesman said:

Individuals have severed the cables that hold the sculpture in place, taking advantage of a momentary lack of a security guard.

Farnce's Minister of Culture, Fleur Pellerin, called the vandalism a n attack on creative freedom as well as a physical attack on the artist himself.

 

 Offsite Article: Speaking volumes about your whereabouts...


Link Here 19th October 2014
whisper logo Revealed how Whisper app tracks supposedly anonymous users

See article from theguardian.com

 

  Mary Whitehouse: Was she right?...

Celebrating 50 years of morality campaigning and sliding down the slippery slope. You'd think we would have hit the bottom by now. But no, life goes on pretty much as normal


Link Here 18th October 2014
mary whiteouse was she right An image of the late Mary Whitehouse, scourge of TV's moral turpitude, was projected onto the side of BBC Broadcasting House in London earlier this week to mark the 50th anniversary of Mediawatch-UK (formerly the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association).

The Guardian's Media Monkey is not quite sure what Whitehouse would have made of the anniversary being marked with a PR stunt, but there you go.

 

  Chucky Reincarnate...

Annabelle pulled from French cinemas after troubles break out amongst the audience


Link Here 18th October 2014
Annabelle plus bonus features Wallis Annabelle is a 2014 USA horror by John R Leonetti.
Starring Ward Horton, Annabelle Wallis and Alfre Woodard. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

John Form has found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia - a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. But Mia's delight with Annabelle doesn't last long. On one horrific night, their home is invaded by members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. The cultists have conjured an entity so malevolent that nothing they did will compare to the sinister conduit to the damned that is now... Annabelle.

BBFC: Passed 15 uncut for strong horror, bloody violence

MPAA: Rated R for intense sequences of disturbing violence and terror.

A string of French cinemas have cancelled showings of new American horror form Annabelle after violence has repeatedly broken in the audience. The managers of cinemas in Marseille, Strasbourg and Montpellier have ceased showing the film until further notice for security reasons.

General chaos and fights have broken out among audience members during the screenings of the film, which is a prequel of the film The Conjuring and tells the tale of the murderous puppet Annabelle terrorising an unsuspecting family.

The trouble seems to stem from teenagers getting rowdy during the screenings. BFMTV film critics Alain Grasset said:

It's a very young audience, for whom the screening is a time to let loose, they go to see it as a joke, but it's a pretext to go a little wild.

 

 Updated: The right for the rich and powerful to censor what they don't want to hear...

Author banned from writing about his experience of child abuse lest this hurts delicate ears


Link Here 18th October 2014
english pen logo Stephen Fry, David Hare and Tom Stoppard among leading writers to voice concerns over court ruling that prevents publication of memoir. They write:

The Court of Appeal's injunction last week preventing publication of a memoir poses a significant threat to freedom of expression.

The Court has ruled that the book should not be published on the grounds that it may cause psychological harm to the author's child, who suffers from disabilities, including Asperger's and ADHD.

The book is not targeted at children and will not be published in the country in which the child lives. The memoir deals with the author's past experiences of sexual abuse and explores the redemptive power of artistic expression. It has been praised, even in court, as striking prose and an insightful work.

The author's earlier public discussions of sexual abuse have previously led to the arrest of one of his abusers.  Its publication is therefore clearly in the public interest and may encourage those who have suffered abuse to speak out.

As writers, and members of English PEN, we are gravely concerned about the impact of this judgment on the freedom to read and write in the UK. The public is being denied the opportunity of reading an enlightening memoir, while publishers, authors and journalists may face censorship on similar grounds in the future.

Jeffrey Archer, William Boyd, John Carey, Jim Crace, Jonathan Dimbleby, Cory Doctorow, Michael Frayn, Maureen Freely, President, English PEN, Stephen Fry, Daisy Goodwin, David Hare, Tom Holland, Hari Kunzru, Marina Lewycka, Blake Morrison, Katharine Norbury, Will Self, Tom Stoppard, Colin Thubron, Colm Tóibín

 

  Trademarked Blocking Systems...

ISP website blocking extended to websites accused of trademark infringement


Link Here 18th October 2014
Old Bailey In a landmark ruling, the High Court has ordered several of the UK's leading ISPs to block websites dealing in counterfeit products. The decision follows legal action by Richemont, the owner of several luxury brands including Cartier and Montblanc.

Following successful action by the world's leading entertainment companies to have sites blocked at the ISP level on grounds of copyright infringement, it was perhaps inevitable that other companies with similar issues, such as trademark infringement would tread the same path.

Compagnie Financiere Richemont S.A. owns several well-known luxury brands including Cartier and Mont Blanc and for some time has tried to force sites selling counterfeit products to close down. Faced with poor results, in 2014 the company wrote to the UK's leading ISPs, Sky, TalkTalk, BT, Virgin Media, EE and Telefonica/O2, complaining that third party sites were infringing on Richemont trademarks.

Concerned that Richemont hadn't done enough to close the sites down on its own and that blocking could affect legitimate trade, the ISPs resisted and the matter found itself before the High Court.

The court decision means that the ISPs named in the legal action must now restrict access to websites selling physical counterfeits in the same way they already restrict file-sharing sites.

A Richemont spokesperson told TorrentFreak that the ruling represents a positive step in the fight to protect brands and customers from the sale of counterfeit goods online. T he company said:

We are pleased by this judgment and welcome the Court's recognition that there is a public interest in preventing trade mark infringement, particularly where counterfeit goods are involved. The Courts had already granted orders requiring ISPs to block sites for infringement of copyright in relation to pirated content. This decision is a logical extension of that principle to trade marks.

TorrentFreak reports that the decision is likely to be appealed.

 

  Forget the Children...

Championing the right for young people to have their childhood forgotten


Link Here 18th October 2014
martha lane fox The government's former digital champion, Martha Lane Fox, has said teenagers should be given the right to erase their online past when they reach 18.

The lastminute.com founder said it seems a pretty good idea that people should be able to scratch everything you did online pre-18 :

We should be able to create these safe places for kids to be OK and for it not be okay for that to then come back to haunt you at a later date. That feels quite urgent and important and manageable.

But she said she had mixed feelings about the more general principle of the right to be forgotten. She added:

Someone at Google suggested to me you cold be able to annotate Google, not completely Wikipedia style but that you would be able to put up a note saying, yes this is this, but this is related to me and this is what I think about it. I thought that was quite an interesting idea.

 

 Update: A Sea of Troubles...

An Indian take on Hamlet set in Kashmir gets banned by Pakistan's film censor


Link Here 18th October 2014
haider Haider is a 2014 India crime romance by Vishal Bhardwaj.
Starring Shahid Kapoor, Tabu and Shraddha Kapoor. IMDb

Vishal Bhardwaj's adaptation of William Shakespeare's 'Hamlet', Haider - a young man returns home to Kashmir on receiving news of his father's disappearance. Not only does he learn that security forces have detained his father for harboring militants, but that his mother is in a relationship with his very own uncle. Intense drama follows between mother and son as both struggle to come to terms with news of his father's death. Soon Haider learns that his uncle is responsible for the gruesome murder, what follows is his journey to avenge his father's death.

Citing the film's sensitive content , Pakistan's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) decided against the release of the film in Pakistan. A CBFC employee told The Express Tribune that Haider's controversial topic and propagandist nature are the reasons for this.

A senior official at the CBFC maintained that the film's ban:

Has nothing to do with the ongoing tension between Pakistan and India. Any film that is on a controversial topic, such as the Kashmir issue, will most likely not be released in the country.

The film is against the ideology of Pakistan. We have a professional panel of reviewers that assesses films while keeping in mind factors that a layman can't understand. He stated that certain Hindi words used in a film may seem harmless to an average audience member, but can have adverse effects on our culture.

Distributor Amjad Rasheed commented on not pursuing censor clearance via a local censor board:

We realise the [gravity of the] situation at the Line of Control and if one board has refused to certify the film, then the wise thing to do is not to offer the film at all.

The film has also caused controversy in India. A court in the state of Uttar Pradesh is hearing a petition calling for the film to be banned on the grounds that it was against national interest.

 

 Offsite Article: CAMRA, Corsets and Moral Hysteria...


Link Here 18th October 2014
camra leaflet PC bullies lay into a flyer for a real ale campaign. By David Flint

See article from strangethingsarehappening.com

 

  Classified as a Bit Dull...

Australian Classification Board publishes its Annual Report for 2013-2014


Link Here 17th October 2014
australian classification board 2013 2014 A few snippets from Director Lesley O'Brien's overview:

In this reporting year, the Board made 4156 decisions. This included 4066 commercial classification decisions, 30 classification decisions on internet content referred by the Australian Communications and Media Authority and 60 classification decisions for enforcement agencies.

During the reporting period, 38 publications were audited. One publication had its serial classification revoked as a result of the audit. This decision was subsequently overturned by the Review Board.

Nineteen of the Board's decisions were reviewed by the Classification Review Board in 2013â?�14. These were for the review of the classification for 13 computer games, five films and to review the decision to revoke a serial classification of a publication. Of the 13 computer games reviewed, the original classification remained unchanged. Of the five films reviewed, the original classification for one film remained unchanged. The Review Board decided not to revoke the serial classification for the publication upon review.

On 1 January 2013, an R 18+ category for computer games took effect in conjunction with new Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games which were agreed to by all state and territory ministers who have responsibility for classification matters.

 

 Update: Banned Books...

China adds to the long list without providing explanations


Link Here 17th October 2014
Do not read novel class ebook Books by a few best-selling authors were removed from stores in China over the weekend.

Taiwanese author and director Jiubadao is widely known for his novels on romance and Chinese martial art while China-born US-based academic Yu Yingshi has published books on Chinese history and democratic theories.

No reasons for the removals have been revealed but sources say China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television had ordered the ban. Ding Qizhen, a social commentator speculated on the reason for the censorship:

Some speculate that it's related to the Fourth Plenary Session of China's Communist Party. Some say the related department is presenting a gift to the top leaders by eliminating dissenting voices.

Writer Jiubadao had earlier in the year expressed his support for the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan, where students had protested against a trade agreement with China.

Publishers have also been asked to stop printing books by six other prominent Chinese writers. This includes Liang Wendao, and economist Mao Yushi.

 

  Which is worse, bullying or unintended sleight?...

PC bullies get native American headdresses banned from sale at Glastonbury


Link Here 17th October 2014
Indian headdress native american feathers After an online petition with just 65 signatures, Glastonbury has added Native American headdresses to the list of items traders cannot sell at the festival without prior authorisation . The petition called for the headdresses to be banned, claiming the wearing of them by non-Native Americans is disrespectful .

Glastonbury organisers commented on their pandering to political correctness saying that this instruction to their market traders is to ensure that sellers reflect the values of the festival .

The headdresses have become a regular feature at festivals. But the politically correct see them as offensive - using an ethnic minority's traditional culture as novelty clothing.

Dr. David Stirrup of the University of Kent explained that they are something you have to earn. It is normally earned through exploit. The eagle feathers in the headdress are revered and worn for specific ceremonial occasions. They are not everyday wear, he says.

In the US, the wearing of headdresses for fashion reasons has become controversial. Celebrities such as Pharrell Williams and Harry Styles caused controversy by wearing the headgear in photographs. Meanwhile football team the Washington Redskins are under pressure to change their name and logo, which many see as a racial slur. But until now the controversy has barely registered in the UK.

 

 Offsite Article: #GamerGate: an un-PC rebellion...


Link Here 17th October 2014
Spiked logo There are good reasons for non-gamers to be paying attention to the video-games industry right now. it has become the site of a rebellion against moral crusaders and their relentless push to politicise every aspect of culture and society

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 Offsite Article: Judy Finnigan vs the offencerati...


Link Here 17th October 2014
Loose Women Let Very Best PC bullies try to shut down debate about graduations in the severity of rape

See article from spiked-online.com

 

  Legs Akimbo...

Spirited music pub hits back against miserable ASA ban of beer pong advert


Link Here 16th October 2014

also known as legs akimbo advert An ad on the Facebook page of a live music venue named Also Known As , promoting a beer pong night. Text in the ad stated ALSO KNOWN AS THURSDAY NIGHT BEER PONG IS BACK! . The ad featured an image of a naked woman reclining on a bed with her legs spread apart and her head pixelated. A star-shaped graphic with a hole in the centre and a small circular shape next to the hole were superimposed over the woman's genitalia. Issue

Two complainants, who considered the ad was overtly sexual and objectified women, challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

Also Known As stated that the ad was used to advertise the return of their beer pong nights and it was removed from their Facebook page within 48 hours of publication. They stated that they had not received any direct complaints from members of the public.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The ASA welcomed the fact that the ad was no longer appearing. We noted that, although the woman's breasts and genitalia were not visible, she appeared to be fully naked in the ad. We considered that the woman's reclining pose, with her legs spread apart and the crotch area being the focus of the ad, was sexually provocative and explicit in nature.

We further noted that the woman's head was pixelated and considered that the graphics super-imposed over the woman's genitalia was a reference to the game of beer pong. We considered the image of the woman bore no relevance to the event promoted by Also Known As. We considered that the anonymising effect of her pixelated head and the insinuation of the woman as an accessory in the game of beer pong presented an objectified view of women that would be regarded as being sexist by consumers. On this basis, we concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

The ad must not appear again in its current form.

Comment: Also Known As slams ASA for pointless investigation

16th October 2014. See  article from  morningadvertiser.co.uk

letter writing Marc Sylvester, owner and licensee of Also Known As in Banbury, Oxfordshire, said he had not received a single complaint about the promotion and insisted the matter was resolved months ago , yet the ASA insisted on investigating. He said:

The ASA seems to be an organisation that only exists to perpetuate its existence.

This was a post that was removed within less than 48 hours -- before the ASA even got in contact with us. It was designed to be provocative but not offensive. I was made aware that someone had put the picture on the Facebook page and was complaining about it. I decided that if it was going to cause offence then it wasn't worth it, so removed the post.

The ASA then contacted us and said they were going to investigate it and that could mean we would be forced to remove the post. I told them we had already done that so what was the point.

From then on we have had maybe ten letters from the ASA in which they kept asking for our side of the story. I've lost count of the times I've told them, there is no side to the story -- we put it up and then we took it down.

This was resolved months ago.

 

  It's History Now...

French feminist group wants to ban statue depicting iconic V-J Day celebrations


Link Here 16th October 2014
seward johnson unconditional surrender Unconditional Surrender , a statue of a sailor kissing a nurse, is 25-foot sculpture, by US artist Seward Johnson that, is based on Alfred Eisenstaedt's famous photograph Kissing Sailor capturing celebrations after the end of the war with Japan.

Now the French feminist group Osez Le Feminisme (Dare to be Feminist) is campaigning to have the piece banned from public view.

Osez Le Feminisme have launched a petition asking for the statue be removed from its current location, a war memorial in Normandy. The group claim the statue, and the picture it was inspired by, both portray a sexual assault.

We cannot accept that the Caen Memorial erected a sexual assault as a symbol of peace. We therefore request the removal of this sculpture as soon as possible.

The sailor could have laughed with these women, hugged them, asked them if he could kiss them with joy. No, he chose to grab them with a firm hand to kiss them. It was an assault.

The identities of the nurse and the sailor in Eisenstaedt's photograph have never been officially confirmed, although a book, The Kissing Sailor, says that the girl is Greta Zimmer Friedman who later said in an interview:

It wasn't my choice to be kissed. The guy just came over and grabbed me! I felt that he was very strong. He was just holding me tight. It wasn't a romantic event.

 

 Offsite Article: Uptight Britain...


Link Here 16th October 2014
qu est-ce qu on a fait au bon dieu Politically incorrect French comedy hit won't be shown in British cinemas

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: Adding PG-14, PG-15, and PG-16...


Link Here 16th October 2014
us pg-13 A somewhat silly piece but the US does desperately need something around PG-15

See article from idigitaltimes.com

 

  World Censor...

ASA bans revealing underwear adverts for Lightinthebox on a US games website


Link Here 15th October 2014

lightinbox advert An internet display ad for a the Lightinthebox clothing company, which appeared on www.miniongames.net, a website hosting children's games, featured three images of women wearing revealing lingerie. Two images showed the bodies of two women wearing transparent underwear; one image revealed the woman's breasts and buttocks, and the other revealed her breasts and her hand was also placed over her crotch. The third image featured a woman in revealing red lingerie and stockings.

A complainant challenged whether the ad was inappropriately placed, because it would be seen by children.

Lightinthebox (UK) Ltd and Miniongames.net did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA was concerned by Lightinthebox's lack of substantive response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a substantive response to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.

We were also concerned that Miniongames.net had not provided a response.

We noted that two of the images did not feature the women's faces. We considered that the poses were sexually suggestive and provocative and the focus on the breasts, buttocks and groin areas rendered the content of the ad overtly sexual.

The ad had appeared on a website hosting games featuring Minions , who were the main characters in the children's film Despicable Me 2 . We considered that the games were targeted at children and the ad was likely to be seen by children. We considered that the placement of ads with sexual content on a children's website was harmful and irresponsible and concluded that the ad was in breach of the advertising Code.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told the advertisers to ensure ads placed on children's websites did not feature overtly sexual or sexually suggestive content. We referred the matter to CAP's Compliance team.

 

 Updated: Trigger Warnings or Spoilers?...

Impassioned film goer complains that BBFC trigger warnings end up being spoilers


Link Here 15th October 2014
Two Days One Night DVD A blogger at theincrediblesuit.blogspot.co.uk has written an impassioned and eloquent plea against spoilers contained in BBFC consumer advice:

As a foreign language arthouse film, Two Days, One Night arguably attracts a certain type of audience: one who, at the very least, has gone to the trouble of finding out the thrust of the story in order to decide whether or not to see it. So it's fair to suggest that most people watching the film in a cinema know that it concerns Cotillard's character, Sandra, struggling to get her job back by pleading with her workmates to convince them to forego their bonus.

What, then, does that audience think when the words suicide attempt appear on screen as a warning about the film's content, alongside the BBFC's 15 certificate, mere seconds before it starts? I can't speak for everyone, but my own thoughts went something along the lines of: Oh right, so at some point things will get so bad that Sandra will try to kill herself. I'll just sit here with that information stored away, waiting for it to happen, shall I? THANKS A RUDDY BUNCH, THE BBFC.

...Read the full article

It's surely a bit tough on the BBFC. In the world of political correctness, suicide is one of the highest priorities for so called 'trigger warnings'. Surely you can't let people sensitive to suicide watch films like this without being warned.

The Guardian reports that the BBFC have seen the error in its ways:

Now the BBFC has said it will aim to stop giving too much away. The body began publishing the information on the card last year, and has tried to balance helping people make informed choices with not spoiling the storyline.

It said the problem rarely arose but it had sympathy with those who felt their enjoyment had been affected.

It believes it can tackle the issue in a pragmatic way without compromising the need to inform the public about a film's content .

The BBFC will trial a new policy examining whether a potential spoiler can be withheld from the information prior to the film, although it would still be available online. The policy will be reviewed after six months.

Update: MPAA trigger warnings for something unmentionable

14th October 2014.

MPAA logo The BBFC got in a little bother for spoilers in its onscreen consumer advice for the cinema film Two Days, One Night. The BBFC advice read:

Passed 15 for suicide attempt

Perhaps forewarned by the BBFC controversy, the MPAA ratings just released today seemingly avoided the spoiler with the consumer advice:

Rated PG-13 for some mature thematic elements

Of course the phrase is now so vague that it is totally useless. What is the point of telling parents that there is something mature in a film supposedly suitable for children without giving a hint about what the mature theme is?

Are the MPAA so politically correct that they have trigger warnings that can't mention the reason for the warning?

 

 Updated: Seeking Consent of Parliament...

Government publishes the details of its new law targeting revenge porn


Link Here 15th October 2014
House of Commons logo The government has published the details of a new law targeting revenge porn:

Publication of private sexual images

(1) It shall be an offence for a person to publish a private sexual image of another identifiable person without their consent where this disclosure  causes distress to the person who is the subject of the image.

(2) A person is not guilty of an offence under subsection (1) if he or she-—

(a) reasonably believed that the person who is the subject of the image had consented to its publication;

(b) reasonably believed that the publication of the image would not cause distress;

(c) reasonably believed that the image had previously been published; or

(d) did not intend to publish the image.

(3) For the purposes of this section it is immaterial who owns the copyright of the published image.

(4) An offence under this section is punishable by—

(a) on conviction on indictment, imprisonment for a term of not exceeding 2 years or a fine (or both);

(b) on summary conviction, imprisonment for a term of not exceeding 6 months or a fine (or both).

Update: Unintelligible law

14th October 2014. See article from publications.parliament.uk . Thanks to Therumbler

Seems to be a disgraceful government proposed amendment to turn the law into gobbledegook where people will be found guilty whatever the circumstances, whilst journalists seem to have been excused any responsibility whatever the circumstances.

Disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress

(1) It is an offence for a person to disclose a private sexual photograph or film if the disclosure is made---

  • (a) without the consent of an individual who appears in the photograph or film, and

  • (b) with the intention of causing that individual distress.

(2) But it is not an offence for the person to disclose the photograph or film to the individual mentioned in subsection (1)(a) and (b).

(3) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he or she reasonably believed that the disclosure was necessary for the purposes of preventing, detecting or investigating crime.

(4) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to show that---

  • (a) the disclosure was made in the course of, or with a view to, the publication of journalistic material, and

  • (b) he or she reasonably believed that, in the particular circumstances, the publication of the journalistic material was, or would be, in the public interest.

(5) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to show that---

  • (a) he or she reasonably believed that the photograph or film had previously been disclosed for reward, whether by the individual mentioned in subsection (1)(a) and (b) or another person, and

  • (b) he or she had no reason to believe that the previous disclosure for reward was made without the consent of the individual mentioned in subsection (1)(a) and (b).

(6) A person is taken to have shown the matters mentioned in subsection (4) or (5) if---

  • (a) sufficient evidence of the matters is adduced to raise an issue with respect to it, and

  • (b) the contrary is not proved beyond reasonable doubt.

(7) For the purposes of subsections (1) to (5)---

  • (a) consent to a disclosure includes general consent covering the disclosure, as well as consent to the particular disclosure, and

  • (b) publication of journalistic material means disclosure to the public.

(8) A person charged with an offence under this section is not to be taken to have disclosed a photograph or film with the intention of causing distress merely because that was a natural and probable consequence of the disclosure.

(9) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable---

  • (a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or a fine (or both), and

  • (b) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or a fine (or both).

(10) Schedule (Disclosing private sexual photographs or films: providers of information society services) makes special provision in connection with the operation of this section in relation to persons providing information society services.

(11) In relation to an offence committed before section 154(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 comes into force, the reference in subsection (9)(b) to 12 months is to be read as a reference to 6 months.

(12) In relation to an offence committed before section 85 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 comes into force, the reference in subsection (9)(b) to a fine is to be read as a reference to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum.

Meaning of disclose and photograph or film

(1) The following apply for the purposes of section (Disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress), this section and section (Meaning of private and sexual).

(2) A person discloses something to a person if, by any means, he or she gives or shows it to the person or makes it available to the person.

(3) Something that is given, shown or made available to a person is disclosed---

  • (a) whether or not it is given, shown or made available for reward, and

  • (b) whether or not it has previously been given, shown or made available to the person.

(4) Photograph or film means a still or moving image in any form that---

  • (a) appears to consist of or include one or more photographed or filmed images, and

  • (b) in fact consists of or includes one or more photographed or filmed images.

(5) The reference in subsection (4)(b) to photographed or filmed images includes photographed or filmed images that have been altered in any way.

(6) Photographed or filmed image means a still or moving image that---

  • (a) was originally captured by photography or filming, or

  • (b) is part of an image originally captured by photography or filming.

(7) Filming means making a recording, on any medium, from which a moving image may be produced by any means.

(8) References to a photograph or film include---

  • (a) a negative version of an image described in subsection (4), and

  • (b) data stored by any means which is capable of conversion into an image described in subsection (4).

Meaning of private and sexual

(1) The following apply for the purposes of section (Disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress).

(2) A photograph or film is private if it shows something that is not of a kind ordinarily seen in public.

(3) A photograph or film is sexual if---

  • (a) it shows all or part of an individual's exposed genitals or pubic area,

  • (b) it shows something that a reasonable person would consider to be sexual because of its nature, or

  • (c) its content, taken as a whole, is such that a reasonable person would consider it to be sexual.

(4) Subsection (5) applies in the case of ---

  • (a) a photograph or film that consists of or includes a photographed or filmed image that has been altered in any way,

  • (b) a photograph or film that combines two or more photographed or filmed images, and

  • (c) a photograph or film that combines a photographed or filmed image with something else.

(5) The photograph or film is not private and sexual if---

  • (a) it does not consist of or include a photographed or filmed image that is itself private and sexual,

  • (b) it is only private or sexual by virtue of the alteration or combination mentioned in subsection (4), or

  • (c) it is only by virtue of the alteration or combination mentioned in subsection (4) that the person mentioned in section (Disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress)(1)(a) and (b) is shown as part of, or with, whatever makes the photograph or film private and sexual.

 

 Offsite Article Guardian's high priestess of PC, Joan Smith, recommends...


Link Here 15th October 2014
Poster Gone Girl 2014 David Fincher Ben Affleck's Gone Girl

See article from theguardian.com

 

 Offsite Article: What parents need to know about unrated DVDs...


Link Here 15th October 2014
mpaa unrated large Nothing particularly new but it gives a little background how the system works in the US

See article from heraldtimesonline.com

 

 Offsite Article: Open Case...


Link Here 15th October 2014
European Court of Justice European Court to consider who is responsible for copyright infringement via open WiFi

See article from techdirt.com

 

  Less Dead...

TV cuts to the Walking Dead and Frasier


Link Here 14th October 2014
Walking Dead Season DVD The Walking Dead

Thanks to Andy

I noticed that Fox had censored a part of The Walking Dead which was shown last night at 9pm.

The first guy to get his throat cut at the beginning of the show (Episode 1 Season 5). This was fully shown in America but in UK only the beginning of the cut was shown. It then cut to a reaction shot.

I'm sure many Walking Dead fans will be shocked to hear that Fox are cutting the show in the UK.

Frasier Complete Seasons 1 11 DVD Frasier

Thanks to Sergio

Frasier on Channel 4 at about 9am Sunday 12th October 2014.

It was cut near this point as shown on YouTube at the line:

I try to figure out why a maniac'll kill a hooker and stuff her entire body into a bowling bag

This line was just so bluntly cut, the laughs seem to not relate to anything.

 

  The 9am Watershed...

John Cleese has fun with the watershed censorship rules on strong language


Link Here 14th October 2014
this morning John Cleese had fun on daytime TV winding up Phillip Schofield about the watershed rules.

Cleese appeared on This Morning on Monday to promote his new memoir, and during the interview he jokingly referred to his former comic colleague Michael Palin as a bastard .

Presenter Phillip Schofield immediately apologised for the slip, prompting Cleese to query the incident and revealing he misunderstood the U.K.'s broadcasting rules about the 9pm watershed.

After Schofield grovelled to easily offended viewers, Cleese said: Why? It's nine o'clock isn't it? and Schofield replied, Yes. The wrong one. It's alright at the later nine o'clock.

Cleese then revealed he had genuinely misunderstood the rules, saying, What? You can't say 'bastard' before nine in the evening? Really? I didn't realise that.

In fact the rules are not so clear as implied by the authors of this piece. It is very clear that the words 'fuck' and 'cunt' are banned from daytime TV but the situation for lesser strong language is not clear cut and depend on context etc rather than being absolute prohibitions.

 

  Frump Object...

Object whinge at range of fashionable clothes at Debenhams that reference the young teenage daughters of the designers


Link Here 14th October 2014
iris edie bra PC bullies claim that the colourful, lacy bras and knickers in the Iris & Edie line, named after Sadie Frost's 13-year-old daughter, may breach guidelines on age-appropriate clothing

Object, which campaigns against the supposed objectification of women in the media, claims that the line, available in Debenhams, is inappropriate because it is named after Frost's daughter, Iris, who is 13.

Iris & Edie is named after Iris Frost and the 16-year-old daughter of Jemima French, the friend with whom Frost runs her fashion label, FrostFrench. Both girls helped design the range, which also includes pyjamas and loungewear.

Roz Hardie, Chief Object at the campaign group said:

If Debenhams are proposing to sell see-through pants named after an under-16 year-old, then they're not working within the spirit of the Bailey Review recommendations and we'd call on them to review their proposals. Particularly to link them to the names of under-16 year-olds, whether deliberate or not, is inappropriate.

A Debenhams  spokesman said:

The ranges in question are aimed solely at adults, and are sold in our women's nightwear and lingerie departments. We have sold this brand for three years, and it has always been marketed entirely to the young adult market.

We stock a range of age-appropriate underwear and nightwear for younger teenage girls in line with all relevant guidance from the British Retail Consortium and Mumsnet, and these are sold in our childrenswear departments.

 

 Update: Crime Creation...

Minister for crime prevention dreams up the new crime of displaying lads' mags in shops


Link Here 13th October 2014
norman baker According to a press release from the moral campaigners of Child Eyes:

Minister for Crime Creation, Norman Baker MP (a not so Liberal Democrat), has confirmed that supermarkets who display magazines and newspapers with sexualized front covers at child height are not observing current legislation in relation to the Indecent Displays Act 1981.

Baker said in a letter to Child Eyes founders:

Child Eyes' concerns about publications with inappropriate or indecent images or text are fully understood and I believe the problem lies with the retailers, not the publishers.

I am grateful to the work of Child Eyes and I am particularly struck by the difficulties and resistance parents have been experiencing when seeking the cooperation of supermarkets who are often not observing current legislation.

Minister Baker has written to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, on Child Eyes' behalf and received a positive reply. David Cameron referred Minister Baker to the Bailey Review into the sexualisation of children, Letting Children Be Children (commissioned in 2012), which made a series of recommendations that shops and supermarkets should ensure that magazines and newspapers with sexualised images on their covers are not in easy sight of children .

Minister Baker said that it is vital that a robust approach to promoting the self-regulation is in place and that the Indecent Displays Act is able to provide for sufficient protection on matters raised by Child Eyes.

 

 Updated: Police State...

MPs to investigate police misuse of Ripa powers to snoop on journalists


Link Here 13th October 2014
Kent Police Parliament routinely grants massive powers to the police and demonstrates an awful lot of trust in the police not abusing these powers. So it is very alarming when it seems that the police are indeed found to be abusing their powers.

Every police force in the UK is to be asked by a parliamentary committee to reveal how many times they have secretly snooped on journalists by obtaining their telephone and email records without their consent.

Keith Vaz, chairman of the home affairs select committee, said he wanted a detailed breakdown of police use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) to force telecoms companies to hand over phone records without customers' knowledge.

His intervention comes after it emerged that police investigating the former MP Chris Huhne's speeding fraud secretly obtained a Mail on Sunday reporter's phone records without his consent , despite laws protecting journalistic confidential sources.

The newspaper said it had learned that officers from Kent police used laws designed for anti-terrorism to identify a source they had failed to secure through a court application.

It is the second time in a month that revelations have emerged of the police secretly ordering phone companies to hand over journalists' phone bills, fuelling fears that media organisations will not be able to protect sources, particularly police whistleblowers.

In September it emerged accidentally that the Metropolitan police had obtained the Sun's newsdesk telephone records and those of its political editor, Tom Newton Dunn, to try to identify who had leaked it the Plebgate story about the former Tory chief whip Andrew Mitchell's altercation with police at the gates of Downing Street.

Update: Simon Hughes will ask the police to consult a judge before snooping on journalists' sources

13th October 2014. See  article from  theguardian.com

Ministry of Justice logo The UK government will reform the law to prevent the police using surveillance powers to discover journalistic sources, the justice minister, Simon Hughes, has confirmed in the wake of growing outcry at the misuse of powers.

Hughes said the police's use of powers had been entirely inappropriate and in future it would require the authorisation of a judge for police forces to be given approval to access journalists' phone records in pursuit of a criminal investigation. He said the presumption would be that if a journalist was acting in the public interest, they would be protected.

Speaking on Sky News's Murnaghan programme, Hughes added that if the police made an application to a court he would assume a journalist would be informed that the authorities were seeking to access his phone records. He said:

The principle has to be a) freedom of expression, b) journalists have a job to do and there is a public interest defence available to all journalists so you would be able to argue that case.

 

 Update: Government to Avenge Revenge...

Government to introduce a new criminal offence of distributing revenge pornography


Link Here 12th October 2014
Ministry of Justice logo A new criminal offence of posting so-called revenge pornography on the internet will carry a maximum jail term of two years, Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, has announced.

Cruel and angry individuals who publish intimate pictures, videos or text messages to retaliate against their former partners will be targeted with the new law.

The proposal will be formally proposed in Parliament this week.

This is a significant change of tack by the government as a few days ago the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that there were sufficient existing laws available to target revenge porn.

Speaking ahead of the debate in Parliament on Monday, Grayling said:

The fact that there are individuals who are cruelly distributing intimate pictures of their former partners without their consent is almost beyond belief. We want those who fall victim to this type of disgusting behaviour to know that we are on their side and will do everything we can to bring offenders to justice. That is why we will change the law and make it absolutely clear to those who act in this way that they could face prison.

The new law will cover the sharing of images both online and offline. It will mean that images posted to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter will be caught by the offence, as well as those that are shared via text message. Images shared via email, on a website or the distribution of physical copies will also be caught. Those convicted will face a maximum sentence of two years in prison.

The Ministry of Justice said the offence would cover photographs or films which show people engaged in sexual activity or depicted in a sexual way, or with their genitals exposed, where what is shown would not usually be seen in public.

Victims and others will be able to report offences to the police to investigate.

 

 Update: Revising History...

Google reports on the scale of censorship under the right to be forgotten


Link Here 12th October 2014
Google logo One in 10 requests for web links to be censored from search results under European right to be forgotten laws have come from the UK, Google has said.

Google said it had removed 498,737 links from search results since May this year - including 63,616 pages following requests from the UK. It said 18,304 requests were made in the UK, the third highest in the EU.

According to a transparency report released on its website, Google removed 35% - or 18,459 - of censorship requests.

Google also provided examples of the sorts of requests it had received, along with the search engine's decision.

 

 Offsite Article: Offended by Radio 4 innuendo? Blame your own filthy mind...


Link Here 12th October 2014
just a minute Nicholas Parsons, the long-serving host of BBC Radio 4's Just A Minute, says those who spot the naughty jokes can only do so because of their own filthy minds

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: What to do when holy books break the law...


Link Here 12th October 2014
Australia flag Australia's terrorism laws could criminalise preaching from Qur'an. National imams council tells parliamentary committee that Muslim preachers on social justice could face charges

See article from theguardian.com

 

 Update: The right for the rich and powerful to have their misdemeanours forgotten...

Disgraceful Eurocrats put privilege above free speech


Link Here 11th October 2014
EU flag European ministers are moving in favour of censorship in the form of the right to be forgotten rules, following discussions on the drafting of new Data Protection laws.

A ludicrous ruling by the European Court of Justice in May ordered Google to remove links from its search results that went to outdated or irrelevant information even though Google are in no position to be able to consider the facts of the case.

However, even though this right is included in the draft of the new law, most ministers argued for the final inclusion to be a watered-down version of the ECJ ruling. The UK argued there must be a balance between freedom of expression and the right to be forgotten, and that can only be decided on a case-by-case basis. The Netherlands agreed, and said that it was best left to the courts.

The UK, Germany, the Netherlands and the Czechs all agreed that they want a broader wording than the court ruling gave, and said there was no need to copy the ECJ text into the new law. Germany's representatives argued that freedom of expression has better protection under current laws. Meanwhile, Estonia argued the Data Protection Regulation wasn't the right place to try to regulate free speech. Austria said there must be some sort of control as questions of privacy and free speech should not be left to Google.

However, the Council's legal service intervened to point out that the ECJ ruling effectively said the right to be forgotten trumps free speech, despite national ministers arguing for balance. In fact, to some extent, the ECJ ruling is treaty law, and the Council can't really draw up a regulation that goes against that.

 

  Has China been watching Top of the Pops?...

China bans all media, past and present featuring celebrities who have committed misdemeanours


Link Here 11th October 2014

China flag Chinese authorities have ordered television stations, cinemas, online entertainment sites and other outlets not to show works by entertainers found to have been involved in vice crimes such as using drugs or visiting prostitutes, state media reported.

The directive cites directors, playwrights and actors whose misdeeds such as using drugs or hiring prostitutes have supposedly hurt the industry and somehow corrupted society's moral standards. It says the rules are aimed at cleansing screens, airwaves and cyberspace to ensure that core socialist values are promoted.

The directive refers to those who have been punished by police, which in the Chinese legal system does not necessarily involve courts or convictions. Police can mete out summary penalties.

The order follows police detentions this year on drug or prostitution charges of celebrities including Jaycee Chan, son of movie superstar Jackie Chan; Taiwanese heartthrob actor Kai Ko; Chinese director Wang Quan'an and popular playwright Ning Caishen.

Under the rules, the offenders' film, television, radio and advertising works -- past and future- are to be banned.

BBC bans all media, past and present featuring celebrities who have committed misdemeanours

11th October 2014. See article from theguardian.com . Thanks to Nick

BBC logo The BBC has confirmed it will ban editions of Top of the Pops featuring Dave Lee Travis.

The corporation had pulled episodes of the show which he hosted from its schedule of weekly BBC4 repeats following his arrest nearly two years ago and future programmes in which he features will now be dropped following his conviction for indecent assault.

Travis was given a three-month sentence last month, suspended for two years for 'groping' an adult female researcher on set.

A BBC spokeswoman said:

The BBC will not show Top of the Pops repeats fronted by Dave Lee Travis. We will consider any other archive appearances on a case-by-case basis.

 

 Offsite Article: They know what you are reading!...


Link Here 11th October 2014
adobe digital editions Adobe Spyware Reveals (Again) the Price of DRM: Your Privacy and Security

See article from eff.org

 

  Stop the Spies...

Website set up to fight Australia's mass internet snooping bill


Link Here 11th October 2014

stop australia s data retention bill It is a tried and tested technique: fomenting a culture of fear of ceaseless war or terrorism, in order to justify arbitrary and authoritarian incursions on civil liberties back at home. We've read about it in George Orwell's 1984 , we've heard about it being practised by oppressive regimes such as North Korea, and now we're witnessing it first-hand, in our own supposed liberal democracies including the United States , the United Kingdom and now Australia .

The latest shadow over the civil liberties of Australians is a yet-unnamed mandatory data retention bill that will be introduced into the federal parliament during the week of 27 October. Under the flimsy pretext that this measure is urgently needed to fight terrorism (though actually its scope will be far broader ), the bill, if passed, will require Australian Internet providers to scoop up highly personal information about their customers as they use the Internet, and to store it for two years for law enforcement agencies to access.

What you searched for before emailing your lawyer. Who you Skyped with afterwards. Who they have Skyped with. Where you were when chatting with your partner last night. The websites you visit during your lunchbreak. These are just a few examples of the kind of personal information that Australian government agencies will have at their fingertips under this Orwellian law.

Australians have not taken this threat lying down. On 6 October a grassroots website called Stop the Spies was launched to expose this threat and to mobilize ordinary Internet users to stop it. The site contains a form that Australians can use to contact their elected representatives to demand that their privacy be respected, and social media tools to build a network of resistance. If you're not in Australia, perhaps you have Australian friends--if so, you can still help by spreading the word!

 

 Offsite Article: BBFC Podcast 24...


Link Here 10th October 2014
stephen murphy and lord harlech An interesting episode about the film censor from the early 70s, Stephen Murphy

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

 Update: China recommends...

The Book of Sins by Chen Xiwo


Link Here 10th October 2014
Book Sins Chen Xiwo Oct Chen Xiwo has spoken about how he challenged the Chinese government's decision to censor his latest book. The Book of Sins is a collection of seven novellas exploring controversial topics including rape, incest and S&M and examine the links between sexual and political deviance.

Xiwo launched a case to sue China's customs agency in an attempt to find out why his book, which was published in full in Taiwan, had been confiscated when it arrived in China in 2007.

Originally when the court hearings got underway the domestic news outlets were able to report on the progress until the propaganda ministry sent out an order forbidding further coverage.

Eventually the court ruled that Xiwo's case was a matter of national security, which ended further questions on the topic.

A heavily censored version of the book was published in China, in which parts of the text, including an entire novella, were removed. The banned story was I Love My Mum , and is about a disabled man who strikes up an incestuous relationship with his mother which ultimately ends in him murdering her. The novella is metaphorical of Chinese society and so this is presumably the reason for the ban.

Xiwo's book has now been translated into English by Nicky Harman,.

 

 Update: Bollox Britain...

The Naked Rambler looks set to spend 10 years in jail just for walking naked in the street


Link Here 10th October 2014
Ragged Union Jack The naked rambler has been jailed for another two-and-a-half years just for walking out of prison wearing only his boots and socks.

Stephen Gough was found guilty by a jury at Winchester Crown Court of breaching an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo). The order bans him from taking off his clothes in public.

Judge Jane Miller suggested moves should be made to find Gough a closed nudist community to live in to prevent the cycle of imprisonment which has seen him jailed for much of the past eight years.

 

  A hand for the censors...

Pornhub advertises on Times Square but it doesn't take long before the billboard is taken down


Link Here 10th October 2014
pornhub all you need is hand advert The adult website Pornhub took out an enormous billboard on Times Square to feature the winner of its contest seeking a great non-pornographic ad.

The winner is Nuri Galver, a copywriter from Istanbul, whose entry was chosen from more than 3,000 others. Galver envisioned more than just the image:

People of different nationalities, with different types of hand, will sing our 'All You Need Is Hand' song with the music of 'All You Need Is Love.' This will be our image film. Depending on budgetary situation, we can use celebrities in our movies. Sure, it increases the effect of the campaign.

But the advert did not last long. The hotel on which the billboard was hosted ordered its removal, although Pornhub reports that it received the hotel's approval before the ad's launch. Pornhub is now seeking an alternative site.

 

  Regulators force banks to censor porn...

A legal challenge filed to the US moral censorship exerted by the banking regulators


Link Here 9th October 2014
fdic logo U.S. bank regulators tried to coerce and intimidate banks in an effort to force them to sever ties to the porn industry, a trade group says.

In a court filing this week, a trade group called the Third Party Payment Processors Association accused the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp of engaging in moralistic regulation over the banking industry,.

The Third Party Payment Processors Association, a trade group formed last year to represent payment firms, accused the FDIC of using the bank-examination process to coerce and intimidate banks into cutting off relationships with payment processing firms that do business with porn merchants.

The FDIC has engaged in an improper practice of moralistic regulation of the banking industry, the legal brief says. The group wrote that regulators targeted the industry because they thought pornography was not good for consumers.

 

 Update: Every Country Rules the World...

French court demands that Google blocks searches world wide, not just on French Google


Link Here 9th October 2014
palais de justice In one of the first rulings of its kind, a French court last month ordered Google to remove links to defamatory information from its search results globally .

Up to now, most rulings have limited themselves to the local top level domain -- such as Google.fr. However, the decision of the High Court in Paris was that this would be insufficient because even in France users can search using the Google.com domain.

If Google does not comply, it will face daily fines of 1,000 euros.

 

  The spirit of Gezi Park...

11 documentary films withdrawn from major Turkish film festival over the censorship of one film containing an insult of the president


Link Here 9th October 2014
antalya golden orange logo The Antalya Golden Orange Festival is Turkey's most important film festival.

Eleven documentary films have withdrawn from the 51st Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, as debate over censorship continued. The films were scheduled to compete in the documentary category of the festival, a category that includes 15 films in total.

Reyan Tuvi's documentary Yeryu zu Askin Yu zu Oluncaya Dek ( Love Will Change the Earth) , had become the focus of censorship claims when it was removed from the festival's National Documentary Competition, on the grounds it violated the Turkish Penal Code on defamation of the president.

A compromise was reached and the film, which focuses on last year's Gezi protests, returned to the festival program, after Tuvi removed the translation of a Turkish swear word from the documentary's English subtitles. Presumable something along the lines of the president being called a cunt.

However, Tuvi has again withdrawn her documentary along with the other 11 films on Oct. 8. In a joint statement, the producers and directors of the documentaries said the crisis had been mishandled by the festival committee as it had failed to take responsibility, leading to disagreements.

 

 Offsite Article: Censorship in South Australia...


Link Here 9th October 2014
censorship in south australia Photos showing over the top censorship of 18 rated DVDs

See article from imgur.com

 

 Updated: Scenes Gone...

Indian film censors demand cuts from David Fincher's Gone Girl


Link Here 8th October 2014
Poster Gone Girl 2014 David Fincher Gone Girl is a 2014 USA thriller by David Fincher.
Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike and Neil Patrick Harris. BBFC link IMDb

Indian film censors at the CBFC have demanded cuts before the film can be theatrically released in India. A senior marketing official at the movie's local distributor, Fox Star Studios, explained:

The movie was submitted for censorship, and certain cuts were demanded. These suggestions have been sent to Fincher's team, and he will be sending his cut, which we will submit again to the censors. We are aiming for an October 24 release.

The adult-rated movie, which originally included scenes of nudity, sex and graphic violence, is an acclaimed adaptation of Gillian Flynn's bestselling account of a husband's attempts to find his missing wife.

In the US the film was rated R uncut for a scene of bloody violence, some strong sexual content/nudity, and language.

In the UK the film was rated 18 uncut for strong bloody violence and very strong language.

Fincher's last film, an adaptation of Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo , also feel foul of Indian film censors and ended up not getting a theatrical release.

Update: Cuts details

8th October 2014. See  article from  timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Based on Gillian Flynn's bestselling novel by the same name, Gone Girl features Ben Affleck as an out-of-work writer who becomes the main suspect when his wife, Rosamund Pike, goes missing. Neal Patrick Harris plays her obsessive ex-lover.

The CBFC has imposed five cuts editing out scenes of frontal nudity sex and violence.

One look at the reviews and you will know that all three of the stars have bared all. A shower scene, featuring Affleck in the nude, has become a talking-point with many online commentators, not too mention repressed film censors. A pivotal sex scene featuring Pike and Harris has also got the cut.

A CBFC official said:

There is too much nudity in the film. Scenes show bare breasts and usage of words like pussy and cunt. How can we allow such stuff to release in India?

 

 Update: Vetted by 'Experts'...

BBC explains that controversial EastEnders rape story line was tackled as uncontroversially as possible


Link Here 8th October 2014

Eastenders logo EastEnders
BBC One, 6th October 2014

The BBC confirmed it received 278 complaints about the episode, 0.0038% of the peak audience of 7.3 million. Queen Vic landlady Linda Carter was raped. She was attacked by Dean Wicks in the episode which went out on BBC1 at 8pm.

Complaint:

We received complaints from some viewers who were unhappy with an EastEnders storyline in which a character is raped.

The BBC's Response:

EastEnders has a rich history of tackling difficult issues and Linda's story is one of these. We worked closely with Rape Crisis and other experts in the field to tell this story which we hope will raise awareness of sexual assaults and the issues surrounding them. We were extremely mindful of the content of the episode and the timeslot of the programme and at no point were there any scenes of a graphic nature - in fact the attack on Linda was implied and never explicit. We took great care to signpost this storyline prior to transmission, both through on air continuity and publicity, and we ensured the episode was followed by contact information for the BBC Action Line which is able to direct callers to organisations which can offer further help and support.

 

  Everyone's a sex offender now...

Jennifer Lawrence claims that naturally inquisitive viewers of her hacked photos are sex offenders


Link Here 8th October 2014

like crazy Jennifer Lawrence has spoken about the hacking incident that saw dozens of her naked pictures released online, saying that having her private images hacked amounted to a sex crime .

She accused all those who looked at the pictures, including people close to her, of committing a sexual offence, saying:

It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime. It is a sexual violation. It's disgusting.

Just because I'm a public figure, just because I'm an actress, does not mean that I asked for this.

It does not mean that it comes with the territory. It's my body, and it should be my choice, and the fact that it is not my choice is absolutely disgusting. I can't believe that we even live in that kind of world.

Anybody who looked at those pictures, you're perpetuating a sexual offence. You should cower with shame.

Even people who I know and love say, 'Oh, yeah, I looked at the pictures.' I don't want to get mad, but at the same time I'm thinking, I didn't tell you that you could look at my naked body.

Lawrence called for a change in the law to allow websites which published photographs without the consent of their subjects to be prosecuted:

The law needs to be changed, and we need to changeThat's why these websites are responsible. Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody's mind is to make a profit from it. It's so beyond me.

 

  Duh! I missed a bit!...

TV censors who were a bit slow to delete a 'fuck' from Monty Python Live forgiven by Ofcom.


Link Here 7th October 2014
monty python neanderthals

TV censors own up to missing a bit

Monty Python Live (Mostly) was a live broadcast of the final stage performance of the remaining members of Monty Python at London's O2 arena, on the classic comedy channel Gold.

Ofcom received two complaints about offensive language being used during the broadcast. Ofcom noted the following exchange around 19:24. It was part of a sketch involving Australian Bruce characters, where all the performers on stage wore the same khaki shirts, shorts and hats with corks hanging from them, and spoke with Australian accents.

Eric Idle: Have we got anything? Punk Bruce, can you give us a hand?

Bruce character: [Off-screen] I can give him a hand here.

Eric Idle: Oi, oi, stop that Bruce. You, oi. [Produces a football referees' red card] Straight off, off. Go on. Off. Fuck off. [A loud bleep was then heard]

At 20:55, the presenter of the programme Dara O'Briain said the following:

One thing I must explain, viewers at home missed certain parts of the show. And this I have to explain, Gold would like to explain, was not their choice. In particular, it was these two later verses of the penis song, the second was about bottoms and the third about lady gardens, that's the most polite way I can put this. This is all regarded by Ofcom as being a little bit too much at 7:46 in the evening. Equally some bad language was bleeped. Gold obviously want to apologise for that, being the policy they have to make because of Ofcom. By the way, one naughty swearword, by the way, did slip through. So I apologise for that. And I want my face to indicate a level of professional sincerity as I read those words off the autocue. I cannot apologise enough.

Licensee UKTV said it had decided to put in place a three minute delay on the live feed of the performances from the venue to enable its compliance team to bleep the language where necessary. It said the scripted language was:

Successfully bleeped throughout Part 1 but unfortunately an unscripted fuck was not successfully bleeped...the bleep [came] in fractionally too late. This was the result of human error...¦for which we sincerely apologise.

The Licensee said its compliance team then: instructed host Dara O'Briain to apologise to viewers for the missed language.

Ofcom Decision

Rule 1.14 states that the most offensive language must not be broadcast before the watershed. Ofcom research on offensive language1 clearly notes that the word fuck and other variations of this word are considered by audiences to be among the most offensive language, particularly when used in an aggressive manner.

The broadcast of the word fuck in this programme around 19:24 was therefore a clear example of the most offensive language being broadcast before the watershed.

However, Ofcom took into account that the Licensee had chosen to take measures before the programme to minimise the risk of offensive language being broadcast by delaying the on-air feed, that the use of fuck was not scripted, and that the host of the programme apologised on air after the incident. In light of these factors Ofcom considered the matter resolved.

 

 Update: CPS to Avenge Revenge...

The Crown Prosecution Service explains that 'revenge porn' will be prosecuted under existing plentiful existing laws that target internet communications


Link Here 7th October 2014
Crown Prosecution Service The CPS has updated its legal guidance regarding the prosecution of communications sent via social media with a clear section that explains how current legislation can be used to prosecute offences involving the malicious use of intimate media, sometimes referred to as 'revenge pornography'.

This clarification does not signify a new approach but clearly sets out for prosecutors which laws can be used to bring these cases to court. In all cases the CPS will apply the most appropriate law which best addresses the alleged offending. It is a matter for Parliament to decide if further laws are needed or if changes need to be made to the current legislation. A spokesperson for the CPS said:

No one should have to suffer the hurt and humiliation of 'revenge pornography' -- a nasty and invasive crime that appears, anecdotally at least, to have increased as social media use has gone up.

The Crown Prosecution Service prosecutes these cases using a range of current laws, and we have now clarified our legal guidance to set out clearly how these cases should be brought to court.

Due to the very personal nature of 'revenge pornography' prosecutors are being asked specifically to consider the impact on the victims involved. The new guidance also makes clear that the context of each case needs to be considered alongside current guidelines to ensure that the most appropriate legislation is used when prosecuting. The public, and indeed those intent on attacking former partners in this way, can now see clearly that this is a crime that can and will be prosecuted."

Revenge pornography' is typically sexually explicit media that is publically shared online without the consent of the pictured individual and is usually uploaded by ex-partners.  The images are often accompanied by personal information including the pictured individual's full name, links to social media profiles and address, and are shared with the intent to cause distress or harm to the individual.

The guidance outlines:

  • The issue in cases of 'revenge pornography' will be whether the message or communication is grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false, not whether the image itself is indecent or obscene.
  • Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 deals with the sending of electronic communications which are indecent, grossly offensive, threatening or false, provided there is an intention to cause distress or anxiety to the recipient.
  • Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 makes it an offence to send or cause to be sent through a 'public electronic communications network' a message that is 'grossly offensive' or of an 'indecent, obscene or menacing character'.
  • Where there is more than one incident, or the incident forms part of a course of conduct directed towards an individual, a charge of harassment should be considered.
  • Where the images may have been taken when the victim was under 18, prosecutors will consider offences under the Protection of Children Act 1978.
  • In the most serious cases, where intimate images are used to coerce victims into further sexual activity, other offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 will be considered.

In order to prosecute, all cases must meet the evidential stage in the Full Code Test of the Code for Crown Prosecutors, and be considered to be in the public interest.

These offences would not normally be brought under the Obscene Publications Act.

We have informed the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications of this change, following their interest in the subject earlier this year. The CPS legal guidance on the prosecution of cases involving communications sent via social media were drafted specifically due to the rapid expansion of social media and can be found on  www.cps.gov.uk

 

  Stories of Our Lives...

Kenya's film censor bans gay film


Link Here 6th October 2014
stories of our lives Stories of Our Lives is a 2014 Kenya by Jim Chuchu.
Starring Louis Brooke, Allan Bryan Weku and Judy Gichohi. IMDb

The film is a collection of five vignettes about Kenya's LGBT community. It has played on the international film festival circuit.

The Kenya Film Classification has just banned the film with the comment:

The decision to decline approval to the said film was because the film has obscenity, explicit scenes of sexual activities and it promotes homosexuality which, is contrary to our national norms and values.

 

  Space Racism...

Miserable PC whingers' easy offence put ahead of valid political comment about India's entry into the space race


Link Here 6th October 2014
elite space club cartoon The New York Times newspaper has apologised for a cartoon on India's Mars Mission following a few readers' whinges that it mocked India.

The cartoon showed a farmer with a cow knocking at the door of a room marked Elite Space Club where two men sit reading a newspaper on India's feat. The cartoon was carried with an article titled India's Budget Mission to Mars.

Andrew Rosenthal, Editorial Page Editor of New York Times, wrote in a Facebook post that a large number of readers had complained about the cartoon. He grovelled:

The intent of the cartoonist, Heng Kim Song, was to highlight how space exploration is no longer the exclusive domain of rich, Western countries.

Mr Heng, who is based in Singapore, uses images and text - often in a provocative way - to make observations about international affairs. We apologise to readers who were offended by the choice of images in this cartoon.

Mr Heng was in no way trying to impugn India, its government or its citizens.

 

  PC Man to the rescue...

Comic book t-shirts generate a little trivial 'outrage'


Link Here 6th October 2014
batmans wife Superhero comic company DC have apologised about two recently released T-shirts which have caused an 'outrage' for supposed overtones of sexism. The officially licensed DC merchandise, thus approved by the company has been criticised on a few blogs and social media for being 'demeaning to women'.

The first of these is a men's T-shirt showing Superman and Wonder Woman kissing, with the words, Score! Superman does it again! , whilst the second - intended for young girls - bears the slogan Training to be Batman's wife.

The Superman/Wonder Woman T-shirt, fan culture site, The Mary Sue, suggested DC would do better to produce T-shirts for little girls that depict Supergirl or Batgirl being a badass, or maybe a Justice League shirt for boys that doesn't ignore the fact that Wonder Woman is a member.

 

 Update: Award Winner Revealed...

The Guardian wins Emmy award for informing people about mass state snooping


Link Here 6th October 2014
The Guardian The Guardian US has won an Emmy for its groundbreaking coverage of Edward Snowden's disclosures about mass surveillance by US intelligence agencies.

The Guardian's multimedia interactive feature NSA Decoded was announced as the winner in the new approaches: current news category at the news and documentary Emmy.

The comprehensive interactive walks the audience through the facts and implications of the NSA's mass surveillance program, revealed by the Guardian last year in coverage based on leaks by Snowden. The interactive includes interviews and discussions with key players including the journalist Glenn Greenwald, former NSA employees, senators and members of US congress.

The project was led by interactives editor and reporter Gabriel Dance, reporter Ewen MacAskill and producers Feilding Cage and Greg Chen.

 

 Offsite Article: The innocent have nothing to fear...


Link Here 6th October 2014
divorce court More and more, we're spying on our other halves Not using tech to track your partner? Increasingly, you'll find yourself in a minority

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

  Will some body think of the children...

Government led UKCCIS discusses new ideas for internet censorship


Link Here 5th October 2014
UKCCIS logo The UK Council for Child Internet Safety is a government led forum where it discusses internet censorship issues with industry and selected campaigners. It is not really limited to child safety issues.

The latest minutes reveal discussions about:

  • Revenge porn .

    Maria Miller for the government argued that the posting of sexual images of adults without their consent should be classified as a sexual offence. The law is currently opaque in this area and there is a need for guidance.
     
  • Net Neutrality .

    There were concerns that the push for net neutrality does not allow for interference in a free internet, for example by imposing mandatory website censorship for public wi-fi.
     
  • Religious Extremism .

    Immediately before the Executive Board, James Brokenshire met with the four ISPs to talk about the inclusion of extremist material in their family friendly filters.

    Filtering often doesn't reach content on social media platforms. The Home Office is in conversation with major social media companies about safe mode   have spoken to Google, Facebook etc.
     

  • Public Wi-Fi

    It is worth considering other areas of concern where public Wi-Fi has a role to play e.g. revenge porn and extremism. We should find out whether public Wi-Fi could filter further.

 

  Teaching kids to be easily offended...

Swedish PC censors make cuts to the TV series Pippi Longstocking


Link Here 5th October 2014
Pippi Longstocking Digitally Remastered Region Swedish Television has cut out suppsoedly offensive scenes from censored editions of the popular 1969 Pippi Longstocking series, sparking intense debate on social media over the extent to which old productions should be modified to suit what the politically correct consider socially acceptable today.

In the censored versions, set to be aired on a children's channel in December, the unconventional Pippi will describe her dad as a king instead of a negro king and won't play Chinese by stretching out the skin around her eyes.

The public broadcaster said those original scenes could be perceived as hurtful or offensive for children who watched it.

Paulette Rosas Hott, head of political correctness at Swedish Television, spouted:

We live in a multicultural society with children from many different countries. Those kids should feel comfortable when they're looking at this. And the parents should feel comfortable that their kids don't learn expressions that they don't support.

 

  Complainants are always right...

Even if their mindless whinges lead to the destruction of valuable Banksy artworks


Link Here 5th October 2014
banksy pigeons A new mural by street artist Banksy showing a group of pigeons holding anti-immigration banners has been destroyed by council officials following a complaint the work was racist .

The mural, worth around £ 400,000 in Clacton-on-Sea, showed four pigeons holding signs including Go Back to Africa , while a more exotic-looking bird looked on.

The local council which removed it, said it did not know it was by Banksy, conceding that the artist's political satire was lost on them.

Tendring District Council said it received a complaint that the mural was offensive and racist and by the time it had been announced, the mural had already been destroyed. Nigel Brown, spokesprat for the council, said:

The site was inspected by staff who agreed that it could be seen as offensive and it was removed this morning in line with our policy to remove this type of material within 48 hours.

 

 Offsite Article: Shouting Rape...


Link Here 5th October 2014
sex and censorship logo An open letter from Sex and Censorship to Roz Hardie, CEO of the campaign group Object.

See article from sexandcensorship.org

 

  Warning: This item, features politically correct numbskulls...

Amazon warns Tom and Jerry viewers about historic racism


Link Here 4th October 2014
Tom Jerry Complete Volumes Collectors Classic Tom and Jerry cartoons, some made more than 70 years ago, carry a warning for subscribers to Amazon Prime Instant Video. Viewers are warned that the cartoons depict scenes of racial prejudice .

Tom and Jerry: The Complete Second Volume is accompanied by the caution:

Tom and Jerry shorts may depict some ethnic and racial prejudices that were once commonplace in American society. Such depictions were wrong then and are wrong today.

The warning was attacked as empty-headed by cultural commentator and professor of sociology, Frank Furedi, who said it was a form of a false piousness and a type of censorship which seems to be sweeping cultural life . We're reading history backwards, judging people in the past by our values, said Prof Furedi from the University of Kent.

Tom and Jerry was first produced by the MGM film studio in 1940. The cartoons, directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera and produced by Fred Quimby, ran until 1957.

 

  Copyright Exceptions 2014...

Details of the exceptions to copyright that allow limited use of copyright works without the permission of the copyright owner.


Link Here 4th October 2014
arms of the british governmentjpg logo Overview

You may wish to make use of someone else's copyright protected works. There are certain very specific situations where you may be permitted to do so without seeking permission from the owner. These can be found in the copyright sections of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) .

Non-commercial research and private study

You are allowed to copy limited extracts of works when the use is non-commercial research or private study, but you must be genuinely studying (like you would if you were taking a college course). Such use is only permitted when it is 'fair dealing' and copying the whole work would not generally be considered fair dealing.

The purpose of this exception is to allow students and researchers to make limited copies of all types of copyright works for non-commercial research or private study. In assessing whether your use of the work is permitted or not you must assess if there is any financial impact on the copyright owner because of your use. Where the impact is not significant, the use may be acceptable.

If your use is for non-commercial research you must ensure that the work you reproduce is supported by a sufficient acknowledgment.

Text and data mining for non-commercial research

Text and data mining is the use of automated analytical techniques to analyse text and data for patterns, trends and other useful information. Text and data mining usually requires copying of the work to be analysed.

An exception to copyright exists which allows researchers to make copies of any copyright material for the purpose of computational analysis if they already have the right to read the work (that is, they have 'lawful access' to the work). This exception only permits the making of copies for the purpose of text and data mining for non-commercial research. Researchers will still have to buy subscriptions to access material; this could be from many sources including academic publishers.

Publishers and content providers will be able to apply reasonable measures to maintain their network security or stability but these measures should not prevent or unreasonably restrict researcher's ability to text and data mine. Contract terms that stop researchers making copies to carry out text and data mining will be unenforceable.

Criticism, review and reporting current events

Fair dealing for criticism, review or quotation is allowed for any type of copyright work. Fair dealing with a work for the purpose of reporting current events is allowed for any type of copyright work other than a photograph). In each of these cases, a sufficient acknowledgment will be required.

As stated, a photograph cannot be reproduced for the purpose of reporting current events. The intention of the law is to prevent newspapers or magazines reproducing photographs for reporting current events which have appeared in competitor's publications.

Teaching

Several exceptions allow copyright works to be used for educational purposes, such as:

  • the copying of works in any medium as long as the use is solely to illustrate a point, it is not done for commercial purposes, it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement, and the use is fair dealing. This means minor uses, such as displaying a few lines of poetry on an interactive whiteboard, are permitted, but uses which would undermine sales of teaching materials are not
  • performing, playing or showing copyright works in a school, university or other educational establishment for educational purposes. However, it only applies if the audience is limited to teachers, pupils and others directly connected with the activities of the establishment. It will not generally apply if parents are in the audience. Examples of this are showing a video for English or drama lessons and the teaching of music. It is unlikely to include the playing of a video during a wet playtime purely to amuse the children
  • Recording a TV programme or radio broadcast for non-commercial educational purposes in an educational establishment, provided there is no licensing scheme in place. Generally a licence will be required from the Educational Recording Agency)
  • making copies by using a photocopier, or similar device on behalf of an educational establishment for the purpose of non-commercial instruction, provided that there is no licensing scheme in place. Generally a licence will be required from the Copyright Licensing Agency
Helping disabled people

There are 2 exceptions to copyright for the benefit of disabled people. These exceptions cover you if you have a physical or mental impairment which prevents you from accessing copyright protected materials.

One exception allows you, or someone acting on your behalf, to make a copy of a lawfully obtained copyright work if you make it in a format that helps you access the material. For example, if you buy a book from a shop then make a Braille copy to help with a visual impairment then you are not infringing the copyright in the book.

You are entitled to make an accessible copy, or have someone else make one for you, if:

  • you lawfully own, or have the right to use a copy of the work (for example, you own it or have borrowed it from a library), but the work is inaccessible because of a physical or mental impairment
  • a copy that would be accessible to you is not commercially available

The second exception permits educational establishments and charity organisations to make accessible format-copies of protected works on behalf of disabled people. The exception permits acts such as:

  • making braille, audio or large-print copies of books, newspapers or magazines for visually-impaired people
  • adding audio-description to films or broadcasts for visually-impaired people
  • making sub-titled films or broadcasts for deaf or hard of hearing people
  • making accessible copies of books, newspapers or magazines for dyslexic people

However, this exception does not apply when suitable accessible copies are commercially available.

Please note that no-one can make a profit out of helping you make an accessible copy, but they are able to charge a fee covering any they costs incur in making and supplying such a copy.

Time-shifting

A recording of a broadcast can be made in domestic premises for private and domestic use to enable it to be viewed or listened to at a more convenient time.

The making of a recording of a broadcast for purposes other than to time-shift a programme for you or your family is likely to be illegal.

Personal copying for private use

The personal copying exception permits you to make copies of media (CDs, ebooks etc) you have bought, for private purposes such as format shifting or backup without infringing copyright. For example the exception would allow you to copy content that you have bought on a CD onto your MP3 player, provided it is for your own private use.

However, it is unlawful to make copies for friends or family, or to make a copy of something you do not own or have acquired illegally, without the copyright owner's permission. So you are not able to copy CDs borrowed from friends, or to copy videos illegally downloaded from file-sharing websites.

You are permitted to make personal copies to any device that you own, or a personal online storage medium, such as a private cloud. However, it is unlawful to give other people access to the copies you have made, including, for example, by allowing a friend to access your personal cloud storage.

Parody, caricature and pastiche

There is an exception to copyright that permits people to use limited amounts of copyright material without the owner's permission for the purpose of parody, caricature or pastiche.

For example a comedian may use a few lines from a film or song for a parody sketch; a cartoonist may reference a well known artwork or illustration for a caricature; an artist may use small fragments from a range of films to compose a larger pastiche artwork.

It is important to understand, however, that this exception only permits use for the purposes of caricature, parody, or pastiche to the extent that it is fair dealing.

Sufficient acknowledgment

In relation to certain exceptions, if you are making use of that exception to copy someone else's work it is necessary for you to sufficiently acknowledge their work. For example, where you have copied all or a substantial part of a work for the purposes of criticism or review, or where the use was for the purposes of news reporting.

However such acknowledgment is not required where it is impossible for reasons of practicality.

Fair dealing

Certain exceptions only apply if the use of the work is a 'fair dealing'. For example, the exceptions relating to research and private study, criticism or review, or news reporting.

'Fair dealing' is a legal term used to establish whether a use of copyright material is lawful or whether it infringes copyright. There is no statutory definition of fair dealing - it will always be a matter of fact, degree and impression in each case. The question to be asked is: how would a fair-minded and honest person have dealt with the work?

Factors that have been identified by the courts as relevant in determining whether a particular dealing with a work is fair include:

  • does using the work affect the market for the original work? If a use of a work acts as a substitute for it, causing the owner to lose revenue, then it is not likely to be fair
  • is the amount of the work taken reasonable and appropriate? Was it necessary to use the amount that was taken? Usually only part of a work may be used

The relative importance of any one factor will vary according to the case in hand and the type of dealing in question.

 

  Ghostbusters...

BBFC opens its haunted archives and reveals a time before kids had to be wrapped up in cotton wool


Link Here 3rd October 2014
Ghostbusters DVD Bill Murray Ghostbusters is a 1984 USA comedy Sci-Fi fantasy by Ivan Reitman.
Starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver. BBFC link IMDb

Ghostbusters was submitted to the BBFC in June 1984 and classified PG for its language, innuendo and potentially scary scenes. Examiners noted suggestive innuendo involving Ray and a ghost, as well as an Exorcist-type sequence when the film's female lead, Dana, levitates and speaks in a deep voice, her body having been inhabited by the demonic Zuul.

Ghostbusters remained at PG on video when it was submitted again in 1985, 1993, 1995 and 2009. However, when the film was resubmitted for cinema classification in 2011, it was classified 12A for moderate sex references and subsequently passed at 12 on DVD/Blu-ray. The BBFCinsight for the 2011 submission of the film explains:

The BBFC's Guidelines at 'PG' state there may be 'Mild sex references and innuendo only'. The film contains a number of sex references, both verbal and visual, that exceed this allowance. Most notable is a scene in which it is implied that a ghost is performing oral sex on a man. As the man's trousers and zip are unfastened, the camera moves to his face as he sinks back on the bed with his eyes crossed in pleasure. Later, a woman who has been possessed by a demon rolls about on a bed with a man and tells him: I want you inside me. Although these references were permitted at 'PG' in the 1980s, when there was no classification available between 'PG' and '15', they are now more appropriately classified at '12A' where the Guidelines state 'Sexual activity may be briefly and discreetly portrayed. Sex references should not go beyond what is suitable for young teenagers .

...Read the full article

 

  Talented creator of fine words and unjustified censorship...

UK's chief TV and internet censor resigns


Link Here 3rd October 2014
ed richards The Ofcom Board today announced that Ed Richards will stand down as Chief Executive at the end of December 2014. He will continue to lead on all operational, financial, economic, competition and policy matters until that date.

Ed Richards said:

It has been a privilege to lead Ofcom during such an exciting and dynamic period in the evolution of the UK's communications sector.

It is never easy leaving a job that you enjoy greatly but I have always felt that once I had completed eight years as Chief Executive this would be the right time to move on.

Richards was a talented generator of fine words about 'light touch' or 'evidence based' regulation. But it was all just bollox. Ofcom have created a highly censorial environment...just because. Particularly for anything sexy, which is either banned or else shunted into totally uneconomic backwaters where it is almost impossible for adult companies to viably operate.

 

 Update: The Worst of the Worst...

Selecting the most repressive neighbours to provide the model for internet censorship in Laos


Link Here 3rd October 2014
laos internet cafe Laos Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong has signed a new decree imposing stricter Internet control in the country. Signed last September 16, 2014, the new regulation promotes responsible and constructive use of the Internet among Lao netizens.

A few months ago, Lao officials announced that they were studying the experience of other Southeast Asian nations as a guide in drafting an Internet law which they plan to implement this year. They chose the restrictive cyber laws of Myanmar and Vietnam as models in formulating the framework of Laos' Internet law. Laos officials also reportedly looked at the approach used by China in regulating the Web.

As expected, the result is a law that claims to support the growth of the Internet but actually contains numerous contradictory provisions that undermine free speech and other citizen rights.

Provisions that recognize the privacy rights of Internet users, the protection of intellectual property, and prohibitions on pornography may be less controversial for Laotians. But the law also prohibits sharing photos that contradict Lao traditions and culture. The question is this, who will decide whether an obscene image insults Laotian heritage?

The same decree also identified several so-called cybercrimes whose definitions are unclear and very broad. They include:

  • Disseminating false information against the Lao People's Revolutionary Party;
  • Circulating information that encourages citizens to be involved in terrorism, murder, and social disorder;
  • Supporting online campaigns that seek to divide solidarity among ethnic groups and between countries;
  • Spreading information that distorts truth or tarnishes the dignity and rights of individuals, sectors, institutions and organizations;
  • Sharing of comments whose contents are in line with the abovementioned prohibitions.

Internet service providers are ordered not to provide service to individuals, legal entities or organizations whose movement seeks to undermine the Party and government policies.

Based on these guidelines, it seems that legitimate criticism of government programs and policies can be interpreted as a criminal act if it creates division, confusion, or disorder among the public. It is easy to see how authorities could use the law to prosecute journalists, activists, and other critics of the government.

The law also prohibits the creation of anonymous or pseudonymous accounts online, purportedly in an effort to ease the efforts of authorities in regulating the Internet. This is a big blow to citizens who seek to expose wrongdoings in the government through the Internet.

The government believes that this kind of Internet regulation is necessary to prevent abuse and misuse of the Internet as a space for communication and connection. While acknowledging the positive contributions of the Internet to the local economy, Lao officials also warned that it can be used to cause panic in society. They cited the spread of inaccurate information about the Lao Airlines crash and a recently online rumor of human organ trafficking in Attapeu province. In both cases, the Laos government was forced to make official statements to clarify the wrong information.

Despite these excesses, however, the Laos government previously vowed not to block the Internet, believing that it is essential to the modernization and industrialization of the country. But the new Internet law will undermine the commitment of Laos officials to keep the Internet open and free. It will discourage netizens from maximizing online spaces to engage public officials and challenge public policies.

The law could also impede the growth of the IT sector. In 2011 there were only 60,000 Facebook users in Laos. Today, more than half a million Lao citizens use the popular social networking site. According to news reports, there are now five telecommunications companies, seven Internet service providers and about 900 computer shops in the country. At this time, what Laos needs is a law that will boost this industry and not something that will unfairly penalize critics, activists, and even ordinary Internet users.

It is unfortunate that Laos has aligned itself with its neighbors in the region that are implementing repressive Internet laws to stifle dissent, intimidate the opposition, and even punish critical citizens. Laos should strive to distinguish itself in the region by adopting a human rights-based framework in regulating the Internet.

 

 Update: Vivid Blue...

Canadian satellite porn channel Vanessa TV becomes VividTV


Link Here 3rd October 2014
vividtv logo Canadian adult broadcaster Sex-Shop Television Inc. will rebrand its popular Vanessa TV service as VividTV in a new partnership venture with the multichannel television division of Vivid Entertainment, a major adult film company. The change is effective October 28.

The channel, which will offer programming in both French and English. The channel will provide the most popular Vanessa TV programming, along with content from Vivid.

 

 Offsite Article: Disgraceful...


Link Here 3rd October 2014
conservative party logo Tories promise policy to withdraw human rights from British people

See article from theguardian.com

 

  Island Mentality...

East Java sets up its own film censor


Link Here 2nd October 2014
east java- flag The East Java administration will establish its own Film Censorship Board (LSF) to force films produced in the province adhere to the censor's view of cultural values.

National Film Censorship Board chief Mukhlis Paeni said that it was important for East Java to form a censorship board because the region was one of the most prolific film production areas in Indonesia, hosting many production houses, cinemas and local television stations. He said:

Films do not have to be edited by or seek authorization from a censorship body in Jakarta. With a censorship board in East Java, the task can be done there.

He expressed his hope that the censorship board would open by next year.

The Central Film Censorship Board is responsible for editing and approving films that are to be distributed and screened nationwide, and has the final say on whether a film is appropriate for viewing

 

 Update: Trade Barrier...

Chinese internet censorship may be blocking dissent but it also blocking business opportunities too


Link Here 2nd October 2014

Great Firewall of China China's government has tightened its control over the Internet so much recently that businesses, researchers and ordinary people are finding it hard to complete basic and innocuous tasks, like placing ads on websites, sharing documents and reading technical documents. It seems the government of President Xi Jinping is so determined to crack down on dissent that it is even willing to stifle commerce and scientific research.

The country has imposed burdensome controls on the Internet in recent months by blocking online libraries, text messaging applications and cloud computing services, including those provided by American companies like Google. For example, the government has made it very hard to use web services that were previously available, like Google Drive, which many businesses use to share documents among employees. And virtual private networks that allow employees to log on to their corporate servers remotely have also come under attack.

The tougher line will certainly make it harder for foreign companies to do business in China -- one American executive told The Times the new controls were a frustrating and annoying drain on productivity.

Most Chinese people and businesses, however, cannot easily get around these controls. They will have a harder time getting access to information stored on foreign computer servers or communicating with people outside China.

 

  No Pride in US Film Censorship...

Gay campaigners are offended that the US does not have a 15 film rating for the comedy drama Pride


Link Here 2nd October 2014
Poster Pride 2014 Matthew Warchus Pride is a 2014 UK comedy drama by Matthew Warchus.
Starring Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and Dominic West. YouTube icon BBFC link   IMDb

U.K. gay activists work to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984.

BBFC: Passed 15 uncut for strong language, sex references

MPAA: Rated R for language and brief sexual content.

Pride has been hailed by critics, winning acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival, but a film about gay activists who raised money to help South Wales families during the 1984 miners' strike has received a US rating pretty much in line with that of the UK

The Motion Picture Association of America has ruled the film was R rated, which would be noted as 17A in the UK (ie cinema customers have to be 17 and over to watch it in their own right, but there are no age restrictions for children accompanied by an adult).

Gay activist Peter Tatchell was offended by the R rating, or perhaps offended by the fact that the USA simply doesn't have a rating between its 13 and 17 ratings. He said:

It is outrageous, knee-jerk homophobia. There's no significant sex or violence in Pride to justify strong ratings.

The American classification board seems to automatically view any film with even the mildest gay content as unfit for people under 17.

On its website, the BBFC explains its 15 rating of Stephen Beresford's film as being based on occasional strong language and some scenes with sexual references. One shows men in a gay club wearing 'bondage' clothing .

Of course if people think that the BBFC rating of 15 is about right then it is inevitable and correct that it should be R in the US.

On the other hand perhaps the BBFC rating is harsh too. Other international ratings awarded so far are:

  • Canada:PG (British Columbia)
  • France: U
  • Germany:12
  • Ireland:15A
  • Netherlands:12
  • Switzerland:10

 

  Parents TV Council recommends...

Stalker, a new CBS TV drama


Link Here 2nd October 2014
stalker The moralist campaign group, Parents Television Council (PTC), has hyped the new CBS drama Stalker as torture porn and is warning parents about the show.

PTC takes particular issue with the premiere episode's opening scene, which the organization claims is a graphically violent scene featuring a woman being tortured and murdered.

The 1st episode will air with the rating TV-14 DSV, which denotes suggestive dialogue, sexual situations and violence.

PTC president Tim Winter said that, given the subject matter, Stalker should be rated TV-MA. He notes:

We are warning parents about this graphic scene, given that it will air at the beginning of the show and that it will presumably carry a very low TV-14 rating.. Since the episode contains graphic violence, the accurate rating for the program according to the industry's own standard is TV-MA. Rating this type of material as appropriate for a child would not only be wrong, it would be fraudulent.

Stalker stars Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q as detectives with the LAPD's Threat Assessment Unit who investigate stalking incidents such as voyeurism, cyber harassment and romantic fixation. It debuts Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET.

 

 Update: New Laws start today...

A new government imposition of burdensome and unnecessary BBFC censorship on music, sport and documentary DVDs starts on 1st October


Link Here 1st October 2014

bbfc cash logo Video Recordings Act extended to previously exempt works

The BBFC announced:

On 4 August 2014, the Video Recordings Act was amended to lower the threshold at which certain video content loses its exemption from classification. This amendment comes into effect on 1 October 2014.

From 1 October, documentaries, sports and music video works that can currently claim exemption will be required to seek a BBFC classification if they contain material which could be potentially harmful or otherwise unsuitable for children and, as with video games, works will have to be classified if they contain material which would be rated 12 and above.

See also BBFC Submission Guide covering fees and procedures [pdf]

The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Quotation and Parody) Regulations 2014

See new law from legislation.gov.uk

A new law came into force today allowing use of copyright material for the purposes of parody:

Caricature, parody or pastiche

Fair dealing with a work for the purposes of caricature, parody or pastiche does not infringe copyright in the work.

So at least we can now generate parody BBFC symbols.

 

  New Laws start today...

The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Quotation and Parody) Regulations 2014..


Link Here 1st October 2014
arms of the british governmentjpg logo Good news from the government. New copyright exclusions have been generated for quotations from copyrighted work and for parodies of copyrighted work. The key paragraphs from the law read:

Quotations

Copyright in a work is not infringed by the use of a quotation from the work (whether for criticism or review or otherwise) provided that:

(a) the work has been made available to the public,

(b) the use of the quotation is fair dealing with the work,

(c) the extent of the quotation is no more than is required by the specific purpose for which it is used, and

(d) the quotation is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement (unless this would be impossible for reasons of practicality or otherwise). "

Caricature, parody or pastiche

Fair dealing with a work for the purposes of caricature, parody or pastiche does not infringe copyright in the work.

Fair Dealing

Fair dealing' is a legal term used to establish whether a use of copyright material is lawful or whether it infringes copyright. There is no statutory definition of fair dealing - it will always be a matter of fact, degree and impression in each case. The question to be asked is: how would a fair-minded and honest person have dealt with the work?

Factors that have been identified by the courts as relevant in determining whether a particular dealing with a work is fair include:

  • does using the work affect the market for the original work? If a use of a work acts as a substitute for it, causing the owner to lose revenue, then it is not likely to be fair

  • is the amount of the work taken reasonable and appropriate? Was it necessary to use the amount that was taken? Usually only part of a work may be used

The relative importance of any one factor will vary according to the case in hand and the type of dealing in question.

 

  New Laws start today...

Legal backup of our own copyrighted mp3s, CDs and DVDs


Link Here 1st October 2014
Sony 50CDQ80SP 700MB Spindle Discs Starting today UK citizens are free to copy MP3s, CDs and DVDs for personal use. After an unexpected delay, UK copyright law was amended to legalize this common form of copying. In addition, the changes also broaden other forms of fair use, including parody and quotation rights.

To most consumers it's common sense that they can make a backup copy of media they own, but in the UK this has been illegal until today.

After consulting various stakeholders the Government decided that it would be in the best interests of consumers to legalize copying for personal use.

Final issues were resolved this summer and after a brief delay private copying is now legal.

This means that people are now free to make copies of DVDs, CDs and other types of media, as long as they're for personal use and without copyright protection. In addition, it's no longer copyright-infringing to store copies of legally purchased media to the cloud.

For the public the amendments are certainly a welcome change from the more restrictive copyright laws that were previously in place. See a full overview of 2014 copyright changes .

The Open Rights Group has done an awful lot of work over 9 years to secure these most welcome changes. Executive Director Jim Killock said:

Open Rights Group logo It has been a long, drawn-out campaign but we're delighted that people who contribute to the rich creativity of the internet by creating parodies will now have protection under the law. It's also right that copying our own legally bought music or books for personal use will no longer be illegal.

Thanks to these changes, the government has taken this significant step towards making copyright law reflect the way we use and share content in the digital age. Contrary to what copyright lobbyists claim, updating the law will actually benefit rights holders by ensuring we have a stronger, more legitimate copyright regime.

Open Rights group has been campaigning for change to copyright law since the Gowers review in 2006. Following a second government review, the Hargreaves review in 2011, over 1400 parodists signed ORG's right to parody petition calling for change. In May this year that Parliament approved three of five statutory instruments relating to copyright law but asked for further debate over exceptions for parody and for personal copying (also known as format shifting). At the time, ORG raised concerns that the rights industry was demanding compensation that would lead to an iPod tax but the SIs were finally approved by the House of Lords at the end of July.

 

 Update: New schemes start todayish...

Voluntary BBFC ratings for UK based music videos on YouTube


Link Here 1st October 2014
robin thicke blurred lines video This Friday a pilot scheme to add age ratings to online music videos starts but don't expect to see any huge 12s, 15s or 18s on videos just yet. All parties involved say people watching the videos won't see any changes until the end of the year.

YouTube says it is committed but technical change may take time and Vevo has agreed to trial the scheme.

Three of the biggest labels in the UK - Sony, Universal, and Warner Brothers - have all also agreed to take part. But it will only apply to artists signed to UK labels.

The BBFC will be awarding the age ratings.

Mercury-nominated singer FKA Twigs commented:

I think that the answer to protecting younger viewers is not to ban things, it's to show an alternative.

I guess with my videos we're talking directly about sexuality and there's nothing wrong with that.

Why shouldn't younger people learn and explore about what sexuality is as an adult? Why shouldn't they do that?

We're not living in Victorian Britain, do we want to be repressed? Do we want to have these kids doing weird things behind closed doors or should this be a country that is leading by example in explaining to people?

 

  God the Father...

Film producers to appeal to a high authority to get the MPAA rating reduced


Link Here 1st October 2014
god the father God The Father is a 2014 USA documentary by Simon Fellows.
Starring Tom Benedict Knight, Amanda Fernando Stevens and Bashar Rahal. YouTube icon IMDb

It was rated R by the MPAA for violent images, but the producers will now appeal the rating, presumably hoping for a PG-13.

Summary Notes

Michael Franzese, the son of John "Sonny" Franzese, an underboss of the Colombo crime family, recounts his spiritual transformation.

 

  Enemies of the People...

Tim Berners-Lee notes: 'Suddenly the power to abuse the open internet has become so tempting both for government and big companies'


Link Here 1st October 2014

tim berners-lee Tim Berners-Lee, the British computer scientist who invented the web 25 years ago, called on Saturday for a bill of rights that would guarantee the independence of the internet and ensure users' privacy. He said at the Web We Want festival on the future of the internet:

If a company can control your access to the internet, if they can control which websites they go to, then they have tremendous control over your life.

If a government can block you going to, for example, the opposition's political pages, then they can give you a blinkered view of reality to keep themselves in power.

Suddenly the power to abuse the open internet has become so tempting both for government and big companies.

He called for an internet version of the Magna Carta, the 13th century English charter credited with guaranteeing basic rights and freedoms:

There have been lots of times that it has been abused, so now the Magna Carta is about saying...I want a web where I'm not spied on, where there's no censorship.

 

 Offsite Article: iPhucked...


Link Here 1st October 2014
Apple iPhone White SIM Free Smartphone iPhones work out where you live, where you work, and where your mistress lives, and then kindly puts these on a map so partner can see

See article from dailymail.co.uk