Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch

2010: December

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31st December   

Update: Racy Humour...

The Mirror joins those tabloids enjoying Frankie Boyle's comedy
Link Here

Channel 4 have disregarded whinges from advertisers, charities and a handful of members ofthe public to moderate the language on Tramadol Nights .

During a routine on Wednesday's final episode, Boyle said: The Commonwealth Games were originally called The Empire Games, it basically started out as a huge slave race.

Adopting a posh voice he added: William, I think my niggers are quicker than yours.


30th December   

Update: Battle Lines Drawn...

Producers to boycott Tokyo anime fair over newly enacted sales restrictions
Link Here
Full story: Manga in Tokyo...Tokyo considers age restrictions on comic books

Eight animation companies are planning to boycott the Tokyo International Anime Fair in March to protest at Tokyo's tightening of sexual expression in manga and anime will stage a competing event to run at the same time.

The companies, including Kadokawa Shoten, publishers of the Haruhi Suzumiya teen novel series, will hold the Anime Content Expo on March 26 and 27 at the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba, they said.

The eight companies in the event's organizing committee include the producers of such popular animation series as Naruto , Neon Genesis Evangelion and Pocket Monsters .

The organizing committee will ask other companies boycotting the Tokyo fair to take part in their event.

The Tokyo fair, whose organizing committee is chaired by the censorial Governor Shintaro Ishihara, will be held March 24 to 27. Ishihara has said the boycott doesn't matter and the event will go ahead with whoever shows up. But others report that the boycott could put the event in jeopardy.

Update: Boycott Progress

6th February 2011. See  article from

A third of the scheduled exhibitors have withdrawn from the Tokyo International Anime Fair.

The Independent reports that 91 of the companies who were to participate in the event have pulled out in protest over a new law imposing stricter censorship on manga.


30th December   

Comment: Stig in a Manger...

Top Gear have fun with religion
Link Here
Full story: Top Gear and the Grand Tour...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers

Top Gear's Christmas special had a bit of fun with religious themes.

The show with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond,  nd James May included a joke with a little baby Stig doll as Jesus in a manger.

The show was a ratings hit, but the send-ups and flippant remarks triggered a few nutter whinges.

The presenters posed as the Three Wise Men to drive through Middle East countries. At one stage, they even wore burkas.

The Daily Star reports a few minor whinges on TV discussion forums and that hate preacher Anjem Choudary said: The burka is a symbol of our religion and people should not make jokes about it in any way. It would have been equally bad even if they'd not been in a country mainly populated by Muslims.

Comment: A Bastion Against PC

30th December 2010. From Andrew

What the fuck?

Seriously, that's the only way I can express my thoughts for what has to be the most ridiculous subject ever.

Why is it, Top Gear goes to a foreign country and makes a few HARMLESS jokes, and the nutters are in uproar? Why is it people can come to the UK with their views and opinions, and be honoured for them, yet when we make a slight hint of a joke about a god that MIGHT NOT EVEN EXIST (face it, have you seen him?) there's pandemonium.

Why is religion such a pain in the ass? I salute the Top Gear team for doing what Top Gear has always done. Provided entertainment. They have not been trampled on by those silly PC pricks who claim you can't say that, it might upset 1 out of 6 billion people.


29th December   

Britain's Little Whingers...

The easily offended have a knock at the comedy hit, Come Fly With Me
Link Here

Some viewers iewers have complained that the Christmas Day show by comedy duo Matt Lucas and David Walliams on BBC1 was racist.

The spoof documentary set in an airport and called Come Fly With Me featured the pair as a range of minority characters.

Lucas darkens his face and wears a beard to play a Muslim worker called Taaj. He also adopts a strong West Indian accent to play a black woman called Precious who works in the coffee shop.

Walliams's roles include a Middle Eastern passenger liaison officer called Moses.

However, some viewers failed to see the funny side and took to internet forums to complain about the programme – the first of a six-part series – likening it to a minstrel show .

The show, broadcast at 10pm, was the second most-watched show on Christmas Day, attracting an audience of 10.3million.

BBC1 bosses said they had not yet established how many complained to the corporation. A BBC spokesman said: Come Fly With Me had a huge audience and many people loved it.

Comedy has a social function and part of that function is to ruffle feathers, said Lucas. On Twitter he added: Like in Little Britain we try to reflect, affectionately, the multicultural Britain we love. No offence is intended.


29th December   

Updated: An App Between a Rock and a Hard Place...

Anti-gay declaration app banned after gay petition, now subject to christian counter petition
Link Here
Full story: iPhone iCensor...Apple is censorial about apps for iPhone

A counter petition has launched to protest Apple's decision to ban an iPhone app opposing gay marriage.

The Manhattan Declaration app, which allowed Apple users to add their name to the ecumenical document in support of the sanctity of life, traditional marriage and religious liberty, was pulled from the App Store over the Thanksgiving holiday after a group of activists rightfully charged the app as anti-gay.

Some 7,700 members petitioned the company to ask them to pull the app, contending the statement contained hateful and divisive language.

Supporters of the Christian declaration are now fighting back with a petition of their own. As of Friday afternoon, over 37,000 people have signed the petition launched by the organizers of the Manhattan Declaration asking Apple to reinstate the app.

The petition addressed to Apple founder Steve Jobs and the company itself asserts that the positions espoused in the declaration are based on biblical Christianity. The letter rejects claims that the declaration promoted hate or homophobia: Disagreement is not hate, the petition states. We urge you and Apple, therefore, to promote communication and civil dialogue on these important social issues by reinstating the Manhattan Declaration App.

Update: Petition Refused

29th December 2010. See  article from

More than 46,000 people signed a petition asking Apple to reinstate the Manhattan Declaration app, which is based on a document that upholds religious understanding of marriage and the sanctity of life.

But organizers behind the Manhattan Declaration said they were notified last week that the resubsmission was not accepted.

Apple is telling us that the apps' content is considered 'likely to expose a group to harm' and 'to be objectionable and potentially harmful to others, they said: Apple's statement amounts to the charge that our faith is 'potentially harmful to others.'

Those behind the Manhattan Declaration called the latest rejection by Apple appalling.

Organizers plan to take their rejected app matter to Apple's App Review Board.


27th December   

Phone Control...

Turkmenistan turns off 80% of mobile phones to force users to switch to a state censored service
Link Here

Amnesty International is calling on the Turkmenistani authorities to immediately lift the suspension of the operation of the country's largest mobile phone service provider until arrangements can be made to provide an alternative service enabling them to access independent news sites.

Earlier this week, the authorities suspended the operation of the privately-owned and Moscow-based service provider, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), leaving around 2.5 million people, half of the country's population and 80% of the mobile phone-users, suddenly unable to use their mobile phones or access the internet.

With their arbitrary actions the Turkmenistan authorities are severely restricting communications within the country and with the outside world, said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Deputy Programme Director: This measure will unlawfully interfere with correspondence and violate the right of many people in Turkmenistan to receive and impart information in breach of international human rights standards.

Meanwhile, MTS users are left with no choice but to buy the services of Altyn Asyr, the state-owned service provider, which blocks access to independent news sites and the websites of opposition groups.


27th December   

A Political Football...

Indian censor bans Inshallah Football
Link Here
Full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence

India's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has banned Inshallah Football , a documentary film about an aspiring footballer who was denied the right to travel abroad on the pretext that father was a militant in the 1990s.

The film's director Ashvin Kumar said, This morning (December 23) I received a call from the Indian censor board stating that after having referred the film to a revision panel, censor certification will not be given. We have not been asked to make any cuts. The reason given was that it spoke against the Indian government and that it was one-sided.

The film has been critically acclaimed and won a Special Jury Distinction prize at the just-concluded Dubai International Film Festival.


27th December   

The Language of Censorship...

Chinese censors ban the use of English from books, newspapers and websites...Apart from their own
Link Here

According to a report from the Voice of America, Chinese censors of the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) have significantly expanded restrictions against the use of English:

Chinese authorities have banned the use of foreign words and phrases — especially English — in Chinese newspapers, books and websites.

The ban was issued by GAPP, the censor for written publications. It says the increasing use of English and half-English phrases is damaging the purity of the Chinese language and disrupting the nation's harmonious and healthy cultural environment.

Those who violate the decree will be punished as provided for by the law.

The GAPP has the legal authority to screen, censor, and ban any print, electronic, or Internet publication in China. Because all publishers (including Internet publishers) in China are required to be licensed by the GAPP, that censor also has the power to deny people the right to publish, and completely shut down any publisher who fails to follow its dictates.


26th December   

Updated: Banned Film Laid to Rest...

Director holds mock funeral for movie banned by the Thai film censor
Link Here

A Thai director has staged a mock funeral of a recently banned film, complete with a mournful speech about the deceased and guests placing sandalwood flowers at a miniature crematorium.

Director Tanwarin Sukkapisit conducted a mock funeral at the Thai Film Archive for the recently banned film Insects in the Backyard.

Tanwarin, wearing a black dress, dark shades and make-up, gave a short speech before leading about 30 guests, most of them also wearing black. There was a funeral wreath and framed photograph of the director from a scene in the film.

At 2.30pm, Songyos Sukmakanant, president of the Thai Film Directors Association, lit a small funeral pyre containing a DVD of Tanwarin's film. Guests then took turns to place sandalwood flowers in the pyre.

It was just a movie, said Tanwarin: It shouldn't have had to come to this. At first I thought it would be a fun event . But it turned out to be really sad because I've been working on the film for two years. It was like raising a baby and now the baby is gone.

Insects in the Backyard was banned by the Thai censors two weeks ago for supposedly being against public morals.

The film tells the story of a cross-dressing father, played by katoey Tanwarin, and his dysfunctional family. It has a masturbation scene and scenes of students engaged in prostitution.

The Thai Film Foundation and Thai Film Archive had planned to screen the film on 10th December to mark Constitution Day. They hoped that would be possible if the film was shown for educational purposes with no commercial gain. They also planned to hold an academic seminar featuring legal experts.

But the Office of Cultural 'Promotion', which oversees the censorship of all films, sent an urgent letter to organisers reminding them that they would break the law if they screened the film. Even the film's trailer wasn't allowed to be shown.

The punishment for screening a film without permission is a maximum one-year jail term and a fine of 200,000 baht to one million baht. Organisers decided to cancel the screening but hold the seminar.

In my view, the law must stipulate clearly what's allowed and what's not, said Sawitree Srisuk, a law lecturer from Thammasat University who spoke at the seminar. To use a broad term such as 'public morals' is not sufficient.

Jetsada Anujaree, a representative from the Lawyers Council of Thailand, said the selection of the censorship committee members should be changed to allow more participation from industry people and less control by state officers [mainly police].

Tanwarin has appealed to the National Film and Video Board about the ban.

Update: Appealing

20th December 2010. See  article from

There was no final decision last night after the Culture Ministry's National Film Board viewed the censored gay-themed movie Insects in the Backyard.

I'm glad, we still have another chance, director Tanwarin Sukkhapisit told The Nation.

Chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Trairong Suwankiri, the National Film Board screened the film and Cultural Minister Pinit Intarasombut said the board had not made a final decision regarding the controversial film and it would meet again by December 23.

The board's members include director Prachya Pinkaew and film critic Kittisak Suwanpokin. Tanwarin said there was support for the film to be released under the 20- rating, which restricts it from viewers under age 20 and requires ID checks at the cinema.

Update: Appeal rejected on morality grounds

26th December 2010. From

Thai censors have confirmed the ban on the release of the gay-themed film Insects In The Backyard.

The National Film Board ruled that the film was deeply Immoral and could not be allowed even a limited release in specialist theatres. In November the censor board ruled that the film's content goes against public order or morality.

Directed by Tanwarin Sukkhapisit, it is the story of a transvestite father's  upbringing of two teenagers. The film includes scenes of masturbation and fetish sex between the teenagers and their paying clients.

Tanwarin said that the scenes the censors objected to were crucial to the film and cannot be cut. She told news agencies: the problem with my film wasn't that it was a gay-themed movie _ because there are many gay comedies allowed in Thailand. My movie was banned because it was a serious movie. It showed there can be real problems when society cannot accept sexual differences.


26th December   

Faith in Censorship...

Film song censored after hindu whinges
Link Here

Indian film actor Kamal Haasan has said that a song in his latest film Manmadan Ambu will be deleted from the movie in the interest of all religions .

The decision to delete the song has been made with a view to ensure people of all faiths see and enjoy the film. Had it been my production, I would have released the censor board certification which did not object to the contents, said Kamal.

The Hindu Makkal Katchi objected to the song saying it hurt the sentiments of Hindus. The song Kannodu Kannai Kalandhal reportedly speaks about a woman's desire and has references to deities Aranganathar and Sri Varalakshmi.


25th December   

Update: Dead Space in Bavaria...

German state not keen on the game Dead Space 2
Link Here
Full story: Games Censorship in Germany...German politicians target video games

According to a roughly translated report in, Bavaria's Ministry of Social Affairs said that the PSP version of EA's Dead Space 2 needs to be re-examined before it can be approved for release in the region.

Producers EA say that this is the 6th time that the game has been examined by the German censors at USK.

The objection seems to be with the multiplayer mode, which lets human players kill other human players.

EA has filed an appeal to the decision.

Perhaps a few clues from the UK's BBFC who comment on the game in an article from :

Dead Space 2 is a science fiction game played from the third-person perspective. It once again features Isaac Clarke, who must fight his Necromorph enemies on the moon of Titan. The game was classified 18 for strong bloody violence and gory images.

At 15 the BBFC's Guidelines state that Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. The strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable . Dead Space 2 features frequent strong bloody violence and gory images, during gameplay and the cut scenes . As with the first game the alien enemies must have their limbs blown off in order to kill them, with the player's character using weapons such as a plasma cutter and a spinning circular saw. As well as the removal of limbs, heads are seen being decapitated and blood sprays copiously from the bodies of victims as well as being visible on walls and floors throughout the various levels. While it's not possible to shoot the unarmed civilians occasionally seen during the levels, the bodies of people once dead can be damaged in a similar manner to that of the aliens, although progress does not depend on this. Some of the game's gorier sequences include the ability to stamp on the bodies of enemies as they lie wounded; the clear sight of a man drawing a knife across his throat with blood spraying from the wound as he slumps to the floor; a sequence in which a screaming man is pulled apart by an alien creature; sight of a character being stabbed in the eye by a frenzied attacker; and various animation sequences to denote the death of the player's character, such as his limbs being sliced off or his body crushed by elements of the environment. These moments went beyond the limits permissible at the 15 category.

Dead Space 2 also contains strong language.


25th December   

Update: Branded as Unacceptable...

Advertisers pull out from 4 on Demand over Frankie Boyle
Link Here

L'Oreal and Nestle are pulling out from 4 on Demand over Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights show.

Beauty company L'Oreal are taking down their adverts from the 4 on Demand website where Boyle's show is available, the Daily Mirror revealed.

Nestle, which promotes its Nespresso coffee machine on the site, also said they will not renew their advertising contract.

A L'Oreal spokesman said: This is not language we condone and we are pulling the online advert.

A Nestle spokesman said: Nespresso offers its sincere apologies for any distress caused.

Frankie Boyle is now 9/4 to be sacked after bookmakers slashed odds from 5/1 - and he is 8/13 to issue an apology. A spokesman for Ladbrokes said: We think this could be the final straw. Even if he apologises the P45 could already be in the post.


25th December   

Petition: Offside and Inside...

Noted Iranian film director jailed for 6 years
Link Here

The acclaimed Iranian film-maker Jafar Panahi has been sentenced to six years in prison, and banned from directing and producing films for the next 20 years, his lawyer said.

Panahi, an outspoken supporter of Iran's opposition green movement, was convicted of colluding in gathering and making propaganda against the regime, Farideh Gheyrat told the Iranian state news agency, ISNA.

He is also  banned from travelling abroad and also giving any interviews to the media including foreign and domestic news organisations.

Panahi won the Camera d'Or at the Cannes film festival in 1995 for his debut feature, The White Balloon , and the Golden Lion at Venice for his 2000 drama, The Circle . His other films include Crimson Gold and Offside . He is highly regarded around the world but his films are banned at home.

To: The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran

We call on the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for the immediate release of internationally respected Iranian Filmmaker Jafar Pahani, (winner of the Camera d' Or at Cannes, the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival) and his family and dependents.


24th December   

Updated: Virginity Claims Despoiled...

Christian Voice whinges at The Nativity
Link Here

The BBC has angered the nutters of Christian Voice with a TV drama in which the Virgin Mary is branded a prostitute and sex cheat.

In The Nativity , written by Tony Jordan, 15-year-old Mary is attacked by people who do not believe her claim that she is pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph accuses her of whoring and even suggests that her pregnancy might have been the result of rape.

But Stephen Green, of Christian Voice, said: There is no justification for any of this in the gospels. They do say Joseph was suspicious, but that was it. It doesn't suggest any physical or verbal abuse. It's typical of the fertile imagination you need for something like EastEnders. The kids that do nativity plays in school will be perplexed that someone has come up with this revisionist, puerile idea.

The BBC can't help themselves. Three quarters of our population are Christian. At the BBC, this proportion is reversed. You have a huge proportion of militant, liberal atheists who are keen to dump on Christianity. They wouldn't mock the birth of Muhammad , or anything to do with his life story. They wouldn't ridicule Hinduism or Sikhism, but Christianity is their big target.

Defending the drama, Jordan said: The story is told using modern language and the characters have modern attitudes. Personally, I believe in the immaculate conception but I think it's perfectly understandable if people struggle with the concept. I think the questions asked in our drama are the kind that any man watching a prime-time TV drama in 2010 would quite reasonably ask. I think it perfectly believable that Joseph should get angry with his betrothed and only agree to take her with him to Bethlehem when she risks being stoned by angry neighbours.

If my own wife came to me and said: 'Tony, I'm having a baby which isn't yours but, don't worry, I was visited by the Angel Gabriel and it's actually God's baby,' I think I would feel more than a little miffed.

A Church of England spokesman said: Tony Jordan's adaptation presents a gritty interpretation of the events of the first Christmas. We hope it will bring home the story of Jesus being born in a humble stable to many new viewers.

Update: Seeking a Haven from Nutters

24th December 2010. See  article from

  Sorry, asylum rooms only for couples
in a properly consummated marriage

The BBC have rejected accusations that its The Nativity drama contained an anti-Jewish libel after a leading rabbi complained about the portrayal of one its characters.

Jonathan Romain, a prominent figure in the group Reform, said that the BBC was spoiling the season of goodwill by including a scene that showed a rabbi denying shelter to a pregnant Mary.

It shows the mother of Jesus trying to flee a hostile Bethlehem crowd and a rabbi refusing her the haven of his synagogue, letting her escape through a back door instead.

Romain said many Jews would be aghast that amid a story central to the beliefs of millions of Christians an anti-Judaic aspect has been twisted into the narrative . The Gospels tell us there was no room at the inn, not that a rabbi kicked Mary out of a synagogue . Having survived Mel Gibson's anti-Jewish Easter onslaught The Passion now the season of goodwill has been spoiled.

It would be tragic if a 30-minute television programme undid years of inter-faith dialogue, he added.

The BBC rejected his suggestion that the scene constituted an anti-Jewish libel, saying there was absolutely no truth to claims the rabbi was depicted in a negative way.


24th December   

Updated: Outrageously Bad...

Daily Mail continue to enjoy Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights
Link Here

Daily Mail hacks have been glued to their sets for another episode of Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights.

They spotted that:

During Tuesday night's show a female character was dressed up as sexualised Super Mario character and uttered the phrase: Hello to Pakis everywhere .

Later in the show he used the word again when talking about Western forces in Afghanistan before using the word n****r .

In the same episode there were also repeated jokes about women who wear burkas. He then added: All very funny till I get shot in the car park.

There were also jokes about Madeleine McCann, dead British soliders, as well as rape and the crossbow cannibal murders.

Vivienne Pattison of Mediawtch-UK was given a Christmas break from sound bite duty and instead the 'outrage' was provided by Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation who said the scenes were disgusting . If he has used those words on a public broadcaster it is abhorrent. People at home watching that will think that this sort of language terminology is acceptable in the 21st century.

Update: Whittering On

24th December 2010. Based on article from

The Daily Mail have caused a little interest from a serial sound bite nutter.

MP John Whittingdale, chairman of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, slammed Frankie Boyle saying: The words nigger and Paki are deeply offensive to a large number of people. I don't think even in comedy it is justified.

He has written to the TV censor Ofcom, calling Boyle a serial offender.

Channel 4 is continuing to back to back Boyle. In response to complaints of racism, a spokesman said: Channel 4 would not have broadcast these words had they been used in a racist way. All the jokes highlight the unacceptable nature of this language. Boyle's cutting edge comedy aimed to ridicule and satirise the use of the controversial words, and Channel 4 would not have broadcast them if they been used in a racist way.

But maybe the viewers aren't quite so wound up. The Guardian notes: Media regulator Ofcom and Channel 4 are understood to have cumulatively received a handful of complaints about the broadcast.


24th December

 Offsite: Christian People's Safermedia Alliance...

Link Here
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn
Reactionary forces are shaping the debate on internet porn

See article from


24th December   

Update: Good Without God...

Atheist bus campaign still going strong
Link Here
Full story: Atheist Buses...Atheists fund adverts about enjoying life

The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T), has adopted a policy that bans buses and bus benches from carrying religious and atheist ads.

The adoption came weeks after atheist ads declaring Millions of Americans are good without God were launched on four city buses. The ads sparked debate and drew criticism from nutters who considered the campaign an insult to Christianity, especially during the Christmas season.

The board of directors' revised existing guidelines by expanding the list of banned ads to include religious, nontheistic or faith-based ads.

The agency's staff recommended adding the exclusion of any faith-based ads because of the distraction from its core business and excessive staff time that have been required to respond to the recent controversy over religious versus atheist ads on The T's buses, The T stated.

The Good without God ads were sponsored by the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason. The group said the campaign was designed to raise awareness about people who don't believe in a god and to guide those interested to the 15 area nontheistic groups that make up the DFW coalition. The atheist group had also planned to run the ads on Dallas buses, but the Dallas Area Rapid Transit rejected the campaign.

A blue mobile billboard truck carrying a pro-Christian message is currently shadowing the buses. The billboard reads I still love you. – God and 2.1 billion people are good with God.


24th December   

Careful TV Censorship...

Australian TV censor criticises Hezbollah-affiliated satellite TV channel but allows it to continue
Link Here

A Hezbollah-affiliated satellite TV station is allowed to operate in Australia despite screening racist material in breach of national broadcasting codes.

The criticism of the TV station al-Manar was made by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

Perhaps a notable decision to allow the channel to continue broadcasting as the Lebanese group is proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the US government and much pressure was brought to bear ban it.

Following an investigation into al-Manar, ACMA has proposed changes to Australia's broadcasting regulations to prohibit content that is likely to advocate the doing of terrorist acts .

Al-Manar, owned by Lebanese Communications group, is broadcast in Australia in Arabic from Lebanon, via an Indonesian satellite company.


24th December   

Humour Failure...

Satirical Brazilian blog under legal threat from newspaper
Link Here

Brazilian freedom of expression groups, including ARTICLE 19, are organizing a campaign in support of brother bloggers Lino and Mario Bocchini, who have been sued by the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo due to the content disseminated on-line on their satirical blog Falha de Sao Paulo .

The Brazilian judiciary issued a provisional decision in the case filed against the blog, ordering its removal from the internet. The blog has been under what the brothers call censorship for almost 80 days now.

During 2010 Brazilian electoral campaign, bloggers Lino and Mário Ito Bocchini created Falha de Sao Paulo , a blog dedicated to humour, political satire and journalism. The word falha means failure in Portuguese. The blog draws on photomontage, jokes and other blog posts to satirise the work of the popular daily newspaper Folha.

The blog was clearly created as a parody but the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo decided to sue the bloggers on the grounds that they were making unlawful use of a registered brand. According to the newspaper's lawyers, the blog was seeking to profit from the confusion of internet users, who may mistake the blog for the official Folha de Sao Paulo website when logging onto the site.

The blog, however, has no commercial purpose and carries no advertisement. The domain was registered under the bloggers' names. The newspaper argued that the bloggers acted in bad faith in order to take advantage of the newspaper's brand and reputation. These arguments are without any basis given the type of articles and other distinctive content found on the blog.

ARTICLE 19 believes the arguments raised by Folha de Sao Paulo in the lawsuit lack any merit and are advanced in a case which is clearly aimed at stifling any comments posted by the bloggers which are critical of the newspaper.


24th December

 Offsite: Thailand's Oceania moment...

Link Here
Full story: Internet Censorship in Thailand...Thailand implements mass website blocking
Internet censorship under state of emergency

See article from


23rd December   

Civilisation Defamed...

UN again urges the world to adopt blasphemy laws
Link Here
Full story: Defamation of Religion...OIC pushes for global blasphemy laws at UN

Human Rights First condemns the passage of the controversial United Nations resolution entitled Combating defamation of religions and warns that such measures prohibiting the defamation of religions violate fundamental freedom of expression norms and are counterproductive to efforts to confront the problems of bias-motivated violence, discrimination and other forms of intolerance.

The resolution was introduced by Morocco on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). It was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly with 79 votes in favor, 67 votes against and 40 abstentions. Last year 80 countries voted in favor of the resolution, 61 against and 42 abstained.

Today's vote affirms that support for the defamation concept continues to dwindle. Nevertheless, we deeply regret that this text continues to distract governments from real issues that deserve greater attention , such as fighting the spread of religious violence and hatred, as well as how to counter practices of discrimination that many members of religious and other minorities face in all parts of the globe, said Human Rights First's Tad Stahnke. Today's vote is unfortunate for both individuals at risk whose rights will surely be violated under the guise of prohibiting 'defamation of religions,' as well as for the standards of international norms on freedom of expression.


23rd December   

Update: Britain Easily Menaced...

Robin Hood airport jokey tweet to be re-examined in the High Court
Link Here
Full story: Police Twitter Twits...Man charged over terrorism quip on twitter

Paul Chambers, who was convicted of sending a menacing communication after he joked on Twitter that he would blow Doncaster's Robin Hood Airport sky high , has won the right to appeal the decision, Index on Censorship has learned.

It is believed the case will now go before the High Court in spring 2011.

David Allen Green, the solicitor and blogger who has been advising Chambers, welcomed the decision by Doncaster Crown Court:

This provides the High Court with a welcome opportunity to provide guidance on the correct scope of Section 127 of the Communications Act. It will be the first time the High Court will consider what a menacing communication means under this section.


23rd December   

Rumours of War...

South Korea considers internet censorship in light of times of crisis
Link Here

South Korea's government is moving to extend its online censorship by allowing messages deemed to contain false information to be deleted without a review process during a national emergency, such as the sinking of the frigate Cheonan and North Korea's artillery bombardment of Yeonpyeong Island.

An official at the Korea Communications Commission has said that it is drawing up a manual, which includes measures to require web portals to beef up the monitoring of comments posted on blogs, Internet cafes and other sites in case of a national emergency: We will also make it possible for messages containing bogus information to be removed immediately without a review process. These steps will only be taken in a state of emergency .

Following the sinking of the naval ship Cheonan on March 26 and the North's shelling on Nov. 23, tens of thousands of messages were uploaded on Internet cafes, blogs and other sites operated by web portals, some of which was said to have included false data and unfounded rumors.

Under the current mechanism, on request, the commission sets up a review committee that deliberates whether online messages contain false information or not. For instance, a man in his 20s spread false rumors by sending cell phone text messages that the government would mobilize reserve forces in the wake of North Korea's attack on Yeonpyeong Island. It caused grave social unrest. To cope with something like this in a timely manner, we will make it possible for misleading messages to be erased immediately, the official stressed.

However, civic groups are protesting the move, saying the government is trying to restrict the freedom of expression among those disapproving of the Lee administration's policies. There is no clear and objective standard for which comments contain incorrect information and which ones don't. It means the government will be able to do whatever it wants to at its discretion, strengthening state censorship in cyberspace, a Seoul-based civic group member said.


23rd December   

Updated: Restricting Internet Use...

Venezuela to impose a midnight watershed on adult content on the internet
Link Here

Venezuela is set to embrace the concept of internet censorship.

A bill introduced in the Venezuelan parliament by Vice President Elias Jaua would, among other things, prohibit messages [from being sent] that create alarm in the population, ignore public authorities, incite violence and use subliminal messages, according to Bloomberg.

Inexplicably, however, the bill would also seek to impose time restrictions on adult content available on the internet. Specifically, adult fare would be allowed only after midnight, bringing it in line with TV and radio, according to Reuters. There is no explanation how such a requirement would be applied. Apparently, the Venezuelan government believes that the internet is no different than radio and television.

The bill isn't intended to restrict internet use, ...[BUT]... rather to bring the sending and receiving of digital information on servers and digital media in line with rules for television and radio, Manuel Villalba, head of the congressional media commission, said in an emailed statement from the Information Ministry: There should just exist protection of citizens' moral and ethical honor

The bill will be discussed in the congressional media committee before being put to a vote in the assembly.

Update: Amended to drop the internet watershed idea

17th December 2010. Based on article from

In a first round of discussion, on December 14th, the Venezuelan National Assembly approved the reform to the Law on Social Responsibility in Radio, Television and Electronic Media the Law for Telecommunications.

However, the texts that were discussed were different to the ones that were published on the Assembly website, and several points were eliminated, amongst them, the implementation of a national Network Access Point for easy internet filtering, and the expressions moral and good customs appear to have been eliminated.

The final text, which has been leaked through the net, still retains the rule providing that Internet service providers are responsible for all content accessible to its users, and are obliged to have mechanisms in order to restrict those messages prohibited by the law.

It also remains the prohibition of all content that:

  1. Encourages and promote hatred and intolerance for religious, political, and gender difference, by racism or xenophobia.
  2. Incites or promote and/or justify the crime.
  3. Constitutes war propaganda.
  4. Foster unrest among the citizenship or disturb public order.
  5. Refuses to recognize the government's authority.
  6. Induces to murder.
  7. Incite or promote the violation of existing law.

It has been also clarified that the prohibition of contents regarding explicit sex and violence it's applicable only to radio and television. Also, the prohibition of anonymity and messages against the Nation's security remains.

Update: Law has now passed all stages

23rd December 2010. Based on article from

On December 20th, the Venezuelan Parliament passed the bill that gives the Executive the power to regulate all content accessible in Internet within Venezuela. Through an administrative organ, CONATEL, all venezuelan-based ISPs will have the responsibility to block all content that collides with article 28 and 29:

  1. Encourages and promotes hatred and intolerance for religious, political, and gender difference, by racism or xenophobia.
  2. Incites or promote and/or justify the crime.
  3. Constitutes war propaganda.
  4. Fosters unrest among the citizenship or disturb public order.
  5. Refuses to recognize the government's authority.
  6. Induces to murder.
  7. Incites or promotes the violation of existing law.
  8. Promote, justify or incite public disturbances
  9. Use anonimity.
  10. Disregards the legitimate authority

According to congress members, the law will regulate all content, including text, images, sound and video, that might collide with the above mentioned provisions.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez stated through his twitter account that he just had enacted the law.

The law will take effect the day following its publication in the Official Gazette.


23rd December   

Clumsy Censorship...

Communion wafer gags are cut from Philippines comedy
Link Here

After a second review, the Philippines MTRCB (Movies and Television Review and Classification Board) gave Father Jejemon a G rating (for General Patronage).

That was after the two controversial scenes, shown in the trailer, were cut, one showing the Holy Eucharist accidentally dropping into the cleavage of a woman communicant and the other with the Holy Eucharist caught in the dentures of another woman communicant.

Some sectors, including priests, denounced the scenes as sacrilegious and called on the public to boycott the movie.

I meant no harm nor malice with those scenes, said Dolphy actor Dolphy.


23rd December   

Comment: Chaps vs Women...

Shaun writes to Claire Perry about a new angle she has introduced to the internet blocking debate
Link Here
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

Claire Perry is one the MPs most prominently campaigning for internet censorship.

She has just brought a new dimension to the debate with a tweet that caught the interest of the internet community.

She wrote on twitter:

100% of negative or abusive commentary about opt in system for internet porn is from the chaps. Women 100% positive (so far)

Shaun has emailed her to take issue with the comment:

Dear Ms Perry MP

I am sorry but I have to take issue with statements you have made! On your twitter site you wrote: 100% of negative or abusive commentary about opt in system for internet porn is from the chaps. Women 100% positive (so far)

In fact this isn't true. Please check out the responses on the Daily Mail web site .

For example Cheryl (presumably a girl) replied there:

If you don't want your kid to see porn, then don't leave them with a computer or anything that can access the internet, in their bedrooms or allow internet access on mobile phones. Keep all devices that access the internet in the family area and simply disconnect the modem when you do not want your kids going online.

Also I bet at least 50% of all the internet porn your kids have seen comes not from the friendly home PC, but from their friends houses, their friends mobiles and even their school IT room. - Cheryl86, mansfield uk, 19/12/2010 22:40

But the truth of a statement doesn't seem to be all that important to politicians does it ?

There are other women there who do NOT support your idea. You will find that the MAJORITY of people there, who are traditionally your OWN supporters do not want this.

MS Perry - I voted conservative on the ground we would get increased freedoms after the years of NL nannying which people are SICK TO DEATH of. It seems you folks are going to be even worse, and I won't be voting conservative again unless things change very quickly. Yes there's going to an opt in so you can get the internet uncensored, so you say! The problem is that people simply do *not* trust you. They believe that a slippery slope with mission creep will come to pass and eventually only government approved material will be allowed.

MS Perry in political speak: Censorship of this kind has no place in any kind of free and democratic country.

I have children now in their late teens, who have been online for over TWELVE years. There are ways you can monitor their access and restrict what they do without this. The internet IS NOT a child's playground.

If you persist in running a censored feed you should set it up yourselves (the government I mean) PAY for it, and then offer it to ISPs as an option, to connect through it, for those who want it. That way you cannot blame the ISPS or fine them when it fails, which it surely will.

As for comparison with child abuse filters, already in existence, this is unfair for the following reasons:

1: The number of such sites is very small compared with the number of so called Adult sites

2: The effectiveness of the child abuse filters cannot be tested as to bypass them and download the material would turn you into a criminal. Few would dare risk that I think.

3: Adult censorship systems will be tested to destruction by both sides, those for, and those against. Those who are for, will make sure it works properly and complain when it does not. Those against, will test it, so they can say We told you so and information how to bypass the scheme will be plastered all over the web.

MS Perry, censorship is a necessary evil and should be kept to a minimum in any kind of free country. We are not China or North Korea. Or is that the kind of environment you politicians really want to create for your children ?

It took me a long time to wish New labour was out of power. I think I've got to that position with the current coalition already.

If you think men are against this, it is simply because men tend understand the workings of the internet more, and certainly trust the government LESS when it goes on these kinds of moral crusades. You should not really keep taking a pot shot at men as you do. This is insulting and sexist. Yes we might be more stimulated by explicit images. There is some truth in that. That however is a product of evolution. It does not mean we don't care about keeping our children safe. However I really would like to see more evidence of the harm, before you go on a censorship crusade. I have followed this debate for some years, ever since realised exactly how much censorship was imposed on our media back in the nineties, compared with the much more free countries of Europe.

If you do have a censored feed, it should be one which is requested by PARENTS. I should not have to ask my ISP for my freedom of choice, and perhaps be put on a list of people who have done this. (Another fear of many people, who are against this)

I am not a constituent, but I would be grateful for your reply, and any reassurances you might care to offer.

BTW: I find it APPALLING that a political posturing group such as SaferMedia have been granted charitable status, when I don't think there is anything remotely charitable about their activities. As far as I can tell, they exist simply to try to persuade politcians to impose a narrow-minded Christian agenda on everyone else. I have asked the charities commission to review their decision in light of their political activities.


22nd December   

Update: In the Name of the Children...

France gives nod to government internet blocking without judicial review
Link Here
Full story: Internet Censorship in France...Web blocking in the name of child protection

The French General Assembly has adopted a bill on December 15 to allow the Government to filter the internet without court intervention.

Article 4 of the so-called LOPPSI 2 law on guidelines and programming for the performance of internal security), referred to the blocking of child pornography sites.

But some MPs among the assembly attacked Article 4, which in effect allowed the government to filter the Internet using a blacklist issued by the Ministry of Interior, without the intervention of the judiciary. Critics of the measure argued it might also allow the ISP-level blocking of websites considered by the authorities as undesirable, without judiciary control.

After passing through the French National Assembly, the text will go back to the Senate at the beginning of 2011.

Update: Passed

29th March 2011. Based on article from

The French Constitutional Council has released its decision1 regarding the LOPPSI bill. Judges held that article 4 of the bill, which allows the executive branch to censor the Net under the pretext of fighting child pornography, is not contrary to the Constitution. In doing so, the constitutional court has failed to protect fundamental freedoms on the Internet, and in particular freedom of expression. Hopes lie now in European institutions, which are the only ones with the power to prohibit or at least supervise administrative website blocking and its inherent risks of abuse.

The LOPSSI law compiled many repressive measures on vastly unrelated subjects. The Constitutional Council found itself caught by this strategy. While it did strike down some of the most shocking provisions, it left untouched those that seemed less harmful or were proposed in the name of noble goals, in spite of having a highly detrimental impact on civil liberties, such as the ones related to the Internet.


22nd December   

Classified as Outdated...

Australia to review film and media censorship system
Link Here

Australia's government have appointed two new film censors.

Lesley O'Brien has been appointed deputy director of classification and Greg Scott is the new senior classifier.

Meanwhile Attorney-General Robert McClelland has announced a year-long review of the classification system to be run by the law reform commission.

The draft terms of reference for the review suggest the classification categories themselves may be changed.

The review will look the impact of classifications on the community and the government's desire for a strong content and distribution industry.

Comments on the terms of reference will be taken until January 28, with a full report from the commission due on December 9 next year.


22nd December   

Update: Ofcom to Investigate X Factor...

Under rule 1.3a: Nutters must be protected from material that is unsuitable for them
Link Here
Full story: UK TV Talent Shows...A talent for whingeing

Ofcom has launched an investigation into the X Factor final after thousands of viewers whinged about sexy performances from Rihanna and Christina Aguilera

Ofcom has received 2,750 complaints with an additional 1,500 being registered directly with ITV.

The TV censor will look at whether the show broke the broadcasting code which seeks to protect children. In particular it will look at rule 1.3 of the broadcasting code: Children must also be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.

The ITV show aired between 7pm and 9pm and the producers have said that they were confident the performances given by our guest artistes ... were appropriate for the show .


22nd December   

Fighting Censorship...

Ofcom censor Playstation Move advert
Link Here

A poster for the Playstation Move motion controller and the game, The Fight: Lights Out , showed the same man in three different poses, throwing punches, each time appearing closer to the viewer. At the forefront of the ad, the man held a computer generated character in a headlock with his arm raised, as if to punch them in the face. In the background the ad showed four men on a sofa facing viewers, three of whom held up their fists. Text stated MOVE INTO THE FIGHT £34.99 RRP! Playstation Move THE GAME IS JUST THE START... .

  1. Three complainants objected that the ad was offensive and irresponsible because it showed graphic violence which might be seen as encouraging or condoning violent behaviour.
  2. Two complainants, who understood that the game player was white and the computer-generated character was black, objected that the ad was offensive and irresponsible because it might be seen to encourage or condone racist violence.
  3. Two complainants objected that the content of the ad was unsuitable to be seen by children.

ASA Assessment

1. Upheld

The ASA acknowledged that the ad was stylised but considered that, because the model was shown about to punch another character which, although computer-generated, looked human, the ad was likely to be seen to condone or encourage violent behaviour. We concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence and be seen as irresponsible.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code rules 4.1 and 4.4 (Harm and offence).

2. Not upheld

We acknowledged that the men appeared to have slightly different skin tones, but considered that readers were unlikely to view the ad as depicting a racist attack. We concluded that the ad was unlikely to be seen as encouraging or condoning racist violence in a way that was irresponsible or would cause serious or widespread offence on those grounds.

3. Upheld

We considered that, because the ad could be seen to condone or encourage violence or anti-social behaviour, it was unsuitable to be seen by children.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code rule 1.3 (Social responsibility).


22nd December   

Police Censor...

Customs and police legal adviser becomes New Zealand's Chief Censor
Link Here

Andrew Jack is New Zealand's new Chief Censor. His appointment follows the resignation in July of Bill Hastings.

Previously Dr Jack was Customs' legal and advisory services group manager. He is also New Zealand Police's chief legal adviser.

Dr Jack has a strong legal background and experience in dealing with law enforcement, Internal Affairs Minister Nathan Guy said in announcing the appointment: The role of Chief Censor is a difficult and demanding role with responsibility for classifying publications that may need to be restricted or banned. It involves balancing the freedom of expression with potential harm caused to the community.

He will start a three-year term on 7th March 2011.


22nd December   

The Old Ways...

Hungary establishes an alarming new media censor
Link Here
Full story: Media Censorship in Hungary...Repressive media censor established in 2011

Hungary's parliament has passed  a law creating an alarming new censor with powers to monitor and impose fines on the media.

The National Media and Communications Authority (NMHH) will keep watch on private and public media outlets.

Unbalanced coverage or breaches of the rules on coverage of sex, violence or alcohol are now expected to prompt the imposition of sanctions by the new authority. The NMHH will be able to impose fines of up to 200m forints (£615,000; $955,000) on TV and radio stations, MTI reported. Newspapers could face fines of up to 25m forints and news websites 10m forints.

Two independent watchdogs - the OSCE and US-based Freedom House - have voiced concern, saying the law tightens government control over the media. Hundreds of students have demonstrated against the law in Budapest.

Freedom House also warned that it would be a major setback for press freedom in Hungary , saying that the definition of violations is very broad .

Update: President petitioned not to sign the new law

23rd December 2010. Based on article from

Hungary's main opposition has urged the president not to sign a new media law, citing constitutional concerns and widespread international criticism.

The Hungarian Socialist Party asked President Pal Schmitt in a letter to instead defer the law to the Constitutional Court.

Hungary's parliament approved the contentious new law on December 21, which will greatly expand the state's power to monitor and penalize private media, drawing protests from opposition parties and civil society.

Publications deemed to be unbalanced or offensive in their coverage may face large fines.


22nd December   

Update: Aggressive Tweets...

Father of the Great Firewall of China comes in for a bit of stick
Link Here
Full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship

The twitter-like microblogging site, Weibo, has deleted the account of a Chinese bigwig in the sphere of censorship

Fang Binxing, is president of the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. He has been tagged by establishment as the father of the Great Firewall of China for his role in building the mainland's sophisticated system of blocking free internet access to its 420 million users.

However it clear that Chinese netizens are less flattering.

When Binxing starting posting on Weibo he had posted just three times when internet users reacted strongly to his efforts, with comments pouring in minutes after he posted to the site - most of them ridiculing or criticising him for being the person behind the mainland's internet firewall.

Some internet users said it was a targeted campaign by activists, while others believed it was a spontaneous outpouring of anger.

Editors of the microblog were quick to remove the comments, but many harshly worded postings still made their way through. Internet analysts said thousands of negative comments had been posted on Fang's site before they were censored at about 1pm.

But internet users continued their assault on other platforms. A posting on other mainland bulletins calling for internet users to besiege Fang's microblog had more than 4,000 followers .


21st December   

Update: One Size Fails All...

Commentators unimpressed by Ed Vaizey's nutter pandering website blocking
Link Here
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

  Baby Brother's watching YOU

Ed Vaizey doesn't seem to have found many takers for his ideas about website blocking at ISP level. Very few commentators can see any way whatsoever that a single shared blocking scheme can fit the requirements of the whole family.

Perhaps he would be better off suggesting some more advanced networking architectures where multiple users can have individually tailored internet connections depending on their login.

But as for the shared scheme, it deserves nothing but derision.

Phantom on the Melon Farmers Forum asks:

If something like this is set up, who will be doing the filtering? Will the people doing the filtering really be sensible, reasonable people? Or will they be experts headhunted from the BBFC and various moral pressure groups?

Does anyone here think that such a new internet regime would conduct itself fairly and reasonably? Would their be a level playing ground, whereby melonfarmers could have a raunchy pic in an advert on its pages and it would get the same treatment as, say, Amazon? Are people absolutely certain that, the presence of advertisements to adult product sites would not be a wonderful excuse to close down access to sites such as melonfarmers?

People doing the filtering are invariably going to be a collection of the usual suspects.

Any idea of an appeal system will be pretty much a joke, as the whole undertaking will be so bogged down with the sheer scale of the task of finding all adult sites, that it will dedicate virtually no time to appeals.

Aside from that, appeals would be handled from the position of defending the credibility of the organisation. i.e. We must have been right, as we're the experts. Therefore the appeal must be unjustified.

The last thing Britain needs right now is another panel of self important experts on matters decent. Given that this government is supposed to be interested in cutting the number of quangos their desire to create yet another one, strains credulity.

More busy bodies with clip boards. More self appointed moral guardians. More high handed injustice in the name of protecting us all.

And a good point from the Guardian

Those are all great reasons not to waste untold millions of pounds either creating a government great firewall , or requiring ISPs to do the same. But here's the most important reason of all: it won't work.

Any think-of-the-children internet filter has a fundamental problem: if it's effective enough to actually block adult content, it will also be irritating enough that almost everyone will turn it off.

An effective filter would have to censor Flickr, which has a large amount of adult imagery. It has to censor every blogging platform: Tumblr, for example, has a whole swathe of porn blogs, and there are untold numbers of sex bloggers writing reams of explicit text. And it has to censor YouTube, particularly if 4chan decide to flood it with porn again. Facebook could probably be let through, thanks to its strong filtering policies – although right now, most mobile providers block it for under-18s anyway.

If an adult content filter allows those sites through, it fails. And if it blocks those sites, then hardly anyone will use it – and it fails.

And of course practical and monetary concerns from the ISP industry

See  article from

In response to the government proposal, Nicholas Lansman, secretary general of the Ispa industry body, said:

Ispa firmly believes that controls on children's access to the internet should be managed by parents and carers with the tools ISPs provide, rather than being imposed top-down.

ISPs currently block child abuse content which is illegal and widely regarded as abhorrent. Blocking lawful pornography content is less clear cut, will lead to the blocking of access to legitimate content and is only effective in preventing inadvertent access.

Trefor Davies, chief technology officer at ISP Timico said:

Unfortunately, It's technically not possible to completely block this stuff

He said the sheer volume of pornographic material online and the number of ways that people access it, via the web, file-sharing networks, news groups, discussion boards and the like, made the job impossible.

While some proponents of a national pornographic filtering scheme cite the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) as an example of how such a scheme might work, Davies said it was not a good guide. Such a system would not work if it was used to deal with millions of porn sites, chat rooms and bulletin boards.

If we take this step it will not take very long to end up with an internet that's a walled garden of sites the governments is happy for you to see.

Shaun on the Melon Farmers Forum notes that even Daily Mail readers don't want it:

And what happens (politically) when censored connections still show porn?

You can bet your last dollar that the censorship will be tested to destruction by the zealots. When it fails (which I am sure it will) who will take the blame for the failure?

Remember, it will be tested to destruction because the material under test isn't illegal to seek out. No one DARE test the effectiveness of the online system of censorship of child porn because to do so, can easily make you a criminal. It isn't the case with adult porn is it?

Most people don't want your censorship Mr Minister. Read the responses in the Daily Mail here:


21st December   

Fair and Balanced and then there's Fox...

The BBC's Mark Thomson and Rupert Murdoch wonder why opinionated news is not allowed
Link Here

According to the Guardian, Mark Thompson, director general of the BBC, told an audience at a seminar on impartiality in broadcasting that Murdoch had told him he would like Sky News to go down a polemical 'Fox-style' route - but that the editors of the channel had brushed off his wishes.

The revelation came during a speech where Thompson said he thinks Britain's strict impartiality laws on television and radio are outmoded: Why shouldn't the public be able to see and hear, as well as read, a range of opinionated journalism and then make up their own mind what they think about it? Why not entire polemical channels which have got stronger opinions? I find the argument persuasive.


21st December   

Update: Conflict of Interests...

Police to pay damages for acting unlawfully in arresting a street preacher
Link Here
Full story: Preachers in the UK...Preachers come under censorship duress

   Meek was so 19th century. Updated it reads:
The easily offended will inherit the Earth

Christian street preacher Dale Mcalpine is to receive £7,000 in damages after Cumbrian police admitted wrongful arrest, unlawful imprisonment and a breach of his human rights.

According to the Christian Institute, which funded Mcalpine's legal defence, Cumbrian police have accepted that they acted unlawfully.

Mcalpine was arrested in April by Cumbrian police in Workington after he mentioned that homosexuality was among the sins listed in the Bible. His comments were not made in his main public sermon but in response to a question about homosexuality put to him by a passerby.

He was arrested by PC Craig Hynes for a racially aggravated offence under Section 5 of the Public Order Act and, after being detained at the station for more than seven hours, was charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words to cause harassment, alarm or distress . The charges were later dropped.

The arrest sparked fears for freedom of speech for Christians and was also criticised by prominent gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.

The Christian Institute is appealing to the Government to amend Section 5 of the Public Order Act, which makes it a criminal offense to use threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour in a way that could alarm or distress another person. It wants the Government to repeal the word insulting .


21st December   

Florida's Naked Prudery...

More naked art nonsense as society chooses to grovel at the feet of the easily offended
Link Here

A Boca Raton city employee has decided that Mary Eiland's art was inappropriate for public display at Patch Reef Park.

Eiland's two naked female torso statues were stashed away out of public view.

Buddy Parks, deputy director of Recreational Services, said he was unaware of any visitor complaints about the sculptures. It was staff members at the center who considered the pieces inappropriate for public display because they were clearly nudes, he said.

The smooth stone 24 inches high sculptures, Hazel and Lady in Stone, were displayed at Patch Reef in 2008 and 2009, each time for a month, and no one objected.

All I can say is staff screwed up, Parks said.

Boca Raton's Art in Public Places regulations allow the city to reject any artwork considered inappropriate for public display, but there's no criteria for what's allowed and what's not.

Eiland was not impressed by the prudery and said: If someone has a problem with these sculptures, then they'd better not watch any television or go on the computer or go to a mall.


20th December   

Update: Opting in to Nutter Ideas...

Government pushes for internet porn blocking by ISPs
Link Here
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

The UK Government is push for ISPs to block internet pornography unless parents request it.

The biggest broadband providers, including BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk, are being called to a meeting next month by Ed Vaizey, the communications minister, and will be asked to change how pornography gets into homes.

Instead of using parental controls to stop access to pornography - so-called opting out - the tap will be turned off at source. Adults will then have to opt in.

It follows the success of an operation by most British internet service providers (ISPs) to prevent people inadvertently viewing child porn websites. Ministers want companies to use similar technology to shut out adult pornography from children.

TalkTalk is already introducing a new free service early next year called bright feed, which allows people to control the internet so that all devices are automatically covered without the need to set up individual controls.

Homeowners can either specify which adult sites they want to receive or put a cinema-style classification on their feed to restrict what is received according to age ranges, such as U, 12 or 18.

Vaizey said: This is a very serious matter. I think it is very important that it's the ISPs that come up with solutions to protect children. I'm hoping they will get their acts together so we don't have to legislate, but we are keeping an eye on the situation and we will have a new communications bill in the next couple of years.

Claire Perry, the Tory MP for Devizes and a keen lobbyist for more restrictions, said: Unless we show leadership, the internet industry is not going to self-regulate. The minister has said he will get the ISPs together and say, 'Either you clean out your stables or we are going to do it for you'. There is this very uneasy sense for parents of children that we do not have to tolerate this Wild West approach. We are not coming at this from an anti-porn perspective. We just want to make sure our children aren't stumbling across things we don't want them to see.

Previously the Internet Services Providers' Association (ISPA) has told MPs that such a blanket ban would be expensive and technically difficult to operate.

But Miranda Suit, co-founder of the political 'charity' Safermedia, which held a conference on internet porn at the Commons last month, said: Technically we know it can be done because the ISPs are already removing child porn after the government put pressure on them. In the past, internet porn was regarded as a moral issue or a matter of taste. Now it has become a mental health issue because we now know the damage it is causing. We are seeing perverse sexual behavior among children. Legislation is both justifiable and feasible.


20th December   

Children Own the Night...

15 rated film shown too soon after New Zealand's TV watershed
Link Here

A supposedly graphic, raunchy and prolonged sex scene on New Zealand's TV3 was shown too soon after the 8.30pm watershed and breached the standards protecting children's interests, the Broadcasting Authority claims.

The sex scene opened the [UK 15 rated] movie, We Own the Night , an adults only (AO) film which was shown at 8.30pm. The scene lasted four minutes and showed a woman lying on a couch masturbating as a man kissed her and exposed her breast.

A viewer complained to the BSA saying that 8.30pm was still family viewing time and the material was not in good taste .

The Broadcasting Act states that AO material is not to be shown too soon after the watershed time of 8.30pm.

In its defence, broadcaster TV3, said while the scene was at the edge of what was considered acceptable, it did not stray beyond the current norms of good taste and decency.

The BSA found the broadcaster did not consider the interests of children when showing the scene just two minutes after the watershed. While there was no genitalia visible, the sexual content in the scene was graphic, raunchy and prolonged, according to the decision.

But the broadcast was not found to breach standards of good taste and decency since the film was correctly classified, aimed at adult audiences and preceded by a warning.


20th December

 Offsite: Playing Chief Censor...

Link Here
New Zealand's acting chief censor talks about games

See article from


19th December   

Updated: Baying for More Blood...

BBFC waive their cuts for Mario Bava's Bay of Blood
Link Here

The Bay of Blood is a 1971 Italian horror by Mario Bava. See IMDb

Passed 18 with BBFC cuts waived for:

Previously the BBFC imposed 7 cuts totalling 43s for:

  • UK 2000 Film 2000 R2 DVD
  • UK 1994 Redemption VHS
  1. The first murder of a teenage girl loses 2s in 2 cuts, the first of her throat being cut from behind and the other of a graphic hatchet blow to the head.
  2. 21s (nearly the entire scene) is cut from a boy dying with a machete embedded in his face.
  3. 3 cuts totally 9s diminish the death of couple impaled with a spear whilst making love. We love the blood welling from the wounds and their writhing whilst impaled.
  4. 11s has been cut from the death of Simon being forced up a wall by a spear impaled in his stomach.

And before that. the uncut version titled Blood Bath was released on the Hokushin label in February 1983 and was listed as a video nasty in March 1984. It stayed on the list throughout so became one of the collectable DPP39s.

Review from US Amazon : Granddaddy of all slasher movies

Bay of Blood is often called the "Granddaddy of all slasher movies". Many reviews have made the reference to Friday the 13th and very similar killing styles. After watching Bay of Blood you can definitely see where Friday the 13th (made in 1980) got a lot of it's ideas.

With that being said Bay of Blood does not possess the single element that defined the slasher film, the indestructible, omnipresent killer.

The movie succeeds almost entirely thanks to Mario Bavo, who serves as both director and cinematographer, with his typical stylish flare which heavily influenced the great Dario Argento, his eye appealing use of color and interesting editing techniques, which include a lot of blurry dissolves give Bay of Blood an almost dream-like, surrealistic feel.

All in all, worth an evening for the avid Italian horror fan.

Update: DVD Details

26th October 2010. Based on article from . Similar for Blu-ray

DVD Details:

  • 4 Panel reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned art work
  • Double-sided fold-out poster
  • Collector's Booklet by Jay Slater, critic and author of Eaten Alive!


  • Brand new transfer of the English version
  • Original Mono Audio SPECIAL FEATURES: Joe Dante on Mario Bava
  • Shooting a Spaghetti Splatter Classic: Cameraman Gianlorenzo Battaglia on A Bay of Blood
  • Audio discussion with Tim Lucas, author of Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark
  • A Bay of Blood Trailers: Carnage and Twitch of the Death Nerve with commentary by Edgar Wright, director of Shaun of the Dead
  • Twitch of the Death Nerve Radio Spots


  • Italian Cut
  • Original Mono Audio


  • Argento! Bava! Fulci! The Giallo Gems of Dardano Sacchetti


19th December   

Fares lower than your grandma's boobs...

Nutters easily offended by New Zealand air fares advert
Link Here

Air New Zealand is removing a billboard in Nelson with the tagline Fares lower than your grandma's boobs after it sparked complaints that it is tacky, ageist and disrespectful to women.

The billboard was advertising Air NZ's cheap seat site, Grabaseat.

Stop Demand Foundation, which campaigns against sexual violence and sex abuse, wanted the billboard taken down and an apology from Air NZ. Yes, most of us like 'edgy and provocative', said Stop Demand founder Denise Ritchie.... [BUT] .. Most of us don't like, or accept, 'sexist and ageist'. Most of us know the difference. Apparently you do not.

Grabaseat manager Duane Perrott said the slogan was an entry in a competition from a Wellington resident whose grandmother lived in Nelson: What this person thought was funny, as did many others, clearly didn't resonate with some individuals today and Grabaseat will be removing the billboard shortly. We apologise if any offense was caused.

Family First had also called for the withdrawal of the billboard, saying it insulted grandparents and would be seen by children.


19th December   

Update: Malaysia Says No to Internet Blocking...

But they will study China's filtering operation, just in case
Link Here
Full story: Internet Censorship in Malaysia...Malaysia looks to censor the internet

Malaysia does not intend implement an internet filter similar to China's Green Dam project, the Deputy Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum told the Dewan Rakyat.

Salang said the government will leave it to the discretion of internet users to practice good usage, rather than use censorship to cull abuse of the internet.

He also clarified that a survey by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to study on China's internet filter operation was simply, a study .

The study on China does not mean that we want to impose internet censorship like them. We just wanted to see how effective their programme is, and what we can learn from it. But it does not mean we want to impose the same thing, said Salang.


The deputy minister also urged bloggers to exercise caution in their blog entries, and to refrain from insulting the country as well as its rulers.

The alternative media is no longer alternative , in fact it has become the preferred media among the public now. Since the government does not intend to censor internet content, bloggers and internet users must exercise caution, said Salang.


19th December   

Update: Huffing and Puffing...

Indian censor rejects notion to rate films as adult because they contain cigarette smoking
Link Here
Full story: Adult Rating for Smoking...Anti-smoking lobby for 18 for smoking in films

Despite the growing clamour by health activists to cut out smoking scenes from the celluloid world, the censor board may not snip them, neither will it add an adults-only A rating.

If smoking scenes are central to the plot, they stay, chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification Sharmila Tagore told TOI. Sharmila was asked in the context of two upcoming releases which have actors lighting up on screen— Break Ke Baad and No One Killed Jessica .

A case in point, she said, was Anurag Kashyap's Udaan which showed teenagers smoking. There are times when it is needed to establish a personal trait of a character.We need to allow that. Besides, in most cases, it is only in one or two scenes, Sharmila said.

She rejected reports that the information and broadcasting ministry had sent a notice, asking it to issue A certificates for films with smoking scenes. We have not received any such directive from our ministry. As of now, we are following the guidelines that state smoking scenes should not be glorified and, if a character is smoking on screen, a disclaimer should be inserted for that scene.


19th December   

Cinderella Gaming...

South Korean PC online game companies believe that a midnight ban will push gamers to other platforms
Link Here

Games companies in South Korea are scrambling to adjust to the new online gaming restrictions soon to be imposed on young hardcore gamers. And it appears that many of them are putting more focus on games played on mobile phones to compensate for the expected loss in revenue from their PC games.

Despite fierce resistance from the games industry, the government has been moving to introduce strict limits on how much time youngsters can spend playing online computer games supposedly to combat addiction.

The measures, which are subject to approval by lawmakers prevent gamers under the age of 16 from playing between midnight and 6 a.m. Games providers will also be required to block underage users above 16 after midnight upon request by their parents.

Government officials expect the bill, along with a draft version on a renewed law on gaming, to be approved within the current session of the National Assembly.

Online games companies are livid about the so-called 'Cinderella rules,' which they claim target them unfairly and are unlikely to have a meaningful effect on improving gaming habits.

The government can only control the playing time of games played on PCs, not the ones played on consoles or mobile phones, and young users can easily switch to games provided on foreign servers after the Korean companies cut them off after midnight.


19th December   

Rape of Justice...

South African president sues newspaper over cartoon
Link Here

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has filed a £440,000-defamation suit over a cartoon depicting him with his trousers undone, preparing to rape a blindfolded female figure. The cartoon also showed Zuma's political allies encouraging him as they held down a writhing, screaming figure with a sash identifying her as the justice system .

Eric van der Berg, a lawyer representing South Africa's Sunday Times, said notice from the president's lawyers had arrived at the paper's Johannesburg offices.

The cartoon caused a storm when it was published in 2008, two years after Zuma had been acquitted of rape charges. But Van der Berg said Zuma had not followed up on threats to sue until now.

Zuma is claiming 4m rand (about £360,000) for humiliation and degradation and 1m rand for damage to his reputation.

Jonathan Shapiro, who signs his work Zapiro and is among the country's best known political cartoonists, said he stood behind his cartoon and the view he was expressing. I will not allow the president to intimidate me, Shapiro told the Times, sister paper to the Sunday Times.


19th December   

Playing the Correlation Game...

Researcher finds that depression is a better predictor of aggression than violent games playing
Link Here

New research by Dr. Christopher Ferguson from Texas A&M International University finds that depression in young people has more of a correlation to aggressive and violent behavior than gaming does - at least among Hispanics.

Ferguson recruited 302 (mostly) Hispanic youths between the ages of 10 - 14 years-old, from a small city on the border of Mexico. The population of this unnamed city was primarily of Hispanic dissent. Participants were interviewed at the start of the study and at the end of the study 12 months later.

He then looked at how much exposure the subjects had to violence in video games, television, and negative events in their lives. Negative events included neighborhood problems, bad relationships with adults, antisocial behavior, family attachment, delinquent peers, family interaction and communication, exposure to domestic violence, depressive symptoms, serious aggression, bullying, and delinquent behavior.

One year later, 7% reported being involved in at least one criminally violent act during the previous 12 months, with the common crime being physical assaults on other students or the use of force to take something away from someone else. 19% reported engaging in at least one nonviolent crime during the same period, such as shoplifting or theft on school property.

Ferguson found that symptoms of depressions were a strong predictor for youth aggression and rule breaking. Depression was especially influential in those who were identified as having preexisting antisocial personality traits. The research did not find that exposure to violence from video games or television at the start of the study was a good predictor of aggressive behavior in young people.

Dr. Furgeson's research will appear in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.


19th December

 Offsite: Real Underground...

Link Here
Why Belarus Free Theatre deserves a standing ovation

See article from


18th December   

Compulsive Viewing...

A new uncut US Blu-ray release of David Cronenberg's masterpiece Videodrome
Link Here

Videodrome is a 1982 Canada Sci-Fi by David Cronenberg. See IMDb

The US release is uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

The cut R Rated Version was passed 18 without BBFC cuts for:
  • UK 2002 Universal R2 DVD
  • UK 1990 CIC VHS
  • UK 1983 cinema release

The Unrated Version was however passed 18 uncut for:

  • UK 1999 Universal Laserdisc

The US cuts for an R Rating were:

  1. During the screening of Max's (James Wood) Samurai Dreams video a shot of a dildo is very much shortened
  2. The first appearance of the Videodrome programme is slighter shorter as it loses a glimpse of pubic hair and a female victim being strangled
  3. The sequence in Harlan's (Peter Dvorsky) lab after the Rea King Show uses a toned down take of a woman being whipped.
  4. Nickie's (Debbie Harry) ear piercing loses several shots; Max moving the needle across Nicki's body, Nicki's cry of 'God', the needle being pulled out of the ear, a close up of the other ear being pierced and a pan to reveal Max & Nicki making love afterwards.
  5. The scene of Max shooting his second partner is slightly shortened.
  6. The death of Convex (Les Carlson) does not show his innards briefly erupting.

Review from UK Amazon : Surreal

Cronenberg has achieved a huge cult following with his take on horror and science fiction. It's sophisticated, often controversial, and always incisive. He dissects contemporary society by looking into the day after tomorrow and giving a caustic spin to the commonplace - the motor car, the condominium, the television.

In 'Videodrome', James Woods plays a Canadian television entrepreneur, a man who provides material - usually suspect, often porn - for cable TV. In the course of his seedy research he finds a pirate broadcast of a strange, compelling programme. The torture and masochism he glimpses as the programme hisses and breaks up is ... well, it looks real. Or is it just incredibly well made, with the interference and fluctuating picture quality just an example of good engineering and clever directing, simulating clandestine status to give the show a bit of edge?

A disturbing, thought-provoking, hugely entertaining film. Like many of Cronenberg's movies, though, you'll either love it or hate it. He's a man who doesn't seem to allow much room for a middle way. If you enjoy the unusual, if you appreciate the surreal, if you like to be challenged and explore irony, this may be a movie you'll love.


18th December   

Still on the Books...

Irish book censor hasn't banned a book in 12 years
Link Here

After 80 years of censorship from a board once internationally notorious for its prurience, the last remaining book to be banned in Ireland on the grounds of obscenity will have its prohibition lifted this year.

On May 9th, 1930, a year after the passing of the initial Censorship of Publications Act, Huxley's 1928 novel became the act's first casualty. Banned on the grounds that it was indecent and obscene , it earned the dubious historical honour of being recorded as the first entry in the first volume of the Register of Prohibited Publications.

The Base Guide to London remains the final entry in the register's latest volume.

In the 12 years since this last prohibition, the Censorship of Publications Board has not banned a single title. Under the terms of the 1967 Censorship of Publications Act, books deemed indecent or obscene have their prohibitions revoked after 12 years.

With The Base Guide removed from the banned list along with 14 other titles likewise prohibited in 1998, the board's long war against indecent and obscene books will, effectively, be over. For the first time since formal censorship began, not a single title banned on these grounds will remain on the register.

According to Odran Flynn, a member of the five-person board since 2001, the dramatic decline in prohibitions owes less to increased broad-mindedness on the part of the board and more to a disinclination on the part of the public to complain: In my time on the board there has been only one book submitted [ Guantanamo Jihad! by Niall de Souza], but it wasn't banned. My own view is it reflects a change of society. The decline of the church's influence over the last 20 years has had a major impact.

With almost no material being submitted for review, board meetings have become infrequent. In the early 2000s there would have been meetings every two months, because at that stage there was a campaign by a group of people who continuously wrote in complaining about magazines. But in the last four to five years we probably haven't met more than three times. So basically there's been no activity at all.

While Ordan Flynn says it would surprise him greatly if there were any books banned in the future , the register will not, come December 31st, be entirely cleared of its backlog of prohibitions. There are, for instance, 279 periodicals still listed. Most date back over 50 years. Periodicals remain banned until their prohibition is successfully appealed, so the majority of these titles are likely to remain on the register indefinitely.

As far as books are concerned, eight lonely titles stand exempt from the 12-year amnesty. This group which includes decades-old publications by such venerable figures as the birth-control pioneer Dorothy Thurtle. They will remain prohibited under current legislation that prohibits publications deemed to advocate or promote the procurement of abortion.


18th December   

The Victim Mafia...

Italian Euro MP tries to get the video game Mafia II banned
Link Here

Euro MP Sonia Alfano lost her father to the mob in 1993. She is also the president of Italy's association for the families of Mafia victims.

She has now come out against the video game Mafia II , claiming that it trivializes the violence and murder committed by organized crime.

She is fighting to get the game banned in Europe. Last week she asked the European Commission to consider banning the game.

Alfano recently said in an interview:

It really, really hurts. We can't allow this to happen, our wounds are still too fresh. These games transform the Mafia, a reality of death and destruction, into a thrilling and hands-on virtual pastime. Even if momentarily, players identify with brutal killers and for us who have experienced violence firsthand, it's appalling.

Take Two defends the game and compares it to other entertainment based on organized time. Alan Lewis, Take-Two's vice president for corporate communications and public affairs said:

Mafia II tells a compelling story about organized crime in America -- a subject that for decades has been featured in award-winning movies, television shows and novels such as The Godfather and The Sopranos .  We fully and completely stand behind our creative teams and products, including Mafia II.


18th December   

Open Top Car Advert...

Italian nutters easily offended by light hearted advert with lesbian theme
Link Here

A car advertisement that shows two lesbians meeting at a party has been banned in Italy.

Italian TV chiefs are refusing to broadcast the 30 second advertisement made by Publicis for the new Renault Twingo, The Daily Mail reports.

The commercial, which commentators have noted for not presenting any technical aspects of the car, begins with two attractive women noticing each other at a house party. The blonde woman follows the brunette to a bedroom and peeks through the door to see her removing her pink top before she lies down on the bed and smiles.

The brunette smiles cheekily and blindfolds the blonde with a black stocking, but she then quickly moves off the bed, grabs the other woman's discarded top from the floor, puts it on and leaves. Outside viewers see the blonde walking to a Renault which is the same colour as the shirt.

Italian gay nutter groups have slammed the advertisement, claiming it is offensive to lesbians.

Publicis spokesperson Daniele Tranchini said the advert was meant to be enjoyable but not vulgar: We wanted to create an advert that was original, enjoyable and at the same time not vulgar and I believe we have achieved that .


18th December   

PEGI App...

Mobile database of games ratings and reviews
Link Here

UKIE, the trade body for the UK's video games and interactive entertainment industry welcomes the launch of a new PEGI app that will for the first time allow UK consumers to access age ratings and reviews for games in one place from their handheld devices.

The new free app has been created by PEGI S.A., the organisation that manages the pan-European age rating system for video game content, and it is available for iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad immediately, with an Android version launching soon.

The app allows consumers to browse the database of all the video games that have received a PEGI rating (16,000+ games) and get detailed information about the game and the type of content.

When looking up information about a game, the app not only provides the age rating and detailed advice about why a particular rating was given, but it is also possible to read reviews and see screenshots of the video game, provided by independent video games website

The app features specific search filters to allow users to search per platform and/or age rating.

The age label clearly indicates the age suitability of a game. Content descriptors and specific consumer advice indicate the main reasons why a particular rating is given to a video game (eg. bad language, fear, violence, etc.).


18th December   

Updated: Blue Valentine...

Publicity friendly NC-17 re-rated to a box office friendly R rating
Link Here

The MPAA has overturned the NC-17 rating for Blue Valentine. Much more box office friendly for the producers, the Weinstein Co

The Classification and Rating Appeals Board swapped the NC-17, given in October for a scene of explicit sexual contact, for an R attributed to strong graphic sexual content, language and a beating.

No edits were made to the film to secure the rating.

The MPAA's decision came following an appeal made by Harvey Weinstein. After presenting our case to the MPAA appeal board today, they were convinced of the artistic nature of Blue Valentine and recognized that it was consistent with the kind of movies for which the Weinstein Company is known, said a statement from Harvey Weinstein, who led the appeal with a team of attorneys.

According to chief operating officer David Glasser, Weinstein laid out a case based on clips from past R-rated films as well as on moviegoers' support for an R rating for Valentine, as registered via a Twitter campaign and an audience survey at a recent screening.

Update: UK Rating

18th December 2010. See  article from

Blue Valentine has just been passed 15 uncut by the BBFC for a cinema release.

The BBFC noted:

Contains strong sex and strong language, once very strong


18th December   

UN Controlled...

World governments get together to stitch up the internet
Link Here

A United Nations task force formed last week said it was considering the creation of a new inter-governmental working group to help further international cooperation on policies to police the Internet.

The discussion was undertaken to enhance and extend the work of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a UN-sponsored organization that makes recommendations on how governments should deal with the Internet. The IGF's mandate is due to expire soon, so members of the UN's Commission on Science and Technology for Development Bureau took up the issue and formed a task force to determine what the new IGF should look like.

The bureau's members, however, decided their task force would be limited to governments only, with no representation by civil or industry groups.

The decision drew a sharp warning from search giant Google, which insisted that the next IGF, if comprised only of governments, could result in them obtaining a monopoly on how the Internet is run, as opposed to the current model where innovation flows from the bottom up. Google's blog said the firm had joined a petition of other industry groups in opposing the composition of the UN's task force.


18th December   

Al-Jazzera Beaten Up in Kuwait...

Al-Jazeera banned after it showed police beating opposition MPs
Link Here

Kuwait has shut the offices of al-Jazeera in the country and withdrawn its accreditation after it broadcast news of an opposition National Assembly member in defiance of government warnings. Its reporters are also barred from working in the country.

The network says Kuwait accused it of meddling in the country's internal affairs. Last week al-Jazeera broadcast footage of police beating opposition assembly members and their supporters at a meeting to discuss a government crackdown on freedoms.

The station says it will continue to cover news in Kuwait.


17th December   

Obituary: Jean Rollin...

French director of erotic vampire films dies aged 72
Link Here

The French erotic-horror filmmaker Jean Rollin has died after a long illness. He was 72.

He was a talented, gentle poet of sensual horror, a man who made personal, lush and haunting works that were often ghettoized alongside the efforts of some of his more crass contemporaries and yet almost always offered something more, something richer and more melancholy.

With films like The Nude Vampire, Requiem For A Vampire, Lips Of Blood, Fascination, The Living Dead Girl And The Grapes Of Death, Rollin left behind a body of work as infatuated with spurting blood as it was enamored of the curves of the female form, often depicting both within the same frame.


17th December   


Trust the US censor to play it safe with an R Rating
Link Here

Millennium Entertainment have announced that it will challenge the R rating given to its upcoming drama Trust .

The film's executive producer Avi Lerner will appear before the ratings Appeals Board on December 22, 2010 to pursue a PG-13 rating.

Directed by David Schwimmer of Friends fame, Trust centers on a 14-year-old girl's encounter with a cyber predator.

The producers say they are pursuing the lesser rating so it can be screened for teens, in order to raise awareness about the dangers of online predators.

While we respect the MPAA's rating system, we must appeal the 'R' rating given to Trust . This film exposes the true threats posed by cyber predators. It sends a clear message to teens and parents; to be aware of the real dangers of cyber space, Lerner said in a statement: Teens must be allowed to see Trust. They need to know the truth.

According to the MPAA: Trust received an R rating because of a difficult scene portraying the assault of a teenage girl, language, sexual content and some violence.


17th December   

Comment: Not Shocked at Frankie Boyle...

Thriving on publicity
Link Here

Frankie Boyle is a comedian who has made a career from saying what a lot of people are thinking. That being said, his Channel 4 stand up / skit show Tramadol Nights , isn't great. Boyles stand up is considerably funnier, and more enjoyable than the fill in sketches. However, the material used in his stand up segments is actually quite dated (as far as his shows are concerned). Several jokes have been used before in (Boyles) break out BBC series Mock the week (especially this week, when a regularly used line, about his girlfriends sex face looking like their young son in pain). And last weeks Katie Price upsetting lines, have been used frequently in Boyles stand up shows. Yet she's never complained to the distributor of his DVDs.

HOWEVER. it is common knowledge that he pushes the envelope, and appears to deliberately set out to offend. Something Channel 4 has always embraced. But in my opinion, Channel 4 are not to blame. They're broadcasting the show after 11pm, and are openly admitting prior to any show that it may offend. What people don't seem to realise, is that the more they complain, and the more they give Boyle media highlights, the more we will see him on TV. Controversy sells. This show has had 2 of its 3 weeks of airtime in the public eye. Which almost certainly means that it will have a DVD release, previous stand up show DVDs will sell better and Boyle will cement himself as the comic of choice for many people.

Please don't misunderstand me. I don't find child molestation, incest or cancer funny. But the likes of Katie price (who decided she needed to be in the papers again), are some of the worst people in the celebrity limelight. If she's such a great parent why can you openly buy an amateur hardcore sex tape of her, that she ENDORSED, quite freely in the UK? If that's great parenting, my parents are saints.

In closing, we've seen this before. Granted, it's always been live (Shaun Ryder on TFI, Julian Clary stating on live TV he fisted Norman Lamont). The only people who are offended, are the people who watch, just to be offended.

Would these people buy porn if they were offended by it? Doubtful. Get over yourselves, and stop making Boyle more money.


16th December   

Update: A Talent for Sexy...

Miserable politicians and sexualisation 'experts' lay in to sexy performers on X Factor
Link Here
Full story: UK TV Talent Shows...A talent for whingeing

The X Factor nonsense escalated as the Inequalities Minister warned that the raunchy performances should never have been shown to children.

Lynne Featherstone said that the 'sexualised' routines, which have now sparked 3,000 complaints from viewers, were unsuitable for the show's young fans.

Featherstone said X Factor bosses should have made pre-watershed performances by American pop star Christina Aguilera and Bajan singer Rihanna less raunchy

Featherstone said: It was a bit much because so many young kids – seven and eight-year-olds – watch it.

She spoke out last night as pressure grew on the TV censor Ofcom to launch a full-scale probe into the routines as the regulator said it was still assessing complaints.

There have now been 1,500 calls of complaint made to the censor, with a similar number made to ITV. Up to four million children are believed to have watched the show on Saturday.

Dr Linda Papadopoulos, who wrote a Home Office report on the 'sexualisation' of children, accused ITV and show producers of behaving irresponsibly. She said: What is happening is that sex seems to have become the most important thing. Christina Aguilera and Rihanna are very talented singers and yet the whole performance is not about skill, it is about being sexy. Children are being bombarded with the message that being sexy and being sexual is the way to be appreciated or to be validated. This is a terrible message to be sending out. [But being sexy is a skill too. Surely the whole range of talents should be available for people to excel at. Why disallow one? Jealousy maybe?]

A spokesman for the Mothers' Union said: Do you want a society where young people think their worth is defined by sex appeal – because this is what is being normalised. Its president, Reg Bailey, has already been asked to chair an independent Government review into the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood. [Not showing any bias at all then! This is a worthless report before it's even started]

Last night an ITV spokesman said: We are confident that the performances given by our guest artistes on Saturday were appropriate for the show.

"Christians have something unique to contribute to the discussion"...The same old bollox

Based on article from

The Christian Institute has voiced its 'alarm' over the plummeting standards of decency in broadcasting after lewd performances by US pop stars Rihanna and Christina Aguilera.

Simon Calvert, of the Christian Institute, said ITV had made a catastrophically bad error of judgement in allowing the production to go out before the watershed. He expressed concern over the effect of such performances on young people in particular.

Lots of people are concerned and parents are particularly concerned about the effect this kind of thing has on their sons and daughters, he said. Daughters are made to feel that this is a normal way to behave in public and sons are taught to expect women to behave like that. It is very unhealthy.

Calvert said the level of concern expressed over the performances ought to both encourage and challenge to Christians: It shows we are not the only ones to be concerned about the plummeting standards of decency in broadcasting.

Christians have something unique to contribute to the discussion. As Bible believing Christians, we believe in values like dignity and virtues like modesty and we ought to be more courageous in advancing these values and virtues, whether it's with the neighbour over the garden fence or from our pulpit.


16th December   

Update: Threat Saw...

MPAA suggests that it is rethinking the wide envelope for R rated horror
Link Here

When the Weinstein Co. won an R rating for Blue Valentine last week after objecting to its original NC-17, it was a signal that perhaps the industry's ratings board is easing up.

As one insider notes of the initial rating: The feeling was that they got it wrong with this one.

What the board's decision didn't do is instill any additional confidence in the NC-17 rating.

Ratings board chair Joan Graves admits moviegoers have a skewed perception of the NC-17 rating.

I do regret that it's treated as the pariah of the ratings system, she says. All we need is one popular NC-17 rating to take that scent away.

The board also contends with charges that it has a double standard when it comes to violence.

Graves says the org is taking steps to correct some of those issues. For instance, the MPAA plans to revisit its stance on horror pics, which have evolved considerably from spooky frights to torture porn.

I do think the R has a very big envelope for that genre, Graves admits.

...Read the full article

Update: On Second Thoughts...

16th December 2010. Based on article from sent an email to the MPAA in the wake of the story about 'big envelope for R rated horror.

Here's what came back from Vice President of Corporate Communications, Elizabeth Kaltman:

Because filmmakers don't want to accept the NC-17 they are squeezing as much as they can into the R. The Ratings Board does not treat genres differently. Ratings are assigned based on the content of a particular movie and taken on a case-by-case basis.

As far as any plans to change policy regarding horror films, we are always looking at ways to ensure the system evolves and responds to the biggest concerns of the day for parents. We have no changes in the works but are talking to parents about what matters to them.


16th December   

Update: Unhealthy Books...

Tokyo enacts local law to require age restrictions on sales of extreme sex in manga comic books
Link Here
Full story: Manga in Tokyo...Tokyo considers age restrictions on comic books

The Tokyo metropolitan assembly has enacted an ordinance to restrict the sale of manga comic books and anime containing extreme depictions of sexual acts, despite claims from writers and publishers that it could breach freedom of expression and stifle creativity.

The ordinance calls on the industry to impose self-regulation to prevent those under 18 from purchasing or accessing comics and anime containing depictions of rape and other sex crimes and those unduly lauding or exaggerating incest.

Comics that the metropolitan government determines as particularly malicious will be designated under the ordinance as unhealthy books and publishers will be banned from selling them to young people.

But the metropolitan government also added a clause stating it will give consideration to artistic and social expression and apply the ordinance carefully, although the clause is not legally binding.

The requirement for self-regulation and restrictions on sales will take effect on April 1 and July 1 next year, respectively.

In an assembly plenary session Wednesday, the ordinance gained approval from members of the Democratic Party of Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito party.


16th December   

Update: Operation Dark Heart...

Author sues military censors in the hope of an uncut paperback release
Link Here
Full story: Book Censorship by US Security...Book censorship over military operations

Anthony A. Shaffer has filed suit against the Pentagon for what he feels is uncalled for censorship of his book, Operation Dark Heart .

Shaffer's book details his time in Afghanistan and the war being fought there. In September of this year, the Pentagon purchased the entire first print run, spending $47,300 for the copies and then destroying them, stating that Shaffer had listed classified information in the text.

The book became an instant bestseller after publisher quickly reprinted a redacted version.

Shaffer's suit claims that very little, if any, of the redacted material was actually classified and that the Pentagon is unfairly censoring his work.

Shaffer's lawyer, Mark S. Zaid, said that while his client agreed to allow publication of the hardback with the government's redactions, we reserved the right to come back and challenge the decision in court.

A paperback edition is scheduled for publication next year, and Shaffer is asking the court to order the Pentagon not to require the redactions in the new edition and not to pursue civil or criminal penalties against him for releasing it.

Update: Permission to Sue

25th November 2012. See  article from

A former intelligence officer with the US Department of Defense has been given the go-ahead by a federal judge to sue the Pentagon and the CIA for censoring his best-selling account of the war in Afghanistan * .

Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer can follow through with his plans to take his former employers to court, US District Judge Rosemary Collyer decided this week, ruling against the government's arguments that the author of Operation Dark Heart: Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan and the Path to Victory had no standing to sue.


16th December   

Update: Lancing the Boyle...

Daily Mail on the case of Frankie Boyle and Tramadol Nights
Link Here

N ow Frankie Boyle has targeted cancer victims on his Channel 4 comedy show Tramadol Nights .

In the third installment of his gratuitously offensive comedy show, the former Mock The Week star also mocked grandparents, obese people, Colombians and AIDS sufferers.

In his cancer gag, he said: I had a friend come up to me and say that she had breast cancer and that she was going to cycle the Great Wall Of China.

You feel like going you're the last person who should be cycling the Great Wall Of China! you should be lying at home in bed, playing with your tits before they drop off.

He added: 'I should add she doesn't mind me saying that. She's dead, she doesn't give a fuck.

A spokesperson for Breast Cancer Care meanwhile told MailOnline: Jokes about other people's life-threatening illnesses are a strange subject for humour, even for someone of Frankie's comic style, and it's a shame that anyone would think breast cancer is a legitimate subject for comedy.

Though people deal with illness in many different ways, it's unlikely that the 120 people diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK today will find this funny.

Talking to MailOnline today a Channel4 spokesperson said: We are aware that Frankie Boyle's comedy can be very challenging which is why we have gone to careful lengths in scrutinising the material editorially, in scheduling the series appropriately and by giving clear and strong warnings into each of the programmes.

Update: 500 Complaints

18th December 2010. Based on article from

500 viewers have complained to Ofcom about the Frankie Boyle's jokes about cancer. An Ofcom spokesman said: We will make our judgment in the new year.


16th December   

Updated: Death of the Dollar...

Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art erases wall mural
Link Here

Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) has made its impact in a bad week for censorship in the US.

MOCA whitewashed a mural painted by internationally known street artist BLU.

The mural, originally commissioned by MOCA for their upcoming Art in the Street exhibit, faces the Veterans Administration healthcare building on Temple Street in Downtown Los Angeles.

The news of the whitewashing has spread like wild fire on arts blogs and LA blogs throughout the day. So like GOOD asks, was the mural too politically charged for members of the MOCA team?

Update: Censored in the name of easy offence

16th December 2010. Based on article from

Italian street artist Blu was commissioned by LA MOCA to paint a mural on one of the walls of the museum's building. Work on the mural, which depicted coffins draped in American one-dollar bills, referring to the familiar image of flag-covered coffins of soldiers killed in wa.

As reported by the LA Times, once MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch, who was in Miami for an annual art fair, returned home and saw Blu's handiwork, he said no. Deitch later explained that he made the decision to remove the mural very quickly, unprompted by complaints…

After several days silence, the Museum issued an official statement, explaining that the decision to paint over the mural was made because:

The Geffen Contemporary building is located on a special, historic site. Directly in front of the north wall is the Go For Broke monument, which commemorates the heroic roles of Japanese American soldiers, who served in Europe and the Pacific during World War II, and opposite the wall is the LA Veterans' Affairs Hospital. The museum's director explained to Blu that in this context, where MOCA is a guest among this historic Japanese American community, the work was inappropriate. MOCA has invited Blu to return to Los Angeles to paint another mural.

Blu has refused to return to paint another mural stating:

It is censorship that almost turned into self-censorship when they asked me to openly agree with their decision to erase the wall. In the Soviet Union they were calling it self-criticism.

Comment: Was this an act of censorship or an exercise of legitimate curatorial control?

The National Coalition Against Censorship commented:

If we define censorship as suppression of speech or ideas considered disagreeable, offensive or otherwise objectionable, this is, indeed, censorship.

So, the answer is, yes, LA MOCA has censored its Art in the Streets exhibition, even before the show has opened – not great advertising for a show on an art form that is notoriously political, provocative and unfriendly to the rules of polite behavior.

Public art is frequently subject to controversy especially when it concerns political subjects and does not just celebrate community or decorate a wall. A political statement writ large is sure to offend those who disagree with it whether a memorial is close to it or not. A museum can make the decision to show safe art in public and reserve it's riskier gestures for its galleries (or avoid them altogether). But when planning a groundbreaking street art show, is that a good idea?

The relative silence around the removal of Blu's work begs the question: have we reached a point where the consensus is that strong political statements should be avoided and where the potential that a war veteran may possibly be bothered by the idea that US soldiers are sent to die for economic interests is reason enough to whitewash an artwork? Are we no longer allowed to be angry?


16th December   

Updated: Playing Dumb...

South Australian politician dreams up another crackpot censorship idea
Link Here

The South Australian politician responsible for censorship matters has come up with a truely crackpot suggestion.

Now the call has been made to introduce an adults only rating for video games, Attorney-General John Rau has suggested that the MA15 rating should then be dropped.

Rau told The Advertiser video games were a far more interactive medium than films and attempts to use the same classification structure for both were flawed:

All of the ministers agreed that there will have to be some games that are refused classification all together, regardless of whether there is an R18 (rating) or not, because they're so bad, he said yesterday.

There's also general agreement that some other treatment needs to occur for games than what occurs for film, because of the interactive nature of games.

The proposition I put forward was that I would like the other ministers to think about putting in an R18 classification for games, but removing the MA classification altogether.

Rau said the new regime would grant parents greater certainty that non-R18 games were appropriate for children.

The current MA15 rating was a grey area that included both family-friendly games and material very, very close to being declared adults only, he said.

Removing the MA15 rating would force distributors to either clean up their games to the point where they could be classified PG or force them to accept an adults-only rating.

But of course the MA15 games would then be edited down to just getting a PG whilst again being in the wrong natural category.

Meanwhile...the nutters are happy with the delay to R18+

13th December 2010. Based on article from

The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed the decision of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General not to provide an R18+ Classification for games.

The ACL's managing director Jim Wallace was one of the panellists at the Standing Committee of Attorney Generals. The meeting included seeing a series of clips of examples of both film and game classifications.

Wallace said:

It was very clear to me that the great majority of AGs were in a state of bemusement that anyone could want to make or play many of these games and particularly those proposed for an R18+ rating

It is clear that the meeting failed to get support for the R18 classification as a result.

The claims that the MA15+ rating for games contains a number of games that should be classified higher is simply admission of a failed system.

The Australian Christian Lobby has called for a comprehensive review across all technologies and mediums including advertising and entertainment, for some time and particularly of the political parties during the last election.

Update: The Official Minutes

16th December 2010. Based on article from

Following the recent SCAG meeting on whether the R18+ rating for games was going to go ahead or not, Australian Gamer has got hold of the decision summary from the December 10 meeting:

Ministers considered further work done to analyse community and expert views, including:

(a) a national telephone poll conducted during November which provided Ministers with additional community feedback from a random sample of Australians from all States and Territories

(b) a literature review of research exploring links between computer games and violent behaviour

(c) a study of parity between computer game classifications internationally

(d) a panel discussion between representatives in the fields of computer games, psychology and classification, and

(e) advice from the Classification Board on the operation of the current MA 15+ classification and options for an R 18+ classification.


(a) will consider draft guidelines to be developed for classification of games at their next meeting, including a possible R18+ classification, taking into account concerns raised by Ministers relating to the difference in nature of film and games; and the interactivity of games; and that there will continue to be a refused classification category, and

(b) do not support the dilution of the refused classification category.


15th December   

Update: US News Censorship...

Newspaper websites blocked at the US Air Force
Link Here
Full story: US vs Wikileaks...US aggressively attacks Wikileaks over leaked cables

The US air force has blocked employees from accessing the websites of the Guardian, the New York Times and other news organisations carrying the WikiLeaks US embassy cables.

At least 25 sites that have posted WikiLeaks files had been barred, said Major Toni Tones of the US air force's space command in Colorado. He siad this was on grounds of hosting inappropriate materials .

According to the Wall Street Journal, staff who attempt to access the blocked sites instead see an on-screen message saying: Access denied. Internet usage is logged and monitored.

The air force's move follows instructions by the government that staff should not access the cables.

Update: Twitter supporters under US pressure

12th January 2011. See  article from

An Iceland MP who is also a former WikiLeaks volunteer says the US justice department has ordered Twitter to hand over her private messages.

Birgitta Jonsdottir, an MP for the Movement in Iceland, said on Twitter that the USA government wants to know about all my tweets. Do they realize I am a member of parliament in Iceland?

She said she was starting a legal fight to stop the US getting hold of her messages, after being told by Twitter that a subpoena had been issued. She wrote: department of justice are requesting twitter to provide the info – I got 10 days to stop it via legal process before twitter hands it over.


15th December   

Philip Noyce on Salt...

Director explains the 3 versions
Link Here

Salt is a 2010 US spy thriller by Phillip Noyce. See IMDb

An Extended Version/Director's Cut was passed 15 uncut for:

An Extended Version with an alternative ending was also passed 15 uncut for the same release.

The Theatrical Version  was passed 12/12A after BBFC suggested cuts for 12A were implemented for:

  • UK 2010 Sony Blu-ray
  • UK 2010 Sony R2 DVD
  • UK 2010 cinema release.

The BBFC commented:

This film was originally shown to the BBFC in an unfinished version. The BBFC advised the company that the film was likely to receive a 15 classification but that the requested 12A certificate could be achieved by making cuts in six sequences in order to reduce a scene of torture, four violent scenes and a scene of strangulation. When the finished version of the film was submitted, all six scenes had been reduced acceptably and the film was classified 12A .

Philip Noyce talks about  Salt on DVD & Blu-ray

Based on article from

There'll be two DVDs coming out. The first will be the theatrical version of the film that everyone saw around the world.

The second one will be that plus two completely different versions of the film.

There were a lot of censorship cuts made to achieve a PG rating in the US and a 12 rating in the UK, it didn't help us in Australia, where we got stuck with an M anyway!

On the three alternative versions of Salt .

In the first alternative version of the film there is a very extended sequence involving the loss of someone very close to Evelyn Salt. The same story point occurs in the original film, but it happens in an entirely different way.

I shot it both ways because studios are always keeping an eye on contentious material that might become a censorship issue later, so I shot two versions of this particular scene: one that last for mere seconds, and another that lasts for several minutes. Both events in the story are the catalyst for Evelyn Salt's fury – and fuel her, and maybe even change her destiny.

In the version that we released in cinemas, the audience participates in the event from a distance, but it's all over before you become involved.

In the other version, they're place inside Evelyn Salt's heart and mind and soul as she experiences this lost and goes through the galvanising event in her life.

Then at the end of that version, the whole plot by the Russian deep cover moles that have been planted all around the world is revealed. What we thought was the plan turns out to be a preamble to the real plan, so everything in the story is turned on its head. We only realise that in the last three seconds of the movie. In the last sentence that's spoken, we suddenly realise that everything we saw was the beginning, not the end of the story.

Then, in the third version there is an entirely different ending again! With a different outcome, involving different characters.


15th December   

The Word is Unacceptable...

Canadian TV censor finds anti-gay christian programme to be discriminatory
Link Here

Word TV, a Christian TV show run by evangelical pastor Charles McVety, has been shut down temporarily after the Canadian TV censor ruled that it had discriminated against gays.

'Outraged' nutters have called the ruling an act of censorship, while McVety himself has condemned the ruling, calling it a gross breach of democracy and reminiscent of totalitarian regimes of the past.

Crossroads Television System, a Christian broadcaster took McVety's show off the air after the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council (CBSC) ruled in June that the program put them in violation of their code of ethics.

The CBSC panel, which released the decision on Wednesday, rebuked McVety for claiming that the homosexual movement is driven by a conspiratorial agenda and suggesting that they prey on children.

The panel complained that he had described the Pride parades, which they said had become mainstream, as sexual perversion and sex parades. They also chastized him because he said Toronto was being advertised as a sex tourism destination ... with full opportunity for sex with hot boys.

McVety had also said that homosexual activists seek to indoctrinate children because unfortunately they have an insatiable appetite for sex, especially with young people. And there're not enough of them, so they want to proselytize your children and mine, our grandchildren and turn them into homosexuals .

The panel wrote: Given the central role that the manifestation of gay pride plays in the LGBT world, the immediately preceding comments constitute a derision of the traditions and practices of that community.

The panel also stated that McVety broke the code of ethics by attributing to the gay movement a malevolent, insidious and conspiratorial purpose, a so-called 'agenda'. This constitutes abusively discriminatory comment on the basis of sexual orientation, they wrote.

CTS TV, who made the decision to cancel the show, told LifeSiteNews, that as a member in good standing of CBSC they have a responsibility to comply with the Canadian Association of Broadcaster's Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code. It is our policy in these circumstances not to air the program until we have assurance from the program that content will be compliant. CTS anticipates that the program Word TV will be reinstated in short order.

Update: Reinstated with conditions

See  article from

The recent decisions by Crossroads Television System (CTS) – first, to remove the popular Dr. Rev. Charles McVety's Word TV, and subsequently to re-instate it, albeit with conditions of pre-screening and censorship – are not the end of the story, according to the Christian Evangelical leader.

Another finding against him is expected with possibly more to come, Rev. McVety said, referring to a discussion he had with Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) chair Ron Cohen. It was the CBSC findings upon which the CTS decisions were based.

Word TV was pulled last week because of statements the council determined – behind closed doors – that Rev. McVety, president of Canada Christian College and the Canada Family Action Coalition, allegedly made against the gay community in violation of sections of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters code of ethics.

According to a media release from Rev. McVety, which compared CBSC practices to kangaroo courts, the accused had been told nothing about the proceeding, shown none of the evidence, told nothing of the accusation, was allowed no defence and is permitted no appeal. This is undemocratic. It flies in the face of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In an interview, Cohen acknowledged that Rev. McVety, the strongest voice of Canadian Evangelical Christians, was denied the opportunity to attend meetings where accusations had been made against him or to defend himself.


15th December   

Updated: The Powerful Symbol of an Empty Chair...

China censors Liu Xiaobo's Nobel Prize being awarded to an empty chair
Link Here

China has taken its suffocating censorship to a new level by erasing from an internet blog an image of the empty chair that highlighted the absence of Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel laureate, from the peace prize ceremony in Oslo.

The image was removed only a few minutes after a lone Chinese blogger posted it on a popular website in defiance of the authorities.

Buoyed by Liu's award, Chinese dissidents will no doubt be keeping censors busy in the coming days — the blue and white empty chair is set to become a powerful symbol and rallying point for resistance to the regime.

I think that they will remember the empty chair, said Geir Lundestad, the Nobel committee secretary, after the Nobel medal was placed on the chair under a portrait of Liu at Friday's ceremony in Oslo.

Update: News Unblocked

15th December 2010. Based on article from

The BBC has reported its website has been unblocked in China, after access had been denied to Chinese internet users for several days.

The website was first blocked around the time of the award ceremony for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the prize in absentia, as the activist is currently incarcerated in China.

According to the BBC, its website was not the only international news website blocked in China in the days following the award ceremony.


14th December   

Update: That Nutter X Factor...

Sexy music performances too much for Mediawatch-UK
Link Here
Full story: UK TV Talent Shows...A talent for whingeing

ITV faces a backlash after thousands of viewers protested about lewd performances on the X Factor final.

Critics called on TV censor Ofcom to launch an inquiry into why disgusting routines were shown before the watershed.

They challenged whether the performances by U.S. pop stars Christina Aguilera and Rihanna broke Ofcom's broadcasting rules.

'Horrified' parents also accused ITV of breaking the bond of trust with viewers by failing to tone down the performances for younger fans.

By last night ITV had received about 1,000 complaints about the routines with Ofcom understood to have received a further 1,000-plus.

During her Saturday night performance of What's My Name , Rihanna shed her gown and cavorted around the stage in underwear, performing a series of suggestive dance moves.

She was surrounded by an army of dancers who performed in a similar way. This was then followed by Aguilera's performance which saw her in an extremely low-cut black dress writhing around the stage with her troupe of scantily-clad dancers.

The TV pressure group Mediawatch UK said it too had received complaints from the public about Saturday night's final. Director Vivienne Pattison said: I don't think it was suitable for a pre-watershed broadcast, I think that's quite clear.

It was the simulated sexual stuff, that was the problem. I think Ofcom should look into this. Whether the X Factor like it or not they are commanding audiences of more than 19million. They are role models whether they like it or not.

She added: We have a broadcasting code that expects certain things to be post-watershed and I think that one crossed the line.

Former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe, who appeared on this year's Strictly Come Dancing, said: It is before the watershed so parents are entitled to some consideration from the TV bosses. I think it is a pity. It isn't necessary and it should be a family show. If you are going to that sort of thing they should put it on after the watershed and it ceases to be a family show. I think Ofcom should take it seriously. What is the point of having a watershed? I think Strictly by comparison is serious family fun.

Not so Liberal Democrat culture spokesman Don Foster said: One of the routines was particularly inappropriate and it may lead a number of parents to consider whether or not next year's show is something that their younger children watch. It was unnecessary and I think they should have toned it down. I just think it went a step too far.

A spokesman for the programme maker Talkback Thames said: We are confident that the performances given by our guest artistes on Saturday were appropriate for the show.

An ITV insider said what was aired on the show was no worse than much of what goes out on dedicated music TV channels during the day.

It was also claimed that Aguilera's routine, based on her movie Burlesque , had been toned down from what was in the film, which has a rating of 12A. The source pointed out that there was no swearing or nudity in the routine.


14th December   

Update: Iceland Cools on Visa and MasterCard...

Iceland speaks of action against Wikileaks censorship by credit card companies
Link Here
Full story: US vs Wikileaks...US aggressively attacks Wikileaks over leaked cables

Credit card companies that prevented card-holders from donating money to WikiLeaks could have their operating licenses taken away in Iceland, according to members of the Icelandic Parliamentary General Committee.

Representatives from Mastercard and Visa were called before the committee to discuss their refusal to process donations to the website, reports Reykjavik Grapevine.

People wanted to know on what legal grounds the ban was taken, but no one could answer it, Robert Marshall, the chairman of the committee, said: They said this decision was taken by foreign sources.

The committee is seeking additional information from the credit card companies for proof that there was legal grounds for blocking the donations.

Marshall said the committee would seriously review the operating licenses of Visa and Mastercard in Iceland.

WikiLeaks' payment processor, the Icelandic company DataCell ehf, said it would take immediate legal action against the companies to make donations possible again.


14th December   

Update: Linked to Obscenity...

Obama signs law against animal crush videos
Link Here

President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill that outlaws the creation and distribution of so-called animal crush videos, a response to an April 20 Supreme Court decision (United States v. Stevens) that struck down an earlier federal law that banned a more broadly defined description of animal cruelty.

The new law specifically addresses creating and distributing videos and ties it to obscenity - saying that these kinds of videos - involving burning, crushing and mutilating animals appeal to a particular sexual fetish.  The act is linked to obscenity so as to make it an exception to the first amendment.


14th December   

Banning the Name Sheila...

Indian film censor bollox about Tees Maar Khan
Link Here

Farah Khan's Tees Maar Khan has run into trouble with the Censor Board as its revising committee has sought four cuts in the film.

The examining committee , which saw the film in Mumbai this week, had issued an 'A' certificate to the film with a few cuts which the producers refused to accept and moved the revising committee, ' said a revising committee source There was an objection to the name Sheila in the song and exposure of Katrina's midriff. But the revising committee overruled it and has allowed the name to be retained.''

Some of the cuts advised are deletion or replacement of the word Pencho used frequently in the film.


13th December   

Update: Book Censorship on Amazon...

Erotica titles being removed from
Link Here

A discussion thread on Amazon's Kindle Community forum notes that Amazon has begun removing some previously-published books or stories from its store, and from the Kindle archives.

Readers who have previously downloaded them to their Kindles can keep them there, but cannot re-download them (and will be refunded the price of purchase assuming Amazon can still find the purchase record).

The story whose removal sparked the discussion was an erotica title called Wicked Lovely by author Jess C. Scott. The tale dealt with incest, and involved a love scene between a 17 and an 18-year-old. However, Amazon would not tell Scott specifically what caused the removal of her novel. The only response she has received, after repeatedly trying to contact Amazon for more information, is a form letter.

In addition to Jess Scott, Selena Kitt and Esmerelda Green have also had books with an incest theme recently banned from the site. All of them, incidentally, high in the rankings and in visibility.

Selena also reports a print book missing, a title which she published through Amazon-owned Createspace.


13th December   

A Bit Precious...

Air New Zealand cut light hearted safety video over bollox claims that a refused peck on the cheek could lead to suicide
Link Here

Air New Zealand has said it was cutting an in-flight safety video showing an All Black rugby player jokily refusing to kiss a male flight attendant after ludicrous complaints it could spur gay suicides.

The airline said it had agreed to remove a scene from the video featuring All Black centre Richard Kahui politely turning down a request to give gay flight attendant Will Coxhead a peck on the cheek.

The move comes after complaints from members of the gay and lesbian community in the past week, Air New Zealand said in a statement. It said an unnamed university professor had raised concerns the homosexual rejection could lead to gay male suicides.

The light-hearted video called Crazy About Rugby shows All Blacks running through safety procedures for passengers boarding Air New Zealand flights.

The offending scene had All Black pin-up Kahui posing for photographs with female flight attendants then shaking his head, holding up his hands and refusing to pucker up when Coxhead points to his cheek hoping for a kiss.

Coxhead, a real-life flight attendant with the airline, said he was absolutely gutted at the complaints over a scene he described as a bit of fun. I'm proud to be gay, proud to be an Air New Zealander and extremely proud of my role in the safety video . Obviously there are some people in the gay community that can be a little precious and need to lighten up.


13th December   

Update: Nutters at Play...

Westboro Baptists picket The Laramie Project
Link Here

The nutters of the Westboro Baptists have taken aim at a gay themes play in LA.

They were set to protest outside the downtown Pico Playhouse who are putting on a production of The Laramie Project .

This is a play by Moisés Kaufman and is based on news reports, journal entries and more than 200 interviews of people in Laramie in the aftermath of the murder of Matthew Shepard. It covers the town's reactions, the funeral and the trial of the killers (the court found that their motive for the attack was that Matthew Shepard was gay). The play does not advance a gay agenda (contrary to what the WBC contends) and has been performed nationwide and all over the world (including high school and college productions) since 2000. The Westboro Baptists are featured in it (they picketed Matthew Shepard's funeral) and they often picket its performances.

The Westboro Baptists have outlined their objections in typical hateful style:

Judy Shepard raised her son to be a disobedient pervert, and God cut that child off. His blood is on her hands! From the day that he was cut off to today, Judy Shepard has spent all her resources on teaching the young people of this nation the same rebellion that caused God to cut off her own son; and making a profit on it! How sick is it to make money off of a child who is dead at your hands?! Matt Shepard has been in Hell now for twelve years, with eternity left to go on his sentence; without appeal, parole, or time off for good behavior. All else about Matt is trivial and irrelevant. Deal with it! Be not deceived; God is not mocked. Gal. 6:7.

God Hates Fags! God Hates Fag-Enablers! Ergo, God hates fag-infested & fag-enabling Los Angeles, CA and all having to do with spreading sodomite lies via The Laramie Project; a tacky piece of cheap, lying, fag propaganda masquerading as legitimate theater.

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith. Lev. 18:22, 23


13th December   

Update: Start Date XX.XX.20XX...

.XXX put on repeat hold until February 2011
Link Here
Full story: ICANN XXX Domain...Long debate about allowing .xxx domain

The proposed .xxx domain is so controversial that ICANN over the years has had to create new processes, policies, and appeals procedures just to handle the various flavours of outcry.

That has happened again this week, due to an unprecedented decision by ICANN to formally disagree with the opposition to .xxx coming from its Governmental Advisory Committee.

The GAC is a collection of civil servants who represent dozens of world governments. Its advice is given considerable weight under ICANN's consensus-driven decision-making rules.

By saying it intends to enter into a registry agreement with ICM Registry for .xxx, ICANN has – for the first time in its 12-year history – formally put the GAC on notice that it intends to reject its advice.

This means that the ICANN board and the GAC will have to meet face-to-face to thrash out their differences at a meeting scheduled for February 2011.


12th December   

Update: Repeat Protest...

Katie Price hype's Frankie Boyle's latest DVD
Link Here

Katie Price has again condemned Channel 4 for repeating Frankie Boyle's show containing a controversial joke he made about her disabled son.

Boyle said: Jordan and Peter Andre are still fighting each other over custody of Harvey - eventually one of them will lose and have to keep him.'

TV censor Ofcom has launched an investigation after Price accused the comic of being a bully in the wake of his comments about her son Harvey, who suffers from septo-optic dysplasia and autism, on his show Tramadol Nights .

In a statement, Price said:

By repeating Frankie Boyle's show, Channel 4 are embracing and exploiting discrimination. They are saying it is ok to ridicule people - even children - for disability in a way they would not dare over race or sexual orientation. The people who control the channel are endorsing this behaviour and it is disgusting. Even the fact that Ofcom are investigating the first broadcast has not made them divert from this path.

Head of Comedy, C4, Shane Allen said:

We are aware that Frankie Boyle's comedy can be very challenging which is why we have gone to careful lengths in scrutinising the material editorially, in scheduling the series appropriately and by giving clear and strong warnings into each of the programmes . We think that it is important that a space on terrestrial TV exists for comedy that takes risks and pushes boundaries and we stand by our original decision to broadcast the programme.


Based on article from

Katie Price is urging fans to boycott sick comic Frankie Boyle's Christmas DVD over his jokes about her disabled son.

His latest DVD, Frankie Boyle Live 2: If I Could Reach Out Through Your TV and Strangle You I Would repeats the sick jokes and also sees him making fun of Baby P, soldiers in Afghanistan and the Lockerbie air disaster.

I hope no-one buys it. I also hope that with hindsight, and knowledge of the content, that retailers will withdraw it from sale.


12th December

 Offsite: Censorship Interchanged with Political Correctness...

Link Here
Art has no chance against politically correct nutters armed with masking tape

See article from


12th December   

Update: Police Arrest First and Don't Even Ask Questions Later...

Police to pay damages for automatically arresting anti-gay preacher without making inquiries first
Link Here
Full story: Preachers in the UK...Preachers come under censorship duress

A street preacher has been awarded more than £4,000 in damages after a judge ruled it was wrong for police to arrest and handcuff him for speaking out against homosexuality.

Anthony Rollins was preaching in Birmingham city center in June 2008 when a member of the public, John Edwards, took offense at comments he made describing homosexual conduct as morally wrong.

According to the Christian Institute, which backed Rollins' case, police arrived on the scene after receiving a call from Edwards and PC Adrian Bill proceeded to handcuff Rollins without any further inquiry.

Birmingham County Court ruled that PC Bill had committed assault and battery against Rollins by handcuffing him unnecessarily. Judge Lance Ashworth QC said in his ruling that the arrest demonstrated a lack of thoughtfulness. He ruled that hehad made the arrest as a matter of routine without any thought being given to Rollins' Convention Rights , which pertain to free speech and religious liberty.

After his arrest, Rollins was taken by PC Bill to the station where he was held for three hours but never questioned for his account of events. He was charged with breaching Section 5 of the Public Order Act but the charges were dropped before the case came to trial.

Rollins decided to sue West Midlands Police after a complaint he made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission about his treatment was rejected.


12th December   

Update: In the Name of Diversity...

FCC again considering government controls for US news
Link Here
Full story: Censorship by Fairness...Demands that radio and TV should be fair to all views

You will ALL promote diversity in
EXACTLY the way we tell you 

The concept of the news or press has expanded to include all forms of media - print and digital. However, the one common denominator shared by news media is that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seems to think all should meet a prospective set of federal criteria.

Representative Joe Barton questioned an  idea from an FCC commissioner that the government should create new regulations to promote diversity in news programming.

Barton was reacting to a recommendation made last week by FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, who suggested in a speech that broadcasters should be subjected to a new public values test every four years.

I hope … that you do not mean to suggest that it is the job of the federal government, through the [FCC], to determine the content that is available for Americans to consume, Barton said in a letter to Copps.

Copps has suggested that his proposed test would make a broadcaster's license renewal depend upon showing proof that they meet a prospective set of federally mandated criteria.

Copps said that those groups that wish to be considered news outlets should be mandated to do the following: prove that they have made a commitment to public affairs and news programming (like showing a proper ratio of women and minorities), report to the government about which shows they are planning on airing, require greater disclosure about who is funding political ads and devote 25% of their prime coverage to local news stories.

It is doubtful that anyone would be able to escape the FCC' grasp under the proposed rules since the regulations would apply to all news outlets operating on the public airwaves. And there are a good amount of politicians who consider the Internet to be public airwaves, and who feel that government should have a monopoly on deciding what happens over those airwaves.

Barton also asked if five commissioners can do a better job of ensuring that Americans have access to a wide diversity of content and viewpoints than Americans can themselves by expressing their preferences ... in the vigorously competitive marketplace.

The FCC has a project that is ongoing about media diversity that promises to issue a report on whether or not Americans have access to adequate sources of news. The effort has seen strong criticism and the FCC has not said when their report will be released.


12th December   

Arab Museum of Modern Art...

New Qatari art gallery will bravely include nudes
Link Here

With exhibits showing nudity and politically radical ideas, Qatar's brand new modern art museum may raise a few eyebrows in the traditionally conservative Middle East.

The Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art, founded by powerful Qatari art patron Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali Al-Thani, is slated to open in Qatar's capital, Doha, just before the new year.

Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Mathaf's chief curator, says one of the museum's major contributions to the growing Middle Eastern art scene will be to push the boundaries of what is deemed acceptable in the region.

That means that works containing nudity and politically sensitive imagery -- often taboo subjects in this part of the world -- will not be subject to censorship, according to Al-Khudhairi. Qatar's new cultural icon Gallery: Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

The collection has these kinds of works in it. The collection has nudes; the collection has political works. These things are part of the collection -- we can't deny it.


11th December   

Update: Is ASA Mocking British Free Speech?...

Antonio Federici ice cream makers consider challenging ASA ban on mild religious mockery
Link Here
Full story: Antonio Federici Ice Cream...Ice cream adverts wind up the nutters

Ice cream company Antonio Federici is challenging ASA's ban on religiously satirical ads

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has demanded that the Antonio Federici ice cream company signs an undertaking not to run the ad again, or any other advertising which may cause serious or widespread offence.

But the family behind the Antonio Federici ad has refused to make that promise and is seeking legal advice.

The ASA has threatened to ban all advertising for the brand if it refuses to comply.

The move comes after the ASA's decision to ban an advert depicting two gay priests enjoying a tub of ice cream, based on just eight complaints.

Antonio Federici described the decision as, openly homophobic and astonishing given the Chairman of the ASA (Lord Chris Smith) was himself the UK's first openly gay MP.

A spokesman for Antonio Federici said: We come from the Father Ted school of advertising where freedom of speech should be a right. We have a long and honourable tradition of satirising politics and religion. What's changed?

In October the National Secular Society called on the communications minister Ed Vaizey to institute an inquiry into the ASA's decision arguing they had reinstated the blasphemy law unilaterally.

Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, said: The advertisements for this ice cream were mildly satirical, featuring priests and nuns apparently enjoying the sensuality of the ice cream – and each other. This is either the result of religious activists flexing their 'blasphemy muscles' or religious believers who aren't very confident in their faith and feel that even the mildest humorous reference must be suppressed. I hope that Federici bring this to court and have this over-the-top censorship overturned.

In October 2010, the ASA wrote in their published assessment of the advert:

The ASA noted the CAP Code stated that ads should contain nothing that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Particular care should be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability .

We noted the ad used the text We Believe in Salivation as a theme to refer to the taste of the product and to the image of the priests, who were portrayed in a seductive pose as if they were about to kiss passionately. We considered the portrayal of the two priests in a sexualised manner was likely to be interpreted as mocking the beliefs of Roman Catholics and was therefore likely to cause serious offence to some readers. We concluded that the ad breached the Code.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 11) clause 5.1 (Decency).


11th December   

Borat Blamed for Drunken Kazakh Thuggery...

More likely it was the horse urine drinks
Link Here

An MP from Kazakhstan has demanded that action be taken against the comedian Sacha Baron Cohen because his fictional Kazakh character Borat still causes his countrymen to suffer pain in their hearts .

More than four years have passed since Baron Cohen's film, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan , was released. The film portrayed the Central Asian state as a bigoted backwater where people drink horse urine and chase Jews through the streets, and where the age of consent has been raised to eight years old .

After initial anger over the film, there appeared to have been an acceptance among Kazakh officials that it was counterproductive to rail against Borat . But a recent drunken incident in Exeter shows that the British comedian's fictional buffoon still has the power to make people angry and upset in the Central Asian nation.

Last month, a Kazakh student at Exeter University attacked two men on a drunken night out. Almat Samirov said he went crazy when he overheard comments about Borat and drunkenly assaulted the two men, throwing one on the ground and proceeding to kick him. He admitted assault and threatening behaviour and was sentenced to 200 hours community service and fined £750.

Bekbolat Tleukhan, a member of the Kazakh parliament, said this week that it was Baron Cohen's Borat character that was to blame. [The film] has left a negative stain on our country, said Tleukhan: Our students abroad are hurting in their hearts and they are opposed to the fact that their country is shown in a bad light – I ask that measures be taken. He did not specify exactly what measures he felt were appropriate.


10th December   

Update: BBFC Spit on the Remake...

BBFC pass I Spit on Your Grave with cuts as per the cinema version
Link Here
Full story: I Spit on Your Grave...Remake enjoys some good publicity

I Spit on Your Grave is a 2010 US revenge film by Steven R Monroe. See IMDb

The BBFC has now passed the video version 18 without further BBFC cuts.  However the BBFC noted that the video submitted had been pre-cut along the lines of the cinema release.

Both the DVD and Blu-ray are set for release on 7th of February 2011.

The BBFC made 17 cuts totalling 43s for:

  • UK 2011 Anchor Bay Blu-ray at UK Amazon for release on 7th February 2011
  • UK 2011 Anchor Bay R2 DVD at UK Amazon for release on 7th February 2011
  • UK 2010 cinema release.

The BBFC explained their cuts:

  • Company was required to make a total of seventeen cuts during three separate scenes of sexual violence in order to remove potentially harmful material (in this case, shots of nudity that tend to eroticise sexual violence and shots of humiliation that tend to endorse sexual violence by encouraging viewer complicity in sexual humiliation and rape).

The BBFC added:

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE is a US remake of the 1978 film of the same name. It tells the story of a young woman, Jennifer Hills, who rents a secluded cabin in order to work on her novel. She is terrorised, assaulted and brutally gang raped by a group of five men, including the local Sheriff. She then takes revenge on each of her attackers. The film was classified 18 for very strong terrorisation, sexual violence and bloody violence.

Before awarding an 18 classification to I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, the BBFC required seventeen individual cuts to its scenes of sexual violence in order to remove elements that tend to eroticise sexual assault (for example, through the use of nudity), as well as other elements that tend to endorse sexual assault (for example, by encouraging viewer complicity by the use of camcorder footage, filmed by the rapists, during the various scenes of sexual assault). With these cuts made, the film's scenes of very strong terrorisation and sexual violence remain potentially shocking, distressing or offensive to some adult viewers, but are also likely to be found repugnant and to be aversive. They are not credibly likely to encourage imitation. There are three scenes in which Jennifer is terrorised, humiliated and sexually assaulted by the men. She is verbally and physically abused, being forced to drink alcohol, dance in her underwear and behave like an animal. She is also beaten and pushed around by the men. Jennifer is then raped by each of the men in turn, although only two rapes are shown onscreen. In the cut version, the rape scenes feature only incidental nudity and are played largely off facial reactions. Although the scenes of assault are protracted, the most likely response to the cut version of the scenes is revulsion and disgust rather than excitement or arousal.


10th December   

Update: Playing a Waiting Game...

Australia decides to draw up guidelines for adult computer games before approving an R18+ rating
Link Here

The Australian federal and state governments are to draw up guidelines for a possible new R18+ computer game classification.

A meeting of federal and state attorneys-general in Canberra failed to endorse the federal government's proposal for the new R18+ rating but Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor said what was achieved was still a step forward.

O'Connor said the meeting concluded there needed to be better protection for children and better guidance for parents so they knew what they were buying for their children.

He said the proposed guidelines would take into account differences between film and video games and consider the possibility of redefining the MA15 rating in the event of introducing the R18+ classification.

The system would maintain the refused classification rating, he said: There is some material that is in the view of the attorneys and I that is offensive and should not be accessed by anybody as is the case with film .

So this in my view is a step forward to ensuring we properly consider the classification scheme.


10th December   

Update: Frankie's a Pain...

Frankie Boyle under fire for bad taste joke on Channel 4
Link Here

The model and reality TV star Katie Price is threatening legal action against Channel 4 after comedian Frankie Boyle made a vile joke about her disabled son.

Price last night said she had asked her lawyers to write to the broadcaster on her son's behalf. Boyle made the comments about Price's son, Harvey, on his Tramadol Nights show. Harvey, 8, suffers from septo-optic dysplasia and autism.

To bully this unbelievably brave child is despicable; to broadcast it on television is to show a complete and utter lack of judgment, Price said in a statement on her website.

Harvey Price is a little miracle. Every day he overcomes so many difficulties with the help of family and medical experts and has so many tiny battles to win due to his medical problems. I have asked my lawyers to write to Channel 4 on Harvey's behalf.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: Frankie Boyle is one of the highest profile comedians in the UK. He's well known for his controversial humour and the programme carried appropriate warnings as to the nature of the material.

The joke aired in the context of a late-night comedy show. The joke itself has been performed by Frankie as part of his stage show and, as with much of his material, is an absurdist and satirical comment on high-profile individuals whose lives have been played out in the media.


10th December   

Update: Page 9 Girls Banned...

Danish newspaper attacks the censorial nutters at Apple
Link Here
Full story: iPhone iCensor...Apple is censorial about apps for iPhone

According to The Mac Observer, Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet isn't too happy with Apple's App Store repressive policies regarding nudity.

In a series of recently published editorials, the newspaper takes issue with Apple banning the Ekstra Bladet iPhone and iPad app because of their Page 9 Girl, a nude photograph of a woman they have been publishing for 34 years.

Accusing Apple of double standards and acting like an American nanny , the paper's Heine Jørgensen writes that he can't understand why they would ban something seen by Danes as an innocent Danish institution on par with The Little Mermaid.


10th December   


Tunisia blocks out Wikileaked US criticism
Link Here

Tunisia has blocked the website of a Lebanese newspaper that published US cables released by WikiLeaks describing high-level corruption, a sclerotic regime, and deep hatred of President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali's wife and her family.

Deeply unflattering reports from the US embassy in Tunis, released by WikiLeaks, make no bones about the state of the small Maghreb country, widely considered one of the most repressive in a repressive region.

The problem is clear, wrote ambassador Robert Godec in July 2009, in a secret dispatch released by Beirut's al-Akhbar newspaper.

Tunisia has been ruled by the same president for 22 years. He has no successor. And, while President Ben Ali deserves credit for continuing many of the progressive policies of President Bourguiba, he and his regime have lost touch with the Tunisian people. They tolerate no advice or criticism, whether domestic or international. Increasingly, they rely on the police for control and focus on preserving power.

Corruption in the inner circle is growing. Even average Tunisians are now keenly aware of it, and the chorus of complaints is rising. Tunisians intensely dislike, even hate, first lady Leila Trabelsi and her family. In private, regime opponents mock her; even those close to the government express dismay at her reported behaviour. Meanwhile, anger is growing at Tunisia's high unemployment and regional inequities. As a consequence, the risks to the regime's long-term stability are increasing.


Based on article from

Tunisian activists pounced on the latest Wikileaks US Embassy Cables, dedicating a new website to republish and discuss the revelations related to their country. Tunileaks, was launched by Nawaat one hour after the whistle-blowing site unleashed the cables on Sunday, November 28th.

The Tunisian government, known for its restriction on freedom of expression, rapidly blocked the access to Tunileaks. They first blocked (without the https). One day later, they blocked Google App Engine's IP address ( in order to block Tunileaks under https, making partially unavailable in the country.

Even the electronic version of the Lebanese newspaper Al akhbar has been censored in Tunisia after the publication of some cables released by Tunileaks.


9th December   

Update: An Anonymous Attack...

Activists target credit card companies who denied service to Wikileaks
Link Here
Full story: US vs Wikileaks...US aggressively attacks Wikileaks over leaked cables

Anti-censorship activists have attacked the websites of credit card giants Mastercard and Visa.

The attacks came after the Anonymous group pledged to pursue firms that have withdrawn services from Wikileaks.

Mastercard payments were disrupted but the firm said there was no impact on people's ability to use their cards.

Visa's website also experienced problems. The attacks came after both companies stopped processing payments to the whistle-blowing site.

Entries on the Twitter page of Operation Payback, the Anonymous campaign, said the Visa site had been taken down. Visa's website was later restored and spokesman Ted Carr said its processing network, which handles cardholder transactions, was working normally.

But in a day of fast-moving developments, the Anonymous Twitter page then went down, replaced by a message from Twitter saying the account had been suspended.

An Anonymous member told AFP news agency the group would extend their campaign to anyone with an anti-Wikileaks agenda .

PayPal, which has stopped processing donations to Wikileaks, has also been targeted. The firm claimed the Wikileaks' account had violated its terms of services. But PayPal's Osama Bedier told the Le Web conference

On 27 November the State Department, the US government, basically wrote a letter [to Wikileaks] saying that [its] activities were deemed illegal in the United States.

And as a result our policy group had to make the decision of suspending their account. It's honestly, just pretty straightforward from our perspective and there's not much more to it than that.

Anonymous is also helping to create hundreds of mirror sites for Wikileaks, after its US domain name provider withdrew its services.

Coldblood of Anonymous said that the group was beginning to wind down the DDoS attacks so that it could concentrate on using other methods which are more focused on supporting Wikileaks and making sure the Internet stays a free and open place .


9th December   

Censorship on Demand...

Internet TV censor has a low key start
Link Here

A new Internet TV censor for video-on-demand services has secured a budget of £400,000 a year and is recruiting a fourth member of staff - despite handling just four complaints in two months.

The Authority for Television on Demand (ATVOD) took over regulation of services such as the ITV Player and Channel 4's 4oD on September 20.

It has a full-time chief executive and two-part time employees, and has advertised for another full-time Policy and Investigations Officer. ATVOD also has a nine-member board, including representatives of BT, Channel 5 and BSkyB. It charges companies providing video on demand services £2,900 a year to cover its costs.

Peter Johnson, ATVOD's chief executive, confirmed this week that it had only received four complaints from members of the public since taking on its regulatory role two months ago: The success of a regulator shouldn't be measured by the number of complaints it handles . If regulation is working perfectly, the industry will be fully compliant.

But Daniel Cass, chief executive of Six TV, a company set up to provide local TV services, said that ATVOD is the worst sort of quango : ATVOD provides low quality regulation at a high cost to industry . It does nothing which Ofcom could not do better and cheaper. If ATVOD were abolished tomorrow nobody would notice any difference.


9th December   

Iranian Justice "Corrupt on Earth"...

Canadian sentenced to death in Iran for running Canadian porn site
Link Here
Full story: Internet Death Sentence...Iran goes extreme over website censorship

Iranian officials have sentenced a man to death for allegedly running a porn site in Canada.

According to the Toronto Globe and Mail, Saeed Malekpour was sentenced after being convicted as corrupt on Earth and a warrior against God.

Malekpour is an Iranian-born Canadian resident and returned to Iran to visit his sick father in October of 2008, that's when he was put in Tehran's Evin Prison and where he was given the news of the verdict.

His wife said her husband's lawyer is appealing the case to Iran's highest court.

Meanwhile, the Canadian government is blasting Iran over the death sentence. Melissa Lantsman, spokeswoman for Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon, said:

Canada remains deeply concerned by the continued flagrant disregard of the Iranian authorities for the rights of Iranians. This appears to be another case in which someone in Iran is facing a death sentence after a highly questionable process.

We continue to call on Iran to respect its domestic and international obligations and ensure fairness and due process for all its citizens and others.


9th December

 Offsite: A Bit Nanny State?...

Link Here
An interview with BBFC Senior Examiner Craig Lapper

See article from


9th December

 Offsite: A Serbian on A Serbian Film...

Link Here
Full story: A Serbian Film...Hype for the most 'outrageous' horror yet
An interview with Srdjan Spasojevic

See article from


9th December   

Update: Student Warning...

US students warned that online discussions related to Wikileaks may endanger future security clearance
Link Here
Full story: US vs Wikileaks...US aggressively attacks Wikileaks over leaked cables

A State Department official warned students at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs this week that discussing WikiLeaks on Facebook or Twitter could endanger their employment prospects.

The official, a former student of the school, called the career services office of his alma mater to advise students not to post links to Wikileaks documents, nor to make comments on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

The school careers office passed on the message to students:

From: Office of Career Services

We received a call today from a SIPA alumnus who is working at the State Department. He asked us to pass along the following information to anyone who will be applying for jobs in the federal government, since all would require a background investigation and in some instances a security clearance.

The documents released during the past few months through Wikileaks are still considered classified documents. He recommends that you DO NOT post links to these documents nor make comments on social media sites such as Facebook or through Twitter. Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government.


9th December   

Update: Safe in Swiss Hands...

Swiss domain registrar keeps Wikileaks on the web
Link Here
Full story: US vs Wikileaks...US aggressively attacks Wikileaks over leaked cables

WikiLeaks received a boost when Switzerland rejected growing international calls to force the site off the internet.

The whistleblowers site, which has been publishing leaked US embassy cables, was forced to switch domain names to after the US host of its main website,, pulled the plug following mounting political pressure.

The site's new Swiss registrar, Switch, today said there was no reason why it should be forced offline, despite demands from France and the US. Switch is a non-profit registrar set up by the Swiss government for all 1.5 million Swiss .ch domain names.

The Swiss Pirate Party, which registered the domain name earlier this year on behalf of the site, said Switch had reassured the party that it would not block the site.

Laurence Kaye, leader of the UK-based Pirate Party, tonight told the Guardian: International Pirate Parties now have an integral role in allowing access to WikiLeaks. I wish some of our other politicians had the same guts.We support the WikiLeaks project as access to information is the prerequisite for an informed and engaged democracy.


9th December   

Gossip and Slander...

Turkey's PM wound up by leaked State Department cables
Link Here

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has accused U.S. diplomats of spreading gossip and slander after leaked State Department cables alleged corruption in his government and portrayed him as an Islamist.

He suggested the release of the trove of cables may be propaganda aimed at damaging relations between the United States and its allies.

The diplomatic messages at times show concerns that European Union candidate Turkey is shifting its allegiances from the West and Israel toward Iran and other Muslim countries since Erdogan took office in 2002.

Edelman's cables also portray Erdogan as an authoritarian, distrustful leader of his ruling AK Party and say that he believes God appointed him to lead Turkey.


8th December   

ASA Undisputed...

Advert censor clears shopping centre video advert for UFC computer game
Link Here

A video broadcast in shopping centres, for computer game Ultimate Fighting Championship Undisputed 2010 , featured images of real people intercut with clips from the game. The ad included various headshots of fighters, which morphed into one another as they said So, you wanna be a fighter? It's not just how hard you hit, or how fast you can move. It's about knowing you can be the best. It's about courage and commitment. So, you wanna be a fighter? . Solitary fighters were then shown training and practising punches in the ring; one fighter aimed a punch directly at the camera. Fighters were shown wrestling, throwing each other onto the floor, kicking, punching and pinning each other down. Dramatic, climatic music was played throughout the ad.

A member of the public challenged whether the ad could cause distress to children and was suitable for broadcast in a shopping centre where children could see it, because his four-year-old daughter was upset by the aggressive and violent images shown.

ASA Assessment: Not upheld

The ASA understood that the ad had been submitted to CAP Copy Advice and changes made following their recommendations to tone down the visuals.

We considered that the ad made clear the sporting context for the training and fighting shown and, although it featured fighters wrestling, kicking, punching and pinning each other down, the content was not overtly violent for the type of action shown. We acknowledged the upset caused to the complaints young daughter, but considered that the ad was unlikely to be frightening to children and concluded that it was not inappropriate for display in the shopping centre.


8th December   

Updated: A Serbian Film Molested by World Censors...

Australian film censor bans A Serbian Film
Link Here
Full story: A Serbian Film...Hype for the most 'outrageous' horror yet

A Serbian film is a 2010 Serbia adult horror by Srdjan Spasojevic.

The uncut A Serbian film had been submitted to the Australian Censorship Board for a DVD certificate.

But the film censor was having none of it, and has banned the uncut version of the film.

Note that the film distributor has the option to make cuts and try again. Maybe trying with the significantly cut UK version that was passed 18 by the BBFC.

Update: A Serbian Ban Explained

8th December 2010. Based on article from

The Australian Film Censorship Board has released its justification for banning the uncut version of A Serbian Film.

In the opinion of the Board, the film contains depictions of sexualised violence and sexual violence which have a very high degree of impact, including an explicit depiction of sexual violence. These depictions are on occasion inextricably linked to themes of paedophilia and child sexual abuse, which further heightens impact.

While the Board acknowledges that a degree of artistic merit and dramatic intent is evident in this fictional film, it is of the opinion that the film (including the examples noted above) is very high in viewing impact and includes an explicit depiction of sexual violence. The film therefore exceeds what can be accommodated within the R 18+ classification and should be Refused Classification pursuant.

A minority of the Board is of the opinion that the film contains a depiction of explicit sexual violence [the toothless blow job] , at 71 minutes and the film therefore must be Refused Classification. In the minority opinion, however, the remainder of the film can be accommodated, with restriction to adults, at the R18+ classification category.


8th December   

Rubbish Decision...

Critically acclaimed children's book dropped from Blue Peter book prize shortlist
Link Here

Organisers of a BBC children's book prize have admitted that they had made a mistake by initially shortlisting a novel which contained swearing and violence.

Andy Mulligan's Trash has now been dropped from the Blue Peter book prize shortlist which will be announced to viewers later.

But its content has led to bosses of the BBC1 children's programme dropping it from the favourite story category of the awards.

Reacting to the decision to drop his book from the shortlist, Mulligan told the Daily Telegraph: I'm sad because I thought when Blue Peter chose the book they were declaring their passion for literature. Sadly the fall-back position is one of fear. It's part of the insidious process that bans snowball fights.

The BBC said: Trash, by Andy Mulligan, should not have been shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards because it contains scenes of violence and swearing that are not suitable for the younger end of our audience. We regret the mistake that was made in the initial judging but we do not believe the book is appropriate for children as young as six.

The adventure story follows three young boys who work sorting waste on a Third World rubbish dump and has drawn acclaim from critics.

Review from UK Amazon : Inspirational

Andy Mulligan has vividly brought to life the world of kids who live on rubbish dumps all over the world. Seeing them in a documentary does not really convey the experiences of these children, their feelings, their hopes and dreams and the harsh reality of surviving in such a hostile environment. Fiction can be so much better at conveying the truth than documentary.

Raphael finds a bag on the dump and inside is a key which opens up a can of worms he and his friends could never have dreamt of in their worst nightmares. Assisted by his friends Gardo and Rat (aka Jun Jun), he slowly unravels the mystery he has stumbled upon and falls foul of the authorities in the process. Children in his world are expendable and disappear easily, despite the efforts of charity workers such as Father Juilliard and voluntary worker Olivia at the Mission School. However, these wily and resourceful children, albeit uneducated, show themselves capable of outwitting the adults and solving the riddle. They face danger with courage and loyalty and eventually the story resolves itself into a very satisfying conclusion. The characters are wonderfully drawn and the story well told, although the rapid changes in point of view can be slightly distracting, and I would recommend this book to anyone.


8th December   

Update: Arrested Over a Condom Leak?...

Julian Assange arrested and held without bail in London
Link Here
Full story: US vs Wikileaks...US aggressively attacks Wikileaks over leaked cables

The whistleblowing website WikiLeaks said last night it would not to be gagged by the imprisonment of its founder, Julian Assange, after a judge refused him bail at a dramatic extradition hearing in London.

Assange who is wanted in Sweden over claims he 'sexually assaulted' two women, was in Wandsworth prison last night after district judge Howard Riddle claimed there was a risk he would fail to surrender if granted bail. Assange denies the allegations.

Despite Jemima Khan, former wife of Pakistan cricket captain Imran Khan, the campaigning journalist John Pilger, the film director Ken Loach and others offering to stand surety totalling £180,000, the judge said the Australian Assange's weak community ties in the UK, and his means and ability to abscond, represented substantial grounds for refusing bail.

He was remanded until 14 December, when the case can be reviewed at the same court. His legal team said he would again apply for bail at that hearing.

Last night Kristinn Hrafnsson, a spokesman for WikiLeaks, confirmed it would continue publishing US diplomatic cables. In a statement he said: This will not stifle WikiLeaks. The release of the US embassy cables – the biggest leak in history – will still continue. We will not be gagged, either by judicial action or corporate censorship.

The refusal to grant Assange bail came on a day when increasing pressure was brought to bear in the US on companies and organisations with ties to WikiLeaks. As Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate's homeland security committee, urged businesses to sever their ties with the website, Visa suspended the payment of donations to the website through its credit card.

Michael Mukasey, a former US attorney general, said last night that American lawyers should try to extradite Assange to the US for betraying government secrets. Mukasey implied that the Swedish sexual accusations may only be a holding charge. When one is accused of a very serious crime, he said, it's common to hold him in respect of a lesser crime … while you assemble evidence of a second crime.

After the ruling – with supporters waving A4 printouts reading Character Assassination and Protect Free Speech – his solicitor, Mark Stephens, emerged from court to claim the prosecution was politically motivated and pledged WikiLeaks would not be cowed. Assange was entitled to a high court appeal, he said, adding the judge was impressed with the number of people prepared to stand up on his client's behalf. [Those supporters] were but the tip of the iceberg, he said. This is going to go viral. Many people believe Mr Assange to be innocent, myself included. Many people believe that this prosecution is politically motivated.

Assange was arrested by appointment at a London police station at 9.20am after a European arrest warrant was received by the Metropolitan police extradition unit. He appeared in court at 2pm, where he spoke to confirm his name and date of birth and to tell the court: I do not consent to my extradition.

Update: Britain not Sweden opposes bail

16th December 2010. Based on article from

The decision to have Julian Assange sent to a London jail and kept there was taken by the British authorities and not by prosecutors in Sweden, as previously thought, the Guardian has learned.

The Crown Prosecution Service will go to the high court tomorrow to seek the reversal of a decision to free the WikiLeaks founder on bail, made yesterday by a judge at City of Westminster magistrates court.

It had been widely thought Sweden had made the decision to oppose bail, with the CPS acting merely as its representative. But today the Swedish prosecutor's office told the Guardian it had not got a view at all on bail and that Britain had made the decision to oppose bail.

Lawyers for Assange reacted to the news with shock and said CPS officials had told them this week it was Sweden which had asked them to ensure he was kept in prison.

Karin Rosander, director of communications for Sweden's prosecutor's office, told the Guardian: The decision was made by the British prosecutor. I got it confirmed by the CPS this morning that the decision to appeal the granting of bail was entirely a matter for the CPS. The Swedish prosecutors are not entitled to make decisions within Britain. It is entirely up to the British authorities to handle it.

Update: Bail granted

17th December 2010.  Based on article from

The founder of whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, Julian Assange, has vowed to continue my work and to protest my innocence after being freed on bail.

Mr Justice Ouseley ordered Assange be released on payment of £240,000 in cash and sureties and on condition he resides at an address in East Anglia.

Assange's solicitor, Mark Stephens, said after the court appearance the bail appeal was part of a continuing vendetta by the Swedes .

Assange is accused of having unprotected sex with a woman, identified only as Miss A, when she insisted he use a condom. He is also accused of the unlikely sounding offence of having unprotected sex with another woman, Miss W, while she was asleep.

The judge imposed strict bail conditions including wearing an electronic tag, reporting to police every day, observing a curfew and residing at a specified residence.

A full extradition hearing should normally take place within 21 days of the arrest. Mr Assange was arrested on 7 December, so this should be by 28 December. However, in such a high profile case, it is possible that a full extradition hearing will not take place for several months.

Update: Weak Case

6th February 2011. See  article from

Rape case against the WikiLeaks chief weak

Details in a police file of the rape case against Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, reveal a series of apparent contradictions and inconsistencies in the evidence against him.

Assange faces extradition to Sweden on a European Arrest Warrant. He has not been charged but is wanted for further questioning.

Mark Stephens, Mr Assange's lawyer, said: This is the third time people have sought to prejudice the outcome of Julian Assange's case by leaking information.

Kirsty Brimelow, a barrister asked by Stephens to independently review the evidence against Assange, said: I do not consider that the evidence would reach the charge threshold in this country; let alone sustain a prosecution.

Update: Automatic Extradition

28th February 2011. See  article from

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has criticised the unjust European arrest warrant system after a judge ruled he should be extradited to Sweden to face sex offence charges.

The ruling against him came as a result of a European arrest warrant system run amok , he claimed.

He said: There was no consideration during this entire process as to the merit of the allegations made against me, no consideration or examination of even the complaints made in Sweden and of course we have always known we would appeal.

Launching into a criticism of the system, he said 95% of European arrest warrants were successful and he welcomed a pending review of UK extradition procedures due in June.

Update: Extradited

6th November 2011. See  article from

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lost his High Court bid to block extradition to Sweden, where he faces rape allegations.

Lord Justice Thomas and Justice Ouseley said that Assange must return to Sweden on a European arrest warrant to face rape and sexual assault allegations made by two Swedish women after a visit to Stockholm in August 2010.

The Australian could now be sent to Sweden within 10 days, unless as expected he decides to appeal the decision.

Update: Ecuador grants political asylum

17th August 2012. See  article from

A major diplomatic row over the fate of the fugitive Julian Assange erupted after the WikiLeaks founder was offered political asylum by Ecuador to escape extradition from Britain over allegations of serious sexual assaults.

The foreign secretary, William Hague, responded by warning the Ecuadorean government that diplomatic immunity should not be used to harbour alleged criminals. He said Assange would be arrested if he leaves the embassy in London where he has lived for nearly two months.

Ecuador's decision has also angered the Swedish authorities, who wish to question Assange and the two women who claim he assaulted them during a trip to the country in 2010. Assange denies the assault claims and says he fears being sent on to the United States where he could face political persecution for releasing thousands of secret US cables.


7th December   

Nutters Claim the Night...

Reclaim the Night march to ban adult entertainment in Leeds
Link Here

About 200 women took to the streets of Leeds in protest at sexual violence and gender inequality, and to assert their right to feel safe in every part of the city whatever the time of the day or night.

It followed a sister demonstration in London last week where about 2,500 people marched through the capital to Reclaim the Night for women all over the world.

Organiser Rosie Robinson Boardman said: We're just celebrating being women and saying look, we're all in this together, we're all fantastic, and let's just have a bit of a shout, have a bit of a chant, have a bit of a march round and listen to some speakers afterwards.

After a rally outside Leeds Art Gallery where NUS Women's Officer Liv Bailey warmed up the crowd [roused the rabble?] with a motivational speech condemning the objectification and commodification of women , the female-only protesters marched through the town centre on a route that took in the city's lap-dancing clubs and strip bars.

The demonstrators waved placards displaying rape statistics and calling for an end to violence against women. Stopping traffic in their path they chanted: Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes and no means no. One group held a-proud a washing-line of  never soiled, white knickers.

Along the way the marchers encountered groups of both men and women sniggering and shouting obscenities, as well as jeers of Get a job from a crowd of people outside a pub.

Karen Kayes, a local businesswoman said that although disappointed, she was unsurprised by the negative attitudes of some passers-by. She said: It's kind of what I expected but to get our point across we're going to have to come into contact with people who don't believe in what we want to achieve. But that doesn't stop me, in fact it makes me more determined I think.


6th December   

Film Makers at a Loss...

MPAA ban poster over weapon held by child
Link Here

Bereavement , writer/director Stevan Mena's gruesome prequel to Maleviolence , hasn't gone before the MPAA yet, but the US film censor has already turned thumbs down on the movie's poster.

The MPAA has banned the poster for depicting a child holding a weapon, Mena tells Fangoria: It's hugely disappointing, because that poster really encapsulated the plot of the film with an intriguing image. It's a real setback for us, considering the challenges we already face competing for attention with a small budget.

Bereavement explores the childhood of serial killer Martin Bristol, when he is kidnapped by a psychopath and forced to witness horrible acts of murder.


6th December   

Update: On the Brink of Destruction...

Doom mongers target porn actresses making non-porn horror movies in Indonesia
Link Here

Dozens of members of the militant group of Islamic Defenders Front staged a noisy protest in front of an Indonesian film company that just released a horror movie starring Japanese adult movie actress Maria Ozawa, who is known as Miyabi.

Reject Miyabi, the mother of all sinners, who propagates immoral behavior in this country, group leader Salim Alatas shouted in front of the Maxima Pictures office in West Jakarta.

After an emotional dialogue with a company executive, the protesters grabbed all the movie posters plastered on the office walls, and ripped them up and burned them.

Two days before the same group went to Soekarno-Hatta international airport in Jakarta and threatened to capture Ozawa upon her arrival and send her home.

Police forced the crowd to a parking area in front of the airport office, far from the terminal.

Well-known in Indonesia as Miyabi, which Ozawa used early in her career as an adult video actress, she was to attend the premiere of her second Indonesian movie Hantu Tanah Kusir, (The Ghost of Tanah Kusir Cemetery) .

The film followed the success of Menculik Miyabi, (Kidnapping Miyabi) , a teen comedy released last May after heated controversy delayed filming and forced scenes featuring her to be made in Tokyo instead of Jakarta.

The movies contain no sex-scenes and have been passed by the Indonesian censor.

The nutter cause has been supported up by some newspapers. Republika daily has dedicated front-page stories opposing Ozawa and other adult movie actress in Indonesian horror movies, including Japanese actresses Rin Sakuragi and Leah Yuzuki and U.S. actress Tera Patrick, although the latter three have not stirred much controversy as they are not as popular as Ozawa. It carried large sketches of the faces of foreign porn actresses that have appeared in Indonesian movies headlined National films on the brink of destruction.


6th December   


Burma bans performers who supported the opposition
Link Here

The Burmese junta banned eight FM radio stations from featuring interviews or the works of more than 11 performers in the final week of last month.

Observers said the artists had been cut from the airwaves because of their support for National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and their satirical works on Burma's ruling military junta.

The move appears part of a programme by Burma's ruling military regime to pay back artists who have satirised the junta or shown support for pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi through further muzzling of the Burmese media.

The ministry sent letters to the stations call a halt to broadcasts of singers Saung Oo Hlaing, Anaggha, Thanthawin and Kyarpauk; bass guitarist Ye Lwin; film directors Myo Min, Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi and Cho Too Zaw; actor Kyaw Thu and his wife Shwe Zigwet; and writer Than Myint Aung, the station employee said.

The Ministry of Information ordered us to stop broadcasting their interviews and performances, the employee said on condition of anonymity. The letters gave no reason for the ban and failed to say when the ban would expire, the employee said.


5th December   

Update: Playing Catch-Up...

Australia finally looks set to approve an adults only rating for computer games
Link Here

The Gillard Government has approved the R18+ classification for games.

The federal Cabinet approved the adult rating for computer games after finding that many classified as suitable for 15-year-olds in Australia had been ruled suitable for adults only overseas.

As many as 50 games are now available to children as young as 15 but should rightly be played by over-18s only.

Some of the world's top-selling titles, including Grand Theft Auto and Call Of Duty , will fall under the new rating.

Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor will take the Government's new position to a meeting of state and territory attorneys-general this week to seek their approval in changing the games classification system.


5th December   

Update: Grow Up Will You!...

David Cameron found to be suffering from premature sexualisation
Link Here
Full story: Sexualisation...Sexualisation as reported by Linda Papadopoulos

The Sunday Telegraph has learned a government-commissioned review, expected to be led by Reg Bailey, chief executive of the Mothers' Union, will lay the ground for new laws which could see individual companies persecuted.

Bailey's review will gather evidence of ways children are having unfair commercial pressure put on them or being prematurely sexualised by retailers amid protests over high-heeled shoes and provocative underwear aimed at girls as young as 10.

Ministers at the Department for Education intend to legislate or regulate against the supposed offenders, many of whom have already sparked nutter criticism from parents.

Coalition sources said the planned new laws could see businesses targeted individually, while it was likely a new industry-wide standard would be established. Parents, furthermore, could be given the power to challenge offending advertisements or products specifically over child-related issues. Sources drew a parallel with the way complaints are currently made to trading standards officials or the Advertising Standards Authority.

The move is backed by David Cameron, who hit out at the premature sexualisation of children in one of his first major interventions as Conservative leader, more than four years ago.

Reg Bailey, a father of two and committed Christian who is the first male chief executive of the Mothers' Union – the international Christian charity that seeks to support families.


5th December   

Updated: Wikileaks Under Attack...

Attacked on several fronts
Link Here
Full story: US vs Wikileaks...US aggressively attacks Wikileaks over leaked cables

Wikileaks has been disrupted after the company providing its domain name cut off its DNS service.

The website main domain name at is no longer associated with the underlying IP address of claimed it had terminated services because had come under massive cyber attacks.

But Wikileaks has already reappeared using a Swiss web domains name . In a surprising twist, the .ch address is also hosted by EveryDNS.

Wikileaks has also used the micro-blogging site Twitter to urge its fans to redistribute its IP address so it can be viewed at any time.

Experts say it is likely that Wikileaks has done deals with lots of web hosting companies, although many are likely to back away from dealing with the controversial site in the light of recent web attacks.

In France, Industry Minister Eric Besson has called for a ban of Wikileaks on French servers. One of the mirror sites,, is currently hosted on servers in France.

Paul Mutton, a security analyst at internet services firm Netcraft said using a Swiss domain could be Wikileaks anticipating the next line of attack - having its IP address de-registered: Moving to a non-US domain makes sense. Its previous domain was registered with a US company and as such has to work within US laws, with potential for the government to lean on it and get it suspended.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is currently reported to be staying at a secret address in the UK. In a question-and-answer session on the website of the Guardian newspaper, he said there had been threats against his life: We are taking the appropriate precautions to the degree that we are able when dealing with a super power.

Wikileaks initially used the online store Amazon to host its site but the company ended the agreement on Wednesday - a move 'welcomed' by US officials. Amazon claimed that it had not removed Wikileaks because of a government inquiry. Instead it said Wikileaks had failed to adhere to its terms of service.

Meanwhile the press have been reporting that there is now some sort of international arrest warrant issued against Julian Assange on supposed rape charges.

But the Daily Mail has researched the Swedish cases and has found that they are very minor indeed. It seems that the 'crime' is sex by surprise, carrying a penalty of $715, and is related to condom use. See article from

Update: Not So Pally

5th December 2010. Based on article from

PayPal has frozen WikiLeaks' account in the latest action against the whistleblower website, which has been posting leaked US embassy cables online.

The decision by the online payment site – which WikiLeaks had used to raise funds for web hosting and other costs – has been announced with a posting on PayPal's blog.

PayPal said: PayPal has permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks due to a violation of the PayPal acceptable use policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity. We've notified the account holder of this action.

Update: Visa Denied

8th December 2010. Based on article from

Mastercard and Visa have declared they are suspending payments to Wikileaks, effectively blocking their customers from donating to the organization.

As Jeff Jarvis points out over at HuffPo, I can use Visa and Mastercard to pay for porn and support anti-abortion fanatics, Prop 8 homophobic bigots, and the Ku Klux Klan. But I can't use them or PayPal to support Wikileaks, transparency, the First Amendment, and true government reform.

There is a difference, of course, between being an ideological outsider, or even a proponent of hate speech, and the #1 enemy of the state.

Update: Money is No Longer Safe in a Swiss Bank

9th December 2010. Based on article from

The Swiss post office's bank, PostFinance, has frozen the accounts of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

The whistle-blowing website says the freeze includes a defence fund and personal assets worth 31,000 euros.

Update: Bank of America Censors

19th December 2010. Based on article from

Bank of America has halted all transactions for WikiLeaks, joining other institutions that refuse to process payments for the website that has exposed a trove of US government cables.

Bank of America joins in the actions previously announced by MasterCard, PayPal, Visa Europe and others and will not process transactions of any type that we have reason to believe are intended for WikiLeaks, the largest US bank said in a statement.

This decision is based upon our reasonable belief that WikiLeaks may be engaged in activities that are, among other things, inconsistent with our internal policies for processing payments. [yeah yeah]

Update: Pipped by Apple

23rd December 2010. Based on article from

The Wikileaks app has been censored by the iOS App Store because it 'violates the company's developer guidelines', Apple claimed.

The $1.99 WikiLeaks app was only up on the App Store for three days. The developer had promised to donate $1 from every sale to groups that support online democracy.

Apple's statement echo those of governments around the world who claim that Wikileak's activities put people's lives in danger.

Offsite: Mirror sites taken down

24th December 2010. See  article from

In at least three separate cases, sites hosting mirrors of diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks have been taken down due to pressure from the hosting provider. The reason for the takedowns is said to be severe violations of the host's Terms of Service (ToS), illegal activities, or the potential for DDoS attacks related to the mirror's contents.

The host in question, SiteGround, appears to be suspending the WikiLeaks mirrors on behalf of its upstream provider SoftLayer. In all three cases, SoftLayer reported domains hosting mirrored Cablegate content as being in violation of the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and ToS. As a result, SiteGround suspended the accounts and gave mixed reasons for doing so.

...Read the full article


4th December   

Ooh La La...

Cringingly PC advert censor whinges at Swedish hotel innuendo
Link Here

Nordic hotel chain First Hotels has been slammed by the Swedish advert censor, Reklamombudsman (RO) for an internet campaign featuring hotel staff and sexual innuendo.

The two adverts, which respectively feature a bellboy and a chambermaid sitting on a bed under the text Sleep with us , are discriminatory and in breach of International Chamber of Commerce rules, according to the RO.

By their clothing and pose they are presented as pure sex objects in a way that can be considered offensive to women and men in general, the ombudsman argued.

The text 'Sleep with us' and 'Our first members are getting it on a regular basis' further strengthens the offensive impression, the ombudsman argued.

The ombudsman detailed that the ads had a further feature with a clickable text inviting guests to Go to bed .

First Hotels meanwhile argued that the adverts are intended to display the humour of its staff. The firm, which operates 47 hotels across Scandinavia, argued that the retro French maid and bell boy attire was evidence of this playful approach and rejected accusations of discrimination, pointing out that both sexes were represented in the ads.

I think we did everything we could to be balanced, Telling said, explaining that the campaign's objective was to recruit members to its loyalty programme.

Several complainants who reported the campaign argued that it appeared the hotel was offering prostitution services.


4th December   

Update: Politically Aggressive Research...

Australian review into computer games and aggression fails to find conclusive evidence of a link
Link Here

Supposed links between violent video games and increased aggressive behaviour in players have long been used by anti-R18+ proponents as a major reason an adult rating for games should not be introduced in Australia. But now it seems the Federal Government has officially denied that supposition.

The Australian Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O'Connor, released a review into an R18+ classification for video games that looks at existing research in order to try to answer the question of whether those who play violent video games are at greater risk of becoming aggressive. According to the review findings, there is no conclusive evidence that violent games have a greater impact than other media.

The review found that evidence about the effect of violent computer games on the aggression displayed by those who play them is inconclusive, O'Connor said: From time to time people claim that there is a strong link between violent crime or aggressive behaviour and the popularity of violent computer games. The literature does not bear out that assertion.

According to O'Connor, Australia's censorship ministers requested this review be carried out in order to assist them in making an informed decision about R18+ for games leading into the next Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) meeting on December 10. The review also found that there is stronger evidence of short-term effects from violent games than long-term effects and that some research points to the fact that games are a small risk factor in aggressive behaviour over the short term. However, according to the review, these studies do not thoroughly explore other factors such as aggressive personality, family and peer influence, and socio-economic status.

According to O'Connor, censorship ministers will look carefully at the review findings during next week's SCAG meeting: Australia needs a consistent classification system that protects young minds from any possible adverse affect, while also ensuring that adults are free to make their own decisions about what they play, within the bounds of the law .


4th December   

Update: Bombay Ducked...

Indian film censor will now ban the city name Bombay
Link Here

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray's warning to Sharmila Tagore of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), she will held be responsible if any movie refers to the city as Bombay, seems to have worked.

Tagore has asked the board members to take appropriate action against the offending parties: We have been informed that the CBFC has decided to review those films against which we had raised objections. Two to three films had used the word 'Bombay' instead of Mumbai .

The board issued this order immediately after receiving the letter. It assured us it won't happen in future, said Shalini Thackeray, general secretary of the association.


4th December   

Updated: Political Anti-Sexualisation Campaigning...

Safermedia hold conference on sexualisation of their children
Link Here
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

On 22 November, Safermedia's Conference takes place on The Harm that Pornography Does. This has partly arisen out of research, done for the Home Office in February this year, in response to growing concern in the UK about how the media is contributing to the increased sexualisation of our children.

The Home Office Report, Sexualisation of Young People Review , was carried out by London Metropolitan University psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, who argues that the growing prevalence of sexualised images in magazines, television, mobile phones and computer games is having a damaging effect on children and young people.

Offsite Update: The need for [charity prohibited] Regulatory Reform

4th December 2010. See  Report of the Safermedia Conference [doc] from

Pippa began by saying that pornography has become such a problem in so many areas of public life, such as rape and sexual violence, addiction, trafficking and prostitution, sexually transmitted disease etc., that it had become a public health issue. She went on to say how the internet was key, it was a vital part of our economy now but that something needed to be done about the dark side and that was why we were calling for internet regulation. She discussed the ease of accessibility, especially via mobile phones and how there was still a long way to go with the technical options for protection.

Miranda spoke of our aims to protect good mental and physical health, with a view also to reducing crime. Our new charitable Aims and Objectives are available on the Charity Commission website (Reg. No. 1138360). We also have new leaflets available on request. We are committed to seeing media that encourages safe and healthy behaviour. Pornography is undermining this to such an extent that it requires urgent action by central Government. A sealed envelope was handed to all delegates, containing explicit descriptions of mainstream internet pornography (taken from Pornland by Gail Dines), which is easily available at a few clicks of the mouse, by adults or children. It is far more perverse and potentially harmful than typical pornography of previous decades, as it involves extreme degradation and physical discomfort, pain and violence against women. Arguments about freedom of speech and artistic expression are therefore very outdated regarding pornography.

The report also has a post conference note:

The Conference has come at a time when there is growing concern about internet pornography, and we are delighted that Claire Perry MP was so concerned that on the following evening she held an Adjournment Debate in Parliament strongly urging that UK-based internet service providers (ISPs) should implement an opt-in age verification system to gain access to internet pornography (i.e. the default setting would filter out all porn, and users would have to apply to ISPs to have porn restored).

The Minister Rt Hon Ed Vaisey MP was sympathetic to the problem of children accessing pornographic, and worse, material on the internet and will be holding a meeting with ISPs and interested parties and charities like ours, so we hope to be involved.

Safermedia's Open Letter on this issue, which will be sent to a national newspaper in the near future, has gathered a number of prominent signatories. Post-publication it will be put on our website so that supporters can add their own name to show the strength of public concern. One aim of our campaign is to seek a wide consensus among interested professionals from academia, the therapeutic community, education, charities, medicine, the police etc. in order to press for change .


3rd December   

Update: A Serbian Statement...

BBFC release their Extended Classification Information about A Serbian Film
Link Here
Full story: A Serbian Film...Hype for the most 'outrageous' horror yet

Srpski Film - A Serbian Film is a Serbian language drama, subtitled in English. It tells the story of a retired porn star, Milos, who is lured out of retirement by an offer of money from a mysterious figure called Vukmir. Vukmir wants Milos to star in what he describes as an artistic film for the foreign market but it soon becomes clear the project will require Milos' participation in various acts of sexual violence and paedophilia. The film was classified 18 for very strong sexual violence, sex and violence.

The BBFC's Guidelines state that In line with the consistent findings of the BBFC's public consultations and the Human Rights Act 1998, at '18 the BBFC's guideline concerns will not normally override the principle that adults should be free to choose their own entertainment. Exceptions are most likely [...] where material or treatment appears to the BBFC to risk harm to individuals or, through their behaviour, to society - for example, any detailed portrayal of violent or dangerous acts [...] which may cause harm to public health or morals. This may include portrayals of sexual or sexualised violence which might, for example, eroticise or endorse sexual assault'. More generally, the Guidelines state that A strict policy on sexual violence and rape is applied. Content which might eroticise or endorse sexual violence may require cuts at any classification level and that intervention, even at the adult level, is more likely with sexual violence or sexualised violence which endorses or eroticises the behaviour and with portrayals of children in a sexualised or abusive context .

Before awarding an 18 classification to Srpski Film - A Serbian Film , the BBFC required forty-nine individual cuts, across eleven scenes. A number of cuts were required to remove elements of sexual violence that tend to eroticise or endorse sexual violence. Further cuts were required to scenes in which images of children are intercut with images of adult sexual activity and sexual violence. It is important to stress that the film makers took precautions to avoid the exposure of the young actors to the film's most disturbing scenes and that, in the BBFC's view, no scene is in clear breach of the Protection of Children Act 1978.

Even after cuts, the film's scenes of very strong sexual violence remain potentially shocking, distressing or offensive to some adult viewers, but are also likely to be found repugnant and to be aversive. They are not credibly likely to encourage imitation. In some scenes Milos witnesses, or is forced to witness, acts of sexual violence, including the suggestion that a new born baby is being raped. In the cut version, the rape of the baby occurs entirely offscreen, implied only by the sounds of the baby crying and by the reactions of the onlooking Milos and Vukmir. Although all clear shots of the baby being raped have been cut by the BBFC, it is worth noting that the film makers used a prosthetic model during the filming of this scene and that no real baby was harmed. Later in the film, when Milos refuses to participate in the acts required of him by Vukmir, he is drugged and forced to continue filming against his will. As Milos regains consciousness, he begins to remember what he has been compelled to do, including decapitating a restrained woman during sex and raping his unconscious wife and son. He also recalls, with the assistance of video recordings, some of the acts perpetrated against himself and others during his period of unconsciousness. This includes one of his female friends being suffocated with a man's penis, after her teeth have been extracted, and Milos himself being raped. Once again, the cuts required by the BBFC have removed the more explicit moments from these scenes and much of the action is now brief or implied rather than explicitly depicted. Nonetheless, the scenes remain potentially distressing and offensive, even in their cut versions. Cuts were also required to remove shots which imply that children are witnessing sexual violence, sometimes enthusiastically, or where images of children are intercut with images of sexual activity and sexual violence. This includes a scene in which images of a young girl sucking a lolly are intercut with a scene of fellatio, a scene in which the same young girl appears to lean forward excitedly as she witnesses a scene of violent fellatio, and a scene in which Milos' brother is fellated by a woman whilst watching a family video, featuring his young nephew. All such intercutting has been removed from these scenes. In another scene, Vukmir attempts to persuade Milos to have a sex with an underaged girl. Although Milos refuses, cuts were required to remove shots in which the young girl appears to be encouraging Milos to have sex with her. In spite of the fact that care was taken by the film makers to avoid exposing any of the young actors to anything disturbing, violent or sexual, this juxtaposition of images of children with sexual and sexually violent material is a breach of BBFC policy and Guidelines.

The film contains a number of scenes of very strong bloody violence, including sight of a man's head being repeatedly smashed with a heavy object until his skull caves in, a man's throat being torn out in close up, and a man being killed by having a prosthetic erect penis forced into his empty eye socket. These scenes considerably exceed the terms of the 15 Guidelines where Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. The strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable. Strong sadistic or sexualised violence is also unlikely to be acceptable . Srpski Film - A Serbian Film also contains a number of scenes of strong sex. This includes sight of masturbation, oral sex, group sex, and sexual thrusting, as well as simulated ejaculation onto a woman's face. These scenes significantly exceed the terms of the 15 Guidelines where Sexual activity may be portrayed without strong detail .

Srpski Film - A Serbian Film also includes very strong visual and verbal sex references, including to bestiality and paedophilia, very strong language, strong language, and strong nudity, including sight of prosthetic erections.

Release Details

A Serbian film is a 2010 Serbia adult horror by Srdjan Spasojevic. See IMDb

The general release at UK cinemas is on Friday 10th January 2010.

Video versions are set for 3rd January 2011:

  • UK 2011 Revolver Blu-ray for release on 3rd January 2100 at UK Amazon
  • UK 2011 Revolver R2 DVD for release on 3rd January 2100 at UK Amazon

The film/DVD/Blu-ray were all  passed 18 after 49 BBFC cuts totalling 4:12s

The BBFC commented about the cuts:

Cuts required to remove portrayals of children in a sexualised or abusive context and images of sexual and sexualised violence which have a tendency to eroticise or endorse the behaviour. Cuts made in accordance with BBFC Guidelines and policy, and the Video Recordings Act 1984.

The consumer advice is

Contains very strong sexual violence, sex and violence

See trailer from


3rd December   

Parliament's New Nutters...

And for Labour...Gloria de Piero, 'outraged' at pole dancing exercise videos
Link Here

The Mirror has spewed a nonsense story about pole dancing exercise videos being sold free of BBFC classification.

The Mirror spouts:

An outrageous legal loophole means that children are able to buy violent and sexually explicit DVDs without any restrictions.

Producers are taking advantage of an E rating which is meant for material that educates or instructs.

DVDs showing pole dancing can be bought by children because it is classified as exercise.

The British Board of Film Classification is not allowed to put a minimum age on E-rated material.

It is up to producers and distributors to decide if the DVDs are educational.

They also add:

Cage fighting DVDs full of swearing and extreme violence are permitted as it is categorised as sport. Explicit music lyrics and video games are also slipping through the net.

Shadow Culture Minister Gloria De Piero said:

It's outrageous. Young people should not be able to go into any shop and buy DVDs that are violent, sexually explicit and full of bad language.

The government needs to act now to bring in a proper classification system. Parents deserve to know exactly what their children are watching and to be confident that someone is protecting them.

Senior government sources say they are aware of the issue and are considering what to do about it.


3rd December   

Update: Wikiprats...

US senator proposes a bill censoring publishers of leaked data
Link Here
Full story: US vs Wikileaks...US aggressively attacks Wikileaks over leaked cables

With Amazon dumping Wikileaks due to pressure from Senator Joe Lieberman, it seems to have only emboldened Lieberman to shred more of the First Amendment he's supposed to be protecting.

First, he has continued pressuring other companies to not host Wikileaks content.

This has resulted in Tableau Software removing a graph of embassies most often appearing in the Wikileaks Cable data. People have pointed out that there was no sensitive data in what it had published, but because of Lieberman's grandstanding, the company felt the need to remove the chart.

Lieberman has now introduced an anti-Wikileaks bill, which would expand the Espionage Act to make it a criminal act if you publish the name of a US intelligence source. Note that it is already illegal to leak such a name, but this bill seeks to make it illegal to publish the names after they've been leaked.

This seems like a classic violation of the First Amendment. As Wired notes, something like this would make it illegal for a newspaper to publish the fact that former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noreiga was once a paid CIA intelligence source.


3rd December   

Review: The Horror! The Horror!...

The censorship of US comic books
Link Here

The Horror! the Horror!: Comic Books the Government Didn't Want You to Read!

by Jim Trombetta & R Spiel

The book is 300-plus pages of horrific cover images culled from comic classics like Space Western featuring Spurs Jackson and his Space Vigilantes and Famous Authors Illustrated featuring Shakespeare's MacBeth. (OK, most of the images are from books like Weird Terror, City of the Living Dead, Startling Terror Tales and the like. But, come on! Spurs Jackson!)

In addition to the covers, there are selected panels and pages from the purple prosed pulp pamphlets, as well as more than a dozen complete stories of murder and mayhem from the 1950s. (I had only come across one of these stories, Basil Wolverton's Brain Bats of Venus before this book. It's a neat one to have.)

Interspersed throughout the garish eye candy are Trombetta's notes on how our [US] government wanted to shut down the crime and horror comics of the time. He also details the creation of the Comics Code Authority as a last ditch effort to save the industry. Essentially, the Code took out any element that made the books interesting. You couldn't even have the word Crime on a cover. The tales of censorship, manipulation and outright lies about comics as a medium are scarier than the comics themselves.

The book comes with a DVD of a 1955 news show, Confidential File, dealing with the comic book menace, and how it was the source of juvenile delinquency, back in the day. Or so they said.


3rd December

 Offsite: Easily Censored...

Link Here
Facebook gets caught up in Egypt's media crackdown

See article from


2nd December   

The Great, the Good, the Worthy and the Not...

Liberty's Human Rights Award Winners 2010
Link Here

Human Rights Long Walk Award


For their tireless campaign to publicise the threat to liberty and personal privacy posed by the introduction of ID cards – central to bringing about a Bill to repeal the Identity Cards Act and to scrap ID cards and the National Identity Register.

Human Rights Young Person of the Year Award

Young Legal Aid Lawyers

For their outstanding commitment to providing quality representation, advice and access to justice for those who could otherwise not afford it, despite the constant cuts and restrictions to legal aid work and the lack of financial sponsorship or reward.

Human Rights Arts Award, in association with Southbank Centre

Nicolas Kent and Indhu Rubasingham & The Tricycle Theatre

For their proud record of highlighting some of the most important human rights issues of the day, including this year's The Great Game focusing on British intervention in Afghanistan. With recent productions also examining the de Menezes Inquest and Deepcut Barracks deaths, the Tricycle Theatre is an inspirational example of how art with a social conscience need not require creative compromise.

Human Rights Lawyer of the Year Award

Karon Monaghan QC

For her leading contribution towards a range of cases in the fields of equality, civil liberties,and human rights, including Eweida v. British Airways, HJ and HT v. Secretary of State for the Home Department and JM v. UK, and her continuing commitment to eradicate discrimination, injustice and protect essential rights and freedoms.

Independent Voice of the Year

Rt Hon David Davis MP

For his steadfast commitment to the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms in the fight against terrorism. In particular for his work in holding the Government to account over allegations of collusion in torture during the war on terror and the part he played in securing a public inquiry into the treatment of detainees abroad. Also for his public, principled, and robust opposition to the unfair and ineffective control order regime.

Human Rights Close to Home Award

Sally Hyman

For her valiant campaign with Katie Miller, Bob Miller, Patricia Ross and Tracy Hynes in support of a secondary school pupil facing forced deportation to Iraq – bringing new and much-needed attention to the shameful ordeal of child detention and bureaucratic nightmare of the asylum system for the young and vulnerable.

Human Rights Campaign of the Year Award

The Guardian – The Torture Files

For Ian Cobain and Richard Norton-Taylor's meticulous investigation into Britain's complicity in the use of torture. Their campaign shone a light on this shameful chapter in British history and they continue to uncover uncomfortable truths about the UK's role in the war on terror at home and abroad.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Lord Bingham of Cornhill

Lord Bingham proved an inspiration to anyone – legal professional or lay person – who holds dear their hard-won rights and freedoms and believes that human rights are universal and non-negotiable. Having held office as Master of the Rolls, Lord Chief Justice and Senior Law Lord, he was Britain's most distinguished legal mind.


2nd December   

Update: Age Old Concerns...

New German law requires websites rate themselves with an age rating
Link Here

In Germany, a few blogs and websites have already decided to throw in the towel before a new law comes into effect from January 1, 2011.

The so-called Jugendmedienschutz-Staatsvertrag (JMStV) will task anyone operating a .de domain with adding an age certificate to his or her website.

Sounds like a dumb idea, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it is set to become reality due to politicians ratifying the law in the parliaments of Germany's 16 federal states.

Age verification processes are already in place for German porn sites, which require users to have their age and identity checked to make sure they're not simply using dad's credit card. Verification using Deutsche Post's Postident identity check is the preferred method.

As a consequence, popular German blog has said it will go offline on New Year's Eve. states it doesn't have the resources to check all of its content and comments, nor does it have the technical resources to slap an 18 certificate on it, make certain its readers are 18 and above using Postident, or simply put the site online at midnight and take it offline again in the early hours.

It seems the only people set to profit are lawyers, who are going to have a field day next year. Lawyers are expected to start sending out cease and desist letters to websites, telling them they're breaking the law and have to pay a couple of thousand euros.


2nd December   

Sucking the Life out of Christmas Fun...

Christian Voice whinges at Twilight advent calendar
Link Here

Christian Voice is demanding Tesco pull a sinful Twilight advent calendar from its stores because it offends Christians.

Christian Voice says mixing religion with the cult vampire series is deeply offensive to Christians.

It's sickening to see the message of Jesus Christ being hijacked to peddle a brand like Twilight, which to all intents and purposes proclaims an anti-religious cult, said Stephen Green, national director of the group: Twilight may be fiction, but it is dangerous to mix-up such a story in the minds of impressionable children with that of the Nativity.

The Twilight Eclipse calendar features a picture of actress Kristen Stewart, and her two rivals in love - Edward the vampire and Jacob the werewolf.

Tesco apologised if anyone was offended but said it always gives customers a choice, adding: Twilight is a very popular brand and we aim to provide the types of products our customers would like to buy.'


2nd December   

Update: Hones Comment...

'Fair Comment' law examined in the UK Supreme Court
Link Here
Full story: Censorship by Libel...British libel law allows the rich to censor the truth

This appeal required the Supreme Court to consider the defence of fair comment in defamation proceedings, in particular the extent to which the factual background giving rise to the comment had to be referred to with the comment itself and be accurately stated.

The respondents are members of a musical group known as The Gillettes or Saturday Night at the Movies.

The appellants provide entertainment booking services.

The Gillettes appointed the booking agency to promote their acts, entering into a contract which included a re-engagement clause, under which any further bookings at the same venue in the following 12 months had to be made through the appellants.

The booking agency arranged a booking for the Gillettes at Bibis restaurant in Leeds. The Gillettes agreed to perform again at Bibis three weeks later without reference to the agency.

The agency emailed the band to complain of the breach of the re-engagement clause. A band member replied, contending that the contract was mearly (sic) a formality and holds no water in legal terms and that the other Gillettes were not bound by the re-engagement clause as they had not signed the contract.

The booking agency thereafter posted a notice on their website announcing that they were no longer representing the Gillettes as they were not professional enough to feature in our portfolio and have not been able to abide by the terms of their contract and that following a breach of contract Craig Joseph who runs The Gillettes and Saturday Night at the Movies has advised 1311 Events that the terms and conditions of "contracts hold no water in legal terms". For this reason it may follow that the artists obligations for your booking may also not be met….'

The Gillettes issued proceedings for libel, alleging that the posting meant that they were unprofessional and unlikely to honour any bookings made for them to perform.

The booking agency relied principally on the defences of justification and fair comment. Both were struck out in the High Court. The Court of Appeal reinstated the defence of justification but upheld the striking out of fair comment.


The Supreme Court unanimously allows the appeal and holds that the defence of fair comment should be open to the agency.

A 'fair comment' must indicate in general terms the facts on which the comment is based, so that the reader was in a position to judge for himself how far the comment was well founded

However this defence had originated in respect of comments about work products such as books and plays, which necessarily identified the product. It had been complicated by developments which extended the defence to cover the conduct of individuals, where this was of public interest.

Today many people take advantage of the internet to make public comments and the defence would be robbed of much of its efficacy if readers had to be given detailed information to enable evaluation of the comment.

The Supreme Court agreed that there was a case for reform of a number of aspects of the defence of fair comment which did not arise directly in this case.

The whole area merited consideration by the Law Commission or an expert committee. The only more general reform being made by this judgment was the re-naming of the defence from fair comment to honest comment .

Applying the law to the facts of this case, the posting by the booking agency referred to the breach of contract relating to the Bibis restaurant, and to the Gillettes' email, and these facts could be relied on. The email arguably evidenced a contemptuous approach to the Gillettes' contractual obligations to the agency. The email as quoted arguably evidenced a contemptuous attitude to contracts in general.

It would be a matter for the jury to decide whether the inaccuracy in the quotation made a significant difference.

The defence should therefore be reinstated.


2nd December   

Update: Fantasm Revisited...

More on Fantasm and Fantasm Comes Again
Link Here

Fantasm is a 1975 Australian sex comedy by Richard Franklin.

Fantasm Comes Again is a 1977 Australia sex comedy by Colin Eggleston. See IMDb

Both films are softcore. But you can glimpse John Holmes's erection very briefly in an underwater sex scene (which was mostly cut by the OFLC on original release) but it really is blink and miss it.

According to David Stratton's The Last New Wave (a bible on 70s Aussie cinema), Fantasm Comes Again was one of the most heavily cut films of its time, so it's ironic that it's suffered far less BBFC cuts than its predecessor. That said, one state (Queensland) banned Fantasm at the time.

As for Fantasm Comes Again , the makers did spend a day shooting hardcore material so that a stronger version could be made available. That footage is now lost and has never appeared in any version of the film that anyone knows about. (Info from Antony Ginnane's commentary on the Australian DVD.)


1st December   

Update: Underwhelming...

The Great Law Repeal Bonfire limited to a match and a couple of twigs
Link Here

Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality Theresa May has announced that the socio-economic duty, which was created as part of the 2010 Equality Act, will be scrapped.

The announcement came as the Home Secretary outlined a new approach to equalities that rejects political correctness and social engineering.

In a speech at the Coin Street Community Centre in south London, the Home Secretary announced plans to tackle inequality by treating people as individuals rather than labelling them in groups, and ending the top-down approach that saw Whitehall trying to impose equality from above.

At least there is at least one welcome twig on the government bonfire. The speech also included the Home Secretary announcing that a measure in the Freedom Bill will allow people who were prosecuted for having consensual gay sex at a time when this was illegal to apply to have their convictions deleted from criminal records.

Up to 12,000 men will be treated more fairly thanks to the changes relating to convictions for consesual gay sex with over 16s.

The Freedom Bill, due to be published by February next year, will change the law so that people can apply to have such convictions deleted from the Police National Computer.

Until 1967 gay sex was illegal, and many men who were convicted in the 1960s now find themselves unable to volunteer with charities because criminal record checks show they have been convicted of a sexual offence.'


1st December   

Carry On Crabbie...

ASA dismisses whinges about Crabbies alcoholic ginger beer advert
Link Here

A radio ad, for Crabbies alcoholic ginger beer, stated Another Wizard Crabbies gastro pub get together . A man said OK Peter, Amy wants the pork and I fancy the Mediterranean tart . Peter said Ticketyboo! And what about you Sarah? Sarah said I think I'll go for the chef's T-bone with nut stuffing . Amy said Are you sure Sarah? I had it last time and it was very filling . Sarah said Cripes! You're right Amy, maybe I should stick with my special burger . Peter said Wizard! I'll go order. All we need now is the warming spices of Crabbies alcoholic ginger beer served over ice with a slice . A voice-over said Crabbies alcoholic ginger beer. Refreshing ginger beer only for grown-ups . Peter said I say gang, does anybody want my spotted dick?

1. Four listeners objected that the ad was inappropriate for broadcast at a time when children would hear it because it contained sexual innuendos.

2. One of those listeners, who reported that his three-and-a-half-year-old heard the ad and had since been asking for Crabbies alcoholic ginger beer , also complained that the ad promoted an alcoholic drink in a playful way that was likely to appeal to children.

BCAP Code Response

ASA Assessment

1. Not upheld

We acknowledged that the ad contained sexual innuendos and was broadcast at a time when children might hear it. However, we considered that, because the innuendos were mild and unlikely to be understood by young children, they were unlikely to cause harm or otherwise be considered unsuitable for them. We concluded that the ad was acceptable without a scheduling restriction.

2. Not upheld

We considered that the style of the ad was unlikely to be of particular appeal to listeners under the age of 18 and that the content was clearly directed at people over the age of 18. We concluded that the ad did not breach the Code.


1st December   

Updated: A Nearly Nasty...

New DVD/Blu-ray Steelbook release of Shogun Assassin
Link Here

Shogun Assassin is a 1980 Japan/US action film by Robert Houston. See IMDb

Passed 18 uncut for:

  • UK 2010 Eureka Limited Edition Steelbook R2 DVD/RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon now released
  • UK 2009 Eureka Lone Wolf & Cub Boxset R2 DVD at UK Amazon
  • UK 2009 Cornerstone R0 DVD
  • UK 2000 Vipco R0 DVD
  • UK 2000 Vipco VHS
  • UK 1999 Horror Video

Previously Vipco released the pre-cert video and it got caught up in the video nasties panic . Copies were seized and the distributors were prosecuted. But the prosecution failed and the videos were returned. Shogun Assassin was never officially listed as a video nasty by the DPP.

Review from US Amazon : A great film

Shogun Assassin is a great film. Much "controversy" has arisen over the years regarding this film having been cobbled together from two other films in the Lone Wolf series. I think that what has been achieved is an extremely entertaining, fast-paced piece of action. By eliminating non-essential story lines and including a voice over narration, the action moves at break neck speed.

The amount of blood spilled is so over the top as to be cartoonish, which only adds to the uniqueness of the movie.

If you have never seen Shogun Assassin or have seen it a thousand times, buy this DVD, it is well worth it.

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