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Censor Watch

2012: December

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Carry on Prudery...

ITV censor old nudist film featuring in Carry on Camping

Link Here31st December 2012

As a fan of the old Carry On films and Carry On Camping being an old favourite I was shocked to discover recently that ITV has deleted the old nude scene involving naturists being shown at a cinema at the beginning of the film.

In the past I recall it was never censored even when it was shown early in the afternoon and well before the 9.00pm watershed and it was never censored when I first saw Carry On Camping back in the 1970s.

All of a sudden in the last few months ITV decide to censor the nude scene. What a let down.

It appears that ITV also cut the famous Barbara Windsor bra flying off scene too. I remember watching that when I was 12 yrs old back in the 70s with my parents in the afternoon. Who'd think that in more enlightened times, when people are generally exposed to more nudity, ITV would actually become more prudish



Fratriarchal Rule...

Egyptian government said to be plotting total control of the media

Link Here31st December 2012

Egypt's opposition group, the Popular Front, has said that it had laid hands on a leaked document signed by the Muslim Brotherhood's deputy chairman Khairat al-Shater in which he urged the government to claim total control of the media. Shater reportedly also called for shutting down TV channels owned by opposition groups.

Al-Tahreer newspaper reported that Shater even advised his brethren at the helm of Egypt's policy making to find ways to contain the more radical Salafi Islamists. Salafis have strongly stood by the Brotherhood in recent constitutional battles, but the Brotherhood see extremist Islamists as potential future threats.

The powerful businessman of the Brotherhood also urged the shift of all sovereign duties of the ministry of foreign affairs to Dr. Issam Haddad, and discussing the proposal of Dr. Mahmood Ghezlan on cleansing the media from remnants of the departed regime and closing down, gradually, all private TV channels.



Update: An Alternative View of Burma...

Privately owned newspapers to be unbanned from April 2013

Link Here30th December 2012
Full story: Press Censorship in Burma...World leaders in oppressive censorship

Privately owned newspapers are to be allowed in Burma from April 2013 for the first time in almost 50 years, the government has announced.

The information ministry said on its website that any Burmese national wishing to set up a newspaper could submit an application from February. It said newspapers would be permitted in any language from 1 April 2013.

The move follows the abolition of direct government censorship of the media in April 2012. Correspondents say it was expected as part of the latest reforms in Burma.



A Risible Contribution to the Blame Game...

Nutter MP in India claims that movie sex and violence led to the Delhi gang rape

Link Here30th December 2012

A member of India's upper house in parliament, Parimal Nathwani, has claimed that there is an urgent need to re-look at censoring of films and that 'threadbare' censorship laws need to be reviewed.

In a statement condoling the death of the Delhi gang rape victim, he said that while a strict punishment for crime against women was imperative to set deterrents in the system, at the same time, he said, stringent scrutiny of the sex, violence and crime-related aspects in Hindi cinema was also the need of the hour. And to show off his depth of thinking, he spouted:

The argument that 'spectators want it and that is why we show it' is just rubbish. Also, to tell that films show what happens in the society is also untrue.

He demanded complete overhaul and restructuring of the censorship systems and laws, adding that the way in which sex and crime were projected in films had an adverse influence on sinful minds who were tempted to venture into such crimes.



Nutters Stick their Oars In...

A miserable NUS whinge about Warwick University rowers and their naked calendar

Link Here29th December 2012

The National Union of Students has had a whinge at student societies raising funds and supporting charities through 'naked' calendars.

Notably the University of Warwick's Boat Club has produced a female and a male naked rowing club calendar. The later (photographed) has heavily featured in the gay press because it is to raise money for the former rugby player Ben Cohen's StandUp Foundation that combats homophobic bullying. The Boat Club explains the background behind the calendars:

For the fourth year running, Warwick Rowing's Senior Men have stripped off to reveal all. Following the club's most successful season in it's 44 year history, the boys are proud to produce yet another calendar for your enjoyment. The club relies heavily on its fundraising events and this has turned out to be the most successful. We wonder why!

On top of the Men's calendar we are pleased to announce the arrival of our first ever WOMEN'S NAKED CALENDAR!! Our girls have followed in the footsteps of the Men and ripped off their lycra onesies for your pleasure and entertainment. They have decided that a portion of their calendar sales will be going to Macmillan Cancer Research and will be specifically spent on research into cervical cancer.

But of course where there's fun and fund raising, there's sure to be a few misery guts not far behind. The National Union of Students says that universities should be safe places which champion equality and dignity . Kelley Temple, the NUS women's officer spouted to the Times:

Not only do the women in these calendars find their photographs on pornographic websites without their consent, they also receive on-going harassment on campus. More generally they contribute to an increasingly toxic air of misogyny and objectification on some campuses.



Update: Censor Double Speak...

Indian TV 'regulators' have a whinge at double entendre in comedy

Link Here29th December 2012
Full story: TV Censorship in India...India considers the regulation of TV for adults

The Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) has issued an advisory to India broadcasters whingeing at double entendres in comedy.

According to BCCC staff, there is a lot of double-meaning language being used in comedy shows, and sometimes it crosses the line towards vulgarity on various channels, and they have received complaints regarding it. AP Shah, BCCC Chairperson, spouted in a statement:

Comedy is an intrinsic part of our life and it is only natural that TV channels produce and telecast programmes that are humorous and light-hearted. The BCCC, however, feels that the line that divides healthy comedy from vulgarity, obscenity and double-meaning language must be strictly adhered to.

This is necessary to ensure that the social message sent across through various comedy shows to millions of viewers does not overstep this all-important threshold. We are confident that the channels which telecast comedy shows will keep this in mind.

The organisation, a self-censorship body for non-news general entertainment channels, has also asked channels to pay special attention to the issue of the supposed sexualisation of children on television shows.



Update: Dangerous Art...

Pakistan arts college recalls journal featuring controversial paintings after receiving threats of violence

Link Here29th December 2012

Pakistan's leading arts college has sparked an uproar in Pakistan. A series of paintings depicting Muslim clerics in scenes with strong homosexual overtones has led to the inevitable threats of violence by muslim extremists..

The National College of Arts in Lahore shut down its Journal of Contemporary Art and Culture, which published the paintings, pulled all its issues out of bookstores and dissolved its editorial board. The controversial pictures were a series of paintings by artist Muhammad Ali.

A court is now considering whether the paintings' artist, the journal's board and the school's head can be charged with blasphemy.

Two works were claimed to have insulted Islam by mixing images of Muslim clerics with suggestions of homosexuality. One titled Call for Prayer shows a cleric and a shirtless young boy sitting beside each other on a cot. The cleric fingers rosary beads as he gazes at the boy, who stretches backward with his hands clasped behind his head.

A second painting shows the same cleric reclining in front of a Muslim shrine, holding a book by Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho in one hand as he lights a cigarette for a young boy with the other. A second young boy, who is naked with his legs strategically crossed to cover his genitals, sits at the cleric's feet. The painting has caused particular uproar because verses from the Quran, appear on the shrine.

Mumtaz Mangat, a lawyer who petitioned the courts to impose blasphemy charges, argued the first image implied the cleric had fun with the boy before conducting the traditional Muslim call for prayer.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa, widely believed to be a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group, issued a statement after the paintings were published demanding the college issue a public apology and withdraw all issues of the journal.

College staff members also began receiving anonymous text messages threatening violence, said a member of the journal's editorial board.



Update: Blocking Criticism...

China strengthens measures requiring companies to extract real names from web users

Link Here29th December 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship

China's legislature has approved new rules that will further tighten government control of the Internet by requiring users to register their real names, and demanding Internet companies censor online material.

The state-run Xinhua News Agency says lawmakers approved the measures Friday at the closing meeting of a five-day session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

The move seems to be in response to the runaway success of Weibo, a micro-blogging service similar to Twitter, which has exposed corruption and other abuses of official power.

China has long tried to get Internet users to register their real names rather than pseudonyms with service providers without total success. The new rules lay the groundwork to police companies that are not complying with the government's censorship policies



No Truth in the Materialisation of Corpus Christi...

BBFC reply to false rumours about a movie featuring a gay Christ

Link Here28th December 2012

Ongoing rumors about a film that portrays Jesus and his disciples as gay men has sparked a couple of complaints to the BBFC even though it doesn't exist.

Speculation has been rife that Terrence McNally's controversial play Corpus Christi has been turned into a movie.

BBFC senior examiner Craig Lapper insisted it was untrue:

I think it was a bit of an internet hoax several years ago suggesting a film was being made of the play in which Jesus and his disciples were portrayed as homosexuals, and I can remember replying to people concerned about this blasphemous film back in the late 1990s.

And this year again, for whatever reason, there was another spike in people writing to us to insist that we ban this terrible blasphemous film.

We just had to write back and say, "This film doesn't exist".

The BBFC received six complaints accusing the film of being blasphemous and offensive in 2011 and another two this year.

Perhaps this is something to with a new US thriller in production by Richard Kelly that carries the same title, Corpus Christi .



Update: Depravity Not Obscenity...

Remy Couture cleared of obscenity over special effects laden short films about a gruesome serial killer

Link Here24th December 2012

A Canadian jury has cleared Remy Couture of obscenity charges relating to his film making.

He was charged with three counts of corrupting morals by distributing, possessing and producing obscene material. The material in question depicts gruesome murders, torture, sexual abuse, assaults and necrophilia --- all with young female victims.

Remy Couture received the verdict after two days of jury deliberation at a Montreal courthouse. He told reporters:

It's like a 400-pound weight has been lifted. It's been the most stressful thing I've ever had to go through in my life.

Couture said the ruling means he can continue to create his art, without infringement on his right to free expression.

During the trial, Couture argued his gory works, roughly a thousand images and two short videos that appeared on Couture's website, Inner Depravity , should be considered art. The website was part of a personal project by Couture designed to raise the bar of his make-up and special effects work. Couture, who is self-taught, sought to bring a psychopathic killer character of his own making to life. Couture described it as a sort of fake diary of a serial killer, complete with his own universe inspired by horror movies and literature.

All of the works were staged with willing actresses and a combination of fake blood, latex and silicone to create life-like, horrific images. Couture testified the reason behind the work was to highlight his skills and abilities as a master of special effects horror and that the goal is to make his work look believable.

Defence experts testified that Couture's work was in line with other similar work in the genre. A university cinema professor testified that what was acceptable in the genre had changed greatly over the span seven decades.

The artist told reporters that he was approached by a police detective about a pleading out and getting an absolute discharge in the case, but Couture has said that he went ahead out of principle. He said that pleading guilty or settling could set a dangerous precedent and raise questions about other kinds of work done by artists.



Unsheathed Swords...

Benjamin's Britten's opera, The Rape of Lucretia cut in 1946

Link Here24th December 2012

One of Benjamin Britten's most famous operas was censored and branded obscene before it reached the stage, a new biography of the composer will reveal.

The original version of The Rape of Lucretia was branded obscene and was censored before it reached the stage.

Records from the Lord Chamberlain's Office, which had powers of censorship over theatrical productions at the time, reveal how the work caused 'outrage' with its sexually-suggestive language.

The opera, written in 1946 by Britten and the librettist Ronald Duncan, was originally inspired by a Shakespeare poem. It tells the classical tale of the rape of Lucretia, a Roman noblewoman, by Tarquinius, a prince -- leading to her suicide and a popular uprising against the king.

Britten's original arrangement saw the Male Chorus singing:

He takes her hand
And places it upon his unsheathed sword

followed by the Female Chorus singing:

Thus wounding her with an equal lust
A wound only his sword can heal

A theatre censor wrote:

I most certainly think we should draw the line at the somewhat transparent effort by the Chorus on page 5 of Act II to wrap up an ugly fact in pretty language. It is little better than the obscenities in Lady Chatterley's Lover.

The licence to perform The Rape of Lucretia was only granted subject to the removal of the offending lines. For the opera's first performance in July 1946, they were replaced with:

Tarquinius: Poised like a dart
Lucretia : At the heart of woman
Male Chorus: Man climbs towards his God
Female Chorus: Then falls to his lonely hell

The findings appear in Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century by Paul Kildea which is set to be published on 3rd February next year to mark the composer's centenary.



Working Hard!...

ATVOD investigate 1 complaint in September

Link Here24th December 2012

94 new complaints were received during September. Of these:

  • 39 complaints were referred to the service provider in the first instance
  • 23 were deemed to be out of remit after an initial assessment
  • 31 are awaiting identification of the service
  • 1 was subject to a full investigation which resulted in a determination that no breach had occurred. The complaint concerned an alleged failure to notify ATVOD of a VOD service.



Update: Happy News for the Whole Internet...

Italian court overturns convictions of Google execs who were somehow held responsible for a user posted video

Link Here23rd December 2012

An Italian court has overturned the conviction of three Google executives found guilty of breaking Italian law by allowing a video of a bullied teenager to be posted online.

The clip was uploaded in 2006 and the employees were given six-month suspended jail sentences in 2010. Google had appealed against the ruling, saying it had removed the video within two hours of being notified by the authorities.

The offending video clip was a mobile phone upload showing four students at a school in Turin bullying the victim. Prosecutors had highlighted that it had been online for two months despite several users posting comments calling for its removal.

A Google spokesman said:

We're very happy that the verdict has been reversed and our colleagues' names have been cleared.

Of course, while we're all delighted with the appeal, our thoughts continue to be with the family who have been through the ordeal.

Giovanni Maria Riccio, professor of IT Law at the University of Salerno, described the ruling as a landmark decision :

Another condemnation for Google would had jeopardised investments of big internet players in Italy and would had a negative impact also on small operators and ISPs [internet service providers], which are not in the condition of monitoring contents on their service, he told the BBC.

It is a happy news not only for Italy, but for the whole internet.



Update: Unfree Saudi Liberals...

Charges against webmaster of religious discussion website elevated to apostasy

Link Here23rd December 2012
Full story: Blogging in Saudi...Saudi bloggers arrested and imprisoned

Saudi authorities should immediately drop all charges against the detained editor of a website created to foster debate about religion and religious figures in Saudi Arabia.

On December 17, 2012, the Jeddah District Court, which had been hearing the case against the editor, Raif Badawi, referred it to a higher court on a charge of apostasy, which carries the death penalty. The charges against him, based solely to Badawi's involvement in setting up a website for peaceful discussion about religion and religious figures, violate his right to freedom of expression.

Eric Goldstein, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch said:

Badawi's life hangs in the balance because he set up a liberal website that provided a platform for an open and peaceful discussion about religion and religious figures. Saudi Arabia needs to stop treating peaceful debate as a capital offense.

A member of Badawi's family told Human Rights Watch that during the December 17 hearing, Judge Muhammad al-Marsoom prevented Badawi's lawyer from representing his client in court and demanded that Badawi repent to God. The judge informed Badawi that he could face the death penalty if he did not repent and renounce his liberal beliefs, the family member said.

Badawi refused, leading Judge al-Marsoom to refer the case to the Public Court of Jeddah, recommending that it try Badawi for apostasy.

Prior to the December 17 hearing, Badawi had been charged with insulting Islam through electronic channels and going beyond the realm of obedience, neither of which carries the death penalty. A different judge presided over five sessions of the trial but was replaced without explanation for the December 17 hearing by Judge al-Marsoom.

Security forces arrested Badawi, a 30-year-old from the port city of Jeddah, on June 17. Badawi in 2008 was co-founder of the Free Saudi Liberals website, an online platform for debating religious and political matters in Saudi Arabia.

Update: Jailed for 7 years and 600 lashes

30th July 2013. See  article from

A Saudi court sentenced  Raef Badawi to seven years in jail and 600 lashes for setting up a "liberal" network and alleged insults to Islam, activists said.

A judge had referred Badawi in December to a higher court for alleged apostasy, a charge that could lead to the death penalty in the ultra-conservative kingdom. But thankfully the charge of apostasy was dropped.

Update: Jailed for 10 years and 1000 lashes

11th May 2014. See article from

A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced the editor of an internet forum he founded to discuss the role of religion in the country to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes, according to reports in the Saudi media.

Raif Badawi, who started the Free Saudi Liberals website, was originally sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes in July last year, but an appeals court overturned the sentence and ordered a retrial.

Apart from imposing a stiffer sentence on Badawi in his retrial, the judge at the criminal court in Jeddah also fined him 1m riyals. Badawi's website has been closed since his first trial.

His lawyers said the sentence was too harsh, although the prosecutor had demanded a harsher penalty, the news website Sabq reported. The ruling is subject to appeal.



Offsite Article: I don't understand what you mean by censorship...

Link Here23rd December 2012
Chinese ambassador to UK interviewed on Newsnight

See article from




The new definitive version with cuts restored set for Blu-ray/DVD combo release

Link Here22nd December 2012

Dracula is a 1958 UK horror by Terrence Fisher.
With Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Michael Gough. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: The Definitive Restoration Version was passed 12 uncut for moderate gory horror for:

  • UK 2013 Lions Gate Blu-ray/DVD Combo

See  article from , February 2012: Restored

Thanks to the efforts of a fan based in Japan, Hammer Films finally acquired the surviving footage from the extended cut in 2011 for inclusion in a forthcoming definitive restoration. The film contained a number of extended scenes, among them a shot of Dracula tearing his face off during the disintegration climax.

We have reviewed the restoration of the Japanese footage to Dracula. It was incredibly exciting to see the two long-lost moments in the context of the BFI's restoration.

Molinare have done a superb job restoring this footage, considering the state of the reels (you'll be able to compare and contrast on the eventual Blu-ray; we're going to release all four surviving Japanese reels unrestored as a single extra).

The moment where the Count leans-in over Mina is full of transgressive threat and erotic charge (one can easily see how this moment had to be cut in 1958) though the footage does not actually include a bite (contrary to wishful thinking in some quarters).

The face-clawing scene is truly magnificent and sits perfectly within the last few seconds of the film.

Note that although extra material was re-inserted, other less important material was dropped to preserve the running time, and hence keep the audio track in sync.



Update: The Christian Film and Television Commission Recommend Django Unchained...

'the most violent scenes we've ever seen in more than 27 years of reviewing movies'

Link Here 22nd December 2012
Full story: Quentin Tarantino Movies...Django Unchained, Inglorious Basterds

The Christian Film & Television Commission, an nutter group in Hollywood, is petitioning the MPAA to change the rating of the 'ultra-violent' new western from Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained , from R to NC-17. [Note that in UK terms R is a 17A and NC-17 is in fact an 18 rating].

Founder and spokesman Dr. Ted Baehr spouted:

This movie ends with two of the most violent scenes we've ever seen in more than 27 years of reviewing movies. As countless research studies and recent events in Connecticut have shown, some young boys and men like to imitate the violence they see in movies, TV, and video games.

The group claims that the movie shows blood erupting like lava from bodies when people are shot. Also in the movie, a slave is eaten by dogs and a man hanging upside down is threatened with castration.

The group has started a petition calling for the NC-17 rating.



Update: The Answer is More Guns...

Gun lobby boss rants against violent media

Link Here22nd December 2012

Public relations experts who have experience working with the gun industry expressed horror at the National Rifle Association's response to the Newtown shootings.

The group's executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, struck a ranting tone, blaming the video game industry and media for exposing youth to a culture of violence, and calling for armed police or security guards in schools: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, LaPierre claimed.

He spoke of video games and movies:

There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people, through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat , and Splatterhouse .

Then there's the blood-soaked slasher films like American Psycho and Natural Born Killers that are aired like propaganda loops on Splatterdays and every day, and a thousand music videos that portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life. And then they have the nerve to call it entertainment.

But is that what it really is? Isn't fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?

In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes every minute of every day of every month of every year.

Public relations professionals reached by The Huffington Post said the timing of his message, which broke a week of silence in the wake of the tragic murder of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, could be an irredeemable mistake for the group.



Update: Tory Hero Dominic Raab...

40 Tory MPs set to oppose the Government's Snooper's Charter

Link Here22nd December 2012
Full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping

Nasty plans for a snoopers charter' were in turmoil last night after 40 Tory MPs threatened a full-scale revolt.

They are demanding major changes to the Communications Bill. The backbenchers say the Bill's scope must be limited to terrorism and the most serious crimes if Britain is not to be turned into a nation of suspects.

Tory MP Dominic Raab has collected the names of 40 colleagues who will sign an open letter opposing the Bill unless it is substantially amended:

  1. "We urge you to limit the application of the Bill to terrorist offences and the most serious crimes, limit access to such data to the intelligence agencies, SOCA and the police, and make the regime subject to judicial warrant as a safeguard against abuse."
  2. "From a law enforcement perspective, there has been no explanation as to how those using foreign internet and communications service providers will be prevented from circumventing the regime."
  3. "Equally, given the public sector's woeful track record of protecting personal data, we are concerned about the vulnerability of the scheme to both the negligence of officials and attempts to infiltrate the system by those with criminal intent. We would urge you to consult in further detail with the Information Commissioner, internet providers, telephone companies and other external experts, to test the technical integrity of the proposals."
  4. "Finally, the Home Office estimates the proposals would cost £2 billion. The Committee stated that these estimates 'are not robust'. We urge Ministers to subject the proposals to external audit and re-consider their law enforcement cost-benefit in light of the suggestions made, above, to limit their breadth and tighten their focus."

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has already demanded the Government return to the drawing board . Now the prospect of a rebellion by both Coalition parties means ministers may have to rely on Labour support. However, the Opposition has yet to say where it stands on the issue.

The 40 MPs are unnamed but Raab said the 40 MPs include 19 first elected in 2010, a group who have proved they will take a stand on issues of importance.



The Toxic Avenger...

The Japanese Cut has just been released on US DVD

Link Here21st December 2012

The Toxic Avenger is a 1984 USA action comedy horror sci-fi by Michael Herz & Lloyd Kaufman.
With Andree Maranda, Mitch Cohen and Jennifer Prichard. YouTube icon IMDb

US: The Japanese Cut is MPAA Unrated for:

See  article from : Cool to See But...

The Japanese cut is longer and it has some alternate plot development and character development footage but don't go in expecting much more in the way of sex or gore when compared to the director's cut version.

If you don't already have the director's cut DVD, this is probably the one you want to go for as it is the longest, but it doesn't necessarily flow better.

Censorship History

There is also a Director's Cut which is MPAA Unrated for:

UK releases have all been cut, and mostly massively so, but cuts have not not been attributed directly to the BBFC. But of course cut versions may have been submitted in historic fear of the BBFC.

The best UK version was the 2003 Prism DVD reportedly pre-cut for nunchuks used in a restaurant robbery and the killing of a boy on a bike. But at least this version was based on the Director's Cut.




BBFC dig out the Gremlins from their archive

Link Here21st December 2012

The BBFC writes:

Merry Christmas from the BBFC! Our seasonal gift from the archive is a set of examiner reports for Gremlins , Joe Dante's 1984 horror-comedy which features rampaging little creatures who would most certainly find themselves on Father Christmas' naughty list.

Gremlins was submitted to the BBFC in June 1984, and the issues it raised for examiners were similar to those discussed during the classification of Indiana Jones And The Temple of Doom only one month earlier. The film's distributor - Columbia-EMI-Warner - wanted a PG certificate for Gremlins, and it had already been rated PG in the U.S. Reflecting a complex mix of horror, adventure and comedy in an age rating that caters for family audiences is a careful balancing act for BBFC examiners, especially in this case as the examiners saw the film as a clear 15...

...Read the full article



Update: Pandering to the Daily Mail...

Cameron designs some new flexible website blocking software on the back of a fag packet

Link Here21st December 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

When the Department of Education last week released the results of its public consultation on whether or not pornography should be automatically banned by internet providers, the overriding message was clear. There was no great appetite among parents for the introduction of default filtering of the internet, the Department declared. What parents wanted, instead, was the option to filter content and better knowledge of how to do that in order to protect their children from online porn.

After months of threatening internet providers with an automatic porn ban, the Government seemed to relent and recognise that policing the internet was primarily a job for parents, not the state. Yet in the course of just a few days Downing Street appears to have swung back the other way after receiving a mauling in the Daily Mail.

Cameron envisages is a system whereby anyone installing a new computer at home and connects to the web will be asked whether there are any children in the home. If there are, parents will be automatically required to tailor their internet blocking. If a parent skips too quickly through the filter process the highest restrictions will automatically remain in place. It will be the job of internet providers, rather than computer manufacturers, to come up with the blocking software.

Downing Street officials insisted that the announcement was not a U-turn on porn filters and that Cameron's announcement was simply a way of illustrating what the Government has planned to give parents more control. But the onus is nonetheless firmly placed on internet providers to come up with mandatory blocking with Whitehall sources indicating that a legislative backstop would be brought in they refused to co-operate.

That has caused concern among web providers, most of whom already offer content filters to their customers as a matter of course. One source involved in negotiations with the Government described Cameron's announcement as an example of goal posts being moved .

This is a back-of-the-fag-packet policy reversal announced after the Government's own public consultation decided just a week ago that further filtering wouldn't work, said Jim Killock, from Open Rights Group, which campaigns against digital restrictions.

Nick Pickles, from the Big Brother Watch, added: Mr Cameron seems to be suggesting a combination of network filtering and device filtering that isn't even available at the moment, let alone possible. The danger here is it will alienate the ISPs who thought they'd been involved in the consultation process.



Update: Funnily Enough...

Ofcom dismisses whinges about Lorna Bliss in a sexy outfit on the X Factor

Link Here21st December 2012
Full story: UK TV Talent Shows...A talent for whingeing

The X Factor
ITV1, 9 September 2012, 20:00

The episode of The X Factor broadcast on 9 September 2012 was pre-recorded and showed early auditions that took place in London. One of the participants in this programme was a Britney Spears impersonator named Lorna Bliss. The programme started at 20:00 and Lorna's performance was shown at approximately 20:50.

A total of 35 complainants alerted Ofcom to her act. In summary the complainants considered the performance was inappropriate for broadcast during a family show because Lorna's outfit and performance were unsuitable for a child audience.

Ofcom noted that the programme featured a one and a half minute introductory piece about Lorna which included a short sequence filmed backstage with another auditionee who described her outfit as a bit see through ; and a sequence prior to her performance on stage in which she was seen talking, in a flirtatious manner, to a member of the production crew and later bending over to touch her toes (with her buttocks to camera) in order to warm up before her audition.

The sequence was followed by Lorna's one and a half minute performance to the audio track Dance 'Til the World Ends by Britney Spears, which consisted of: Lorna singing the track and performing a dance routine on stage; sitting astride the judge Louis Walsh and pushing his head into her breasts (although this image was limited); chasing the judge Gary Barlow around the auditorium; lying across the lap of a member of the audience who was seated; crawling across the floor and then walking back onto stage before the audio track was abruptly stopped. As she stood on stage, the camera briefly moved up her body, putting a focus on it and her outfit, before the audition ended.

Throughout the programme Lorna Bliss was shown wearing a lime green bikini (which exposed her buttocks) with a fishnet body stocking over the top and black boots. By the end of her performance her body stocking had slipped below her breasts, exposing her bikini top.

Ofcom considered Rule 1.3:

Children protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.

ITV said that:

By comparison, the outfit Lorna chose to wear on The X Factor consisted of an entirely opaque bra and thong, covered by a body stocking which was good deal less revealing than her Britney-style Toxic costume. ITV added that: [T]he performance was carefully edited, with a preponderance of wide shots whilst she was on stage, clambering over the judge's table or running around the arena and diving into the audience. Close ups on her whilst she was receiving the judge's (universally hostile) comments after the performance were focused on her face and her reactions to these comments.

The image of Lorna bending over to warm up prior to going on stage was included specifically to reflect Lorna's character as a performer. She was clearly being flirtatious with the production crew prior to going on stage and deliberately playing up to the camera by turning around and bending over in this way, but the shot was relatively brief and not in close up, and thus revealed no intimate detail of her anatomy, with her buttocks covered by her body stocking. The Licensee said that during her act Lorna did climb onto the judges' table and briefly grabbed Louis Walsh, who was clearly not responsive to this overture, but this was a clumsy gambit for attention's sake that was comical rather than erotic in tone. 

The single pan shot up her body whilst she stood on stage did not in our view render the sequence as a whole inappropriate, given her costume still sufficiently covered her body. We therefore considered her audition throughout to be saucy rather than being overtly erotic or sexualised.

Ofcom Decision: Not in Breach

Ofcom noted that Lorna Bliss' performance had some flirtatious overtones and included images of Lorna Bliss adopting some mildly provocative positions at the start of her performance and throughout. The most noticeable examples were: firstly, prior to her performance when she was warming up backstage, she bent over to touch her toes and her buttocks (covered by a fishnet body stocking) were briefly visible in a mid-shot; secondly, when she was sitting astride the judge Louis Walsh; and thirdly, once her act had finished and she was back on stage, the camera moved up her body, putting a focus on her outfit which was a bikini and a fishnet body stocking.

We noted the performance was mostly shot from a wide angle, so minimising the potential impact of the flirtatious or limited sexualised overtones of the act and as ITV highlighted, where there were close-up images, these focused on her face only, particularly to show her facial expressions when she received feedback from the judges, which was wholly negative. During Lorna's performance the camera shots changed quickly and the images were intercut with reactions from the judges and members of the audience, resulting in her actions and shots of the performance being very brief. Further, we noted that Lorna was not clearly visible as she moved through the audience, due to the poor lighting in that part of the auditorium.

Further, Ofcom Guidance states that broadcasters should ensure that the content is suitable for family viewing throughout the duration of the programme . We considered that despite Lorna's performance being broadcast at 20:50, the images of Lorna straddling the judge, Louis Walsh, and the single shot moving up Lorna's body, were potentially problematic given this was a pre-watershed programme.

However, we noted that these potentially problematic shots were very limited in terms of detail and duration. We considered, on balance, that the performance, taken as a whole, was presented in a style which sought to derive humour from the participant's conduct and interaction with the judges and the audience, and did not convey an overtly sexualised theme. Ofcom is nevertheless taking the opportunity to remind ITV to ensure that careful consideration is given to the use of such images in the broadcast of programmes scheduled before the 21:00 watershed.

Not in Breach of Rule 1.3



ASA Crying Over Spilt Beer...

Whingeing at beer give away promotion featuring Anna Watts

Link Here21st December 2012

A promotion on's Facebook page, featured an image of a woman wearing knickers and a vest pouring beer from a bottle into her mouth so that it spilled down her body. She was surrounded by several crates of branded beer. Text alongside stated We're giving away 20 crates of beer to one of our lucky fans ... Anna Watts not included! SHARE this photo to enter! (Ends midnight Sunday) .

A complainant challenged whether:

  1. the promotion linked alcohol to seduction, sexual activity or sexual success;

  2. the image was likely to cause serious or widespread offence to women;

  3. the promotion showed alcohol being handled irresponsibly;

  4. the promotion encouraged excessive drinking; and

  5. the promotion made alcohol available to under 18-year-olds.

Student Money Saver Ltd (SMS) said they had not intended to cause offence or breach advertising standards. They noted that out of 1.7 million people who had viewed the ad, only one had complained about it. They said that although they could not accept the points raised by the complainant, they would be paying close attention to the Code in future to reduce the risk of further complaints about their advertising.

Facebook said the ad violated their guidelines and policies. They had removed it and age-gated the page so that it could only be accessed to over 18s. They said advertisers were responsible for ensuring compliance with the advertising code.

ASA Assessment

1. Upheld

The ASA noted that the woman in the promotion was wearing a white vest rolled up to expose her mid-riff and knickers. She was seen pouring beer into her mouth seductively so that it spilled over and ran down her body, soaking her vest. We considered that her body language was provocative and sexually suggestive. We also noted that text in the ad stated Anna Watts not included! which we considered was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the idea that Ms Watts was available sexually. For these reasons, we concluded that the promotion linked alcohol to seduction and sexual success.

On this point, the promotion breached CAP Code rule 18.5 (Alcohol).

2. Not upheld

We noted that the promotion featured on SMS's Facebook page and was likely to be seen by women and men who were university students. We noted that the accompanying text Anna Watts not included! was a tongue-in-cheek reference to her not being part of the prize and considered that although Ms Watts was wearing only a vest and knickers, she was not dressed indecently. We understood that 385 comments were made about the promotion and only one was negative. We also understood that 1,629 Facebook users had liked the promotion. We considered that although the image was likely to be considered tasteless by some Facebook users, it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

On this point, we investigated the promotion under CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.

3. Upheld

We noted SMS's comment about the size of the bottle of beer but we disagreed. We considered that it was a large bottle of Stella Artois and we noted that the woman was pouring the beer into her mouth continuously so that it spilled down over her chin, rather than drinking it from the bottle in the usual manner. We noted that the bottle was part-empty and that she had already consumed about a third of the bottle. The woman was surrounded by approximately 20 boxes of beer and we considered that her casual and careless style of drinking, with the implication that there was plenty more alcohol to drink, portrayed a style of drinking that was unwise and showed alcohol being handled irresponsibly.

On this point, the promotion breached CAP Code rules 8.5 (Sales promotions), 18.1 and 18.11 (Alcohol).

4. Upheld

We considered that the way in which the woman was drinking the beer, together with the crates surrounding her, gave the impression that there was plenty more alcohol to drink and that the image alone encouraged excessive drinking. We noted the promotion stated We're giving away 20 crates of beer to one of our lucky fans and there was no suggestion that the prize could be shared with others at a social gathering. We therefore considered that the text added to this impression and concluded that the promotion condoned and encouraged excessive consumption of alcohol.

On this point, the promotion breached CAP Code rules 8.5 (Sales promotions), 18.1 and 18.10 (Alcohol).

5. Not upheld

We understood that SMS's Facebook page could be accessed by Facebook users of any age and although most visitors to the page were university students, it did not necessarily follow that all university students were aged 18 or over or that younger people could not access the page. We understood that SMS had not intended to award the prize to anyone under 18 and they had taken steps to ensure the winner was over 18 by e-mailing them and checking their Facebook profile. They provided copies of their e-mail correspondence with the winner and the winner's date of birth as displayed on their Facebook page, which indicated that they were 23 years of age. We concluded that because SMS had taken steps to verify the winner's age and had determined they were over 18, the promotion had not made alcohol available to under-18s. However, we welcomed SMS's assurance that if they were ever to run a similar promotion in future, they would make clear that it was only open to over 18s.

On this point, we investigated the promotion under CAP Code rule 8.4 (Sales promotion) but did not find it in breach.



Comment: Talk about rape myths...

Unimpressed by the leading comments from moderators in the BBFC research

Link Here21st December 2012
Full story: BBFC on Sexual Violence...BBFC announces a change of policy on sexual violence

From the BBFC so-called research: A review of policy: Sexual and sadistic violence in films [pdf]

When participants first watched this clip [from 3D Sex & Zen], there was a lot of laughter and ridicule of the scene. When the moderator pointed out the potential damage of a scene of rape turning into consensual sex, some participants agreed that this could be harmful. This idea was thought to be particularly damaging to young males who may not have enough experience to put this into a sensible context. However, some participants did not think this would be harmful as 'no means no' is such a strong and universally recognised message and this film just seemed to be a role play rape scene.

Wonderful how the moderator plants the fantasy rape in films causes people to rape because they think the victim might enjoy it myth in the audiences' heads - presumably to stop them laughing - and then asks them a bunch of leading questions about what they should think about when watching this type of scene.

This is not unbiased research. This looks more like your typical witch hunt. You may not know there is a witch in your midst but we'll tell you how to spot her and then you can help us kill her.

The rest of the report is jam packed with snippets where the researchers asked leading questions after planting ideas - totally unproven, gutter-press, sensationalist, the film made me do it claptrap ideas - in the participant's heads.

To BE A QUALITATIVE REPORT as it is claimed, WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT QUESTIONS WERE ASKED so that WE MAY JUDGE THE QUALITY OF THE RESPONSES and thus the VALUE OF THE REPORT. Without such information this report is ABSOLUTELY WORTHLESS and TELLS US NOTHING save what the BBFC and the sensationalist press have LED PEOPLE TO BELIEVE. It is clear many of the participants believe the unsubstantiated, oft incorrect, misleading and bogus claims on the front pages of daily rags and, indeed, within the remarks, prompts (no less!) and leading questions of this so-called research .

One thing is certain: the public's opinions are not proof of potential harm but, only proof of real potential harm is what the law allows the BBFC to act upon.

People who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities....or just get you to agree with their worried nanny paranoid views about sexual and sadistic violence in films



Offsite Article: In-Depth Research of the BBFC Research...

Link Here20th December 2012
Full story: BBFC on Sexual Violence...BBFC announces a change of policy on sexual violence
The BBFC Are Using Flawed Research to Reaffirm Their Policies Regarding 'Potential Harm'

See article from



Offsite Article: BBFC Christmas BBFCinsight Competition...

Link Here20th December 2012
Work out the films given the BBFC description

See article from



Censorship as Usual...

Ofcom Annual Plan for 2013-4

Link Here20th December 2012

Ofcom has published its draft 2013/14 Annual Plan for consultation, outlining its strategy and work programme for the next financial year.

In terms of TV, VOD and Internet censorship it seems very much work as usual. However in the longer term strategies section there is a note about developing a censorship 'framework' to be applied to all audio-visual content:

Strategic Priority under the heading Maintain audience confidence in broadcast content : Develop approaches to future AV content regulation

Interim Outcomes: Develop options for a new framework incorporating appropriate minimum levels of protection and assurance for audiences across linear broadcast television and VoD

Final Outcomes: Effective framework for AV regulation within the scope of current legislation and contribute to the Government/European debate as appropriate for future legislation on AV content.



Universal Given a Good Kicking...

ASA finds that TV trailer for Oliver Stone's Savages should have been post 9pm

Link Here20th December 2012

Two TV ads for the cinema release of Oliver Stone's film Savages :

  • a. The first ad showed a variety of scenes from the film punctuated with black screens with on-screen text stating the names of the director and cast. The baseline and chorus from the Eminem and Nate Dogg song Till I Collapse played in the background. The scenes included: armed men in balaclavas breaking down a door; Blake Lively blindfolded and being forcibly led by a group of men, Taylor Kitsch saying aggressively to another man you took our girl ; Blake Lively being punched in the face while men in balaclavas looked on; a masked man running with a raised rifle; a car exploding; Taylor Kitsch punching a man in the face; Aaron Taylor-Johnson with his hands behind his head as if at gunpoint; a close-up of a revolver being loaded; a man running towards another and attacking him; and a shot of John Travolta walking with a raised pistol. In the following three disjointed scenes Benicio Del Toro was shown wielding a gun then shooting it at the floor before a man was shown dragging himself on the floor as if screaming in pain. The last scene showed Blake Lively firing a gun before large on-screen text, on a black background stated SAVAGES .

  • b. The second ad featured the same music and many of the same scenes as in ad (a). In addition to those scenes, it began with a female voice-over saying, It started with three people in love ... . The scenes showed a car arriving at a large house; Blake Lively hugging and kissing Taylor Kitsch and then, in a separate scene, kissing Aaron Taylor-Johnson. The voice-over then said, ... then things just got out of control . Aaron Taylor-Johnson was shown saying We want out of the dope business . It also showed a close-up of a pistol being fired at a floor and a man dragging himself along a floor, audibly screaming in pain. The following scenes showed a helicopter in flight, Benicio Del Toro firing a pistol and two shots of a masked man with a raised rifle. The following scene showed a close-up of a woman's lips saying stop and the music and action scenes stopped. Salma Hayek said, There's something wrong with your love story baby and Taylor Kitsch was then shown looking angry before firing a gun. Large on-screen text, on a black background stated SAVAGES . Issue

The complainant, who had seen the ads before 8pm, challenged whether they were suitable for broadcast at a time when children would be watching.

Clearcast said they felt that a post-7.30pm restriction was necessary to avoid children viewing the ads and which would also ensure that they would not be broadcast around programmes watched by young children. They believed that, whilst the ads did show interpersonal and aggressive behaviour shots, they were brief and did not linger. They did not believe that the scenes were graphic or long enough to justify a post-9pm restriction.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA noted that the ads were for a crime thriller and that the cinematic release of the film itself had been passed by the BBFC with a 15 certificate [after BBFC advised cuts]

Both ads featured a number of scenes from the film in quick succession and almost all of the scenes in ad (a) and the majority of the scenes in ad (b) featured physical violence or the suggestion of it. When combined with the strong hip hop song, we considered that the ads conveyed a menacing and aggressive tone. We were particularly concerned that, in one scene, Blake Lively was shown being punched in the face while seemingly unable to defend herself and, in another scene, a man was shown, again defenceless, screaming and dragging himself across the floor apparently having been shot.

Although the ads had been given a post-7.30pm restriction by Clearcast, we considered that the general tone of the ads and those scenes in particular were still likely to cause distress to some younger viewers watching after that time. We considered that the ads should have been given a post-9pm timing restriction to keep them away from times when younger children would be watching. Because they had not been we concluded that the ads breached the Code.

The ads breached BCAP Code rules 4.1 (Harm and offence) and 32.3 (Scheduling). Action

The ads must not be broadcast again before 9pm.



Update: Restricting Prosecutions for Insults...

Details about new DPP guidelines on prosecuting social media communications

Link Here20th December 2012
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, has published interim guidelines setting out the approach prosecutors should take in cases involving communications sent via social media.

The guidelines are designed to give clear advice to prosecutors and ensure a consistency of approach across the CPS to these types of cases.

Starmer said:

These interim guidelines are intended to strike the right balance between freedom of expression and the need to uphold the criminal law.

They make a clear distinction between communications which amount to credible threats of violence, a targeted campaign of harassment against an individual or which breach court orders on the one hand, and other communications sent by social media, e.g. those that are grossly offensive, on the other.

The first group will be prosecuted robustly whereas the second group will only be prosecuted if they cross a high threshold; a prosecution is unlikely to be in the public interest if the communication is swiftly removed, blocked, not intended for a wide audience or not obviously beyond what could conceivably be tolerable or acceptable in a diverse society which upholds and respects freedom of expression.

The interim guidelines thus protect the individual from threats or targeted harassment while protecting the expression of unpopular or unfashionable opinion about serious or trivial matters, or banter or humour, even if distasteful to some and painful to those subjected to it.

We want the interim guidelines to be as fully informed as possible, which is why we held a series of roundtable discussions and meetings with Twitter, Facebook, Liberty and other stakeholders, police and regulators, victim groups, academics, journalists and bloggers, lawyers and sports organisations ahead of drafting them. I would now encourage everyone with an interest in this matter to give us their views by responding to the public consultation.

Initial assessment

As part of their initial assessment, prosecutors are now required to distinguish between:

  1. Communications which may constitute credible threats of violence
  2. Communications which may constitute harassment or stalking
  3. Communications which may amount to a breach of a court order
  4. Communications which do not fall into any of the above categories and fall to be considered separately i.e. those which may be considered grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false.

Those offences falling within the first three categories should, in general, be prosecuted robustly under the relevant legislation, for example the Protection from Harassment Act (1997), where the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors is satisfied.

Cases which fall within the final category will be subject to a high threshold and in many cases a prosecution is unlikely to be in the public interest.

The high threshold

Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 engage Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights, therefore prosecutors are reminded that they must be interpreted consistently with the free speech principles in Article 10.

Prosecutors are also reminded that what is prohibited under section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 is the sending of a communication that is grossly offensive. They should only proceed with cases involving such an offence where they are satisfied that the communication in question is more than:

  • Offensive, shocking or disturbing; or
  • Satirical, iconoclastic or rude comment; or
  • The expression of unpopular or unfashionable opinion about serious or trivial matters, or banter or humour, even if distasteful to some or painful to those subjected to it.

The public interest

In line with the free speech principles in Article 10, no prosecution should be brought unless it can be shown on its own facts and merits to be both necessary and proportionate.

A prosecution is unlikely to be both necessary and proportionate where:

  • a) The suspect has swiftly taken action to remove the communication or expressed genuine remorse;
  • b) Swift and effective action has been taken by others, for example service providers, to remove the communication in question or otherwise block access to it;
  • c) The communication was not intended for a wide audience, nor was that the obvious consequence of sending the communication; particularly where the intended audience did not include the victim or target of the communication in question; or
  • d) The content of the communication did not obviously go beyond what could conceivably be tolerable or acceptable in an open and diverse society which upholds and respects freedom of expression.

The age and maturity of suspect should be given significant weight, particularly if they are under the age of 18. Children may not appreciate the potential harm and seriousness of their communications and as such prosecutions of children are rarely likely to be in the public interest.



Update: One Size Fits All Doesn't Work...But...

David Cameron explains that he is against default ISP blocking but will require ISPs to provide a blocking system that can be tailored to family needs

Link Here20th December 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

The Daily Mail is claiming a victory in spurring David Cameron into supporting its cause in getting parents to opt for internet blocking albeit not the overly blunt default ISP blocking. (But the Daily Mail clearly aren't quite fully committed to the anti-sexualisation cause. They have done a fine job traumatising all the 'sensitive' young girls who worry that they will never be as sexy as Kate Moss in bikini showing a bit of nipple) .

In an article for the Daily Mail, the Prime Minister says it is utterly appalling that so many children have been exposed to the darkest corners of the internet, adding: A silent attack on innocence is under way in our country today and I am determined that we fight it with all we've got.

He announces that Conservative MP Claire Perry is to be appointed as his adviser on reversing the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood. She will be in charge of implementing the new web blocking system, which will also require internet providers to check the age of the person setting controls.

Cameron explained why he does not go along with the idea of default ISP blocking.

Some might ask why, then, this Government has not taken the route of default on filters for new computers, so that each one that is bought comes with blanket filters for all unsuitable content. There's a simple reason why we haven't done this: all the evidence suggests such a crude system wouldn't work very well in practice. With the system, when people switch on their new computer, a question will pop up asking if there are children in the house. If there are, then parents will be automatically prompted to tailor their internet filters

With the system, when people switch on their new computer, a question will pop up asking if there are children in the house. If there are, then parents will be automatically prompted to tailor their internet filters (posed by model)

Take the experience of one parent I met. She has a tablet computer which her young daughter sometimes plays games on. It's got straightforward on/off filters, so she turned the filter on to protect her daughter.

However, the filters were so wide-ranging that she then found she couldn't access things like TV stations on demand; they were blocked too.

The result? She just switched the filter off again, as it was becoming annoying.

The point is we need a more sophisticated system than this -- one that allows parents to tailor exactly what their children can see.

Ministers are understood to have imposed a timetable on internet providers, who will be required to produce detailed plans by February on ensuring that all parents are giving the option of imposing filters.

Cameron says that when people switch on a new computer, they will be asked if there are children in the house -- and if they answer yes, they will be automatically prompted to tailor internet filters. They will include options to block particular kinds of content, individual sites or restrict access at specific times of the day. If parents click through the options to set up a new system quickly, filters against pornography and self-harm sites will be automatically left on.

Perry said effective checks on the age of a person setting up filters -- probably using credit card details and the electoral roll -- would be vital to ensure children could not get round the new system.



Rockefeller First Away after the Starting Gun...

Senator proposes bill to study effect of computer games on children

Link Here20th December 2012
Full story: Violent Games in the US...Attempts to restrict video games from minors

Senator Jay Rockefeller has introduced one of Congress' first pieces of legislation related to the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut: a bill to study the impact of violent video games on children. He said:

This week, we are all focused on protecting our children. At times like this, we need to take a comprehensive look at all the ways we can keep our kids safe. I have long expressed concern about the impact of the violent content our kids see and interact with every day.

Recent court decisions demonstrate that some people still do not get it. They believe that violent video games are no more dangerous to young minds than classic literature or Saturday morning cartoons. Parents, pediatricians, and psychologists know better. These court decisions show we need to do more and explore ways Congress can lay additional groundwork on this issue. This report will be a critical resource in this process.

Rockefeller's bill would direct the National Academy of Sciences to lead the investigation on video games' impact and submit a report on its findings within 18 months.

The legislation comes after reports suggested that Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza may have played video games like Call of Duty and Starcraft .



Ever Wonder Why?...

Religious adverts for a free English language version of the Quran banned at London rail stations

Link Here20th December 2012

Network Rail has a contract with JCDecaux for advertising on the interiors of its railway stations.

In the UK, an organisation called the Quran Project planned to place posters in five major London Railway Stations - Waterloo, Victoria, Liverpool St, Marylebone and St Pancras International during 10 - 24 December 2012.

The chairman of project Dr Wleed Haq said that the billboard campaign was designed to tackle the causes of Islamophobia in the UK by distributing 1,000 free copies of the English translation of the Quran to non-Muslims. To date, the charity has distributed 50,000 copies since its formation two years ago.

The London railway posters went up at different times between Mon - Thurs last week. The campaign had been six months in the planning and the sites were reserved by JCDecaux who had approved the campaign, at a cost of £ 30,000, two thirds of which was raised online with JustGiving, a popular crowd funding platform.

On Monday, 17 December, these billboards advertising free Qurans, were taken down. An email from JCDecaux explained that the rail companies found the adverts to be unacceptable and so had been taken down.

Both JCDecaux and Network Rail have allowed similar campaigns for other religious groups over the last two years, in particular The Trinitarian Bible Society and the Alpha Course, who have advertised widely including at Marylebone station (operated by Chiltern Railways).

Commentator Mohammed Ansar said in the Huffington Post:

This in itself must raise questions about how we go about tackling pandemic Islamophobia, if policies and those who police them are not only beyond reproach but advocates of such prejudice. In the end we have the irony that an anti-Islamophobia campaign has been entirely derailed by precisely the potentially discriminatory policies of Network Rail, JCDecaux and the railway companies, which they are attempting to challenge in the first place.

The Quran Project has since tweeted that the ads have now been restored, with the exception of Marylebone station where Chiltern Railways claim that they operate a blanket ban on all religious advertising.



Total Recall...

US DVD and Blu-ray release of the Director's Cut

Link Here19th December 2012

Total Recall is a 2012 USA/Canada action adventure sci-fi thriller by Len Wiseman.
With Colin Farrell, Bokeem Woodbine and Bryan Cranston. YouTube icon IMDb

US: The Extended Director's Cut is released for:

  • US 2012 Sony [Director's Cut + Theatrical] R0 Blu-ray/R1 DVD Combo at US Amazon released on 18th December 2012
  • US 2012 Sony [Director's Cut + Theatrical] R0 Blu-ray at US Amazon released on 18th December 2012

The additional material looks to be uncontentious.

See  review from : Director's Cut Improves on Its Unsatisfying Theatrical Edition



Bloody Censors...

ASA bans 18 rated [REC] Genesis trailer on Empire website

Link Here19th December 2012

A video ad for the horror film Rec: Genesis played before a teaser video for the film Man of Steel on a film news website. The Rec: Genesis ad showed brief clips from the film, including a man pushing an industrial hand blender into a male zombie's mouth and a woman cutting into a female zombie's head with a chainsaw. Voice-over stated, On September 3rd bring home the action-laced, gore-lovin' horror. Rec: Genesis on DVD and Blu-ray September 3rd. Issue

A complainant challenged whether the ad was:

  1. irresponsible, harmful and offensive, because it was excessively violent and gory; and

  2. unsuitable for a medium where it might be seen by children.

Entertainment One (eOne) responded that the ad was for an 18-rated horror film and contained clips from that film. They acknowledged that some of the scenes were of a gory nature. However, they did not agree that the ad was excessively violent or gory and stated that the target market would not have been offended or upset by its contents.

eOne submitted with their response a data extract showing the demographic for the website's audience. That information demonstrated that 99% of people who used the website were aged 18 or over, and that almost 60% were men. They therefore considered that the film had been appropriately targeted, and said they had not felt it was necessary to place any age restrictions on the ad, because it was highly unlikely it would be viewed by a child.

Empire Magazine responded that the ad had been placed on their site as part of a network agreement with a third-party company which sold some of their advertising. They said they had never had to censor film trailers in the past, but having reviewed this ad, agreed that it was not suitable for the website. They stated that as a result of this complaint they had implemented new procedures whereby trailers for 18-rated films now had to be submitted for editorial review to ensure that similar ads did not appear on the site.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

1. Upheld

The ASA recognised that the ad contained scenes of a violent and gory nature. Although the scenario depicted, whereby zombies had attacked the earth, was removed from reality, the style and setting of the ad was nevertheless realistic and we considered that that amplified the violent nature of the acts shown. We noted in particular that during the scene with the hand blender the camera focused on the character's face and bulging eyes as he was being attacked, and that the final scene showed a chainsaw cutting through the centre of another character's head. We considered that the ad showed particularly graphic violence and, because of that, was likely to cause fear and distress and serious offence to some who viewed it. We therefore concluded that it breached the Code.

On that point, the ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.1 and 4.2 (Harm and offence).

2. Upheld

We acknowledged that in placing the ad eOne had attempted to target a market of 18- to 34-year-olds in a horror and sci-fi environment, and that the statistics provided showed that most users of the Empire Magazine website were adults. However, we noted that the ad had appeared before a trailer for the upcoming Superman film Man of Steel . We considered that information about that film would appeal to family audiences and as such it was likely to generate interest from younger readers. We also understood that the ad had not been preceded by a warning as to its content, which could have given parents an opportunity to make an informed decision as to whether to show their child the Superman trailer.

We considered that the ad contained a level of violence which would not be suitable for viewing by under-18s, but that no mechanism had been put in place to ensure that it was not shown to them. We further considered that the placement of the ad before a trailer for a Superman film made it particularly likely to attract a younger audience. We therefore concluded that the ad had been inappropriately shown in a medium where it might be seen by children. We welcomed eOne's assurance that they would not use the ad again, and the steps taken by Empire Magazine to ensure that trailers for 18-rated films would in future be more closely scrutinised before publication.

On that point, the ad breached CAP Code rule 4.2 (Harm and offence).



National Rifle Association Comes Out All Guns Blazing...

And blames school shooting on violent media

Link Here 19th December 2012

Amid the shock and grief that followed the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, there have been unsurprising calls for stricter regulation of guns and rifles.

Now the National Rifle Association has decided that its strategy in the blame game will be to deflect the blame onto violent media.

An industry source relayed this strategy to Fox News:

If we're going to have a conversation, then let's have a comprehensive conversation If we're going to talk about the Second Amendment, then let's also talk about the First Amendment, and Hollywood, and the video games that teach young kids how to shoot heads.

If you really want to stop incidents like this. Passing one more law is not going to do a damn thing. Columbine happened when? In 1999. Smack in the middle of the original assault-weapons ban.

However the lobbying group did addthat it is willing to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.

Meanwhile the Sun fingers Call of Duty

See  article from

School massacre maniac Adam Lanza fuelled his violent fantasies while hidden away in a windowless bunker plastered with posters of guns and tanks.

Lanza, 20, spent hours playing bloodthirsty computer games such as Call Of Duty and obsessively studying weapons in the basement at mum Nancy's home.



A Big Fat Gypsy Banning...

Channel 4 pull episode of Full English

Link Here19th December 2012

Channel 4 has pulled the last episode of its animated series Full English from its schedules. In the dropped episode, moody Goth Eve rebelled against her parents by eloping to marry a gypsy boy.

The episode, entitled, My Big Fat Gypsy Knightmare , was said to have been dropped for being controversial. On the show's official Facebook page, producers claimed Channel 4 were afraid of falling foul of the law or TV censor Ofcom.

On their Facebook page, producers urged fans to email Channel 4 in protest and said:

We'll try and find a way to get the episode out there, and will also try and post clips from it over the coming weeks, so people can enjoy some of the filthiest and most offensive ep to date...

To clarify... we're not officially cancelled. Decision won't be made until end of January.



Top TV...

Ofcom's top 10 most whinged about films of 2012

Link Here19th December 2012
Top 10 complained about shows to Ofcom (up to December 12)
  1. Big Brother (2,088)

    More than half (1,139) concerned Conor McIntyre's threatening remarks about fellow housemate Deana Uppal.
  2. The X Factor Results (1,488)

    Most complaints surrounding singer Carolynne Poole's controversial exit after an executive was seen whispering in judge Louis Walsh's ear.

  3. This Morning (811)

    Most complaints concerning the stunt which saw presenter Phillip Schofield brandish a list of names of alleged abusers that he had found on the internet which he handed to Prime Minister David Cameron during a live interview.

  4. True Stories: Gypsy Blood (509)
  5. Live: The Silent Ascent (378)
  6. Sky News (364)
  7. The X Factor (305)
  8. Islam: The Untold Story (293)
  9. Citizen Khan (256)
  10. Keith Lemon's LemonAid (246)
Total complaints across the year: 16,666



Update: Insults Beyond Offensive...

DPP updates guidelines to prevent internet users from being prosecuted for trivial insults

Link Here19th December 2012
Full story: Insulting UK Law...UK proesecutions of jokes and insults on social media

New guidelines could see fewer people being charged in England and Wales for offensive messages on social networks.

The Director of Public Persecutions said people should only face a trial if their comments on Twitter, Facebook or elsewhere go beyond being offensive. He claimed the guidance combats threats and internet trolls without having a chilling effect on free speech.

The guidance comes after a string of cases of prosecutions for jokes, and trivial insults, including the prosecution of a man who tweeted a joke threatening to blow up an airport.

Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had now dealt with more than 50 cases relating to potentially criminal comments posted online.

He said the interim guidelines, which come into force immediately, clarified which kinds of cases should be prosecuted and which would only go ahead after a rigorous assessment whether it was in the public interest to prosecute.

The guidance says that if someone posts a message online that clearly amounts to a credible threat of violence, specifically targets an individual or individuals, or breaches a court order designed to protect someone, then the person behind the message should face prosecution.

People who receive malicious messages and pass them on, such as by retweeting, could also fall foul of the law.

However, online posts that are merely grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false would face a much tougher test before the individual could be charged under laws designed to prevent malicious communications. Starmer said that many suspects in this last category would be unlikely to be prosecuted because it would not be in the public interest to take them to court. This could include posts made by drunk people who, on sobering up, take swift action to delete the communication. Starmer said:

These interim guidelines are intended to strike the right balance between freedom of expression and the need to uphold the criminal law.

The interim guidelines thus protect the individual from threats or targeted harassment while protecting the expression of unpopular or unfashionable opinion about serious or trivial matters, or banter or humour, even if distasteful to some and painful to those subjected to it.

Although the interim guidance is now in force, its final form is subject to a consultation that runs until 13 March 2013.



Gambling on Censorship...

Israel drafts law to allow police to block websites without a court order

Link Here19th December 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship in Israel...Legislation proposed to let police block websites

Israel's Justice Ministry is drafting legislation that would allow the police to block access to child pornography and gambling websites without a court order.

The state is currently awaiting a related Supreme Court ruling on the same issue. The government is appealing a district court ruling concluding that a police power to bar access to physical locations without a court order can be extended to internet websites.

The ministry's bill would allow an authorized police officer to order an ISP to block access to any gambling or pedophilia site. A website could be blocked even if it also conducts legal activity, as long as the illegal activity constitutes more than a marginal portion of its total activity. The police order would be in effect only for a limited time period.

Attorney Jonathan Klinger, an expert in the intersection of law and technology, said that, as written, he didn't think the law could survive a court challenge:

But above all, this is a bill that seeks to bring us down to the level of countries like Qatar, Pakistan, Iran, China and others. We have yet to see any country in the world that has censorship but doesn't use it for political purposes.



Update: Badr Preacher...

TV preacher jailed for defamation after accusing Egypt's leading film actress of inciting immorality through wearing sexy clothes

Link Here19th December 2012
Full story: Blasphemy in Egypt...Unswaying belief in injustice

An Egyptian court has sentenced TV preacher Abdullah Badr to one year in prison and set the bail at 20,000 Egyptian pounds ($3240) for defaming prominent Egyptian actress Elham Shaheen, Egyptian's daily Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.

Badr, a preacher at Egypt's Al-Azhar Mosque, accused Shaheen of committing indecent acts in her movies and wearing seductive clothes that incite immorality. He criticized the actress during his TV show on the Egyptian El-Hafez channel, saying that Elham Shaheen is cursed and she will never enter heaven .

In response, Shaheen filed a lawsuit against Badr and the channel's head Atef Abdel Rashed, accusing them of incitement, spreading chaos, disturbing public security and committing blasphemy.

In recent months, several public figures have filed lawsuits against religious preachers accusing them of defamation.

Update: Appeal turned down

17th February 2013. See  article from

the administrative court rejects an appeal on Saturday by Sheikh Abdullah Badr and Atef Abdel-Rashid, the owner Al-Hafez religious channel, against a ruling on 12 January that barred Badr's programme Fi Al-Mizan for 30 days.



Offsite Article: Random Censorship...

Link Here19th December 2012
Earlier this year, 35 people decided which films it is and isn't okay for you to watch

See article from



Offsite Article: The Bill of Rights Commission report: a modest proposal...

Link Here 19th December 2012
As predicted, there are some significant disagreements. Only seven out of the nine Commissioners believe there should be a bill of rights. Even the title is equivocal: A UK Bill of Rights? The choice before us.

See article from



Offsite Article: The Deadliest Year for Journalists...

Link Here19th December 2012
88 journalists killed, 879 arrested, 1993 threatened or physically attacked, 38 kidnapped, 73 fled their country, 6 media assistants killed, 47 netizens and citizen-journalists killed, 144 bloggers and netizens arrested

See article from



Criticising Ofcom for Investigating Religious Teachings...

Noor TV up for Ofcom sanctions after presenter preaches that those showing disrespect to Mohammed should be killed

Link Here 18th December 2012

Noor TV, 3 May 2012, 11:00

Noor TV is a digital satellite television channel that broadcasts programmes about Islam in a number of languages, including English, Urdu and Punjabi. It can be received in the United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The channel appears in the international section of the Sky electronic programme guide. Its aim, as stated on its website, is to present a balanced, moderate and true face of Islam to both Muslims and non-Muslim communities across the globe . Its primary target audience is young Muslims, especially young people who have been born in the UK . The licence for this channel is held by Al Ehya.

A viewer alerted Ofcom to statements made during the programme that appeared to the viewer to be inciting people to commit murder.

The programme was predominantly in Urdu, was approximately one hour and 30 minutes in duration and featured a presenter, Allama Muhammad Farooq Nazimi. Mr Nazimi answered questions about a wide range of issues and personal conduct relating to Islam and Islamic teachings.

At approximately one hour and 18 minutes into the programme Mr Nazimi answered a question from a caller, who was identified as brother Yasir Nahif ( Mr Nahif ), who asked:

What is the punishment for the individual who shows disrespect for Prophet Muhammad?

In response to the question from Mr Nahif, we noted the following remarks [amongst others] made by Mr Nazimi:

There is no disagreement about this [the punishment]; there is absolutely no doubt about it that the punishment for the person who shows disrespect for the Prophet is death. No one [among the Islamic scholars] disagrees about this. No one disagrees about this. The Koran, hadeeth [orally transmitted quotes of Prophet Muhammad], the actions of the companions of Prophet Muhammad, all testify to this [punishment] and there is no room for doubt in it. Whoever shows disrespect for Prophet Muhammad will be given death penalty. The procedure for carrying out the death penalty is that if there is an Islamic government operating in a country, then the Islamic government will carry out the implementation of this punishment to the one who shows disrespect for the Prophet. However, if there are no Islamic laws [implemented], if Islamic Law is not being abided by, if the Islamic Law is being shredded and is in tatters - and this environment prevails in Pakistan, then [drops the sentence]. You saw a few months ago, a man specifically said that the Islamic law which was especially designed to protect the sanctity of Prophet Muhammad, whom Allah praises and protects, was a black law. By saying so, he slighted the law and committed insolence against Prophet Muhammad. Then what happened? You saw what happened. The man who did it [killed the Governor] is Mumtaz Hussein . He is a Ghazi and we can absolutely not say that his act was a wrong act [because] the Koran and hadeeth [orally transmitted traditions], testify that the punishment of the one who shows disrespect for the Prophet is death.

Ofcom considered:

Rule 3.1: Material likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder must not be included in television or radio services.

Rule 4.1: Broadcasters must exercise the proper degree of responsibility with respect to the content of programmes which are religious programmes.

Al Ehya put forward various points arguing, in summary, that the statements made by the presenter were not likely to encourage or incite crime and did not reach the benchmark of criminal liability. The Licensee suggested that Ofcom was taking a hard line and prejudiced view of this particular programme .

The Licensee said first that any impact that the statements made by the presenter might have had on young Muslims would have been totally limited because at 11:00, the time at which the material was broadcast, younger people would have been at school or college.

Second, Al Ehya went on to suggest that there was nothing new or unknown in the statements made by the presenter relating to the implementation of Islamic law: they are set out in the Koran and it is a requirement that they are taught to young Muslims. Further the Licensee referred to various instances of violence and sacrifice in the Christian Bible, and suggested Ofcom was approaching this situation in quite a different way in that which it might if any Priest of the Christian Church was reading segments of the Bible that contained such remarks .

Third, the Licensee said that [w]hilst radicals and extremists exist Ofcom - in assessing the statements in the programme - showed scant regard to the fact that nothing has been said which is not in the everyday teaching of the contents of the Holy Koran and other Holy documents. The interpretation of those is clearly something which is of the individual and becomes dependent on the circumstances of the particular Country lived in . It went on to say that [y]ounger people in the UK tend to speak English rather than Urdu and observe the laws of the UK in relation to their religion .

The Licensee also criticised Ofcom for referring to examples of: [V]iolence in other [Western] Countries where blasphemy of the Prophet had taken place (by non- Muslims) 8 ...Noor resents the implication that [the] broadcast [of the problematic statements] is likely to incite or create a situation in the UK or Western countries of a similar type of recrimination...[T]he violence in those Countries only exemplifies that it is a known factor of the Holy Koran.

Ofcom Decision: Breaches of Rules 3.1 and 4.1

We considered that the broadcast of the various statements made by the Islamic scholar outlined above was likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime.

A number of the remarks in Ofcom's opinion amounted to direct calls to action. In particular, we interpreted some of Mr Nazimi's comments to be a generic call to all Muslims (and not just members of the Muslim community within Pakistan) encouraging or inciting them to criminal action or disorder by unambiguously stating that the appropriate penalty for showing disrespect to Muhammad was the death penalty. He stated that they (all Muslims) had a duty to kill anyone who criticises or insults the Prophet Mohammed where the government had failed to take action, and praised Mumtaz Hussein for taking the law into his own hands and murdering Salmaan Taseer. We noted that such actions were couched as being justified, and even required, as a duty on all Muslims, according to the tenets of Islamic law and theology. We believe that on a reasonable interpretation of the presenter's remarks, he was personally advocating that all Muslims had a duty to carry out the actions he suggested.

In considering the likelihood of the inclusion of these statements in the service encouraging or inciting the commission of crime or leading to disorder, we also carefully considered the context within which the presenter's words were broadcast. The self-stated purpose of Noor TV is to provide a service aimed at the Asian community both within the UK and in the Middle East and Asia, and in particular young people who have been born in the UK . As noted already, the fact that Mr Nazimi gave his views directly to camera would, in our view, have been likely to have given additional authority to what he was saying, as he explained Islamic teachings to a Muslim audience without interruption or any challenge being given to his views.

Ofcom is mindful that scriptures and sacred texts of various religions refer to acts of violence and punishments which by today's standards may be considered extreme and unacceptable by society as a whole. While the Code does not prevent teachings of this kind being referred to, or discussed, in programmes, it is important that they are not presented in a way that would incite or encourage viewers to an extent that would breach the Code. In Ofcom's view the presenter's statements in this case were held out to be the unequivocal teaching of the Koran, which Muslims had a duty to obey. The teachings were not presented in a balanced or wider context and further, the potentially mitigating material that was included could not reasonably be understood to limit the scope of the remarks to only countries where Islamic law applied.

Ofcom reached the view that Al Ehya had broadcast material likely to encourage or to incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder. Accordingly, Ofcom has found the Licensee in breach of Rule 3.1 of the Code.

We considered that the broadcaster did not exercise the proper degree of responsibility with respect to the content of this religious programme. The programme was in breach, therefore, of Rule 4.1 of the Code.

The breaches of Rules 3.1 and 4.1 in this case are regarded by Ofcom as serious breaches of the Code. This is because Ofcom views any incident where a licensee has allowed content to be broadcast that is likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder as a significant contravention of the Code.

Ofcom therefore puts the Licensee on notice that we will consider these breaches for the imposition of a statutory sanction.

Breaches of Rules 3.1 and 4.1



Update: Killing Artistic Exploration...

Chinese film director writes an open letter explaining how China suffocates its film makers

Link Here18th December 2012
Full story: Film Censorship in China...All Chinese films censored to be suitable for kids

Award-winning Chinese director Xie Fei has accused his country's censorship rules of killing artistic exploration in an open letter to authorities.

Xie, whose films include Woman Sesame Oil Maker , which won the Berlin Film Festival's Golden Bear prize in 1993 - has not made a film since 2000. He urged censors to give clearer rules on banned topics. Xie wrote that China's system:

Long ago lost its real social, economic, ideological and cultural significance.

It has only become a corrupt black spot for controlling the prosperity of the cultural and entertainment industry, killing artistic exploration and wasting administrative resources.

In his letter, Xie urged censors to:

Move from the current administrative review system to a rating system that allows for a self-governed and self-disciplined film industry, bound by legal restrictions and administrative supervision.

Currently, China has no film age rating system and films must be made suitable for all audiences. This means that many western films have been subject to cuts in order to be released. China also maintains a quota of just 20 foreign movies that can be shown in cinemas.



Fourth Wise Man Bearing Christmas Gifts Discovered in TromaHolyLand...

250 movies free to view on the Troma YouTube Channel

Link Here 18th December 2012

Greetings from Tromaville! 

While consumers trample each other attempting to purchase a revamped Furby or 1 Direction singing doll this holiday season, Troma Entertainment is offering its fans an alternative to the shopping mall madness: 250 of Troma's best titles available for FREE at as well as a band-new FREE filmmaking lessons from Troma President Lloyd Kaufman every week at .

This holiday gift from Troma to its fans comes on the heels of the recent discovery by archaeologists in Jerusalem that there was a fourth wise man - King Moishe of Kew Gardens - who brought 250 FREE movies to the baby Jesus. In response to the many who have incorporated this addition to the story of Jesus' birth into nativity scenes all over the world, Troma is recreating this amazing archaeological discovery by making those very same films available. The 250 FREE films can be viewed HERE  and Your Own Damn Channel filmmaking lessons, HERE !

The FREE titles range from Troma hits like the Toxic Avenger and Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead to hard-to-find movies like Plutonium Baby and classic films from Troma's Roan Group archive such as The Invisible Ghost . Troma President Lloyd Kaufman has vowed to have 500 FREE titles available by the time the company celebrates its 40th year in the film industry.  



Offsite Article: Thanking Tookey...

Link Here18th December 2012
Human Centipede II distributors Eureka thank Christopher Tookey and his cohorts at the Daily Mail for the wonderful publicity they gave to the franchise and the subsequent positive impact on sales.

See article from



Podcast 9: Sexual Violence and Imitable Techniques...

BBFC explains how the inexpert opinions of 35 lay people are used to decide whether a film is harmful or not

Link Here17th December 2012
Full story: BBFC on Sexual Violence...BBFC announces a change of policy on sexual violence

The BBFC have released the latest Podcast. Episode 9: Imitable Techniques.

There is the usual interesting current news section and a feature on the censorship of imitable techniques (kids hiding in tumble dryers, hotwiring cars, making light bulb bombs and martial arts weaponry).

There is also an illuminating interview with David Austin, Assistant Director, Policy & Public Affairs, speaking about the recent BBFC 'research' to survey the opinions of 35 ordinary film viewers.

He was a little unconvincing though. He starts off well, explaining very clearly that BBFC censorship for adults is based on removing content illegal by the laws of the land and content that is harmful. Notably Austin did not mention the concept of censoring material on the basis of public opinion.

He explained that a current basis for cutting sexual violence was research by psychologist Guy Cumberbatch, but this was now 10 years old. So the BBFC embarked on a 18 month project to update the guidelines, culminating in a survey of 35 lay people's opinions.

Austin did not explain how the opinion of a small group of inexpert people could possibly define what films are actually harmful. Nor did he offer the alternative that the BBFC now censor according to public opinion, rather than the aforementioned legality and harm.

Then he moved seamlessly into claiming that the surveyed views of 35 people were in fact 'public opinion'. I can't imagine that a statistical analysis of the 'research' would support that idea that a sample size of 35 people would have any statistical significance whatsoever.

Austin was asked the very important question about the practical effects of the new guidelines, especially as there is no practical indication whether the BBFC are 'tightening up' the guidelines or not. Just that the BBFC will take more factors into account, some supporting censorship, and some mitigating the need for censorship. In fact nearly all of the British media has reported a 'tightening up' of guidelines.

Austin was asked what recent decisions would have been made differently as a result of the changes. He answered by urging listeners to take note of the following table in the BBFC 'research' paper.

Film Title BBFC Classification Participant Classification
Wolf Creek 18 uncut 18 uncut
The Killer Inside Me 18 uncut 18 uncut or 18 with cuts
Martyrs 18 uncut 18 uncut
Antichrist 18 uncut 18 uncut
I Spit On Your Grave 18 after cuts Mixed ranging from 18 uncut to rejected
The Human Centipede II 18 after cuts 18 with cuts or rejected
A Serbian Film 18 after cuts 18 with cuts or rejected
Grotesque Rejected Mixed/mostly rejected
The Bunny Game Rejected Rejected

Presumably this is an indication that most films will be unaffected but that the highly controversial or sexually violent may be more strictly censored.

Perhaps we will get to see soon if someone decides to try and release the new Maniac remake.



Flip Off ATVOD!...

Ofcom overturn ATVOD decision that a website of short video clips can be considered 'TV Like'

Link Here17th December 2012

Ofcom has upheld ChannelFlip's appeal against being designated as a VOD service (ODPS) and hence being liable to ATVOD censorship and ATVOD fees. Ofcom wrote:

Ofcom's Decision is that Channel Flip was not at the relevant time an ODPS as the form and content of the audio visual material included in that service was not comparable to the form and content of programmes normally included in television programme services.

In making this Decision, Ofcom notes that a significant period has elapsed since the original ATVOD Determination and subsequent appeal, during which time there have been a number of changes in the presentation of material on the Channel Flip website (and also in the ownership of the service, which has been acquired by Shine Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation). Ofcom's Decision is based on its review of the service at the time of the original Determination and appeal, and it is for Channel Flip and its owners to consider, on an ongoing basis and in light of this Decision, whether it starts to provide an ODPS at some point and to notify ATVOD if appropriate.

At the time of ATVOD's Determination and the subsequent appeal, Channel Flip was a free to view service marketing itself as, the UK's finest video shows . The home page of its website,, featured a drop-down menu of Shows , below which was a revolving selection of Featured Videos and further menus of Our Shows and Popular Videos . Clicking on an option took the user to a page featuring the selected video, which could be viewed. The viewing page provided links to other episodes in the series (where relevant), other shows and an opportunity to comment or share via sites like Facebook. Videos could be viewed on the viewing page or enlarged to view full-screen.

Shows included comedy material (e.g. David Mitchell's Soapbox and F.C. Dave ) and other light entertainment material (e.g. Richard Hammond's Tech Head ). Individual items were typically preceded by an advertisement or commercial sponsorship message and brief title sequence.

Most of the individual items were short in duration; Richard Hammond's Tech Head and David Mitchell's Soapbox episodes were each around 3 to 4 minutes in length for example. However, a few were longer; as noted in the Determination, for example, episodes of F.C. Dave had a duration of about 10 minutes. Individual items ended with brief credits.

It is noted that the particular items were not also broadcast on traditional television. It is further noted that series titles were consequently not likely to be very well known, although several titles featured the names of well known individuals like David Mitchell and Richard Hammond. The style of the material was not amateur (the word used by CML in its appeal request) in the sense of a home movie posted on a website like YouTube for example, but it is fair to say material appeared to be professionally made but on a limited budget (with simple, cheap graphics, for example).



Update: Tunnels Blocked...

China finds technologies to block the VPNs used to work around internet censorship

Link Here17th December 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship

China appears to be tightening its repressive control of internet services that are able to burrow secretly through what is known as the Great Firewall , which prevents citizens there from reading supposedly inappropriate overseas content.

Both companies and individuals are being hit by the new technology deployed by the Chinese government. A number of companies providing virtual private network (VPN) services to users in China say the new system is able to learn, discover and block the encrypted communications methods used by a number of different VPN systems.

China Unicom, one of the biggest telecoms providers in the country, is now killing connections where a VPN is detected, according to one company with a number of users in China.

Users in China suspected in May 2011 that the government there was trying to disrupt VPN use, and now VPN providers have begun to notice the effects.

Astrill, a VPN provider for users inside and outside China, has emailed its users to warn them that the Great Firewall system is blocking at least four of the common protocols used by VPNs, which means that they don't function. But the company added that trying to stay ahead of the censors is a cat-and-mouse game -- although it is working on a new system that it hopes will let it stay ahead of the detection system.



Update: Blocking Dodgy Stats...

Daily Mail publish a low key article about the failure of their 'Block Online Porn' campaign

Link Here16th December 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

The Daily Mail wrote:

Ministers were accused of betraying parents last night after they ruled out an automatic block on internet porn to protect children.

The Department for Education said expert advice was against an automatic block, which would force those wanting access to online porn sites to contact their Internet Service Provider (ISP) to opt in .

Instead, as the Daily Mail revealed last month, ISPs will simply be asked to actively encourage parents to switch on internet filters if children are likely to be using computers in the home.

Then a little mathematical bullshit creeps into the Daily Mail (or perhaps NSPCC) interpretation of the statistics.

The very best statistic in the entire consultation for the Daily Mail argument was that 35% of parents support the default internet blocking idea. From the government response:

There was no great appetite among parents for the introduction of default filtering of the internet by their ISP: only 35 percent of the parents who responded favoured that approach.

There were even smaller proportions of parents who favoured an approach which simply asked them what they would like their children to access on the internet, with no default settings (13 percent) or a system that combines the latter approach with default filtering(15 percent).

In fact the 15% mentioned was from a separate question, and the parents in this 15% almost certainly agreed with the default blocking so were already counted in the 35%. And yet the Daily Mail effectively double counted the 15% to incorrectly arrive at that statistic that 50% of parents supported website some flavour of website blocking. Presumably they then contacted the NSPCC to comment on this supposed 50% statistic:

Confirmation of the decision, slipped out on the DfE website without fanfare, came despite evidence from the Government's consultation that half of parents back an automatic block on internet porn.

Some 35 per cent of parents responding to the consultation backed the opt-in system, with a further 15 per cent wanting it imposed with additional controls.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children said the Government's proposals did not go far enough. Alan Wardle, of the NSPCC, said:

The best option to protect children is for adult content to be automatically blocked by Internet Service Providers.

Given that half of the parents who took part in the Government consultation wanted this option, we are concerned their views have not been heard.

The Daily Mail also published an article on the subject by Labour PC extremist Harriet Harman. And as MichaelG asked: was she the only person they could find who supports their North Korean approach to state internet censorship?

See the article: Children pore over sexual images as their parents watch Downton in the next room... yet ministers do nothing by Harriet Harman



Update: Godless Blame Game...

Lining up to propose that outrage about the school shooting be exploited for pet causes

Link Here16th December 2012

The news media, quick to find a cause for why a lone gunman would kill his mother, drive to a local elementary school, and kill 26 people (20 children) before killing himself, has turned to the usual scapegoat: video games.

Fox News wastes no time in trying to connect TV, Facebook, and computer games to the horrific actions of Lanza. As transcribed by Kotaku, a Fox News segment hosted by Megyn Kelly with guest analyst Dr. Keith Ablow waste no time pointing the finger at the consumption of various types of media:

Kelly: The real question to you is why have there not been more things like this in the past and what is making them seem to come out now?

Ablow: You know you and I have both spoken about this on and off the air, and I fear that our level empathy just as a culture, as a society, is being diminished by things like reality TV and like Facebook that seem to take people to a kind of fictional realm. I guess you could add gaming to that, computer games.

Later in the segment Ablow says that:

 ...such that now people feel less for one another, they can think of them almost as third parties, or entertainment figures or animated creatures, and for the people among us who are vulnerable to acts of violence who are violently ill, if you will, that means they consider others even less than ever before.

On another tack, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee told Fox News viewers that the separation of church and state was to blame for violence in schools. Huckabee said of this latest US atrocity:

We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?

Maybe we ought to let [God] in on the front end and we wouldn't have to call him to show up when it's all said and done at the back end.

While Fox News is blaming media and godlessness, other networks are using the tragedy as an opportunity to call for stricter gun control laws and for more funding for mental health services.



Parents TV Council Recommends...

TV-14 rated The Walking Dead

Link Here16th December 2012

US nutters of the Parents TV Council (PTC) waxed lyrical about The Walking Dead series shown on AMC cable network:

This program contains violent content which may be too intense for some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised. announced the warning before The Walking Dead

Should a program which is so filled with violence, bloodshed, and gore that it requires a disclaimer be considered appropriate for 14 year olds?

Cable network AMC thinks so.

Yet another zombie apocalypse story -- well, the word inspired isn't exactly appropriate, but modeled after -- movies like Night of the Living Dead , the program features a tiny group of human survivors trying to survive in a world filled with animated, flesh-eating cadavers. While the critical establishment lauds the show's intense character interaction and emotional drama, one suspects that far more of its popularity originates with the program's horrifically gory and realistic violence.

To be stopped, the zombies must suffer trauma to their brain -- thus giving the program an excuse for graphic scene after graphic scene of people being decapitated, impaled, and otherwise smashed in the head with axes, makeshift swords, arrows, tire irons, baseball bats, and whatever other implements come to hand. Naturally, each such incident must be shown in extreme (and explicit) close-up, with blood spraying, bone and brain matter splattering, and the attackers being covered in gore.

Now the PTC has embarked on a letter writing campaign:

Last week, the PTC took the entertainment industry and the TV ratings oversight board to task for their laxity! Thousands of PTC members from around the country got no response to the letters they sent the AMC cable network, asking it to reconsider the inaccurate TV-14 rating on The Walking Dead. As a result, PTC President Tim Winter wrote to former Senator Gordon Smith, Chairman of the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board, and urged the organization to address the blatant mis-rating of the AMC program.



No Solace for Nutters...

Researchers find that James Bond films have gotten more violent with time

Link Here16th December 2012

James Bond films are more than twice as violent as they used to be, New Zealand researchers from Otago University have claimed.

Researchers analysed 22 films in the Bond franchise, from Dr No in 1962 to Quantum of Solace in 2008, to test the theory that popular movies are becoming more violent. Not only did the newer Bond films feature more violence, there was an even bigger increase in the amount of sever e violence, defined as acts likely to cause death or injury if they occurred in real life.

The violent acts ranged from trivial, such as pushes or open-handed slaps, to severe, such as punches, kicking or attacks with weapons. Dr No featured 109 violent acts compared with 250 in Quantum of Solace, which included nearly three times as many acts of severe violence.

Study co-author Associate Professor Bob Hancox said:.

There is extensive research evidence suggesting that young people's viewing of media violence can contribute to desensitisation to violence and aggressive behaviour.

Canterbury University criminologist Professor Greg Newbold said:

The more graphic the violence and the more spectacular the violence, the more appeal it has for kids, and the more money they [movies] make.

Newbold spouted that film violence was not a problem for children from good families, but it did have an impact on children from violent home backgrounds, who identified with characters capable of extreme violence and domination.

Bob McCoskrie, director of nutter lobby group Family First, said the findings did not surprise him at all. He said film classifications were looser now than a decade ago, which was helping to normalise violence, bad language and sexual content:

I think we'd be naive to think that we can continue to feed ourselves violent images and from there try to argue it has no influence on our actions or our attitudes - especially perhaps for younger people.

Chief censor Andrew Jack said societal attitudes towards the likes of violence and sex had changed, and that was reflected in the types of films being made. Jack said there had been no complaints so far about the latest Bond film, Skyfall, which was rated M, and one complaint each against the classifications of the previous two Bond films.



Spelling Out the PC Rules...

BBC accept groveling apologies over Irish Tattooist quip on the One Show

Link Here16th December 2012


Two viewers complained about Daley Thompson's suggestion that a tattoo in which the word Olympic was misspelled must have been the work of an Irish Tattooist .


Though the comment was unscripted and humorously-intended, it was inappropriate in this context. However, the presenters offered apologies during and at the end of the programme, and a further apology was posted on the complaints pages of In the view of the ECU, these measures were sufficient to resolve the matter.




Update: Appallingly Poor Quality EDM...

MPs belatedly call for the banning of The Innocence of Muslims

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

Seemingly a little late of the mark, but perhaps just in time for possible renewed flak from the next controversial film, The Innocent Prophet from the likes of Terry Jones. Anyway UK parliamentarians have called for a ban on the previous controversial film, The Innocence of Muslims

EDM 829: Innocence of Muslims Film

That this House notes the anger of Muslim constituents in response to the online video, The Innocence of Muslims;

  • is offended by the vile, Islamophobic slurs it makes about a faith followed by over two billion people worldwide;

  • believes that the film constitutes incitement to hatred on the grounds of race and religion;

  • further believes that the film itself is of appallingly poor quality;

  • and urges the Government to make provision for its banning.

Signed by Party Constituency
Campbell, Ronnie Labour Party Blyth Valley
Cunningham, Alex Labour Party Stockton North
Danczuk, Simon Labour Party Rochdale
Dobbin, Jim Labour Party Heywood and Middleton
Galloway, George Respect Bradford West
George, Andrew Liberal Democrats St Ives
Hopkins, Kelvin Labour Party Luton North
Lavery, Ian Labour Party Wansbeck
McDonald, Andy Labour Party Middlesbrough
Meale, Alan Labour Party Mansfield
Osborne, Sandra Labour Party Ayr Carrick and Cumnock
Wright, Iain Labour Party Hartlepool



Updated: GirlGirl CensorCensor...

Ofcom Whinges about daytime babes on ChatGirl TV

Link Here16th December 2012
Full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

ChatGirl TV (Sky Channel 937), 22 August 2012, 07:30 to 08:30

GirlGirl is a segment of interactive adult chat advertising content broadcast on the licensed service known as ChatGirl TV (Sky Channel 937). The service is freely available without mandatory restricted access and is situated in the adult section of the Sky electronic programme guide ( Sky EPG ). Viewers are invited to contact on- screen presenters via premium rate telephony services ( PRS ). The female presenters dress and behave in a sexually provocative way while encouraging viewers to contact the PRS numbers.

The licence for ChatGirl TV is owned and operated by Playboy UK TV.

Ofcom received a complaint that content on this service, broadcast between 07:30 and 08:30, contained sexual images that were too strong to be shown at this time.

Ofcom noted that the advertising content featured a female presenter on screen wearing a leopard skin print one piece outfit which consisted of a thin piece of material, covering her breasts but not her torso, under which she wore a black bra which covered the majority of her breasts. Over the top of the leopard print one piece outfit she wore skimpy black hot pants which revealed some of the buttock. She also wore black stockings which she rolled up and down intermittently.

From 07:30 the presenter adopted one particular position: she lay on her front gently thrusting and rocking her buttocks up and down and from side to side (albeit away from camera). While making these movements she rubbed and stroked her buttocks and upper thighs. On a few occasions the presenter varied her position: lying on her side, opening her legs (albeit away from camera) and gently rocking her body backwards and forwards. In addition, the presenter made several invitations to callers to telephone her. These included her saying:

I'm helping you get up today boys in my stockings. I also have my boots today very close by... [I]f you want my boots putting on all you have to do is say the word and they will get on my long legs ; come and get me ; have some fun on this bed ; you boys should give me a good work out! ; what are you waiting for boys? and want a bit of fun on my bed right now?

Ofcom considered this material raised issues warranting investigation under BCAP Code Rule 32.3, which states:

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

Playboy TV said it viewed the material and confirmed that the Licensee considered the broadcast an unfortunate blip on our compliance record and that it immediately took steps to prevent a recurrence. The Licensee stated that with all live programming there is always a small chance of content airing that strays close to the limits of the Code and that it took all such issues seriously and would do all it could to prevent them.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 32.3

Ofcom noted that the female presenter was wearing clothing that did not adequately cover her body, in particularly high cut hot pants that exposed some of her buttock. While wearing this outfit, the presenter acted in a sexualised manner: she was shown lying on her stomach for prolonged periods of time, repeatedly and clearly gyrating and thrusting her buttocks so as to mimic sexual intercourse (albeit away from camera). She also touched, rubbed and stroked her upper thighs, legs and buttocks in a sexually suggestive manner and invited callers to contact her in a sexually provocative way. In light of this behaviour and imagery, Ofcom concluded that this material was clearly unsuitable for children.

The broadcast of such sexualised content was inappropriate to advertise adult chat during the day and before the watershed. This broadcast was therefore in breach of BCAP Code Rule 32.3.

In light of this breach and concerns about the Licensee's compliance, Ofcom will be monitoring the Licensee's daytime content for a period of time

Update: Channel Removed

16th December 2012.

Not sure if this is connected to the Ofcom ruling, but the GirlGirl channel (937) has come to an end, and has been taken of the Sky EPG.



Update: Claire Perry and the Daily Mail Blocked...

Government announces that public consultation on parental internet controls came out strongly against the idea of default website blocking by ISPs

Link Here15th December 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

Ministers have stepped back from forcing telecommunications companies to filter websites for online pornography after parents rejected the idea in a government-sponsored consultation.

A report released by the department for education and the home office instead said that internet service providers will be asked to advise and steer parents towards making an active choice by offering software that blocks out pornography and self-harming sites.

The decision follows a 10-week public consultation process. David Cameron had indicated as recently as last month that he wanted firms to follow the lead of TalkTalk, which was the first big name internet service provider to introduce network-level filtering of websites for its customers.

The report, released with little fanfare, said:

It is... clear that in accepting that responsibility, parents want to be in control, and that it would be easier for them to use the online safety tools available to them if they could learn more about those tools.

They also want information about internet safety risks and what to do about them. There was no great appetite among parents for the introduction of default filtering of the internet by their ISP: only 35% of the parents who responded favoured that approach.

In fact the figures for all those that responded to the consultation showed:

  • 14% in favour of default ISP blocking
  • 85% opposed to default ISP blocking
  • 1% unsure.

The campaign for greater curbs against online porn had been led by the Tory MP Claire Perry, and was followed up by the Daily Mail.

The industry pointed out that Perry's plans were unworkable.

The Government will now go to work with the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) to help parents with the knowledge and tools required to provide flexible and workable parental control.



Persecuted Over a Bad Taste Video Clip...

Victim of Dangerous Pictures Act gets sentence overturned on appeal

Link Here15th December 2012

A taxi driver who ended up with a criminal conviction after his mate sent a bad taste animal porn film clip to his mobile phone has won his fight against the 100-hour unpaid work order.

Brian Sharples did nothing to solicit the illegal movie and tried to delete it from his phone, but his lack of technological know-how let him down, a London hearing was told. Having thought he was rid of the illegal bestiality image, he went on to download music to his PC from his phone, along with the extreme porn film.

The image was discovered by police in May last year and he was arrested and his computer seized. He pleaded guilty to possession of an extreme pornographic image at Liverpool Crown Court in August.

This week Lord Justice Davis, Mr Justice Keith and Judge Brian Barker QC, sitting at London's Criminal Appeal Court, quashed that sentence and gave him a conditional discharge for six months.

The court heard that the sentencing judge had accepted that he had not solicited the image, but had been sceptical about his explanation that he had thought it was erased, despite his accepted basis of plea.

Mr Justice Keith said: We don't think there was any real basis for the judge to have doubted his answer that he thought he had deleted the film.

What a nasty state of 'justice' when the the Director of Public Persecutions, Kier Starmer approves the devastating prosecution of a man just for a bad taste video clip sent no doubt as a joke. Shameful!



Set a Censor to Catch a Censor...

PC advert censor given the job of advisor during the set up of a new press censor

Link Here15th December 2012

Chris Smith, the ASA chairman, the Guardian columnist and ex-Times editor Simon Jenkins and Lord Phillips, the former president of the supreme court, have been appointed as the special advisers who will help set up a new press regulator.

The trio have been asked by Press Complaints Commission chairman Lord Hunt to assist him establish an independent appointments process which will satisfy critics who have said appointments to the PCC has been too biased in favour of powerful newspaper figures.

The shape of the new regulator to replace the PCC has yet to be decided but Hunt said he did not want to waste time waiting for the government to decide whether establishing the new watchdog would require legislation.

Hunt said a group representing 120 newspaper and magazine editors would meet next Thursday to discuss a way forward. At this meeting he wants to present a draft contract which would bind all publishers to the decisions made by the new watchdog, including possible fines of up to £ 1m for breaches of its revised code of practice.

Hunt also announced that members of the public will be asked to make suggestions for a revised code of practice for journalists. The public will have until 17 February to make suggestions for changes to the current code, which covers issues ranging from privacy and accuracy to guidelines on the use of subterfuge in the public interest. They can write to or the Editor's Code Committee, PO Box 234, Stonehouse GL10 3UF.



Update: No Love for the Proposed Constitution...

Egypt bans romantic music from state TV and radio.

Link Here15th December 2012

Egypt has banned the broadcasting of any romantic songs or video clips on its 23 state-owned channels, only allowing patriotic music, the state-run Ahram Arabic website said.

Only patriotic tunes that are worth broadcasting will be allowed, al-Ahram reported.

Sarcastic songs mocking public figures will be also banned because of the sensitiveness of the political situation, it said. The sharia based constitution is up for approval in a referendum is proving unappetising for many, particularly those not of a muslim persuasion who weren't even consulted on the issue.



Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season...

A George Bush dummy was seen as a decapitated head on stick. That is until the distributors cut it out, presumably for the UK Blu-ray release too

Link Here15th December 2012
Game of Thrones: Season 1 is a 2011 US TV fantasy drama. IMDb

UK: Pre-cut for:

  • UK 2012 Warner R0 Blu-ray/R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 26th November 2012

There is also a US release

Censorship history

george bush headThe series featured President George W. Bush's severed head in several scenes. In the tenth episode of the first season, Bush's decapitated head is seen impaled on a wooden spike, covered in filthy long hair.

HBO and the show's creators, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, have apologized for the incident. Benioff and Weiss, who noted the appearance in the series' DVD commentary, insist it wasn't a political statement - just a prop. They said:

HBO said in a statement that the scene was:

unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste. We made this clear to the executive producers of the series who apologized immediately for this inadvertent careless mistake. We are sorry this happened and will have it removed from any future DVD production.

Promotional Material

This stunning limited edition gift set includes the complete first season of the epic fantasy series Game of Thrones , alongside a blu-ray bonus disc of Season 2 Episode 1 and dragon egg paper-weight. Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun. It will stretch from the south, where heat breeds plots, lusts and intrigues; to the vast and savage eastern lands; all the way to the frozen north, where an 800-foot wall of ice protects the kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men...all will play the Game of Thrones . A new original series based on George R.R. Martin's best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Features :

  • Making Game of Thrones

  • From the Book to the Screen

  • The Night's Watch

  • Creating the Show Open

  • Audio Commentaries

  • Creating the Dothraki Language

  • Character Profiles

  • Blu-ray Complete Guide to Westeros

  • Anatomy of an Episode

  • In-Episode Guide

  • Hidden Dragon Eggs



Update: Hostages to Censorship...

Iranian writers call for an end to book censorship

Link Here15th December 2012
Full story: Book Censors in Iran...Iranian literary censors

100 Iranian writers, poets, and translators have called for an end to book censorship.

The call was made in an open letter published on December 2 on the Pendar website that calls for an end to the requirement that writers obtain authorization from the Culture Ministry before publishing.

The needed authorization is increasingly difficult to obtain, according to writers and publishers, who say censorship has intensified in the Islamic republic in recent years.

The group of intellectuals includes prominent poet Simin Behbahani and writer Mohammad Ghaed. In the letter, they write:

Iran is one of the rare countries in the beginning of the 21st century where authors have to ask for a license from the state in order to publish their books, even though the requirement is not stated in the constitution.

In reality, this method amounts to hostage taking of freedom of expression, creativity, and the livelihood of writers by the government in order to impose its ideas on the authors.

The call for an end to book censorship is likely to fall on deaf ears among Iranian authorities who are openly supportive of censorship. Culture Minister Mohammad Hosseini has been quoted as saying that censoring books is not an obstacle but a necessity.



Update: Divine Intervention...

Turkish TV censor fines TV channel for airing an episode of the Simpsons featuring God and the Devil

Link Here15th December 2012
Full story: Blasphemy in Turkey...Blasphemy repressing Turkish people

Turkey's TV censor has fined a television channel for insulting religious values after it aired an episode of The Simpsons that shows the religious character God taking orders from the Devil.

Radio and television censor RTUK said it was fining private broadcaster CNBC-e 52,951-lira ( £ 18,600) over the episode featuring the devil asking God to make him a coffee.

Elected a decade ago with the strongest majority seen in years, prime minister Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK party have overseen a period of unprecedented prosperity in Turkey. But concerns are growing about authoritarianism and critics of the government say it is trying to impose Islamic values by stealth.



Khiladi 786...

Bollywood film title banned by Pakistan's film censor

Link Here15th December 2012

Pakistani film censors have banned advertisements for the Bollywood film Khiladi 786 because the number 786 is revered by some Muslims and it could hurt their religious sentiments.

The Censor Board has directed cinemas and distributors not to release the movie's trailers and to remove billboards for the film.

Khiladi 786 has yet to be cleared by the censors for screening in Pakistan. Censor Board Chairman Raja Mustafa Haider told Dawn newspaper:

The appearance of banners for the film in Rawalpindi and other areas was brought to my notice and I asked the City District Government Rawalpindi to remove all of them.

He did not disclose the final decision about the fate of the movie but said:

We will decide it when the movie comes to us, before screening in the cinema houses, he said.

Haider further said the Censor Board had managed to convince distributors to submit the film without the number 786.



Offsite Article: We're no longer citizens, we're suspects...

Link Here15th December 2012
Full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
The new Communications Data Bill continues the trend away from privacy to giving the state full access to our private lives.

See article from



Update: Hands Off...

Calls for UN control of internet governance rejected by US, Canada and UK

Link Here14th December 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship at the UN...United Nations debates worldwide internet censorship

The US, Canada and UK have refused to sign an international communications treaty at a conference in Dubai.

The three countries had objected to calls for the UN to take over aspects of the governance of the internet, especially as several countries had been pushing for this with a view to increasing censorship controls.

Russia, China and Saudi Arabia were among those pushing for internet censorship. Many attendees believed it was an anachronism that the US government got to decide which body should regulate the net's address system as a legacy of its funding for Arpanet - a precursor to the internet which helped form its technical core.

It marks a setback for the UN's International Telecommunication Union (ITU) which had said it was sure it could deliver consensus. The ITU had organised the 12-day conference in order to revise a communications treaty last overhauled 24 years ago. Dubai conference centre 193 countries have been debating changes to a communications treaty in Dubai

Negotiators from Denmark, the Czech Republic, Sweden, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Costa Rica and Kenya have said they would need to consult with their national governments about how to proceed and would also not be able to sign the treaty as planned on Friday.

A proposal from Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Sudan calling for equal rights for all governments to manage internet numbering, naming, addressing and identification resources was eventually shelved. But there was fresh controversy on Wednesday night after an alternative non-binding resolution was debated which suggested the UN agency's leadership should continue to take the necessary steps for ITU to play an active and constructive role in the development of broadband and the multi-stakeholder model of the internet.

Read the full article



Ratings Overrated...

Parents are not convinced by the age ratings applied to video games

Link Here14th December 2012

The majority of parents are unlikely to check video game age ratings when buying presents for Christmas, it has been revealed.

New research from the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) shows that only 40% of parents buy games with an age rating that the games raters think are appropriate for their children

43% said that they checked ratings but didn't necessarily stick to them, presumably because they did not agree with them.

Some 59% parents buying games for their children say they are likely to play the game with their child.

UKIE CEO Dr Jo Twist said:

PEGI ratings on all UK games give clear and simple guidance on the suitability of games for different age audiences and if parents need further guidance on what these ratings mean they can visit Ask About Games.

We'd urge parents to use this really helpful tool to ensure that playing games has the biggest positive impact on their children and family as a whole this Christmas.



Keith Lemon: The Film...

Released 18 uncut for UK DVD and Blu-ray after cinema cuts were restored

Link Here14th December 2012
Keith Lemon: The Film is a 2012 UK comedy by Paul Angunawela.
With Leigh Francis, Laura Aikman and Verne Troyer. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut for very strong language and frequent strong sex references for:

  • UK 2012 Lions Gate RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 10th December 2012
  • UK 2012 Lions Gate R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 10th December 2012

Censorship History

UK: Passed 15 for one use of very strong language and frequent strong sex references after BBFC advised cuts were implemented for:

  • UK 2012 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

This work was originally seen for advice in an unfinished form. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive an 18 rating but that their preferred 15 rating could be achieved by making changes to three scenes. These were:

  • to reduce sustained close focus on nudity in a lap dancing scene,
  • to reduce the focus on sexual detail during a mimed sequence of sexual activity, and
  • to reduce focus on ejaculate over a pin-up calendar.

When the finished version of the film was submitted for formal rating, changes had been made to satisfactorily address these issues and the film was consequently rated 15.

Promotional Material

Get ready for the uncut, lewderer, cruderer and ruderer comedy treat of the year -- Keith Lemon The Film. Ooosh, bang tidy! The best person on telly hits the big screen in this story of rags to riches... and that fit bird, Kelly Brook.

In this outrageous and hilarious adventure, Keith Lemon comes to London from Leeds and, just like his hero Richard Branson, becomes an overnight billionaire! Then an over day failure before finding the road to redemption.

With so much unseen stuff that wasn't allowed in the cinemas, and bursting with juicy special features, this extended DVD will have you shipped off to the hospital with your sides splitting. Get ready to laugh your pants off.



Who's to Say that a Religion's Slogans are Objectionable?...

India bans Sikh film for supposedly objectionable dialogue

Link Here 14th December 2012

The writer, producer and actor of the movie Sadda Haq , Kuljinder Singh Sidhu, has contacted the Sikh Parliament (SGPC) alleging that India's Central Board of Film Certification has been unfair in terming some dialogue from the film as objectionable and so banning the film.

According to Sidhu, among the content highlighted as Objectionable by the Censor Board, is the main character saying Raj Karega Khalsa and another dialogue based on Guru Gobind Singh's famous tenet where he advocates the use of weapons when all peaceful means of redressing a wrong stand fails.

Sidhu added that the Censor Board has objected on a dialogue where a character says:

Sikh religion is yet not considered and respected as independent religion and hence is treated as part of other religion.

The board has raised objections on 20 scenes and dialogues and placed a blanket ban on its release saying it is not fit for release.

When contacted, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said: Raj Karega Khalsa is a slogan given by our Guru. Who is the Censor Board to object to this? After watching the film, we will take up the matter with the Censor Board.

The film, which according to Sidhu is based on militancy period in Punjab, was slated to be released on October 26. The film was shown to the Censor Board on October 16 and 25. They decided to forward the same to review committee, which saw the film on November 14 and 21. The board conveyed its objections on 20 scenes and dialogues putting a blanket ban on its release.



Offsite Article: Filmmaker on Trial for Obscenity in Canada...

Link Here14th December 2012
In one 10-minute film played in Quebec Superior Court filmmaker Remy Couture's name was proudly displayed in the closing credits as director, special-effects artist and psychopath.

See article from



Offsite Comment: Why journalism and politics should remain independent...

Link Here 14th December 2012
Full story: Leveson Inquiry...Considering UK press censorship and regulation
Leveson's report is remarkably easygoing on the misjudgements of politicians and police, allowing for good faith even where bad decisions have been taken, especially by the police. By Kirsty Hughes of Index

See article from



Ice Age 4: Continental Drift...

UK Blu-ray and DVD releases are shorn of the word 'spastic'

Link Here13th December 2012

Ice Age: Continental Drift is a 2012 USA animation adventure comedy family by Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier.
With Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo. YouTube icon IMDb

Correction: It was previously reported that video versions have been cut when in fact only the audio descriptive track has been cut.

UK: Passed U uncut for mild threat and comic violence for:

  • UK 20th Century Fox [3D + 2D] RB Blu-ray/ R2 DVD Combo at UK Amazon released on 10th December 2012
  • UK 20th Century Fox [2D] RB Blu-ray/ R2 DVD Combo at UK Amazon released on 10th December 2012
  • UK 20th Century Fox R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 10th December 2012

However the Audio Descriptive track was cut by 4s. The BBFC commented:

  • Distributor chose to remove a use of the word spastic , as a term to describe a character, in order to achieve a U classification.



Offsite: BBFC Credibility Takes a Knock...

Link Here13th December 2012
Full story: BBFC on Sexual Violence...BBFC announces a change of policy on sexual violence
British Censor Board Using Bad Research to Inflict Greater Restrictions on Movies

See article from



Update: Good on the Lords...

House of Lords passes amendment to remove insults from the Public Order Act

Link Here13th December 2012
Full story: Public Order Act...Enabling police censorship

The House of Lords on Wednesday night voted to remove a shameful law that criminalises the use of insulting language in Britain.

The upper chamber voted to erase the word insulting from the clause in the Public Order Act that covers speech and writing on signs which states a person is guilty of an offence if he uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.

It follows a long history of abuse by the authorities.

MPs are likely to be asked to finally decide whether to vote down the Lords amendment early next year. A ComRes survey of MPs in May found 62% believed insults should not be illegal.

In Wednesday night's debate, peers said the government had concluded there was insufficient evidence that the removal of the world insulting would have overall benefits and urged their colleagues to vote against the amendment. It had been sponsored by the former West Midlands chief constable, Lord Dear, Labour peer Baroness Kennedy, the former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald and the former Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay.

Campaigner Peter Tatchell said:

The criminalisation of insults is far too subjective and constitutes a dangerously low prosecution threshold. Anyone who values free speech and robust debate should welcome its removal from section five. The section five ban on insults has been abused to variously arrest people protesting peacefully against abortion and campaigning for gay equality and animal welfare. The open exchange of ideas -- including unpalatable, even offensive ones -- is the hallmark of a free and democratic society.



One Repressive Law Out, One Repressive Law In...

Parliamentary Committee criticises defamation law that will lead to website operators taking down contested content without considering the merits of the complaint

Link Here13th December 2012

Repressive plans to tackle the supposed problems of internet trolling could have a chilling effect on online freedom of expression, a committee of MPs and peers has said.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights warned that libel law reforms might cause website operators to delete statements that had not broken the law. Chairman Hywel Francis said:

There should be a higher threshold put in place before material has to be removed.

We think there is a real risk that website operators will be forced to arbitrate on whether something is defamatory or lawful, and will too readily make decisions on commercial grounds to remove allegedly defamatory material rather than engage with the process.

Proposals in the Defamation Bill aim to protect website operators such as Facebook or Twitter from claims against them when defamatory statements are published by their users, while making it easier to identify the people accused of making such statements.

To be entitled to this protection, the websites must either facilitate contact between the complainant and the author or remove the offending material when they cannot establish contact.

Under the bill, a statement is regarded as defamatory if it has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of a person or a company, but any claim for damages will fail if it can be shown, for example, that the defamatory statement is substantially true .

The bill is due to begin detailed scrutiny in the House of Lords on 17 December.



Update: Stitched Up by the Courts...

Maltese Constitutional Court upholds ban on the play Stitching

Link Here13th December 2012
Full story: Stage Censorship in Malta...Maltese censors ban stage play Stitching, then get disbanded

Shocked producers of the play Stitching will take their case to the European Court of Human Rights after Malta's Constitutional Court of Appeal upheld a ban on performing the production.

The judgment came the day before two enabling legal notices were due to be published in support of a new law abolishing state theatre censorship.

Theatre company Unifaun had planned to stage it at St James Cavalier in Valletta in 2009 but it was banned by the now defunct Film and Stage Classification Board.

Without watching a performance, the board banned Stitching because of what it perceived as blasphemy, contempt for Auschwitz victims, dangerous sexual perversions, a eulogy to child murderers and references to the abduction, sexual assault and murder of children contained in the script.

The theatre company strongly contested the ban as a violation of the right to freedom of expression. They took their case to civil court in 2010 which ruled that the ban was justified, prompting another appeal by Unifaun, culminating in the Constitutional Court judgment.

Both the Civil Court and the Constitutional Court upheld the ban without viewing a performance.



Offsite Comment: T'is The Season To Be Jolly... Angry!...

Link Here13th December 2012
Full story: BBFC on Sexual Violence...BBFC announces a change of policy on sexual violence
Speaking of extreme cinema, the BBFC, torture porn and of course the Daily Mail

See article from



Offsite Article: How the Home Office let their Minister down...

Link Here13th December 2012
Full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Open Rights Group outlines some the parliamentary criticisms of the Government's Snooper's Charter

See article from



Update: An Insult to Free Speech...

Director of 18,000 public persecutions seems ready to drop insults from prosecution under the Public Order Act

Link Here12th December 2012
Full story: Public Order Act...Enabling police censorship

There is no need for a law that makes it a crime to insult someone, the Director of Public Persecutions has said.

In a boost to free-speech campaigners, Keir Starmer said it was safe to reform the controversial law that says it is a criminal offence to use insulting words or behaviour .

The clause of the 26-year-old Public Order Act has spurred a campaign which has united gay and secular activists, celebrities and conservative Christian evangelicals in favour of a robust right for people to insult each other.

The Crown Prosecution Service, which Starmer heads, has in the past been against any move to strike the word insulting from the statute book. But the DPP has now changed his mind, the CPS said.

He wrote in a letter to former West Midlands chief constable Lord Dear:

Having now considered the case law in greater depth, we are unable to identify a case in which the alleged behaviour leading to conviction could not properly be characterised as "abusive" as well as "insulting".

I therefore agree the word "insulting" could safely be removed without the risk of undermining the ability of the CPS to bring prosecutions.

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said:

This legislation has been on the statue books for 26 years, initially to control football hooligans, major demonstrations and protests such as the miners dispute.

But the legislation is now being used to criminalise huge numbers of people for trivial comments.

In 2009 the police used this law 18,000 times, including against people who were expressing their views or beliefs in a reasonable manner.'



ASA Sour Pusses...

Pontificating about a Sourz drinks advert supposedly appealing to kids

Link Here12th December 2012

A blog entry titled RASPBERRY HEAT WAVE stated Colour blocking is the hot clothing trend of 2011. Everyone from Chezza to Nicole Scherzinger to Leona Lewis are getting their bright colour game on. As a very brightly coloured bunch, we're bang into it too! We've been seing [sic] loads of pink, which we LOVE - as it's totally an homage to our new Sourz Raspberry flavour ;) Pink is not just for girls either ... lads have been getting in on the trend too with raspberry skinny jeans, shirts, belts and ties. Don't believe us? Check out this lot, who were more than happy to strike a pose and show off their latest colours on Threadz . Images showed male and female models in various outfits, with each photo including glasses of brightly coloured pink (and in one case green) drink. Issue

Alcohol Concern, on behalf of the Youth Alcohol Advertising Council (YAAC), challenged whether:

  1. the models shown were under 25 years of age, because they believed some of them appeared to be under 18 years of age; and
  2. the references to celebrities and the use of an emoticon winking smiley face were likely to appeal to people under 18.

Maxxium UK Ltd provided photographic ID for each of the models, including their dates of birth and their ages. They said the five models were aged 29, 27, 26, 25 and 25 at the time of the launch, but acknowledged that one of the models was just short of her 25th birthday at the time of the shoot.

2. They said the Sourz blog was hosted on a website which could only be accessed once a date of birth was provided and which stopped anyone under the age of 18 from legally seeing any content on the website, including the blog. They considered that all the website content appealed to and was exclusively consumed by people of a legal drinking age and if anyone under the age of 18 attempted to access the site they were re-directed to in line with their commitment to responsible marketing of alcohol.

They referred to Yahoo Survey research, which found that respondents from the ages of 19 to 25 were the most avid emoticon users, with 68% in this age group using emoticons on a daily basis, but that it was not just the younger generation who embraced emoticons, with nearly half (48%) of respondents over the age of 50 using emoticons in their everyday communication.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

1. Upheld

We noted that the Code required that marketing communications for alcoholic drinks should not show people who were, or appeared to be, under 25 years of age in a significant role. Although we noted that the models were all over 25 when the shoot was published, we nonetheless considered that some of the models in the fashion shot, namely the girl featured in the pink dress and turquoise cardigan and the girl in the hat, would be considered to be some years under the age of 25 by many consumers, and could be seen by some consumers as being under 18. Although the models were not featured drinking, we noted that the shoot appeared to have taken place in a bar and that Sourz drinks appeared in some of the images. We also understood that one theme of the shoot was homage to our new Sourz Raspberry flavour .

Because we considered that two of the models, who featured prominently in the images, were likely to be seen by consumers as under 25, we concluded the ad breached the Code.

On that point, the ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 18.16 (Alcohol).

2. Upheld

We noted that the blog used informal, colloquial language, including the use of a winking emoticon, and considered that that tone and approach were youth-orientated and likely to appeal to young people. We also noted that one aspect of the fashion shoot was to promote brightly coloured, fun fashion, which the ad claimed was likely to be worn by celebrities like Cheryl Cole, Nicole Scherzinger and Leona Lewis, and we considered that the ad associated that fashion style with the alcoholic Sourz drink. We noted that the celebrities mentioned were pop singers, associated with the X-Factor, who were popular with under 18s. We also considered that the models looked very young, with some models appearing to be around 18 years old, and, in light of that, considered that the fashion shoot would appeal to young people, rather than an older readership.

Because of the colloquial language, young-looking models and the references to X-Factor celebrities in the ad, we considered that it would have particular appeal to young people and concluded, in an ad promoting an alcoholic drink, that that approach was irresponsible and in breach of the Code.

On that point, the ad breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 18.14 (Alcohol).



Harry and Paul Series 4...

Seems to be another censorship casualty of TV sensitivity to jokes about children

Link Here12th December 2012
Harry and Paul is a 2012 UK TV comedy.
With Harry Enfield, Paul Whitehouse and Sophie Winkleman. IMDb

UK: Pre-cut versions of Series 4: Episode 3 and 4 were passed 15 without BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 2012 2Entertain [Season 4] R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 10th December 2012
  • UK 2012 2Entertain [Season 1-4] R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 10th December 2012

Censorship Issues

Pure speculation, but it looks like this is another example of the BBC cutting jokes about children after sensitivity resulting from the Jimmy Savile scandal.

A couple of months earlier Episode 3 had been passed 15 uncut for strong language and moderate sex references. The uncut version ran 1:31s longer than the Edited Version.

Similarly a pre-cut version of Episode 4 is 1:02s shorter than the uncut original.



Update: Too Nasty by Half...

Parliamentary committee sees through the government's bollox and reports on how nasty the Snooper's Charter really is

Link Here12th December 2012
Full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping

Ministers signalled they will rewrite the Snooper's Charter which gives police, security services and anyone else the government nominates new powers to snoop on communications. An influential parliamentary committee branded it overkill and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said it needed a fundamental rethink .

Home Secretary Theresa May accepted the substance of a highly-critical report by the committee set up to scrutinise the draft version of the Bill, which would allow a range of official bodies to monitor emails, web phone calls and activity on social networking sites.

The committee of MPs and peers said the legislation would give the Home Secretary sweeping powers to issue secret notices ordering communications companies to disclose potentially limitless categories of data . And they accused the Government of using fanciful and misleading figures to support its case for the legislation.

Clegg said he was ready to block the Bill in its current form, and called on the Home Office to go back to the drawing board :

I believe the coalition Government needs to have a fundamental rethink about this legislation.

We cannot proceed with this Bill and we have to go back to the drawing board. We need to reflect properly on the criticisms that the committee have made, while also consulting much more widely with business and other interested groups.



Update: Negative MP...

Russian MP proposes that TV should consist of 70% propaganda

Link Here12th December 2012

A Russian MP has produced a bill that would limit what he describes as negative TV content to 30% of air time in a move to ensure people are fed a diet of propaganda

The draft law defines what is acceptable and what should be kept away from viewer's eyes. Journalists should inform people rather than show explicit bloody details in news, the author of the initiative, Oleg Mikheyev told Izvestia daily.

The MP insists the point of the law is not to introduce censorship... .[BUT] ... In his opinion, people just cannot deal with all the negative information they get from the media.

Reports from sites of accidents and terrorist acts that provide close-up view of injured people cause psychological trauma, Mikheyev spewed.

Under the proposal, such content, as well as videos of violence against animals, acts of suicide and paedophilia should be completely banned. Heads of TV channels and journalists who violate the law would face up to six years behind bars.

The propaganda idea was welcomed in the ruling United Russia Party, which may soon develop its own more specific version of the bill. A person should be informed without scenes of violence and horror, a senior member of the party, Valery Trapeznikov noted.



Update: High Court on High Stakes...

Russian Supreme Court upholds internet blocking of gambling websites

Link Here12th December 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia and its repressive state control of media

The Russian government which has decided that gambling whether online or off is not a good thing and prohibits the activity in all but brick and mortar casinos in zones at the very edges of Russia’s domain. Since 2009 the Russian authorities have closed and dismantled thousands of parlour casinos and underground poker rooms.

A decree that online gambling is a prohibited activity and the responsibility is up to the ISPs to block access to gambling sites now has the Supreme Court backing it up.

A recent lower court ruling exonerated ISP company executives from an area close to the Estonian border who refused to comply with the order to deny service to gambling patrons.

The Supreme Court however said the ISP must block the gambling site that is now on the government blacklist of over 1500 supposedly illegal web sites. The Supreme Court also extended its definition of bad, to include the dissemination of information related to the implementation of activities of gambling, which makes it necessary to disconnect even sites that contain only information about gambling portals.



Offsite Article: Wikileaktrial...

Link Here12th December 2012
Full story: Wikileaks...Wikileaks whistle blowing and state secrets
Two Years of Cablegate as Bradley Manning Testifies for the First Time

See article from



BBFC to adjust sexual and sadistic violence policy...

Experts and researchers have provided little conclusive evidence of the harms of sexual violence in film. So the BBFC asked Tom, Dick, Harry and Sharon instead.

Link Here11th December 2012
Full story: BBFC on Sexual Violence...BBFC announces a change of policy on sexual violence

BBFC is to adjust sexual and sadistic violence policy to take into account key areas of public concern. Recent research has helped the BBFC to respond to concerns about depictions of rape, sexual assault and other sadistic violence in films and videos. 

Research carried out on behalf of the BBFC in 2002 and again in 2012 demonstrates that members of the film viewing public find unacceptable certain depictions of sexual and sadistic violence which, in their view, have the potential to cause harm.

Although the research reaffirms views that adults should be able to choose what they see, provided it remains within the law and is not potentially harmful. They are concerned about young men with little experience, and more vulnerable viewers, accessing sadistic and sexually violent content, which could serve to normalise rape and other forms of violence and offer a distorted view of women.

Film viewing members of the public support intervention at the adult category, by the BBFC, to remove certain depictions of violence on the grounds that they consider them to be potentially harmful.

The research carried out by Ipsos MORI in 2012 highlights concerns about certain depictions of sadistic and sexual violence to which the BBFC must respond. Much of the public believe that sexual and sadistic violence are legitimate areas for film makers to explore. But they are concerned by certain depictions which may be potentially harmful to some, including scenes which: 

  • make sexual or sadistic violence look appealing

  • reinforce the suggestion that victims enjoy rape

  • invite viewer complicity in rape or other harmful violent activities.

Most of those involved in the research expect the BBFC to intervene to remove potential harm from such scenes. The BBFC may also intervene where a depiction is so demeaning or degrading to human dignity (for example it consists of strong abuse, torture or death without any significant mitigating factors) as to pose a harm risk.

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said:

"There is no 'one size fits all' rule for any theme under the BBFC classification guidelines, as long as what is depicted is within the law and does not pose a harm risk. Once again the public have told us that context, tone and impact, and a work's over all message, can aggravate a theme, or make it acceptable, even in cases of sexual and sadistic violence. The decision as to whether and how to intervene in scenes of sexual and sadistic violence is complex, but drawing out and applying these aggravating and mitigating factors is helpful in arriving at a decision which balances freedom of expression against public protection".


A. Introduction

Research carried out on behalf of the BBFC, most recently by Ipsos MORI in 2012, demonstrates that film viewing members of the public find unacceptable certain depictions of sexual and sadistic violence which, in their view, have the potential to cause harm.  This concern is particularly acute in relation to young men, without much life experience, and other vulnerable viewers accessing a diet of sadistic and sexually violent content, which could serve to normalise rape and other forms of violence and offer a distorted view of women.

Further, there is support for intervention, at the adult category, to remove certain depictions of violence on the grounds that many of the public consider them to be potentially harmful.

The BBFC's response to these concerns must strike a balance between, on the one hand, freedom of expression and the principle that adults should be free to choose what they see provided it remains within the law and is not potentially harmful, and the need to protect the vulnerable from material which may cause harm.

The response outlined below covers situations where the BBFC is considering cutting, or even rejecting, works aimed at adults and containing violence, in the absence of a specific legal prohibition on depiction of the activity.

When considering such intervention, the test the BBFC will apply is whether there is a real, as opposed to a fanciful, risk of harm. Research in this area is contested.  There are difficulties both in carrying out such research and in translating findings from the laboratory to society.  However, the difficulty of establishing broad and replicated findings from such research does not mean that there are no harm risks.  The research literature, and reviews of it, often warn that certain works may pose certain risks for certain individuals in certain circumstances. 

What the public considers to be potentially harmful is also important. This is not simply because members of the public may have practical experience of harm risks in operation in society which cannot easily be addressed in the lab. Furthermore, the confidence of the public that the classification system will protect the vulnerable from material that has the potential to cause harm is itself an important indicator of whether the system is effective.

B. The response of the BBFC

This response covers both fictional and documentary (for example "extreme reality" works) which contain sexual and/or sadistic violence.

Intervention is likely in relation to any depiction of sexual or sadistic violence which is likely to pose a non trivial harm risk through, for example:

  • making sexual or sadistic violence look appealing

  • reinforcing the suggestion that victims enjoy rape

  • inviting viewer complicity in rape or other harmful violent activities.

Intervention may also be required in cases where a depiction is so demeaning or degrading to human dignity (for example it consists of strong abuse, torture or death without any significant mitigating factors) as to pose a harm risk. 

Material of this nature might also be considered obscene.  When considering intervention on the ground of obscenity, the BBFC will take account of the defence of public good and the significance of the overall nature and purpose of the work in establishing whether or not a work is likely to be found obscene.

The BBFC will also take into account the right to freedom of expression established under the Human Rights Act 1988.

The decision as to whether and how to intervene is complex and subject to a number of aggravating or mitigating indicators which need to be balanced out in order to arrive at a decision. 

These indicators are listed below. They are a guide to assist BBFC Examiners in making recommendations in relation to works which are on the edge of suitability for classification according to the BBFC's Classification Guidelines.

The indicators are not designed to be a tick list. No one indicator will of itself necessarily determine the classification of a work. Examiners will balance the indicators and use their judgement when deciding which course of action to recommend -- passing the work uncut; passing the work with cuts; or determining that the work is unsuitable for classification.  The presence of one or two aggravating indicators will not necessarily lead a work to be cut or even rejected, if the mitigating indicators outweigh them. Nevertheless, if Examiners recommend not intervening, they will highlight any aggravating indicators in their reports and justify why they do not lead to intervention.

Each factor listed below is expanded with possible examples of when the factor might come into play.


Does the depiction make sexual or sadistic violence seem normal, appealing, or arousing?

For example, the perpetrators are characters with whom the viewer might identify.  The scene is shot in a way which might invite the viewer to identify with the perpetrator(s).    Violence is glamorised in a way which could arouse the viewer.  The scene places an emphasis on the sexual pleasure of the perpetrator(s). The sequence offers a "how to" guide on how to perpetrate sexual or sadistic violence.  The sequence has the potential to raise concerns about the enactment of sexual fantasies, particularly among vulnerable viewers.

Is the depiction likely to appeal especially to impressionable or vulnerable viewers, including young men and gang members, with the result that it might influence their behaviour or attitudes in a way which may cause harm?

For example, there is a gang mentality at play which suggests that sadistic or sexual violence can be a bonding experience within a group.

Does the depiction perpetuate any suggestion that victims enjoy rape?

For example, the depiction suggests that women may become sexually aroused through being raped or that "no" means "yes".

Is the depiction of sexual or sadistic violence gratuitous, including in terms of excessive length and/or detail?

For example, the depiction is out of step with what is required by the narrative.  The work does not have much of a narrative.    Rape features a focus on eroticising detail, such as nudity.  The scene wallows in gratuitous violence. 

Are children involved in the sequence?  

Participants in the 2012 research felt that the rape of children, or the juxtaposition of images of children with sexual violence to be potentially more harmful than any other form of sexual violence.

Does the depiction amount to an unacceptable degradation of human dignity?

For example, the sequence features strong, including real life, abuse, torture, killing or other violence without significant contextual justification or other mitigating factors to the extent that it offers human suffering as entertainment in itself?  Might the sequence be considered significantly to erode viewer empathy? 


Does the work make it clear that the violence depicted is not condoned? 

For example, the perpetrators of sexual or sadistic violence are punished within a work's narrative.  The narrative is balanced.  (For example, it does not contain 80 minutes of graphic rape followed by two minutes of mild rebuke.)  The viewer is invited to identify with the victim(s). 

Does the work or scene lack credibility in a way which undermines its power?

For example, the work is dated and/or ridiculous.  The depiction of sexual or sadistic violence is comic and unlikely to be taken seriously.  The sequence is otherwise risible.  Low production values can add to the lack of credibility.

Is the scene discreetly shot?

For example, it leaves some detail to the imagination.  The scene only as long as the narrative requires it to be.  The treatment is in keeping with the narrative.

Is the scene narratively justified?

For example, it is based on a true story or carries a strong anti-rape message.  What the viewer sees is necessary to explain character motivation.  The work raises awareness of an issue of public concern in a responsible way. 

Where there is any nudity is it outside the context of rape?

Most participants in the 2012 research felt that merely combining violent images with nudity, even sexualised nudity, was not necessarily a problem in itself. These viewers drew a clear distinction between rape, where eroticising detail could be potentially harmful, and violence which is shot in a titillatory way.



Comment: Strange Things Are happening...

A good summary of the BBFC's risible 'research', unbelievably used to justify policy

Link Here11th December 2012

The BBFC recently carried out what they laughably call research into public attitudes towards depictions of rape, sexual and sadistic violence (so, no leading phrases there...). In this case, 35 people across London. Bristol and Dundee were asked to watched and comment on a number of recent controversial films that had either been passed uncut, cut or banned.

Let's think about that for a moment. 35 people in three cities -- two in the South of England and one in Scotland. No serious scientific researcher or public opinion market researcher would consider this to be anywhere near the number and variety required to use to gain any level of information about public attitudes. You'd probably get greater variety and numbers in a railway station bar.

...Read the full article



Comment: Mail Wail...

Of course the Daily Mail has a few gleeful words at the thought of films being censored

Link Here11th December 2012

The Daily Mail Spouts:

At last, censors crack down on sexually violent films that corrupt teenage boys' minds

Sexually violent horror films will finally face a crackdown by censors over fears they distort the way teenage boys view women.

The long overdue decision comes following research which found widespread public concern over the increasing number of sexually depraved and barbaric films being fed to British audiences.

The British Board of Film Classification has announced it will tighten guidelines over such films which will see more banned, or scenes cut from the content to protect vulnerable viewers.

Vivienne Pattison, director of campaign group Media Watch UK, said:

This decision has been long overdue.

Films have become increasingly more violent and the regulations have allowed that to happen.

This is what the public wants. People are saying enough is enough.'

I am not sure that the BBFC have quite said what the Daily Mail hope. All the BBFC have vaguely said is that a whole load factors will be taken into consideration.

...Read the full article

Grotesque legacy of censors who failed us

See  article from

The Daily Mail leader writers also enjoy the opportunity to go into overdrive:

Decades too late, the British Board of Film Classification announces a crackdown on sexually violent films, whose insidious spread it has done so much to encourage.

Ever since the 1960s, the BBFC has been in the vanguard of the permissive society, allowing increasingly graphic material to be seen by ever younger audiences.

Only now, after feeding an appetite for obscenity that has done untold social damage, do the censors acknowledge concerns that such films could normalise rape and other forms of violence and offer a distorted view of women .

The irony is that this U-turn comes as the BBFC is all but powerless to stem the corrupting tide.

For in the age of the internet, every child or teenager with a smartphone or laptop has access to grotesque filth at the touch of a button or click of a mouse.

...Read the full article



Francis Ford Coppola: 5-Film Collection...

Includes the 2 versions of Apocalypse Now

Link Here11th December 2012

US: Francis Ford Coppola: 5-Film Collection is MPAA Unrated for

Apocalypse Now is a 1979 US war film by Francis Ford Coppola. With Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando and Robert Duvall. IMDb

Both Original and Redux Versions.

The version differences between the Original and Redux versions are uncontroversial in terms of censorship. See pictorial version details from .

One from the Heart is a 1982 musical drama by Francis Ford Coppola
With Frederic Forrest and Teri Garr. IMDb

The film exists in two versions, an Original Version and a shorter New Edit created in 2004. No censorship issues though.

Tetro is a 2009 USA/Argentina/Spain/Italy drama by Francis Ford Coppola.
With Vincent Gallo, Alden Ehrenreich and Maribel Verdú. IMDb

There are no censorship issues with this release.

The Conversation is a 1974 USA mystery thriller by Francis Ford Coppola.
With Gene Hackman, John Cazale and Allen Garfield. IMDb

There are no censorship issues with this release.

Promotional Materials: Features

• Audio commentary by Director Francis Ford Coppola

• Feature-length audio commentary by Director Francis Ford Coppola
• The Dream Studio
• The Electronic Cinema
• Tom Waits and the Music of One From The Heart
• The Making Of One From The Heart
• Previously Unreleased Demo Recordings and Alternate Takes of Tom Waits' Music
• Deleted And Alternate Scenes
• Videotaped Rehearsals
• Theatrical Trailers
• Photo Gallery
• Rare Materials

• The Dream Studio
• The Electronic Cinema
• Tom Waits and the Music of One From The Heart
• The Making Of One From The Heart
• Previously Unreleased Demo Recordings and Alternate Takes of Tom Waits' Music
• Deleted And Alternate Scenes
• Videotaped Rehearsals
• Theatrical Trailers
• Photo Gallery
• Rare Materials

• Commentary with Francis Ford Coppola
• Commentary with Editor Walter Murch
• Never-Before-Seen Interview with Francis Ford Coppola and Composer David Shire
• Never-Before-Seen Harry Caul's San Francisco Featurette
• Never-Before-Seen Archival Screen Tests
• Never-Before-Heard Archival Audio Of Francis Ford Coppola Dictating His Original Script
• Never-Before-Seen Discussion with Francis Ford Coppola About His Early Film Exercise, "No Cigar"
• Close-Up On The Conversation Featurette
• Archival On-Set Interview with Gene Hackman



Offsite: Cheezy Warning...

Link Here10th December 2012
Warning of sub par US DVD release of Mark of the Devil

See article from



Offsite: Footloose Lost Footage...

Link Here10th December 2012
BBFC archive reveals category cuts to reduce Footloose to a PG

See article from



Update: UN Disunited...

Internet censorship proposal threatens to derail UN telecoms conference

Link Here10th December 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship at the UN...United Nations debates worldwide internet censorship

An unexpected new proposal for international internet censorship left a global conference on the issue on the edge of collapse.

The deep divisions over treatment of the internet came after a group of Arab states put forward a plan late on Friday that would require countries around the world to explicitly regulate internet companies. The proposal inevitably won the backing from repressive countries including Russia and China. The plan would extend current regulation of telecommunication companies to internet service companies.

The pitch for direct regulation came as an unwelcome surprise to delegations from the US and other countries that have supported the current light system of regulation for the internet. The conference has been hijacked by a group of countries that want to extend regulation of the internet, said one person familiar with the US position: This is completely unacceptable to the US point of view.

Tariq al-Awadhi, head of the Arab states delegation, said that it made sense for internet companies to be included in the regulations since this would help force them to work together with network operators.

The call for new regulation could lead to a break-down in the talks, according to people involved in the discussions. The US delegation will refuse to support anything that extends regulation in a way that damages internet freedom and has full backing from Washington to walk out on the talks if necessary, said the person familiar with the US position.



Normal Swearing Saddens Vivienne Pattison...

BBC warn viewers that they may hear strong language amongst the crowd noise at pre-watershed Scottish football matches

Link Here10th December 2012

Scottish BBC bosses are warning easily offended viewers that swearing may be heard during Gaelic football coverage. BBC Alba issued a new disclaimer because they claimed they don't have time to edit colourful language used by fans and footballers during pre-watershed games.

The announcement comes after the Gaelic Beeb channel just last month secured a new broadcast deal for live match-coverage with the Scottish Premier League.

Vivienne Pattison of Mediawatch-UK, spouted:

You can see why BBC bosses are being careful and it's a wise move but I really wish they didn't have to do this.

It's sad when it becomes normal to hear swearing during a match on live TV.

Footballers should be aware this can be picked up by children in the ground and watching at home.

A spokesman for BBC Alba said:

It is required of the channel to warn viewers of the presence of offensive language within a broadcast which we do not have time to edit out before transmission.



Ad Agency Caught Napping...

Virgin Mobile US advert winds up Richard Branson

Link Here10th December 2012

Virgin Mobile US has pulled an advert that seemingly made light of rape after Richard Branson slammed the online commercial as ill-judged and a dreadful mistake .

The offending ad depicted a man holding a gift while shielding the eyes of a woman, an accompanying caption asks: The gift of Christmas surprise. Necklace? Or chloroform?

The implication of chloroform being used to render attack victims unconscious, were immediately attacked on Twitter, with some posters alerting Branson to the ad.

Branson responded via the Virgin group website, saying:

Having just seen, for the first time, the Virgin Mobile US advert which has upset many today, I agree it is ill-judged. Although I don't own the company, it carries our brand. I will speak to the team there, make my thoughts clear and see what can be done about it.

In an update to the post, Branson confirmed that the people behind the ad had acknowledged that a dreadful mistake was made and had agreed to remove the advert within the hour.

A spokeswoman for Virgin Mobile USA said:

This image was not approved by Virgin Mobile USA. We apologise deeply to anyone who has been offended by this posting. It was removed early this morning.



Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 1 and 2 Double Feature...

Part 2 was banned for its UK cinema release

Link Here 9th December 2012
Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 1 and 2 Double Feature

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

  • US 2012 Starz/Anchor Bay [Silent Night 1+2] R1 DVD at US Amazon released on 4th December 2012
Silent Night, Deadly Night is a 1984 US horror by Charles E. Sellier Jr.
With Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick and Toni Nero. YouTube icon IMDb

Censorship History

US: The US Theatrical Version was cut for an R Rating

From IMDb: Parent Picket

The release of this film was picketed in the US by angry parents who were not happy to see Santa Claus depicted as an axe murderer.

As a result, box office sales plummeted and the film was shelved for another year where it saw new light in an uncut video form.

Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 is a 1987 USA comedy drama horror thriller by Lee Harry.
With Eric Freeman, James Newman and Elizabeth Kaitan. YouTube icon IMDb

Censorship History

UK: Banned by the BBFC for:
  • UK 1987 cinema release

Summary Review: Dumbed Down

Ricky, the brother of the killer in the first film, talks to a psychitrist about how he became a brutal killer after his brother died, leading back to Mother Superior.

The murders are dumbed down a bit compared with the first part.

The acting, sets, cinematography, and even the special effects are mostly amateurish, and even laughable.



Offsite Article: Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning...

Link Here9th December 2012
Director John Hyams speaks of the cut R rated version and an uncut NC-17 version

See article from



Unfair Tactics...

Trade body AITA has a knock at ATVOD's unfair suffocation of UK VOD companies

Link Here9th December 2012

The UK's adult industry trade body AITA has once again slammed VOD regulatory body ATVOD in an end of year statement highlighting its activities during 2012. The statement reads:

Like all responsible stakeholders in the adult industry AITA fully supports the goal to protect children from viewing inappropriate content and has representation on the board of IFFOR (the International Foundation For Online Responsibility).

However, the stance taken by ATVOD is, in our opinion, a short term solution that penalises UK business and individuals who trade on a global stage. ATVOD themselves have admitted that it is not a level playing field as they have no jurisdiction over free tube sites hosted outside the UK. As we all know these sites have had a hard hitting effect on the adult industry with many companies ceasing to produce films and the consequent knock-on effect for producers and performers.

AITA has lobbied ATVOD throughout the year and will continue pursuing a considered legal option of ATVOD's alleged outreach and unfair tactics, whilst collaborating with our colleagues worldwide to provide a more fulfilling solution, which allows all companies in this market sector to be treated equally.



Completely Absurd Censorship...

ASA whinge at jokey advert featuring a brain surgeon

Link Here9th December 2012

A TV ad for an online holiday website,, featured an operating theatre where a surgeon was conducting brain surgery. The surgeon said, Let's see what we got here and began to operate on the patient's brain.

The patient had a laptop on his lap and as the surgeon poked around the patient's brain, he lifted his hands and began to type on the laptop. A nurse then said to the surgeon, This is completely unethical to which he replied, My hours are unethical; I don't have time to sit around searching tonnes of travel sites looking for flights and hotels. The nurse replied, Just use Kayak. It compares hundreds of travel sites in seconds and the surgeon replied sarcastically, Well, I guess you're the brains of this operation . The surgeon then moved the patient's arms as if he were punching the nurse; he then lifted the patient's arm and high-fived him. A voice-over stated, Go to and you could save up to 20% on your next flight. Kayak. Search one and done.

The ASA received 441 complaints.

  1. A number of complainants challenged whether the theme of the ad was offensive.
  2. Some complainants, which included people who either themselves or had family members who were about to undergo or had undergone brain surgery and people who had lost family members to brain tumours and other neurological conditions, challenged whether the ad was distressing and deeply upsetting.
  3. Twenty-five complainants, who were concerned that the ad could be distressing to children, challenged whether it was appropriate for broadcast during the day when children might be watching.
  4. Sixteen complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive because it was insulting to surgeons and the medical profession in general.

Kayak said they chose humour in their ads for a number of reasons and acknowledged that humour could offend at times. They said they tested their advertising for clarity, entertainment value and acceptability but they did not see any abnormal research findings for the ad.

Kayak believed the ad was so obviously a parody that it was not offensive. It portrayed a situation that was completely absurd in an attempt to make a point about the misguided lengths to find travel deals when, instead, they could have contacted Kayak.

Clearcast agreed with Kayak's comments. They felt the ad was a very obvious parody and was much too far removed from real life to cause widespread offence. They said the ad was not intended to portray a real life event and that instead, it portrayed a completely absurd and exaggerated situation. For those reasons, they did not apply a timing restriction.

ASA Assessment

1. Not Upheld

The ASA noted the ad depicted the surgeon's desperation at having insufficient time to search for his holiday and that he was prepared to behave in an unethical manner to find his holiday, which both he and the nurse appeared to acknowledge was inappropriate. We understood that some viewers may have found the depiction of an operation unpleasant and the idea of a surgeon manipulating a patient in that way distasteful. However, we considered that most viewers were likely to understand that it was a farcical situation which was not intended to reflect or depict real life. We therefore concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause widespread offence.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 4.2 (Harm and Offence) but did not find it in breach.

2. Upheld

Although the ad was an unrealistic portrayal of what happened during an operation, we considered that for those viewers who had either personally experienced brain surgery, had family members who had undergone or were about to undergo that type of surgery the theme was likely to provoke a strong reaction.

The surgeon appeared to be taking advantage of a patient's immobility, while undergoing a serious major operation, by using him to search for a holiday. We considered the ad's treatment of a serious and delicate medical procedure could be seen as flippant, and as such, the theme of the ad was likely to be difficult to watch for those viewers who had been affected by brain surgery in some way. Although we understood the ad was intended to be a humorous depiction of someone pressed for time searching for a holiday, we noted a number of complainants had found it distressing and some had found it sickening and deeply offensive because of their personal experience. We considered the ad's flippant treatment of a serious and recognisably real situation was likely to cause distress and serious offence to those viewers who had been affected by the type of operation depicted in the ad. We considered the ad was likely to cause distress without justifiable reason and serious offence to some viewers and therefore concluded it breached the Code.

On this point, the ad breached BCAP Code rules 4.2 and 4.10 (Harm and Offence).

3. Not Upheld

Clearcast did not apply a scheduling restriction which meant the ad could be shown at any time, including children's programmes; some complainants reported seeing the ad during the children's programme, Peppa Pig . We considered, however, that younger children were unlikely to understand the scenario or that the surgeon was using a helpless patient to search the internet for cheap holidays. While the scene where the surgeon inserted the probes into the patient's brain was found unpleasant by some older viewers, we considered that it was unlikely to cause distress to younger children. We also considered that while it was possible that older children might understand the intended comic effect of the scenario, they were unlikely to interpret the ad as being a realistic scenario of what happened during a surgical operation. We therefore concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause harm to those children who saw the ad and was not inappropriately scheduled.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 4.1 (Harm and Offence), 5.1 (Children) and 32.3 (Scheduling) but did not find it in breach.

4. Not Upheld

We noted the viewers' concerns that the scenario was insulting to surgeons and the medical profession generally. However, the nurse told the surgeon that his behaviour, was unethical, which the surgeon appeared to acknowledge. We considered viewers would understand the comic intention and that it was not a realistic portrayal of an operation and was unlikely to damage the reputation of doctors or the medical profession.

On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 4.2 (Harm and Offence) but did not find it in breach.



Step Up 4: Miami Heat...

Cut for a PG rated cinema release but uncut for a 12 rated DVD and Blu-ray release

Link Here8th December 2012
Step Up 4: Miami Heat is a 2012 US musical drama by Scott Speer.
With Kathryn McCormick, Ryan Guzman and Cleopatra Coleman. YouTube icon IMDb

UK: Passed 12 uncut for moderate language, mild sex references and violence with cinema cuts reinstated for:

  • UK 2012 Universal [3D + 2D] (RB) Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 3rd December
  • UK 2012 Universal (RB) Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 3rd December
  • UK 2012 Universal R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 3rd December

There is also a US release

Censorship History

UK: Passed PG for mild language, sex references and violence, after 5s of BBFC category cuts for:
  • UK 2012 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

  • The company chose to remove language (in this case, an inadequately obscured use of motherfucking and an aggressive use of bitch') in order for the work to be passed at PG . An uncut 12A was available to the company.




Playing the Nutters' Game...

Nintendo implement an internet watershed and ban access to 18 rated game info until 11pm

Link Here8th December 2012

Nintendo of Europe is blocking access to 18-rated content on the Wii U eShop at certain times of day, system messages suggest.

For most of the day users are unable to access trailers for 18-rated Wii U games or buy 18-related content.

Nintendo of Italy replied to a user who asked about being blocked:

Dear customer, we would like to let you know that Nintendo has always aimed to offer gameplay experiences suited to all age groups, observing carefully all the relevant regulations regarding content access that are present in the various European countries.

We have thus decided to restrict the access to content which is unsuitable to minors (PEGI) to the 11pm - 3am time window.

Eurogamer has just tested this and it appears to be true. We were unable to access Assassin's Creed 3 information or buy ZombiU digitally.



Update: Culturally Degrading Blasphemy Investigation...

Russians get wound up by art featuring a crucified Ronald McDonald

Link Here8th December 2012

St. Petersburg's State Hermitage Museum is reportedly under investigation over complaints of supposed blasphemy.

Hermitage Director Mikhail Piotrovsky told journalists on December 7 that investigators were examining artwork in the exhibition End of Fun by the British brothers Jake and Dinos Chapman.

According to Piotrovsky, the investigators told him that some visitors called the Chapmans' work extremist and complained that it hurt their religious feelings. It includes a Christian cross with the figure of Ronald McDonald nailed to it. Another features a crucified teddy bear.

Piotrovsky said that he was outraged by the prosecutor's investigation and called the complaints culturally degrading to our society.

The exhibition is scheduled to run at the Hermitage until January 13.



Offsite Article: Leveson: a licence to police press freedom...

Link Here8th December 2012
Full story: Leveson Report...Proposal to appoint Ofcom as the UK's newspaper censor
The dangers inherent in Lord Justice Leveson's report do not end with the controversy over statutory underpinning for a new press regulator. By Mick Hume

See article from




Brazil get the Criterion treatment with 2 versions released on US Blu-ray

Link Here7th December 2012
Brazil is 1985 UK Sci-Fi fantasy by Terry Gilliam.
With Jonathan Pryce, Kim Greist and Robert De Niro. YouTube icon IMDb

US: The Director's Cut is MPAA Unrated for:

  • US 2012 Criterion [Director's Cut + Love Conquers All Version] RA Blu-ray via UK Amazon and at US Amazon released on 4th December 2012

Version History

See article from . The US Director's Cut is equivalent to the European version but with minor extra footage:

  • An extended opening sequence, with the titles over a cloudy background from NeverEnding Story, perhaps omitted in Europe for copyright reasons
  • The scene in which Spoor answers the phone in Sam's apartment is slightly longer with extra dialogue.

Previously there was a 136m shortened US Theatrical version.

There is also a 90m shortened Sid Sheinberg Edit/Love Conquers All Version. This was a further shortened studio edit and was contested by the director.

Promotional Material

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer of Terry Gilliam's 142-minute director's cut, supervised by Gilliam, with DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 surround soundtrack
  • Audio commentary by Terry Gilliam
    What Is "Brazil"?, a thirty-minute on-set documentary by Rob Hedden
  • The Battle of "Brazil": A Video History, a sixty-minute documentary by author and film writer Jack Mathews about the controversy surrounding the film's release
  • The "Love Conquers All" version of Brazil, a ninety-four-minute cut of the film produced by the studio in an attempt to make it more commercial, with commentary by Brazil expert David Morgan
  • The Production Notebook, a collection of supplements featuring a trove of Brazil-iana from Gilliam's personal collection: a short documentary on the screenplay, featuring interviews with screenwriters Gilliam, Charles McKeown, and Tom Stoppard; Gilliam's storyboards for unfilmed dream sequences, animated and narrated by Morgan; visual essays on the film's production design and special effects; a visual essay on Brazil's costumes, narrated by costume designer James Acheson; and interviews with Gilliam and composer Michael Kamen on the score
  • Trailer
  • A booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Sterritt




Censorship Promotion...

New Australian film censor appointed

Link Here7th December 2012

Former Cleo magazine writer Lesley O'Brien has been appointed director of the Australian Film Classification Board.

Ms O'Brien has been deputy director since January 2011 and her new three year term begins in January, the government said.

Federal Justice Minister Jason Clare says the former magazine writer and ABC publishing manager has an excellent understanding of classification issues.

Ms O'Brien replaces Donald McDonald, who headed the board for five years.



On a Mission from God...

New Philippines film censor feels that censorship makes for better content

Link Here7th December 2012

Philippines President Benigno Aquino III has appointed Law professor Eugenio "Toto" Villareal as chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). He replaces Grace Poe-Llamanzares, who resigned to run for senator in 2013.

An Opus Dei member, Villareal addressed concerns that the MTRCB will become conservative under his watch. Villareal claimed:

There will be no censorship. We will just classify content. Grace's advice was to wear a parent's hat.

We want the MTRCB to have an impact on the common tao (people), promoting matalinong (smart) parenthood. We want to empower every Juan and Juana to know if a movie or TV show does not go against Filipino values.

Finally, we wish to engage all networks and film producers in this mission, knowing that better content means a better entertainment industry.

Prior to his appointment, Villareal was already an MTRCB board member and spokesman.



Offsite Article: A Century of censorship...

Link Here7th December 2012
100 years of the BBFC by Kieran Turner-Dave

See article from



Update: We Fight Censorship...

US House of Representatives votes against UN control of the internet

Link Here7th December 2012
Full story: Internet Censorship at the UN...United Nations debates worldwide internet censorship

The United States Congress may be a mess and the most unruly and uncompromising bunch in the land but they all apparently think that the UN should not be setting policy on the Internet. To that end, members of the House of Representatives - Democrats and Republicans - voted unanimously (397-0) against the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the United Nations' efforts to push increased government control over the Internet.

The vote is a declaration against the goings-on at the World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai. The goal of the conference is to update telecommunications regulations that haven't been updated since 1988. Those International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs) do not address the Internet and other growing technologies.

The fear among advocacy groups is that counties that want to control their population's access to a free internet such as North Korea, China, Russia, Iran, and Syria will use the conference as a way to push their own agendas. Those agendas include eliminating anonymity from the Internet, limits on free speech and the surveillance of internet traffic they deem to be bad. This also includes everything from prohibitions on copyright violations and pornography to prohibitions on defamation and political speech.



We Fight Censorship...

Reporters Without Borders launches a website to host censored material

Link Here7th December 2012

Reporters Without Borders has launched a website called WeFightCensorship (WeFC) on which it will post content that has been censored or banned or has given rise to reprisals against its creator. The organization said:

It is an unprecedented initiative that will enable Reporters Without Borders to complement all of its other activities in defense of freedom of information, which include advocacy, lobbying and assistance

Content submitted by journalists or netizens who have been the victims of censorship -- articles, videos, sound files, photos and so on ?-- will be considered for publication on the WeFightCensorship site.

The content selected by the WeFC editorial committee will be accompanied by a description of the context and creator. It may also be accompanied by copies of documents relating to the proceedings under which it was banned or other documents that might help the public to understand its importance.

There will be French and English-language versions of the site. Documents from all over the world will be published in their original language (including Chinese, Persian and Vietnamese) and in translation.

The site is designed to be easily duplicated and mirror versions will be created in order to thwart attempts to filter or block it. Internet users will be asked to circulate the censored content in order to give it as much visibility as possible.



Deviant Book Seller...

Major Thai bookshop chain demands the publishers display censorship warnings on books

Link Here7th December 2012

Thai book seller Se-ed has demanded that publishers put clear warnings of adult content on the cover of books dealing with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LBGT) or sexually explicit content.

According to Isra News Agency the Se-Ed letter asks publishing houses to reconsider or screen books with suggestive content, as follows:

  • LBGT literature
  • Student prostitution
  • Deviant sexual behaviour
  • Sex in public locations
  • Sexual abuse of non-spouses, children, youth and women, and incest (presumably the sexual abuse of spouses is considered to be fine)
  • Arousing graphic details of sexual intercourse

The company threatens to return books that do not comply with these warning guidelines.

According to the Isra report, the letter has met with strong criticism from social groups who claim to be writers and LBGT activists. They say that Se-ed's requirements are too broad, particularly the first rule which clearly discriminates against homosexuality. The groups are now organising a petition on social media against the bookstore. More than 130,000 people have already clicked like on their cause. The group are promoting the banner: We are against the banning of LGBT literature by Se-ed bookstores .

Wiroj Lakkanaadisorn, representative from Se-ed, said the company had no intention of censoring books or halting sales. Instead, the letter aimed to bring distributors on board with a plan to separate books in a category of children's literature from those in a category of erotic literature. The company had received complaints from parents that some children's books actually contained erotic content, and this was not clear from the book's cover.



Updated: Spitting Communion Blood...

Irish TV comedian winds up the church over skit with boxing, spitting and Holy Communion

Link Here6th December 2012

An unholy row has broken out between the Catholic Church and impersonator Mario Rosenstock over an RTE sketch about Olympic champion Katie Taylor that appears to mock Holy Communion.

The Catholic Communications Office (CCO) has formally complained to RTE and demanded an apology over the boxing-themed sketch set in a church, which showed a man spitting into a bucket -- in the manner of a prize fighter -- before receiving Holy Communion. Church spokesman Martin Long wrote in a letter to RTE

Any objective viewer would certainly see the offence caused in ridiculing the reception of Holy Communion, the Eucharist, which is the Body of Christ. To make fun of this sacred act is sacrilege and is offensive to the core belief of every Catholic.

Rosenstock said he was disappointed with the church's reaction. He denied that the parody shown on his Mario Rosenstock Show last Monday night was aimed at the church.

It was clearly based on the phenomenon that is Katie Taylor and how her success has permeated every facet of Irish life.

On a more serious note, it seems to me that there is a bigger game afoot. After the Prime Time Investigates controversy over Fr Reynolds, does the church now believe it can go around and start telling RTE what they can and cannot show?

Further comments on Rosenstock's website noted:

Mario Rosenstock has put himself on a collision course with the Catholic Church by refusing to apologise for a sketch which prompted complaints to RTE. And he predicted the church will be upset further by a skit involving Mother Teresa to be aired tonight.

The clip will recreate the historic interview the venerated nun gave to broadcaster Gay Byrne during the early 1970s, but with the major Catholic icon behaving less than saintly during commercial breaks.

If they thought we went too far with the last sketch, I dread to think what they will make of this, Mr Rosenstock told the Irish Independent in reference to a boxing-themed sketch which aired on last week's show.

Update: Whinges Rejected

6th December 2012.See  article from

TV Broadcaster RTE has rejected a complaint from the Catholic Church over a sketch by comedian Mario Rosenstock, but accepted it might have unintentionally caused offence.

The Catholic Communications Office (CCO) made a formal complaint to RTE over a skit which depicted a man spitting into a bucket before receiving Holy Communion. The CCO claimed it ridiculed:

the reception of Holy Communion, the Eucharist, which is the Body of Christ.

RTE's head of broadcast compliance, Peter Feeney responded in a ltter to the bishops that the station rejects the complaint, stating the target of the sketch was not the church but:

satirised popular enthusiasms, in this case enthusiasm for boxing following Katie Taylor's success in the summer Olympics.

RTE's view is that the complaint is ultimately not valid. Insofar as the item was not directed against the sacramental moment depicted, but against general social behaviour using the Mass as an exaggerated setting, the letter says.

The spokesman added that comedy and satire should by its nature startle and surprise, even at times shock and that RTE had an obligation to maintain and defend creative latitude in this regard. It added that in its view, exclusion of such occasional treatment would be likely to have an unduly restrictive impact on comedy and social satire.

CCO spokesman Martin Long said the church would now consider RTE's reply before deciding if it would take the matter to the Irish TV censors of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.



Offsite Article: New study of Blasphemy law around the world...

Link Here6th December 2012
According to a Pew Forum study released last week, 8 out of 45 European countries have blasphemy laws on their books while 35 of them have laws against the defamation of religion in general or hate speech against members of a faith.

See article from



ASA Gets its Stockings in a Twist...

Advert censor whinges at sexy American Apparel models

Link Here5th December 2012
Full story: American Apparel...Sexy clothing adverts wind up the advert censors

The Stockings & Hosiery section of the website showed images of the products for sale and included images of models wearing the tights or stockings.

  • a. The first showed a black and white photograph of a woman and her mirror image. She was lying on her back with her legs raised in the air, wearing shoes and patterned tights but nothing else. One of her breasts was visible.
  • b. The second showed several small photographs of women wearing tights but nothing else. One woman had her back to the camera and was bending over, touching her toes and looking back at the camera.
  • c. The third showed three identical photographs of a woman sitting on a window sill sideways to the camera wearing stockings and a long, flowered shirt.
  • d. The fourth showed three different photographs of a woman in pink tights and a blue top standing sideways to the camera.
  • e. The fifth showed five women wearing bras and different coloured tights lying on their stomachs but looking back towards the camera.
  • f. The sixth showed three pairs of women's legs raised in the air wearing different coloured stockings.
  • g. The seventh showed a woman lying on her stomach, sideways to the camera but turning her face towards it, wearing black, cut-out tights with the bottom exposed.
  • h. The eighth showed a woman on her hands and one knee, with her other leg raised in the air, sideways to the camera but turning her face towards it, wearing tights, shoes and a top.
  • i. The ninth showed a black and white photograph of a woman wearing sheer black tights and a top. She was sitting with her bottom facing the camera.
  • j. The tenth showed a woman on her hands and one knee, with her other leg raised in the air, sideways to the camera but turning her face towards it, wearing pink, footless, high denier tights and a bra.
  • k. The eleventh showed five pairs of women's legs wearing different coloured, high denier tights.
  • l. The twelfth showed the lower halves of four women wearing patterned or coloured tights. Three were sideways to the camera and one faced the camera.
  • m. The thirteenth showed a black and white photograph of two women wearing black, patterned tights but nothing else. One stood with her back to the camera and one stood sideways to the camera, but both had turned their heads to face the camera. One woman covered her breast with her hand.
  • n. The fourteenth showed a photograph of a woman lying on her stomach on a bed with her face turned towards the camera. She was wearing white stockings, knickers and a bra and was cuddling a pillow.
  • o. The fifteenth showed the lower halves of four women wearing coloured, high denier tights. Three were sideways to the camera and were bending over.
  • p. The sixteenth showed a black and white photograph of a woman wearing high denier tights but nothing else, bending forwards with her back to the camera.
  • q. The seventeenth showed a photograph of a woman wearing patterned tights and a flesh-coloured top. She was sitting on the floor, facing the camera and doing the splits.
  • r. The eighteenth showed a photograph of a woman wearing white tights but nothing else, curled up on a sofa, facing the camera. One of her breasts was visible.
  • s. The nineteenth showed a photograph of a woman lying on her side with her back to the camera, wearing coloured, high denier tights.
  • t. The twentieth showed a photograph taken from above of a woman lying on her side, wearing coloured, high denier tights.
  • u. The twenty-first showed a black and white photograph of the lower halves of nine women standing close together wearing tights. Two stood facing the camera; the others stood sideways to the camera.
  • v. The twenty-second showed a black and white photograph of two women with their backs to the camera wearing black, cut-out tights with the bottoms exposed. Both women had turned their heads to face the camera.
  • w. The twenty-third showed three photographs of a woman lying on her back on a sofa with her legs raised in the air. She was wearing coloured, high denier tights and a top.

A complainant, who had wanted to look at the website with her 12-year-old daughter, objected that the images were unnecessarily sexual and inappropriate for a website that could be seen by children.

American Apparel (UK) (American Apparel) believed it was standard practice to market hosiery, intimates or lingerie in the way done on their website. They supplied links to other retailers' websites which they considered portrayed similar products in similar ways. They said children could access any website; that their website sold a variety of products in addition to hosiery and lingerie and that hosiery and lingerie were labelled as such.

ASA Assessment: Upheld in relation to ads (p), (r) and (v).

The ASA considered that ads (c), (d), (e), (f), (h), (j), (k), (l), (o), (s), (t), (u) and (w) showed women in poses that were natural or artistic but which did not appear to be overtly sexual or otherwise inappropriate in hosiery ads on a website that could be seen by children. Because of that, we concluded that those ads were not in breach of the CAP Code.

Although no nudity was visible, we considered the pose of the woman in ad (p) was sexually suggestive and gratuitous in an ad for hosiery. Because of that, we concluded that the image was inappropriate in a hosiery ad on a website that could be seen by children.

We saw that one of the woman's breasts in ad (r) was visible and considered her pose was submissive and sexually suggestive. Although we considered it was reasonable for ads for hosiery to feature women in limited amounts of clothing, we considered that the image, together with her pose and the appearance of a breast in an ad for hosiery, was gratuitous. Because of that, we concluded that the image was inappropriate in a hosiery ad on a website that could be seen by children.

Although no nudity was visible, we considered the poses of the women in ad (v) were flirtatious and sexually suggestive; that the poses emphasised their bottoms and that they were gratuitous in an ad for hosiery. Because of that, we concluded that the image was inappropriate in a hosiery ad on a website that could be seen by children.

Ads (p), (r) and (v) breached CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.1 (Harm and offence).

We investigated ads (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), (j), (k), (l), (m), (n), (o), (q), (s), (t), (u) and (w) under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find them in breach. Action



How Important is it to Ask the Right Question?...

ATVOD claims public support for its unreasonable restrictions on internet porn after asking leading questions in a survey

Link Here5th December 2012

ATVOD has claimed overwhelming support for the censor's enforcement of strict rules to curb on-line providers making hardcore pornography available to under 18s.

ATVOD has published a survey conducted by ICM Research on 26-27 September 2012, and involving responses from a demographically based sample of 2019 adults in Great Britain. This asked the leading questions:

  • Q1. Hardcore porn videos are videos featuring real sex shown in explicit detail. How easy do you think it is for children to see hardcore porn videos on the internet? 77% replied quite or very easy
  • Q2. The law requires UK providers of ‘hardcore porn’ videos to take steps to ensure that under 18s can't normally see such material. Those steps include restricting sales to credit card holders, or checking information against a reliable database e.g. the electoral roll. How important do you think such steps are? 88% replied quite or very important
  • Q3. Inciting hatred is stronger than expressing dislike, ridicule or abuse and is not the same as discrimination . How easy do you think it is to find videos on the internet that are likely to incite hatred based on race, sex, religion or nationality? 70% replied quite or very easy

Strangely ATVOD didn't ask such questions as:

  • Should adults without credit cards (debit cards not acceptable) be banned from viewing porn?
  • Should be British companies be effectively banned from trading in the adult business whilst foreign companies are free to continue?
  • Do you think Britain should develop a fair and practical system that allows adults to view porn whilst restricting children?
  • Do you think it causes serious harm to depict an activity that children will be able to enjoy for themselves at 16, are well prepared for by the education system, and is discussed at great lengths in nearly all social circles and media.

ATVOD has recently investigated 23 notified adult services, finding 13 to be in breach of the statutory rules because they featured hardcore porn material which could be accessed by under 18's.

Two of those found to be in breach have now closed and eight have made themselves compliant by placing all hardcore material behind an effective access control mechanism. Four services which failed to make changes according to the timetable set by ATVOD have been referred to Ofcom. The back-stop regulator is now considering whether to impose financial penalties or restrict or suspend services. Other services have been forced to move offshore in the face of almost impossible trading conditions under ATVOD rules.

The VOD censor has also called for more to be done to protect UK children from hardcore porn on non-UK services, and encourages policy makers to consider:

  • How to improve the take up and effectiveness of parental control software;
  • Whether more effective use could be made of the Obscene Publications Act, given Crown Prosecution Service advice that offering unrestricted access to hardcore porn is prosecutable under that legislation;
  • Whether a consensus might be built among EU Member States for measures to keep hardcore porn out of reach of children; and Whether action can and should be taken against UK entities involved in the provision of services from outside the EU, but targeted at the UK, for instance, payment processors.

ATVOD Chief Executive Pete Johnson said:

Public concern about the ease with which children can access hardcore pornography online is substantial and there is widespread support for ATVOD's policy of ensuring UK websites providing such content do so only with safeguards that keep it out of reach of children.

We have made good progress in ensuring that UK websites comply with rules designed to protect children from such harmful content, and our recent enforcement activity has sent a clear message that UK providers of hardcore pornography on demand must take effective steps to ensure that such material is not accessible to under-18s. Asking visitors to a website to click an 'I am 18' button or enter a date of birth or use a debit card is not sufficient -- if they are going to offer explicit sex material they must know that their customers are 18, just as they would in the 'offline' world.

But we cannot be complacent, and the views of the public can't be ignored.

ATVOD Chair, Ruth Evans said:

We believe policy makers should consider whether more should be done to protect UK children from porn websites operating from other countries. Given the importance the public clearly attaches to protecting children from exposure to hardcore porn material, it is surely time to consider more imaginative ways to ensure that the standards ATVOD requires UK services to meet are replicated for hardcore porn websites operating from outside the UK and which are currently unregulated.



Cornered Fox...

Ofcom uphold complaint about pre-watershed episode of American Dad!

Link Here5th December 2012

American Dad!
FX, 11 August 2012, 20:30

American Dad is an irreverent animated comedy produced in the USA. It centres on a dysfunctional American family consisting of parents Stan and Francine, their children (including son, Steve).

Ofcom was alerted by a viewer to scenes of violence in an episode of this programme broadcast before the 21:00 watershed on the FX channel, which included a character being stabbed with a knife and a protracted assault on Stan.

The licence for the FX channel is held by Fox International.

We noted that the storyline revolved around Stan bullying his son, Steve, to make him stand up for himself. It included at about 20:48 a flashback sequence of Francine's involvement in a knife fight when she was a teenager and stabbed and killed someone. This sequence lasted about 13 seconds and showed Francine with a punk haircut fighting another girl in an underground fight club. Enormous slabs of raw meat were hanging from hooks on the ceiling, and the two young women were surrounded by a crowd of cheering men. The girl produced a knife and stabbed Francine in the shoulder. Francine pulled the knife out of her shoulder, stabbed the girl in the stomach, punched her to the ground, and so killed her. Francine then triumphantly taunted the dead girl.

There was also a prolonged sequence lasting about 90 seconds broadcast at around 20:53 when Stan was repeatedly kicked and punched by a man who had bullied him severely when he had been a child. This section of the episode featured Stan: being tied to a children's roundabout and punched repeatedly in the face; being buried up to his chest in the ground while a child's riding horse was used to beat him in the face; and receiving a powerful blow to his head. Stan's face showed the cumulative effects of the assault, with two black eyes, a broken nose and a badly swollen face.

Ofcom also noted there were three occasions when Stan, adopting the persona of a teenage bully, taunted his son by making sexual boasts about his mother (Stan's wife). For example, on one occasion after Stan stole Steve's bike, he said:

I'm gonna mount this and ride it hard. Like I did your mom last night.

Ofcom considered Rule 1.3 of the Code, which states:

Children protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.

Fox said that this programme should not have been broadcast in the form it was before the watershed. The fact it was broadcast at this time resulted from human error.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.3

We noted there were two violent sequences in this episode. The fight involving Francine as a violent teenager in an underground fight club setting was intended to Ofcom Broadcast Bulletin, Issue 219 3 December 2012 16 contrast with her current role as a caring mother in a comic way. Nonetheless, this sequence showed each character punching and then stabbing the other, with one girl dying, and Francine's delight in killing her opponent. The sequence showing Stan being subject to a violent assault (receiving multiple kicks, punches and blows to the head without him fighting back, and showing his face at the end bloodied and bruised) was protracted. Ofcom's view was therefore that this material was unsuitable for children.

Stan's sexual taunts to Steve about Francine were clearly made in the context of him fully adopting the persona of a bully to physically and verbally humiliate his son. The remarks were intended to shock Steve, confronting him with the thought of his mother and father having sex. Ofcom's view was that this aggressive innuendo and sexualised language was unsuitable for children.

Ofcom concluded that children were not in this case protected from unsuitable material by appropriate scheduling, and there was a breach of Rule 1.3.



Zombie Flesh Eaters...

Long overdue release of uncut version on UK DVD and Blu-ray

Link Here5th December 2012
Zombie Flesh Eaters is a 1979 Italian horror film by Lucio Fulci
With Tisa Farrow and Ian McCulloch.  
YouTube icon IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut after all cuts waived for:

  • UK 2012 Arrow Steelbook R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 3rd December 2012
  • UK 2012 Arrow Special Edition R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 3rd December 2012
  • UK 2012 Arrow R0 DVD at UK Amazon released on 3rd December 2012

There is also a US release titled Zombie

Thanks to Richard who reports that the buzz is that the Arrow release is better than the US Blu Underground release.

See  review from
See  review from

Censorship History

The cinema version was passed X by the BBFC in 1979 with 14 cuts totalling 1:46s.

This X rated cinema version was released on video by Vipco in 1980. Vipco then issued the "strong uncut version" in 1981 at a premium price which then got out on the Video Nasties list in October 1983. It stayed on the list throughout so became one of the collectable DPP 39s

The heavily cut cinema version was passed 18 in 1992 & 1996. Vipco misleadingly tried to pass off their version as 'complete'

Re-released on Diskline video in 1999 with most cuts restored but still 23s missing

Finally passed uncut in 2005 and is released as part of the Box of the Banned set of DVDs from Anchor Bay

Promotional Material

They will rise to suck the blood of the living!

From the sleazy video nasty vaults comes a movie so stained with controversy and moral indignation that the very mention of its name sends shudders down the spines of the weak stomached and censorious Zombie Flesh Eaters. A gut-munching, shark wrestling, eye-gouging orgy of topless skin divers, mud-caked undead terror and Italian splatter from the dark imagination of horror genius Lucio Fulci (The Beyond, City of The Living Dead).

An abandoned boat in New York Harbour unleashes a deadly flesh crazed Zombie cargo... A Young American woman and a journalist investigate a tropical island where a deadly disease is making the dead walk... Soon, thoughts of getting to the bottom of the murderous curse will be forgotten, as Fulci s walking corpses overwhelm the living and reports come in that the Big Apple is swarming with the living dead...

After over thirty years, Zombie Flesh Eaters still has the power to shock and offend the unwilling... Check out this classic sadist video and revel in a wonderfully tasteless movie that once helped usher in a moral panic!

String Uncut Version

  • Brand new high definition restoration of the original negative.

  • Optional English SDH subtitles on the feature

  • Audio commentary with screenwriter Elisa Briganti moderated by Calum Waddell

  • Audio commentary with Fulci biographer Stephen Thrower and horror expert Alan Jones

  • UK exclusive introduction to the film from Ian McCulloch


  • FROM ROMERO TO ROME: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE ITALIAN ZOMBIE FILM: Veteran Fulci screenwriters Dardano Sacchetti (THE BEYOND) and Antonio Tentori (CAT IN THE BRAIN), celebrated UK critic Kim Newman and filmmakers Luigi Cozzi (CONTAMINATION), Ruggero Deodato (CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST) and Russ Streiner (NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD) share memories of the genesis of corpse-crunching cinema - from Romero's early templates to the gory glory days of Fulci and his many successors.

  • THE MEAT MUNCHING MOVIES OF GINO ROSSI: The special effects magician behind many Italian splatter classics talks about his most famous gore-drenched greats - and shows props from many plasma-packed masterworks - including ZOMBIE FLESH-EATERS, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD, THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY, CANNIBAL FEROX, BURIAL GROUND and PIRANHA II.

  • MUSIC FOR A FLESH-FEAST: Composer Fabio Frizzo - Live Q&A from the Glasgow Film Theatre

  • ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS: FROM SCRIPT TO SCREEN. Dardano Sacchetti shows key pages from his original ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD screenplay.

  • Trailer and radio spots

  • Collectors booklet featuring contributions from Calum Waddell, Stephen Thrower, Craig Lapper and Jay Slater.

  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys



Offsite Article: Hollywood Loves the R, but the Big Money's Rated PG-13...

Link Here 5th December 2012
Hollywood studios have released 33 percent more R-rated films in 2012 than last year, but the wealth of adult offerings hasn't translated into a box office boom. Instead, audiences have flocked to PG-13 fare.

See article from



Dangerous Poetry...

Qatar imprisons man for life over his Arab Spring poetry

Link Here2nd December 2012

Qatari poet Muhammad ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami was sentenced to life in prison for writing and performing a poem celebrating Tunisia's Arab Spring.

The poet's lawyer, who is appealing the decision, has said that the trial was held in secret, the poet was not allowed to defend himself or even to enter a plea. According to an article in The Guardian, Ajami was charged with insulting the Gulf nation's ruler, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and inciting to overthrow the ruling system , a crime punishable by death.

The poem came to public attention after a video was posted on Youtube. Ajami has been in solitary confinement since his arrest in November 2011.



Update: An Innocent Request...

Actress claiming copyright on her performance in the Innocence of Muslims fails to convince a judge

Link Here1st December 2012
Full story: The Innocence of Muslims...Muslim world gets wound up by silly movie

An actress who claimed she was duped into appearing in the anti-Islam film, The Innocence of Muslims , lost her second legal bid to force the video off YouTube.

Denying a request by actress Cindy Lee Garcia for a court order requiring the popular online video site to remove the 13-minute clip, a federal judge found she was unlikely to prevail on her claims of copyright infringement.

Garcia's lawyer, Cris Armenta, told Reuters she planned to appeal the decision.

The lawsuit claimed copyright on Garcia's performance in the video and accuses Google of infringing on that copyright by distributing the video without her approval via YouTube.

But in his ruling the judge questioned the validity of such a claim. He held that even if she could prove a legitimate copyright interest in her film performance, she effectively relinquished her rights to producers of the film. Fitzgerald also ruled that Garcia failed to show that she would suffer irreparable harm without an injunction.

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