BBFC News


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Massive user data breach at Under Armour...

And a reminder to UK porn viewers, don't believe the BBFC's fake assurances that your data 'should' be kept safe. Companies regularly sell, give away, exploit, lose and get it stolen, and of course, hand it over to the authorities


Link Here 30th March 2018
The athletic apparel company Under Armour has announced a massive data breach affecting at least 150 million users of its food and nutrition app MyFitnessPal.

On March 25, the MyFitnessPal team became aware that an unauthorized party acquired data associated with MyFitnessPal user accounts in late February 2018, reads a press release detailing the breach. The investigation indicates that the affected information included usernames, email addresses, and hashed passwords - the majority with the hashing function called bcrypt used to secure passwords.

There is one other bit of good news: It looks like social security numbers and credit cards were not stolen in the digital heist.

 

 

A matter of trust...

The BBFC consults about age verification for internet porn, and ludicrously suggests that the data oligarchs can be trusted with your personal identity data because they will follow 'best practice'


Link Here 26th March 2018
Full story: BBFC Internet Porn Censors...BBFC: Age Verification We Don't Trust
  
Your data is safe with us.
We will follow 'best practices', honest!
 

The BBFC has launched its public consultation about its arrangements for censoring porn on the internet.

The document was clearly written before the Cambridge Analytica data abuse scandal. The BBFC gullibility in accepting the word of age verification providers and porn websites, that they will look after your data, now rather jars with what we see going on in the real world.

After all European data protection laws allow extensive use of your data, and there are absolutely no laws governing what foreign websites can do with your identity data and porn browsing history.

I think that under the current arrangements, if a Russian website were to hand over identity data and porn browsing history straight over to the Kremlin dirty tricks department, then as long as under 18s would be prohibited, then the BBFC would have to approve that website's age verification arrangements.

Anyway there will be more debate on the subject over the coming month.

The BBFC writes:

Consultation on draft Guidance on Age-Verification Arrangements and draft Guidance on Ancillary Service Providers

Under section 14(1) of the Digital Economy Act 2017, all providers of online commercial pornographic services accessible from the UK will be required to carry age-verification controls to ensure that their content is not normally accessible to children.

This legislation is an important step in making the internet a safer place for children.

The BBFC was designated as the age-verification regulator under Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 on 21 February 2018.

Under section 25 of the Digital Economy Act 2017, the BBFC is required to publish two sets of Guidance: Guidance on Age-verification Arrangements and Guidance on Ancillary Service Providers .

The BBFC is now holding a public consultation on its draft Guidance on Age-Verification Arrangements and its draft Guidance on Ancillary Service Providers. The deadline for responses is the 23 April 2018 .

We will consider and publish responses before submitting final versions of the Guidance to the Secretary of State for approval. The Secretary of State is then required to lay the Guidance in parliament for formal approval. We support the government's decision to allow a period of up to three months after the Guidance is formally approved before the law comes into force, in order to give industry sufficient time to comply with the legislation.

Draft Guidance on Age-verification Arrangements

Under section 25 of the Digital Economy Act 2017, the BBFC is required to publish:

"guidance about the types of arrangements for making pornographic material available that the regulator will treat as complying with section 14(1)".

The draft Guidance on Age-Verification Arrangements sets out the criteria by which the BBFC will assess that a person has met with the requirements of section 14(1) of the Act. The draft guidance outlines good practice, such as offering choice of age-verification solutions to consumers. It also includes information about the requirements that age-verification services and online pornography providers must adhere to under data protection legislation and the role and functions of the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). The draft guidance also sets out the BBFC's approach and powers in relation to online commercial pornographic services and considerations in terms of enforcement action.

Draft Guidance on Ancillary Service Providers

Under section 25 of the Digital Economy Act 2017, the BBFC is required to publish: "guidance for the purposes of section 21(1) and (5) about the circumstances in which it will treat services provided in the course of a business as enabling or facilitating the making available of pornographic material or extreme pornographic material".

The draft Guidance on Ancillary Service Providers includes a non-exhaustive list of classes of ancillary service provider that the BBFC will consider notifying under section 21 of the Act, such as social media and search engines. The draft guidance also sets out the BBFC's approach and powers in relation to online commercial pornographic services and considerations in terms of enforcement action.

How to respond to the consultation

We welcome views on the draft Guidance in particular in relation to the following questions:

Guidance on Age-Verification Arrangements

  • Do you agree with the BBFC's Approach as set out in Chapter 2?

  • Do you agree with the BBFC's Age-verification Standards set out in Chapter 3?

  • Do you have any comments with regards to Chapter 4?

The BBFC will refer any comments regarding Chapter 4 to the Information Commissioner's Office for further consideration.

Draft Guidance on Ancillary Service Providers

  • Do you agree with the BBFC's Approach as set out in Chapter 2?

  • Do you agree with the classes of Ancillary Service Provider set out in Chapter 3?

Please submit all responses (making reference to specific sections of the guidance where relevant) and confidentiality forms as email attachments to:

DEA-consultation@bbfc.co.uk

The deadline for responses is 23 April 2018 .

We will consider and publish responses before submitting final versions of the Guidance to the Secretary of State for approval.

Update: Intentionally scary

31st March 2018. From Wake Me Up In Dreamland on twitter.com

The failure to ensure data privacy/ protection in the Age Ver legislation is wholely intentional. Its intended to scare people away from adult material as a precursor to even more web censorship in UK.

 

 

Offsite Article: Everything you need to know about UK.gov's porn block...


Link Here 22nd March 2018
The Register investigates touching on the dark web, smut monopolies and moral outrage

See article from theregister.co.uk

 

 

Offsite Article: BBFC Podcast Episode 81: The censored snowflake version...


Link Here 18th March 2018
How do you discuss differences between 15 rated 'strong' sex references and 18 rated 'strongest' sex references without being able to mention any sex references? I have no idea...Nor has the BBFC

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

 

The Planter's Wife...

1952 UK adventure drama by Ken Annakin cut for UK DVD release in 2018 on grounds of animal cruelty


Link Here 16th March 2018
The Planter's Wife is a 1952 UK adventure drama by Ken Annakin.
Starring Claudette Colbert, Jack Hawkins and Anthony Steel. BBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed PG for mild violence, threat after 1:18s of BBFC compulsory cuts for:

  • 2018 Strawberry Media video
The BBFC commented:
  • Compulsory cut required to remove sight of animal cruelty (cobra and mongoose fight) in accordance with BBFC Guidelines and policy.
Summary Notes

The marriage of rubber-plantation owner Jim Frazer and his wife, Liz, which has survived many disasters, including years in a Japanese internment camp, is at a breaking point. Under constant threats of bandit attacks and concerned with the safety of his plantation and the people on it, Jim spares no time for his marriage. Liz is to take their young son, Mike, home to school in England, and, without telling Jim, does not plan to return. A neighboring plantation is attacked and the owner killed just prior to her departure. Liz and Jim get arms and ammunition from a near-by town, and a night of terror follows as the bandits attack.

 

 

Offsite Article: UK porn laws could lead to blackmail, suicide -- and young Brits turning to extremism...


Link Here 14th March 2018
Full story: UK Porn Censorship...Digital Economy Bill introduces censorship for porn websites
A commendably negative take from The Sun. A legal expert has revealed the hidden dangers of strict new porn laws, which will force Brits to hand over personal info in exchange for access to XXX videos

See article from thesun.co.uk

 

 

Now that the BBFC has taken on a new role as internet censor...

Will it change its name back to the British Board of Film Censors? The Daily Mail seems to think so


Link Here 13th March 2018
Full story: BBFC Internet Porn Censors...BBFC: Age Verification We Don't Trust
The Daily Mail today ran the story that the DCMS have decided to take things a little more cautiously about the privacy (and national security) issues of allowing a foreign porn company to take control of databasing people's porn viewing history.

Anyway there was nothing new in the story but it was interesting to note the Freudian slip of referring to the BBFC as the British Board of Film Censorship.

My idea would be for the BBFC to rename itself with the more complete title, the British Board of Film and Internet Censorship.

 

 

The UK's controversial online porn block has been delayed...

A few more details from the point of view of British adult websites


Link Here 12th March 2018
Full story: UK Porn Censorship...Digital Economy Bill introduces censorship for porn websites

 

 

Pause for thought...

The Government announces a new timetable for the introduction of internet porn censorship, now set to be in force by the end of 2018


Link Here 11th March 2018
Full story: UK Porn Censorship...Digital Economy Bill introduces censorship for porn websites
In a press release the DCMS describes its digital strategy including a delayed introduction of internet porn censorship. The press release states:

The Strategy also reflects the Government's ambition to make the internet safer for children by requiring age verification for access to commercial pornographic websites in the UK. In February, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) was formally designated as the age verification regulator.

Our priority is to make the internet safer for children and we believe this is best achieved by taking time to get the implementation of the policy right. We will therefore allow time for the BBFC as regulator to undertake a public consultation on its draft guidance which will be launched later this month.

For the public and the industry to prepare for and comply with age verification, the Government will also ensure a period of up to three months after the BBFC guidance has been cleared by Parliament before the law comes into force. It is anticipated age verification will be enforceable by the end of the year.

 

 

Offsite Article: First words from Britain's new internet porn censor...


Link Here 11th March 2018
Full story: BBFC Internet Porn Censors...BBFC: Age Verification We Don't Trust
The BBFC takes its first steps to explain how it will stop people from watching internet porn

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

 

Every Day...

BBFC category cuts required for 2018 cinema release


Link Here 10th March 2018
Every Day is a 2018 USA romance by Michael Sucsy.
Starring Maria Bello, Debby Ryan and Justice Smith. BBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 12A for moderate bad language, infrequent suicide references after 4s of BBFC category cuts for:

  • 2018 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • Company chose to remove images of suicide techniques in order to obtain a 12A rating. An uncut 18 classification was available.

In the US the film is uncut and rated PG-13 for thematic content, language, teen drinking, and suggestive material.

Summary Notes

Based on David Levithan's acclaimed bestselling novel, EVERY DAY tells the story of Rhiannon, a 16-year old girl who falls in love with a mysterious spirit named "A" that inhabits a different body every day. Feeling an unmatched connection, Rhiannon and "A" work each day to find each other, not knowing what or WHO the next day will bring. The more the two fall in love, the more the idea of loving someone who is a different person every 24 hours takes a toll on Rhiannon and "A", leaving them to make a decision that will change their lives forever.

 

 

It is about time someone said hold on, perhaps we should think about this a bit more...

So how come the BBFC are saying virtually nothing about internet porn censorship and seem happy for newspapers to point out the incredibly dangerous privacy concerns of letting porn websites hold browsing records


Link Here 7th March 2018

The BBC seems to have done a good job voicing the privacy concerns of the Open Rights Group as the article has been picked up by most of the British rpess,

The Open Rights Group says it fears a data breach is inevitable as the deadline approaches for a controversial change in the way people in the UK access online pornography.

Myles Jackman, legal director of the Open Rights Group, said while MindGeek had said it would not hold or store data, it was not clear who would - and by signing in people would be revealing their sexual preferences.

If the age verification process continues in its current fashion, it's a once-in-a-lifetime treasure trove of private information, he said.  If it gets hacked, can British citizens ever trust the government again with their data?

The big issues here are privacy and security.

Jackman said it would drive more people to use virtual private networks (VPNs) - which mask a device's geographical location to circumvent local restrictions - or the anonymous web browser Tor. He commented:

It is brutally ironic that when the government is trying to break all encryption in order to combat extremism, it is now forcing people to turn towards the dark web.

MindGeek, which runs sites including PornHub, YouPorn and RedTube, said its AgeID age verification tool had been in use in Germany since 2015. It said its software would use third-party age-verification companies to authenticate the age of those signing in.

AgeID spokesman James Clark told the BBC there were multiple verification methods that could be used - including credit card, mobile SMS, passport and driving licence - but that it was not yet clear which would be compliant with the law.

For something that is supposed to be coming in April, and requires software update by websites, it is surely about time that the government and/or the BBFC actually told people about the detailed rules for when age verification is required and what methods will be acceptable to the censors.

The start date has not actually been confirmed yet and the BBFC haven't even acknowledged that they have accepted the job as the UK porn censor..

The BBFC boss David Austin, spouted some nonsense to the BBC claiming that age verification was already in place for other services, including some video-on-demand sites. In fact 'other' services such as gambling sites have got totally different privacy issues and aren't really relevant to porn. The only method in place so far is to demand credit cards to access porn, the only thing that this has proved is that it is totally unviable for the businesses involved, and is hardy relevant to how the dominant tube sites work.

In fact a total absence of input from the BBFC is already leading to some alarming takes on the privacy issues of handing over people's porn viewing records to porn companies. Surely the BBFC would be expected to provide official state propaganda trying to convince the worried masses that they have noting fear and that porn websites have people's best interests at heart.

For instance, the Telegraph follow-up report writes (See  article from telegraph.co.uk :

Incoming age verification checks for people who watch pornography online are at risk of their sexual tastes being exposed, a privacy expert has warned.

The Government has given the all clear for one of the largest pornography companies to organise the arrangements for verification but experts claim that handing this power to the porn industry could put more people at risk.

Those viewing porn will no longer be anonymous and their sexual tastes may be easily revealed through a cache of the websites they have visited, according to Jim Killock, director of Open Rights Group. He warned:

These are the most sensitive, embarrassing viewing habits that have potentially life-changing consequences if they become public.

In order for it to work, the company will end up with a list of every webpage of all of the big pornographic products someone has visited. Just like Google and Facebook, companies want to profile you and send you advertisements based on what you are searching for.

So what are AgeID going to do now that they have been given unparalleled access to people's pornographic tastes? They are going to decide what people's sexual tastes are and the logic of that is impossible to resist. Even if they give reassurances, I just cannot see why they wouldn't.

A database with someone's sexual preferences , highlighted by the web pages visited and geographically traceable through the IP address, would be a target for hackers who could use them for blackmail or simply to cause humiliation.

Imagine if you are a teacher and the pornography that you looked at - completely legally - became public? It would be devastating for someone's career.

 

 

Death Wish...

Eli Roth remake has been cut for a 15 rated cinema release


Link Here 2nd March 2018
Death Wish is a 2017 USA action crime thriller by Eli Roth.
Starring Bruce Willis, Vincent D'Onofrio and Elisabeth Shue. BBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 15 for strong violence, injury detail, language after 14s of BBFC category cuts for:

  • 2018 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • Company chose to make reductions to a scene of torture in order to obtain a 15 classification. An uncut 18 classification was available.

A few days earlier Death was passed 18 uncut for strong violence, scene of torture, but the distributors preferred a cut 15 rated release.

Summary Notes

A mild-mannered father is transformed into a killing machine after his family is torn apart by a violent act.

 

 

Macbeth...

2018 version by Kit Monkman has been cut for a 12A rated cinema release


Link Here 2nd March 2018
Macbeth is a 2016 UK drama by Kit Monkman.
Starring Al Weaver, James Atherton and David Bradley. BBFC link IMDb

UK: A pre-cut version shorter by 39s was passed 12A for moderate sex, violence, gore without further BBFC cuts for:

  • 2018 cinema release

The film was previously submitted in January 2018 and was passed 15 uncut for infrequent strong sex.

Clearly the 'strong sex' was cut.

 

 

The age of uncertainty...

The BBC notes that it is only few weeks until age verification is required for porn sites yet neither the government nor the BBFC has been able to provide details to the BBC about how it will work.


Link Here 28th February 2018
The BBC writes:

A few weeks before a major change to the way in which UK viewers access online pornography, neither the government nor the appointed regulator has been able to provide details to the BBC about how it will work.

From April 2018, people accessing porn sites will have to prove they are aged 18 or over.

Both bodies said more information would be available soon.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) was named by parliament as the regulator in December 2017. (But wasn't actually appointed until 21st February 2018. However the BBFC has been working on its censorship procedures for many months already but has refused to speak about this until formally appointed).

The porn industry has been left to develop its own age verification tools.

Prof Alan Woodward, cybersecurity expert at Surrey University, told the BBC this presented porn sites with a dilemma - needing to comply with the regulation but not wanting to make it difficult for their customers to access content. I can't imagine many porn-site visitors will be happy uploading copies of passports and driving licences to such a site. And, the site operators know that.

 

 

Offsite Article: The UK will block online porn from April. Here's what we know...


Link Here 25th February 2018
Full story: UK Porn Censorship...Digital Economy Bill introduces censorship for porn websites
Age verification of all pornographic content will be mandatory from April 2018. But there are still a lot of grey areas

See article from wired.co.uk

 

 

The hare is off and running, 2 months left to download enough porn to last a lifetime...

The government has now officially appointed the BBFC as its internet porn censor


Link Here 23rd February 2018
Full story: UK Porn Censorship...Digital Economy Bill introduces censorship for porn websites
The DCMS has published a letter dated 21st February 2018 that officially appoints the BBFC as its internet porn censor. It euphemistically describes the role as an age verification regulator.

Presumably a few press releases will follow and now the BBFC can at least be expected to comment on how the censorship will be implemented..

The enforcement has previously being noted as starting around late April or early May but this does not seem to give sufficient time for the required software to be implemented by websites.

 

 

Red Sparrow...

BBFC advised category cuts have been made for a 15 rated cinema release


Link Here 16th February 2018
Red Sparrow is a 2018 USA mystery thriller by Francis Lawrence.
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton and Mary-Louise Parker. BBFC link IMDb

A young Russian intelligence officer is assigned to seduce a first-tour CIA agent who handles the CIA's most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young officers collide in a charged atmosphere of trade-craft, deception, and inevitably forbidden passion that threatens not just their lives but the lives of others as well.

UK: Passed 15 for strong bloody violence, gore, sexual violence, sex, very strong language after BBFC advised pre-cuts for:

  • 2018 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • This film was originally seen for advice. The company was advised the film was likely to be classified 18 but that their preferred 15 could be achieved by making reductions in one scene of strong sadistic violence (a garroting). When the film was submitted for formal classification appropriate reductions had been made in that scene and the film was classified 15.

Uncut in the US.

Uncut and MPAA R rated for strong violence, torture, sexual content, language and some graphic nudity.

 

 

Offsite Article: BBFC Podcast: 79...


Link Here 13th February 2018
Age ratings for Preacher and Supernatural US TV series

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

 

Introducing the British Board of Film and Internet Censors...

Houses of Commons and Lords approve the appointment of the BBFC as the UK's internet porn censor


Link Here 2nd February 2018
Full story: UK Porn Censorship...Digital Economy Bill introduces censorship for porn websites

House of Commons

Delegated Legislation Committee

Proposal for Designation of Age-verification Regulator

Thursday 1 February 2018

The Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Margot James)

I beg to move,

That the Committee has considered the Proposal for Designation of Age-verification Regulator.

The Digital Economy Act 2017 introduced a requirement for commercial providers of online pornography to have robust age-verification controls in place to prevent children and young people under the age of 18 from accessing pornographic material. Section 16 of the Act states that the Secretary of State may designate by notice the age-verification regulator and may specify which functions under the Act the age-verification regulator should hold. The debate will focus on two issues. I am seeking Parliament's approval to designate the British Board of Film Classification as the age-verification regulator and approval for the BBFC to hold in this role specific functions under the Act.

Liam Byrne (Birmingham, Hodge Hill) (Lab)

At this stage, I would normally preface my remarks with a lacerating attack on how the Government are acquiescing in our place in the world as a cyber also-ran, and I would attack them for their rather desultory position and attitude to delivering a world-class digital trust regime. However, I am very fortunate that this morning the Secretary of State has made the arguments for me. This morning, before the Minister arrived, the Secretary of State launched his new app, Matt Hancock MP. It does not require email verification, so people are already posting hardcore pornography on it. When the Minister winds up, she might just tell us whether the age-verification regulator that she has proposed, and that we will approve this morning, will oversee the app of the Secretary of State as well.

Question put and agreed to.

House of Lords

See article from hansard.parliament.uk

Particulars of Proposed Designation of Age-Verification Regulator

01 February 2018

Motion to Approve moved by Lord Ashton of Hyde

Section 16 of the Digital Economy Act states that the Secretary of State may designate by notice the age-verification regulator, and may specify which functions under the Act the age-verification regulator should hold. I am therefore seeking this House's approval to designate the British Board of Film Classification as the age-verification regulator. We believe that the BBFC is best placed to carry out this important role, because it has unparalleled expertise in this area.

Lord Stevenson of Balmacara (Lab)

I still argue, and I will continue to argue, that it is not appropriate for the Government to give statutory powers to a body that is essentially a private company. The BBFC is, as I have said before204I do not want to go into any detail -- a company limited by guarantee. It is therefore a profit-seeking organisation. It is not a charity or body that is there for the public good. It was set up purely as a protectionist measure to try to make sure that people responsible for producing films that were covered by a licensing regime in local authorities that was aggressive towards certain types of films204it was variable and therefore not good for business204could be protected by a system that was largely undertaken voluntarily. It was run by the motion picture production industry for itself.

 L ord Ashton of Hyde

I will just say that the BBFC is set up as an independent non-governmental body with a corporate structure, but it is a not-for-profit corporate structure. We have agreed funding arrangements for the BBFC for the purposes of the age-verification regulator. The funding is ring-fenced for this function. We have agreed a set-up cost of just under £1 million and a running cost of £800,000 for the first year. No other sources of funding will be required to carry out this work, so there is absolutely no question of influence from industry organisations, as there is for its existing work—it will be ring-fenced.

Motion agreed.

 

 

Fifty Shades Freed...

Passed 18 uncut by the BBFC, but few other western countries consider that it is needs an adults only rating


Link Here 1st February 2018
Full story: Fifty Shades of Grey Movies...Kink for kids Hollywood style
Fifty Shades Freed is a 2018 USA drama by James Foley.
Starring Arielle Kebbel, Tyler Hoechlin and Dakota Johnson. BBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong sex for:

  • 2018 cinema release
Summary Notes

The third installment of the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' trilogy.

Believing they have left behind shadowy figures from their past, newlyweds Christian and Ana fully embrace an inextricable connection and shared life of luxury. But just as she steps into her role as Mrs. Grey and he relaxes into an unfamiliar stability, new threats could jeopardize their happy ending before it even begins.

International ratings

And as always few other western countries think that the films needs an adults only rating.

  • Australia: MA15+
  • Canada: 18A (Alberta & British Columbia)
  • Finland: K-16
  • France: U
  • Germany:16
  • Netherlands:16
  • New Zealand:R16
  • Norway:15
  • Portugal:M/16
  • Switzerland:16
  • United States: R

 

 

Offsite Article: BBFC Podcast Episode 78...


Link Here 28th January 2018
Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

 

Updated: Opening show...

Padmavat is cleared for national release by India's Supreme Court and by the BBFC


Link Here 27th January 2018
Full story: Padmavati...Indian movie causes trouble in India, Pakistan and the UK
Padmavat is a 2017 India historical romance by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. BBFC link IMDb

Rani Padmavati (aka Padmini) is said to be one of the most beautiful women to ever exist. This real life story is epitome of Love and sacrifice between Rajput Queen Padmavati and Rana Rawal Ratan Singh, the Rajput ruler of Mewar. Their perfect life took unfortunate turn when Allauddin Khilji's lustful eyes gazed upon Queen Padmavati. Alauddin Khilji is known as one of the most brutal rulers of the Khilji dynasty, who ascended the throne by killing his father-in-law, his brother-in-laws and their uncles. He was known for attacking states, only for their land and women. And, the motive behind the attack on Mewar was none other than royal Rani Padmavati. Chittorgarh fort, today, stands as an epitome of the true Rajputana spirit, loyalty, fidelity and bravery and a symbol of women power.

Court cases abound whenever there's a controversy about an Indian that should be banned or not banned. There are often several people who are willing to spend their cash on advocating for banning or not banning, often in different courts in different states.

However, in the case of Padmavat these cases have rapidly moved to India's Supreme Court which has just passed two judgements about the film. Firstly the Court found that individual states should not be able to overrode the national film censor and so bans in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana have been overturned.

The film's producers had approached the Supreme Court to challenge the states' ban, and Chief Justice Dipak Misra concurred with the producers. He stated:

Cinemas are an inseparable part of right to free speech and expression. States... cannot issue notifications prohibiting the screening of a film.

The second judgement refused the case made by an advocate who wanted the court to overturn the CBFC decision and ban the film. The same judge refused to entertain a plea to cancel the Censor Board certificate given to the movie Padmaavat. Advocate M.L. Sharma had contended that exhibiting the movie in certain States would be an open invitation for violence.

And of course that violence could yet overrule the Supreme Court and force cinemas to not show the film.

Cut version resubmitted to the BBFC

20th January 2018. See article from bbfc.co.uk

UK: A version cut by the Indian film censors was passed 12A for moderate violence, injury detail without BBFC cuts for:

  • 2018 cinema release

The film is 5s shorter than the uncut version submitted a few weeks earlier. There is no change to the rating or consumer advice.

There were 5 CBFC cuts adding up to 5s to downplay the historical accuracy of the film:

  • The title was changed from Padmavati, an historical character, to the fictional name Padmavat.
  • Disclaimers were added with one regarding not glorifying the practice of Sati, and another noting that the film is fictional.
  • There were cuts to the Ghoomar song to 'befit' the character portrayed.

Update: 125 cinemas decide not to screen the movie

21st January 2018. See  article from dailypioneer.com

Even after the Supreme Court asking four States including Gujarat to allow screening of controversial Hindi movie Padmaavat, nearly 125 multiplexes across Gujarat will not show the movie which is set to release on the eve of Republic Day.

Gujarat Multiplex Owners Association, the apex body of multiplexes in the state has voluntarily decided not to show the movie. Core committee member of the association Rakesh Patel said that multiplex owners in Gujarat didn't want to take any risk as there was no guarantee pertaining to safety of the properties.

Update: Inevitably banned by violent religious mobs

23rd January 2018. See  article from bbc.com

Protesters in India's Gujarat have blocked roads and caused local bus services to be suspended, after the Supreme Court cleared the release of controversial Bollywood film Padmavat.

Extremist Hindu groups torched buses and vandalised a theatre in the western state of Gujarat on Sunday.

Despite the court ruling and tightened security, theatre owners in the state have decided against screening the film as they fear further violence.

Update: Worldwide release today

25th January 2018. See  article from metro.co.uk

Padmavat has been released for worldwide screenings, including the UK, today on 25th January. Early reports suggest that cinemas in religious hotspots have decided not to screen the film rather than face violent protest.

Update: Opening show

27th January 2018. See  article from livemint.com

Padmaavat opened in 3,100 screens across the country with an estimated occupancy of 50-55%. It's a very good number given the situation. It clearly shows audiences have come out and supported the film despite all odds, said Atul Mohan, editor of trade magazine Complete Cinema .

Under normal circumstances, a big-ticket film like Padmaavat would have been screened in more than 4,000 screens. States like Rajasthan, Gujarat and parts of Madhya Pradesh and Haryana refrained from screening the period saga. Protests by the Rajput Karni Sena and consequent violence in parts of the country led to several theatres refusing to showcase the movie..

The film was also pirated and streamed online on a Facebook page, showing interest but not revenue for the filmmakers.

Update: Rajputs who saw Padmaavat angry for opposing it earlier

28th January 2018. See  article from citytoday.news

 

 

Offsite Article: Will the BBFC Block Whores of Yore, A Sex Work History Site?...


Link Here 25th January 2018
Full story: UK Porn Censorship...Digital Economy Bill introduces censorship for porn websites
It is clear that the BBFC are set to censor porn websites but what about the grey area of non-porn websites about porn and sex work. The BBFC falsely claim they don't know yet as they haven't begun work on their guidelines

See article from sexandcensorship.org

 

 

World internet censors...

The government publishes it guidance to the new UK porn censor about notifying websites that they are to be censored, asking payment providers and advertisers to end their service, recourse to ISP blocks and an appeals process


Link Here 22nd January 2018
Full story: UK Porn Censorship...Digital Economy Bill introduces censorship for porn websites
A few extracts from the document

Introduction

  1. A person contravenes Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 if they make
    pornographic material available on the internet on a commercial basis to
    persons in the United Kingdom without ensuring that the material is not
    normally accessible to persons under the age of 18. Contravention could lead
    to a range of measures being taken by the age-verification regulator in
    relation to that person, including blocking by internet service providers (ISPs).
  2. Part 3 also gives the age-verification regulator powers to act where a person
    makes extreme pornographic material (as defined in section 22 of the Digital
    Economy Act 2017) available on the internet to persons in the United
    Kingdom.

Purpose

This guidance has been written to provide the framework for the operation of
the age-verification regulatory regime in the following areas:

● Regulator's approach to the exercise of its powers;
● Age-verification arrangements;
● Appeals;
● Payment-services Providers and Ancillary Service Providers;
● Internet Service Provider blocking; and
● Reporting.

Enforcement principles

This guidance balances two overarching principles in the regulator's application of its powers under sections 19, 21 and 23 - that it should apply its powers in the way which it thinks will be most effective in ensuring compliance on a case-by-case basis and that it should take a proportionate approach.

As set out in this guidance, it is expected that the regulator, in taking a proportionate approach, will first seek to engage with the non-compliant person to encourage them to comply, before considering issuing a notice under section 19, 21 or 23, unless there are reasons as to why the regulator does not think that is appropriate in a given case

Regulator's approach to the exercise of its powers

The age-verification consultation Child Safety Online: Age verification for pornography identified that an extremely large number of websites contain pornographic content - circa 5 million sites or parts of sites. All providers of online pornography, who are making available pornographic material to persons in the United Kingdom on a commercial basis, will be required to comply with the age-verification requirement .

In exercising its powers, the regulator should take a proportionate approach. Section 26(1) specifically provides that the regulator may, if it thinks fit, choose to exercise its powers principally in relation to persons who, in the age-verification regulator's opinion:

  • (a) make pornographic material or extreme pornographic material available on the internet on a commercial basis to a large number of persons, or a large number of persons under the age of 18, in the United Kingdom; or
  • (b) generate a large amount of turnover by doing so.

In taking a proportionate approach, the regulator should have regard to the following:

a. As set out in section 19, before making a determination that a person is contravening section 14(1), the regulator must allow that person an opportunity to make representations about why the determination should not be made. To ensure clarity and discourage evasion, the regulator should specify a prompt timeframe for compliance and, if it considers it appropriate, set out the steps that it considers that the person needs to take to comply.

b. When considering whether to exercise its powers (whether under section 19, 21 or 23), including considering what type of notice to issue, the regulator should consider, in any given case, which intervention will be most effective in encouraging compliance, while balancing this against the need to act in a proportionate manner.

c. Before issuing a notice to require internet service providers to block access to material, the regulator must always first consider whether issuing civil proceedings or giving notice to ancillary service providers and payment-services providers might have a sufficient effect on the non-complying person's behaviour.

To help ensure transparency, the regulator should publish on its website details of any notices under sections 19, 21 and 23.

Age-verification arrangements

Section 25(1) provides that the regulator must publish guidance about the types of arrangements for making pornographic material available that the regulator will treat as complying with section 14(1). This guidance is subject to a Parliamentary procedure

A person making pornographic material available on a commercial basis to persons in the United Kingdom must have an effective process in place to verify a user is 18 or over. There are various methods for verifying whether someone is 18 or over (and it is expected that new age-verification technologies will develop over time). As such, the Secretary of State considers that rather than setting out a closed list of age-verification arrangements, the regulator's guidance should specify the criteria by which it will assess, in any given case, that a person has met with this requirement. The regulator's guidance should also outline good practice in relation to age verification to encourage consumer choice and the use of mechanisms which confirm age, rather than identity.

The regulator is not required to approve individual age-verification solutions. There are various ways to age verify online and the industry is developing at pace. Providers are innovating and providing choice to consumers.

The process of verifying age for adults should be concerned only with the need to establish that the user is aged 18 or above. The privacy of adult users of pornographic sites should be maintained and the potential for fraud or misuse of personal data should be safeguarded. The key focus of many age-verification providers is on privacy and specifically providing verification, rather than identification of the individual.

Payment-services providers and ancillary service providers

There is no requirement in the Digital Economy Act for payment-services providers or ancillary service providers to take any action on receipt of such a notice. However, Government expects that responsible companies will wish to withdraw services from those who are in breach of UK legislation by making pornographic material accessible online to children or by making extreme pornographic material available.

The regulator should consider on a case-by-case basis the effectiveness of notifying different ancillary service providers (and payment-services providers).

There are a wide-range of providers whose services may be used by pornography providers to enable or facilitate making pornography available online and who may therefore fall under the definition of ancillary service provider in section 21(5)(a) . Such a service is not limited to where a direct financial relationship is in place between the service and the pornography provider. Section 21(5)(b) identifies those who advertise commercially on such sites as ancillary service providers. In addition, others include, but are not limited to:

  • a. Platforms which enable pornographic content or extreme pornographic material to be uploaded;
  • b. Search engines which facilitate access to pornographic content or extreme pornographic material;
  • c. Discussion for a and communities in which users post links;
  • d. Cyberlockers' and cloud storage services on which pornographic content or extreme pornographic material may be stored;
  • e. Services including websites and App marketplaces that enable users to download Apps;
  • f. Hosting services which enable access to websites, Apps or App marketplaces; that enable users to download apps
  • g. Domain name registrars.
  • h. Set-top boxes, mobile applications and other devices that can connect directly to streaming servers

Internet Service Provider blocking

The regulator should only issue a notice to an internet service provider having had regard to Chapter 2 of this guidance. The regulator should take a proportionate approach and consider all actions (Chapter 2.4) before issuing a notice to internet service providers.

In determining those ISPs that will be subject to notification, the regulator should take into consideration the number and the nature of customers, with a focus on suppliers of home and mobile broadband services. The regulator should consider any ISP that promotes its services on the basis of pornography being accessible without age verification irrespective of other considerations.

The regulator should take into account the child safety impact that will be achieved by notifying a supplier with a small number of subscribers and ensure a proportionate approach. Additionally, it is not anticipated that ISPs will be expected to block services to business customers, unless a specific need is identified.

Reporting

In order to assist with the ongoing review of the effectiveness of the new regime and the regulator's functions, the Secretary of State considers that it would be good practice for the regulator to submit to the Secretary of State an annual report on the exercise of its functions and their effectiveness.

 

 

Empire of the Censors...

Murray Perkins of the BBFC travels the world to inform the rest of the world how it will have to comply with UK internet censorship


Link Here 22nd January 2018
Full story: UK Porn Censorship...Digital Economy Bill introduces censorship for porn websites
The US adult trade group, Free Speech Coalition  at its inaugural Leadership Conference on Thursday introduced Murray Perkins, who leads efforts for the UK's new age-verification censorship regime under the Digital Economy Act.

Perkins is the principal adviser for the BBFC, which last year signed on to assume the role of internet porn censor.

Perkins traveled to the XBIZ Show on an informational trip specifically to offer education on the Digital Economy Act's regulatory powers; he continues on to Las Vegas next week and Australia the following week to speak with online adult entertainment operators.

Pekins said:

The reason why I am here is to be visible, to give people an opportunity to ask questions about what is happening. I firmly believe that the only way to make this work is to with and not against the adult entertainment industry.

This is a challenge; there is no template, but we will figure it out. I am reasonably optimistic [the legislation] will work.

A team of classification examiners will start screening content for potential violations starting in the spring. (In a separate discussion with XBIZ, Perkins said that his army of examiners will total 15.)

Perkins showed himself to be a bit naive, a bit insensitive, or a bit of an idiot when he spouted:

The Digital Economy Act will affect everyone in this room, one way or the other, Perkins said. However, the Digital Economy Act is not anti-porn -- it is not intended to disrupt an adult's journey or access to their content. [...BUT... it is likely to totally devastate the UK adult industry and hand over all remaining business to the foreign internet giant Mindgeek, who will become the Facebook/Google/Amazon of porn. Not to mention the Brits served on a platter to scammers, blackmailers and identity thieves].

 

 

Offsite Article: BBFC Podcast Episode 77...


Link Here 22nd January 2018
A straightforward 15 rating for the worthy horror film Get Out

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

 

Maze Runner: The Death Cure...

Advised BBFC category cuts have been implemented for a 12A rated cinema release


Link Here 16th January 2018
Maze Runner: The Death Cure is a 2018 USA action Sci-Fi thriller by Wes Ball.
Starring Rosa Salazar, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Dylan O'Brien. BBFC link IMDb

In the epic finale to The Maze Runner Saga, Thomas leads his group of escaped Gladers on their final and most dangerous mission yet. To save their friends, they must break into the legendary last city, a WCKD controlled labyrinth that may turn out to be the deadliest maze of all. Anyone who makes it out alive will get the answers to the questions the Gladers have been asking since they first arrived in the maze. Will Thomas and the crew make it out alive? Or will Ava Paige get her way?

BBFC advised category cuts were required for a 12A rated cinema release in 2018. 2D and 3D version were then passed 12A for moderate violence, threat, language.

The BBFC commented:

  • This work was originally seen for advice. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive a 15 certificate but that their preferred 12A classification could be achieved by making some changes. The company was advised to reduce moments of threat and 'horror' involving zombie-like characters. When the film was formally submitted, changes had been made and, consequently, the film was passed 12A

 

 

News from the cryofreeze...

The Daily Mail digs out an amusing BBFC examiner's report from recently revealed files which slags off Austin Powers


Link Here 14th January 2018
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is a 1997 USA / Germany crime comedy by Jay Roach.
Starring Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley and Michael York. BBFC link IMDb

A 1960s hipster secret agent is brought out of cryofreeze to oppose his greatest enemy in the 1990s, where his social attitudes are glaringly out of place.

A princess Di joke was cut by the distributors for 15 rated 1997 cinema release. Later uncut on UK home video. Cut for a PG-13 rating in the US.

The Daily Mail has been perusing new only opened files at the BBFC and come u with a colourful examiner's report about Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.  The examiner wrote:

O dear, this really has to qualify as the worst new film for theatrical release.

I am not acquainted with Mr Mike Myers -- the star and writer of this product -- and cannot fathom how he can have been given this showcase for his talent.

It really is embarrassingly unfunny. The film is a spoof on a Bond movie but is so crass and asinine that one cannot even begin to warm to it. It really is embarrassingly unfunny. The film is a spoof on a Bond movie but is so crass and asinine that one cannot even begin to warm to it.

The report went on to say that the movie had an aggressive edge and commented on its tacky and lavatorial humour. The examiner then launched a waspish tirade against some of the stars involved before concluding that the film was fit only for undiscerning teenagers.

The writer said the use of the word 'fuck' and repetition of terms such as 'shit' and 'shag' set the tone of the whole piece, crude, distasteful and unredeemed by intelligence, irony or wit.

But Myers had the last laugh, the film on a budget of just £12million took £50million at the international box office and combined with its two sequels, it brought in a total of £500million+.

A spokesman for the BBFC accepted the comments were more colourful then normal.

 

 

Ridiculous R18 censorship...

The BBFC censored 35% of all R18 DVDs submitted in 2016


Link Here 1st January 2018
In 2016 there was a decrease in the number of explicit pornographic works submitted to the BBFC. The 476 works in 2016 represents an a 19% decrease on 2015, ending the trend of year-on-year increases that had taken place over the preceding three years.

The proportion of R18works subject to cuts in 2016 was 35%, an increase of 22% over the previous year. This continues to reflect the BBFC's strict policies on material which combines sexual detail with activity which is illegal, harmful, abusive or involves a lack of consent or the infliction of pain or injury. [The BBFC have misleadingly omitted  some of the more trivial reasons for cuts from this list, such as use of the word teen, dialogue references to incest, squirting and gagging].

 

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