EU Censorship News

 2013: July-Sept

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  Strong language is very much of least concern...

The Irish film censor surveys parents about their classifications


Link Here 22nd September 2013
Irish Film Censors Office logoThe Irish film censor has published the results of a survey of parents of primary school children. The survey consisted of 267 responses from an online form and some focus group meetings.

Some of the IFCO findings:

  • The vast majority of parents (97%) feel that age related classifications are important in protecting their children from viewing inappropriate material. 90% of parents always check the age classification before allowing their children to watch a film.

  • 53% of parents always talk to their children about the films they watch while 22% have a child who has been upset or stressed by the content of a film they have recently viewed. The films most mentioned in this regard were 'Coraline' (PG), Paranorman (PG), The Hobbit (12A) and 'The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas' (12A).

  • The primary concern of parents with regard to classification issues is violence. This is followed by sex and then drug use. Of IFCO's four main classification issues, language is very much of least concern to parents.

  • The majority of parents (57%) have allowed their children to watch a film classified for an older age group once they had satisfied themselves as to the suitability of the film. In these circumstances, 95% believe it may be acceptable for an under 12 to watch a 12A rated film while 72% believe it may be acceptable for an under 15 to view a 15A rated film.

  • The majority of parents regularly agree with IFCO's classification decisions. Of those who disagree, there is greatest divergence over films classified 12A, with 25% of respondents indicating they are sometimes classified too strictly and an equal number indicating they are sometimes classified not strictly enough .

  • The vast majority of parents believe that the media in general (film, internet, TV) can have a bad influence on young people and 58% agree that young people copy what they see in films. However, 66% agree that as people move from childhood to adolescence they are better able to cope with challenging imagery in the films they view.

  • 82% of respondents disagreed with the statement there is no longer a need for film censorship (i.e., the banning of films) .

  • 89% of parents felt that it would be helpful to them if IFCO's classifications were shown before films airing on television in Ireland.

  • 81% of parents believe that while classifications are a useful guide, they should have the final say on what their children can and cannot watch.

 

  Little Jihad...

Wind up t-shirt and political correctness on trial in France


Link Here 21st September 2013
jihad t-shirtA French appeals court have convicted a woman and her brother for justifying a crime after her toddler son, named Jihad, went to preschool in a T-shirt bearing the words (translated to English), I am a bomb and Jihad: Born on Sept. 11 .

Bouchra Bagour was given a 2,000-euro fine and a one-month suspended prison sentence and her brother, Zayed, received a 4,000-euro fine and two-month suspended sentence.

A lower court had previously acquitted the defendants but prosecutors appealed the ruling.

The ruling centered on a teacher's complaint after the boy, whose birthday is Sept. 11, wore the shirt to preschool in the Provence town of Sorgues last year. The brother had the shirt made, according to the lawyer. After the teacher's complaint, the mother quickly apologized, and the boy never wore the shirt to school again.

 

  Wie geht's, Deutschland?...

As Germany votes, what are the country's big free expression issues?By Index on Censorship


Link Here 21st September 2013
  Germany flag

 

 Update: Extremist Measures to Protect Children from Beauty Pageants...

French Senate passes bill with extreme punishments of 2 years jail for parents entering young children in beauty pageants


Link Here 19th September 2013
Jonbenet Steve Thomas The French Senate has passed a bill, by a vote of 196 to 146, to ban prepubescent beauty contests, saying that they encourage the hyper-sexualization of children. The bill remains subject to approval by the National Assembly and the president before it becomes law.

Under the proposed legislation, organizers of such pageants would face extreme prison sentences of up to two years and a fine of 30,000 euros (about $40,000). Parents who enter their kids in the so-called mini-miss pageants could also be sent to jail for two years and face similar fines.

The measure is an amendment to a bill providing for a comprehensive package of laws submitted by PC extremist, Chantal Jouanno who wrote a report blaming all the ills of society on supposed Hyper-Sexualization.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Jouanno accused beauty pageant promoters of marketing young girls as sexual candy and dreamt up the ludicrous cororally  that the sexuality of children amounted to the normalization of pornography.

France24 reported that the founder of the Mini-Miss pageant in Paris, Michel Le Parmentier, has already criticized the proposed law and threatened to move his pageant across the border to Belgium, where he could still attract French contestants.

 

  The Three legged Race Becomes an Olympic Event...

Japan whinges about a cartoon alluding to the nuclear accident and the Olympics


Link Here 13th September 2013
le canard enchaine tokyoJapan is to lodge an official complaint about a cartoon in a French newspaper that links the Fukushima nuclear disaster with Tokyo's successful bid to host the 2020 Olympics.

The cartoon, which appeared in the satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine , shows two sumo wrestlers -- each with an extra arm or leg -- with the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the background. At the edge of the panel, a TV announcer dressed in a hazardous materials suit says: Marvellous! Thanks to Fukushima, sumo is now an Olympic sport.

The chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said a formal complaint would be lodged with the French embassy in Tokyo, claiming that the cartoon hurt the victims of the triple disaster that struck Japan's north-east coast on 11 March 2011. He said:

It is inappropriate and gives the wrong impression about the issue of contaminated water at Fukushima Daiichi. It is extremely regrettable.

 

 Offsite Article: Censored for Criticising the Authorities...


Link Here 27th August 2013  full story: Internet Censorship in Finland...Finland internet filter expands beyond its remit
Finland flag Anti censorship website in Finland blocked for highlighting shortcomings in the official IWF-like blocking list

See article from torrentfreak.com

 

  Government Called Out over Newspaper Censorship...

Europe calls for Theresa May to explain the pressure exerted on the Guardian to delete US snooping revelations


Link Here 23rd August 2013
Council of Europe flagEurope's top justice official has expressed worries about press freedom in the UK after British authorities' crackdown on the Guardian over its revelations of US spying programs based on leaks by Edward Snowden.

Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland has called on British Home Secretary Theresa May to explain the pressure put on the newspaper by the British officials over Snowden case.

And Viviane Reding, the EU's commissioner in charge of privacy rules has backed up this call. She said on Twitter:

I fully share Jagland's concerns [over the issue].

British Prime Minister David Cameron ordered his top civil servant Sir Jeremy Heywood to collect sensitive material which has been leaked to the paper by Snowden to be published. Brazilian David Miranda, the partner of the Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, was also detained on Sunday at Heathrow Airport, where he was in transit on his way from Berlin to Rio de Janeiro.

 

 Offsite Article: France: Strict defamation and privacy laws limit free expression...


Link Here 20th August 2013
France flag Index on Censorship explores the G20 nations' records on free expression

See article from indexoncensorship.org

 

 Offsite Article: Like Flies Attracted to a Cow Pat...


Link Here 12th August 2013  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet
Germany flag German politician sniffs around David Cameron's internet censorship policy

See article from dw.de

 

 Offsite Article: Military and History...


Link Here 10th August 2013
history-and knowledge Germany keeps an eye on magazines covering the Nazi period of history

See article from theguardian.com

 

 Update: Irish Sun Dresses Its Sex Objects in Bikinis...

Page 3 goes clothed in the Irish edition of The Sun


Link Here 9th August 2013  full story: Page 3 Girls...Miserable campaigners whinge about page 3 fun

irish sunThe Sun has dropped topless Page 3 pictures in Ireland because of supposed cultural differences between that country and Britain. The editor of the paper's Irish edition, Paul Clarkson, is quoted in the Irish Times as saying :

Page 3 is a hugely popular pillar of the Sun in the UK...

In the Irish Sun we strive to share the qualities that make the newspaper great in print and digital, but we also strive to cater for our own readers' needs and reflect the cultural differences in Ireland.

Roy Greenslade of the Guardian notes that this is a remarkable decision given that the paper has been running pictures of topless women for many years without apparently being aware of the cultural differences .

 

  Hands Off Our Games...

The Last of Us video game published in a censored version for European


Link Here 5th August 2013

Last Us Playstation 3 Computer game producer Naughty Dog has confirmed that the European version of The Last of Us has bee censored compared with the American release.

After weeks of questions from suspicious players, a community manager answered a private message from a user, and their response was posted on the Naughty Dog forums:

The gore and violence ratings are subject to local regulatory boards in various countries, so the game must be slightly changed in order to accommodate those choices, the representative wrote. If you import the North/South American version, it will not be censored, but EU/UK will be.

The version of the game released in Europe, Australia and other PAL territories is missing certain elements of gore in multiplayer mode. Survivors cannot be dismembered (with limbs disintegrating into meaty chunks), and there's much less blood. Gameplay in single player mode is uncensored in all versions.

The cuts seem to have been implemented to pre-empt the censorial requirements of Germany and Australia. European gamers outside of Germany are annoyed that their versions are unnecessarily cut, and are also annoyed that the secretive approach meant they lost the opportunity to buy the uncut US version.

 

  Testing Positive for Performance Enhancing Prayers...

Irish radio station told to be more sensitive when mocking religion


Link Here 27th July 2013

countdown concert rte advertNew Year's Eve Countdown Concert
RTE‰ Radio 1, 31 December 2012

This magazine programme included a satirical review of the year's events with impressionist and comedian Oliver Callan who at one point impersonated the boxer Katie Taylor. His impersonation of Katie Taylor went as follows:

I wouldn't be who I am today if it wasn't for Jesus Christ and God and Marty Morrissey, they've been my inspiration, and you know I came over a lot of adversity, there was a lot of talk about how I tested positive for performance-enhancing prayers, then there was the whole business about the wine being found in me urine sample but thank God, with the help o' God it turned out to be the blood of Christ so, em, I'll be fine and I encourage all people in 2013 if you want your dreams to come true, you know, you can always, em, put faith in the Good Book. My Olympic Dream is out now in all good book stores and Easons, €12.99. I'll sign it for an extra two quid.

A priest objected to what he describes as the blasphemous reference in this programme to the Blood of Jesus being found in Katie Taylor's urine.

The Decision of Compliance Committee found:

  • The Committee noted that the trans-substantiation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus is considered a central tenet of religious belief for Irish Catholics. Therefore, particular care is required where it is referred to in a programming other than in a religious context. For this reason, it was the view of the Committee that some listeners may have found the item offensive and a greater sensitivity to this source of offence than that shown in this item would have been desirable.
     
  • However, having had regard to the programme about which the complaint was made, it was the Committee's view that it had been used in a humorous and playful manner in a comedy section of a New Year's Eve radio programme. The Committee noted that the target of the comedy was Katie Taylor rather the religious symbols of Christianity and while this part of the comedy feature could be considered as being in poor taste and potentially offensive to some listeners on religious grounds, it was its view that the item would not cause undue offence, contrary to the Code of Programme Standards.

 

 Update: OK to tell the President to get lost...

France repeals law insulting the French people


Link Here 27th July 2013  full story: Insulting the French President...French president takes voodoo doll makers to court

french senateFrance has changed a law in response to a controversial conviction of man who held up a sign telling then-president Nicolas Sarkozy to get lost.

Being rude to the French president is now no longer an offence after parliament amended legislation dating back to 1881 in favour of freedom of speech. Previously any rude remark risked a fine and criminal conviction for "offending the head of state". But the change was pushed through after criticism from the European court of human rights. It is not a carte blanche to bad mouth the president though, laws of libel and defamation still apply.

Hervé Eon was arrested after holding up a sign as Sarkozy's motorcade drove past in 2008. The small A4-sized cardboard sign did not feature Sarkozy's name but said simply: Casse-toi pov'con", translated as : get lost you prat. The phrase had been uttered by Sarkozy months earlier when a man refused to shake his hand at an agricultural fair, causing media outrage at his non-presidential language and demeanour. It later became a widely used political slogan against the president used by the left on stickers and posters.

The French state prosecutor brought a case against Eon for offence against a head of state, and he was ordered to pay a symbolic fine of ?30 Euro and given a criminal conviction. But European human rights court judges found the sign was of a satirical nature and ruled it did not warrant a criminal conviction.

 

  Flattering the BBFC...

Malta introduces new film censorship ratings remarkably similar to those of the BBFC


Link Here 24th July 2013

Malta flagStarting 24 July 2013, a new law with regards to film age-classification will come into force in Malta.

The new age-classification categories are as follows:

  • U - Universal (suitable for all);
  • PG - Parental Guidance (General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children);
  • 12A - suitable for persons of 12 years and over: Provided that persons younger than 12 years may attend only when accompanied by an adult;
  • 12 - suitable only for persons of 12 years and over;
  • 15 - suitable for persons of 15 years and over; and
  • 18 - suitable only for persons aged 18 years and over.

As a result of the new classification structure, 14 and 16 are removed. The PG certificate will have a new definition..

Malta will also set up a Classification Review Board. A person who has applied for the examination of the film may, if he feels aggrieved by the decision of the Film Age-Classification Board, within five days of receiving said decision, apply in writing to the Classification Review Board for a review of such decision. The Review Board may confirm or reverse the decision of the Film Age-Classification Board.  Previously appeals were handled by the same censors that made the original contended decision.

Film classification is now no longer under the Police Laws but under the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts Act. The new Board  is chaired by Mario A. Azzopardi.

 

  Not a Priority...

Ireland will not follow Britain's lead in imposing cheapo automated website blocking


Link Here 19th July 2013

IrelandIreland's overnment will not ask local ISPs to block pornography on home broadband connections, Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte has said. This is despite support for the British position from some child-welfare campaigners in Ireland. Rabbitte said:

This isn't something that's being prioritised by the Government here.

Illegality is different and if we see an effective strategy against that on our neighbouring island then we might look at that. But as it is, it's not something we're focusing on as a priority.

His view has been welcomed by Irish Internet Service Provider (ISP) firms and their representatives.

 

 Update: Pressing Problems...

Press TV banned from Intelsat satellites


Link Here 12th July 2013  full story: Press TV...Political censoship merges with TV censorship

intelstat logoThe Iranian propaganda channel Press TV has been dropped from the Intelsat satellite.

Other channels such as Hispan TV, Al-Alam, IRIB 1 and 2 and Sahar TV were all removed at the same time, with the Luxembourg based Intelsat stating that it will no longer provide services to Iranian channels as of July 1st.

The reason given for the decision was that Intelset had to abide by US sanctions imposed on Iran's state-run radio and TV company, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), and its president, Ezzatollah Zarghami.

But protests from the Iranian government have thus far fallen on deaf ears, in no small part due to the regime's own hypocrisy in this area. The Iranian government continues to jam signals from European satellites into Iran, a policy dating back to 2009. Among the affected broadcasters are BBC Persian, France24, the US-funded Voice of America and Germany's Deutsche Welle.

Press TV has already been banned from UK TV and from Eutelsat's Hotbird satellite.

 

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