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 Update: Chief Book Censor McCarthy...

Ireland appoints a new book censorship board

Link Here 19th March 2014  full story: Book Censorship in Ireland...Minister for censorship investigated by how own censor board

Laura Alan Shatter ebook A new book censorship board has been appointed by the Government with the sole purpose of reviewing Justice Minister Alan Shatter's novel Laura .

The minister's fictional tale of a married politician involved in a secret affair is the only book to be reported to the Censorship of Publications Boards in the last five years.

The office is due to be abolished by Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan. But beforehand it must determine if Shatter's novel is suitable for sale in Ireland.

The board's chairman will be Cork solicitor Shane McCarthy and the other members are barrister Sinead Prunty, lecturer Noelle O'Connor, librarian Georgina Byrne, and retired policeman Philip Moynihan.

 

  A Snap Shot of Hungarian Repression...

Photographers required to get the permission of everyone featuring in a photo

Link Here 16th March 2014
Hungary flag From 15 March it is against the law in Hungary to take photographs without the permission of everyone in the photograph. According to the justice ministry, people taking pictures should look out for those who are not waving, or who are trying to hide or running out of shot .

Officials say expanding the law on consent to include the taking of photographs, in addition to their publication, merely codifies existing court practice. However, Hungary's photographers call the law vague and obstructive, saying it has left the country of Joseph Pulitzer and photography legend Robert Capa out of step with Europe .

Akos Stiller, a photojournalist at the weekly HVG, the New York Times and Bloomberg, says the new regulation is another unwanted complication for his profession in Hungary. Can we take photos of strangers: say people looking at a shop window? Do we shoot first and ask permission later? he asked.

Marton Magocsi, senior photo editor at news website Origo, said having to ask for permission beforehand is quite unrealistic in any reportage situation . Meanwhile, some judges who have overseen hundreds of such cases are privately saying they have no idea how to rule on cases under the new code.

 

 Updated: Anally Sensitive...

Console versions of South Park: The Stick of Truth censored in Europe

Link Here 12th March 2014
South Park The Stick Truth Ubisoft has censored the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of 18-rated comedy role-playing game South Park: The Stick of Truth in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The PC version remains unaffected.

BT.com reported on a note sent to press alongside copies of the game that revealed the changes, which amount to seven scenes of about 20 seconds each:

  • A mini-game in which the doctor is performing an abortion on the player.
  • A mini-game in which the player is performing an abortion on the character Randy.
  • Five anal probing scenes involving someone actively being probed. The scenes play out as normal before and after the active probing sequences.

Each censored scene is replaced by an image background and a description text selected by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, Ubisoft said.

Speculation suggests that the censorship was applied to the entire region to appease the lowest common denominator of game censors, ie those in Germany.

Meanwhile in Australia

See  article from  gameplanet.com.au :

Ubisoft has said in a statement that a cut version of The Stick of Truth has now been accepted by the country's game censor:

A modified version has now been approved for release, under the guidance of R18+. No full sequences have been removed from the game, only small sections amounting to less than five minutes of game play. These modifications in no way detract from the narrative of the game, meaning the player will still enjoy an authentic South Park experience.

Update: Probing for the uncensored footage

4th March 2013. See  article from  escapistmagazine.com
See anal probe scene from YouTube
See abortion scene from YouTube

south park anal probe video An escapistmagazine.com columnists writes:

South Park wouldn't be South Park without a healthy dose of controversy, so it should come as no surprise that the just-released Stick of Truth South Park video game has its fair share. Originally, when it was revealed that the game would be censored in Australia, absolutely no-one was surprised, as Australia censors pretty much everything these days. What was a little more surprising was the news that the same offending scenes would be cut from the European versions of the game.

Thankfully, for all our Australian, European, African and Middle Eastern Escapists, the review copy I received was completely uncensored, and I have uploaded video footage of the two censored sequences for you to enjoy (and stick it to your censorship boards).

First up is the anal probe scene , in which the player character is dragged past three other characters who are being actively probed, is then probed himself, and then has to help rescue Randy Marsh without accidentally probing him.

The second sequence, the abortion scene , starts with the doctor performing an abortion on the player character, and ends up with the player performing an abortion on, once again, Randy Marsh (poor Randy).

Update: De-censorship Mod

11th March 2013. See  article from  escapistmagazine.com

escapist south park logo South Park fans living in Australia, Europe, Africa and The Middle East were somewhat dismayed to learn that their version of South Park: The Stick of Truth . would be censored . I was able to upload the scenes so affected users could see what they were missing out on, but now, those clever PC modders have done one better, creating a patch for the Steam version of the game that allows everyone to enjoy it fully uncensored. Hooray for anal probes!

You can find the patch on the Steam community forums here , and to install it, you simply need to download this file and extract it into the game's directory. Fans are reporting that the patch works perfectly, allowing them to see the removed anal probe and abortion scenes, as well as the Nazi zombies for those users in Germany.

 

  Undressed Andress Redressed...

Irish film poster censorship pays off 50 years on

Link Here 11th March 2014
dr no cinema poster One of the lots at a sale of historical memorabilia at Whyte's auction room in Dublin caught the eye:

A 1962 poster for the first James Bond movie, Dr No, with a dress hand-painted over the original bikini-clad image of Ursula Andress, and described by the auctioneers as the dying vestige of Irish censorship (EUR600-EUR800).

 

  Small Arms Advert?...

Italian minister easily offended by used of Michelangelo's David in a gun advert

Link Here 10th March 2014
david armalite advert Italy's government is threatening legal action against a US small arms company over a supposedly offensive advertisement showing Michelangelo's David holding a rifle.

Rome's censorship minister Dario Franceschini has pleaded with Illinois-based ArmaLite to withdraw the promotion for a bolt-action rifle:

The advertising image of the armed David (is) wrong and violates the law. We will act against an American company that must withdraw immediately the campaign.

Angelo Tartuferi, the director of the Accademia Gallery museum where David has been on display since the 1870s, claimed the ad was in bad taste as well as completely illegal, reports the BBC. The law says that the aesthetic value of the work cannot be distorted, he added .

 

 Updated: Anally Sensitive...

Console versions of South Park: The Stick of Truth censored in Europe

Link Here 28th February 2014
South Park The Stick Truth Ubisoft has censored the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of 18-rated comedy role-playing game South Park: The Stick of Truth in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The PC version remains unaffected.

BT.com reported on a note sent to press alongside copies of the game that revealed the changes, which amount to seven scenes of about 20 seconds each:

  • A mini-game in which the doctor is performing an abortion on the player.
  • A mini-game in which the player is performing an abortion on the character Randy.
  • Five anal probing scenes involving someone actively being probed. The scenes play out as normal before and after the active probing sequences.

Each censored scene is replaced by an image background and a description text selected by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, Ubisoft said.

Speculation suggests that the censorship was applied to the entire region to appease the lowest common denominator of game censors, ie those in Germany.

Meanwhile in Australia

See  article from  gameplanet.com.au :

Ubisoft has said in a statement that a cut version of The Stick of Truth has now been accepted by the country's game censor:

A modified version has now been approved for release, under the guidance of R18+. No full sequences have been removed from the game, only small sections amounting to less than five minutes of game play. These modifications in no way detract from the narrative of the game, meaning the player will still enjoy an authentic South Park experience.

Update: Further cuts in Germany

28th February 2013. See  article from  gamespot.com

The German version of South Park: The Stick of Truth will not feature any swastikas, Ubisoft has confirmed. The Nazi symbols were discovered by VG247 during a recent play-through. An Ubisoft representative told the site:

With regards to the German version, all Nazi symbols have been removed from the game in accordance with German law.

 

 Updated: Naked Prudery...

Politician adds prudery to political correctness over children's book with nude drawings of ordinary people

Link Here 27th February 2014
Tous a poil Claire Franek A strange prudishness has seized a section of political opinion in France. The leader of the main centre-right opposition party, Jean-François Copé, declared on television last week that his "blood ran cold" when he read a children's book called Tous à poil ( All in the Buff ).

The book has comical drawings of ordinary people, policemen, bakers, and teachers, taking off their clothes. Its aim is to teach small children not to be obsessed with perfect bodies.

According to Copé, the book is being forced on primary school children as part of a campaign by an ideologically rigid socialist government to subvert traditional attitudes to gender and the family.

Tous à poil had sold only 1,000 copies before Copé's comments on television made it sound like a blend of the Marquis de Sade and Karl Marx for five-year-olds. Sales have since rocketed and the book is now the second best-selling French-language book on Amazon.

Copé's remarks have been widely mocked by in French media. The French are, after all, supposed to be relaxed about nudity; there is hardly a French movie without a nude scene; and French advertisers use female bodies (always perfect) to sell everything from cars to pasta.

All this would be mildly amusing if the remarks were not part of a campaign to radicalise the political debate in France along moral and cultural "identity" lines. Copé was trying, clumsily, to hitch himself to a bandwagon launched in recent months by ultra-Catholic conservatives and by the extreme nationalist right.


Update: French booksellers pose naked to support children's book on nudity

27th February 2013. See article from theguardian.com

After a children's book showing people naked was attacked by politicans of France's UMP party, a group of publishers and booksellers decided to register their displeasure, by posing naked (apart from strategically placed books that is).

Jean-François Copé appeared on television earlier this month to denounce Tous à Poil, a children's picture book in which characters including a policeman and a school teacher are shown getting undressed, and naked, before plunging into the sea. The authors, Claire Franek and Marc Daniau, wrote it to take the shame out of being naked. But Copé, president of France's centre-right Union pour un Mouvement Populaire party, said that when he saw the book, he was outraged.

His comments backfired, sending the book racing to the top of bestseller lists in France, and drawing widespread condemnation, with minister for education Vincent Peillon calling Copé a spokesperson for extremist groups. .

 

 Update: Insulting Free Speech...

French satirical magazine in court for a trivial insult about the Koran

Link Here 18th February 2014  full story: Charlie Hebdo...Censored by terrorists
charlie hebdo logo Easily offended French Muslims are taking satirical paper Charlie Hebdo to court for blasphemy over a front page insult of the Koran.

A court in Strasbourg set the hearing into Charlie Hebdo's supposed blasphemy for 7 April.

A Muslim legal defence group brought the case over a front page headlined The Koran is shit .

Blasphemy is not an offence in France. The trial will be a test case because, although it bans public insulting religious communities established on the territory , the agreement on the law only recognises Catholicism, three forms of Protestantism and Judaism.

A hearing has also been set for the 7 April in a case against former decentralisation minister Claude Goasguen that accuses him of offending the honour and dignity of the Muslim community . Speaking to a gala organised by a pro-Israel group, KKL, Goasguen claimed that the history of the Holocaust could no longer be taught in French schools because people are so scared of the reaction of young Muslims who have been drugged in the mosques .

 Lawyer Khadija Aoudia, acting for one of France's two major Muslim associations, the CFCM, said that media coverage of Goasguen's remarks feed Islamophobia and create a strong feeling of rejection .

 

  Naked Prudery...

Politician adds prudery to political correctness over children's book with nude drawings of ordinary people

Link Here 16th February 2014
Tous a poil Claire Franek A strange prudishness has seized a section of political opinion in France. The leader of the main centre-right opposition party, Jean-François Copé, declared on television last week that his "blood ran cold" when he read a children's book called Tous à poil ( All in the Buff ).

The book has comical drawings of ordinary people, policemen, bakers, and teachers, taking off their clothes. Its aim is to teach small children not to be obsessed with perfect bodies.

According to Copé, the book is being forced on primary school children as part of a campaign by an ideologically rigid socialist government to subvert traditional attitudes to gender and the family.

Tous à poil had sold only 1,000 copies before Copé's comments on television made it sound like a blend of the Marquis de Sade and Karl Marx for five-year-olds. Sales have since rocketed and the book is now the second best-selling French-language book on Amazon.

Copé's remarks have been widely mocked by in French media. The French are, after all, supposed to be relaxed about nudity; there is hardly a French movie without a nude scene; and French advertisers use female bodies (always perfect) to sell everything from cars to pasta.

All this would be mildly amusing if the remarks were not part of a campaign to radicalise the political debate in France along moral and cultural "identity" lines. Copé was trying, clumsily, to hitch himself to a bandwagon launched in recent months by ultra-Catholic conservatives and by the extreme nationalist right.

 

 Update: Recommended by Romania...

Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac Volume II banned from public exhibition but soon unbanned

Link Here 1st February 2014
nymphomaniac 2 Nymphomaniac: Volume II is a 2013 Denmark/Belgium/France/Germany/UK mystery drama by Lars von Trier.
With Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård and Stacy Martin. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

The Romanian cinema board has banned Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac II as supposedly unfit for public viewing, a decision the distributor says is unique in Europe.

The movie was due to be released Feb. 7 but the National Center of Cinematography told the distributor the film would be labeled IM 18 XXX, banned to minors and the general public.

Distributor Independence Film called it a case of censorship which is unique in Europe, and said it would appeal.

Nymphomaniac I is already running in Romanian cinemas.

Update: Romania shamed into sacking the censor and unbanning the film

1st February 2013. See  article from  bbc.co.uk

A ban on the second half of Danish director Lars von Trier's two-part film Nymphomaniac in Romanian cinemas has been reversed. The film will now be released as planned on 7 February.

Its distributor, Independenta Film, called the initial decision to ban Nymphomaniac: Volume II by the CNC (Centrul National al Cinematografiei) a case of censorship which is unique in Europe .

Georgica Severin, chairman of the Romanian senate's culture committee, also criticised the decision, pointing out the fact that Nymphomaniac: Volume I was already running in the country's cinemas.

The Hollywood Reporter said the president of the ratings commission, Cristina Corciovescu, had been dismissed and that the film's rating had been changed to Romania's version of an 18 certificate. It quoted an email from Antoine Bagnaninchi, managing director of Independenta film, which said it was great publicity for the film but very bad for the image of Romania .

 

  Undesirable Politicians...

New EU Home Affairs Commissioner looks to block 'undesirable' websites

Link Here 30th January 2014
EU flag The new European Union anti-terror chief appeared in front of MPs to discuss various issues, including what people are reading online.

Gilles de Kerchove told MPs he wanted to remove not illegal, undesirable websites. Setting out the action being taken by the EU he said:

The Commissioner for Home Affairs will set up a forum to discuss with the big players -- Google, Facebook, Twitter -- how we can improve the way one removes from the internet the illegal and if not illegal, undesirable websites.

Big Brother Watch commented:

Freedom of speech, and of the press, are essential parts of a free and democratic society. It should not be in the gift of politicians to decide what we read or who can write it and absolutely not on the basis of what some may consider undesirable. If content is to be blocked, it should be a decision taken by a court of law and only when a clear criminal test has been met establishing the content is illegal.

The mind boggles at what a European official might consider undesirable

 

 Update: An Orgy of Censorship...

German court orders Google to prevent links to Max Mosley orgy pictures

Link Here 25th January 2014  full story: Max Mosley Privacy...Max Mosley, spanking and Nazi sex
Germany flag A German court has ruled today that Google must block all access in the country to images of a sadomasochistic orgy involving the former Formula One boss Max Mosley.

The pictures, taken from a video filmed by the now-defunct News of the World and published in an article in 2008, were judged by the court to seriously violate Mosley's privacy. The paper was fined for a breach of privacy.

Google has resisted Mosley's attempts to make it block all access to the widely-circulated images, saying that to do so sets a disturbing precedent for internet censorship.

The search engine giant said it planned to appeal today's decision from a Hamburg court, which has ordered the company to prevent any pictures, links or even thumbnails images from the orgy to show up on the google.de site.

 

 Offsite Article: Holocaust denial is despicable...but it's wrong to ban it...

Link Here 21st January 2014
Brendan O'Neill To ban it would be a grave moral error, since it would send the message that Truth is incapable of winning a war of words and wits against Falsehood. By Brendan O'Neill

See article from blogs.telegraph.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: EU lacks a coherent strategy on free expression in digital sphere...

Link Here 17th January 2014
index logo Surveillance, internet governance, Intermediate liability, takedown and filtering

See article from indexoncensorship.org

 

 Updated: 'kin 'ell...

France bans gigs by Dieudonne M'bala M'bala over claims of anti-semitism

Link Here 12th January 2014  full story: Dieudonne Mbala Mbala...Comedian winds up with near anti-semitic humour

Code De Route Dieudonne Bala A top court in France has upheld the ban on a performance by the controversial comic Dieudonne M'bala M'bala.

The decision comes less than two hours before the comedian was due to give the opening performance of his national tour in the city of Nantes, despite his lawyers claiming a breach of his freedom of expression.

The ban had just been lifted by local judge Jean-Francois Molla who said that a perceived risk to public order could not be used to justify as radical measure as banning the show . However, France's highest administrative court, the Council of State, ruled that the show should not be allowed to go ahead.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who has led the campaign to ban the comedian's performances, said:

We cannot tolerate hatred of others, racism, anti-Semitism or holocaust denial. That is not France. This is a victory for the Republic.

The decision marks a landmark break with legal precedent in France, where previous attempts to ban Dieudonne from performing foundered against constitutional provisions on free speech.

The government has accused the comedian of insulting the memory of Holocaust victims, and his show has widely been condemned as anti-Semitic. However newspaper reports have not provided any details of his material, perhaps suggesting a weak case.

The ruling today leaves the rest of his tour uncertain.

Update: Appeal

11th January 2013. See  article from  bbc.co.uk

The French comic Dieudonne M'bala M'bala has appealed against a ban on his show. He lodged the appeal with the country's highest court, the Council of State, after it overruled a provincial judge on Thursday and reinstated the ban.

The ban took effect as fans gathered for the first show of a tour, in the western city of Nantes on Thursday. Authorities in other cities on the tour have also banned the performance.

Legal analysts say that while the Council of State decision applied specifically to Nantes, judges in other cities will have to take it into account and a flurry of further bans is likely.

Supporters of the comic and critics of the bans accuse the authorities of denying Dieudonne freedom of speech.

Shocked fans booed outside the concert hall in Nantes, where more than 5,000 people had been due to see the show. Some gave Dieudonne's trademark quenelle gesture, which is regarded by many as an inverted Nazi salute, while some brandished pineapples. One of the comic's most notorious songs, Shoananas, roughly translates as Pineapple-Holocaust.

Update: Walled Off

12th January 2013. See  article from  bbc.co.uk

The French comic Dieudonne M'bala M'bala has dropped a controversial show after it was banned by the authorities. He told reporters in Paris he would no longer perform The Wall , after France's highest court upheld a ban on the opening night of his tour on Thursday.

Citing blatant political interference , he said he wanted to perform a new show devoted to Africa. Dieudonne said in a statement on French TV:

The Dieudonne controversy and the Le Mur show are over.  Now, I think we will get a chance to laugh more intensely with my new show.

We live in a democratic country and I have to comply with the laws, despite the blatant political interference.

Offsite Comment: Was Francois Hollande right to support a ban?

12th January 2013.  See  article from  theguardian.com

Should controversial comedian Dieudonne' M'bala M'bala, the man behind the quenelle gesture, be silenced by the law -- or by sharper arguments? Andrew Hussey and Padraig Reidy debate France's thorniest issue.

...Read the full article

 

 Offsite Article: Hunger for Complaints...

Link Here 4th January 2014
Irish Film Censors Office logo Irish film censor analyses a trivial number of complaints about film classifications

See article from independent.ie

 

 Offsite Article: Greece: Freedom of expression takes a beating...

Link Here 1st January 2014
Greece flag Reports are raising alarms about government policies in Greece. Free expression, free thought, free movement, right to work, equal treatment, access to decision-making and right to protest are being systematically attacked

See article from indexoncensorship.org