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13th July   

Offsite: Private Concerns...

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Max Mosley case: bend over, free speech, this is going to hurt
Link Here

After a run of judgments establishing various parameters of what is “private”, Max Mosley is seeking punitive damages. Until now they have rarely exceeded four figures – Campbell, for example, got just £3,500. Some lawyers think that could change.

It could even be said the damages awarded for an invasion of privacy should be greater than for defamation, said one. With the latter your reputation is restored. With privacy the bringing of the action simply exacerbates the grievance.

Another has no doubt the effect would be wide-ranging: If he won a very large award it would have a very chilling effect on the press. We're already known as the libel capital of the world. We could become the privacy one too. Either newspapers would have to start suppressing stories or I'm going to be getting a lot of business.

Certainly the long tradition – not always noble – of reputations splashed, trashed, and served up with a red top's eye for the prurient detail could ebb away if Mosley wins.

However, there would be other more disturbing implications, too, says Jo Glanville, editor of Index on Censorship. It's what will happen in the future that we really need to worry about, she said. If the News of the World loses, it will be more proof that we've ended up with a very serious law without any proper debate.

Who's to say, for example, if an influential public figure has a dubious private life, leaving their judgment open to question, whether it's permissible to publish the fact?

As Glanville says: It will make it more and more difficult to report on public figures even when their private lives are genuinely in the public interest. If Mosley wins, the rest of us will be living with the consequences long after the dominatrices have fled.

...Read full article

On The Other Hand

See full article from the Guardian by Jamie Doward

Whatever turns them on? Inside the minds of the sadomasochists

The bondage community hopes Max Mosley's lawsuit will stop them being seen as perverts on the fringe of society

This trial is a good thing, said Deborah Hyde, spokeswoman for Backlash, which campaigns for BDSM rights.

We're finally getting the chance to talk to the media, who have ignored us for years. In Max Mosley we've got a man who says: 'This is who I am'. He's got expensive lawyers who can fight his case, but many others end up being dragged through the family courts or in front of their employers. In Mosley, we have someone who is fighting our corner.

...Read full article


30th June   

New Censors on the Block...

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The Independent identifies the London public art censors
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An art project has joined other artworks and monuments rejected by the little-known Westminster Public Art Advisory Committee, whose work is rarely publicised despite its power to influence the look of some of the capital's best-known locations.

According to confidential minutes of meetings released to The Independent on Sunday, the plan to honour Reagan by the US artist Chas Fagan was ruled out in April after members said the work was "weak", "lacking gravitas" and risked "cluttering" the square outside the American embassy.

The work now joins the panel's rejected list, which includes Marc Quinn's giant steel orchid outside Hertford House, ruled "anachronistic".

The influential panel deals in the high numbers of public art applications. Its members are drawn from institutions such as the Royal Academy of Art. A negative view usually forces artists to review their plans or kill them altogether.

Jo Darke of the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association said: I can appreciate the view about cluttering Westminster, but there are lots of dark corners that could be brightened up by a sculpture.


26th June   

Update: Delayed Reaction...

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Games trade really doesn't want to deal with multiple censors
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Games company Electronic Arts has stepped into the fray over videogame ratings in the U.K., saying that proposed changes to the current system will result in release delays for new titles.

The proposals, initially raised by the Byron Review, recommend the BBFC begin rating games that earn a 12+ rating from PEGI, rather than the 15+ minimum currently used. As a result, according to Eurogamer, the number of games demanding the attention of the BBFC would increase significantly, resulting in delays of ratings across all games.

The government's proposed changes to the existing age rating systems will create further delays in getting hit games to the U.K., said Electronic Arts U.K. Vice President Keith Ramsdale in an interview with GamesIndustry. An extra and unnecessary layer of administration beyond a single system slows the process, and that delay will get passed on to the players themselves.

Every time you add a new standard, game developers have to guess what the censors are looking for. If there's more than one standard in the U.K., and across Europe, that can only equal delays in getting games to market and into the hands of British players."


26th June   

Censorship Victim Honoured...

Queen confers knighthood on Sir Salman Rushdie
Link Here Full story: Satanic Verses...Salman Rushdie irritation of the muslim world

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has conferred a knighthood to Salman Rushdie, the author of the blasphemous book Satanic Verses.

The ceremony to confer the knighthood was held in London's Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, with many believing the move would trigger a wave of protest by Muslim nations.

A spokeswoman for the queen, who asked not to be identified because of the monarch's policy, was quoted by AP as saying that Rushdie was not listed among those to be honored because he was a late addition to the investiture.

The late Imam Khomeini pronounced a death sentence on Rushdie because of blasphemy against Islam in his novel The Satanic Verses.

The conferment of knighthood to the author of a blasphemous book which has insulted the Muslim world is widely considered as demonstration of Britain's flagrant hostility toward Islam.


24th June   

Age Old Restrictions...

SubStandard concerns about mail order selling to kids
Link Here

Violent computer games are being sold to children through internet auction sites, avvording to Trading SubStandards

Almost 90% of traders investigated by the Welsh Heads of Trading Standards supplied violent games to youngsters.

In the investigation, six local authorities enlisted volunteers aged between 12 and 16 who attempted to buy 18-rated video games on the internet using postal orders.

Of the 44 purchases attempted, 38 traders sold the games to the children.

Among the games bought by the youngsters were Manhunt, Grand Theft Auto, Godfather and Hitman .

Traders found guilty of supplying such games to under-age customers can be jailed for up to six months or fined.

Lee Jones, acting head of Bridgend County Borough Council Trading Standards, said: This survey shows how easily children can gain access to age-restricted violent video games.

A Trading Standards Institute spokesman said: Traders selling goods over the internet have a responsibility to make sure they have methods in place to avoid breaking the law. If traders cannot be sure the person they are selling to is over 18 then they should not be selling.

TSI chief executive Ron Gainsford said: Parents and guardians also have an important role to play in making sure children are not playing unsuitable video games.


23rd June   

Comment: What is obscene these days?...

BBC ask the question of the BBFC and Vice Squad
Link Here

It's 2008 and sex seems to be everywhere. So who holds the line between permissiveness and obscenity? What is obscene these days? And how do those people entrusted to make these calls cope with the harrowing work?

...Read full article

Comment: Doing the Rounds

23rd June 2008. Thanks to Alan

I had a good belly laugh at the remarks by Inspector Shortland about his sensitive subordinates being exposed to that horrid pornography.

Back in my misspent youth I was a member of an organization for young business and professional men, which shall remain nameless, but if you think of a circular item of dining room furniture, you won't be far off the mark. I was a bit miffed when I was unable to attend the meeting one week when the entertainment was some blue movies. How had the organizers acquired them and ensured that the films were especially raunchy? A member who was a copper (sergeant awaiting promotion to inspector) had made arrangements with his pals in the Obscene Publications squad for the loan of some juicy recently confiscated material.


21st June   

A Stab in the Dark...

Boris Johnson blames video games for London's knife crime
Link Here Full story: Knife Blame...Media predictably blamed for increased knife crime

London Mayor Boris Johnson has pointed the finger at violent video games for being a cause of knife crime in the Capital.

In a piece railing against ‘London’s knife crisis’ written for thelondonpaper, the blunder-prone public figure writes: We must show young people that knives are not cool, and for that we need positive role models.

I want to counteract the damaging influences drug-addled celebrities and violent video games and the lure of the life in the gang by providing opportunities.


20th June   

Indecent Governance...

Scotland to introduce new offence of indecent communication
Link Here

Scots sending sexually explicit e-mails were warned last night that they could be accused of being a sex offender.

As part of the biggest overhaul of sex offences in Scotland, a new statutory offence of "communicating indecently" will criminalise those who send malicious and unwanted sexually offensive e-mails and texts, as well as other verbal and written messages.

A new bill unveiled contains proposals for a raft of other new offences, covering areas such as indecent exposure and spiking drinks for the purpose of having sex.

The proposals are based on recommendations in a report published last December by the Scottish Law Commission. It had been commissioned in 2004 to examine the law on rape and other sexual offences.

Age of Consent

However, ministers have turned down a commission proposal to decriminalise all consenting sex between youngsters aged 13 to 15.


The new legislation rejected a proposal to decriminalise consensual adult sexual violence. It's not everybody's cup of tea, but when both parties are willing, where's the harm? For the government, it was the fear that such a move might offer some form of legal escape to rapists and those who commit domestic violence. It's a powerful argument, but a misguided one. These are instances in which the state simply should not meddle.

Sex tourism

Anyone from Scotland who travels abroad and has sex with someone under the age of 16 can currently only be prosecuted on their return if the intercourse was also illegal in the foreign country.

Indecent communication

THE bill defines the new offence of indecent communication as occurring when a person intentionally delivers a sexual message to another person.

The offence requires that the person sends the communication to obtain sexual gratification, or to humiliate, distress or alarm the recipient. The communication can be a word in someone's ear, a page from a pornographic magazine, or an e-mail or text.

Someone who sends an offensive e-mail to a group of colleagues, friends and other people could be breaking this new law.

However, the Crown would have to prove that the purpose of sending the e-mail had been malicious, or that the sender had done it for a sexual "thrill".

Anyone found guilty of indecent communication faces a maximum ten-year jail sentence.

Public indecency

THE offence of public indecency, which can include "flashing", streaking and urinating in public, already exists. But the government explicitly wants to criminalise anyone who intentionally exposes their genitals in a sexual manner to another person with the intention of causing alarm or distress, or being "reckless" as to whether alarm or distress may be caused.

The new offence also criminalises sexual exposure in someone's home. The aim is to make it clear such behaviour is a sex crime completely separate to someone causing offence by, for example, sunbathing naked in a public park. The Scottish Law Commission, which first proposed the move, reasoned that indecent exposure was in many ways similar to a sexual assault.


19th June   

Dangerous Information...

Entwistle searched for information about killing with a knife
Link Here

Briton Neil Entwistle searched the internet for advice on killing a few days before his wife and baby daughter were murdered, a US court has heard.

The jury was shown a diagram of major human arteries and "strike points" in the chest, found in the internet history of Entwistle's laptop.

Detective Lawrence James, a computer specialist, told the jury that the diagram of the major arteries had been found on a website following a search for how to kill with a knife.

The jury of eight men and eight women also heard how the same laptop and Entwistle's username had been used to trawl adult sex sites less than 12 hours before the how to kill with a knife search.

The trial continues.


19th June   

Update: Cross Border Games...

ELSPA commission survey to back their case to adopt PEGI
Link Here

A YouGov survey reveals strong UK support for pan-European games rating system, PEGI. This was carried out on behalf of the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers’ Association (ELSPA).

The survey found that a majority of British adults (67%) believe it is important to have a single age-ratings system which would be consistent across Europe.

ELSPA has been lobbying for a pan-European system, PEGI, as the consistent age-rating system across the continent.

MEP Michael Cashman welcomed the latest YouGov findings. A senior member of the European Parliament’s Justice, Home Affairs and Civil Liberties Committee, he said: I am not surprised that most Brits believe it is vital that we are signed-up to a pan-European rating system. Many buy their games when they are away, and others download content from European games companies. These are trends which will inevitably continue. PEGI and PEGI Online offer security when UK residents buy games from the continent– and when visiting Europeans buy games from us during their visits.

Total sample size of YouGov research was 1990 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 5th and 9th June. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Update: Euro Pressure

20th June 2008

In a written response regarding a recent meeting of the Education, Youth and Culture Council, The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport - Margaret Hodge - has reported strong backing for the PEGI video game rating system.

Hodge states, The Commission summarised their communication on video games and pushed member states to implement the voluntary Pan European Game Information (PEGI) system for age rating of video games.


19th June   

User Created Ratings...

Xbox community don't see a role for BBFC or PEGI in user created games
Link Here

The head of Xbox community developer service XNA, Chris Satchell, has said that user generated content can be responsibly rated by an audience of its creators' peers – and doesn’t need any intervention from the BBFC or PEGI.

In his keynote at the GamesHorizon Conference in Newcastle, Satchell introduced the audience to XNA’s service, Creators Club Online, launching later in the year.

The service allows bedroom developers to share their games with one another, and encourages the community to rate them in categories of violence, sexual content and more – as well as giving them a critical score.

A Beta version of the site has been running for the last four weeks, and XNA members have already created 54 titles.

We’re giving tools to the community, but we’re not arbiters of good taste, he said. Our only ground rules for these user-generated games is that they don’t infringe other people’s IP and that there aren’t things we consider obscene.

PEGI and the BBFC simply are not going to be able to rate community content. We have to work out a way to police ourselves to avoid huge regulatory pressure. The core of Creators Club Online take it very seriously. If you give the community tools, they act responsibly.


18th June   

Update: Propaganda of Little Use...

Lyrical terrorist has her conviction quashed
Link Here Full story: Extremist Censorship...Censorship of religion and terrorism

A woman who wrote jihadi poetry using the pen name “Lyrical Terrorist” has had her terrorism conviction quashed by the Appeal Court.

Three senior judges said the jury at Samina Malik’s trial last year had been confused and her conviction for possessing items of use to terrorists was unsafe.

The Crown Prosecution Service indicated that it would not seek a retrial.

Miss Malik became the first woman convicted under terrorism legislation since 2001 when she was found guilty of possessing jihadi propaganda in December last year. Of 21 items found in Miss Malik’s possession, 14 were propaganda items. However, she also possessed documents including The Terrorists Handbook , The Mujahideen Poisons Handbook , and operator manuals for firearms and anti-tank weapons.

She was given a nine-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months.

Miss Malik had also penned gruesome poetry in chatrooms praising the beheading of hostages in Iraq. On the back of a till receipt she scribbled: The desire within me increases everyday to go for martyrdom.

Her conviction, under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000, was widely condemned as a “thought crime” by commentators and Muslim community leaders.

But it became inevitable that she would be cleared of the crime in February when the Appeal Court quashed the convictions of five men under section 58 and effectively rewrote the Terrorism Act. The court ruled then that propagandist or theological material - no matter how extreme - could not be considered of practical use to terrorists.

But Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, the Lord Chief Justice, presiding at the Appeal Court, said her conviction was now unsafe: The jury was required to consider not only documents which were capable of being of practical utility for a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, but a large number of documents that were not. We consider that there was scope for the jury to have become confused.


15th June   

Offsite: Classic Classification...

Age guidance on books will help buyers - and improve sales
Link Here Full story: Age Ratings for Books...Publishers propsose age ratings for books

It's all very well for those who have an easy familiarity with literature. But the world of children's books does not feature in the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of adults. And, research tells us, they are crying out for guidance when buying a book for a grandchild, niece or nephew. Many do not have a good local bookshop where they can get expert advice. Where do they start?

...Read full article


14th June   

Sharing the Blame...

Judge cites violent video clips as inspiring to GBH with intent
Link Here

A senior judge urged Whitehall to investigate ways to censor internet images which are so shocking they should never be seen.

The call came after four teenagers were jailed for a "sickening" assault filmed on a phone.

Paul Vickers was left paralysed and blind in his right eye after being beaten with a metal wheel brace and having his head stamped on as he slept.

Judge David Rennie said the attack was inspired by violent images said to be easily accessible on the web and itself was intended to be uploaded to the net. He told the Old Bailey: I believe this was copying and adding to the violent images already in circulation.

I am not sure if there is any sufficient censorship of material before it finds its way into the public domain. I would urge the Government to continue to investigate this problem to see if there is anything else that can be done to protect people from images which are so shocking that they should never be seen.

Oliver Skeggs was given an indeterminate sentence with a minimum term of 13 years after being convicted of attempted murder and admitting an attack seven days earlier when a wheelchair-bound man was robbed. The court heard how he leered into the phone camera before launching the attack on Mr Vickers.

Ross Beeby was jailed for 12 years after admitting grievous bodily harm with intent. He had grinned at the camera before jumping on Vickers’s head.

Alistair Field who filmed the attack on Skeggs’s phone, was jailed for eight years as was Terry Bryan of Quest Close, Chichester, the fourth member of the gang. The court heard that Bryan had a series of other "disturbing" and violent video clips on his phone, including one of a woman being shot in the head, and another of a hostage being beheaded.

The judge told the teenagers: The fact that you wanted a video souvenir of this attack is one of the most shocking and sickening aspects of this case.

He said the other violent clips on Bryan’s phone appeared to be the sort that could easily be downloaded from the internet: There is a direct connection between the filming of the attack on Mr Vickers and violent film clips of this sort.


8th June   

PhantasmaGoria Film Festival...

Fun in Swindon
Link Here

Friday 11th to Sunday 13th July
Arts Centre, Swindon

Genre fans will be congregating for an eclectic weekend of horror, fantasy, exploitation and martial arts movies.

Films screening include:

  • Bane
  • Left for Dead
  • Summer Scars
  • Ten Dead Men
  • Infestation
  • Contour
  • Dead Wood
  • Room 36
  • The Silencer,

with more to be announced soon (along with many short features and very special guests!).

Weekend passes are only £30 so get your passes now!


6th June   

Age of Literature...

Publishers consider classifying children's books
Link Here Full story: Age Ratings for Books...Publishers propsose age ratings for books

A literary war broke out in April, when the kid-lit wing of the Publishers Association announced plans to print a suggested reading age on all children's books. This followed research apparently showing that many adults are wary of choosing junior volumes as gifts because of the risk of, say, giving a novel about an adolescent being hired as a drug mule to a sensitive eight-year-old.

Although it amounted to a radical change in the way that school-age books have been sold, the initiative attracted little coverage at the time. But now, six weeks later, like heroes and heroines suddenly awaking to their special powers, children's writers, led by Pullman, have risen up against the plan to stamp a number on their jackets.

On the side of the age stickers is the fact that there is greater opportunity for confusion on the under-16 shelves than in adult fiction. Many authors - including Pullman and Jacqueline Wilson, another writer in a rage about age guidance - write different series aimed at infant and senior schoolers.

Another argument in favour is that other art forms have long steered material towards different birth dates: the cinematic system of certification and also the 9pm watershed for grown-up shows that is more or less observed by television broadcasters.

The contrary position, vigorously expressed by Pullman, is that literary development is hugely variable. There are columnists who claim to have been devouring War and Peace at six years old - while, routinely, there will be children in any classroom whose reading age will be a couple of years ahead of or behind the number of birthdays they've celebrated.

Pullman and Rowling, in particular, have demonstrated this elasticity of appeal. Her Harry Potter books seem genuinely to have achieved the old advertising dream of appealing to consumers from eight to 80, while he, although the Dark Materials trilogy would seem most suited to people in their early teens, has also found a precocious younger audience. It's clear that such catholicism might be nobbled by declaring the age at which stories should properly be absorbed, and it doesn't take much imagination to predict what might happen to a 10-year-old spotted on the school bus with a book aimed at the seven to eight-year-old.

At the moment both sides seem unyielding. The Publishers Association insists that the number stickers will go on the front of books. And yet writers such as Pullman, Rowling and Wilson would clearly have the economic power to demand a retreat, backed by the threat of establishing a new, ageless publishing house.

A comparison with cinema is instructive in a particular way. It is now only at 15 that the state begins to take an absolute stand on what people can see. The two lower categories - PG and 12A - leave it to the parents or guardians to make the decisions. Those rules seem to acknowledge that late teenagers are more homogenous in their reactions than younger children. So, on this basis, the existing system of children's bookselling - in which a general, invisible PG certificate applies to all titles - might sensibly be left in place.


5th June   

Facebook information should be regulated...

According to survey commissioned by those that want the job
Link Here

9 out of 10 people think there should be tighter regulation of information on social networking websites, according to new research.

A survey commissioned by those who want to do the regulating found that most Britons believe sites such as Facebook and MySpace should be covered by rules that would help ordinary people complain about intrusive material posted online.

Currently each of the major social networking sites operates under its own set of terms and conditions. However, 89% of those surveyed by the Press Complaints Commission said there should be a set of widely accepted rules to help prevent personal information - such as private photographs - being abused.

Sir Christopher Meyer, the chairman of the PCC, said there was an "unprecedented scale" of information being put on to social networks, and suggested members of the public needed help to deal with problems that arise as a result. There is a need for public awareness about what can happen to information once it is voluntarily put into the public domain, he said.

The survey comes as the PCC seeks to expand its role as the lines between different forms of media continue to blur. The organisation already oversees internet and video content produced by newspaper organisations, though the commission's director, Tim Toulmin, has stated that he is not in favour of internet regulation.

Suggestions that the PCC would be the best body to oversee a social networking code of conduct are likely to cause controversy. Some experts suggested it would prove beneficial to bring some form of light self-regulation to the internet, but questioned whether there was a real consensus on what "intrusive" really meant. If you take pictures and put them on Facebook, you've deliberately surrendered your privacy, said Charlie Beckett, the director of Polis, a journalism thinktank at the London School of Economics.


4th June   

Grand Prix Spanking...

Max Mosley survives a beating
Link Here

Following the very public revelation of his sexual predilections in March, Max Mosley, the president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), faced calls for his resignation from Formula One racers and condemnation from the sport's sponsors. But in a secret-ballot proceeding held in Paris, Mosley secured 103 of 169 votes to win a vote of confidence from motorsport's governing body — and the right to serve out his term as FIA president.

The ruling comes two months after the British tabloid News of the World posted video footage of Mosley reveling in what it described as a chilling Nazi-style sadomasochistic orgy with five hookers. In the video, a mock prison guard spanks Mosley while explaining his punishment: He's serving a life sentence now for crimes he committed before. I'm sure it won't be the last time he's bent over that bench.

Mosley, who admitted to participating in the orgy, has initiated legal action against News of the World for claiming that his sadomasochistic romp had Nazi and concentration-camp connotations. He said he spoke with a German accent, ("She needs more of ze punishment"), because the women involved were themselves German. (Mosley is the son of noted British fascist Oswald Mosley.) But his main argument, made in a letter to FIA officials prior to today's vote, is that his sex life is irrelevant, as it harms no one.

Mosley has already promised not to make public appearances on behalf of the FIA, suggesting he has plans for a quiet end to his tenure, which expires in October 2009. The jokes and snickers will undoubtedly continue, but they're unlikely to drive Mosley from office. He may be bruised, but, as he has already demonstrated, he has a high tolerance for pain.

Comment: An Orgy of Sensibility

Thanks to Alan

The Guardian has a column discussing animal sex with the message: N ot my cup of tea, but I can't pretend to be horribly shocked by it.

I wish the same sensible attitude would spread to the sports section, where the front page of the same edition had some vapourings about Max Mosley's "orgy" (i.e. mild sadomasochistic spanking fun) with five "prostitutes" (i.e. professional dominatrices and submissives, at least one of whom has a website making it quite clear that clients shouldn't ask for "extras").

Offsite Comment: So what if Mosley played Nazi sex games

See full article from the Guardian by Tanya Gold

Let us be clear. Nazism was a tyrannical system of power that murdered millions of people. Max Mosley is a 68-year-old grey-haired businessman who played sado-masochistic sex games with prostitutes who were said to be dressed as concentration camp inmates. She then stuck a camera in her bra and sold the tape to the NotW. He had consensual sex, he harmed no one, and he used highly paid, media-savvy prostitutes, not trafficked women. He even had a cup of tea with them afterwards.

Mosley's barrister argued that the orgy did not have Nazi connotations. But so what if it did? I have no problem with Nazi-style orgies, if they are consensual. I have a problem with Nazi-style genocides. Like the one that is happening in Darfur, which is ignored, because we are too busy bleating that Mosley's sexual fantasies are gross, and reading Heat. You will find something gross in every bedroom.

...Read full article


3rd June   

Megatron Bombshell...

Transformers T shirt can get you arrested at Heathrow
Link Here

An airline passenger claimed that a security guard threatened to arrest him because he was wearing a T-shirt showing a cartoon robot with a gun.

Brad Jayakody from London, said he was stopped from passing through security at Heathrow's Terminal 5 after his Transformers T-shirt was deemed 'offensive.'

The IT consultant was set to fly off on a business trip to Dusseldorf in Germany when he was pulled to one side.

Jayakody said the first guard started joking with him about the Transformers character depicted on his French Connection T-shirt. Then he explains that since Megatron is holding a gun, I'm not allowed to fly, he said.

He was cooperative with the supervisor and took off the the 'offensive' T-shirt, replacing it with another shirt in his carry on luggage.

A spokesman for Heathrow operator BAA said: If a T-shirt had a rude word or a bomb on it, for example, a passenger may be asked to remove it. We are investigating what happened to see if it came under this category. If it's offensive, we don't want other passengers upset.


30th May   

Liverpool: Capital of Censorship...

Authorities mar Liverpool Streets Ahead events
Link Here

As part of Liverpool Streets Ahead over the weekend, Cacahuète performers were based in the windows of shops on Bold St. Some of the performances were stopped by the police. A guy walking around Bold St in a loin cloth with a fake penis. A girl in a lingerie store sitting in her underwear, had been told to cover or up she wouldn't be allowed to perform. A lady wrapped in clingfilm with bits covered by banana skins and various food items had been told that some people have complained, and that performers were being provocative. The Amy Winehouse styled performer had been asked to remove the cocaine looking substance.

Pascal, who was the leader of the group, said that Liverpool was the "Capital of Censorship." Bit of a shame to invite people to perform in the Capital of Culture and then censor them.

Having been one of the performers I have to say that it really was a travesty for these performances to be stopped - do the police now have artistic control over this capital of culture year?

Hundreds thoroughly enjoyed the mannequins yet a minority dictated the actions of the police. Instead of abandoning the final performance completely we thought it would be more beneficial to make the actions of the police known to the Liverpool public. I have seen this protest mentioned on one website only so please keep the debate going....

The lady in her underwear in a wheelchair was told she could continue if she covered herself up (which totally changes the meaning of the piece) yet it was ok for a guy dressed as a pimp simulating sex with a blow up doll! It was also ok for Kate Lawler to run the London marathon in her underwear.

If any form of pleasure is exhibited,
Report to me and it will be prohibited.
I`ll put my foot down. So shall it be!
This is the land of the free!
Rufus T Firefly in Duck Soup


25th May   

Offsite: Platform for free speech ... or hate?...

Newspapers, blogs and user comments
Link Here

Imagine that you are the editor of a national newspaper. After launching a new service on your website, a minority of your journalists start submitting copy that is clearly distasteful. None of the content is libellous or in breach of hate laws, but it would be considered as offensive by large sections of the public. What do you do?

You could advise your journalists to desist, order a rewrite or spike the offensive content. Beyond that, the only choice for many editors is to fire them. But what if the questionable content is coming from your readers? Do you treat it any differently? Would you likewise censor the offensive content, even though it's not quite breaking the law?

...Read full article


23rd May   

Too Old to Party...

Networking site evicts older guys citing dangers of being sex offenders
Link Here

A social networking site has deleted most of its users over the age of 36 because it claims older users pose a danger of sex offending. It claims to be forced into the action by the Government, but the part of a law it cites is not yet in force.

Faceparty has deleted what it describes as a huge number of accounts from its social networking site in recent weeks. It lists over 36 years old as one of its reasons for deletion: We understand that only a minority of older users are sex offenders, but you must understand that we cannot tell which, it says in its explanation of the deletion of accounts.

New government legislation means we need to check older users on the sex offenders list," says its notice. This legislation is based upon checking email addresses against a government provided list. Faceparty has never insisted on validated email addresses and can therefore not participate in this new scheme.

A new law was passed earlier this month, the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, which contains provisions for the Secretary of State to require sex offenders to register their email addresses or other information. That, though, is not currently part of the law and would require a ministerial order to become law. The law makes no reference to the age of offenders. Neither that law nor any other suggests that people over the age of 36 are more likely to be sex offenders.

Faceparty has defended itself against accusations that it is simply trying to create a younger, more valuable user base for itself.


22nd May   

Withered Remains and Mummified Brains...

Manchester museum curators cover up their mummies
Link Here

A Spokesman for Manchester
Museum who admitted to being
out of touch and a  little
behind the times

Complaints about naked mummies have led to the remains of Asru, a mummified chantress at the Temple of Amun in Karnak, plus the partially-wrapped male Khary and a child mummy, all being covered in shrouds to protect their modesty.

The decision, which has prompted wholesale derision, came after Manchester Museum said it had received 'feedback' from the public saying it was 'insensitive to display unwrapped mummies'.

Having ordered the cover up, managers claim they are following Government policy and are carrying out a public consultation.

Last night the museum, whose Egyptian department has a worldwide reputation, was accused of being ridiculous and told it risked becoming a 'laughing stock'.
Mummies at Manchester Museum

Bob Partridge, chairman of the Manchester Ancient Egypt Society, said the cover-up was 'absolutely incomprehensible': The mummies have always been sensitively displayed and have been educational and informative to generations of visitors. We are shocked this has been done in advance of any results from the public.

Josh Lennon, a museum visitor, said: This is preposterous. Surely people realise that if they go to see Egyptian remains some of them may not be dressed in their best bib and tucker. The museum response to complaints is pure Monty Python - they have now covered them from head to foot rendering the exhibition a non-exhibition. It is hilarious.


16th May   

Twilight World of Unreality...

Taking a shot at the media for a study of violent city life
Link Here

Video games that glorify gangs and soap operas with violent storylines are leading young people into a life of crime, says a mother whose son was stabbed to death.

Ann Oakes-Odger told a panel of 'experts' in Birmingham led by former Prime Minister's wife Cherie Blair that she believed over-exposure to such images meant many young people lived in a "twilight world" between reality and unreality.

The commission - visiting the five cities in Britain with the worst records for gun and knife crime - also heard from Barbara Sawyers, whose son Daniel Bogle, 19, was shot dead in Smethwick five years ago.

Ms Oakes-Odger's 27-year-old son Westley bled to death on a street in Colchester, Essex, after being stabbed in the neck while drawing money from a cashpoint.

If you look back when advertising first became a medium on TV, there used to be such things as subliminal shots which were banned, said Ms Oakes-Odger. It was banned because it was considered to be interrupting the natural psyche of one's thinking. I believe video games and violent computer games have the same effect.

Ms Oakes-Odger, who now works with young people highlighting the danger of knife crime, added: I think many soaps should tone down some of the storylines because the young mind is very impressionable. It has been proven through studies that throughout our adult years our minds are still capable of being malleable to information.

We have a responsibility as adults to protect our children and the information that is input into them. If we can't tone down the information they are receiving we must give them the balance of information. We can't allow them to live in a twilight world of reality and non-reality.

Evidence-taking by the commission at Birmingham Town Hall will go towards a Channel 4 series - The Truth About Street Weapons - examining gun and knife crime in Britain . It will be broadcast this summer.


14th May   

18 Assumptions...

MP finds that few retailers are found selling 18 rated games to kids
Link Here

Figures unearthed by Tory MP David Ruffley, showed that
not a single person received a caution for supplying 18 rated video games and DVDs to someone underage. Only eight fines were imposed.

Ruffley, the Tories' police reform spokesman, said: Selling 18+ rated violent computer games such as Grand Theft Auto IV to underage children is more likely when many retailers have no fear of being caught, as my figures demonstrate.

This poor enforcement of the law is damaging to children. But I'm not surprised when officers are overwhelmed by a colossal amount of red tape.


9th May   

Cult Movie Forums...

Replacement for the defunct Anchor Bay Forum
Link Here

The Starz forum, previously the Anchor Bay forum, was one of they key places to go to keep up with cult/horror UK DVD releases (and censorship issues). It has now, somewhat suddenly, been closed.

Marc Morris has now relaunched the forum under the new title Cult Movie Forums .

All Anchor Bay/Starz posts have been archived and previous users of the ABUK forums will be able to access them using their existing username and password.

Unsurprisingly new discussion topics have been defined and they are somewhat wider in scope than before.


8th May   

Ore No Evidence...

Persecutors offer no evidence in Operation Ore case
Link Here

You will not have seen it in the news, because for some reason the CPS didn't call a press conference to announce it, nor did they send out a press release for sub-editors to paste verbatim into their rags, but a recent Operation Ore case in Belfast was concluded when the prosecutors came to court and offered no evidence - that's NO evidence.

It was ordered that the defendant should be acquitted, and so ended his 4 year ordeal. It's also now extremely likely that the remaining Ore incitement cases in NI will be dealt with in the same way.

No evidence, because every single piece of the prosecution case - that the accused had used his credit card to pay for child porn - had been showed to be flawed beyond recognition.


30th April   

Contempt of Court...

Lawyer on trial for accusing court of injustice
Link Here

Aamer Anwar is a lawyer who unsuccessfully defended a client on terrorism charges.

His client Mohammed Atif Siddique is currently serving eight years after becoming the first Scot to be convicted of al-Qaeda-inspired terrorism offences. The most serious being possessing al-Qaeda propaganda material on his laptop computer for a purpose connected with terrorism . He had also made a series of extremist claims to fellow students at Glasgow Metropolitan College, including that he would "blow up" the city.

Immediately after Siddique's trial, Anwar spoke with barely concealed rage from the steps of the High Court in Glasgow, he spoke. He unleashed a stinging verbal attack on Scotland's justice system.

Standing in the full glare nation's media, he described the verdict a tragedy for justice and insisted the prosecution had been driven by the state.

Anwar is now on trial himself accused of contempt of court as a result of those remarks seven months before. In particular he is accused of a common-law contempt or actions that are an affront to the court. That might be willfully impeding the smooth running of the court, or doing something that brings it into disrepute.

Supporters of free speech came out to support Anwar. They gathered in their dozens outside the court building, holding banners in support of the beleaguered lawyer.
Their message was simple: Defend Aamer Anwar. Defend the freedom of speech.

Lord Carloway, the judge in the terror trial of Mohammed Atif Siddique, described Anwar's statement as a multi-faceted tirade , and said much of it was untrue or misleading. Referring the case to the panel of three judges that yesterday began trying Anwar for contempt, Lord Carloway said a defence lawyer had specific duties not only to his client but to the court.

The case is unprecedented in British legal history. It has triggered grave fears among civil-liberty groups that Scotland's judiciary could be about to strike a serious blow against freedom of speech. The case is likely to be ultimately decided in the European courts.

High-profile human-rights lawyers, including Michael Mansfield, Gareth Peirce and Imran Khan, have publicly backed Anwar, as have writers, academics, anti-war protesters and politicians.

A full-page advert in a Sunday newspaper branded the trial against Anwar not only a violation of the right to free speech but also "an attack on the fundamental right of all lawyers to represent their clients".

Liberty, the UK civil-liberties group, has taken a keen interest in the case. Yesterday, a representative of the group stood before the three judges hearing the case and argued a guilty verdict would contravene the right to free expression enshrined in European law. Its director, Shami Chak-rabarti, earlier told The Scotsman: The ability of a lawyer to protest on behalf of his client is crucial to both free speech and justice in a democracy.

But while the roar of support from legal circles in England has been deafening, lawyers in Scotland have been conspicuously quiet. The Scotsman understands that many were asked to sign a letter of support, but refused. They say talk about a threat to free speech is overblown.

John Scott, president of the Edinburgh Bar Association, said: The problem was (Anwar] was inaccurately reporting what had happened in court. His take for the cameras of what the jurors had decided was very misleading. Aamer said his client had been convicted of finding answers on the internet. In truth, he was found guilty of very serious offences. Trying him for contempt was, I think, an overreaction.


30th April   

Menaced by the Authorities...

Blogger fined for minor 'menacing' comment
Link Here

A blogger who "let off steam" about the way he was treated by police has been convicted of posting a grossly offensive and menacing message.

Thae man was fined £150 with £364 costs by magistrates at Mold.

The court heard how he had been charged with theft offences - which have yet to be dealt with - and posted a message about a police officer's new-born baby. Magistrates said any reasonable person would find the comments menacing.

The court heard how detective constable Steve Lloyd conducted interviews, but was not present when the man was charged because his wife was having a baby. Prosecutor Liz Bell said someone unfortunately told the man why the officer was absent.

He then ranted about his perceived mis-treatment at the hands of police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

His posting ended: P.S. - D.C. Lloyd, God help your new-born baby.

In interview, he said he felt he had been mistreated and hoped the officer would not treat his child the same way.

The man was prosecuted under the Telecommunications Act, relating to the sending of an electronic message.

He claimed he had not meant to be offensive, had used the blog "to let off steam", but had not intended any harm. He apologised if it was perceived as a threat, offered to remove the offending words, and to write a letter of apology.

Flintshire magistrates, sitting at Mold, said the blog was articulate, detailed, specific and critical of the police and the CPS. They said any reasonable person would find the words about the baby to be menacing in the context of the overall blog.


30th April   

Currified Ratings...

Currys adds to the confusion of games ratings
Link Here

DSGi-owned electrical retailer Currys is planning to place its own age ratings on video games sold through its stores, according to Sky News.

The chain wants to establish a customer panel who will rate the games on how fun, suitable and challenging they are.

Sky reports that the sticky labels will feature a "squabble-ometer" and a laughter scale.

The move comes after Dr Tanya Byron's Review into the industry found that parents can find the current dual PEGI/BBFC ratings confusing.


27th April   

Anchor's Away...

Popular Anchor Bay forum has been closed
Link Here

The Starz forum, previously the Anchor Bay forum, was one of they key places to go to keep up with UK DVD releases (and censorship issues).

It has now somewhat suddenly been closed with the following statement from the management

As a result of the changes we are making to the site, and after much thought and deliberation, we regret to inform members that the forum will be shutting down as of Midnight on April 25th 2008. We hope you have enjoyed using it over the last 7 years, your comments on ABUK releases, and what you would like to see released have been useful and we`ve enjoyed reading your chats. Thank you for using the forum. We`ll miss you!

Everyone at ABUK would like to thank Marc Morris who has been our webmaster since the sites launch back in 2001 - we have to say bye to Marc but his knowledge of our film and horror catalogue has been second to none and he has been a huge help to us in answering your queries and keeping the site bang up to date. Thanks Marc.

Update: Cult Movie Forums

Thanks to Dark Angel on the Melon Farmers Forum

Regarding the Anchor Bay forums, Marc Morris has created a backup forum on his own servers and will be re-launching them under the new title Cult Movie Forums in a couple of weeks after giving them a makeover.

All posts have been archived and existing users of the ABUK forums will be able to access them using their existing username and password when they re-launch. I believe there will be a mass email sent out to existing members once the relocated forums are live

Once they go live again, they should be accessible at


26th April   

Bare Knuckle Fighting...

Media Minister to have a go at YouTube
Link Here

Video footage of vicious bare-knuckle fighting on a Bradford housing estate has been posted on the internet.

Half a dozen videos, condemned as absolutely reprehensible by community leaders, show blood-soaked teenagers going head-to-head in brawls in Holme Wood.

YouTube has now removed a number of the videos.

Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe said he is due to meet YouTube bosses in his capacity as Minister for Culture, Media and Sport. He said: I will be raising the issue of these videos with YouTube. They should not be publicising this kind of thing. They have got to show more responsibility.

Tommy Hughes, Bradford Council's senior policy officer for safer communities, said: Bradford Council finds these videos absolutely reprehensible and we have already contacted YouTube get this material removed.

Other illegal activities, including footage of motorbikes pulling wheelies and cars performing hand-brake turns on residential streets in Bradford, have also been posted on Youtube.


22nd April   

Traumatic Censorship...

Contributing to the hype for Three and Out
Link Here

A British train workers' union will protest Monday at the London premiere of a comedy about suicides on the underground, describing the deaths as no joke to the drivers involved in the accidents.

The film, Three and Out , is about a train driver who accidentally hits two people. He learns if he kills a third person, he can retire early because of the trauma, and sets out to find someone interested in committing suicide.

The Associated Society of Locomotive Steam Enginemen and Firemen said the movie makes light of deaths that leave families grieving and cause drivers to have post-traumatic stress.

Every year, there's 249 drivers who have to get out of the cab and find there are bodies under the wheels, union spokesman Chris Proctor said. Not many people are amused by the fact they're responsible for a death.

Contrary to the film's title, there is no "three and out" rule, the union said.

Drivers will hand out leaflets at Monday's London premiere in Leicester Square, Proctor said.

Worldwide Bonus Entertainment, the film's distributors, said it worked with the London Underground while filming and fails to see why the union is only speaking out now: In our view, (the union's) objections to the film effectively amount to censorship," the distributors said in a statement. "While everyone is entitled to their view, we do not believe that (the union) has the right to say what is and is not suitable for cinema.


20th April   

Update: On the Verge of a Police State...

Documentary suffers bureaucracy in Leeds
Link Here Full story: On the Verge...Police vs documentary showing them in poor light

Council officials have warned a Leeds club that it could face legal action if it shows an anti-arms manufacturer film without permission.

The documentary, On the Verge , is made by independent radical film makers, SchMovies and focuses on a campaign against weapons manufacturer EDO in Brighton.

The 90-minute film cost less than £500 to make and was filmed over 10 days of demonstrations.

Common Place social club in Leeds city centre plans to show the film but Leeds City Council has asked for a copy of the film so it can be given a classification. A letter from the council's legal, licensing and registration department warns the club of "enforcement action" if the council is not given a copy of the film.

The Common Place in Wharfe Street is a music venue, and also a base for groups involved in political campaigns. The film is on tour and is coupled with talks about the arms industry. The Common Place plans to show the film on Sunday, April 27, at 2pm.

Club member Paul Chatterton said: We have shown dozens of documentaries on social issues before. We felt the letter was quite threatening because it referred to enforcement action. We were shocked and felt intimidated.

Carl Gallagher of law firm Zermansky's who are representing the club said: The conduct of Leeds City Council gives my client very serious cause for concern. The actions of Leeds City Council are an unnecessary and bureaucratic attack upon free expression. We will be monitoring the classification procedure very carefully.


19th April   

Inciting New EU Laws...

EU agree to offence of inciting terrorism via the internet
Link Here

European Union ministers have agreed to punish incitement to terrorism through the internet.

At a meeting in Luxembourg, EU justice and interior ministers tightened existing laws. Public provocation to commit terrorist attacks, as well as recruiting and training people for terrorism will be punishable offences throughout the EU.

EU officials said the decision to punish propaganda, recruitment and training for terrorism through the internet filled an important gap in European legislation.

They described the internet as a virtual training camp for militants, used to inspire and mobilise local groups.

Earlier this month, the EU anti-terrorism co-ordinator, Gilles de Kerchove, said the threat of terrorism in Europe had not diminished and about 5,000 internet sites were being used to radicalise young people.

National courts will now be able to ask internet service providers to remove such sites. But under pressure from Nordic countries and civil rights campaigners, ministers made clear that the new provisions may not be used to restrict freedom of expression.

Britain, Spain and Italy already punish public incitement to terrorism.

And as if to make the point

See full article from the Independent

A Muslim activist who became known for his publicly expressed extremist views was jailed for four and a half years yesterday for terrorism-related offences committed during a series of inflammatory speeches at a London mosque.

Judge Nicholas Price said that Abu Izzadeen a British-born convert to Islam, was a "leading light" in a group of men who used a gathering at the Regent's Park mosque in November 2004 to call for volunteers to fight British troops in Iraq and appeal for funds to finance insurgents abroad.

The judge said Izzadeen and his co-defendants had abused the right to freedom of expression. Izzadeen and Simon Keeler, another British-born convert from Whitechapel in east London, were singled out as having led the incitement. They were sentenced to serve four and a half years.

Judge Martin told Izzadeen: I am left in no doubt that your speeches were used by you as self-aggrandisement and not as an expression of sincerely held religious views. I find that you are arrogant, contemptuous and utterly devoid of any sign of remorse.

Abdul Muhid, also from Whitechapel, was sentenced to two years for fundraising for terrorism abroad. He will serve the term once he finishes a four-year sentence for soliciting murder during protests against the publication of cartoons in a Danish newspaper depicting the Prophet Mohamed. The other defendants were given prison terms between two years and three years nine months.


17th April   

Chequered Career...

News of the World publishes dangerous pictures of Max Mosley
Link Here

Max Mosley (son of Sir Oswald the fascist) was caught in a News of the World sting visiting a BDSM dungeon.

Film, widely available on the web, initially starting on the News of the Screws' own site, is censored with black squares on Max's bum and that of a girl he canes, but raises some interesting issues about the Dangerous Pictures Act.

Presumably, even if uncensored, the vids would escape the DPA because they weren't produced for purposes of sexual arousal but as part of a shock horror investigation of pervy Max.

See full article from The Register
see also article from News of the World

Formula One boss Max Mosley lost a High Court bid to stop the News of the World from putting a video of him and five prostitutes back on its website.

Mr Justice Eady came to the conclusion that because the material has already been widely reported, and is still widely available, granting an injunction would serve no purpose.

Eady said: I have, with some reluctance, come to the conclusion that although this material is intrusive and demeaning, and despite the fact that there is no legitimate public interest in its further publication, the granting of an order against this respondent at the present juncture would merely be a futile gesture.

Mosley was featured in a front page story by the Sunday paper which accused him of paying five prostitutes to dress in German Nazi-style uniforms and what look very like concentration camp uniforms for the S&M session.

Mosley, the son of British fascist Sir Oswald Mosley, is taking the News of the World to court on privacy grounds - the two sides will be back in court in July.

The newspaper has only released a 95 second section of the video including clips of Mosley being beaten and enjoying a refreshing cup of tea after his five hour session. Mosley denies any Nazi connotations to the session.

Update: Formula 1 Circus Moves on to France

19th April 2008

A French judge will render a decision on April 29 on whether to ban a video showing Formula One chief Max Mosley cavorting with five prostitutes from being aired in France.

Mosley's lawyer Philippe Ouakrat said that the video "characterises a violation of his right to respect for his private life" and demanded that the tape be banned from being aired on French territory.


11th April   

Update: Search for Samaritans...

Internet suicide searches turn up encouragement above discouragement
Link Here Full story: Suicide Censorship...UK government proposes to ban suicide information

People searching the web for information on suicide are more likely to find sites encouraging the act than offering support, a study says.

Researchers used four search engines to look for suicide-related sites, the British Medical Journal said.

The three most frequently occurring sites were all pro-suicide, prompting researchers to call for anti-suicide web pages to be prioritised.

Unlike in some countries, pro-suicides sites are not banned in the UK. The 1961 Suicide Act says it is illegal to aid, abet, counsel, procure or incite someone to commit suicide. But to be successfully prosecuted the individual has to have knowledge and participated in the suicide.

The researchers, from Bristol, Oxford and Manchester universities, typed in 12 simple suicide-related search terms into the internet engines. They analysed the first 10 sites in each search, giving a total of 480 hits. Altogether 240 different sites were found. A fifth were dedicated suicides sites, while a further tenth were sites that gave factual or jokey information about suicide. Meanwhile, 13% of sites were focused on suicide prevention while another 12% actively discouraged it.

Lead research Lucy Biddle said that because of the law, self-regulation by internet providers and the use of filtering software by parents were the main methods used to try and prevent use of pro-suicide sites. But she added: This research shows it is very easy to obtain detailed technical information about methods of suicide.

She said internet service providers could pursue strategies that would maximise the likelihood that sites aimed at preventing suicide are sourced first.

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity Sane, agreed something should be done: We remain deeply concerned about the possible influence of the internet on suicide rates, not least the ease with which information about particular methods can be found with a simple web search. These sites are preying on vulnerable and lonely people.

But the UK Internet Service Providers Association said it did not have editorial control over site prioritisation and would only take sites down if they were illegal.


9th April   

Update: Police Censorship in Brighton...

Public screening in Brighton for On the Verge
Link Here Full story: On the Verge...Police vs documentary showing them in poor light

A controversial documentary prevented from being shown after police intervened has been screened to the public in Brighton.

On The Verge tells the story of protest group Smash EDO's campaign to close Brighton weapons manufacturer EDO MBM Technologies.

When the group tried to show the film on March 17 at the Duke of York's Picturehouse in Brighton, it was stopped after police contacted the council. The officer warned that the cinema would be in breach of its licence by showing the film because it did not have a certificate from the BBFC.

Smash EDO claims its freedom of speech had been interfered with and arranged a screening at the Friends Meeting House in Ship Street.

A spokeswoman for the BBFC, which classifies films on behalf of local authorities and can be overruled by them, said the council was responsible for granting a licence for film festivals. She said: If you want to show a film in a licensed cinema, it has to be classified by us or by the local authority - or the cinema will be in breach of its licence under the Licensing Act. There is nothing illegal against showing a film in unlicensed premises because lots of film clubs do it. The problem for this film is that they tried to show it in a cinema.


7th April   

Games Take the Rap...

Gang murder blamed on violent games and music
Link Here

A grieving father has blamed the murder of his 14-year-old son on computer games and violent music. Amro Elbadawi died from a knife wound to the throat after a fight with another teenager in London last week.

Internet photographs of him published soon after his death show Amro posing with a group of sinisterly masked youths. But his father Sabri Elbadawi last night claimed his son was a star student who had nothing to do with gangs but instead loved maths and science and had ambitions to become a doctor.

He said violent computer games and aggressive music were leaving teenagers with no respect for life: Technology is part of the problem. Kids are on the internet making these websites. They are nonsense. These violent computer games where you go round stabbing and shooting people are awful. They encourage this behaviour. I also blame the music the kids listen to, full of swearing, with no respect for life.


6th April   

Fair Complaint...

Press Complaints Commission considers further extension to journalistic websites
Link Here

Dan Tench, a partner with the law firm, Olswang, told the IBC Defamation Conference: It seems a bit unfair for a pure internet site but a reputable one that it cannot say that it subscribes to any PCC or Ofcom code - none exists for it.

It may be a development in future that the PCC extends its remit or Ofcom does - or perhaps websites will voluntarily take on codes of conduct which are equivalent to the journalists' one, in order to put themselves in a better position on these issues.

A spokesman for the Press Complaints Commission told Media lawyer that the issue of whether it would extend its remit to cover journalistic websites was being considered by PressBof, the Press Board of Finance, which funds the PCC and its work.

A year ago PressBof announced it was extending the Commission's remit to include audio-visual editorial material which newspapers and magazines placed on their websites. The extension covered websites run by publications which were already covered by the PCC Code.


4th April   

Offsite: Ore Bollox...

Police caught destroying innocent people's lives
Link Here

With ID fraud on the rise, the assumption is you'll lose money which can be claimed back. But Simon Bunce lost his job, and his father cut off contact, when he was arrested after an ID fraudster used his credit card details on a child porn website.

Simon Bunce used to be a keen internet shopper, delighted to escape the hordes and have goods delivered to his door. Wary of fly-by-night operators, he bought only from big name retailers with secure websites.

But then, four years ago, he was astonished to find himself embroiled in Operation Ore, the UK's largest ever police hunt against internet paedophiles. He was arrested on suspicion of possession of indecent images of children, downloading indecent images of children and incitement to distribute indecent images of children.

...Read full article


1st April   

Update: Press Games...

Newspapers playing games with video games
Link Here

Dr. Tanya Byron has said that press reports that the Byron Review recommended stiff prison sentences for retailers who sell games to underage gamers is "plain wrong."

Early reports on the content of the Review by the Times Online and other media outlets claimed it would recommend retailers who sell videogames to anyone under the age rating on the box... face a hefty fine or up to five years in prison. But the author of the report has told MCV that current penalties for selling games to underage customers are adequate, and that no such recommendation exists.

That's nowhere in the Review. Nowhere. I haven't recommended any scary new legal threats to retailers. That's plain wrong. I've read that elsewhere and I'd like to be really clear about that. The law as it stands says you can't sell games to anyone under the statutory age of a BBFC-rated product. I didn't make that up. It's the law, and retailers already know it. All that's changed is that "12" will now join "15" and "18" as a statutory rating.

See full article from Game Politics

An unnamed British newspaper is soliciting tales of those who turned to a life of crime, thanks to playing video games.

A message posted on Star Now, a UK website for aspiring entertainers, reads:

A national newspaper wants your story and will pay hundreds of pounds to the right person.

Write a few lines about how computer games turned you to crime and if it's something we like, we'll call you straight back…

Newspaper request answered by IanG on the Melon Farmers Forum

Dear Sir,

As a criminal I have no moral obligation to tell the truth, indeed, I like to lie and deceive in order to con people out of lots of money. Therefore I have decided to answer your advert for people who`ve been afflicted by game-induced criminal tendencies. As you appear more than willing to believe such nonsense and pay good cash to people like me for such stories I dare say you will be flooded with responses. So let me make my position clear - I`ll say ANYTHING you want to hear - how I raped and murdered wholy ficticious women and children, battered old grannies, burned down public buildings - I`ll say ANYTHING AT ALL as long as the money`s right.

A. Dodger

See also Anne Diamond article from the Daily Mail

And also a reminder of the Daily Mail story with Anne Diamond and a Ban these sick games for the sake of our children story:

According to Ms Diamond some games such as Resident Evil 4 shouldn't be allowed to be sold even to adults. Does her role as a Mum of 4 give her the authority to tell us adults what games we should and should not be allowed to play? No!


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