Taiwanese prosecutors have said that Taiwanese firms that use Japanese-made pornographic films to make profits online have not violated Japanese producers' copyrights.
The Taipei District Court Prosecutors' Office therefore announced it will not press charges against Elta Technologies Co and 10 other Taiwanese firms that Japanese studios have accused of infringing their copyrights.
Prosecutors argued that while Taiwan's Supreme Court rulings recognize copyrights in works of literature, science and the arts, they do not do so for pornographic materials.
The prosecutors also said that their investigation also showed that the Taiwanese firms posted warning signs and blocked minors from accessing their Web sites to view the films. These precautionary steps showed that they had also not violated laws
banning the distribution of obscene images and videos.
Language that would ban all online pornography throughout the EU has been dropped from a report approved by the European Parliament but other worrying aspects of the policy remain.
Christian Engstrom, MEP with Sweden's Pirate Party, explained to RT:
The European Parliament said no to turning Internet service providers into porn police, and they said no to setting up authorities to regulate media.
The controversial wording about a porn ban was dropped following a show of hands but controversial proposals calling for the creation of regulators with the power to police the depiction of women in media were voted through.
MEPs voted for the establishment of independent regulation bodies with the aim of controlling the media and advertising industry and a mandate to impose effective sanctions on companies and individuals promoting the sexualisation of girls.
The report also still contains references to an earlier resolution passed by the parliament in 1997 which calls for statutory measures to prevent any form of pornography in the media and in advertising.
Marina Yannakoudakis MEP, the Conservative spokesman on women's rights and in the European Parliament, remained critical of proposals despite the dropping of the ban.
This would be a charter for ultra-feminist interference in the way countries choose to run their media systems
As such it would do women and women's rights more harm than good
The report Eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU is nominally about improving rights for people across the gender spectrum. The Dutch gender extremist MEP for the Socialist Party, Kartika Tamara Liotard, tabled the report in the European
Parliament's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) late last year.
Although the resolution accepted by the European Parliament is not legally binding, it can be used as a basis to form legislation.
The European Parliament will vote next Tuesday on a report that could lead to a blanket ban on pornography in any forms of media, not limited to advertising,
television and radio, but also the Web.
Titled Eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU , the report is nominally about improving rights for people across the gender spectrum. The report states that there is an increasingly noticeable tendency... to show provocatively dressed
women, in sexual poses it also notes that pornography is becoming mainstream and is slipping into our everyday lives as an evermore universally accepted, often idealised, cultural element.
Christian Engstro m, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Pirate Party, said on his blog that the devil is in the detail. He warned that the wording in older resolution from 1997 could lead to statutory measures to prevent any form of
pornography in the media.
A Dutch PC extremist for the Socialist Party, Kartika Tamara Liotard, tabled the report in the European Parliament's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) late last year. In one section of the new report, Liotard calls on the European
Union to enforce a blanket ban on pornography in the media of the the 27 member states, which could also include online pornography. The report makes several calls on the EU:
Calls on the EU and its Member States to take concrete action on its resolution of 16 September 1997 on discrimination against women in advertising, which called for a ban on all forms of pornography in the media and on the advertising of sex tourism.
Points out that a policy to eliminate stereotypes in the media will of necessity involve action in the digital field; considers that this requires the launching of initiatives coordinated at EU level with a view to developing a genuine culture of
equality on the internet; calls on the Commission to draw up in partnership with the parties concerned a charter to which all internet operators will be invited to adhere;
Calls on the Member States to establish independent regulation bodies with the aim of controlling the media and advertising industry and a mandate to impose effective sanctions on companies and individuals promoting the sexualisation of girls;
This initiative report, which will be voted on is not a draft legislative measure, though it is a report to suggest that legislation should be in the future drafted and voted on.
MEPs to vote on EU ban on all forms of pornography MEPs will next week vote on a ban on all forms of pornography including censorship of the internet in a bid to eliminate gender stereotypes that demean women.
EU politicians have voted against a pan-European ban on all forms of porn, including on the web, at least for now.
European citizens can breathe a sigh of relief after a vote in the European Parliament has rejected proposals to ban all forms of pornography -- including on the Web -- in the region.
The European Parliament voted in favor of the report, but rejected the porn ban section.
Today, 625 members of the European Parliament voted 368-159 in favor of passing the report, which aims to stamp out gender stereotypes in the region, with 98 abstaining. However, the controversial porn ban section of the proposal was rejected.
This vote forms a majority opinion based on Europe's voting politicians, from which the European Commission can form legislation. Such a law would again be voted upon, and become legally binding in the 27 member state bloc of the EU.
Because the opinion of the parliament has now been made, it will make it extraordinarily difficult for the Commission to draw up similar porn-blocking legislation only to pass it back to the parliament for another vote.
Australian Customs has been forced to return a private collection of Japanese manga comics. The case has set a new benchmark for the importation of manga and also questions the ability of Customs to properly evaluate adult material.
Well of course porn can be acceptable. It is a bit of a silly question if you ask me.
Still, it was a question that I tried to answer last night on the BBC World Service debate. Of course, there was not the time to answer the question in full, so here is part of my argument to why pornography can be acceptable.
Last night I made a brief point that countered one of the traditional criticisms of porn, that it peddles a misogynistic societal norm .
Iceland's minister of interior, Ögmundur Jónasson, is backing a full online pornography ban for Iceland, which would be supported by an 'anti-shield'
preventing internet users from accessing certain sites.
The minister's assistant, Halla Gunnarsdóttir, is even more misguided. She claimed in an interview that if we can send a man to the moon, we must be able to tackle porn on the internet. It is obvious that she is unaware how the internet
works; "walls" around it won't work unless you want to create your own internet, very much like they are doing in Iran.
Thankfully, the possibility that this bill will pass through the parliament is near zero. The parliamentary committee tasked with discussing the censorship proposal, which I am part of, is looking into alternative ways to help parents to protect
their children from online porn, mainly through free porn-filter software and educational means -- as suggested by a recent report produced by Unicef in Iceland.
Introducing censorship without compromising freedom of expression and speech is like trying to mix oil and water: it is impossible. I know my fellow MPs can often turn strange and dangerous laws into reality, but this won't be one of them.
Hildur Fjo'la Antonsdo'ttir, a 'gender specialist' at Iceland University, said:
This initiative is about narrowing the definition of porn so it does not include all sexually explicit material but rather material that can be described as portraying sexual activity in a violent or hateful way.
Update: The clearest description yet of Iceland's proposed censorship of internet porn
Halla Gunnarsdóttir is political adviser to the minister of the interior in Iceland. She is a former journalist and has an MA in international relations. She writes:
Pornography can reach children in different ways, but it is evident that the probability of a child becoming an adult without seeing porn is close to zero. This is a matter of concern since mainstream internet porn is becoming increasingly
violent and brutal. It does not simply consist of images of naked bodies, or of people having sex but of hardcore violence framed within the context of sex. Young women are usually referred to as sluts, whores, bitches etc, and represented as
submissive. Men, meanwhile, often act in a dominant, degrading and violent way towards them. A fairly typical example could include a mouth-penetration, performed to produce choking, crying or even vomiting. The violent misogyny produced by the
porn industry has become our children's main resource for learning what sex is about, which is a cause of serious concern.
In response to the above-mentioned expert concerns, three ministries -- the ministry of the interior, the ministry of education, science and culture and the ministry of welfare -- called upon a wide range of professionals to discuss and analyse
the societal effects of violent pornography and to contribute to the development of a comprehensive, holistic policy. Proposals emerging from this process are now being implemented under the auspices of the three ministries. These include
increased emphasis on violence prevention, revision of sex education and the forming of a comprehensive policy on sexual health. The proposals on legal amendments -- now under consideration at the ministry of the interior -- are, however, the
ones that have received the most attention.
Firstly, a bill is being prepared with the aim of narrowing the legal definition of pornography -- the distribution of which is already illegal -- to encompass only violent and degrading sexual material. The goal is to make the important
distinction between sex, on the one hand, and violence, on the other. This approach is based on the Norwegian penal code.
Secondly, a committee, headed by the ministry, is now exploring how the law can be implemented. The key question pertains to the possibility of placing restrictions on online distribution of violent and degrading pornography in Iceland. Under
discussion are both technical solutions and legal and procedural measures.
The Lingerie Football League will have much of its sexual trimmings removed when it launches in
In a compromise move, the garters, chokers, lace, frills and ribbons are being removed and they rebranded the name from Lingerie to Legends Football League. The uniforms will still be skimpy but it is hoped the less sexy attire will move the
focus to the skills rather than the frills.
The changes have drawn fire from fans who say if the LFL was serious about the sport and not the aesthetics then players would be fully covered. Commentators in the US say it will kill the sport as most people go to see the lingerie rather than
hang out for the result.
LFL founder Mitchell Mortaza explained about the origins of the league:
It was originally a half-time gimmick. Mitch teamed up with Hugh Heffner and had the playmates dress up and pretend to play football, he said.Then he turned it into actually playing league and drew sports-specific athletes.
Following the news about the arrest of Singaporean photographer Leslie Kee, the fashionistas of Japan have begun to speak out
against the charges of selling a book that contained obscene pictures.
The Tokyo-based artist, who has snapped pictures of a number of Japanese pop stars, as well as international celebrities like Lady Gaga and Beyonce, is facing up to two years in jail and/or fines as high as 2.5 million yen (approx. $27,000) for
selling seven copies of a book at his gallery that had uncensored photos of male nudes.
Yamamuro Kazz, a Japanese magazine editor and fashion journalist, wrote on his website that he was surprised by Kee's arrest, questioning the police motivation as the books were only sold at the 41 year old's gallery event, a place only really
known by people who are familiar with the artist and his works. The books, which are a part of the Photographer's Super series, and have roughly 50 pages each of pictures with nude males, were only sold to two different customers. In addition to
Kee, two employees of the book's publisher were also arrested. Officials say the book was in violation of Japan's laws that require any pictures of male or female genitalia to be censored, which is most often done by pixellation, and frequently
seen in the country's pornography. The police apparently found out about Kee's gallery showing and plans to sell the books from posts on his Facebook page.
The ongoing police persecution of photographer Leslie Kee and his art book that contained uncensored images of male nudity has led to two arrests at the Tokyo printing company that printed the books. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police revealed that
they took Hakkou Art's president Koichi Kodama, along with his son Takeshi, a sales department chief, into custody for printing 4,000 copies of Kee's Super series, where each book had roughly 50 pages of uncensored photos that supposedly violate
Japan's repressive laws against nudity.
Hakkou Art is said to have received 17 million yen ($183,000) since December 2011 for printing 20,000 copies of the books. Both Kodama and his son have admitted to the charges, with Takeshi stating that they didn't want to publish photographs
with nudity, however since Kee is such a big name, he couldn't refuse, also believing it would be beneficial for the company's future.
Kee's arrest sparked protest from Japan's fashion industry and internet users alike, with many calling the charges unnecessary and unjust.
Update: Shop staff arrested in continuing police persecution
Tokyo's metropolitan police announced that it arrested staff of a gay store in the Shinjuku district for selling a book by photographer Leslie Kee that included images of full male nudity, which they ludicrously claimed to be obscene .
Policemen took into custody the 61-year-old manager of Lumiere, a shop located in Tokyo's gay quarter that sells DVDs and magazines, and one other employee.
The manager of Lumiere told officers that the editor of Japan's gay magazine Badi said that selling Kee's books is not illegal as they are considered artistic.
Article 175 of Japan's Penal Code prohibits the distribution, sale, or public display of obscene writings, pictures, or other materials. The law, however, does not define what specifically constitutes as being obscene, which as a result, the
definition of obscenity is open to interpretation.
The former Stringfellow's Club in Dublin has given way to a bargain shop (A 2 Euro shop).
The club originally opened in February of 2006 but failedto attract a sufficient number of customers and ceased to operate in July of that year. Local nutters took credit for the failure after organising pickets and the like.
The building has been disused ever since so the nutters are pleased that it has finally found a use. Independent councillor Christy Burke said the new shop will bring a bit of vibrancy and employment . It will bring a bit of life and
it is better what was there .
Ţröstur Jónasson at the Association of Digital Freedom in Iceland has branded Minister of Interior Ögmundur Jónasson's proposal to block the
distribution of online pornography unfeasible.
The minister has set up a working group to look into how the police could block pornographic content.
According to Ţröstur, ensuring that internet services block pornography would require that all content goes through a filter. Ţröstur argues that this means that ultimately someone will have the role of deciding what is ok and what is not..
Ögmundur has claimed that restricting access to pornography online is somehow not censorship, and has said that the issue must be discussed:
If we cannot discuss a ban on violent pornography, which we all agree has a very harmful effects on young people and can have a clear link to incidences of violent crime, then that is not good.
A current law banning the import, publication and distribution of pornography in Iceland was written before the advent of online pornography.
Update: A few more details about the proposed censorship
Minister for censorship Ogmundur Jonasson has set up working parties to find ways to block online images and videos being accessed by young people through computers, games consoles and smartphones.
Methods under consideration include blocking porn IP addresses and making it illegal to use Icelandic credit cards to access x-rated sites.
Halla Gunnarsdottir, political adviser to the Interior Minister, said the agreement among education experts, law enforcers and other bodies that action must be taken means she is optimistic the proposals will become law, despite a general
election in April. She says: 'There is a strong consensus building in Iceland.