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2000: Jan-March

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Censorship by Libel...

ITN sues Living Marxism magazine for revealing that a noted prison photo was faked

Link Here20th March 2000

The TV News company, ITN, this week won a libel case againt the small circulation magazine, Living Marxism (LM). The magazine that doesn't really get many more readers than the Melon Farmers was stung for damages of getting on for £400,000.

LM had written that ITN's effective and well circulated picture of starving prisoners behind barbed wire in Serbian prison was in fact posed. ITN contended that this was a slur on their reputation and demanded punitive damages.

It is very serious form of censorship in the UK when one is not able to speak one's mind about story's in the press and on TV. It is practically impossible to expect totally perfect reporting, even when political bias etc is removed there will always be a temptation to emphasise the most 'interesting' bits of a story. Surely we should be able to challenge the media without fear of bullying and intimidation from some very rich organisations.



Human Rights Abuse at the ITC...

Proscribing the satellite porn channel Adult X

Link Here13th March 2000

The ITC has decided that they are above the law and can get Adult X, a satellite porn channel, banned on grounds of taste and decency. Human Rights legislation says that material can only be banned on grounds of harm and that claim of harm must be justified. Of course we will now have to see if the Government colludes with this corruption of our rights and implements the ban.

Their press release reads as follows:

The ITC has decided that the foreign satellite channel, Adult X, is an unacceptable service under the terms of the Broadcasting Act 1990. The Commission has recommended that the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport make a proscription order to ban the marketing and sale of the service in the UK.

Commission members concluded that Adult X (also known as Adult+), which appears to be based in France, is unacceptable on the grounds that it repeatedly contains material which offends against good taste and decency. The output of the channel consists almost entirely of unacceptable pornography.

To recommend a proscription order, the ITC has to be persuaded that such an order would be effective, i.e. that trade for the service exists within the UK and that an order would prevent such trade. The ITC is aware of active steps to make the service available to viewers in the United Kingdom, with smart cards and subscriptions being advertised for sale and revenue being generated.

Section 177 of the Broadcasting Act 1990 allows for the Secretary of State to make a proscription order for a foreign satellite service, the effect of which is to make it a criminal offence to supply any equipment for use in connection with the operation of the service; to supply programme material or arrange for its supply; to place advertisements in the service; to publish any programme details of the service; and to supply or offer to supply any decoding equipment enabling the programmes to be received.

The ITC sent a letter notifying the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport of its recommendation that the Adult X Channel should be the subject of a proscription order on 6 March 2000

Update: The Proscribed Date

The Government have apparently sent all the required letters to the various parties involved in the proscription of AdultX with view to enacting a proscription order on April 26th.



Expressing outrage...

Manufacturing outrage against the Adult Channel for hotels

Link Here28th February 2000

The Express recently published a predictably ludicrous response to a BSkyB offer. They propose to bundle Playboy TV and the Adult Channel free with Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 for a commercial service to hotels.

BSkyB hope that many hotels will take the offer, their spokesman commented No one is obliged to take the service and the hotelier will be in control of the technology. They can decide themselves when to allow access to the material and even choose which rooms in which it will be available.

The Express gathered up the usual outrage from the usual sources:

BSkyB's plan to offer free pornographic films to hotels and B&Bs has been condemned by the hotel industry, political representatives and church leaders. The offer to broadcast Playboy TV and the Adult Channel has been dubbed "worrying and unpleasant".

Valerie Riches, director of Family and Youth Concern, commented B&Bs and small hotels are mainly used by families, particularly those with young children. To have them exposed to this kind of gross material is distressing and disturbing.

A Bournemouth hotel owner commented This offer is a disgrace. This isn't the view of England we want visitors to see from their rooms.

(You would think that these people would be happy that hotels are limited to softcore drivel. I for one certainly don't rely on overpriced and undersexed rubbish on hotel TV, I have a nice laptop with a DVD drive!)



Legalising porn...

Home Office Response to the BBFC Judicial Review

Link Here16th February 2000

The Home Office continually deny that they pull the levers at the BBFC. However  some of the current enforcement practises have been circulated, discussed and presumably agreed at meetings between the Home Office, police, customs, BBFC and IWF. For instance, where convictions for adult consensual porn are difficult under obscenity law , the suppliers would be prosecuted due to the lack of BBFC certificate.

It is therefore interesting to note how much is riding on the outcome of the Judicial Review. A Home Office spokesman said that customs were all ready to change their prohibition if the BBFC were not granted the judicial review. He continued to say that nothing further would now occur until the review has been completed.

The current ludicrous prohibition of adult consensual porn is under real duress particularly from human rights legislation and is probably illegal for the following reasons:

  • Only material that causes measurable harm can be banned yet the authorities seem unwilling and unable to prove any harm from explicit adult material
  • People cannot exactly be sure what they can and cannot import. Surely you can't have a law so obscure that the people being prosecuted don't know wether they are breaking the law or not.

A similar waiting situation is happening on the subject of satellite porn. The Home Office are  waiting for the human rights test, from Rendez-Vous/Eurotica before they proscribe any more adult channels.



Censorship Backdoor Comes Ajar...

Hardcore appears in UK magazines

Link Here9th January 2000

Thanks to Simon for pointing out some excellent news on the decline of censorship in the printed world.

As I have reported earlier, licensed sex shops  have been selling hardcore magazines for sometime now. Mostly they are British editions of European magazines such as Rodox and Private. There are even a few titles now produced in the UK. For some unexplicable reasons of compromise, these have been shorn of all depictions of anal sex and ejaculation. This has meant that some magazines particularly from the Private stable are still shadows of the their continental versions.

Anyway things are progressing nicely. The recent British Hardcore 5 contains one clear shot of anal penetration (not a close-up) and several shots of ejaculation on the face, some of which are quite close-up. There are also several shots of semen on the face after the cum shots.

I have also noticed that at least one licensed sex shop in London is openly selling the original European editions of the magazines albeit at inflated prices.

If this kind of material is selling in licensed sex shops without prosecution then surely customs can no longer justify the confiscation of imported magazines (such as Private) containing the same material. It would be interesting to hear if any readers have recently had similar material seized.

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