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Americas Censorship News


2020

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'I'm not on a crusade against porn. I just want to protect kids'...

Anti-porn crusader introduces Canadian private members bill to require strict age verification for porn sites


Link Here 23rd November 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in Canada...Proposal for opt in intenet blocking
Independent Quebec Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne is calling for censorship of online porn through new legislation that would force porn sites to verify the ages of all users.

Miville-Dechêne has introduced a bill, S-203, that would make porn sites like the Canadian-owned PornHub criminally liable for failing to check a user's age before they browse.

Miville-Dechêne, who was appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2018, spouted anti porn rhetoric saying that children and teenagers must be protected against graphic material that she said can pollute their minds. She continued:

I'm not on a crusade against porn. I just want to protect kids from porn that is shown widely on these websites that is not at all the soft kind of stuff. It's hardcore, it's tough and it's violent.

Her bill would make it a Criminal Code offence to make sexually explicit material available to a minor on the internet. A first offence would be punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a corporation. Fines for subsequent offences would be more substantial.

 

 

Classified as outdated...

Ontario lawmakers debate a bill to further diminish the role of state film censors


Link Here14th November 2020
Lawmakers from the Canadian province of Ontario are debating a bill to put an end to provincial film censorship.

Presumably the move is intended to save money as the bill is titled: Bill 229, Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020. This includes Schedule 12: Film Content Information Act, 2020.

In fact local film censorship has already being largely wound down, The Ontario Film Review Board ceased operation as of October 1, 2019, with responsibility for film classification being transferred from the Ontario Film Authority. This body largely adopted provincial film classifications from the British Columbia Film Classification Office.

Now is seems that formal state age ratings will be no longer required, assuming that content information is provided by the distributor. The role of film censors will then be restricted to investigating complaints. Adult films will still require ratings in Ontario but it seems these will be provided by a national film censorship scheme.

Parliamentary information about the bill reads:

Schedule 12 Film Content Information Act, 2020

The Schedule enacts the Film Content Information Act, 2020 and repeals the Film Classification Act, 2005.

The new Film Content Information Act, 2020 regulates the exhibition of films, selling or renting physical copies of video games and selling, renting or otherwise making available physical copies of adult sex films.

Part I of the Act sets out the application and interpretation provisions.

Part II of the Act provides for the appointment of a Director and Deputy Directors for the purposes of the Act.

Part III of the Act provides that films cannot be exhibited for a person's direct gain unless information respecting the film and its contents is displayed to the public. This requirement does not apply in certain circumstances, such as exhibition of a film under the sponsorship of a public library or public art gallery.

Adult sex films cannot be exhibited, and physical copies cannot be sold, rented or otherwise made available, unless the film has been reviewed and approved by an entity that is authorized to approve adult sex films under the laws of a province of Canada. In addition, they cannot be exhibited to persons under the age of 18. Physical copies cannot be sold, rented or otherwise made available to persons under the age of 18.

The sale or rental of physical copies of video games is restricted based on the rating assigned to the video game by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Physical copies of unrated video games may not be rented or sold to persons under the age of 18.

Part IV of the Act provides a procedure for the appointment of investigators and the investigation of offences under the Act. Things that are seized by the investigator may be forfeited to the Crown in certain circumstances. A procedure for applying to the Director for the return of the seized thing is set out.

Part V of the Act sets out offences, penalties and evidentiary provisions for proceedings under the Act.

Part VI of the Act provides regulation-making powers to the Lieutenant Governor in Council. These powers include the ability to modify the age restrictions that apply to the sale or rental of physical copies of video games.

Part VII sets out transitional provisions. The Ontario Film Review Board is dissolved. Licences that were issued under the Film Classification Act, 2005 are no longer needed under this new Act and expire.

Part VIII provides for the repeal of the Film Classification Act, 2005 and the revocation of the regulation made under that Act. It also makes several consequential amendments.

 

 

Needs must!...

Canadian magazine publisher restores small ads for sex workers


Link Here28th August 2020
A Canadian publisher says that offering some relief to coronavirus hit sex workers will be good business. MediaCentral, the Ontario-based company that publishes NOW Magazine in Toronto and Georgia Straight in Vancouver announced this week that it will resume running adult classified ads in those publications.

In the United States the 2018 FOSTA/SESTA law has effectively banned the online classifieds market by unfairly holding platforms liable for third-party content that could be construed as promoting sex trafficking.

But in Canada, MediaCentral says that it expects to take in $2 million (US $1.5 million) annually from the resumption of adult classifieds, which it shut down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to eliminating adult advertising, NOW generated strong sales from its Adult Classifieds Category. The Straight has continued to offer adult advertising over the years, but the category was temporarily suspended during the height of COVID. The company's CEO Brian Kalish said in a statement: w

We expect this re-launch to drive strong sales numbers alongside our newly revamped and fully integrated sales platforms. Our decision to bring back the classifieds is part of our strategic path to creating sustainable, profitable publications.

 

 

Countdown to offence...

Jamaican officials complain about a clip for an upcoming Countdown skit on the BBC comedy programme Famalam


Link Here24th August 2020
A Jamaican minister is set to make a formal complaint over a BBC Three sketch from the show Famalam , which she has described as outrageous and offensive. Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica's minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, tweeted:

This is outrageous and offensive to the incredible country which I am proud to represent along with every Jamaican at home and within our diaspora... I will immediately be writing formally on this! #StopThisShow

Ramocan told HuffPost UK:

It is unbelievable that the, BBC an institution with an international reputation for trustworthy broadcasting, could find itself in the gutter of promoting such harmful and destructive pornographic material that can only serve to damage the morals and values we seek to encourage in our young people.

This broadcast which serves to tarnish and insult the image of Brand Jamaica must be immediately pulled from the BBC programme. I call on all well-thinking listeners and viewers to join us in this call.

Nathaniel Peat, Global Jamaica Diaspora Council lead for the south UK and chairman of Jamaicans Inspired said:

The program is over sexualised, regressive, discriminatory, derogatory and has stereotypical racist tropes especially at a time when Black Lives matter has highlighted the need for a more balanced and better portrayal of black people in the media.

It is deeply upsetting that the national broadcaster has chosen to promote this highly explicit content on a public forum such as twitter that has exposure to youth as young as 14, what type of image does this set in their minds when there already is a lack of positive black role models that are seen in the British media.

The clip has also been slammed by high commissioner of Jamaica to the United Kingdom Seth George Ramocan, who claimed it serves to tarnish and insult the image of Brand Jamaica.

A preview of the segment titled Jamaican Countdown , a parody of the long-running game show Countdown , includes jokey language used towards the female character selecting numbers and letters. Part of the sketch also shows the silhouette of a man, referencing the stereotype of black men having large penises.

The programme is made with a cast of black British actors, and presumably the programme makers too.

The BBC posted the following response on its website:

Famalam is a well-established, award-nominated BBC Three sketch comedy show that is now in its third series. It stars some of the UK's best comedy talent and explores aspects of contemporary life from a black perspective.

Like many sketch comedy shows Famalam finds humour in a wide range of scenarios and regular viewers who are familiar with the tone of the show will know that it has a reputation for challenging stereotypes and confronting social issues. We can assure you that the intention of this sketch isn't to diminish Jamaican people or Jamaican culture, and nor is there any intention to cause offence.

 

 

Anti-memes Law...

Mexico law makers debate censorship law to ban memes in the name of copyright


Link Here10th July 2020
Last week the Chamber of Deputies in Mexico approved reforms to copyright law, which have the potential to severely damage freedom of expression. Now they are now proposing a new law that could make memes illegal.

Nayeli Salvatori, federal deputy of the Social Encounter Party (PES) revealed on her social networks that she will present an initiative to modify the Federal Penal Code. This with the aim of punishing people who modify images, videos or audios and unsubscribe the social media account of who originally shared it.

In publications that he shared on his social networks, Salvatori denied that the proposed censorship law called the Antimemes Law is to censor. Its claim is that it will only punish when it is verified that the edited material damaged the image or dignity of a person.

The initiative of the federal deputy of the PES has not yet been presented to the Permanent Commission of the Congress of the Union. It will be next week when it will be registered in the Parliamentary Gazette.

 

 

J'Accuse...

Canadian film distributors justifiably accused of censoring Roman Polanski's J'accuse


Link Here20th June 2020
J'accuse is a 2019 France / Italy historical thriller by Roman Polanski.
Starring Jean Dujardin, Louis Garrel and Emmanuelle Seigner. IMDb

In 1894, French Captain Alfred Dreyfus is wrongfully convicted of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil's island.

Just rior to the coronavirus lockdown Quebec's major distributors announced they would ban cinema showings of Roman Polanski's J'accuse ( An Officer and a Spy ), whether out of fear of reprisals from the #MeToo campaign or in deference to the movement's anti-democratic arguments. News of the ban susbequently got lost as the cinemas weren't open to notice that the film wasn't being screened.

It should be noted that despite the efforts of the Macron government and #MeToo's feminists to intimidate audiences and have J'accuse banned, the film was extremely popular in France--by the end of February 1.5 million people had viewed it in that country.

Polanski's film is a truthful and poignant reconstruction of the Dreyfus Affair that shook French society between 1894 and 1906. The case concerned a French army captain of Jewish origin, Alfred Dreyfus, who was falsely accused of espionage and imprisoned.

An article in the Quebec daily newspaper Le Devoir, published at the end of February under the headline Director Roman Polanski, persona non grata in Quebec, shows the kind of anti-democratic conceptions that have penetrated the world of cinema and the arts. Encouraged by large sections of the ruling elite, including the Democratic Party in the United States and Justin Trudeau's Canadian federal government, the #MeToo campaign has served to undermine fundamental democratic principles, such as the presumption of innocence and due process.

As in France, the viewing public in Quebec is largely in favour of the film being shown. The thirty or so comments under the article in Le Devoir all opposed the reactionary argument that one could not separate the work from the author and demanded that Quebec distributors reconsider their decision. Many compared the censorship exercised by the #MeToo campaign and Quebec distributors to the censorship exercised by the Catholic Church during the era of Quebec history from the mid-1930s to the late 1950s known as the Great Darkness, when the Catholic clergy exercised stifling control over culture, education and social mores and the ultraconservative government of Maurice Duplessis promoted reaction and used state violence to suppress an increasingly militant working class.

 

 

Updated: Not a prayer's chance of forgiving them their trespasses then...

Brazilian judge orders injunction to ban gay Jesus comedy on Netflix but this has now been overturned


Link Here 10th January 2020
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes
The First Temptation of Christ (A Primeira Tentação de Cristo) is a 2019 Brazil comedy short film by Rodrigo Van Der Put.
Starring Evelyn Castro, Gregório Duvivier and Fábio Porchat. IMDb

Jesus, who's hitting the big 3-0, brings a surprise guest to meet the family.

A judge in Brazil has ruled that a film depicting Jesus as gay must be removed from the TV streaming service Netflix.

The film, The First Temptation of Christ, infuriated some Christians in the country.Two million people signed a petition calling for it to be banned, and the production company was attacked with Molotov cocktails last month.

In the ruling against Netflix, the judge said: The right to freedom of expression... is not absolute.

The ban is a temporary injunction whilst a final decision is made by a higher court.

Update: Injunction overturned

10th January 2020. See article from bbc.com

Brazil's Supreme Court has overturned a ruling that TV streaming service Netflix must remove a film depicting Jesus as gay.

The film, The First Temptation of Christ, infuriated fervent Christians in the country. But Supreme Court president Dias Toffoli said on Thursday that Netflix should be allowed to continue streaming the show, stating that freedom of speech was fundamental in a democracy. The judge said:

One cannot suppose that a humorous satire has the ability to weaken the values of the Christian faith, whose existence is traced back more than two thousand years, and which is the belief of the majority of Brazilian citizens.


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