|21st December |
More naked art nonsense as society chooses to grovel at the feet of the easily offended
Based on article
A Boca Raton city employee has decided that Mary Eiland's art was inappropriate for public display at Patch Reef Park.
Eiland's two naked female torso statues were stashed away out of public view.
Buddy Parks, deputy director of
Recreational Services, said he was unaware of any visitor complaints about the sculptures. It was staff members at the center who considered the pieces inappropriate for public display because they were clearly nudes, he said.
The smooth stone 24
inches high sculptures, Hazel and Lady in Stone, were displayed at Patch Reef in 2008 and 2009, each time for a month, and no one objected.
All I can say is staff screwed up, Parks said.
Boca Raton's Art in Public
Places regulations allow the city to reject any artwork considered inappropriate for public display, but there's no criteria for what's allowed and what's not.
Eiland was not impressed by the prudery and said: If someone has a problem with
these sculptures, then they'd better not watch any television or go on the computer or go to a mall.
|18th December |
Publicity friendly NC-17 re-rated to a box office friendly R rating
9th December 2010. Based on article from
The MPAA has overturned the NC-17 rating for Blue Valentine. Much more box office friendly for the producers, the Weinstein Co
The Classification and Rating Appeals Board swapped the NC-17, given in October for a scene of explicit sexual
contact, for an R attributed to strong graphic sexual content, language and a beating.
No edits were made to the film to secure the rating.
The MPAA's decision came following an appeal made by Harvey Weinstein. After
presenting our case to the MPAA appeal board today, they were convinced of the artistic nature of Blue Valentine and recognized that it was consistent with the kind of movies for which the Weinstein Company is known, said a statement from
Harvey Weinstein, who led the appeal with a team of attorneys.
According to chief operating officer David Glasser, Weinstein laid out a case based on clips from past R-rated films as well as on moviegoers' support for an R rating for Valentine,
as registered via a Twitter campaign and an audience survey at a recent screening.
Update: UK Rating
18th December 2010. See
article from bbfc.co.uk
Blue Valentine has just been passed 15 uncut by the BBFC for a cinema release.
The BBFC noted:
Contains strong sex and strong language, once very strong
|17th December |
Trust the US censor to play it safe with an R Rating
Based on article from
Millennium Entertainment have announced that it will challenge the R rating given to its upcoming drama Trust .
The film's executive producer Avi Lerner will appear before the ratings Appeals Board on December 22, 2010 to
pursue a PG-13 rating.
Directed by David Schwimmer of Friends fame, Trust centers on a 14-year-old girl's encounter with a cyber predator.
The producers say they are pursuing the lesser rating so it can be screened for teens,
in order to raise awareness about the dangers of online predators.
While we respect the MPAA's rating system, we must appeal the 'R' rating given to Trust . This film exposes the true threats posed by cyber predators. It sends a clear
message to teens and parents; to be aware of the real dangers of cyber space, Lerner said in a statement: Teens must be allowed to see Trust. They need to know the truth.
According to the MPAA: Trust received an R
rating because of a difficult scene portraying the assault of a teenage girl, language, sexual content and some violence.
|16th December |
MPAA suggests that it is rethinking the wide envelope for R rated horror
14th December 2010. Based on article from
When the Weinstein Co. won an R rating for Blue Valentine last week after objecting to its original NC-17, it was a signal that perhaps the industry's ratings board is easing up.
As one insider notes of the initial rating: The feeling
was that they got it wrong with this one.
What the board's decision didn't do is instill any additional confidence in the NC-17 rating.
Ratings board chair Joan Graves admits moviegoers have a skewed perception of the NC-17 rating.
I do regret that it's treated as the pariah of the ratings system, she says. All we need is one popular NC-17 rating to take that scent away.
The board also contends with charges that it has a double standard when it comes to
Graves says the org is taking steps to correct some of those issues. For instance, the MPAA plans to revisit its stance on horror pics, which have evolved considerably from spooky frights to torture porn.
I do think the R has a
very big envelope for that genre, Graves admits.
...Read the full article
On Second Thoughts...
16th December 2010. Based on article from
Horror-Movies.ca sent an email to the MPAA in the wake of the story about 'big envelope for R rated horror.
Here's what came back from Vice
President of Corporate Communications, Elizabeth Kaltman:
Because filmmakers don't want to accept the NC-17 they are squeezing as much as they can into the R. The Ratings Board does not treat genres differently.
Ratings are assigned based on the content of a particular movie and taken on a case-by-case basis.
As far as any plans to change policy regarding horror films, we are always looking at ways to ensure the system evolves
and responds to the biggest concerns of the day for parents. We have no changes in the works but are talking to parents about what matters to them.
|16th December |
Author sues military censors in the hope of an uncut paperback release
Based on article from examiner.com
Anthony A. Shaffer has filed suit against the Pentagon for what he feels is uncalled for censorship of his book, Operation Dark Heart .
Shaffer's book details his time in Afghanistan and the war being fought there. In September of this
year, the Pentagon purchased the entire first print run, spending $47,300 for the copies and then destroying them, stating that Shaffer had listed classified information in the text.
The book became an instant bestseller after publisher quickly
reprinted a redacted version.
Shaffer's suit claims that very little, if any, of the redacted material was actually classified and that the Pentagon is unfairly censoring his work.
Shaffer's lawyer, Mark S. Zaid, said that while his client
agreed to allow publication of the hardback with the government's redactions, we reserved the right to come back and challenge the decision in court.
A paperback edition is scheduled for publication next year, and Shaffer is asking the
court to order the Pentagon not to require the redactions in the new edition and not to pursue civil or criminal penalties against him for releasing it.
Update: Permission to Sue
25th November 2012. See
article from countercurrents.org
A former intelligence officer with the
US Department of Defense has been given the go-ahead by a federal judge to sue the Pentagon and the CIA for censoring his best-selling account of the war in Afghanistan * .
Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer can follow through with his plans to take his
former employers to court, US District Judge Rosemary Collyer decided this week, ruling against the government's arguments that the author of Operation Dark Heart: Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan and the Path to Victory had no standing to sue.
|16th December |
Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art erases wall mural
11th December 2010. Based on article
See also pictures from
Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) has made its impact in a bad week for censorship in the US.
MOCA whitewashed a mural painted by internationally known street artist BLU.
The mural, originally commissioned by MOCA for their
upcoming Art in the Street exhibit, faces the Veterans Administration healthcare building on Temple Street in Downtown Los Angeles.
The news of the whitewashing has spread like wild fire on arts blogs and LA blogs throughout the day. So like GOOD
asks, was the mural too politically charged for members of the MOCA team?
Update: Censored in the name of easy offence
16th December 2010. Based on
article from ncacblog.wordpress.com
Italian street artist Blu was commissioned by LA MOCA to paint a mural on one of the walls of the museum's building. Work on the mural, which depicted coffins draped in American one-dollar bills, referring to the familiar image of flag-covered
coffins of soldiers killed in wa.
As reported by the LA Times, once MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch, who was in Miami for an annual art fair, returned home and saw Blu's handiwork, he said no. Deitch later explained that he made the decision to
remove the mural very quickly, unprompted by complaints…
After several days silence, the Museum issued an official statement, explaining that the decision to paint over the mural was made because:
The Geffen Contemporary building is located on a special, historic site. Directly in front of the north wall is the Go For Broke monument, which commemorates the heroic roles of Japanese American soldiers, who served in Europe and the Pacific during
World War II, and opposite the wall is the LA Veterans' Affairs Hospital. The museum's director explained to Blu that in this context, where MOCA is a guest among this historic Japanese American community, the work was inappropriate. MOCA has invited Blu
to return to Los Angeles to paint another mural.
Blu has refused to return to paint another mural stating:
It is censorship that almost turned into self-censorship when they asked me to
openly agree with their decision to erase the wall. In the Soviet Union they were calling it self-criticism.
Comment: Was this an act of censorship or
an exercise of legitimate curatorial control?
The National Coalition Against Censorship commented:
If we define censorship as suppression of speech or ideas considered disagreeable, offensive or otherwise
objectionable, this is, indeed, censorship.
So, the answer is, yes, LA MOCA has censored its Art in the Streets exhibition, even before the show has opened – not great advertising for a show on an art form that
is notoriously political, provocative and unfriendly to the rules of polite behavior.
Public art is frequently subject to controversy especially when it concerns political subjects and does not just celebrate community
or decorate a wall. A political statement writ large is sure to offend those who disagree with it whether a memorial is close to it or not. A museum can make the decision to show safe art in public and reserve it's riskier gestures for its galleries (or
avoid them altogether). But when planning a groundbreaking street art show, is that a good idea?
The relative silence around the removal of Blu's work begs the question: have we reached a point where the consensus is
that strong political statements should be avoided and where the potential that a war veteran may possibly be bothered by the idea that US soldiers are sent to die for economic interests is reason enough to whitewash an artwork? Are we no longer allowed
to be angry?
|15th December |
Newspaper websites blocked at the US Air Force
Based on article from
The US air force has blocked employees from accessing the websites of the Guardian, the New York Times and other news organisations carrying the WikiLeaks US embassy cables.
At least 25 sites that have posted WikiLeaks files had been barred, said
Major Toni Tones of the US air force's space command in Colorado. He siad this was on grounds of hosting inappropriate materials .
According to the Wall Street Journal, staff who attempt to access the blocked sites instead see an on-screen
message saying: Access denied. Internet usage is logged and monitored.
The air force's move follows instructions by the government that staff should not access the cables.
Twitter supporters under US pressure
12th January 2011. See article from
An Iceland MP who is also a former WikiLeaks volunteer says the US justice department has ordered Twitter to hand over her private messages.
Jonsdottir, an MP for the Movement in Iceland, said on Twitter that the USA government wants to know about all my tweets. Do they realize I am a member of parliament in Iceland?
She said she was starting a legal fight to stop the US getting
hold of her messages, after being told by Twitter that a subpoena had been issued. She wrote: department of justice are requesting twitter to provide the info – I got 10 days to stop it via legal process before twitter hands it over.
|15th December |
Fire in My Belly by David Wojnarowicz censored from art exhibit
Thanks to Alan
2nd December 2010. Based on
article from politicsdaily.com
See video from youtube.com
A work of video art briefly depicting a figurine of Christ with ants crawling on it has been yanked from the Smithsonian's Portrait Gallery after complaints from a Catholic group and members of Congress.
The four-minute video titled Fire in My
Belly was made by the late New York City artist David Wojnarowicz. It features an 11-second segment of a small crucifix teeming with the insects. It had been on exhibit since Oct. 30 as part of a show on sexual difference in American portrait art.
The piece was labeled hate speech by Catholic League president William Donohue who also claimed that it was designed to insult Christians.
After he was alerted to the piece, Donohue began a campaign to urge Congress to cut public funding
for the Smithsonian museum complex, he told The Associated Press: This is not the first time the Smithsonian has offended us, he said. I'm going to cast my net much wider. Why should the government pay for this? ... How dare they take our money
to fund attacks on (our religion).
The call was taken up by the office of House Representative John A. Boehner.
While the amount of money involved may be small, it's symbolic of the arrogance Washington routinely applies to thousands
of spending decisions involving Americans' hard-earned money, said Kevin Smith, a spokesman for Boehner, the likely next Speaker of the House.
Smithsonian officials told the Post they removed the offending piece to make sure the show's other
pieces weren't overshadowed by the controversy.
The decision wasn't caving in, claimed museum director Martin E. Sullivan: We don't want to shy away from anything that is controversial ...BUT.. we want to focus on the museum's and
this show's strengths.
Update: Art sponsors not pleased by censorship
15th December 2010. Based on
article from sfist.com
Large crowd of Houston art lovers protest Smithsonian censorship of A Fire in My Belly from
Canadian artist wants work pulled from U.S. exhibit marked by controversy from
Rep. John Boehner was unhappy that some Catholics found the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery's LGBT-themed Hide/Seek exhibit offensive. Boehner
threatened increased scrutiny of the museum's funding as a roundabout way of getting the Gallery to pull works that don't jive with his constituency.
Except taxpayer dollars don't pay for the exhibitions or the works themselves, only the museum
facilities. (Which are admittedly fairly important for holding an exhibition.)
The Andy Warhol Foundation, on the other hand, does provide a great deal of private funding to the museum - over $375,000 in the past three years to be exact - and
they're not happy about seeing A Fire in My Belly disappear from the exhibition.
In a letter from President Joel Wachs sent to Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough, the Warhol Foundation spoke out saying:
Such blatant censorship is unconscionable. It is inimical to everything the Smithsonian Institution should stand for, and everything the Andy Warhol Foundation does stand for. ...we cannot stand by and watch the Smithsonian bow to
the demands of bigots who have attacked the exhibition out of ignorance, hatred and fear.
Within the Smithsonian, at least one member of the Museum's advisory panel has resigned in protest. In an email posted on the Washington
Post, commissioner James T. Bartlett wrote: I believe it is a fundamental right of museums and their curatorial staffs to make such decisions [about exhibition content], even if some art is deemed objectionable by external critics. I choose firmly and
resolutely not to be part of an institution that is and can be put ad infinitum in this position.
|14th December |
Obama signs law against animal crush videos
Based on article from gamepolitics.com
President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill that outlaws the creation and distribution of so-called animal crush videos, a response to an April 20 Supreme Court decision (United States v. Stevens) that struck down an earlier federal law that banned
a more broadly defined description of animal cruelty.
The new law specifically addresses creating and distributing videos and ties it to obscenity - saying that these kinds of videos - involving burning, crushing and mutilating animals appeal to a
particular sexual fetish. The act is linked to obscenity so as to make it an exception to the first amendment.
|12th December |
FCC again considering government controls for US news
Based on article from
You will ALL promote diversity in
EXACTLY the way we tell you
The concept of the news or press has expanded to include all forms of media - print and digital. However, the one common denominator shared by news media is that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seems to think all should meet a prospective
set of federal criteria.
Representative Joe Barton questioned an idea from an FCC commissioner that the government should create new regulations to promote diversity in news programming.
Barton was reacting to a recommendation
made last week by FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, who suggested in a speech that broadcasters should be subjected to a new public values test every four years.
I hope … that you do not mean to suggest that it is the job of the
federal government, through the [FCC], to determine the content that is available for Americans to consume, Barton said in a letter to Copps.
Copps has suggested that his proposed test would make a broadcaster's license renewal depend upon
showing proof that they meet a prospective set of federally mandated criteria.
Copps said that those groups that wish to be considered news outlets should be mandated to do the following: prove that they have made a commitment to public affairs
and news programming (like showing a proper ratio of women and minorities), report to the government about which shows they are planning on airing, require greater disclosure about who is funding political ads and devote 25% of their prime coverage to
local news stories.
It is doubtful that anyone would be able to escape the FCC' grasp under the proposed rules since the regulations would apply to all news outlets operating on the public airwaves. And there are a good amount of politicians who
consider the Internet to be public airwaves, and who feel that government should have a monopoly on deciding what happens over those airwaves.
Barton also asked if five commissioners can do a better job of ensuring that Americans have access to
a wide diversity of content and viewpoints than Americans can themselves by expressing their preferences ... in the vigorously competitive marketplace.
The FCC has a project that is ongoing about media diversity that promises to issue a report
on whether or not Americans have access to adequate sources of news. The effort has seen strong criticism and the FCC has not said when their report will be released.
|10th December |
Internet hosting company threatens to take down NCAC archive of world censorship cases
Based on article from
Censorship incidents on the web are more and more common, but it's still rare when they happen to an anti-censorship organization like the NCAC.
Network Solutions, a company providing web
services, has threatened to remove TheFileroom.org, an interactive archive of worldwide censorship cases administered by the National Coalition Against Censorship, unless a photograph of two naked children by Nan Goldin, contained on the site, is taken
Thefileroom.org was created in 1994 by Spanish-born artist Muntadas, and was one of the first Internet art projects. NCAC has been hosting and maintaining the site since 2000.
The Goldin photograph, entitled Klara And Edda Belly-Dancing (1998), which shows two naked girls laughing and playing, was included in the site in 2007, after the Elton John-owned photograph was seized by police in the UK at a gallery as part of a child pornography probe. The case was dropped.
The photograph had also been investigated in 2001 when it was part of another exhibition at the Saatchi gallery in London and was found not to be indecent. The image can be found in the monograph of Goldin's works
entitled The Devil's Playground (Phaidon, 2003), has been offered for sale at Sotheby's New York in 2002 and 2004, and has previously been exhibited in Houston, London, Madrid, New York, Portugal, Warsaw and Zurich. It is currently in an exhibition in
In attempting to justify the take-down request, Network Solutions referred to its acceptable use policy, which prohibits the Transmission, distribution, uploading, posting or storage of any material
in violation of any applicable law or regulation is prohibited. This includes, … material that is obscene, defamatory, libelous, unlawful, harassing, abusive, threatening, harmful, vulgar, constitutes an illegal threat, violates export control
laws, hate propaganda, fraudulent material or fraudulent activity, invasive of privacy or publicity rights, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable material of any kind or nature.
When NCAC informed Network
Solutions that the photograph is not obscene, a company associate responded That's your opinion. However, the photograph's wide distribution and occasional review by legal authorities is clear evidence of its undisputed legality. This arbitrary
act to request the removal of an artwork, accompanied by a threat of the immediate deletion of thefileroom.org domain name from the Network Solutions registry, denying access to information about over a thousand censorship incidents, is a sinister sign
of a growing trend where private web companies are becoming the new arbiters of what is moral or legal disregarding national or international free speech protections.
|9th December |
US students warned that online discussions related to Wikileaks may endanger future security clearance
Based on article from
A State Department official warned students at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs this week that discussing WikiLeaks on Facebook or Twitter could endanger their employment prospects.
The official, a former student of
the school, called the career services office of his alma mater to advise students not to post links to Wikileaks documents, nor to make comments on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.
The school careers office passed on the message to
From: Office of Career Services
We received a call today from a SIPA alumnus who is working at the State Department. He asked us to pass along the following
information to anyone who will be applying for jobs in the federal government, since all would require a background investigation and in some instances a security clearance.
The documents released during the past few
months through Wikileaks are still considered classified documents. He recommends that you DO NOT post links to these documents nor make comments on social media sites such as Facebook or through Twitter. Engaging in these activities would call into
question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government.
|6th December |
MPAA ban poster over weapon held by child
Based on article from
Bereavement , writer/director Stevan Mena's gruesome prequel to Maleviolence , hasn't gone before the MPAA yet, but the US film censor has already turned thumbs down on the movie's poster.
The MPAA has banned the poster for
depicting a child holding a weapon, Mena tells Fangoria: It's hugely disappointing, because that poster really encapsulated the plot of the film with an intriguing image. It's a real setback for us, considering the challenges we already face
competing for attention with a small budget.
Bereavement explores the childhood of serial killer Martin Bristol, when he is kidnapped by a psychopath and forced to witness horrible acts of murder.
|3rd December |
US senator proposes a bill censoring publishers of leaked data
See also WikiLeaks ousted from Amazon US
With Amazon dumping Wikileaks due to pressure from Senator Joe Lieberman, it seems to have only emboldened Lieberman to shred more of the First Amendment he's supposed to be protecting.
First, he has continued pressuring other companies to not
host Wikileaks content.
This has resulted in Tableau Software removing a graph of embassies most often appearing in the Wikileaks Cable data. People have pointed out that there was no sensitive data in what it had published, but because of
Lieberman's grandstanding, the company felt the need to remove the chart.
Lieberman has now introduced an anti-Wikileaks bill, which would expand the Espionage Act to make it a criminal act if you publish the name of a US intelligence source. Note
that it is already illegal to leak such a name, but this bill seeks to make it illegal to publish the names after they've been leaked.
This seems like a classic violation of the First Amendment. As Wired notes, something like this would make it
illegal for a newspaper to publish the fact that former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noreiga was once a paid CIA intelligence source.
|30th November |
US customs seize domain names of 86 websites accused of copyright infringement
Based on article from
The Homeland Security Department's customs enforcement division has gone on a Web site shutdown spree.
To date, 82 domains have been seized after being accused of selling counterfeit goods, with products sold ranging from music, DVD box sets and
software to clothing and sporting goods.
Others linked to copyright-infringing file-sharing materials, at least one site was a Google-like search engine, causing alarm among web freedom advocates who worry the move steps over the line into
All the shut sites are now displaying a Homeland Security warning that copyright infringers can face up to five years in prison.
According to a report at TorrentFreak, the search engine that was shut down -- Torrent-Finder.com
-- neither hosted copyrighted material nor directly linked to places where it could be found. Instead, the site opened new windows to sites that did link to file-sharing materials.
Homeland Security's ability to shut down sites without a court
order evidently comes from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a Clinton-era law that allows Web sites to be closed on the basis of a copyright complaint. Critics have long assailed the DMCA for being too broad, as complainants don't need to prove
copyright infringement before a site can be taken down.
Earlier this week, Homeland Security shut down a popular hip-hop music site, RapGodfathers.com, which had nearly 150,000 members. The site claims it is compliant with copyright laws, as it
doesn't host copyrighted materials. However, its users posted links to file-hosting services such as Rapidshare and Megaupload, where copyrighted material may have been shared.
These domains are now the property of Homeland Security, writes
Gareth Halfacree at Thinq.co.uk, And there's no indication that their original owners will ever be able to get them back.
|27th November |
Airports ban Peta adverts having fun with invasive security checks
Be Proud of Your Body Scan: Go Vegan
PETA, the animal rights organization that never shies away from controversy, has produced sone new ads that make light of invasive body scanners and pat downs.
The Boston Herald writes that one of these ads, a video featuring Pamela Anderson as
a sexy TSA agent removing leather and fur from travelers, has been banned at Logan Airport. It doesn't sound like an appropriate ad for the airport environment, says Massport spokesman Matt Brelis.
PETA's also trying to launch a body
scan-mocking ad campaign featuring still photographs. One shows a scan of a woman wearing only a bra that's emblazoned with the words Be Proud. Elsewhere, the true message of the ad is visible: Be Proud of Your Body Scan: Go Vegan. The
Associated Press writes that airports in Las Vegas, Charlotte, N.C. and New York City have all refused to display these ads.
Update: Hong Kong
2010. From cnngo.com
Pamela Anderson has made a new video promoting PETA causes with an airport security checkpoint theme. But Hong Kong Airport won't be playing the video, because it has been deemed too racy. In the video, Anderson is a
half-dressed airport security checkpoint officer who gives the yea or nay to passengers according to whether or not they're wearing fur, leather or other animal skins.
One couple does manage to pass through the security check without a glitch --
they're completely nude. Their naked tushies are shown on screen and were probably what crossed the line for JCDecaux, the ad agency responsible for what airs in Hong Kong Airport.
|21st November |
US bill to allow authorities wide powers to close down websites looks delayed for the moment
Based on article from examiner.com
19 members of the Senate Judiciary unanimously voted to move forward with the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) this week, despite a letter sent to them by a large number of law professors explaining the unconstitutionality of
COICA, and earlier protests by 96 Internet engineers, and Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the Web.
However t doesn't appear it will pass through the full Senate, at least for now.
COICA targets piracy, but it is very broad in its definition
of what that means. Copyright infringement could include not just hosting torrents, downloads or streams of copyrighted materials, but also providing a link or aggregated links to other sites or Internet resources for obtaining access to such copies.
In other words, as defined, it could be interpreted that a news site that linked to The Pirate Bay or other BitTorrent site would be in violation. COICA would empower the attorney general to be able to get court orders to blacklist sites out
of the DNS (Domain Name Service) system, meaning you wouldn't be able to type in their name and reach them, on the Web. Naturally, organizations such as the MPAA and RIAA love the idea.
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has announced that he was going to
take the necessary steps to stop [COICA] from passing the United States Senate. He added: It seems to me that online copyright infringement is a legitimate problem, but it seems to me that COICA as written is the wrong medicine. Deploying this
statute to combat online copyright infringement seems almost like using a bunker-busting cluster bomb when what you really need is a precision-guided missile. The collateral damage of this statute could be American innovation, American jobs, and a secure
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said: Blacklisting entire sites out of the domain name system is a reckless scheme that will undermine global Internet infrastructure and censor legitimate online speech.
noted, the bill passed out of the committee unanamously, which translates to having full bipartisan support. That's pretty unusual in these contentious political times, and points to the support of major industry organizations such as the previously
mentioned RIAA and MPAA. While probably dead for this session due to Ron Wyden's opposition, it might show up again in the next.
|20th November |
Animal cruelty bill looks stalled due to unnecessary over broadening
19th November 2010. Based on article
Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a federal statute outlawing the creation and sale of videos depicting animal cruelty, and the ruling didn't sit well with various members of Congress. But the bill designed to narrow the law to simply
ban crush videos —videos where, typically, a woman in high-heeled shoes crushes a rodent—may have to be re-presented next year since Congress appears to be running out of time this term to vote on revisions to the bill.
by California Rep. Elton Gallegly, H.R. 5566, the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010, would ban the creation, sale, trading or distribution of videos depicting actual conduct in which 1 or more living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or
amphibians is intentionally crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury, or the advertising of same.
The delay was caused when senators added language that would make it a federal crime,
punishable by up to seven years in jail, to attempt or conspire to create or distribute a crush video—an amendment Gallegly considers unnecessary, since it's already a crime to conspire to violate any federal criminal law.
So Gallegly had
that language stripped out of the bill, the House passed it in that amended form, but now the bill must go back to the Senate for approval of the final version—but with just eight days left in this Congress's lame duck session, the Senate is
unlikely to take the bill up again before adjourning for the year.
Update: Anti-Crushing Bill Un-Crushed
20th November 2010. Based on
article from business.avn.com
Congress found time to pass H.R. 5566, the
Prevention of Interstate Commerce in Animal Crush Videos Act of 2010.
The bill cleared when the Senate concurred with a new House version which stripped out a previous Senate amendment, and the bill is now cleared to be signed by President
|18th November |
Film classification by f-word counting discredited
See article from vancouversun.com
|16th November |
Banned album covers
29th October 2010. See article from
Kanye West's new album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is due out shortly. He claims the cover has already been banned. So Nirvana can have a naked human being on their cover, but I can't have a PAINTING of a monster with no arms and a polka
dot tail and wings, he ranted.
...read the full article
6th November 2010. See article from
Black Crowes - Amorica
Lifted straight from a 1976 cover of Hustler magazine the image of the cover models pubic hair poking out of her American flag bikini bottoms caused quite the controversy back in 1994. The record label eventually
blacked out the offending images and the album went on to reach number 11 on the Billboard 200.
Update: Apple get in on the censorship
16th November 2010. Based on article from
Rapper Kanye West is being muzzled again, this time by Apple over the vaguely nude cover to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy . The censored album art shows Apple is sliding into yet another dangerous arena of judgment.
critically-acclaimed artist George Condo, the cover features a cartoon West being ridden by a wingless, semi-nude phoenix.
Apple decided to blur out the image, so customers only get a heavily pixellated version of the cover when they download it
More perplexing to the blurred cover decision is that Apple had a choice: There are actually five covers to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy . West's label Def Jam encouraged him to present alternatives to family friend;y nutter
venues like Walmart and Target, and nearly all the other options, including a depiction of a blushing ballerina, are as tame as a Jonas Brothers CD.
Why did Apple bother to blur out the one potentially offensive cover? Either it was too lazy to
update the picture or it wanted to send a message for other artists interested in pushing controversial art.
|15th November |
US censors over react to strong language in How Do You Know
After losing an MPAA against an R-rating, Columbia Pictures will be recutting James L. Brooks' upcoming romantic comedy How Do You Know .
The film was slapped with a R-Rating a few weeks ago, evidently because of three 'fucks' utilized in
the pic, and having lost the appeal to overturn the ruling, Columbia will now be trimming two 'fucks' so they can secure a PG-13 rating.
2010. See article from
After three f-bombs in the upcoming dramedy How Do You Know earned the film an R-rating from the MPAA, James L. Brooks was forced to go back into
the edit bay and deliver a cleaner cut of the film. Well, the MPAA is now pleased not to have their ears soiled with those egregious words and have blessed Brooks' film with a PG-13 rating.
|10th November |
US censors websites promoting travel to Cuba
See article from havanajournal.com
|9th November |
ACLU to sue company denying free speech to Koran burning employee
Based on article
The American Civil Liberties Union is suing NJ Transit for firing an 11-year employee after he burned a Koran in a Ground Zero mosque protest in September, according to NJ.com.
On the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade
Center, then-NJ Transit employee Derek Fenton was photographed burning three pages of a Koran in front of the space where the proposed Ground Zero mosque will be built. Soon after, he was fired from NJ Transit for violating their 'ethics' codes.
The ACLU is saying that Fenton deserves his job back, as NJ Transit has infringed on his right to free speech, the website reports.
If you allow governments to censor one kind of speech, you open the door to censorship of all kinds of speech, Deborah Jacobs, executive director of the ACLU in New Jersey, told the site. Our individual right to free speech depends on
everybody having it.
When the train line fired Fenton, it released a statement saying that, NJ Transit concluded that Mr. Fenton violated his trust as a state employee.
|8th November |
Supporting the hype for the NC-17 rated movie
Based on article from
Actress Michelle Williams is urging producers not to edit her harrowing new film Blue Valentine in order to get the movie a lower rating - because she'd prefer cinemagoers saw it as it was intended.
Officials at the Motion Picture
Association of America's Classification and Rating Administration have awarded the movie a restrictive NC-17 rating because of a drunken sex scene featuring Williams and her co-star Ryan Gosling.
Producer Harvey Weinstein is challenging the movie
censors' over the ban for under-17s, and an appeal hearing will take place on November 10th.
Williams said of the MPAA rating: It seems like such a condemnation. It feels like such a slap on the hand, like you've been a bad kid or something.
|3rd November |
US Censors give an R rating to The King's Speech
The King's Speech is the true story of how England's King George VI overcame a devastating speech impediment, it's a wonderfully acted (by Colin Firth as the king, Geoffrey Rush as his speech therapist, and Helena Bonham Carter as his wife, the
future Queen Mum) slice of history.
But the ever-clueless members of the MPAA ratings board are concerned about teenagers seeing this film --- because of one scene in which the king, in the course of his treatment, lets fly a string of swear
words. Because, of course, no teenager has ever heard the F-word.
So The King's Speech gets an R -- the same rating, as Saw 3D .
Tom Hooper, director of The King's Speech, spoke about his disappointment:
What I take away from that decision, is that violence and torture is OK, but bad language isn't. I can't think of a single film I've ever seen where the swear words had haunted me forever, the way a scene of violence
or torture has, yet the ratings board only worries about the bad language.
An MPAA spokesperson told the L.A. Times that the board is merely being consistent: We've made clear what our language guidelines are, and it's not
fair, in fact it would look arbitrary, if we threw it out for just one film.
But LAT Times' Patrick Goldstein points out that the guidelines are, indeed, arbitrary: More than one use of the F-word, for example, earns an automatic R, but
there's no rule about how many, say, gunshots or gallons of blood quality for a PG-13 or an R.
|3rd November |
US Supreme Court reviews Californian law imposing age restrictions on computer games sales
Retailers who sell the latest Halo or Call of Duty video games to children would face big fines under a law being reviewed by the Supreme Court.
Despite receiving sympathy from some justices, the California law that aims to keep kids
from buying ultraviolent video games faces a steep constitutional hurdle.
The high court has been reluctant to carve out exceptions to the First Amendment, striking down a ban earlier this year on so-called crush videos that showed actual deaths
California officials argue they should be allowed to limit minors' ability to buy violent video games because of the potential damage. The games are especially harmful to minors, said Zackery Morazzini, a California deputy
The law would bar anyone under 18 from buying or renting games that give players the option of killing, maiming, dismembering or sexually assaulting an image of a human being.
Parents would be able to buy the games
for their children, but retailers who sell directly to minors would face fines of up to $1,000 for each game sold.
Some justices wondered where the regulation would stop. What about films? asked Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. What about
comic books? added Justice Antonin Scalia, wondering if movies showing drinking and smoking might be next.
Lower courts have said the law violates minors' constitutional rights, and courts in six other states struck down similar bans.
The Supreme Court's decision is expected next year.
|29th October |
Imminent hearing for opposition to Massachusetts internet censorship law
22nd October 2010. From businessweek.com
A coalition of booksellers and Internet content providers will ask a judge to stop Massachusetts from enforcing an expansion of state obscenity law to include electronic communications that may be harmful to minors.
The content providers say
recent changes to state law amount to broad censorship that effectively bans from the Internet anything that may be considered harmful to minors, including material adults have the right to view.
Supporters claim the new law closes a loophole
. The state's highest court had overturned the conviction of a man accused of sending sexually explicit instant messages to someone he believed was a 13-year-old girl.
29th October 2010. Based on article from
A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction this week against a new Massachusetts law aimed at protecting children from online sexual predators by banning anything
that may be considered harmful to minors, including adult material.
Internet content providers, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and others sought to block enforcement of the law as it applies to broad-based Internet
communications. They did not seek to bar enforcement against sexual predators or others who use the Internet to send harmful material to minors.
U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel ruled that the law, as it is now written, violates the 1st Amendment.
Attorney General Martha Coakley said that her office will draft an injunction that addresses the concerns raised in the ruling and will examine if the law needs to be changed to be sure law enforcement has the necessary tools to protect
The content providers argue that the new amendments amount to a broad censorship law that would ban from the Internet a variety of information that could be seen as harmful to minors, including material about
contraception, pregnancy, literature and art that adults have a 1st Amendment right to view.
They also argue that people who disseminate information through a generally accessible website cannot discern the ages of those who view the information
and that, as a result, the law inhibits the free speech of adults.
|26th October |
Not what a US ferry company wants their customers to view
17th October 2010. Based on article
The current issue of Seattle Weekly has been pulled from the shelves on all Washington State Ferries.
WSF spokesperson Marta Coursey said that although WSF did not receive any complaints, the issue was pulled because: I don't want to have to
receive a complaint about it.
We removed it because of the photo of Patty Murray. We thought it was distasteful. We pulled one I think three years ago when it was a caricature of Sweeney Todd slashing Santa's throat during the holidays. We
decided to pull it because we thought it was denigrating to women. It was not in keeping with what we want our customers to have to view. I thought it forwarded a disrespectful attitude toward a public figure.
26th October 2010. Based on article
The operator of Washington state ferries has expressed regrets after banning an issue of a weekly paper that depicted Sen. Patty Murray
dressed in raw pork, according to a report in the Seattle Times.
We probably shouldn't have pulled it, Steve Pierce, communications director for the Washington State Department of Transportation, told the newspaper.
Ferries reportedly refunded Seattle Weekly's fee for operating a kiosk on the boats.
|25th October |
Porn film festival banned in the name of zoning
article from news.avn.com
Pornotopia, which is scheduled for Nov. 5-7, is no longer welcome at its previous home, the Guild Theater in Nob Hill, Albuquerque.
The council claim it is not zoned for adult entertainment, just like 90% of the town and doubt the remaining 10%
has no suitable venues.
A notice on the Pornotopia website that reads, We regret to announce that this year's celebration of erotic film is being postponed indefinitely. The City of Albuquerque's highly restrictive zoning regulations have
effectively banned the festival from all potential venues, despite all efforts by the planning committee to find a suitable location within city limits.
Pornotopia Co-Director Molly Adler has intimated that a censored version of the
show may take place next month at the Sunshine Theater, featuring comedy sketches, burlesque and more.
In the meantime, the organizers will be looking for a venue outside city limits at which to hold the real Pornotopia.
|24th October |
US radio news analyst fired for stating that he was nervous of muslims on plane
Based on article from
US National Public Radio has fired news analyst Juan Williams for saying on Fox News that he gets nervous if he sees Muslims on a plane.
Williams, who has written several books on the US civil rights movement, made the remarks last week
on chat show The O'Reilly Factor.
NPR said in a statement that Williams's contract had been ended.
Fox News later signed Williams up as a contributor on a multi-year contract.
In a discussion on Muslims and 9/11 on the
O'Reilly Factor , outspoken conservative presenter Bill O'Reilly said: The cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet.
Williams said he concurred with
O'Reilly: I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country . But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you
know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.
In its statement, NPR said Williams's comments were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices and undermined his credibility as
a news analyst with NPR .
|21st October |
Man pleads guilty of encouraging attacks on South Park writers
Based on article from
A US man has pleaded guilty to supporting a Somali Islamist militant group and encouraging attacks on the writers of cartoon show South Park.
Prosecutors said Zachary Adam Chesser was 'outraged' by the cartoon's perceived mockery of
US investigators said Chesser was a follower of radical US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Chesser sought twice to travel to Somalia to join al-Shabab, which the US designates as a terrorist group.
Prosecutors said Chesser also
posted to an Islamist militant website the personal contact information of people who had joined an Everybody Draw Muhammad Day Facebook group.
Zachary Chesser seriously endangered the lives of innocent people who will remain at risk for
many years to come, US Attorney Neil MacBride said in a statement: His solicitation of extremists to murder US citizens also caused people throughout the country to fear speaking out - even in jest - lest they also be labelled as enemies who
deserved to be killed.
In addition, Chesser pleaded guilty to urging people to plant suspicious packages in public places in order to densensitise police so a real bomb would escape notice.
Chesser pleaded guilty to two counts of
communicating threats and soliciting crimes of violence, as well as to supporting an al-Qaeda linked terrorist group. The American Muslim convert faces up to 30 years in prison.
|18th October |
Steven Monroe's I Spit on Your Grave opens unrated
Sarah Butler, the star of I Spit On Your Grave, which released last weekend in theaters, is happy with the decision to release it unrated.
She says that the MPAA required more than 100 cuts to give it an R rating, and that
would be like cutting the legs off this film.
It's an extremely gory movie, and the rape scene is extraordinarily hard to watch, as they don't just rape her, they torture her too. By the time she
starts getting revenge, you're ready to take a hacksaw to the guys yourself.
She also told USA Weekend: Why go through the whole thing of shooting a film and really committing yourself to the violence and everything,
and then just go and cut it all up to pieces? It's pointless.
|17th October |
US anti-Obama billboard causes a stir in Grand Junction
Based on article from
The owner of a Grand Junction company located beneath a controversial billboard of President Barack Obama is glad the sign is now gone.
Doris Downey, owner of J&S Fence Company said the owners of the billboard company, Bud's Signs, removed it
after receiving threats from people who didn't care for it.
Its artist, Paul Snover, said that the controversial billboard that depicted Obama in several caricatures would remain for at least a month. Snover, who received numerous hate e-mails of
his own about the sign, said he hoped to see it travel to other cities after the Nov. 2 elections.
The billboard depicted Obama as a terrorist, a gangster, a Mexican bandit and a gay man. Snover said the message was to highlight some of
Obama's programs that his client, whom he declined to identify, doesn't care for.
|14th October |
US man falls victim to Simpsons porn nonsense
Based on article from
A former man has pleaded guilty to possession of visual representations of child sex abuse.
The U.S. Attorney's office said Steven Kutzner had downloaded 70+ animated cartoon pornographic images on his computer. Many of them depicted child
characters from The Simpsons.
Kutzner was a middle school teacher in Meridian but he resigned immediately after the search warrant was served at his home.
Kutzner will be sentenced Jan. 5, 2011. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in
federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.
|12th October |
MPAA to inform parents whether exposed bits are dangly or not
Based on article from
What do Jackass 3D, Eat Pray Love , and Grown-Ups have in common?
They're the first three films to receive the gender-specific warning of male nudity from the MPAA in conjunction with their ratings, an odd distinction that
isn't made when actresses disrobe.
Parents requested specifically after the movie Brno that we provide such information, said ratings-board spokesman Craig Hoffman of the Sacha Baron Cohen film, which received a ratings
notice last year that warned of pervasive strong and crude sexual content, graphic nudity and language, yet mentioned nothing specifically about twirling penises shot in close-up.
|11th October |
Kentucky nutters claim ban on faith promoting number plates doesn't apply as their primary message is anti-porn
10th October 2010. Based on
article from foxnews.com
A Kentucky nutter group has filed a lawsuit after being denied a request to create a specialty license plate bearing the motto, In God We Trust.
Reclaim Our Culture Kentuckiana (ROCK) says it first applied for a Kentucky In God We Trust
speciality license plate in 2007.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet creates specialty plates to spotlight various non-profit organizations. Motorists can purchase the plates in the process and may choose to make an additional donation to the
non-profit in question.
ROCK said it planned to use those donations for education regarding the dangers of pornography and to provide help for women and children victimized by pornography and the sex industry.
But even though
ROCK claimed the application met all statutory requirements, the Transportation Cabinet denied it in 2008, saying the plate was designed to promote Christianity, Fox41.com reported.
They stated that our primary purpose was the advancement of a
particular religion because there is one bible verse that appears on the ROCK website, MaryAnn Gramig, director of policy and operations for ROCK, told FoxNews.com.
Kentucky law says in order to be eligible to create specialty license plates,
a group must, among other things, be a non-profit based in Kentucky, contain no discrimination against any race, color, religion, sex or national origin, not be affiliated with any political party, and not be created by a group that, has as its
primary purpose the promotion of any specific faith, religion or antireligion.
It was the judgment of the special plate committee in this cabinet that it just did not meet the statutory criteria that this panel laid out, Chuck Wolfe, a
spokesman for the Transportation Cabinet told Fox41.com, saying the group violated the last tenet.
Gramig says ROCK does meet the religion clause. Even though ROCK is a faith-based organization, that's not our primary purpose…we focus on areas
of decency, she said.
ROCK has now filed a motion for summary judgment in Franklin Circuit Court last week requesting the court overturn the Transportation Cabinet's decision.
Oral arguments in the case have been set for December 13.
Update: Meanwhile in Vermont
11th October 2010. Based on article from christianpost.com
A federal appeals court has ruled that faith-based lettering on vehicle license plates is allowed under the First Amendment, but emphasized that its ruling is limited to Vermont's ban on religious messages.
In ruling in favor of Shawn Byrne, the
three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals in New York reversed the decision of a federal judge who rejected Byrne's 2005 claim that the state discriminated against him when it rejected his application for a license plate that would read JN36TN
– a reference to the popular Bible verse John 3:16.
The appeals court noted how Vermont allows its residents to request vanity plates that convey messages on a variety of topics, including statements of personal philosophy and taste,
inspirational messages, and statements of affiliation with or affirmation of entities, causes, and people. The state does not, however, permit any combination of letters or numbers that refer, in any language, to a ... religion or deity.
The state (Vermont) rejected Byrne's message only because it addressed ... areas of otherwise permissible expression from a religious perspective, wrote the appeals court. This the state cannot do.
Update: Nutters Foiled
20th April 2011 See
article from business.avn.com
The Louisville nutter group called Reclaim Our Culture Kentuckiana (ROCK) had the idea that it could promote the 'glory of God', make some money and fight the 'devil's work', porn, all at the same time, by sponsoring a specialty Kentucky license plate
adorned with the words, In God We Trust.
Great idea, except for the fact that a judge just nixed the plan, siding with the state's Transportation Cabinet, which rejected ROCK's 2008 application on the grounds that the group promotes
Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd found the group's claim that the plate was intended only to oppose porn and not to promote religion farfetched, writing, in his ruling, The phrase 'In God We Trust' does not indicate to anyone
who views the plate that the holder of the specialty plate supports the goal of abolishing pornography and the sex industry in the commonwealth.
|8th October |
US Supreme Court to consider the free speech rights of the Westboro Baptists
3rd October 2010.
article from csmonitor.com
On October 6, the US Supreme Court takes up a case examining whether members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, went too far when they staged a protest at a fallen marine's funeral in Maryland. The demonstrators hoisted signs proclaiming:
You Are Going to Hell and Thank God for Dead Soldiers.
Fred Phelps, pastor of the Westboro church, has made a career out of using blunt and offensive statements to try to shock Americans into joining his crusade against gay rights.
His followers show up at military funerals and announce that God is killing American soldiers for the sins of the country. Funeralgoers are urged to repent... or else.
In Maryland, it was too much for the grieving father, Albert Snyder, to endure.
He sued. The case pits Snyder's First Amendment right to peacefully assemble in a church to mourn his son's passing against the Westboro protesters' right to chant harsh slogans and display shocking signs in their campaign for moral salvation of the
I suspect neither Phelps nor Snyder will change their point of view no matter what happens in the case, says Christina Wells, a law professor and First Amendment scholar at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law: Somebody is going to be unhappy
. But the debate [surrounding the case] hopefully will foster understanding of why we have the First Amendment we do.
...Read the full
Supreme Court appears inclined to rule against funeral protesters
8th October 2010. See
article from religionnewsblog.com
Despite free-speech concerns, Supreme Court justices sounded sympathetic to a lawsuit filed by the father of a Marine killed in Iraq whose funeral was picketed by protesters .
The justices appeared inclined to set a limit to
freedom of speech when ordinary citizens are targeted with especially personal and hurtful attacks. The 1st Amendment says the government may not restrict free speech, but it is less clear when it shields speakers from private lawsuits.
Anthony M. Kennedy and Stephen G. Breyer, usual defenders of the 1st Amendment, said they thought people could be sued for outrageous personal attacks. Kennedy said certain harassing conduct was not always protected as free speech. Torts and
crimes are committed with words all the time, he said, referring to legal wrongs that result in lawsuits. The 1st Amendment doesn't stop state tort law in appropriate circumstances, Breyer added.
It will be several months before the
court makes a ruling in the case.
|6th October |
Unrated Hatchet II release suffers an early end
Based on article from
For a brief moment this past weekend, the impossible happened - the unrated Hatchet 2 opened in over 60 theaters and became a cause for celebration among horror film fans, who viewed the release as a possible way to break the seemingly arbitrary
MPAA chokehold that they see as part of the decline of the horror genre.
Hatchet 2 is one of the few times in the last twenty-five years that an unrated film has gotten any sort of theatrical release and the horror launched a Twitter and
Facebook campaign to support it.
Leading horror website DreadCentral.com had even asked fans to buy tickets for Hatchet 2 online even if they aren't near a theater showing it as a way to send a message to Hollywood that there's a market for
That dream barely made it through the weekend; the theater chains that were carrying Hatchet 2 pulled it without explanation by Monday morning. It's tough to really know the specific box office numbers since several
theaters - in Canada, specifically -- wound up pulling the film right away due to fear of being fined for showing an unrated film, says Green. We're hearing that others decided to only show Hatchet 2 at specific times due to the hassle of
having to have someone guard the cinema door to check IDs. When I saw the film in Los Angeles there was a guard at the door for the entire movie checking ticket stubs and IDs where necessary. It was kind of crazy.
Update: Poor Box Office
8th October 2010. See article
Adam Green and his marketers pinned their hopes for that miracle on AMC, and an ad campaign that specifically tied Hatchet II 's lack of a rating (I
saw posters for the film at Fantastic Fest that even used the tagline Support Unrated Horror ). If nothing else, Hatchet II 's $52,000 weekend gross proves that turning a gory, tongue-in-cheek slasher movie into a referendum on free speech
isn't a shortcut to box office gold. Those uncut and unrated slogans are on DVDs because people want to see extreme blood and guts, not because they're looking to strike a blow against organized censorship. They're horror fans, not freedom
Offsite: Adam Green Speaks
9th October 2010. See
reelzchannel.com by Adam Green
The sad truth of the matter is that no one at [distributor] Dark Sky has been able to tell me the exact reasons behind
why the film was pulled (they have not gotten a clear explanation whatsoever) and I only know what I am hearing from the public on Twitter and AMC's response to the press of we base our decisions on performance which does not add up given that we
know of at least two theaters that had pulled the film after just 24 hours and given the grand scheme of things, other genre titles performed worse per screen, even though they had bigger budgets and traditional spends on marketing campaigns as opposed
All signs would point to AMC being unhappy with how vocal I was about the MPAA and not wanting to deal with the controversy — which if the case, is their given right. Had the film grossed millions, maybe it
would be a different story with them, but given the size of our release and the nature of what this is, all we ever could have hoped for was a few grand per screen in a realistic scenario.
...Read the full
Adam Green Speaks About Hatchet III
3rd October 2011. See article from
When Hatchet II came out, they [the MPAA] were under fire because of the torture-porn that was getting through. But the reason that torture-porn was
getting through was because it was being distributed by a studio that pays their salaries, so they couldn't stop it. So there is all this backlash from parents, and I come along with a swamp monster with a gas-powered belt sander, killing comedians like
Monty Python, and they came down on me!
But they fucked with the wrong guy because I beat them. I got my film into theatres unrated - which hasn't happened in 30 years - for 48 hours. Then I became the first movie to ever get
pulled from theatres. There was all this bullshit that it wasn't performing but in fact it did so great that, within 72 hours of the DVD release, a third one got greenlit. So the MPAA can eat a fucking dick. Hatchet III is coming, so I win, they
...Read the full article
|4th October |
Newspaper editors fearful of cartoon with the word Mohammed in it
article from dailycartoonist.com
Update: see the cartoon from gocomics.com
Several papers (upwards of 20) asked for a replacement for Sunday's Non Sequitur cartoon strip because it mentioned the word
The cartoon by Wiley Miller depicts a lazy, sunny park scene with the caption, Picture book title voted least likely to ever find a publisher… 'Where's Muhammad?' Characters in the park are buying ice cream, fishing, roller
skating, etc. No character is depicted as even Middle Eastern.
Responding to the news that his strip may not appear in some papers, Wiley tells me, the irony of editors being afraid to run even such a tame cartoon as this that satirizes the
blinding fear in media regarding anything surrounding Islam sadly speaks for itself. Indeed, the terrorists have won.
|3rd October |
An appeal for US horror fans to change the rules
See article from
I'm sick of PG-13 horror. Ugh! Another remake? Screw going to the theatre, I'll just wait to see the unrated edition on DVD or Blu-ray.
How many of you have said such things?
The sad part is we've gotten used to it. The MPAA has beaten back the genre countless times with their double standards and self given right to deem for us what is acceptable and what is not. No one dared to challenge them, no matter how much we bitched,
cried, and moaned. We were never afforded the chance to do anything about their rule over the horror genre, something they clearly do not even understand.
This weekend for
the first time in over a quarter of a century a movie is coming out in a pretty damned wide release (all things considered) at AMC theatres across the country unrated and untampered with by the film group for whom cool began and ended with the Fonz on
Happy Days . Adam Green's Hatchet II isn't looking to reinvent the wheel. That was never the intention. Adam and company just made the film that they wanted to make. He was content with it going straight to DVD unrated. Better that than seeing
his flick get butchered again. But then Dark Sky and MPI Films got behind it full force. AMC loved the movie enough to grant it a wide theatrical release. This wasn't an act of defiance of the MPAA on anyone's part who are directly connected to the film,
but you know what? It can be for us. We can take the reins here. We have an opportunity to make our voices heard and possibly change the rules in the process.
If we as horror fans make it a point to make sure that Hatchet II
is successful at the box office this weekend, we can take back some of the power that the MPAA has been unmercifully wielding for so many years and do so in a way that Hollywood understands ... with cash! Theatre chains would always shy away from
unrated horror releases because they didn't think it would be profitable for them to bother showing a film without the ratings board's blessing. We have a unique chance right now to prove that's bullshit!
If this movie
is successful this weekend, other theatre chains will be more receptive to the idea of giving indie filmmakers their shot to reach their audience. No one wants to miss out on something profitable. And for the filmmakers the hassle of having to go on
trial in front of the MPAA to get their movie rated so it can get out there just may not seem so necessary anymore, and we can FINALLY start getting what we crave the most: Our movies. Our way. Does it get any more punk rock than that?
|2nd October |
Director Steven Monroe interviewed about Unrated cinema release for I Spit on Your Grave
Based on interview from
Director Steven Monroe was interviewed about the remake, I Spit on Your Grave.
Fearnet: Is this truly unrated? Did you submit it to the MPAA at all?
it is truly unrated. The cut we submitted to the MPAA was what we called the Everything Cut. It had everything in there that we wanted in there, and that we thought the fans would want to see. We didn't want the fans to be able to say that we
backed off on anything. That is the cut we sent to the MPAA, and that is the cut that is going out to theatres unrated. The MPAA said that cut would be NC-17, but they also said that they don't recommend we cut it down. In a way we were shocked, but it
was easy for them. They don't care if the film is released with an NC-17 or an R. It's the distributors who care. Why go NC-17? You can't get into any theatres with that. At least with unrated, you can show it to theatre chains to see if they will take
it. And a lot did take it. The R-rated cut that the MPAA signed off on is sitting on a shelf somewhere.
Fearnet: Will that end up getting a wider release?
They are not doing any release with that R-rated cut. At all.
...Read the full interview
|1st October |
US bill to allow authorities wide powers to close down websites has been delayed
Based on article from
The worrying IP infringement bill thankfully failed to sneak in ahead of the Senate adjournment for recess.
The change in plans should delight some of the bill's critics, at least, who expressed concern that the legislation was moving forward
The Senate Judiciary Committee now won't be considering the dangerously flawed Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) bill until after the midterm elections, at least.
This is a real victory! The
entertainment industry and their allies in Congress had hoped this bill would be quickly approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee with no debate before the Senators went home for the October recess.
The bill will be back soon enough though.
Under the proposed legislation, the Justice Department would file a civil action against accused pirate domain names. If the domain name resides in the U.S., the attorney general could then request that the court issue an order finding that the domain
name in question is dedicated to infringing activities. The Justice Department would have the authority to serve the accused site's U.S.-based registrar with an order to shut down the site.