Melon Farmers Unrated

Americas News


 2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   Latest 

24th December   

Humour Failure...

Satirical Brazilian blog under legal threat from newspaper
Link Here

Brazilian freedom of expression groups, including ARTICLE 19, are organizing a campaign in support of brother bloggers Lino and Mario Bocchini, who have been sued by the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo due to the content disseminated on-line on their satirical blog Falha de Sao Paulo .

The Brazilian judiciary issued a provisional decision in the case filed against the blog, ordering its removal from the internet. The blog has been under what the brothers call censorship for almost 80 days now.

During 2010 Brazilian electoral campaign, bloggers Lino and Mário Ito Bocchini created Falha de Sao Paulo , a blog dedicated to humour, political satire and journalism. The word falha means failure in Portuguese. The blog draws on photomontage, jokes and other blog posts to satirise the work of the popular daily newspaper Folha.

The blog was clearly created as a parody but the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo decided to sue the bloggers on the grounds that they were making unlawful use of a registered brand. According to the newspaper's lawyers, the blog was seeking to profit from the confusion of internet users, who may mistake the blog for the official Folha de Sao Paulo website when logging onto the site.

The blog, however, has no commercial purpose and carries no advertisement. The domain was registered under the bloggers' names. The newspaper argued that the bloggers acted in bad faith in order to take advantage of the newspaper's brand and reputation. These arguments are without any basis given the type of articles and other distinctive content found on the blog.

ARTICLE 19 believes the arguments raised by Folha de Sao Paulo in the lawsuit lack any merit and are advanced in a case which is clearly aimed at stifling any comments posted by the bloggers which are critical of the newspaper.


23rd December   

Updated: Restricting Internet Use...

Venezuela to impose a midnight watershed on adult content on the internet
Link Here

Venezuela is set to embrace the concept of internet censorship.

A bill introduced in the Venezuelan parliament by Vice President Elias Jaua would, among other things, prohibit messages [from being sent] that create alarm in the population, ignore public authorities, incite violence and use subliminal messages, according to Bloomberg.

Inexplicably, however, the bill would also seek to impose time restrictions on adult content available on the internet. Specifically, adult fare would be allowed only after midnight, bringing it in line with TV and radio, according to Reuters. There is no explanation how such a requirement would be applied. Apparently, the Venezuelan government believes that the internet is no different than radio and television.

The bill isn't intended to restrict internet use, ...[BUT]... rather to bring the sending and receiving of digital information on servers and digital media in line with rules for television and radio, Manuel Villalba, head of the congressional media commission, said in an emailed statement from the Information Ministry: There should just exist protection of citizens' moral and ethical honor

The bill will be discussed in the congressional media committee before being put to a vote in the assembly.

Update: Amended to drop the internet watershed idea

17th December 2010. Based on article from

In a first round of discussion, on December 14th, the Venezuelan National Assembly approved the reform to the Law on Social Responsibility in Radio, Television and Electronic Media the Law for Telecommunications.

However, the texts that were discussed were different to the ones that were published on the Assembly website, and several points were eliminated, amongst them, the implementation of a national Network Access Point for easy internet filtering, and the expressions moral and good customs appear to have been eliminated.

The final text, which has been leaked through the net, still retains the rule providing that Internet service providers are responsible for all content accessible to its users, and are obliged to have mechanisms in order to restrict those messages prohibited by the law.

It also remains the prohibition of all content that:

  1. Encourages and promote hatred and intolerance for religious, political, and gender difference, by racism or xenophobia.
  2. Incites or promote and/or justify the crime.
  3. Constitutes war propaganda.
  4. Foster unrest among the citizenship or disturb public order.
  5. Refuses to recognize the government's authority.
  6. Induces to murder.
  7. Incite or promote the violation of existing law.

It has been also clarified that the prohibition of contents regarding explicit sex and violence it's applicable only to radio and television. Also, the prohibition of anonymity and messages against the Nation's security remains.

Update: Law has now passed all stages

23rd December 2010. Based on article from

On December 20th, the Venezuelan Parliament passed the bill that gives the Executive the power to regulate all content accessible in Internet within Venezuela. Through an administrative organ, CONATEL, all venezuelan-based ISPs will have the responsibility to block all content that collides with article 28 and 29:

  1. Encourages and promotes hatred and intolerance for religious, political, and gender difference, by racism or xenophobia.
  2. Incites or promote and/or justify the crime.
  3. Constitutes war propaganda.
  4. Fosters unrest among the citizenship or disturb public order.
  5. Refuses to recognize the government's authority.
  6. Induces to murder.
  7. Incites or promotes the violation of existing law.
  8. Promote, justify or incite public disturbances
  9. Use anonimity.
  10. Disregards the legitimate authority

According to congress members, the law will regulate all content, including text, images, sound and video, that might collide with the above mentioned provisions.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez stated through his twitter account that he just had enacted the law.

The law will take effect the day following its publication in the Official Gazette.


15th December   

The Word is Unacceptable...

Canadian TV censor finds anti-gay christian programme to be discriminatory
Link Here

Word TV, a Christian TV show run by evangelical pastor Charles McVety, has been shut down temporarily after the Canadian TV censor ruled that it had discriminated against gays.

'Outraged' nutters have called the ruling an act of censorship, while McVety himself has condemned the ruling, calling it a gross breach of democracy and reminiscent of totalitarian regimes of the past.

Crossroads Television System, a Christian broadcaster took McVety's show off the air after the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council (CBSC) ruled in June that the program put them in violation of their code of ethics.

The CBSC panel, which released the decision on Wednesday, rebuked McVety for claiming that the homosexual movement is driven by a conspiratorial agenda and suggesting that they prey on children.

The panel complained that he had described the Pride parades, which they said had become mainstream, as sexual perversion and sex parades. They also chastized him because he said Toronto was being advertised as a sex tourism destination ... with full opportunity for sex with hot boys.

McVety had also said that homosexual activists seek to indoctrinate children because unfortunately they have an insatiable appetite for sex, especially with young people. And there're not enough of them, so they want to proselytize your children and mine, our grandchildren and turn them into homosexuals .

The panel wrote: Given the central role that the manifestation of gay pride plays in the LGBT world, the immediately preceding comments constitute a derision of the traditions and practices of that community.

The panel also stated that McVety broke the code of ethics by attributing to the gay movement a malevolent, insidious and conspiratorial purpose, a so-called 'agenda'. This constitutes abusively discriminatory comment on the basis of sexual orientation, they wrote.

CTS TV, who made the decision to cancel the show, told LifeSiteNews, that as a member in good standing of CBSC they have a responsibility to comply with the Canadian Association of Broadcaster's Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code. It is our policy in these circumstances not to air the program until we have assurance from the program that content will be compliant. CTS anticipates that the program Word TV will be reinstated in short order.

Update: Reinstated with conditions

See  article from

The recent decisions by Crossroads Television System (CTS) – first, to remove the popular Dr. Rev. Charles McVety's Word TV, and subsequently to re-instate it, albeit with conditions of pre-screening and censorship – are not the end of the story, according to the Christian Evangelical leader.

Another finding against him is expected with possibly more to come, Rev. McVety said, referring to a discussion he had with Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) chair Ron Cohen. It was the CBSC findings upon which the CTS decisions were based.

Word TV was pulled last week because of statements the council determined – behind closed doors – that Rev. McVety, president of Canada Christian College and the Canada Family Action Coalition, allegedly made against the gay community in violation of sections of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters code of ethics.

According to a media release from Rev. McVety, which compared CBSC practices to kangaroo courts, the accused had been told nothing about the proceeding, shown none of the evidence, told nothing of the accusation, was allowed no defence and is permitted no appeal. This is undemocratic. It flies in the face of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In an interview, Cohen acknowledged that Rev. McVety, the strongest voice of Canadian Evangelical Christians, was denied the opportunity to attend meetings where accusations had been made against him or to defend himself.


23rd November   


Argentine film unbanned after 21 years
Link Here

Kindergarten , an Argentine film banned in 1989 for its gory depiction of sex and violence, has finally seen the light of the day 21 years after its production.

Kindergarten by Jorge Polaco is considered one of the most controversial movies in the history of Argentine cinema. It tells an intrigue of love, sex and murder in a family in Buenos Aires. The movie premiered this week at the 25th edition of the Mar del Plata International in Argentina.

Argentine authorities had questioned the depiction of nude children and sexual scenes in the movie said to be corrupting the minds of minors at that time. Two days before the first screening in 1989, a judge ordered the seizure of the film rolls. The director and the actors appeared in court in a case which denounced the film for immorality.

Although the Supreme Court of Argentina ruled in favour of the film in 1996, the premiere was postponed for another hearing to analyse the case.

When lifting the ban, all copies of the film mysteriously disappeared, until the Cinematheque of Granada, Spain, announced the discovery of one in its vaults.


18th November   

Lab Assistance...

Citizen Lab honoured for contribution to freedom of expression
Link Here

The Citizen Lab, the Toronto-based centre that investigates digital spying and has developed software to circumvent censorship, is to be honoured by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression at its annual gala.

The lab has been named winner of the 2010 Vox Libera Award granted annually to a Canadian individual or organization for an outstanding commitment to the principles of free expression.

The Citizen Lab's fight for open communication and free expression is making a significant difference for those living in repressed regions of the world, CBC said broadcaster Carol Off, who chairs the CJFE gala steering committee: Their work enables people to share crucial information and exposes those who would try to do them harm.

Citizen Lab, which runs out of the University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies, gained prominence in 2008 after it uncovered an alleged internet spy network based mostly in China. The lab exposed a huge filtering system in China that tracks and keeps records of text messages containing politically charged words sent through the internet phone application Skype.

In 2010, Citizen Lab and partner the SecDev Group uncovered computers at embassies and government departments in 103 countries that had been compromised by a virus originating from servers in China.

It also created the software psiphon, which helps internet users in repressive countries get around censorship.

During protests against the results of the 2009 Iranian election, Citizen Lab helped activists exchange ideas via Twitter and blogs by helping them bypass government restrictions.

The lab, founded by Ron Deibert, is a group of security researchers and human rights activists who focus on the intersection of civic politics and digital media.


18th November   

A Movie She'd Like to Forget...

Brazilian TV presenter sues Google over links to old film
Link Here

Xuxa Meneghel, a well-known host of a Brazilian children's TV show has got the courts to issue an injunction against Google because she was upset at the results that came up when people did a search for her.

Back in 1982, Xuxa Meneghel started in a film, Amor, Estranho Amor (Love, Strange Love) in which she played a prostitute who seduces an 11-year-old boy. Of course, that's factual information -- but she's upset that when people search on those terms, it returns articles about the movie, and pictures from the movie.

This seems somewhat similar to the various attempts to create right to forget laws in Europe. Apparently, Meneghel has even been successful in getting the actual movie banned from distribution, even though the company who owns the film rights would like to continue distributing it.

Google will try to fight the injunction. The company points out that it's merely indexing the content that's out there, and is not responsible for it.

However, Xuxa's lawyer mocks them for this claim, saying that Google can and should block such content, and that the court system in Brazil is tired of deciding whether or not search engines are responsible for the content to which they link.


15th November   

Update: Give the Man a Cigar!...

Cuba unimpressed by Black Ops mission to assassinate Fidel Castro
Link Here
Full story: Call of Duty...Nutters wound up by warfare video game series

Call of Duty: Black Ops is already breaking records, with 5.6 millions of copies sold in the first 24 hours.

But the Cuban government is somewhat unimpressed. It has released a statement, through Cubadebate (a state-controlled website), in which it expresses its indignation at the storyline.

 An English translation reads:

The government of the United States hasn't managed to do it in over 50 years, so now it's trying to achieve their goal through the video-game called Call of Duty: Black Ops . The game, launched worldwide this Tuesday, takes the players back to the Cold War period, and gives them the chance to participate in special ops, the first of which is to assassinate the leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro.

Activision states that the multiplayer mode of the new Call of Duty can host up to 18 players, which guarantees violent virtual clashes with spectacular kills and lots of fun for psychopaths.

The game is doubly perverted: not only does it hold in high regard the murder attempts which the US government has planned for the Cuban leader (Castro has lived out through more than six hundred), but also encourages American children and teenagers to adopt a sociopathic attitude.

The article ends with a quote from Uruguayan journalist Eduardo Galeano: Violence breeds violence, but also produces money for the violence industry, which sells it as a show and as an object of consumption.


15th November   

Updated: Venezuela Solves its Drug Problems...

Venezuela bans TV dramas with drug dealing characters
Link Here

Claiming that narco-novelas hurt the social and psychological well-being of children and adolescents, Venezuela's Nacional Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) has forbidden television stations from airing two telenovelas, or soap operas, whose main protagonists are drug dealers, reported El Universal and BBC Mundo.

The censored shows, El Capo , which is about a drug dealer who becomes president, and Rosario Tijeras , about a young woman drug dealer and killer, both of which are produced in Colombia, have prompted anew debate about freedom of expression.

The decision to cancel the shows was based on the Radio and Television Social Responsibility Law. Venezuela's official National Radio published an analysis alleging the shows glorified drug dealers and promoted the legalization of drugs, BBC Mundo explained.

Telenovela writer Leonardo Padrón told El Universal that the censorship was an act of absurd puritanism. If it's a measure to reduce violence, it should be applied on the streets.

Update: Bolivia solves its problems by banning TV dramas

15th November 2010. Based on article from

Bolivia's government plans to limit the exposure of the female body in ads and telenovelas.

President Evo Morales, promoted a bill to restrict telenovelas that display erotic content because they are considered offensive to minors.

Morales clarified that the prohibition would forbid billboards advertisement and telenovelas from having semi-naked women with erotic scenes.


10th November

 Offsite: Travel Censors...

Link Here
US censors websites promoting travel to Cuba

See article from


8th November   

Roasted by Censors...

Canadian TV censor whinges at Joan Rivers promo
Link Here

There'll be no punching, kicking and tackling elderly women, even to promote a Comedy Central roast of Joan Rivers, the Canadian TV censor has ruled.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) said the local Comedy Network wrongly aired a promotional spot for The Roast of Joan Rivers from Comedy Central in September 2009 that portrayed young men beating up elderly women.

The 30-second promo featured a series of short scenes in which young men punch, kick and tackle elderly woman as they innocently perform everyday tasks. The tag line in the promo was No one wants to see an old lady get taken down. Until now.

The promo then advertised a roast for 76-year-old Joan Rivers, a veteran comic who has abused her share of A-list actors in her day.

Maybe so, but the Comedy Network should have found another way to promote the Joan Rivers roast, the CBSC said after responding to a viewer complaint over the promo: It was bad enough that the elderly women were beaten up, but having it done in each of the seven instances on a gender basis, that is to say, by men made the matter worse .


7th November   

Venezuela Solves its Drug Problems...

Venezuela bans TV dramas with drug dealing characters
Link Here

Claiming that narco-novelas hurt the social and psychological well-being of children and adolescents, Venezuela's Nacional Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) has forbidden television stations from airing two telenovelas, or soap operas, whose main protagonists are drug dealers, reported El Universal and BBC Mundo.

The censored shows, El Capo , which is about a drug dealer who becomes president, and Rosario Tijeras , about a young woman drug dealer and killer, both of which are produced in Colombia, have prompted anew debate about freedom of expression.

The decision to cancel the shows was based on the Radio and Television Social Responsibility Law. Venezuela's official National Radio published an analysis alleging the shows glorified drug dealers and promoted the legalization of drugs, BBC Mundo explained.

Telenovela writer Leonardo Padrón told El Universal that the censorship was an act of absurd puritanism. If it's a measure to reduce violence, it should be applied on the streets.


30th October   

Updated: Inner Depravity in Canada...

Horror film maker prosecuted for obscenity
Link Here

Passersby could be forgiven for mistaking the zombie bride, the cadaver in a nun's habit, and the butcher with a severed hand tucked in his bloody smock as part of a pre-Halloween stunt.

But in fact, this macabre cast stood in front of the Montreal courthouse along with a dozen others for a reason far more serious. Though little known outside the city, a criminal case is starting to take shape that touches directly and deeply on the idea of art and freedom of expression.

Last year, Montreal horror film makeup artist Rémy Couture was picked up by police, his house and computer searched, after Interpol levelled a complaint based on a couple of short films he made that can be classified, at the very least, as grotesque.

Entitled Inner Depravity Vol 1 & 2 , they attempt to show the mind of a heinous, drug-taking serial killer. Art to some. Graphic obscenity to the Crown Prosecutors.

Couture made his first appearance in court Wednesday to face charges of producing and disseminating obscene material. Couture on Wednesday pled not guilty and chose to have his trial in front of a jury.

In an interview, he expressed disbelief that he was being pursued by the law, given all the real crimes going on. It's absurd, said Couture: So many people spending so much time on my file and not on real violent crimes.

As he spoke, his zombie supporters milled about behind him, carrying placards such as: Real charges for fake blood! and To be a victim of his talent is completely ridiculous! Karine Fournier, a textile artist dressed as a zombie bride, felt compelled to support Couture. To lose our freedom of expression, she reasoned, is death.

Couture intends to argue that there are many other gory films in circulation that haven't been targeted as obscenity, and he wants to know why.

Couture's lawyer Dominic Bouchard said the case could have repercussions on horror films generally. We will expose other movies worse than this, he promised. Bouchard said it's the first time obscenity charges have been laid in Canada related to works from the horror genre.

Though the Montreal police said members of the public complained that the movies showed a child being molested and killed, Bouchard said they are in error; the films only depict an adolescent being killed, not sexually violated.

The 10-minute films were available on Couture's website until his arrest. They are still online on other sites.

Couture returns to court Nov. 1.

Update: Canadian obscenity law

30th October 2010. From

What had been a fantasy world for Rémy Couture came crashing into reality last October when an undercover police officer posing as a potential client handcuffed him and placed him under arrest on suspicion of corrupting morals. Police say they acted on a tip that came through Interpol after someone in Germany became concerned that the films on Couture's web site depicted actual violence.

Police turned his apartment upside down – they were likely intrigued by the full-size coffin that serves as living-room furniture -- but they found no evidence he had caused anyone physical harm. Instead the Crown will try to prove that his work, with its blend of sex and sadistic violence, is so disturbing that it could provoke anti-social behaviour among people who view it.

Police also appear to have been alarmed by the fact that one film contains photos of a brutally murdered child while the other features a child as an apprentice to the killer. Couture stressed that the child, portrayed in both cases by the 10-year-old son of one of his friends, is fully clothed and never present during scenes with sexual content. He had a lot of fun making these photos, Couture said. He never saw nudity and didn't see the final result. We're not crazy.

Richard Jochelson, associate professor of criminal justice at the University of Winnipeg and co-author of a forthcoming book on Canadian obscenity law, said the Couture case will be an important legal test. In a 2005 ruling declaring swingers' clubs legal, the Supreme Court of Canada essentially changed the definition of obscenity. The major change was that the Crown now has to demonstrate evidence that there was some sort of harm as result of the speech, Jochelson said. There has not really been a high-level case that has looked at this requirement for the Crown to demonstrate a harmful effect.

Since the participants in Couture's films were not hurt, the prosecutor will try to show the material can lead viewers to imitate what they see. It is hard for the Crown to somehow prove that viewing this material makes it more likely that you're going to hold anti-social attitudes and then act on them. That's basically the standard, Jochelson said. But he noted that Canadian courts tend to be hardest on material combining sex and violence. In Canada, we have a history of really being worried about the risk of these sorts of images, he said.


16th October   

Flagrant Press Censorship...

Bolivia anti-discrimination law enables press censorship
Link Here

Evo Morales, Bolivia's leftist president, signed an anti-racism law that his opponents say could be used to stifle media criticism of his government.

Senators passed the law after 13 hours of debate and did not make any changes to the original text approved by the lower house. The president's allies have control of both houses.

Morales, Bolivia's first president of native Indian descent, said the measure ensured greater equality in the Andean nation.

The law allows authorities to close down news outlets deemed to have published racist content, sparking protests by opposition senators.

Journalists have protested against the law for weeks, with some resorting to hunger strikes.

Bolivia's National Press Association, which represents newspaper owners, branded the controversial clause as flagrant press censorship.


30th September   

Updated: Dignity Banned...

Australia bans TV euthanasia advert
Link Here

Australia has outlawed a television advertisement in favour of euthanasia - the first in many years to challenge a legal ban on the practice.

In the advert, a gaunt-looking actor speaks of intolerable suffering and urges the government to listen to those who wanted to die with dignity.

The group behind the campaign, Exit International, told the BBC it would fight for its reinstatement.

In the banned advertisement, an actor plays a man reflecting on his life and of being struck down by a terminal illness, while pleading to be allowed to die with dignity:

I chose to marry Tina, have two great kids. I chose to always drive a Ford. What I didn't choose was being terminally ill. I didn't choose to starve to death because eating is like swallowing razor blades. And I certainly didn't choose to have to watch my family go through it with me. I've made my final choice. I just need the government to listen.

Permission for the advert to be broadcast has been withdrawn by censors on the grounds that it promotes suicide.

Dr Philip Nitschke, the director of lobby group Exit International, says it is time to restart the debate with a new generation of Australians.

Update: Canada bans TV euthanasia advert

30th September 2010.From

A controversial pro-euthanasia ad has been banned from Canadian airwaves, and the group behind it is facing roadblocks at every corner of its Canadian speaking tour, where it instructs people on how to commit suicide painlessly.

Exit International's ad, which is available online, features a gaunt-looking man sitting at the edge of a bed. I chose to marry Tina, have two great kids. I chose to always drive a Ford, says the actor in the commercial. What I didn't choose is being terminally ill. I didn't choose to starve to death because eating is like swallowing razor blades. I certainly didn't choose to have to watch my family go through it with me. I've made my final choice. I just need the government to listen.

Exit took the ad to Canada to promote its Canadian speaking tour, but the Television Bureau of Canada also banned it for contravening Canadian law, which does not permit assisted suicide.

There's always some opposition, he says. Our line is that the provision of good information allows people to make free choices.

Dr. Philip Nitschke, the Australian physician behind Exit International will tour Canada starting in Vancouver on Oct. 7, and continues in Toronto on Oct. 13. But he's already run into obstacles. The Toronto Public Library cancelled his Oct. 13. appearance, and he's speaking at a Unitarian Church instead. Last fall, the Vancouver Public Library banned an appearance.

Update: New Zealand accepts TV euthanasia advert

Based on article from

An advertisement advocating voluntary euthanasia that was banned from Australian screens is likely to air in New Zealand.

The script for the ad from Exit International was approved by the Commercial Approvals Bureau this week.

Exit International director Dr Philip Nitschke is hopeful the initial positive response means the full ad will also be approved for screening: However, the same thing happened initially in Australia and then the ad was pulled 24 hours before it was due to screen. Hopefully the same thing doesn't happen in New Zealand.

Commercial Approvals Bureau director Rob Hoar said he didn't understand the Australian's reasoning: We had no problems with the script. It would probably have to been screen during adult's viewing time because it deals with adult issues, but initially there are no problems with it.


5th September   

Flagged as Offensive...

Mexico 'offended' by flag cartoon
Link Here

A cartoon penned by a US artist depicting the Mexican flag and its eagle riddled with bullets and dead in a pool of blood has incited offense across Mexico.

Many Mexicans have accused the American cartoonist, Daryl Cagle, of mocking their country and its national symbol (the eagle) during a difficult time in the nation's history.

Editorial cartoonists look for readily recognizable metaphors and that's an obvious one for Mexico, Cagle told CNN, appearing unmoved by the reaction to his drawing.

As any democratic society, Mexico respects and defends freedom of speech and freedom of expression, in any way it's manifested ...[BUT]... Regarding the case of Mr. Cagle's cartoon, we differ on the use he makes of the Mexican flag and the message it conveys, read a statement released by the Mexican embassy in Washington.


28th August   

Back of Beyond...

A boy's bare back offends Canadian ferry company
Link Here

A book banned for sale aboard western Canadian ferries because a modestly naked boy adorns the cover has drawn worldwide attention.

Alexander the Great novel gets bum rap in Canada, chortled a headline in a report in the British Guardian about a ban by British Columbia Ferries of The Golden Mean by Canadian author Annabel Lyon.

The ferry service, owned by the government of Canada's westernmost province and connecting Canada's Pacific islands to the mainland, banned the book because the service is a family show and we've got children in our gift shops, spokeswoman Deborah Marshall told the Vancouver Province newspaper. The cover features the nude back of a boy astride a white horse.

Craig Spence, president of the Federation of British Columbia Writers, called the ban an overreaction to a photo that's artistic ... are you going to stop kids from seeing Michelangelo's David?

The kinds of graphic material that kids are exposed to, through advertising and other media all the time, go much farther than that, and they're not in a context that would give it the justification.


21st August   

Updated: Crime Solved...

Venezuela bans newspaper images of violent crime in run up to election
Link Here

Venezuela has banned its press from publishing graphic images of crime and violence for one month, fuelling a row over censorship in the runup to elections.

A court has imposed the temporary order on print media, citing a supposed need to protect the psychic and moral integrity of children and adolescents . The ruling said: For the next four weeks, no newspaper, magazine or weekly of the country can publish images that are violent, bloody, grotesque, whether about crime or not.

El Nacional, the paper newspaper which triggered the row last week by publishing an image of a Caracas morgue stacked with bodies, today ran blank spaces with the word censored in place of photos, a protest tactic used during the 1950s dictatorship. Its editor, Miguel Henrique Otero, accused President Hugo Chávez's government of trying to cover up a violent crime epidemic to avert a voter backlash in next month's legislative election, saying: This doesn't have anything to do with … protecting children and juveniles. It's political.

Government officials said media opponents were using gutter press tactics to sensationalise crime, sell newspapers and damage the country's socialist revolution. El Nacional, one of Venezuela's oldest papers, had degenerated , said Gabriela Ramírez, the media ombudsman. It may be fined the equivalent of 2% of it annual revenue. Other newspapers which republished the photo – a macabre tableau of about a dozen corpses slumped on trollies – may also be fined.

Update: Quashed

21st August 2010. Based on article from

Venezuelan authorities hastily quashed a ban on newspapers printing violent images after a firestorm of criticism from media outlets, rights groups and UN officials who branded it censorship.

The announcement by the legal director of the public defender's office, Larry Davoe, reversed a court order this week imposing a month-long prohibition on violent, bloody or grotesque images in all of Venezuela's press.

Newspapers had reacted to the ban by printing blank spaces in place of photos with the word censorship in them, a term also used by the French-based media rights group Reporters Without Borders and a UN rapporteur tasked with press freedom issues.

The public defender's office said that, while the general ban had been lifted, temporary photo prohibitions remained in place against El Nacional and Tal Cual.

It also cautioned all publications against printing images unsuitable for children and adolescents.


21st August   

Leaf Censorship...

Canadian theme park objected to Bob Marley t-shirt
Link Here

A man plans to file a human-rights complaint against an amusement park after security guards told him to cover up his Bob Marley T-shirt or leave the premises.

Montreal's La Ronde has a problem with the shirt's cluster of green, marijuana-shaped leaves surrounding Bob Marley's portrait.

La Ronde security guards approached Brunaud Moise earlier this month and ordered him to turn the white T-shirt inside out.

Moise is seeking moral and punitive damages from the Six Flags-owned park, as well as reimbursement for two entry tickets and a public apology for himself, his brother and Marley's family.

The onus is on Six Flags to explain to me, the Marley family, fans of Bob Marley around the world, how this T-shirt is deemed 'inappropriate' to ordinary families, Moise said in a statement.

La Ronde says on its website it strictly enforces a dress code that states clothing with rude, vulgar or offensive language and graphics are not permitted at any time.


18th August   

Gags Gagged...

Brazil bans political satire in the 3 months before the presidential election
Link Here

Make no joke about it, Brazil's presidential election is a serious affair. Brazilian TV and radio broadcasters are legally forbidden from making fun of candidates in the 3 months ahead of October's vote.

With the first wave of on-air political ads starting now, Brazil's comedians and satirists are planning to fight for their right to ridicule, with protests planned in Rio de Janeiro and other cities on Sunday.

They say the anti-joking law – which prohibits ridiculing candidates in the three months before elections – is a draconian relic of Brazil's dictatorship that threatens free speech.

Proponents say the restrictions keep candidates from being portrayed unfairly and encourage candour.

Breaching the law is punishable by fines up to £72,000 and a suspension of a broadcaster's licence. Only a few fines have been handed out, but Tas and others say that has been sufficient to cause TV and radio stations to self-censor their material during elections.

Under the law, TV and radio programmes cannot use trickery, montages or other features of audio or video in any way to degrade or ridicule a candidate, party or coalition .

The internet is not licensed by the government and so is not covered, but if a TV or radio programme were to ridicule a candidate online, a complaint could be judged by the supreme electoral court.


1st July   

Censorship as Yet Undefined...

Peru considers increased media censorship in the name of pornography
Link Here

A few days ago in Peru, the news broke of a bill that had been approved by the Justice Commission in Congress, proposing an amendment to section 183-B of the Penal Code, which sanctions the media publication of obscene and pornographic displays. As a result, the banners of Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Speech were raised by opponents.

The bill's main section says the following: shall be punished with deprivation of liberty of not less than two years nor more than six years, the Director, Editor or person responsible for publications or editions, transmitted through media such as newspapers, magazines, posters, panels, leaflets, radio, television or any other means of communication that produces a similar communication effect, who publicize images, messages or audio that is obscene or pornographic.

Those who are leading the opposition to this bill are the media and journalists, who were the most affected. Some bloggers, especially those who are journalists and are also linked to the media, have also argued against this bill. For example, in the blog Miguel Morachimo who is against the project, publishes [es] a series of points he has identified as problems in the bill:

  1. The article does not define what is meant by obscene or pornographic.
  2. There is an identical item in the Law on Radio and Television.
  3. The rule is not aimed at protecting minors.
  4. The rule aims to be applied to any means of communication.
  5. The rule may be used as a tool of censorship.


11th June   

Budget Cuts...

Bahamas TV show pulled after it discussed budget cuts for the state channel
Link Here

The popular ZNS TV news show Press Pass has been pulled off the air, reportedly because management of the state-run channel objected to criticism of the government's budget cuts as it related to ZNS.

The pre-taped 30-minute programme - which is hosted by ZNS senior reporter Shenique Miller and is a discussion between journalists from various media houses - was supposed to feature a debate this week about the recent Budget Communication, with particular emphasis on the 50% cut to ZNS' allocation.

Following the taping, ZNS was reportedly all abuzz , with many staff members being urged to tune-in to the show. However, this show was abruptly pulled without explanation.

When contacted by The Tribune yesterday for the reason behind this decision, the Senior Deputy General Manager of Radio and Television Kaylessa Deveaux-Isaacs said that the corporation has a system whereby they are given a list of the topics that would be discussed in advance of any taping. According to Mrs Deveaux-Isaacs, the topics that were approved were not the ones discussed during the show.


27th May   

No Bottle...

Bottle censors ban Dan Aykroyd's Crystal Head vodka
Link Here

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) has banned Dan Aykroyd's Crystal Head vodka, deeming the bottle to be in poor taste. LCBO is the only legal source of distilled spirits in Ontario.

Aykroyd, an Ontario native, is unperturbed by the ban, which he says kind of makes the product more appealing.

A spokesman explains the LCBO's concerns:

The image of the human skull is the thing that's really problematic for us. That's an image that's commonly associated with death. It's especially problematic at a time when there are concerns around binge drinking by younger adults, which in some cases unfortunately has resulted in alcohol poisoning.

Whatever the merits of that argument, it's highly improbable that binge-drinkers will want to lay out $60 for a bottle of Aykroyd's super-premium vodka in the first place.


21st May   

Minor Rebuke...

Gordon Ramsay attracts a few Canadian whinges
Link Here

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has re-iterated its stance that Canadian broadcasters must censor 'fuck' if it airs prior to 9pm.

The decision was in response to a viewer complaint about the Gordon Ramsay cooking program The F-Word broadcast on BBC Canada on April 9th 2009 at 8:00 pm.

During the program, Ramsay used the word fuck or fucking on numerous occasions. Some instances reflected his frustration with the cooking team, while other uses were of a more good-natured tone.

After almost a year of investigation, the CSBC confirmed that the show did indeed violate the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) Code of Ethics for broadcasting which prohibits coarse or offensive language intended for adult audiences before 9pm.

Interestingly, if BBC Canada was an American station, the use of the word fuck would have resulted in a $250,000 fine by the FCC. Because BBC Canada is Canadian and because such violations are investigated by an industry trade group comprised of broadcasters, there will be no fine. The penalty for violating the CAB Code of Ethics is for the station to make a public announcement of the CBSC decision on air and write a letter to the offended viewer letting him or her know that the announcement has been made.


16th April   

Update: The Mean Face of Facebook...

Social networking website takes issue with breastfeeding
Link Here
Full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor

What was supposed to be images celebrating pregnancy and motherhood created by a Courtenay artist are now considered hateful, threatening or obscene by one of largest social networking sites in the world.

Mother and artist Kate Hansen recently created a series of portraits called The Madonna Child Project — images which feature different mothers and babies cuddling their babies while breastfeeding and bottle feeding.

Hansen posted some of the images in a figurative art group on Facebook and discovered the portraits were being deleted around late March.

Hansen noted she initially posted images in groups of three, and all images got deleted. She inquired with the Facebook group administrator, who assured her she had no reason to delete the images. Hansen continued to repost the images, and soon after, found they were being continually deleted from the site.

Last week, she received an e-mail from The Facebook Team noting: you posted an item that violated our terms of use, and this item has been removed. Among other things, content that is hateful, threatening or obscene is not allowed, nor is content that attacks an individual or group. Continued misuse of Facebook's features could result in your account being disabled.

During a recent interview with CBC Radio, which contacted a Facebook representative, Hansen said the social networking site representative noted they supposedly do not delete breastfeeding images.

She said the entire incident has made her question the overall topic of breastfeeding in society, and the public perception of the act. At least it's gotten people talking about it, noted Hansen: I will continue to post images and risk my account being deleted; the risk is worth it, she added.


8th April   

Censorial Rage...

Toronto police attempt to ban book by one of their own
Link Here

A Toronto Police officer, who has written a fictional mystery novel inspired by his 15 years in 51 Division, finds himself in a spot of censorial bother.

Constable Brent Pilkey either has to follow orders from his Toronto Police superiors and abandon his dream of becoming a published author, or buck the brass and face potential police act charges.

Stephen King had obstacles on the way to the literary penthouse, but never this.

For 22 years, Pilkey has followed the rules to the letter of the law. This could change because Pilkey will draw the line at not being allowed to publish his first novel for ECW Press called Lethal Rage , scheduled to be in stores May 1.

As of right now Toronto Police is telling him he can't do that.

It remains the position of the Service that this activity contravenes Section 49(1) of the Police Services Act, says a March 15 memo to Pilkey from Aillen Ashman, Toronto Police's director of Human Resources Management: Moreover, it effects a conflict of interest between your duties and position as a police officer in Toronto and your portrayal of individuals and incidents, notwithstanding that it is stated to be a work of fiction.

The staging of locations and events may be viewed by individuals resident in the area as disparaging and disrespectful, including suggestions of differential policing in the area, such that it reflects badly on the reputation of TPS, Ashman continues, adding your request for approval of secondary activities related to authoring, publishing and advertising fictional police novel(s) is hereby denied.

Despite facing potential charges, he still plans to invite Chief Bill Blair and other senior officers to his launch party because he has so much respect for them. I have had the dream of being published since university, the cop said, adding he will explain if sanctioned. I will be disappointed if they take that approach but I am not going to give up on the book.


31st March   

Rubbish and Trash...

Vybz Kartel and Mavado banned from performing in Barbados
Link Here

The Barbados Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, has publicly thrown his support behind the decision to ban controversial Jamaican artistes Vybz Kartel and Mavado from performing in Barbados.

He noted that children needed positive influences in their lives that could be celebrated and not exposure to negatives cultures.

I am glad for that decision. We will only allow persons to come to Barbados whose work we can celebrate.

Jones added that similar censorship needed to be placed on calypsonians who wrote rubbish and trash during the Crop Over season: I have no problem with music, but we need musicians to write good lyrics. Society demands an expression of beautiful talent that reinforces our values .


25th March   

Bad Joke...

Brazilian court fines Google for jokes posted by users of social networking site
Link Here

Google is on the receiving end of ire of Brazilian authorities over pages containing supposedly 'dirty' jokes on the social networking site Orkut.

On the 23rd March, a Brazilian court in the northern state of Rondonia slapped Google with a fine of 2,700 dollars for each day that the pages remained up on the site.

The court also ordered Google to stop sipposedly sleazy material from being posted on its social networking site, brushing aside the Google argument that it did not have the technical means or workforce required to police or censor pages on Orkut.

The lawsuit reportedly arose after two teenagers complained that the jokes on Orkut pages offended them.


16th March   

In Denial...

Venezuela is planning to censor the internet
Link Here

Venezuela is not planning to censor the web or to shut down social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, officials said, after President Hugo Chavez called for regulation of the Internet.

Opposition leaders, bloggers and media freedom groups are worried Chavez's socialist government is preparing to clamp down on the networking sites or install tight controls such as those used by Cuba, Iran and China.

Chavez last week said authorities should act against news and opinion site Noticerodigital after it published user comments claiming that a senior minister had been assassinated. He said the nation's laws must apply to the Internet.

The government is also planning to change the structure of the Internet in Venezuela by installing a unique connection point. It says such a system is more efficient and provides faster access, but critics worry it will lead to censorship.


10th March   

Update: Venezuelan Crime Problems Solved...

Violent video games have been banned
Link Here

A law introduced last year that would ban violent videogames and toys in Venezuela has now been enacted.

Under the law, importers, producers, distributors or sellers of the banned toys and games could face fines and jail time ranging from two to five years. In a story dated March 3, Prensa Latina reported that the law had been passed.

The law, when initially proposed to Venezuela's National Assembly, proposed that the country's consumer protection society be granted full power in determining what games and toys were deemed violent, though no indication was given into what criteria might be used to judge the goods.

As it was drawn up, the law also featured provisions for teaching crime prevention classes in school, public campaigns to warn about the dangers of videogames. A government campaign to promote games that taught children respect for an adversary was also included, though no word on if this, or any, additional provisions were a part of the new law.

The ban on violent games and toys is apparently seen as a way to somehow combat crime and violence in the country.


15th February   

High on Columbian Telenovelas...

Panamanian president has a whinge at Columbian telenovelas
Link Here

Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli has bben griping about Columbian telenovelas' bloody storylines. He has now  asked the country's parliament to consider setting up a censorship board to regulate TV content.

Martinelli singled out Colombian telenovelas in his rant to the media in late January.

These telenovelas are inflicting great damage to the moral fiber of our country, he declared in reference to Colombian titles El Capo, El Cartel, Las Munecas de la Mafia (Mafia Dolls) and Sin tetas no hay paraiso (Without Breasts There Is No Paradise) . Latter is about young women who have breast implants to better attract wealthy drug runners.

In a meeting with media owners in late January, Martinelli warned that he would urge congress to pass a law if they did not self-regulate programming.

So far, all the networks have complied in pushing back their telenovelas to later hours.

Even in Colombia, there is a backlash among the intelligentsia against these telenovelas but ratings continue to rise.


14th February   

Blame it on Rio Killjoy...

Rio mayor accused of ruining carnival fun
Link Here

The mayor has been accused of ruining the atmosphere of Rio's famous Carnival with a zero tolerance approach to prostitution, drunkenness and debauched behaviour.

Eduardo Paes wants to end the Brazilian city's lawlessness with his Shock of Order campaign. But as this year's Carnival, billed as the world's biggest party , began on Friday, Paes was called a killjoy.

Those who drink too much beer at giant Carnival street parties and use gutters as toilets face a night in jail. To keep beaches clean, he has outlawed traditional Carnival foods on skewers, while beach football, a near religion in Brazil, is banned until 5pm.

The city's infamous waterfront pick-up club for legal prostitutes on Copacabana beach has been closed to make way for a museum.


8th February   

Twitter Ethics...

Mexico gets wound up my motorists who warn others about police checkpoints via Twitter
Link Here

Twitter users are fast becoming public enemy No. 1, at least in Mexico City, where they have angered authorities by warning one another of roadside alcoholimetro — or Breathalyzer — checkpoints set up by the police.

But the case against the Twitter is about more than alcohol. Mexico is, after all, a country at war — at least according to President Felipe Calderon, who launched the crackdown on drug cartels shortly after taking office. Three years later, the streets of border cities like Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana remain full of soldiers. In many ways, the government is still playing catch-up to the nation's criminals.

In this context, the issue of the Twitter has quickly expanded into an argument over whether public safety takes priority over free speech in a country struggling to contain serious social ills. Fearing that kidnappers and drug cartels use Twitter, Facebook or MySpace to communicate, the Mexican government is considering a bill to restrict social networking websites and to set up a police force to monitor them.

The Twitter feed in question, Anti Alcoholimetro, doesn't hide its intent. On any given night, a dozen people write in listing the time and location where they saw a police checkpoint, helping others to avoid it.

The government's response has been erratic. At first, city officials said tweeting the location of police checkpoints was a crime, akin to helping someone break the law, and vowed to find a way to prosecute Twitterers. But after a media frenzy, they quickly backed down.

Yet the right to tweet is far from guaranteed, even in the relatively liberal capital of Mexico City. Article 320 of the city's penal code prescribes prison terms of up to five years for those who in any way help a delinquent avoid investigation by the authorities or escape their actions.

If that seems vague, it is. But federal lawmakers are quickly working on specific legislation to track down and punish Twitterers who break the law or help others escape it.


2nd February   


Proposed TV censor for Panama
Link Here

Panama's Parliament has proposed creating a consultative censorship board to 'regulate' the content of TV networks to controlling programmes with high content of violence.

The move was welcomed by the parliamentary commission of population, environment, and development and will be taken to the parliamentary plenary session for discussion and later approval.


26th January   

Update: Pissed Off by Customs...

Canadian Customs and its quarterly gay unfriendly banned list
Link Here

The Canada Border Services Agency won't let one of Damien Crosse's recent films into the country. Raging Stallion Studio's fetish flick Piss Off was recently deemed to be obscene by Canada's border censors.

That's because CBSA says the ingestion of someone else's urine... with a sexual purpose is an indicator of obscenity. Even if it's consensual.

The border agency considers the act of urinating into someone degrading and dehumanizing, with a risk of substantial harm.

Harm , by CBSA's terms, isn't even about whether piss is bad for you. Instead, Harm in this context means that the material predisposes persons to act in an anti-social manner; in other words, in a manner which society recognizes as incompatible with its proper functioning.

Anti-social manner? Society's proper functioning? Why is porn held to Victorian-era morality standards?

Piss Off is just the latest in a string of gay films — pornographic and PG-rated — that have faced barriers at the Canadian border. In CBSA's latest quarterly list of prohibited items (PDF), the agency also banned the Titan Media film Shock Treatment , among dozens of other DVDS and books.


25th January   

Update: Chavez Speechless...

Venezuela closes TV stations that refuse to air the president's speeches
Link Here
Full story: Broadcasting Censorship in Venezuela...Shut down of opposition radio and TV stations

A Venezuelan cable television channel critical of President Hugo Chavez has been taken off the air after refusing to air footage of the president's speeches.

Radio Caracas Television, an anti-Chavez channel known as RCTV disappeared from TV sets shortly after midnight after the government cited noncompliance with new regulations requiring that Chavez's speeches be televised on cable as well as terrestrial television.

RCTV was dropped from cable and satellite programming just hours after Diosdado Cabello, the director of Venezuela's state-run telecommunications agency, said several local channels carried by cable television had breached broadcasting laws and should be removed from the airwaves.

Cabello warned cable operators that they could find themselves in jeopardy if they keep showing those channels: They must comply with the law, and they cannot have a single channel that violates Venezuelan laws as part of their programming.

RCTV's removal from cable and satellite television prompted a cacophony of protests in Caracas neighborhoods as Chavez opponents leaned out apartment windows to bang on pots and pans. Others shouted epithets and drivers joined in, honking car horns.

They want to silence RCTV's voice, said Miguel Angel Rodriguez, the channel's most popular talk show host. But they won't be able to because RCTV is embedded in the hearts of all Venezuelans, he said.

The U.S. Embassy in Caracas expressed concern about the decision. Access to information is a cornerstone of democracy and provides a foundation for global progress. By restricting yet again the Venezuelan people's access to RCTV broadcasts, the Venezuelan government continues to erode this cornerstone, Embassy spokeswoman Robin Holzhauer said.

 2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   Latest 

melonfarmers icon











Film Cuts

Cutting Edge


Sex News







W Europe

E Europe


Middle East

South Asia

Asia Pacific


Adult Store Reviews

Adult DVD & VoD

Adult Online Stores

New Releases/Offers

Latest Reviews

FAQ: Porn Legality

Sex Shops List

Lap Dancing List

Satellite X List

Sex Machines List

John Thomas Toys