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Update: Depravity Not Obscenity...

Remy Couture cleared of obscenity over special effects laden short films about a gruesome serial killer

Link Here24th December 2012

A Canadian jury has cleared Remy Couture of obscenity charges relating to his film making.

He was charged with three counts of corrupting morals by distributing, possessing and producing obscene material. The material in question depicts gruesome murders, torture, sexual abuse, assaults and necrophilia --- all with young female victims.

Remy Couture received the verdict after two days of jury deliberation at a Montreal courthouse. He told reporters:

It's like a 400-pound weight has been lifted. It's been the most stressful thing I've ever had to go through in my life.

Couture said the ruling means he can continue to create his art, without infringement on his right to free expression.

During the trial, Couture argued his gory works, roughly a thousand images and two short videos that appeared on Couture's website, Inner Depravity , should be considered art. The website was part of a personal project by Couture designed to raise the bar of his make-up and special effects work. Couture, who is self-taught, sought to bring a psychopathic killer character of his own making to life. Couture described it as a sort of fake diary of a serial killer, complete with his own universe inspired by horror movies and literature.

All of the works were staged with willing actresses and a combination of fake blood, latex and silicone to create life-like, horrific images. Couture testified the reason behind the work was to highlight his skills and abilities as a master of special effects horror and that the goal is to make his work look believable.

Defence experts testified that Couture's work was in line with other similar work in the genre. A university cinema professor testified that what was acceptable in the genre had changed greatly over the span seven decades.

The artist told reporters that he was approached by a police detective about a pleading out and getting an absolute discharge in the case, but Couture has said that he went ahead out of principle. He said that pleading guilty or settling could set a dangerous precedent and raise questions about other kinds of work done by artists.



Offsite Article: Filmmaker on Trial for Obscenity in Canada...

Link Here14th December 2012
In one 10-minute film played in Quebec Superior Court filmmaker Remy Couture's name was proudly displayed in the closing credits as director, special-effects artist and psychopath.

See article from



Dinosaurs Rule Mexico...

Magazine banned by media giant

Link Here9th September 2012

A magazine wholesaler owned by media giant Televisa suspended August delivery of the monthly Zocalo magazine following critical coverage of Televisa's key role in the July 1 presidential election.

Distribution company Intermex failed to supply copies of issue 150 to more than 160 branches of the Sanborn's chain of stores, a major magazine retailer. The apparent ban by the distribution company affected sales of an edition whose cover story focused on the political power of Televisa.

Reporters Without Borders demanded that the undistributed copies be returned to Zocalo, and that the magazine be compensated for lost sales.

Zocalo editor Carlos Padilla said he had no doubt that the blocked distribution episodes were a response to critical coverage of the country's television duopoly of Televisa and TV Azteca. Specifically, he tied the non-distribution move to the magazine's August cover story, Does television elect presidents? The cover image was a version of the Televisa logo in the form of a dinosaur egg, with the emerging silhouette of winning candidate Pena Nieto.



Unsung Heroes...

Cuba unbans musicians critical of its government

Link Here11th August 2012

Cuba has unbanned more than fifty artists critical of the government who have been censored from television and radio programming for decades.

A list of prohibited names was never made public, nor has the list's elimination been officially announced. The information has only come to light via broadcasting insiders.

The list included Gloria Estefan, Celia Cruz, Olga Guillot, Paquito D'Rivera, Bebo Valdes and the famous Spanish singer Julio Iglesias censored as a result of his critical stance toward the government in Havana.

New technologies have been making it possible for Cubans to acquire these prohibited voices on CDs, DVDs and flash drives. So this flexibility follows the same logic as other Raul reforms : that of accepting what they can't prevent, authorizing what is already happening and is unstoppable.

Update: Win Some, Lose Some

11th August 2012. See  article from

Cuba may have lightened up on political dissent but it is still not keen on gays

Writing on his Facebook page, Israel Rojas, a member of the popular musical duo Buena Fe, protested Cuban television's censorship of his latest music video Ser del Sol (Being of the Sun), which is about a lesbian relationship between two women.

The video has not still not been released on Cuban television though it's currently in fifth place on the hit-list of the Lucas Music Video Awards.

The video tells the story of two young women who meet each other through their boyfriends and initiate a relationship. In the surprise ending, when the boyfriends discover them kissing, the two relax and start to laugh.



Update: Suppressing Dissent...

CPJ concerned at Ecuador closing down 11 broadcasters

Link Here27th July 2012

CPJ wrote a letter to Fabian Jaramillo Palacios, Director of Telecommunications, Ecuador

Dear Mr. Jaramillo:

The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by the closure of at least 11 Ecuadoran broadcasters since May. Our review of the closures found that in some instances government regulators did not follow the due process guarantees specified by law. CPJ's review also found that more than half of the stations that were closed had been critical of the government. While the government has the right to regulate the airwaves, it also has an obligation to do so in a transparent and unbiased manner.


CPJ is also concerned that some closures could have been motivated by the stations' criticism of authorities. Some station owners and managers told CPJ and local journalists that they were targeted after airing news reports that were critical of the government. They also claimed the government intended to turn over many of the vacated frequencies to newly formed community radio stations that support the government.

We are concerned these closures reflect an effort to control the flow of information, suppress dissent, and expand pro-government media. We call on you to allow the stations to resume broadcasting and ensure that all critical voices in the country are able to report freely without undue government interference.


Joel Simon Executive Director



Patchy Censorship...

Newspaper takes down cartoonist's video poking fun at oil company propaganda campaign

Link Here29th June 2012

The Vancouver Province newspaper has pulled from its website an animation created by its editorial cartoonist, Dan Murphy, that satirizes Enbridge's massive propaganda campaign in support of its Northern Gateway pipeline.

In the original ad, Enbridge, one of Canada's largest energy companies, claims that the pipeline is a path to our future, while families and fish frolic in sylvan settings to placid music. In the parody (see below), a fictional official comments with increasing distress as the ad is repeatedly interrupted with giant oil splotches.

Wayne Moriarty, The Province's Editor-in-Chief, says the animation was removed at the request of Enbridge because it contains copyrighted material. He admits that use of the material might be protected under fair use laws, but says the newspaper chose not to pursue the matter.

He insisted that the decision to pull the satire had nothing to do with the $5 million campaign, which is running in his paper and The Vancouver Sun (both of which are owned by The Pacific Newspaper Group).

Moriarty denies a rumour that Murphy has been fired because of the cartoon.

The Enbridge ad, posted on its youtube channel, has drawn just 260 views. Murphy's take has received 5355 views so far.



Censorship be Damned...

Ezra Levant announces fight back against easily offended Canadian TV censor

Link Here15th June 2012

Canadian TV censors are telling Sun News Network's Ezra Levant to shut his mouth, but The Source host is vowing to shut them down instead.

Here's my new goal: within one year, to have the broadcast standards council abolished or rendered so absolutely powerless that it's a laughing stock, to repeal the censorship provisions of the broadcasting regulations, Levant told his viewers after he got a lecturing letter from the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC).

Today marks the day we begin to de-normalize The Broadcast Censors Council, let's all do it, let's call for the abolition, let's mock their stupid rulings, like their attempt to ban the Dire Straits song. What a bunch of idiots.

The CBSC is a board of volunteers who police private broadcasters' work and respond to complaints from viewers.

They say they got 22 complaints after Levant told a Chiquita fruit company executive chinga tu madre [Latino insult, 'go fuck your mother'] after the banana sellers boycotted fuel from Canada's oilsands.

Veteran broadcaster and Conservative senator Mike Duffy is joining Levant in his mission to get rid of the CBSC.



Edmonton International Film Festival Recommends...

The Killing Games, banned as too violent

Link Here9th June 2012

The Killing Games is too violent for the Edmonton International Film Festival says Chairman Michael Hamm.

Director Barry J. Gillis invited reps from his own city to a Private Screening of his movie on May 18th at the historic Garneau Theatre in Edmonton. Hamm and another rep Kerrie Long showed up. Hamm and Long watched the entire movie from beginning to end on a big screen. However, on May 29th 2012, Gillis was informed in a telephone conversation by Festival Chairman Hamm that The Killing Games was too violent for the Edmonton International Film Festival.

The Killing Games is about a man who's wife is dying of a mysterious illness. He contemplates taking the law into his own hands, after his daughter witnesses a double homicide and narrowly escapes the grasp of two serial killers. The movie was shot in Wabuman, Lac St. Anne, Alberta Beach and Edmonton, Alberta. Gillis is against censorship, and believes that he is getting shafted by the Edmonton Film Festival. It was alright for them to watch the entire movie, but they don't want you to see the movie. He continues, I feel like David Cronenberg when he first started out in Toronto, it was the same kind of thing, a never ending struggle because of a little violence in a Canadian movie.



Updated: One Lunatic...

Police investigate the possibility that murder suspect Luka Magnotta uploaded a video of the murder to a video sharing site

Link Here9th June 2012

An online video believed to be linked to a Montreal murder and dismemberment case has stirred debate about web hosting, user-submitted content and legal responsibility.

Reports indicate police are weighing whether the owner of, an Edmonton-based website specializing in gruesome content, should face charges for hosting a video that purportedly depicts a naked man being stabbed with an ice pick and eventually dismembered.

Police believe the chilling video, titled 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick, may depict the death and dismemberment of a 33-year-old Chinese student at a Montreal university. Web surfers were able to access the video on until Montreal police identified Luka Rocco Magnotta as a suspect in the death of Jun Lin, said Marek.

Speculation has abounded about whether website owner Mark Marek can face obscenity charges for carrying what is thought to be real footage of a grisly murder. Multiple reports indicate charges are pending, but Marek says he hasn't heard from police. He wrote in an email to the Canadian Press:

Up to this point, the police have not made contact with me. I removed the video on my own terms, not on the request by the police,

Update: The Blame Game

9th June 2012. See  article from

Canadian Cannibal killer suspect Luka Magnotta has been linked to a violent video game starring Christopher Walken as a futuristic serial killer called Vince Magnotta who is addicted to butchering his victims.

Hollywood actor Walken starred in the 1996 video game Ripper , a gruesome adventure which sees a brutal serial killer terrorising New York in the year 2040.

The game can have a number of different endings depending on the path the player follows and although the Vince Magnotta character is ostensibly a police officer investigating the murders, one outcome sees him as the Ripper .

The game begins with the serial killer sending an email to a newspaper saying he is addicted to butchering his victims. Luka Magnotta, who changed his name from Eric Clinton Newman in 2006, is understood to have sent an email to a British newspaper in which he wrote: I can't stop killing .



One Lunatic...

Police investigate the possibility that murder suspect Luka Magnotta uploaded a video of the murder to a video sharing site

Link Here7th June 2012

An online video believed to be linked to a Montreal murder and dismemberment case has stirred debate about web hosting, user-submitted content and legal responsibility.

Reports indicate police are weighing whether the owner of, an Edmonton-based website specializing in gruesome content, should face charges for hosting a video that purportedly depicts a naked man being stabbed with an ice pick and eventually dismembered.

Police believe the chilling video, titled 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick, may depict the death and dismemberment of a 33-year-old Chinese student at a Montreal university. Web surfers were able to access the video on until Montreal police identified Luka Rocco Magnotta as a suspect in the death of Jun Lin, said Marek.

Speculation has abounded about whether website owner Mark Marek can face obscenity charges for carrying what is thought to be real footage of a grisly murder. Multiple reports indicate charges are pending, but Marek says he hasn't heard from police. He wrote in an email to the Canadian Press:

Up to this point, the police have not made contact with me. I removed the video on my own terms, not on the request by the police,



Police TV Censors...

Ecuador closes down Lidervision TV station

Link Here6th June 2012

On 24 May 2012, authorities of the Police and the Telecommunications Superintendence (SUPERTEL) seized equipment and closed down TV station Lidervision in the city of Tena and Radio Lider in the city of Archidona.

According to the radio and TV stations' owner, Edison Chavez, the stations were closed down because they owed six months of concession fees. However, he said the case had been appealed in the Contentious Administrative Court, so that according to Art.67 of the Broadcasting and Television Law, they should not have been closed down while the legal process was still going on.

The frequencies' owner believes the closures were politically motivated and that they (the authorities) aim to suspend all private media using any kind of argument .

In his case, Chavez asserted that his media outlets have criticized authorities and have given the public a space to express itself. For example, he pointed out that they questioned the sudden layoffs of public servants, as well as the gas crisis in the province that caused people to have to make long queues. It was the only outlet citizens could use to protest and express themselves because the rest are pro-government , he said.


19th May   

A Mayor Above Criticism...

Guatemalan mayor shuts down 5 critical local TV stations
Link Here

Journalists in Mazatenango, in southern Guatemala, have condemned the closing of six local TV stations, a decision that was made by the company Cable DX after local mayor Roberto Lemus, who is a member of the ruling party, put pressure on the company, saying he would not tolerate criticism of his administration.

The six channels were closed on 25 April 2012, leaving only one station on the air; that station, TVI, is managed by the nephew of the mayor's wife.

Twenty-four journalists have lost their jobs as a result of the closures.


18th May   

Sex: A Tell Nearly All Exhibition...

Sex education exhibition at museum winds up Canadian prudes
Link Here

The Canada Science and Technology Museum will open the Sex: A Tell-All Exhibition as planned but with some changes to appease such nutters as the Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, who called the exhibition an insult to taxpayers.

However the museum has decided to raise the minimum age from 12 to 16 and remove an animated video depicting a masturbating youth.

A museum spokesman said:

The museum has received a higher than expected amount of expressions of concerns from the public.

We take the feedback of our community seriously, and so we have carefully considered their suggestions, and taken appropriate action that we believe will best serve our audiences.

The exhibition is designed to present information in a scientific, frank and accessible manner, an approach that the Canada Science and Technology Museum supports.

The exhibit includes life-sized, full-frontal nude photos of males and females at various stages of life, and Canada's Sun newspapers have described a climax room showing animations of aroused genitals with a voice of a man describing an orgasm.


6th April   

Film Censorship in Nova Scotia...

MFCB, Maritime Film Classification Board
Link Here

If you wanted to know anything about the people who classify films for audiences in Nova Scotia, you're plum outta luck. We're allowed to know the names of the 17 appointees to the Maritime Film Classification Board, but not much else about them.

This secretiveness falls in line with the US classification board, the Motion Picture Association of America, which withholds its members' identities altogether.

How candidates are selected for the job is also vague. There are no formal qualifications required to distinguish between brutal violence and extreme violence, or explicit sexual content and just regular ol' sexual content. The province says they aim to pick people from around the region and the only official job requirement is open-mindedness.

This region's classifiers were once remarkably restrictive, outright banning the 1978 rape revenge film I Spit On Your Grave for 20 years, and John Water's 1972 film Pink Flamingos , an embargo that lasted until 1997. That same year, the MFCB banned Angelica Houston's critically acclaimed directorial debut, Bastard Out of Carolina . The film about a child's experience with sexual abuse was deemed disturbing by the board. They reasoned that the rape scenes went beyond acceptable community standards. The decision sparked an outcry and they eventually conceded, allowing a video release.

When people complain about films not coming here, this is one of the reasons, says Ron Foley MacDonald, a film curator: In fact, it's one of the biggest reasons, because distributors simply will not deal with the hassle and the money.

It costs $3.64 per minute to have a theatrical release or adult film classified in the Maritimes, rounding out to about $500 for the average film. Having received a theatre certificate there is a reduced charge of $36.53 for the same film on DVD.

DVDs are generally rated by one person and theatrical releases are reviewed by a group.

MFCB Classifications:

  • General (G) : Suitable for viewers of all ages.
  • Parental Guidance (PG) : Parental guidance is advised. Theme or content may not be suitable for all children.
  • 14 Accompaniment (14A) : Suitable for viewing by persons 14 years of age and older. Persons under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. May contain: violence, coarse language and/or sexually suggestive scenes.
  • 18 Accompaniment (18A) : Suitable for viewing by persons 18 years of age and older. Persons under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Persons under 14 years of age are strictly prohibited from viewing the film. May contain: explicit violence, frequent coarse language, sexual activity and/or horror.
  • Restricted (R) : Admittance restricted to persons 18 years of age and over. Content not suitable for minors. Contains frequent use of sexual activity, brutal/graphic violence, intense horror and/or other disturbing content.
  • Adult (A) : Film is not suitable for viewers under 18 years of age because the sole or primary premise for the film is the depiction of explicit sexual activity, graphic nudity, or graphic violence.


7th March   

Update: Obscene Censorship...

Canadian horror filmmaker prosecuted for supposed obscenity
Link Here

A Montreal courtroom is booked for April determine whether a local filmmaker's graphic horror flick is obscene.

Remy Couture faces obscenity charges for creating Inner Depravity , a short film series depicting gory scenes of murder and sexual assault.

The goal was to reproduce the deviant mind of a serial killer, said Couture, a special effects make-up artist who's worked on films such as Barney's Version .

The series, which once won most deranged movie of the year at a film festival, was posted online in 2005 and was eventually forwarded to Interpol and police in Montreal.

According to a statement on Couture's website, Interpol was alerted to the film series by a German web surfer who was under the impression that the on-screen murders actually occurred. Police arrested Couture and raided his studio.

Couture maintains that he created the series to flex his skills as a make-up artist who got his professional start in the horror genre. The website featuring his project was only available to web surfers above the age of 18, he said in a statement. You can see the same thing in big budget movies so why mine is worse than the others, I don't understand, he told CTV Montreal.

Police charged Couture with production of obscene material, mainly for his depictions of graphic sexual violence. The charges, however, have drawn criticism from fans and some in the artistic community. He pushed some boundaries because it is shocking with what you can see, but it's in an artistic way, said Alexandre Duguay, a movie critic and horror aficionado.

Couture's lawyer Veronique Robert said this is the first time she's seen someone face obscenity charges for the content of a horror film. Previous obscenity cases have dealt with pornography.

Couture's trial will begin in front of a jury in late April, three years after his arrest.


19th February   

Update: Hands Off the Internet...

Media industry bid to take control of the internet thwarted by Canada's Supreme Court
Link Here

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled last week that ISPs are not subject to the country's Broadcasting Act, which was passed in 1991. The court confirmed a 2010 ruling by The Federal Court of Appeal, which was tasked with answering the following question:

Do retail Internet service providers ('ISPs') carry on, in whole or in part, 'broadcasting undertakings' subject to the Broadcasting Act when, in their role as ISPs, they provide access through the Internet to 'broadcasting' requested by end-users?

The question was important because the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ( CRTC ) had concluded in 1999 that the term broadcasting as it is used in the Broadcasting Act included programs transmitted to end-users over the Internet.

Originally the CRTC exempted broadcasting services via the Internet from the requirements of the Broadcasting Act. In 2008.  However after public hearings, the CRTC revisited this exemption. The CRTC referred the matter to the Federal Appeals Court, whose ruling saying ISPs were not subject to the law was then challenged.

It turns out the companies who lined up on either side of this issue are the same ones facing off over laws like SOPA and Protect IP. It was groups representing actors, producers, directors and writers that appealed to the Supreme Court. Such groups would like to see the current control that the massive multinational media companies now enjoy over TV related platforms be extended to the internet.


16th February

 Offsite Article: Canada introduces website snooping bill...

Link Here
Legislation allows the government sweeping access to Internet subscriber information without a warrant, including IP addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and more

See article from


10th February   

Update: Twitter Censorship...

Brazil court case to consider asking Twitter to censor tweets that reveal police speed traps
Link Here
Full story: Twitter Censorship...Twitter offers country by country take downs

A request for an injunction to stop Twitter users from alerting drivers to police roadblocks, radar traps and drunk-driving checkpoints could make Brazil the first country to take Twitter up on its plan to censor content at governments' requests.

Twitter unveiled plans last month that would allow country-specific censorship of tweets that might break local laws.

As far as we know this is the first time that a country has attempted to take Twitter up on their country-by-country take down, Eva Galperin of the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation said: Twitter has given these countries the tool and now Brazil has chosen to use it, she said.

Carlos Eduardo Rodrigues Alves, a spokesman for the federal prosecutor's office, said the injunction request was filed Monday. He said a judge was expected to announce in the next few days whether he will issue the order against Twitter users.


29th January   

Beyond Offensive...

Newspaper concentration camp cartoon proves a wind up in Argentina
Link Here

The Jewish group B'nai B'rith, Simon Wiesenthal Center has claimed 'outrage' at a comic strip in an Argentine local daily portraying Hitler at concentration camp dance party.

Jewish groups have condemned an anti-Semitic cartoon strip, FieSSta by Gustavo Sala published in Argentine paper Pagina/12 and called on the country's government to denounce the daily newspaper under Argentina's anti-discrimination law.

Following the protests, the Argentine daily issued an apology on its website.

The cartoon strip's main character, DJ David Gueto (a caricature of the French DJ David Guetta) plays music in a concentration camp. At first, the prisoners don't want to dance because they feel there's nothing to celebrate, saying: Do you know that they kill us in gas chambers and make soap with us? Hitler then appears and convinces them to dance because life is short. Hitler then thanks the DJ, saying: If they are relaxed, the soap will be better.

B'nai B'rith International expressed its deep outrage and revulsion toward the cartoon, its creator and the newspaper that chose to publish it. B'nai B'rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said:

This cartoon strip is beyond offensive---it is frightening. It epitomizes the blatant, ongoing anti-Semitism that still exists, in 2012, throughout the world. We hope the Argentine government will quickly speak out against this unbridled anti-Semitism.


1st January   

Paper Dictator...

Argentine president seeks to control the press via control of paper supplies
Link Here

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has brought in new legislation that makes it harder for the country's news media to criticize her administration, critics said.

Fernandez already faces international criticism for draconian press laws that discourage independent media operations in Argentina.

But, buoyed by an October landslide victory, the government won a congressional vote that gives it control of the country's newsprint supplies, which are currently distributed by a company that has majority shareholding from a media group critical of the government.

Officials claim new rules would make newsprint available to all newspaper publishers at a fair price.

The harshest attacks on Argentina's proposed new bill came from Brazilian newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo: The Argentine government is making the exercise of freedom of the press extremely difficult with acts of intimidation which do honor to a dictatorial regime, a dictatorship couldn't make it better.

The new legislation also targets journalists who face charges of terrorizing the population through words and pictures.

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