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 Offsite Article: Ann Cleeves Recommends Scandinavian Noir...


Link Here 29th September 2013
Bridge BBC 1 DVD Bestselling author whinges about gruesome scenes and the morbid tone of Scandinavian books and TV dramas

See article from theguardian.com

 

 Offsite Article: Rushdie fatwa, 25 years on: fear casts long shadow...


Link Here 27th September 2013  full story: Satanic Verses...Salman Rushdie irritation of the muslim world
Satanic Verses Salman Rushdie Critics of The Satanic Verses lost the battle but are winning the war, warns Dennis Hayes

See article from timeshighereducation.co.uk

 

 Diary: Banned Books Week 2013...

22-28th September with events across the USA


Link Here 24th September 2013

The Adventures Captain Underpants Pilkey Each year, the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most frequently challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The ALA condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information.

A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. The number of challenges reflects only incidents reported. We estimate that for every reported challenge, four or five remain unreported. Therefore, we do not claim comprehensiveness in recording challenges.

The latest list is of books challenged in 2012

Based on 464 challenges that were reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group

  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
    Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

  3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group

  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit

  5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group

  6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit

  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

  8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence

  9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit

  10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

 

 Updated: The Wrong Kind of War Story...

Peers complain about the German publisher of WW2 magazine


Link Here 14th September 2013
Landser Winter experiences stories ebook A member of the house of Lords has written to Ofcom complaining that the military magazine Der Landser publishes content that glorifies German soldiers in the 2nd World War.

Monroe Palmer feels that this should disqualify the magazine's publisher, Bauer Media , from holding a broadcasting licence for Absolute Radio, which it recently acquired.

His voice is adding to several others trying to indirectly censor Bauer's magazines. Banker Bruce Fireman and another peer, Greville Janner, are also supporting the complaints.

Deidre Berger, director of the Ramer institute for German-Jewish relations explained the opposition to Bauer in an interview. She claimed the magazine encouraged young people:

To have an affinity for world war two. They're glorifying the war, and leaving out completely any mention of Germany 's responsibility for the holocaust.

Der Landser is a magazine that writes about Germany's role in the war as if the people about whom it writes were not war criminals, and some of them were.

Bauer told the BBC that the magazine complied with German law. It neither trivialised nor glorified war crimes.

Update: Ofcom Investigating

7th September 2013. See  article from  independent.co.uk

Ofcom logoOfcom has announced it is in contact with German authorities as it investigates whether Kiss FM owner Bauer is a fit and proper broadcaster, after complaints that it publishes a magazine that is said to glorify German Second World War soldiers.

Ofcom has contacted Germany's Federal Review Board for Media Harmful To Minors, the censor responsible for monitoring issues such as coverage of war atrocities.

Bauer said none of its publications trivialise or glorify National Socialism or war crimes

Update: War Censors

14th September 2013. See  article from  express.co.uk

bauer media logoBowing to international pressure, Bauer Media has announced it would stop publication of Second World War title Der Landser (The Squaddie).

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has claimed that the magazine was making the Third Reich acceptable to a new generation of Germans.

Jewish leaders were appalled that the magazine included tributes to the brutal Waffen-SS. The director of Global Jewish Advocacy, Deidre Berger, claimed:

They encourage young people to have an affinity with World War Two. They are glorifying it and leaving out any mention of Germany's role in the Holocaust.

Bauer insisted it had been legal saying a German lawyer concludes that Der Landser complies fully with the stringent legislation in Germany and neither glorifies nor trivialises National Socialism. Its statement announced it has decided to cease publishing the series .

 

  Victorian Prudes...

A Melbourne council censors noted erotic photography book from shop window


Link Here 13th September 2013
Helmut Newton Sumo Council staff have deemed a famous photograph by a well-known photographer too offensive to be displayed in a Melbourne bookshop window.

The $9500 book caused quite a stir about its front cover featuring an athletic naked woman photographed by deceased photographer Helmut Newton.

The Stonnington Council in Melbourne banned the book from its prized position in a bookshop window. The council issued a statement claiming:

After receiving a complaint from a resident...council officers followed up and asked - given the resident's concern - the shop owner to remove it from the window.

Bookshop owner Douglas Stewart is offended at the position he's been put in, revealing that the book is an original copy of Newton's work.

I was absolutely surprised and a little bewildered. We deal in rare and beautiful books specialising in fine art books.

 

  More Censors Please...

China orders the banning of violence and erotic content from children's books


Link Here 13th September 2013
Un Lun Dun China Mieville In a bid to censor supposedly obscene and violent content in children's reading , the Chinese government has released a circular calling for stricter supervision over children's publications.

The document, jointly released by five departments including the Ministry of Education and the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said:

The children ' s publications market has been thriving with many quality works that boost healthy development , but problems also exist , such as shoddy quality , improper content and overly high prices.

The circular urged administrative departments to strictly ban publications that contain murder, violence, obscenity and erotic content. It also told publishing houses to train professional editing teams for children' s titles.

 

 Updated: The Wrong Kind of War Story...

Peers complain about the German publisher of WW2 magazine


Link Here 7th September 2013
Landser Winter experiences stories ebook A member of the house of Lords has written to Ofcom complaining that the military magazine Der Landser publishes content that glorifies German soldiers in the 2nd World War.

Monroe Palmer feels that this should disqualify the magazine's publisher, Bauer Media , from holding a broadcasting licence for Absolute Radio, which it recently acquired.

His voice is adding to several others trying to indirectly censor Bauer's magazines. Banker Bruce Fireman and another peer, Greville Janner, are also supporting the complaints.

Deidre Berger, director of the Ramer institute for German-Jewish relations explained the opposition to Bauer in an interview. She claimed the magazine encouraged young people:

To have an affinity for world war two. They're glorifying the war, and leaving out completely any mention of Germany 's responsibility for the holocaust.

Der Landser is a magazine that writes about Germany's role in the war as if the people about whom it writes were not war criminals, and some of them were.

Bauer told the BBC that the magazine complied with German law. It neither trivialised nor glorified war crimes.

Update: Ofcom Investigating

7th September 2013. See  article from  independent.co.uk

Ofcom logoOfcom has announced it is in contact with German authorities as it investigates whether Kiss FM owner Bauer is a fit and proper broadcaster, after complaints that it publishes a magazine that is said to glorify German Second World War soldiers.

Ofcom has contacted Germany's Federal Review Board for Media Harmful To Minors, the censor responsible for monitoring issues such as coverage of war atrocities.

Bauer said none of its publications trivialise or glorify National Socialism or war crimes

 

 Offsite Article: Are vulvas so obscene that we have to censor them?...


Link Here 23rd August 2013
honi soit Our student newspaper was taken off the shelves from showing vulvas. But what is offensive about a body part that over half of the world have

See article from theguardian.com

 

  Recommended Reading...

Prize winning children's book referred to the New Zealand book censor


Link Here 11th August 2013
ted dawe into the riverA children's novel is being reviewed by the New Zealand Office of Film and Literature Censorship (OFLC).

Auckland author Ted Dawe's Into the River claimed the top prize in this year's New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards. But the Herald on Sunday reported one well-regarded book store refused to stock the novel because of explicit descriptions of sex and drug-taking. Parental advisory stickers were sent to stores to put on the covers after concerns were raised.

OFLC Information officer Kate Ward this week confirmed Into the River was now being reviewed and a decision would be made within weeks. The office has the authority to order a book be labelled unrestricted and recommend a suitable age or restricted - with a legally-enforceable age limit for sale or distribution.

 

 Extract: The Pixellated Penis and Other Tales of Modern Censorship...

Why fear of India's obscenity law turned HarperCollins prudish on a recent graphic novel


Link Here 10th August 2013

Paying Chester Brown bookIn the Indian edition of Paying For It , Chester Brown's comic-strip memoir about paying for sex, there is a cloud of grey dots where a condommed penis should be. This is surprising, not only because Brown's book is a sexual memoir, but also because it is otherwise full of uncensored nudity, or, more precisely, of minimalist line-drawings of unclothed people.

Brown's cartoon people are by no means smoothed out Barbies and Kens; they have all the parts people are supposed to have. But on the four occasions in the book that Brown chooses to zoom in on those parts---his own---they appear pixellated almost beyond recognition. His cartoon penis is still visible at a safe distance throughout the rest of the book.

VK Karthika, publisher and chief editor at HarperCollins India, which is publishing Brown's book in India, says this was a discretionary measure to pre-empt accusations of obscenity, taken on the advice of Harper's lawyer. Four close-up shots, a total of nine panels in 227 pages of eight panels each, were blurred. The logic behind the selective pixellation is that these four sequences---which depict, in order, the putting on of a condom, masturbation, a thorough manual examination conducted by a woman (no, that is not a euphemism), and impending fellatio---are more graphically sexual than others, hence more likely to be interpreted as obscene.

...Read the full article

 

 Offsite Article: Military and History...


Link Here 10th August 2013
history-and knowledge Germany keeps an eye on magazines covering the Nazi period of history

See article from theguardian.com

 

 Update: A Heritage of Censorship...

Turkish Supreme Court censors French erotic novel


Link Here 7th August 2013  full story: Book Censorship in Turkey...Freedom of speech under duress

The Exploits Young Juan IreneTurkey's Supreme Court of Appeals has overturned a previous ruling of acquittals of supposed obscenity regarding Guillaume Apollinaire's The Exploits of Young Don Juan .

Ruling that the previous ruling was unlawful , Supreme Court of Appeals said the book could not be considered within the freedom of expression.

Irfan Sanci, owner of Sel Publishing House, told bianet:

It is impossible to agree with Supreme Court of Appeals verdict. On the other hand, Guillaume Apollinaire's written works have been recognized as world heritage by European Parliament. In a way, they are prosecuting the world heritage here.

We don't appreciate the fact that experts are to determine whether a book is literary or not. This decision can only be made by readers, publishers and editors. You can't say a book is literary because the court said so. However, we applied to court for expert report after a report by Prime Ministry Protecting Youngsters From Obscene Publications Council.

Previously, publishing house owner Irfan Sanci and translator Ismail Yerguz stood trial for translating and publishing supposedly obscene material. Istanbul 2nd Assize Court acquitted the book, saying that it didn't include any crime elements. The case was sent to Supreme Court of Appeal. The chamber unanimously overthrew the previous ruling, ordering a new trial.

The Supreme Court censors explained their verdict:

The aforementioned book in trial included content with no story frame and solely simple expression to arouse sexual instincts. Through the narrative of children, it uses a language where anal, lesbian, unnatural and bestial relations are depicted. Those expressions degrades society's general moral values, provoked and violated sexual desires, and disgusted readers with depictions of characters' excretion. The aforementioned book was not based on artistic point of view. It is unacceptable that a French translation including pervert expression on family members, same sexes and animals could be considered as symbol of open-mindedness within the borders of expression freedom in a democratic society.

 

  Bookshop Censors Recommend...

Tampa by Alissa Nutting


Link Here 3rd August 2013

Tampa Alissa NuttingA new novel about a female teacher who seduces a 14-year-old boy student is too hot to handle for two Australian bookshops.

Written by American debut novelist Alissa Nutting, Tampa follows the story of sociopathic sexual predator Celeste Price, 26, who seduces one of her high school students.

Victorian booksellers are stocking the book, but Dymocks Camberwell has put a R18+ sticker on it. But Queensland bookstore owner, Stephanie Walkem, who has Angus and Robertson shops said she would not be selling Tampa at either of her outlets. She said:

While I believe it is vital that we continually push the boundaries of modern writing ...[BUT]... I did not take this book because it would require careful hand selling.

Publisher Allen and Unwin is promoting the title as sure to be the most controversial book of the year. A spokesman said:

It would be easy for moral outrage to swamp this critically acclaimed and thought-provoking novel, especially from those who haven't read it.

 

  Cheapo Book Censorship...

Paypal appears to ban sales of products with 'Iranian' in the name


Link Here 18th July 2013

iranian living room PayPal has apologized for blocking sales of a photojournalism book because it had the word Iranian in the title, saying its sanctions compliance mechanisms aren't supposed to pick up on written materials.

The book, entitled Iranian Living Room , is a product of the Benetton Group's Italian Fabrica facility. A project there saw 15 young Iranian photographers document domestic life at the time of the recent Iranian elections, in order to provide a counterpoint to the street imagery used by most international media organizations.

Fabrica's Dan Hill posted an irate account of Fabrica's abortive efforts to sell the book online. Orders appeared blocked, and it turned out that this was a result of PayPal's internal blacklist -- the word Iranian is on that list, due to the U.S. economic embargo against Iran, so sales couldn't go through. The book has now been whitelisted  so that it is not picked up by a somewhat less than sophisticated censorship system based on banned product names.

The Fabrica episode is, it must be said, a fairly minor incident as these things go, and quickly rectified at that. However, it does serve as a reminder of of the various choke points that can be activated in everyday online activity, whether deliberately or not, in the name of automated compliance.

 

  Time for Censorship...

Sri Lanka bans Time magazine lest the people see evidence that religion is flawed


Link Here 3rd July 2013

time buddhist terrorSri Lanka has banned the latest issue of Time magazine over its cover story on Myanmar's Buddhist-Muslim clashes, which it claimed could hurt religious sentiment on the island. Presumably Sri Lanka is trying to conceal that religion has a dark side.

Customs department spokesman Leslie Gamini said they held the July 1 issue because it carried a photo of a prominent Myanmar monk under the headline: The Face of Buddhist Terror:

We did not allow this issue to be distributed in Sri Lanka because we felt it could hurt the religious sentiments of the people.

Myanmar also banned the same issue.