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2015: April-June

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CBLDF Defender...

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund publishes a free quarterly mag on censorship issues

Link Here30th June 2015
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has abboiunced CBLDF Defender , a new free quarterly news magazine and is now available! It will be distributed at comic book stores across the US and also online at .

Each issue of CBLDF Defender will bring engaging creator interviews, detailed analysis of current censorship news, and in-depth features that tell the story of the people fighting for the freedom to read! Neil Gaiman kicks off the first issue with an in-depth interview on his battles with censorship. There's also news and analysis on the latest censorship battles raging in schools and libraries across the USA. Take a look at international cartoonist rights issues and the free speech fallout from the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Plus, a lively history of Bill Gaines, the U.S government, and the birth of the Comics Code!



Awkward Moments...

Author abandons project for irreverent kid's Koran citing the fear of religious violence

Link Here19th June 2015
Author Horus Gilgamesh had a hit with his book, Awkward Moments (Not Found In Your Average) Children's Bible. An irreverent look at the christian Bible. He had been planning a similar treatment for the Koran but has now had second thoughts. He explained:

I believe in religious freedom, the right for anyone to worship whatever gods they choose to believe in (as long as those beliefs do not infringe on the rights and freedom of others). I also believe in free speech, the power to challenge rational societies into asking important questions. Lastly, I believe in the right to live without fear. Sadly, as is the case with many religions, these concepts are often mutually exclusive.

After a great deal of consideration and wise counsel, I've decided to cancel the controversial Kid's Koran project we've been and hinting about over the past year. Why?

  1. Because of a small group of fringe maniacal radical bullies who equate the transfer of lead and pigments into shapes on paper as blasphemy,  punishable by death.
  2. Two of my collaborators are ex-Muslims living in areas of Europe with extreme tension at the moment and are no longer comfortable being associated with the project.
  3. We have been receiving more suspicious phishing attempts than usual, coming from Arabic (not necessarily Muslim) characters offering to buy our pages, inviting us to speak at events, wanting to conduct in-person interviews, etc (As long as we first provide our personal information for verification of payments.)
  4. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how much time and energy any response would require, taking us away from the primary focus of this page and related projects that are focused on the Bible and Christianity (the majority religion/culture that most regularly affects me as an American.) In short, there are only so many hours in the day, and I need to pick my battles strategically. (After all, this is not my day job.) God's Little Helper - Christian Death Threats

I'll admit, I do take the threats from militant/radical/extremist Islamic fundamentalists much more seriously. For someone who spends a large amount of time illustrating and speaking about the challenges posed by any religion, I don't think this makes me a bigot, but a realist, as more and more cartoonists are murdered, threatened, and silenced for good.



Freedom of speech is not trumped by privacy...

Brazil's Supreme Court overturns ban on unauthorized biographies

Link Here16th June 2015
Brazil's Supreme Court has ruled unanimously to overturn a 13-year-old federal ban on unauthorized biographies. All nine judges agreed that articles within Brazil's Civil Code that force writers to obtain permission before publishing biographical books for commercial purposes are unconstitutional, and represent unlawful censorship.

However, the court explained that musicians, politicians, actors, or any subjects of a biography, maintain the right to sue in court if they do not agree with the book's contents, but only after the book is published.

Judge Cármen Lúcia argued that freedom of speech cannot be trumped by a public figure's right to privacy. She said:

Censorship is a way of silencing others. Even worse, it is a way of silencing the Constitution. I do not believe it is constitutional to shred the freedom of all for the freedom of one, she said.



Arsey PC whingers...

Cover of Jilly Cooper's Riders sanitised for 2015

Link Here6th June 2015

1985 - 2007


Jilly Cooper's novel Rider is a tale of saucy goings-on in the Cotswolds showjumping set with an iconic cover showing a woman holding a riding crop, with a man's hand place firmly on her derriere.

But in these politically correct times, the image has been sanitised on the new cover for the latest edition,  much to the disapproval of Jane Warner, owner of the bottom in question.

The former Page 3 model, said changes to make the image less provocative were a damn shame and showed there was nothing naughty but nice any more :

To me it is pointless, it is too PC. It seems a sign of the times -- things are going that way, things are more sanitised.

In the 1970s and 1980s there was a lot of fun then but it was harmless fun, it was just nice. I think now there's always a slur to it, there's always something people think is wrong or rude or pornographic when it's not.

It is one of (Jilly Cooper's) naughtiest novels so what is wrong with that picture? Why change it? They should leave it as it was. My bottom is quite curvy but in the picture on the new cover it seems flat. I think men prefer curves.

On the new cover her bottom has been slimmed down and the hand of the man grasping it has been moved upwards to near her hip. The close-up shot has been replaced with a wider version which reveals her waist and the top of her riding boots.

Author Marian Keyes spoke for the politically correct saying it showed society was more enlightened and more respectful and more responsible about women's bodies , adding: They're not people's property.



Offsite Article: Chinese Censorship of Western Books Is Now Normal. Where's the Outrage?...

Link Here 6th June 2015
Full story: Book Censorship in China...Offical book censors and self censorship
Chinese publishers slice out material and Western writers respond with a shrug. By Alexa Olesen

See article from



Offsite Article: Creeping censorship in Hong Kong...

Link Here22nd May 2015
How China controls the sale of sensitive books

See article from



We do not ban books in this country...but the courts do...

Memoir unbanned after legal battle in the Supreme Court

Link Here21st May 2015
A concert pianist has won a legal battle to publish an autobiographical book giving details of sexual abuse he experienced as a child.

James Rhodes, persuaded Supreme Court justices to lift an injunction that had barred its publication.

The Court of Appeal granted a temporary injunction in October, blocking parts of the memoir, entitled Instrumental. This was after Mr Rhodes's ex-wife raised fears it would cause their 12-year-old son serious harm .

The judgement was given jointly by Lady Hale and Lord Toulson, in which they said:

The only proper conclusion is that there is every justification for the publication.

A person who has suffered in the way that the appellant has suffered, and has struggled to cope with the consequences of his suffering in the way that he has struggled, has the right to tell the world about it.

And there is a corresponding public interest in others being able to listen to his life story in all its searing detail.

Rhodes' book, titled Instrumental, is now due to be released next week. It includes accounts of physical and sexual abuse and rape inflicted on him from the age of six by the boxing coach at his school. The alleged abuser was prosecuted but died before he could face trial.

Speaking outside the court, Rhodes said the ruling was a victory for freedom of speech :

If this had been allowed to continue anyone could have used this to ban any book. We do not ban books in this country.



Offsite Article: PC Submissives...

Link Here12th May 2015
Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, speaks of fear of causing offence becoming a PC fetish

See article from



Undemocratic Censorship...

Authors connected to Hong Kong pro-democracy protests find that book shops won't sell their titles

Link Here4th April 2015

Book publishers and authors are warning that censorship is increasing in Hong Kong . They say bookstores are returning books connected to authors who have been involved in the recent pro-democracy protests. Bookstores are reportedly under pressure to not carry books that may offend the central government in mainland China .

Carmen Kwong Wing-suen is the chief editor of the book publishing company Up Publications. She said her company had hundreds of books returned by Sino United Publishing, which oversees several other publishing companies. Sino United Publishing operates 51 stores through its subsidiaries.

Kwong co-wrote a book on the Occupy Central protests. She said the book received orders for only 28 copies instead of the normal 200 copies. She also said most of the books recently returned by Sino United Publishing were not about political topics .

Bruce Lui Ping-kuen is a former reporter and now teaches journalism at Hong Kong s Baptist University. He said the rejection of books by publishers supportive of the pro-democracy movement is part of the increased censorship in the city and is an example of creative ways to limit or stop voices that are hostile to the Communist Party .

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