Read more UK Government Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Houses of Parliament The new clause extending the Dangerous Pictures Act to cover rape porn has passed through the House of Lords. The next step is the Ping Pong stage where the House of Commons debates House of Lords amendments which do noteffect the Dangerous Pictures clauses. This stage will occur on 1st December 2014.The existing Dangerous Pictures Act may be summarised:

Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008. Section 63 Possession of extreme pornographic images:

It is an offence for a person to be in possession of an extreme pornographic image.

An extreme pornographic image is an image which meets all of the following three definitions

  1. is pornographic , ie it is of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal.
  2. is grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character.
  3. it portrays, in an explicit and realistic way, any of the following—
  • (a) an act which threatens a person’s life,
  • (b) an act which results, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals,
  • (c) an act which involves sexual interference with a human corpse, or
  • (d) a person performing an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive), and a reasonable person looking at the image would think that any such person or animal was real.

The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill will extend the list. The list of image types above, ie life threatening act, serious injury, necrophilia, or bestiality is extended by:

37 Possession of pornographic images of rape and assault by penetration

(7A) An image falls within this subsection if it portrays, in an explicit and realistic way, either of the following—

(a) an act which involves the non-consensual penetration of a person’s vagina, anus or mouth by another with the other person’s penis, or

(b) an act which involves the non-consensual sexual penetration of a person’s vagina or anus by another with a part of the other person’s body or anything else,

and a reasonable person looking at the image would think that 30the persons were real.

(7B) For the purposes of subsection (7A)—

(a) penetration is a continuing act from entry to withdrawal;

(b) vagina includes vulva.

The new clause will apply only in England and Wales. Scotland has its own version of the Dangerous Pictures Act that already includes rape porn. Northern Ireland seems to have been omitted, maybe it will enact its own version later.

Read more UK Parliament Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

elspeth howe The Consumer Rights Bill is progressing through Parliament is currently at the report stage in the house of Lords. It will next be debated on 24th November.Elspeth Howe has again proposed her clause requiring age verification for adult content. It has been kicked out several times in the past as the government recognises the need to work with the telecoms industry rather than impose onerous new laws (of course the government hasn’t shown the same pragmatic approach to the adult internet industry).

The new clause was proposed by Baroness Elspeth Howe, Baroness King, Lord Cormack and Baroness Floella Benjamin. It is titled amendment 50D.

“Duty to provide an internet service that protects children from digital content

(1)     Internet service providers must provide to subscribers an internet access service which excludes adult content unless all the conditions of subsection (3) have been fulfilled.

(2)     Where mobile telephone operators provide a telephone service to subscribers which includes an internet access service, they must ensure this service excludes adult content unless all the conditions of subsection (3) have been fulfilled.

(3)     The conditions are–

(a)   the subscriber “opts-in” to subscribe to a service that includes adult content;

(b)   the subscriber is aged 18 or over; and

(c)   the provider of the service has an age verification policy which meets the standards set out by OFCOM in subsection (4) and which has been used to confirm that the subscriber is aged 18 or over before a user is able to access adult content.

(4)     It shall be the duty of OFCOM, to set, and from time to time to review and revise, standards for the–

(a)   filtering of adult content in line with the standards set out in section 319 of the Communications Act 2003 (OFCOM’s standards code);

(b)   age verification policies to be used under subsection (3) before a user is able to access adult content; and

(c)   filtering of content by age or subject category by providers of internet access services and mobile phone operators.

(5)     The standards set out by OFCOM under subsection (4) must be contained in one or more codes.

(6)     Before setting standards under subsection (5), OFCOM must publish, in such a manner as they think fit, a draft of the proposed code containing those standards.

(7)     After publishing the draft code and before setting the standards, OFCOM must consult relevant persons and organisations.

(8)     It shall be the duty of OFCOM to establish procedures for the handling and resolution of complaints in a timely manner about the observance of standards set under subsection (4), including complaints about incorrect filtering of content.

(9)     OFCOM may designate any body corporate to carry out its duties under this section in whole or in part.

(10)     OFCOM may not designate a body under subsection (9) unless, as respects that designation, they are satisfied that the body–

(a)   is a fit and proper body to be designated;

(b)   has consented to being designated;

(c)   has access to financial resources that are adequate to ensure the effective performance of its functions under this section; and

(d)   is sufficiently independent of providers of internet access services and mobile phone operators.

(11)     In this section, internet service providers and mobile telephone operators shall at all times be held harmless of any claims or proceedings, whether civil or criminal, providing that at the relevant time, the internet access provider or the mobile telephone operator–

(a)   was following the standards and code set out by OFCOM in subsection (4); and

(b)   acting in good faith.

(12)     For the avoidance of doubt, nothing in subsections (1) and (2) prevents providers of internet access services and mobile phone operators from providing additional levels of filtering content.

(13)     In this section–

“adult content” means an internet access service that contains harmful and offensive materials from which persons under the age of eighteen are protected;

“harmful and offensive materials” has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Communications Act 2003 (general duties of OFCOM);

“material from which persons under the age of eighteen are protected” means material specified in the OFCOM standards under section 319(2)(a) of the Communications Act 2003 (OFCOM’s standards code);

“opts-in” means a subscriber notifies the service provider of his or her consent to subscribe to a service that includes adult content.”

Read more ASA Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

giffgaff out for a run video A tweet on the GiffGaff mobile phone company Twitter feed, which could be accessed by an embedded feed on their own website, stated The situations in our new videos are, well, awkward. #NSFW [LINK] #alltheboss . Beneath this, a video was embedded in a player and a still, showing a topless man wearing earphones and looking into a room, was displayed. Underneath the video player text stated Out for a run – At home with your parents you’re not the boss … Dean returns hot and sweaty from a run and gets an eye full. At home with your parents you’re not the boss and there was a link to where the video was hosted on an external site.

In the first two seconds of the video on-screen text in the bottom-left corner stated WARNING: You cannot unsee this . The video showed the interior of a house and a man entering wearing earphones and dressed in a damp T-shirt, which he removed. He pushed open a door, revealing a couple having sex in a laundry room. The video cut back to the man’s reaction, and then again to the couple, before showing the man walking away looking dazed. The video then cut to a blank screen, on which text stated At home with your parents you’re not the boss … At giffgaff we’re all the boss . During the video panting sounds could be heard, which continued over the blank screen section. Issue

The complainant, who considered that the content was sexually graphic, objected that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

Giffgaff Ltd stated that it was not their intention to cause offence. They said the ad was intended to show in a humorous way that, although some of their customers may not feel like the boss while living at home with their parents, with the Giffgaff network they could be the boss because they are able to have a say in how it’s run. They stated that the style of the ad was humorous and playful, and that there was no nudity. They also stated that there was a warning at the start of the video that stated Warning: You cannot unsee this, which served to alert viewers to the fact that it may not be to their taste. Giffgaff said that, according to YouTube statistics, the ad had been viewed 37,530 times at the point of providing their response and that the receipt of only one complaint indicated that the offence caused was not widespread or serious.

Twitter did not provide a comment on the content of the ad, but stated that it was an ordinary tweet posted by the advertiser rather than a paid-for tweet promoted by the site.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA noted that the ad did not feature nudity. However, we considered that the characters were clearly having sex, that viewers would be likely to understand this to be the case, and that despite the lack of nudity the situation depicted was of a strongly sexual nature that would be likely to cause offence in an untargeted medium. Although we acknowledged Giffgaff’s assertion that the ad was intended to be playful and humorous, we considered that a light-hearted tone was insufficient to mitigate the potential for offence due to the sexual nature of the content. We noted that the ad was available to view to all visitors to Giffgaff’s Twitter feed, the general content of which appeared to be of a mild nature that would have general appeal to consumers, and would play whether or not they were signed in to Twitter or the site hosting the video itself. We therefore considered that the ad was untargeted. We acknowledged that a warning message was displayed at the beginning of the video, but noted that it was initially obscured by the video’s control panel, was discreetly positioned and was only present briefly. We also considered that the phrase WARNING: You cannot unsee this was unlikely to indicate to viewers the nature of the scene that was to follow and, therefore, was inadequate to alert viewers to the content of the video. Moreover, we considered that the untargeted nature of the medium meant that a disclaimer was not sufficient to prevent the ad from being seen by viewers who would be offended by the content. Because the video featured strongly sexual content in an untargeted medium we concluded that it was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Giffgaff Ltd to ensure that future ads in untargeted media did not contain strongly sexual content.

Read more Asia Pacific Censorship News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Hunger Games Mockingjay Part DVD Managers at Bangkok’s Lido and Scala cinemas have decided not to show the movie The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 for fear of a political backlash.The management of Apex group, which operates the theatres, told the Bangkok Post it had received a phone call asking for 200 tickets for the film’s premiere on Thursday noon at Scala theatre, and that they be sent by mail. It found out later the tickets were being given out for free from a Facebook page.

The League of Liberal Thammasat for Democracy posted on its Facebook that it would give 160 tickets for the movie premiere at Scala under its Raise Three Fingers, Bring Popcorn and Go to the Theatre campaign. It also asked its friends to comment on How does the Capitol resemble Bangkok? - the winning commentators would get 80 tickets for free. As of 6.46pm on Wednesday there were 241 comments to the post.

Apex said authorities had met with management to talk about the film but claimed its decision to drop the show had nothing to do with what happened to the military ruler Prayut Chan-o-cha in Khon Kaen.

His talk there was interrupted by five students. The five wore anti coup t-shirts and gave the general the three-finger salute from the Hunger Games series of movies before being whiskered away by police and soldiers to a military camp. A security official said they were detained at the camp for attitude adjustment.

Read more News: Latest Cuts at MelonFarmers.co.uk

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a 1974 US horror film by Tobe Hooper.
With Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal and Allen Danziger. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb UK: The 40th Anniversary Restoration was passed 18 uncut for:

  • 2014 Second Sight 40th Anniversary Steelbook RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 17th November 2014
  • 2014 Second Sight 40th Anniversary RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 17th November 2014

There is also a US release

Reviews

Censorship History

In the US the film was initially rated X, but attained an R rating after cuts. This was the last X certificate granted by the MPAAprior tothe introduction of NC-17. The R rated versionhas been used for all releases worldwide. In the UK, the 1975 cinema release was famously banned by theBBFC. Some local councils overrode theBBFC ban and passed it X with a local certificate. The ban continued well into the home video era until unbanned (and released uncut) in 1999.See further details at Melon Farmers Film Cuts: Terror

Promotional Material

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre not only changed the face of horror in 1974 but still remains one of the most shocking, powerful and terrifying films ever made. Widely banned on its release it’s notoriety has not diminished and this harrowing tale of a depraved Texan clan and its’ chain saw wielding icon of horror Leatherface continues to stun and disturb audiences like no other film.

This new director supervised restoration brings new life and detail to the film and immerses the viewer as never before.

New stunning 4K restoration and 7.1 DTS-HD MA audio mix supervised by director Tobe Hooper. Also features restored DTS-HD MA 5.1, PCM Stereo 2.0 and PCM original mono 1.0

Features:

  • New audio commentary with Director Tobe Hooper
  • New audio commentary with Cinematographer Daniel Pearl, Sound Recordist Ted Nicolaou and Editor J. Larry Carroll
  • Cutting Chain Saw with Editor J. Larry Carroll
  • Grandpa s Tales with actor John Dugan
  • Horror s Hallowed Grounds
  • New deleted scenes / outtakes
  • Additional bonus features:
  • Audio commentary with Tobe Hooper, Actor Gunnar Hansen, Cinematographer Daniel Pearl
  • Audio commentary with Actors Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, and Paul A. Partain and Production Designer Robert Burns
  • The Shocking Truth documentary plus outtakes
  • Flesh Wounds – Seven Stories of The Saw
  • Off The Hook with Teri McMinn
  • The Business of Chain Saw with Production Manager Ron Bozman
  • A Tour of The TCSM House with Gunnar Hansen
  • Tobe Hooper interview
  • Kim Henkel interview
  • Deleted scenes and outtakes, trailers, TV and Radio spots
  • English SDH Subtitles for Hard of Hearing
Read more BBFC News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

paddinton Paddington is a 2014 UK / France family comedy by Paul King.
Starring Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins and Julie Walters. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

A young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined – until he meets the kindly Brown family, who read the label around his neck (‘Please look after this bear. Thank you.’) and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist.

TheBBFC Just passed the film PG uncut for cinema release with the consumer advice:

dangerous behaviour, mild threat, innuendo, infrequent mild bad language.

But a little earlier, the consumer advice had read

dangerous behaviour, mild threat, mild sex references, mild bad language.

The BBFC changed the wording of its guidance after the Daily Mail ran a story about the PG rating for the film. It seems that the Paddington author Michael Bond was totally amazed at the term mild sex references used by the BBFC. Bond told the Daily Mail:

I’d be very upset. I might not sleep well tonight. I can’t imagine what the sex references are. It doesn’t enter into it with the books, certainly.’

After an approach from the film’s distributor the BBFC altered the term mild sex references to innuendo . The distributor also asked for clarity to the frequency of mild bad language, and the BBFC duly obliged by adding the descriptor, infrequent.

The film’s director Paul King said he had expected the BBFC to issue a PG rating:

I’m not surprised about that but I don’t think it’s a PG for sexiness. That I would find very odd, he said.

The Daily Mail also a dragged up a trivial sound bite from  Pippa Smith, of the SaferMedia campaign. She said:

There should be absolutely nothing threatening, sexual or dangerous about Paddington. If there is, it should be cut.

For a full description of what the BBFC are alluding to here is the BBFC Insight. (which still uses the heading ‘sex’)

BBFC logo Imitable Behaviour

There are infrequent scenes of dangerous behaviour, including Paddington hiding from a villain inside a refrigerator and riding on a skateboard while holding on to a bus, as well as a brief scene of a boy strapping fireworks to his shoes.

Threat

There are occasional sequences of mild threat when Paddington is chased by the villain who threatens to kill and stuff him, as well as a brief sequence in which Paddington lies unconscious on a table while a taxidermist prepares their tools nearby. There is also a short scene in a jungle when Paddington and his family run for shelter during an earthquake with trees falling around them.

Sex

There is some mild innuendo, including a comic sequence in which a man disguised as a woman is flirted with by another man.

Language

There is a single mumbled use of bloody .

Read more UK Government Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

arms of the british governmentjpg logo The European Audio Visual Media Services Directive provides a justification for censorship thatwas implemented in UK law in the Communications Act 2003:

If an on-demand programme service contains material which might seriously impair the physical, mental or moral development of persons under the age of eighteen, the material must be made available in a manner which secures that such persons will not normally see or hear it.

Unfortunately for the censorial government, there is no particular evidence that hardcore porn seriously impairs children. In fact all the kids are already watching porn and they don’t seem to be ending up being seriously harmed, any more than any other generation.

So the legal underpinning for ATVOD’s onerous suffocating age verification rules for British adult websites seems somewhat shaky and open to challenge. Therefore the government are changing the law so as to explicitly make age verification a requirement without having to rely on mythical serious harm. The government has introduced the following statutory instrument which means that it will not be debated in parliament, just nodded through.

The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014

These Regulations may be cited as the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014 and come into force on 1st December 2014.

Amendment of section 368E of the 2003 Act (harmful material) .

In section 368E(4) of the 2003 Act (harmful material), for subsection (2) substitute:

(2) An on-demand programme service must not contain any prohibited material.

(3) Prohibited material means:

  • (a) a video work which the video works authority has determined for the purposes of the 1984 Act not to be suitable for a classification certificate to be issued in respect of it, or
  • (b) material whose nature is such that it is reasonable to expect that, if the material were contained in a video work submitted to the video works authority for a classification certificate, the video works authority would determine for those purposes that the video work was not suitable for a classification certificate to be issued in respect of it.

(4) An on-demand programme service must not contain any specially restricted material unless the material is made available in a manner which secures that persons under the age of 18 will not normally see or hear it.

(5) Specially restricted material means:

  • (a) a video work in respect of which the video works authority has issued a R18classification certificate,
  • (b) material whose nature is such that it is reasonable to expect that, if the material were contained in a video work submitted to the video works authority for a classification certificate, the video works authority would issue a R18classification certificate, or
  • (c) other material that might seriously impair the physical, mental or moral development of persons under the age of 18.

(6) In determining whether any material falls within subsection (3)(b) or (5)(b), regard must be had to any guidelines issued by the video works authority as to its policy in relation to the issue of classification certificates.

(7) In this section:

  • the 1984 Act means the Video Recordings Act 1984;
  • classification certificate has the same meaning as in the 1984 Act (see section 7 of that Act);
  • R18 classification certificate means a classification certificate containing the statement mentioned in section 7(2)(c) of the 1984 Act that no video recording containing the video work is to be supplied other than in a licensed sex shop;
  • the video works authority [BBFC] means the person or persons designated under section 4(1)of the 1984 Act as the authority responsible for making arrangements in respect of video works other than video games; video work has the same meaning as in the 1984 Act (see section 1(2) of that Act).

Amendment of section 368B of the 2003 Act (supply of information)

Insert:

(d) OFCOM may supply information to the video works authority, within the meaning of section 368E, for use by the video works authority in connection with functions of OFCOM as the appropriate regulatory authority;

(e) a designated body may supply information to the video works authority, within the meaning of section 368E, for use by the video works authority in connection with functions of the designated body as the appropriate regulatory authority.

[This looks like a measure to stop the BBFC effectively changing the law by changing its own guidelines. It looks like Ofcom and ATVOD will be able to step in should the BBFC change its rules].

BBFC R18 Guidelines

For reference the current BBFC guidelines for R18 takes the form of a list of material prohibited from R18:

The following is a list of prohibited material:

  • material which is in breach of the criminal law, including material judged to be obscene under the current interpretation of the Obscene Publications Act 1959
  • material (including dialogue) likely to encourage an interest in sexually abusive activity which may include adults role-playing as non-adults
  • the portrayal of sexual activity which involves real or apparent lack of consent. Any form of physical restraint which prevents participants from indicating a withdrawal of consent
  • the infliction of pain or acts which may cause lasting physical harm, whether real or (in a sexual context) simulated. Some allowance may be made for moderate, non-abusive, consensual activity
  • penetration by any object associated with violence or likely to cause physical harm
  • sexual threats, humiliation or abuse which do not form part of a clearly consenting role-playing game.
  • Strong physical or verbal abuse, even if consensual, is unlikely to be acceptable

These Guidelines will be applied to the same standard regardless of sexual orientation of the activity portrayed

The Guidelines are insufficient for VoD providers to judge the legality of their catalogue

Of course the guidelines don’t define what is ‘judged to be obscene under the current interpretation of the Obscene Publications Act 1959′, so perhaps someone needs to publish the unpublished CPS censorship rules under which the BBFC operates.

The most immediate issue with the new law is how commonplace ‘rough sex’ will be treated. There are many films that suffer a few cuts for hair pulling, gagging, retching, spitting etc. Will a film that would be R18 after a few cuts now become illegal? If so, there are thousands of them. It is not clear how these cuts correlate to the guidelines. The guidelines are clearly produced for interpretation by the BBFC rather than the public and will effectively leave VoD service providers unable to judge the legality of films without a BBFC certificate. Perhaps that is the idea. But then again it will leave British websites with a tiny fraction of the range of choice to that of foreign competitors.