Archive for the ‘Book Censorship’ Category

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"Lady Chatterley's Lover" Trial: Regina Versus Penguin Books, Ltd. For a quarter of a century, from 1960 until 1985, Jeremy Hutchinson, Lord Hutchinson of Lullington, who has died aged 102, was the finest silk in practice at the criminal bar. He defended Lady Chatterley , Fanny Hill and Christine Keeler (Keeler in the flesh), the atom spy George Blake, and then Brian Roberts, the editor of the Daily Telegraph, and later the journalist Duncan Campbell in two cases that led to reform of the Official Secrets Act.He added a service to the arts by ending the cultural vandalism of Mary Whitehouse, whose attempt in 1982 to prosecute the National Theatre for staging Howard Brenton’s The Romans in Britain collapsed after his (and the Old Bailey’s) most remarkable cross-examination.

… see an excellent article from theguardian.com outlining some of Hutchinson major successes.

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Silencing Dissent: How the Australian government is controlling public opinion and stifling debate The leading book publisher in Australia, Allen & Unwin, has dropped a book about the influence of China’s Communist Party in Australia’s domestic affairs, due to censorship pressure from China, or maybe from  the fear of Chinese action against the publisher..

In a decision likened to the recent decision by Cambridge University Press to restrict access to sensitive China-related articles, the release of the forthcoming book, Clive Hamilton’s Silent Invasion: How China is Turning Australia into a Puppet State was shelved by the publisher over concerns about potential legal action by China.

The author and a prominent Australian academic, said the decision by Allen & Unwin demonstrated the extent of the shadow cast by Beijing.

It is believed to be the first time that a publisher has suspended publication of a book in a Western market because of fears of potential pressure from Beijing.

We as Australians living in a free society should not allow ourselves to be bullied into silence by an autocratic foreign power, Professor Hamilton told ABC News.

In a statement, Allen & Unwin said it decided to delay publication following extensive legal advice. Clive was unwilling to delay publication and requested the return of his rights, as he is entitled to do, it said. We continue to wish him the best of luck with the book.

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Pond Dipping 1Pond Dipping 2

Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP) has defended dubious scenes in one of its children’s books after a reader noticed a little background dogging.

On one of the pages in the story, a group of gay looking men can be seen disappearing behind a bush, shortly before an old lady’s glasses are illustrated popping off in shock at what she sees behind the bush.

Responding to the reader, OUP rather unconvincingly tweeted:

Interesting spot but some of the pages are missing from this title! We can reassure you nothing untoward is going on behind that bush.

There are pages missing in the original tweet, which takes the images from Pond Dipping out of context.

The pages in between show some dogs chasing each other, children running and a man carrying a mysteriously large bag.

The book in question, Pond Dipping , was written by Roderick Hunt and illustrated by Alex Brychta, as part of a long-running series describing the adventures of children Biff, Chip and Kipper.

The article for some reason doesn’t mention an alternative meaning of ‘pond dipping’. See definition from urbandictionary.com :

The act of pissing in a love mates mouth then teabagging (the insertion of one man’s sack into another person’s mouth) him.

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The Taming of the Shrew For the unenlightened I should explain that a sensitivity reader, or beta reader, is a person employed by a publisher to vet an author’s works with the aim of identifying and excising any material that might be deemed offensive. Once limited to children’s fiction, sensitivity readers are now being enlisted to monitor works intended for adult consumption.Riptide Publishing explains more in a recruitment advert:

Riptide Publishing, a publisher of the finest LGBTQ fiction, is hiring paid sensitivity readers. Our SRs will read manuscripts during developmental edits with an eye toward any potentially inaccurate, inauthentic, insulting, misrepresentative, harmful, or *-ist themes, phrases, or actions in the text.

Sensitivity readers must be a part of the culture(s) or identity/identities they are reading for.

We need readers in all areas of racial, ethnic, and religious diversity, sexual and gender orientation, and mental and physical illnesses and disabilities.

Pay: $1.50 per 1000 words.

Current needs:

  • Chinese
  • Mexican
  • South Asian/Indian
  • Hindu
  • African-American
  • Anorexia
  • Trans man

Read the ull article: Sensitivity readers, save us from offence! from spiked-online.com

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sharjah international book fair logoThe UAE does not censor any book entering book fairs in the country claimed a senior book censor from the National Media Council (NMC) …BUT… certain lines are not to be crossed . The official was speaking at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF).Juma Al Leem, director of the NMC office in Dubai, said:

In the UAE, we never prohibit books in any book fair. We give our remarks or comments only about the book.

Al Leem added that while there is also no censorship in general terms in the UAE, every country has a red line for content. He said the US, for example, blocks books deemed to be a national security threat.

Certain lines are not to be crossed We don’t support [books that promote] terrorism, and so on.

However certain types of books will continue to be referred by the NMC to relevant UAE ministries before a final approval is granted. For example, a medical publication awaiting the green light from the NMC is sent by the NMC to the Ministry of Health and Prevention so specialists can assess the content.

We concentrate on quality. We don’t permit every book. We don’t want false facts.

Al Leem said the NMC has its own highly qualified and specialised staff to assess works of literature and various other genres, besides  referrals to third-party entities on technical subjects. He pointed out that each licence for a work to be published in the UAE has its own terms and conditions.  He added that in certain cases a minimum of a high-school certificate is required to allow the licence to go ahead.

We are not using our power against writers. The new law on competencies is now effective and we will reveal more details.

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schelm mein kampf advert The German Right-wing publisher Schelm-Verlag  intends to release a version of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf without annotations.Amid much furor, Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf returned to German bookstores in January – albeit in annotated form. The first editions, with around 3,700 comments from historians, intended to put the diatribe into context, sold out within weeks.

The publication was made possible only this year after the book’s copyright had expired, 70 years after Hitler’s death. Legally speaking, the work is considered seditious. But with the annotations by the Munich-based Institute for Contemporary History, the legal case for publication was sound. That’s not necessarily the case for the new unannotated edition.

Schelm, based in Leipzig, is already taking orders on its website for the unaltered reprint, which the publisher says will serve as a source of public education, help defend against unconstitutional efforts and provide historical documentation for the academic world.

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John Green Looking Alaska The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) receives reports from libraries, schools, and the media on attempts to ban books in communities across the country. We compile lists of challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools. The top ten most challenged books of 2015 are:

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

  2. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other (“poorly written,” “concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it”).

  3. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
    Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group.

  4. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
    Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints”).

  5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
    Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”).

  6. The Holy Bible
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint.

  7. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
    Reasons: Violence and other (“graphic images”).

  8. Habibi, by Craig Thompson
    Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.

  9. Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.

  10. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
    Reasons: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”).