In 1996, in the midst of the Clinton administration's attack on the Internet and cryptography, Grateful Dead lyricist and EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow sat down in Davos, Switzerland, where he'd been addressing world leaders on the subject of the Internet and human rights, and wrote one of net-culture's formative documents: The Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace.
The photos went as part of the deal that sold Corbis Entertainment's licensing arm to Visual China Group. Read the rest
Forced to endure a 10-hour movie crafted solely to bore them to tears, British censors have awarded Paint Drying a "U" certificate, meaning that it is suited for all audiences.
In its official listing, the BBFC concludes that Charlie Lyne's movie, which consists entirely of a freshly-painted wall drying, is a documentary with an unknown cast featuring no material likely to offend or harm: "PAINT DRYING is a film showing paint drying on a wall. All known versions of this work passed uncut."
The movie is a protest against the UK's bizarrely resurgent censors. Though widely ignored by viewers in the age of YouTube and free internet porn, the BBFC classification process is mandatory for filmmakers who want traditional theatrical and broadcast distribution.
To protest the UK's antiquated film censorship regime, Charlie Lyne crowdfunded a movie of paint drying. Having raised £5963, Charlie was able to submit a 607 minute film, which the censors now have to sit through. Charlie's just done an "ask me anything" interview at Reddit, with some illuminating answers.
About a year ago, I went to a filmmaker open day held by the BBFC at their offices in Soho. I'd expected to see quite a lot of conflict between the BBFC examiners and the visiting filmmakers whose work was at the mercy of the board, but there was nothing like that. Most of the filmmakers — even those who'd had trouble with the BBFC in the past — seemed totally resigned to the censorship imposed by the board, even supportive of it. I think that shocked me into action.
Oregon Historical Society has posted Pages of Death, a "long-lost" anti-pornography movie in similar vein to the legendary Reefer Madness: "These kids can pick up girly magazines and sex-violence stuff all over town!"
It was released in 1962, much later than most of those propaganda exploitation flicks. If it was already old-fashioned at the time it came out, that fact might not be obvious to present-day viewers.
The blurb follows… Read the rest
Jean Francois Painchaud, aka PHAZED, is Canadian animator/producer who works on the PBS kids show, Wild Kratts. He also makes trippy, NSFW Gifs and posts them to his accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook. Shogofawafa recently interviewed PHAZED about his work, and how he deals with the censorious bluenoses at Facebook.
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Your work became viral after it was banned on Facebook. Did Facebook inadvertently do you a favour?
In a way, yes. Soon after I started posting my art online, I found out that there are people out there who are very sensitive when it comes to the female body. Some get particularly upset when they see a nipple. No matter how much I censor my work, I still get reported. It’s ridiculous.
So, whenever they take down my art or censor me, I make a big deal out of it, hoping that we might be able to change this culture of incessant censoring over time. That’s the main thing I learned from practising Judo – to use whatever people throw at me, against them.
How did mushrooms affect your work?
Mushrooms didn’t only help my art develop; they changed my entire life. Using mushrooms helped me overcome my depression, my insecurities and my anxiety. Most of that anxiety came from negative experiences with my father and being bullied at school.
Before I found shrooms, I was making art to improve my skills. It was as if I was trying to impress myself or show off.
It's been a year since the horrific Charlie Hebdo attack and the subsequent outpouring of defense of free speech from all quarters -- the insistence that free societies demand tolerance of viewpoints, even deeply offensive ones. Read the rest
Phil Demers worked as an animal trainer at Niagara Falls, Ontario's Marineland for 12 years before resigning because he believed that the animals in his care were being mistreated and he did not believe that his employers would listen to him or his colleagues' warnings about this. Read the rest
Business Insider's Jim Edwards got a letter from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch informing him that they'd instructed Twitter to remove two of his tweets on the grounds that they violated B of A's copyright. Read the rest
Lu Wei is chief of China's State Internet Information Office, a man they call "the gatekeeper of the Chinese internet." According to him, the world's most notorious and ambitious system of Internet censorship is actually just "management." Read the rest
A Wikipedia editors has been suspended after he organized a meeting with the Russian Federal Drug Control Service (as well as Rospotrebnadzor, a consumer rights watchdog, and Roskomnadzor, a media watchdog) to set terms under which "the expert opinion of authorized government bodies" would be inserted into Wikipedia entires on “socially sensitive” topics. Read the rest
Paintings by incarcerated Native activist Leonard Peltier have been removed from the walls of the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries in Tumwater following complaints form a group of retired FBI agents.
After years of missteps, blunders and disasters in which Youtube users have been censored through spurious copyright claims or had their accounts deleted altogether, Google has announced an amazing, user-friendly new initiative though which it will fund the legal defense of Youtube creators who are censored by bad-faith copyright infringement claims. Read the rest