Citing copyright, Army blocks Chelsea Manning from receiving printouts from EFF's website

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Chelsea Manning's helpers write, "Citing potential copyright infringement, the Army censored materials on prison censorship from the Electronic Frontier Foundation that were sent to Chelsea by one of her volunteers." Read the rest

EFF wants your DMCA takedown censorship horror stories

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation is preparing its comments to the US Copyright Office on the notoriously abuse-prone DMCA takedown process, which is widely used to commit Internet censorship with perfect impunity. Read the rest

Back-room revisions to TPP sneakily criminalize fansubbing & other copyright grey zones

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When the text of the secretly negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership was released, we were warned that it hadn't been "legally scrubbed" and checked for translation errors, but the new text that's been posted to the New Zealand government's website contains tiny revisions that sneakily increase the criminal penalties countries must impose on people who commit copyright infringement. Read the rest

After 3d grade complaint, Florida school district bans award-winning "This One Summer" from high-school library

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Peter from the National Coalition Against Censorship sez, "A Florida parent thought 'This One Summer' was too graphic for an elementary school library. The district agreed, and then went further; they're restricting access to the graphic novel in the high school libraries as well. Read the rest

Honda's lawyers want Jalopnik to dox a whistleblower

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"HondAnonymous" is a commenter on Jalopnik, a Gawker site about cars, who claims to work at Honda's R&D facility. Read the rest

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace

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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.

Read the rest

Bill Gates sold rights to the Tiananmen 1989 pictures to a Chinese company

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The photos went as part of the deal that sold Corbis Entertainment's licensing arm to Visual China Group. Read the rest

10-hour movie of paint drying receives "U" rating from British censors

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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.

Previously. Previously. Read the rest

UK film censors forced to watch a 2-day long movie of paint drying

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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.

Previously: Watching paint dry: epic crowfunded troll of the UK film censorship board Read the rest

Watch Pages of Death, the long-lost anti-porn public information film

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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

FACEPALM: Bernie Sanders campaign tries to censor Wikipedia: UPDATED

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Update The campaign has withdrawn the threat.

The Bernie Sanders campaign has sent an abusive DMCA notice to Wikimedia, the foundation that administers Wikipedia, over their hosting of Sanders campaign logos. Read the rest

How a psychedelic sex GIF animator went viral after getting banned on Facebook

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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.

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.

Read the rest

"Je Suis Charlie," but your free speech is terrorism

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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

15 threats to free speech from 2015

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Chris from the National Coalition Against Censorship writes, "Free speech zones. Facebook's nudity nonsense. Panic over 'Islamic indoctrination.' Threatening to sue a school for reading an LGBT book. Those are a few of the 15 Threats to Free Speech in 2015. Read the rest

Listen: whistleblower story that Marineland threatens to sue journalists for disclosing

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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

Bank of America uses copyright to censor business reporter's tweets

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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

IETF approves HTTP error code 451 for Internet censorship

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The 451 HTTP error code, first proposed in 2012 as a tribute to Ray Bradbury's classic novel is now an IETF standard and is the preferred error message for a server to send to a browser when content is blocked for legal reasons. Read the rest

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