Stephan Urbach is part of Telecomix (previously), activists who worked tirelessly to keep the Internet on during the Arab Spring, when endangered despots were killswitching net links in a bid to keep protest from spreading. Read the rest
General YK Museveni has been president of Uganda for 30 years, presiding over a grinding and brutal civil war as well as a series of far-reaching laws that limit the human rights of Ugandans. Read the rest
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
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
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
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.
Read the rest
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