[LINK] Censorship Issues..

Bob Bain bobb@soxkat.com
Thu, 13 Feb 2003 11:04:57 +1100


On Thu, 09 Jan 2003 22:21:49 +1000, Irene Graham wrote:

>> The people involved in the sale and distribution of such material
>>need to consider not only the legal aspect of the sale but also the
>>morality and the effect the sale of such material may have on those
>>with an unfortunate tendency to indulge in such activity.

>A topic for a different list is the lack of empirical evidence supporting
>alleged 'effects':  http://libertus.net/censor/studies.html

 I've taken a peek through this material.  There appears to be
differing views on the subject.  In the case of voyeur video material
such as "Real Hidden Peeing 2" (and the series is now up to "Real
Hidden Peeing 4") the suggestion is to bore holes in ceilings and
walls with a view to video taping females urinating in the toilet.  

 These movies are sometimes sold with what appears to be an artificial
"X" rating and are sometimes sold unrated. (same titles but different
stores).

 It has been suggested to me that such material could be staged.  

 Indeed it could but in the case of "Real Hidden Locker Rooms"
(material seemingly obtained by secretly filming in women's changing
rooms in department stores) there is reference to the fact that
offenders [those contributing material] have been arrested and the
material is so fuzzy it carries little by way of erotic content it is
unlikely to be staged.

 A copy of these movies are now in the hands of the OFLC who have
discounted the matter as nothing to do with them  (Des Clark, in
writing January 2003 with copies to the Hon Jackie Kelly and the Hon
Bob Debus).

 Some of the material submitted seemingly bears a false "X" rating and
is not found on the OFLC database. Community Liaison Officers of the
OFLC are by my understanding meant to liaise with the community and
also from my understanding are meant to advise retail outlets of their
legal obligations as was the case with the computer game "Grand Auto
Theft 3".  I have been asking the OFLC for a considerable length of
time what progress Community Liaison Officers are making with regard
to advising Restricted Publications Areas in New South Wales of their
legal obligations.  The question remains unanswered.

 I believe it was just over a year ago that a lawyer was convicted of
secretly taping his female staff in the toilet by installing
surveillance cameras in the walls of his practice.  I don't read or
follow the mainstream media with any regularity but from what I
understand he was fined somewhere in the region of $11,000 and his
staff were alleged to be suffering from trauma.

 In the case of "Peepshow Special No 2" (genuine "X" rated, unpirated
DVD)  the "action" is seemingly real and premeditated.  This is a
movie that carries a genuine "X" rating and can be found on the OFLC
database, and which I purchased (legally) from one of the at least two
adult outlets in Parramatta (Parramatta Adult Book Exchange - the
other is "Kelly's Books and Videos" in North Parramatta) 

 (No "nudge nudge, wink wink" - these are legitimate businesses)

 This video was approved by the OFLC in 1999.   It has also been very
openly on sale in York Street Sydney at a much lower price within a
few seconds walk from Sydney Town Hall  and at Club X in George Street

 If one walks a few seconds in the other direction one can openly
purchase bestiality from stores other than those indicated.

 The blurb on the cover reads "These are genuine hidden camera
sequences.  Nothing is cut and all participants later agreed to the
video being shown".  

 By definition nothing can be rated "X" that falls into the category
of an "offensive fetish" such as candle wax.  Here hidden camera
material is deemed "ok" providing the person secretly filmed later
agrees to the material being shown. 

 In this movie, which I purchased for documntary purposes, a cameraman
agrees with an accomplice to secretly videotape sexual antics in a car
from a nearby caravan involving the "accomplice" and an unknowing and
a seemingly unsuspecting female (who objects on film to the manner in
which the material was obtained).  She seemingly later agreed to the
material being shown. (from the blurb on the cover of the DVD).  This
means the material is "ok" in the mindset of the government, the
community and the OFLC, while candle wax is offensive.

 What the OFLC, the government(s) (as the alleged arbiter(s) of public
morality) and the police (by failure to act) are saying is that the
behaviour not of any concern.

 Des Clark has suggested that I should not purchase material from
video outlets for "documentary purposes"..  However as I pointed out
recently to the Hon. Ms. Kelly, I, along with many thousands of other
people (young, old, male, female, working, retired, employed,
unemployed, short, tall, fat  or thin) regularly and legally puchase
material from adult outlets in New South Wales and there is nothing
criminal, illegal, unethical or immoral about doing so.

>I'm a fraction surprised, Bob, to hear you speaking of "morality" (whose?)
>in the context of justifiable grounds for censorship. However, you've been
>giving the impression that you want more censorship for some time now, and
>especially when you sent a number of complaints to the ABA about Internet
>content. Your recent posts add to that impression.

 My concerns are not about the "lllegal sale" but about the
"illegality of sale".  Censorship is enshrined in the statues of the
State and Federal Governments and in the "Code" (a seemingly
meaningless set of words from the  perspective of the acceptance of
material that falls well outside the "code" of what is the most
populous state of Australia).

 When it comes to "community standards" I note again that the local
standards are extremely broad in the electorate of Lindsay.  A few
days ago (as was the case in 1998 when I questioned the Hon Ms. Kelly
on the subect - refer to the Link archives) I discovered Japanese Hard
Core S&M material carrying an "X" rating, "animal movies" (bestiality)
- unrated, plenty of "toilet sex" including RC material on this theme,
straight "X" rated material, homosexual material and indeed the
infamous/(not so infamous) video tape involving the acrtress Debbie
Byrne.

>I cannot see how enforcing censorship laws would or could adequately
>protect the privacy of individuals. For example, if the film involving an
>actress (to which you keep referrring) infringes the current censorship
>laws and the ban on sale of such material in NSW was being enforced, what's
>to prevent the distributors cutting it to say R18 or even MA and continuing
>to distribute it, thereby still infringing that person's privacy.

 I have a copy of the movie Irene.  I watched it once (fast forward)
It involves a bubblebath, a limp penis and a lot of bubbles.  Remove
the "explicit" sections and all one would be left with is some water,
a nude actress taking a bath, and a lot of bubbles.  It's very blurred
and the quality appalliing.  It isn't even  worth watching.

 It wasn't me that suggested the material should be subject to
censorship restrictions.  The police raided the Haymarket Adult Book
Exchange on the afternoon of the 23rd. July 1998 suggesting this video
was the prime objective of their raids after a "police investigation"
of several months (to me this is simply a joke). The event ruined my
routine browsing of retail outlets in the city.  It was back on the
shelves very quickly and has *never* not been available in the area in
which I live.

 However from press cuttings pinned to a wall in at least one outlet
the actress expressed deep personal anguish regarding the public sale
and distribution of this movie.

>Legislative protection for individual's privacy is what's necessary, not
>increased censorship laws or enforcement thereof.

 Which involves ? 

>I suggest, Bob, that you sort out whether you want more privacy protection,
>more copyright protection, more censorship, or a combination. Then,
>advocate accordingly. Advocating merely more censorship will not achieve
>the former two.

 I answered that question but expand and refine my personal views, and
they are only personal views but mindful of community attitudes.

 Less censorship (at law and in the "code") 
 -------------------------------------------------------

 "Community standards" should be based on global standards of
acceptance rather than local ones given that in a world where
boundaries are all but non-existant the concept of "local" community
is now a misnomer.

 {In this regard I note a recent press article that the "mosaic" type
of censorship used in Japan is now almost meaningless given that the
Japanese now import material from overseas (sans "mosaic" censosrship)
based on widely available Internet advertising]

 The removal of the "X" rating.  The "X" rating is now completely
irrelevant from the point of view of adult material available in New
South Wales and in the context of a global environment.  This taken
together with the seeming non interest of the OFLC or the police in
either advising retail outlets (in the case of the OFLC) or enforcing
the laws on the Statute books (in the case of the New South Wales
police) suggests that the OFLC should take no part in the rating of
adult material and that the "X" rating should be abandoned and the
rules regarding the sale and distribution be amended to conform to the
most liberal standards applied to adult material in liberal
democracies such as the United States or Japan.

 Privacy
 ---------

 The EFA has positions on privacy.  It is of concern to many
individuals.

  It has been of less interest to me personally than censorship but is
an issue that is important to many people.

  It's the call of the EFA and individuals concerned about privacy
issues.  I have a low personal (but growing interest) in matters of
privacy.  However I'm not a "privacy" person.believing that what
people do in the privacy of their own home is their own affair and
should not be subject to intrustion. 

 Matters relating to public places are of less concern - such as
photographing people in the street.

 Copyright
 -------------

 From a consumer's point of view copyrighted material is usually of a
higher technical quality than material where copyright cannot be
enforced due to illegality.

 =======================

 The Director of the OFLC has suggested I contact detectives at Sydney
Central Police Station.  I have already filed a crime report dated
27th. September 2002 and this is under consideration by the Hon. Ms.
Kelly, the Hon. Bob Debus and the Hon NSW Minister for Police.

 As there has been no action with regard to this crime report and
considering that there has been little interest from my local Member
of Parliament (the Hon. Ms. Kelly) with regard to enforcement I shall
probably be contacting a Detective at Central Police Station named in
a letter from the Director of the OFLC (Des Clark) notifying him of
the availability of such material, but noting that as the sale of such
material appears to fall within community standards that no action be
taken (as is their practice) with copies to Federal and State
politicians. 



----------------
Bob Bain
Sydney Australia
bobb@soxkat.com
www.bobboz.da.ru
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