Censorship

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If Trudeau Won't Defend M-103, Why Should We?

When Rebel Media sent out emails claiming that "Canada is on the verge of passing a law that would prohibit criticizing Islam" and that "If this motion passes, Canadians can be persecuted for expressing any criticism of Islam, even when warranted," I pointed out that M-103 is a motion, not a law, and that it will not change a single comma of existing speech legislation. Apparently, Prime Minister Trudeau disagrees.
Sébastien Vachon

My Husband Is In Prison For Exercising His Freedom Of Expression

Freedom of expression has cost my husband, Raif Badawi, his own freedom. As we speak, he is locked inside a small cell in a remote prison in Saudi Arabia; a country where censorship prevails. A country, my country, which views women as second class citizens. A country, my husband's country, that he so loves -- all of its land, its women and men, his love of his country, which extends right up to the doors of Shura, which is set on ruining the aspirations of an entire people. A country where the young are choking in a whisper that should be a scream.
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Liberal Copyright Reform May Nix Canadian Access To U.S. Netflix

The prospect of considering expanded blocking for copyright purposes validates the fears of civil liberties groups that the introduction of blocking requirements invariably expands to cover a wider net of content. Canadian copyright was already on track for a boisterous debate in the coming years with changes such as copyright term extension mandated by the Trans Pacific Partnership and a review of the law scheduled for 2017. If government officials envision adding VPN usage, access to U.S. Netflix and website blocking to the list of issues, copyright could emerge as one of the government's most difficult and controversial issues.
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Viet Cong Is Dumb Art, Not an Argument for Taboos

The problem with this particular group of guys isn't that they invoked the Vietnam War at all, it's that they did it for a really shitty reason. To suggest that any subject matter be restricted to any artist is a low-key expression of censorship and should be resisted. Politically sensitive, controversial imagery needs to be available; to declare it off-limits infantilizes the role of music and art, and our expectations from it.
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Steven Galloway, a Petition Can Not Be Defined as 'Censorship'

So there you have it: censorship takes place when authorities -- i.e. those with real power -- issue fatwas, demand a book be withdrawn, remove it from schools/libraries, burn or otherwise prevent people from reading it. It would be censorship if Mr. Harper's Minister of literature turned around and said, "Take that sucker off the shelves. No one's gonna read about tampon lollipops on my watch!" No matter how hard Galloway et al. twists it, a petition to the Canada Council to reconsider an award just doesn't qualifies as censorship in the real world.
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What's Sony's Beef With Google?

Sony, along with a number of other major Hollywood studios and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have been desperately trying to force Google to block search results that enable Internet users to illegally download their protected material. They want to create a situation where Internet service providers can block access to whole websites in an effort to prevent piracy.
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Why Is Happiness a Crime in Iran?

Seven Iranian students have received a suspended sentence of up to 12 months and 91 lashes each. Their crime: they recorded a video signing Pharrell Williams' song, Happy. A huge disconnect is obvious in Iran and Saudi Arabia where, in the name of Islam, varying degrees of orthodoxy is being enforced on the masses.
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Why Are So Many Journalists in Jail?

Imagine a world without a George Orwell and The Road to Wigan Pier, without Katherine Boo and Behind the Beautiful Forevers, or without Óscar Martínez and The Beast. What if Britain, the United States, and El Salvador had silenced these radicals before they ever documented working class poverty, the economics of slum life, and the horror of migrant trails?

Why the Freedom to Read Matters

In a world without the freedom to read, I am Salman Rushdie. I am 460 Confucian scholars who were suffocated to death so that recorded history would begin with the reign of Emperor Shih Huang Ti. I am Martin Luther whose Ninety-Five Theses was burned, but not before it set the stage for the Protestant Reformation. In a world without the freedom to read, I am anyone who has ever been censored into silence.

Penguin Books India Gave Up on Freedom of Expression

Only days ago, news leaked that Penguin Books India had quietly settled a 2011 lawsuit filed against it by a conservative Indian education reform group, which required the publisher to withdraw and destroy all available copies of the Indian edition of University of Chicago professor Wendy Doniger's book The Hindus: An Alternative History.
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Sex, Death And Witches: Movie Frights For Halloween In Vancouver

People like me who get excited about poring over the cheapie bins for bargain-priced cult classics should be positively ecstatic about the October programming at the Vancity Theatre. I talked to VIFC programmer Tom Charity about the VIFC's late October schedule -- including the Vancouver-shot porno chic Sexcula; the inspired decision to have Vancouver's Funerary Call do a live score for Häxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages; and the two films paired with Häxan: Ken Russell's The Devils -- a serious favourite of mine -- and Dario Argento's Inferno.
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Shortcomings in the Campus Freedom Index

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has just released its annual Campus Freedom Index, which adjudicates universities and student unions vis-à-vis freedom of expression on campus. Though an important topic, there are some problems with this study.
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Censorship Can't Be Our Default Internet Setting

We've all heard scary censorship stories, in which oppressive governments block access to information, and only allow residents of a nation to see, read, or watch what rulers permit. These stories usually start off slowly -- with justifiable censorship activities taking place for the supposed wellbeing of the nation--and escalate quickly. So why, then, are our governments talking about making censorship the default for the Internet in the U.K. and Canada?