Censorship

Girl, ACLU, Author Fight District Over Banning of Sophie\'s Choice

A California school student, with the help of the ACLU and author, William Styron, may file suit against the student\'s school district for banning the 1979 American Book Award winning novel, \"Sophie\'s Choice.\"
The story depicts the life of a Holocaust survivor. The school pulled the book from the shelves after a parent complained about its sexual content. More

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Fed Court Asked To Revoke Remaining Net Obscenity Provision

The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) is trying to force a NY Federal court to overturn the remaining provisions of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) that prohibit Web sites from displaying obscene material on the internet. More

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U.S. Librarians and Publishers Confront Joseph McCarthy

Check Out \"The Overseas Libraries Controversy and the Freedom to Read:
U.S. Librarians and Publishers Confront Joseph McCarthy\"
from Libraries and Culture.

\"Abstract: In the early Cold War years, censorship pressures on libraries led in 1948 to the adoption of a strengthened Library Bill of Rights by the American Library Association (ALA). In 1953 pressures intensified when Senator Joseph McCarthy opened an investigation of the United States Department of State\'s Overseas Libraries. This essay explores the response of the ALA and the American Book Publishers Council to McCarthy\'s attacks. Through adoption of The Freedom to Read and the Overseas Libraries Statement, librarians and publishers identified librarians as defenders of intellectual freedom. In addition, they helped to restore balance to book selection for U.S. information services abroad and affected the role of books and libraries in cultural diplomacy.\"

Note: Link may not work for everyone, subscription required. Big ups to Rory for pointing that out.

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3 Quirkie Stories on Censorship

Lee Hadden writes: \"Three quirkie stories about censorship come from Annanova.com.

In One Story, a Swedish man was banned from travel to fourteen other
EU countries because he put up a poster in Belgium that was opposed to the
European Union. For expressing his non-politically correct beliefs, he is
banned from travel or transit throughout the rest of the EU, and must stay
home in Sweden from now on. A more modern take on \"The Man Without a
Country,\" or in this case, \"The Man Without a Union.\"

In a second story, a senior wanted her pet rat to be included in her
yearbook photograph. The principal denied the request, and the girl is
suing. This is surprising to me, since my high school yearbook was filled
with pictures of rats. And jerks. And...

Finally, a German tabloid was officially censored by the German
Federal Press Council for calling the English \"Tommy Sods,\" smelling like
\"dead sheep\" and having \"BSE pot bellies.\" The hapless Brits were also
accused of having both stale beer (a deadly insult in Germany!) and stale
brains, after they trounced Germany 5-1 in soccer. I guess the Germans
should either love the Brits or shut up.

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Access to information is declining after Sept. 11

The Orlando Sentinel has another story on FOI stuff being Flouted around the country.
They say since Sept. 11, it has become much harder to get such information from the federal government, a growing number of states and public libraries as heightened concern about national security has often trumped the public\'s \"right to know:\"
At least it\'s not only happening in Boston.

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More Info on Michael Moore\'s Latest Book

From Library Journal
HarperCollins Dumps-Moore Rewrites Stupid Book?

Media outlets from Drudge Report to PW NewsLine last week claimed Michael Moore was furiously rewriting Stupid...Moore says he is just waiting for already printed books-as many as 100,000-to be shipped...

The full story from LJ

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Request prompts policy over book in school library

Most challenged book stories go something like this:
Angry parent: \"Your books are ruining the world Satanist!\"
Angry librarian: \"Shut up Nazi!\"
ALA: \"Come to our conference, we got donuts!\"
School Administrator: \"Duuuh, me read good\"

This One has a bit more information. Interesting to note is the challenger disagreed with the committee\'s use of American Library Association policy in the decision, because it may not say the same thing as the school policy.

\"If you read the U-32 library policy, that (bill) is not even mentioned\" he said.
The story described the ALA\'s recommendation for educational libraries as essentially stating that any expurgation of a library\'s materials is a violation of the ALA\'s bill of rights.
I bring this up as a possible example of \"Waving the ALA guidelines around\"

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Michael Moore\'s New Book Censored by HarperCollins

Filmmaker and author Michael Moore\'s new book won\'t be on the shelf to buy for that last minute holiday gift. There is nothing on the web about this (that I could find - please correct me if I\'m wrong) but in an email to the Progressive Librarians Guild listserve (PLGNet-L) Ann Sparanese reports that

[Moore] told the assembled
audience of 100+ people that his publisher HarperCollins had informed him that they will not be selling/distributing his new book \"Stupid White Men and Other Excuses for the State of the Nation\" -- already printed -- because the content is offensive. He reported that the publisher also told him that he (Moore) is being \"intellectually dishonest\" not to state that GW Bush has done a good job in the last few months. Moore said that he has been told that the book will NOT be distributed as is, will be destroyed, and that if he will rewrite AND pay for the repinting of the book HarperCollins will publish the new version!!.

Read on for the full email, published here with Ann\'s kind permission.

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Are graphic novels next?

Someone passed along
This
one
on a [not the largest] public library in
Quebec being forced by the city council to remove 180
comic books from the regular stacks in Hull\'s library.
They are stored in a separate room accessible only by
employees. Hull\'s city council passed the motion in
response to public complaints that the library carried
pornographic material, that was accessible by children.

\"The books were originally on shelves right next
to the main desk, in the direct line of vision from the
counter. They were always visible to us. We would
know if children were taking books from those
particular shelves.\"

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The Problem With Community Standards

Ever vigilant James Nimmo passed along word on The movie
Fat Girl being banned in Ontario because it
violates \"community standards.\"

First it was delayed, refused for a second time to release it, while the director says he Is Stupified, and People Are Not Happy Aboot This.
It may help them here though, as newspaper advertisements in Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle, where Fat Girl opens on the weekend, will carry the words \"Banned in Canada\" in their copy, not a bad Idea, eh?

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