Wiki Actu en

October 12, 2015

Wikinews interviews painter Pricasso on his art and freedom of expression

Wikinews interviews painter Pricasso on his art and freedom of expression

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
Wikimedia-logo.svg This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Wikinews interviewed Australian painter Pricasso on his unique artwork created using his penis, and how his art relates to freedom of expression and issues of censorship. He is to be featured at the upcoming adult entertainment event Sexpo Australia in Melbourne this November 5 to November 8.

File photo of Pricasso, 2012.
Image: Eva Rinaldi.

Background

Pricasso painting a portrait in Australia at Sexpo (2012)
Image: Eva Rinaldi.

Pricasso is the stage name of Australian painter Tim Patch, in a nod to the artist Picasso while using the word prick. Pricasso has been painting portraits using his penis for more than ten years.

Based in Australia, Pricasso paints his artwork using his buttocks and scrotum in addition to his penis. According to 640 Toronto News, Pricasso markets himself as “The World’s Greatest Penile Artist”.

Cquote1.svg I consider my work as satire just like late night TV, something that gives light relief to a serious subject. Cquote2.svg

Pricasso

He is able to create 20 paintings in one day. Pricasso also practices other styles besides portraits, including landscape painting and nudes. Typically his portraits take him not more than 15 minutes to paint. He told Coconuts TV he chose to specialize in creating artwork in this manner because he felt it was a niche market.

His fanbase is international; Pricasso has journeyed to locations including the United States, Holland, Germany, Brazil, Mexico and China to paint portraits for people. Though he is willing to travel to display his talent, Pricasso told In Touch Weekly most of his income is Internet-based.

Wikinews interviewed Pricasso about his artwork and asked for his thoughts on topics of censorship and freedom of expression. We discussed what are considered appropriate forms of parody and satire of public figures — protected in the United States following the Supreme Court case Hustler Magazine v. Falwell.

The interview touched upon a 2013 conflict which arose on our sister site for images and media, Wikimedia Commons, when an image of a portrait of Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales painted by Pricasso was uploaded to the site. Wales called it “harassment” and a succession of deletion discussions ensued. We asked Pricasso about this as well as the different reaction from former-Mayor of Cape Town Helen Zille, who called his painting of her part of a “free society” where artists “exercise their freedom in unusual ways.”

Interview

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Pricasso, thanks for agreeing to do this interview with Wikinews.

Pricasso: Thanks for doing this, great questions.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How long have you been painting in this particular fashion?

Pricasso: I first tried it over 10 years ago and realised it would be possible with practice to get as good with it but in a slightly more impressionistic style than I could with a brush, and I really liked the results, of course at first I had to work out the paint formula and what to paint on which was done by trial and error — and then finding somewhere to practice, which was a problem until I was invited to become a member of a Bondage club in Brisbane, my first patron. There I realised that there were so many people with totally different views on what is acceptable in society, and were always protesting over most censorship issues.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How long can you paint with your penis at one time before it gets too tiring?

Pricasso: At most Sexpo’s and Adult Expos I paint for 13 hours a day in half slots so I paint 20 plus paintings a day. When I am painting I have to concentrate hard and go into a meditative state; I don’t notice much going on around me until I have finished.

Example of Pricasso applying paint before creating a piece of artwork.
Image: Pricasso.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Other than your penis, what other parts of your body do you use in the painting process?

Pricasso: I quickly worked out that I could speed it up by using my testicles and butt cheeks to cover large areas in no time at all, but only recently do I paint the edges using my butt-crack, I call it the credit card swipe!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How did you come up with the name Pricasso?

Pricasso: That was the heading they christened me with in the Picture Magazine interview in 2006. I realised it was Gold and took out the website and trademark.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What’s the most positive reaction you’ve had to one of your paintings?

Pricasso: It is always satisfying to get applause when a painting is finished; at most adult shows this happened all the time; but I do like painting disabled people. I have painted several people with severe cerebral palsy and they are over the moon with the result; this gives me the most pleasure, as I do realise that they are still sexually active people and everyone should realise this.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Have any of your paintings been featured in a gallery somewhere?

Pricasso: I have entered the Bald Archy Exhibition in Australia every year and sold a few. Also at an exhibition of politicians in Australia, and last November I went to Miami for the Art undressed exhibition and also painted 15 minute portraits there which was fun.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you consider it a form of freedom of expression to create your artwork in the way you do with your penis?

Pricasso: When I first thought of the idea I was really thinking I could get invited to a few parties as the entertainment which I do regularly, but now I am getting a good style about my work and want to take it to the next level and be accepted as an innovator.

Cquote1.svg A free society throws up these kinds of people, who exercise their freedom in unusual ways. Cquote2.svg

—Cape Town former-Mayor Helen Zille

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png In 2008, prior to a Sexpo event in South Africa, you uploaded a video to the Internet of yourself painting a portrait of then-Mayor of Cape Town Helen Zille. Why did you decide to do this?

Pricasso: No particular reason on my behalf, it was the organisers of the Sexpo who got me to paint it mainly for publicity. But also to have a portrait on my stand, who people in Cape Town would relate to as I now know she is very popular and has a great sense of humour.

Cape Town former-Mayor Helen Zille
Image: Helen Zille, Democratic Alliance, South Africa.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Mayor of Cape Town Helen Zille commented of your portrait painting of her: “This is a free country. A free society throws up these kinds of people, who exercise their freedom in unusual ways. And if this is how he wants to do it, I must accept his constitutional right to do so.” — what are your thoughts on her reaction?

Pricasso: Sounds a bit formal but that is how politicians usually talk, guarded and a totally correct response, the trouble is that if they spoke from the heart it might come back to bite them one day, but I did talk to one of her aides privately and she said they were all really impressed and loved the concept, I really should have offered to paint her too but I was probably flat out all day — I always am at the South African shows.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Mayor Zille further commented about the quality of your painting of her: “[Pricasso] has achieved a good likeness and I can’t imagine how he painted it without brushes or conventional equipment.” — what do you think of this assessment?

Pricasso: Most people are impressed when they see it done, skeptical at first but after the initial shock they all usually stop to watch until I finish that particular painting, usually they take about 15 minutes.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png If you could speak to Mayor Zille, what would you say to her about her reaction to your painting of her?

Pricasso: I would say I was impressed with her response, mostly girls are much more impressed than guys only a minority of guys I might add, lots of them love it and me too!! But in general she gave a responsible and educated reply and was not at all offended by the experience.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png In 2011, one member of the Gold Coast Sculptors’ Society quit in protest due to your participation in the ‘Exotic Erotic’ show — how do you feel when people react to your artwork in this way?

Pricasso: I guess I could say; This is a free country. A free society throws up these kinds of people, who exercise their dissaproval in various ways. And if this is how she wants to protest, I must accept her constitutional right to do so. There was that politically correct enough? Or maybe the silly old B***ch — but her reaction did get heaps of publicity for the show and they had record numbers coming through the doors so there was a silver lining. But obviously it is a bit confronting and not everyone’s cup of tea but if they could just see it before they get on their high horse they might have a different point of view.

The painting of Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, the uploading of which Wales called “harassment”. 2013.
Image: Pricasso.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You painted a portrait of Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales in 2013; a picture and a video file of the making of this painting were uploaded to Wikipedia’s sister site for images and media, Wikimedia Commons. Shortly thereafter, the files were nominated for deletion and a deletion discussion ensued — what are your thoughts on this discussion?

Pricasso: I did not think Wikipedia censored anything as on Jimmy Wales’ Twitter account his banner heading is: “Wikia guy. Free speech activist, entrepreneur.” Either this is misleading in the very least or blatantly untrue.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The deletion discussion at Wikimedia Commons resulted in keeping the photograph of your portrait of Jimmy Wales, but deleting the video of your making-of-the-portrait — do you consider a video of your portrait painting to be offensive?

Pricasso: Not in the least; it’s pure performance art.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png During the deletion discussion, Jimmy Wales commented “I encourage people to go to commons and work to explain to the community there some of the concepts behind Hostile environment sexual harrassment. I encourage everyone to seriously consider whether it is appropriate behavior to upload a clearly non-notable film of someone using his penis to paint a picture of a Wikipedia volunteer. It is harassment, it is trolling, and I am deeply disappointed to have to point this out to some people.” What do you think of his response to your artwork? Do you feel your paintings constitute harassment?

Pricasso: Harassment is when one continually annoys someone, over and over again; I only painted the one painting of him and it to my mind was not offensive, I consider my work as satire just like late night TV, something that gives light relief to a serious subject. There are many examples of political cartoon images on Wikipedia, so why are they still up there or is it just the things Jimmy Wales doesn’t like get taken down? By the way anyone who has not seen the offending Video can view it on Vimeo under Pricasso: http://vimeo.com/user10315938/review/68837137/893b31ca54

I paint about 1000 portraits a year and get paid by the sitters or a close friend of them to do so. I had a request to paint a portrait, to do [this] portrait of Jimmy Wales with a video of me painting, by Russavia (who is an editor at Wikipedia), something I do all the time and I have great feedback as to how funny the videos are; I had no idea who Jimmy Wales was at the time of the request, but painted him only once so it can’t be called Harassment. Is he just using his position of power to cut and censor … It took me a lot of effort and time to put this together so I was pretty upset. And would really like it to be republished next to the portrait as originally it was before Mr Wales had it removed.

[Editor’s note: Accusations of harassment focused on the uploader, rather than the artist; the successive heated discussions, over about six months, that ultimately led to the video’s deletion from Commons may be read here. Jimmy Wales expressed his position elsewhere and did not directly participate in the discussions themselves.]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How do you compare the reactions by Mayor of Cape Town Helen Zille who said your portrait painting of her was a product of a “free society” and a reflection of how people “exercise their freedom” with the comment by Jimmy Wales calling the publication of your artwork “harassment” ? Which of these individuals do you feel is correct, Mayor Zille or Wales, and why?

Pricasso: I think Helen got it. They in South Africa are struggling with change from being suppressed to one of freedom as she said “a free society”. Jimmy Wales on the other hand although promoting himself as The Free Speech Guy is censoring things he does not agree with and calling it Harassment, not a good look Jimmy!!

I did put the video of Helen Zille being painted on YouTube. It was there for a few months but they too delete my work quite regularly so it’s probably long gone.

She is an experienced politician and would weigh up the fors and against before she acted, obviously the fors had it.

Mr. Wales on the other hand has probably not seen a lot of my work; if he had he would know I do it for fun and not really to be taken too seriously, it’s a comedy performance, but he could not see the unique talent of someone who has cornered the world market of penis portraits painting with no imitators for the past 10 years, so before too many people could have a small chuckle at his expense he had it deleted, I’m sure there would be many others who would like to remove things on Wikipedia but don’t have the muscle to do so.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Have you experienced censorship or attempts by others to limit your freedom of expression? How so, and what was your reaction?

Pricasso: As I said before YouTube is always deleting my videos when someone complains, sometimes even when there is no genitals visible. Once one was taken down because the guy I was painting had the word (fuck) on his tee shirt; I mean how many films have this word in the dialogue. Also in Macau at the adult show, the people who make the rules make me perform inside an enclosed area, and people are wary of coming in through the door so is a bit slow there; and the guys that run the show are so polite and passionate trying to change China slowly, making it more open, that I keep on returning year after year.

Signed painting of a French Bulldog, by Pricasso. 2013.
Image: Pricasso.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you consider some of your art pieces to be forms of parody or satire of famous people?

Pricasso: Oh yes I love creating something topical and painting a spoof on famous people, and painting with a penis really lends itself to this form of art, but I just painted a normal portrait of Jimmy Wales, as I said before I had no idea who he was before I googled him. And found this heading [on] his Twitter account (seems to me he has a few double standards) “Jimmy Wales
 Verified account
‪ @jimmy_wales You know, the ‪@Wikipedia and ‪@Wikia guy. Free speech activist, entrepreneur.”

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Are you familiar with the U.S. Supreme Court case, Hustler Magazine v. Falwell ? How do you feel after reading about the unanimous decision protecting parody as a form of freedom of speech in that case?

Pricasso: Thanks for sharing that with me, I had no idea about this case and it’s good to know that freedom of speech is alive and well in America. Actually I was a bit taken aback by the parody and slightly offended that I have been put in the same category, my painting is pure performance art and I don’t go out of my way to offend. And I am totally against censorship. It’s a shame the same is not true about Wikipedia and Mr. Wales.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Pricasso, thanks again for doing this interview with Wikinews, is there anything else you’d like to add?

Pricasso: Not at the moment. I’m exhausted! Thanks.



Related news

Sister links

  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Pricasso
  • Commons-logo.svg Pricasso
  • Wikiquote-logo.svg Pricasso
  • Wiktionary-logo.svg Pricasso

Sources

Wikinews
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.
Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

External links

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

August 17, 2015

Woman fined in Spain under new \’Gag law\’

Woman fined in Spain under new ‘Gag Law’

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, August 17, 2015

Crime and law
Related articles

Crime and law
Collaborate!
  • Pillars of Wikinews writing
  • Writing an article

The posted photo of a police vehicle parked in handicapped bay in Petrer, Spain; license number removed.
Image: Facebook.

A woman in Spain has been fined 800 after posting a photograph to her Facebook account of a police vehicle parked in space reserved for disabled/handicapped drivers. She was located and fined within two days of posting the photograph. The incident has now gained international attention.

The woman, who has not been named, saw the police vehicle parked in a reserved spot in Petrer and snapped a photo. She posted the photo with the caption: “Park where you bloody well please and you won’t even be fined.”((es))

Fernando Portillo, a local police spokesperson, told local media the vehicle was parked there because police were responding to an emergency. After the story was reported on a local news website, it began to be reported internationally.

On July 1, the “Citizens’ Security law” went into effect. The law was written in response to violent protests. Even before its enactment it saw widespread criticism. It was dubbed the “gag law”((es)) or the “gagging law”. The law prohibits “the unauthorized use of images of police officers that might jeopardize their or their family’s safety or that of protected facilities or police operations”((es)).

Judge Joaquim Bosch, Judges for Democracy spokesperson, said: “It is not a law for citizens’ security, but a law for the government to avoid citizens’ protests. All opinion polls indicate that the Spanish society is not at all preoccupied by security but by the economic situation and political corruption.”

Amnesty International condemned the law in a report: “With threats of fines or threats of being beaten, the government is trying to stigmatize and criminalize people who are just practicing their rights.” Virginia Álvarez, who wrote the report, noted, “instead of listening to their demands, instead of starting a dialogue, authorities are doing everything they can to impede people from protesting”.

The part of the law which prohibits “the unauthorized use of images of police officers that might jeopardize their or their family’s safety” is cited as the reason for the fine, however, police spokesperson Fernando Portillo said it was up to police officers involved and under the new law they could do this. “We would have preferred a different solution but they have the legal right to impose the fine,” Portillo said, but the public posting of the photo impugned the officers’ sense of honor.



Sources[]

Bookmark-new.svg

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

March 27, 2015

UK Supreme Court require government to release Prince Charles \’black spider\’ letters

UK Supreme Court require government to release Prince Charles ‘black spider’ letters

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Friday, March 27, 2015

United Kingdom
Related articles
Location of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom (orthographic projection).svg
Collaborate!
  • Pillars of Wikinews writing
  • Writing an article

Prince Charles
Image: Dan Marsh.

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom have concluded yesterday that the government must release a series of 27 letters sent by Prince Charles to government ministers and that attempts to prevent their publication under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 have been unlawful.

The letters were sent to ministers of the previous Labour government in the years of 2004 and 2005 and contain advocacy that has been described as “particularly frank”. The Guardian newspaper have been attempting to have these letters released using freedom of information legislation for ten years.

Dominic Grieve
Image: Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

In 2012, the Attorney General Dominic Grieve blocked the publication of the letters despite a ruling from the information tribunal that the release of the letters is in the public interest. Grieve’s statement at the time argued Prince Charles’ correspondence was “of very considerable practical benefit” to his “preparations for kingship” as “such correspondence and dialogue will assist him in fulfilling his duties”. Grieve went on to argue correspondence of this nature “must be under conditions of confidentiality” otherwise both the Prince and government ministers “will feel seriously inhibited from exchanging views candidly and frankly”. The statement from Grieve asserts “The Prince of Wales is party-political neutral” and “it is highly important that he is not considered by the public to favour one political party or another”, but that if the letters were released there would be the risk he would be “viewed by others as disagreeing with government policy” and “such perception would be seriously damaging to his role as future Monarch, because if he forfeits his position of political neutrality as heir to the Throne, he cannot easily recover it when he is King.”

Lord Neuberger, who gave the opinion of the majority of the court.
Image: National Assembly for Wales.

Lord Neuberger, in giving the majority decision of the court, stated the Attorney General could not veto the release “merely because he, a member of the executive, considering the same facts and arguments, takes a different view from that taken by the tribunal or court”. Neuberger said the legislation’s veto power did not go so far as to “enable a member of the executive to over-ride a judicial decision” and that the Attorney General “proceeded on the basis of findings which differed radically from those made by the upper tribunal without real or adequate explanation.”

Appeal judges had subsequently ruled this veto on the part of the Attorney General to be unlawful, and the further appeal by the government to the Supreme Court has been unsuccessful. The government is required to release the documents within 30 days, although it is possible some of the contents may be redacted.

A spokeswoman for the Prince of Wales stated the ruling is “a matter for the Government” but that the Prince is “disappointed the principle of privacy has not been upheld.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said the decision was “disappointing”: “This is about the principle that senior members of the Royal Family are able to express their views to government confidentially. I think most people would agree this is fair enough.”

A spokeswoman for Cameron elaborated: “The prime minister has been very clear this morning it is a deeply disappointing judgment. He doesn’t agree with it. He thinks what’s at stake here is an important principle about the ability of senior members of the royal family to express their views to government confidentially. He thinks that’s a principle that we should uphold. So while we have taken steps in this parliament to strengthen the ability to do that through the FOI act, if there needs to be more done to make that clear, then the prime minister is clear those steps should happen in the next parliament.”

The legislation was already amended in 2010 to make it so that correspondence and other matters related to the Royal family are exempt from further freedom of information requests. Graham Smith, from Republic, which campaigns for an elected head of state, argues there needs to be greater transparency over the Royal Family’s affairs: “The court has defended democratic principles over the interests of the royal family and that needs to be enshrined in law. David Cameron’s response is worrying because he says he wants to tighten up the veto.”

The Labour MP Paul Flynn raised the possibility the ruling might have consequences for Charles’ suitability to be King: “If there are serious questions about the suitability of Prince Charles as a monarch there could be a question in the public mind about whether to skip a generation. The attorney general already said the main justification for keeping the letters secret was they would hinder Charles’s ability to be a successful monarch.”



Related news

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

March 20, 2015

Supreme Court of Sweden agrees to try Bildkonst Upphovsrätt i Sverige versus Wikimedia Sverige

Supreme Court of Sweden agrees to try Bildkonst Upphovsrätt i Sverige versus Wikimedia Sverige

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
Crime and law
Related articles

Crime and law
Collaborate!
  • Pillars of Wikinews writing
  • Writing an article
Wikimedia-logo.svg This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The highest court in Sweden, the Supreme Court, agreed on Monday to try the case “Ö 849-15” between Bildkonst Upphovsrätt i Sverige (BUS, Visual Arts Copyright Society in Sweden) and Wikimedia Sverige (Wikimedia Sweden). The jurisprudence could result in Freedom of Panorama being effectively overturned in Sweden, requiring websites such as Wikimedia Commons, which is maintained by the Wikimedia Foundation, to delete thousands of images.

Not long after Wikimedia Sverige created the website offentligkonst.se to publish images and metadata about artworks placed in public spaces in Sweden, BUS, a pro-copyright lobby, advocated that it constituted infringement on the artists’ copyright. The current lawsuit opposes the interpretation of Wikimedia — that artwork permanently installed in public space should be subject to the Freedom of Panorama exception that is in effect in Sweden — to that of BUS — that is creation (avbilda) of images and videos of an artwork in a public space is allowed, their distribution (återge) remains prohibited.

Anna Troberg, an author and former leader of the Swedish Pirate Party which advocates copyright reform, commented on her blog, “In a time when everyone has a high-grade camera in their phone, it is more than a little naive to think one can place one’s work in public space without it being photographed and posted online.”((sv))

Images over which BUS are suing Wikimedia Sverige



Sources

External links

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

January 7, 2015

Twelve dead in shooting at offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo

Twelve dead in shooting at offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

France
Related articles
Location of France
France (orthographic projection).svg
Collaborate!
  • Pillars of Wikinews writing
  • Writing an article

At least twelve people have been killed today in a shooting at the Paris offices of the satirical weekly French magazine Charlie Hebdo. Three men in hoods armed with Kalashnikov rifles entered the magazine’s office in the 11th arrondissement and shot dead ten journalists and two police officers before making a getaway in a car driven by a fourth collaborator. Five people have been seriously injured in the attack. A member of the police said after leaving the scene the attackers drove to the northeastern suburbs of Paris where they abandoned their vehicle and hijacked another car.

French police union Unité spokesman Rocco Contento said of the crime scene, “it was a real butchery”. The French Government have raised the country’s security level to the maximum. President François Hollande told reporters: “This is a terrorist attack, there is no doubt about it”.

The French news website 20minutes.fr is reporting one eyewitness claimed that as the attackers approached the magazine’s office, they shouted: “you say to the media that it is al-Qaeda in Yemen”((fr)).

Gerard Biard, the editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo, stated: “I don’t understand how people can attack a newspaper with heavy weapons. A newspaper is not a weapon of war.” The magazine recently posted a cartoon on Twitter depicting Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a leader of the Islamic State militant group.

US President Barack Obama gave a statement condemning the attack: “France is America’s oldest ally, and has stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States in the fight against terrorists who threaten our shared security and the world. Time and again, the French people have stood up for the universal values that generations of our people have defended.” Obama also said that the US would provide assistance “to help bring these terrorists to justice”.

British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: “The murders in Paris are sickening. We stand with the French people in the fight against terror and defending the freedom of the press.”

The Arab League and the Cairo-based Al-Azhar University have also condemned the attack.

In 2006, Charlie Hebdo ran the cartoons depicting Muhammad that originally appeared in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. In 2011, it published another cartoon depiction of Muhammed subtitled “Charia Hebdo”, a pun on sharia. The magazine’s office was subsequently firebombed. Following the bombing, the magazine’s website was hacked and death threats were made against their staff. The magazine responded by publishing on their front page an image showing both the remains of the magazine’s offices and one of their cartoonists kissing a bearded Muslim man. The cover contained the headline “Love is stronger than hate”((fr)).



Related news

Sister links

  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg 2015 shooting at Charlie Hebdo
  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

December 11, 2014

Google shuts down Google News Spain

Google shuts down Google News Spain – Wikinews, the free news source

Google shuts down Google News Spain

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
Internet
Related stories
  • Supreme Court of Sweden agrees to try Bildkonst Upphovsrätt i Sverige versus Wikimedia Sverige
  • Wikinews interviews Asaf Bartov, Head of Wikimedia Grants Program and Global South Partnerships
  • Google shuts down Google News Spain
  • Wikinews interviews Mario J. Lucero and Isabel Ruiz of Heaven Sent Gaming
  • Parts of internet break as ‘512k day’ reached by routers

Graphical map of the Internet
More information at Wikipedia:
  • Internet portal
  • Internet
  • History of the Internet
  • Internet censorship
  • Internet Protocol
  • World Wide Web

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Google news logo.

Flag of Spain.

On its blog, Google, a U.S. headquartered multinational corporation specializing in Internet-related services and products, announced it would be shutting down the Spanish version of Google News, effective from December 16 of this year. The shutdown came in direct response to amendments to the Spanish intellectual property law —Ley De Propiedad Intelectual— imposing a compulsory fee for the use of snippets of text to link to news articles, by online news aggregators that provide a search service.

The Spanish intellectual property law passed the Senate on October 15, passed Congress on October 30, and would take effect starting in January 2015. Spain made the right to payment inalienable, so that even the news organization quoted is not permitted to waive it. Google News did not run ads on its news service, so did not profit directly, and said continuing to run the service would not be sustainable.

A similar fee had been first introduced in German law in 2013, where it was described as an “ancillary copyright” — Leistungsschutzrecht. International copyright law preserves the right to make quotations without remuneration, the only such mandatory limitation to copyright. In Germany publishers willingly forfeited their right to payment from Google, given how much traffic they would lose from not being indexed on Google News.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) had expressed concerns that “these ancillary copyright laws form part of a broader trend of derogation from the right to link.” They continued, “This can be seen when you examine the other parts of the Spanish copyright amendments that take effect in January […] — notably placing criminal liability on website operators who refuse to remove mere links to copyright-infringing material.” EFF quoted the recent introduction of the so-called “right to be forgotten” legislation allowing removal of entries from Google web search results.



Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

June 23, 2014

Egyptian court sends three Al-Jazeera journalists to jail

Egyptian court sends three Al-Jazeera journalists to jail

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, June 23, 2014

Peter Greste, one of the journalists convicted, collecting a Peabody Award in 2012.
Image: Peabody Awards.

Egypt
Other stories from Egypt
  • 16 February 2015: Islamic State execute 21 Coptic Christians held in Libya
  • 27 January 2015: Greek singer Demis Roussos dies aged 68
  • 23 December 2014: Egypt opens Rafah border crossing for additional day
  • 16 December 2014: Freighter hits fishing boat in Gulf of Suez; thirteen dead
  • 24 November 2014: Sisi: Egypt willing to send stabilizing forces to future Palestinian State
…More articles here
Location of Egypt

A map showing the location of Egypt

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Egypt, see the Egypt Portal
Flag of Egypt.svg

Three journalists from the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television news network have been sentenced to seven years in jail by a court in Cairo today for spreading false news and helping the Muslim Brotherhood group which are now banned as terrorists. The three journalists — the Australian correspondent Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian journalist and Cairo bureau chief for Al-Jazeera Mohamed Fahmy, and Baher Mohamed, an Egyptian producer— were convicted alongside others tried in absentia.

Baher Mohamed was sentenced to three years on a second charge for possessing weapons.

Al Antsey, the managing director for Al Jazeera English said of the judgment: “Today three colleagues and friends were sentenced, and will continue behind bars for doing a brilliant job of being great journalists. ‘Guilty’ of covering stories with great skill and integrity. ‘Guilty’ of defending people’s right to know what is going on in their world.”

“Peter, Mohamed, and Baher and six of our other colleagues were sentenced despite the fact that not a shred of evidence was found to support the extraordinary and false charges against them. At no point during the long drawn out ‘trial’ did the absurd allegations stand up to scrutiny. There were many moments during the hearings where in any other court of law, the trial would be thrown out. There were numerous irregularities in addition to the lack of evidence to stand up the ill-conceived allegations.”

Julie Bishop, the Australian Foreign Minister, said she was “bitterly disappointed” by the decision.



Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

May 2, 2014

Internet regulation bill approved by Russian Parliament

Internet regulation bill approved by Russian Parliament

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Friday, May 2, 2014

Vladimir Putin – 2006

Russia
Related stories
Location of Russia

A map showing the location of Russia

More information on Russia:
  • Russia
  • Culture
  • Demographics
  • Economy
  • Geography
  • History
  • Politics

The Russian Parliament passed a new bill on Tuesday to restrict and regulate blogging and social media content, expected to be enforced in August. The bill comes following Russian actions in Ukraine and a Russian crackdown on domestic criticism.

Under the bill, bloggers with 3000 or more daily views will face a similar level of legal liability as media organisations. These bloggers will be required to register their identities with Russia’s consumer rights protection agency, Rospotrebnadzor; they may not spread extremist material or violate citizen privacy, and must undertake fact-checking to verify published content. Non-compliance risks content blocking and individual fines of 10,000–30,000 rubles (US$270–US$833), business fines of 50,000–300,000 rubles (US$1400–US$8300).

Social networking sites, blog hosts, and other “distributors of information on the internet” will also be required register with Rospotrebnadzor, and will be expected to store the data of popular users, and provide up to six months of user activity logs on request for possible use in government investigations. Non-compliance will net fines for private citizens of 3,000–5,000 rubles (US$83–US$140), officials 30,000–50,000 rubles (US$833–US$1,388), and businesses 300,000–500,000 rubles (US$8,330–US$13,888).

The bill has drawn criticism from human rights activists and the Russian technology sector, with some search engines and blogging platforms taking steps to protect users and circumvent the new regulations.



Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

March 20, 2014

Kansas anti-gay church leader Fred Phelps dies at 84

Kansas anti-gay church leader Fred Phelps dies at 84

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Fred Phelps preaching from his pulpit in 2002.
Image: Westboro Baptist Church.

Fred Phelps, the founder of the vehemently anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, died yesterday aged 84. The church he founded in 1955 became infamous for leading pickets at the funerals of US soldiers, as well as the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man killed in a homophobic attack in 1998.

At funeral pickets and other protests, Phelps and other members of his church held brightly coloured signs with messages including ‘God Hates Fags’, ‘Thank God for 9/11‘ and ‘Thank God for Dead Soldiers’. The picketing of military funerals stems from the postion that God is punishing the United States for its acceptance of homosexuality. Military funerals have not been the only sites of Westboro’s protests: the funeral of film critic Roger Ebert and concerts by pop acts Lady Gaga and One Direction — who the church described as “crotch-grabbing little perverts” — have also been targets of Westboro’s protests. The Church has sued a great number of local authorities in the United States who attempted to block their demonstrations and the settlements from their First Amendment cases helped fund their activities. In 2011, the Church won a case at the US Supreme Court which upheld their right to demonstrate at funerals.

Other countries were not so keen: Fred Phelps and his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper were banned from entering the United Kingdom in order to take part in a planned protest against The Laramie Project, a play about the death of Matthew Shephard. The UK Border Agency stated the Phelpses were not welcome because of their actions “inciting hatred against a number of communities”. The Church has seen a number of widely-reported defections including Megan Phelps-Roper, who used to run Westboro’s social media operation before publicly leaving the congregation and publishing an apology on the Internet.

At Oberlin College in Ohio in 2000, Westboro Baptist Church’s protests caused gay students to respond with a “kiss-in”.
Image: Paul M. Walsh.

Before Phelps’s death, he was excommunicated from the Church — whose members are primarily drawn from his family. Nathan Phelps, Fred Phelps’s son, posted on Facebook last week announcing his father’s hospitalisation and illness: “I’ve learned that my father, Fred Phelps, Sr., pastor of the ‘God Hates Fags’ Westboro Baptist Church, was ex-communicated from the ‘church’ back in August of 2013. He is now on the edge of death at Midland Hospice house in Topeka, Kansas. I’m not sure how I feel about this. Terribly ironic that his devotion to his god ends this way. Destroyed by the monster he made.”

Nathan Phelps continued: “I feel sad for all the hurt he’s caused so many. I feel sad for those who will lose the grandfather and father they loved. And I’m bitterly angry that my family is blocking the family members who left from seeing him, and saying their good-byes.”



Related news

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

January 11, 2014

Nauru raises media visa application fee from AU$200 to $8,000

Nauru raises media visa application fee from AU$200 to $8,000

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Nauru
Other stories from Nauru
…More articles here
Location of Nauru

A map showing the location of Nauru

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Nauru, see the Nauru Portal
Flag of Nauru.svg

Nauru offshore processing facility in 2012.
Image: Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

Nauru offshore processing facility in 2012.
Image: DIAC.

The cabinet of the island nation of Nauru endorsed rise of the cost of an application for single-entry three-month media visa from AU$200 to $8,000 last Thursday.

The rise followed a scandal last weekend involving 60 Lebanese asylum seekers voluntarily deciding to return home from the Nauru offshore processing facility, an Australian immigration detention facility, after facing harsh physical conditions and disorientation.

Nauru’s Government Information Office Director Joanna Olsson appeared to be unaware that the new visa fee had yet to take effect, writing an email to a visa applicant about the new fee last Tuesday: “Sorry for the late response but yes we are granting media visas. The fee is $8000 per visa, single entry valid for 3 months. The visa fee is not refundable if the application is not successful.” She also claimed the new fee had been implemented “a couple [of] months ago”, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

On the contrary, on Thursday during a meeting, Nauru’s Principal Immigration Officer Ernest Stephen said the price change was “not official” and the price rise had not yet passed into law through the Parliament. Stephen said only three or four Nauru media visas were granted last year.

A member of Nauru Opposition Group, Mathew Batsiua, claimed the move was an oppression of journalistic freedom. “They [the Nauru authorities] certainly bully our local media in terms of what they can show, who they can interview, and this is another illustration of that kind of behaviour in terms of bullying media and avoiding accountability. … This hiking up of fees for journalists coming in to Nauru is a step in that direction, and we think that it’s the wrong move and we’re certainly opposing it.”

The rise of the visa fee followed a recent scandal involving the majority of 60 Lebanese asylum seekers, targeted by people smugglers, deciding to return home from the Nauru and neighbouring Manus Island detention centres after a discussion with Australian government adviser Jamal Rifi on the weekend of January 4.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reviewed the detention centre in December 2012, reporting poor physical conditions:

The conditions at the closed and congested detention centre [are] harsh, with little natural shelter from the heat during the day. These conditions are aggravated by noise and dust from the construction of the permanent facility.

– UNHCR, 2012

The UNHCR has also cited delays processing the refugee applications, lack of legal counseling, health issues including trauma and mental health cases, and responsibility of both Australia and Nauru for the treatment. In another review in November last year, UHCR reported improved physical conditions while criticizing progress on reception conditions and refugee applications processing.

Yesterday Australian officials told a Pakistani refugee living in Australia that a refugee application could take up to ten years to process, while he was applying for refuge for his brothers following death of his parents and wife in Pakistan.



Related news

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.
Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress