Funimation "Pulls" Streaming for Interspecies Reviewers

ayase

State Alchemist
It would depend on why the material was cut / refused classification. If it were due to the Obscene Publications Act or Protection of Children Act, then it would be illegal to purchase/import/own the material as I understand it.
My understanding is that it wasn’t. It was the BBFC’s interpretation of their own mandate they were given under the Video Recordings Act 1984 (as sourced above by @thedoctor2016) and presumably by the "harm" provisions it's referring to section 4A which leaves it entirely up to the BBFC to decide what they think constitutes "harm", though it does specify that they should base their decision on the intended audience and rating - Which means they believe viewing the cut material from Paranoia Agent and Valkyrie Drive Mermaid has the potential to harm legal adults above 18 years of age. I hope the BBFC employees got the help they needed after viewing them, unless (as I rather suspect) it's only the plebs they believe need protecting from themselves. Not the sort of anime you'd want your servants to watch.

The Protection of Children Act's purpose is to protect actual children (not 2D ones) and is the act that bans real or photo-realistic child pornography (thankfully anime isn't photo-realistic, since that would be horrifying). And I don't think anything has successfully been banned under the Obscene Publications act since David Britton's Lord Horror in 1991 (a random thing I happen to know because I would quite like a copy). The most likely law to get anything banned as far as anime and manga goes is the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 which basically expands the Protection of Children Act to include fictional 2D children by creating the following provisos:
a moving or still image (produced by any means)

...

(7)References to an image of a person include references to an image of an imaginary person.

(8)References to an image of a child include references to an image of an imaginary child.
Fantastic, isn't it, that in a world where establishment fixtures like Jimmy Savile and Jeffrey Epstein got away with what they did for as long as they did that our authorities find time to protect the imaginary children? Almost like they'd rather turn the attention somewhere else... That aside, the criteria for the images under the Coroners and Justice Act is not the same as the criteria under the Protection of Children Act. In order to be banned under this particular law, the image has to fulfill the following criteria (spoiler tagged for people who don't want to read descriptions of sex acts - self censorship!):
(a)is an image which focuses solely or principally on a child's genitals or anal region, or

(b)portrays any of the acts mentioned in subsection (7).

(7)Those acts are—

(a)the performance by a person of an act of intercourse or oral sex with or in the presence of a child;

(b)an act of masturbation by, of, involving or in the presence of a child;

(c)an act which involves penetration of the vagina or anus of a child with a part of a person's body or with anything else;

(d)an act of penetration, in the presence of a child, of the vagina or anus of a person with a part of a person's body or with anything else;

(e)the performance by a child of an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive or imaginary);

(f)the performance by a person of an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive or imaginary) in the presence of a child.
So it wasn't, as a lot of people expected/feared, a total and uncompromising lolicon ban. You can still find Made in Abyss in your local bookstore. Something has to be very explicit to get banned under this law (which still doesn't give it any more reason to exist than a law banning cartoon violence would have) and while I haven't watched Valkyrie Drive Mermaid, I imagine if it had violated it the BBFC would have flagged that immediately. Certainly Paranoia Agent and Code Geass didn't.
 
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Neil.T

Guild Member
Which means they believe viewing the cut material from Paranoia Agent and Valkyrie Drive Mermaid has the potential to harm legal adults above 18 years of age.
You present some compelling evidence there, ayase, that the BBFC have been guilty of going beyond their remit. In fact, it's tempting to suggest that they've extended their reach so far as to demand cuts to a submission simply because it contains material that an individual BBFC member personally disagrees with. It's unfortunate that the distributors affected haven't been able to challenge the body's findings.

I maintain that this is a serious problem with the UK's ratings system: that a decision being made by one person then becomes essentially legally binding, with seemingly no failsafe built in to allow a distributor to challenge any ruling and have the submitted footage viewed again to get a second opinion. Even if there was such an option, the BBFC would no doubt insist on charging some exorbitant extra fee for the privilege, given how much TV they need to sit and binge-watch in a day how very valuable their time is.
 

thedoctor2016

Symphogear
You present some compelling evidence there, ayase, that the BBFC have been guilty of going beyond their remit. In fact, it's tempting to suggest that they've extended their reach so far as to demand cuts to a submission simply because it contains material that an individual BBFC member personally disagrees with. It's unfortunate that the distributors affected haven't been able to challenge the body's findings.

I maintain that this is a serious problem with the UK's ratings system: that a decision being made by one person then becomes essentially legally binding, with seemingly no failsafe built in to allow a distributor to challenge any ruling and have the submitted footage viewed again to get a second opinion. Even if there was such an option, the BBFC would no doubt insist on charging some exorbitant extra fee for the privilege, given how much TV they need to sit and binge-watch in a day how very valuable their time is.
But they raised it at a meeting so it wasn’t just one person.
My whole problem is it’s got flaws but what are you going to replace it with how it is gonna be funded etc. it’s the best solution I think people like it people consulted said they wanted it to have a larger remit it’s popular simple as.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
it’s got flaws but what are you going to replace it with
How about the BBFC as it is now with the power to provide ratings, but without the power to demand cuts or refuse classifications to anything that doesn't actually break any laws?

It's my very firm belief that no-one over the age of 18 should be prevented from viewing fiction. When you're 18 in the UK, you can drink yourself catatonic, appear in a porn film and sign yourself up to kill other real human beings and potentially die in war. You've already been allowed to have sex and smoke for two years. But you still can't buy certain fictional media because the BBFC have cut or refused them a rating. Does that not strike people as very, very odd?
 

thedoctor2016

Symphogear
i would assume the argument is shop need to know what is "Extreme" so they can not stock it. Like in America when games got AO (Adults Only) shops pulled it making it financially risked so take GTA SA Hot Coffee Rockstar cut it back to get it back on shelves, I think that would happen here if it got that rating say Amazon, HMV wouldnt stock it so it wouldnt sell anyway.

Paranoia agent ofc i will be importing. So thats the only show that was killed by this. The other two sound DOA anyway, and Code Geass proves you can wait 10 years and ignore it anyway which is my whole problem why is paranoia agent still cut it Geass can go around uncut cos it’s on BD it’s double standards and unfair.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
i would assume the argument is shop need to know what is "Extreme" so they can not stock it. Like in America when games got AO (Adults Only) shops pulled it making it financially risked so take GTA SA Hot Coffee Rockstar cut it back to get it back on shelves, I think that would happen here if it got that rating say Amazon, HMV wouldnt stock it so it wouldnt sell anyway.
An 18 rating is the UK equivalent of a US adults only rating though. Our retailers (and cinemas) stock those happily, we don’t have that same history of private companies being pressured by groups who care about morals in fiction, that sort of thing died here with Mary Whitehouse just as it’s been long dead in continental Europe. As for Amazon, you can import uncut, non BBFC rated titles into the UK from them right now, so I really don’t think they would care at all.

I suppose we do sort of have another equivalent in the R18 rating, which is only used for straight-up pornography and can only be sold by licensed sex shops, but how many people still buy porn on physical media? So that’s totally useless now as well.

The GTA controversy only happened because it was hidden content that the ratings agencies didn’t actually see when rating the game.
 

Neil.T

Guild Member
But they raised it at a meeting so it wasn’t just one person.
I haven't read the content of these meetings, so I couldn't comment on that, but clearly no-one who was there spoke up against the member demanding the spurious cuts to Paranoia Agent or Code Geass R2 in each example because otherwise they would never have been butchered in the first place. Nor was there any process in place whereby the BBFC was obliged to report these mandatory cuts to the distributors concerned alongside a proviso such as "You have 28 days to appeal the decision, quoting the time stamp of the relevant segment of footage, in order to have said footage viewed for reappraisal."

Even something like that would be perfectly reasonable as a process, surely?

why is paranoia agent still cut it Geass can go around uncut cos it’s on BD it’s double standards and unfair.
Format has nothing to do with it: Code Geass R2 has been available "uncut" in the UK ever since Kaze/Manga accidentally released it that way on DVD and BD in 2012.

How about the BBFC as it is now with the power to provide ratings, but without the power to demand cuts or refuse classifications to anything that doesn't actually break any laws?
↑Basically just this, really. It's really not asking much, is it?
 

thedoctor2016

Symphogear
Kind of is as if they have no power what is the point.
And I do doubt Geass was accidentally released uncut at this point especially this years release
 

Vincentdante

Magical Girl
Kind of is as if they have no power what is the point.
And I do doubt Geass was accidentally released uncut at this point especially this years release
The point wouldn't change, it would still provide a legally binding rating but what is being ask for is that they cannot censor the bits they don't like unless it actually breaks the law.
 
The problem is with studios that pursue a certain rating to get max cinema sales, and will voluntarily cut a film to reach that rating. The above idea does nothing about that approach to censorship.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
The problem is with studios that pursue a certain rating to get max cinema sales, and will voluntarily cut a film to reach that rating. The above idea does nothing about that approach to censorship.
That’s more of a thing in America though, where as was touched on earlier an R or NC-17 rating can kill a movie at the box office (I mean, Manga popularised anime in the UK by doing the exact opposite and making their dubs so profane they got higher ratings).

I don’t agree with studio self-censorship, but at the end of the day that is still their choice, it’s not being imposed upon them by authorities. Also when something’s released on home media in the US, they can release it uncut and unrated and can restore whatever they cut for the cinema release. The US censors can’t prevent them from releasing an uncut version, unlike the BBFC.
 

Neil.T

Guild Member
Kind of is as if they have no power what is the point.
The point would be for them to fill a role of advisory body and nothing more. I'm quite frankly shocked that anyone would be prepared to just shrug apathetically as artistic expression is trampled by a policing method which is fallible at best and outright dubious at worst. We're not exactly talking snuff films here: in the case of Paranoia Agent, what the BBFC censored is a black comedy skit in a cartoon which has already been rated for ages 18 years and over. That's really very worrying to me.

The problem is with studios that pursue a certain rating to get max cinema sales, and will voluntarily cut a film to reach that rating. The above idea does nothing about that approach to censorship.
I totally take the point, but I agree with ayase: the key word here is voluntarily. It's their own freedom of choice if they want to do that. That's perfectly fine from my point of view.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
a policing method which is fallible at best and outright dubious at worst.
While I do definitely agree, to be momentarily, uncharacteristically fair to the BBFC, I think this is a result of that incredibly vague mandate - They’re expected not only to identify and rate “harmful” material accordingly but also to define what constitutes ”harmful” material themselves. That’s bound to create discrepancies from one BBFC censor to another since everybody has different ideas on this. Perhaps if their mandate instead instructed them to follow the laws on illegal content we’d have more consistency.

As is probably obvious from my previous posts, I don’t think fiction has the potential to be harmful any more than someone’s imagination does, so there’s nothing I would seek to prevent adults from seeing. If violent media caused people to become more violent, violent crime wouldn’t have been declining (in both the UK and USA) for decades even as the population rose, I see no reason to presume sexual content has a negative effect on society either. It would be interesting to know exactly how the BBFC think these things have the potential to cause harm.
 
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zrdb

Brigade Leader
Shoot-all this whole incident has done is cause a lot of controversy-if you aren't offended by the show just watch it and be happy.
 
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