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So far ncacblog has created 68 blog entries.

NCAC Talks to the Man Behind Pico v. Board of Ed

By |2019-03-06T15:28:51-04:00July 9th, 2013|Blog|

Steven Pico in 1981 Steven Pico may not be a household name. But for those who champion the freedom to read, he’s a big deal. Back in 1976, Pico and four other teens sued their school district in Long Island, NY, for banning 11 books from their classrooms and school libraries. The six-year battle to defend the constitutional rights [...]

Chris Brown’s Monstery House, Graffiti as Art and Other First Amendment Questions

By |2019-03-15T18:10:55-04:00July 1st, 2013|Blog|

Last week brought us one of those rare occasions where Perez Hilton reported on the invocation of First Amendment rights, as Chris Brown declared he would fight a Los Angeles citation. Brown was fined $376 for "unpermitted and excessive signage" for graffiti he had painted on the outside of his Hollywood Hills home, after neighbors complained that the pictures terrified [...]

Board of Ed v. Pico: 31 years of reading freely in school libraries

By |2019-03-07T21:45:09-04:00June 25th, 2013|Blog|

If you love libraries, you might know that today marks the anniversary of an important decision upholding the First Amendment in schools. In Board of  Ed. v. Pico (1982), the plurality opinion stated that school libraries have “special characteristics” as providers of free access to information, and should be especially vigilant of upholding students’ First Amendment rights.  Pico began when [...]

Sherman Alexie Talks to NCAC About Being Banned

By |2016-01-14T15:14:30-04:00February 19th, 2013|Blog|

Photo: Rob Casey Sherman Alexie tells the Write Stuff about how it feels to be challenged, why he’s determined to keep writing controversial books for teens, and the upcoming sequel to his oft-banned, award-winning novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Little, Brown). I'm sure you hear about the impact True Diary has on kids all [...]

CT Town Schedules, then Cancels Good Ole Fashioned Video Game Burning

By |2019-03-15T17:22:36-04:00January 9th, 2013|Blog|

Speaking of stories straight out of the 1950s playbook, here's one from right after New Years: A group in Southington, CT decided to collect and destroy violent video games, bribing incentivizing resident participation with a $25 gift certificate for other forms of happy-sunny family fun, like a trip to a water park. In a somewhat contradictory statement, the group stated that "there is ample [...]

Blogging the NAMAC Panel: Public Enemy and Private Intermediaries

By |2019-03-14T17:46:31-04:00September 12th, 2012|Blog|

I'm blogging from Minneapolis, Minnesota, at the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC) conference Leading Creatively 2012, where I'm representing the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC). Earlier today I presented on a panel entitled Digital Frontiers: Copyright, Censorship, the Commons, and Privacy. The panel description read: Can freedom of the press and the right to know survive the [...]

NCAC Interview: Linda Tyndall Fights for “Fifty Shades”

By |2016-01-14T12:42:01-04:00May 15th, 2012|Blog|

When Linda Tyndall heard that copies of the best-selling novel Fifty Shades of Grey had been removed from the Brevard County Public Libraries, she was concerned and decided to take action. Her petition on Change.org has over 1,600 signatures. Tomorrow, Tyndall and other petitioners will make their voice heard at a meeting of the County Library Board.  

Video: “Fifty Shades of Grey” Fans Speak Out Against Library Ban

By |2019-03-07T23:31:52-04:00May 11th, 2012|Blog|

We spoke to fans of Fifty Shades of Grey about libraries that have banned their beloved trilogy, and erotica in general. This video was shot at an appearance by Grey author E.L. James at the Union Square Barnes & Noble in NYC. What do you think about libraries that have chosen to exclude all erotica, even while they carry works [...]

Don’t Let Them Eat Cake

By |2019-03-15T17:10:10-04:00April 26th, 2012|Blog|

Sweden’s minister of culture has been in the global news spotlight recently, and not for her nation's propensity for neo-noir literature. Minister Lena Adelson Liljeroth was invited to attend and speak at World Art Day at Stockholm’s Museum of Modern Art. The engagement took a turn for the bizarre when Liljeroth was invited by artist Makode Linde to cut into [...]

Colorado Academic Center Institutes Censorship Regime After Controversy Over Student Art Work

By |2019-03-15T17:10:10-04:00April 20th, 2012|Blog|

Until a few weeks ago, the Arts Building at the Aurari Higher Education Center in Denver featured several walls emblazoned with the kindly decree to “Post Artwork Here.” However, in light of recent controversy over the graphic work that student Estee Fox hung on one of these walls, the “authorities” (that blissfully meaningless blanket term) have rechristened these areas as [...]

Doonesbury “Abortion” Strips: Who Didn’t Run Them, and How to Contact

By |2019-03-15T17:09:54-04:00March 23rd, 2012|Blog|

With regularity, editors at some papers choose not to run an episode of Garry Trudeau’s “Doonesbury” strip. The latest incident involved satirical commentary on state lawmakers requiring women to undergo invasive and medically unnecessary ultrasounds before abortions.  A large number of papers did not run the episode, some ran a substitute “rerun” episode offered by Trudeau, and others shifted it [...]

A Triumph in Massachusetts: Alexie’s Work Remains In Curriculum

By |2019-03-15T17:05:46-04:00November 4th, 2011|Blog|

It has been a formidable year for Sherman Alexie, whose Young Adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian has been challenged several times, due to would-be censors' unease about sexual and violent content. Alexie’s book was challenged in Helena, Montana, swapped out of the curriculum at Hastings Middle School in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, banned from classrooms in Prineville, [...]

The Privacy Network

By |2016-01-15T11:05:33-04:00August 3rd, 2011|Blog|

As Facebook continues to dominate the social media sphere, new competitors emerge to challenge the weaknesses apparent in its design.  One of the most recent of this breed is the social networking site Pidder. Drawing on fears of data-mining and even “social media background checks”, Pidder focuses on privacy protection to a user-unfriendly extreme. After using Pidder we concluded [...]

Hazelwood: A Student’s Perspective

By |2019-03-15T17:05:23-04:00July 15th, 2011|Blog|

Two years ago I sat upon the graduation stage to receive a diploma that would end my 13-year relationship with the public school I attended since kindergarten.  As a member of a class of 125 students, this day symbolized endless shared memories and a common identity between us.  Out of the five speeches given, the three student speakers [...]

ICAN(N) Censor

By |2019-03-07T21:56:35-04:00July 12th, 2011|Blog|

In late June the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the international body that oversees the Internet address system, announced that it approved new generic top-level domain names (gTLDs). There are currently 22 general top-level domain names (.com, .org, .net, etc.), however this vote means that there will be an indefinite number. One of the myths [...]

It’s About Time We Have “The Video Game Talk”

By |2019-03-15T17:05:15-04:00July 8th, 2011|Blog|

Last Monday the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 to strike down a California law that banned the selling of violent video games to minors. The Supreme Court ruled that video games are allowed the same protection under the first amendment as books, plays, and movies. The ruling also distinguished the California statute from the Ginsburg vs. New York decision, in which [...]

Reassessing “Decency”

By |2019-03-15T17:04:56-04:00July 1st, 2011|Blog|

On Monday, June 27th, the Supreme Court announced that upon returning from its summer recess in October, it would revisit the Federal Communication Commission's rule that allows it to fine broadcasters for “indecency.” Last year, the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the FCC was violating broadcasters' free-speech rights. The Court also stated that [...]

Sorrell Means Business

By |2019-03-15T17:04:59-04:00June 29th, 2011|Blog|

Last week’s Supreme Court decision in Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc.  signified a subtle yet important shift in commercial speech interpretation that may precede increased corporate strength in the legal arena.  The opinion, by Justice Kennedy, argues that Vermont did not have grounds to ban pharmaceutical data-mining as it is a form of non-deceptive commercial information-sharing that is [...]

Security For Whistleblowers

By |2019-03-15T17:04:12-04:00June 29th, 2011|Blog|

In the wake of the Wikileaks controversy, the Obama administration has increased its efforts to punish government officials accused of leaking classified information to the news media. While the Justice Department has the right to hold FBI, NSA and CIA employees to the confidentiality agreements in their contracts and keep certain information classified, these initiatives are undermining First [...]

Free to Speak or Free to Seize?

By |2019-03-15T17:04:09-04:00June 24th, 2011|Blog|

A recent surge in vulnerability to search and seizure, despite protection under the Fourth Amendment, is creating a climate of fear of punishment for constitutional free expression.  Multiple stories this week share the theme of government interpretation of the Fourth Amendment infringing on the rights of the public.  If professionals and the public must live in fear of [...]

Needing the Dark to Find the Light

By |2019-03-15T16:22:58-04:00June 17th, 2011|Blog|

A recent article by Meghan Cox Gurdon in the Wall Street Journal argues that the grim, gory, and dark shadow cast over the genre of young adult literature is inappropriate for its target readers.  This controversial review exposes the fear of many parents who worry about children’s exposure to realities believed to be too mature. Cox Gurdon suggests that free [...]

Student Speech Online: Can/Should Schools Punish It?

By |2019-03-15T16:22:52-04:00June 16th, 2011|Blog|

On Monday, June 13th 2011, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that two students who both created fake MySpace profiles parodying their school principals had been unfairly disciplined by their respective school districts. In both cases, the Court found that the schools had not shown that the students’ actions were sufficiently disruptive of school activities to justify disciplinary [...]

Chilling Effects on Social Media

By |2019-03-15T16:22:39-04:00June 8th, 2011|Blog|

Social media has reached a level of pervasiveness that cannot be ignored - and corporations are paying very close attention. Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs received flak for banning Facebook at work while investing $450 million in the company.  Perceived hypocrisy may have played a role, but acknowledging the chilling effect that corporate 'social media policies' have on free speech is another [...]

Protect IP Act Raises First Amendment Concerns

By |2019-03-15T17:03:51-04:00June 7th, 2011|Blog|

Senator Patrick Leahy (VT) has introduced the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 (PROTECT IP)  to replace last year’s failed Combating Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA). Supposedly a new and improved version of COICA, the PROTECT IP act is aimed at denying access to "pirate" or "rogue" websites "dedicated to infringing activities,” [...]

The Recent Richard Prince Decision Tips the Scales Towards Copyright Owners

By |2019-03-07T21:51:01-04:00June 6th, 2011|Blog|

While paying lip service to the fact that fair use is the way in which the inherent tensions between the First Amendment and copyright law may be resolved, Judge Batts’s recent decision for the Southern District of New York in Cariou v. Prince preserved fair use protection for only those works that comment on or criticize the original copyrighted [...]

Future Social Media Policy (and policy)

By |2019-03-07T21:45:29-04:00April 21st, 2011|Blog|

In his article "The Challenge of Developing Effective Public Policy on the Use of Social Media," John Palfrey, co-director of Harvard Law's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, discusses the problems that American youth face in the wake of increased online social media presence in his article. One of Palfrey's  concerns is balancing the desire to encourage “...digital-era youth media practices (for  instance, [...]

Reading Below the Fold, and Between the Lines

By |2019-03-07T21:50:58-04:00April 19th, 2011|Blog|

After a member of the La Salle University's faculty hosted an optional symposium with special guests (read: exotic dancers), the editors of the university's  paper The Collegian knew they had a story on their hands. One of the Collegian staff members interviewed two students who had attended the conference, as well as university officials and the professor himself.  But the [...]

Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’? Create a Statue of Jackson With Child

By |2019-03-15T17:03:42-04:00April 8th, 2011|Blog|

A statue commemorating the time Michael Jackson dangled his baby son out of a Berlin hotel window was unveiled in London this week. L.A. artist Maria Von Köhler has received death threats for the statute, entitled "Madonna and Child".  Others have asked that the installation be removed. Enraged fan krazy4kitties asks, "This is disgraceful.  What kind of person would do [...]

Senators Call For Response to Idiotic Burning of Qur’an, But What Kind?

By |2019-03-07T21:56:31-04:00April 4th, 2011|Blog|

A couple weeks ago, Terry Jones finally gave into his burning desire to burn a Qur'an. Over the weekend, Afghans rioted over online video of the burning, resulting in the deaths of up to 20 people. General Petreus called the burning a "security threat" to the Afghan occupation, and Senators Harry Reid and Lindsay Graham have called for Congress to [...]

Wikileaks and “mutual knowledge”

By |2016-01-15T10:42:34-04:00March 30th, 2011|Blog|

When it comes down to it, most of the documents in Wikileaks's Cablegate release refer to issues that had already been covered in the press. Did we really need Wikileaks to tells us that Mexico isn’t doing a great job combating corruption and cartels?  Or that the war in Afghanistan is going poorly?  Or that Pakistan and North Korea and [...]

WEAR IT PROUD

By |2019-03-13T15:37:17-04:00March 28th, 2011|Blog|

Button brought back from the March 2011 Culture Wars symposium with the Corcoran and Transformer DC.

Maine Governor to Censor Labor Mural

By |2019-03-06T15:51:01-04:00March 24th, 2011|Blog|

Earlier this week, Maine Governor Paul LePage ordered that a mural in the Department of Labor depicting scenes from Maine’s labor be removed. Why? Because the mural “sends a message that we’re one-sided, and I don’t want to send that message.” Of course – why else would the Department of Labor have a mural of labor history, if [...]

Free Speech in the Courthouse, the Workplace, and On the Street

By |2019-03-15T17:03:27-04:00February 4th, 2011|Blog|

Anniston Star calls City Council's proposal to bar public employees from criticizing city on social media "oppressive" The Star, Anniston, Alabama's daily newspaper, has published an editorial responding to their City Council's proposed policy to ban city workers from posting anything "embarrassing" about the local government. Public employees would be allowed to comment about the city on Facebook -- but [...]

Policing The Sacred – College Art Association Panel – Wednesday, February 9th, 12:30-2 PM

By |2019-03-07T21:50:52-04:00January 31st, 2011|Blog|

Policing The Sacred, organized by the National Coalition Against Censorship, looks at the volatile relationship between art, politics and religion.In recent decades the tensions between these have become intense, evident in the American culture wars of the 90s, the Danish cartoon uproar, and ongoing battles over artistic depictions of religious figures, including the recent removal of a David Wojnarowicz video from a show at the National Portrait Gallery. The panel, open to the public, takes place on Wednesday, February 9th, from 12:30-2 PM.

US Government, Sponsor of Book Censorship

By |2016-01-14T12:56:34-04:00January 24th, 2011|Blog|

NCAC occasionally publishes guest blogs on topics related to free speech. The views in these articles do not necessarily reflect the official position of NCAC, however they raise important issues for discussion. By Vel Nirtist How do you keep the unwashed masses known as the "public" from highly prestigious and quite remunerative pursuit known as "public debate" which rightly belongs [...]

Waterbury CT School District Attempts to Cancel August Wilson Play

By |2019-03-07T21:45:25-04:00January 18th, 2011|Blog|

Censorship continues full front attacks on all the arts. Two weeks into 2011, we've already seen censorship of David Wojnarowicz at the National Portrait Gallery; a new edition of Mark Twain's Huckelberry Finn hit the bookstores, without the N-word; the arrest of Belarus theater director Nikolai Khalezin of Belarus Free Theatre and now the Waterbury Connecticut school district is attempting [...]

New Museum Opens – Museum of Censored Art

By |2016-01-14T12:58:12-04:00January 12th, 2011|Blog|

On Thursday, January 13th, a new museum opens in Washington, DC: The Museum of Censored Art, founded by art and free speech activists Mike Blasenstein and Michael Dax Iacovone. Mike and Mike are the iPad protesters, who were expelled from the National Portrait Gallery when they attempted to show David Wojnarowicz's video Fire In My Belly in the galleries of [...]

Responding to Censorship

By |2016-01-15T10:37:19-04:00January 10th, 2011|Uncategorized|

The removal of David Wojnarowicz's video from the National Portrait Gallery last month renews conservative groups' attacks on the arts. Clearly, it's timed with the ascension of the Republican majority in the House and attempts to formulate a strategy for eliminating voices and ideas they find troubling. It's remarkable how unoriginal and inflexible their thinking and approach has become, using [...]

NewSouth Books Publishes Mark Twain (Expurgated)

By |2016-01-14T12:58:30-04:00January 6th, 2011|Blog|

NewSouth Books, based in Alabama, is publishing a new edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. As many know, Mr. Twain has been very much in the news lately. His Autobiography is a current bestseller (NYTimes bestseller list for 10 weeks now) and is earning well-deserved praise. Regrettably, now we must add another reason [...]

Free Speech Matters 2010 Benefit

By |2019-03-15T15:32:18-04:00November 30th, 2010|Blog|

The NCAC Free Speech Matters Benefit was a great success. Over 200 people came to the City Winery in downtown Manhattan to celebrate free speech and honor YA writer Lauren Myracle, school librarian Dee Ann Venuto, and YFEP 2009 Film Contest Winner Jordan Allen. All three work hard to promote free expression. Lauren Myracle is a NYTimes bestselling author of [...]