Wednesday, July 11, 2007

hong kong blogger punished for flickring

yesterday, boingboing's xeni jardin posted a blurb about a hong kong blogger who was facing legal troubles for linking to a topless photo: founder and activist Oiwan Lam decided, as an act of electronic civil disobedience, to protest the Obscene Articles Tribunal of the Honk Kong Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA) and their classification of articles as obscene for publishing hyperlinks to erotic photography on flickr and other sites. Lam then wrote an essay criticizing the Authority and linking to a tasteful photography found by searching the keywork 'nude' on flickr. The result was a quick response from the TELA, and the classification of the article as a Class II indecent article by the Obscene Articles Tribunal. The maximum penalty is HK$400,000 and 12 months in jail.

today, xeni discovered that photo in question, "(a non-pornographic, artistic nude) was shot and published by none other than Jake Appelbaum, whose work has been blogged here on BoingBoing many times."

to my surprise, i immediately recognized the photo. applebaum's flickr user name is ioerror and i used one of his nudes for my first nude databending experiments. (in fact, the controversial photo and the one i bent were taken the same week.)

applebaum's photostream was apparently rated "unsafe" after flickr's recent policy changes, and he points a finger squarely at yahoo/flickr management for allowing such events to come to pass:

As I understand that statement, it is because of Flickr censoring my account that the tribunal moved forward with their prosecution. A direct result of censorship on Flickrs part. Flickr doesn't like the word censorship but that's just what they're doing.

Let me be clear: Flickr is instituting a global censorship program that allows for regional censorship of photos. As a Flickr user, I was not informed that I fell into such a program or even in fact that such a program existed.

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