Free Speech and Censorship

Page 1 of 4 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by JP McBride on Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:09 pm

Prajnaparamita wrote:Yes, because being told that doing things that make others uncomfortable is not okay and you will not be allowed to continue doing such things in certain spaces is totally censorship. Where have I heard that one before?  innocent

I'm curious what you think censorship is.

JP McBride

Posts : 105
Reputation : 18
Join date : 2014-10-27

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by Wondering on Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:13 pm

Censorship is the government telling you you can't say things and/or being criminally prosecuted for the things you said.

"Not being allowed" in the sense of private enterprises, individual people, or public censure telling you what you said isn't okay is not censorship.

_________________
-Nevertheless, she persisted

Wondering

Posts : 1103
Reputation : 426
Join date : 2014-10-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by UristMcBunny on Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:14 pm

Pretty sure censorship is when you're arrested for saying things that are not illegal to say (for example - it is not censorship if you get a visit from the police as a direct result of you threatening someone - that speech is not protected).

It is not censorship for someone to say "You cannot use the space I own as a forum for spreading your message" or "I will not pay for the privilege of listening to your message" or "I will express my disagreement with your message".  And "You cannot use the space I own to spread this message" is, AFAICT, pretty much exactly what Prajna is referring to there?

To put it another way, you can spout whatever you want. But no one is obligated to listen, or give you access to their space so you can do so.

_________________
Some of you will know me as Bunny from the old forums.
avatar
UristMcBunny
Moderator of "Romantic and Sexual Relationships"

Posts : 371
Reputation : 116
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile http://uristmcdorf.tumblr.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by Prajnaparamita on Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:20 pm

UristMcBunny wrote:Pretty sure censorship is when you're arrested for saying things that are not illegal to say (for example - it is not censorship if you get a visit from the police as a direct result of you threatening someone - that speech is not protected).

It is not censorship for someone to say "You cannot use the space I own as a forum for spreading your message" or "I will not pay for the privilege of listening to your message" or "I will express my disagreement with your message".  And "You cannot use the space I own to spread this message" is, AFAICT, pretty much exactly what Prajna is referring to there?

To put it another way, you can spout whatever you want.  But no one is obligated to listen, or give you access to their space so you can do so.

Yep yep. This right here. Nobody's saying the dude can't sing the Nazi national anthem in the shower until his throat gets sore. He just can't expect others to play it for him.

_________________
Foster! It saves lives! And kittens! People will just give you kittens! For free!
avatar
Prajnaparamita

Posts : 385
Reputation : 217
Join date : 2015-02-05

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by Wondering on Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:25 pm

He also isn't going to get brought up on any charges for having written that. If my understanding of German law regarding Nazis is correct, had he done this in Germany, he may have been prosecuted.

_________________
-Nevertheless, she persisted

Wondering

Posts : 1103
Reputation : 426
Join date : 2014-10-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by reboot on Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:48 pm

JP McBride wrote:
Prajnaparamita wrote:Yes, because being told that doing things that make others uncomfortable is not okay and you will not be allowed to continue doing such things in certain spaces is totally censorship. Where have I heard that one before?  innocent

I'm curious what you think censorship is.

Censorship is being forbidden to release/create or punished for the release/creation. For more formal definitions see this

Censorship is not being criticized for using a Nazi Party song without some explanation to the audience.

Criticism=/=Censorship
avatar
reboot
Moderator of "Other Relationships" and "Gender, Identity and Society"

Posts : 2514
Reputation : 1005
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by JP McBride on Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:37 pm

Wondering wrote:Censorship is the government telling you you can't say things and/or being criminally prosecuted for the things you said.

"Not being allowed" in the sense of private enterprises, individual people, or public censure telling you what you said isn't okay is not censorship.

You are absolutely wrong:

Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication or other information which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other groups or institutions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship

JP McBride

Posts : 105
Reputation : 18
Join date : 2014-10-27

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Free Speech and Censorship

Post by Wondering on Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:47 pm

You are in the US, are you not, JP McBride?

That is not a legal definition of censorship in the US, as I'm guessing you're well aware. Please don't endanger our right to free speech by over-defining censorship and thus diluting its meaning.

When everything is censorship, the word ceases to mean anything.

Wondering

Posts : 1103
Reputation : 426
Join date : 2014-10-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by Prajnaparamita on Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:31 pm

Hey, umm, guys, as OP here I would like to call on the new rules about derailing--I knew about Horst Wessel being illegal to perform in Germany when I wrote this up, but I specifically didn't want this to turn into an argument over government censorship and the ethics of that. If people want to talk about the definition of censorship, and enough are interested, could you please start up a new thread? I wrote this in the hopes of starting a conversation about the creeper mentality, and if people are interested in discussing the very specific question in this case of how refusing to perform an offensive work differs from censorship and how this could have been done differently, I'd be okay with that. But if you want to discuss international interpretations of free speech law, could you maybe split this off into something else?

_________________
Foster! It saves lives! And kittens! People will just give you kittens! For free!
avatar
Prajnaparamita

Posts : 385
Reputation : 217
Join date : 2015-02-05

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by JP McBride on Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:38 am

Prajnaparamita wrote:Hey, umm, guys, as OP here I would like to call on the new rules about derailing--I knew about Horst Wessel being illegal to perform in Germany when I wrote this up, but I specifically didn't want this to turn into an argument over government censorship and the ethics of that.

You're expressing support for an act of censorship, it's kind of hard to avoid an argument at that point.

JP McBride

Posts : 105
Reputation : 18
Join date : 2014-10-27

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by Enail on Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:49 am

<mod>Folks, the thread has been split into a new one. Please leave discussion of whether it was a derail or not aside now. Thanks. <mod>
avatar
Enail
Admin

Posts : 3188
Reputation : 1491
Join date : 2014-09-22

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by reboot on Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:50 am

It is not censorship if an independent institution asks that a contractor (and the composer is a contractor who is using the institution's orchestra to perform his work) to apologize to customers. The composer, if he disagrees, is free to find another venue, rather than apologize. Any customer is free to seek out or avoid his work as they see fit. Any musician is free to play or not play his work. His work can be recorded and distributed.

Where exactly is the censorship?
avatar
reboot
Moderator of "Other Relationships" and "Gender, Identity and Society"

Posts : 2514
Reputation : 1005
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by JP McBride on Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:15 am

reboot wrote:It is not censorship if an independent institution asks that a contractor (and the composer is a contractor who is using the institution's orchestra to perform his work) to apologize to customers. The composer, if he disagrees, is free to find another venue, rather than apologize. Any customer is free to seek out or avoid his work as they see fit. Any musician is free to play or not play his work. His work can be recorded and distributed.

Where exactly is the censorship?

Because that's what the word means. They're actively limiting artistic expression.

JP McBride

Posts : 105
Reputation : 18
Join date : 2014-10-27

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by eselle28 on Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:19 am

JP McBride wrote:
reboot wrote:It is not censorship if an independent institution asks that a contractor (and the composer is a contractor who is using the institution's orchestra to perform his work) to apologize to customers. The composer, if he disagrees, is free to find another venue, rather than apologize. Any customer is free to seek out or avoid his work as they see fit. Any musician is free to play or not play his work. His work can be recorded and distributed.

Where exactly is the censorship?

Because that's what the word means. They're actively limiting artistic expression.

To me it seems more like they're failing to support it. If that defines censorship, we're all constantly censoring art when we decide we don't want to watch 50 Shades of Grey or buy the latest John Grisham novel or give money to the guy playing at the subway station.
avatar
eselle28
General Oversight Moderator

Posts : 1976
Reputation : 974
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by JP McBride on Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:29 am

eselle28 wrote:
JP McBride wrote:
reboot wrote:It is not censorship if an independent institution asks that a contractor (and the composer is a contractor who is using the institution's orchestra to perform his work) to apologize to customers. The composer, if he disagrees, is free to find another venue, rather than apologize. Any customer is free to seek out or avoid his work as they see fit. Any musician is free to play or not play his work. His work can be recorded and distributed.

Where exactly is the censorship?

Because that's what the word means. They're actively limiting artistic expression.

To me it seems more like they're failing to support it. If that defines censorship, we're all constantly censoring art when we decide we don't want to watch 50 Shades of Grey or buy the latest John Grisham novel or give money to the guy playing at the subway station.

That analogy would make sense if it was just a matter of an audience not showing up. The fact that a music program is actively preventing music from being performed is what makes it censorship.

JP McBride

Posts : 105
Reputation : 18
Join date : 2014-10-27

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by eselle28 on Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:48 am

JP McBride wrote:
That analogy would make sense if it was just a matter of an audience not showing up. The fact that a music program is actively preventing music from being performed is what makes it censorship.

The New York Youth Symphony is an audience too, and it doesn't like this work. In this case, it's because some of the audience at its premiere found it objectionable and presumably the organization feared that future ticket sales would be affected. Would you feel the same way if the performance had been cancelled because it had received terrible and widely-publicized reviews? We don't know what happened behind the scenes, but what if the performers (aged 12 to 22) objected to performing the piece? Should they be dismissed and replaced for declining to participate in speech they find objectionable?

The "preventing" language seems odd to me. The organization isn't allowing the the composer to use its performance space, its performers, or its name. The piece can still be performed elsewhere.
avatar
eselle28
General Oversight Moderator

Posts : 1976
Reputation : 974
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by JP McBride on Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:36 am

Tarm says that he talked with the orchestra about the themes of the work:

“The most important thing is the music,” he told us yesterday. “There was a musician who walked up to me in rehearsal and we talked about the Nazi themes. There were no concerns brought up in rehearsal. The musicians knew the context, they knew what the music is saying. They’re [the NYYS administration] taking it out of context. That music has been used in artwork before. For example, a symphony Pavel Haas was working on in Auschwitz [where he died] contained the ‘Horst Vessel Lied.’ ”

For that matter, the name of the piece is "March to Oblivion" in Ukrainian. That should count as fair warning.

JP McBride

Posts : 105
Reputation : 18
Join date : 2014-10-27

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by reboot on Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:09 pm

JP McBride wrote:Tarm says that he talked with the orchestra about the themes of the work:

“The most important thing is the music,” he told us yesterday. “There was a musician who walked up to me in rehearsal and we talked about the Nazi themes. There were no concerns brought up in rehearsal. The musicians knew the context, they knew what the music is saying. They’re [the NYYS administration] taking it out of context. That music has been used in artwork before. For example, a symphony Pavel Haas was working on in Auschwitz [where he died] contained the ‘Horst Vessel Lied.’ ”

For that matter, the name of the piece is "March to Oblivion" in Ukrainian. That should count as fair warning.

Why would people automatically connect "March to Oblivion" in Ukrainian to Horst Wessel? I would have thought a Russian/Soviet theme.

You really seem to be missing the point that if the NYYS's audience and donors did not like a Nazi song unleashed on them without warning, the privately run, donor funded organization can ask for an apology and ask not to have that work played, just as a Christian radio station can choose not to play death metal and reprimand a DJ who does.

In this scenario, everything could have been avoided if he had mentioned the Horst Wessel song and explained his themes in the "About" section of the Playbill and pre-event advertisement.

Censorship would be if all symphonies black listed the work, no musician would agree to play it, no recording studio would agree to record it, etc.
avatar
reboot
Moderator of "Other Relationships" and "Gender, Identity and Society"

Posts : 2514
Reputation : 1005
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by nearly_takuan on Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:34 pm

reboot wrote:Censorship would be if all symphonies black listed the work, no musician would agree to play it, no recording studio would agree to record it, etc.

Gonna take this a bit further and say that wouldn't be censorship either, if the symphonies and musicians and recording studios were just independently deciding not to play it.

It'd be censorship if a recording studio did agree to record it, and then they or another entity decided to go out of their way to destroy every freely-sold copy. It'd be censorship if performers were only uninterested in playing it because they feared some punitive consequence.

This is sometimes a fuzzier line than I'd like, but I believe pretty strongly that a boycott is not censorship (no matter the scale), even though becoming suddenly unable to earn money is a possible consequence for the entity provoking it.
avatar
nearly_takuan

Posts : 1044
Reputation : 418
Join date : 2014-10-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by reboot on Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:58 pm

nearly_takuan wrote:
reboot wrote:Censorship would be if all symphonies black listed the work, no musician would agree to play it, no recording studio would agree to record it, etc.

Gonna take this a bit further and say that wouldn't be censorship either, if the symphonies and musicians and recording studios were just independently deciding not to play it.

It'd be censorship if a recording studio did agree to record it, and then they or another entity decided to go out of their way to destroy every freely-sold copy. It'd be censorship if performers were only uninterested in playing it because they feared some punitive consequence.

This is sometimes a fuzzier line than I'd like, but I believe pretty strongly that a boycott is not censorship (no matter the scale), even though becoming suddenly unable to earn money is a possible consequence for the entity provoking it.

Good point. Boycotts are not censorship since they are a cumulation of individual decisions not to do something.

A better example would be if the Musician's Guild forbid musicians to play the piece or risk being kicked out.
avatar
reboot
Moderator of "Other Relationships" and "Gender, Identity and Society"

Posts : 2514
Reputation : 1005
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by JP McBride on Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:29 pm

reboot wrote:Why would people automatically connect "March to Oblivion" in Ukrainian to Horst Wessel? I would have thought a Russian/Soviet theme.

It does, as it also quotes the anthem of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which everyone seems to be cool with.

reboot wrote:the privately run, donor funded organization

Would it be different if they were funded by the National Endowment for the Arts? Hypothetically speaking.

reboot wrote:In this scenario, everything could have been avoided if he had mentioned the Horst Wessel song and explained his themes in the "About" section of the Playbill and pre-event advertisement.

If this were the case, then they could simply print up new playbills and the show could continue.

...

You guys seem to be really attached to a very narrow and legalistic definition of censorship that doesn't reflect how the word is actually used in real life. Again, from Wikipedia:

Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication or other information which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other groups or institutions.[1]

Governments, private organizations and individuals may engage in censorship. When an individual such as an author or other creator engages in censorship of their own works or speech, it is called self-censorship. Censorship may be direct or it may be indirect, in which case it is called soft censorship. It occurs in a variety of different media, including speech, books, music, films, and other arts, the press, radio, television, and the Internet for a variety of claimed reasons including national security, to control obscenity, child pornography, and hate speech, to protect children or other vulnerable groups, to promote or restrict political or religious views, and to prevent slander and libel.

Direct censorship may or may not be legal, depending on the type, place, and content. Many countries provide strong protections against censorship by law, but none of these protections are absolute and frequently a claim of necessity to balance conflicting rights is made, in order to determine what can and cannot be censored. There are no laws against self-censorship.

What's the rationale for rejecting this sort of definition for censorship?

JP McBride

Posts : 105
Reputation : 18
Join date : 2014-10-27

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by nearly_takuan on Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:34 pm

Because if the government threatened legal action against the sponsoring organization to prevent it from making its own choices on how to handle this, that would be censorship.
avatar
nearly_takuan

Posts : 1044
Reputation : 418
Join date : 2014-10-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by UristMcBunny on Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:47 pm

Because censorship is not, and has never been, "people who disagreed with me chose not to actively assist me in spreading my message while I was being a huge knobhead about it"?

Which is basically exactly what's going on here.

This guy is not prevented from creating his music. He is not prevented from recording it. He is not permitted from seeking out like-minded people who will want to perform and participate in his music.

If you come to my house and call me names, you will be ejected from my house and not welcomed back again. That doesn't infringe on your right to be an offensive dickhead. It's not censorship to say "I don't want it in my home and I am not interested in listening". I don't see what's confusing about that?

_________________
Some of you will know me as Bunny from the old forums.
avatar
UristMcBunny
Moderator of "Romantic and Sexual Relationships"

Posts : 371
Reputation : 116
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile http://uristmcdorf.tumblr.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by InkAndComb on Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:03 pm

So censorship is sort of a spectrum right? Is the issue that is being debated whether or not this is legal censorship versus soft censorship (based off the definition JP provided)? Am I misunderstanding?

It seems to me to be soft censorship of a nonlegal variety as it limits creative expression in a 'group' setting but didn't prevent it from going to other locations. I mean, IANAL but i think its legal to do this, theater companies do this for traveling performances that don't click with their intended audience all the time (full monty, reefer madness come to mind).
avatar
InkAndComb

Posts : 145
Reputation : 38
Join date : 2014-11-11

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Free Speech and Censorship

Post by reboot on Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:07 pm

So JP would you prefer a world where everyone was required to host/listen to/read everything and no one was allowed to criticize anything?


Last edited by reboot on Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
avatar
reboot
Moderator of "Other Relationships" and "Gender, Identity and Society"

Posts : 2514
Reputation : 1005
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 4 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum