Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Canada's Banned Assisted Suicide Commercial

The Television Bureau of Canada has banned this commercial after receiving e-mail from moral supremacists who seek to impose their beliefs on others:

End of Life Choices advocate Dr Philip Nitschke PhD, MD will be speaking in Vancouver on Thursday October 7 at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, 949 49th Ave West.

He'll be in Toronto on October 13th at the 1st Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, 175 St Claire Ave West.

A peaceful death is everybody's right.

This is what censorship looks like:

Subject: RE: Requested documentation
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2010 09:03:39 -0400
From: TVB [Television Bureau of Canada]

Hi Philip,

Since our last correspondence and your e-mail release to your contacts about Telecaster Approving your script, we have received a great volume of e-mails threatening, pleading and warning us not to approve your commercial, as doing so would be a violation of the Canadian Criminal Code.

We had our lawyer look into the matter and we think we have found a way for your spot to be approved. The following changes would need to be made to your commercial, in order for Telecaster to approve your commercial:

Remove all audio and video mention of Exit International from the commercial, and
Remove the Exit International Logo from the commercial, and
Remove the url/web address for Exit International from the commercial, and
To comply with our Issue and Opinion Guideline http://www.tvb.ca/page/TCEIssueOpinion.htm/, the commercial must contain proper advertiser identification.

So having “Authorized by Dr Philip Nitschke.” in audio and video, appearing on screen for 3 seconds, in a font size, type and colour that is legible to the average viewer would be acceptable under the Telecaster Guidelines and the Canadian Criminal Code

Please note that having the organization name “Exit International” or it’s logo or it’s url/web address is not acceptable under the Canadian Criminal Code as it could direct viewers to the web to find out more and this would result in the viewer finding out that the organization provides seminars and information that promote, educate and counsel individuals on how to commit suicide.

Please send the revised commercial when ready. If you have any questions, please let me know. Thank you.

Regards, Brian
Brian George
Telecaster Commercial Analyst
Tel: (416) 413-3880 | Fax: (416) 413-3877
Brian George, just another man following orders obediently.

Are the TVB lawyers correct? Is it really against the law to publish a Canadian link to the ExitInternational.net website? I just did, let's see what happens.

There's a relevant case before the BC Court of Appeal right now concerning the liability of hyperlinking - Crookes vs. Newton - which is expected to support the original judge's decision:
[30] Although a hyperlink provides immediate access to material published on another website, this does not amount to republication of the content on the originating site. This is especially so as a reader may or may not follow the hyperlinks provided.
Further to that, am I breaking the law by publishing the fact that taking sedatives and falling asleep with a large Helium-filled bag sealed around one's neck is one of the most elegant, peaceful ways for terminal patients to expire themselves?

A peaceful death is everybody's right.

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