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Publication Bans In A Borderless World

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the check-your-balances dept.

Censorship 291

slantyyz writes "Wired has a story on a publication ban imposed by a Canadian court on the Canadian media in a well-publicized serial murder case. Now this ban doesn't apply to foreign media per se, but given the borderless nature of the Internet, it leads one to wonder about the efficacy of such a ban. Canadians clearly have access to the American media channels online. The last major publication ban occurred in the early nineties with another Canadian serial murder case involving Paul Bernardo. It was effective to the point that the Internet was still a young medium, but even then, there were a few newsgroups created that were dedicated to spreading rumours about the ongoing trial."

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HEyA DAwGZ! LOL! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121544)

my pussy stinks so bad :( help

plz :~[

FU (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121547)

Frosted Urine?

bottom line (3, Interesting)

kwilliams (617679) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121566)

The bottom line is that the internet thrives on freedom and has come to a point where it's nearly impossible to restrict. That's a good thing, in my opinion.

Re:bottom line (2, Insightful)

Scud_the_disposable_ (639695) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121697)

Why is that a good thing? There is a reason publication bans are put in effect in the first place: so that the defendant can have an unbiased judge/jury/trial. If the judge/jury's relatives, friends or whatever have access to the information presented in the trial, then that is a risk to the unbiased nature of the trial. How would you like it if you were accused of say, murder, (you are innocent) and all of the evidence is considered by the jury's family, and the pronounce you guilty, because their families think that you did it?

Re:bottom line (1)

The_K4 (627653) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121996)

Ever heard of sequestering the jury? Then their families/new media/any thing but the facts can't affect their judgment. In fact in the US sequestering juries of a murder trial is common. The real problem is before the trial ever happens. It makes finding an un-biased jury harder. However the gag orders usually don't come into play that early anyway.

Re:bottom line (2)

airrage (514164) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121719)

"...has come to a point where it's nearly impossible to restrict. That's a good thing, in my opinion."

Dear Sir,

From your comment I can only surmise that you have not had access to what is colloquially called "the net" for any reasonable length of time. Any quick purusal of archived news stories will return a littany of stories involving net cencorship, freedom of speech issues, lawsuits over trademarks, DMCA, etc, etc, etc. So "impossible to restrict, is unfortunately, quite "possible". Secondly, whether it's a "good thing" that "restriction is impossible", I could think of "bad things" in my opinion that restriction would curb. Of course, your argument is understood, if say, one is a child-pornographer.

The internet is quite possible to restrict, see China, Iran, Arkansas.

Can someone remind me again who and where are these "Canadians", my geography is awful.


Re:bottom line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122010)

Can someone remind me again who and where are these "Canadians", my geography is awful.

I dunno, I think maybe they're somewhere near those so-called "Americans" - though I'm not sure where one might find them. Does anyone here have a clue?

well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121568)

shouldn't the trial go without publicity for Justice?

Blame canada!!! (1, Funny)

joeldg (518249) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121584)

Blame canada!!! ... (sorry that just blurted out)

Re:Blame canada!!! (-1, Flamebait)

Scud_the_disposable_ (639695) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121759)

This gets modded up for being funny, while I get modded down for flamebait for asking a simple question?? (see link below)

jesus, man (1)

SweetAndSourJesus (555410) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121999)

you're complaining about a five day old one point moderation?


Re:Blame canada!!! (1)

BlameCanada (176521) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121775)

Why me...?

Re:Blame canada!!! (1)

joeldg (518249) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121923)

well, I guess I am curious as to why you would complain about begin flamebait in the first place.. I mean, I would not be complaining if this was modded as flamebait. Grousy about it usually is just going to get you modded further down (if I had some moderator points...)

Re:Blame canada!!! (1)

joeldg (518249) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121958)

YES!!!!! (woohoo.. more more more!!!)

perfect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121985)

:) thanks... it would have just gotten modded down in meta anyway ;)

In Israel (5, Interesting)

MimsyBoro (613203) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121588)

I live in Israel and we had a similiar case. About half a year ago there was a terrorist attack on a unit of soldiers and the heads of state (or some other decision maker) decdied that no one is allowed to know any details of the case so that the families of the dead wouldn't find out before the official notice was made. Although people tried to spread the news using the Internet (because the TV networks and radio channeled only kept repeating "At this stage we are not allowed to disclose any more information") but what happened is that the big news sites were contacted by the goverment and kept everything queit and concurrently the Israeil Inteligence Agencies "Quited Down" various small sites and public news site or forums that tried to publish details. Although never officialy admitted the Israeli Intelligence just DOSed a few servers to keep everything quite. So the question in how important is it that the information be kept secret

DIRTY KIKE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121772)


Re:In Israel (1)

arikb (106153) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121877)

I'm sorry, but you are just paranoid.

I also live in Israel, and I have witnessed that on several occasions information in small news sites that was not released to the general media, even some that can be considered explosive, was available thrugh those channels until it became old news.

The policy not to reveal casualties names before the families are informed (which is enacted whenever there is any kind of high-profile death of people, it happens all the time, even in car accidents) is IMHO compassionate and humane. Just put yourself in place of one of the families.


America Jr. and "free speech" (-1, Flamebait)

I Am The Owl (531076) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121596)

This is just about the saddest thing I have ever read about Canada. If one were to remove all references to Canada from the Wired article, one could easily be led to believe that it was an article, instead, about China and their Great Firewall. From the article:
The judge had limited journalists to reporting on the color of Pickton's sweater and the sound of his voice, and Canadian networks blacked out television reports coming in from the United States.
I can only be thankful that I live in the land of Freedom to the south. Such behavior would even make people like John Ashcroft blush.

Re:America Jr. and "free speech" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121639)

Yes, you troll, because media bans have no relevant reason whatsoever. These bans exist to prevent media taints on the case. The jurors go to their hotel rooms at night and turn on the TV. And if someone is editorializing the details that were released today, as well as what is to come tomorrow, their decision could be effected.

Ban the jurors from TV and they'll talk to their families. Ban contact with families and you'll soon find yourself under the gun in a huge civil rights case.

So, once again, in short words for you. The media ban protects the jurors. The media ban premits a more-fair outcome. Jeez.

Oh, and I won't even touch that high-horse BS you spouted, I'll just pray it was sarcastic.

Re:America Jr. and "free speech" (5, Informative)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121660)

Free speech does not enter in to it.

This man has a right to a fair trial. "Innocent until proven guilty" is still a way of life here in Canada, unlike in the US media where it's "He's a murderer, string him up". For examples, see Gary Condid.

This is the pre-trial phase, and in order to ensure there is a fair and unbiased populace from which to draw jurors, there is a ban on publication of evidence until trial time. This is quite normal here.

Canada has it's own laws, our Judges don't cave in to American Media. The US media has a choice - don't publish details, or be barred from the court room.

Re:America Jr. and "free speech" (2, Informative)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121725)

For another example, look at OJ's absolute joke of a trial. This was the opposite effect. It became the "OJ" show, and everyone - jurors included - couldn't wait for the 'happy ending'.

Does "freedom of the press" trump the "right to a fair and expedient trial"?

That isnt even the issue. The details of the trial are made public, just not while the trial is in session.

Re:America Jr. and "free speech" (1)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121952)

Does "freedom of the press" trump the "right to a fair and expedient trial"?

IMO, no. Not ever. The right of the accused comes before my right to know. I want to know, but I can wait.

The details of the trial are made public, just not while the trial is in session

See my answer above. If the details of the pre-trial hearings are made public, it violates the rights of the accused. Furthermore, it may complicate the trial, and this trial has to be by the book. If Canada had the death penalty, this guy would fry. Slowly.

No, it is nothing but censorship (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121889)

This man has a right to a fair trial.

Yes, and informing the public of what the government is doing does not get in the way of this at all.

"Innocent until proven guilty" is still a way of life here in Canada, unlike in the US media where it's "He's a murderer, string him up". For examples, see Gary Condid.

The fact that you cannot spell Condit's name is just the first fact you go wrong. While Condit did kill that girl, he did not go to court (so how is this relevant to the subject about court proceedings?)? He got away with it. Far from being strung up, he is living rich at taxpayer expense right now.

It must be a problem with Canadian media, which is much more controlled and censored than in the U.S. Perhaps you believe that Condit was executed last year from a CBC report?

in order to ensure there is a fair and unbiased populace from which to draw jurors, there is a ban on publication of evidence until trial time.

So your populace becomes biased by learning about evidence? No trial is fair when the facts are hidden from those involved.

Re:America Jr. and "free speech" (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121939)

Thank you for saying this. I was going to say it, but I think you did it better. This whole article is being presented as a sensationalist piece about censorship. It certainly is not the case. Once the trial is over, people will be free to publish what they like. I think this is very important for a fair trial and prevents tainting of the jury.

Some countries allow television cameras in to their courtrooms for live broadcasting of trials. I think this is incredibly wrong as it runs the risk of trial be TV/media. For big cases it becomes very hard to stop public opinion making its way back to the jurors, unless you lock them away for the course of the trial. The public really doesn't need to know right now what is occurring - they won't be harmed by having to wait some time.

Re:America Jr. and "free speech" (1)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121673)

You need to remember that this is NOT the trial, but a preliminary hearing to determine if a trial can take place.

If the judge thinks there is enough evidence, then a trail date is set, jurors are picked and away we go.

The publication ban is to stop the press from polluting the jury pool with evidence that may or may not be permitted during the actual trial, and thus the jurors pre-judge the defendant (may he burn in hell....).

Re:America Jr. and "free speech" (-1, Troll)

I Am The Owl (531076) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121729)

That is nothing more than a perverse form of thought control. What else do you do in Canada? Do you have listening devices in everyone's home to make sure that nobody discusses a high profile case? The media isn't the only group that can have opinions, you know.

Re:America Jr. and "free speech" (1)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121767)

Thought control? What side of your ass did that come out of?

So you don't believe in a persons right to a fair trial? What are you, a Nazi?

Re:America Jr. and "free speech" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121776)

Where is the thoguht control? The purpose of the publication ban is to stop evidence that may not be allowed during the trial to be made available to potential jurors.

How clueless are you?

Re:America Jr. and "free speech" (1)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121784)

Thought control?

To properly judge this guy, and to make sure that he receives a fair trial you need a pool of jurors that have not yet made up their minds. Ideally you would want people that have never heard of the person of what he is accused of. That way innocent before proven guilty actually has a chance to work.

Other-wise it is like some other so-called legal systems where heresay and innuendo convicts a person (lynch mobs come to mind).

Re:America Jr. and "free speech" (1)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121681)

Such behavior would even make people like John Ashcroft blush.

Yeah, but only because the Canadians were able to do it first.

Re:America Jr. and "free speech" (4, Insightful)

Cerberus9 (466562) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121730)

I have no idea why the general public and indeed, the media have such a blatant misunderstanding of judicial publication ban orders. The ban is a ban on media reporting while the trial is in progress and possibly until such time as the appeals are exhausted. The complete, entire purpose of the ban is to minimize contamination of the jury pool.

Guess what happens when the trial is over?

That's right - you're allowed to report on the trial! The transcripts are made public! Hell, CBC even made a TV movie out of the case. Since the media has lost it's chance to unfairly bias the public at this point, they rarely bother to report on it after the fact though.

So take your sacrimonious attitude and apply it to those first generation Americans who are being held in US prisons without charges or trial just for registering the country of their birth.

It's just a preliminary hearing (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121734)

The jury has not been chosen yet. It's common practice south of the border to ensure a jury is not tainted by allowing them to read about the trial in newspapers, watch coverage of the trial in the evening news, etc. This is the same thing but applied prior to a jury being chosen to help ensure a fair jury can be selected. It's a sticky situation - the right of the accused to a fair trial vs the right of the press to report to the public. In fact, now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure similar actions have been taken south of the border, though I could be mistaken on this thought. And is this ban effective? Yes. I haven't heard/seen/read anything of substance in the mainstream media and because I'm not too interested in the trial itself, I don't read about it on the Internet. If I was out in B.C. I'd make a pretty good candidate for a jury. Now, had there not been a publication ban I would have been tainted by my inability to avoid hearing about the trial while I read the morning paper, drive with the radio on, watch TV, etc.

Re:America Jr. and "free speech" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121807)

Yes, America is land of the free...

As a Canadian, I'm more than happy to face a ban on a Preliminary Hearing if it means a man has a right to a fair trial later.

It is much better than the new American tradition of labeling its own citizens "enemy combatants" and locking them up in solitary confinement indefinitely, without charges, without a lawyer, without a single chance to defend themselves (e.g. Jose Padilla)

What happened to the US? Home of the free my ass.

Re:America Jr. and "free speech" (1)

twakar (128390) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121809)

Well..I am Canadian and this does really bother me. Actually, I'm ashamed. However this one incident does not define freedom Canadian style. This case is about our largest serial killer ever, who is charged with the murder of 15 prostitutes(54 are actually missing), so this is a severe case. We don't however arrest and jail foreign nationals under a copyright law for giving a speech. We also don't make it illegal to tell anyone that we're being investigated by the authorities as is the case with the dive shops under the USA PATRIOT Act. IS that your definition of freedom?

"land of Freedom to the south" (1)

disc-chord (232893) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121837)

Where is this "land of Freedom to the south" of which you speak?

Ummm Mexico? I guess that's a pretty free an open society. Though the government is slightly more corrupt than most.

Oh I know Puerto Rico? Yea it has to be Puerto Rico you're talking about, right? No DMCA, no Disney sponsored FBI; truly the land of the free! Via con dios, amigo!

Granted? (1)

MrEd (60684) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121612)

Canadians clearly have access to the American media channels online.

Rule number one: don't make assumptions! Last time I was on the phone with (who still haven't gotten my 2-month-old order delivered) I was asked, "You guys have a postal system, right?"

Heh. Just cause it's a true story, don't getcher back up.

the difference between news and rumors (3, Insightful)

Erris (531066) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121613)

... there were a few newsgroups created that were dedicated to spreading rumours about the ongoing trial.

News is what you get from disinerested third parties who are free to investigate and report news.

Rumors is what you get when disinterested third parties are not alowed to investigate or report news.

Rumors are not substitutes for news. They can never be trusted and are always a sign of tyranical control. When rumors are more reliable than news, no one can be sure of anything. That's why the US has a first amendment. It's degradation is a sign of enslavement.

Re:the difference between news and rumors (4, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121908)

Wow... "news" and "disinterested third parties" in the same sentence. Are you on crack? These "third parties" you speak of are the news agencies whose sole responsibility (especially in the US) is to generate ratings. No, not report the news; generate ratings.

WRT this case, it is in the media's best interested to villify this guy to the best of their ability. Why? Because villians generate ratings. People tune in because they have a morbid curiosity about the "evil guy who killed all those women". They will do their best to present all the evidence which will present this man as guilty, especially if it can enhance the sensationalism of the case.

So, the media is representing the case in a manner which biases it's viewers. Guess who those viewers are: potential jurors! As a result, the chance Pickton will receive a fair trial with an unbiased jury is compromised, meaning he is stripped of his rights.

Re:the difference between news and rumors (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121972)

The right to a fair trial is part of the original constitution, and nothing about the first amendment alters it in any way.

Nor does barring the media for publishing the ongoing trial hamper the freedom of the press. They're free to print all the FACTS they want, after the trial when they've been proven to be facts.

Look at Larry King sitting around his little table for an hour with 'expert guests' who do nothing but speculate and come up with 'what if' 'what if' scenarios. You're saying the 'right to exploit the victims' is greater than the accuseds 'right to a fair trial'?

Look at this Laci Peterson case right now. The media already has the noose tied and ready, just waiting to slip it around the husbands neck. No body, no evidence, not even any proof that a crime has even taken place. But the news channels are devoting 6 hours a day minimum to rumours, hearsay, conjecture and fairy tales - because it gets ratings.

Better hope your name doesn't come up in the next 'sensationalist' media-circus that is the american justice system.

Re:the difference between news and rumors (1)

NaugaHunter (639364) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122002)

While it is true that rumors are not researched facts, we could go on a whole tangent about how much research into an article constitutes it being news.

However, when something is heard second hand it is generally harder to determine truth, and this is in fact more damaging to due process then the rumor itself. If something is revealed in an early phase of a pre-trial that is later dismissed, it could end up on the 'rumor' site and later repeated. Any person having heard this would then be 'tainted' (from a certain point of view).

The battle between "the public's right to know" vs. "due process" probably dates back to the first days they both existed together. Or, in US terms, there is always a battle between the mentioned first amendment (" law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...") vs. the sixth ("...the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury..."). {Full Bill of Rights []

Note that the trial should be public BUT impartial. One of the main ways of guaranteeing impartiality is ignorance, and that is probably what the judge is hoping to accomplish, though for presumably Canadian legal equivalents.

Just out of curiosity, I ask ... (5, Interesting)

DogIsMyCoprocessor (642655) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121617)

are there any studies that can claim to show that pre-trial publicity can actually bias a jury one way or another? Or is the belief that it (pre-trial publicity) may impinge on someone's "right to a fair trial" based solely on principle and reason rather than evidence? (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Re:Just out of curiosity, I ask ... (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121771)


Imagine you show up for jury duty.

Remember Jon Benet Ramsey? Her father is on trial for allegedly raping and killing her.

You sure it's all 'principle and reason'?

Even if it is, the defendant must be proven guilty 'beyond a resonable doubt'. So I think it's fair to ensure the jury is as unbiased as possible, and if something casts 'reasonable doubt' as to their ability to do a fair job, then they are dismissed.

Re:Just out of curiosity, I ask ... (2, Insightful)

why-is-it (318134) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121910)

are there any studies that can claim to show that pre-trial publicity can actually bias a jury one way or another?

What sort of controlled experiment could you possibly conduct that would produce any relevant data? I suspect one could examine specific case studies, but that cannot establish a causal relationship or help in identifying any potential corelations.

Personally, I believe that the accused person's right to a fair trial outweighs the right of the tabloids to report on the gory details. We certainly don't want Pickton's trial to become a media spectacle like the farce that was OJ Simpson's trial.Besides, the judge is only asking that any of the information presented at the pre-trial not be reported until the jury is picked and the trial begins.

This is not the act of an authoritarian regime. There is no need to get the tinfoil hats out.

They always were ineffective (4, Funny)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121620)

I remember back when the Bernardo case was going on, people were making trips into the US to get Wired magazine.

It was banned in Canada because it talked about the publication ban, and just happened to mention that one of the banned pieces of information was that homolka pled guilty.

It was quite funny, customs set a limit on the number of copies of Wired you could bring across the border. They generally treated it as a controlled substance.

Wired probably sold more copies to Canadians that month than any other time before then, which made the whole ban ineffective. I had no trouble getting my hands an a copy from a 'dealer' at school

ProfQuotes []

Re:They always were ineffective (1)

MonsieurPiedlourde (594399) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121898)

I remember they put that Wired issue in the local stores in Vancouver. They put a sticker over the offending information that said "Banned in Canada" which funny enough peeled right off. (the details were pretty mundance - that the guys wife had been offered a deal to testify against him)

The funniest thing was the other much bigger sticker on the front cover that said something to the effect that some of the information in the issues was banned in Canada. Great marketing.

Nothing to fear from the US (5, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121625)

The US is so insular, the media most likely 'discovers' Canada every couple of months.

"Wow, did you know there is a WHOLE country just north of us?"

Considering I have to go to the NPR/BBC to get any sort of non-corporate news, I think that Canada is safe from learning anything about themselves from the U.S. media.

China on the other hand....

Corporate news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121904)

Considering I have to go to the NPR/BBC to get any sort of non-corporate news

NPR is quite corporate. Look at the funding they get from the CORPORATION for public broadcasting. I think BBC is too. Not only that, but these are corporations controlled by the government for the purpose of being official government media. Doesn't that fit with the definition of fascist?

While NBC, CNN, etc tilt left, they are uncontrolled and accountable primarily to their audience, and not to the state.

yeah (-1)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121626)

Some folks are born made to wave the flag,
Ooh, they're red, white and blue.
And when the band plays "Hail to the chief",
Ooh, they point the cannon at you, Lord,

It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no senator's son, son.
It ain't me, it ain't me; I ain't no fortunate one, no,

Some folks are born silver spoon in hand,
Lord, don't they help themselves, oh.
But when the taxman comes to the door,
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yes,

It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no millionaire's son, no.
It ain't me, it ain't me; I ain't no fortunate one, no.

Some folks inherit star spangled eyes,
Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord,
And when you ask them, "How much should we give?"
Ooh, they only answer More! more! more! yoh,

It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no military son, son.
It ain't me, it ain't me; I ain't no fortunate one, one.

It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one, no no no,
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate son, no no no,

You can shorten your URL to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121847)

Kind of torn on this one (3, Interesting)

ShieldWolf (20476) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121631)

Being a Canadian citizen I feel that we are within our rights to order a media ban on publication within this country. While it is obvious we can't enforce that ban on the Internet, we can easily ban foreign media from the courtroom if they flaunt our request to not print.

Having said that, I think the media ban in and of itself is not feasable. It is designed to avoid polluting the jury pool (something that may have been done by post-arrest police leaks in the beltway sniper case), but an information vacuum is filled with rumour. I remember being in first year university where some of my floormates were from the St. Catherines area (southern Ontario), who knew someone, who knew someone who was a cop who viewed the Bernardo tapes. The crap that people heard through the 'broken telephone' was a lot worse than what turned out to be the case (although the reality was god-awful in its own right). The jury pool for Bernardo was destroyed anyway by everyone nattering about rumours, so you have to ask if it was worth it.

Re:Kind of torn on this one (1)

pirula (535316) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121757)

I also think that the concept of a media ban os flawed, but sure the judge can kick reporters out of the courtroom for not following the rules he imposes. What gets me about this situation is that fact that they differentiate so clearly between print and internet media. How hard is it to get a paper copy of the Seattle Times in Vancouver? Why should the internet be held to a different standard than the print? My guess is, that for someone to visit the Seattle times site, they must be expressly looking for a non-local perspective. Let them. Seek and ye shall find. What whould happen if the US govt didn't want people seeking international coverage of US events?

New Software to write Banned Publications 00-1.02 (0, Offtopic)

bstadil (7110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121634)

Need bugfixed way faster SW to write Banned Publications (Ploy to stay somewhat close to subject) head over to OpenOffice [] and get version 1.02 released today. Gave up on submitting stories to /..

Egh. (1)

goatasaur (604450) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121635)

I dig the free health care and all, and the lower crime rate too...

Canada just made a misstep here, IMO. It happens.

Re:Egh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121712)

Don't kid yourself about free healthcare here. In Ontario and Alberta (the only two provinces I know about for sure) we have to pay a montly fee for healthcare. Upwards of $40.

Definitely not free.

Re:Egh. (1)

goatasaur (604450) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121722)

$40/mnth is less than my car insurance... WTF!

Re:Egh. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121828)

I see he didn't mention the higher taxes and the waiting lists.

Is this really so much to ask? (5, Insightful)

Garin (26873) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121636)

Perhaps they're hoping that the media will just respect the wishes of the court, rather than trying to force the issue through technology?

Note: there is no ban on the public -being- there, so this isn't a case of a closed trial. This isn't a ban on people talking about it -- just a ban on media publication. The rules are in place simply to give a fair trial.

In Canada, a criminal suspect's right to a fair, untainted trial trumps the right of the media to descend upon the courtroom like a pack of rabid wolves. This is a murder trial, not public entertainment (no matter what the media would have you believe).

Re:Is this really so much to ask? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121806)

Exactly. There isn't a ban on reporting on the case, the courtroom isn't closed to the public. There's a publication ban on the pre-trial proceedings.

Makes perfect sense to me, if some evidence is mentioned in the hearing it could be ran as headline news. Then lets say that the evidence in question isn't actually admissible at trial ... that's a hell of a good complaint for the defense attorney that the jury was biased by inadmissable evidense. Especially if it's a juicy tidbit - which is what all the media wants really.

All things considered I like the system. The last big issue with it was around Bernardo/Homolka ... about the same time as the media circus in the states for OJ. Our two murderers are in prison, Simpson walked.

I know they aren't THAT close really, but I'll give you the media circus and keep a quieter legal system.

Kevin (forgot my damn passwd again)

In Soviet Russia / no wait (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121644)

The judge bans you! No wait in Soviet Canda the judge bans you....

Bowling For Columbine (5, Insightful)

yroJJory (559141) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121646)

This is a very interesting case to me, as I recently saw Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine," which blames, in not very few words, the sensationalist news media in the US for scaring Americans into needing guns and promoting violence.

Moore even continues into Canada and discovers that many more guns are owned by Canadians, yet they have a dramatically lower gun homicide rate.

What has this got to do with this article?

Well, Moore shows how mundane the Canadian television news is and how it isn't splashing murders all across the television.

Perhaps these types of media restrictions help in limiting the sensationalist effect.

(Don't get me wrong: I am fully against censorship of all kinds. Yet, this is an interesting problem to consider.)

Re:Bowling For Columbine (4, Informative)

slantyyz (196624) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121813)

Moore's known for the staginess of his work. While clever, funny and immensely thought provoking, his film stretches the truth.

I live in Toronto, Canada, and if it bleeds, it leads in the local news. Maybe not to the schlocky degree in the US, but murders generally headline the local TV news here.

And that stuff in the movie about the doors not being locked in Toronto neighborhoods? That's bunk. I don't know many people who leave their doors unlocked in the city.

Something else that doesn't appear is the gun crime problem in Toronto. Just like Moore's Columbine movie, a 7 year old girl recently shot her brother with the illegal gun of her older brother.

I love Michael Moore's work, but it's also propaganda with an agenda. Don't believe everything you see on TV and the movies.

Re:Bowling For Columbine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121884)

I, too, live in Toronto and have for all of my mere 30 years. I don't ever remember leaving the door to the house unlocked. Ditto the car. And still the news reports have page upon page of houses robbed and cars stolen. I think the movie is a fair representation of what once was, all-too-many years ago, as well as what we'd like to think ourselves to be to this day. Unfortunately it simply isn't that way anymore, but I wouldn't live anywhere else given the choice...

Re:Bowling For Columbine (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121834)

But it's not censorship, IMO. All details of the trial ARE made available after the fact. The information isn't hidden, it's just withheld for the duration of the trial.

Re:Bowling For Columbine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121841)

As a Canadian, please don't believe everything Michael Moore says about Canada. It is imprecise, if not inaccurate. Which is sad. Long ago, Moore used to be interested in creating documentaries instead of soap-box diatribes. To some extent, what he says about the media here is true - I find American news to be sensationalist and...humourous because of this, in some twisted way. But there are a lot of "shady" things in that movie. For instance, I live in Toronto and don't know anyone that leaves their door unlocked. Yet he spends an entire scene attempting to convince his audience that this is not the case in Canada. It might be of interest to Moore followers to know that one of the reasons he is so big on Canada is because he cannot get any funding for his films from the U.S. but has found such funding in Canada.

Bowling for facts... Moore lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121920)

Moore gets most of his facts wrong, and loves to connect unrelated situations and events with the glue of wild-eyed conspiracy theory.

It is not surprising that he attacks the popularly-controlled media, as he wants it censored and taken over by the government.

Re:Bowling For Columbine (1)

Tester (591) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121921)

Being Canadian, after seeing the move I went to look for some numbers.. There are lots of guns in Canada, but just 1/10th the number of handguns per capita... And handguns are the worst for murders. I can also say that Moore should have tried looking at a TV network other than the CBC (thats our PBS/NPR) and the private TV networks have basicly two kinds of programming, american soaps and "local news" (basicly about the crimes and car accidents). So its not that different.. (This is true outside Quebec, in Quebec as ppl speak French and have a different culture, they have much more local programming).

Whatever Micheal Moore wants to think, the problem in the US is massive gun ownership and as long as the 2nd ammendement is not repealed you will continue to be 10 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than other western coutries..
Let me repeat ... 10 times more likely...

The problem is not massive gun ownership (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121984)

The problem in the U.S. is not massive gun ownership. The problem is a lack of enforcement against individuals who use the guns for crimes. Only a tiny minority of gun owners use the guns in crimes: you could take away the guns of most Americans and not affect this rate at all.

The 2nd amendment is every bit as important as the 1st amendment and the others, from a personal rights AND public policy point of view.

Repeal it, and only the criminals have guns and we will be even more likely to be murdered by these criminals.

Re:Bowling For Columbine (1)

_am99_ (445916) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121932)

It is not censorship or boring news that keeps Canada relatively safe - we just all get along for the most part.

Everytime I hear someone speaking of racisim on C-SPAN, I want to call in and say that a society does not have to be like that and Canada is proof. I live in the most culturally diverse city in the world (Toronto), and the segregation that seems to be common in American society is not present here. I think that when we live in a higher level of peace because there is not as much negativity floating around.

If anyone listened to Washington Journal today, you would not get calls like that from Canada. It was pointed out that on TV, in university lecture halls, and in corporate management, it is mostly white males. Here that is not the case, but we do not even notice - it isn't even a thought. Thinking of the difference between whites and non-whites seems weird to me, cause it just is not done.

PS) I just can't believe that there are more guns here in Canada. I could be wrong, but in my life here, I have only seen a few that were not attached to law enforcement officers.

This is one of the big issues for the Net (1)

Audent (35893) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121647)

When you've got a medium that transcends national boundaries in such a way it makes something of a mockery of such rulings.
This isn't the first time this has happened (look at the Gutnick defamation case in Australia - talked about on Slashdot)( 2/12/10/0019232&mode=thread&tid=123)
or even here in New Zealand where a US millionaire turned up with drugs in his suitcase - the judge granted him name suppression and sent him on his way, I would guess safe in the knowledge that his name would be published online or in his home state and quite happy to see that happen ( 8BCB5DCC256861006848B1).

Can we come up with some international laws that will allow the Net to continue to function as it does today (when it does) despite national bans like this?

Should we have harmonised laws around the world and if so whose laws should we use? The US legislation? European?

My complaint about Mr. Paul Bernardo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121654)

I am writing this letter rather reluctantly. I do not wish to begin an incendiary debate about Mr. Paul Bernardo's anecdotes. However, Mr. Bernardo has recently made a few statements that I find disturbing to such a degree that I cannot remain silent. Although not without overlap and simplification, I plan to identify three primary positions on Mr. Bernardo's harangues. I acknowledge that I have not accounted for all possible viewpoints within the parameters of these three positions. Nevertheless, I recently received some mail in which the writer stated, "Mr. Bernardo should think twice before he decides to make today's oppressiveness look like grade-school work compared to what he has planned for the future." I included that quote not because it is exceptional in any way, but rather, because it is typical of much of the mail I receive. I included it to show you that I'm not the only one who thinks that griping about Mr. Bernardo will not make him stop trying to perpetuate inaccurate and dangerous beliefs about male-female relationships. But even if it did, he would just find some other way to suppress controversy and debate. If we contradict him, we are labelled vicious, sleazy mendicants. If we capitulate, however, we forfeit our freedoms. Listen up: Mr. Bernardo has stated that there is an international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids. One clear inference from that statement -- an inference that is never really disavowed -- is that a book of his writings would be a good addition to the Bible. Now that's just closed-minded.

It's unfortunate that he has no real education. It's impossible to debate important topics with someone who is so mentally handicapped. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we lived in a world without foul, cranky buffoons? Mr. Bernardo's objective is clear: to evade responsibility in the immediate years ahead. Mr. Bernardo continuously seeks adulation from his cult followers. But you knew that already. So let me add that Mr. Bernardo extricates himself from difficulty by intrigue, by chicanery, by dissimulation, by trimming, by an untruth, by an injustice. To parody the old song, "Fish gotta swim, Mr. Bernardo gotta institutionalize vandalism through systematic violence, distorted religion, and dubious science." True, feelings of inferiority are characteristic of nugatory polemics, but he uses the very intellectual tools he criticizes, namely consequentialist arguments rather than arguments about truth or falsity.

Let's be frank: It seems that no one else is telling you that I mention that in this spot because of its close connection with the item just above. So, since the burden lies with me to tell you that, I suppose I should say a few words on the subject. To begin with, certain facts are clear. For instance, it's possible that Mr. Bernardo doesn't realize this because he has been ingrained with so much of oligarchism's propaganda. If that's the case, I recommend that we reach the broadest possible audience with the message that that is no excuse for anything. The objection may still be raised that doing the fashionable thing is more important than life or liberty. At first glance, this sounds almost believable. Yet the following must be borne in mind: Mr. Bernardo's lies come in many forms. Some of his lies are in the form of pleas. Others are in the form of methods of interpretation. Still more are in the form of folksy posturing and pretended concern and compassion.

Mr. Bernardo's tricks are based on two fundamental errors. They assume that Mr. Bernardo is a bearer and agent of the Creator's purpose. And they promote the mistaken idea that courtesy and manners don't count for anything. So who's crazy? I, or all the combative carousers who contend that he holds a universal license that allows him to replace love and understanding with anti-intellectualism and defeatism? Before you answer, let me point out that we have a life-or-death situation on our hands. And I can say that with a clear conscience, because he says that all it takes to solve our social woes are shotgun marriages, heavy-handed divorce laws, and a return to some mythical 1950s Shangri-la. That is the most despicable lie I have ever heard in my entire life. The primary point of disagreement between myself and Mr. Bernardo is whether or not the question that's on everyone's mind these days is, "Where is his integrity?" I've never gotten a clear and honest answer to that question from Mr. Bernardo. But what is clear is that his machinations are designed to twist the teaching of history to suit his contemptible purposes. And they're working; they're having the desired effect. This letter has gone on far too long, in my opinion, and probably yours as well. So let me end it by saying merely that it is difficult for many people to accept that this was true long before the latest scandal broke.

Seems possible enough (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121676)

Ban the foreign press, make all spectators sign a legally binding gag order. Make sure these contracts are binding across borders.

In a more perfect world, journalists would respect the wishes of the court and it would be a non issue.

There's a reason why camera's aren't allowed in a Canadian court, and judges issue publication bans. It taints the outcome of the trial. Now of course journalists would have you believe that "freedom of the press" trumps the "right to a fair trial", but it's simply not true.

The Bernardo case hits close to home, one of the girls bodies was dumped not more than about 10k from where I lived at the time. (I can't remember if it was Leslie Mohaffe or Kristen French) I remember the paranoia, the searching for the cream-colored Camaro, something I haven't experience again until just recently with the DC area sniper's spree ('cuz I live near DC now).

Anyways, there really was enough media exposure on the trial. I followed it in the paper and on the news every day.

Paul and his wife Karla Homolka videotaped their rape, torture and murder of the girls. These tapes were shown in court, and the judge ruled that the contents of the tapes were never to leave the courtroom. The reasons were obvious enough. The public is not served at all by details about how these girls were raped, humiliated and murdered.

One of the American TV tabloids of the time (A Current Affair?) aired excruciating details in one of their little shock pieces. It frankly pissed a lot of people off. There was no reason to do it, except to once again exploit the victims for a few ratings points.

Anyways, I digress.

Keeping the press out of the courtroom is a good idea, IMO. The 3 ring circus' that plays out in big American trials is an absolute joke. I'm absolutely convinced OJ would have been convicted in a Canadian court.

Re:Seems possible enough (1)

goatasaur (604450) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121749)

"...OJ would have been convicted in a Canadian court." OJ would have been convicted on The People's Court.

Let's try that again. (1)

goatasaur (604450) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121798)

"...OJ would have been convicted in a Canadian Court."

OJ would have been convicted in The People's Court.

It wasn't that funny anyway.

Re:Seems possible enough (1)

Alomex (148003) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121866)

I'm absolutely convinced OJ would have been convicted in a Canadian court.

While I think it is pretty clear OJ was guilty, I also think it was proven beyond doubt that the police planted evidence (remember the blood spot on the folded sock, and Fuhrman lying on the record?).

The legal standard in cases of evidence tampering is for the judge to throw out the entire case, much as the jury did.

No evidence of police planting evidence. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121938)

There was no evidence of police planting evidence in the OJ case. This wild-eyed theory actually requires Furman to be traveling at 400 mph in order to plant the evidence.

So Fuhrman lied. At least his lie was not actually relevant to the case. Johnnie Cochrane lied in front of the courtroom on important matters every time he opened his mouth.

Original Article Link (1, Interesting)

core plexus (599119) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121683)

This site [] had posted the original story [] back on 16 Jan. It's about a British Columbia pig farmer who murdered dozens, maybe more, women and fed them to his pigs. The pork producers are also trying to get the story quashed.

My complaint about the Canadian media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121698)

The theme of this letter is not "Appeasement is not the answer." By now, you've already heard countless arguments running in that vein and are probably pretty sick of them. The theme of this letter is "It is hardly surprising that this makes the issue an even greater tragedy." To begin at the beginning, the Canadian media really struck a nerve with me when it said that it's okay for it to indulge its every whim and lust without regard for anyone else or for society as a whole. That lie is a painful reminder that to get even the simplest message into the consciousness of brainless, incomprehensible shirkers, it has to be repeated at least 50 times. Now, I don't want to insult your intelligence by telling you the following 50 times, but the Canadian media exhibits an air of superiority. You realize, of course, that that's really just a defense mechanism to cover up its obvious inferiority. The Canadian media's expostulations are so smarmy that if allowed to go unanswered, their final cost would be incalculable. The Canadian media's imprecations may sound comfortable and simple, but it must not be forgotten that the Canadian media proclaims at every opportunity that it'd never oppress, segregate, and punish others. The organization doth protest too much, methinks. At no time in the past did the most jaded purveyors of malice and hatred you'll ever see shamble through the streets of cities, demanding rights they imagine some supernatural power has bestowed upon them.

Are you beginning to get the picture here? Certainly, the Canadian media's grunts all look like the Canadian media, think like the Canadian media, act like the Canadian media, and display an irreconcilable hatred toward all nations, just like the Canadian media does. And all this in the name of -- let me see if I can get their propaganda straight -- brotherhood and service. Ha!

If I recall correctly, the only weapons the Canadian media has in its intellectual arsenal are book burning, brainwashing, and intimidation. That's all it has, and it knows it. If I withheld my feelings on this matter, I'd be no less surly than the Canadian media. It's possible that the Canadian media doesn't realize this because it has been ingrained with so much of sectarianism's propaganda. If that's the case, I recommend that we bring the communion of knowledge to all of us. The most perceptive members of our society respond positively to my message that anyone who examines the historical development of the last hundred years from the standpoint of this letter will at once understand that the Canadian media's wisecracks reinforce the point that we still have a long way to go in terms of achieving true tolerance in our society. Sure, it sounds irrational. Blame that on quixotic dopeheads.

The Canadian media is utterly insolent. We all are, to some extent, but it sets the curve. Make special note of that point, because whenever anyone states the obvious -- that the Canadian media owes us an apology -- discussion naturally progresses towards the question, "Why does the media consistently refuse to acknowledge that the Canadian media needs to stop living in a fool's paradise?" This is not a question that we should run away from. Rather, it is something that needs to be addressed quickly and directly, because the Canadian media will censor by caricature and preempt discussion by stereotype because it possesses a hatred that defies all logic and understanding, that cannot be quantified or reasoned away, and that savagely possesses the worst types of deceitful hermits I've ever seen with intransigent and uncontrollable rage. The Canadian media's judgmental long-term goals can be quite educational. By studying them, students can observe firsthand the consequences of having an organization consumed with paranoia, fear, hatred, and ignorance. The next time someone says that the Universe belongs to the Canadian media by right, look that person right in the eye and reply, "A deep, ineradicable hatred of everything that is not sadistic energizes the Canadian media to dominate or intimidate others." Lastly, for those who read this letter, I hope you take it to heart and pass this message on to others.

I love you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121941)

You need a hug. I'll be sure to pass your "letter" along, as requested, but it will be for the sheer amusement value of your thoughts. Thank you for bringing a tear of laughter to my eye.

This is and will continue to be a growing problem (2, Interesting)

Fjord (99230) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121703)

I recall back during the 1997 Federal Elections, there was a small, but valid issue with blacking out election results because of the internet. Because of the timezones, the polls in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland were closed and estimated while the ones in British Columbia were still open. Without blacking these results out it can cause apathy among voters for the winning party and impetous for potential voters for the losing parties. This is enough to sway the vote to the minority party.

During this election, many of my friends were in IRC channels full of hundreds of people (not enough to sway the vote federally, but it could have effected a riding) on either coast talking about the results. Now with Candians checking American or British papers, it's on a scale not known before.

There are going to be more and more issues like this, but this is what happens when you empower the public in the way that the internet has. I for one will take the freedom the internet has given back to us and fight attempts at clamping down on it, even when i works against a case of individual right such as this, and voter's rights such as the election example given. We've been given somethng we've never had before and taken back a lot of freedom in the last few years. We can let it be pushed back like so many other freedoms we've lost.

Re:This is and will continue to be a growing probl (1)

Rob Parkhill (1444) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121948)

Living in Western Canada, not many things piss me off more than seeing Peter Mansbridge come on the TV at 8PM (when the polls close) and the first words out of his mouth are "Welcome Western Canada to our live election coverage, the Liberals are your new majority government"

For those non-Canadians in the crowd, a very large percentage of the Canadian population lives in the East. And they all vote Liberal. So by the time the election-coverage-blackout is lifted in Western Canada, the government has already been elected, and all that is left is fighting for the official opposition.

More info on publication bans (4, Informative)

Target Drone (546651) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121705)

CBC has a good article that explains how publication bans [] work in Canada.

This is a matter of taste vs dollar figure. (1)

torre (620087) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121714)

Ultimately most journalists are after the stories that will shock and oooooo and ahhhhh their readership ultimately lining the companies pocket.... what happened to responsible journalism?.. Its taught at ever journalism program or at least the concept of ethics.. Would a temporary ban on net based articles really hurt the news industry?... Simply put, definitely not! The goal is to prevent pollution of the jury. So, if you were to remove the references from the big net sites where the odd Canadian might get accidental viewing to the information in question then the general jury population won't be tainted. Even with a non net based ban you can't control rumors, but if a large organization like cnn posts anything weather its true or not it adds credibility that doesn't exist for little shops. Also seeing that just about every big site that might cover this has a paper or television version of the news being pushed out,. it wouldn't cost them anything to use some ethics to prevent the odd Canadian from accidentally stumbling on it say on CNN's main page...

The net isn't perfect, but we can all understand that waiting a month or two until the court case is done isn't going to hurt no one and potentially prevent a mistrial which worse come to shove could hurt somebody (eg.. and acquittal). This is especially the case seeing that the ban is only applicable during the actual trial.

But that's my 2 cents.

Perhaps a little bit of background (1)

dcobbler (553566) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121715)

There are a few issues at work here that might need explaining before everyone launches off on an isn't-it-terrible-living-behind-the-frozen-curtain kind of tirade.

The court proceedings currently going on in this case is a Preliminary Hearing which is, I believe, kind of like an American Grand Jury trial. Except, Preliminary Hearings are not conducted in secret. In theory anyone can go and watch and reports about them are not normally prohibited from the public. In addition, AFAIK, Canadian jury selection is done with far less scrutiny of jurors than is done in the U.S. so it's harder for lawyers to check each juror to find out whether they are likely to be tainted.

So, in some ways, the judge is just trying to make the best of a situation he's inherited but doesn't have much control over. This is a hugely high-profile case here in our town and he knows that if details of the case are out there, getting an untainted jury who won't be a guarantee of appeal whether the guy is convicted or not is almost impossible.


Well, it's a question of balance (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121720)

Obviously, Canada puts more importance to somebody's right to a fair trial, unencumbered by media babblings and ranting than into freedom of the owners of presses.

After all, unlike the USA, Canada is still the british villain...

How does it work with US TV channels? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121728)

I mean doesn't the signal cross into Canada anyway?

The only way to stop it is to ban all the public from the court.

Or install a really big firewall.

Yep, it is pointless.

Less is More (2, Insightful)

riqnevala (624343) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121764)

"Shut up" often leads to [fierce] conversation.

Try drilling a hole to a wall and write "don't peek thru..." above it. 8)


It's NOT an international issue (3, Informative)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121780)

Read the story

Judge David Stone's stern warning to three foreign reporters: Honor the publication ban or risk being barred from the courtroom. So all that is being said is that, if these reporters publish, they can be barred, in Canada, from a Canada courtroom. He's hardly trying to overreach his authority.

Typical(and proper) in Canada (2, Insightful)

squared99 (466315) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121789)

This is typically done in Canada and ensures a fairer trial. I'm often surprised and sickened at the tabloid quality of the "unbiased" american (television) media. Everything turns into a circus. Well, sorry Canadians try to put the right to a fair trial above televison ratings.

After the case is over, we(anyone) will have full access to the details of the case, and the unauthorized bios, tv specials, etc will come flying out with every little sordid detail.

But for now let's let the case be tried without the play-by-play on every freaking media outlet, with their own special little catch phrase, bi-line and "Pig-Man Hooker Serial Killer" graphic.

Yes, it will be hard(impossible) in a borderless internet media world to "ban" this. But at least the internet media is far less in your face than television, ie. it has to be sought out, it wont accidently be overheard by a juror flipping through tv channels. Makes sense to me.

Common problem (1)

OldCrasher (254629) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121796)

I believe this is actually quite a common problem. The Bulger case in the UK which just two years ago saw the spread of images of the juvenile offenders, even though the boys were clearly minors, being a painful example. But it is not limited to the internet. It is a problem that has always existed. The US Freedom Of Information Act is widely used by journalists from many countries to find out what their own governments are doing in regards to defense spending, international diplomacy, etc, particularly where there is some US component. The UK governement is always having problems with former secret service folk publishing tell-all books down south, in Australia (from which we get the lovely saying: Being economic with the truth. The meaning of which is "a barefaced lie, but only in most of its detail, there may have been some fact, maybe..." and that said by the Queen's representative.)

Given that local people dealing with local issues are rarely influenced by the press 2000 miles away, it is not frequently all that much of a bother, except to people that have something to hide. In court cases where identities of rape victims are publicized, it's certainly hard on the victims, if they or anyone around them finds out. I have to think the average Canadian Juror is not reading the Jo'Burg Times to find out what is happening in the case they are sitting on, though.

Right to fair trial more important to free society (4, Informative)

Jboy_24 (88864) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121801)

then the public's right to know immediatly.

I am a ex-pat Canadian living in the SF Bay area. One thing that often has irked me is the release of 'facts' in regard to a criminal investigation/case before the accused is put to trial or even arrested. It is often assumed that the public's right to know and the ability of a free press to report is based on the giving the public the 'information' the fastest. Somehow, the press's rush to publicize anything that is found in a criminal trial is deemed more important then the accused right to a fair trial and the freedom from vigililantism that can come from the premature release of 'facts'. Actually given the use of the press by police agencies in the US to 'leak' information regarding an investigation that soils the reputation of the innocent (Richard Jewell), this speed of information disemination actually harms the operation of a free society.

In Canada, it is reasonably assured that the police won't release ANY information regarding an on-going investigation before that information can be presented at trial. So it should be. In Canada, the judiciary often limits what the press can write about only during a limited finite period. Again, so it should be, as long as someone's life is at stake in a proceding, we as a public, can wait for the gossip.

As well, since this example from Canada is in the pre-trial phase a simple US approximization is the Grand Jury, who's proceding ares are often secret forever.

I say to the court, throw out the foriegn correspondants, let the public wait to hear the juicy gossip from the court room! To the people who deam this a infrigment on their rights, wait until you are accused and tried in the press! Ask then where your rights of 'innocent until proven guilty' are and see how much work it is for you to prove your innocence for the rest of your life!

Why oh why do we need to know NOW? Let the officers tell us in their own words what happened when they can be cross examined by the accused!

As the US enforces the 'Patriot Act' and its ilk we will see how prominatly the false accusations will be printed and how hidden the retractments.

Even you have the right to a fair trial... (5, Interesting)

YouOverThere (50298) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121825)

Remember the publication ban is to prevent tainting a jury. So the accused can get A Fair Trial. I'm sure if you were accused awaiting trial, you would like the same treatment.

It's is important to remember the judge who ruled, allowing media in to the court did so full well knowing about the internet and the publication violations that occured in the Paul Bernado case. The Media was allowed in anyway, he didn't have to let them in. It would be in the media's best interest to temper their desire to publish details until such time as the ban is lifted, if ever.

I admit as a Canadian I violated the ban and read publications about Paul Bernado. I read the detailed court proceedings. I wish I never had. Steven King could never have dreamed up the horrors that those 2 girls lived and ultimatly died during. Bernado (and his wife) are truly scum of the earth. That publication ban was in place because the judge (rightly so) beleived the testomony and video footage should never be seen in public. The results would damage the victims familys further. Remebering they had to watch the video of their little girls dying...Something you have no need or right to know/see.

Robert Picton is suspected of killing 55+ women (the count grows higher weekly it seems). 15 have evidence enough to prove to go to trial. The Police have been sifting through dirt looking for small bone fragments, so they can find more victims to charge him with. The victim's families would like to get answers to their loved ones disappearance. They want closure. This can be jeporidised by a tainted jury.

The judge is not trying to be difficult, most people were surprised that the media was allowed at all. But if media breaks that ban, all media will be removed from the court. It is the judge's trial, and the media has no right to be in there. But Pickton does have the right to a fair trial. So the media should be on their best behaviour.

restrict all those in the case from access. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121857)

Would it not be easier to enforce all those involved in the case to avoid all media?!?

German Court Forbids UK Newspaper from publishing (3, Interesting)

NewtonsLaw (409638) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121859)

I covered this story yesterday (Sunday US-time) in my daily interent commentary and also highlighted the crazy situation taking place in Europe right now.

It seems that German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has succeeded in obtaining a injuction from a Hamburg court that forbids a UK newspaper from pubilshing details about an alleged extramarital affair.

The UK newspaper have basically thumbed their nose at the order, as did another UK paper [] which went a step further and published not just in print but on the Web as well.

My column on this matter can be found here [] if anyone's interested. Check out today's edition as well: When Microsoft Owns Your ISP []

I live in Canada, and... (3, Informative)

SoVi3t (633947) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121861)

This case has already gotten a tremendous amount of publicity. For those who don't know, awhile back TONS of prostitutes went missing in that B.C. area, and after an investigation, the cops found alot of corpses in this pig farm. After the media circus kicked in, the judge put a ban on it, much like the Bernardo case. However, during the Bernardo case, alot of facts from the case still slipped out, and after the case was complete, everybody knew what happened anyways. On a side note, the Bernardo case is perhaps one of the most bungled cases, outside of the OJ Simpson case...

Publication ban does not mean ban on reports (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121870)


The media have always had access to the trial, just forbidden to report on it. The judge has banned publication until the trial so as to avoid contaminating the pool of potential jurors! All the media (US included) promised to obey the ban.

The judge has been very patient with the reporters, and has the right to close the court to everyone, or more likely the reports who don't keep their word. It is as simple as that.

we aren't the only ones who censor (2)

thexdane (148152) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121874)

i know that censorship is bad, however there are some cases where it is valid and there is a need for it. one of these prime examples is when someone's right to a fair trial is at stake.

i am canadian and i don't think that it's an overly bad idea to censor like that until the trial starts, they are only banning the media until the trial begins, if i'm not wrong the same thing happened with the oj trial or at least they tried to stop it. i remember it being a big issue cause of all the media coverage that they moved the trial because they couldn't find an impartial jury and the same with the rodney king trial.

don't get me wrong i'd love to see that guy go to jail for a long time, same thing with paul bernado. i know that the crown, the government's lawyers, wants to see him locked up just as much as the rest of us do. they just want to make sure that he gets a fair trial so he can be locked up and the key tossed away, would you really like a person like that to be set free cause of an impartial jury?

as for the reporters, well if they really want they can remove their work visa and they have to leave the country, it's a priviledge for them to be here, not a right.

i know of a few other times the american government censors information. just go through the yro of this website and i'm sure you'll find several articles dealing with it. or how about looking through the jfk files and such, notice the liberal use of the black magic marker on the documents or all the stuff after sept 11.

so don't go jumping down canada's back when they are just trying to get the guy locked up and the key tosses away. we're just going through all the steps our legal process deams neccessary for a fair and impartial trial.

Canada (2, Interesting)

n1ywb (555767) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121878)

Many Canadien population centers (Toronto, Montreal) are well within range of USA radio and TV broadcasts. I live in Vermont and frequently enjoy the high-quality classic rock programming on CHOM FM and the hilarious BBC comedies on CBC.

Rights double standard? (1)

Badger (1280) | more than 11 years ago | (#5121967)

Whether or not the court's action is a good one (and I think there are good arguments for both sides), I can't help but figure that if this were done in the US (against a Canadian or European paper), we'd never hear the end of how the "arrogant US is spreading its laws across the world!" and how "that usurper Bush is taking away the last of our rights!"

The purpose of the ban... and journalistic integr (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5121975)

The case in question is the Pickton Murder trial.

The purpose of the ban is to be able to get a jury selected for the trial that has not heard any of the evidence presented in the preliminary trial. At least that is the idea anyway, feasible or not.

Now considering that the accused is up on 15+ murder charges ( and probably more to come) it would be common sense for the court system to try and eliminate the possibility for appealling a conviction on the grounds of a contaminated jury pool. As soon as the jury (and alternates ) are selected and setup for the trial, they will have no contact with the media. When that occurs the media will have no restrictions. The jury selection and pre-trial will only last about 2-3 months.

Some free press advocates immediately look at this and shout but the people have a right to know!!! and I agree they do, but the accused also has a right to be judged by an unbiased jury. And on top of that, the tax payers of British Columbia have a right to try and prevent the trial decision from being thrown out, and having to go through the time and expense of doing the trial all over again. Since the trial is projected to last for some 30-36 months, the cost of the bloody thing is going to be enormous.

Now, considering that the press will be in during the trial, and able to publish articles etal. about all the gory details about the trial.... I ask this:

" Is it too much to ask of the media to refrain from publishing details until the jury is selected?"

What has occured thus far with respect to the publication ban, really leaves one with a disgusted view of society. If the journalists showed some integrity they would see that it is in societies best interest to refrain from publishing details until the jury is selected. But that there in is the problem, unto itself. They would need to show integrity.

This lack of integrity was shown right away when the ban was announced, Seatlle media outlets immediately stated that they would ignore the ban. Legally yes they could flat out ignore the ban, morally and ethically...they should have followed the spirit of the ban to the best of their ability... but alas that requires... Integrity... which seems to be in short supply especially in North American society.

I would challenge those readers/comsumers of media stories etc... to support, standup, and cheer when you see a demonstration of Integrity from the media... for journalistic Integrity is a dying art... and needs all the help it can get...

written by
Joe Canadian
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