Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2010/08/27

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Subject: [Leica] When should a printer refuse to print a photograph?
From: mark at (Mark Rabiner)
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2010 19:01:35 -0400

The Nixon view of what constituted pornography was anything with pubic hair.
I think they accepted nipples right around them.
Then the found out that if you had a beard or mustache that's pubic hair if
you look it up in the dictionary. Though I'd call it public hair.

Mark William Rabiner
mark at

> From: Mark Kronquist <mak at>
> Reply-To: Leica Users Group <lug at>
> Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2010 12:26:40 -0700
> To: Leica Users Group <lug at>
> Subject: Re: [Leica] When should a printer refuse to print a photograph?
> GISI will be happy to print it call Chris Babbitt 503 598 0636
> Printers are on VERY thin ground if they censor work
> It must me illegal (ie child porn), unethical (how to murder a political
> leader) or immoral (how to poison a city water supply) to be rejected.
> Imagine the outcry we only print for white folk/jews/ Latinas etc.
> On Aug 27, 2010, at 11:12 AM, kyle cassidy wrote:
>> I got word yesterday, via Twitter, that the printers hired to do the
>> program for the American Repertory Theater's production of Cabaret
>> (which I had shot the images for) had refused to print the book
>> because of one of my photographs, which they found objectionable
>> ("censurable" was the actual word they used).
>> It's Cabaret, you know, a play that has Nazi solders, nudity, cross
>> dressing, sex and drug use -- it's been playing since the mid 1960's
>> and Bob Fosse made a movie of it -- so I'm guessing you know what
>> you're getting into when you're printing the souvenir program guide.
>> But they were resolute. They'd print it if some text was moved to
>> cover certain parts of the female anatomy in one image but that was
>> it. I was a bit baffled -- as far as photographs go (of the sort that
>> might be used for the program guide in a play about Nazi's and
>> strippers that has a Parental Warning notice at the theater door) it
>> was pretty tame and certainly not something that you couldn't find in
>> any issue of Vogue -- I was also a bit surprised that a printer would
>> offer opinions usually left to the art director. My involvement in the
>> project was over weeks before so I wasn't on the front lines -- rather
>> I watched it unfold on Twitter -- and it unfolded with a big bang as
>> theater people, designers, and whomever else picked up the ball and
>> started making a loud noise. In the face of the mini Internet
>> firestorm the issue got resolved, like a bit of flotsam caught in a
>> bend in the stream that gets freed eventually by the rush of water and
>> the thing was gone -- but it was very interesting to watch unfold.
>> More thoughts on the matter and lots of photos (some possibly Not Safe
>> for Work, depending on where you live) are collected here:
>> and I'm very interested in your thoughts on the rights &
>> responsibilities of the person in the Photomat booth (so to speak) --
>> at what point can or should they put their foot down and say "I'm not
>> printing this trash."
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In reply to: Message from mak at (Mark Kronquist) ([Leica] When should a printer refuse to print a photograph?)