UK Says You Can't Have Some Kinds Of Porn, But It Determines What Kinds

from the confusing-much? dept

The Register is covering the rather confusing porn guidelines in the UK, which add certain types of porn to the list of what is illegal to possess. Plenty of countries have laws against possession of child porn, but the UK is extending that to cover images that are "pornographic, grossly offensive and portray activity that threatens harm to life or limb, or involves sex with a corpse or animal." Of course, some of that is open to interpretation -- and TheReg points out that plenty of movies that were approved for viewing in the UK contain footage that probably meets those criteria. The question, then, is, if you have an offending still image from a legal UK video, do you run afoul of these guidelines? Also, oddly, the law says that you're okay if you delete an image -- but not okay if you can retrieve it after deleting. While, undoubtedly, this law is well-intended, it seems to be quite vague and it's difficult to see what public benefit it serves. If the concern is about the harm done in the making of such porn, why not go after the pornographers, rather than the possessors?

Filed Under: porn, uk


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Anonymous Poster, 2 Dec 2008 @ 3:58pm

    This is yet further proof that the UK is being run by idiots.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2008 @ 5:13pm

    "While, undoubtedly, this law is well-intended, it seems to be quite vague"

    It's actually incredibly clear, and not as "open to ibnterpretation" as you make out. Perhaps if you read the 8 page information PDF supplied you'd know this, instead of just reading an article written by a rather disreputable news publisher. There are rather detailed descriptions of what is meant by all relevant terms that might, on the face of it, by someone who hasn't bothered to do any research, be ambiguous.

    "Also, oddly, the law says that you're okay if you delete an image -- but not okay if you can retrieve it after deleting"

    No, Mike, no it doesn't.

    It says that it's fine if you delete it, but not if "where a person is shown to have intended to remain in control of an image even though he has deleted it".

    That isn't quite the same as it not being ok if it's convievable that the image could be retrieved; are you familiar with the concept of intent, Mike?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2008 @ 6:23pm

      Re:

      AC number two needs to take a chill pill.
      Seriously dude - wtf ?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Luci, 2 Dec 2008 @ 7:26pm

        Re: Re:

        Actually, much as it pains me to say it, this person is quite correct. Having read the PDF:

        1. There are three elements to the offence. An image must come within the terms of all
        three elements before it will fall foul of the offence.

        2. Those elements are:
        - 1. That the image is pornographic;
        - 2. That the image is grossly offensive, disgusting, or otherwise of an obscene character, and
        - 3. That the image portrays in an explicit and realistic way, one of the following extreme acts:
        - - a. An act which threatens a person’s life;
        - - b. An act which results in or is likely to result in serious injury to a person’s anus, breast or genitals;
        - - c. An act involving sexual interference with a human corpse,
        - - d. A person performing an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive), and a reasonable person looking at the image would think that the people and animals portrayed were real.

        This doesn't leave room for interpretation, since an image must meet ALL THREE points.
        (And no, I don't know HTML code)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2008 @ 5:14pm

    "why not go after the pornographers, rather than the possessors?"

    Yet more evidence that you didn't bother to read the source, instead just going through the rather poorly written Register article. They even answer this very question in the FAQ towards the end of the PDF.

    Your standards are definitely slipping, Mike.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bob, 2 Dec 2008 @ 5:42pm

    hmmmm

    Does that cover Vampire sex?
    Technically they are dead so it's having sex with a corpse.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jesse, 2 Dec 2008 @ 6:25pm

    What is the most benign kind of porn being interpreted as illegal? When I read that, it seems reasonable, but it is important to know how it is being interpretted. Technically, any kind of porn could be hazardous to life (i.e. because of AIDS, say). Could you elaborate on how this law is being interpretted in reality?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2008 @ 6:26pm

    Does it differentiate between "possible to retrieve" and "person is capable of retrieval" ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bob bob, 2 Dec 2008 @ 6:30pm

    Rabbit-Sex or Doggy-Style is out of the question?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2008 @ 7:55pm

    AC #2:

    "Also, oddly, the law says that you're okay if you delete an image -- but not okay if you can retrieve it after deleting"

    No, Mike, no it doesn't.

    It says that it's fine if you delete it, but not if "where a person is shown to have intended to remain in control of an image even though he has deleted it".

    AC #2 it seems as though you misunderstand what the law is saying itself. Proving someone's intent without physical evidence or action is unprovable. Short of using my imagination, I can't construct a scenario where one could accomplish such a feat.

    It seems to me that "where a person is shown to have intended to remain in control of [the] image" suggests the individual in question would have the means to *retrieve* the image with some software after deleting it from regular access. Finding such software or observing the individual using this software, maybe from reading a log outside of actual sight, is a way to "show" that the individual intended on "remaining in control." Therefore Mike's wording suggesting retrieval being punishable should be maintained as it's quite accurate.

    I myself haven't read the law or even the article from The Register for that matter. I trust you enough to have gathered the actual statement yourself, as you seemed intent on collapsing Mike's article and so needed concrete evidence to its contrary (although in the end it seems quite identical).

    Personally I think Mike's article is fine and I'm glad I caught it, it's crazy to be reminded of the extreme kinds of pornography in the world.

    And Vampire sex is always okay..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dennis Savage, 2 Dec 2008 @ 10:00pm

    "A person performing an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive)"

    Err, isn't that a tautological definition of sex? Humans were animals, last I checked, and I definitely don't -feel- like a mineral.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2008 @ 7:59am

    Why not go after the people making porn instead of those viewing it?

    As long as demand remains high, there will be a supply.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Big_Mike (profile), 3 Dec 2008 @ 10:01am

      Re:

      Agreed, And if you're looking for it you might be willing to be filmed doing it. Go for both but focus on the makers of the films more then the watchers.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    chris (profile), 3 Dec 2008 @ 10:34am

    what about rule 34?

    rule 34 of the internet:
    http://xkcd.com/305
    http://everything2.com/title/Rule%252034
    http://www.urbandictionary .com/define.php?term=Rule%2034

    if it exists, there is a porn of it. there are no exceptions.

    regulating pr0n is physically impossible thanks to rule 34.

    so, furries are now illegal? does that mean we can hunt them now? japanese guro and tentacle porn is illegal now too? the brits should just invade japan then, it would be cheaper and easier than trying to bust people that are into it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2014 @ 12:38am

      Re: what about rule 34?

      Um no. [i] If any reasonable person would look at it and imagine the animals portrayed to be real. [/i] Last i checked furry porn nor fursuits look photorealistic. Check your privelege.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.