"There are only two ways of telling the complete truth—anonymously and posthumously."Thomas Sowell

Friday, September 01, 2006

UK Cracks Down on Violent Pornography

The United Kingdom is cracking down on violent pornography, after a campaign led by the family of a 31-year-old teacher killed by a man obsessed with watching websites showing necrophilia.

The Home Office said on Wednesday that it will "make it an offence to own images featuring scenes of extreme sexual violence," according to Reuters:
The new law would outlaw any material that featured violence that was, or appeared to be, life-threatening or likely to result in serious and disabling injury.
This type of material was already illegal in the United Kingdom, but websites were ignoring the law and the government was doing nothing about it:
Although it is already illegal to distribute or publish such images under the Obscene Publications Act, the material has become increasingly available via the Internet.

"The vast majority of people find these forms of violent and extreme pornography deeply abhorrent," Coaker said.

"Such material has no place in our society but the advent of the Internet has meant that this material is more easily available and means existing controls are being by-passed -- we must move to tackle this."

Presumably, the government will now enforce the law. We'll see.

From Karnick on Culture.


James Elliott said...

Is there a journalist exception to this law? That is, could a journalist show the British images of the Rwandan massacres, like I had to watch in college?

S. T. Karnick said...

No exemption was mentioned, but the law refers to sexually oriented violent images, so it would not apply in such a case.

James Elliott said...

Aha. Thanks. I was little unclear on whether it was specifically sexual brutality or brutality in general.

I guess the next question would be, do they have a journalist/academic exception like we do here in the States?

Anonymous said...

From the Guardian Unlimited, 8/30/06, "Clauses will exempt documentary films, news and works of art, largely by defining material as primarily pornographic in purpose."

Although the distribution of violent porn has been illegal, its possession hasn't.

budgiebird said...

One of the main problems with this proposed new law, quite apart from it being yet another unnecessary erosion of the freedoms of those with minority interests in this country, is that it will apply equally to the worst pictures from hardcore websites hosted abroad as is it will to private pictures of couples in a loving relationship who just want a memento of their private kinky sex session.

Possession of their pictures will lead to them being liable for a 3 year jail sentence, being included on the Sex Offenders Register, possible loss of jobs and livelihoods and possible loss of custody of their children. And all because they have a personal picture of their activitiesin their own bedroom.

The problem is that the criteria for judging whether an image is illegal or not is whether it APPEARS to be life threatening or dangerous enough to lead to a disabling injury. The average juror, looking at that picture, will not know that they are witnessing a consensual scene. They will not know that the play was carefully negotiated and agreed before play began. They will not see all the safety precuations that have been put in place. They will not be aware that the people concerned have had training in this type of play in order to keep them safe and they will not appreciate that the couple concerned have played out similar scenes hundreds of times over many years without any accidents occurring. And yet they will be subject to the same sort of sentence as if they had molested their young child, surely something is wrong here.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Ah, that's what I love about the modern age. What used to be considered mere perversion is now a skill.