back to article Lords linger over extreme porn definition

The camel that is the UK Government’s answer to what it terms "extreme porn" lumbers onward. Although, by the time it escaped the Lords last week it really was beginning to look like a particularly moth-eaten dromedary. What started in the Commons as a relatively straightforward piece of legislation from the government has now …


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  1. Charles Manning

    Lords' defn of obscene

    Those acts we are no longer able to perform due to loss of body tone, but wish we'd thought of a few years back.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "dealing 'with individuals' who are 'causing concern'"

    In practice that means, you can see into their brains and determine, more accurately than they can, that they are a danger to society and that you have the remedy for it, basically lock them up on a pretext to prevent a future crime you're sure will happen. They may SAY it does them no harm and they won't become violent rapists, but YOU know better, and you know BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT too.

    It's effectively a pre-crime, the aim isn't to prevent you watching BDSM, it's to prevent the violent rape a minister is convinced 1 in 10000 of you will likely commit from watching that porn. In the ministers head, there is a causal link and it's better to lock up 10000 people NOW based on that belief, than to lock up the rapist later.

    The crime is simply to create a pretext on which they can be locked up.

    Of course that means they need evidence, but hire a few researchers, get their papers peer reviewed by their own students, make sure they have the appropriate baggage (ugly bitter women whose past papers link sex to violence, and made false claims of 'snuff videos' etc.).

    In reality that means, you Mr Minister THINK you can see into people's brains, which means you're DILLUSIONAL and need to be kicked out of office before you go doing any more harm.

    It's not better to lock up 10000 people just in case 1 goes on to commit an offence you hypothesized a causal link to. You are the danger to those 10000 people, you are one attacking them on a mistaken belief. In locking otherwise innocent people up, you set them on a course of crime, they have less to lose by committing further offences since they are permanently labelled a sex offender. Hence you will continue the pattern of increasing prison populations and high reoffending.

    You are in essence no different than the Taliban (the Afganistan type or the US Religious Right) ignoring reality and chasing some blind faith beliefs for some benefit that can't be measured in this world.


  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Extreme, extreme

    Once the law is in place, the Daily Mail will rush in to define extreme... anything with naked people especially if they are on their own, 2 or more, with an opposite sex partner or worst same sex one....

    But I suspect that's the way it's going, pass a generic law and let the public/tabloid decide.

    Sounds a bit to me like special investigation power that will never, ever, ever, (seriously, we promise) be used or abused for anything else than major national security threats (like people planning to take a can of Coke on-board a plane, or enrolling their kid at school)... but of course as long as people will just vaguely hiss and vote for an even more oppressive/authoritarian/security focused regime/party/Tories what would you expect!

  4. Elmer Phud

    One man's meat . . .

    Are they having trouble trying to work out what's 'bad' porn and what isn't or are they all waiting until they've all wiped their hard drives first?

  5. Bunglebear
    Thumb Down

    More legal drivel

    I can't think of a more poorly thought out piece of legislation. The whole premise that violent porn (and I am talking about simulated porn, the real stuff is already illegal) causes violent people is very tenuous indeed and just seems another excuse for raiding people's PC's, while persecuting anyone who likes a bit of kink. El Reg is right, pretentious moralising gesture politics at its absolute worst.

  6. Big Al


    "Time, perhaps, to start looking for a good disk washer!"

    I have one already. Charming girl, comes from Manila. I'd provide photos, but they'd probably get me arrested under the new legislation... it's the rubber gloves that do it.

    Mine's the grubby mac...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A good disk washer?

    Surely, they would have to prove that the image whose remains were found on your hard drive was not deleted prior to the date of the bill?

  8. Graham Marsden

    How many absurdities...?

    Consider the following excerpts from this Bill:

    1) An image is "pornographic" if it would be assumed that it was created for the purpose of sexual arousal.

    This means that someone will, somehow, effectively have to make a decision as to what was in the mind of the creator of the image when they made it or in the mind of the owner when they downloaded it.

    2) An "extreme image" is an image which [...] is grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character.

    But who decides? If you possess an image which you don't think is "grossly offensive" but someone else looks at it and says "that is disgusting!" you will be considered to have committed an offence, simply based on someone else's subjective opinion.

    As I understand it, it is a principle of English Law that a reasonable person should be capable of understanding whether or not they were breaking the law, but the above statement means that it will be impossible for you or anyone else to even know whether you have broken the law until someone else passes judgement on an image.

    3) An image is "extreme" if it portrays, in an explicit and realistic way, any of the following—

    (a) an act which threatens a person’s life,

    (b) an act which results, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals,

    Again, who decides what is "explicit and realistic"? If it is two actors in a staged scene, that could still be explicit and realistic. For that matter these days any reasonably priced PC could create entirely computer generated images that look "explicit and realistic" even though they don't exist anywhere in the real world.

    And what is a "threat to a person's life"? Someone pointing a gun at them? Holding a knife in a threatening manner? Someone engaging in "breath play" (which is not a criminal offence in and of itself)?

    And who is to say that an act is "likely to result" in a serious injury? For that matter, what is a "serious injury"? Actual Bodily Harm? Grievous Bodily Harm? Wounding? These terms have accepted definitions under the law. "Serious injury" does not.

    4) Exclusion of Classified Films

    (3) But such an image is not an "excluded image" if—

    (a) it is contained in a recording of an extract from a classified work, and

    (b) it is of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been extracted (whether with or without other images) solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal.

    So if someone takes a clip from Casino Royale of James Bond being tortured by having his genitals whipped with a heavy rope (is that risking "serious injury"?) and it's on the same hard drive as images of BDSM activity, it could be argued that it was taken "for sexual arousal" and they would have committed an offence, even though no *actual* harm was caused to anyone.

    5) Defence: participation in consensual acts

    (2) It is a defence for D [the Defendant] to prove—

    (a) that D directly participated in the act or any of the acts portrayed, and

    (b) that the act or acts did not involve the infliction of any non-consensual harm on any person

    This would mean that if a photographer were to take pictures of legal, consensual BDSM activities, if they did not appear in the image, whilst the people who appear in the image would be legally allowed to possess the image, the photographer would be committing an offence if they owned a copy!

    These are just some of the numerous bizarre anomalies and ludicrous flaws that make this law, in the words of the Lords "unnecessary", "unworkable" and "undesirable", but it also fails to take into account, for instance, the recent Court of Appeal ruling in the case of 5 Muslim students jailed for downloading "extremist material", where Lord Phillips found that, without criminal intent, mere possession of this material was insufficient cause for prosecution.

    How is it, then, that, without criminal intent, mere possession of "extreme pornography" is cause for prosecution?

    Even more important to those in the IT Community, whilst these vague and subjective definitions are on the statute books and thus "illegal", the IWF could demand ISPs block access to any site which someone complains has such imagery, potentially leading to mass censorship by an unaccountable body.

    There is still time to write to your MP via and object to this nonsensical Thought Crime law which could as Baroness Miller said about Lord Hunt's words, be used to arrest people who are "causing concern" even when they have committed no crime!

    Lord Hunt has hinted that a Select Committee could be formed to look at this law (after the Government has trumpetted their success in passing it to, hopefully, get some positive headlines after the kicking they just received) and I suggest that people contact their MP and encourage them to support the formation of such a Select Committee who will, hopefully, send this law back for complete revision.

  9. Tim Blair

    "explicit realistic extreme acts"

    "explicit realistic extreme acts"

    fekin hell I'll have to stop using my web cam to record them special moments

    another idiotic law when there's one already..

  10. Roxton
    Paris Hilton

    In your endo

    "The debate left behind a feeling of deep dissatisfaction: a sense that the government was indulging itself with extended foreplay on this issue rather than getting down to serious business."

    Brilliant. If only the second word had been "mass".

    Paris, for obvious reasons.

  11. Dave Bell

    What a shambles!

    There's two distinct issues here.

    Ever since the child porn definition was extended to Age-18, it's been a crime to possess pictures of lawful sexual acts. Now we're getting more of the same stupidity, another sledgehammer cracking another nut.

    But the big question is how, after nearly three years of consultation and debate, we get such a vague definition. If the politicians responsible are saying "we didn't mean that", why didn't they draft the law with the meaning they wanted?

  12. Mark

    Government Amendments - "millimetres rather than metres"

    It is a shame that two sane amendments by Lord Wallace and Baroness Miller, that might have had some chance of passing - restricting it to actual sexual offences, and allowing a defence where the viewer reasonably believes the participants were willing - were not even voted on!

    Regarding the amendment to limit the material to that which is obscene under the Obscene Publications Act -

    "Lord Hunt, who suggested that such linkage might have the effect of widening the scope of the offense."

    His response ("The amendment has the effect of opening up the offence to all obscene pornography") is complete nonsense. The amendment required that the material be obscene, in _addition_ to the other requirements (just as his "must be disgusting" amendment is in addition to the other tests). In fact, the proposed amendment directly replaced the text for his amendment about disgusting images. Was he really misunderstanding, or was he being deliberately misleading to avoid having to explain why the Government didn't support this amendment?

    I find it ironic if he opposed the amendment because he didn't want the law to be widened in scope!

    The Government's amendments are good in the sense that any restriction is welcomed, but they are very limited - as The Earl of Onslow stated:

    "My Lords, when members of the Joint Committee on Human Rights were told that the Minister was going to move this amendment, we all said, "Yippee" or words to that effect, so I would like to thank the Minister for going as far as he has. There is a question of moving millimetres rather than metres, but one must be thankful for small mercies; on behalf of the Joint Committee, I would like to say, "Thank you for the millimetres"."


    The Register is correct to point out that the "disgusting / offensive / obscene" test is not the Obscene Publications Act definition of obscenity, which requires that the image would "deprave or corrupt" those who viewed it. A law that decides legality based on whether the jury thinks it is "disgusting" or not is a bad law. Despite the repeated claims from the Government that the law would only criminalise material already illegal to publish under the Obscene Publications Act, the rejection of the amendment shows this to be a lie.

    The defence for people in the photographs is next to useless, not including the photographer as The Register notes. An image of oneself would also be illegal to show to your partner, if he or she was not in the image! Another problem is that the defence only applies to acts that the law considers people can consent to - this is a blatant reference to the Spanner case, where consenting adult sadomasochists were convicted for consenting to harm on their own bodies. So whilst this might help for staged acts, it's next to useless for consenting sadomasochists, who will still face prison for an image of themselves.

  13. Whitter

    You do know your audience, don't you?

    Tsk tsk headline writer! Remove "definition" and you'll double the footprint on this chap!

  14. Jimbo Gunn


    Shouldn't the opening be:

    "The camel-toe that is the UK Government’s answer to what it terms "extreme porn" lumbers onward."

    On a serious note, what's the F_ point of this act anyway? Will all this wankery by parliament and the cost of hauling people through the courts make the society any better?

  15. Aodhhan

    Whats next...

    Soon, they will be putting color designations on different scales of pornography.

    Concentrate on child pornography, those who supply and sponsor it.

    When it comes to consentual adults, leave it alone. Legislating morality is a waste of time, and what people find 'acceptable' in this regard changes all the time and with cultures. Think of the difference in womens wear 75 years ago, compare it to today. Might as well define different levels of witchcraft, and begin criminilizing witches again.

    Money is better spent on things which everyone can agree to, and will do the public good.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @How many absurdities...?

    "4) Exclusion of Classified Films ... (3) But such an image is not an "excluded image" if— ...(a) it is contained in a recording of an extract from a classified work,"

    The BIG absurdity here is that the law is so wide ranging and vague that it overlaps rated films at all, films on general release in the cinema. That's why they needed to add this clause, because without it, there would be films released in the cinema which would come under this 'extreme porn' law and in turn would be a criminal sentence to watch. There would be DVDs in WHSmiths and in your home collection, the possession of which would be a criminal act.

    The sheet fact they had to add this clause shows you how insane this law is.

    The clause about clippings from rated movies potentially being infringing, shows how low a regard HMGov has for it's people. It views throwing voters in jail so lightly that possessing clippings from commercial released movies in the cinema can be a criminal offence, if the clippings are claimed to be for 'sexual gratification'.

    And nobody can see any problem with creating a law that casts a criminal shadow over millions of people, they're so out of touch in their ivory towers. As long as they can hire some kooks to hypothesize a causal link, they don't care how many people they lock up.

  17. Pyros

    On one greasy hand...

    I actually agree on the need for this sort of legislation--not that we can't regulate ourselves, but given the existence of goatse and tubgirl...

    However, there's a limit of what is considered "obscene"--as the saying goes, one's man meat is another man's poison. Who's to say that this fetish is someone's kink, yet repungant to another?

    It's an enormously grey-line... and that's not counting actual atrwork, such as hentai!

  18. Captain DaFt

    @ Charles Manning

    In the US, it's long been said that obscenity is whatever gives the judge an erection.

    (If the US really won the revolution, why didn't they get to send the Puritans back where they came from?)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jean-Charles de Menezes had porn

    No disrespect meant, but he was a man with testicles therefore it is highly unlikely his life was entirely devoid of porn.

    Had this law been in place we would have seen officers mumbling about how he wasn't a terrorist but did have extreme porn (no you can't see it, but take our word for it it's extreme) and without a judge ruling on whether it counted as extreme or not they'd wash their hands of it a little better than they did anyway.

    Now they have passed this law fewer innocent people will be shot by police because they've redefined innocent to mean castrated.

  20. Mark

    Re: On one greasy hand...

    "I actually agree on the need for this sort of legislation--not that we can't regulate ourselves, but given the existence of goatse and tubgirl..."

    Is there are need? I mean, what are you saying here - that someone should be punished with three years in prison for viewing or privately possessing goatse or tubgirl?

    I find those images disgusting, but I don't care if someone else looks at them. This is a law on possession, not on publication. Indeed, if someone tricks me into clicking on a naughty image, I'd be the one at risk from the law.

    Of course, I agree entirely with you in the difficulties of judging what is obscene or disgusting; the law criminalises one person's kink, because other people find it disgusting. But we should be careful of saying that some things are too disgusting (where no one has been abused in the production of such images). As soon as we accept that there is a need for some criminalisation of disgusting images, it's just a question of where they draw the line...

  21. Caroline Ford


    I'm waiting for "extreme porn" to be added to child porn as one the things your ISP filters for you.

  22. Brock Linahan

    Lord Hunt?

    That wouldn't be MIke Hunt by any chance, would it?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A Hackers Dream Come True

    If you can be prosecuted for having a thumbnail of an illegal picture on your computer suppose some bright spark sends a few million e-mails with the said thumbnail embedded aka virus like to all the important people in the country like MP`s e.c.t that would be interesting.


  24. Chris G

    More Bollocks

    This, like El Gordo's ideas about cannabis is just another example of a government that has lost it's way. No one can think of any sensible laws to pass so they sit around and think up crap like this. It's a case of them thinking that they must be seen to be governing and the only way to do that is to keep passing laws. Having nothing better to do means they are just gonna keep eroding British freedom. In November 1940 Winston Churchill said in the Commons " Immense surrenders of their hard-won liberties have been voluntarily made by the British people in order in time of war to serve the better the cause of freedom and fair play, to which, keeping nothing back, they have devoted all that they have and all that they are. PARLIAMENT STANDS CUSTODIAN OF THESE SURRENDERED LIBERTIES; AND IT'S MOST SACRED DUTY WILL BE TO RESTORE THEM IN THEIR FULLNESS WHEN VICTORY HAS CROWNED OUR EXERTIONS AND OUR PERSEVERANCE. Some how I don't think our current Gov thinks like that, and their excuse is NOT a war it is police action. Vote them out as soon as possible.

  25. Steve

    Focussing on the wrong problem.

    This law will do nothing to protect those who most need it - the Labour party members who will get chinned if they ever knock on my door.

    I've tried using evidence and reasoned arguments, but they just ignore me. However, when they want something from me, the first thing that they do is threaten violence. If they believe that it's an acceptable way to get what you want, then I don't see why I shouldn't use the same technique.

  26. Claire Rand

    clips from dvds

    how long before the copyright mafia decide to try and push for a prosecution of someone who has a 'clip' from a dvd, where that clip just happens to be the whole film without the adverts and other crap at the start?

    after all its a clip, and may well contain images that would otherwise be illegal..

    farce, and i dare say when it gets to court the first time it will be ripped to bits. unless its used very, very carefully for the first few times (against the stuff its meant to be aimed at) to establish it, then they can go after everyone.

    I can see this ending up as something handled at a low level of 'violation' by the FPN system. otherwise there is seriously not enough prison space int he country, or judges who wouldn't be locked up to try everyone.

    on the plus side now all you have to do is encrypt some random rubbish, email it to an MP, report to plod they *may* have something illegal, and its encrypted.. nail the swines with their own laws..

    oh sorry the law doesn't apply to *them*


  27. Pyros

    On one greasy hand @ Mark

    "Is there are need? I mean, what are you saying here - that someone should be punished with three years in prison for viewing or privately possessing goatse or tubgirl?"

    Hrm, some clarification... Let's make some hypotheticals. Subject A does, let's say, beastality, He gets pictures taken with man's best friend in action, and posts them. Subject B sees these, and saves some for future enjoyment.

    Now, who needs the finer points of obsenity smashed into him? IMO, it's Subject A. He provides a service to Subject B, of which is objectionable and disgusting (IMO.)

    That's the point I was trying to make. Take it as you will, but obsenity needs to stay in the background.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Sadly this law does nothing to prevent people posting goatse and tubgirl. It only serves to criminalise people who make complaints about it since they will inevitably possess copies in their webcache.

    Come along to the station would you?

  29. Davide Inglima

    My Lord of Warwick!

    The real question now is: is there a good Tudor Jobs Agency online?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't knock the Lords

    Why do people continue to knock the House of Lords when they only exist to stop governments elected on populist issues destroying the country by virtue of their majority (and that was explained to me by a firebrand Welsh Socialist).

    Unfortunately Bliar successfully used the spin that the Lords are a bunch of silver spooned unelected hangers on, fit for no purpose and made the Lords self destruct, but the fact that the parliament act has been used more times by this lot than in the previous century speaks volumes for the reasons behind the damage done to the country.

    An Amazing total of new laws have been passed by this crew and very few of them have actually been debated correctly, worded correctly, thought out past the short term political postulation etc. If Clarkson was firm in his stance that he would repeal every law passed since they came to power and then take a holiday, I would probably vote for him. How much more damage can they do in their death throws? Frightening really.

  31. Wayland Sothcott
    Thumb Down

    @ Everyone wo thinks this is stupid

    People have pointed out how stupid this law is. They have pointed out the many 'unintended' consequences.

    I say this to you. Go back and read the consequences with the idea that these are the INDENDED consequences.

    With a vague law we are all potentially guilty. This means the result of the police fishing for evedence is likely to find something. With a few more laws like this then everyone is guilty of a crime and only by the mercy of the prosecutors do we get left alone. So better keep your head down.

    I believe pornography is material that you get off to. If you use any form of printed or screen images or writing then this is your pornography. How many parents who push their children to model clothes in chlothes catelogs realise that to a paedophile this is pornography?

    The law gets through because no one likes people getting hurt or abused but this law is not about that.

    You can bet that it's vagueness will allow judges and polititions to get away with perviness whilst that same vagueness will hit everybody else. One law for everyone, but it adapts.

  32. Jon
    Black Helicopters

    Goaste illegal

    That much stretching could possibly lead to "serious injury of the [...] anus" thefore anyone possessing the image in their webcache take a seat right over there.

    I wish I was joking but this law is far too vague that this is a worry.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    neo victorianism

    So this would make quite a few parts of antique greek mythology unsuitable for an adult movie. With all those new computerized special effects available these stories could be visualised with all 'authentic' details made explicit...

    Not for UK distribution then..

    In typical neo victorianism style films and pictures that are perfectly legal in other EU countries will become illegal under UK law? This was the case for explicit pornography until recently. You know - the same erotic material which, while illegal to sell in the UK in general, was perfectly legal to be sold by two 'licenced' newsagents in London. This was apparantly so staff from international embassies would have legal access to material which in most of the world was sold legally. It was obviously a mere coincidence that those two ('licenced) newsagents where close to where MPs where working...

  34. Andy Davies

    Ignorance is no defence

    "As I understand it, it is a principle of English Law that a reasonable person should be capable of understanding whether or not they were breaking the law"

    er No!

    It is a principle of English Law that ignorance is no defence - you don't have to know about it. let alone understand it!

    AndyD 8-)#

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @The BBFC classification bit

    So, in other words if you possess the new Bond film in Polish that's illegal because it's not the bbfc classified release.

    Many films which are legal to own in English are illegal to own as released in a foreign country. Taking this into account read the title of the bill again. Coincidence?

  36. David Robinson


    This is merely one little aspect of the changes in the law that have been made in the last year. Since Labour came to power e have had in excess of 3600 new laws and over 10,000 new regulations ( not even passed by parliament but devised by quangos.

    The whole unsavoury process is to get rid of our law and it's presumption of innocent until proved guilty and substitute continental, Napoleonic code, a code made by a dictator, for dictators where you are always guilty of some infringement and may only ever do what is specifically permitted. What an unnecessary waste of life WW2 was for us. We have lost the freedom so expensively bought and are being broken up into divisions as planned by Hitler, when he had suceeded in invading us.

    Utter madness?


  37. Tony Cheetham

    If they need someone to classify all the porn....

    ...they're welcome to employ my expert services.

  38. Mark

    Re: Ignorance is no defence

    "It is a principle of English Law that ignorance is no defence - you don't have to know about it. let alone understand it!"

    I think there's two different concepts. Not knowing what the wording of the law is is no defence. But to someone who does make an effort to read up on the laws, the point is that they still don't know what the law is actually criminalising.

    The problem with a vague law is not that someone is ignorant of what the law says, the problem is that even though they've read the law, they don't know what is legal and what is not.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    @Dave Bell

    No mystery as to why the law is badly drafted - certain zealots in the Govt would like to outlaw ALL pornographic material, as well as any sexual activity not conforming to their criteria of 'decency'. Witness recent remarks by a certain minister ref prostitution.

    The bill is badly drafted on purpose, to give scope for later amendment beyond its purpose. MPs will be afraid to vote against for fear of being seen as soft on violence etc (you can imagine the daily mail listing all those who 'protected the predators' ) - and then ministers will slowly work small changes in post-approval till it does what the zealots wanted in the first place.

    Northern Puritanism is alive and kicking I'm afraid.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Defenition of Realistic

    I'm an artist creating erotic/fetish/BDSM images totally with computer software. Given the level of detail now possible, does the term 'realistic' include completely computer generated images with no real human participants?

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm fried

    I'm just going to sit and wait for the knock on the door.

    The poor definition of the obscene publications act was aimed at publishers, and the police caused a lot of hassle, with cases being dropped before they reached a judge; (who would usually see things in a decent enough light and denounce the police raids as useless)

    This law is aimed at the individual. The police aren't going to care whether or not a judge will uphold their claims; by the time they have raided a home, grabbed all the computer and pirnted material they can, upset the family, informed the nosey neighbours and the poor person has got fired from their job ... it doesn't matter what happens in court.

    If this bill gets passed, they've just handed the police a loaded gun with no check on where they fire the bullets.

    As for the "classified work" malarky ... what a mess. It's O.K. for someone to own a copy of the whole work and just view the section that the gain arousal from, but not to extract a piece of it. Hello? 'scuse me? Copyright law covers that already? (to a degree)

    I've read the bill and also tried to engage in conversation with one of the Ministry of Justice people responsible for part 5 ... a complete waste of time. They know it is a useless piece of legislation but are trying to get it past in to law in whatever form they can. They see it as a vote winner.

    I'll just sit quietly in a corner and wait for them to come for me. It's only a matter of time.

  42. Graham Marsden

    @Andy Davie- Re: Ignorance is no defence

    I agree that ignorance of the law is no defence, but the point is that the law on the Statute Books should be *comprehensible* to anyone who cares to read it.

    The traditional "Man on the Clapham Omnibus" (or should that be "Man in the Clapham Internet Cafe" these days?!) should be able to look at the law and say "if I do X I will be breaking the law, but Y is legal".

    The problem with this "Dangerous Pictures Act" is that it is someone else's entirely subjective opinion of what an image "risks" and whether it is "grossly offensive" that will determine your guilt or innocence and there is *NO WAY* to test that until it is shown to another person.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @ Lords

    Absolutely. This push for an elected second chamber will just mean we'll get more idiotic laws passed. The lords (and the monarchy, in some ways) present barrier to the govt being as facist as they'd like to be. People are so easily swayed into dangerous opinions by the media.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I find gay (that'll be man on man) sex pretty discusting/obscene, and if I were some kind of government fascist I'd ban it.

    However I'm not, I'm something of a liberal and think, well, there are folk out there that wanna fap to men tapping men.

    Oh and old people, I think that would be vile, and cripples, they shouldn't film nookie, and midgets, no sex for them. Black people. Don't like that.

    See, I find all those things pretty darn mank, however I don't mind seeing a Japanese chick getting the old three way, and a wide range of other delicious things.

    But see I'm not a government fascist sort, I think that folks should be allowed to fap to black folk, gay guys, midgets, amputees and Japanese girls getting three wayed. Hell you could fap to a scene with all of them if you were into it, I wouldn't care. As long as you ain't harming nobody it's gravy baby.

  45. TMS9900


    In Orwell's 1984, sex is banned, punishable by death, unless explicitly licenced by "The Party" for the purposes of procreation.

    So is Love. One can only love The Party. To love another is a crime against The Party. So is deviant thinking.

    I think you all know where this is going...

    I'm getting my coat and fucking off. This country is FUCKED. There is no hope. Just like Orwell's 1984.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Quite so. From my view the more dicks in the picture (male genitalia not politicians) the more obscene. I still have the old classic side-on nude of Heather Mills from when she was cool and unknown (the 90s) and do hope nobody bans that for the missing leg. Old people... well I've seen a few and they vary. But old dicks are even more obscene than unspecified dicks. Oh and monoracial. No thanks. Keep porn mixed race or admit to your bigotry. Black lesbians doing Chinese lesbians on the roof of a ferrari is the ultimate in wholesome porn.

    As for Paris. Can we get possession of anything to do with her banned please?

  47. Luther Blissett

    Humping the camel some more

    Some more peculiarites of this bill.

    1. Suggestive images are to be illegal, but it will be quite all right to depict the same scenario using words to describe it in the minutest ("graphic") detail. So I cannot show you any camel-humping, but I can write about it. "She was so gooooood...." doesn't begin to scratch the surface.

    2. Men apparently prefer their pr0n visual, women theirs verbal. The legisation is discriminatory.

    3. It could be illegal to possess the notorious Abu Ghraib images. Junior denies the USA tortures, but I doubt the US authorities would be prepared to testify in your defence that what was depicted there was interrogation of prisoners.

    This legislation is so bad that I suspect prosecutions will undertaken cautiously (if at all), in case juries dismiss them not on their merits, but on the grounds that the law alleged to cover them is such a mess that it would be unfair to convict anyone under it.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Extreme Porn"

    An MP's expense account?

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Judgement on Extreme Porn

    If porn is that which is likely to "Deprave & Corrupt".......

    And a Judge looks at the evidence..........

    By definition, s/he's been depraved & corrupted.

    But is a depraved & corrupted person fit to be a (fair) Judge?

    Catch 69 anyone?

  50. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Extreme Parliament pr0n

    Can someone please declare in court they get off on watching politicians on TV? Oh, plus The Apprentice and all whinging soap operas like “East Enders” – which sounds thoroughly depraved to start with!. I want to see the whole lot banned under obscenity laws.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    76p a litre tax on unleaded qualifies as obscene to me.

    Paris - because at least she smiles at you when getting ****** unlike Greedo Bruin.

  52. Anonymous Coward

    Like these...

    1) An image is "pornographic" if it would be assumed that it was created for the purpose of sexual arousal.

    Hmm interesting, well some people get turned by a picture a f**king leg on a kitchen chair! So let's start with censoring the IKEA and MFI catalogues.

    2) An "extreme image" is an image which [...] is grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character.

    Take a look through my work's online phone directory, my company would be shutdown in 2mins flat. Lets not even start with some of the specimens that can be found on well known social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace!

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What a nice day to have this bill .....

    Anniverary of VE (Victory in Europe) day when Europe thought it had got rid of one load of fascists, only to elect another senile bunch in the UK.

    Paris because as far as I can tell her videos are still legal.

  54. James Pickett
    Thumb Down

    Quis custodiet custodes

    "The bill now goes back to the Commons, where it is almost certain to be passed"

    May I suggest a systematic scan of every MP's computer, then? Then we could see exactly how the courts interpret this rubbish...

  55. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Like these...

    Ah, it'll be fine as long as the images can be proven to have artistic merit (proper pron not having a shred of that). Easily done with reference to the Official Artistic Merit Scale. I reckon most of the Madonna stuff, shot as it was by some very talented photographers, will safely register above 5.5.

    Mind you, they'll have to check those figures against the Big Book of Stuff It's OK To Feel Rude About (UCL, 2001).

  56. michael

    yet again

    the goverment f*£& with us

    just be shure to distroy the pictures of them doing it overwise you are screwed (again)

  57. Armitage


    since it appears they passed it, just who on earth are they gonna enforce it

    start raiding everyones houses on new years day and remove all their hard drives and media?

    As far as im awear (please correct if im wrong) they need reasonable suspetion (hence phorm supplied evidence) to obtain a warrant and enter someone's house to seize the computer equipment. They cant just go knocking on everyone's door asking to see your porn stash

    unenforceable imho on its own but something they can add to the terror charge and refusal to submit an encryption key

    time to burn/encrypt ur stash

  58. Anonymous Coward

    Extreme pornographic image

    So if I download an image intended to arouse - therefore pornographic - of an image I find grossly offensive - therefore extreme - it qualifies for prosecution?

    Pictures of obese lubbas with no clothes on touching toes are pornographic, and grossly offensive. And shortly illegal.

    Damn right :)

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ---- it.

    However I suppose theres now a big market for literature featuring a whiplashed girlchild and shinning boots of leather. I feel it may be time to delve into my dark pit of imagination and see if I can write something truely offensive at some point - although I'm lazy and don't think I can be bothered.

    I seem to remember reading a story somewhere where a girl seemed to go to hell when she went home, her home seemingly only consisting of a TV on the floor and no lights. Suffice to say when she was in hell she was immortal - and the things, the terrible terrible things that occured there... can't find it now though, shame.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    will music be next on the governments list?

  61. Anonymous Coward

    The follow up laws

    Now that there is a 'proven' link between watching extreme porn and commiting the acts, how long before this is extended to all criminal activities, eg 'I saw a bank being robbed on a film and went out to rob a bank'. Then we can get all film banned, especially the more realistic depictions of criminal activity.

    Mines the one with the blue pill and the red pill in the pocket

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