back to article 'Extreme' extreme porn law puts Scots out of kilter

If you thought Scotland might be a safe place to stash your collection of dubious erotic artwork when legislation on extreme porn comes into force, think again. Proposals announced last week by the Scottish Executive suggest that far from being a haven for smut, Scotland is soon to become an even tougher regime for those with …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    How would that work, then?

    "rape and other non-consensual penetrative sexual activity, whether violent or otherwise"

    If it's images we're talking about, and its "or otherwise" - i.e. non violent, how can you verify consensuality?

    "excuse me madam, that pained expression on your face, is it because you are trying to depict a non-consensual act, or because you're sat on a drawing pin?"

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely this will be

    "Appears to show" rather than "shows". It's fair enough to not show rapes- that's a pretty awful thing to do to someone. But _appearing_ to show rape rules out a number of sites.

    And just banning taping it is fscking retarded. Either make the act illegal or don't. Ideally don't.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    executive ?

    It has not been the Scottish Executive for quite some time, it is the Scottish Government.

    hint: look at the huge logo at the top of the linked web page.

    p.s. I work for the Scottish Government

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Where are the pompus Scottards now? Tell us how much better your psychotic politicos are now!

    Arf Arf Lowest common denominator is about to go lower!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    "Extreme Porn"

    Is that when you do it upside down, hanging from a cliff?

    Will we see this at the next X Games?

    Enquiring minds etc...

  6. Andy

    No problems with enforcement?

    How exactly are they planning on telling the difference between non-consensual, non-violent sex and consensual non-violent sex *just* *by* *looking* *at* *a* *picture* ?

  7. Graham Marsden

    "help ensure society is protected..."

    Wow, isn't it great that the Nanny State is there to "protect us from exposure to pornography that depicts horrific images of violence".

    Obviously, just because of the actions of one or a few individuals, it is clear that we are *all* incapable of acting in a rational, sensible manner and cannot be trusted to view this material without going out and harming someone.

    Excuse me whilst I stop playing GTA and go and steal a car and mow down a few pedestrians...

  8. Xander

    Can someone explain

    I'm confused. Does this law affect websites or users?

    Say I go on a forum and someone has posted "pornographic material that realistically depicts bestiality or necrophilia, rape and other non-consensual penetrative sexual activity, whether violent or otherwise". Am I in trouble for just having viewed the image? Is the original poster in trouble for making the image? Is the person who made the image in trouble (even if the image is just a detailed drawing / photo collage)?

    Clarification would be great :)

  9. Anonymous Coward

    I just don't get this...

    'Thus, it could become a crime to possess pornographic material that realistically depicts not only life-threatening acts, bestiality or necrophilia, but also "rape and other non-consensual penetrative sexual activity, whether violent or otherwise"'

    On a recent lads weekend in Amsterdam we spent a considerable time looking for the most 'specialist' porn we could find (just for a laugh you understand). It seems from the selection available that there is a market for all sorts of things and I just don't get the idea of throwing 'realistic depictions' into the same legal category with 'actual footage'.

    No matter how hard you legislate there will always be people who get off on the idea of rape fantasy, bestiality, necrophilia and all that malarky. In the shops in amsterdam there was dwarf beating granny and smearing her with scat videos and I doubt they would bother making them if nobody was buying them. What does not make sense is making depictions of these things as illegal as actually doing them.

    Which would you rather?

    Scenario a)

    Bloke who gets his rocks off looking at young girls can't get he 'barely legal' porn any more without risking a prison sentence so gets hold of small girl and rapes her.

    Scenario b)

    Bloke who gets his rocks off looking at young girls buys porn featuring girls who are over 18, consenting and paid and happen to look and dress young for the film.

    or more extreme?

    Scenario a)

    Bloke who likes to beat off to images of torture gets video of actual torture of eastern european immigrants and whacks out an easy one.

    Scenario b)

    Bloke who likes to beat off to images of torture gets video of simulated torture in which nobody was harmed.

  10. Dave Ross
    Thumb Down


    that the English government will use this as an excuse to bring the same law in here.

  11. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: I just don't get this...

    Thing is you'll always be able look at almost anything you want to, however repellent, so long as you don't get off on it - if it isn't framed as wank-fodder. The true deviants will be fine since they'll still be perving over the obscure and apparently non-sexual stuff that is beyond porn and legislation thereof, but which they find arousing.

    I've said it before but it's preposterous to attempt to legislate for what turns people on. No one has an awful lot of choice in the matter, do they? And no one's ever died directly because of someone else wanking, and there's never been any proof that looking at nasty porn makes people do nasty things (I suspect it's more likely to be the opposite, and the porn provides the outlet for the impulse, but then you can't prove that either).

    And several others have pointed out it's an unenforceable nonsense anyway and will only be used to hang more charges on people who've already been nabbed for doing something else. Still depressing, though.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bring back the illicit thrills

    Now its gone so mainstream, whats the betting that its the leaders of these pressure groups and politicians looking to make it 'bad' again, so they can properly get their kicks.

    All rather boring when everyone can do it.

  13. Chika

    Clarification, please!

    "This included legislation (s.63 - s.66) that would make it a crime to possess material that was pornographic and realistically depicted various acts, including extreme violence, bestiality and necrophilia."

    So flogging a dead horse would become illegal, would it?

  14. David Hicks

    Hurrah for more blurry legislation!

    So depiction of rape will be illegal.

    As unpleasant as it is, I can think of several films that depict it. Not in a way made to turn people on, but as a shocking act. I can also think of (non-dodgy) anime that depicts it, however that's getting pretty close to the line. And by the time you look at some of the weirder Japanese stuff (Urotsukidoji), well who the hell knows whether you're supposed to get off on that or not?

    And if the intent of the material, rather than the actual content, is at issue then we have a recipe for the worst possible of laws - one that is so subjective that it can likely be used against anyone the police and/or justice service don't like.

    Roll on the UK police state.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    So my missus has a real thing for being dominated. We were gonna make a kinky vid but now... bugger it. I'm not going to jail just for banging my girl.

    Paris? That would be telling.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    What's left ?

    "rape and other non-consensual penetrative sexual activity, whether violent or otherwise"

    So that rules out any form of bondage then, doesn't it ? Also any form of sub/dom play as well.

    Whilst they are at it, why don't they ban adults wearing school uniforms, or anyone other than the police owning handcuffs ?


  17. Stephen Gazard

    What about films?

    I remember seeing the film 'Rob Roy' as a youngster (not in blighty), and that had a scene where the protagonists wife was raped by an Englishman.

    This has an R rating and the keywords at IMDB certainly don't seem to make it any better. The irony of course is that this film about a Scottish hero would be banned in Scotland under this legistlation. Oh the irony

  18. Anonymous Coward

    @ Chicka

    You owe me a keyboard & monitor :-)

  19. Solomon Grundy

    UK Politics & Sarah Bee

    Really, did anyone seriously think that Scotland wouldn't bring in similar legislation?

    Scotland gets left out of "English" politics in order to make the peasants feel "independent". The catch is that Scotland is an English colony and they must submit to the will of the Queen...Therefore the Scots have to do the same as the English, but to the public it looks like the Scots are making the decision on their own. Hahahahaha.

    Sarah Bee: You said "no one's ever died directly because of someone else wanking". That's only true if you don't count the kittens. Think of the kittens.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    don't look at this

    it depicts non consensual sexual activity of the sort you wouldn't want your servants to see.

    I'm glad to say it's been made illegal by the dear leader.

  21. Francis Boyle Silver badge

    @Solomon Grundy

    That's what worries me - people thinking of the kittens. Uuugh. Oughta be a law against it. </over-imaginative prude mode>

  22. Guy Herbert

    @ Sarah Bee

    Indeed. Which is why the new and exciting offences surrounding of voyeurism is framed thus are dependent on the conduct being "for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification." If the News of the World photographs you in the nude through a long lens, that's all right because it is only in order to sell newspapers. What the Home Office wants to punish is anyone having sexual pleasure in an unapproved manner: the experience of any notional "victim" is largely irrelevant.

    Compare the "Spanner" case where great lengths were gone to to punish a group of men for doing mildly injurious things to one another for fun, and even greater lengths and expense to sustain the convictions against an appeal.

  23. Graham Marsden

    @Can someone explain

    > Xander: I'm confused. Does this law affect websites or users?


    > Say I go on a forum and someone has posted "pornographic material that realistically depicts bestiality or necrophilia, rape and other non-consensual penetrative sexual activity, whether violent or otherwise". Am I in trouble for just having viewed the image?

    The crime is "possession". Of course since you have visited the website, the image will be cached on your computer, so you are "in possession" of it, even if you didn't save it.

    > Is the original poster in trouble for making the image?

    Possibly, but only if they're in the UK.

    > Is the person who made the image in trouble (even if the image is just a detailed drawing / photo collage)?

    If it's "realistic".

    > Clarification would be great :)

    The Ministry of Justice is supposed to be providing "clarification" before this law comes into effect in January 2009, but I wouldn't hold your breath.

    I wrote to Harry Cohen MP (the only Labour MP who seems to give a toss about objecting to this ridiculous law) with twenty questions for the MoJ. That was back in July, but so far there has been no reply from them.

    See for the letter.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely the point is

    as I have seen said elsewhere, the most harmful form of sex is the kind which results in unwanted pregnancies. Sexual activities which risk in a few bruises and never result in sperm entering vaginas should be encouraged not condemned.

  25. Graham Marsden

    @Sarah Bee

    > there's never been any proof that looking at nasty porn makes people do nasty things (I suspect it's more likely to be the opposite, and the porn provides the outlet for the impulse, but then you can't prove that either).

    It's not proof, but there has been some very valid research conducted by Professor Milton Diamond PhD of the University of Hawai'i

    "it is certainly clear from the data reviewed, and the new data and analysis presented, that a massive increase in available pornography in Japan, the United States and elsewhere has been correlated with a dramatic decrease in sexual crimes"

  26. Anonymous Coward

    @ Anonymous Coward @ 12:07

    Wrong. Very, very wrong. It *IS* the Scottish Executive. The SNP just did a branding exercise. Nothing in law or fact changed. Legally it is still the "Scottish Executive" and that is what people should call it. Other names may be used, but I suggest you refrain from them in polite company.

    The fact you work for them and fail to know this just adds to my opinion of the Scottish Executive.

    I salute El Reg for using the correct name.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Chika and AC

    >You owe me a keyboard & monitor :-)


  28. J
    Black Helicopters


    "help ensure society is protected from exposure to pornography that depicts horrific images of violence"

    Horrific images of violence... OK, many people don't like them. Let's also ban most of war/crime movies, for example. Images of people being killed are disturbing, no? They can depict quite horrible acts and show very disgusting images. That's the next step, isn't it?


    "help ensure society is protected from exposure to *anything* that depicts horrific images of violence"

  29. Matt

    Must escape

    Go live in the land ruled by Rozen Azo.

    Now, how to get in...

    And yes, outlawing "deviant" sexualality, what next, go back to the good old days of putting people in jail for buggery.

  30. Anonymous Coward


    That's "Clockwork Orange" and The BBC's "Tess of The D'Urbervilles" banned North of the border then?

    So long as the people depicted are consenting (and possibly paid actors) where is the victim? If there isn't a victim, then who's rights are being protected at the expense of others human rights?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh another industry grinds to a halt

    Yeah this is a good one, this is the one that causes revolution, interfering with the sex drive oh we have had huge wars over this one in the past. And at one point didn't we ship them all over to the Americas.

    Not sure, what some people are going to do for a living in this puritanical MB (mediocre britain), oh well.

    There are ways around this though, and it would be prudent for all in the sex industry to start enacting them, but it does mean identifying all those involved in surveillance operations, and just sharing that data around.

    To be honest I think it is going to all go https, and with most of government and officials blocked from nearly all websites. What they cannot see cannot hurt them, and more appropriately cannot hurt us. No one wants to buy a cert, but they are cheap, so I expect there will be plugins for the browser to avoid all those nasty messages.

    NB the browser manus make money on the SSL scam, but that shouldn't interfere with sites where you want the data to be transmitted with point to point encryption.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Porn

    I used to be in to necrophilia once.

    But then I realised it was just dead boring.....

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hold on though

    Surely there is a chance for a real pisstake here?

    I was looking at the cartoon at (I don't need to point out it's NSFW) and it occurred to me, why not remake it with real extreme porn? If it's comedy or instructional then it's not extreme porn right?

    For those who don't want to click, the joke involves cartoony pictures of people being caned set in columns saying Legal and Illegal, with the punchline being that a picture involving chainsawing someone's leg is legal.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    BBC is banned then!

    Dickie Attenborough's little sorties into the back of beyond are right out, all that beastiality and rape that happens daily in the more relaxed edges of the animal kingdom!

    "Think of the Children!", they all scream. So they pass a load of useless tosh and next week another kiddie will die because their parents managed to hide the bruisesand broken bones from the over-worked and hindered social worker, until the last minute when they finally lost it and murdered the poor soul. How about bringing laws that allow obvious abusers to be dealt with properly? Not let out into the community amongst the rest of us decent folk eh? Sorry, too much trouble, easier to make a fuss about the scary things like "da intaweb" and consenting adults indulging in a bit of escapism, than do something productive!

    Yeah, this law is going solve a lot of problems.

  35. John Stevens
    Paris Hilton

    Leave the Sabines out of it...

    @wayne tavitt

    No, no, no , no, no.

    The "rape" of the Sabine women is a reference to the taking away of those good ladies by force. The meaning of "rape" here tracks back to its original Latin root, which is about snatching something away. I suspect - but can't be arsed to look up - that the original text will reference a "raptus"...

    The reason for snatching them was that the Roman colony was originally - according to legend - rather light on women. So they needed to find some fast or die out. Cue raid down the road to remove the female occupants of Sabina/Sabinum (?).

    Of course, it could be argued that what happened to the women AFTER they got returned to Rome was rape. Although in fact the fate that awaited most of them was forced marriage.

    Having said THAT, it does raise a most peculiar piece of pedantry that I ended up arguing the toss over with some feminists a few months back. In the small screem production of Rome there is a scene in which one of the protagonists loses his cool and "rapes" a slave girl.

    I say "rapes" (in inverted commas) because under Roman Law, he did no such thing. If the slave wasn't his, he might have been done for criminal damage (or equivalent) - but not rape.

    That, in turn, raises a serious flaw in this proposed legislation.

    Violence is something with a fairly definite definition. So is necrophilia and bestiality. Let's face it, if you have your private parts inserted in a sheep, its pretty much an open and shut case.

    But rape? Well, no. That is something that depends on the intentions and understandings of the parties involved, and the state of the law at the time of the event.

    Assuming - I'm sure it doesn't - that scene from Rome came before the Scottish censor, would it be possible to argue that because the action was "rape" in modern terms, that was enough to secure a conviction - or might a defense be acceptable in court that as no such crime was possible, it did not represent a breach of the law.

    What about a husband forcing himself on his wife?

    Would it matter whether the action depicted took place before or after the 1970's landmark ruling?

    What about good King Arthur who certainly committed incest (according to legend) and probably also statutory rape by modern standards?

    Oh, what a wonderful can of worms we are opening here.

    Paris. Because he committed one of history's most infamous abductions. Or rapes.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    lol all servers not allied with the screws, all p2p nodes, all trackers and users should employ peerguardian - not perfect but a good start. Lets burn this basterd web down.

  37. James O'Brien
    Thumb Up

    @Re: Porn


    Keyboard and Monitor from you now too.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    pictures; where's the pictures

    And if we can't have pictures to define the mess; please tell me someone is working the playmobile version for Friday? Please?

  39. Mark
    Thumb Down

    On a slippery slope already...

    FWIW, they ask for people to comment via email at .

    One worry with the extreme porn law has been that, once the precedent has been set for criminalising adult porn - even fictional and consensual images - it would be easy to extend the law further. And here we are, the law in England has yet to even come into force, and Scotland is already extending it!

    Who wants to bet that the UK Government will now update the law to include rape depictions too, in order to "bring the law in line" with Scotland? And perhaps they'll then extend it a bit further again themselves...

    "So that rules out any form of bondage then, doesn't it ? Also any form of sub/dom play as well."

    Indeed - whilst this is not explicitly outlawed, as others have commented, how on earth does one tell if an image depicts rape? I agree that this puts all sorts of images showing rough sex, bondage, gags or dom/sub play at risk.

    It's complete nonsense. Even if the participants in court say they consented, that doesn't matter for this law - the court will be having discussions on whether the fictional character in the scene didn't consent.

    A few commenters ask about films: if the Scottish law follows the rest of the UK, then a legally classified films will be exempt, but screenshots *won't* be exempt, if it's believed they were extracted for the purpose of sexual arousal. (Also at risk are non-classified films such as imports.)

  40. Clyde


    Three references in the article to "Scottish Executive". That terminology was dropped with the voting out of the last Labour "executive" in the Scottish Parliamentary elections. It is now called the Scottish Government, because that's what it is. There is a Parliament, there are MPs (MSPs), and that produces a government. Nobody talks of the English Executive, or the British Executive. In real life real people call it a government, because it acts like one.

    Using out of date terminology only antagonises those who have some pride in their national institution.

  41. NT

    "help ensure society is protected..."

    Yeah, that's right. It's all about 'protecting society'. That's why we in the UK have a police force crippled with bureaucracy, chasing after targets and doing frak all about actual crime, and generally unwilling to do anything about it even when they have chance. It's why we have a justice system that won't administer real punishments because Human Rights(tm) says it has to be about kindly rehabilitation - give 'em a cup of tea and a biscuit and sit them down to talk about their feelings; or if you're feeling *really* draconian, give them an ASBO and tell them sternly not to do it again. Oh, we consign them to prisons full of habitual reoffenders for twenty minutes at a time, but nobody's acknowledging the elephant over there in the corner with the "Prison Doesn't Really Work" sign stuck to it. "But what else could we do?" Oh, I dunno, let's see... Maybe lash the f**kers until they agree to stop burgling people's houses? Or better still, lash the f**kers until they agree to start governing the country properly?

    This so-called 'protection' is why people daren't go out at night for fear they'll be set upon, mugged and stabbed to death; and why, if they've the gall to try to stop someone killing somebody, they can expect to cop it themselves. It's why the roads are so terrifyingly dangerous. It's why 'community' is nothing more than a buzzword, or at best a synonym for 'pressure group', and hasn't really meant anything else since Thatcher. It's why elderly people - with or without good reason - are sitting in their houses in the dark every night, terrified that the local chav hooligan mob will pick *their* house to trash tonight. It's why we've got a media and a government consciously devoting themselves full-time full-tilt to terrifying the populace in a continuing attempt to make us docile and obedient.

    'Protecting society'? No - protecting politicos' interests is the important thing. They're on too many nice gravy trains to worry about the rest of us proles.

    And the only thing our 'elected representatives' in this pathetic sham of a democracy want to do - just so they look like they're doing some work - is bugger about with stupid legislation that nobody needs or wants and that will do nothing, absolutely NOTHING, to protect ANYONE from ANYTHING. Oh, except perhaps those evil camera-wielding sightseers, or those equally evil people who put cardboard in their black bin. 'Leaders'? 'Government'? These cretins demonstrate day in and day out that they're not suited to run a bloody train set, much less a country. (Look what they did to the sodding trains.) The whole system stinks of corruption and favouritism; and we're just as bad: we sit around complaining about it, but come election day what's going to happen? I'll tell you what's NOT going to happen: no-one's going to ask the important questions. No-one's going to be saying "hang on, this 'party system': doesn't it by nature fundamentally deny the point of democracy?" No, those of us who bother to move at all that day are going to troop obediently down to the polling station and tick whoever's promise of tax cuts seemed most sincere; or worse, whoever we've always voted for before.

    And Clyde talks about having 'pride' in one's 'national institution'?!

    Gods, what right have WE got to worry about the Large Hadron Collider? We've ALREADY created a black hole. It's called 'Britain'. I just hope the rest of the world learns something from it before it evaporates.

    *pant pant*

    All right. Sorry. I must've missed my dose of Prozium this morning.

  42. Jon


    Thats my plan to move to scotland gone then,

    I wanted the cheaper council tax, better health provision and free univeristy for the kids.

    But this law makes all the scare stories about the english one true. Any sort of binding or domination implies lack of explicit consent for evreything from the sub, yet thats what my g/f likes not having that control, so therefore vast majority of our collection is banned north of the border. even though there is no mutilation making it safe down here.

  43. Steve Swann
    Black Helicopters

    Ownership of Morality...

    Before I get into my main point, let me point something out to all those of you who are spouting the "Oh, that film is off then" or "So much for the BBC series XXX" - the law - Which I have just read through after following the link in the main article, specifically allows for 'such images in the course of a narrative', which means if you are telling a story that involves such a scene, then its fine because it isn't simply for 'sexual gratification' - Phew! Channels 4&5 are saved then!

    Now... my main point....

    Since when did the government think it has the power to legislate our MORALITY??! They'll be telling us what clothes to wear, how to address people, what times we are allowed to enjoy ourselves and how much... oh, hold on they already are! (Formal business wear, correct forms of address for the 'upper class' & drinking laws)

    Frankly, this is unacceptable and we *must* resist such legislation! Orwell spoke of 'thought crimes' and here they are - owning such an image means you are getting your kicks from it and therefore must be a pervert and therefore you are unacceptable to society - Off to prison with you for a good, hard neutering!

    Enough, I say! Refuse! Resist!

    Black helicopters, because they are coming for me....

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Oh, the Horror!

    So when we mix and match bits of DNA from [non-highest-order primate] animals and humans (highest order primates) creating chimeric intelligent entities, then what?

    The cancerous nanny state really needs a good dose of chemo and radiation.

  45. Anonymous Coward

    So it's not really play then....

    "So that rules out any form of bondage then, doesn't it ? Also any form of sub/dom play as well."

    I mean, how else will the Moderatrix control this bunch, eh?

  46. Graham Marsden

    @Steve Swann

    > if you are telling a story that involves such a scene, then its fine because it isn't simply for 'sexual gratification'

    Yes, but if you take a clip from a TV show or BBFC classified film and, in someone else's *entirely subjective opinion* you did it "for sexual gratification" then you will have committed an offence.

    Of course this will be judged partly by the "context" it is in, although whether that means it's in a folder marked "porn clips" or both are in the My Documents folder or both are on the same hard drive or both are on the same computer or both are in the same house, nobody knows!

    There's also the point that the BBFC have given an R18 classification to a pr0n film called "Girls with Guns" that features women "forcing" men to have sex "under firearms duress", but that will still be entirely legal because it's not a clip from a film, it's the whole damn film!!

    Still, apart from that, I agree entirely with your main point :-)

    PS @NT - Nice rant!

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