back to article Govt uses Obscenity Law to stuff up cartoon sex loophole

New Parliament, new legislation – and time for the government’s favourite pastime of "closing loopholes". This time it's about even more dangerous pictures, or maybe less dangerous, given that the subject matter is - allegedly - cartoons. The government last week proposed, via s49 of the Coroners and Justice Bill, to make …


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  1. Lionel Baden

    when are the furries up

    i can see the furries being up on the firing line next.

    Its illegal to have sex with an animal so what about somebody dressed as an animal !

    Bloody goverment

  2. The BigYin

    Isn't this already law?

    I thought there was already law about generating sexual images of children via comouters or other mechanisms. Why do we need another law?

  3. Mark
    Thumb Down

    Oh Shit

    Does that mean that everybody who has received that spam mail that went round a while back that displayed the Simpsons shagging each other can now be arrested and put on the sex offenders registrar???

    Where will it end.......

    I await the decree from up high that means all parents that have a picture of thier kids splashing about in the bath are arrested, put on the sex offenders registrar and denied access to thier children for being filthy peados who dared to have thier kids naked in the bath and possibly may have touched an inappropriate area while they washed them.....

  4. Christoph

    Will this be passed in time?

    Will they bring this law in before the Olympics, in time to ban the Simpsons blowjob logo?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NSFW links

    Your link to gcanimat probably needs an NSFW warning...

  6. Bruno Girin
    Thumb Down


    I'm probably not the first to comment along those lines but does it mean that possession of a copy of the London 2012 logo is now illegal?

    It also probably means that possession of French comic magazines like Fluide Glacial is now illegal in the UK, as they could be seen as being border line, even if obviously fictionnal.

    And what will be the impact of this law on child abuse? Nobody knows! So it's just passed in the off chance that it may potentially have a positive impact... maybe. At the end of the day, child abusers are already breaking the law for something far more serious so I don't think they'll have any issue with breaking that one too.

  7. Wokstation


    "This Bill will cover images where "the predominant impression conveyed is that the person shown is a child despite the fact that some of the physical characteristics shown are not those of a child"."

    So, StTrinians then?

    Or how about that 40yr old lass in a school uniform on

  8. Pete James

    It's this that worries me

    "It is possible that this exemplifies that category mentioned by Lord Hunt in summing up on extreme porn: people whom the police would like to "do something about", but who haven’t actually broken any laws."

    Now that really does worry me. At which point does the liberty of an individual become a line not to be crossed? I'm becoming more and more minded that this Government would dearly like to have something about every citizen's private life in order to control and govern the population. With that sort of sentiment it could move very rapidly into nothing but intrusive and unbearable monitoring.

    And, I wonder, when will the Government turn their attention to fiction? Cartoons are a visual media, so the written word will surely have to be next.

  9. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Maddona with child

    I look forward to the Queen being asked for permission to prosecute her for her extensive collection of child porn. I hope she says yes.

  10. A J Stiles

    Simpsons Movie

    Does this cover the naked Bart (and his disembodied todger) in The Simpsons Movie?

  11. Julian I-Do-Stuff


    Alas the commentary is all too reasonable, but boils down to telling the village idiot to show some common sense. However, in the absence of any "lawn-mower man" contraption I suggest that in the meantime we cover up all cherubs, putti etc. and close the galleries and churches etc. because that's where the depraved and corrupted will be heading.

    To quote Tom Lehrer

    All books can be indecent books

    Though recent books are bolder

    For filth, I'm glad to say, is in

    The mind of the beholder

    When correctly viewed

    Everything is lewd

    I could tell you things about Peter Pan

    And the Wizard of Oz, there's a dirty old man

    ...the worst thing is that none of this stuff addresses the genuine need to deal effectively with criminal abuse of real people/children.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    ok, firstly, I think child abuse is a very serious issue and dont think its right for people to distribute or make child porn.

    But my issue is with the" reinforcing potential abusers’ inappropriate feelings towards children" argument, its plain stupid. Gay pornography does not make a homosexual gayer. Porn doesnt define your sexual preference. It allows sexual relief by appealing to thinks you get turned on by. There will always be pedos, id rather a pedo was wanking to cartoons than to photographs, if they are satisfied with the cartoons or cgi then surely that means they are less likely to want real photographs and risk imprisonment. Child abusers should be punished via prison etc, but i dont think any amount of prison time would change someones sexuality.

  13. Elmer Phud

    Not the way to cut crime rates

    "The second area for concern is the way in which this proposal further embeds in English Law the idea that possession of various materials should, in and of itself, be an offence."

    That's me and several other old people who have kept thier collection of Bob Crumb stuff heading for the pokey. I'd like several copies of Oz and IT to also be taken in to consideration, me lud.

  14. Sir Runcible Spoon

    And now for something completely different.

    Is it me or has this country become a Monty Python sketch?

    I'm waiting for the throat-ripping rabbit to turn up which I can smite with my holy hand grenade.

    Soon you won't even be able to write about this stuff, let alone have a picture.

    Won't somebody think of the pixels!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!!!!!!!!!!!!11

    When we're all criminals, we will have nothing to lose - then these politicians will finally realise that they are number #1 on the 'let's hunt the *unt' list.

    Flames, coz that's how living in an oppressed society makes me feel.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Missing pun

    A serious mass debate?

  16. Anonymous Coward

    As you say

    If child porn is getting scarce enough that people resort to using cartoon images as a substitute then that is a win. We shouldn't be jeapordising it by pushing them away from cartoon images and back to child porn.

    Cartoon image of a flame, how long before it's banned under arson legislation?

  17. michael


    the raided the home of a man they thought was a child abuser (quite rightly if they had suspicion enough to convince a judge to get a search warrant) but when they found nothing to convict him of they where embarrassed and are now looking to avoid this embarrassment in future?

    nice just waiting for them to make it retroactive to they can retrospectively arrest him

  18. Ralph B
    Paris Hilton

    Olympic Ban

    Bruno Girin is absolutely right. This new law should be used directly to deal with the offensive London Olympics 2012 logo which has Lisa Simpson giving Bart a blow job.

    Will no one think of the children?

  19. Adam Rulli-Gibbs
    Black Helicopters

    An Olympean Effort For What?

    The lengths they'll go to to try and stop people pointing out what a laughing stock the 2012 logo will make us.

    How much did it cost again?

  20. Ash
    Thumb Down

    Ban Television

    "grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character"

    The entirety of war or "terr'rist" attack coverage on the 6 O'Clock News, then?

    I fnid it particularly disgusting to see pictures of dead people when i'm eating my pie and chips. And don't tell me I can just turn it off; I NEED the Government to tell me to not watch it!


    I'll be glad when I have enough money to leave this country.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Manga to go all wrinkly?

    > An image will therefore be treated as an image of a child where "the impression conveyed by the image is that the person shown is a child".

    If impressions are what counts, the artists presumably will take due care to depict very large gonads in cartoons to avoid the impression of a child? Since without gonads, what is to distinguish the intent of the cartoon from photos of massacred Palestinian children in Gaza?

    Using a sledehammer to crack a flea is very silly, but it sure makes a lot of noise - noise to distract from the real obscenities nu labour would rather you look away from.

  22. Tawakalna
    Paris Hilton

    Britney Spears?

    "This Bill will cover images where "the predominant impression conveyed is that the person shown is a child despite the fact that some of the physical characteristics shown are not those of a child"."

    so will the Hit Me Baby One More Time video be covered under the new Act of Please Won't Somebody think Of The Children 2009?

    will Bugs Bunny impersonating a female rabbit count as extreme cartoon porn? Jessica Rabbit? (well she was pretty hot) or Daphne out of Scooby-Doo? After all, the bad guys state at the end of every Scooby Show that she and the others are "kids" so there you go Osshifer, case proven, off the entire country goes to the pervs register except those miserable tw*ts like Whakki-Jakki and Gordo who've never seen Scooby Doo.

  23. alan
    Thumb Down

    Re Pete James


    "people whom the police would like to "do something about", but who haven’t actually broken any laws."

    They would be inocent people then. How about free choci bickies? Ah you mean poeple who you think must surely be guilty but either arent or its too much like hard work to get the evidence what with this pesky statistic led policing that goes on now and would be a whole lot easier and better for the statistics if it was easy to prosecute people

    I suggest we criminalise not being a MP or a friend of an MP, then we would need anymore laws as they would be able to prosecute everyone under that law.

  24. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: Maddona with child

    "Maddona"? What was I thinking. Apologies to all those who were awake.

    Anyway, it has been pointed out to me that a fair bit of Her Maj's collection is actually on loan to various institutions, where it is exhibited for the tittilation of like-minded individuals. This woman must be stopped!

  25. Neil

    Shut your ******* face uncle ******

    Does this spell the end of...south park?

  26. michael

    @Sir Runcible Spoon

    I do not beleve you are alowed to right this stuff atm waas there not a story about a civle servernt wrote a story he published on a web story site and got procustaed for it?

  27. Steve Sutton


    "there is concern that these images fuel the abuse of real children by reinforcing potential abusers’ inappropriate feelings towards children" like much government policy, no actual proof then!

    Why am I not surprised.

  28. Jonathan

    Re:It's this that worries me (Pete James)

    "It is possible that this exemplifies that category mentioned by Lord Hunt in summing up on extreme porn: people whom the police would like to "do something about", but who haven’t actually broken any laws."

    I thought people "who haven’t actually broken any laws" were called innocent people.

    Is it part of the police's job to "do something about" them?

    Who else would the police like to do something about?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Forgive my naivity

    But surely if there is the same risk of imprisonment and appearance on the sex offenders register the average paedo would prefer to go with the real thing (grooming, photographing and raping) rather than obtaining cartoons. If cartoons are essentially tolerated then it would be a stupid kiddie fiddler who got his rocks off to illegal real pics when they can rub one out over a picture of Lisa and Bart.

    Criminalising things that people do which do no harm is a silly idea. Prove it harms children and then I'll buy into a ban.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Damn, there goes all the Kanagi, Louise, Taiga, Shana, Lucky Star, Onegai Twins, Sailor Moon, Onegai Teacher, Nadeisco, Haruhi and well most doujin then... Hell I can finally get down to some book burning!

    Of course it isn't really a law against child obsenity, it's a law aganist flat chested girls, if a drawing has big tits it wont fall foul of the new law even if it's a 10 year old character, where as a flat chest 18 year old (Louise) will get you knicked. Beyond the fact that in either case you'd be getting investigated and your life ruined for a god damn drawing.

    But I knew it was gonna happen, it's just a matter of time with this shitty country. Wont be long before books and other writings go the same way. It's too full of idiots, dribbling zombies and power crazed fascists to ever go back to being a decent nation.

    And it's interesting to remember that we had a lot of very nasty stories in girls magazines Tammy for example, where sadism and misery ruled. for a quick look at the story lines.

    But the thing is, humans need ways to vent the darker side of their or else they become monsters, just talk to your average daily mail reader.

    The daily mail and its neofascist supporters (NuLabour and the rest of the popular media for all accounts) like to pretend the UK was once a shinning land of happiness, where nothing bad ever happend until foreign people and foreign media came to bring in the evil.

  31. John Imrie

    Re: Olimpics Logo

    It only counts as depraved if you can get your rocks of to it.


    |- "n

    I'll leave it to your own filthy minds to work out what the image is

  32. Julian I-Do-Stuff


    The gcanimat link includes the consultation document results where - among other extraordinary stuff - something I didn't know, that any defence would probably rely upon the holder being able to "prove" that they didn't know it was illegal, had it for legitimate reasons, etc. etc.

    Prove??? Whatever happened to reasonable doubt?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Solid Goverment

    Its good to see a goverment that has the currage and dedication to handle the real issues plauging the land. In stead of wasting time and resources dealing with failing economy and all such nonsence they actualy deal with something that affects the whole country and everyone in it. Good work UK-Gov... Oh waite... WHAT!!!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @As you say

    "If child porn is getting scarce enough that people resort to using cartoon images as a substitute then that is a win..."

    Now you may be closer to the mark than you think. According to the IWF themselves a ridiculously microscopic proportion of all online CP originates in the UK - that is to say home-grown CP here in the UK (and most of Western Europe) practically does not exist, instead being found on servers in Eastern Europe, Asia and North America.

    Where does this leave the 'child protection' infrastructure? Twiddling their thumbs? Or perhaps thinking up new ways (and means) to deliver their 'service'? Make NO mistake at all: behind the this latest attempt to criminalize completely harmless, totally fictious and wholly imagined images (and their owners) are to be found the likes of CEOP, who have relentlessly and agressively pushed for the penalties for mere possession of explicit cartoons (no real people, no 'victims') to carry EXACTLY THE SAME penalties as those presently applied in the posession of actual, real photographic/video CP (involving real kids, real victims).

    That will mean prison, a fine, entry on the sex offenders register and, basically, the end of your life, your family, your home, your job and your career. Because you looked at a few CARTOONS the police and the government have decided are 'indecent'.

    We are not talking about REAL children here. We are not talking about ACTUAL victims here. We are talking about drawings, paintings, comics and CG renders. About brushstrokes and zeroes and ones.

    We are talking about the victimless crime finally made real. And a complete denial of the truth of the matter. Now will you believe that 2 + 2 = 5?

  35. Jacob

    Kowai desu

    what the hell is going on with this country, first that stupid extreme porn ban and now they are mucking about with cartoon porn that contains children. the next step will no doubt be cartoon porn which depicts extreme stuff, then it will be porn in general followed by cartoon porn in general. Finally you will no longer allowed to have sex or masturbate.

    Moralistic BS.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Why not just make all pictures illegal

    After all, everything out there is someones fetish (Rule 36). Maybe we could have a list of government approved pictures that we're allowed to look at.

    Paris, because soon even this pic may be illegal.

  37. David Webb

    Free trip to Japan!

    The answer is easy, stream the hentai from servers in Japan and use that hacker case as precedence "Officer, the computer I accessed 'tentacle joy joy happy happy woo haaa!' from is based in Japan, therefore I want to be tried in Japan, now snap to it and get me my tickets man!"

  38. Dennis

    Re: Not the way to cut crime rates

    "That's me and several other old people"

    And somewhere I may still have a copy of Club International with a cartoon sequence of Lucy and Charlie Brown, it finishes with Charlie Brown refusing to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation when Lucy fails to swallow and starts to choke.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    So now Anime will be banned

    I am an avid fan of Anime, and have several series bought in high street stores that could possibly fall foul of this new madness,

    Azumanga Dioh


    Divergence Eve

    Saikano (She the ultimate Weapon)

    Lucky Star

    Red Garden

    Gakuen Alice

    etc. all these series star girls between the age of 10 and 17. some of them also cover bikini shots, larger than normal breasts or love interests/ panty shots.

    All anime tends to have girls in short skirts with the odd panty shot.

    So a brilliant genre of entertainment will be made illegal and those who have purchased it legally will be tarred with the same brush as a paedophile.

    By the way I am 39 and Female so its not just Teen boys and paedophiles that like this sort of entertainment.

    Paris, because the law makers have less IQ than her

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    > people whom the police would like to "do something about", but

    > who haven’t actually broken any laws

    This about sums up the current police attitude - they know who they want to work over, they just don't have the legal power to do it yet. The idea of living in a country where our incredibly tight-arsed morally talibanesque police force set the tone for right and wrong really, really terrifies me in a way nothing else even comes close to. The Menezes inquiry had that police statement to the effect of "he was acting particularly innocently, which made us more suspicious". And we know where that led.

    If anyone still hasn't woken up to what's happening, they must be dead.

  41. Dennis

    Re: hmmmm

    "reinforcing potential abusers"

    The assumption is that there are some people who are sexually attracted to children but have not performed any sexual actions with children. Presumably the idea it that if such people see cartoons of children engaging in sexual activity they will move on from merely desire to action. While this is an interesting thesis is there any evidence that such cartoons will transform fantasies into reality?

    I doubt if there is any evidence. And I doubt if there actually any people who are tipped over the edge by cartoons. If someone who is attracted to children and has not engaged in any sexual activity with children will they really change their beheviour as a result of seeing cartoons? Surely a more likely trigger is the commercial exploitation of children. Isn't there a bigger encouragement from children dressing as adults? Should shops be selling children's versions of clothes that enhance the sexuality of adults?

  42. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Do not flame here ...

    ... respond to the consultation. You have until 2007-07-22. Oops - too late.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @@As you say

    That's a very good point actually. Without this law being run around silly by misguided policios a lot of think tank workers would risk losing their jobs in a recession.

    Still, if anyone out there does jerk off to child cartoon porn then don't worry, Elfen Lied isn't covered by this because it's a horror anime.

    Idiots the lot of them.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    @ damn

    "... , if a drawing has big tits it wont fall foul of the new law even if it's a 10 year old character, ..."

    Well you plainly haven't been paying attention either to the actual words of the bill or the way the 'child protection' lobby has been pushing the law for a while... (The present bill directs our attention to context to discover any suggestion of sex or of minority.)

    If the promoters have a principle it is implicitly this: if any perv might be excited by some material then it is child abuse by definition, it ought to be banned, and anyone who has it labelled as an actual abuser of children - except if they are members of the elect witchfinder class.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @John Imrie

    > It only counts as depraved if you can get your rocks of to it.

    Incorrect. Now _you_ have to prove that _you_ cannot _ever_ get your rocks of to it.

    No rocks? That's one answer they'll accept... (but they would in fact be wrong, tho you won't get Whacky or her lesbain friends to admit it any time soon).

  46. Chris Collins

    take a step back

    How about we draw the line and go back to defining child porn as pictures or movies of people fucking children under the age of 13. If it's not that then it isn't child porn. The end.

  47. Watashi

    The seperation of State and Reality

    We should expect nothing else from a government no longer able to tell fantasy from reality. The gap in realism between cartoon images and photographs is much smaller than the gap between, say, Brown's view of the recent economic past and future, and the actual reality of the situation.

    New Labour's core tenet could well be written down thus:

    "If the emotional reaction to an invented idea is the same irrespective of whether that idea is true or false, the invented idea should be treated as though it were an actual fact."


    "If you can persuade people you're right, it must be because you ARE right."

    The rationale behind the second point is the same rationale behind the idealised evolutionary market forces philosophy underpinning so much New Labour ideology. Truth, like efficiency, arrives as a natural consequence of consumer behaviour (so the hypothesis goes). Just as the pressure placed on suppliers by consumers 'selects' only the best suppliers, so consumer pressure 'selects' only truthful governments. The logic is clear: if the electorate believes you speak the truth, then it must be because you actually ARE speaking the truth. If you are not speaking teh truth, the people will know this and so not vote for you.

    Of course, humans are often poor consumers and poor judges of the truth, which is why BT get away with Phorm and how Blair got away with the 'dodgy dossier'. Fortunately, there is a limit - as Brown will find at the next General Election.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @@ damn

    Well you're plainly up on one,

    However the "authorities" wont be bothered to look up the ageas of characters and a character like errckk I can't remember the name of the anime the one with the 10 year old whose constantly trying to seduce the teacher, main girl = flat chest, her friend = shapply jubs, doesn't take a rocket scientest to figure out which image would catch the attention of the moralists. It's a rather rubbish anime btw, never got past the first two episodes.

    Sure if they did their research then maybe all things would be equal (you may have noted that the mentioned Haruhi, a girl who does possesss clevage - however I would doubt Mikaru would raise any alarms) But can you imagine civil servants hunting down ageas on the internet? Well maybe, gives the government something else to borrow money for.

    Ahh I'd forgotten about Saikano - there's a manga that you can't read vol 3 on the bus. That was an awsome manga, anime wasn't upto much though.

  49. Pierre

    So bad I don't even know what to say

    The worst part is that other govs might follow and reproduce that nutjobbery.

    Also, I think we can now officially say that Ol' Blighty is crazyer, more hypocritical and biggot-grade prude than the USA. And that's saying something.

  50. John Ozimek
    Paris Hilton

    au revoir, Paris

    And there was I thinking that this law was targeted mainly at serious porn material. Until someone mentioned "Fluide Glaciale". FFS: they are right.

    I am a serious Francophile (no: look it up. That's not illegal ...yet). Whenever I am in France, I tend to re-kindle my love of Gallic literature by dropping into FNAC and joining the massed ranks of freeholders reading the "bd" (bande dessinnée") off the shelves. Because in France, cartoon is a universal medium, being used for adult plots as much as it is for childish ones.

    Anyway, first thought was that the only thing illegalised would be a work of satire (or cartoon vandalism, according to taste) by Dupuy. He so had it in for the Tintin series that he produced a seriously off parody which includes depictions of Tintin sodomising snowy, the Thomson twins in bed together and Tintin engaged in some rather explicit underage activity.

    Yep. Can't see that sort of parody surviving this law for a second. But then someone else reminded me of the aforementioned Fluide Glaciale. Its not porn. Its certainly not child porn. But it contains imagery that some juries would definitely consider grossly offensive, etc.

    Someone somewhere might consider such to have been created for sexual purposes. And hey presto!

    No more FG. No more Echo des Savanes for that matter. Or VSD. Or half a dozen mainstream cartoon titles. Because whilst they aren't intended to turn on, stimulate, whatsoever, I must now extend what one lawyer said of the extreme porn law. If you can't be sure, would you be prepared to go to jail over a coffee table book?

    Nope. And I sure as hell wouldn't wish to go to jail for a cartoon either.


    Paris: cause in future only Paris will allow you to browse her wares without fear of interference from les flics.

  51. Mark


    A Heroin subsitute given to ease an addict off Heroin and reduce drug related crime.

    Apparently completely acceptable.

    But pixellated boobies? NO WAY!!!

    I agree with michael. Someone has been accused and not proven to be guilty, so the law must be wrong and needs changing so that he WOULD be guilty.

    Then retroactively apply.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    anime = jail... what's next?

    I'd laugh at this further attempt to pass a stupid law ...

    But then I'm reminded of the "kissing ban" law that passed in Guanajuato, Mexico. I kid you not, according to this law, if you're caught kissing in the street, *you go to jail*. Supposedly, this law is to "protect children" and uphold moral values.

    It is a good thing, then, that they were stupid enough to do this in an electoral year. They've proved what right-wingers can do while in power!

  53. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Hmmm.... "open loopholes"

    "Ahh I'd forgotten about Saikano - there's a manga that you can't read vol 3 on the bus. That was an awsome manga, anime wasn't upto much though."

    What, because of the tearful underage shagging? So that's why the grannies are throwing dirty looks at me.

    What about reading the obligatory "bondage + underage incest" printed out from an arbitrary rapidshare download, then. I would avoid the ones which also throw in a dog or two cause one has to draw the line somewhere...

    In any case -- politicians expressing moral outrage/disgust in public to troll for a bigoted electorate are the most base creatures yet.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    this is the same society that doesn't really mind that much about Hostel and where you get Saw with 97 million sequels.

    Not that I care, but why is it torture and mutilation are fine and dandy while seeing a drawing of a school girl who doesn't look like any real girl I've ever seen is a bookable offense that gets you on the sex offenders register.

    Watch a real live Japanese girls have their eyes blow torched, then jump into a train - sure no problem - enjoy! It's all make believe anyway.

    Watch a drawing of a tentical monster bang a Japanese school girl - go direct to jail you filthy child raping monster!

    If you're gonna go down such a bulls--t realm of thought you should get locked up for any graphical representation of illegal acts. It's horse crap. Jesus it's all so retarded.

  55. Mr Bear
    Black Helicopters

    Next it'll be breathing...

    The Government plan to bring in another new law to stop the perverts and lead the way to a purer future where abnormal thought will be stamped out. The Extreme Breathing law is to be passed, er proposed next month in order to give the police the powers to arrest any heavy breathers who use the phone.

    Campaigners are worried that innocent people like joggers or sufferers of asthma might get caught up in this law. However the prison service is being granted extra money for running tracks so that any joggers caught by accident will be able to run for miles without the slightest loss of breath, after their 3 year incarceration is over. And provision in the law has been made so that should any deaths because by medical conditions that aren't ideal for forced exercise, then the prison service will be able to get off scot free.

    Expectations at this time are the possibility of up to 5,000 extreme breathers a year being taken off our streets. Although current records only show around 20 to 30 actual heavy breather cases are reported each year.

  56. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    A truth

    fictional police charges have always needed some nice fictional sex pictures to spice them up

    How long before they start on the 'erotic fiction' sites?

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have the perfect get out of jail card.

    This guy's going to serve only three years inside, for actually luring a retard to a flat, gang raping her, pouring non soluable base all over her body and vagina, and generally disfiguring the poor lass for life.

    Thus, for possessing a photo of a cartoon character? What? Jesus the government look f*cking stupid. Roll on the election.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Here's an idea

    How about we start dealing with real dangers to children instead of imaginary ones? Give parents-to-be tips on household cleanliness and how often to disinfect the kitchen (lots of children dead or hospitalised from kitchen germs), subsidised stair gates and pond fencing?

    Every one of those removes a danger much more dangerous than these imaginary peados.

  59. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    Paging the Paedofinder General...!

    "She's forty three, she's from accounts..."

    "She looks like twelve and *that's* what counts!"

  60. Paul


    It has been discovered that a loophole allows minors to legally purchase beer if it containes no alcohol. That's right beer is being sold to children!!! And the police can do nothing. What if someone took beer and removed the alcohol and gave it to children? We must put a stop to this menace!

    Thank you for watching Moral Panic. Please tune in next time when we investigate the loophole that allows thieves to literally walk off with merchandise after paying for it.

  61. Anonymous Coward

    I'd like to think...

    ...that the Government had more important things to worry about at the moment than imbecilic nonsense like this. Perhaps a realignment of priorities is in order.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Three strikes and you're out

    So, now I can go to prison for drawing 3 lines on a piece of paper (think about it). Reminds me of a fictional country where you could disappear without trace for writing "Big Brother is ungood".

  63. blue
    Thumb Down

    Sex is Bad, M'kay?

    Personally, I'm expecting laws establishing the Junior Anti-Sex League will be in the next Queen's Speech.

  64. Martin Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Good news for makers of Napalm

    At least we won't see this sort of thing in our newspapers anymore.

  65. Anonymous Coward

    @Graham Marsden

    glad i wasn't eating or drinking when I read that, else I would have to be getting a new keyboard and monitor.

  66. Anonymous Coward

    In other news...

    How to make napalm and thermite from everyday materials, by William Powell...

    Pic related

  67. elderlybloke
    Paris Hilton

    It will soon be just as bad in NZ

    The same hysteria seems to be happening down here,

    We seem to have super sensitive people in NZ, like a female employee of Parliament who saw a rude word on a note some Politician had stuck on the door of the office of his political enemy.

    She was so shocked , she swooned (like in Queen Vic,s. time) and had to go home for the day.

    Paris seems to be the right icon.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hold on, hold on

    Is this actually going to mean jail time for every schoolchild who draws a nob on a photocopy of Peter and Jane? Or whatever book they're using currently.

  69. Anonymous Scotsman

    @ Lionel Baden

    If they *do* get up onto the firing line, then it will have all been worth it, and I personally could stomach whatever fallout follows this with a smile. But until a fursuit clad goth terrorises a nursery, I doubt it's going to happen.

    Admittedly i'm intending to semi-permanently leave the country in four months (for other reasons), so my perspective is somewhat skewed.

  70. Anonymous Coward


    Anyone seen the closing titles of Superbad with the cartoon willies?

    I'm sure some of that is now illegal - I won't buy it on DVD just in case!!!

  71. Tony

    I call your title request a silly thing. Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time.

    ( O ) ( O )

    You are all going to prison.

  72. Anonymous Coward

    Outlaw the grey, guarantee more black? Bravo!

    So, if you're J. Random Proto-Paedo, factory-fitted with The Urges, you can no longer legally bung up that particular hole in ways that don't harm anyone?

    So since Mr JRP is now illegal anyway, what's to stop him upgrading to the genuine article, in which children *WERE* harmed. He'll probably have to get it from the same place now anyway.

    It's been noted that stable proto-paedo's who get treated like **** by society can throw in the towel and join the dark side. After all, they're getting treated that way anyway but not getting any of the 'perks'.

    It's not as if anyone's thanking them for wrestling with a demon, day in and day out for most of their lives in order to protect children.

  73. michael


    thouse are clearley adult

    (.) (.)

    now we are all going to prision

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oi! Government! NOOOOOO!!!11

    Over 70 comments so far, and I'm yet to see one that actually supports this proposed law.

    That really says something. I hope the government are listening.

  75. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Oi! Government! NOOOOOO!!!11

    I know for a fact that Gordon Brown subscribes to our RSS feed. Apparently he's obsessed with the comments, and we believe he even posts under a variety of psuedonyms.

    Straight up.

  76. Rob

    There's a film about this...

    .... it's called Equilibrium, if you haven't seen it already watch or read the synopsis if you can't be bothered.

    Either way that seems to be the way we are heading.


    You might be able to argue yourself out of prison with that image try

    . .

    Now your all going to Prison and probably hell as well if you listen to the NuLabour Reich.

  77. Anonymous Coward

    Such Laws are Obscene!

    So we will no longer be free to draw pictures of whatever we happen to imagine?

    What I really object to is the State deciding and dictating what we can and cannot draw. There is no place for laws like this in a free society.

    Of course children should be protected, but the ends do not automatically justify the means. And the way this government uses (abuses?) children (and terrorism, etc,) as a way to justify eroding and undermining our rights and freedoms is frankly disgusting.

    I myself am a former child, with something like eighteen years of experience as someone under the age of eighteen. I simply do not want the kind of "protection" that the government is trying to force on us.

    Flames, because this is another step towards book-burning.

  78. Mark

    Even images that could be seen as a 17 year old will be illegal!

    Note that the age for the "child" is 18. So sex with a 17 year old is legal, but make a drawing of the same act (or perhaps one that simply focuses on her butt, according to the law), and you're a criminal.

    It might be one thing to talk about images that are clearly intended to be things that might arouse pedophiles - i.e., prepubescent children. Even there, it is a matter of debate whether they should be illegal. But including up to 18 will criminalise a vast range of material. How do we tell if a cartoon is meant to look 17 or 18? What about all the Japanese manga where characters often have a youthful appearance, or people who like a school uniform fetish? The clause "the predominant impression conveyed is that the person shown is a child despite the fact that some of the physical characteristics shown are not those of a child" means physical aspects such as having big breasts won't make an image safe.

    The point about an age of consent of 16 (or even 18) is that when you're dealing with people, it's more than their physical attributes that matter, whether or not they are still pre-pubescent. I disagree with setting the law on child porn to 18 - but the argument there was that a higher age is needed, not because of what the image depicts, but because of wanting to set a higher age limit before people can appear in porn. But there is no such person in a fictional case! Pedophilia is not about finding a 17 year old attractive - so even if a law on fictional "pedophile images" is deemed to be required, it makes no sense setting an age limit so high, especially one higher than the age of consent! There's also the point that whilst real people have an age, fictional people do not - so whilst an age of consent makes sense, it makes no sense for fictional images.

    "I thought there was already law about generating sexual images of children via comouters or other mechanisms. Why do we need another law?"

    Correct - this was included in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008.

    The scaremongering is that pedophiles were converting child porn into images of cartoons. Even if that were true (no evidence has been presented), as you say, it's already covered by law now. But the reality with this law is that really, we need a way to convert cartoons to actual people ... because a 17 year old is illegal if he or she is in a cartoon, but legal if they're a person right in front of you!

  79. Mark

    "a school uniform fetish"

    The day you can't enjoy looking at a middle aged mum dressed as a tarty schoolgirl is the day I get off the planet...

  80. Tony

    @Sarah Bee

    'I know for a fact that Gordon Brown subscribes to our RSS feed. Apparently he's obsessed with the comments, and we believe he even posts under a variety of psuedonyms.'

    Why did I immediately think of 'amanfrommars' ?

    Nah - On reflection his posts are positively intelligible compared to what I would expect from our dour grey overlord.

  81. Rob

    Thanks Sarah

    We all now feel a bit better knowing Gordon Brown might actually read all our comments calling him a complete twat who noboby voted for but was still able to successfully screw our economy then continue screwing us as individuals, label us all ciminals before we've even been born and then allow his MP's to get away with pissing our money up the wall with no form of accountability, fellow posters feel free to add to my miniscule list of crimes against the people for the people.

    New icon required GB with horns please (no need for halo alternative, the devil will be skating to work when that one is needed). In the meantime, Pirate, cause he's highjacked us and raped us.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    V for Vendetta

    that is all

  83. Josh

    @ Mark

    You make some good points, but the reason the authorities in the UK decided to set the upper age limit for 'indecent' images at 17 (whilst the sexual age of consent for males and females, gay or straight, remains 16) is a sop to the child protection industry, nothing more, nothing less. It was mandated and pushed for by the likes of the state-funded CEOP, who want to see their remit widened as far as possible, in order to guarantee work and funding as actual CP in the UK dries up and vanishes completely (see: IWF's own reporting on the actual figures for this).

    The issue of 17 year olds being seen by UK courts as 'children', whilst the same courts also give them consent at 16 for sex with whomever they please at or over the same age (gay or straight) is the elephant in the room nobody - police, courts, politicians or media - seems to want to discuss or challenge.

    Introducing completely fictional drawings, cartoons, CG imagery and the like into the indecency laws, equating them completely with actual child porn and pushing for the exact same penalties for possession, is an insult to rational thought, common sense and justice. CEOP must not be permitted to get away with this. A drawing (without any photographic content whatsoever) of a naked child, however explicit and in whatever medium, does not constitute child porn, no matter what they keep insisting - at best it could be seen as an offensive illustration, perhaps in very bad taste, but it is NOT child porn or child abuse. There is no victim involved, no child was harmed in any way and there is no defendant to appear before a court. It is a fiction cooked up by zealous advocates to further criminalise whole swathes of the population and it must be opposed all the way.

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Actor versus Character?

    Here's a question that occurs to me.

    The proposed law says that "References to an image of a child include references to an image of an imaginary child."

    One way of producing an "image of an imaginary child" is to draw it. Another is to have an actor portray that "imaginary child" by acting.

    So if an "imaginary child", portrayed as clearly being under eighteen, is played by an actor who is clearly over eighteen, would the resulting image still be illegal? The resulting image is still an "image of an imaginary child", made by photographing an actor playing that role.

    The proposed law does also say, "Where an image shows a person the image is to be treated as an image of a child if the impression conveyed by the image is that the person shown is a child, or the predominant impression conveyed is that the person shown is a child despite the fact that some of the physical characteristics shown are not those of a child."

    A forty-year-old actor playing a four-year-old child?

    Paris, because she could pull it off.

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What an insidious term.

    The government always use the term 'closing a loophole in existing laws' when what they actually mean is 'passing a completely new law'. That way they can push it through with a minimum of debate.

    It was the same when they changed the law on magic mushrooms a couple of years back. They said they were closing a loophole in the existing law and so 'fast tracked' the law without any proper debate. The thing is the loophole they are referring to is that the Misuse of Drugs Act specifically stated that it was NOT illegal to pick or eat fresh magic mushrooms.. So the 'loophole' in the law they were referring to was that the original law specifically stated it was legal. So they effectively passed an entirely new law that directly contradicted the one that proceeded it and did so without following any of the proper legal process.

    By that yardstick they now seem to feel that they can pass whatever law they want as they are just 'closing a loophole' (ie if something is legal that they think shouldn't be, that automatically means it is a loophole so they should be able to close that loophole by banning it without having to go through any of the legal niceties).

    You just wait, soon they will close the legal loophole that means we dont have to carry ID cards (after all terrorists are exploiting that loophole to threaten our children). Next up will be the loophole that prevents them from keeping everyones DNA on file from birth. Then it will be the legal loophole that allows 'obviously guilty' people access to lawyers who proceed to get them off.

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The clear point

    The clear point is this nation continues to stamp down on the right to fantasies, it is staggering that in this day and age We and those lands unfortanate enough to be settled by our spawn are still in awe of Puritain ideals that have never worked and never represented the masses.

    Drawings and stories are not reality, fantasy is not reality.

    If you're going to arrest people for fantasiesing about illegal sex acts then you should rightfully arrest people who fantasies about any illegal act.

    Also I have to point out that being a peadophile isnt' illegal, but being a child abuser/assisting in the abuse of children (by watching a child be harmed/abused be it video/pictures or real life) is illegal. Being a peadophile is just another sexual alignment, in this case one that can not be acted out becouse it is wrong, but a sexual alignment none the less and most peadophiles have as little control over their sexual orientation then homosexuals, hetrosexuals or people who like animals. Of course there is the kind of peadophile who was brought about by learnt behaviour (a history of abuse whilst they were a child) they tend to fall into the last 2 catagories.

    A peadophile can live a perfectly normal life, even have a sound relationship with a member of the same or opposite sex who is of a perfectly acceptable age. They get by without any problems at all, hell you probably know one guy/gal just like that, but you'd never know it.

    A peadophile that can't control their urges could probably even live normal productive lives if they weren't so terrified to get help (if help were even available - chemical castration general isn't done unless you've commited a crime, and I doubt mental health care would be fourth coming for any peadophile that seaked help.) However due to the social atmosphere such people will almost certainly end up offending or killing themselves, possibly both.

    Of course just like there are normal hetrosexuals and homosexuals who can't control themselves, who are just bad, who generally have something else wrong with them (abusive past, mental illness), there are people who have problems with reality, but they have problems whether they're gay, streight, into dogs, like teh S&M or peadophiles.

    You only ever hear about guys that abuse children or facilitate the abuse of children, becouse peadophiles who don't abuse or assit abuse tend not to ever mention it, they just go through life with this inkling in the back of their head that they leave to rest becouse they know the difference between right and wrong, they know what their thinking is incorrect and so don't act on it other then in their minds.

    Just like whenever a violent game is in the media is becouse some f----d up kid has been on a killing spree. I often want to kill every loud ass on the bus in the mornins, but I don't, it's illegal and wrong, and they'd probably get me first.

    But if you just keep oppressing people they tend to act out, like cornered rats.

  87. Anonymous Coward


    Is there a campaign organisation opposing this law, yet?

    For the "extreme" porn law, there's Backlash and CAAN. Is there anything like that for this law?

    I'm thinking more along the lines of artists, etc, campaigning against this as an issue of freedom of expression, rather than the Garry Glitter fan club campaigning for their kind of sexual freedom.

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    There's already a "loophole" built into the "extreme" porn law.

    To count as "extreme", an image has to be such that "a reasonable person looking at the image would think that any such person or animal was real." That establishes a "loophole" that allows "perverts" to possess "extreme" drawings - possibly traced from illegal "extreme" porn.

    No doubt this current proposal, if passed, will come in handy as a precedent for closing that "extreme" drawing "loophole".

    And what will happen when the government discover the "loophole" whereby sexual "deviants" are using apparently non-pornographic material as "extreme" porn?...

  89. michael

    I beleve this makes us all guilty

    and it is sold in shops

    if you anr not shure why watch this complation of it (MABY NSFW warning) defenlty (NSF england warning)

  90. Sir Runcible Spoon

    Go to jail forever formula

    1.Get caught with a 'deadly' picture of a carteeny

    2.Get picture printed on a t-shirt and wear it to your trial (assuming we still have them)

    3.Get the same picture tattooed on your chest for when they make you take your t-shirt off.

    That'll lern 'em.

    And if brewn is watching, I think you should take a nice long walk off a short pier, preferably one that's on fire at the time. Oh, and don't forget to get one of your bum-chums to film it so we can all laugh when he posts it on youtube.

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I noticed they kept the "Art" loophole intact so they could continue to use it...

  92. Anonymous Coward


    Sir Runcible Spoon raises an interesting point. What happens when the illegally possessed image is in the form of a tattoo? How on earth would the law then be enforced?

    Perhaps someone could explore this question in a graphic novel, where the protagonist has a tattoo of...

    Oh wait. Wouldn't such a graphic novel then actually contain an illegal image as well?

    Would we be allowed to possess a drawing of an illegal drawing?

  93. Andy Bright

    @Sarah Bee

    Now wouldn't that be something. I know, I know, no politician wants input from their own voters, it interferes with giving lobbyists what they paid for.

    Someone commented that surely text would be next. Actually it already is and I believe The Reg recently wrote something about the Police going after a modern day Jane Austin.

    Surveillance Society + Nanny State + Thought Crimes = Glad I Don't Live in Britain Anymore.

    Obviously it still outrages me that my own country has thrown away centuries of progress towards civil rights in about a single decade, but we were well on the path towards this when Maggie started outlawing strikes, decided renters should pay property ownership taxes and created new detention laws for the IRA and hippies that wanted to go take a look at Stonehenge in the summer.

    Oh and I remember the good old days when keeping quiet after the cops nicked you didn't fuck up your own defense in court. Imagine, deciding to not say something stupid because you're nervous obviously means if you thought of why you were doing whatever it was later, that must be a lie.

    Ahh well, not long before Magna Carta starts looking as iffy to Gordon as it did to George Bush.

    Pirate because it's the nearest thing to subtly suggesting a (peaceful) revolution might be in order in some unnamed country that might seem familiar to a few of us.

  94. Angus


    this means that they will soon be legislating for laws against the depiction of ANY illegal act?

  95. Anonymous Coward

    A (relatively) famous example

    The well-known (at least to odd-balls like myself) composer Benjamin Britten was a homosexual pædophile -- he had a normal, consensual homosexual relationship with another man of similar age, and he also used to take naked swims with adolescent boys. However, he *never* sexually abused a single child.

    There. Not every pædo *has* to abuse children -- being on is not in itself a crime, only the act is. Drawing what you would perhaps like to do != actually doing it.

    Politics is getting really depressing: the only alternative to NuLab is the Tories. The Tories! Where's Obamessiah when you need him?!

  96. Mark


    I agree with you on the reasons for changing the age of "child" porn from 16 to 18. I see no justification for the change.

    I guess what I meant to say is that the argument about "working in porn" is the only vague attempt at an argument I've heard in favour of this change. I disagree with the logic, but even for those who accept it - it's not an argument that applies to fictional images at all.

    And I fully agree with the rest of your comment too. The worrying thing is that, like the change from 16 to 18, this law will pass unchallenged, because no one wants to be seen opposing it. (And if they could force the "extreme" porn law through, despite opposition and criticisms, they'll have no trouble with this law.)

    So a broad range of images will be criminalised; the uncertainty will result in chilling effects. And it will set the precedent that possession of drawings can be illegal - since this Government, and the police forces, think "extreme" porn between consenting adults is no different to child porn, I wouldn't be surprised to see them criminalising "extreme" non-realistic images in future...

    But opposition starts with individuals saying you oppose it. Write to your MP at least - makes this easy.

  97. Jeffrey Lane

    HCHR, Here I Come!

    My grandad is turning in his grave right about now, you know. Given the unanimous dissent over this incredibly bad legislation, I'm sure many of you could say the same thing. I mean, he took a shot in the back at Dunkirk and they never did manage to totally remove all the shrapnel, for what exactly? So a bunch of fascists could take over the government years later and do exactly what Adolf Hitler tried to do: turn Britain into a police state.

    Even a cursory glance at the UN's league tables for such crimes as rape show that countries with these kinds of draconian laws (Australia, Canada, South Africa) have far higher levels than ones that don't. In fact, Japan has the LOWEST rates of child abuse in the industrialised world, despite the prevalence of pornography. Currently, UNICEF are waging the same irrational crusade against the Japanese Diet, except they have had the sense to ignore what amounts to no more than the ravings of a bunch of porn-hating feminists.

    This crap about protecting kids is a smokescreen and always has been. As the older brother of a physically-abused sibling, who got it in the neck from our stepdad after I left home, I can tell you the authorities are bloody clueless when it comes to helping real people; recent horrific tales in the news tell me nothing has changed either. That sort of work requires a lot of dedication and effort, not to mention money. Far better to pick on people like me, who never did anybody any harm, just because I don't happen to fit in with the current PC climate of this country.

    For the record, I actually consider myself a very upstanding person in the department of morality. I'm a pacifist; a vegetarian; I don't drink, smoke, or take drugs, and I have no intention of contributing to a world population that has already grown far too large for the Earth's limited resources to support. It's not my intention to state any of this as if it were the yardstick by which everyone else should judge themselves though. Quite the contrary, I'm not really bothered what anyone gets up to, just so long as they don't go around deliberately hurting other people.

    That said, I do have one vice: I like 2D girls very much and have done for almost 25 years now. I actually run possibly the largest hentai manga/dojinshi site in Britain, albeit from a Florida-based server, which naturally does include all manner of fictional material. In fact, I actually prefer characters like Lisa to real women of 'any' age. However, more to the point, I have ZERO interest in real children and to my knowledge, neither do any of multitude of artists/fans I've been involved with from around the world. We may be attracted to the fantasy of underage sex, but like those who play violent games like GTA, we're not stupid, and we're certainly not criminals in the making. Claire Eagle can spout whatever nonsense she wants about us, but I'll be damned if anyone is going to take my girls away from me!

    For this reason, I'm dead against censorship and feel that any sort of moral guidance must start with the parents. It's their job to see their kids don't stumble on my site and lie their way into it, not the Government's. Yes, it is clearly labelled for adults only, but I come from a broken home, so I know exactly what it's like to have to find your own way with few restrictions in your early years. No-one should really have to live like that, but due to the continual decline of society as a whole and the overwillingness of the Government to play Big Brother in everything, people just can't be bothered to do things for themselves anymore.

    Anyway, ever since I learned of CEOP's misguided attempts to brand me and my artist buddies child molesters by whatever means possible, I've been totally up in the air over this. I was never entirely convinced, like Dave of the Melon Farmers site was, that this would remain shelved indefinitely. No, they've been waging a war over this for a decade now in the States, so I can see now that it's going to take no less than a HRA court case to shoot this down over here too. Particularly, since it is nothing more than an attempt to infinge upon Articles 8 & 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, just like it was with the First Amendment.

    Incidentally, if anyone is looking a spokesman to oppose this insanity, then I would be happy to offer myself up for the challenge. For sure, I've been wondering of late if this may be my destiny: to stand up for the downtrodden artist, as it were (I mean, I've seen so many go into hiding already, scared for their lives, wherever they are in the world). Not least, because I've seen so much in my time, I'd like to think I could offer an unbiased opinion on the subject of anime/toon erotica. Ah, that and the fact that I've got little else to do at present, being off sick from work and pretty much housebound with CFS.

    Heh, and sorry this reply is so long, but I've always found it difficult to get my point across with fewer than so many words. Maybe when the time comes, this will be an asset more than a hindrance since I don't succumb to intimidation easily.

  98. ratfox

    Let me get this straight

    It is legal to create a porn movie which shows people getting raped. That's legal, so it apparently does not encourage citizens to rape everybody in sight. But it is illegal to draw teenagers screwing, because that will lead to child abuse?

    WHO is pushing these ideas now? It's not like any of this is recent...

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Loopholes? Or Laziness?

    Reading the Bill, and in light of the claim that it's to help close a "loophole", I wonder if this is more about laziness. It just looks like it's intended to allow the police, CPS, etc, to go by how the images themselves appear, without having to bother with how the images were actually produced, etc. Appearances, it seems, are more important than the truth.

    From Section 49: "(3) An image is “pornographic” if it is of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal."

    No need to find out the truth about why that image was produced. Just go by how it appears (even if appearances are deceptive).

    From Section 50, on the "Exclusion of classified film etc", there's the following subsection that means extracts from, say, BBFC classified works are not excluded from being criminal to possess:-

    "(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."

    That means the police, CPS, etc, don't need to worry about whether or not an image has been extracted from something legal to own. They can just ignore the possibility.

    In Section 52:-

    "(6) Where an image shows a person the image is to be treated as an image of a child if—

    (a) the impression conveyed by the image is that the person shown is a child, or

    (b) the predominant impression conveyed is that the person shown is a child despite the fact that some of the physical characteristics shown are not those of a child."

    So the police, CPS, etc, don't need to bother with the actual age of the person shown. If they look like a "child" (someone under eighteen), then treat the image as being of a "child", even if they're actually over eighteen.

    "(7) References to an image of a person include references to an image of an imaginary person.

    (8) References to an image of a child include references to an image of an imaginary child."

    Don't even need to worry about whether or not the people even exist!

    So it seems the "loophole" might simply be that the police, CPS, etc, need to find out the truth about images they're investigating, rather than just going by how the images themselves appear. The need to investigate is a "loophole"?

    Seems that truth itself has become a "loophole" to be closed. How Orwellian.

    Except the result of this is that this is a fundamentally different kind of crime to possession of, say, indecent photos of children. It's criminalisation of the possession of works of expression because of the ideas that those works represent, rather than because of the role they play in the abuse of the people abused in the making of those works.

    In the case of indecent photos, the photo itself effectively forms part of the abuse of the child. (Indecently exposing someone without their consent in front of an audience would seem to be abusive, wouldn't it? That doesn't cease to be the case simply because the exposure is via a photographic or videographic medium.)

    In contrast, this proposed law would make it a crime to own images simply because of how those images appear, because of the ideas they represent. That is fundamentally different, as is clear in the case where the people and abuse in the images are entirely imaginary.

    Or maybe the government really is trying to protect imaginary children from imaginary abuse.

    Paris, because superficial appearances seem more important.

  100. Mark

    Re: Loopholes? Or Laziness?

    A lot of the wording is taken from the "extreme" porn law (because that's obviously such a good law!), that comes into force on Monday. That law is all about criminalising based on what an image looks like, and not what actually occurred. The Government guidance even states that an image can be legal in its original context, but illegal elsewhere (e.g., in a film, or produced for an advert, it's not porn, but if found on your hard disk out of the original context, it's porn).

    "this proposed law would make it a crime to own images simply because of how those images appear"

    Indeed. Unfortunately they've managed to do that even with adult porn, so doing it for children is no trouble - the difference here is that they've extended the law to include non-realistic depictions, as opposed to just realistic images.

  101. Mark

    Re: Let me get this straight

    ratfox: "It is legal to create a porn movie which shows people getting raped. That's legal, so it apparently does not encourage citizens to rape everybody in sight."

    Shh, don't give them ideas! From Monday, "extreme" adult porn will be illegal - even if staged between consenting adults - precisely because of this reasoning. And even though it happens that the definitions don't appear to cover rape, Scotland has plans to introduce even broader laws, covering any sex that appears to be non-consensual... (See ).

    I agree with your argument though - it was one I used to use myself. The point was to show how absurd it was to criminalise fictional things, but never in a million years did I think I'd live in a country where these things were criminalised.

  102. Josh

    @ Mark & Jeffery

    I think you're right: brave people are needed, perhaps now more than ever. We can't count on the mainstream media anywhere to highlight injustices such as these - they are always more likely to fall in behind the likes of CEOP and tow the official line completely uncritically, especially because this is one of those 'think of children!' issues that seems to render almost everyone incapable of rational thought or argument. Politicians, police and commentators - spineless bastards, all (Reg excepted, of course) and all will happily see this pernicious and potentially very dangerous law pass through parliament unhindered. It really is a complete disgrace that something like this is even being contemplated by our elected politicians.

  103. Anonymous Coward

    Have I Found a "Loophole"?

    Firstly, IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer). But I'd love to know what lawyers would make of this.

    From Section 52 of the Bill:-

    "(3) “Image” does not include an indecent photograph, or indecent pseudo-photograph, of a child.

    (4) In subsection (3) “indecent photograph” and “indecent pseudo-photograph” are to be construed—

    (a) in relation to England and Wales, in accordance with the Protection of Children Act 1978 (c. 37), and

    (b) in relation to Northern Ireland, in accordance with the Protection of Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 (S.I. 1978/1047 (N.I.17))."

    The accompanying "Explanatory Note to Bill 9" (from is quite helpful in explaining this:-

    "352. Subsection (3) provides that “image” does not include an indecent photograph or indecent pseudo-photograph of a child, as these are subject to other controls. Subsection (4) defines “indecent photograph” and “indecent pseudo-photograph” in accordance with the Protection of Children Act 1978 and for Northern Ireland, the Protection of Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1978. “Indecent photograph” includes an indecent film, a copy of a photograph or film, a negative and electronic data capable of conversion into a photograph. It also includes a tracing or other image derived from the whole or part of a photograph or pseudo-photograph and electronic data capable of conversion into such an image. A pseudo-photograph is an image, whether made by computer-graphics or otherwise, which appears to be a photograph and includes a copy of a pseudo-photograph and electronic data capable of conversion into a pseudo-photograph."

    Now, imagine someone is in possession of an image (such as a drawing) of, say, a masturbating child. Imagine also that it's possible the image is "a tracing or other image derived from" an "indecent photograph" of a child, but where it's just as possible that it's purely original, entirely from someone's imagination.

    Imagine, therefore, that the prosecution are unable to prove that it's an "indecent photograph", and are also unable to prove that it's not an "indecent photograph".

    If they can't prove that it's an "indecent photograph" or "pseudo-photograph", they can't prove an offence has been committed under the Protection of Children Act 1978.

    If they can't prove that it's not an "indecent photograph" or "pseudo-photograph", they can't prove that it's a "prohibited image of a child" under the proposed law. And if they can't prove that it's a "prohibited image of a child" under the proposed law, they can't prove that that offence has been committed.

    Of course, they can still prove than an offence has been committed, but they can't prove which offence it is.

    Can courts convict in such cases? If so, how would that work? If they can't convict, doesn't that mean that this would be a loophole?

    That would be quite ironic, since this proposed law is supposed to close exactly that alleged "loophole" in the first place, but would turn it into a real loophole instead!

  104. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The mainstream media is not such a lost cause. Here are a couple of old articles from last year.

    Matthew Parris writing in the Times.

    Article in the Independent on artist David Hockney, including his objections to this proposed law.

    And just look at all these comments here - are any actually supportive of the proposed law?

    One thing the media like is controversy, and this proposed law offers that already.

  105. Aaron
    Thumb Down

    what the hell?

    They want to be able to lock people up for drawing PICTURES!?

    Have these idiots really got absolutely nothing better to do?

  106. Anonymous Coward

    Damn it.

    Due to this:

    >From Section 49: "(3) An image is “pornographic” if it is of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal."

    Anyone with copies of a lot of anime (Strike Witches, Zero no Tsukaima, Shakugan no Shana, and many, MANY more), legally acquired or not, could be jailed.

    All of those feature pictures of underage girls with the main purpose of being 'fanservice', which is basically for the purpose of sexual arousal.

    This cannot be passed.

    Someone go e-mail Japan and tell them to step in and stop this. About 30% of all anime DVDs will be illegal in the UK because of this law.

    Pic related, GO CONTACT JAPAN!

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