back to article Extreme porn law used on beastly Chinese DVD pirates

Five months on from the passage of new laws on extreme porn, police forces up and down the UK appear to be using them sparingly – and not quite in the way that parliament intended. According to sources within law enforcement, there have been two or three prosecutions on their patch under the new legislation. In each case, the …


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  1. A B 3

    Repent Sheep Farmers...

    The apocalypse has come.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sex offenders register

    Presumably that means they also get put on the sex offenders register?

    What a mess UK law is.

  3. JediHomer

    Shock Horror...

    ... a Law brought in that's immediately abused, this is similar to the RIPA and other privacy laws whereby the argument for is, if you've nothing to hide it's OK... It never is because these laws are always then used for other reasons than the intended purpose...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    This government likes trying to get rid of jury trials

    After all, juries can't be forced to do what the establishment wants so it's far easier to create legislation that marginalises jurors' opinions.

    Thin end of yet another Nu Liebour wedge....

  5. mmiied

    hold on

    if there was "no difference between obscenity as defined in the extreme porn law and the OPA version of obscenity" why not use the same words?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But what's bestiality?

    "the test is much simpler: if the material in question contains bestiality, an offence has been committed."

    But how do you know if it's really bestiality? What does it take? Does it have to be full-on bow-chicka-chicka stuff, or will a come-hither look or a sensual massage do the trick? What about heavy petting?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Wonder what other new and exciting ways this law will be used.

    Remember where our leaders come from

    "We currently have more than 40 members of CSM in the House of Lords and the House of Commons, including current and former Cabinet members and the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown."

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My old dear is of the belief that one of the very first pictures ever drawn by ancient cavemen was a woman knocking off a horse, this of course followed drawing a willy.

    Wonder if they'll ever find these snuff films the mad bible bashers and moralists in parliment liked to talk about so much, oh well not long till they ban drawn beastiality too even if the beast is a 90 tenticled monster. Oh well.

  9. Paul Hates Handles


    Hahaha - heavy petting. Keyboard-destroying Genius :D

  10. Dave Bell


    Assume, for the moment, that the material is unambiguously live-action--save a few cans of worms for later--and this might not seem all that important. But will these cases ever consider definitions, abd what precedents will be set?

    Besides, there are options under the OPA which don't need a jury trial. "Lord Horror" and Section Three for instance.

    There's nothing new in this sort of ingenious legal targeting--look at how the term "private" was warped in connection with homosexuality--but should it be so easy to get away with?

  11. Daniel Pimley

    "What about heavy petting?"

    No sex with our pets, please, we're British.

  12. Philip Dagnan

    Heavy petting

    What like with a Rhino?

  13. Spleen

    "not quite in the way that parliament intended"

    Why is that every time the state passes a law that drastically increases the scope of its power - whether to arrest people, raise taxes or interfere in enterprise to the benefit of its cronies - the media, even the scurrilous gutter press, assume it's completely by accident? Every single time? The major culprits are articles about the Equality Bill and suchlike that go on about " MPs not realise the consequences this will have on small business owners" - of course they bloody do. "Oh look, we've passed a law that requires every small business to count up every brick in its office by colour. We truly didn't forsee that this would cause businesses to small to donate to us to go to the wall, or that I wouldn't be able to get out of my parliamentary office because of all the brown envelopes jamming the door (full of non-executive directorship appointments which we totally earned with our vast talent and experience, naturally)."

    The intent of this law was to expand the power of the police to make arbitrary arrests, and make it impossible to defend the victims without the pet tabloids labelling you as a paedo defender. And it has worked exactly as intended.

    Also, "stray Chinamen"? Where did you find this informant, page 12 of The Adventures of Tintin and the Three Foot Horse Todger?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Obscenity Test?

    "However, under the extreme porn law, the test is much simpler: if the material in question contains bestiality, an offence has been committed."

    Isn't there more to it than that?

    Under the extreme porn law (sections 63 to 68 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008), there are a few requirements for something to count as an "extreme pornographic image". Firstly, the image has to be "pornographic", meaning it must be "of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal." Secondly, the image has to be "grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character." And then, thirdly, there's the stuff about what such images have to depict in order to count as "extreme" (in addition to being "of an obscene character"). Those depiction requirements include bestiality as an option.

    So, there's still the requirement that an image be "of an obscene character" in order to count as an "extreme pornographic image", though there's still the question of whether or not the courts interpret this as being essentially the same notion of obscenity as in the Obscene Publications Act.

    Presumably, or perhaps pedantically, it's still legal to possess bestiality porn, as long as it's not "grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character." Perhaps those Chinese gangs should specialise in inoffensive, tasteful, sheep-shagging porn of a kind that could never be considered obscene?

  15. Dennis

    Re: hold on

    "why not use the same words"

    Better still, why didn't they just modify the OPA to make it clear that the source and format of the material is irrelevant. The only considerations are the nature of the material and how it's used.

    The origin of the extreme porn law was the murder of Jane Longhurst. If Graham Coutts really was influenced by violent pornography then why didn't this material fit the definition of "deprave and corrupt"?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So far so good?

    As far as I understood it the main concern regarding the new law was that it could potential be used to criminalise people going about their own private consenting sexuality type thing?

    Here we see it seems to have been used to help convict some scumbag filth floggers - no objection to that surely??

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: But what's bestiality?

    What about heavy petting?

    I trust that was intentional

  18. John Ozimek

    Of mice and AC's

    Congrats to the AC who pointed out that my rather truncated write-up of the new ep law omits certain things that must be found in order for an offence to be committed.

    And yes: even bestiality must be deemed to be grossly offensive, etc. in order to qualify for this law. Although that does raise the question as to whether pictures of this particular practice can be neatly delineated into two categories: the gross stuff and the not-so-gross.

    (And why oh why, as I contemplate that possibly, do I hear somewhere inside my head the dulcet tones of the late lamented Kenny Everett going "its all done in the best possible taste").

    Ah...but as to the other AC who thinks that if the law happens to clobber some scumbags, well done to it and no damage done....

    er, no.

    If all we required of our law was to make life difficult for various people we consider to be beyond the pale, we could dispense with a great deal of due process - including, presumably, much of the judicial system - and just give a good and regular kicking to anyone we feel is not "normal".

    Think you'll find that's called mob rule...and on the whole, its not very attractive.

  19. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    Well what a surprise...

    ... a new law gets introduced for one purpose and immediately the Police find a way to extend it in ways that simply make life easier for them.

    Let's hear it for good old function creep.

    Can anyone tell me how this would have saved Jane Longhurst's life?

  20. PPPie

    Don't drink UK USA Tap water

    Yet another woman in court in the UK for liking her horse too much.... Never fear, that video will end up being sold directly on the streets of Manchester!!! That's a funny story though. Go anywhere in the world and you'll find pirated DVDs quite often originating from China (not always though), but I think the UK must be the first market for the pirates to target animal sex films. HAHAHAHA What the punter wants the punter gets!

  21. Michael Nielsen


    How I do *NOT* like politicians.

    Obscene, is one definition that should NEVER appear in a law text, the word is entirely subjective, and has no objectivity at all. If you take different population groups, and compare what they would find obscene, the problem becomes apparent.

    Lets take nude children on a beach.

    - A naturist/nudist family would consider it natural.

    - A puritant family would consider it obscene.

    - Child protection orgainsations would consider it obscene, because some pervert might get something out of it.

    Lets take a nude person on a beach.

    - A naturist/nudist/person a healthy relationship to their body, would consider it natural.

    - A religious person would consider it obscene.

    - A muslim would consider it obscene.

    A woman wearing jeans and a T-shirt

    - most western people would consider this natural.

    - some fanatical muslims would consider this obscene.

    Lets take a topless woman sunbathing in a park.

    - Anyone with a healthy relation ship to their body, it would be considered normal and natural.

    - old prudes, and religious fanatics consider it obscene.

    Lets take sex

    - Anyone with a healthy relationship to their bodies, would find it natural, though maybe not appropriate everywhere.

    - Religious sects - only while priest are blessing you, and you go to confession after wards, otherwise it's obscene, and pictures - WOA Nellie.

    And so forth, politicians love to use vague words like that, so that they can use it when they like and ignore it when they like. The police like it too, because they can always pull it out of their hat, if they can't quite find anything to charge you with.

    In Denmark you are allowed to do pretty much anything, involving nudity and sex, as long as you do not offend anyone, that includes public sex. However, again the vague definition "offends anyone", so as long as the people watching don't mind you doing it, then it is ok, but if someone walks past, who don't like public sex, then you're breaking the law!, It even applies if someone hears about you doing it, and the idea offends them, then you're also breaking the law.

    These soft definitions just means, no one will ever know if they're breaking the law, and it is entirely up to the people in power to decide if you go to jail or not, or if you get on the sex offender register (from which you cannot be removed), for something trivial.

    Concepts such as




    Should never ever occur in law texts, because anything can be considered offensive, to the some audience, you could even arrest fat people, because you find it "objectionable" to be that fat, or even "Obscene".. Likewise skinny people, people who wear makeup, people who have muscles, people who do not etc etc etc.

    Why even have specific laws against beastiality, the arguments for making it illegal is to avoid the animals being harmed (or some religious argument), but why are normal animal abuse laws not sufficient ? if you harm the animal, then you can be arrested for abusing animals, if the animal is not harmed, then what's the problem? - well other than personal taste? It seems to be a lot of overkill in laws being passed, new laws are being created overlapping existing laws, making a worse jungle out of the legal system, than what we already have.

    Personally, I find it very offensive that someone thinks that they have the right to determine what adults can and cannot do (includes see, hear, say, or whatever), when the activity does not cause any harm to anyone, or anything. If someone or something is harmed against their will, then there already are laws against that.

  22. Maty

    Just asking ...

    Why is extreme porn certain to 'deprave and corrupt' us, when extreme violence (as seen on prime-time TV) is supposed to have no effect on our behaviour?

    And if the person looking at the porn is not grossly offended? Does it count because a policeman might go to extra trouble to track it down and look at in order to be grossly offended?

    And where are the statistics showing the wave of depravity sweeping the country since extreme porn became easily accessible on the net?

  23. Andy J
    Paris Hilton

    OPA vs Extreme Porn Act

    One of the major distinctions between the Obscene Publications Acts (there are 2 of them) and the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 (aka extreme porn act) is that the CPA targets the publishers and distributors of obscene material, whereas the exteme porn act is mainly targets the possession of extreme porn by anyone, including the privacy of one's own video camera, with no intention of sharing the output with Youtube, Readers Wives etc.

    Paris because she's happy to share her porn with anyone.

  24. Gareth

    Non-simulated non-consensual acts should be illegal?

    I'm as dubious about the new extreme porn laws as the next Liberty/ACLU fanboy, but isn't the law justifiable here?

    The grey area in the new laws is the criminalization of material which simulates various extreme acts between otherwise consensual participants.

    As animals are unable to give informed consent yet face potential harm from participating then surely there is no grey area here - any hardcore animal porn is going to be showing a real, un-simulated, un-consensual act and there is good reason to make production and distribution of it a crime.

  25. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Get your tickets

    to the heavy petting zoo.

    Mines the one with the No FX CD in the pocket.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Just ask Mr Hands who comes out worse off when you get buggered by a stalion.

    P.S. Fortunatly I'm one of the only people I know of my age group and life style (kind of shaby internet perussing psuedo-pervert) who hasn't had the pleasure of watching Mr Hands. I do however know far too much about him, and the kind of noise the human body makes when rogered by a stalion.

    Also not being a watcher of beastiality (bar the obligatory gif of a girl sucking off a mule or the above mentioned mr hands), but doesn't it all include individuals getting pounded by or sucking off various animals? That was always the way I thought it would happen, and I doubt an animal cares much especially dogs given by how often I've seen them try and pound peoples legs.

    Another interesting thought, if you do bugger a donkey, don't you just get done for animal cruelty? Or has that changed - so you could get a worse sentance for watching someone bugger a donkey then actually buggering a donkey yourself, how weird is that?

    ooo well. Laws made by religious types arn't supposed to make sense I suppose.

  27. AngrySup

    Damn Dog

    Is humping my leg again, and my daughter thought it was funny and videotaped it. God, now I'm going to jail forever. I hope the dog is happy.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If we assume that the OPA and the EP law are basically targeting the same offence with maybe a slight difference on the emphasis of proof then we have to also assume that the real motive is emotion. For the majority of the rank and file that would make up a jury the words "extreme porn" are highly evocative and immediately sow thoughts of an irredeemably depraved individual. The prosecution is almost halfway there if not more than halfway and it is the effectively defence who will have to prove the innocence of their client beyond all reasonable doubt.

    I believe that for this reason both the number of cases and conviction rates will go up.

  29. darrin allen

    piracy in china

    are these internal dvds or international dvds?

  30. rectaldisfunction

    How does porn "offend"?

    I don't even understand how the term "offensive" applies to porn. What emotion are they talking about? Is it the same one I feel when someone insults me? Disgust I understand. 2 girls 1 cup easily qualifies under that heading.

    But "offend"? How does that work? How can you offend me with something that isn't aimed at me personally, or perhaps my family?

    Admittedly, religious nutters might get offended if you include their holy symbols in your porno - say fucking a donkey through the mouth hole of a portrait of baby jesus, or a certain prophet, or david beckham - but they seem to live for the purpose of getting offended by things. And anyway didn't Madonna take that sort of thing mainstream decades ago already and make us grow up?

    Help me understand! I feel so completely isolated from the part of the human race that can manage to summon up the emotion of offense in response to viewing shenanigans of a sexual nature. Where does that come from? How do I connect to that part of my psyche?

    Offense. I have none.

  31. Graham Marsden


    The point about this case is that the law *assumes* guilt because the offence is one of "simple possession" of the images.

    The guy selling the DVDs most probably had nothing to do with the making of them, nor any acts shown on them and so didn't break any laws in that context.

    But this law doesn't care about that, it just says "you possess these images, therefore you are a criminal and the only way you can avoid being convicted is by proving your innocence" which is a reversal of the usual presumption of innocence not to mention a breach of Paragraph 2 or Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

  32. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    @Damn Dog

    No. You were an innocent victim. The dog goes on the sex offender list.

  33. Mark 33

    BBC Reports Another Case

    The BBC reports an apparently independent case, at :

    "Mr Blanchard, from Littleborough, near Rochdale, appeared at Manchester Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

    "He has been charged with distributing, making and possessing indecent images of children and possession of extreme pornographic images."

    Once the precedents have been set for cases that involve bestiality, or people who also have child porn, how long before they use it for consenting adults?

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Won't someone think of the sheep

    Just leave the poor beasties alone!

  35. Tony Paulazzo

    UK prison population

    From the BBC -

    Highlights -

    Nowhere in Western Europe jails more of its population than England and Wales

    prisons have been overcrowded every year since 1994...

    and a majority have no qualifications...

    Re-offending rates among offenders are high - about two thirds are reconvicted...

    A majority of prisoners will have no job to go to and six out of 10 employers automatically exclude those with a criminal record...

    and some stuff about self harming and mental faculties in there, pretty interesting read.

    Of course, there is one group of human beings that love all these new laws being passed, lawyers - and the better (ie, went to school with people who are now the judges) they are, the more they cost, so rich people will be alright.

  36. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    @Mark 33

    Unfortunately right from the word Go the Government has been attempting to create a false association between so-called Extreme Pornography and Child Porn, eg in their highly biased "consultation document" there were repeated references to CP even though the EP law was absolutely nothing to do with children.

    Unsurprisingly, now, we see someone being accused of possessing both which will undoubtedly lead to implications that anyone who might have EP is also a kiddie fiddler.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    "I'm as dubious about the new extreme porn laws as the next Liberty/ACLU fanboy, but isn't the law justifiable here?"

    No. The "extreme pornography" law was supposedly brought in to prevent the corruption of some poor innocent souls such that he would want to go and kill a female school teacher. It was then widened to include practically anything that anybody would find offensive and/or obscene.

    I find it obscene that we have a Scotsman dictating to England how we should run our country, sending billions of our taxes to Scotland while getting nothing in return - especially since said Scotsman was never elected by the people in the UK to be in the position he has now taken.

    I find it obscene that said person can go on Youtube and try to tell everyone what a wonderful job he is doing.

    I find it obscene that said person feels he can steal the money people have saved for their pensions because he screwed up so royally when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer.

    I find it obscene that said person seems to think he can justify the behaviour of his fellow MPs with regards to fraudulently claiming expenses while continuing to tax everybody else 'til we end up taking home less than half our annual salary because the rest goes to pay off the debts he built up.

    I find it obscene that said person allows one of his Cabinet to get away with charging the public for her husband watching Pornography - I think we should be told exactly what the films were so we can judge if they should be classed as Extreme.

    I find it obscene that said person thinks it perfectly acceptable to spy on everybody wherever they go and whatever they do - unless they are members of his political party. Even the Opposition doing their jobs properly - doing things he himself did - and revealing things that should be in the Public Domain, are branded as criminals. In fact, the scum who commit premeditated murder or assault seem to get better treatment and have more rights than Damien Green did for daring to show what a lying bunch of mouthbreathers we have running the country.

    I find it obscene that said person thinks he can justify sending British troops to Iraq and Afghanistan to fight a "war on terror" that is dubious at best, then thinks the Parliamentary probe into said war should be conducted in secret.

    But like so many other things, what applies to the man in the street does not apply to those in power.

    Finally, think on this. Yesterday, billions of people who enjoy porn - from pictures of naked or scantilly-clad women to no-holds-barred Hentai - across the world did not go out and harm anyone.

  38. David S 1
    Jobs Horns

    Conflict of interest not disclosed by MPs?

    Given that the wording of these bills are often obscure, capable of being challenged, etc, then any MP who also has connections with legal work (either themselves or their spouses) really ought to declare an interest if the legal work could possibly be done by themselves or their relatives. It is not beyond the pale that some MPs would not work hard at writing clear unambiguous bills, without the inherent ambiguities of subjective terms, and so on, in the knowledge that it would likely send extra well-paid work their way or the way of their relatives (or even close legal associates) Such is the utter destruction of any views about MPs' integrity and honesty that the expenses scandals have brought about that these matters must have a bearing on all of this.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Retro Amish Brits

    I suppose it would be extreme to do a DNA mod to one's body-- meaning that anyone that has done so will be instantly arrested on landing at Heathrow or Gatwick or washed ashore from a shipwreck. Why you say? Well there are all those cameras about, and any miscegenated DNA instantiation would show up as a beastie picture throwing the entire country into chaos. Better to lock the blighters up.

    Thus, the UK will remain the last pristine source of human stock....

    OK, give me the one that covers my flowing horse's tail please! Wouldn't want to shock the locals!

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