Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Extreme porn bill

Busy day today; after this, no more spodding:)

The Extreme Pornography law has been published, tucked away in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill.

The key section is the definition of an "extreme" image, possession of which will be a crime, and which is as follows:
s 64(6) "An “extreme image” is an image of any of the following—

(a) an act which threatens or appears to threaten a person’s life,

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

(c) an act which involves or appears to involve sexual interference with a
human corpse,
(d) a person performing or appearing to perform an act of intercourse or
oral sex with an animal,

where (in each case) any such act, person or animal depicted in the image is or
appears to be real."

In an age where "torture porn" is not just the height of chic but appearing in a multiplex near you as I write (Hostel 2, anyone?) frankly I do not think this is unreasonable. (Classified films are in any case excluded from s 64 so no one is attempting to make possession of a Casino Royale DVD illegal because it involves images of murder and torture.) The usual suspects are however predictably upset.

4 comments:

Andrew Ducker said...

Nice to know that we can still have pictures of serious injury to other areas. All those amputee fetishists are fine!

SteveMD said...

Owning the full film of Casino Royal is no problem, but take a closer look at the wording of the proposed law.

The images need only to be "created for the purposes of sexual gratification" or extracted from a sequence "for the purposes of sexual gratification".

Now with the first you may say, well that just means porn, O.K. we will put that aside, but in the second case, who is to decide why an image is extracted from a sequence (such as the torture scene in Casino Royale)?

What level of sexuality needs to be present, full or partial nudity?

Add that to causing injury to genitals and Casino Royal is not so safe anymore.

O.K. how many people are going to have stills of that scene and why? I don't know, but the law is criminalising on an assumption of what the viewer is feeling, not on what harm they cause or may cause.

Further, serious injury need not be depicted, the definitions in the proposed law also include what "appears to threaten to life" which does include threats with a weapon.

How many plays, films T.V. programs now fall into this definition?

The problem "the usual suspects" have with this law is not that it is banning images of Bestiality, real necrophilia or real abuse, but that it also criminalises images of acted scenes.

No discrimination on the grounds of harm done, or even incitement to cause harm, is attempted within the proposed legislation.

So we will have the situation where an individual can be locked up, for three years, for looking, in private, at images of consenting adults taking part in perfectly legal and harmless activities.

This is another law to allow the police more leeway to make 'fishing trips' into our private lives. With the sometimes ludicrous extents to which police have tried to stretch the child porn laws (arresting people for having photos of their own children in the bath, holiday photos of naturist's or even those that show 'young-looking' girls in swimsuits in the background, Japanese cartoons which are actually meant to depict adults, but due to cultural misunderstandings beyond the police 'seem' to show young girls) are we to trust that the much vaunted 'common sense' of the police will prevail in the application of this law.

Let's not forget, in the current climate, even being investigated for a sex offence can ruin lives and not just the accused, but their families and childrens too.

The proposed law is badly worded and needs serious amendment.

Anonymous said...

With scenes that appear to endanger life wouldn't something like an image of Jesus on a cross fall foul of the legislation along with many depictions of hell, notably paintings by Hieronymus Bosch etc?

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