back to article UK gov mulls child porn changes

The Home Office is considering changing child pornography laws to include cartoon or computer-created pictures. It is currently an offence to possess indecent photographs or "pseudo-photographs" of children, but indecent cartoons, computer-animated scenes, and drawings are legal. The Home Office note announcing the …

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Second Life is screwed then

A good plan by the government. Hopefully it'll clear up the distasteful borderline-legal crap you can't help stumbling on it Second Life too...

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Against Anime fans... again.

It is a sad state of affairs when government policy dictates that which they do not understand. So I guess it's business as usual then.

Anime has long been misunderstood in this country, ever since the marketing-droids a decade ago tried to force the sex'n'violence side of anime down the peoples throat and created a sterotype which we are still living under today.

Even this recent murder in Japan has fallen sway under the sensationalist press. http://www.dragon.anime.org.uk/dragonblog.nsf/d6plinks/DCOL-6ZRUUQ

I don't think people realise just how small the market for hentai actually is in Japan. It's like saying that just because Quentin Tarantino produces a few films, every film that the Hollywood factory produces is violence incarnate.

You cannot legislate morality. But apparently the government is trying to. But as usual they have completely cocked it up.

-David "Dragon" Cotterill

President: London Anime Club

http://www.anime.org.uk

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Anonymous Coward

Why are the brits so uptight about sex?

I don't see why this wouldn't also include a ban on all pornography, soft and hard and even erotic works of literature.

Why are the brits so uptight about sex? It's something your biology makes you want, its necessary to sustain the population and it is after-all, just sticking an appendage into a hole and jiggling it about a bit. Sort of what a dentist does only wetter.

Is it because it's pleasurable? I notice the crackdown on alcohol (lager louts), smoking (invisible passive killer), video games (creates hoodlums), sex (that recent sex crime of sending a suggestive email), drugs (did he try cannabis?)... ban pleasurable things because they're naughty naughty naughty.

Perhaps if they were more relaxed about life, they wouldn't have binge drink, have the highest teenage pregnancy rate, the worst thugs and the loads of hard drug users.

Supernanny Blair comes into your home and fixes all your little problems. Can't function in the real world? No problem, supernanny Blair will make you dysfunctional in a surreal world!

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Anonymous Coward

Pedolicious!

The immediate practical consideration of "how to decide whether an image depicts an underage girl" springs to mind. Ok, sometimes it's rilly rilly obvious, but sometimes it (intentionally) is not. Before the opening credits roll or and on every celluloid-wrapped book:

"All the carefully drawn figures depicting women in lewd situations are supposed to be aged 18 or older".

Btw, how's that ban on airsofts to "reduce gun crime" coming?

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Silver badge

Coaker's at it again

There is a possibility that the UK Government is now surreptitiously trying to back away from their plans to outlaw "extreme pornography".

Government replies to two petitions on the Number 10 Downing Street website, one calling for even R18 material to be banned and another calling for the Obscene Publications Act to be scrapped have both received comments saying that "We continue to believe that the OPA is a flexible tool with which to tackle a wider range of obscene material according to the standards of the day. There are no plans to re-examine legislation in this area."

Interestingly, however, my petition, signed by over 1,800 people calling for the Government to abandon their plans to make it a criminal offence to simply possess anything that, in the subjective opinion of Coaker et al, is considered to be "extreme or violent pornography", is still waiting for a response, despite it closing well over a month ago.

So it seems that now the puritanical members of the Home Office are trying to find another way to grab the headlines and introduce a law expanding what they can declare to be "illegal".

Of course what they don't mention is that the Legislative Reform Act would then give them the power to redefine the law by Ministerial fiat *without* even consulting Parliament and allow them extend the law to ban anything they don't like.

Once again, by using "scare tactics" such as "think of the children" they are trying to push through a law which is most probably just intended to further restrict our freedoms which are so inconvenient to the desires of our Nanny State Government to control what we can see or read or view.

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Anonymous Coward

Laughing matter?

Are you expected to see the passport of every dirty nude bird on the net?

Since when did a drawing become pornography? Anime gets close, but I hardly consider it something obscene, sure, not my thing, certainly a bit creepy in some respects however how can it be defined as illegal material.

This is similar to the changes in the rape legislation which mean if you sleep with a drunk girl, and you know she is drunk no matter how much she comes on to you, you can still be prosecuted for rape...

I think someone needs to take a stand against the nanny state, each crime should be considered on its own merits, when someone is actually hurt/wronged rather than attacking people who are passive viewers of material they consider to be contravening a law which is against the civil liberty we are supposed to be able to exercise.

Child pornography, albeit wrong and fairly sick is pornography which prevents latent abusive people from acting out their fantasies... Sure its not always an effective preventative measure to have a picture, but as soon as the government became hard lined against it the incidents of abuse go up, not because the legislation covers a broader perspective, but because their outlet has been cut off... If you stop a heroine addict from accessing heroine, they will murder and steal to get what they need. Is pornography not merely an outlet along similar lines?

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Anonymous Coward

A Silly Idea

Honestly, I'd think of this as just a silly idea, if it wasn't such a dangerous precedent.

The reason why we ban child pornography is because children are harmed/exploited in the making of it. At least, that's why 'I' would like to see it gone. In the case of drawings and cartoons, that's not involved. It's personally distasteful perhaps, but then there are many things in the world that are -- that doesn't mean anything legally.

In addition, in such cases there's a 'clean' line there: If the model is under a certain age at the time the picture/whatever was taken, then it's illegal. How would you do it for drawings for which there was no model? This would result in either (a) a whole lot of intimidation-style actions or (b) a whole lot of tied-up court cases that do nothing but waste public resources and drag innocents through the mud.

The next step is, obviously, erotic stories that feature underaged characters. After all, there's no model, but hey, there's a precedent.

And, you know, we find murder just as illegal as child molestation. And, after all, we've gotten the disconnect between real-world and imaginary-world, so why not ban pictures and movies that depict murder? Oh, and murder mysteries, of course.

... I perhaps exaggerate here; I seriously doubt murder mysteries will even be thought of, but seriously folks: real world, not-real world. Laws are made for the former, not the latter.

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UK gov mulls child porn changes

Is that Gordon Brown raising new taxes again?

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Digital Witch Hunting?

I really don't get it. It seems to me that the Government are not protecting children from 'indecent images', but rather trying to appear as politically correct as possible. Another victim of our Nanny State government I guess.

Its really gonna hit everyone. Being an artist myself, I see the significance of what this new law could do. Many artists post their works to websites like Furaffinity (where i'm from), and they usually feature younger characters. What many people don't realize is that under this change, these won't be the only pictures banned. Classical paintings and works of art from the past could be banned as well. Thats right. All those ones in art galleries will probably be torn down and burnt by New Labour's Politically Correct troops.

I can see where they are coming from though. But they need to realize there is such a thing as fantasy and reality. All my paintings (and writings) are fictious - they never happened. Photos and Videos are real - they did happen. Are the government losing their grip on Reality itself, perhaps?

Once again they are picking an easy target and exploiting it. By comparing 'Hentai' (as its commonly known) to Pornography, they have a subject for making illegal and grabbing approval of the Religious Groups. If you remember, they only just let the Gay Rights Laws pass, as Religious Groups gave mass demonstrations against it. In short, they think a Theocratic law is better than a Logical one.

In conclusion? If they want to stop children not viewing these 'horrible' pictures, there are blocking tools for it. If the Government want to avoid seeing them, perhaps they should do what us common Internet Browsers should do all the time - hit the 'Back' button. I think its a much better idea than conducting a modern witch hunt on Artists and Art fans alike.

- Silvergunner, 'Furry' Artist and Writer

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Down with Tom & Jerry

Does the govermnet spend so much time in its own fantasy world that it can't work out what is real?

If we are banning cartoons because they influence people in the real world, the first step has to be getting rid of Tom & Jerry, Road Runner and Wacky Races cartoons - extreme violence, nudity (yes, its a cat and mouse - remember that when they go after the furries!) and they are being watched by kids! ("the defendent, Chuck Norris, claims not to know how old the Road Runner is, or indeed why he drew a dangerous predator stalking the Road Runner, licking his lips, on multiple occasions")

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Bronze badge

A semi-scientific test

Let us test this principle.

One of these women is approximately twice the age of the other. Which is the teenager and which the thirtysomething?

http://img245.imageshack.us/my.php?image=charactersmisato2awn9.jpg

http://img455.imageshack.us/my.php?image=urumi156hldm4.jpg

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Anonymous Coward

How far?

With regard to stuff like the aforementioned SadLife...what would be the scope of this? Avatars physically looking like a child? or merely wearing clothes normally associated with children (e.g. school uniforms)?

Although I definitely see and agree with the case for legislating against the former, in the case of the latter would this be any more different than sex roleplay that i suspect quite a few perform in the privacy of the home (i.e. teacher and naughty schoolgirl/schoolboy) to spice up their sex life?

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Deviants

If a side effect of this is banning furries then I'm all for it. I've noticed that they are gradually spreading their sick perversions about the internet and they seem to think it's acceptible to mention their unwholesome desires in public.

They should stick to shamefully humping their teddybears in the quiet of their homes and never dear mention erotic fixations with foxes that look a bit like women. Some of them wear nappies, FFS.

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Law; huh! What is it good for...

Isn't the point of the law to prevent (or where that fails punish) one person/entity hurting(/damaging/adversely affecting) another person/entity?

No-one is hurt by anime. Quite the contrary, consumers take pleasure in it ; artists and their distributors find profit in it. The paint, the paper and the pixel are possibly exploited, but such is the case for any published medium and no-one has sought to protect them thus far.

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Anonymous Coward

Wizbit: Pleasure is the point.

The fact that people take pleasure in it is exactly the problem. Shakespeare once wrote "The puritan did not ban bear baiting because it was painful to the bear, but because it was pleasurable to the audience." Granted, bear-baiting is an entirely different category of controversey, but the attitude behind banning that and banning this are the same, and it's nothing to do with "protecting" or "saving" people. Or bears. It's because people are having fun. In this case inconsequential fun, as there is no victim, and the risk of any such victim appearing is unknown and probably unquantifiable.

Now, I must, for the record, point out that I don't enjoy either bear baiting or cartoons of children having sex.

I'm also posting anonymously for a very good reason...

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Anonymous Coward

Small Correction

> Phil Bennett

That would be Chuck _Jones_, Mr. Norris isn't quite that accomplished, for all his recent fame. ;)

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Bring on the thought police.

Cartoons are ideas and banning someone from looking at an idea, no matter how repellent that idea may be, is intollerable.

We were promised "evidence led legislation", but yet again we have another proposal for a law that will create a crime for which the govt. can show no evidence of harm.

All that is needed, apparently, are 'police concerns' and we get another law which reverses the burden of proof. You are no longer presumed innocent.

The only defences allowed (as with the extreme porn law) must be proved by you and the prosecution does not need to show any evidence of harm of any kind in order to secure a conviction.

John Reid makes Margaret Thatcher seem sane by comparison.

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Anonymous Coward

WTF

this law is just gonna be a massive waste of time, How on earth would they police it, drawn raids on every single house who connects to the net :P

They might be able to shut down the net servers which host the content but personal computers will still have images stored on them and will drive it deeper underground, with the help of p2p programs.

Personally im a fan of hentai but there is somestuff out there i still wouldnt touch with a very big stick XD

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