back to article Is it art or is it pr0n? Australia decides it's ALL filth

Australian painters and photographers may soon need to watch their step, as an overhaul of child pornography laws in New South Wales looks set to remove the defence of "artistic merit" from the statute books. The issue arose when Police raided an exhibition of works by Melbourne artist Bill Henson in May 2008. They were …

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Anonymous Coward

For starters

Naked pics of kiddies & 'no artistic merit' defence allowed? Well that's Leonardo Da Vinci and Michaelangelo nicked for starters. Pervs.

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FAIL

Not to mention...

the cover of Nirvana's "Nevermind" (with the little naked boy in a swimming pool)

that "virgin killers" album cover

a large number of parents (i'm sure they've got pictures of their kids as naked babies)

Manneken Pis in Brussels

Need i say more? my state government is (and has been for a while) a useless bunch of reactionary prats.

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Sir

How does this affect the rights of Naturists to take family/holiday photo's ?

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WTF?

say no to cherubs!

So presumably the NSW police will be raiding churches and public buildings across the country to tear off and destroy all those disgustingly pornographic cherubs and other statuary, and burn all those mind-warping religious paintings containing them too.

And I suppose they'll have to ban Valentine's Day too - that Cupid is clearly dangerous..

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no link to cherubs

Oh come on - it's not like people who spend their whole lives in buildings with naked cherubs everywhere are likely to go off and abuse children ....

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Those who ignore History are domed to repeat it

We have been here before

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FAIL

Dear Lord....

Australia is rapidly disappearing up its own backside as it tries desperately to shield its citizens from everyday life. This new law will have some extremely unpleasant fallout, not just from artists but other mediums that use nudity as an artform. A recent game I played called The Void has a large number of nude figures in it, although unusually for a game, these most definitely fall within artistic bounds than voyueristic. The recent changes in the law will prevent such games becoming available there.

I applaud Rebellion's approach to the issue - rather than release an edited down version of the new Alien vs Predator game, they simply refused to release it there, pausing only to make an extremely derogatory remark about Australian censorship.

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Stop

retroactive censor bars?

I wonder if they're going to have to cover up fawns and saytres as well? fictional child like reproductions count under child pron too.. what about cherybs? I can see a lot of chiseled off genitals after this...

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Headmaster

They should go further..

Talking about it should be illegal as well.

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Big Brother

Or...

Thinking about it...

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Big Brother

and

talking about thinking about it!

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Anonymous Coward

Has anyone done a poll on people having sex

when a child is present in the womb. Oddly enough that would be all parents, unless they pulled really quickly. And of course a lot of them also have sex when the pregnancy is showing, this should be discussed and categorised.

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Pint

It's paedo-geddon!!!

If I remember correctly, quite a few books actively encourage women to have sex during pregnancy as it can strengthen and work the downstairs muscles!

The perverts writing these horrendous texts should be arrested immediately for peddling this wicked filth and actully making money from the sales of these books! They should be taken out and flogged in public! Hanging is too good for 'em!

BRING BACK THE CAT!!!

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Bronze badge

nudity != pornography

"The report recommends that once such material has been found to be unlawfully pornographic, whether or not it is intended to be art is irrelevant."

Depending on how you read it, this is either circular or specious. Nudity really isn't pornography. I have absolutely no desire to look at this sort of thing, but the principle is appalling.

It's gone from: "What can we censor? Anything illegal."

To: "What's illegal? Anything we've censored."

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Paris Hilton

Not ones to shy from a sweeping law, eh

It makes perfect sense, provided you accept that pictures in and of themselves can be bad, and that you accept people cannot be held responsible for their own actions. Why make fine distinctions? It's All Bad, Mate. It even appears that this wonderful warmhearted bint from the local think-of-the-children pressure group thinks the mere existence of "bad" pictures is harmful to "the children". Does that sound perfectly sensible to you?

I for me don't agree there should be laws against possession of pornographic pictures, and further think that if you assume people cannot be held responsible it makes no sense to even try and punish them. So, what are they up to anyway? Is this some sort of perverted tax or fill the prisons racket? Call it yet another puritan surf trip gone wild on the moral panic wave.

Paris, for her childlike innocence.

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Anonymous Coward

The lady (or gent) doth too much protest, methinks...

This kind of witch-hunt nonsense makes me wonder more about the state of mind of the lawmakers rather than anyone else. They clearly have serious and hugely suspicious problems about their own and other peoples' sexuality. Perhaps THEIR homes and computers ought to be the first to be checked out?

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Who Proposed This?

I don't get it. I thought only pedophiles considered nude children from a sexual point of view.

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Stop

Looks like the Taliban have

relocated to Australia.

What's next on the hit list for the these fruit cakes?

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WTF?

Typical forward thinking from the Aussies

Looks like I have to destroy all those photos of the family in the sauna. It might be a Finnish art, but the kids don't have any clothes on so it must be something pervy according to these backward, Victorian-minded morons. Since when has the naked human body been anything but natural (except in those gentlemen's magazines with the bits hanging out and arms and legs all over the place - highly unnatural)? I think some of these "consider the kids" fanatics need a right good wotsit*.

The fact is that people who are a danger to little kids (and big kids) don't care if they are dressed or not, or what they are dressed in. It's the same as rape - it doesn't matter to a rapist what a woman is wearing. The more you put taboos on things and associate non-sexual things with sex, the more you increase the interest and excitement. Ask any Catholic about it. And ask a few Swedes about the opposite effect - commonplace is boring. What we need is a bit more grown up thinking rather than radicalism.

Looks like some Australians think that everyone must be a criminal. Is that because they're all a bunch of ...

... better stop there or my Aussie cousin might get a bit miffed.

* you can buy wotsits from your local supermarket in the UK. It's a potato snack. They may even have magical powers to cure the mental problems exhibited by some Aussies**.

** There is no solid medical evidence of this, but it's just as valid a proposal as banning genuine art.

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hmmm, a bit off the wall, but

How uncovered do they have to be to count as naked? And how realistic the image?

Guess My Neighbour Totoro and Little Norse Prince Valiant are for the censor's chop as well, if the answer is "not much/very".

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RW
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Oz pols seem to have exceptionally dirty minds

Time was when an image of a naked child symbolized innocence. Decades ago I had a landlord who had hanging proudly on the wall of his living room a photo of two of his children as toddlers, naked as jaybirds, confronting a long-horned cow on a beach. A photo that won a contest and was published in the newspaper for all to see.

Now the dirty-minded fundies can't see naked children as anything other than evidence of depravity. Do they (the fundies) realize how transparent their objections to depictions of the human body are?

And worse, they are succeeding in imposing their hyper-sexualized view of nudity on entire populations.

I saw a clip of some Oz fundie railing about skimpy swim suits on the beach and topless women sunbathing. He was a withered old fart who, I would guess, hasn't had an erection in decades, much less the opportunity to deploy said engorgement as God intended. It was laughable. Perhaps there was an element of jealousy, too, in that he couldn't don Speedos in public without causing gales of laughter.

Interfering busybodies, just like those who run the NuLabour Nanny State in Britain.

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Not fundies. Pollies.

Don't blame the fundies for this. It's the pollies that are doing this, they need to be seen to be doing something about the problem - which hardly exists outside the sensationalism in the papers.

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Anonymous Coward

don't worry

We here in Britain will catch up within a few years. People I once thought were sensible support the idea that drawings are no different to real pictures. These people at the same time seeing no problem with pretend violence. We white English sourced folk are terrified of sex in all forms it seems, I wonder if it's because the rest of the world is better at it?

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and so ...?

Australia missed the Medieval era and is trying to make up for it now.

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Joke

@Maty - Right on mate, got it in one!

Right on mate, got it in one.

We Aussies are in our overcrowded Tardis and headed straight for the first millennium complete with cheer squad and fearless leader Rudd at the helm. Pronouncements from on high say we'll be in plenty of time for the First Crusade--95 years in fact.

A few of us who were forcibly dragged on board however have niggles about the iPhone not working, no electricity, no El Reg, no penicillin when the plague hits and that the en suite mightn't even have a grassy floor but rather one of mud and s#@!

[Warning to minders: ensure that fearless leader's blinkers and rose-coloured glasses remain on until arrival. We wouldn't want any last minute change of plans, now would we?]

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Anonymous Coward

Actually

Isn't it already illegal here for new things? Remember the guy who is now a registered sex offender because the parents of some kids wanted him to make a picture of them (the kids) as fairies and he'd taken images for it that he was intending on converting?

The west is fucked. You know, thinking about it, I'd be happy living in Japan even though I'd be working a 6 day week, stupid hours, and only 4 days holiday a year for very little money. Has to be better then living in the west.

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Bronze badge

And let's ot forget...

Are they planning to use those full-body scanners at Ozzie airports?

Are they planning on scanning children or assuming that terrorists/drug couriers won't use them as unknowing "mules"?

Are they going to arrest anyone looking at those images?

...Hilarity ensues.

"You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered." -- Lyndon B. Johnson

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Don't be stupid.

"Are they going to arrest anyone looking at those images?" Of course not. Looking at photos and movies of naked children is a privilege restricted to law enforcement and the elite.

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FAIL

oh and another thing

i forgot to mention, as it applies to cartoons as well, the simpsons movie will count as well.

FFS.

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Anonymous Coward

Is it just me...?

It does seem like the world in general has started down a scary conservative path in the last few years. It is no longer rational law but extremist or fundamentalist law. Perhaps it is harder to see it as it happens because such laws are truly meant to be for the good of others. But, often it seems that instead of making a conservative law for rational reasons, they make a radical law for conservative reasons. The worry is, once started down such a path it is hard to stop. What is next to be censored? When does it end? After we burn the libraries? When the only people who are free to think and act are the ones willing to break the law?

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Big Brother

20th century is unhistory and barbariantime futurenext

>>Perhaps it is harder to see it as it happens because such laws are truly meant to be for the good of others.

Orwell knew about that kind of "meaning well":

http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/history/european/2397-the-60th-anniversary-of-orwells-1984

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Boffin

Once there was a book written on this very subject.

Once there was a book written on this very subject. It commences:

"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."

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Joke

So that's what it's really like in Oz

Forget all those stories about he-man Australians who come home from wrestling crocodiles and drink a few tinnies of lager from the eskie while the Sheilas admire them.

Apparently they can't handle anything to do with sex, and are terrified of it. What a nation of wimps they must be. After all it's their own government saying this so it must be true.

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Unhappy

Unfortunately, it's not a joke, a new puritanism has hit Australia.

Unfortunately, it's not a joke, a new puritanism has hit Australia and the average kangaroo-brain hasn't realised it yet.

We other few Australians with slightly larger sheep-sized brains, having failed to find a solution to the crisis, mull around in paddocks awaiting the sheep dog to round us up for slaughter.

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Flame

at last

there hasn't been a good old-fashioned book burning in ages!

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Anonymous Coward

<insert obligatory culture joke>

"The arts community might be concerned about the loss of their rights" The arts community? What about every person in Australia?

Personally, I'm fed up with these pinko, left-wing liberals; it's obvious to me that any picture of a child can only be for sexual gratification as there's no-one left with any sexual maturity greater than that of a nymphomaniac bonobo on heat.

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Oh FFS

it's the reactionary, conservative politicians proposing this as they try to please their right-wing supporters. NSW politics has been firmly in the grip of the the Right for many years now. Please don't try to claim it's anything to do with the Left in any form. The Left are the sort of people you see opposing these kinds of proposals. For example, the Greens and Democrats have been the only really vocal opponents of (right-wing) Senator Conroy's internet censorship proposal.

All that aside, it's dickheads like most of our politicians (especially the ones from NSW!) that make me feel shame for my country. First against the wall, you bastards...

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Flame

Absolutely agree. But what the $#@! can we do about it?

Absolutely agree. But what the $#@! can we do about it?

Australian citizens haven't taken to the streets in any force since the anti-Vietnam demonstrations of the late 1960s; even then this was an aberration in an otherwise very conservative country. There is no mood for any such radical action now, it'd take a landmine under Australians to get them to even think about civil disobedience let alone act upon the thought.

Unfortunately, whilst we were asleep at the wheel, our institutions were taken over one by one. The parliament, the public sector and our education system--perhaps putting the wrong ideas into kids' heads is a form of child abuse and someone ought to be held accountable.

So too has the media been parasitised, especially shock-jock radio. Not only can any loony get on the radio but the stations have amalgamated into gigantic state and country-wide networks whereby the propaganda is more easily spread.

I'm damned if I know how you break this nexus, and I'm damned if I know what one does when one finds the very heart and fabric of our democracy has been infiltrated and subverted to the degree which it has.

How does one undo the damage of years and years of propaganda when those causing the problem are still entrenched in power and in BOTH the left and right of politics? This is not only an Australian problem but it's alive and well in the UK and the US--in fact, the problem is present in most western democracies but the disease is especially virulent in English speaking countries.

The only idea I can come up with is that the libertarian left strikes an accord or covenant with the libertarian right. Both sides would not only have to redefine what constitutes the extent, limits and reach of government, its bureaucracies and its utilities but also they would have to fully and wholeheartedly agree on those limits and extents. Only then would we be in a position to take on the mealymouthed do-gooder creations who have infiltrated both the left and right of politics and just about ruined our democracies.

By outnumbering them with a model of democracy and government whose extents and limits fall far short of their interfering, paternalistic nanny state may we have any chance at all of recovering from the rotten mess we're in.

If you've a better idea then sprout forth.

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Thumb Up

Ban it all

Take it a step further and ban the whole notion and biology of sex.

I fear the day when police raid a home and arrest a father for changing his newborn daughters diaper. It could be sexual ya know.

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Stop

Sadly....

...you may just be right.

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Silver badge

or

Ban photography, drawing, and painting?

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Anonymous Coward

How soon...

...before there will be an offense 'existing whilst male' on the books? And, like talking to kids in school requiring registration, it won't apply to politicians.

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Big Brother

Time for the revolution in Australia

The country I call home is rapidly become more screwed up by the day thanks to a bunch of muppet politicians who should be the first against the wall come the revolution.

What it basically means to Australia is that you cant take pictures of your kids in the bath to send to your parents. You couldnt even take pictures of your toddlers running around in the backyard nekid.

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Fake Simpsons cartoon is child porn, judge rules

Actually in NSW you wouldn't even be allowed to draw a picture of them.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/12/08/2441023.htm

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Careful.

I don't think the sedition laws have been repealed yet!

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Unhappy

So-called "free" society

And all this time, I thought the USofA got the lion's share of the UK's prudes during colonization. Turns out Oz apparently got their fair share, maybe more. I used to think Australia would be a nice place to move to, if I ever got sick of the society-protection/political BS here in the USA, but it's looking like it wouldn't be much of an improvement.

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FAIL

Well

thats the systine chapel painted over for a start.

But as observed previously, this is'nt about child pr0n, this is more about politicians wanting to 'appear' to do something about a subject in the media.

"I want to ban all nakkid pictures of children" goes a politician who gets a 5% support rise in the next poll.

"ah-ha" thinks a rival

"I promise to ban all children in case some one sees one naked"

Followed by

"instant imprisionment for people who see children naked via their jobs..... after all they may of spent 2 years of A levels followed by 7 years of medical school just so they get to see children with no clothes on"

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Joke

NSW

Not Safe for Wankers

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Pint

Some days..

I do look at UK laws and wonder what the hell some dumb grey dullard was thinking that nobody should have any other opinions and which other dull grey dullard thought it was a good idea to make it the law, but then I look at some of the ozzy laws and think "It could be worse! - look at those whiny fuckers!"

*\. Cold one mate, yeah stick it outside for a bit no frigging heat wave here * -(snowball)

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WTF?

What? No loli?

Poor aussies...

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