back to article Extreme porn bill gets final reading

It must be ever so vexing to pass a law that you think will make you the most popular boy in class – only to be greeted by a mass chorus of “you still stink!”. That seems to have been the case with the abolition of the 10p rate of tax, and it may yet come to pass with government legislation on extreme porn. Of course, it isn’ …


This topic is closed for new posts.


  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Something I saw mentioned

    Dirty Harry: Magnim Force (the Clint Eastwood in flares film) is now illegal to import from, say, Poland since you won't have the bbfc classified version. The film features lots of naked people, for no other reason than, well lots of naked people yum yum, and most/all of them get shot.

    This is the Criminal Justice and Immigration bill we're discussing. Note the fourth word. We can't stop Poles coming into the country but we can throw them out for trying to bring their film collection with them.

  2. TheThing
    Thumb Down

    I still don't know...

    ...whether that extreme lesbian site at is going to be legal or not.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    I can live with kinky picutes of leather clad super vixens, but the thought of them being replaced by a fat usless twat (sic) just make me want to puke, that's just so wrong.

  4. Lisa Parratt

    A picture of Gordon Brown?

    I don't remember consenting to his dominance over me - does that make a picture of him obscene?

  5. Anonymous Coward

    I'm all for this law...

    I'm all for this law if it means Rupert Murdoch and all his crap-spewing minions at News International will get banged up - ooer, missus - for publishing images of Max Mosely and his, ahem, downtime activities in the Screws of the World.

  6. Richard
    Black Helicopters

    You've been hit by... You've been struck by...

    ...a thought criminal

    Looks like we're getting ever closer to an Orwellian nightmare, people.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tetragrammaton Council

    I, for one, welcome the incineration of all EC-10 materials. Now, where did I leave my Prozium?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    (Almost) Naked Ladies

    Does this mean that The Sun will have to drop it's Page 3 girls?

    Will all the ladies in bikinis on the beach (or where ever) have to cover up just incase someone photographs them?

    Will they have to wear Victorian style swimwear?

  9. Richard

    Here we go then

    Oh, and according to the Beeb it's now been passed.

  10. Smallbrainfield

    I can't imagine anything worse than browsing images on a BDSM website

    and coming across a picture of Gordon Brown...

    (well somebody had to make the gag. Gag... I'll get me coat.)

  11. Chris Wood


    There's an ePetition on the 10 Downing Street website to remove the offending section of this bill here:

  12. Al

    Badly thought out legislation

    This new law is a badly thought out piece of vote-grabbing legislation hanging on the coat tails of one family's tragic loss. It's unlikely to save a single life, but has the potential to create thousands upon thousands of new criminals and cost millions in enforcement.

    As the (proud?) possessor of a mint copy of Madonna's masturpiece, it gladdens my heart to read that it's both illegal and worth a bit.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Face it !

    In a short time "The Law" will be passed.


    Of course they decide what "Bad Things" are....from moment to moment.

  14. Mike Crawshaw
    Thumb Down

    Gordon Brown Picture??

    Gotta be illegal under this. I certainly consider any picture of him to be:

    *"grossly offensive": check

    *"disgusting": check

    *"otherwise of an obscene character": double check

    and seeing as these are some of the oh-so-well-defined parameters to be used, well, we can look forward to never seeing a picture of him again. Worth it just for that, surely*?

    *oh, ok. "no it's not, and don't call me Shirley!"

  15. Stephane Mabille


    Amnesty to go to the police station and give up "illegal" pictures?

    How do you do that exactly? Copy all your legal files to a new hard disk, remove the current one and drop it at your nearest police station???

    John Beyer is probably more used to NRA meetings.... files, contrarily to guns are easy to duplicate and to delete.... so handing a copy (or the original) of a file doesn't prove that you don't possess it any more.

    I recommend to John Beyer to stick to guns and bibles distribution/collection/amnesty and keep his religion out of laws and out of my bed...

  16. Vortigern

    DANGER: Boob

    How on earth can a picture be dangerous? .. life isn't a horror movie where you watch something and end up dead in 7 days.

    Sounds like they've got it from AOL with there child "safety" adverts, as if a kid sees a nipple it will spear out of the screen and through their chest

  17. bbchops


    So will this law make goatseing people a crime punishable by jail time? I don't think that's a world I could live in.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ascci art

    Does it count if I render it with aalib?

  19. Anonymous Coward


    "Separately, moves are under way to set up a website to be known, provisionally, as “the English Index”. This is modelled on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum which was, for several centuries, a list of books that the Catholic church considered it a sin for Catholics to read."

    Everybody now - "And I'm prouuuud to be an Amerrrican, where at least I know I'm freeee..."

    I mean, you just can't make stuff like that up. And the organizations which ARE on your side are only opposed to this law because it isn't CLEAR what kind of simulated images of activities between consenting adults are banned? The idea that you're being prevented by the government from even *thinking* about certain things which harm no-one isn't a little off-putting?

    Absolutely gobsmacking.

  20. Anthony Sanford
    Thumb Down

    So who do we ask if somthing is legal?

    So how are we the 'Public' meant to check if an image is legal?

    Do we take it down the local nick and get arrested if it isn't legal.

    This is a stupid law, I think we should all take piles of magazines down to the local police station and go over every image with them so we will know if the images are legal.

  21. Owen Carter


    I got my date wrong. In fact May 10th (two days away) is the correct date.

  22. Owen Carter

    Been done before..

    "But there may be a need for an amnesty, during which the public are able to hand in any material that could be considered a crime to possess."

    I know, why don't the authorities just organise outdoor sessions where we could burn them, say on the solstice. We could have a real "Säuberung" by fire then.


    I've got my coat, will the last one out please turn off the lights.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That was literally was it? Coming across Gordon Brown.

    Still it wipes up.

    Playmobile pics please, Gordon, Jacqui and the party whip?

    No joke alert, it's not funny, Retching for England.

  24. Matt


    Wasn't it in Viz? "Extreme porn is anything over a tenner."

    Will this mean that Max Mosley's entire life is ruled illegal?

  25. David
    Thumb Down

    Not Very Well Thought Out :(

    I have to say, I can see why most people would agree that true extreme porn needs to be banned.

    From reading other sources on the net the main areas covered are:




    unconsenting sex

    Now to be fair, those things really shouldn't be going on should they? Other than the dead people, at least one party from each suffers, so it would make sense to try and stop the production of such material. By making it illegal they hope that demand will be cut and so in turn will production.

    However, what a load of bollocks. As with every law, it requires "ethics" of those abiding by it. Those who have "ethics" wouldn't be looking at someone doing interesting things to a corpse anyway, but might quite happily have a ham shank to a nice bit of lesbian porn and bang their partner with a big fat strap on. Those who couldn't give a damn about the law, and want to look at such images, will do so. This new law won't stop them, and so the demand will likely stay constant.

    I have 2 problems with the new law. Firstly the above, the government really are brain dead if they think that this is a good thing to do. I agree that ideally something needs to be done about stopping production of such genuine material (ie non-concensual sex for at least one party), but this is not the way.

    Secondly giving wooly terms such as "offensive" just cannot possibly work. We all know that what I find offensive will almost certainly be different from most of you, so it just can't work, as everyone else has already stated.

    And no, I didn't vote for them.

  26. Graham Marsden


    Liz Longhurst says that "Sometimes the freedoms of like-minded, decent people have to be curtailed because of a few others"

    - Paging Pastor Martin Niemoller...

    Oh and here's a good laugh - Under the Law as it now stands, it is not illegal to possess a BBFC classified film as they are "excluded images", but it is illegal to possess "a recording of an extract from a classified work, and 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" because that would not be an "excluded image".

    But the BBFC has just given an R18 certificate to a film called "Girls With Guns" which features "sex scenes involving firearms duress" ie the woman is pointing a gun at someone (threatening someone's life) and it's clearly "for sexual arousal", however this will *NOT* be illegal because it is not "an extract from a classified work" as the whole thing is a classified work!

    So having a whole *film* full of such material is ok, but taking a clip from a film that only shows a bit of such activity is illegal!

    Any chance of a Reality Check here...?

    In the mean time, write to your MPs via and tell them that you want them to support the Select Committee that Lord Hunt hinted might be set up to look again at this ludicrous piece of Thought Crime legislation.

  27. Ted Treen
    Paris Hilton

    Damn it

    When I saw the headline "Extreme porn bill for Lords" I just assumed it was another huge account us poor bloody taxpayers would have to pay....

    Paris - 'Cos she says ponography's no use to her, as she doesn't even own a pornograph.

  28. Elmer Phud Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    So, what is art then?

    I'm now really confused. Would a picture of an installation by the Chapman Brothers be found to be offensive? one of those that depict some of the less savoury things in life. Would photo's of paintings various versions of hell be unlawful - some of the images of rape and mutilation can be rather disturbing, even though they were painted a long time ago.

    Photography as an art form often records some things we'd rather not be reminded of, press photography even more so.

    No more pics of naked Vietnamese girls with burnt skin hanging off? -- how convenient.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Not Very Well Thought Out :(

    But it's the verification issue, isn't it - if you're dealing with fantasy stuff then there are going to be a lot of deliberately-faked or staged images. You can't clap someone in irons for finding arousing a picture of a perfectly healthy person with some grey makeup on pretending to be dead while someone else does rude things to them. Boy, imagine the time that's going to be wasted in the courts trying to figure if some individual on a rack who appears to be undergoing torture was genuinely being abused or was actually having the time of their life. All while some perfectly innocent party with slightly pervy tastes is sitting in a cell.

    The 'torture' category there is especially dodgy - define 'torture'? It's not just Gitmo Bay or slippers and pipe with nothing inbetween.

    It's all worst case scenario of course but the implications are just terrifying for anyone who is into stronger stuff than Nuts. I'd think Bizarre are going to be very worried.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Possession of non extreme images also a crime...

    Under 62(4) it looks like you don't need to be in possession of an indecent image to be prosecuted. If you are in possession of an image which was taken from a series, the whole series (including the images you do not possess) can be assessed as extreme porn, then you can be prosecuted for the possession of the non extreme porn images.

    Which means that censored versions of non UK publications are also illegal to possess, as you cannot know whether the uncensored version represents extreme material when the image is taken in it's full sequence.

    "(4) Where (as found in the person’s possession) an image forms part of a series of images, the question whether the image is of such a nature as is mentioned subsection (3) is to be determined by reference to— (a) the image itself, and ... (b) (if the series of images is such as to be capable of providing a context for the image) the context in which it occurs in the series of images."

    They add an example that suggests the series can *reduce* the seriousness of the image, however it cannot. No amount of clothes in one image, can make another image less naked. No *lack* of S&M in one image can make S&M in the image you possess less gory.

    Hence the purpose of that clause can only be to turn images that are not of themselves extreme porn, into being classed as extreme by the addition of the content of images from the same series that you do not posses.

    It also makes no difference in this law whether you've seen them or not, it does not require that you've seen the extreme images you do not possess for those images to be counted against you.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Clarity .......

    I remember abuses of the anti-terror legislation, the most notable of which was the ejection of an elderly heckler from the Labour Annual Conference.

    Another prominant abuse was the dispersement of the demonstration outside the International Arms Conference at about the same time.

    Beware of abuses! We all know that lawyers and 'experts' will argue over the interpretation and the winner is .......... Remember all the Shaken Baby Syndrome miscarriages of justice.

    PS I do know an expert witness and I wouldn't trust him with the time of day. He was my technical support on a project and he dropped me in the deep doodoo and cost the company a lot of money.

  32. Armitage

    Soz posted in worng topic

    since it appears they passed it, just who on earth are they gonna enforce it

    start raiding everyones houses on new years day and remove all their hard drives and media?

    As far as im awear (please correct if im wrong) they need reasonable suspetion (hence phorm supplied evidence) to obtain a warrant and enter someone's house to seize the computer equipment. They cant just go knocking on everyone's door asking to see your porn stash

    unenforceable imho on its own but something they can add to the terror charge and refusal to submit an encryption key

    time to burn/encrypt ur stash

  33. Jemima Smith

    Legal principles go out the window?

    I have always been under the impression that it was a principle of English law that the law should be objective, understandable and accessible to ordinary people. The provisions in the CJIA (as I suppose we should be calling it from tomorrow) relating to "extreme pornography" are none of these things. They are muddled, badly drafted and rely on a subjective assessment of the image in question.

    Liz Longhurst's or Martin Salter's assessment of whether an image "is grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character" is probably going to be very different to mine. So how do I know whether an image I may possess will be illegal? In short, I don't and, quite frankly, a law which leaves me in that position should not be passing on to our statute books.

  34. Jonny F
    Paris Hilton

    What if you have a photographic memory?

    Might as well hand your self in now - if you're lucky enough to have seen the legal acts first hand.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another problem with the 'series' clause

    There's another problem with this 'series' clause. The clause that lets them take the whole series of images into account when considering if a particular image is extreme pr)n or not.

    To recap:

    If you possess an image which came from a series, they can consider both the image and the rest of the series in assessing whether it represents extreme pr)n. So you may be in possession of a non extreme image, but if that came from an extreme sequence you can still be committing a crime.

    Now, consider this. The ACPO asshole that wants to prosecute you has access to the complete series, but you only have one photo. If the image you possess is borderline, he can strengthen the chance of conviction by adding in the other images as evidence in the charge .. Conversely if the rest of the series *reduced* his chance of conviction, he can go with just the image you possess in his charge.

    You could try to obtain the full series to determine if it will help your case. However this would be stupid, since it may turn out that some of the photos in the remainder of the series ARE extreme and in defending yourself you would be committing a crime. So you cannot seek out the remaining images to defeat the charges against you unless you are absolutely sure they will help.

  36. This post has been deleted by its author

  37. Alex McKenna

    Labour used to be a freedom kinda party

    Murdoch's papers will be immune of course.

    Too big. Too powerful.

    The law on obscenity has always been vague. This gives the authorities plenty of scope to decide who to raid. This gives them the power they love.

    I am even more dismayed with Labour, which used to fight censorship.

    Now all they care about is creating office-jobs for pen-pushers. Targets. Watchdogs. League Tables. Reports on Reports. Privatised money-wasters. Endless forms and supervisors instead of investments in trains/schools/health.

    The money they've spent on the paperwork for Crossrail so far could have paid for three tube lines by now. Still not one ring of tunnell put in place - in how many years?

    Labour needs tearing down and starting again. "Parkinsons Law" explains how it goes wrong.

  38. Hate2Register

    El Reg is my toss rag.


  39. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    They can take my extreme porn

    but only out of my cold, dead, hairy palmed and slightly sticky hands.

  40. Steve

    I think some people are missing the point

    Starting with David and several other posters afterwards.

    The legislation makes no reference to whether the images are staged or not.

    If they 'appear' to be images of torture, necrophilia, etc... and they are produced for the purpose of sexual gratification (ie they are porn, not art and not the collective works of dante) then you are in the brown stuff.

    It doesn't matter if you yourself are in the image and you can categorically prove that you were not actually dead at the time. If the makeup/cgi is good enough to be believable and it's porn, then you're doing 3 years in the big house.

    @AC - a series of images means in this context a series of images that you possess.

    Not a series as produced by someone, or a series like season one of muffy the vampire shagger.

    @Armitage - The first prosecutions we'll see are when people have been charged with some other crime and investigated and their PC's are taken in that process. They will then be charged with this legislation even if the original investigation goes no where.

    It's one of those laws that can be reliably used to get a conviction against someone who had actually done little or nothing to attract police interest.

    You just have to hope that your neighbours don't have a grudge against you.

  41. Luther Blissett

    @The Thing

    > I still don't know... ...whether that extreme lesbian site at is going to be legal or not.

    Only if Eee Girl continues not being contexturally surrounded by lots more skimily dressed nubilia. Perhaps. No-one really knows. (Discussing her tits and ass and what she might like to do in her spare time are all fine, though).

    Hieronymous Bosch? Goya? Titian? That would be "art", mate. Gilbert and George (humongous deconstructions featuring close-ups of bodily fluids)? A bit doubtful, this postmodern stuff to do with The Body. Not to mention taboos, or critiqueing the social construction of taboos.

    So this nu labourious revanchist project now exposes the cynical hypocrisy in their attitude to the arts. Of course they would rather have a G&G hanging on their wall than a dart board. They may be challenged, intellectually, morally, sexually, but they know what dosh is. Rather like the average normal 8 yr old compared with the average normal adult.

  42. Anonymous Coward

    How long before it moves onto Audio?

    I have songs by the late, great Shel Silverstein. Not to everyone's taste i know, but great nontheless.

    "The Freakers Ball" : necrophiliacs looking for dead ones, master baiters baiting their masters.

    And one for "i'm a tough cookie" Jacqui :see Liberated Lady

    On second thoughts perhaps she "was stoned and she missed it"


  43. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    the law isnt needed

    The thing that pisses me off with this stuff, and just about every other Orwellian law Neo-Labour have introduced, is that there are already laws covering it.

    Its just headline grabbing from our tosspot politicians. Its already to illegal to have it away with a dead body or a donkey or rape someone, just as it was already illegal to blow up buses, trains and planes before the terror laws appeared, but rather than focusing on enforcing the laws that are already on the books by funding the police properly and advertising awareness of these old laws they instead insert a load of crap ones just to appeal to appeal to idiot tabloid journalists and their readers.

    Neo-Labour must go. Now. Before we do end up in 1984. They appear to be some of the most dangerous, power hungry incompetent politicians in the world at present.

    Paris Icon because I would vote for her over these twits anyday.

  44. This post has been deleted by its author

  45. David Hadley

    Still Legal?

    So how long before harmless little pastimes like this:

    or this:

    become illegal too.

    I would say that I don't know what this country is coming to, but it seems as though soon it won't be coming at all.

  46. Steve

    Re: Amnesty???

    "Amnesty to go to the police station and give up "illegal" pictures?

    How do you do that exactly? Copy all your legal files to a new hard disk, remove the current one and drop it at your nearest police station???"

    No, what we do is print out every extreme pornagraphic image we can find and then post them to our MPs/Police Chiefs in clear plastic envelopes.

    Thousands upon thousands of copies of tubgirl and goatse dropping onto politicians doormats with a little note saying "For your consideration," could be very amusing.

  47. SteveMD

    This law will fall and I hope it damages the government when it does.

    Let's be clear why there is opposition to this law. Yes the vagueness of the definitions are a major concern, but it is far more than that.

    No one opposing this law has argued that "anything goes" and that images of real abuse, bestiality or necrophilia should be legal to own. Though this is all the government argues on, the opposition is mainly about the fact that this law deliberately includes fictional material. Even where the defendant can prove no one was harmed in the making of it.

    The government, at first, said it must include fictional material otherwise proving an actual crime took place would be an insurmountable obstacle for the prosecution. That's right you will be assumed guilty, because it may be too difficult to prove that you are.

    After being challenged on this, they then changed tack and said that the law was meant to prevent harm caused by merely viewing the images. After much prodding they came up with 'evidence' that merely viewing caused harm.

    How? They commissioned well established anti-pornography campaigners, who were known to already support the law, to compile a report called "The Harm of extreme pornography". Obviously they did not want to leave the slightest chance that the conclusion would not be the one they wanted.

    After cherry-picking sixty years of research on this subject, in the process ignoring anything which did not support the premise of this law, the reports authors could find no evidence that those making this material are harmed, but that "some of the most sexually aggressive men may be influenced by viewing this material". some of the most aggressive men may be influenced by watching Bambi or reading the Bible or the Koran, but hey this was enough for the government.

    From this extraordinarily weak conclusion they extrapolated their opinion that this "influence" could result in the committing of rape and sexual assault. This was the 'smoking gun' the government wanted to criminalise fictional material.

    Now we have the situation, where a citizen of England and Wales can have their privacy invaded, be convicted on a sex offence, with all the stigma that caries, and be locked for up to three years, for looking, in private, at images of consenting adults taking part in perfectly legal activities.

    Baroness Millar in the Lords debate, said that this constituted "thought crime" and she was right. This is not about what you do, it is about what the government think you are thinking of doing. And they deliberately concocted evidence to show that what they think you are thinking "may" be dangerous.

    I can only hope that the anger I have heard expressed over this insane irrational law over the past few days, will be remembered when the next election comes around. Do you want a government that can persuade itself that it is right to lock people up on the grounds of taste alone?

  48. RW

    The Canadian Index

    has been in existence for years. In Canada, formal censorship is imposed only on imports, which are held to a stricter standard than home-brew material. (The main reason for this is to stroke the homophobic attitudes of some eminence grise whose identity remains a mystery.)

    I kid you not.

    If you snoop around on the Canadian customs website, you will find a lovingly detailed list of the prohibited items, this book, that issue of that magazine, etc.

    Indeed, I once had friends in Sodom-by-the-Bay who delighted to send me porn magazines. One was seized and I discovered to my amusement that the Canadian gubmint has a form with a tick box labelled "bestiality." (One can pose the question, but what if the sheep likes it?)

    There are two serious objections to this kind of nonsensical legislation:

    First, when you criminalize a very wide swath of the population (as with both the anti-porn and anti-grass moves of the Brown faction), the laws simply cannot be uniformly enforced. Mr. Plod Constable therefore enforces them selectively, and, what's worse, arbitrarily. I believe the cry "no arbitrary government" historically has been a call to the barricades in the UK in the past, no?

    Second, with the porn bill you end up with the ludicrous situation that depictions of legal acts are illegal, while depictions of illegal acts (murder, high speed chases, etc in movies) are legal. Cognitive dissonance anyone?

    Time to STOP this nonsense, this pandering to the bluenose contingent in the electorate. Perhaps it's time to get pictures of Comrade Brown in bra and fishnet stockings and Comradess Jacqui wielding the whip? Now *that* would be truly disgusting.

  49. Iain

    HRA 1998

    Because I think it is a sensible precaution I've been looking over some legal possibilities for if (when?) the law is finally enacted. I think the best option is an application to the European Court of Human Rights. Under Article 8 (Right to respect for private and family life) the Court has, in the case of Laskey v United Kingdom ((1997) 24 EHRR 39) interpreted sexual activity as an intimate aspect of private life. I believe it would be sound to argue that sexual activity includes autoeroticism and the personnel use of material for autoeroticism. I think that the justification of ordinary democratic control would not stand up to scrutiny. Personally I think there are more chances of social unrest with the law than without. The argument would obviously have to go into greater detail than this, but I think it could be a winner.

    Alternatively, there could be an issue of the law being one of strict liability and according to Salabaiku v France (A/141-A) (1991) 13 EHRR the State must be reasonable in its presumptions of liability without considering the need to criminal mentality (mens rea) in attempting to prosecute. Especially in regards of the arguments relating to the unknowing caching of images already put forward in trials regarding sexual images of children.

    News of the World would have to take down those vids of Mr Mosley...

  50. Ishkandar
    Dead Vulture

    @Not Very Well Thought Out :(

    bestiality ??

    necrophilia ??

    torture ??

    So what you are saying is that the entire government should be locked away for "flogging a dead horse" ??

    WOW !! I'm all for it !!

    --nearest equivalent to the expired equine !!


This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019