Ridiculous new legislation is now before the Commons in the UK which plans to make it illegal to possess "Extreme Pornography". You can read the original text of the law on the Parliament's website.
This would effectively make it illegal to possess images of consenting adults role-playing, or indulging in victimless fetishes etc. Mind you, this makes it illegal to take pictures of rape fantasies, BDSM, etc. Essentially any aspects of actual illegal activity that this law would cover are already covered by existing laws. All this law serves to do is expand that to infringe on the rights of people who are engaging in consenting sexual activity with other adults. Essentially forcing their own morals on other adults who may happen to not share their personal sexual interests. And I must stress again, that no crime is being committed under what the majority of this legislation would cover. It serves only to victimize those who choose to find their sexual gratification a few steps off the beaten path, but still are committing no crimes etc. If a consenting adult gets their rocks off by beating whipped, tied up, clamped, vigorously fisted etc... that is their right. What crime is being committed? Offending te delicate sensibilities of prudes?
This is reminiscent of the issues we were discussing recently on Child Pornography, but in this case no crime was ever committed.
Also, this law would include other such ridiculous aspects as making it illegal to even take a screen grab from a theatrical movie, if that screen grab could be considered sexual in a context that included violence.
And lets not overlook the fact that these "crimes" will land you in jail for 3 years with a lifelong spot in the Sex Offenders registry, for things as simple as taking a screenshot of a theatrical movie and masturbating to it.
Criminal Justice and Immigration BillPart 6Criminal lawPornography etc.64 Possession of extreme pornographic images
- It is an offence for a person to be in possession of an extreme pornographic image.
- An "extreme pornographic image" is an image which is both—
- pornographic, and
- an extreme image.
- An image is "pornographic" if it appears to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal.
- Where an image forms part of a series of images, the question whether the image appears to have been so produced is to be determined by reference to—
- the image itself, and
- (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.
- So, for example, where—
the image may, by virtue of being part of that narrative, be found not to be pornographic, even though it might have been found to be pornographic if taken by itself.
- an image forms an integral part of a narrative constituted by a series of images, and
- it appears that the series of images as a whole was not produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal,
- An "extreme image" is an image of any of the following—
where (in each case) any such act, person or animal depicted in the image is or appears to be real.
- an act which threatens or appears to threaten a person’s life,
- 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,
- an act which involves or appears to involve sexual interference with a human corpse,
- a person performing or appearing to perform an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal,
- In this section "image" means—
- a moving or still image (produced by any means); or
- data (stored by any means) which is capable of conversion into an image within paragraph (a).
- In this section references to a part of the body include references to a part surgically constructed (in particular through gender reassignment surgery).
- Proceedings for an offence under this section may not be instituted—
- in England and Wales, except by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions; or
- in Northern Ireland, except by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland.65 Exclusion of classified films etc.
- Section 64 does not apply to excluded images.
- An "excluded image" is an image which forms part of a series of images contained in a recording of the whole or part of a classified work.
- But such an image is not an "excluded image" if—
- it is contained in a recording of an extract from a classified work, and
- it appears that the image was extracted (whether with or without other images) solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal.
- Where an extracted image is one of a series of images contained in the recording, the question whether the image appears to have been extracted as mentioned in subsection (3)(b) is to be determined by reference to—
and section 64(5) applies in connection with determining that question as it applies in connection with determining whether an image is pornographic.
- the image itself, and
- (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;
- In determining for the purposes of this section whether a recording is a recording of the whole or part of a classified work, any alteration attributable to—
is to be disregarded.
- a defect caused for technical reasons or by inadvertence on the part of any person, or
- the inclusion in the recording of any extraneous material (such as advertisements),
- Nothing in this section is to be taken as affecting any duty of a designated authority to have regard to section 64 (along with other enactments creating criminal offences) in determining whether a video work is suitable for a classification certificate to be issued in respect of it.
- In this section—
- "classified work" means (subject to subsection (8)) a video work in respect of which a classification certificate has been issued by a designated authority (whether before or after the commencement of this section);
- "classification certificate" and "video work" have the same meanings as in the Video Recordings Act 1984 (c. 39);
- "designated authority" means an authority which has been designated by the Secretary of State under section 4 of that Act;
- "extract" includes an extract consisting of a single image;
- "image" and "pornographic" have the same meanings as in section 64;
- "recording" means any disc, tape or other device capable of storing data electronically and from which images may be produced (by any means).
- Section 22(3) of the Video Recordings Act 1984 (effect of alterations) applies for the purposes of this section as it applies for the purposes of that Act.66 Defence
- Where a person is charged with an offence under section 64, it is a defence for the person to prove any of the matters mentioned in subsection (2).
- The matters are—
- that the person had a legitimate reason for being in possession of the image concerned;
- that the person had not seen the image concerned and did not know, nor had any cause to suspect, it to be an extreme pornographic image;
- that the person—
- was sent the image concerned without any prior request having been made by or on behalf of the person, and
- did not keep it for an unreasonable time.
- In this section "extreme pornographic image" and "image" have the same meanings as in section 64.
Again, while this law would cover some acts that are illegal already, and should be illegal, it vastly expands outside of that to cover a vast array of victimless sexual activity between consenting adults, or simply fictional images and special effects and even goes so far as to assert the ambiguous charge of whether or not you find sexual gratification in such images etc. Attempts so far to correct this overreaching scope have only served to promote further expansion of the legislation.
You can track the progress of this legislation on the Parliament website.