Britain Bans Fetish Porn

bondage-banned

The United Kingdom has succumbed to moral hysteria and banned all possession of what is being called “extreme pornography”, with the law having come into effect on the 26th of January, tacked on to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008.

Actually committing many of the acts will remain legal for the time being, although in at least one case possessing photographs of the act actually attracts the same sentence as committing the act itself.

With the proviso that “a reasonable person looking at the image would think that any such person or animal was real”, the following photographic depictions of “grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise obscene” sexual acts are now given similar sentences to what one might receive for violent crime:

(a) an act which threatens a person’s life
(b) an act which results, or is 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 (whether dead or alive)

Clearly, most of these are intended to attack BDSM pornography; the law expressly states that whether the participants are consenting, or the act is clearly staged, is irrelevant. The various qualifications about injury are all interpreted by a judge or jury, which suggests convincing them of the material’s illegality and obscenity will not be challenging.

The bill happily provides examples of what is definitely out: “depictions of hanging, suffocation, or sexual assault involving a threat with a weapon; the insertion of sharp objects into or the mutilation of breasts or genitals.”

Bestiality porn is now completely illegal in the UK, though bizarrely the maximum sentence for actually committing bestiality (which is of course illegal in the UK) is 2 years, the same sentence for possessing photographs of it. Perhaps thinking criminal thoughts is as threatening as the actual acts to the proponents of such legislation?

Another bizarre element of the law is that it provides a defence against conviction for those actually photographed engaged in the acts, if they can prove they “directly participated” (photographers looking on still get jail time).

The maximum sentence is 3 years for bondage porn, 2 for the rest. Those convicted of 2 or more years will find themselves placed on the same sex offender register as rapists and similar.

Aside from the “reality” provisions above, drawn depictions are excluded from the law for now, although it does not take much imagination to see what the next iteration of the law will be targeting. The basis for this law is after all preventing people becoming “depraved”, rather than acting in defence of any “victims”, so it is no leap to extend it even further.

The background to the law is that a madman with a substantial collection of fetish porn strangled to death a women for his perverse gratification. Her vengeful mother then launched a moral crusade against the evils of Internet porn (with non-existent “snuff” porn being trotted out to prove their point), which nobody save SM maniacs bothered to oppose.

With the help of a truck driver cum Labour MP, Martin Salter, evidently keen to burnish his anti-porn feminist credentials, the law was promoted as being targeted against “extreme internet sites promoting violence against women in the name of sexual gratification”.

He has this to say:

“No-one is stopping people doing weird stuff to each other but they would be strongly advised not to put it on the internet.”

“At the end of the day it is all too easy for this stuff to trigger an unbalanced mind.”

“These snuff movies and other stuff are seriously disturbing. Many police officers who have to view it as part of their job have to undergo psychological counselling.”

“It simply plugs a hole in the law because the Obscene Publications Act is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard as far as the internet is concerned. This new law is designed to meet the challenge of the internet.”

As they discovered it was difficult to ban the “stuff” in such bastions of liberty as the USA, they opted instead to criminalise the people viewing the sites.

Since the British people have no real rights other than those agreed upon by a hall full of rowdy politicians and another populated by appointed favourites of the ruling party, the act passed into law without much difficulty.

Predictably, this is of great interest to Wikipedians. You can find the details collated in some detail on Wikipedia.

The UK’s inexorable slide into becoming a second-rate police state continues; successive leftist governments have shown nary a concern for civil liberties in imposing an increasingly intrusive surveillance society on the British Isles, with cameras even reaching into the classroom, and lately have taken to increasingly moralistic pandering and other illiberal policies, perhaps to distract from their inept economic stewardship.

With an electorate whose only abiding concern appears to be house prices, and a set of “fundamental rights” guaranteed by the EU which are incapable of defending even the most basic freedom of expression, the formerly liberal nature of the UK appears to be giving way to pure democracy, a terrifying prospect if ever there were one.

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148 Comments

  • So… you cant watch people do illegal sex acts in porn? Where else can you? Everyone will turn to raep. Like every other porn ban. I uh.. need to see if that video is illegal! I uh… need to seize it! heh… im the only one who thinks im funny. I dont have a name so nobody remembers me anyways!

  • The USA a bastion of liberty!? Only relatively speaking but don’t think for one minute that animal sex pics are legal in Illinois for example. And any picture of a nude under 18 years old will get you up to 20 years in prison. Bastion of liberty my ass…

  • The thing is, I love porn, and some of this stuff, but I didn’t even know it was illegal??

    I live in the UK, so I’ve been breaking the law for however long with out even knowing it!

    Not only is it completely unfair, it’s scary! I could go to prison for this stuff if I was caught!

    Thanks Britain, now I’ve got to move away!

  • WTF is going on with the world ?what happened to all the free speach ? democracy? protection of minority rights?

    those ppl cant help having fetishes and loving that crap! they are a minority and are crushed by the majority of normal ppl (including the fetish hating nazi that came up with that inqisition style ban!)

    theres nothing wrong moraly with fetishes(except that its totally “ok…wtf?!”)

    that ban is madness , what next? were gona burn muslims next? hang gay ppl? ban anything else we dont like in the world???

  • Guys, guys. America isn’t going to go through this…America is all for porn. I’m suprised they banned lolicon here, but I guess that is an exception. Without good porn, America would probably collapse. But good porn differs with each person, for I don’t really care for bondage…

    • they still banned loli….that doesnt make sense,shouldave put “no animeted girls were hurt in the drawing of this manga” at the end….dude seriously thats messed up all over the world with the porn bannings (except the REAL underage pornography ban,all other bans are just hate crimes because no1 got hurt from them)

  • This is nothing to do with the tyranny of the majority, it’s simply a way of increasing the likelihood superfluous parts of the population can be arrested. The more means the state has to lock people up, the better.

  • last I checked Australia already bans some/most porn and they also ban some video games, you can’t even import them.

    The UK needs to get a clue and the BBFC stop turning tis nose up to media rate it already and get your hand out of your bum…

  • Come to the third world, all the illegal is okey here.
    Underage, lolicon, BDSM, piracy(dvd, games, music), and more…
    Is good to live in the chaos xD
    come visit us, we have the best of the ilegal for you xD

  • “At the end of the day it is all too easy for this stuff to trigger an unbalanced mind.”

    I’m not into any of this stuff, but I won’t consider the things said in this article anything less than bullshit until they’ve done documented experiments with the extraneous variables listed that PROVE that watching any sort of pornography will make you more likely to commit a crime than any other individual.

    • Except for the crime of replication for which only the most dumb of people can be found guilty for you won’t find much then I guess.

      And even the most stupid humans know how to replicate without having to check out porn…

  • It’s laws like this that make me hate this country, yet sadly I have no way to get out of here in the foreseeable future.

    I’m just waiting for them to finish with the anti-loli law they’re going to bring in in a few years time, that’s going to cause me some SERIOUS problems -.-

  • Mechwarrior says:

    If taken loosely also bans Batman, Punisher Max, Squadron Supreme, Watchmen, Ghostrider, Judge Dread, Battle Angel Alita and various other graphic novels. Way to go Brits! You’re just one step above China now.

  • “The formerly liberal nature of the UK appears to be giving way to pure democracy, a terrifying prospect if ever there were one”
    Here, here! … God help us all … here in the UK at least. lol

  • This is part of the FAQ made available by the Ministry of Justice regarding the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act in question:

    I have heard that the new legislation is aimed at the Bondage, Domination and Sado Masochism (BDSM) community and will criminalise many millions of people. Is this true?
    No. The new legislation is not directed at any particular group and will only catch a subset of material which is already illegal to publish or distribute under the Obscene Publications Act 1959 (OPA). BDSM material which is legally available under the OPA and used by the BDSM community should not be caught by the new offence.”

    Too bad the wording of the law also supports a lot of other interpretations. Also, some secretary of the British Home Office admitted during some radio show that pressure by the church and feminist groups is the reason why the law exists in the first place, and also why it has passed despite the flak it got.

    With the insane amount of stupid legislation like this going on all over the globe lately, the world is running out of places where people who still care about their freedom can run to. I can’t believe we really go back to the dark ages. How could it turn out like this?
    ;_;

      • To be more precise, the actual trigger for the campaign which finally resulted in this ban is the case of Jane Longhurst, who was murdered by a man who apparently visited sites catering for necrophilia and asphyxiation fetishists. Her mother then started lobbying against all violent porn, as it obviously is the source of all evil. Naturally, she immediately found support from various feminist and anti-pornography movements. It was their working that the bill passed despite getting predominantly negative feedback in the various public consultations and the fact that it (they even acknowledge this!!!) lacks any scientific basis.

  • I don’t see how this law is at all enforceable… Unless say, someone in your household catches you and reports you.

    Are they going to start installing bugs in their citizens’ computers just to catch them watching BDSM? I don’t think they can do that under privacy laws, can they?

  • Wow, way to be fucking racist Artefact and the denizens of Sankaku

    I’d say I have rights, but seeing as my country’s run by a bunch of rowdy men in a hall, I guess my opinion doesn’t count.

    For your information, I know the reason why cameras reach as far as the classroom. It’s because british schools, at least the ones I’ve been to, are hotbeds for gang culture and violent crime. I doubt you’ve ever seen a boy getting stabbed in the head in front of your face, Artefact.

  • To be honest I never gave a damn about BDSM and such.
    I’m more concerend about what they are going to do next. As Artefact pointed:

    ”Aside from the “reality” provisions above, drawn depictions are excluded from the law for now, although it does not take much imagination to see what the next iteration of the law will be targeting. ”

    • It’s this attitude that lets laws like these pass. The fact that so many people don’t care about privacy as a whole topic means that each subgroup will simply let the other group fall.

      This is the reason we’re so far into being a police state already. ‘What doesn’t affect me I don’t care about’ just isn’t going to cut it.

    • Don’t know yes or maybe not.The law was made to stop people doing weird things to each other and watching it or like promoting it.

      Maybe hentai can be allowed since no people were actualy doing something weird against eachother?

      • The law was made to stop people from getting influenced by “snuff” pornography so I’d guess they’d start targeting fetish hentai next since they’re pretty much the same (if not more extreme) in content as their 3D counterparts.

    • The VPN won’t help you when they search your drives. And TrueCrypt won’t help you when they imprison you for years under the RIP Act for not surrendering your keys.

      By any objective standard the UK (and much of Europe) is much further down the road than the US.

        • There have been a few occasions where a person has been locked up for lolicon hentai. I know that. So the idea of it’s immorality is there in some people. However, most courts have realized that there is no actual abuse in that material (or other materials) which is literally taking place. (including drawn or photographic images) In laws, for something to be illegal (pertaining to pornography of any kind) it has to actually BE abusive. Not merely simulate it.

        • Zelgadis4tw says:

          Yes, the Patriot Act is evil, but they still can’t force you to give up your encryption keys for your hard drive in America like Artefact said they can attempt to in Britain. We still have some semblance of protection against unreasonable searches and seizures “garanteed” to us by the Fourth Amendment of our Constitution. To my knowledge the Patriot Act has not held up in the Supreme Court, but it may only be because it hasn’t been challenged that high up yet.

  • Wait, wait, wait…so now possessing or viewing such said possible materials of ‘a’ to’d’ could get you jail time? Even if said paricipants are consensual? All because of some zealot crusade (again)? *Massive Sigh* So…we’re labelling people before any actual crime (where physical abuse/victimization actually takes place) and putting them in jail because the zealots believe this would help society from commiting the same act as the trucker? I’m really, really getting tired of these people taking the moral high ground based on nothing but ‘personal opinions’ and emotions. It’s funny they don’t have studies on these things (i.e. UNICEF Loli Ban) Since such studies will likely conclude the same way as any ‘media causes ‘XX’ to happen’.

    ‘c’ I can understand (don’t think people too happy if relative got dug out, or taken out of a morgue only for someone to have sex with), but I wouldn’t castrate people viewing images, since they are not commiting the actual act. ‘d’ is possibly on the same boat. Reason I seperated these 2 is that participants cannot not really give consent. Though ‘d’ could be in question on that.

    Even the whole war against knives thing. It’s ridiculous, you can’t bubble these knife wielders. Knives are bloody everywhere, stop taking the god dam easy way out by blaming media (ok they can be a ‘factor’, not going to deny that) or inanimate objects as the sole cause of corruption. Are parents so bloody useless and lazy since 2000? Stop sugar coating the ‘family’ and see that the parents should be blamed for bad parenting not some inanimate object or at least deal with the individual.

    Our MP’s are useless fat cats and hypocrites…all of them. They spout nothing but crap while doing the same crap they preach about (David Cameron or Tony Blair). As long as they profit off something they’re going to stay ‘neutral’ in most areas. Try searching how MP’s splurge on Tax Payers money. Not to mention the BNP has seen a rise in support, by taking advantage of the working class. Lol they say they aren’t racists…yeah didn’t seem that way with the undercover documentary I saw of them hailing Hitler, supporting eugenics and Nazi’s, bragging how they beat a black man up, and blame everything on immigrants.

  • I didn’t think you’d be getting around to this one, Artefact.
    I’m glad you did, though. It’s going to be pivotal event on our way to a global Orwellian society. The next stop is going to be book burnings and destruction of painted art; why don’t you all come and visit this quaint little island for the festivities?

    I had hoped that maybe with time they might just revoke this law, but seeing how sodomy is still illegal in Scotland even now in these gay days, it’s unlikely they will.
    I may live in a country with free healthcare, but it is no-longer a free country.

    • No wonder it’s stuck importing people from less well off places whilst its natives flee. Of course, it has always been like this…

      And UK healthcare is probably some of the most expensive in the developed world, just that you don’t pay for it directly.

  • I love the fact that this law can be added to the list of rules British citizens never follow.

    Well our government must be right, we are all braindead morons with no sense of morality and would be corrupted into rampant acts of pillaging from a single sight of this horrible material. Wow i remember this before, wasn’t it called the dark ages?

  • One small step for government, one giant leap for totalitarianism. Don’t you just love it how precious resources are used for nonsensical issues such as this? I understand that people feel the need to believe that they managed to accomplish something, but at least do something beneficial to your country.

    Anyone up for Sealand?

  • All our politicians are grey, they’d do pretty much anything to stand out. Most Judges in the UK wouldn’t find this stuff offensive though, they’re the biggest market for it.

    None of this is my taste anyway, unless cute 2d vampires count as corpses.

    Also we don’t just worry about house prices! We worry about pensions, snow and the new Doctor too

  • So if I take a picture of a deathly pale girl who gets stuck/tied up accidentally by a jump rope while I pure chocolate on her genitals and breasts and in the mean time a dog watches from a few paces away gets a boner

    do I go to jail in UK?

    • “(a) an act which threatens a person’s life
      (b) an act which results, or is 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”

      Of course guro is still legal, isn’t it obvious?

  • I generally disagree with this from several standpoints (the penalties in particular, plus even though animals aren’t my cup of tea either, I wouldn’t put that on the same pedestal as the other three offences).

    But you must admit, at least it restricts it to “reality”, so you can keep your doujins. And at least it’s fairly specific. God damn if there were vague wording in it.

      • A problem that’s fairly easy to circumvent, though. The Onion Router’s long been established as a means for underground journalists to bypass government filters, and the security-minded to avoid easy detection. They have to prove that you own the material they’re charging with, and if even your ISP can’t…

    • That’s the spirit! But I have even better idea. Imagine the situation in which people are starting to mass violate some law. Some stupid law. Like that one or any other prohibitionist based one. What would happen if let’s say, at least 1/3 of the population of some country would start violating this kind of law on purpose? Would they sent everyone to jail? Do they have enough space in jails? But more importantly.. what would be their reaction, and reaction of the remaining part of the population as well as other country’s?

      In my country the drinking of alcohol in public places is prohibited. So Me and a few of my friends organized a small gig. We gathered a lot of people (Friends of friends and so on) we prepared bottle after vodka and other kinds of alcohol and filled them with water, juice etc.

      Then we went through some popular public “landmarks” obviously attracting attention of the city watch guards (a kind of police but dedicated to regulating the city) So..

      You can imagine what happened after that 🙂
      Well.. and example. Guard approaches me and my pal. I’m drinking my vodka even as they speak to me. They ask me if I know that drinking alcohol is prohibited in public places, and when I acknowledge this we move to the formalities. I get a fine. But then after like 10 minutes of their time when the papers are complete and the guy asks me for signature I say that I just got to remember that I’m not really drinking alcohol,
      but only water.. I give him the bottle to try it if he wants. He actually took time and smelled the bottle. They move on embarrassed and pissed off as their helpless about our little prank. But
      then the see someone else from our group. They “check” them. Some others gets checks as well.
      The observers from around who are aware of the situation are laughing their asses off. This demonstration was a big success and we are doing them more often now. Pissing off the guards and awaiting for the new law, that prohibits carrying containers with labels representing alcohol brands? What if i design my own label and prepare the bottle at home? With some fictional brand?

      So that’s it. I know its a longish piece but I hope you guys can learn something and get some ideas for future maybe..

  • I’ve read about this law but in an very different forum, one focused on comic books and video games. Many video games (e.g., Left 4 Dead, Grand Theft Auto) and some very mainstream comics (Batman, Wolverine, The Hulk) can fall under this very badly written and overly broad legislation.

    And sadly the law will have almost no appreciative effect on stopping the violence that springs from unbalanced minds.

    What is it about economic recession that brings the moralistic loons out in force?

  • I really worry lately about all these legal crusades that wrap themselves in morality but are really just stepping on free expression. It’s not even relevant whether I enjoy this kind of “stuff” or not, because eventually they’ll get around to censoring the porn I like… and from there it’s not long until the government decides what I should and shouldn’t like.

    Media is being censored all around the world and I really wish I knew what to do about it.

  • As much as I’m not into ANY of that stuff, I will always defend people’s right and the liberties that made this world a better place to live in.

    While I agree that putting bizarre stuff where it doesn’t belong isn’t nice, and there could be some cases of BSDM that leads to people getting hurt or even killed, this law is just too extreme.

    It seems that people never knows how to dose the right ammount of laws.. either they are too loose, or they make them too tight. Go figure.

    Why is it that when they try to fix something, they will always mix things with moralism and extreme shit like that?

    As for what Martin Salter has to say:

    “No-one is stopping people doing weird stuff to each other but they would be strongly advised not to put it on the internet.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but possessing pictures of it isn’t putting them on the internet, and it is still illegal. So this arguement is BS.

    “At the end of the day it is all too easy for this stuff to trigger an unbalanced mind.”

    At the end of the day, words are coming out of your mouth but no real scientific study was made to reach such conclusions, isn’t this right?

    “These snuff movies and other stuff are seriously disturbing. Many police officers who have to view it as part of their job have to undergo psychological counselling.”

    Different people are affected by different things in different ways. Just deal with it.
    Kinda ironic how they will say such things but still send people to kill and die on wars.
    Not that I’m for snuff movies, and yes, people making real snuff movies should all go to jail… but not because of their sexual preference. They should go to jail because of the crimes they commited during the movie.

    “It simply plugs a hole in the law because the Obscene Publications Act is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard as far as the internet is concerned. This new law is designed to meet the challenge of the internet.”

    Maybe it has as much use as a chocolate fireguard because society just don’t think moralists laws like that are valid at all.
    Think about that.

    • I completely agree with everything you said.

      And what gets me the most about all this is that what are you supposed about it as an individual? Either stop and be “unhappy”… or continue and risk going to jail for some demented law? What kind of a choice is that? Oh, and then there is always the option of packing up and moving somewhere where they respect people’s liberties and privacy… but EVENTUALLY there will be nowhere you can go (and who’s gonna do that? seriously?)… and then you are buggered.

      Why can’t they just get these damn laws RIGHT?!?

  • “truck driver cum Labour MP”
    No pun intended there?
    Although “plugging holes” and “chocolate fireguard” sound vaguely errotic.

    I’m suprised the law doesn’t say anything about children, what with similar laws being made elsewhere.

    All hail Britannia, er… Airstrip One…
    Er, I mean…

  • “These snuff movies and other stuff are seriously disturbing. Many police officers who have to view it as part of their job have to undergo psychological counselling.”

    Grow some fucking balls.