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24th June   Immature Legislation

The Fallout from this could be disastrous. It sounds like yet another vindictive persecution. Perhaps even a bit of face saving going on when nothing stronger could be found. Now millions could be persecuted for an extraordinarily serious crime for no necessary reason whatsoever. We need some sort of constitutional help to save us from vindictive prosecutions and knee jerking politicians.

From the Guardian  

David Hamilton - the photographer whose images hang in the US Library of Congress, Carnegie Hall and the Royal Danish Palace - has had his multi-million-selling images of young, naked women and girls officially branded as indecent in a landmark British ruling.

Anyone owning one of his coffee-table books now risks being arrested for possession of indecent photographs [of children] , following a ruling at Guildford Crown Court.

The case revolves around Stanley Loam, a 49-year-old auditor from Walton on Thames, Surrey, who was charged with being in possession of 19,000 indecent images of children - the biggest ever haul by the county's force. Loam claimed he had a genuine interest in artistic material, and that the images in his collection by Hamilton were freely available in books sold by websites run by WHSmith, Tesco, Waterstones and Amazon. Loam said he thought they were not indecent, but lost his defence.

Prosecutor Simon Connolly told the court that Loam's home was raided as part of Operation Ore, after receiving a tip-off from the US Postal Investigation Service. He argued that the images, including those by Hamilton, are plainly indecent. The content cannot be described as artistic and is plainly of a sexual nature. The court heard the images seized were of the lowest indecency rating - category 1.

Speaking after, DC Simon Ledger, of Surrey Police, said: It is no defence in law to say pictures of naked children are 'artistic' . Whether Hamilton's images are widely available or not, he suggested, they are clearly unlawful. The fact he [Loam] has been convicted demonstrates they are not legal. Anyone who has David Hamilton's books can be arrested for the possession of indecent photographs. We are liaising with the publishers of his books to explain this."

Hamilton's photographs have long been at the forefront of the "is it art or pornography?" debate. Glenn Holland, spokesman for the 71-year-old photographer, who lives in St Tropez, said: We are deeply saddened and disappointed by this, as David is one of the most successful art photographers the world has ever known. His books have sold millions. We have known for some time that the law in Britain and the US - our two biggest markets - is becoming tighter each year. But the fact remains that the courts still have to decide on each case.

On Tuesday, WHSmith said it was withdrawing one of Hamilton's books - The Age of Innocence - from sale on its website, following a discussion with London publishers, Aurum Press.

Update: Not a landmark Case

6th March 2011. See  article from , thanks to Silanda

The following correction was printed in the Guardian's Corrections and clarifications column, on July 12 2005

In the article, we say that the books of the photographer, David Hamilton, were declared indecent in a landmark ruling at Guildford crown court. This was not a landmark ruling. The defendant had pleaded guilty to specimen charges and this fact was accidentally edited from the original story.

Silanda adds:

As things currently stand, these coffee table art books are not held to be indecent. The police claims were simply not backed up by the outcome of the court case. The publishers effectively told them to go to hell and the police then had to issue an apology.

The big problem here is that the definition of indecent image in UK law is absolutely useless (i.e. there really isn't one so virtually anything could be classed as indecent). It is doubtful that the powers that be will ever go after the publishers as they can afford to pay for expensive lawyers. If the CPS then lost their case it would provide a nice line of defence for anyone being prosecuted over level 1 images.


23rd June  Tom & Jerry View of Reality

The first thought that struck me was the lack of reality in expecting adults to police 16 & 17 year olds. They are able to have sex, get married, get a job, live alone etc, there is absolutely no way that the parents are going to have any say in what they watch or do in their own rooms. When I was that age total privacy was assumed. There was no way that my parents would presume to enter my space particularly when I had company etc. Arguments about lifestyle and space are common and I can't imagine many families rating the age restrictions on videos and games of sufficient importance to risk yet another row. The balance of power shifts once the youngsters have or will soon have the ultimate sanction to leave home and do their own thing.

So I suggest to the Government that they get a bit of perspective and accept that every generation has happily lived with adult pleasures being enjoyed a few years too early. It never harmed us so why should it harm the current generation. Behaviour is surely changing due to freedom, communications, housing, wealth and preferences for small family units etc, I really don't think that getting overly concerned about age restrictions on cartoon imagery will make any significant impact whatsoever.

 From the BBC

Ways of ensuring that parents know which video games are suitable for children are to be considered by the games industry. The issue was discussed at a meeting between UK government officials, industry representatives and the BBFC. It follows concerns that children may be playing games aimed at adults which include high levels of violence.

Violent games have been hit by controversy after the game Manhunt was blamed by the parents of 14-year-old Stefan Pakeerah, who was stabbed to death in Leicester in February. His mother, Giselle, said her son's killer, Warren Leblanc, 17 - who was jailed for life in September - had mimicked behaviour in the game. Police investigating Stefan's murder dismissed its influence and said Manhunt was not part of its legal case.

The issue of warnings on games for adults was raised on Sunday by Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt. This was the focus of the talks between government officials, representatives from the games industry and the BBFC.

Adults can make informed choices about what games to play. Children can't and they deserve to be protected, said Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell after the meeting. Industry will consider how to make sure parents know what games their children should and shouldn't play. "

Roger Bennett, director general of Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association, said: " A number of initiatives were discussed at the meeting. They will be formulated to create specific proposals to promote greater understanding, recognition and awareness of the games rating system, ensuring that young people are not exposed to inappropriate content.

Among the possible measures could be a campaign to explain to parents that many games are made for an adult audience, as well as changes to the labelling of the games themselves.

According to industry statistics, a majority of players are over 18, with the average age of a gamer being 29.

Academics point out that there has not been any definitive research linking bloodthirsty games such as Manhunt with violent responses in players. In a report published this week for the Video Standards Council, Dr Guy Cumberbatch said: The research evidence on media violence causing harm to viewers is wildly exaggerated and does not stand up to scrutiny.


22nd June   An End to the VRA Maybe on the Cards?

It sounds like Shaun may be onto something. The disks are expensive but each customers would only have to buy one disk. The customer would take his disk to a shop (no longer needs to be a licensed shop) The shop keeper could download a DIVX movie onto the SD Card (portable memory). Or perhaps even better for an DVD image file to loaded onto the SD card so it can be burnt onto DVD at home.

Hopefullywe will soon see the end of the repressive Video Recordings Act and in particular an end to its requirements for licensed shops so readily abused by local councils and an end to totally unnecessary mail order restrictions.

From The Melon Farmers' Forum


Some SD cards are now large enough to store a video on. They can be as much as 1 and 2 gigabytes. And they are neither disks, or magnetic. They are expensive, but the price is bound to fall....

Can these be legally sold with a video stored on them ?

Video Recordings Act:
Criminal Justice Act 1988 (see s 162)
Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1984 [94+ +94]

Interpretation of terms

1.--(1) The provisions of this section shall have effect for the interpretaion of terms used in this Act.

(2) "Video work" means any series of visual images (with or without sound)-

(a) produced electronically by the use of information contained on any disc or magnetic tape, and

(b) shown as a moving picture.

Finally, I think there`s smaller disks. These don`t have to be round. Could I put a film on "square optical media" and sell it ? Discs by definition are round. Optical media is not magnetic... And believe it or not square or rectangular optical media can be played..

Just looking for ways to fuck up this nasty and draconian piece of legislation which is making all our lives a complete misery and firmly belongs to the last century...


19th June   Nutters in Unison

From The Guardian

Plans to make comedians sign a contract agreeing to avoid jokes which might offend minorities were criticised as an attack on free speech yesterday.

Councillors in Newcastle upon Tyne are to be asked to consider banning performers whose acts are branded offensive, racist, sexist or homophobic. It followed calls from the public sector union Unison to ban the comedian Roy Chubby Brown from playing the City Hall, where he has appeared regularly for 20 years.

The issue was passed by the council to its equalities board which has recommended the council bans from its venues "acts contrary to the council's visions, values and social inclusion agenda, and which conflict with its community leadership role".

Martin Callanan, the Conservative MEP for the North East, said: There is a difference between being grossly offensive and being funny and it is a difficult line to judge sometimes, but I think we have to err on the side of free speech. People who went to see acts like Chubby Brown knew what they were getting


18th June   Nutters in Unison

From The Guardian

Plans to make comedians sign a contract agreeing to avoid jokes which might offend minorities were criticised as an attack on free speech yesterday.

Councillors in Newcastle upon Tyne are to be asked to consider banning performers whose acts are branded offensive, racist, sexist or homophobic. It followed calls from the public sector union Unison to ban the comedian Roy Chubby Brown from playing the City Hall, where he has appeared regularly for 20 years.

The issue was passed by the council to its equalities board which has recommended the council bans from its venues "acts contrary to the council's visions, values and social inclusion agenda, and which conflict with its community leadership role".

Martin Callanan, the Conservative MEP for the North East, said: There is a difference between being grossly offensive and being funny and it is a difficult line to judge sometimes, but I think we have to err on the side of free speech. People who went to see acts like Chubby Brown knew what they were getting


11th June   Deep Throat in Edinburgh

From The Herald

Deep Throat , a documentary about what is arguably the most famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) pornographic film of all time, opens in cinemas around the country today. Next week, Edinburgh's Cameo cinema will present two midnight screenings of the original 1972 picture

Catherine Harper, of Edinburgh-based nutters Women Against Pornography, has a simple view of the film. Her organisation objected to Edinburgh Council's decision to grant the Cameo permission to show Deep Throat , but was overruled. We don't object to erotica, but to pornography. As long as films like this are being sold as entertainment, what message is being sent out? Films like this are about hate. We should be asking the question why has sex become about hate? [maybe because nutters like you think that you can impose your hateful morality on your fellow man]

The Cameo screenings of Deep Throat are on Friday and Saturday, June 17 and 18, according to Edinburgh Council guidelines, under a Restricted 18 certification. As such, the film can only be shown as a club screening, with club membership reserved for over-18s only and approvable no later than 24 hours in advance.


11th June   Bollox Needs Auditing

The notion that once staff gain access to some of these websites they can be tempted into more dangerous and illegal areas such as child pornography is deeply offensive. This suggests that all adult porn viewers are just a moments temptation away from being paedophiles. This is absolute bollox and shows that the Audit Commission have done zero research into the subject they are preaching about. Their work is worthless and they should be sacked.

Based on an article from The Times

A highly critical report from the public spending watchdog, the Audit Commission, suggests that downloading porn now represents nearly 50 per cent of all cases of IT abuse across the public services.

The commission has called for software to be installed in all public sector computers to prevent users from accessing pornographic sites. It gives warning that once staff gain access to some of these websites they can be tempted into more dangerous and illegal areas such as child pornography.

The survey, which covers more than 400 organisations including the NHS, councils, the police and firefighters follows a growing number of criminal cases of computer pornography in the public sector. Hundreds of civil servants and public sector staff have also been disciplined for downloading porn.

The commission reveals that downloading porn has increased dramatically in the past eight years. In 1997 it was almost negligible but rose to 31 per cent of reported IT abuse in 2001 and increased to 47 per cent in 2004. Despite better IT security systems, a culture of complacency and a failure to ensure that staff understand the rules is undermining the effectiveness of security arrangements ,

Chris Hurford, head of IT security at the commission, said detection of computer porn had grown exponentially since 1997. [ I would suggest that in 1997 it wasn't practical to download very much at all and that all the weighted terms such as 'exponential growth' are no more than a reflection of increased internet availability and certainly does not reflect some moral collapse of society. The authors would be better employed writing leaders for the Daily Mail]

Many managers do not pick up on it because, unlike fraud, it is not obviously damaging to the organisation, Hurford said. People haven’t taken the issue very seriously. But it is time-wasting, open to abuse as users start accessing more disturbing sites and open to theft of personal information. [So why hasn't he picked up on the time wasting reading the BBC News]

Last August the Department for Work and Pensions revealed that 16 civil servants had been sacked and more than 200 disciplined for downloading porn.

An investigation into civil service internet abuse in June last year revealed that the Northern Ireland Office discovered 332 computer abuses, Customs and Excise 176 offences and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 72. Four ministries, including the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, said they found no abuses.

The report covers IT abuse including theft, private work, virus placement, hacking, invasion of privacy and use of illicit software, as well as viewing inappropriate material. Based on voluntary responses from IT security managers the incidents are thought to represent a fraction of actual computer abuse, with most cases unreported. Fire and police services covered 39 per cent of the 200 incidents reported.


9th June   Hated Law

In the extreme people are killed, tortured and mutilated in the name of religion. It is often worthy of hatred. Even in day to day life it seems to be a characteristic of religious people that they try and impose their views on their fellow man. Surely I have a right to hate those that try and restrict my liberty and surely I have a right to communicate this opinion to those that care to listen.

From the BBC

A re-generated bill that would make incitement to religious hatred illegal is being unveiled by the government.
The legislation is an attempt to end extremist bigotry, but there are concerns it may stifle religious debate and even constrain comedians.

The bill forbids insulting words or behaviour that are intended or likely to stir up hatred on religious grounds. If it mirrors racial hatred laws, the maximum sentence for those found guilty will be seven years in prison.

The bill will apply to comments made in public or the media, as well as written material. The government says the legislation is a response to the concerns of faith groups, particularly Muslims, who feel they are not given the same protection under the law as others such as Christians or Jews.

But an earlier bill introduced prior to the general election was opposed in the House of Lords by those who deemed it to be an assault on the freedom of speech. They say religions must be allowed criticise each other, and this proposed new law could open a Pandora's box of prosecutions between faiths.

Rowan Atkinson has warned that comedians like him were at risk of prosecution for lampooning religious figures. But Home Office ministers pointed out that this was not the intention of the legislation.


4th June

Updated 9th June

  Deep Throat Coming to Hampstead

Deep Throat will be shown in Brighton the following week and then to Edinburgh and other cinemas depending upon council permission.

From Ham & High 24

The most famous and lucrative porn film ever made will make its UK mainstream cinema debut in Hampstead, London next week.

Deep Throat sent shockwaves through the worlds of politics, art, fashion and the law during the 1970s, spawning protests, lawsuits and moral outrage. It was  banned in 23 American states on obscenity charges and until now British audiences have only ever seen it in sex cinemas.

Next Friday it will be screened at the Everyman Cinema Club, in Holly Bush Vale. Those who wish to see Deep Throat must complete free membership forms at Everyman at least 24 hours before the screening.

And a straw poll on the streets of Hampstead showed locals are not getting their knickers in a twist about their moment in the sexual limelight.

Artist Lydia Kemeny said: I remember the controversy over the film back in the 70s but I think pornography is part of living these days. It's regrettable if this sort of thing gets into the hands of children but there's so much of it around that I don't think many people will be shocked. I would have thought though that people here are broad minded enough and well off enough to have got hold of the film already if that's what they're into.

Gillian McAndrew said the idea that the screening of Deep Throat in Hampstead would disgust residents was wide of the mark. It's a free world and I cannot see why people living here should be any less likely to be interested in the film than anywhere else , There seems to be an increasing audience for this sort of thing and if people don't approve they don't have to go. I think we're all old enough to make up our own minds.

Daniel Broch, managing director of Everyman, said: This is a rare opportunity to show a film that's in many ways a cultural phenomenon. We are screening it in conjunction with the launch of a new documentary called Inside Deep Throat , which examines the film's legacy on society. I don't think the concept of sex is alien to the people of Hampstead.

Deep Throat is only the second film ever shown in British cinemas to be rated R18 because of its content. The first was The Good Old Naughty Days , an explicit compilation of restored French blue movies from the 1920s which was released last year.


3rd June   Diminishing Universally Supported Law

I don't see that any one can be tagged as paedophiles for an interest in anyone above the age of consent. I feel the extension of legislation to 16 & 17 year olds will serve to diminish the respect for what was once legislation that was supported 100% by the community. It is always the ultimate line in the sand with regards to minimal censorship that only depictions of illegal acts need be banned. So now I consider that prohibiting images of legal and consensual acts depicting people above the age of consent is undue censorship.

What sort of law is it that  makes it a specific offence to purchase sexual services from anyone under the age of 18 manning sex chat lines. There is absolutely no way that the customer can verify the age of those manning the lines. Surely the responsibility has to lie with the operators.

Based on an article from the BBC

A bill to clamp down on paedophiles grooming children on the internet has been passed by MSPs at Holyrood.
The Protection of Children Bill will make it an offence to set up meetings with under-16s via internet chatrooms and carry a maximum 10-year sentence.

The law will allow courts to impose a new risk of sexual harm order (RSHO) to curb the activities of those suspected of being a danger to children. RSHOs will stand even if the individual has not been convicted of an offence.

The legislation will also make it a specific offence to purchase sexual services from anyone under the age of 18 and covers activities from prostitution and pornography to lap dancing and sex chat lines. This extends the existing laws upwards by two years from 16. The law against indecent pictures of children was also extended to include 16 and 17-year-olds.

On passing the bill, Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson said: The sexual abuse of children is an appalling crime. The physical harm that it can do to children is horrific. But even once the physical wounds have healed, the emotional and psychological trauma can continue for years to come. That's why we must do all we can to stop this happening to our children and why we must make sure the law allows for early intervention to prevent predatory sex offenders targeting our children.

The Crown would have to prove that a reasonable person would consider the intended activity to be sexual, taking into account all of the circumstances of the case, including the nature of past communications and items on the accused's person, such as contraceptives.

Detectives will be able to assume the role of the child in order to continue contact with a potential offender where they detect online grooming. Police can apply for an RSHO against a person within six months of two incidences of inappropriate behaviour being reported to them. Breaches of the order would be a criminal offence, punishable by up to six months in prison and/or a £5,000 fine.


2nd June   When the State Suggests Self Censorship

Ian Bell's column seemed to be suggesting that there is some reluctance for the media to give us the full perspective about the risks of disaster from AIDs or Bird Flu. I couldn't read between the lines well enough to understand the form that political pressure was taking though. Perhaps the column has been censored. Anyway the article also has some interesting snippets about suggestions of past bouts of press censorship.

Based on an article by Ian Bell from The Sunday Herald

Years ago, I had my one and only brush with the D-notice system, that informal arrangement by which the government persuaded the media to censor themselves. A reporter in my charge with a well-developed suspicious streak had been spotted crawling through the undergrowth near a Scottish military installation. Now, here was a retired admiral on the line asking if I would mind terribly advising the chap on the fine print in the Official Secrets Act.

My then-editor was on the D-notice committee and had already been nobbled, so there wasn’t much point in arguing. The story hadn’t come to much in any case, and all I had to show for it was my own souvenir folder of D-notices dealing with old and very dull news. Over the years, though, I’ve wondered about the incident.

Our intrepid hack hadn’t found anything sensational, yet why had a very posh retired admiral warned us off? Had we missed something, or was the old boy simply following the habits of a lifetime, and of British officialdom down the decades? Was he merely justifying his wages or acting in the country’s best interests? And what would we have done if we’d discovered fishy goings-on?

Editors face these questions more often than the public probably realises. To some, in certain circumstances, a duty to the truth can seem like an excuse for irresponsibility. Another case in point: back in the 1980s, riots were sweeping England. Officially, nothing much was happening in Scotland. Unofficially, some of us knew that there had been serious trouble on some Scottish housing schemes. The papers wouldn’t touch the story. The authorities had decided that coverage might lead to “copy-cat violence” – an odd point of view, since the violence was already happening – and editors had agreed with them.

You could have called it a cover-up; you might equally have called it common sense. One truth was that Scotland had not been immune to the trouble; another was that editors did not want to give young people ideas and add to the trouble.

The tale of Scotland’s struggle with sectarianism followed a similar pattern for a long time. Why was it a “secret shame”? In part because editors believed that if they gave prominence to the issue of bigotry there was a risk, a real one they thought, of importing Northern Ireland’s troubles to the central belt. Given that this often-feared development never occurred in any serious way, credit could be claimed for self-censorship. It remains the case, nevertheless, that Scotland shied away from the problem of religious hatred for years, in part because some people chose to be “responsible”.

It cuts both ways. A large part of Africa’s population is being destroyed by HIV/Aids because the story has been told too slowly and too late. Why so? Because the victims are black, poor, far away and suffering from a complex of diseases misrepresented for two decades by a press keener to talk about gay plagues than about poverty and education.

The media, obviously enough, cannot tell every story. It is a fact of life, equally, that all governments try to hide the truth from their populations, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for bad, and sometimes because they see no other choice. People know as much, and expect nothing else. A government without secrets would, in all probability, be governing badly. So we make a judgement. Was it necessary to deceive us over the Iraq war? Not in any rational sense. In fact, if Bush and Blair had simply said that removing genocidal monsters is always a just cause, a few more people might have supported them.

In a small way, I’ve just tested the proposition. Epidemiologists have been predicting a devastating influenza outbreak for some time. The 1918 onslaught of Spanish flu may be a dimming folk memory, but it killed perhaps 50 million people. The pandemics of 1957 and 1967 were slight by comparison, but many still died. According to some scientists, unstoppable outbreaks of flu occur on average every 30 years. We’re due, and “bird flu” – the avian influenza virus known as H5N1 – looks like a candidate.

So far, only 50 people have died in southeast Asia and there is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted from one person to another. Equally, there is no evidence that the nature of the virus will not change, making a pandemic affecting perhaps 20% of the world’s population inevitable. This is a flu against which our bodies have, as yet, no immunity, and against which we have no vaccines. According to expert articles published in last week’s edition of the journal Nature, official planning is inadequate while actual preparations are patchy. The threat is of a global nature and will need a global response. That isn’t happening.

If the experts are to be believed, in any case, this may be the time to panic somewhat. Professor Albert Osterhaus, the Dutch virologist who contributed to Nature, is in no doubt: where the pandemic is concerned it is a matter of when, not if. He is desperate to force governments to understand the nature of the threat. If H5N1 is mutating now, he claims, we are in big trouble. He also describes the prediction that 7.5 million could die as “optimistic”.

You can’t make rules about the truth, least of all in the media. If we were facing what the biologists call an extinction event, foreknowledge would be irrelevant. What could you do other than pull the blankets over your head? In the case of avian flu, according to those who understand it best, the first problem is one of political will. Even at the risk of panic, people need information if they are to put pressure on their leaders.

It won’t help the cornflakes go down more easily. It won’t help the sun shine more brightly. For those of us who remember the great nuclear stand-off of the cold war, it might mean a return to wondering idly what, if anything, we might do if the worst did happen. But the greatest glory of journalism is its ability to get politicians off their backsides. That seems the obvious course now. Where H5NI is concerned, publish and damn them.


20th May   Paper Monopoly

From The Guardian

The Office of Fair Trading yesterday paved the way for a shake-up in the distribution of newspapers and magazines in Britain with the publication of a controversial draft ruling.

Publishers warned that local newsagents would go the way of the village greengrocer if yesterday's ruling became law, while the OFT accused the industry of wielding the "spectre" of editorial censorship to campaign for the reversal of the draft ruling.

The OFT expanded a view first put forward in a preliminary finding last month that the current system, where distributors have exclusive rights to deliver magazines in a certain region, is anti-competitive and should be opened up to market forces.

Newspaper publishers have been sucked into the argument despite their distribution arrangements receiving an exemption from the OFT. They argue that separating magazines, currently delivered in the same vans, would undermine the economics of the entire system.

Mike Newman, chairman of the Newspaper Publishers' Association circulation executive, said delivering a few newspapers to smaller agents is only economically viable if the same distributor is able to deliver in bulk to larger retailers such as supermarkets. We believe that the OFT's provisional view, if maintained in its final opinion, would threaten the current near universal availability of news and opinion in all parts of the country. Large retailers will hoover up the best deals and everybody else would be left holding the baby. It sounds like an old chestnut but where are the bakers, greengrocers and butchers [in villages]? "

Becket McGrath, the OFT case officer leading the inquiry, dismissed fears that a change in magazine distribution could lead to supermarkets holding editorial sway over magazines as they become the dominant vendors of periodicals. We don't think the situation will arise where you have super-monopolist supermarkets which will determine what people will read. They [publishers] have introduced it as a spectre to get the attention of politicians."

McGrath said joint distribution of magazines and newspapers would be retained if it remained the most efficient way of delivering both prod ucts: If the most efficient way of distributing magazines is through the same vans that newspapers are distributed in, then it will happen naturally.

He said opening magazine distribution to competitors would benefit consumers because under the current system it is publishers, and not readers, who dictate what appears on retailers' shelves. The system is rather topsy-turvy in that it is run by publishers in their interests. They determine what goes to retailers and when. Retailers were telling us that they could not tell the wholesaler that they want so many copies of a magazine because that's what the public wants. They get what the wholesaler and the publisher tells them they are going to get.

A deadline of June 17 has been set for replies to the draft ruling. A final decision is expected by the end of the summer.


17th May   Child Porn Definition Now Stretched Beyond Paedophilia

I believe the authorities have made a big mistake. It is perfectly legal to have consensual sex with a 16 or 17 year old and hence cannot be considered paedophilia. However indecent pictures at this age are now considered illegal (but not Paedophilic).

Before the definitions matched and any successful prosecution could rightfully carry with it the social outrage associated with a serious crime. Now before casting stones we must keep asking the question: were images of people below the age of consent or not?

And perhaps even to answer the IWF's query about the lack of reporting, perhaps pictures of 16 & 17 year olds are not considered worthy of reporting to the police.  It is hopefully ludicrous that any manager would saddle anyone with the horrendous tag of paedophilia for glamour shots of people above the age of consent.

From the BBC

The IWF, UK's child porn watchdog has launched a campaign targeting people who download illegal images at work. Recent legislation makes it easier for technology managers to report incidents such as staff downloading child porn.

But the Internet Watch Foundation said some managers feared finding themselves caught up in criminal proceedings. An IWF survey of 200 firms found 74% of managers would not report guilty staff to the police and 40% would not take steps to discipline or dismiss them.

The IWF, which has called its campaign Wipe it Out, said there was a combination of reasons for this. There was a fear they would be held liable, concerns they could lose their jobs and just a general lack of idea of what to do with such material, said a spokesman.

The report did not, however, establish how widespread the problem is. Anecdotal evidence suggests there is a problem and there have been court cases of people downloading illegal images at work, said the IWF spokesman.

The IWF is keen to raise awareness of changes to the Sexual Offences Act which, from May last year, provided a conditional defence to protect network managers who need to store potentially illegal images of children as evidence. The defence is only valid if the incident is reported within a set amount of time.

The age at which an indecent picture of a child is considered illegal has also been raised from 16 to 18. Any employee with glamour shots of 17-year-olds is now behaving illegally, said the IWF spokesman.

He acknowledged that some child pornography finds its way on to work computers via spam.

In 2004, the IWF received 17,255 reports of illegal child images [but were they above or below the age of consent?], 20% of which were websites. Only 1% of online child pornography is hosted in the UK, according to the IWF.


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15th May   Necking in Your Local Cinema

Sounds like Beyer lost his voice for a while, but he found it in his arse.

From The Independent

Deep Throat , the most infamous and lucrative porn film ever made, is to be shown in UK cinemas for the first time after a landmark decision by film censors. Its distributor is negotiating screenings at independent chains, among them City Screen.

The film will be shown alongside a newly made documentary about the movie called Inside Deep Throat which examines its making and the effect of its taking porn into the mainstream. Although Deep Throat was widely seen in the US, in the UK it has been shown only in sex cinemas. It became possible to buy it on video or DVD at sex shops following a change in guidelines applied by the BBFC in 2000.

Because of the film's hardcore content, the BBFC has given it an R18 rating. It will be only the second such movie with that certificate to be screened in British cinemas. The other, The Good Old Naughty Days, was a black and white curio filmed in France a century ago.

A spokeswoman for the film's distributor, Momentum Picture, said the release of Deep Throat was merely to put the documentary into context. There will be strict safeguards over screenings of the film. Cinemas will need to seek a special dispensation from local authorities; they must operate a membership scheme, and there must be no under-18s on the premises.

The Duke of York's Picture House in Brighton has lined up late-night weekend screenings and a number of City Screen's cinemas, including those in Liverpool, Edinburgh and Cambridge, are hoping to show it.

John Beyer of the campaign group Mediawatch-UK thought it was a worrying move.
Film classification is something that needs a thoroughgoing review. Its history] has been to relax at every opportunity to accommodate every whim of film-makers.