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Melon Farmers

20th September

 Update: Liberal intentions...

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LibDems publish discussion paper which also touches on policy towards porn, extreme porn and cartoon porn
Link Here  full story: LibDems and Sex Work...LibDems debate policy on sex work
sex work libdems The LibDems have published a discussion paper to debate policy on the decriminalisation of sex work. It will be debated at the up coming party conference and beyond. The paper also touches on the subject of the legality of porn:

In addition to public discussions of the legalities surrounding prostitution, there has also been an increase in concerns related to access to pornography, the types of pornography available, and the oversexualisation of culture as a whole. The Conservative government has pushed to implement a porn filter which would require UK internet users to input a credit card number before accessing otherwise free porn hosted outside the UK. This is designed to prevent children from corning across porn by accident, although data supporting this aim is weak. Liberal Democrat conference has previously voted heavily against implementing a porn filter -- this group agrees with the position of conference on this issue.

Similarly, relatively recent laws on extreme porn and video on demand services have led to some pornographic websites, particularly those featuring consensual BDSM scenes, being shut down.

A number of high profile oases prosecuted under extreme porn laws have tailed to result in conviction - for instance, R v Walsh [2012] where a man had video and images of acts he himself had performed, and R v Holland [2010] a man who had been sent a WhatsApp pornographic video purporting to be of a tiger and a woman engaged in a sex act but which turned out to be a man dressed as a tiger - a fact that was only uncovered in the courtroom. These laws not only cover scenes where so damage was caused, but also hentai and anime pornography where no real people are involved at all.

The paper then suggests questions for discussion:

  • What role (if any) do you think the state should play in regulating pornography That is made by consenting adults?

  • Should there be limits placed on the sexual behaviour of consenting pornography actors when this does not result in permanent harm?

  • Do you support a porn fitter - a filter on websites accessed from the UK that would require users to enter a credit card number to prove they are aged over 18 before being able to access pornography?

  • Has can the internet be made safer for those for whom pomography is not intended?


18th August

 Update: Copying any old rubbish...

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Backlash warns Malta about bad law copied from the UK's Dangerous Pictures act
Link Here  full story: Censorship Law in Malta...Lawnmakers hide obscenity law behind child protection
backlash logo A UK advocacy group says that a new Maltese law criminalisig the possession of extreme pornography risks criminalising sexual minorities.

While criminalising pornography depicting bestiality or necrophilia, the new regulations also make it illegal to possess images which portray non-consensual sexual activity or acts that could result in severe injury , even if the images are staged and all the participants are consenting adults. Anyone convicted under the new law will be liable to up to three years in prison or a fine of up to 6,000 euro.

Backlash has warned that the British law on which the regulations are based has led to several convictions for possession of pornography depicting BDSM (bondage and dominance, sadism and masochism), rough sex and other common, albeit non-mainstream, sexual preferences. Nick Cowen of Backlash told the Times of Malta:

There is a wide range of material that could be covered by the law's language, but it is unclear whether or how it could be used by prosecutors

This means people face a lot of uncertainty as to what is illegal, which is potentially very damaging to the rule of law. The law can harm anyone experimenting with alternative sexual acts that can be as safe (or safer) than intercourse.

The lawyer who drafted the regulations has argued that there is a legitimate aim to criminalise pornography which might induce certain people to copy what they are seeing but admitted that there was a bit of a grey area as to what could be prosecuted.


25th May

  Nothing to Hide...

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The case against the UK ban on extreme pornography. By Nick Cowen
Link Here
nothing to hide The Adam Smith Institute has just released a new paper by Nicholas Cowen of Kings College London: Nothing to Hide: The case against the ban on extreme pornography.

In it, Cowen makes a robust case against the current prohibition on acts that are legal to perform--and yet not to record--show it to be expensive, dangerous, and illiberal.

The executive summary of the paper reads:

  • The ban on possession of extreme pornography was introduced in 2009 and extended in 2015. The law, as drafted, bans depictions of some sex acts that can be conducted safely and consensually between adults, with a specific risk of prosecution posed to LGBT minorities.
  • The Crown Prosecution Service reports more than a thousand offences prosecuted each year, implying significant enforcement costs that could be deployed effectively elsewhere.
  • A significant minority of the British population enjoy sexually aggressive fantasy scenarios but do not pose a specific risk of committing violent or sexual offences.
  • Access to pornography has increased dramatically in recent years, yet social harms imputed to pornography (especially violence against women) have reduced moderately but significantly.
  • While some survey evidence claims a correlation between individual use of pornography and sexual aggression, econometric evidence suggests this is not a causal relationship and that, if anything, increased access to pornography can reduce measurable social harms.
  • The ban itself represents a potential risk to political integrity. Like the ban on homosexuality in much of the 20th century, prohibitions on private sexual conduct can be used to silence, blackmail and corrupt individuals in positions of authority and responsibility.
  • There are better policies for reducing violence against women in the dimensions of criminal justice, education and economic reform.
  • The prevailing free speech doctrine in the United States shows that it is realistically possible to simultaneously tackle damaging forms of expression and maintain strong protections for innocuous forms.

Sam Bowman, Executive Director of the Adam Smith Institute said,

Most people don't want the government in their bedrooms, but that's what extreme porn laws do. This report highlights just how bad these laws really are -- they turn millions of law-abiding adults into potential criminals simply for enjoying consensual spanking or dressing up in the bedroom. The evidence is very clear that pornography does not drive violence, and indeed it may reduce it. These are badly drafted laws that should never have made it to the statute books, and this report confirms the urgent need for the government to scrap them."

Nick Cowen, author of the paper said,

The extreme porn ban criminalises depictions of sex acts even if they are safely performed by consenting adults. We have seen the law used, in particular, to target and expose gay men. Each such case represents a personal tragedy and a disgraceful use of our criminal justice system's scarce resources. The costs of the law are disproportionate to any public benefit, and as implemented cannot plausibly protect women's interests for which the ban was supposedly introduced.

...Read the full paper Nothing to Hide briefing paper [pdf] from

Police raid house

The Dangerous Pictures Act

The UK Government passed the Criminal Justice & Immigration Act 2008 criminalising the possession of adult, staged, consensual violent pornography with draconian penalties of up to 3 years in prison. The law also bans images of bestiality and necrophilia.

The law applies to England, Wales & Northern Ireland

See Document Index


2014 Extension to images depicting non-consensual sex

See bill progress at Criminal Injustice and Courts Bill index page: Passed 2nd Reading in the House of Commons


The Dangerous Pictures chapter of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 came into force on January 26th 2009.

Government guidance [pdf] has been published to further explain what images are considered dangerous to possess.

See also CPS Extreme Pornography: Legal Guidance


A bill was passed in June 2010 to become the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 [pdf].

The clause came into force on 28th March 2011. Public guidance has now been published by the Scottish Government

Anime girl of indeterminent age
How are we expected
to know how old she is?

Criminalising Anime Dangerous Cartoons Act

The UK Government introduced a clause in Coroners and Justice Bill to criminalise the possession of non photographic but pornographic images of children with draconian penalties of up to 3 years in prison.

The Dangerous Cartoons clauses are found in Part 2 Chapter 2 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 and explanatory notes.

The Melon Farmers have also identified what they consider the key points of the law

The Bill passed into law when it received Royal Assent on 12th November 2009. The Dangerous Cartoons clauses came into force on 6th April 2010.