30 British fetish film-makers met to discuss UK porn censorship, particularly the news that at the start of 2016 video-on-demand regulator ATVOD was shut down and re-absorbed into its parent body, Ofcom
Jerry Barnett notes that the government's new porn censorship proposal is a lot wider than just Video on Demand and will require robust age verification for the likes of Google Image Search and Instagram
The Government has put porn viewers on notice that perhaps it might be wise to download a few 64 Gb memory sticks worth of free porn so that they have enough to last a lifetime. The government has launched a consultation suggesting that foreign
porn websites should be blocked, censored and suffocated of funds if they don't comply with don't comply with an 18 age verification process and compliance to the discriminatory government censorship rules that ban anything slightly kinky
especially if favoured for women's porn.
The tome and ideas in the consultation are very much along primitive and unviable age verification methods that has so successfully suffocated the UK porn business. In fact the consultation notes that the UK impact on the multi billion pound porn
industry is insignificant and amounts to just 17 websites.
There seems little in the consultation that considers how the porn industry will evolve if it is made troublesome for adults to get verified. I suspect that there is already enough porn in existence on people's hard drives to circulate around and
last several life times for everybody. Perhaps this should be known as the Canute Consultation.
Anyway, the government writes in its introduction to the consultation:
The UK is a world leader in the work it does to improve child safety online, but we cannot be complacent. Government has a responsibility to protect citizens from harm, especially the young and most vulnerable.
That is why we committed in our manifesto to requiring age verification for access to pornographic material online, and are now seeking views on how we deliver on our commitment. The Consultation Survey
Our preferred method of capturing your responses to our consultation questions is via the dedicated online survey. Please click on the link to share your views with us. Other documents
In order to base policy development on evidence, DCMS commissioned experts from across the UK to conduct a review of evidence into the routes via which children access online pornography. The report of the expert panel was formally submitted in
November 2015 and provides helpful context to the issue. Please see document above.
Also published above is our regulatory triage assessment which considers the potential costs to UK businesses.
ATVOD was sacked from its job as the Video on Demand censor a few weeks back. Ofcom has now taken over the role from 1st January 2016.
Ofcom has just published a paper outlining transitionary arrangements for Video on Demand Censorship and has outlined proposals for future changes to processes. Ofcom is consulting on these proposals and invites responses by 1st March 2016.
Ofcom will take on some employees from ATVOD and in the first instance the ATVOD censorship rules and processes will be continued. However Ofcom makes the following proposals for the future:
Service providers will still be required to register for censorship using more or less the same impossibly convoluted rules that currently exist (perhaps with improved explanation).
Ofcom proposes that service providers should no longer be charged a fee. (Ofcom note that the marginal cost to extend current TV censorship processes to Video on Demand are not great).
Ofcom will reorganise the complaints procedure along the lines of that used for broadcast complaints
Ofcom will rewrite the censorship rules in the style of the TV broadcast rules but substantive content will not be likely to change much as it is basically derived from EU and UK decrees.