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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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Hi! It might be a silly question, but was reading about the

Resolved Question:

Hi! It might be a silly question, but was reading about the newish law (proposal for law?) concerning internet pornography.. Is it legal now to watch porn online (e.g. redtube or porntube) in the UK?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Are you referring to pornography involving consenting adults please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

of course consenting - though also in the realm of fetish and bdsm (so it probably might look non-consensual, but according to descriptions it is)

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Which law are you thinking of?

They haven't outlawed online pornography.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I've just read some article that there were plans for outlawing it and there were comments that e.g. bdsm might be already illegal? It's more just a theoretical question because I was surprised as the UK seems quite a liberal country to me so I was wondering if people really can get into trouble for visiting a very popular and very easily available website? (I'd assume if it were illegal in the UK it would be already shut down or blocked, the same for if the content would be nonconsensual it also would be already shut down wouldn't it?)

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
What do you by bdsm?

Do you mean sadomasocism?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I think it's referred to for example consensual bondage. and probably also consensual sadomasocism, but I'm really not expert in the topic

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Online pornography has not been outlawed per se. All that is being proposed is that there are more parental controls over the internet but that will just give parents the option to sign up to the controls. What they will quickly find is that it blocks their internet search capacity and so the whole practice will collapse.

On your specific point above though, pornography obviously is only lawful if it involves consenting adults.

There are laws against 'extreme pornography'. This is covered by S63 Obscene Publications Act.

Under S63 you have to prove that

1 That the image is pornographic; and
2 That the image is extreme namely grossly offensive, disgusting, or otherwise of an obscene character; and
3 That the image portrays in an explicit and realistic way any of the extreme acts set out in section 63(7).

S63[7] sets out a number of factors. Those include an act which threatens a person's life, an act which is likely to result in serious injury to a person's anus, breasts or genitals,

To be wholly honest, its a very high test and its not likely that bondage alone would offend unless you are describing the risk of death or serious injury.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the reply, but I still have the question if somebody can get into trouble for watching eg. redtube online (meaning a video of completely consenting adults but probably in not 100% consenting looking situation) as if I know well the s63 is about possession of images?


can you please comment on this?


 


btw, the basis of my question was this article, that I've found while browsing about 50 shades of grey: http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2012/08/08/comment-prosecutors-extreme-porn-and-50-shades-of-grey

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well, a person could. It depends if it offends against S63 on the basis I mentioned above.

Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69996
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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